2 years later... the almost sad state of MMOs in the new era

Rezz

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One issue MMOs have is that the player is, in most cases, the "hero" of the story being told. If you add 100k-500k players (Seriously my brain hurts from thinking about the scale of hardware/cloud instances needed to support this. Like, it would be -massive- at a minimum) then it's real hard for a player to feel like the center of the story. Or even a central piece.

I mean that's as massive as massive gets for an MMO, but I don't think hardware/design philosophies support anything near that size, let alone making it interesting for the player.
 
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Ukerric

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One issue MMOs have is that the player is, in most cases, the "hero" of the story being told. If you add 100k-500k players (Seriously my brain hurts from thinking about the scale of hardware/cloud instances needed to support this. Like, it would be -massive- at a minimum) then it's real hard for a player to feel like the center of the story. Or even a central piece.

I mean that's as massive as massive gets for an MMO, but I don't think hardware/design philosophies support anything near that size, let alone making it interesting for the player.
You were not the hero in Everquest. Heck, Everquest barely had quests for a very long time. Sure, 50% of the player base want a single-player RPG where they can play with people at times, but that's not what MMOs were supposed to be.

What EQ had was backstory, not story. One of the advantages of backstory is that it needs very little in term of developer time. It's all about the general design and the aesthetics. As such, it scales very well. You are right in term of design philosophies: modern MMO design requires a story-heavy world, which consumes an enormous amount of resources, one that is linear with the size of the world you are making. So, once you have enough story to fill the levelling time, you stop there and you stop making more world.

Hardware-wise, it's not that big. It does not matter if you have, say 50k players (estimate for a 250k-playerbase at peak times) spread over a single world or 20 copies of a smaller world. You need as much processes to run the latter as you need for the former. And, in the modern world, that means on-demand cloud servers, not old-school 42U racks full of blade servers.
 
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TJT

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It was. Which is why they very obviously spent a fairly small amount of time on the lore behind the world. They just took familiar archtypes (high fantasy DND) and relabeled stuff.

There are humans over here and trolls are bad and live in the swamp. There's an evil red dragon that lives in a volcano and he has a bunch of followers. This is now a dungeon. There's an evil white dragon that lives in an ice cave, with a bunch of goblins and other shit that tend to serve dragons. These wood elves live in trees. This dungeon is full of silly looking frog monsters and also undead versions of these frog monsters for... reasons.

There was an ancient human civilization at some point in the past, which is why there are half-buried wizard spires all over the place. They still work for teleportation but nobody understands how they function.

Go forth and have an adventure!
 

Neranja

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but I don't think hardware/design philosophies support anything near that size
It's certainly a challenge if your playerbase does not distribute well. That is also design challenge, as in: are there incentives for player distribution? And more importantly: It does not work in themepark-style games. It has to be a sandbox-oriented game. Which excludes a certain part of potential players who want the rollercoaster-like experience of a themepark.

Which is why they very obviously spent a fairly small amount of time on the lore behind the world.
There WAS lore around in the world, but most players didn't have direct interaction with it. Things like Mayong Mistmoore and Firiona Vie.
 

mkopec

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It was. Which is why they very obviously spent a fairly small amount of time on the lore behind the world. They just took familiar archtypes (high fantasy DND) and relabeled stuff.

There are humans over here and trolls are bad and live in the swamp. There's an evil red dragon that lives in a volcano and he has a bunch of followers. This is now a dungeon. There's an evil white dragon that lives in an ice cave, with a bunch of goblins and other shit that tend to serve dragons. These wood elves live in trees. This dungeon is full of silly looking frog monsters and also undead versions of these frog monsters for... reasons.

There was an ancient human civilization at some point in the past, which is why there are half-buried wizard spires all over the place. They still work for teleportation but nobody understands how they function.

Go forth and have an adventure!

And you pretty much did have your own adventure every night. I still rememebr moments like wipes that took hours to retrieve corpses and shit. So while no progression was had that night, it was still fun as fuck and memorable.
 

Pharone

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As for the state of MMOs at this very moment... I can say without a doubt, the ONLY reason I login to EQ anymore is because I run a guild and have 40+ people expecting me to login and play the game with them. If it wasn't for not wanting to let them down, I would probably uninstall EQ, and walk away right now.

I'm just completely done with the industry. All they put out is pure grade A shit anymore, and the only game left worth playing, EverQuest, is ran by people that literally act like they hate the fact that the game still exists and wishes everyone would go the fuck away.
 

Conefed

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I wonder how MMOs will be once high level fast computing becomes common.
 

Sadre Spinegnawer

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not building in convenience was the master stroke of eq. Corpse retrevals. Just think about trying to sell such an idea today. Having to find another character to give you a ride or hoof it for 45 minutes? And often having to hoof it because of ... corpse retrieval.

Unthinkable combinations of ways you could have a lousy night. They actually built that.

And I would want to argue, that was the secret. The social secret. Playing the game without making friends was a recipe to not have the game be much fun at all, if only because shit was unforgiving, as they say.

The guild was not just for raids. The guild was for not having a 3 hour corpse run b/c your grp wiped, and really a hundred other things.

So this might suggest, a good mmo has to be unplayable even down to the granular level without other chars' help.

But then we confront the Boxing Paradox. Necessitating multiple characters just incentives some souls to deduce that, therefore, playing multiple characters is fun.

No solution short of you-know-what. Zero boxing. Logging to another char = 15 minute timeout before world re-entry. Shit like that. You have to nuke any way to play more than more than one character at a time in any practical or useful way. So, yes, your enchanter is logged at the camp. And it will take you 15 minutes to get back into the game on her.

I would rule at this. Because, if my thesis is correct, it is the art of designing an unplayable game that is only playable by X# of RL players figuring out how to make design feature Y not suck.
 
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uniqueuser

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Don't quit your day job as a cardiac surgeon just yet, Sadre Spinegnawer Sadre Spinegnawer .

If there's incentive to multibox in your game then you've already lost by design (literally). Attempting to limit/restrict boxing after the fact will only earn you the contempt and resentment of your players, those who suffer it or circumvent it alike.
 
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Falxy-US

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not building in convenience was the master stroke of eq. Corpse retrevals. Just think about trying to sell such an idea today. Having to find another character to give you a ride or hoof it for 45 minutes? And often having to hoof it because of ... corpse retrieval.

Unthinkable combinations of ways you could have a lousy night. They actually built that.

And I would want to argue, that was the secret. The social secret. Playing the game without making friends was a recipe to not have the game be much fun at all, if only because shit was unforgiving, as they say.

The guild was not just for raids. The guild was for not having a 3 hour corpse run b/c your grp wiped, and really a hundred other things.

So this might suggest, a good mmo has to be unplayable even down to the granular level without other chars' help.

But then we confront the Boxing Paradox. Necessitating multiple characters just incentives some souls to deduce that, therefore, playing multiple characters is fun.

No solution short of you-know-what. Zero boxing. Logging to another char = 15 minute timeout before world re-entry. Shit like that. You have to nuke any way to play more than more than one character at a time in any practical or useful way. So, yes, your enchanter is logged at the camp. And it will take you 15 minutes to get back into the game on her.

I would rule at this. Because, if my thesis is correct, it is the art of designing an unplayable game that is only playable by X# of RL players figuring out how to make design feature Y not suck.

Worst thing ever was going link dead while in a plane (kunark/SoV era), and not being able to log back in until your guild has left.
 

Sadre Spinegnawer

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That's when you can tell if you joined a good guild. They will promise to get your corpse back sometime in the next 24 hours after they figure some strings out with an Aussie guild etc etc.

lol at doin hard shit in an elf simulator that may require you clearing a day on your calendar. And, your merits and reputation as a player depend on you being able to do that sometimes to help a guildmate.

And to boot, the guild that does all these things best, wins.

How do you even package such a game today? That level of "social immersion."

One of the failing small colleges because of teh pandemic should buy the IP to EQ, convert it into a 3d online world + university. Each race teaches a different class of subjects, you have to pass tests to not be KOS to guards in each city. I'd be an NPC. Mage guild. I'd assign you a quest to do a paper on Kafka.
 

Sadre Spinegnawer

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Don't quit your day job as a cardiac surgeon just yet, Sadre Spinegnawer Sadre Spinegnawer .

If there's incentive to multibox in your game then you've already lost by design (literally). Attempting to limit/restrict boxing after the fact will only earn you the contempt and resentment of your players, those who suffer it or circumvent it alike.

I see your point. Well fuck. I think your statement is just the facts. So, what's your solution though? It has to involve incentivizing not boxing, but not by a punitive method. I'm stumped.
 

TheNozz

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So, for the record, how many MMOs were supposed to be "WoW Killers?"

to my memory, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan were supposed to fill that role

and yet....

high roller laughing GIF
 
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Rease

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So, for the record, how many MMOs were supposed to be "WoW Killers?"

to my memory, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan were supposed to fill that role

and yet....

high roller laughing GIF
It never made sense to me that pvp centric MMORPG's were supposed to kill a PVE Raiding MMO that had pvp as well. Even if it were possible to kill WoW they weren't going to do it by ignoring the majority of what the population of WoW wanted to do. I am not arguing that they were considered potential WoW killers at some point I just never knew why.
 

Rezz

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Closest any game has come, I think, is FFXIV, and that is a fairly different core audience overall.
 

Warrik

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ESO and FFXIV are the two best MMO's atm. WoW (IMO) has taken massive steps backwards.
 

Mahes

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Ashes of Creation will be the next MMO that gives it a run. It will not kill it, but it might put a good dent in it.
 

ili

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Ashes of Creation will be the next MMO that gives it a run.
To much group focus for AoC to be a contender to/for WoW. The only game that might give WoW a ran, is New World. Since you can solo and zerg play.
 

uniqueuser

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There will never even be a successor to WoW, let alone something that kills it. The era of the MMORPG is over, it's been over, it's not coming back.

The "next big thing" will be some non-game virtual world a la Second Life (only shittier, if such a thing is possible) integrated with social media.
 
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