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Smedley's been lurking Ryan's Blogs!


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Maybe someone else can link, I'm on my iPhone!?

Goblin Squad Member

Who is Smedley???

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Who is Smedley???

SOE's bigwig?

@BU are you referring to: https://player-studio.soe.com/

or EverQuest Next?

Goblin Squad Member

EverquestNext is going to be a sandbox and modeled after EVE. Smedley just announced it and in his interview it sound like he is quoting Ryan.

Coincidence? I think not...

Go read his interview about wanting to start small and grow like EVE did, Kronos for game time like plex, players being the content etc etc...

I think Smedley might be Blaringer!?


BlackUhuru wrote:

EverquestNext is going to be a sandbox and modeled after EVE. Smedley just announced it and in his interview it sound like he is quoting Ryan.

Coincidence? I think not...

Go read his interview about wanting to start small and grow like EVE did, Kronos for game time like plex, players being the content etc etc...

I think Smedley might be Blaringer!?

I'm just happy MMO's are starting to stray from the themepark type development and starting to evolve into what they always should of been~

Goblin Squad Member

It has been pretty obvious inside the industry for at least 3 years that this is what has to happen. The age of the Theme Park is over and now it is time for the age of the Sandbox. Once you make that mental shift to embracing a game where the players create content for each other you inevitably get to a lot of the same conclusions.

More competition is a challenge for us but it also validates that we're moving in the right direction. Hopefully we've moved fast and far enough that we'll have some advantages.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Ryan,

You don't need to move fast. Smedley breaks whatever he touches. I would *never* be involved in another SOE (or any) project he heads after what he did with SWG and its community. He ruined a perfectly good sandbox game chasing the themepark crowd. Its possible with their funding they can pull it off, but with someone who ignores the community in charge of a player driven sandbox game, it is doomed to failure.

Goblin Squad Member

I was so happy when I read that interview ( still trying to locate it, Zam I think...) Not because its EQnext, but rather for the first time a big publisher publicly announced the sandbox revolution.

I've never been a big fan of EQ (I was one of the loyal UO players refusing to leave) but I wish them the best of luck.

Now we all know that Smedley just announced this to see what reaction he gets, test the waters a bit, but I think it's genuine. He's a longtime EVE player so I know he enjoys freedom in his games, and I hope that's what he plans on doing with EQ Next!

The sandbox revolution is finally here and I couldn't be more happier!!!

Ryan your going to have to step up your game now and make player housing (:

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I think Smedley might be Blaringer!?

Oh, come now. The smart money says I am Blaeringr...

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
I think Smedley might be Blaringer!?
Oh, come now. The smart money says I am Blaeringr...

Dear Lord Baby Jesus, lying there in your...your little ghost manger, lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental...videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors...

Goblin Squad Member

BlackUhuru wrote:

EverquestNext is going to be a sandbox and modeled after EVE. Smedley just announced it and in his interview it sound like he is quoting Ryan.

Coincidence? I think not...

Go read his interview about wanting to start small and grow like EVE did, Kronos for game time like plex, players being the content etc etc...

I think Smedley might be Blaringer!?

AvenaOats wrote:
https://player-studio.soe.com/

This is a cause for concern. Not going to lie. When I looked at the link Avena posted earlier... it tempted me to go play an SoE game. Being able to generate your own content that the entire community can enjoy... is kind of a big deal.

Hearing SoE is now planning a Pathfinder Online clone... they've got a strong mix going for them.

I would steal a little of their thunder, just like they are trying to steal yours, and figure out some ways to allow the community to create and submit their own content for developer approval.

I would consider things like:
Dungeons
Voice overs
Visual assets
Books (Like the ones scattered all around the Elder Scrolls games)

That could all be scanned over by and approved if they were theme/lore appropriate and met the standard for quality.

Think about the modding communities that surround some games. I remember an astounding amount of content made for Dungeon Siege and Freelancer by modders, and a lot of it being very high quality stuff. I think tapping into that as a MMO, may just give you a hell of a lot of content, for very little cost.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

Being able to generate your own content that the entire community can enjoy... is kind of a big deal.

Hearing SoE is now planning a Pathfinder Online clone... they've got a strong mix going for them.

I would steal a little of their thunder, just like they are trying to steal yours, and figure out some ways to allow the community to create and submit their own content for developer approval.

I would consider things like:
Dungeons
Voice overs
Visual assets
Books (Like the ones scattered all around the Elder Scrolls games)

That could all be scanned over by and approved if they were theme/lore appropriate and met the standard for quality.

Think about the modding communities that surround some games. I remember an astounding amount of content made for Dungeon Siege and Freelancer by modders, and a lot of it being very high quality stuff. I think tapping into that as a MMO, may just give you a hell of a lot of content, for very little cost.

I agree, I read some articles about modders in steamworkshop being paid out $2m (iirc) and again something along the lines of with games a low percentage of players doing modding of total player-base (""2-5%"" iirc) but the industry and interaction around this is well worth it. Seems to tie in somewhat with what Nihimon is proposing in the "User Objects" thread, though I confess I've only cursory scanned that discussion. I've never been much of a crafter, so I've no idea how it would tie-in with in-game crafting and economy, but it seems a positive addition on the surface. :)

Ryan Dancey wrote:
More competition is a challenge for us but it also validates that we're moving in the right direction. Hopefully we've moved fast and far enough that we'll have some advantages.

I hope PfO does keep ahead of the wave. Smedley used sandbox too off-the -cuff for my liking. MMORPG genre is suffuced with so many developers "promising the world" talk without DETAILED INFORMATION on what it is and what it is not going to be and who will like this game and who will not like it etc, I think this expectation management is part of talking honestly to players right from the beginning, instead of telling everyone what the most number of players will react positively to.

And that's something SOE is not going to be able to replicate so easily:

1) Management of former player base in previous mmorpgs (eg SWG) is "quick buck" driven.
2) PfO has the right precedent and "mindshare" for it's players?

That's what I've picked up from the detailed and informative blogs so far. ArenaNet also did a good job with their blogs it's worth mentioning.

Goblin Squad Member

I've been checking out some websites (pcgamer, tentonhammer, mmorpg) and I thought PFO would pop up in some Forum discussions and either I missed it or people are not talking about it. This would be a good time to get the word out about PFO.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I suspect that SOE will end up poisoning the well, by making a playground game and calling it a sandbox, while targeting the wrong people. They will end up competing directly with WoW, and either win or lose: either way, reducing the willingness of investors and banks to loan to another organization they don't understand.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


This is a cause for concern. Not going to lie. When I looked at the link Avena posted earlier... it tempted me to go play an SoE game. Being able to generate your own content that the entire community can enjoy... is kind of a big deal.

Hearing SoE is now planning a Pathfinder Online clone... they've got a strong mix going for them.

I would steal a little of their thunder, just like they are trying to steal yours, and figure out some ways to allow the community to create and submit their own content for developer approval.

I would consider things like:
Dungeons
Voice overs
Visual assets
Books (Like the ones scattered all around the Elder Scrolls games)

That could all be scanned over by and approved if they were theme/lore appropriate and met the standard for quality.

Think about the modding communities that surround some games. I remember an astounding amount of content made for Dungeon Siege and Freelancer by modders, and a lot of it being very high quality stuff. I think tapping into that as a MMO, may just give you a hell of a lot of content, for very little cost.

I think knee-jerk reactions like this would have a detrimental effect on the Pathfinder product. Far from being threatened by the Everquest news, I am heartened by it. It clearly shows that Pathfinder is on the right track. Will Smedley make a gigantic hash of it? Most probably, however Pathfinder's core audience won't be threatened. The reason I have faith in the Pathfinder product is entirely down to the fact that they are not courting the bandwagon type of player.

Smedley would like to make the sandbox version of WoW. I wish him great success as it will keep the hordes of idiots away from this game.

Goblin Squad Member

From what Smed says, it sounds like they're at least two years out, minimum. He's promising that next year they'll show work in progress but they don't have anything to show this year.

That's about what I expected when I first pitched Pathfinder Online to Lisa last year; that there's a window open right now for a great fantasy sandbox MMO but it won't stay open forever.

I think the net effect of more companies coming into the space is more awareness getting raised about why sandboxes are a fundamentally better way to play an MMO than the Theme parks were. And that does nothing but help us, so that makes me pretty happy.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

thenoisyrogue wrote:


Smedley would like to make the sandbox version of WoW. I wish him great success as it will keep the hordes of idiots away from this game.

He did. It was called Star Wars Galaxies "New Game Enhancements". It devastated the game and it ultimately died as a result of it.

Goblin Squad Member

I'd really like to not let this become a "bash John Smedley" thread.

The grief the fans give the guy over Star Wars is utterly disproportionate to what happened to that game. And he was responsible for getting EverQuest built even when Sony didn't want to do it and EverQuest was critical to the success of MMOs.

He's a smart guy, he works hard, he respects his customers, and he has a lot of good ideas. The Star Wars thing was a failure in many dimensions, many of which he had no control over.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
The Star Wars thing was a failure in many dimensions, many of which he had no control over.

And that lesson is something that every other MMO Company has been able to benefit from. It was almost inevitable that someone tried it. The fact that it was SOE is largely due to the fact that they were the first major force in that genre.

Cheliax Goblin Squad Member

I read something a while ago which stated that Eve will be the up & coming model for MMOs in the near future. I guess the future was nearer than I thought.

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon - the biggest problem with Star Wars Galaxies is that it wasn't World of Warcraft. Everyone suspected a WoW-sized iceberg was out there, if all the pieces could be arranged correctly and the marketing could raise enough awareness. Star Wars was a pretty good bet in that lottery. When it turned out that Star Wars Galaxies was only going to be at best another EverQuest sized business, Sony decided to gamble on a fix rather than just accepting an unsatisfactory result.

That's the part most people don't understand - Galaxies was a failure (in Sony's eyes) before the New Whatchamacallit Experience. They wanted (and probably paid an advance against royalties for) a multi-million subscriber MMO, and when they didn't get it, they decided to try emergency surgery. Unfortunately, the patient did not survive.

Semedley had to make a tough choice, he made it, and he's lived with the consequences. But the fan vitriol is really disproportionate. And now, nearly a decade later, we see that even if "done right", it may not have worked anyway (looking at you Old Republic...)

RyanD

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Any time a company asks the fans for their input, and goes against what 90% of the fans report in their surveys, and then say "well there is a silent majority that agrees with us"? It can only end badly. The following months SOE tried to play it off as if the fans over reacted, and we really didn't know how great the new game was *even as the fanbase disappears*. They also pulled an entire core gameplay switch as the expansion is launched, which is something they didn't tell consumers (and then had to rebate the expansions).

TLDR: Having been there? The response is entirely proportionate.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan, you said something similar a while back that really made me take a second look at it. That's when I got the perspective I have now - that it was almost necessary, not only for SOE but for the industry.

Vanguard broke my heart... but I still have a lot of love and respect for Smedley and McQuaid.

Goblin Squad Member

Samrae wrote:
I've been checking out some websites (pcgamer, tentonhammer, mmorpg) and I thought PFO would pop up in some Forum discussions and either I missed it or people are not talking about it. This would be a good time to get the word out about PFO.

From what I can make out about games websites, they all will have a planned schedule for building up game releases. Right now, such titles as Wildstar and Archage and PS2 very shortly will be pushed the most according to release and marketing build-up. PfO is currently a few tiers back. I think the trailer will probably the first BIG reveal that most websites will want to do on this game so they can match the info/design with the "we've actually got something here".

That said exposure to PnP, Pathfinder, RPG, Sandbox corners would be the best thing for the early buzz for PfO. As:

thenoisyrogue wrote:
The reason I have faith in the Pathfinder product is entirely down to the fact that they are not courting the bandwagon type of player.

says, for a long-term strategy and selective launch, you want higher accuracy of interested people giving the game a go at it's early inception stage. imo, that leads to better quality investment for ALL those potential players = higher value on playing PfO, I'd very much guess.

Hmm, INCEPTION Dev?! That could work. :)

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOates wrote:
From what I can make out about games websites, they all will have a planned schedule for building up game releases. Right now, such titles as Wildstar and Archage and PS2 very shortly will be pushed the most according to release and marketing build-up. PfO is currently a few tiers back. I think the trailer will probably the first BIG reveal that most websites will want to do on this game so they can match the info/design with the "we've actually got something here".

I totally agree AvenaOats, this game is not far enough along for websites to give time to it. Probably when the tech demo comes out. But when I read the forums about SOE's announcement, many games were discussed. Not one mention of PFO. I will try to inject PFO into some of the forums myself ( if I have time) and would encourage others to do the same. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Samrae wrote:

AvenaOates wrote:

From what I can make out about games websites, they all will have a planned schedule for building up game releases. Right now, such titles as Wildstar and Archage and PS2 very shortly will be pushed the most according to release and marketing build-up. PfO is currently a few tiers back. I think the trailer will probably the first BIG reveal that most websites will want to do on this game so they can match the info/design with the "we've actually got something here".

I totally agree AvenaOats, this game is not far enough along for websites to give time to it. Probably when the tech demo comes out. But when I read the forums about SOE's announcement, many games were discussed. Not one mention of PFO. I will try to inject PFO into some of the forums myself ( if I have time) and would encourage others to do the same. :)

SOE have the name (SWG, PS, superheroes mmo, EQ) so even an announcement all of one paragraph will attract more buzz. Tbh, what Mr. Smedley said was actually propaganda more than information, it's going to get people talking more, even if there is more detailed information available on PfO.

Steady bread-crumbing of information seems to be a better approach for PfO, than the hard sell a lot of mmorpg campaigns blitz near release.

Goblin Squad Member

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Cardboard Dragon wrote:
I read something a while ago which stated that Eve will be the up & coming model for MMOs in the near future. I guess the future was nearer than I thought.

I hope not. I hope that MMO designers start to realize the reason that WoW clones don't work isn't because WoW is the wrong model. It's because they shouldn't be modeling 90% of their game off of ANY other game. A future with the market saturated in EVE clones is only slightly preferable to one where it is saturated in WoW clones.

Thankfully I do not think PFO qualifies as an EVE clone based on what I have heard so far. There should be as much or more about it that is different than EVE than there is that is the same. But I hope the market doesn't come to be dominated by games like Perpetuum that are legitimate EVE clones.

Goblin Squad Member

@Andius, that's a really good point.

The reason Free Markets work is because it forces uncompetitive enterprises to adapt their business processes to mimic the successful business practices of their competitors. However, mimicking the competition is most definitely not what we want in an MMO company.

I just hope it doesn't devolve into each company trying to create a niche with gimmicks.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

@Andius, that's a really good point.

The reason Free Markets work is because it forces uncompetitive enterprises to adapt their business processes to mimic the successful business practices of their competitors. However, mimicking the competition is most definitely not what we want in an MMO company.

I just hope it doesn't devolve into each company trying to create a niche with gimmicks.

I think that is the point we are already at for 90% of MMOs.

I agree and disagree. Free Markets do tend to stamp out uncompetitive practices but it doesn't force anyone to mimic. Zelda, Halo, Age of Empires, Mario, Harvest Moon, Total War, Tie Fighter vs X-Wing, Need For Speed, Assassin's Creed, and Angry Birds. All successful game series. What do those games have in common??? Even when comparing the most similar: Age of Empires and Total War the answer is... not a whole lot.

The problem is for some reason most MMO designers have decided that the MMO audience does not want fresh and original titles. That what we want is WoW repackaged and delivered to us in a slightly different way. It may partially be because MMO's require bigger budgets so companies are not willing to take as big of risks in their design principles, but I can't claim to be an expert.

I think that if the MMO market were as varied as the single player market... consumers would be a lot more happy. A lot of people hate open world PVP. Some won't play an MMO without it. A lot of people love twitch combat. Some despise it. A lot of people love grinding. Some utterly abhor it.

There are many niches in the MMO market that one model cannot please no matter how hard it tries. That is why for every WoW fanboy there are several people who despise WoW and everything about it. I think WoW is a pretty decent game, so I hate it purely out of resentment for what it has done to the market. Which really isn't entirely it's fault but the point is, it utterly fails to deliver many things I find important in an MMO. I feel a lot better about EVE. A lot of people don't. I personally think Wurm Online is the best MMO currently on the market, and would be utterly amazing if it had some proper funding to allow it to get some better graphics and a worthwhile combat system. A lot of people would SERIOUSLY disagree with me.

My dream for MMO's is being able to browse through a list of them and see as many different styles and flavors as I would browsing through the single player or non-massively multiplayer games at Gamestop or Best Buy. Not gimmicks catering to niches. Entire design philosophies catering to their target audience.


@Andius, You're making an unfair comparison pitting all genres of single player/multiplayer games against MMORPGs. Adventure, FPS, RTS, Platformer, Sandbox, Tactical War, Space Flyer, Racer, Stealth Action-adventure, and puzzle. And there are myriad mimics within these franchises.

If you look at MMOs in general, they've had less time to develop and are widening in scope vastly year by year. Look at platformers from 1985-1995. There were tons of them, and they imitated the hell out of each other, with slight variations at worst, and moderate innovations at best. Age of Empires is Microsoft's clone of warcraft 2. Until about 2005, FPS had very few innovations, and the core of the genre is nearly identical to what it was back in 1996.

We are at the divergent point, and there are a lot of good things to come, hopefully. It takes a while for a genre to deviate once it has been defined, especially when it's big and expensive and scary to build and invest in. There are already a wide variety of 'mmo' games that aren't MMORPGs, and they grow in number by the month.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius,

The problem with what you're saying is the massive development and upkeep costs for an MMO, made even worse by the fact that a themepark has to continually release new content to keep its subscribers interested. Thus developers have taken what they envisaged as a safe route, which was to copy WoW, (but stick in some gimmick that would apparently change the face of gaming for all time), as well as make their game as massive as possible.

Unsustainable, and eventually totally boring for most gamers with half a brain.

The sandbox market, however, has the distinct advantage of not needing huge development costs nor continual updates, as the players are the content. So maybe your dream can be realised in a sandbox world. One thing is for sure; the quality of player that a sandbox game manages to attract will have a bearing on the game's eventual success.

CEO, Goblinworks

There are MMOs for fantasy, science fiction, military combat, sports, and superheroes.

There are 3rd person and 1st person RPGs, platformers (MapleStory), RTS, FPS, and sports simulations.

I'm unclear what it is that you're waiting for.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:

There are MMOs for fantasy, science fiction, military combat, sports, and superheroes.

There are 3rd person and 1st person RPGs, platformers (MapleStory), RTS, FPS, and sports simulations.

I'm unclear what it is that you're waiting for.

I think everyone, in their mind's eye, has a vision for a "great" mmo. Since MMO's are so big, every single one will fall short of a personal ideal in one way or another. Then it comes down to how much of it you want to put up with the stuff you don't like versus the stuff you like.

Sometimes I'm convinced people ask for things in MMO's when they don't really know what they want. Myself included. So put in hats, Kentucky Derby style, or this game won't succeed!

Edit: Oh and I'm willing to give an SOE game another chance since Smed came right out on his Reddit AMA saying, "We screwed up SW:G, and I am so sorry for that." Immensely refreshing to see someone in the games industry admit to screwing up and learning from the mistake.

Goblin Squad Member

Urlithani wrote:
Quote:

There are MMOs for fantasy, science fiction, military combat, sports, and superheroes.

There are 3rd person and 1st person RPGs, platformers (MapleStory), RTS, FPS, and sports simulations.

I'm unclear what it is that you're waiting for.

I think everyone, in their mind's eye, has a vision for a "great" mmo. Since MMO's are so big, every single one will fall short of a personal ideal in one way or another. Then it comes down to how much of it you want to put up with the stuff you don't like versus the stuff you like.

Sometimes I'm convinced people ask for things in MMO's when they don't really know what they want. Myself included. So put in hats, Kentucky Derby style, or this game won't succeed!

Edit: Oh and I'm willing to give an SOE game another chance since Smed came right out on his Reddit AMA saying, "We screwed up SW:G, and I am so sorry for that." Immensely refreshing to see someone in the games industry admit to screwing up and learning from the mistake.

I agree that people don't know what they want, nor could they probably decisively agree upon any given concept for a new MMORPG to follow, but one thing I know they'd all play would be a game which allowed for true player influence within the game.

People will play an MMORPG regardless of balance, regardless of the speed of progression or the lack of PvE end game, interesting quests or arena ladders. For me, many of the things which we gauge modern day MMORPG games are not remotely any of the qualities which made previous MMORPG the games which we didn't play for 6 months - 1 year, but games which we came back to and lived in for many years.

Games need systems of power; the power to truly conquer land, to establish towns and cities, for roleplay to exist within the game community rather than a singular bubble of activity built somewhere within it. Elements of older MMORPGs which have failed to be carried into the new generation are due to negating the costs attached to include these elements of player freedom; the loss incurred in open pvp systems, the steep learning curves, the harsh player politics which favour the powerful over the weak and the difficulty to implement ideas such as player housing and player crafted item economies which were much easier to introduce in far simple game engines and systems.

Speaking for myself, I'd personally play any game which allowed me the power to put my stamp on the game world in a way in which my efforts would be recognised and influence both the game systems and the community. UO allowed me to do this in a hundred ways, Lineage 2 allowed me to do this in PvP and especially sieging, SWG, Shadowbane, Eve Online...Even vanilla World of Warcraft had the budding seeds of server wide player communities in PvP/PvE despite the massive artificial barriers put in place to soften them (horde/alliance language barrier, instancing the s~&# out of everything).

MMORPGs are now about participation and any and all orchestration has been diluted or removed completely. Give people the power to impose themselves in positive/negative/creative ways in which the ingame systems are the players themselves and you'll have a unique offering in the market, something that (apart from Eve Online) has been missing in the fantasy genre for a long time. Offer them the ability to participate in premeditated systems of little tangible influence (battlegrounds, arenas, raids) and you're offering more of the same in a losing battle with Blizzard.

Reading that last paragraph I realise that the things I complain about are things which tens of millions of people play, this is more a response to those cut from a similar cloth as myself who simply want a single MMORPG which delivers a freedom which we've had taken away from us.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

There are MMOs for fantasy, science fiction, military combat, sports, and superheroes.

There are 3rd person and 1st person RPGs, platformers (MapleStory), RTS, FPS, and sports simulations.

I'm unclear what it is that you're waiting for.

I game I can't solo comfortably (or at all) with a great friendly community. The occasional massive event to participate in. Plenty of personal goals to work on.

p.s. Yes, I realize you weren't directing that at me. Just thought I'd throw that in there in case it makes any difference =)

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

There are MMOs for fantasy, science fiction, military combat, sports, and superheroes.

There are 3rd person and 1st person RPGs, platformers (MapleStory), RTS, FPS, and sports simulations.

I'm unclear what it is that you're waiting for.

Well I can speak to the MMO's I've personaly played/tried...although it will only be my own personal preferences.

WoW vanilla - Played for 1.5 years. I enjoyed my time there. Thought it was extremely well done for what it was. Really not much bad to say about it. However much like a decent movie, it's something you consume and then you are done with...you don't want to keep going back to it year after year.

LOTRO - Played for 3+ years. I'm a huge Tolkien fan. Despite being a themepark, I felt they did a very good job translating the feel of Middle Earth into that format. Very well done content intialy and decent rate of updates. Content updates then slowed dramaticaly, leaving long periods of player stagnation with no new content(no surprise there I'm sure). New content/updates that were introduced got further and further away from Middle Earth feel and more toward generic "high fantasy MMO" in a conscious effort to broaden audience appeal to more generic MMO players thus killing the games biggest appeal for me. "Solofication" of game, dramaticaly reducing existing Group Play elements of game. Introduction of gear gated content/grinding. Most resources diverted away from game Development toward F2P model and cash shop. Cash shop started out ok, but incresed more and more to buying direct power, garish ever-presence in game world ruining immersion. Finaly even those of us who were full subscribers (V.I.P's) getting nickle and dimed to pay for extra's in the cash shop on top of our subscriptions to use the game fully. Straw that broke the camel's back.

WWII Online - Played 9 month's. Most in depth tactical combat model I've seen in a game so far. However, no real character development, RP elements. Vast but relatively static map...(i.e. You are stuck replaying Flanders in Spring of 1940, over and over again) with not enough diversity of experience. Extremely dated (10+ year old game engine). New minor updates implimented in the game tend to cause significant instability/bugs. Dwindling player base. End story, not enough to justify a $18 per month sub....might go back and play occasionaly now that they made it partialy F2P.

StarQuest Online - Played 4-5 months. Amazing to see what the tiny development staff did with such limited resources. However game is extremely buggy and unstable (I believe they run the server out of someones house or at the very most a server closet in thier offices). Huge amount of sand, but tiny player base with almost no players to share it with. Game cries out for Live/GM driven events but none happened in the whole time I was playing. Very group/team oriented but almost no players makes that difficult to work with. Activity largely relegated to extremely harsh (you can be killed while offline) and extremely one sided PvP (all the vets seem to be in one faction). Some extremely poor design decisions (botting and auto-clickers pretty much required to play) in certain game elements.

Games Tried....

UO - Was killed over a dozen times within 5 minutes of logging in after getting out of the character generator. Reoccured on 3 seperate occasions over the span of 3 days. Game uninstalled. Enough said.

STO - Absolutely abymsmal game design and implimentation.

Fallen Earth - Played beta for at least a few weeks. Almost bought it on release. Really impressed with the game design and many of the mechanics. Best crafting/resource model I've ever seen. Very excited PFO has one of the designers on thier Dev team. 2 big problems. 1 - I really, really dislike "Mad Max" settings/genre. 2 Game became almost unplayable to the point of crashing when I had more then 1 other player in my vincinity, that kills a big part of the draw of MMO's for me. Nice try.

TSW - Really cool concept/setting. Was very excited till I tried beta. Horrible combat....standard vanilla MMO combat really didn't fit the setting of modern fire-arm based combat. Felt like it channeled people into playing solo. Implimentation of content was horribly done, felt like it could have been written by 7th grader. End result...cool concept, horrible implimentation.

Probably missed a good dozen others in there, but that gives a bit of a feel for things at least.

Currently looking forward to...

PFO - Very excited by what you guys have described as game concept and most of the mechanics that have been discussed so far. Extremely impressed by your level of community interaction. Waiting to see how actual implimentation goes.

PS2 - Cautiosly optomistic about this title. I like FPS games and FPS style play. Playing with futuristic fire-arms is fun. I like a sci-fi setting...sounds neat. Designers are talking about all the right things. Three faction PvP sounds really good to me. Waiting to see actual implimentation.

That's about it right now..

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

There are MMOs for fantasy, science fiction, military combat, sports, and superheroes.

There are 3rd person and 1st person RPGs, platformers (MapleStory), RTS, FPS, and sports simulations.

I'm unclear what it is that you're waiting for.

Personally setting is not a huge deal to me. It's systems that I like to see variety in. If what PFO was promising is a clone of EVE in a fantasy setting I would have absolutely no interest in it at all. Thankfully you kind of have to change your game plan up a bit to implement EVE in a fantasy setting and have it be worth playing.

The problem is most games that diverge from the WoW model, or something typical of a non-MMO title + grind, are made by companies that do not have the resources to build a top rate MMO, and the one's made by major companies are always uninspired.

A great example of this is the MMORTS genre. I've seen two. Shattered Galaxies, and Age of Empires Online. Age of Empires Online is basically the bastard offspring of Age of Empires and WoW. They bring back all the familiar Age of Empires game modes and mechanics but implement leveling and gear tiers like your general theme park. Basically they added grinding to their existing model for Age of Empires... I find it very uninspired.

Shattered Galaxies on the other hand is very inspired. Never heard of it? I don't expect you would have, it's a minor title by a tiny company. However it does bring a lot of interesting stuff to the table and mix RTS and MMO's in a way that they actually complement each other and create something much deeper than an RTS+grind. They also have not released an update in about... 10 years I think, and their game is lacking a lot. You can't even make your units hold a formation while moving.

This is also the problem I have with 95% of the MMOFPS genre. It's mostly your general FPS plus grind. You play matches just like in a regular FPS and those give XP and cash which you can then use for better gear. That isn't really even an MMO IMO. There is nothing massive about the matching system. The only MMOFPS I can think of that really qualifies as an MMO by my standards is Planetside. The rest are just FPSRPGs. There may be others but Planetside is the only one I have ever seen.

One thing I really love that you listed is 1st person RPGs. I know of three. Darkfall, Mortal, and Wurm. I think you may have heard me mention them before... Every single one is a great game with an unfortunate downside. All of them are made by tiny little companies and suffer heavily for it. They have tiny populations, no advertizing, and it takes years to build features that would be considered pretty minor or essential in other MMOs. For instance in Wurm they announced excitedly months ago that because of a change to character models it would now be possible to make is so you can see the armor a player has equipped on their character model. Still waiting on that one.

So my problem is this when I am seeing MMO's it's things like:

Everquest (Original)
World of Warcraft (Clone)
Lord of the Rings Online (Clone)
The Old Republic (Clone)
Rift (Clone)
Secret World Online (Clone)
Terra Online (Clone)
Archlord (Clone, basement company.)
Knight Online (Clone, basement company.)
Perfect World (Clone, basement company.)
RF Online (Clone, basement company.)
Mech Warrior Online (FPS+grind, not a real MMO IMO)
Tribes Ascend (FPS+grind, not a real MMO IMO)
Age of Empires Online (RTS+grind, not a real MMO IMO)
Darkfall (Basement company, lacks resources.)
Mortal (Basement company, lacks resources.)
Wurm (Basement company, lacks resources.)
Xsyon (Basement company, lacks resources.)
Guild Wars II (Semi original)
EVE (Original)
Runescape (Original)
Maple Story (Original)

I would prefer a list that looks more like this:

Pathfinder Online(Original)
Everquest Next(Clone)
EVE (Original)
Star Citizen (Original)
Everquest (Original)
WoW (Clone)
Darkfall backed by major company (Original)
Mortal Online Backed by Major company (Clone)
Wurm backed by major company (Original)
Shattered Galaxies backed by major company (Original)

There is as much potential for the MMO market to have diversity as the single player market. There is no reason for the majority of major MMO titles being released to clone any one model. I mean at least vary up the model you are going to clone a little bit. Sure Mario and Commander Keen were similar in a lot of ways. But MMO is not a genre. MMORPG is a genre. It's time companies stop treating MMOs like they all share their genre with WoW and start targeting audiences who enjoy large persistent worlds with a variety of content types and combat models.

The reason these basement companies keep popping up and releasing MMO's that actually enjoy enough players to continue running despite the fact they have no advertizing and a dismally low amount of content is because there are A LOT of people out there unsatisfied with what the MMO market currently offers. It's time the major companies abandon their futile attempts to dethrone WoW with WoW clones that produce nothing but more and more FTP WoW Clones, take a risk, and embrace some original ideas for once.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
The problem is most games that diverge from the WoW model, or something typical of a non-MMO title + grind, are made by companies that do not have the resources to build a top rate MMO, and the one's made by major companies are always uninspired.

The safe investment bet over the long run is to copy what is successful. Companies will copy the success until it is no longer profitable. That would probably be now, since SWTOR failed.

I'm sure some of the games you listed, were they developing their game now, might have secured funding, but their ship has sailed.

On the other hand I'm sure many of the basement companies are basement due to design issues and philosophy. Some of them couldn't be successful even with more money or marketing.

Quote:
The reason these basement companies keep popping up and releasing MMO's that actually enjoy enough players to continue running despite the fact they have no advertizing and a dismally low amount of content is because there are A LOT of people out there unsatisfied with what the MMO market currently offers.

I think basement MMO companies fill in niches that attract a small player base with specific needs. Without money they can't make the content, but without content they can't make the money, but without money they can't make the content, but...etc.

So they find a profitable line, make cuts and get to the target by catering to a smaller player base. And that's good. I'm happy there are enough MMO's out there that people want to play.

Quote:
It's time the major companies abandon their futile attempts to dethrone WoW with WoW clones that produce nothing but more and more FTP WoW Clones, take a risk, and embrace some original ideas for once.

Well that's easy for you to say; it's not your money. :)

SWTOR, and also Curt Schilling, did the MMO industry no favors. Right now, MMO's just look like a bad bet. There's so many places you could invest with much less risk than an MMO.

Fans of the MMO genre should really be rooting for the next original MMO to succeed, whether it's EQNext, PFO, etc. It will open the doors for the rest.

Quote:
World of Warcraft (Clone)

Okay, I'll bite. A clone of what? :)

Goblin Squad Member

When people refer to World of Warcraft as a clone, it is not in reference to WoW specifically cloning a specific title, even if those claiming WoW as a clone tend to think so. It is more in the continuation of a trend of gameplay by Everquest triumphantly shut down with World of Warcraft.

The proof is in the pudding that no major company has remotely come close to launching a game which aspires to originality, despite every indicator pointing to an inevitable failure to meet investor expectations of securing any long term piece of the pie.

Goblin Squad Member

Urlithani wrote:
Andius wrote:


World of Warcraft (Clone)
Okay, I'll bite. A clone of what? :)

To me the rough translation of a WoW clone is this:

I'm describing a MMO where you start the game by picking a faction and a class and then creating your character. You likely are locked into that faction or class for the rest of the game but you certainly cannot go factionless/classless or create your own faction/class. The game may allow for mixing of classes.

After character creation you level your character up from 1 to max level mainly via questing or farming NPCs. Quests are the same for every player and you likely follow a storyline that you either have no control over, or very limited control over based on some very limited choices you are allowed to make. The world is designed by the developers and you have almost no ability to change it outside the possibility of a house of guild hall you might own somewhere.

As your character advances you get some sort of perks tree you can unlock to give limited customization to your character's talents.

Once you reach max level the game revolves around getting better gear via doing instances such as raids, or PVP.

The combat system involves targeting your enemy with tab, and then using an array of abilities that come with your class or are unlocked by your talent tree, one of which may be an auto attack ability.

I believe Everquest was the first game of this format making WoW and all WoW clones in-fact EQ clones. I couldn't say with certainty as I never played it.

What I do know is the game description I just gave is followed by:
WoW
LotRO
ToR
Rift
Aion

And many, many, many, more games.

That is an extremely limited format. There is room for A LOT of deviation from that format in a lot of ways. But few major MMOs do.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

There are MMOs for fantasy, science fiction, military combat, sports, and superheroes.

There are 3rd person and 1st person RPGs, platformers (MapleStory), RTS, FPS, and sports simulations.

I'm unclear what it is that you're waiting for.

VR-MMO personally ;)

You guys should see if oculus rift support could be viable in the future for PFO /grin

Goblin Squad Member

I've played:
Everquest
Star Wars: Galaxies
Vanguard
Everquest II
World of Warcraft - Only one I'm still subscribed to
Lord of the RIngs: Online
Champions: Online

Was in Beta for and subscribed:
Dungeons and Dragons Online
Age of Conan
Warhammer: Age of Reckoning
Aion
Star Wars: The Old Republic

Was in beta but did not/will not subscribe:
Star Trek: Online
Rift
Allodds
Tera
Mechwarrior: Online
A crappy game I can't remember the exact name of...had 'Rune' in the title
Final Fantasy XIV - ugh

When I first started playing, it was as the theme parks were becomming the norm. By the time I got into SWG, to take a break from EQ2, NGE had already happened, but it was still pretty much open, and sandbox-like. I missed the boat on UO and DAoC.
I guess my point here is from what lmited sandbox exposure I've had in my 14 year experience in MMOs, it's the one I would most like to recreate. I'm really looking forward to PFO, and hope it scratches the itch.
My experiences with SOE tell me they will try, and then hand the game over to someone who will screw it up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:

I believe Everquest was the first game of this format making WoW and all WoW clones in-fact EQ clones. I couldn't say with certainty as I never played it.

What I do know is the game description I just gave is followed by:

Having played both a great deal I can say that, on paper, the games look the same, but the execution of their similarly listed features makes the games night and day. (I'm talking about EQ back at its height, before WoW came out. You cannot compare today's EQ which has tried to emulate WoW in some fashion). There was nothing like WoW when it came out, so it can't really be a clone. EQ2 was pushed to release 3 weeks before WoW, but since these two fought head to head, they didn't really clone each other.

That is what I question the most, however: The execution. You could make a list of 10 features in an MMO, give the list to 3 different game studios, and the three games could be radically different.

CEO, Goblinworks

I played (and was involved in pretty deep analysis of) both games (and games that predate EQ), and WoW is most assuredly an EQ "clone".

At CCP, we defined the term "Monoculture" to refer to the games on this branch of the tree. The jump from EQ to WoW is much larger than the jump from WoW to most of the WoW clones, but it's still very clear that WoW was an iteration of the EQ design and not a fresh branch of the tree.

The differences are (from an analysis perspective) mostly skin deep. WoW's biggest innovation was in cleaning up the UI and the graphic presentation of the game space to the player.

All the major subsystems of WoW are in EQ, and nothing that is in EQ failed to make the jump to WoW.

Mechanically, EQ used player boredom as a scarce resource much more blatantly than WoW does. That created a very different "feel" to the game and that feel spawned a lot of social differences. Things like corpse running, sitting around waiting for mana to refresh, queuing up at spawn points or dungeon entrances, etc. had a big impact on the way the game was played but they are not mechanically different from what WoW delivered. WoW just reduced the amount of player boredom required to do many of the same tasks, and created a very different "feel" as a result.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It didn't feel like boredom tho. During those times people socialized, and the difficulty made it necessary to depend on other people. Having to wait made things more sweet when you actually accomplished something, unlike the instant gratification of more recent games. When you take all of that time, and the interdependence between the players away you take one step down the path that leads to what we have now in games like gw2.

Goblin Squad Member

While WoW surely is an EQ clone, there actually was a lot to improve on. In this WoW is "justifed" to having improved EQ.

So if a new WoW clone releases the community asks itself "is this the game that I wished WoW had been from the beginning?" and the answer has been no in 100% of all cases!

So it finally has hit home that you can't make big money on a WoW clone, ever, because there is nothing fundamental to improve while still staying in the gerne.

So the logical next step is to try a find a different game to improve upon and hope you become the industry standard in this genre.

For this EvE is a logical target as is World of Tanks.

#####
@misere
I agree with you mostly but we are simply a minority. Part of WoW sucess was that in it's first incarnation it mixed both elements quite well in the opinion of the masses.

Now most people I know admit that they don't really "like" WoW any more but that they still play it to support the guild in raids...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Im not saying things have got a little away from the point of online games but in my own small world of point of view. MMOs were once thought of as a way for friends to play a good game from far away. If you take away all the bells and whistles and just make a system where people can have fun and enjoy each others company even if it is a glorified chatbox with a number generator. You have made a good game! Thats all we want. To have fun and play a game and enjoy it not to feel we have to grind for hours to have epic gear to run the insaine mode dungeon because then it feels more like work. Why would we want that! We don't get paid we are paying you! why should it feel like work it is suppost to relax us not stress our lives more. (FYI Ryan this is directed to mmo's in general not you. your doin great!)As long as we have fun we will continue to play and yes we want competition we want a challage we want war! We even want a sense that we have acomplished something not for ourselves but with our friends that we hold dear weather they are our next door neibors or half way around the world. So yea in my world thats what I am waiting for in a game. Fun with people even if they are the naked monks trying to loot my gear on a suicide run just beacause it's fun,funny, and I get a good laugh for a few seconds of the day.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

So my problem is this when I am seeing MMO's it's things like:

Everquest (Original)
World of Warcraft (Clone)
Lord of the Rings Online (Clone)
The Old Republic (Clone)
Rift (Clone)
Secret World Online (Clone)
Terra Online (Clone)
Archlord (Clone, basement company.)
Knight Online (Clone, basement company.)
Perfect World (Clone, basement company.)
RF Online (Clone, basement company.)
Mech Warrior Online (FPS+grind, not a real MMO IMO)
Tribes Ascend (FPS+grind, not a real MMO IMO)
Age of Empires Online (RTS+grind, not a real MMO IMO)

Darkfall (Basement company, lacks resources.)
Mortal (Basement company, lacks resources.)
Wurm (Basement company, lacks resources.)
Xsyon (Basement company, lacks resources.)
Guild Wars II (Semi original)
EVE (Original)
Runescape (Original)
Maple Story (Original)

The problem I see is they aren't MMO's, nor did those games claim to be. So why are they even listed? The word Online doesn't mean they are making such a claim. It simply means the game is online.

Goblin Squad Member

thenoisyrogue wrote:

Andius,

The sandbox market, however, has the distinct advantage of not needing huge development costs nor continual updates, as the players are the content. So maybe your dream can be realised in a sandbox world. One thing is for sure; the quality of player that a sandbox game manages to attract will have a bearing on the game's eventual success.

Emphasis mine.

People can be jerks. Enormous jerks with the belief that their fun is directly proportional to how much they can make things un-fun for others.

MicMan wrote:

So it finally has hit home that you can't make big money on a WoW clone, ever, because there is nothing fundamental to improve while still staying in the gerne.

I agree.

I have never understood the fixation on the part of some players to discover a 'WoW killer'.

I don't mind that people are having fun playing a game that I do not play or no longer play. I just want to have fun playing what I am playing.

But I suppose it goes back to that first part up there... Some people will not be happy unless the people that enjoy WoW are unhappy.


Ryan Dancey wrote:
WoW's biggest innovation was in cleaning up the UI and the graphic presentation of the game space to the player. RyanD

Oddly enough I prefer EQ's ui over any other game to date. From a functional standpoint as well as aesthetics. One key difference to me is the separation of the spell bar from abilities that I have not seen repeated anywhere that comes to mind. It added a very unique feel to gameplay. Now I rarely consider if I'm casting a true spell or ability or weapon skill, they all appear the same with no distinction and that flavor is lost.

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