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#1 Jul 04 2013 at 5:57 AM Rating: Good
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Playing the FFXIV beta has reminded me of some things I loved, and some things I hated, about FFXI. And that made me think about other games as well. Because I suspect that certain features I love probably aren't universally praised, I'm curious to see where other people stand.

1. Mass transit. I vastly prefer the concept of groups of players traveling together to individual flight points. Even if it means it takes more time, I think it's healthier for the game to not have everything be instant gratification. Boats/Airships got me talking to other people. Flight Points had me afking a lot.

2. Fame, instead of reputation. I have no idea if FFXIV uses a similar system here, compared to the reputation systems we see nowadays, but I actually vastly prefer it. I like that there isn't just an experience bar you mindlessly fill until you're done. I like that pleasing one group could piss off another. I like that fame requirements were never stated in game, so it wasn't a specific goal. It needs to be revamped, of course, but I think its a great system. I'd break cities into fame wards, where your fame would spread quickly in that ward, and more slowly into the rest of the city. I'd add multi-faction npcs that you could please or piss off. But as long as they keep the system where you can max everyone, but that's hard to do because some of them hate each other, I'm good.

3. Being able to talk to NPCs. FFXI did this well, WoW more-or-less didn't bother. TOR created more meaningful conversations with the NPCs you COULD talk to, but the rest were just there. GW2 added more, but not really enough to make it matter. I liked that I could run around the city and talk to so many different people, and that their comments changed as I progressed.

4. The job system. It had plenty of faults, but being able to really focus on developing a character, instead of developing a class, was WAY better (to me) than any of the class systems. It made me care about my FFXI characters more than I've cared about any character in a game since. And besides being really poorly balanced, there was still some beauty and value to the subjob system. Particularly if you were playing one of the jobs where there were actually options.


I'm not saying any of these were the epitome of game design. They're just concepts I really enjoyed in a MMO that I would like to see continuous improvement of.
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#2 Jul 04 2013 at 6:21 AM Rating: Good
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I liked the job system in FFXI because it really got you invested in one character. I quite enjoy WoW, but if I want to go on a raid, and they don't have a spot for a DK, I can't just change to Mage and still get loot for my DK, you know?

I kind of agree about the airships and boats, but I think that having it be an instantaneous travel thing is kind of a necessity nowadays. Waiting on airships was a pretty big timesink over the course of my FFXI career.

I don't like flying mounts. They make it too easy and almost necessary to bypass experiencing the world.

I too like talking to NPCs, or at least being able to do so.

I like the general idea of fame and/or reputation, but I prefer it to be kind of an organic growth instead of something that you can spam dailies or trade-ins for. I like it being tied to storyline types of quests, so you actually feel like you're doing something and growing in fame and recognition. Though I guess being the dude that brought back 200 Yagudo Bead Necklaces would have a certain level of notoriety attached to it. I guess I don't necessarily want fame to be this thing you necessarily grind, but rather something you get from progressing through a story. I like to see NPCs change their behavior as the player moves up in status.

One thing from WoW that I've come to begrudgingly appreciate is the achievement system. It can give you ideas of things to do and adds in some replayability to old content. Even if it's just for self-gratification, having a function ingame that tracks these things is a cool feature. I'll never be one who tries to get all the achievements, but there is a certain amount of enjoyment in earning them as you go along.
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#3 Jul 04 2013 at 6:39 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I think the fame system would need DR.

Or maybe not even a classic DR system, but one where the spread of fame for subsequent completions would be lower. As in, you turn in one Yagudo Bead Necklace, and you get a small amount of nearly-instant fame throughout the city. You turn in 10 and you get more fame, but it takes longer for people to hear about those subsequent completions. You do it 200 times, and it takes even longer.

The gist of the system would be to let people do repeatable quests, but to add incentive to doing them over time, instead of all at once. If you don't want to remember to go turn one in (and I'd almost certainly be in that camp), you can just turn a bunch in and accept the longer time it'll take for influence.

Conceptually, I'm thinking about it in terms of how word of mouth works. You give someone a great experience, and they tell their friends. But after that initial burst, you have to maintain the good experience, and it only comes up in conversation when relevant. It goes from "I found the most delicious bakery the other day" to "Oh, you're looking for a bakery? I know of a great one." Now replace "delicious bakery" with "skilled adventurer."
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#4 Jul 04 2013 at 8:09 AM Rating: Good
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I can't remember the last time I saw a FFXI vs. WoW thread.
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#5 Jul 04 2013 at 8:36 AM Rating: Good
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It's not really a vs. WoW thread, considering these are traits that literally every western MMO on the market right now have included.
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#6 Jul 04 2013 at 10:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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I do miss the community from old Everquest where people would congregate at the teleport stations and just hang out. Connected to which, I miss the ability to last sustaining, useful buffs on random people. In EQ, people would throw around movement increasing spells, hp/ac buffs and levitates which would all last 10+ minutes. In more modern MMORPGs, it seems as though buffs all have very short durations and/or require the people to be in your group. Granted, the downsides were people needing to beg for a wizard/druid to teleport them to avoid a 45min hike across Norrath or people begging for Spirit of Wolf spells but I appreciated the communal aspect of it all.

Plus, if you were a higher level caster, it was always fun to go to the newbie areas and throw a bunch of mid-high level buffs on some rusty dagger wielding n00b and make him feel like a god for 15 minutes.
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#7 Jul 04 2013 at 12:23 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
I do miss the community from old Everquest where people would congregate at the teleport stations and just hang out. Connected to which, I miss the ability to last sustaining, useful buffs on random people. In EQ, people would throw around movement increasing spells, hp/ac buffs and levitates which would all last 10+ minutes. In more modern MMORPGs, it seems as though buffs all have very short durations and/or require the people to be in your group. Granted, the downsides were people needing to beg for a wizard/druid to teleport them to avoid a 45min hike across Norrath or people begging for Spirit of Wolf spells but I appreciated the communal aspect of it all.

Plus, if you were a higher level caster, it was always fun to go to the newbie areas and throw a bunch of mid-high level buffs on some rusty dagger wielding n00b and make him feel like a god for 15 minutes.
Yeah, I used to like running around in lowbie areas in FFXI on my Paladin, casting Protect and Shell on people, and Raising them when I came across a corpse. Smiley: lol
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#8 Jul 04 2013 at 1:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Plus, if you were a higher level caster, it was always fun to go to the newbie areas and throw a bunch of mid-high level buffs on some rusty dagger wielding n00b and make him feel like a god for 15 minutes.


And on the flip side, back in the old OLD days of EQ, giving weapons to the mobs in the newbie zones and watching the newbies die because they couldn't kill the moss snake. /snicker

Then the EQ gods took that ability away. Smiley: glare
#9 Jul 04 2013 at 1:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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And on the flip side, back in the old OLD days of EQ, giving weapons to the mobs in the newbie zones and watching the newbies die because they couldn't kill the moss snake. /snicker

Then the EQ gods took that ability away. Smiley: glare

It didn't always have to be done for evil either! You could seed mobs as gifts and have some newbie yelling "OMG pumas are dropping black iron longsword!!!" Smiley: laugh
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#10 Jul 04 2013 at 1:33 PM Rating: Good
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Nadenu wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Plus, if you were a higher level caster, it was always fun to go to the newbie areas and throw a bunch of mid-high level buffs on some rusty dagger wielding n00b and make him feel like a god for 15 minutes.


And on the flip side, back in the old OLD days of EQ, giving weapons to the mobs in the newbie zones and watching the newbies die because they couldn't kill the moss snake. /snicker

Then the EQ gods took that ability away. Smiley: glare


I used to play a MUD called Realms of Despair back in high school (text based games were easy to play during classes because teachers didn't realize they were games). There was an item in it that would cast blindness and I think curse on you, then randomly teleport you anywhere in the game world. It was a consumable called something like "Zombie Candy". It was sold by a vendor somewhere later in the game. So I went through and bought 5 or 6 dozen of them, and then went to the newbie area and dropped one in every room.

What I didn't know is apparently I wasn't the first one to ever try that. Me buying 5-6 dozen of them must have set off an alarm, because a game admin had secretly teleported to me (while in secret invisible mode) then followed me the entire time. Once I finished, and walked back out of the newbie area, he made himself visible, and said "Now go pick them all back up, and if any of them are missing, you'll spend some time in Hell". Hell being the equivalent of Jail, an area you cannot leave for a set amount of time.
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#11 Jul 04 2013 at 1:53 PM Rating: Good
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Spoonless wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
I do miss the community from old Everquest where people would congregate at the teleport stations and just hang out. Connected to which, I miss the ability to last sustaining, useful buffs on random people. In EQ, people would throw around movement increasing spells, hp/ac buffs and levitates which would all last 10+ minutes. In more modern MMORPGs, it seems as though buffs all have very short durations and/or require the people to be in your group. Granted, the downsides were people needing to beg for a wizard/druid to teleport them to avoid a 45min hike across Norrath or people begging for Spirit of Wolf spells but I appreciated the communal aspect of it all.

Plus, if you were a higher level caster, it was always fun to go to the newbie areas and throw a bunch of mid-high level buffs on some rusty dagger wielding n00b and make him feel like a god for 15 minutes.
Yeah, I used to like running around in lowbie areas in FFXI on my Paladin, casting Protect and Shell on people, and Raising them when I came across a corpse. Smiley: lol


I really, really miss that, actually. TOR still has some long buffs that matter, but there's only four, and they're class-specific. And now anyone who finishes chapter 2 on a class permanently unlocks it as an additional effect for their own buff.

WoW used to have that, too. I loved back when I could give Arcane Intellect to people, and it meant something. Or the glorious Mark of the Wild. Then they more-or-less went away. :(

IDK, I think I just miss the days when a MMO wasn't a solo game where you occasionally auto-group with people you don't talk to.
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#12 Jul 04 2013 at 4:09 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, for all the trouble it was to get a group for sh*t in FFXI, having it stay intraserver was a huge plus, as far as growing a community goes. Sure, it would take a while to get some groups together, but that's how I made so many friends. And really, all they had to do to alleviate the issue was to make a global channel so you didn't have to be in Aht Urhgan or Jeuno. A global, regulated LFG channel would have been great.
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#13 Jul 04 2013 at 4:56 PM Rating: Good
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I'm liking what I see so far for FFXIV.

We have content that definitely seems solo friendly, but a lot of group options as well. I really like them breaking guilds up into the two systems, of linkshells and of... whatever the actual guilds are called. Being able to unite players across playstyles is a really nice change. It was always rough on the more casual linkshells when people would leave for an endgame shell; they just couldn't be around enough to keep the relationship going. But if they could join an endgame war group, and keep the linkshell of friends, that should do nicely.

Plus, it allows for some special interest linkshells. The kinds of topics you like to talk about, but don't necessarily want to form a guild around.
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#14 Jul 04 2013 at 5:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:


IDK, I think I just miss the days when a MMO wasn't a solo game where you occasionally auto-group with people you don't talk to.

I kind of miss that too, but the reality is that these days, people just don't have time anymore to spend hours looking for groups, then hours to get anything done. While some people are all about insta-grat, some people (like me) are just old as hell now and can't put that kind of time into a game anymore. I miss a lot of the social aspects too, but the things that led to those social aspects would likely keep me from playing anymore.
#15 Jul 04 2013 at 5:34 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, that's one of the sad parts of FFXI for me. I was in this one social shell from probably 4 months after I started playing, until a few years later when I finally decided I really wanted to do endgame (after making a bunch of friends in an HNMLS when I joined their Swift Belt run). I made an alt to stay in the social shell, but with the job system, there was rarely any reason to drop by, and I fell out of touch with some really great people.
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#16 Jul 04 2013 at 6:04 PM Rating: Good
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Nadenu wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:


IDK, I think I just miss the days when a MMO wasn't a solo game where you occasionally auto-group with people you don't talk to.

I kind of miss that too, but the reality is that these days, people just don't have time anymore to spend hours looking for groups, then hours to get anything done. While some people are all about insta-grat, some people (like me) are just old as hell now and can't put that kind of time into a game anymore. I miss a lot of the social aspects too, but the things that led to those social aspects would likely keep me from playing anymore.


I really don't see any reason to assume there's no middle ground. There have to be ways to easily, and quickly, bring people together. I'm also convinced that a big part of this problem is that modern games have gone too far in focusing on dungeons as the base content. I can't help but feel that it's a ground-up problem. If the system you're always playing in has you solo for nearly everything, of course it's going to be jarring to have to switch into group content. On the other hand, if the system you're typically playing in has you interacting with other people, then that transition shouldn't be so awkward.

The point, of course, is to make sure you're playing either way.

I also don't believe that people have that much less time than they used to. I'm sure some people do (I know I have WAY less time, personally), but I doubt that's terribly representative of the market in general.
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#17 Jul 04 2013 at 6:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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There's people with the time to spend looking for groups, etc. It's the same class of people who had time before -- single, childless, college aged, etc who could stay up late and devote ridiculous hours. It's not that those people don't exist any longer, it's that folks like me have moved out of that class and into another class entirely.

But companies want their product to cast the widest possible net so they want it to be attractive to folks with my schedule with 100% soloable content and instant travel and all that. Which turns into games like Tera where I don't group with anyone until I hit a dungeon, then get automatched with four other people who I don't exchange more than five words with as we speedrun the dungeon and turn the party automatching back on. It fits my schedule, I suppose, but it's not very satisfying an experience.

Edited, Jul 4th 2013 7:14pm by Jophiel
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#18 Jul 04 2013 at 7:34 PM Rating: Good
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I'll agree a lot of MMOs have gone too dungeon-centric, as it becomes a sort of bait-and-switch when you level up on your own, enjoying yourself for the ride, until suddenly you're out of content you can do at your pace (Sup GW2~). And while PUG groups may just be soulless speed runs, I wonder how many who bitch about it actually try to communicate with their peers. I know I'm not afraid to shoot the breeze with PUGs, but to be honest, I also don't want to hear about a time some random jackass got drunk/high and did something dumb.

There's also a part of me that just looks to it all as a mutually agreed contract. Everyone's in the dungeon for a purpose, likely loot. Doesn't matter if you're 12, 90, male, female, on fire, or in your undies. Do what you came to do while helping others do what they needed done. It's still community interaction even if it doesn't become a fond memory you wax on about on a forum. Those who pine for server-only PUGs are still free to shout, consult their friend list, linkshell, or whatever. In the end, I think some put too much stock in reputation. Yes, @#%^s and ninja-looters suck, but I'd also say a lot of that is preventable by solid game mechanics. Like if someone PUGs a dungeon on CNJ, they shouldn't be able to Need on GLA armor. At least I hope that kind of distinction is there. If the GLA in your party doesn't need, then it can fall to Greed, or dare I say, simply asking other party members if you could have it.

Anyway, I'm just a fan of alternate progression paths that aren't treated as an inferior choice. In my eyes, soloists should eventually be able to come upon raid quality gear. Ideally they should be challenged smartly along the way, but the primary advantage of the raider should be getting their stuff more quickly since the logistics can be a roadblock for many. Unfortunately, this desire often gets twisted as wanting instant gratification, wanting hand-outs, and a bunch of other elitist cliches that only succeed in displaying the worst of people. So it's no surprise to me when a soloist might not want to help those asshats because they'd rather keep people down for not thinking/playing like they do.
#19 Jul 04 2013 at 7:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think part of the change is that dungeons used to be locations, now they're events often with no respawns and a single end goal. Used to be where I'd go to some dungeon zone to find a group and spend time there gaining xp and loot, just like above ground only with better loot and more danger due to the confined environment. Now you go in, sweep it clean in 10-20 minutes, rinse and repeat. Previously you had reason to chat with your group because you guys were in there for a while. Now everyone wants to get out in the minimum amount of time and reset the dungeon or whatever. Time spent chatting is time not spent speedrunning and looting. Trying to apply the sentiments of "I miss a sense of community in a dungeon" to modern MMORPGs is misguided because "dungeon" is two completely different animals.
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#20 Jul 04 2013 at 8:00 PM Rating: Good
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But you aren't sparing any room for the effects of game structures on the game culture.

When a game is designed from the ground up to free the player from the need to interact with others outside of few cases of necessity, and also fails to add incentive to interplayer communication in any way, it shouldn't be considered surprising that the culture of a game will evolve to consider any non-important interaction unnecessary when outside other social groups (chatting within your guild vs. chatting within a random dungeon finder group).

But if a game can foster a sense of community along the way, then the culture of the game is far more likely to promote communication between players.

The reality is that we should probably stop looking at this as a disparity between solo and group play, and instead start looking as solo and group play as two different styles within a community-based game. I don't need to be partying with someone to be communicating with them. What I need are chat channels worth using, what I need are guilds worth joining outside of endgame, what I need are easy lines of communication, what I need is for this communication to be central and promoted from day one of my experience.

What I need is for it not to be odd to take the time and stop to help struggling with a mob, and for the game's culture not to make chatting a little awkward.
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#21 Jul 05 2013 at 5:56 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
I think part of the change is that dungeons used to be locations, now they're events often with no respawns and a single end goal. Used to be where I'd go to some dungeon zone to find a group and spend time there gaining xp and loot, just like above ground only with better loot and more danger due to the confined environment. Now you go in, sweep it clean in 10-20 minutes, rinse and repeat. Previously you had reason to chat with your group because you guys were in there for a while. Now everyone wants to get out in the minimum amount of time and reset the dungeon or whatever. Time spent chatting is time not spent speedrunning and looting. Trying to apply the sentiments of "I miss a sense of community in a dungeon" to modern MMORPGs is misguided because "dungeon" is two completely different animals.

While I can see minimizing zone/dungeon instancing as a plus, it'd also have to come with some sacrifices. For example, in the instanced environment you have the big baddy just chilling at the end waiting for the party to engage. Everyone who ever enters the instance has a shot. If it's open world, this baddy must be no longer available, respawn at set intervals, or have pop requirements. If you take the first, incentive to do the dungeon plummets. Do the second, people will just camp the end, not really caring about the rest of the dungeon and maybe even cheesing past other portions if they can get away with it because the baddy is what matters. Third option would be the best, perhaps requiring items from mini-bosses all throughout, but these mini-bosses also require the same consideration on the respawn/forced pop front because it could just shift camping from the final boss to the minions.

In the end, I think it wiser to eliminate the term "dungeon" as has been applied to the theme park genre of MMOs and treat them more as outdoor areas, just... with a roof. Instead, you refine the objective-based gameplay. LFG tools don't have to be just for dungeons. They can also be applied to any quest/mission where there's a fixed goal. In turn, the zone in question should obviously have a wide variety of objectives for players to (repeatedly, yet reasonably) tackle, some maybe not be immediately rewarding and instead leading to other objectives. Arguably this already achieved through basic questing, but in looking to the theme park genre again, it's like an invisible wall has been erected to curb progress potential relative to dungeons/raids. Eliminate that and gameplay can start drifting away from the "You better be online at 8pm or get points deducted! Voice chat required!" and similar restrictive "blah" that turns a game into a job. And as much as some may dislike the presence of free-range events where people can party or not at their discretion, they are for the better of the game because they give things to do. Those things are what make the games more than just a chat room with pretty graphics.
#22 Jul 05 2013 at 6:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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For example, in the instanced environment you have the big baddy just chilling at the end waiting for the party to engage. Everyone who ever enters the instance has a shot. If it's open world, this baddy must be no longer available, respawn at set intervals, or have pop requirements. If you take the first, incentive to do the dungeon plummets. Do the second, people will just camp the end, not really caring about the rest of the dungeon and maybe even cheesing past other portions if they can get away with it because the baddy is what matters.

This wasn't my experience in (early) Everquest. Dungeons may have a raid level boss at the end (many didn't) but also have numerous named mobs with nice drops. People would camp sections for the named mob loot and because experience rates were increased due to both set spawns and Zone Experience Modifiers that rewarded the extra risk. People entering to fight the raid boss were a different class; they'd usually come in get ready, breeze to the end and do their fight and leave. Honestly, they rarely even interfered with the regular campers just due to zone lay out.

For most people, most of the time, the named mob drops and xp were their own reward. Most people who entered a dungeon weren't doing so for the purpose of killing the end guy. The dungeon was its own destination. With modern instanced dungeons, the end boss is the reason for showing up -- blow through in as short a time as possible, kill the boss, grab loot and scoot on out.

Edited, Jul 5th 2013 7:59am by Jophiel
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#23 Jul 05 2013 at 7:05 AM Rating: Good
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The problem I have with your argument is that it's trying to address various systems without shifting the context to accommodate for them. You can't just imagine something being plopped into a modern Western MMO environment and critique based on that. You need to consider the entire package.

Once upon a time, a dungeon was the end in and of itself. It was content, it was fun, etc. Sure, you wanted the goodies, but progression was just one part of the package. And the dungeon itself meant the guards/patrols, the monsters, and finally the bosses.

Nowadays, the dungeon is usually treated (by game design and, thus, the community), as a means to an end (gear) than as actual content. The mobs are to keep it from just being a boss fight. They hand you the map, so there's barely any sense of discovery or exploration. There's rarely even environmental stuff going on now.

Essentially, they've cut out everything that would actually pull you into the game.

And this isn't limited to dungeons. Modern MMOs have transitioned out of the stage where you'd see some monster and think "Hey, I want to kill that thing," to "What will I get if I bother to kill that?"

Edit: What Joph said.

Edited, Jul 5th 2013 9:09am by idiggory
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#24 Jul 05 2013 at 10:19 AM Rating: Good
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I don't play MMORPGs anymore, and haven't for some time. There's some pretty simple and broad reasons for it as well.

1. Differing value systems. Game developers seem to have a fundamentally different idea of what I'm looking for out of an MMORPG than I do. Maybe I'm no longer part of the target demographic. I'm not looking for an activity to fill my time. There's a yard full of grass outside I can watch grow if I find myself with too much time, and I can do that for free. MY measurement of value is entrainment per unit time. There was a time I was grinding in Warhammer Online, and I thought "Thinking about this logically, I should be playing Team Fortress 2 instead." I still enjoyed the fun parts of WAR at that time, and in fact I'd say the fun parts of WAR might even be twice as fun as the fun parts of TF2 (if I were to assign an arbitrary number), but there's an issue. To have 1 hour of fun in WAR meant perhaps 3 hours of grinding or misc. unfun activities (such as waiting). TF2 lacked that downtime. The math didn't work out. I could have more fun in TF2 in 4 horus than I could in WAR. And I realized the same was true with most MMORPGs.

There's far too much filler content. If something isn't fun, or isn't directly necessary for fun, then it should be removed. And if the overall fun per total time is a bad offering, you should rethink your product. Games shouldn't be made longer, they should be more dense.

2. Completing content for rewards rather than rewarding for completion. If MMORPGs let people start at max level, would they choose to? If end game content gave no gear rewards, would people still run raids? Perhaps some, but that anyone would do otherwise is the point. Compare that with a single player RPG, would you be interested in a save file for FFX or Dark Cloud That had all teh content cleared and maxed characters? You'd erase it and start over because you don't care about the gear or levels, you want to see the content.

That's many MMORPGs have moved away from completely random drops. If killing a raid boss is the experience a player is looking for, then any reward on top of that is gravy and mostly irrelevant. But if a player is looking for an orange item item with better stats, then downing the raid boss is irrelevant, and not getting that item is a disappointment.

In Chrono Cross, a single player RPG, you don't level unless you kill a boss. You can grind as much as you want, but you'll make zero progress. And so consequently, you don't grind. You just simply play through the content for its own sake.
#25 Jul 05 2013 at 10:21 AM Rating: Good
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I'd like to see an MMO, albeit a niche MMO, get back to focusing on the journey and not the end-game.

I have to play RPG's now to have some sense of building a story line and progressing a character. I'm back playing LoTRO - but strictly in the Moors. If all I'm going to do with my MMO game time is fight stuff, I'd rather fight people than AI's.
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#26 Jul 05 2013 at 10:31 AM Rating: Good
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FFXI had a lot of downtime in it. But I also always had the feeling of progressing my character, or of being a part of something. Even if all I was doing was sitting around in Jeuno, chatting with my linkshell, that was fine - I was having fun sitting around in Jeuno, chatting with my linkshell.

And the thing was, I've never ended up in a guild since FFXI that was as social as that linkshell was. And we actually chatted. There weren't 100 random people I had never met before. When someone invited a new member, we all had fun getting to know them. It wasn't the typical "hey" and then back to ignoring chat that seems to be standard in more modern MMOs.

And I know that this isn't a hard and fast rule. I'm sure there are plenty of very social guilds in games like WoW. But, in my experience, those are the exceptions to the rule. Every time I joined a new linkshell in FFXI, I had the feeling that the members were actually trying to get to know me. That was definitely not my standard experience in any game since then. So eventually I just stopped looking for guilds. The idea that I need to actively search out a group of people even interested in actually getting to know each other, in a MMO, is just too jarring for me.

And it's worth noting that there were members in my linkshell in FFXI who we'd only see every 1-2 weeks, because they were busy IRL. And that was fine, because we were excited to see them on that one day they were available.

I'm really hoping FFXIV develops that sort of community. Because I can't see myself having anything but a fleeting interest in a MMO until I find one where it's actually a social game.
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#27 Jul 05 2013 at 10:32 AM Rating: Good
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I feel like you're touching a bit on gamer ennui. Stuff might've seemed "new" or the "total package" back then, but the communities have basically broken down into finding the most efficient paths with people just parroting them whether they're actually capable or not. If you want people to care about trash mobs, they need their own value. Maybe it's high EXP. Maybe they drop upgrade components. Pick your poison, really. And while I started MMOing with FFXI, it had it's EQ roots. One could feasibly call HNMs the boss of a dungeon area, of which most people just stealthed past the fodder while fighting for the claim when they did pop. When MPK was possible, people even went to the length to try and wipe rival alliances. If PvP is possible, it's kind of a given what would happen there. Yet, without those things, you risk the game just becoming camping, claiming, and killing with someone or group of someones potentially being left out.

I'm generally against Open World PvP due to griefing, either like the above, highbies ganking lowbies, twinks outmatching the general population, class imbalances, and so on. So, I'd rather not see such as a "solution" and certainly why games like ArchAge aren't getting a second look from me despite their bold promise of a sandbox environment. I hate screwing other players. I hate being screwed by other players. And while some subscribe to the notion that competition fosters community, I can't agree it does within progression games when all things aren't equal.

If you're trying to say the environments themselves should have mechanics, I can't entirely disagree with the notion, but would express concern over how things like lag may play into it. If there's a part of some dungeon where you need to sneak past a guard, otherwise he'd trigger an endless wave of patrols, that period of sneaking would most likely need to be lag free, otherwise you give it a large margin for error that people would just complain is too easy anyway. Things like "You must have this class/ability to pass!" should also be avoided, too. Otherwise, I'd really like to know how you'd fight the ennui because if a location has no worth, not many are going to stop and smell the roses. That's just the nature of people not wanting to waste time, especially if their own is limited.
#28 Jul 05 2013 at 11:00 AM Rating: Good
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Seriha wrote:
I feel like you're touching a bit on gamer ennui. Stuff might've seemed "new" or the "total package" back then, but the communities have basically broken down into finding the most efficient paths with people just parroting them whether they're actually capable or not. If you want people to care about trash mobs, they need their own value. Maybe it's high EXP. Maybe they drop upgrade components. Pick your poison, really. And while I started MMOing with FFXI, it had it's EQ roots. One could feasibly call HNMs the boss of a dungeon area, of which most people just stealthed past the fodder while fighting for the claim when they did pop. When MPK was possible, people even went to the length to try and wipe rival alliances. If PvP is possible, it's kind of a given what would happen there. Yet, without those things, you risk the game just becoming camping, claiming, and killing with someone or group of someones potentially being left out.


I feel like you're seriously missing the point we're making. I think you need to step back from the argument and re-evaluate what people are actually saying.

Yes, the boss is always going to have more value than the normal enemies in a dungeon. That's fine. The point is that the boss doesn't need to be the sole item of value in a dungeon. And that running a dungeon shouldn't offer rewards so fundamentally different from normal play that it's something people are doing just for that reason.

Let me put it this way - in most modern MMOs right now, mobs are literally reducable in value to the exp they can offer. Fighting them isn't interesting, because it's something you largely auto-pilot through. Their drops aren't interesting, because crafting and other materials have been almost entirely de-coupled from mob-slaying. Even weapon/item drops they still have aren't really interesting, because it's probably just "vendor trash" and items you wouldn't bother using even if they had your stats.

Say all the mobs in a dungeon had higher drop rates,and offered slightly more experience. Suppose chests had a higher chance to randomly spawn in dungeon zones. Suppose dungeons had patrols with meaningful routes, so you couldn't just charge through it. Suppose you got more conquest points for killing them, and they had a higher chance to drop seals.

Well then, there seems like there's a lot of reason to head to a dungeon now.

And the game doesn't need to be broken up into solo content and dungeons - there are other forms of content you can create. And dungeons don't even need to be similar to each other. The list of reasons you'd enter one dungeon might be totally different from the reasons you'd enter another. Maybe you enter one because you're treasure hunting. Maybe you enter another, because it's the stronghold of the species attacking your city and you need to work on culling local populations (because they keep attacking you and taking you off your mount). Etc.

Edited, Jul 5th 2013 1:00pm by idiggory
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#29 Jul 05 2013 at 11:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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There's people with the time to spend looking for groups, etc. It's the same class of people who had time before -- single, childless, college aged, etc who could stay up late and devote ridiculous hours. It's not that those people don't exist any longer, it's that folks like me have moved out of that class and into another class entirely.

My experience too. As kids came along the idea of spending 8 hours during a day goofing around with people in the bowels of some dragon lair wasn't an option anymore. Dungeon finder doesn't appeal to me either though, simply because I have no urge to get nerd-raged at by some college freshman who absolutely needs to get through the 12 dungeons a day he has to do to cap his points before lab starts. TBH I never really cared much for pugs even doing it the old fashioned way, sitting in LFG and spamming chat channels. Would gather friends, or friends of friends. If they weren't on we'd make do with less (How many things did we do 1 or 2 people down, without a tank, etc?) or simply not take the plunge.

Anyway my big draws in MMOs are:

1) Open-world "dungeon-like" areas, multi-person quests, etc. The Herioc4's in SWTOR for example. I've only done one or two traditional dungeons in my time there, but frequently do these little group ups. They're a lot of fun, and don't have so much of the same "gogogog" problem you find in larger dungeons.

2) Big maps. None of this loading screen stuff everywhere, give me a giant world to explore, or at least make it feel like I'm not in a box the whole time. Also related is extra space. Not every inch of land needs to be covered with quest objectives.

3) Mob variety. If you can use the same rotation/buttons/strategy/whatever on every mob in the game things get old fast. It doesn't need to be impossibly difficult, just make it engaging.

4) Something to tinker with. If you don't want to give me talent trees anymore, at least give me a deep profession system, or just something to tweak to my heart's content.

5) Lots of character appearance options. Because I want an orange handlebar mustache, olive colored skin, and plenty of scars.

6) Story: at minimum give me some decent reason to collect bear asses.


Edited, Jul 5th 2013 10:28am by someproteinguy
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#30 Jul 05 2013 at 11:11 AM Rating: Good
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Let me put it this way - in most modern MMOs right now, mobs are literally reducable in value to the exp they can offer.
Smiley: lol With the way quest EXP works in most games now, mob EXP is almost inconsequential.
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#31 Jul 05 2013 at 11:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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Spoonless wrote:
Quote:
Let me put it this way - in most modern MMOs right now, mobs are literally reducable in value to the exp they can offer.
Smiley: lol With the way quest EXP works in most games now, mob EXP is almost inconsequential.
Which is kinda sad, because there were times I actually enjoyed running around in circles farming stuff. Smiley: frown
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#32 Jul 05 2013 at 11:20 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Spoonless wrote:
Quote:
Let me put it this way - in most modern MMOs right now, mobs are literally reducable in value to the exp they can offer.
Smiley: lol With the way quest EXP works in most games now, mob EXP is almost inconsequential.
Which is kinda sad, because there were times I actually enjoyed running around in circles farming stuff. Smiley: frown

I at least liked having it as an option.
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#33 Jul 05 2013 at 11:24 AM Rating: Good
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I like in FFXIV that you get a Hunting Log, where it tracks mobs you kill, and you get bonus EXP for killing a certain number of each mob type. At my level, it seems to be 4 or 5 of each mob type you come across. I don't know how it gets at higher ranks yet. So this is great while leveling, since it makes you go "oh, a new mob! I should go kill them and see if it updates my log".
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#34 Jul 05 2013 at 12:19 PM Rating: Good
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Spoonless wrote:
I like in FFXIV that you get a Hunting Log, where it tracks mobs you kill, and you get bonus EXP for killing a certain number of each mob type. At my level, it seems to be 4 or 5 of each mob type you come across. I don't know how it gets at higher ranks yet. So this is great while leveling, since it makes you go "oh, a new mob! I should go kill them and see if it updates my log".

There was a time when randomly killing mobs, simply for the sake of killing mobs, was frowned upon as it could mess up faction that you may need later.

I think I miss the EQ faction game.
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#35 Jul 05 2013 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Seriha wrote:
For example, in the instanced environment you have the big baddy just chilling at the end waiting for the party to engage. Everyone who ever enters the instance has a shot. If it's open world, this baddy must be no longer available, respawn at set intervals, or have pop requirements. If you take the first, incentive to do the dungeon plummets. Do the second, people will just camp the end, not really caring about the rest of the dungeon and maybe even cheesing past other portions if they can get away with it because the baddy is what matters.

This wasn't my experience in (early) Everquest. Dungeons may have a raid level boss at the end (many didn't) but also have numerous named mobs with nice drops. People would camp sections for the named mob loot and because experience rates were increased due to both set spawns and Zone Experience Modifiers that rewarded the extra risk. People entering to fight the raid boss were a different class; they'd usually come in get ready, breeze to the end and do their fight and leave. Honestly, they rarely even interfered with the regular campers just due to zone lay out.

For most people, most of the time, the named mob drops and xp were their own reward. Most people who entered a dungeon weren't doing so for the purpose of killing the end guy. The dungeon was its own destination. With modern instanced dungeons, the end boss is the reason for showing up -- blow through in as short a time as possible, kill the boss, grab loot and scoot on out.

Edited, Jul 5th 2013 7:59am by Jophiel

Lower Guk, camping the ghoul, Hand and um... some other guy, don't feel like looking him up now. Hours and hours with those mobs. And I think I had about 735 Serpentine Bracers from the Hand Smiley: lol
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