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jrrtoken 08-27-2009 09:55 PM

Putting the "Fun" in MMO...
 
This has been dwelling within the back of my mind for quite some time now, and has only resurfaced in a convenient manner...

I've been noticing that a good deal of people play MMOs, and seem to enjoy a good deal of them, including serious SPRPGers. While I've usually considered MMOs to be horrible examples of gameplay concepts, and are complete, mindless cash-ins for publishers, I've recently started to crawl away from that notion, mainly due to my recent awareness of just how many MMO players there are out there. This made me rethink my present beliefs, and now I'm questioning whether or not MMOs aren't vile, and that only my mindset is the one at fault.

To be honest, I can't really see how anyone would find MMOs to be "fun"; I feel that they usually have horrible gameplay cycles, along with little flavor story, chock full of people that I wouldn't want to interact with. I'm ready to challenge that, however, and therefore, the question arises to all MMO vets; What exactly does make MMOs "fun"?

RogueJedi86 08-28-2009 02:13 AM

MMOs aren't filled entirely with the bad people. It's just like the internet. Sure there's people on there who make it notoriously bad, but it isn't all bad, and mostly it's just decent people trying to have fun. MMOs are the same way.

MMOs are huge explorable worlds with ongoing stories that are continually updated. For SPRPGS, they're usually not huge worlds, and only occassionally updated these days via downloadable content that adds very little to the game. The persistent online world gives you more reason to attach to it, since it'll be around for a long time to come.

Different people play for different reasons. I'm a chatterbox, so I basically play MMOs to have a pretty place to blab in chat channels and make friends. It's fun to just lose yourself in a virtual world with others, forgetting all about the real world. Your immersion isn't trashed because you have other people in the setting too, people who are far more interactive than random NPCs.

Jeff 08-28-2009 02:27 AM

PastramiX, what MMOs have you played? I think WoW has a bad reputation as a stereotypical MMO among people who haven't played it but really you don't run into too many people who try to ruin others' experience.

Maybe it's silly, but a big reason a lot of people including myself like to do endgame content is for the rewards. After hitting max level, better gear is all you can do to improve your character, so that is something that keeps people playing long after they reach max level. But I think gameplay, both PVE and PVP is very well done in WoW. I love WoW lore, but still play the game for gameplay over story. It's more the universe the game is set in that draws me to it over other MMOs rather than the actual story.

jrrtoken 08-28-2009 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff (Post 2667280)
PastramiX, what MMOs have you played?

The only I've really owned was Guild Wars, and I was turned off by that after a few weeks. I've also played trials of EVE and WoW, both of which were recommended to me, and both of which became very banal, very fast.
Quote:

Maybe it's silly, but a big reason a lot of people including myself like to do endgame content is for the rewards.
See, that's my main grudge with MMOs; it's all reward-based gameplay, i.e. almost every quest is instituted for more rewards (XP, money, loot, etc.), rather than creating gameplay for the sake of thereof. Once you've hit the maximum level, once you've collected an astronomical amount of loot and cash, then what's the point then?
Quote:

After hitting max level, better gear is all you can do to improve your character, so that is something that keeps people playing long after they reach max level.
But that's not exactly fun. Why should I bother with another dungeon crawl when I'll be faced with simply more insipid combat? What's the point in collecting more materialistic rewards if I'll be faced with the same quests I had when I was a Lvl. 1 character?

WraithPrince 08-28-2009 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PastramiX (Post 2667314)
Once you've hit the maximum level, once you've collected an astronomical amount of loot and cash, then what's the point then?

To collect more loot and money of course! Haven't you played diablo 2's multiplayer? thats all blizzard can do to keep you playing :p

anyway.

The MMO experience is alot better if your leveling with a friend or 2 or in a guild with people you know or just nice people like lets say a lucasforums guild or w/e chatting while playing makes it seem like less of a grind fest and makes it more enjoyable.

Miltiades 08-28-2009 08:42 AM

What I think makes MMO's fun are the ability to play with other people in a vast world with beautiful locations, really giving that sense of being a "fellowship" of some sort. Think of it as playing a shooter in multiplayer mode, the difference being you're not shooting the same people over and over again in a small level, you're working together with people to complete a quest, each member having his own tasks within the group. The group aspect can be immensely fun as you plan a mission, tasks get divided and you chattily work your way through a mission. Even more fun, in my opinion, is the competitive aspect between Guilds (as experience by me in Guild Wars), where you know the people better and the group sense you get in normal missions is enforced, and you really feel the need to give it your best shot.

MMO's have something for a lot of people, be it the social interacting with other people, the competitive aspect in PvP, exploring a vast world with all sorts of characters and creatures or getting the sense of progression. On the other hand, the people who wanted a solid story or gameplay that doesn't constitute grinding may have been left in the cold. I think that's what BioWare wants to change. They want to make MMO's fun for even more people. Whether they're going to succeed, is something for another thread.

I do agree with you that MMO's are completely focused on rewards and getting better loot and armor, etc. And you play through the game until you're wondering why you're still playing it, if the only thing you're going to get is better loot. It's all resolved around becoming better, so you can defeat an enemy, to get his loot, to become even more powerful. Your character's progression is only physical, not mental. You don't feel as if you're character has experienced all these dangerous moments in that horrible world, you don't feel connected to your character. It's a thing of numbers, and your job is to increase those numbers. I think there's certainly something that should be done about that.

The only MMO I've played regularly was Guild Wars, and it's not even considered a real MMO. It's nothing like a decent singleplayer RPG, but I've enjoyed it. It's highly balanced, PvP is fun, especially Guild vs. Guild, and it's a really beautiful world. But I can understand why you wouldn't like it.

I think MMO's have the potential to be fun for a lot more people, but it'll have to mean throwing out some gameplay elements that have become standard in the genre. It's a genre that's still in its "youth", but it's a genre that can appeal to more people than any other genre can, I think.

Pho3nix 08-28-2009 09:35 AM

I think the fun part is when you play with your friends.

darthfergie 08-28-2009 10:51 AM

MMOs are NOT single player experiences. If you go through an MMO and just keep to yourself, you may as well have gone out and bought a normal RPG because you'll get more of an experience engineered to your tastes.

When I first got into SWG I started with some of my friends. We didn't always play at the same times and such but we ended up finding a home on Corellia, kept seeing the same people fighting with Imps, helped them out a few times, started talking and eventually joined their guild. I got even more of an experience out of it with the guild members. Everyone was nice, we'd joined a pretty solid group of players. It was very Utopian. I didn't even really focus on leveling to be honest, it was just an enjoyable experience.

With WoW I joined after it had an established player base, but I joined with a good friend of mine again. We'd go hit up dungeons etc together. But really the focus is always around the people.

If you get buried in being a completionist, you may not find the experience all that gratifying. But if you get buried in relationships it makes everything work well.

Yeah you can play normal RPGs online with friends and they are great experiences, but you don't have the flexibility of an MMO.

Zerimar Nyliram 08-29-2009 10:25 AM

Quote:

Putting the "Fun" in MMO...
Yeah, you can only use that line of the word inadvertently appears in another word in which it isn't meant to retain its identity as a word anymore. Like, "Putting the 'fun' in 'funeral.'"

darthnegate 09-02-2009 05:23 PM

Not all MMO's are fun, and a lot are just cash-ins, like videogames of movies. Never trust a game made for a movie. World of Warcraft is fun because it presents immediate objectives. If you don't want to play with other people get a private server, lol.

Besides, when someone makes a World-of-Warcraft-style private server for TOR, I will gladly get it and play. Otherwise, I will protest it, if alone and in the dark. :mad:

RogueJedi86 09-02-2009 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darthnegate (Post 2668950)
Not all MMO's are fun, and a lot are just cash-ins, like videogames of movies. Never trust a game made for a movie. World of Warcraft is fun because it presents immediate objectives. If you don't want to play with other people get a private server, lol.

Besides, when someone makes a World-of-Warcraft-style private server for TOR, I will gladly get it and play. Otherwise, I will protest it, if alone and in the dark. :mad:


Why wait for a private server for TOR? What do you have against playing with other people and paying the monthly fee?

darthnegate 09-03-2009 03:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RogueJedi86 (Post 2668967)
Why wait for a private server for TOR? What do you have against playing with other people and paying the monthly fee?

Because a private server is like playing an rpg, not an mmorpg(it would be like KOTOR 3). It will be my replacement KOTOR 3 until RoR is done.:thmbup1:

RogueJedi86 09-03-2009 03:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darthnegate (Post 2669088)
Because a private server is like playing an rpg, not an mmorpg(it would be like KOTOR 3). It will be my replacement KOTOR 3 until RoR is done.:thmbup1:


But TOR is already just like a single player RPG so far. We've seen 99% single player RPG features, and the remaining 1% is mere insinuations of TOR possibly involving other players. I guess people like you just can't be pleased by anything.

Tommycat 09-03-2009 08:41 AM

I think part of the problem is kinda that many people don't realise that MMO's are the future of PC gaming. It can't be stolen the way single player games can. It is the next evolution of PC gaming. As connection speeds increase and more people get connected to online communities those wanting SPRPG's will continue to be sidelined. Single player games will be left to consoles... for a while... We're already seeing a shift to more online consoles. Won't be too long before even console games fall under the MMO category.

I can relate. I really can. Heck I refuse to even get a blue ray. I had a VCR until the stores stopped carrying VHS tapes. I sought out cars that still had a V8 and a Carb. But technology moves on. I went from Pong to todays games. I REFUSED to play any MMO. Then one year there was a lull in released games, and I said... Meh why not? So I started playing Galaxies.

What did I find? A great community. Not unlike the forums here. Sure there are a few people I'd rather not talk to. But that's what ignore lists are for(both here and in game). For the most part the people you meet in MMO's are great people. I ended up in a great guild and had a lot of fun playing. Then the NGE hit, and I lost my whole guild. I quit and deleted my character...

But then my wife started playing. She got into another guild and started having fun, having me fill in for harder stuff. I helped grind her character to top level. Then she quit playing and I was back to playing. Again, the guild was great. I was part of the leadership, and that in itself became part of the game. I earned a reputation on the server. Sure in an SPRPG you can get a reputation, but then so can everyone else who plays the game. In an MMO, you get a REAL reputation from REAL players. As a pilot, I could get anyone through any mission in space. I could maneuver big ships almost like a fighter. And a fighter, I could move that even better. On the ground... well... I had a less flattering reputation... Nobody wants to be known as a bullet magnet... BUT hey, I had my own reputation. Not one given to me by the game developer.

Then there are Game firsts and Server firsts. Being the first one to get any reward. I've never done it, but... It's still pretty cool.

New content. There's ALWAYS new content. There are almost no players who have completed EVERY bit of content an MMO has. Less than 1% I'm sure.

Badges: Hey for some getting every badge is a big deal...

Exploring terrain: Well... getting to know where everything is is something I do a lot. I really enjoy that. Free and open world... I'm gonna find every bit of it.

Meeting people: As I mentioned above the real draw is the other people. You say you don't want to talk with other people... Well ask yourself.. Why do you like coming here? The same people you talk to here you might meet there too. Heck many of this forum's moderators also play MMO's. You say that the people that play MMO's are immature.... That would be like saying that all forums had the maturity level of the Myspace forums.

Executive summary:
MMO's are the future of PC gaming, and likely consoles.
Why an MMO is fun:
- Community experience
- Individual pride
- Lots of different things to do
- More world to explore
- Constantly updated game

Jae Onasi 09-03-2009 01:23 PM

I don't think I could possibly say it better than Tommycat. I had no interest in playing any MMOs until Rogue Nine convinced me to try out Guild Wars, insisting it was a lot of fun and had no monthly fees. I wasn't entirely sure about MMOs, but Niner likes a lot of the same games I like, so I thought I'd give it a try. I loved it! I played that game for nearly 2 years straight before Bob Lion gave me a buddy invite to Lord of the Rings Online, and several of our Guild Wars guild members switched to that game at about the same time. I've been playing that game for nearly a year now, and I still haven't managed to touch entire portions of the game yet. Granted, I'm not a power leveling type, so it's taken awhile for me to get a character to level 40 (of 60), but I'm having a ton of fun. I bought a lifetime membership for the game, as a matter of fact, and I've gotten more than my money's worth already. Both are beautiful games, playing with guildmates is a LOT of fun, and updates keep the games fresh.

Darth Avlectus 09-03-2009 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darthnegate (Post 2668950)
Not all MMO's are fun, and a lot are just cash-ins, like videogames of movies. Never trust a game made for a movie. World of Warcraft is fun because it presents immediate objectives. If you don't want to play with other people get a private server, lol.

Might as well make your own game and be an innovator in the trend in that case. Of course I would completely understand coveting a game that way too.

So far as games based from movies and vice versa...yeah it has had a track record for worse rather than better. Not that it ncessarily has any bearing upon the rest of the world though.:raise:

Quote:

Besides, when someone makes a World-of-Warcraft-style private server for TOR, I will gladly get it and play. Otherwise, I will protest it, if alone and in the dark. :mad:
Well, I know what has been done for games like GTA: vice city, VC stories, San Andreas, Liberty City Stories, etc. has been that some people have coded an addition to the game engine to make it a multiplayer game over the internet, and that the computers the games are on act themselves as active servers, though optimized I hear by the MTA engine creator's website as a gateway or something. TBH I have not really looked into that--I'm more interested in just playing with the mods I have access to. :p

While it is certainly possible what you propose, I'm not sure of the feasibility of what you say.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tommycat (Post 2669113)
I think part of the problem is kinda that many people don't realise that MMO's are the future of PC gaming. It can't be stolen the way single player games can. It is the next evolution of PC gaming.

Yes, and not a whole lot in the way of copyright infringement can be committed, nor copying, pirating etc. Still there is something I do not like about centrilization of games like this. Although it will help with copyright laws, I also see it as a mechanism for which privacy can be ousted.

Quote:

As connection speeds increase and more people get connected to online communities those wanting SPRPG's will continue to be sidelined.
From what I hear USA is actually behind in internet connection speed on a large scale compared to some other countries.

Quote:

Single player games will be left to consoles... for a while... We're already seeing a shift to more online consoles. Won't be too long before even console games fall under the MMO category.
You mean under the strictly MMO category. ;) Although it will get rarer, I cannot imagine single player games going away completely.

Funny: there is actually a megaman online game using 8 bit graphics and a similar engine, albeit improved. Online and multiplayer indeed, but of an old classic platformer. This has been done by independent individuals. However I'm not surprised what with all the hacks and remakes of older games happening. Which if you think about it was inevitable. Not that I'm necessarily pushing for online multiplayer, since I stilll rather like the single player or home based ownable games.

Quote:

I can relate. I really can. Heck I refuse to even get a blue ray. I had a VCR until the stores stopped carrying VHS tapes. I sought out cars that still had a V8 and a Carb. But technology moves on.
The only way to keep your retro sentiment alive is to learn it inside and out and how to maintain and take care of it.

I.E.
I go to repairfaq.org to keep tape decks still going and have learned how to keep it all up. Still, most people and tech have moved on by now.

Find dealers (or become one) of O.E.M. parts production and distribution. Like the NES? NESrepairshop is where I go to fix things--if not to the component manufacturers themselves. Few people will go that far. Though thinkgeek has caught the bug of retro as well. :xp:



I guess I am not really into it b/c I'd prefer to socialize with other people in person. I am actually quite concerned how this move will affect the future of human interactions and skills--we've yet to see the negative aspects manifest in a real disaster, but...I'm just seeing a major step in human evolution. Towards dependency on technology, by necessity.

RogueJedi86 09-04-2009 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity (Post 2669257)
I guess I am not really into it b/c I'd prefer to socialize with other people in person. I am actually quite concerned how this move will affect the future of human interactions and skills--we've yet to see the negative aspects manifest in a real disaster, but...I'm just seeing a major step in human evolution. Towards dependency on technology, by necessity.


Why does becoming a virtual world have to be a bad thing? I'm thinking a world like Ghost in the Shell, where anyone can talk to anyone at any time using mental links to the internet. Before the internet, it wasn't really possible for people across the globe to talk to each other at the same time, but now here we are chatting. The internet and virtual world doesn't have to be a bad thing.

Too much emphasis is placed on real life interactions, like they're such a big deal. All online relationships eventually lead to real life if they get serious enough(ie a couple getting together in WoW, they move in together in real life). Plus you can't procreate over the internet, so we'll have to meet in person to further the human race. You're overestimating the online universe.

Tommycat 09-04-2009 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RogueJedi86 (Post 2669300)
Plus you can't procreate over the internet, so we'll have to meet in person to further the human race. You're overestimating the online universe.

I think you've hit the nail on the head of WHY the online world is a bad thing...

But by the same token, it is good because it gives people a perspective they might not otherwise have been able to get. Most people in the US never travel outside our borders. It gives people more of a rounded "Wow, I really am part of a larger world than Footrash, Arkansas." Especially when you include voice communications with it(note: I don't know if they are including voice, but it might be a good idea).

darthnegate 09-04-2009 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RogueJedi86 (Post 2669090)
But TOR is already just like a single player RPG so far. We've seen 99% single player RPG features, and the remaining 1% is mere insinuations of TOR possibly involving other players. I guess people like you just can't be pleased by anything.

Hmm, from what i've heard it was more of an mmorpg, a la World of Warcraft. Then again, I haven't really looked at it since it was announced, because frankly, I don't care anymore. Once either TSLRP or TSLCM is released I'm probably done with LA until something groundbreaking is released. I was definitely pleased by KOTOR 1 and 2, but they were both unfinished, and a finished version of both it all I could hope for. I also mentioned RoR, looks really good. Hopefully that will be the KOTOR 3 we are all awaiting.

Also, that first post was a tongue in cheek joke that I think you took "Super Cereal."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tommycat (Post 2669113)
It can't be stolen the way single player games can.

Stolen is the wrong term for it in my opinion, its more like taking out of library and burning the disc. But that's irrelevant, the point is, piracy hinders small developers, not the big companies. In the end, more people will purchase better content, and vise-versa for hyped, poor content(carpo-tunnel inducing SPORE comes to mind...).:rofl:

Darth Avlectus 09-04-2009 01:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RogueJedi86 (Post 2669300)
Why does becoming a virtual world have to be a bad thing? I'm thinking a world like Ghost in the Shell, where anyone can talk to anyone at any time using mental links to the internet.

Lolwut? Since we're dealing in idealism, I have one for you: Lawnmower Man.

GTS is nice to behold, don't get me wrong. However, that is not reality. And unfortunately anything near it is a long way off. Is technology accelerating? All the time--faster than we can keep up with, so fast it'll just crash. It won't be pretty.
Quote:

Before the internet, it wasn't really possible for people across the globe to talk to each other at the same time, but now here we are chatting. The internet and virtual world doesn't have to be a bad thing.
Sure internet is improving all the time. However there is no way around this: as more and more internet dependent people come into play there will be less and less of us to actually handle what goes on in the real world. Just the fact of higher and higher dependency, to me, looks like once a crash hits that many people are going to be unready to deal with life outside internet. I am not exaggerating: Dealing with it when the time comes is too late. It's just basically sheep to the slaughter house. Maybe not literally, but in a sense.
Quote:

Too much emphasis is placed on real life interactions, like they're such a big deal.
Remember that you said that when someone is ripping you off at gun or knife point.
Quote:

All online relationships eventually lead to real life if they get serious enough(ie a couple getting together in WoW, they move in together in real life).
Which is a big if; who people are IRL is not always who they are on the internet even when they *are* being honest.
Quote:

Plus you can't procreate over the internet, so we'll have to meet in person to further the human race.
:lol: Granted I come online to Relax, however, I'm not overestimating the online universe so much as I am measuring the real life adverse effects of over dependency on the virtual world.

When I am seeing problems stemming from a lack of self control related to over indulgence of the internets, to a point where government officials are now talking about stepping in and taking control of it for everyone because increasing numbers of people can't or won't do it for themselves, it is a cause for concern. Disagree with that if you will, but fact of the matter is there is serious problems not being addressed that government shouldn't have to step in and control, and yet here we are. Video game is now a category for addiction.
Quote:

You're overestimating the online universe.
You can cut the patronizing tone right there.

Tommycat 09-04-2009 01:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darthnegate (Post 2669332)
Stolen is the wrong term for it in my opinion, its more like taking out of library and burning the disc. But that's irrelevant, the point is, piracy hinders small developers, not the big companies. In the end, more people will purchase better content, and vise-versa for hyped, poor content(carpo-tunnel inducing SPORE comes to mind...).:rofl:

Piracy is theft. It doesn't hurt the big developers as much because they pass that on to consumers in other ways. It ends up hurting consumers. If you burn the disks of software you don't own, you are pirating software even if you aren't reselling it you have comitted theft of intillectual property. Larger developers also have more cash to spend on legal fees, so.. they can go after larger pirates... but.. that's getting a bit off topic. At a bare minimum you would be in violation of copyright law.

Darth Avlectus 09-04-2009 01:54 AM

^^^I heard that copyrights are on a collision course with privacy rights which does kind of make sense if you think about it... (Credit to Black Knight of Keno for the idea...very interesting if I do say so myself.)

Jan Gaarni 09-04-2009 04:04 AM

I see no problem with burning a copy of a game for your own personal use, lets say, backup copy should your original go lost / broken.

The only reason why companies say it's not allowed is because if you do that, they can't sell you another copy should something happen to the first one you bought.


As for Private Servers: They are not allowed. Any discussion on how to set one up is prohibited.
Just a pre-emptive warning. ;)

Tommycat 09-04-2009 06:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan Gaarni (Post 2669361)
The only reason why companies say it's not allowed is because if you do that, they can't sell you another copy should something happen to the first one you bought.

I believe that falls under the "Fair Use" clause. Which I believe has been tested in court(though obviously it was not for copies of games). you can have a copy of any software for which you hold a legitimate license for. Though be careful... you may need multiple concurrent licenses if you have software installed on more than one machine. It depends on the software developer's license agreement that you casually clicked through during install. but wait... I'm sure EVERYONE reads the whole license agreement of every piece of software they install.

Darth Avlectus 09-04-2009 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan Gaarni (Post 2669361)
I see no problem with burning a copy of a game for your own personal use, lets say, backup copy should your original go lost / broken.

Today's youth being the urban destruciton machines they are, neither do I. I speak from experience having been slightly clumsy as a kid.

Quote:

The only reason why companies say it's not allowed is because if you do that, they can't sell you another copy should something happen to the first one you bought.
Bawwwwww. Yeah, I kno. It's all about that squeeze for a little extra pinch of green.

Quote:

As for Private Servers: They are not allowed. Any discussion on how to set one up is prohibited.
Just a pre-emptive warning. ;)
Lukcy me, then...I don't have stellar skills for regular networking as it is. So I couldn't tell ya how to do that anyways. :p ...even if I wanted to. :dev9:

darthfergie 09-04-2009 12:14 PM

I'm not really sure MMOs are the future to be honest. The model of streaming content via the internet though probably is. There are services out there now that allow you to play any game from basically any computer. It eliminates the need for system requirements bottleneck and you just stream your vid feed and commands to the game. That's the future of PC gaming in my opinion. The only problem there is the crappy bandwidth across the US.

However MMOs have their place.
In college I was able to play video games with my roommates and my friends and we had great fun. Then we moved all over the US never to see each other much. But WoW has fixed that. I currently play with college friends and high school friends that are now in different states and different countries. If left to my own devices I probably would forget to email them, forget to stay in contact, and move on. But I'm able to bond the way we always bonded, through video games. It's great to keep that connection and it's the main reason why I play.

I love my single player games and I still can't stand playing Madden with anyone else because I'm too competitive, so I'll always keep up my single player games. But MMOs definitely have their place for me.


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