Tobold's Blog
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Open Sunday Thread

This is the open Sunday thread, the place where you can discuss, ask questions, or propose subjects for future blog posts from me.
I would like to read your take on MMO games that utilize the point-and-click movement mechanic. Personally, I can't stand it and am completely turned off to games like NCSoft's upcoming Aion.

Also, you said that there may not be a place for FPS in MMOs, but in my experience with the failed Hellgate: London, that is actually one feature that they had dead on. I am not an FPS fan by nature, but when I played a hunter in that game, I fell in love with that style of gameplay. In Hellgate, the FPS feature did not feel turn-based in the slightest, nor was it restricted to a peripheral-only view. However, the FPS feature in Tabula Rasa felt very turn-based. Do you think that a blend of Hellgate's FPS and a "normal" MMO could work?
Here's something you can touch on at some point.

In some games (diablo 2 comes to mind), the more players involved the harder the monsters were, the higher the drop rate or loot etc was, and you'd have a much higher chance of running into unique super powered mobs, with random powers. What if WoW (or any other MMO) were to take that idea and (in WoW's case use "instancing") to make it so that when you group up mobs give more xp, become more elite, improve drops, etc etc etc. Making instances allow for scaling, as in I can solo Utgarde keep, but with 4 friends I can get some blue loot instead of greens from bosses. In a raid environment, the raid would scale with the number of people, allowing for 6man, 10man, 12man, 16man, 25man, 40man raids and what have you.

Then you had heroic mode to an instance (which should bring mobs in the instance to = level of the highest level member of the group, make strong type mobs 1 level higher, bosses 2 levels above, and the final boss 3 levels higher). Allowing for heroic ANY instance.
I still think there is opportunity for a FPS sci-fi MMO. I actually really enjoyed the FPS mechanics in Tabula Rasa, my problem with the game was just that is lacked any depth or variety. It was a fun game, just far too light on content. Shame to see it go - I think it could've done well had it had a couple of expansions.

I think FPS fits really nicely into the sci-fi genre but it seems like most developers focus too much on the combat than the content. MMOs like WoW are succesful not because they offer exciting or adrenaline pumping gameplay but because they are huge, vibrant, in-depth and immersive worlds.
Blizzard's "Next Generation MMO".

Tigole is now working on it, and we have not really any information about it.

So how would you/we imagine the next generation MMO?
Another re-hash of EverQuest, or a completely new system? What will they do differently?

I personally would like to get rid of gear-hunt and greed as motivating factors and try to create a more interactive and dynamic world.
Where people are not forced to socialize, but WANT to socialize. We have had enough monster-bash simulators, make fighting part of the world, but not what it is all about.
@weflyspitfires: have you seen the upcoming game global agenda? It looks very promising.
So far Blizzard always evaded the Great Leap forward. But something in my stomach tells me that this new MMO is going to fail. They will try harder than ever and probably pay their best programmers millions - but those things tend to fail - unfortunately. What do you think ?
Predicting that Blizzard's next MMO is going to fail smells to me of wanting it to fail. Blizzard is leaps and bounds ahead of the next closest MMO developer out there. They learn from their mistakes and constantly evolve WoW to be a better game. Their new MMO is at its core going to be an achievement based game. I don't mean an acievement system (although that will be there) I mean a game where you work on accomplishing big tasks like slaying dragons etc. With the new MMO they'll be able to fix all the problems they have found in WoW and D3 but are unable to solve without completely changing the games.

In essence it will be WoW done again, and even shinier.
@Hound: Aion is full WASD as far as I know, though it supports point-and-click. I'm more concerned about reports that it takes 10-20 hours a level towards the end of the game in the Korean release. I wonder how much, if any, the publisher is planning to nerf that leveling curve for American release. Are we going to see game mechanics increasingly tailored to the local market? Is there going to be an issue if certain regions get "easy" versions of the same game? Would WoW have been a bigger success in Korea if it had tripled the leveling grind?
Blizzard makes great games but they always play it safe - they've never made a unique or innovative game before. Based upon that, we can guess that their next MMO will be highly polished and very well made but nothing that we haven't seen before.
@John M

That would be worth me trying it out if it really does support WASD. A few months ago there was an article or interview that discussed the point-and-click system and how it would affect the players. I may have misconstrued that as, "We're implementing point-and-click and not WASD."


I agree with your failure statement. I've found myself referring to people in my blog who seem to be sitting on the sidelines waiting for Blizzard to fail at something so they can be the first to report it and say, "I told you so!"

Combat Arms seems to be a great FPS MMO so far, and it's free to play. It has several arena type zones with some incorporating capture-the-flag and mission objectives. Players can, if they are the leads in a zone, apply filters to change the style of game-play such as free-for-all, teams, and certain weapons active or non-active. It is really worth trying out.
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Dur, copied and pasted to a new thread, and copied something else in the mean time, I AM PRO AT COMPUTER!

but yeah, the point and clikc interface is popular in korea etc because you can smoke and play at the same time. wow has this option if desired, but i'd say a good 99.9% of the (english speaking) userbase leaves it turned off.

as for weflyspitfires saying blizzard doesn't make any innovative games, i'll paste another respose I put to NecroRogicon where I basically answered that exact same question earlier today:

as to whether blizz has good ideas, or just refines others into polished products... in that end, i don't really care. if you had the most awesome game idea, but your controls and everything sucked, then along came blizzard and made it 'right', i'd be playing the blizzard version, and so would the rest of the planet. granted, they might bring you aboard, and give you a spot for having the idea in the first place, but out of all the hype surrounding "Valve's Portal", only a handful even know it was based on Narbacular Drop, and the narbacular team got brought on board to help make it.
Truthfully I think next MMO is likely to be Eve Online that is fun to play. Right now Eve Online is a great game to talk about with other players and even fun to think about. However the actual playing of the game is boring to an extreme or the occasional PvP battle (which are a lot of fun) with way to high of stakes.

The space MMO is the place least likely to cannibalize WoW. And killing WoW would be stupid.

Blizzard seems to understand what many other companies miss (apple being best example) make it as easy as possible for people to continue giving you money. You can still go to the store and buy all of Blizzards games, not the original release but something containing the game.
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