The Decline of MMOs ~ by Richard Bartle (May 2013)


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Goblin Squad Member

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The Decline of MMOs ~ by Richard Bartle (May 2013)

Quote:

Abstract:

Ten years ago, massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMOs) had a bright and exciting future. Today, their prospects do not look so glorious. In an effort to attract ever-more players, their gameplay has gradually been diluted and their core audience has deserted them. Now that even their sources of new casual players are drying up, MMOs face a slow and steady decline. Their problems are easy to enumerate: they cost too much to make; too many of them play the exact same way; new revenue models put off key groups of players; they lack immersion; they lack wit and personality; players have been trained to want experiences that they
don’t actually want; designers are forbidden from experimenting. The solutions to these problems are less easy to state.

Can anything be done to prevent MMOs from fading away?

Well, yes it can. The question is, will the patient take the medicine?

Goblin Squad Member

We've already seen many of those problems pointed out by Ryan and co., which says to me they're paying attention to their market as they should be instead of developing a game "with blinds on" like so many others seem to.

Goblin Squad Member

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Yeah...there just gets to be a point that I just stop caring about the games I am playing because of the repetition and the fact that while they might have little differences here and there....it's the same game I just played. I hit max level...now I am just grinding gear. STO, SWTOR, WOW, AOC, RIFTS, it's all the same thing.

My biggest disappointment was SWTOR. I did play it for a while, have several toons max level. But to have the kind of team and financial backing they did and making something so unoriginal is a crime. It looked great, and although the stories are completely Rail Road and my actions made no difference, it was at least a little interesting...but that was it. When you find yourself running a new toon and doing Taris for the 10th time...it gets old.

Goblin Squad Member

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AND SWTOR PVP was a joke. They gave no incentives to PVP on the planets, so hardly anyone did it, so everyone just did Arena matches. Because we all know how often Darth Vader used to challenge the rebels to a great game of Huttball.

Goblin Squad Member

The long list mentioned by Valtorious, and it could be longer, is why I decided when I first heard of PFO, that I would from the very start focus on PVP.

My fear of doing too much of the limited PVE content would be that very early on PFO will feel like the other MMos that I have tried and whom failed to keep my interest.

Lantern Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I ran into the same issues with SWTOR as Valtorious. After you played the character through twice you had pretty much depleted the stories it had to tell and reduced the game down to mindless violence.

Each new game to come out targets what they see as the majority of players by including the major features that they want... but I feel that they fail to see that everybody wants more than the major features. The major features are the things all of us share that we desire in a game, but the niche and quirky features we like are what makes a game fun and keeps us coming back.

So while the big Christmas event or huge raid that everyone takes part in may be fun, in the long run it becomes repetitive and boring unless we can do the quirky "Name a duck" quest or if there are no mini games in the world like snowball hunting in the woods.

We all demand a good combat system, a robust crafting system, a robust economy, good social tools while we are in world. We all need a wide variety of things to do, so that we never feel like we are just grinding to get to noplace.

So I don't think that PVP by itself is enough to save a game, at least not to me. That becomes to much like an FPS game.. the models and special effects may be different, but the plot devolves to kill the other guy before they kill you.. over and over again.
Boojum the brown bunny


I think they all tried to be the next WoW, and in doing so set themselves on a path of failure.

Plus, all MMOs seem to move like a school of fish. Swimming from the latest 'hot' trend to the next, while they desperately try to appease everyone to boost revenue.

Now it almost seems like they are more concerned with extracting as much money from the player base as possible in the shortest amount of time. Short term profits over long term stability. I can understand the concept of an in-game store and a la carte, but the focus should be on trying to develop a stable subscribed game that will actually last for awhile.

More no lumbering dinosaurs, just a lot of small, fleet footed critters.

Goblin Squad Member

I think we have to give SWTOR a little credit for at least trying to innovate in how stories are told in MMOs. Compared to so many samey grindfests, it was presented in a working, if familiar and antiquated package, but it was really dressing for what they were trying to do; deliver high quality story content to the MMO market. I'm happy to see that SWTOR is still going, since it did at least take 1 big risk as opposed to the masses of WoW clones. However if you ever played the foundry... yeah.

My biggest pet peeve about MMOs, and this is especially prevalent in WoW, is that when you have really cool characters from the source material, you don't make their end fate to be the last boss in some noobie dungeon. Or, as I found when I did a trial of WoW during cataclysm, reduce a major story character that had been missing to a quest NPC for starting characters (Furion Stormrage in the night elf zone). It's kind of like how in Space Jam, Micheal Jordan would have been chained to a life of signing autographs all day and losing at basketball to snotty kids. It kills the image of the character and makes the developers look like they don't respect their IP, or the characters we players care about.

Goblin Squad Member

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The MMO market has been on company after another copying WoW. The WoW niche is incredibly profitable, but WoW has that entire share of the Market and players aren't going to leave it any time soon. The only real way to be successful in MMO is to not do what WoW does. You find an entirely different target audience and you cater specifically to that audience.

I would recommend new inventive and creative styles of gameplay, but the biggest focus really needs to be not like WoW.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

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The problem with MMOs is the problem with most AAA video games only taken to the next level.
Graphical technology keeps increasing and the potential of games follows suit. So you have to keep making games that look better, which takes longer and requires more people and generally takes more money. Sit through the credits on any major video game; the number of people involved is staggering.
Back in 1996, it took six people eighteen months to release the first Tomb Raider game. The 2013 reboot took five years and 51-200 employees. A comparable amount of content but three times the time to make and potentially ten times as many people.

This is why early access is so big in video games now, you can start offsetting the huge development costs earlier.
I don't see that lasting long, as it's already beginning to be abused. People are going to get sick of playing buggy unfinished games and being burned by games that simply were not ready, even by Early Access standards. And once you have some crashes, likely from games that launch early at a discount and then don't sell at launch because everyone's seen the game, Early Access will become rarer.

MMOs have it worse than other games, as they have the same concerns but have to add in server costs and maintenance, class balance, and generally a larger scope. They can't skimp on the content which means even more costs and development to generate content. But players still consume the content just as fast (if not faster; MMOs tend to be easier as people cannot just load/reload to continue, so you need to have fewer "cheap" deaths).

Traditional MMOs are a big hole you shovel money into and never see again.

Had Warcraft not come along things might have continued a little longer. There would have been more small MMOs. People might be more willing to play longer. But with Warcraft always present and releasing new content, people play other MMOs between content updates in Warcraft, so there's a push to rush through the new MMO's content, to get your money's worth before returning to WoW. WoW also standardized things a little much. Previous MMOs were diverse and, well, wacky in design. Warcraft came along and said "here, let me show you a better way", with far, far less grinding, quicker advancement, obvious quests, cheap fast travel, a cleaner UI, and so much more. So innovation shrank, because Warcraft did it all so well, so cleanly.
It's hard to even remember what MMOs were like back pre-WoW with steep death penalties and regular grinding for the smallest scrap of xp. The pain of death in EQ where a bad string of luck could wipe out hours (or days) of work and cost you all your gear.

Goblin Squad Member

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Rokolith wrote:
It kills the image of the character and makes the developers look like they don't respect their IP, or the characters we players care about.

I think players would like options to be ordinary adventurers who the player can write their own story on eg become a farmer, pirate, lord, second-hand item repairer/seller etc - not "The One" just like everyone else.

Goblin Squad Member

I actually have a lot of respect for what was attempted with Planetside 2. A novel approach to the MMO experience, but they shift to far toward arena death match FPS style and the game ended up lacking any real depth. It was all about the Zerg Rush and Meat Grinders.

I actually had a lot of fun sneaking around behind enemy lines and prepping enemy bases to be attacked and my efforts generally payed off with multiple enemy bases falling in a matter of minutes. But it was easy and unrewarding work, nobody was ever there to defend the bases, and the in game pay off for me was extremely small. Also in a hour all of my work was going to end up undone as the tide of war shifted and my alliance was pushed all the way back across the continent.

In the end it was a game about killing others and taking there territory with no incentive to actually hold that territory.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:
Rokolith wrote:
It kills the image of the character and makes the developers look like they don't respect their IP, or the characters we players care about.
I think players would like options to be ordinary adventurers who the player can write their own story on eg become a farmer, pirate, lord, second-hand item repairer/seller etc - not "The One" just like everyone else.

?

I was referring to named story characters from the IPs, not PCs

Goblin Squad Member

Rokolith wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:
Rokolith wrote:
It kills the image of the character and makes the developers look like they don't respect their IP, or the characters we players care about.
I think players would like options to be ordinary adventurers who the player can write their own story on eg become a farmer, pirate, lord, second-hand item repairer/seller etc - not "The One" just like everyone else.

?

I was referring to named story characters from the IPs, not PCs

1. Use A-listers to liberally populate the world.

2. Make players feel like gods

All for a narrative that is an excuse to run the core game of quests etc.

Unfortunately if you give players the freedom to write their story, then you can't have A-listers who's story you can't change. I think they're incompatible?

You know if PFO have some Notable NPC's, then get a dev to run the NPC in character to drive some sort of change to the map. You get the problem mentioned before such as crowds swarming to see such an uber being bringing down the server was a problem highlighted!!

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:
Rokolith wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:
Rokolith wrote:
It kills the image of the character and makes the developers look like they don't respect their IP, or the characters we players care about.
I think players would like options to be ordinary adventurers who the player can write their own story on eg become a farmer, pirate, lord, second-hand item repairer/seller etc - not "The One" just like everyone else.

?

I was referring to named story characters from the IPs, not PCs

1. Use A-listers to liberally populate the world.

2. Make players feel like gods

All for a narrative that is an excuse to run the core game of quests etc.

Unfortunately if you give players the freedom to write their story, then you can't have A-listers who's story you can't change. I think they're incompatible?

You know if PFO have some Notable NPC's, then get a dev to run the NPC in character to drive some sort of change to the map. You get the problem mentioned before such as crowds swarming to see such an uber being bringing down the server was a problem highlighted!!

I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand. Do you mean that you think that static story NPCs and theme-park content (AKA Thrall in the throne room giving every other guy that walks through the quest to save the land) keep players from affecting the story of the world? If that's what you're saying, I agree.

For the second part of your post, I don't think I understand your point there either. Are you saying that if the story is more fluid and in control of the players, and the NPC is played by a developer in an event that becomes part of the permanent lore of the game's world, that it will cause server crashes? If that is what you mean, then I think that it probably would not be a problem, if the developers expect increased server load for an event they can prepare.

As far as the Devs playing roleplaying important NPCs in real time, I'm of the opinion that it has alot of potential to be cool. The monster casting is going to be something like that I'd wager, but likely with no long term story implications. Has anybody ever herd of an MMORPG using Dev ran NPCs to great effect? I know some MUDs do this to great effect, but on a larger scale?

Goblin Squad Member

Exactly, the best A-lister characters, to do them justice to their own laws of their lore (!), need to be used sparingly and at point of most impact imho. But they're used because they're popular in roles unsuitable: I'd want them to appear only if they effect change to the story significantly or to the player significantly.

I'm saying if PFO has some Notables the only way I can see them being used in a way that does them justice is if a Dev drives one and is part of some big war for a period of time as an aid to some cause. But there's the danger the whole "world" would be "wow!" and charge in to see... because I think then such a character would be "one of a kind" experience worth of being a part of the story.

End result: Otherwise they're always going to be a disappointment: A bit like how people usually remark about meeting a famous actor in real-life: "I thought they'd be taller." ;)

The common trope in movies is saving the world/universe: You're never going to top that if you want to do a sequel for a super-hero movie: They really need to do: "A life in the day of..." Dredd did that quite well actually.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:

1. Use A-listers to liberally populate the world.

2. Make players feel like gods

All for a narrative that is an excuse to run the core game of quests etc.

Unfortunately if you give players the freedom to write their story, then you can't have A-listers who's story you can't change. I think they're incompatible?

You know if PFO have some Notable NPC's, then get a dev to run the NPC in character to drive some sort of change to the map. You get the problem mentioned before such as crowds swarming to see such an uber being bringing down the server was a problem highlighted!!

When I was a young pup, I played MicroArmor as well as RPGs. Off-board artillery was part of our builds.

So the notable NPCs from the IP can be present in "the world", referenced in faction missions and the like. But they could be off-board; outside of the River Kingdoms. Especially outside of the Pharasma-marked areas of the River Kingdoms. (I'd think that this bit with Pharasma-marked individuals being resurrected repeatedly would be of great interest to notable characters in the IP, but until it is understood, they wouldn't be wandering about.)

Goblin Squad Member

That's a great idea Urman. Definitely. I hope we do see some named characters with great lore that Paizo can muster for lower-level NPC's is fine - bonus if some names are randomly generated.

It would be sensational to see an iconic make confetti of some army in a battle one day in the life of the River Kingdoms... The day a legend walked into town, the chroniclers will get their quills busy with.

=

That was a big tangent. Depth as per Bartle, I think if EE can attract sufficient players, then the feedback + adding systems could be a good way to achieve this: I suspect the depth takes time to develop is maybe why we don't see it (bar eve) in most 3d mmorpgs?

CEO, Goblinworks

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Without question the biggest factor right now is the cost of graphics. Not only do MMOs have a voracious appetite for graphics but the fans expect that new games keep up with the best quality of the current generation or go beyond it. That created a feedback loop that pushed the cost from $10 million per game to $100 million per game, and now $200 million plus for Star Wars and Elder Scrolls.

Those prices are unsustainable at current levels of engagement. That's why there are no "WoW" style AAA MMOs in development after Elder Scrolls and WildStar.

It will be an uphill battle every day with Pathfinder Online to get people to look past the graphics and see the game.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

Without question the biggest factor right now is the cost of graphics. Not only do MMOs have a voracious appetite for graphics but the fans expect that new games keep up with the best quality of the current generation or go beyond it. That created a feedback loop that pushed the cost from $10 million per game to $100 million per game, and now $200 million plus for Star Wars and Elder Scrolls.

Those prices are unsustainable at current levels of engagement. That's why there are no "WoW" style AAA MMOs in development after Elder Scrolls and WildStar.

It will be an uphill battle every day with Pathfinder Online to get people to look past the graphics and see the game.

As with many things, moderation is the key. Dropping down to the high-quality level of 10 years ago is fine, but making the difference between orcs and dwarves be the texture applied to the same model is excessively cost-conscious. *cough*DarkfallUnholyWars*cough.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:

Without question the biggest factor right now is the cost of graphics. Not only do MMOs have a voracious appetite for graphics but the fans expect that new games keep up with the best quality of the current generation or go beyond it. That created a feedback loop that pushed the cost from $10 million per game to $100 million per game, and now $200 million plus for Star Wars and Elder Scrolls.

Those prices are unsustainable at current levels of engagement. That's why there are no "WoW" style AAA MMOs in development after Elder Scrolls and WildStar.

It will be an uphill battle every day with Pathfinder Online to get people to look past the graphics and see the game.

As with many things, moderation is the key. Dropping down to the high-quality level of 10 years ago is fine, but making the difference between orcs and dwarves be the texture applied to the same model is excessively cost-conscious. *cough*DarkfallUnholyWars*cough.

lol!

Goblin Squad Member

I think a good counter that pays back in the long term is good community.

It's a common enough question on mmorpg forums, where to find the best community. I'm surprised Bartle did not mention it in fact: The social value of the mmorpg: I suppose indirectly by mentioning Griefers. But the opposite is true: By how social the game is it's better for retention.

Goblin Squad Member

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An excellent article which pretty well sums up why I am currently not playing any MMO but looking forward to what PFO may be able to offer.

The one particular issue plaguing MMOs I would like to highlight is the lack of depth. What MMO developers need (in my opinion) to realize is that not all game mechanics need to have a unique graphical representation in the virtual world. Sometimes just being able to see the numbers somewhere is quite enough. Of course if you are going to have a 3D world and avatar based movement/combat system, those need to be implemented at a certain minimum level.

As a side note, today one of the top sellers on Steam was a single player city building game, which had (apparently) been developed by a team consisting of one person. Now imagine how immersive the kingdom/settlement building aspects of a sandbox MMO could be, if even half of the algorithms used in such a game could be incorporated to an MMO (even if almost exclusively on the level of numbers only)?

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Without question the biggest factor right now is the cost of graphics. Not only do MMOs have a voracious appetite for graphics but the fans expect that new games keep up with the best quality of the current generation or go beyond it. That created a feedback loop that pushed the cost from $10 million per game to $100 million per game, and now $200 million plus for Star Wars and Elder Scrolls.

Those prices are unsustainable at current levels of engagement. That's why there are no "WoW" style AAA MMOs in development after Elder Scrolls and WildStar.

It will be an uphill battle every day with Pathfinder Online to get people to look past the graphics and see the game.

Stylistic graphics can help and are something few video games take advantage of, opting for realism.

WoW does quite well with its anime inspire art and style that is simpler and so less graphically intense.
There's also cell shading. One game that does that well is Borderlands 2, which has this simple sketchy hand-drawn style that looks good without being as graphically intensive as other games.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Stylistic graphics aren't significantly less labor-intensive to create. They look better because the current level of 'realistic' graphics is on the far slope of the uncanny valley.

Goblin Squad Member

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To me too many game focus on graphics at the expense of game play.

For an MMO this is a killer.

Sure the bright flashy graphics might draw someone to make the initial purchase, which is fine for a one shot console or standard pc game, but in order to survive a MMO needs people interested for years, not weeks.

The gameplay and player interaction is where the focus needs to be in MMO development.

You can have all the flashy graphics you want but if there is no gameplay for EE and the only interaction is mindless, pointless pvp I have concerns that there will be too many contenders for peoples time for PFO to last through EE.


Summersnow wrote:

To me too many game focus on graphics at the expense of game play.

For an MMO this is a killer.

Sure the bright flashy graphics might draw someone to make the initial purchase, which is fine for a one shot console or standard pc game, but in order to survive a MMO needs people interested for years, not weeks.

The gameplay and player interaction is where the focus needs to be in MMO development.

You can have all the flashy graphics you want but if there is no gameplay for EE and the only interaction is mindless, pointless pvp I have concerns that there will be too many contenders for peoples time for PFO to last through EE.

It will survive through EE, if for nothing else than the fact that everyone in it have commited through KS or some other way of paying.

These people will also know what EE will mean.
They are not just random Joe picking up yet another MMO.

Goblin Squad Member

Cirolle wrote:

It will survive through EE, if for nothing else than the fact that everyone in it have commited through KS or some other way of paying.

These people will also know what EE will mean.
They are not just random Joe picking up yet another MMO.

I really hope this is the case, but I worry - based on some of the misconceptions that were common during the Kickstarter - that there might actually be a significant number of backers who actually don't have appropriate expectations.

Goblin Squad Member

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One thing I find interesting is how PFO is going to be using a "capped monthly enrollment" system for the EE phase, and how that is different from the majority of "open the floodgates" system many other MMOs use in their beta testing phase.

I believe it will make a significant difference in how the game is played, the community it forms, and the marketing/word of mouth, especially if GW keeps its open communication/development participating with the PFO as it has been doing so far.

Combine that with the thinking process the developers have shared in their blog and forum posts, their intended game audience and their MVP approach, this game might be one of the next generation MMOs that break the mold that has lead to decline in participation and interest in these types of games, as mentioned in the article of this thread.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I really hope this is the case, but I worry - based on some of the misconceptions that were common during the Kickstarter - that there might actually be a significant number of backers who actually don't have appropriate expectations.

I do not share your worry. There are many level of backers and their information level, those who aren't paying attention, don't read, or participate in the community will have whatever expectations they already have; nothing can be done for them if they don't make a minimum effort to learn.

Casual players will learn about the game (official information, participating in the community and/or playing the actual game)and adjust their expectations accordingly.

Hardcore gamers already know about the game and its expectations (using available knowledge)and are already here.

Why worry? The Game Developers/GW will make a reasonable effort to promote their game via all social media channels, the PFO community will do their part to set expectations and teach new players, and people who play the game will learn what works or not. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Well, I'll certainly do what I can to try to make accurate information available :)

Goblin Squad Member

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I see it as this:

first off, ABSOLUTELY we will be dedicated players, look around you.

second this will be absolutely positive system of constructive gameplay and ideals. We are going to be forging this world as our own from a near blank slate. Like if a mechanic is b@d and a lot of people say so then GW is going to CHANGE IT! That is the whole point.

I can't help but be excited, and while understand your concern I think it is unnecessary. Anyone who has been along thus far knows what they are going to be getting into, at least in terms of development. It is a minimum (read unfinished) product. It works, but only just, and it is our job to help fill it up and flush it out.

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

Without question the biggest factor right now is the cost of graphics. Not only do MMOs have a voracious appetite for graphics but the fans expect that new games keep up with the best quality of the current generation or go beyond it. That created a feedback loop that pushed the cost from $10 million per game to $100 million per game, and now $200 million plus for Star Wars and Elder Scrolls.

Those prices are unsustainable at current levels of engagement. That's why there are no "WoW" style AAA MMOs in development after Elder Scrolls and WildStar.

It will be an uphill battle every day with Pathfinder Online to get people to look past the graphics and see the game.

For what's worth, I don't care about fancy graphics- I turn them down whether or not I need to. I'd much rather have a fun game than a pretty one with boring gameplay. That is why I have no problem firing up the old SSI Goldbox games or Baldur's Gate games to play- they are far more fun to play than most modern RPGs even if the graphics are archaic.

Goblin Squad Member

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Traianus Decius Aureus wrote:
For what's worth, I don't care about fancy graphics- I turn them down whether or not I need to. I'd much rather have a fun game than a pretty one with boring gameplay. That is why I have no problem firing up the old SSI Goldbox games or Baldur's Gate games to play- they are far more fun to play than most modern RPGs even if the graphics are archaic.

Totally agree. I do the same thing. The old SSI games are by far my favorite RPGs to date as well as the original Bard's Tale games.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm rocking an i3, and lord knows what on graphic cards to match.

There isn't a game that has been made in my lifetime that I can play on above minimum!

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

BrotherZael wrote:

I'm rocking an i3, and lord knows what on graphic cards to match.

There isn't a game that has been made in my lifetime that I can play on above minimum!

You must be REALLY young!

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

Well, I'll certainly do what I can to try to make accurate information available :)

Yes, I would not want to be you when the EE-emails start to get sent out. :D

I think the Nihimonicon is great. It would even be greater if all available information would be put in some sort of searchable FAQ or searchable PDF with an index. And upgraded off course....not implying you should do it, since this would be a humongous task.

How about a wiki? Maybe it is time to start one now, there is a Pathfinder Wiki but not a PFO wiki. We could all contribute, share the load.

Goblin Squad Member

Tyncale wrote:

I think the Nihimonicon is great. It would even be greater if all available information would be put in some sort of searchable FAQ or searchable PDF with an index. And upgraded off course....not implying you should do it, since this would be a humongous task.

How about a wiki? Maybe it is time to start one now, there is a Pathfinder Wiki but not a PFO wiki. We could all contribute, share the load.

First, a wiki is definitely in the works. Personally, I just can't bring myself to put a lot of effort into indexing the information we have when it's changing so radically and so rapidly. My current plans are to start seriously documenting and categorizing all the information I can get once I'm in Alpha. I'm still trying to work out a reasonable way to keep track of the various things that need to be changed when that information changes.

For what it's worth, The Seventh Veil's Library of the Cæruxi and PFOFan.com's wiki both currently exist, but they're about as unpolished as PFO itself :)

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:

For what it's worth, The Seventh Veil's Library of the Cæruxi and PFOFan.com's wiki both currently exist, but they're about as unpolished as PFO itself :)

There are a few loremasters out there working behind the scenes to update those databases for the benefit of all... :)

Goblin Squad Member

Giorgo wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
For what it's worth, The Seventh Veil's Library of the Cæruxi and PFOFan.com's wiki both currently exist, but they're about as unpolished as PFO itself :)
There are a few loremasters out there working behind the scenes to update those databases for the benefit of all... :)

And we thank you, Giorgo, and the others who are working to make this community project a reality.

Goblin Squad Member

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For an example of a good wiki for an ever-changing game, the Minecraft Wiki. I agree that Alpha is a good place to start cataloging data; at the moment there isn't enough concrete info available, so all of your articles will be pitiably small, total conjecture, or both.

Goblin Squad Member

Drakhan Valane wrote:
BrotherZael wrote:

I'm rocking an i3, and lord knows what on graphic cards to match.

There isn't a game that has been made in my lifetime that I can play on above minimum!

You must be REALLY young!

Certainly depends, but yet I am 19. I was just saying compared to modern specs. Clearly it is better than the laptop I have that my grandfather built from spare parts he took after coding Boieng's systems. I was just commenting vs. modern day areas.

Goblin Squad Member

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Here's how I'd make an MMO.

Have the choices a character makes not go away, and be as unique as possible.

Be an a@*!&+~? It'll reflect in how the NPCs treat you in the future.

Be a nice guy/gal? Same again.

Kill everyone and everything in the room? Same again, the NPCs will know you as a kill 'em all type of person.

Use Diplomacy to get through? Same again.

Use Illusions and Charm spells? Same again.

Have gear be something that's useful but not character-defining.

Have players make everything that they'll need, rather than the teeth-grinding frustration of the RNG system, which only ever seems to sodomize the player base in an effort to make them play longer.

A setting where the pretty races are not always good, and the ugly races are not always bad.

Morally grey choices, in addition to the White Knight and the Black Assassin choices.

Your starting race decides your class, your nominal faction and your starting location, but once you finish the obligatory training chain-quest, you're free to head on over to the other side of the border and work on being their guy, rather than working for your starting faction.

Oh, hey, guess which developing MMO hits most of these wants of mine?

Pathfinder Online.

Don't fall into the pit that WoW's dug for the genre, guys. You've got a solid backing with the Pathfinder Setting, now it's just a case of getting everything sound mechanically. We believe in you, as the Kickstarter proved, as the furious debates on these forums prove, as we'll continue to prove in the future.

We know you won't let us down.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The neat thing about PFO? Most of those "NPCs" will end up being fellow players. Best AI in the world--the kind that ain't A.*

*And, in the case of some, ain't I, either. ;D

Goblin Squad Member

Companies have used the same tools to control player behavior...levels, quest hubs, zones, identified character levels, visible gear escalation...the list goes on.

None of those are necessary, and they take a lot away from the open world experience IMO. Another trope in the bucket...everyone uses the same toolkit, so no matter where you go the experience seems very familiar.

I don't know the $ cost, but it seems nuts for every new game to have a staff cranking out graphics (not the overlay, but the skeleton beneath) at substantial cost when this has been done a hundred times. Game companies are paying for the same thing in a different box at 20 different companies. Why don't these people talk to each other and share the expenses so they can all stay alive instead of cannibalizing each other, only later to be consumed themselves?

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Banesama wrote:
Totally agree. I do the same thing. The old SSI games are by far my favorite RPGs to date as well as the original Bard's Tale games.

If you have an iPad (not sure about the mini one), there's a Bard's Tale game for it which also includes the three older ones. You can also get an app version of Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. Every now and then I look to see if there's a port of Pool of Radiance, but the search just comes up with games claiming to be inspired by it in some way. Portable gaming and updates of retro games seem to be where the growth is, as electronic gaming spreads laterally more than vertically.

As I no longer have HD vision, I don't care about graphics much, as long as the developers aren't expecting me to read tiny text or recognize a lot of poorly-differentiated symbols at a glance.

Goblin Squad Member

Pax Keovar wrote:
Banesama wrote:
Totally agree. I do the same thing. The old SSI games are by far my favorite RPGs to date as well as the original Bard's Tale games.

If you have an iPad (not sure about the mini one), there's a Bard's Tale game for it which also includes the three older ones. You can also get an app version of Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. Every now and then I look to see if there's a port of Pool of Radiance, but the search just comes up with games claiming to be inspired by it in some way. Portable gaming and updates of retro games seem to be where the growth is, as electronic gaming spreads laterally more than vertically.

As I no longer have HD vision, I don't care about graphics much, as long as the developers aren't expecting me to read tiny text or recognize a lot of poorly-differentiated symbols at a glance.

I have the re-releases of the AD&D SSI games plus the Eye of the Beholder series. All three Bard's Tale games and Dragonwars (that was suppose to be Bard's Tale 4), all the Ultima games, as well as some others that worked on Win XP last time I played them. They possibly still work with Win 7.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

The SSI games all work on Win 7 via DOSbox.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Banesama wrote:
Pax Keovar wrote:
Banesama wrote:
Totally agree. I do the same thing. The old SSI games are by far my favorite RPGs to date as well as the original Bard's Tale games.

If you have an iPad (not sure about the mini one), there's a Bard's Tale game for it which also includes the three older ones. You can also get an app version of Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. Every now and then I look to see if there's a port of Pool of Radiance, but the search just comes up with games claiming to be inspired by it in some way. Portable gaming and updates of retro games seem to be where the growth is, as electronic gaming spreads laterally more than vertically.

As I no longer have HD vision, I don't care about graphics much, as long as the developers aren't expecting me to read tiny text or recognize a lot of poorly-differentiated symbols at a glance.

I have the re-releases of the AD&D SSI games plus the Eye of the Beholder series. All three Bard's Tale games and Dragonwars (that was suppose to be Bard's Tale 4), all the Ultima games, as well as some others that worked on Win XP last time I played them. They possibly still work with Win 7.

I'm familiar with GOG and similar sites, but I was referring to looking for the SSI Gold Box games in iPad form. There are plenty of other things I'm likely to be doing while sitting at a full computer, but there are many other situations in which I can play an app game which I wouldn't drag my PC around for (it's technically a laptop, but it's an Alienware gaming one heavy enough to be more like a semi-portable desktop system).


Keep opening this thread, hoping to find someone discussing Bartle

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Community / Forums / Paizo / Licensed Products / Digital Games / Pathfinder Online / The Decline of MMOs ~ by Richard Bartle (May 2013) All Messageboards

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