Elder Scrolls Online: Did They Commit Suicide?


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Goblin Squad Member

Very interesting conversation from these guys on the pitfalls of charging a subscription: http://www.ign.com/videos/2013/08/23/game-scoop-did-elder-scrolls-online-ju st-commit-suicide

They get all the reasons why that can be a mistake, mention EVE, but skip right over why folks are paying in EVE.

Goblin Squad Member

Why do so many posted links to other sites come across with spaces inserted? It doesn't always happen, but oddly often.

Goblin Squad Member

I personally prefer the subscription model. I tend to spend more money on F2P games....but maybe that proves your point.

Goblin Squad Member

Jazzlvraz wrote:
Why do so many posted links to other sites come across with spaces inserted? It doesn't always happen, but oddly often.

I may be mistaken but it seems to be for spam protection. If you manually add the url tags the link works just fine IIRC.

Goblin Squad Member

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Elder Scrolls Online committed suicide when they decided to make the game a traditional MMO in which developers create all the content for the players to consume instead of a game that empowers the players to create their own content. The subscription model is a great system for any game actually worth 15$ a month to use. The only point that has been proven is that theme-park games aren't worth 15$ a month.

Goblin Squad Member

Papaver wrote:
Jazzlvraz wrote:
Why do so many posted links to other sites come across with spaces inserted? It doesn't always happen, but oddly often.
I may be mistaken but it seems to be for spam protection. If you manually add the url tags the link works just fine IIRC.

Anything longer than a certain number of characters, whether it's a url or not, gets a space added. I think it has something to do with wrapping.


PLEASE keep ESO out of PFO... They've caused me enough misery already. And yes, despite having amazing people like Matt and Brian Wheeler, they comitted suicide, let's leave it at that.

Goblin Squad Member

If they can make their goal of putting out 15 hours of content every 4 to 6 weeks they may be just fine charging that subscription.

And before it even starts, unless you work for Zenimax and know first hand their content creation ability, stow the naysaying. Just because companies may not have been able to do it in the past doesn't mean that Zenimax hasn't created a process to actually pull it off.

Some day developers will find a way to push out content to keep the majority of themepark players happy. That day may come with ESO. Who knows. They think they can do it so we'll have to wait and see if they can.

The thing that will hurt ESO the most is how close it is or isn't to the single player game in terms of what a player can / can't do. ES IP fans are what are going to make or break the game. It'll launch like every TP since WOW, swell with numbers of fair weather MMO players for 3 months, then they'll migrate off and what'll primarily be left are ES fans.

Goblin Squad Member

Subscription-based games isn't the problem. The problems come when everyone "knows" that subscriptions equal suicide. And when marketing decides that you need ten million players to be a success. Or if your game just isn't very good.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Elder Scrolls Online committed suicide when they decided to make the game a traditional MMO in which developers create all the content for the players to consume instead of a game that empowers the players to create their own content. The subscription model is a great system for any game actually worth 15$ a month to use. The only point that has been proven is that theme-park games aren't worth 15$ a month.

I think Andius is right, here. If you choose: F2P (Rift), Hybrid (Wildstar) or P2P (ESO) they all appear to be Themepark mmorpgs to my eyes irrespective of payment model. Problems seem to be:

1. Transitory playerbase = less quality interaction and atmosphere and noticeable drop-off.
2. Server merges always sounds bad.
3. Conversion to F2P seems to wipe the investment of any P2P and seems more certain to happen to any given mmorpg.
4. If the sub fee is not high value interesting unique experience where single-player games seem to have more chance of being designed as that than the risky high cost mmorpg, then opportunity cost to spend that sub fee (particular if 15$ is *1 *2 *3 by 3 it's no different than burning 15$ for the novelty of the experience, particularly grindy games that monetize hard and then you have new releases in month 2 and 3 to try instead given there's only so much time.
5. This leads to mmos being high accessible low grouping requirement that leads 1.!

I was looking at Trials of Ascension an indie mmorpg with some neat ideas but also a forum with a nice group of people producing a good standard of interaction and atmosphere, though the kickstarter does not appear to be too successful so far. Yet I think these things add value to the product or more value for people exploring computer fantasy story options of entertainment. Yet it does not have good graphics and does not have investment for some risky game ideas with potential low polish (the blight of many interesting indie mmorpgs) so will lose out to the above three.

There's some interesting (but imo very limited to a particular field of study) economic analysis of subs for ESO: A (measured) defense of the subscription model

Sub works per player in that sense, but what about groups of players that clump together and how well they know each other etc?It seems to me half the fun is the other players be it a sports club or an online game. In one sport in various forms I spent a lot of time and money and fun (refing/coach, trialing for representation, running a club, managing a competition) and half the fun is the players and how sociable it is that makes the hard work and commitment worth it (if you decide to do more than just be a player). One thing that really dislike about mmorpgs by comparison is how random the people are who find a game to play together. It would be like the sport I was involved with dealing with horse-race gamblers coming along to play and wanting to put money on and not knowing the rules etc or some other suitable analogy where you say: "Here, the betting-shop is over there on the corner of this street name - you're not even interested in this sport let alone this club or even this team!!"

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Elder Scrolls Online committed suicide when they decided to make the game a traditional MMO in which developers create all the content for the players to consume instead of a game that empowers the players to create their own content. The subscription model is a great system for any game actually worth 15$ a month to use. The only point that has been proven is that theme-park games aren't worth 15$ a month.

Which is what I thought was interesting in the interview--these are pretty knowledgeable gamers, but they haven't made the connection between pricing models and game models.

Goblin Squad Member

It's true that I at least don't see how a new game could produce 15$ worth a content every month. But still I prefer that ESO went that way. I think there are enough Elder Scroll fans to keep the game going for quite a while.

Although I have to say a game without dwarfs is no game. LoL :)

Goblin Squad Member

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Avena, that's a great read. I really like the discussion of cost per hour, and it occurred to me that the offline experience aspect of PFO's model is an additional benefit that lowers my (relative) cost ph. As a more causal (older, cohabiting, professional, etc.) gamer I'm going to have (relatively) less time to consume content in any game, making my cost ph go up. But I'm also paying a higher cph in terms of gaining exp, which has related effects.

In a traditional AAA game, I'm paying the same price as serious gamers for content, but also the power progression that structures access to more content, and even more importantly (for me) access to social networks. In PFO, I'm paying a relatively high cph for in-game playing time, but we're all have the same cph for access to content and social networks.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

I thought ESO was realm vs realm vs realm, like Dark Age of Camelot was? That might get some folks who miss the RvRvR aspect of DAoC, but aren't interested in going back to a game that dated. There are some who like having set teams and set opponents, but may be tired of the 'cowboys & indians' WoW style with only 2 sides. It might carve a niche.

Goblin Squad Member

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I think it is a mistake to evaluate a game based on its business model.

Goblin Squad Member

V'rel Vusoryn wrote:
...how close it is or isn't to the single player game in terms of what a player can / can't do.

Don't forget the impact that modding has on Elder Scrolls games. How many folks like the vanilla PC versions enough to play only those?

Goblin Squad Member

Keovar wrote:
I thought ESO was realm vs realm vs realm, like Dark Age of Camelot was? That might get some folks who miss the RvRvR aspect of DAoC, but aren't interested in going back to a game that dated. There are some who like having set teams and set opponents, but may be tired of the 'cowboys & indians' WoW style with only 2 sides. It might carve a niche.

For a limited time only. The majority of those folks are going to the other former Mythic developer's game which IS the spiritual successor to DAoC, Mark Jacobs' Camelot Unchained. It is all PvP (little to nil PvE) and three Realms.

Goblin Squad Member

Jazzlvraz wrote:
V'rel Vusoryn wrote:
...how close it is or isn't to the single player game in terms of what a player can / can't do.
Don't forget the impact that modding has on Elder Scrolls games. How many folks like the vanilla PC versions enough to play only those?

Very true. Zenimax is going to have to make good on their 4-6 week content turn around time as well as offer up something unique to substitute what modders get out of the single player experience to keep those ES modder fans.

In all honesty I'll give the game a spin as PFO won't be out or even EE started when t launches. I like their visuals if anything plus it'll give me a change to experience some of that world as I have not played any ES game to completion, and only one of them about 1/4 way.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Elder Scrolls Online committed suicide when they decided to make the game a traditional MMO in which developers create all the content for the players to consume instead of a game that empowers the players to create their own content. The subscription model is a great system for any game actually worth 15$ a month to use. The only point that has been proven is that theme-park games aren't worth 15$ a month.

I 100% disagree. I believe the market for Themepark MMOs is still going strong. The subscription may hamstring them, but they are likely to survive for a little while and will probably eventually add Free to Play options. I highly disagree with that the point has been proven, as despite the fall-off, the $15/month theme park known as WOW is still the largest subscription MMO out there. The problem with competing in the space is that WOW is still the largest subscription MMO out there and little true innovation has happened such that that crown could be wrested away. Everyone always tries to compete through copying. The problem with MMOs now that a king is established is that you cannot just draw someone in. You have to draw their friends as well. Otherwise they get bored and return to join there friends back in 'old established game'.

The Social Network is the second largest barrier to an MMO game's success. The primary barrier is setting your subscription expectation to be realistic and budgeting appropriately. If you expect to nab 5 million subs in the first year at $15 a pop, you are not being very realistic unless WOW completely shuts down.

If they are asking for $15 with the thought they can finally knock off wow, they will be going F2P pretty quickly. But their edge is the Console Market. I believe there is a lack of F2P for Consoles at the moment to compete with, but that belief could be from lack of exposure.

There is certainly less competition for Sandbox gaming and room to shine, but that is matched by the fact that the market is also smaller at present.

CEO, Goblinworks

Here's the problem with Elder Scrolls Online.

The game will cost between $100 and $200 million to make. Let's assume $150 million.

Being generous, let's say they get 1 million people to play it. That's more than any MMO in 10 years except GuildWars 2 and Star Wars Old Republic.

Let's say the average player buys 3 months of game time. Let's say the revenue from selling the game is $40/unit. So the lifetime value is $95. (These are pretty standard industry figures).

Game earns $100 million during the spike.

The initial surge passes, and they retain 100,000 to 200,000 average subscribers. Let's say 150,000. $2.25 million a month. $27 million a year. Less operating costs the game makes $10 million a year (optimistically).

Total 5 year profit: $0

Now here's the problem:

Cost to develop Skyrim - about $50 million.

Units sold: ~6 million @ $40/unit

Virtually no operational costs. No customer service. No billing. No hosting.

Total 5 year profit: $190 million.

Why, if you are Zenimax, do you get into the MMO business?

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan, they also have a cash shop.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Here's the problem with Elder Scrolls Online.

The game will cost between $100 and $200 million to make. Let's assume $150 million.

Being generous, let's say they get 1 million people to play it. That's more than any MMO in 10 years except GuildWars 2 and Star Wars Old Republic.

Let's say the average player buys 3 months of game time. Let's say the revenue from selling the game is $40/unit. So the lifetime value is $95. (These are pretty standard industry figures).

Game earns $100 million during the spike.

The initial surge passes, and they retain 100,000 to 200,000 average subscribers. Let's say 150,000. $2.25 million a month. $27 million a year. Less operating costs the game makes $10 million a year (optimistically).

Total 5 year profit: $0

Now here's the problem:

Cost to develop Skyrim - about $50 million.

Units sold: ~6 million @ $40/unit

Virtually no operational costs. No customer service. No billing. No hosting.

Total 5 year profit: $190 million.

Why, if you are Zenimax, do you get into the MMO business?

Because someone has sold them that they can pull and retain a large portion of that 6 million units sold fan base and hold them in an online world. Where you have 150,000 subscribers someone has told them they will have 2.5 to 3 million based on fan brand loyalty.

Too many companies think their IP has that something that others who have tried and failed in the recent past didn't. They think the IP will carry them while they used tired old themepark mechanics that 95% of the MMO playing base have figured out and are bored with it.

Goblin Squad Member

That cash shop only means continuing revenues if people stay past the spike. What themepark since WOW has not experienced a spike/drop?

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
I think it is a mistake to evaluate a game based on its business model.

This right here.

I've played a little of the beta in a stress test, and I think its shaping up well. I'll say no more, for fear of violating the NDA.

From what I've seen (in articles and dev diaries), ESO bridges the gap between the traditional theme park MMOs and what PFO is trying to do.

The "real game" is the three-way war for the imperial throne, which has to do with holding control points (forts and the like) in contested territory. This is persistent, even between "seasons" (don't know what seasons entail, personally). After all the theme park content is played through, you enter the territory game for your faction, maybe even becoming the Emperor/Empress!

Goblin Squad Member

@ Mr. Dancey: I know it's anecdotal, but I can see ESO being optimistic about having a higher initial spike and keeping significantly more players than your estimates. I can think of three people off the top of my head who finished Elder Scrolls once or twice and then gave it to someone else who loved it. Every person I've ever known who played a sub based MMO compared their hours of fun every month to the price of a movie. What if they pull off 10-15 hours of new content/month? The first time I went thru The Stockade in WOW it was as good as being in an action movie myself. The second, still a kick. Then it became the grind for gear drops...

Goblin Squad Member

V'rel Vusoryn wrote:
-snip-Too many companies think their IP has that something that others who have tried and failed in the recent past didn't. They think the IP will carry them while they used tired old themepark mechanics that 95% of the MMO playing base have figured out and are bored with it.

Scott Hartsman (ceo, Trion) answered this question over at mmorpg.com:

1) when do we get back the necessity to socialize in mmorpgs?

1. Honest answer - When enough people vote with their feet that's the type of game they want to play -- That that aspect is so much more important to them than any other, that they gravitate toward games that contain that type of gameplay, in large numbers. To date, the opposite has proven the case, despite many attempts at including strong interdependency in different elements in many games.

3) at which point will investors get that quality makes more money in a long run?

3. They absolutely do get that. What they also need, though (since they're responsible for every dollar they choose to invest), is certainty that a game will make enough of a return to justify the cost of high quality. That's a difficult bet to make. They have bosses too - When they make bad bets, they lose out the same way that you or I would lose for doing poorly at our jobs.
Unfortunately, spending large sums does not always equate to the kind of quality that is guaranteed to generate returns on their investment. (Remember: That's their one job.)
Add on to that that quality alone does not always equate to success. (e.g. You could get knocked out by 2 other quality titles releasing the same month, who just happened to spend 10x more on marketing than you could.) Things start to get more complicated.
It's a huge reward if you can make it through those risks, but those risks tend to be pretty extreme.

4) if you, trion worlds, intent to develop a new mmog (read some rumors about) how would you compensate the explosion of costs (i guess it nearly quadruplicated in the last ten years) to present us a high quality game?

4. By experimenting with different types of development and starting out by taking more risks across less expensive games, probably across multiple games over time.

My conclusions:

- The stickiness of groups of players was/is not understood enough (but with analytics it probably will be more so) ie measuring subs individually when perhaps a whole guild breaks up and move on?

- The high risks have doomed mmorpgs with big budgets to make IP-skin same design as others which accelerates the design towards the opposite of what was asked in 1. ie more solo-style accessible, return money faster games; which seems to make them even more forgettable and possibly worse social fun? IE a bad launch is possibly a loss-maker yet a good launch then bad tail could be rescued as much as possible. Which makes it even worse thinking to have every single feature perfect for the big launch.

- Ryan could be onto something!

CEO, Goblinworks

@V'rel Vusoryn - I suspect thus is what happened.

They convinced themselves they could make the game for less than $100 million. They were a Hero Engine licensee, like BioWare, and like BioWare they thought that half the work was already done. Like BioWare they discovered that wasn't true, so they ended up having to make a big investment in tools. They also probably thought that the tools they had built for Skyrim/Oblivion + Fallout were going to be easily ported to the MMO environment (in the same way that BioWare thought its tools from KOTOR would port). That would save time & money. And like BioWare they discovered that those tools were the tip of the iceberg.

They also convinced themselves that they could take and hold more than a million accounts. They (like BioWare) thought that their success in console titles exposed an audience of PC gamers in the millions. And they convinced themselves that they could keep those customers engaged for a long time - maybe a year or more. Those numbers are much higher than the numbers I described above.

They go into development with those assumptions, but swiftly see their production costs inflate. And pretty quickly they pass a point where they have to continue almost regardless of what it costs to finish, because they can't convince themselves to walk away from the sunk costs.

They will find their revenue assumptions challenged on release. Right now, there's not a lot of people inside Zenimax who are going to say the game will perform at the top of the AAA theme park market - they have to believe they'll outperform that top by 2 or 3x. Anyone who doesn't isn't going to be kept on that team. They won't be able to enunciate how this will be done except in generalities: our IP is better, our Skyrim audience will follow us to the MMO, the people leaving WoW will flock to the new hotness, etc.

You could knock me over with a feather if they turn out to be right.

CEO, Goblinworks

@theStormWeaver - let me ask you a question.

Imagine you are playing golf. You and your friends play 17 holes. To get from hole to hole requires you to invest huge amounts of time and effort to master each new hole before you can advance to the next. Maybe you've put over 100 hours into reaching and mastering hole 17.

This game has self-selected for people wh like this kind of game. Those who don't have quit before the 17th hole. The more holes you play, the more likely those who are playing with you are in love with this golf format.

You get to hole 18, and you're told "now play football!"

What do you think happens?

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:
"now play football!"

Tackle him!!!

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

@theStormWeaver - let me ask you a question.

Imagine you are playing golf. You and your friends play 17 holes. To get from hole to hole requires you to invest huge amounts of time and effort to master each new hole before you can advance to the next. Maybe you've put over 100 hours into reaching and mastering hole 17.

This game has self-selected for people wh like this kind of game. Those who don't have quit before the 17th hole. The more holes you play, the more likely those who are playing with you are in love with this golf format.

You get to hole 18, and you're told "now play football!"

What do you think happens?

And many will go play Football. They will play it until the end of the 4th quarter, or perhaps and expansion or two (overtime) and then Soccer season will begin. They will leave football for soccer, until something else comes along.

This is understood by all in the Theme Park MMO market. You average causal player will play a game for about 6 month and then move on. Sure they may return for when they go F2P, or they may never return, having gone to too many other games since then.

CEO, Goblinworks

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@Bluddwolf - the theme park games migrate you from " running dungeons alone or in small groups" to "running dungeons in small or large groups". The transition from "solo" to "group required" is one of the triggers of the cliff. A lot of people want to play a solo experience in a multiplayer world and when the solo content ends, they quit.

How much worse will the cliff be when the conversion is from theme park dungeon crawling to an eSport?

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

@theStormWeaver - let me ask you a question.

Imagine you are playing golf. You and your friends play 17 holes. To get from hole to hole requires you to invest huge amounts of time and effort to master each new hole before you can advance to the next. Maybe you've put over 100 hours into reaching and mastering hole 17.

This game has self-selected for people wh like this kind of game. Those who don't have quit before the 17th hole. The more holes you play, the more likely those who are playing with you are in love with this golf format.

You get to hole 18, and you're told "now play football!"

What do you think happens?

Let me ask you a question.

Have you heard of DAoC?

Goblin Squad Member

Papaver wrote:

Let me ask you a question.

Have you heard of DAoC?

What worries me about RvRvR is that it was fresh at the time but now it's a bit gamey and pointless, at least WvWvW in GW2 seems a bit of a zerg let-down; lacking "realm pride" or something? Perhaps CU will do a better job (bigger, better forts to create and a community of daoc fans who are only after that?)?

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:
A lot of people want to play a solo experience in a multiplayer world and when the solo content ends, they quit.

And surprisingly, other people want a multiplayer experience and can't have it until cap level so they quit even earlier. That's pretty much my story with TOR.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
The transition from "solo" to "group required" is one of the triggers of the cliff. A lot of people want to play a solo experience in a multiplayer world and when the solo content ends, they quit.

There's a lot to this.

In most MMO Theme Parks, grouping is a net negative. Your XP gets cut because of how much "easier" it's supposed to be, but that doesn't count the frustration of being in a group with someone who has no idea what they're doing, or who is frequently AFK, or any number of other social costs to grouping.

In PFO, I hope that doing something in in a group is always at least as profitable as doing it solo...

CEO, Goblinworks

Papaver wrote:


Let me ask you a question.

Have you heard of DAoC?

Peaked at 250,000 subscribers, plateaued, collapsed in 24 months. Team acquired by EA, built Warhammer Online with same realm v realm thesis. That game peaked at 800,000 subscribers, collapsed below 100,000 within 12 months.

Let me ask YOU a question: if RvR is such a great idea, why not just build that game and skip the $100+ million Theme Park?

Mark Jacobs, who created DAoC and Warhammer is doing that with Camelot Unchained. What does the guy who has already done this twice before know that Zenimax doesn't?

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Papaver wrote:


Let me ask you a question.

Have you heard of DAoC?

Peaked at 250,000 subscribers, plateaued, collapsed in 24 months. Team acquired by EA, built Warhammer Online with same realm v realm thesis. That game peaked at 800,000 subscribers, collapsed below 100,000 within 12 months.

Let me ask YOU a question: if RvR is such a great idea, why not just build that game and skip the $100+ million Theme Park?

Mark Jacobs, who created DAoC and Warhammer is doing that with Camelot Unchained. What does the guy who has already done this twice before know that Zenimax doesn't?

Bingo!

My guess, as it is the most glaring part of CU's design, is the near total elimination of PvE. That in itself cuts millions of dollars in development costs. Interesting that that is pretty much the same as making a "sandbox" game instead of a themepark (ESO).

CEO, Goblinworks

I think RvR will work as a platform. It requires a tremendous focus on balance. My time in the CCG world taught me how hard it is to understand the critical path to balanced game design. If they nail it, they'll have the MMO equivalent of LoL or a World of Tanks.

It will take someone like Jacobs, who has seen the pitfalls, to get it done, I think.

I don't get the sense that Zenimax has that DNA.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
It will take someone like Jacobs, who has seen the pitfalls, to get it done, I think.

This really stands out to me.

What problem might Ryan's experience with EVE have prepared him to solve? I think I know :)

Goblin Squad Member

I've enjoyed all of those games...
SWTOR, WOW, EQ, EQ2, GW2, AoC, WAR...
EQ/EQ2 held my focus for the longest of all of them (a combined 5 or 6 years).
AoC by far the least.
I still play SWTOR and GW2 regularly, when time permits.
There's nothing wrong with these games, other than you get tired of them after a while. I don't know that there is a cure for that, for any game.

Goblin Squad Member

Kryzbyn wrote:

I've enjoyed all of those games...

SWTOR, WOW, EQ, EQ2, GW2, AoC, WAR...
EQ/EQ2 held my focus for the longest of all of them (a combined 5 or 6 years).
AoC by far the least.
I still play SWTOR and GW2 regularly, when time permits.
There's nothing wrong with these games, other than you get tired of them after a while. I don't know that there is a cure for that, for any game.

I don't think anyone's arguing Game X sucks. We're getting at "Industry Model X" sucks, or is at least woefully outdated--that a business strategy where you invest hundreds of millions of dollars with little chance of recouping the investment is maybe not such a good idea.

Goblin Squad Member

Kryzbyn wrote:

I've enjoyed all of those games...

SWTOR, WOW, EQ, EQ2, GW2, AoC, WAR...
EQ/EQ2 held my focus for the longest of all of them (a combined 5 or 6 years).
AoC by far the least.
I still play SWTOR and GW2 regularly, when time permits.
There's nothing wrong with these games, other than you get tired of them after a while. I don't know that there is a cure for that, for any game.

In terms of game design, they're been successful at attracting lots of players who enjoy the core combat-quest-progression emphasis. I'm just looking for a more simulation virtual worlds design and hoping it's feasible to see what it's potential can be.

Goblin Squad Member

As a concept I think an open world where players can freely attack each other is still quite uncharted. If you nail the gameplay and rules of engagement with such a game, that could carry a lot of interest in the gaming society. If you could range all the colors or shades of gray ranging from non-consensual open world pvp to a full pve themepark game with no pvp and implement some kind of motive for players to look after each other in that game it would be quite interesting. I think I have my rose goggles on. :)

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

@Bluddwolf - the theme park games migrate you from " running dungeons alone or in small groups" to "running dungeons in small or large groups". The transition from "solo" to "group required" is one of the triggers of the cliff. A lot of people want to play a solo experience in a multiplayer world and when the solo content ends, they quit.

How much worse will the cliff be when the conversion is from theme park dungeon crawling to an eSport?

Personally what I dislike most about theme park MMOs are the raid dungeons and the mentality that they breed. The whole concept of "End Gane Content" for me is alien, so I take the term "End Game" literally and quit once I've reached it.

I have a signature motto in EvE Online " Searching for End Game since 2004, and still haven't found it".

What I don't like about the changes in EvE these past two years or so is the shift from small gang PvP, especially in Hi and Low Sec to Null Sec alliance backed Zerg Fleets only.

What I'm hoping GW learns from all of the previous theme park MMO failures is that the players create the content and the characters are the end game. I know this has been stated by you and other Devs as well, which is why I'm here and why I backed the KS.

One word of warning based on what I've heard about ESO, beware of allowing players to belong to more than one faction or be a citizen of more than one settlement. Allowing for slot loyalties in a PvP environment does not enhance its meaningfulness, it obliterates it, IMO.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
the theme park games migrate you from " running dungeons alone or in small groups" to "running dungeons in small or large groups". The transition from "solo" to "group required" is one of the triggers of the cliff. A lot of people want to play a solo experience in a multiplayer world and when the solo content ends, they quit.

I know that I for one fall in this category. My intend is to play until I reach the group is needed content wiether it be pvp or dungeon and then go back to waiting for Pathfinder to come out.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Let me ask YOU a question: if RvR is such a great idea, why not just build that game and skip the $100+ million Theme Park?

Something I thought about when reading this I am probably wrong but here goes... one possible reason they are going with the 100+ million dollar theme park is because the feed back they are receiving from tester and leaders of the big guild they are in touch with are telling them that the player wish to have pve content. If they are trying to bring to mmno the folks who play their solo game would they not expect some pve content cause that what they are use to.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

I've enjoyed all of those games...

SWTOR, WOW, EQ, EQ2, GW2, AoC, WAR...
EQ/EQ2 held my focus for the longest of all of them (a combined 5 or 6 years).
AoC by far the least.
I still play SWTOR and GW2 regularly, when time permits.
There's nothing wrong with these games, other than you get tired of them after a while. I don't know that there is a cure for that, for any game.

I don't think anyone's arguing Game X sucks. We're getting at "Industry Model X" sucks, or is at least woefully outdated--that a business strategy where you invest hundreds of millions of dollars with little chance of recouping the investment is maybe not such a good idea.

Part of the issue here is that markets are percentage based. A huge company is expected to make a profit relative to their overall revenue. The big company has to go big in order to even have a chance of meeting expectations. A big company that decides they want to build slow and steady is going to get nailed in the markets, regardless of game mechanics. Going so big is very Risky. So the big companies look at what has been done in order to figure out how to mitigate that risk and get in on the existing cash cows. Thus we get very similar games.

Smaller companies are actually able to mitigate their risk by going in with lower expectations. They can start small and focused, allowing for control over budget, and require less buy-in and retention to return their investment and begin making a tidy profit.

I could be wrong, but I have a definite sense lately that the MMOs with the most % of profit compared to budget are coming from smaller companies, and when the big companies try to muscle in on the action by trying to leverage their huge budgets, they are finding they cannot compete. Their huge budgets are not leading to a comparable increase in player retention. What feeds the toy poodle will starve the mastiff.

Not to mention the present market saturation. Theme parks are a viable model. There is just too many of them out there competing for the same players. Sandbox currently sees less competition, but will ultimately see similar trends. The market will grow, and as big companies recognize this, they will try to establish their own Sandbox titles to snatch up the market share. If one of them gets lucky and gains a stable player base of several million, the clones will roll out. The smaller companies will be able to get enough players to do okay, but the big companies will try and fail to dethrone the existing 'winner'.

Goblin Squad Member

CaptnB wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
A lot of people want to play a solo experience in a multiplayer world and when the solo content ends, they quit.
And surprisingly, other people want a multiplayer experience and can't have it until cap level so they quit even earlier. That's pretty much my story with TOR.

That's a very important point to make. The reason I quit most MMO's isn't because I run out of content but because the content is a barrier between me and the experience I actually want to play, and it's then a barrier for every friend I have coming into that game unless I want to reroll and grind through it all again with them.

Low barrier to entry and the fact I can train multiple roles on one character rather than re-rolling and grinding back to the top a billion times is one of the major selling points of PFO to me.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:
...being in a group with someone who has no idea what they're doing, or who is frequently AFK, or any number of other social costs to grouping.

I've never minded helping someone learn a game they're unfamiliar with, provided they're interested in learning it. The social aspect that's let me down so often is when I'm the learner in something like a group-required dungeon, and the "teacher" just wants to sprint through the content to reach whatever-it-is that's his goal.

Nothing like the feeling of being cannon fodder to make one go back to solo, or to change games if you've run out of that.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jazzlvraz wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
...being in a group with someone who has no idea what they're doing, or who is frequently AFK, or any number of other social costs to grouping.

I've never minded helping someone learn a game they're unfamiliar with, provided they're interested in learning it. The social aspect that's let me down so often is when I'm the learner in something like a group-required dungeon, and the "teacher" just wants to sprint through the content to reach whatever-it-is that's his goal.

Nothing like the feeling of being cannon fodder to make one go back to solo, or to change games if you've run out of that.

That is one thing I always hated. I always liked to take it slow or at least moderate speed in 'dungeons' but 1 or more people just want to run through the whole thing.

Goblin Squad Member

Banesama wrote:
Jazzlvraz wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
...being in a group with someone who has no idea what they're doing, or who is frequently AFK, or any number of other social costs to grouping.

I've never minded helping someone learn a game they're unfamiliar with, provided they're interested in learning it. The social aspect that's let me down so often is when I'm the learner in something like a group-required dungeon, and the "teacher" just wants to sprint through the content to reach whatever-it-is that's his goal.

Nothing like the feeling of being cannon fodder to make one go back to solo, or to change games if you've run out of that.

That is one thing I always hated. I always liked to take it slow or at least moderate speed in 'dungeons' but 1 or more people just want to run through the whole thing.

Early on, The Seventh Veil decided it would be lots of fun to have special RP Dungeon Crawl Events. I really liked that idea, and still think it would be lots of fun.

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