Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 MMO trend - bad for quality?
01-31-2010, 12:49 AM
Firstly - this is not a rant thread, if you're looking for one, pick any of the other ones in the first page...

TL;DR version - STO away missions are pretty crap comparing even to other ancient (in the computer world) MMO's.


Now, those of you out there who are experienced in other MMO's, like myself, find that MMO's have been going down gradually in quality? (instead of up, following the natural technology rate)

I started off with Ultima Online, then to Anarchy Online, then to WoW, EVE, Age of Conan (briefly) and now planning on making a full change to STO.

Anarchy Online had a semi-decent release, server crashes were constant, but even though the game is just primitive to our standards today, it was well coded and pretty fun to play, you could even say it was "finished" once it was live- which brings me to my next point, which veterans of AO will have to agree with me, the "missions" in AO are an exact replica of STO's away team missions inside buildings and space stations. (even the layout is pretty similar, albeit a little more furniture here and there hehe) - It came out 9 years ago.

Will probably attract some flames, but yes - WoW, contrary to popular belief, had an outstanding launch in the MMO standards, crashes and sometimes unbearable lag yes, but even in beta you could tell it was a polished piece of software, all the geometry was in place, smooth and coherent animations, enough quests on both factions (a small 40ish - 50 gap, but doable) possibly due to the famous Blizzard policy (which I happen to agree with completely, of "It's done when it's done"- out 6 years ago

With Age of Conan and the army of MMO's coming out in recent times, trying to capitalize on WOW's success I guess, I started to notice that software companies started to lose sight of what a good game needs to be, and instead for some reason NEED to rush off their incomplete products to the store shelves?

And now STO... Even though I really like it (else I wouldnt have bought it) it feels really incomplete. Some floating geometry in ground missions, disapearing limbs on NPC's when wearing armour, (my male vulcan engineer BO has the body of a female npc, boobs and alll - literally), even your main character will bend his hands in impossible positions when handling certain weapons, plus the whole combat and movement on away missions feels clunky and severely out dated.

You guys think there's just no more "developer love" in making these, and they simply represent cash cows at the end of the month with shareholder meetings, graphic charts, long bank statements and nothing else?

I can't find any real reason for the obvious decline in MMOs these last few years - Gold fever seems to really be the only one. Or perhaps more demanding publishers with their cursed deadlines?

How else would a game coming out today have certain parts of it that are similar to another one from 9 years ago, and surpassed completely by one 6 years ago?

Anyone know something I dont? :\

p.s for the thick people in these forums, no I dont want STO to become like wow.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
01-31-2010, 12:52 AM
Please remember that Blizzard does not release Open Betas of WoW products. They release Press Demos and call them Open Betas. My wife has been in a few of their Closed Betas, and I can tell you that they have their share of issues.

Having said that, STO REALLY could have used at least one more week of INTENSE server load testing and stability fixing. Customers tend to be pretty understanding of delays, especially when it results in a better product AND they have a relatively easy way to try the product for free before it is released.

As for the reason in decline, publishing houses (Atari) and IP holders (CBS) seem to push releases before they are ready. They always have in the game world. This is because they are run by marketing departments, not rational thought.

Later, we'll have a proctologist show us where sales projections come from.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
01-31-2010, 12:56 AM
Oh, I'm not talking about the server(s) at all. I'm talking about the game itself.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
01-31-2010, 12:57 AM
As much as I hate naysaying and really want to be excited about this game, I fully agree with Sharpsy.

Instead of a reward of pre-ordering STO, I feel like they're using the opportunity to sucker us into giving them money to beta test a few more times before launch. Some bugs have been fixed since beta, but I totally agree. It just doesn't feel like a polished product.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
01-31-2010, 01:02 AM
I think its a lack of talent in the industry, as in any industry. You have a handfull of talented people, and the rest are average/poor. The problem is consumer expectations are so high these days, average doesnt cut it. I think thats why Blizzard hired Tigole long ago. They knew there were only EQ devs that had knew how to design raid content, and they werent leaving. So blizzard did the next best thing, hire top raiders to design content.

Its the same thing some of us ask ourselfs since the early days of console games vs PC games. Console games are damn near flawless and bug free, but they have to be, there are no patches. The ability to patch makes for sloppy programming.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
01-31-2010, 01:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpsy

You guys think there's just no more "developer love" in making these, and they simply represent cash cows at the end of the month with shareholder meetings, graphic charts, long bank statements and nothing else?
Checkout Jumpgate Evolution. I think the devs truely love their product and will not release it till its ready.

It was set to release last Feb, but the feedback was so poor the deveopler scrapped it and redesigned parts of it. The first jumpgate did not release till it "was ready". Like a year of closed beta and 4-5 months of open beta. It released bug free for the most part.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
01-31-2010, 01:07 AM
actually the wow launch was crap. Alot of WoW's original code was leaked during closed beta so there was so much exploiting in WoW even to this day. If you doubt me watch some you tub videos people like to make them of there sploits just to rub Blizzards face in it. Only difference in WOW is you currently have a gigantic population so it hides a great deal of what is happening in the game.

Case in point as far as innovation, game play, risk reward etc WoW is the big mac that thinks its prime rib.

I too started with UO and have noticed MMO's really started to take a dive with and hold on to your hats...WoW. It became the McDonalds of the industry using some pretty underhanded tactics (free life time subs for EQ guild leaders if your guild was big enough and you brough all or most to wow just for an example) and now keeps allot of games off the market cause where they have innovated is there ****ing legal department which has actually put 5 mmo's down before they even saw market.

True enough though that publishers are driving very cookie cutter standards cause they want that huge paycheck and basically just copy what they did. Unfortunately most publishers dont copy what blizzard did right which is a modern mass marketing campaign and a devotion to drop bales of cash on capital infrastructure.

Now all that asside looking at STO it has potential the developers have shown some real brains in some of the decisions they have made (setting it beyond the last move....right there smarter than everyone at Lucas Arts and SOE combined) and how they have responded to some of the issues that have come up. Its to early to tell if this game will be a keeper or a flop most MMO's have rocky launches (WoW, EQ2, Vanguard, ***, SWG, etc etc etc) but it depends on where the developers take it in the next few months.

1. How much and how fast will new content come out.
2. Can they expand the game world to large even epic sizes (EQ or Vanguard.)
3. Can they strike a balance with listening to the community for betterment of the game and not letting the communities petty ****ing and moaning rip the game apart (see the death of SWG they actually did what the *****ers wanted at least in the first 6 months and it killed the game)
4. Can they maintain a strong relationship with the community after rocky patches like the launch
5. Will they let STO slip into obscurity or better yet will Atari actually do something to move the product off the shelves?

Lots of questions for the next 3 months should be interesting to see how they get answered.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
01-31-2010, 01:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nashie
Checkout Jumpgate Evolution. I think the devs truely love their product and will not release it till its ready.

It was set to release last Feb, but the feedback was so poor the deveopler scrapped it and redesigned parts of it. The first jumpgate did not release till it "was ready". Like a year of closed beta and 4-5 months of open beta. It released bug free for the most part.

Yah, after playing STO for 2 weeks I'm think it was no where near ready for release. I think they should of delayed much longer for development. What was it? 18 months in development!? Thats not very much time at all.

I'm definitely giving Jumpgate Evolution a closer look now. Maybe it will have a more engrossing storyline than the typical combat away missions that are pumped out over and over by STO.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
01-31-2010, 12:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azash470 View Post
actually the wow launch was crap. Alot of WoW's original code was leaked during closed beta so there was so much exploiting in WoW even to this day. If you doubt me watch some you tub videos people like to make them of there sploits just to rub Blizzards face in it. Only difference in WOW is you currently have a gigantic population so it hides a great deal of what is happening in the game.
Without wanting this to become another WOW sucks thread, I can't really agree with that.
Bashing wow became the hip thing to do cuz it is the largest and most succesful MMO out there, but I was there during launch, I was there in the U.S beta - Korean Beta - and E.U official launch, (can't really speak about the U.S launch since I wasnt there and it was before) but it in the E.U it went smooth... really smooth.

I'm no blizzard fanboi, and they certainly don't go for innovation, basically they just take what's been done before and perfect it - thus wow came to be, and pretty much every other blizzard game.

But mainly my point is STO and every other recent MMO seems to just be released without being ready, or even near that.

Geometry out of place, mixed up NPC body models, crucial things that are missing and are "to be added later" like klingon pve content - it just makes no sense to me that developers who care for their product, who spend day in and day out working on it, would ever agree to release it in this state, unless publishers and marketing departments have a stronger hold on game companies than I ever thought.

Just to name a few - Age of Conan was a complete and catastrophic disaster cuz of the same problem.

Even single players games seem to be plagued by this recentely - Empire Total War - released incomplete and quite buggy.

It's just a sad trend that I've been noticing and the only explanation I find for it is the almighty dollar and a big middle finger to the consumer.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
01-31-2010, 01:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpsy
Oh, I'm not talking about the server(s) at all. I'm talking about the game itself.
I,m also in the same boat. I realy want to like the game but a decent crafting system is missing. The ground combat feels clumsy and the animation is not that great.
My first MMO was SWG and the crafting system was very good. The gameplay was hard but the game was never boring. But because of the crying that it was to difficult they broughts us the crappy NGE. Most companies want to please the casual gamer because they know that peeps come and go. You also have the console generation that don,t want complex games.
When peeps dont understand that crafting is a main issue for a MMO then they don,t understand how MMO,s work. Without equipment/ wapon repairs, deathpanelty ,crafting there is no econemy/market possible to run this MMo on a long term. Don,t look at WOW because that game is cult and alot of peeps use WOW as chatprogramm like my daughter.
But look at HL, Tabula Rasa, ***(in some way), Auto Assault, CO. They dont have a decent crafting system and most of these games are dead yet.
I dont care about server problems and bugs yet but i have other issues with this game
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