Go Back   Star Trek Online > Information and Discussion > Ten Forward
Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
First of all: over the past year and a half or so I have come to loath these forums, even more so being "active" here, for various resons. But recently I have come across an exceptionally good post on mmorpg.com. Yes that is about as rare as... (nevermind I am sure people will find enough reasons to flame/report/ban this post already anyway), but this one absolutely hits the nail on the head and should be put up here so I have to bite the bullet and do so.
That post is incredibly spot on, in general and even more so from the perspective of STO. While I can't claim credit for the original post, I do agree with almost all that is said with the exception of the negativity towards "endgame" content, but that part cannot be applied to STO anyway since this game doesn't actually have what people usually considered endgame in mmos.

To a very large extent many if not all the points of concern that the poster lists do apply to STO and should get players as well as devs scratching their heads. Althought at this point everyone is likely to be aware of it already at least to some degree.

Here goes, originally posted by Elikal on the general mmorpg.com forums:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elikal
Now I am sure you will say, kill? How can you say so, Elikal? Millions are playing MMOs, every few months new MMOs are launched!

And yet, for me, maybe for many of us here, MMOs seem to die. That is how I feel about this.

You see, the central point for me is this...
Link to the original post and thread: Did soloism kill MMOs

Edit: Please do not copy/paste entire articles from other sites onto these forums. Remember that those websites need traffic to continue to operate, and as such, copying an entire article here hurts the people and persons whose work you are actually trying to support. ~Stormshade
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
09-12-2011, 02:53 PM
I don't know.I think MMOs aren't really social enough these days but most of that list strikes me as "old man crankiness." I really do get tired of nostalgia for EQ and pre-NGE SWG. Those types of games aren't fun for me.

Frankly, my benchmarks for socialization and gameplay are closer to what City of Heroes has and WoW became post-Dungeonfinder and the public quests of Warhammer and DCUO. I agree with Simon whathisname at Gamersutra that MMOs have evolved for the better in some ways (while many have become unfortunately anti-social) but socialization and teaming should be the kind of thing that happens constantly... and yet doesn't require vent or typing in a chat box.

You should just bump into people a lot and just start playing with them, in action oriented content, like the way it used to be if you walked into an arcade and 3 people were playing X-Men or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Battletoads, and you stepped up to the open joystick,put a quarter in, and started playing.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
09-12-2011, 03:22 PM
I think the ability to solo is what caused WoW to swell over 10 million subscribers, I know one of the reasonís I quit EQ back in 2002 was I got sick and tired of waiting and waiting and waiting for a group so I could gain half a bubble of xp. I had a lot of real life commitments and just couldnít spare the time anymore. As soon as WoW came out which gave me the option to go solo when I had to AFK every 5 minutes to change diapers or clean puke of my 6 month old, I was hooked.

Plain and simple a successful MMO allows all playing styles. Donít underestimate how many casual players there are in MMO's, I personally think they make up the majority of people.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
09-12-2011, 03:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakner View Post
I think the ability to solo is what caused WoW to swell over 10 million subscribers, I know one of the reasonís I quit EQ back in 2002 was I got sick and tired of waiting and waiting and waiting for a group so I could gain half a bubble of xp. I had a lot of real life commitments and just couldnít spare the time anymore. As soon as WoW came out which gave me the option to go solo when I had to AFK every 5 minutes to change diapers or clean puke of my 6 month old, I was hooked.

Plain and simple a successful MMO allows all playing styles. Donít underestimate how many casual players there are in MMO's, I personally think they make up the majority of people.
While I agree about allowing all playing styles, my biggest concern would be that games like STO set the bar for teaming too high, much as EQ set the bar for soloing too high.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
09-12-2011, 03:28 PM
For me, the ability to solo the gameplay is what keeps me playing. I like that I can log in and play for as little or long as I want (or can due to RL constraints), get what I need done and log out.

I played City of Heroes for almost 5 years and loved it. 95% of the teams I got on though broke up as soon as the mission was over and you never heard from them again. There was only one group that I leveled with through multiple levels and actually looked for them once I logged in (Big Blue Bolt, you really helped out the healer Morada so thanks!). Even so, that was an idea of several heroes coming together to take on a challenge too big for any one of them.

STO is different. It's based off a franchise that emphasized one ship, one captain, one crew. For me, the concept of grouping doesn't carry over to Star Trek unless it's a fleet action or some kind of invasion but I don't want to need two or three other ships to run a patrol mission or get through a story arc.

That being said, if anyone wanted to group with me, I wouldn't say no. If anyone wanted to chat with me or even ask some questions, I'd chat and answer those questions. I just don't want it required to progress through the game. I not-so-fondly remember really wanting to play some missions in City of Heroes, only to log out half an hour later because everyone was either on a team already or "about to log out". I don't have that problem in STO and I like it that way.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
09-12-2011, 03:34 PM
Hrm... I sense a great deal of nostalgia fueling his complaints. "Back in MY day...!" But he has some interesting points. Let's check them out....

(a) MMOs are too easy.

Back in HIS day, he had to go to Selbina uphill, both ways, in the snow (in Valkurm Dunes? Shh, he's on a roll!) while being eaten by quadav! I'm sure he misses the days when it took endurance, patience, and determination (from dying all the time) to get anywhere halfway interesting. And that you couldn't do it without seven of your newest bestest buddies. The guy has, clearly, forgotten how long it took sitting in Jeuno with your LFP flag up spamming "<Red Mage> <Level> 58 <Refresh> <Dispel> <Do you want it?> <Looking for party> <Please!>" I forget what the record was, but unless you had a static, and were willing to make the game a second full-time job, you were kind of out of luck. MMOs know tend to let you party up or go it solo if you just want to get one little thing done. They let you get some level of accomplishment in so you're not looking for six other people to do the exact same thing you are, or to grind caterpillers, crabs, or moths for a few hours a night. You can log in for a bit and feel like you did something with your game time.

There's something to be said for a challenge. I'm all for that. I'm not going to say there should be no challenge, just the opposite. But there's a challenge, and then there's Promyvrion.

(b) MMOs got too combat centered

On this, I'm in full agreement. I would like to have more of a reason to log into a game than to just beat up things for a few hours. In FFXI, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring, even though it was absolutely lethal in anything less than a full party (and considering the difficulty of stealthing six people, good luck exploring with a group. And if you have a group, why aren't you grinding for XP, noob?) EVE had some good elements of this, but that was a bit limited: Sure you could craft (except the market was cornered by a handful of people for each commmodity.) Sure you could do economics (which was a full time job in and of itself!) Sure you could mine (until the pirates showed up.) Sure you could explore (ditto.) Sure you could help build an empire (ditto, ditto, ditto.... Hmm, I'm sensing a trend.) But he is right that UO and a couple of other games had a serious social element to them, as well as a bunch of other things (usually crafting and occasionally exploration) to go with them. This is something I wouldn't mind seeing other games explore and implement more.

At the same time, this is a prime example of his nostalgia. Sure UO had communities. But with only a handful of exceptions -- not the rule as he is implying -- the games were ALL ABOUT beating things up and taking their stuff (and gaining XP.) Everything was oriented towards that. Crafting, trade, guilds, absolutely everything else was ancillary to and contributed to the XP grind.

Still, despite his selective memory, I'm all for this. Llet's get some non-combat, non-XP things in the game (and I don't mean just throwing up social zones.) Archaeology on distant worlds. Real exploration (not 'go to point B and hit F.' 'Push button, get bacon.') Things like that where you don't have to arm photorps.

(c) Super Fast Levelling

This sounds familiar. I think I was complaining about this in STO earlier today in fact. =)

(d) Teamspeak

I'm a bit ambivalent about TS and Vent. They're useful in certain circumstances, but considering people were kicking butt in Promyvrion (usually) and Dynamis, and wiping out HNMs with good frequency without Teamspeak, I don't think voice chat is as important as some make it out to be.

(e) Guilds and Endgame

My experience with pre-WoW guilds was one of massive elitism, exceptionalism, and making sure that other guilds don't get what is your guild's rightful spoils. If you weren't part of a guild, you were nothing and couldn't do anything. And then we get into EVE corps.... I can agree with his thesis that WoW is all about the endgame gear grind, but again, I think he's looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses. His experience with brooding loners in the guild is not my experience.

In the end, MMOs evolved to their playerbases. You can sneer and say disparaging that they cater to some lowest common denomenator, but the fact is, people play games to have fun. I'm sorry that some peoples' ideas of fun involve LFGing for three hours, finding crabs or caterpillers to beat up on for another five hours, logging out, then coming back the next day for more of the same; 'shared misery' is just that and nothing more. But if they want that, more power to them; I hope they can find a game that they can do that in. A lot of other people don't share that idea of entertainment. A lot of people aren't going to devote that much time to that idea, either, and I can't say I blame them.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
09-12-2011, 03:35 PM
Oh great, forum trolls are blaming Han Solo for killing MMOs... first Greedo in the Cantina, now MMOs.

WHEN WILL IT END, SOLO!? When will your blood thirst be abated!?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
09-12-2011, 03:37 PM
The slippery slope of following a formula. I equate today's MMO's to the hair spray era of Heavy Metal in the 80's. Record companies wanted to make/ take advantage of Heavy Metal and make it more main stream.

Everyone had to have a video, everyone had to have a ballad etc. There was a cut and paste style to making Heavy Metal Albums in the 80's. (Yes they sold craploads of albums, but ultimately led to Heavy Metal's current demise). It is no longer the frontier of music, but is commercialized to the point it has lost the appeal of what drew fans to it in the first place.

MMO's in the late 90's early 2000's was the frontier of gaming in general. Most people still didn't have computers in their houses, let alone the internet or play games. It was something that Mom and Dad had to do the taxes on and use to write your school reports.

The larger game companies were busy battling it out in the console market where the majority of gaming was taking place. The few development game companies that ventured into the MMO genre were mostly strategic based game companies, or game companies that had done RPGs in the past. MMO's were an attempt to port Pen and Paper/ board game style gameplay into a simulated persistant WORLD.

When Ultima actually succeeded followed by Ascheron's Call and Dark Age of Camelot. Blizzard took notice. Who were these insolent game companies infringing on their Diablo and ********? Blizzard didn't approach World of ******** like the other game companies. They wanted fast, flashy and zergfest just like all their other games (which drew millions of players). Blizzard decided to forgo WORLD building, and instead brought out all the features that were holding the casual gamers from picking up MMO's.

At that point, MMO's stopped being about creative license, and pushing the boundaries of gaming but instead became the formula race.

STO and the way Cryptic operated under Atari is the apitemy of that formula. Least amount of investment to garner the largest profit return. Concentrate on combat, leveling, and making your game simplistic. Cut out the costly "World Development" features, and try to focus on combat and raiding. (hence why STF's were included before a proper exploration system). Without realizing it, they had followed this formula up to the point where we have nothing more then a Starfleet Command Online game.

I don't know why they are suprised that the majority of players don't play their STF's. You can't have group content in a game where you have fostered the majority of players to be soloists. Fleets are inpersonal bastions of players. They can offer nothing outside of leveling up players, and group events are limited to just the DSE's and that is just a recent addition and bugged to heck. Fleets can't consistenly help their players through STF's because of lockout timers.

Grouping offers no advantage, and is more of a hinderance. (Heck the grouping is still rife with bugs like actually trying to zone into the same mission as your friends. Star Clusters put teams in different instances etc.


Plus instancing. You see instancing was avoided in the original days through creating shards and servers to play on, and when instancing was introduced it was limited to the dungeon level. It was created more as a solution to allow more groups to partake in a dungeon then to have to wait for it to reset. Game developers then saw the technical advantages of having multiple instances and spreading server load around, and they got the retarded idea that the main host servers could be run this way....

If any franchise had the greatest potential for world building it was STO. Instead they went Warp Speed ahead with the soloist formula and look at where we are.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
09-12-2011, 03:47 PM
I dunno. I think those glam rockers and generic metal guys and guys with the thin ties on keyboards paved the way for Kurt Cobain and Jack White and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nerdcore (which basically swaps glitter for flannel and glam for geek) and Steven Page's solo career in his pastel 70s prom suits. With music, I don't really view any era as superior aside from recognizing the 60s as a period of renaissance and experimentation, albeit one that may not be for everyone. I view online gaming the same way in the 2000s.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
09-12-2011, 03:54 PM
Indeed the 60's as far as music is concerned was an era of creativity and led to the ground works of alot of different music styles. But that's another story.

There is one thing I will give Cryptic credit for or at least recognize. They did the right thing with only having one server (though heavily instanced as it is) At least they bought themselves time to work on the backend tech to reduce the number of instances, and if the tech and hardware ever became available to completely do away with instancing, they dont have to worry about merging servers.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:25 AM.