Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Which Unfortunately Matters

There are two things about MMORPGs that unfortunately matter.

First, it matters a lot to me whether I can play from the start. A lot of the early fun in MMORPGs is in the exploration of the game and its world. And “to go where no one has gone before” is always something that significantly increases exploration-fun for me. To explore something that is already very well documented on several internet-wikis and has been experienced by every player I encounter already is – unfortunately – less fun.

Second, to play a game that matters. A big game. This is something indies have to struggle with – unfortunately. A lot of the fun in a MMORPG comes from the feeling that you are not playing some niche game, but THE game. Of course, the time of THE game may be gone by now. Just like the time of THE weekly blockbuster is gone.

Don't call me irrational. I know I arguably am. That's why I call these things unfortunate. I would be better off if I could ignore these things. And I certainly try to do so. But at the end of the day I have to admit they unfortunately matter.


  1. these two things are opposite :P if an upcoming game is THE Game then it will have a lot of community support, a lot of websites and beta testers that before launch will give all information about the game... all zones, mobs, drops, so basically you lose the feeling of exploration because you already know everything...

    From the other hand if a game is not THE game then it will have less support, less information even not at all and you can count on exploration and discovery..

    The exception to all these maybe feature MMO's where the world will constantly change shape and give the feeling of exploration and un-predictable...for example zones may have different type of mobs/materials each week by dynamic events type zone changing...or same mobs will change their abilities so you can always find a new way to fight them...

    not all mobs are like wow mobs..for example in Aion where I play mobs are extremely difficult and fighting 2-3 mobs required decent gear and good strategy on how to fight them..

  2. Agree on the first very much.

    The second, not sure. if the indie game is fabulous and I find a great bunch of people straight away, maybe I would stay? I don't know... I've never made these two experiences together. a server needs "enough" people for sure, but other than that.
    I think I could play an MMO if it was nr. 10 on the rankings and didn't get mentioned everywhere. after all I also enjoy indie games on console, although those are usually short!

  3. "To explore something that is already very well documented on several internet-wikis and has been experienced by every player I encounter, too, is – unfortunately – less fun"

    And yet, as you indicated in your response to my post yesterday, you seem to be the type that will quickly look up answers on those very same internet-wikis the moment things become difficult or frustrating. Why not ignore the fact that you aren't the first to experience the content, and why not simply promise yourself that you will avoid any source of information external to the game? ;)

    However, despite my tone, I'm probably much like you. If the information is out there, then trying to "artificially" discover it on my own is much less fun.

    If, instead of designing an interesting world, developers could design an algorithm which could generate an unending random world with random and interesting content spanning a diverse spectrum of flavors and difficulty levels, then there would always be the option of venturing out to the frontiers and experiencing content not yet documented on the information super-highway.

    But developing such a thing seems rather difficult. When I've experimented with simple versions of such algorithms, I've never been able to find the right balance of variety and challenge, and that's when designing for only one player -- me. When designing for the masses ... well perhaps no such algorithm exists.

  4. John, boxing with one fist on the back is just not as much fun. The effort it takes to keep the fist there makes it impossible to forget that you could fight with two fists.