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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ely, UK
    Posts
    2,547

    A message to all MMO class members!

    Lets shake the cobwebs off and kick the tumbleweed away! This forum is way too quiet for my liking, I know you're out there and are reading this so lets hear you!

    I know posting can be intimidating, especially if you have an idea that you're not sure about. But think about it this way, if you never post you'll never get feedback. And we may miss out on a cool idea we wouldn't have had otherwise. Whatever some people may say (Nelson ...), no ideas are stupid; ok so some are more viable than others but the only way we will find the useful ones if we have some ideas to look at to start with.

    'But what if I don't have any ideas?' I hear you ask. It doesn't matter, what you do have are opinions. If you're in this class you must have an interest in making games; it doesn't matter if you're interested in art, programming, level design or quality assurance everyone involved in a game effects it's design, this is your chance to address the things that irritate you about games, especially MMOs, your opinions will give lifeblood to this project and the more discussion we have the better the end result will be.

    So here is what I want you guys to do, I want everyone (and I mean everyone!) to post one thing in this thread that irritates them about current games, if you can come up with something MMO related then all the better but don't worry if not. Then we're going to start talking about them, working out why the designers made chose to do what they did, what we can learn from their decisions and how we could solve the issue if it exists in the MMO. Examples can be very useful to describe issues so if you can provide one, all the better.

    My personal pet peeve are tutorials. More accurately tutorials that explain the minutiae of game mechanics but ignore the key concepts entirely. A lot of RTS games fall into this category. They spend a lot of time explaining how to move the camera around, and how to move your units. While it is useful information these tutorials rarely go into how you would assess your units and go about picking the best one for a particular task. The Civilisation series suffer from this quite a bit, it's compounded by having so many units that work on such a vast power level, from club wielding warriors to navy seals and tanks.

    That's my one, lets hear yours. And if anyone has any ideas how to solve my little issue lets hear them. I have my own ideas as to why they don't provide much of what I'm talking about but I'd like to hear your input first
    Last edited by NATO_chrisjm; 02-08-2012 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    100
    One thing that I feel is lacking (irritatingly so) in most of the of the MMO's I've played is the lack of thought put into pvp. This doesn't specifically mean balancing issues, which is a whole other can of worms in and of itself.

    There seems to be a certain formula that mmo developers don't like to stray from (to a large extent).

    Battlegrounds (and I'm lumping arenas into this as well). You queue up, either alone or with friends and you play a pvp game against a (mostly) equal number of players. You get some variety in the rulesets, like having to take control points to win, or capture the flag. SWTOR has Huttball, which is an interesting take on capture the flag, but still kind of more of the same. I'd like to see more variety here though.

    This is a really rough idea I had for a battleground. You have two teams of 20 players. The defense has a fortified position that they have to hold. This position would be something along the lines of a power plant that provides power to a defensive grid for a military base. The offense is trying to break in to shut down down this defensive grid.

    Since the defense has a fortified position to hold, they will have a natural advantage. However, thats where the monkey wrench comes in. The teams aren't really even. Of the 20 defending players, 5 of them, at the start, will be designated has facility commanders. They are the core of the defense. Of of the remaining 15 players, 5 of them are actually double agents who have infiltrated the facility and are actually working with the offense.

    To me, this can lead to a lot of unique situations. If the facility commanders leave the power controls unguarded, then a double agent maybe able to sneak in and shut down everything, which then puts the defense in a 25 - 15 match up. If the facility commanders decide to protect the power controls themselves, double agents might be able to open up an access point to let the offense inside. The double agents might even just be relaying information to the offense and feeding bad information back to the defense.

    The trick for the double agents, they not only have to know what to do and where they're going to be most effective, but they have to keep their identity a secret. I'd have a stipulation in place that, once they get killed, they respawn as a normal attacker.

    Its a rough idea at best, but stuff like this could really challenge players in ways that they haven't been challenged in an mmo before.
    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    421
    One area that I would like to see explored more would be user generated content. I'd like to see a middle ground between stuff that's only visual like character customization and rather extensive game making tools like LittleBigPlanet. I love LBP but I think it's too powerful and wide open to attract most people to create something with it. For example a top-down shooter like 1942 where players can create and share levels. Scaling this up quite a bit for an MMO I would love to see a dungeon creation tool. Given all the design problems and exploits this could open up it's not much more than a pipe dream though.

    Quote Originally Posted by NATO_chrisjm View Post
    My personal pet peeve are tutorials. More accurately tutorials that explain the minutiae of game mechanics but ignore the key concepts entirely. A lot of RTS games fall into this category. They spend a lot of time explaining how to move the camera around, and how to move your units. While it is useful information these tutorials rarely go into how you would assess your units and go about picking the best one for a particular task. The Civilisation series suffer from this quite a bit, it's compounded by having so many units that work on such a vast power level, from club wielding warriors to navy seals and tanks.
    So when I imagine a tutorial it is something you do at the beginning of a game before being thrown into proper gameplay. If that's what you are talking about I would tend to disagree with what you want. So for RTS games I assume key concepts would be things like; how unit A vs unit B works out, things like map control, scouting, securing your base, build orders, and early/mid/long game strategies. Even if you just skim the surface on a few of those topics you're looking at a lot of content. That kind of stuff is also opinionated and variable which makes it even harder to teach. Most players could also give two shakes of an angry platypus about most of those topics, they just want to play the game. I think the reasons are very similar to why tutorials for things like Photoshop and Max don't teach you how to create art, they just teach you how to use the tools that are used to create art.

    I do like the idea of making that kind of knowledge available to the player but I don't think it should be forced on or in the players main path when playing the game. I liked what Starcraft 2 did with their “Challenges” but the can't compete with any basic SC2 wiki for useful knowledge. While they might be pretty good at them, players of a game quickly become better at a game than the games own developers. Why should the developer waste time trying to teach players things that other players will always teach better?
    "You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    640
    I don't play MMOs (I prefer solo games) but one of my pet peeves is the choice-less dialogue tree. This is where the developers make it look like you have a choice but until you give in to what they want you really can't end the dialogue. The best example I can think of is in the Zelda series, specifically Twilight Princess. At one point you gain a wooden sword but because you aren't supposed to be able to use this weapon until after the first major quest, the developers force you to give it up through a conversation. If you refuse you simply loop back. You can't advance in the game until you agree to give up the sword to the kids so they can play with it.

    There was a similar sitatuion in the Second SWTOR game though but I've forgotten eh details.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    63
    You know what irritates me (and what I have been trying to solve) is that I cannot go ANYWHERE I want in games and that games are not "round" like planet earth. I mean I want to be able to travel in a straight line and end up where i started. I know all about that nonsense that it is impossible or hard to make a "round" world in a game. But there has to be a way to flatten a round world to make it easy on us game devs and make it transparent to players.

    Also, I hate that I cannot just go buy land. any land, anywhere... and then build anything I want on that land. In every game I have played you could only build a finite number of objects in very specific locations. SWG is the only game where it was more open building but since you couldent buy land you would have some other player come build 6 harvesters around yours.

    So, I am trying to figure out how to make a "round" (notice the quotes) world and how to allow players to purchase land and build on it. Much like buying land in real life. there may be zone fees for building certain things or in some circumstances such as in cities there may be zoning laws that prevent some stuff. But for the most part players can do what they please and go where they want to go. Eventually when I start looking at adding guild to my game I will expand that to include the ability for player, guilds, companies, and more to build and buy. Also allowing players, guilds, and companies to setup right to build so that a player who owns a lot of land could allow his friends to build on specific parts of it (avoiding the sub-leasing because I don't want some idiot to go buy up all land on a planet and "lease" it to everyone else).

    There are a lot of tweaks to get this system working and player friendly and I could talk about it for days. But for now back to the videos. I started over a few days ago and am only to video 101. I am trying to have two versions of what I am doing. One for me where I test and experiment, and one that follows the class 100% with no changes outside of the class videos.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    3,427
    Quote Originally Posted by NATO_chrisjm View Post
    My personal pet peeve are tutorials. More accurately tutorials that explain the minutiae of game mechanics but ignore the key concepts entirely. A lot of RTS games fall into this category. They spend a lot of time explaining how to move the camera around, and how to move your units. While it is useful information these tutorials rarely go into how you would assess your units and go about picking the best one for a particular task. The Civilisation series suffer from this quite a bit, it's compounded by having so many units that work on such a vast power level, from club wielding warriors to navy seals and tanks.
    I know exactly what you mean, but i understand the thought behind it. Kinda like a get Intro VTM. They want you to get your feet wet asap. One of the better tutorials for a game that can be confusing for newcomers is LoL. While i still dont play it the tutorial is well thought out, but i cold feel the core concept of the gameplay weren't being explained, but i knew enough to start a game and click away like an idiot :P.

    MMO's is usually rich in content and mechanics, so i agree explaining the key concepts is a must from the start. Stuff like camera control while essential can be tooltip form etc, and basic commands can be demo/tutorial-like but should show where players should go if they want to know the full control system in-depth.


    Do i have any ideas? not really, mainly just general requests.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I guess you could call it Fight Club

    - I would love a closed PvP area, where bets could be made (money/items/exp. maybe, even land/property could be on the line). Has an in-game lobby (eg a Tavern) where people can meet up, buy things like "illegal items" not for the closed PvP battle but for the rest of the world. A safe place to hide if your wanted. As i said this would be the lobby, but the fight itself would take place elsewhere (a simple teleport would suffice).

    - The fights are could be 1v1, 2v2 etc, or even 2v1, 3v2 with more on the line, a tag-team format might be fun.

    - A capped membership could be interesting to allow for certain perks and pitfalls. Where people can purchase or battle for membership. (Which isn't essential to fight but signifying being a member is a big deal)

    - The locations for battle would be fixed pool of areas. Where knowing the architecture of the battlefield would yeid an advantage.

    -You could have Ladder fights where rank is on the line, but limited to a number of ranked fights per day etc, Casual/Practice fights, Money fights, Clan fights, Local Tournament and maybe even club fights where members of one "Fight Club" could fight members of another "Fight Club". It could be in a free-for-all or team based, where each side starts with one "fighter" and winner stays on one team is dead.

    -Also having spectators being able to bet on fights would be cool too.

    And having a neutral "Taverns" where you could host a Global/Royal tournament, one open for qualifiers, one where to the top ranked can only enter.

    -This is probably the only idea i have for the game, I really like the idea of a place where if you want to definitively settle differences and have a controlled/official scrap with someone that there is a place for it. Its not just the PvP action that i think is appealing but also the Lobby-side that i really like, where interaction is encouraged with the meeting of strangers instantly sharing a common interest, the buying and selling of rare or "illegal" items if used in the rest of the world that creates a sort of culture within the game. And i because you have to be active in the rest of the MMO that these Lobbies/Taverns aren't just the only places people go.


    You should already know all the rules of Fight Club, (obviously the one where 2 guys to a fight can be an exception at times) but the 5th and final rule has to be ... if this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Obviously i guess 20 minutes later writing this i have a few ideas but they are all on the one subject. And apart from a long skype conversation with Nato and Toastage many moons ago is probably the only time i will ever mention it. Unless of course its an idea that is liked by the dev team.

    If there is anything disliked about the ideas, or mini-ideas within or if Nelson/Zak/BuZZ/ programmer X want to say that this is very difficult/impossible to do in the MMO genre and we could waste alot of time on it or maybe you like it and want to add something, please feel free to voice them i wont be offended (the MMO genre is something i have little experience in). If this idea has already been discussed at some point and shot down, thats ok to.
    Last edited by phrenzy84; 02-10-2012 at 05:52 PM.
    site


    insert witty comment here

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    542
    I've been too busy to even be around 3DBuzz, let alone following the MMO class. Sad for me to say, honestly, but I never anticipated how busy and preoccupied I'd be.

    Still faithfully paying for sponsorship though every single month, still want to see this class continue to be awesome. So keep it up guys!
    Hello everyone and welcome to another 3DBuzz VTM, and tonight we'll be programming in Brain****!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    17
    Traditional single player games are mostly zero sum games. By this I mean that they have at their core a "I win by making my opponent lose" mechanic. This works well for the young male testosterone demographic. It is therefore understandable that this was the route followed to create MMOs.
    The strength of an MMO is the fact that there are other real players to play with. PvP is the direct translation of the single player mechanic into a social medium. PvE is a bit of a cop out because it is just a single player game. Instanced multi-player dungeons and such is a step in the right direction, but I feel it does not go far enough.
    There are other interactions between players on a social medium, other than trying to destroy each other. Examples would be things like FarmVille (dont groan like that!), A Tale In The Desert (atitd.com), Adventure Quest (battleon.com) etc. In these games the individual gets to contribute towards a communal goal and reaps individual and communal rewards.
    An example is in order: In A Tale In The Desert there are global technologies that need to be researched. Any player may contribute resources towards this research at any local university. Once all the resources have been donated, the technology gets unlocked and any one may learn the skills or technologies involved. For instance, an early technology is "Improved Brick Rack Construction" that requires hundreds of thousands of bricks to be made on the inefficient brick racks. Once the technology is unlocked, any one may learn the skill of making a more efficient brick rack.
    There are some interesting requirements for taking this type of approach. The world feels much more alive because player actions have long term and permanent consequences. Most MMOs get that wrong. Killing the boss monster is temporary and the only reason I feel a sense of accomplishment is because I move on from that region of the world. Compare that to building a space station in Eve Online. Its a permanent structure that others will see and interact with. This means that the game world needs some form of persistence for player actions. The other requirement is that the world itself develops over time. This means that the story of the world might have a distinct beginning and end (like ATITD) or has to be large enough that it can cope with these long term changes.

    Most main stream MMOs these days simply follow the simple recipe established firmly by WoW and its predecessors and misses the opportunities that are offered by an inherently social medium.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    7
    I personally wish that most mmos(like wow or gw) would have an updateable index which would describe current slang, terms or even trends within the game, kind of like wikipedia(i know guild wars has a wiki but it doesnt explain everything) INSIDE the game itself. that way if ever there was something i did not know, i could quickly look it up instead of getting myself frustrated. especially for things like spells and combat, dont even get me started there

    what would be great to see is for a spell, when you choose a new one or choose from an existing library, that would have something like a preview, video or chart per say, that would directly illustrate what it does. I find myself irritated with games(GUILD WARS does this) that have a huge, huge explanation under the text box, but it uses alot of jargon and essentially makes it less understandable as to what said spell does
    Last edited by gamenovice; 02-27-2012 at 11:55 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ely, UK
    Posts
    2,547
    I really like that idea gamenovice! First post as well

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