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  1. #1

    Why solo friendly mechanics can hurt MMOs

    Found this vid with only about 400 views today, but I highly recommend listening to it while you play.

    It helped me understand some of the reasons LOTRO is still such an amazing game after all these years,
    and why some changes people wanted back in the day made things less fun in a way.

    Basically community is super important, too much hand-holding takes away the sense of wonder, and the
    thrill of the challenge should be in the form of exploration and creativity rather than in the form of The Grind.


    The Problems of the Modern MMO
    by TechVania

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGOqxCHoyj4
    Morphen- Hunter
    Morpheth- Rank 6 Spider
    Kinship- "Tolkien's Legacy" on Vilya

  2. #2
    WoW Classic is releasing soon, and in the last few months many of the original WoW developers have made videos, podcasts and streams where they discussed Vanilla WoW's design philosophy. I recommend them to anyone interested in MMO design.

    Nearly every aspect of Vanilla WoW was made with the Community in mind. They wanted players to communicate with each other and made that the most important factor, which is what drove millions to play the game. Things like:

    - 1hr Mail Delay to get players to meet in person instead of just mailing back and forth.
    - Limited porting so players had to travel on land, increasing the chance of running into other players. Limited porting also makes the world feel larger and give a sense of adventure.
    - No automated group tool so players had to ask in chat to form groups.
    - Having all important npcs in 1 location so everyone went to that single spot for auction, crafting, class trainers etc thus greatly increasing the chance to see other players.
    - No cosmetic system. Cool looking gear is tied to progression. Players would progress further instead of just buying outfits from vendors, or cash shop.
    - High level things in low level zones so that players of all levels would see each other while playing.
    The list goes on and on.

    Today we have the opposite. We have a bunch of automated systems so we don't have to talk to people, we have dozens of ports so we can bounce around the world at ease and we can fill our personal house with important npcs and crafting stations so we don't have to go to the hubs any more. Its feels a lot like a solo game with some group instances thrown in.

    I do think there is room for solo friendly design in MMO's. For example questing and daily progression should be mostly solo, maybe 80-20. This way players can progress on their characters on days with limited playtime. But all of the side systems like group creation, hub design, crafting and even cosmetic system should be designed around Community and Player Interaction above anything else.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    4,608
    This has nothing to do with LOTRO.
    To the contrary, what killed the game for me personally was certain classes being so terribly overpowered that they solo 6-12 people content. That's not news for the 'legendary' servers but was a thing for years.
    The content is there, just not the balance.

    Terrible moves for currencies and things being bound to account and to character and

    as opposed to this

    end game landscape content that felt like a dull, slow slug-fest vs damage sponges. For some classes.
    That, and removing the viability of any skill path other than the officially sanctioned.

    It's really quite the opposite.

    OFF TOPIC indeed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Gallifrey. I need a Jelly Baby.
    Posts
    21,279
    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteWolf21x View Post
    WoW Classic is releasing soon, and in the last few months many of the original WoW developers have made videos, podcasts and streams where they discussed Vanilla WoW's design philosophy. I recommend them to anyone interested in MMO design.

    Nearly every aspect of Vanilla WoW was made with the Community in mind. They wanted players to communicate with each other and made that the most important factor, which is what drove millions to play the game. Things like:

    - 1hr Mail Delay to get players to meet in person instead of just mailing back and forth.
    - Limited porting so players had to travel on land, increasing the chance of running into other players. Limited porting also makes the world feel larger and give a sense of adventure.
    - No automated group tool so players had to ask in chat to form groups.
    - Having all important npcs in 1 location so everyone went to that single spot for auction, crafting, class trainers etc thus greatly increasing the chance to see other players.
    - No cosmetic system. Cool looking gear is tied to progression. Players would progress further instead of just buying outfits from vendors, or cash shop.
    - High level things in low level zones so that players of all levels would see each other while playing.
    The list goes on and on.

    Today we have the opposite. We have a bunch of automated systems so we don't have to talk to people, we have dozens of ports so we can bounce around the world at ease and we can fill our personal house with important npcs and crafting stations so we don't have to go to the hubs any more. Its feels a lot like a solo game with some group instances thrown in.

    I do think there is room for solo friendly design in MMO's. For example questing and daily progression should be mostly solo, maybe 80-20. This way players can progress on their characters on days with limited playtime. But all of the side systems like group creation, hub design, crafting and even cosmetic system should be designed around Community and Player Interaction above anything else.

    One thing I absolutely love about this game is the cosmetic system.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
    Continuing the never ending battle to keep Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in check

 

 

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