The Absolute State of the MMORPG Genre

Krenum

Fully [H]
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Oh man, I loved both!
Especially Hellgate London, that game was tons of fun. I don't know why it was so hated. It was probably way ahead of its time. No one asked for FPS Diablo game. But look at them now, Outriders, Division, Borderlands, Destiny, etc etc.

SW:ToR is actually more fun to play than WoW. And I'm not a SW fan. But I come back for the story, not the dungeons/raids.
I'm putting a lot of hope into Diablo 4 with its more open world MMO approach. I'm hoping it will have a monthly sub so the content is constantly coming.
I hate F2P games because you always have to give up something. Path of Exile is not a bad game (although I hate its aesthetics) and the F2P system is not bad, but the fact that its cosmetic means the in game loot looks like shit.

Also New World and Ashes of Creation is what I'm very interested in, but sceptical.
I liked Hellgate too. My friends and I played it a lot.
 

Andrew_Carr

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 26, 2005
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1,999
Yeah, the more skill matters the harder the game is to balance which is why I think it hasn't happened yet. It seems like some RPGs start out with that goal during development but give up.
I was really hoping Elder Scrolls Online would do that but I was disappointed when they just went with generic MMO combat with spells and arrows magically homing in on enemies etc., and drastically scaled back the freedom compared to what Skyrim and Oblivion had.

I did enjoy Destiny 2, but yeah it's definitely not a full MMO, and it doesn't really have much RPG in it.



Yeah I played BDO and it was pretty fun, but holy shit is that game a grind. I got to the point where I couldn't really move on to new areas without simply grinding the same thing for hours so I got bored with it.

I played Planetside 2 and while it was fun it definitely didn't have much RPG, it was really just Battlefield at a larger scale.

Don't worry, that's just the first 10% of the grind. The rest is when you realize full PEN armor / weapons is just the starting point. It's a good example of appealing to the whales that want a game where money = gear > skill. It definitely could be more skill-based, but that wouldn't make them as much money I guess.
 

Comixbooks

Fully [H]
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Hoping that Ashes of Creation turns out good basically only MMO I'm holding out for.
Patheon looks ok but the game looks orchestrated too much to where I'm not sure if it's going to be good or not.
Animation look stiff even compared to something like EQ2 which was pretty fluid. I'm not sure if the barebones approach will work for the game.
I mean people need a reason to play the game and the last thing I ever found in a MMO was a good group to grind with.
If it had some single player aspect to it I think it would work out better. Patheon needs modern tools like LFG tool where you can jump in a group
at any moment but the game wasn't designed to be like that.
 

Endgame

Gawd
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Messages
628
All this talk of MMOs and no mention that I saw of Eve Online? Its far the best that I’ve played.
 

elvn

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The closest you can get is something like Destiny 2. Afterall, it is a shooter and shooting skills do factor into the gameplay. However, it's not a full MMO. Beyond that, there is a problem with shooter skill coming into play and that's that the mechanics typically found in MMO bosses do not necessarily translate to something with typical shooting mechanics. Mechanically speaking, shooters are typically best in a first person perspective which doesn't lend itself to MMO boss mechanics. Honestly, Skyrim and Oblivion style combat would be problematic as well. Frankly, you'd end up with one combo, build or set of skills that beats everything else and you'd have to execute that same combo over and over again. Destiny 2 has this problem with bosses where swords are the meta for DPS. This can be done from the third person of course, but I'm not sure that it would work any better with typical MMO bosses. I suspect it wouldn't.
Now, the problem with shooters or anything with a loot system like an MMO is that they become gear dependent, and thus, skill becomes less important than gear or figuring out what the meta is for abilities and weapons. Destiny 2 should be about skill, but tight enrage timers on some bosses mean that there is basically only a couple of viable DPS loadouts for a given boss. If you don't have Anarchy, Xenophage, Lament or Falling Guillotine and a few other specific weapons, LFG groups will not take you. Similarly, there was always a "best way" to deal damage in SWTOR. Rotations were almost always fixed and there wasn't a great deal of room for variation. Skill in that game is more about understanding its mechanics and being able to execute rotations and react to boss mechanics but that's it.

I think that's one of the reasons why MMO's are basically stuck in the past and why they are built the way they are. Another reason is that there is some lineage with pen and paper RPG's where they feel they have to stick to an almost DnD system and have abilities and skills structured that way. Actual skill as you've described it isn't necessarily desirable as that always makes a game inaccessible to potential customers. I almost feel as though there is no way to innovate in the MMO space, or at least, I can't see a real solution to the shortcomings of the genre. I think they'll fail time and time again and fall to the way side the way MUDs and space combat games have. Basically, no one could figure out ways of doing them better, so developers quit making them. Or, some technological advancement leaves that style of game in the past.

I look at rpg/mmo in some ways like a like a single unit in a RTS that you can micro-manage and I like that aspect. That is, a unit dependent on it's own built in stat based abilities and system/gear/tier upgrades that you are controlling in real time. Yes you can out-level someone by upgrading your "RTS unit" many times, but you are putting that unit into harder levels of AI units where it would fail without those upgrades. You do have requirements more or less for different areas and bosses, things like resistances, which plays into the busy work of the games getting gears/affixes, potion/crafting upgrades etc. over weeks/months and filling out a guild's gear vs the new content. I like the raw leveling and talent aquisition part a lot more than the scrubbing for mods/effects because "the new area's mobs and boss are resistant to everything unless you get the <whatever the feck> new element on your weapon, and they'll do way more damage unless you get the other <what the feck> element on your amor... But that said, I am definitely a fan of "single unit RTS" core stats progression and talent tree progression based role playing games.

I agree with you about variety - the fact that the builds and gear sets are cookie cutter for the most part. That's because there is so much content, so many ablities, so many people, and because the content relies on the set bonuses so much in most games. So you are essentially trading one uniform for another as you progress, and working toward affixes/enchantments/mods on said gear to increase your defense vs new content or to overcome defenses possessed by that new content. I get why a game that is a huge machine has to standardize (and even with a generic basis of specific gear sets, people surgically dissect and exploit games to where they continually have to be patched to re-balance or nerf exploits) - but I miss the unique characterization from old school d&d style games and that kind of flavor in fantasy media in general.

For just doing some runs in a game without all of that I used to play some vermintide2. There is some gear progression and there are difficulty level tiers you select from when joining a game so you are somewhat limited to playing on easier difficulty runs until you get good enough but otherwise it's kind of like L4D2 where you run through maps to an extraction/exit point and it's mainly based on being capable of high skill gameplay. Co-op games like that are fun for me like running a set of instances without all the massive factory work and poplulation of a MMO.

Incidentally they just released a new gameplay mode where you start from scratch each time so it's supposedly very noob friendly. I don't know if I'll dive back into that game right now though b/c I'm heavy into nioh2 atm. https://www.thegamer.com/vermintide-2-chaos-waste-impressions-free-update/
 
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Zorachus

[H]F Junkie
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I always wanted to try vermintide2, I love Co-Op games. LFD2 was fun.

They have a new game coming out this year called Warhammer 40K Darktide it’s supposed to be more of a StarCraft theme setting but a co-op shooter
 

Aireoth

Supreme [H]ardness
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I always wanted to try vermintide2, I love Co-Op games. LFD2 was fun.

They have a new game coming out this year called Warhammer 40K Darktide it’s supposed to be more of a StarCraft theme setting but a co-op shooter

Vermintide 2 is great, its a very tight Melee focused FPS (there are ranged weapons). There are some issues at the higher level of gameplay but you won't reach that for at least 1k hours. Every character is excellent and has a role to play in a game that rewards teamwork and proper party comp.

Warhammer (and its 40k counterpart) pre-dates Star Craft/War Craft (in fact Blizzard almost directly stole Games Workshop's IP to make their IP and ever since GWS has been a stickler for IP protection, nothing is officially confirmed but its pretty darn obvious that designs where directly lifted and slightly altered for the Blizzard verse and there are plenty of rumors that Warcraft started as a Warhammer game pitched and GW pulled out). Apart from design though both IP's are vastly different in lore, Warhammer is firmly entrenched in the early 80s metal culture of bigger, stronger, badder and more, they are so over the top its hilarious, but also very fun. For example Warhammer spaceships fire torpedos the size of large skyscrapers at each other and their warp speed is literally traversing hell. Their fantasy setting is also on a similar dose of steroids'.

Darktide should be great, basically a shooting focused Vermintide is what I'm expecting.

* I keep editing because I love Warhammer, its just so much metal.
 
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Zorachus

[H]F Junkie
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Any word on Darktide release date?

Yeah, I need to pick up V2 it sounds. Are there servers and players online still with that game?
 

Aireoth

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Any word on Darktide release date?

Yeah, I need to pick up V2 it sounds. Are there servers and players online still with that game?
I still play, they just released a new version of Gorekson (the dwarf) as an engineer with a minigun. Its easy enough to match make and there is a dedicated high end player base too, can't comment on the new player base as I'm 1.2k hours in and haven't played easier difficulties in forever.

The Campaign is solid, the enemies diverse, bosses are great, its a well done game even if Fatshark struggles balancing the high end with streamer wants.

No idea on Darktide's release, I only know its coming and I'll be buying it once launched (as long as it isn't an Outriders launch, oof).
 

Nytegard

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I agree with a lot there. I am not a very social person but ffxi I was. Back in the day the community was pretty damn awesome and everyone knew each other. There were real rivalries better linkshells and was loads of fun.in FFxiv you que up for a dungeon and it is common to have no one say shit the entire time. Outside your raid group there was no community. Even in big free companies there wasn't much going on.
For multiplayer games, the community is what makes the game. It doesn't matter if it's the arcade, MMO, FPS, etc.

Times change, tastes change, etc. And some games like WoW were never really that great gameplay to begin with. But it had the community. And that's partly why I feel like I'm falling out of love with games. Because the games I like just don't have that community anymore. My enjoyment of FPSs (or lack thereof) happens to coincide with FPSs dropping dedicated servers. And with MMOs trying to remove the community with join anytime for raids, etc. The games were always fetch quests, or kill x. It was never the game itself that I enjoyed.

The question comes down to, if you're trying to build a new game, how do you build a community? And one thing I think a lot of developers get wrong, and where the game starts to go wrong, is that communities are not just about having a large customer base.

And honestly? I think streamers are one of the major problems here. They bring about a false sense of community, and despite having a large following, aren't really the type of community needed. With something like WoW, the time I remember best was when everyone was new, and no one had an idea of what to do, or how to beat a boss. You were forced to work together. And that meant being forced into social interaction. That might sound wrong, but I think that's the correct approach to creating a community.
 

Aireoth

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For multiplayer games, the community is what makes the game. It doesn't matter if it's the arcade, MMO, FPS, etc.
Pretty much this, and the community has moved on from MMOs to other games because frankly, MMO gameplay is terrible.

MMOs started in an era where online multiplayer gaming was in its infancy, they had the market all to themselves. Now a days they have to compete with all sorts of products that offer way better core gameplay and narrative, Isometric ARPGs, Shooters, Looters, Battle Royals, Freeplay games (Warplanes, tanks, ships, etc) and everything in between. The typical MMO just can't cut it, especially with a monthly subscription model.
 

GOD'SlittleSERVANT

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I think and know EVENTUALLY there will be a big MMO release with tens of millions of subs again, when it's like full on VR life like, and even touch and smell is in the game, and you interact with thousands of payers all the time and everywhere your head turns you see the game world around you, alive and living. But something like that is probably 30+ years away.
Just thinking about that gives me a hard on.
 

Westwood

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I think and know EVENTUALLY there will be a big MMO release with tens of millions of subs again, when it's like full on VR life like, and even touch and smell is in the game, and you interact with thousands of payers all the time and everywhere your head turns you see the game world around you, alive and living. But something like that is probably 30+ years away.
Ehm. Have you tried real life? :D
 

Nytegard

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And that's a downside of the MMO. Who doesn't like to be the hero? With an MMO, you're just another nameless nobody who has about as much effect on the world as you do in the real world.
 

Aireoth

Supreme [H]ardness
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And that's a downside of the MMO. Who doesn't like to be the hero? With an MMO, you're just another nameless nobody who has about as much effect on the world as you do in the real world.
That can work in a game narrative, the problem MMO's suffer from in that regard is that nothing ever changes, you killed those 20 rats, but their back for the next character. That has always been the immersion breaker for me and the corner stone of why MMOs cannot compete, they try to weave a narrative and build a world, but its ultimately a static picture to accommodate every tom, dick, and jenny that runs though it.
 

CptCabbit

Limp Gawd
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And that's a downside of the MMO. Who doesn't like to be the hero? With an MMO, you're just another nameless nobody who has about as much effect on the world as you do in the real world.
I'd recommend ff14 for that. You're literally the hero the whole time.
 

Westwood

Supreme [H]ardness
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But does the real world have dragons and spells and amazing looking fantastical areas?
tumblr_maolzuOoV71re4uqoo1_1280.png

On occasion?
 

Endgame

Gawd
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And that's a downside of the MMO. Who doesn't like to be the hero? With an MMO, you're just another nameless nobody who has about as much effect on the world as you do in the real world.
You obviously need to try Eve. Lots of lasting consequences and plenty of good guys and bad guys, depending on perspective.
 

AzixTGO

n00b
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Feb 21, 2016
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I've been looking for an MMO that wasn't so mmo forever. Something that plays like a normal RPG and isn't all fetch 6 x frog dung or w.e.
Ashes of creation and Amazon's game have been on my radar
I hear the term MMORPG (or even MMO in general) and I just avoid. I tried Guild Wars 2 awhile back, barely played it, they are just boring to me.

Planetside was a cool idea but not super well-executed.
Guild wars 2 was somewhat interesting. Sounds were annoying and I got bored, but it was interesting for 40 levels.
 
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