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Reversing The Slow And Painful Decay Of The MMO Genre


Scree
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http://scr.ee/reversing-the-slow-and-painful-decay-of-the-mmo-genre/

 

I can't link the post here due to formatting and length (yikes I wrote too much) issues. Yet I wanted to highlight at least one big quote from Mr. Blixtev from this very forum. I think its an important topic, the decay of communities in MMOs and one that gets regularly tossed aside. I think at the core my argument boils down to a sort of inherent genetic flaw in the MMO genre. Over the last two decades game makers have regularly "improved" on game systems and the convenience that was created simultaneously helped create a much more transient-inclined population of gamers. 

 

A classic example would be an Auction House or Central Market Place system. It creates convenience because players don't have to be online or interact with other players to make purchases from each other. At the same time, however, those players never got a chance to actually interact. They never got a chance to know each other, or learn from each other, or help each other. Almost overnight, MMOS allowed everyone to become almost self-sufficient. The game systems we take for granted removed our inter-dependence on each other. I see this as a bad thing that Crowfall seems to be trying to address.

 

In a "massively multiplayer online game", without our dependence on each other, we are merely left with what amounts to a mostly single player experience. Unfortunately this means all the special snow flakes who think their account should be able to do everything exceptionally well might not find this game very appealing.

Edited by scree
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http://scr.ee/reversing-the-slow-and-painful-decay-of-the-mmo-genre/

 

I can't link the post here due to formatting and length (yikes I wrote too much) issues. Yet I wanted to highlight at least one big quote from Mr. Blixtev from this very forum. I think its an important topic, the decay of communities in MMOs and one that gets regularly tossed aside. I think at the core my argument boils down to a sort of inherent genetic flaw in the MMO genre. Over the last two decades game makers have regularly "improved" on game systems and the convenience that was created simultaneously helped create a much more transient-inclined population of gamers. 

 

A classic example would be an Auction House or Central Market Place system. It creates convenience because players don't have to be online or interact with other players to make purchases from each other. At the same time, however, those players never got a chance to actually interact. They never got a chance to know each other, or learn from each other, or help each other. Almost overnight, MMOS allowed everyone to become almost self-sufficient. The game systems we take for granted removed our inter-dependence on each other. I see this as a bad thing that Crowfall seems to be trying to address.

 

In a "massively multiplayer online game", without our dependence on each other, we are merely left with what amounts to a mostly single player experience. Unfortunately this means all the special snow flakes who think their account should be able to do everything exceptionally well might not find this game very appealing.

The new vessel system is completely a convenience based system... so it's kind of silly to say that crowfall is going in the opposite direction. 

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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The new vessel system is completely a convenience based system... so it's kind of silly to say that crowfall is going in the opposite direction. 

 

And how do you plan to be entirely self-sufficient with this system? A major point is can Crowfall sustain a community reliant on each other with the decisions the team has made and not fall into decisions that players want/like but end up hurting the overall community by allowing people to become self-sufficient. Also, convenient is in the eyes of the beholder. I don't think the vessel system is just so people could change their minds, but to open up new possibilities of gameplay.

 

Edit: Great article as usual Scree.

Edited by FrostSword

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Honestly VN you must not have read the new system all that closely. Just like in EVE it would be rare to find someone who is a master Industrialist AND a master PVP on the same account. It would take a decade to accomplish it. The idea that this new system still requires you to spend a great deal of time training characters is similar to EVEs in that regard.

 

We actually don't know the time it will take to max a character... all of the information we have on training time was release PRIOR to the reveal.

 

If you really focused in on the article and immediately discounted it because of your bias towards the new Crow system, you missed the point. Like always.

Edited by scree
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And how do you plan to be entirely self-sufficient with this system? A major point is can Crowfall sustain a community reliant on each other with the decisions the team has made and not fall into decisions that players want/like but end up hurting the overall community. Also, convenient is in the eyes of the beholder. I don't think they did that just so people could change their minds, but to open up new possibilities of gameplay.

What new possibility?  That people can switch out of a decision they don't like, or a decision that is not min/max efficient?

 

I don't disagree with a lot of the convenience elements in crowfall, things like dying worlds that reset are a good idea... i don't even mind passive skill training which is super convenient... but they've done a lot of things to minimalize the impact of choice and it's getting too convenient.

 

For example with the passive skill training there should definitely be a hard cap on how much total skill you can train across all trees, without this hard cap your choice can always be undone.

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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Honestly VN you must not have read the new system all that closely. Just like in EVE it would be rare to find someone who is a master Industrialist AND a master PVP on the same account. It would take a decade to accomplish it. The idea that this new system still requires you to spend a great deal of time training characters.

 

We actually don't know the time it will take to max a character... all of the information we have on training time was release PRIOR to the reveal.

 

If you really focused in on the article and immediately discounted it because of your bias towards the new Crow system, you missed the point. Like always.

There's literally zero arguments you can make that the ability to play any archetype in a campaign isn't more convenient than playing only 1. 

 

Like if someone likes a system or doesn't like it that's fine, that's their preference... but don't pretend it means something other than what it means.... 

Edited by VIKINGNAIL

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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What new possibility?  That people can switch out of a decision they don't like, or a decision that is not min/max efficient?

 

I don't disagree with a lot of the convenience elements in crowfall, things like dying worlds that reset are a good idea... i don't even mind passive skill training which is super convenient... but they've done a lot of things to minimalize the impact of choice and it's getting too convenient.

 

For example with the passive skill training there should definitely be a hard cap on how much total skill you can train across all trees, without this hard cap your choice can always be undone.

 

That in some rulesets I can lose my vessel that was really good, or that a vessel decays and must be up kept to work efficiently, or new crafting jobs just to name a few. Having only one issue brought up that may not even be that big an issue since it was said we can only switch at certain locations, is not a good argument when so many other avenues are opened up.

 

Why a skill cap? They have said it would take at least several weeks or even months to get a skill to a decent value, and Blair talked about how he wanted thousands of skills (maybe an exaggeration... I need to rewatch Crowns and Crows for the number). If I go up in 1 combat skill for months then decide oops, that was bad, it will take me months again to get to a similar level in the new one. And if there are so many skills there is no way that many people will have that similar skill levels in the exact same skills and even then it requires you to use them correctly... and with caps there is almost always a respec ability with some cost, but I think months of training that skill up qualifies enough as cost.

 

There's literally zero arguments you can make that the ability to play any archetype in a campaign isn't more convenient than playing only 1. 

 

I think the argument is that you have 1 example you keep using when there are so many other things this reveal did. It wasn't just so people had the convenient ability to swap archetypes.

Edited by FrostSword

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I didn't say that all convenience is bad. Merely that convenience for convenience's sake brought developers down a course that has had drastic causal effects on a games ability to maintain a community.

 

What Crowfall has done isn't being done for convenience. Did you read Blairs quote at all? You might think of it as a convenience, but that's just a bonus.

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That in some rulesets I can lose my vessel that was really good, or that a vessel decays and must be up kept to work efficiently, or new crafting jobs just to name a few. Having only one issue brought up that may not even be that big an issue since it was said we can only switch at certain locations, is not a good argument when so many other avenues are opened up.

 

If a power curve is shallow, and game worlds reset in 1-3months anyway this makes the weight of such results very light overall...

 

Why a skill cap? They have said it would take at least several weeks or even months to get a skill to a decent value, and Blair talked about how he wanted thousands of skills (maybe an exaggeration... I need to rewatch Crowns and Crows for the number). If I go up in 1 combat skill for months then decide oops, that was bad, it will take me months again to get to a similar level in the new one. And if there are so many skills there is no way that many people will have that similar skill levels in the exact same skills and even then it requires you to use them correctly...

 

Yea and with a skill cap people have to choose and there is at least some permanence to their choice...

 

 

I think the argument is that you have 1 example you keep using when there are so many other things this reveal did.

 

The example i use is pretty much the most relevant impact of the new system. 

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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I didn't say that all convenience is bad. Merely that convenience for convenience's sake brought developers down a course that has had drastic causal effects on a games ability to maintain a community.

 

What Crowfall has done isn't being done for convenience. Did you read Blairs quote at all? You might think of it as a convenience, but that's just a bonus.

Do you think a passive skill training system isn't a convenience based system?  It is literally there so that you don't have to actively play to maintain character power, so you don't fall behind while you aren't playing. 

 

Do you think the ability to have more options than less options while locked into what is already a temporary campaign isn't a convenience thing? 

 

Convenience isn't a "bonus" it is something that changes the nature of games... As I said in a previous post... If people like the system great, if they don't like it great... but don't pretend the system does something it does not... especially if that something is the complete opposite of what it actually does. 

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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If a power curve is shallow, and game worlds reset in 1-3months anyway this makes the weight of such results very light overall...

 

Yea and with a skill cap people have to choose and there is at least some permanence to their choice...

 

The example i use is pretty much the most relevant impact of the new system. 

 

 

1. And if it takes 5 months to get a skill over the 50 point mark? We don't know how fast skills are gained and the rate of diminishing return so I won't stay on this one a lot, but they are still valid opportunities this system opens up and to simply wave them off as not important or having much weight is not the way to go.

 

2. I agree that skill caps have permanence, but many have some kind of respec solution. The only way a respec system and this system are different is that I keep the skill I spent time training versus it being reset. I agree that in some ways it elevates the permanence and consequence, but what happens if we have a cap of say 500 points to keep it small for example, and I use 300 over 3 months to train 3/4 of skill A. I then use 100 for 1/4 of skill B and the remaining for skill C and by the end it has taken me almost half a year. Do I sit like this for the rest of the game's existence? Where do we draw the line to where there is no more progression or gain in abailities? It has taken me hypothetically almost half a year for just 3 skills (all of this is hypothetical and not based in actual numbers) it would take decades to reach the level of skill gain that other systems gain in a matter of weeks (depending on how they do skill advancement).

 

3. Just curious about the last one. Is it that you can change archetypes at all? or that people may be able to switch archetypes on a dime right in front of you? Legit asking for clarification. And if it is the former, is it that you think choice of archetype no longer matters since you can in theory take on every different archetype? How is this different than alternate characters?

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1. And if it takes 5 months to get a skill over the 50 point mark? We don't know how fast skills are gained and the rate of diminishing return so I won't stay on this one a lot, but they are still valid opportunities this system opens up and to simply wave them off as not important or having much weight is not the way to go.

 

Nothing they've indicated makes it seem like 5 months to hit 50points is likely. 

 

2. I agree that skill caps have permanence, but many have some kind of respec solution. The only way a respec system and this system are different is that I keep the skill I spent time training versus it being reset. I agree that in some ways it elevates the permanence and consequence, but what happens if we have a cap of say 500 points to keep it small for example, and I use 300 over 3 months to train 3/4 of skill A. I then use 100 for 1/4 of skill B and the remaining for skill C and by the end it has taken me almost half a year. Do I sit like this for the rest of the game's existence? Where do we draw the line to where there is no more progression or gain in abailities? It has taken me hypothetically almost half a year for just

 

Well in that case you would have made some serious choices and commitments which are awesome for mmorpgs... and if you were so unhappy you could then just delete your crow and restart if you feel like you botched it up too much, but then at least your choice would have had much more serious consequences. 

 

3 skills (all of this is hypothetical and not based in actual numbers) it would take decades to reach the level of skill gain that other systems gain in a matter of weeks (depending on how they do skill advancement).

 

3. Just curious about the last one. Is it that you can change archetypes at all? or that people may be able to switch archetypes on a dime right in front of you? Legit asking for clarification. And if it is the former, is it that you think choice of archetype no longer matters since you can in theory take on every different archetype? How is this different than alternate characters?

 

The ability to change archetypes at all in a campaign will always be much more convenient than having to stick with only one for the duration of a campaign.  In the old system it was implied that they were leaning towards 1 character per account per campaign... which would make alternate characters on an account not relevant to such a situation.

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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I'm just going to back away slowly from you. I should never talk directly to the black hole.

Yea same but I feel up to it. Although I havnt read everything I don't feel like it is neccesary.

 

"What new possibility?  That people can switch out of a decision they don't like, or a decision that is not min/max efficient?"

It's not not that can switch out of decisions they made (you would know if you read the reveal properly) but to make it less punishing.

Planing is fun; Punishing bad plans is not. In the old system you would spend months and months to level up this character. When you changed play styles this time is lost. Gone forever. But with the system it is unused, sure, but not utterly gone for good. So still impectful how you HARDCORE people like it.

 

The passive training system is not a convenience system. Well not really. Sure you don't have to active stuff but leveling with just using skills without doing anything else like quests or items to consume it is basicly the same thing. Progress without (extra) effort.

 

This training system is in place to keep people (somewhat) competetive, no matter school (yes that is a thing), family or work. Or course people acually playing the game will have more practice and experience but it will not be such a terrible gap like in WoW or EVE.

Edited by IamMe
 

I AM ME!
I love you all.

 

 

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Nothing they've indicated makes it seem like 5 months to hit 50points is likely. 

 

 

Well in that case you would have made some serious choices and commitments which are awesome for mmorpgs... and if you were so unhappy you could then just delete your crow and restart if you feel like you botched it up too much, but then at least your choice would have had much more serious consequences. 

 

The ability to change archetypes at all in a campaign will always be much more convenient than having to stick with only one for the duration of a campaign.  In the old system it was implied that they were leaning towards 1 character per account per campaign... which would make alternate characters on an account not relevant to such a situation.

 

Did you miss the fact that I said we don't know how it will be calculated? That was my point. We don't know.

 

I don't recall anything that implied at 1 character per account to each campaign before. The alts question was asked and ACE said they did not see it ever replacing or being better than those who staid as 1 occupation or archetype. No one is forcing you to stay as 1 archetype. You could easily switch and start training that archetype... If you are concerned about the fact VIP can train 3 at a time, that has always been the plan, more options but not more power. They all train at the same rate. You are still arguing the convenience argument when that was not the point. The point was doing convenient systems for the sole purpose of making things easier and allowing players to become self-sufficient was bad, not 'convenient systems are bad and crowfall is not falling into this.'

 

What you are arguing is not convenience but the amount of options and money. If VIP did not have 3 archetype training slots I don't think you would see this as an issue, because I think the root of your argument is that someone who is training 3 slots has the option to pick any of the 3 at will where a non-VIP has only 1 slot and limited options (keep trianning this one or jump to another and start training that one but be behind the others). I'm sorry but that has been the deal from day 1 so put your argument for what it is and stop hiding behind the new system. That's how it is, how it has been from the start, and I don't see it changing now.

 

I'm drawing the line here. I'm done with this for this evening.

Edited by FrostSword

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Did you miss the fact that I said we don't know how it will be calculated? That was my point. We don't know.

 

I don't recall anything that implied at 1 character per account to each campaign before. The alts question was asked and ACE said they did not see it ever replacing or being better than those who staid as 1 occupation or archetype. No one is forcing you to stay as 1 archetype. You could easily switch and start training that archetype... If you are concerned about the fact VIP can train 3 at a time, that has always been the plan, more options but not more power. They all train at the same rate. You are still arguing the convenience argument when that was not the point. The point was doing convenient systems for the sole purpose of making things easier and allowing players to become self-sufficient was bad, not 'convenient systems are bad and crowfall is not falling into this.'

 

What you are arguing is not convenience but the amount of options. If VIP did not have 3 archetype training slots I don't think you would see this as an issue, because I think the root of your argument is that someone who is training 3 slots has the option to pick any of the 3 at will where a non-VIP has only 1 slot and limited options (keep trianning this one or jump to another and start training that one but be behind the others). I'm sorry but that has been the deal from day 1 so put your argument for what it is and stop hiding behind the new system. That's how it is, how it has been from the start, and I don't see it changing now.

 

I'm drawing the line here. I'm done with this for this evening.

 

Having more options IS convenience. 

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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For example with the passive skill training there should definitely be a hard cap on how much total skill you can train across all trees, without this hard cap your choice can always be undone.

A hard cap doesn't work with the a passive skill system that will take a decade or more to max out. This isn't SB where re-rolling was easy no matter how much time you invested in your character. EVE doesn't have a hard cap and it works just fine there.

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A hard cap doesn't work with the a passive skill system that will take a decade or more to max out. This isn't SB where re-rolling was easy no matter how much time you invested in your character. EVE doesn't have a hard cap and it works just fine there.

This game... is not eve... the type of people that it will generally attract... are not eve players... the people that excel in this game... will not be eve players...

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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This game... is not eve... the type of people that it will generally attract... are not eve players... the people that excel in this game... will not be eve players...

I agree that this game is not EVE. That's a pretty obvious fact. The rest is your opinion, one I don't agree with.

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Scree, that is an excellent article. One thing that has killed me about newer MMOs IS the fact that every person was an island (oh and multiple guilds...I shudder every time I saw it).

 

Now for all this jibbity-jab over semantics that have been taken too far out of proportion.

 

 

The new vessel system is completely a convenience based system... so it's kind of silly to say that crowfall is going in the opposite direction. 

 

The convenience that is being talked about in Scree's original post was that it was convenient for players to straight up ignore each other. Coming from more older school style games I found it was the group interactions that made the game much more interesting. I played ESO when it was first released and I just remember everyone running around, killing mobs in their own groups and essentially making it even harder to level up. In SB on n00b Isle you pretty much hit the first 5 or 6 levels quick and then everyone knew to head to one point and group up with anyone else who was there to get to whichever level it was that kicked you off the Island.  The way CF differs is that they are making it much less convenient to work alone, that's the convenience that was being addressed.

 

 

There's literally zero arguments you can make that the ability to play any archetype in a campaign isn't more convenient than playing only 1. 

 

Example (using generic MMO classes here): A player who dedicates them as a healer for the entire campaign vs. A player who plays a tank, a mage, and a healer. After 3 months in a 6 month campaign a non-VIP healer who has dedicated themselves to one archetype will have, not only a larger skill set, but also a larger knowledge of the intimacies of their character and their class than someone who is a non-VIP who plays the holy trinity equally.

 

In a majority of the Campaign Worlds, minus the Dregs, we now are fighting, not as individuals, but as groups. A group who has several dedicated characters will now have, within that group, several people who have much more knowledge and skills than another group who has been bouncing from Vessel to Vessel.

 

I am sure someone can see an advantage to that.

 

On top of that, I would redirect you and have you re-watch the Crows and Vessels System video. Non VIP players get to train 1 general and 1 archetype skill at a time. VIP members get 1 general and 3 archetype skills. VIP members have a nice advantage when it comes to cross archetype training, however a dedicated single class trainer will still have the advantage.

 

 

 

1. And if it takes 5 months to get a skill over the 50 point mark? We don't know how fast skills are gained and the rate of diminishing return so I won't stay on this one a lot, but they are still valid opportunities this system opens up and to simply wave them off as not important or having much weight is not the way to go.

 

Nothing they've indicated makes it seem like 5 months to hit 50points is likely. 

 

 

There has been no indication of any sort as to how the nitty gritty mechanics will run, that's just being petty.

 

 

 

 

3. Just curious about the last one. Is it that you can change archetypes at all? or that people may be able to switch archetypes on a dime right in front of you? Legit asking for clarification. And if it is the former, is it that you think choice of archetype no longer matters since you can in theory take on every different archetype? How is this different than alternate characters?

 

The ability to change archetypes at all in a campaign will always be much more convenient than having to stick with only one for the duration of a campaign.  In the old system it was implied that they were leaning towards 1 character per account per campaign... which would make alternate characters on an account not relevant to such a situation.

 

 

Nothing in the old system ever suggested that it would be a one character per campaign system. This is from the first 30 or so seconds of the Dying Worlds video.

 

JT Coleman - "Typically…characters are locked to a particular server, so we've changed that.  The characters can actually go from one server to the next to the next."

 

In fact, it seems that the people at ACE are doing you a bit of a favor with the Vessel system.

 

--

 

In conclusion, what scree was so nicely getting at was that MMOs have become more like single player games with little need for social interaction. Guilds have become a bastardization of what they used to be, and some of us are excited about that. The convenience had nothing to do with any of your issues with the Vessel system VikingNail. Please stop creating fires where there aren't any.

 

Multiple guilds *shakes my head*

"Through the travail of ages, midst the pomp and toils of war, have I fought and strove and perished, countless times among the stars.
As if through a glass and darkly, the age old strife I see, when I fought in many guises and many names, but always me."

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