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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Theirs always been a schism in gamers. Some love the anxiety of competition with a person, others avoid it.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Theirs always been a schism in gamers. Some love the anxiety of competition with a person, others avoid it.
    Sure, and as long as there's games for both of them I don't see a problem. The only issue, really, is games claiming to accommodate both that don't, really (a problem which cuts both ways).

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theForged View Post
    Persistence is interesting to me. As some may know, I used to run a small scale multiplayer online roleplaying game, aka one of the more popular germanspeaking Neverwinter Nights Servers. Now this isn't anywhere near massive multiplayer, but a lot of the conventions and ideas of something like Ultima Online, were taken into NWN Multiplayer.
    Now, Persistence. This is a funny thing. We used to do that, offer it as a service to our players basically. You torch a house in the gameworld and a gamemaster sees it - when you come back tomorrow, it's gone. We've taken it out of the module and replaced it with a smoldering ruin. You poisoned a well, congratulations douchebag, everyone drinking from the well is now suffering from poison in the city.

    However, and this is why I say it's interesting to me, players rejected this idea of persistence. The vast majority never made use of it. A road was blocked by a few boulders? Well, guess we've just got to take the long 1h way around through the elven kingdom instead. Want your own house but there isn't a free one? Meh, guess nothing can be done about that. They held all ig government positions, able to change and shape their city, yet they never deviated from the initial pre-established schematic we had laid out to kickstart things. They were most happy with consistency. Each deviation from this consistency was witnessed as noise. Too much noise and they got extremely grumpy. Basically they had the power to shape a fantasy world but instead they wanted a static fantasy world where they couldn't accidently influence anything. A world that acts the same expected way everytime you interact with it.
    This made me question if that isn't the real reason why we don't see that much persistence in games anymore. It seems there's a stronger apetite for things to stay the same and Conquest, PVP, murder and property theft like in UO are all things that don't fit into that.

    We tried another tactic in the PW I helped run in NWN2 (The setting was an untamed frontier, so we wanted players to 'build' a new community). We opened part of our forum for players to document their in-game projects and we basically gave them hints on how to progress and DM support. Say you want to build a temple for your god, we'd play the shipping contacts they'd need to bring in resources and they'd role-play the aspects of trying to put together the project and use the forums to document the bits that didn't require a DM. A slightly more engaging example is that we had a starter dungeon populated by kobolds and we had factions trying to wipe them out entirely, and others trying to make peace with them etc.

    But what I felt was that players would start to take on 'worthy' projects or what I call 'dull as fuck' projects concerning incredible mundanity. You'd get people who would roleplay digging a ditch for hours to try and get kudos and DM attention and no-one really wants to spend their time overseeing a fantasy construction site for hours on end. So we get people engaging with persistence but on a basically unimaginative level. Obviously it wasn't all like that and we got mage guilds,. trading outposts etc set up by the players. But we also got dozens of forum thread where players were basically talking in depth and detail about putting up a wooden shack, which required a pretty ridiculous time investment from the people running the server. Persistence on a large scale is hard even when you have sub-100 people who play regularly.
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  4. #24
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    Archeage?

    http://www.archeagegame.com/en/

    Westernised Korean grind PvP sandbox MMORPG. There's a closed Beta on Wednesday I got an invite to, probably because I'm a founder member for Trove. Probably not my thing but certainly promises what the OP seems to want. Don't they all? Can't say I've ever had much fun on any of the K-MMOs.

    There's zero compulsory PvP in Dark Souls. Yank the ethernet cable or turn off the WiFi. Sorted. Also, Dark Souls 1 & 2 are popular, but there're really not THAT popular, not Skyrim popular. Most people still don't want PvP.

    eg: DS2 vs Skyrim, 16k players vs 52k players, currently.

    http://steamcharts.com/app/236430

    vs

    http://steamcharts.com/app/72850

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Sure, and as long as there's games for both of them I don't see a problem. The only issue, really, is games claiming to accommodate both that don't, really (a problem which cuts both ways).

    Accommodating both is a very difficult thing to do, other than having 2 sets of rules for the same game and separate modes/servers.

    Eve treads a very fine line here, the people who prefer to avoid conflict are essential to the continued success of the game, but at the same time so are the people who don't. They have to continue to provide ways for players to protect themselves and play peacefully, while minimising ways for them to completely insulate themselves from the wider game, and giving them incentives to get involves.

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    Accommodating both is a very difficult thing to do, other than having 2 sets of rules for the same game and separate modes/servers.
    Yup. Short of two nearly independent game modes, it's nigh impossible, and even then one mode often thrives at the expense of the other. I tend to think devs are better off just picking one side of the divide and sticking to it, rather than trying to be everything to everyone. Obviously, though, there's a lot more sales to be made if your game looks like everything to everyone...


    Eve treads a very fine line here, the people who prefer to avoid conflict are essential to the continued success of the game, but at the same time so are the people who don't. They have to continue to provide ways for players to protect themselves and play peacefully, while minimising ways for them to completely insulate themselves from the wider game, and giving them incentives to get involves.
    It's funny, I'm dimly aware that there's a PvE population in EVE but since all the interesting stories are about the PvP side I frequently forget it exists. Much like DayZ, EVE is a fantastic engine for generating fascinating stories which I would never, ever want to play a part in.

  7. #27
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    The whole open world PvP discussion misses the point of the OP. It wasn't about PvP, they acknowledge that WoW was amazing on PvE servers too.

    It's about the worlds. The OP is right - MMOs are amazing because you inhabit a virtual world. I wish post-WotLK, mainstream MMOs would pursue this idea.

  8. #28
    Last edited by cardinaldirection; 28-07-2014 at 10:53 PM.

  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    The only issue, really, is games claiming to accommodate both that don't, really (a problem which cuts both ways).
    Levelling up in multiplayer games.
    I enjoy the gradual growth of the complexity of a game that's single player. More tools letting you dig further into the games challenges. In a shooter why would I want a player to be able to earn a gun thats 15% more accurate and a bullet that causes 20% more damage or access to a second grenade? Because that means that every win is tainted and every loss was unfair. Its WWE refereeing applied as a game mechanic, I know Soccer (football to us non americans) fans thrive on the fact that the referee screwed up, that "we only lost because "XYZ", but that doesnt suit me. I want to be able to look into the moments of the game and learn from them, if all i have to learn is gosh I wish I'd unlocked that already I'm inclind to go play something else.

    I desperately wanted to Play the Assassins Creed 4 multiplayer, you start with 2 of the games most useless weapons, no ranged weapon and no "perks" that happen during a spree of success or failure. I just get so disheartened that that's where mainstream gaming is going with multiplayer.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  10. #30
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    I'm still not sure what TixyLixx means by "persistent world." I don't think it's the same definition I would use. I don't know what fast travel has to do with persistence.

  11. #31
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Levelling up in multiplayer games.
    That wouldn't have jumped to mind as an example of the problem being discussed, but it's an interesting case in point. I have little experience with these things, obviously, but I can see how that would be hugely frustrating, both for a beginning player (hobbled by lack of unlocks) and an advanced player (winning because of said unlocks, which would be hugely unsatisfying). It's strange to me that it's become such a widespread practice.

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    That wouldn't have jumped to mind as an example of the problem being discussed
    That's because its fully accepted now, look at Diablo 3, people accepted a real cash store in a full retail game because it was less painful than grinding. Is that what we have come to? For a familiar example, look at the orcs must die DotA-like they will make skulls slow and grindy, and let you pay for them. They will fuck up the game just so they can have a motivation for people to play. Hearthstone has a fair Arena mode, but you have to pay in, and you need you need to win nearly every game to avoid the grind model altogether without paying.

    All of my favourite mainstream multiplayer games have release sequels with grinding that screws up the balance except Natural Selection 2*
    I'm just grousing I guess, its tipping that way because it works, people accept it, I guess I'm just glad that indie titles cant afford it, but nor do they tend to have long lived multiplayer communities.
    *I guess NS2 isn't even mainstream, but neither is ARMA3 I guess.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    That's because its fully accepted now,
    I've no interest in getting in the way of a good (and fully justified, from what I can tell) rant but no, it didn't come to mind for me because I basically have no experience with it. I will say that one of the reasons I habitually avoid PvP games, however, is because of how subject they are to the whims of the community. The good ones never last, the bad ones live forever.

  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyFire View Post
    Not really. Every RPG, be they with a fixed archetype or not, let you progressively gain new abilities and skills. Those are often choices you need to make that'll shape where your character will go. In contrast, non-RPGs will generally have either no progression whatsoever or the progression will be linear, without any meaningful way of altering your character's abilities.
    And here I've never thought of character progression as the heart of RPGs. Just a certain subset. As a long-time table gamer, in my head it's the "role-play" part of RPG that means the most. That said, I think there are plenty of games where you don't play a character--both where you customize the PC and where you don't. In a lot of games you're controlling a character but not really playing as the character in a meaningful way. I would class Zelda, Half-Life nd any number of games in this category. They have characters and stories, but you're not playing the story. You're experiencing it along side paly.

    It's a fine and finicky line to draw and there really is no clear boundary no correct way to classify such games. But I don't think taking out a leveling system revokes RPG-ness. Altering character's fates can be just as much if not more a part of playing their roll compared to watching their abilities progress in a non-linear, interactive fashion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Levelling up in multiplayer games.
    I enjoy the gradual growth of the complexity of a game that's single player. More tools letting you dig further into the games challenges. In a shooter why would I want a player to be able to earn a gun thats 15% more accurate and a bullet that causes 20% more damage or access to a second grenade? Because that means that every win is tainted and every loss was unfair. Its WWE refereeing applied as a game mechanic, I know Soccer (football to us non americans) fans thrive on the fact that the referee screwed up, that "we only lost because "XYZ", but that doesnt suit me. I want to be able to look into the moments of the game and learn from them, if all i have to learn is gosh I wish I'd unlocked that already I'm inclind to go play something else.

    I desperately wanted to Play the Assassins Creed 4 multiplayer, you start with 2 of the games most useless weapons, no ranged weapon and no "perks" that happen during a spree of success or failure. I just get so disheartened that that's where mainstream gaming is going with multiplayer.
    I feel similarly. I think Guild Wars did a good thing with it's everyone-is-level-20-in-PVP thing, for example. Some games make leveling and unlocks less painful than others, but I haven't played a single multiplayer game where Iwouldn't rather just have access to everything and be on an even footing with everyone.

    Heck, even in Single Player games this can be frustrating. Risk of Rain lost me because I was ready to try new character types but I was waiting on unlocks that required chance to favor me. It was a horrible idea.
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  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    It's always interesting to me that people expect cRPGs (be they MMO or not) to be one thing, when in the sphere of other, non-computer roleplaying games you have such diversity. You have rules-heavy TSR-style games, you have story-heavy White-Wolf-style games, you have freeform, you have Jeep-form, you have LARP, you have open character games where you as a player create your own character, you have closed character games where you're given a role by the GM, you have games where character progression is very stat-driven, and also games where, if there is any character progression, it's more of a moral progression. You have RPGs that are, well, games, and you have RPGs that are closer to improv theatre.

    No-one sensible really argues that any of these things are not RPGs. Everyone's happy to talk about what kind of RPG it is. And people have their own preferences, sure, but they're just that. Preferences.

    And yet, as soon as we get to computers, we have all this arguing about whether or not something 'qualifies' as an RPG. I just don't get it.
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  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    WRT the Original Post, this is why Neocron was the best MMO ever.

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    @gwathdring Worst is when games steal your progress for a narrative peak, that's so bloody overdone, it does have good examples like half life 2's final chapter
    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    I've no interest in getting in the way of a good (and fully justified, from what I can tell) rant but no, it didn't come to mind for me because I basically have no experience with it. I will say that one of the reasons I habitually avoid PvP games, however, is because of how subject they are to the whims of the community. The good ones never last, the bad ones live forever.
    Yeah, it's not as if I expect to influence the trend. And it's not that bad communities live forever, so much that the Skinner box is better at sustaining a community than a game. Good games are best in moderation, where a Skinner Box is most 'satisfying'* when you completely commit to it. That said, many games are addicting without bribes of "progression"*. What I'm most happy about is the small scale multiplayer games which are embracing the smaller player sets. Some as perfected as one versus one like most RTS, Fighter games (think Street Fighter,but lag isn't kind here) and rare nuggets such as Spy Party, (or the sadly maligned Conviction).

    Honestly, but don't understand why net code hasn't moved on in all these years, but I like the cut of EVE's jib, too many players? World slows down.

    *Different types of punctuation for different contexts.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  18. #38
    You make a good point. As a programmer, myself, I can tell you that sometimes we try to do something to enhance the user experience but what ends up happening is we ruin it instead. I'd say give it some more time, eventually once they notice that they're loosing people due to the changes, they'll come around.

    The only thing that might go astray is if now a new wave of players arrive that actually enjoy the latest stuff and the developers end up going further down that path. It's a slippery-slope.

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Look at mobile phone games, people eat that crud up. We are on the precipice of this crap not just being the norm (that happened) but all the majority can even tolerate.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  20. #40
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    I've said for years that big minecraft servers deliver more on the promise of MMOs than any recent MMO has.
    100+ players in one place, persistent shared, ongoing, changing world, driven by underlying systems.

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