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The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
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Scarlet Thread Offline
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Post: #1
The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
Firstly I'd like to state that I currently have no intention of making an mmo now and in the future. I am simply just interested in what people think about the current state of the mmo world at this current point in time.

This question stems from the fact that over the last few days I've been looking around at all the recently released mmorpg games and I am really struggling to find any one of them to be worth playing (recent not old)... there just seems to be so much going wrong in the mmo world right now and It's frustrating. I think this might be one of the reasons why so many people want to make mmo's... probably because the big companies just keep doing it wrong and are trying to make too many people happy at once just for a quick money grab...

So without further ado, I'd like to ask everyone what their opinion is of the mmo's (relatively recent i.e. released last 2-3 years) at this point in time. I'd ask that everyone please be respectful of one another's opinions as I have no intention of discussing opinion wars. Sure we may disagree but please agree to disagree if the discussion gets too heated. So I'll start first by saying what I dislike about mmo's at the moment (more specifically mmorpg's). (Please note I realise some of these may be personal preference but I'm interested in your opinion so please bare with me)


Gimmicky Innovation - This one really frustrates me a lot... Companies are throwing out gimmicky innovations which seem cool to begin with but end up being a total bore. one example in my opinion are the so called "random" events that occur in games like Guild Wars 2 and Rift. These "Random" events occur so often and are so similar that they may as well just not exist. I'd prefer developers just stop promising this rubbish and just come to grips with the fact that it just isn't as good as it sounds. I find it to be no more fun than fixed quests and possibly a little more frustrating. They are simply fixed quests that you have to wait for rather than dynamics. Artificial dynamics you might call it.

Gimmicky Combat Innovations - I'm getting rather tired of all these innovations in combat systems. I believe that it is possibly and attempt to reach a larger target audience but I believe that it is ruining many games. For example, I don't mind the action style combat of Tera but it severely limits the number of abilities in the game making it so much more shallow in terms of combat thinking. Guild Wars 2 is another major offender... only 8 abilities on your bar at any one time... I filled up my ability bar by level 15 and the other abilities you learn as you go aren't very special... there just isn't enough depth to keep me interested. After being really excited about the action style games and new innovations, I have become highly disappointed at how they actually turn out to be detracting from the game. I have finally decided I prefer the target and click system like in Aion and other older style games. Give me 100s of abilities please... what? its hard to balance says the developer... but that's your job stop taking shortcuts.

Great starting area... but the rest is bland - nuff said...

Great graphics but bad gameplay - (eg. The Secret World... horrible gameplay) nuff said..

Great Gameplay but bad graphics - I'm tired of the excuse that the networking part of mmo's means that you can't have good graphics. It's absolute rubbish. Graphics isn't streamed through the network so it makes little difference. I think developers take advantage of a lot of players not understanding this.. look if there are 1000 players on the screen I'll simply turn the settings down.. no need to perma-nerf it.

No.... you are not the chosen one - Please developers... please please please stop making everyone the chosen one! It's blatantly obvious that we aren't chosen. (Eg. AOC - yes we all killed the Grim Grey God... 8 times over with different characters but we get killed easily by other players and simple dragons... what! but I'm supposed to be a chosen one! why is it that I as a solo player can kill a god but with 24 players we struggle to kill a single dragon... cmon)

Excessive Customisation - This is probably personal but it ruins the game for me when someone has bright green hair, pink skin and they are about 1 foot tall and as fat as anything. I passionately hate this, however, I realise this is a personal preference. I'm not against customisation but I believe that it should not be so customisable as to make the game look bad. If you want midgets... or small people make a race specifically designed to look good at that size (eg. in Tera the mini race.. I forget what they are called).

The gap between player input and character reaction - Have these multi-million dollar projects ever heard of client side prediction? Obviously not, I hate having that disconnected feeling. Even though I live in Australia and my Latency isn't great I can see a massive difference between games. Guild Wars had one of the worst disparities in this area but Aion on the other hand had a nice connection as well as Age of Conan. The Secret World is another major offender here.

Everything should be able to beat everyone... Why? - The constant whining of communities that everything should be balanced... or rather balanced in their favour is what it actually seems to be most of the time. It's a multiplayer game for crying out loud, you are supposed to play with other players to offset your weaknesses. This is mostly a problem with MMO communities, however, it truly becomes a problem when game developers stuff around too much with balance to try make people happy. I want to see a game that states from the very beginning that, "Hey, rock has an advantage over scissors and scissors can punish paper, heck even paper hurts rock."

Personal Stories - NO... please nooo! Again, I'm not the chosen one I don't need a personal story of how my character rises to power. I would prefer any day for the story to be a corporate story... The story of your faction, the kingdom from which you are taking part in. Star Wars did a good job at telling a story but by about level 25 I was bored to tears of all the excessive dialogue. Sure it was fully voice acted but really If I want story I'll play a single player game, I don't like talking to NPC's for 5 mins each time cuz they just won't shut up about their pet rhinobirddog that is hungry and needs feeding! I think the money spent on the voice acting in Star Wars would have been better spent on making the game actually fun after the first 10 levels.

If you made it this far and read all that rant then congratulations. I doubt I would have myself. apologies wink I could go on for a much longer list but I'll leave it here.
(This post was last modified: 07-26-2013 06:36 AM by Scarlet Thread.)
07-26-2013 06:33 AM
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Rubeus Offline
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Post: #2
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
I will agree with most of your list. I've tried a LOT of MMOs, and I find the "cookie-cutter + gimmick" approach nearly insulting. Yes, I bought Guild Wars 2, and I had some fun with it, but most of my fun came from exploring. I found the events dull and the PVP just boorish.
Game balance to most devs means that every character should be able to handle any situation. If you are going to do this, just make it a single-player game. "Let's play this game together separately."
One point I disagree with you on is the customization. When I play a multiplayer game, I like to have an entirely unique character and I love when I don't ever see 2 characters that look the same. I wish the gameplay for APB was better, because I spent many hours just customizing my vehicles and character. You could run down the street and see 50 players including Ronald McDonald and the Hulk, with no 2 even coming close to looking the same.
(FYI, I just started playing The Secret World. Your comment about the terrible gameplay worries me. :-/ )
Over all, my grade for MMOs is a D. I don't think they completely fail, but they are all too afraid to break away from the formulas that 'work'. This seems to be a problem with most creative markets these days. Games, movies, TV, etc etc etc
07-26-2013 01:33 PM
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aceio76 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
@Rubeus, I think he was referring to 'extreme' customizations that break game immersion. The ability to look like an 80's punk rocker (pink hair, etc) in a medieval fantasy RPG should not be allowed.

However, good observation regarding the issue the creative side of the entertainment medium have--they are reluctant to break the so-called "tried and tested".

Good write-up by scarlet thread... and since I think many of us agree on even the finer points that scarlet thread wrote, the bigger question to us indie devs is: Why are many of us so reluctant to band together to take advantage of the opportunity that this brings? I agree that it's a "career suicide" to make an MMO by yourself if you rely on making games to make a living, but as a larger team of indie devs, do you still think it such a daunting task to create a meaningful enough "MMO" game product?
(This post was last modified: 07-26-2013 02:06 PM by aceio76.)
07-26-2013 02:02 PM
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Scarlet Thread Offline
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Post: #4
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
(07-26-2013 01:33 PM)Rubeus Wrote:  (FYI, I just started playing The Secret World. Your comment about the terrible gameplay worries me. :-/ )

Hmm it is possible that it has improved though It was pretty darn bad when I started playing it.

(07-26-2013 02:02 PM)aceio76 Wrote:  @Rubeus, I think he was referring to 'extreme' customizations that break game immersion. The ability to look like an 80's punk rocker (pink hair, etc) in a medieval fantasy RPG should not be allowed.
Yes that is what I mean. I think in APB it is appropriate for its modern age. Don't get me wrong I love unique customization, and in APB the game is highly suited for that kinda thing... I spent hours customizing my char and I do believe it had green hair as well. But when you are fighting a midget that is literally 1 foot tall in Aion wielding a 5 m long polearm its just stupid and he looks like elvis presly then something is just wrong.

Also I do actually love MMO's despite that rant... well I love what they are capable of.. Though 98% of them disappoint me these days.. Its been about 4 or 5 years since I've played one that really held me for a long time.

(07-26-2013 02:02 PM)aceio76 Wrote:  Why are many of us so reluctant to band together to take advantage of the opportunity that this brings? I agree that it's a "career suicide" to make an MMO by yourself if you rely on making games to make a living, but as a larger team of indie devs, do you still think it such a daunting task to create a meaningful enough "MMO" game product?

Well if I could have a team of highly skilled artists I would consider it. My greatest fear would be making a cool mmo and not having the graphics to back it up. Yes I know graphics isn't everything but to me it makes a big difference. The other thing about this is it can be so hard working with other people for free who you've never met, are in different time zones and have varying nagging RL problems. The fact that no money is earned during development means the jobs that actually pay us have to make us win. idk... If someday I stumble upon a bunch of artists that were willing (HAH! lol likes thats ever going to happen Ken) then maybe I'd consider it.
(This post was last modified: 07-26-2013 02:29 PM by Scarlet Thread.)
07-26-2013 02:20 PM
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Nito Vermilion Offline
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Post: #5
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
I think the point of "everyone should be able to do everything" is some of the worst mistakes in the mmorpgs right now. Because as you said if I wanted that I just play Single Player Modes and not online.

Also features like auction house, dungeon finder and such keep the social idea of mmos to a minimum which well isn't something right.

But nowadays I think that having a rather challenging system like a very difficult AI, including environmental interaction and such scares many players away from your game. And since the publishers only see "oh hey, money lets do that" the genre will soon meet a dead end and yeah.

I guess it`s just a matter of time whether the MMOs will be turned into social platform games or a company/small group of devs try out to focus on a special group of players and actually do what they promise to do.

And I mean I am currently working a project with CryEngine 3 which is mix out of Shooter with action-adventure elements (using gliders, making your path through a certain terrain with ropes, w.e.) and also RPG Elements. Online features not planned but I'm just helping out so yeah.

I think that everyone actually try to get maybe just a concept of their game with simple stages/levels/worlds and simple models done to show the essence of the game and yeah maybe this would to get at least some things running.

Another point are the players around there. I mean I'm playing GW2 right now and I finished my 3rd Legendary Weapon. Not that it was an easy task but tbh it was a matter of time. And most people tend to be like "let me have my epic gear " - "oh the game is to easy now" - leaving. And all of this really fucks up things in the communities and such.
(This post was last modified: 07-26-2013 02:54 PM by Nito Vermilion.)
07-26-2013 02:48 PM
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Scarlet Thread Offline
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Post: #6
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
Despite how shockingly horribal Final Fantasy XIV was I'm actually looking forward to the remake (FFXIV A Realm Reborn). It actually seems pretty good. I'll find out this weekend I guess.

(07-26-2013 02:48 PM)Nito Vermilion Wrote:  Another point are the players around there. I mean I'm playing GW2 right now and I finished my 3rd Legendary Weapon. Not that it was an easy task but tbh it was a matter of time. And most people tend to be like "let me have my epic gear " - "oh the game is to easy now" - leaving. And all of this really fucks up things in the communities and such.

Communities are often a major problem in these games but it is very difficult for the developers to change that. I think the best approach is to pick their target audience, allow for them and pretty much disregard everyone else being clear who the game is made for. Picking too wide an audience just makes watered down games especially in MMOs.

A good way to get a bad community is to advertise your game as "Mature" which is more often than not about being "Immature" instead. Not that I mind these kinds of games at all but advertising them like a porno magazine doesn't exactly attract good communities.
(This post was last modified: 08-08-2013 03:21 AM by Scarlet Thread.)
08-08-2013 03:09 AM
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Rubeus Offline
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Post: #7
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
I had no idea FFXIV bombed so bad until I read up on the remake-which was news to me when I read it here. I had wanted to play FFXIV, but when I tried to run it, I was greeted with a lovely black screen. It was a common problem that wasn't fixed within a few days, so I got my money back.
What is special about the remake that should make it worth looking forward to?
08-08-2013 06:25 AM
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AndrewBGS Offline
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Post: #8
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
I lost track of the discussion at some point, but I wanted to raise my thumbs up for the anti-"chosen one" crap (no idea how could some guy believe that is a good idea in an MMO. Massive Multi-chosen one community. Couldn't possibly make sense).
Also, I'm against the balance thing too. What's the point of having different classes if they're all just as good against each other or against the environment? It's bloody natural that some classes should excel at one type of combat and be great at beating other classes blind-folded. Of course, there is needed an overall balance, s.t. there is no one class better than all others; but I'd really like a game where let's say a hunter beats a warrior every single time. Life isn't fair, it isn't balanced; why should games be?

On the other hand, I personally DON'T like the hundreds of abilities. Take League of Legends for example: they made an amazing game with awesome combos with 4 abilities per hero. So instead of the hundreds of abilities, why not have just some very few ones, but VERY DISTINCT, and use them in different ways (like lol has an ability influenced by particular stats, allowing you different gameplays according to gear). the hundreds of abilities games make could actually greatly be simplified to just a few basic ones anyway: I'm thinking of wow... "shadow bolt, smite, fireball, lightining ball, etc"... there's actually no difference. so why not just simplify them and have just a few truly different ones?
08-08-2013 11:26 AM
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Rubeus Offline
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Post: #9
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
LoL has MORE abilities than the average, considering each ability and set is unique to the character. And LoL is a very, very broken game with one of the worst communities to ever enter the gaming scene. It is an abomination, tbh. (Talk about 1 'class' always beating another!)
08-08-2013 05:35 PM
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Scarlet Thread Offline
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Post: #10
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
(08-08-2013 11:26 AM)AndrewBGS Wrote:  On the other hand, I personally DON'T like the hundreds of abilities. Take League of Legends for example: they made an amazing game with awesome combos with 4 abilities per hero. So instead of the hundreds of abilities, why not have just some very few ones, but VERY DISTINCT, and use them in different ways (like lol has an ability influenced by particular stats, allowing you different gameplays according to gear). the hundreds of abilities games make could actually greatly be simplified to just a few basic ones anyway: I'm thinking of wow... "shadow bolt, smite, fireball, lightining ball, etc"... there's actually no difference. so why not just simplify them and have just a few truly different ones?

I think this is a matter of opinion and taste in some sense. I really hate having few abilities and I get really bored with it. That being said I think what is annoying you is ability redundancy... That is, When you get so many abilities that do pretty much the same thing. I like to have lots of abilities but I generally like them to do different things.

@Reubus regarding FFXIV A Realm Reborn the differences are so big from the original that it's barely worth comparing (3 years extra development I think). The combat isn't as slow as my Grandfather anymore which was the biggest problem with the original imo (why I quit after 10 mins). The class system has been given an overhaul and it is very interesting how they are doing it. You basically only make one character and can learn from many different schools to pretty much make a custom class, although despite customisations you will be more aligned to one than another. Basically it's a completely new game so it's best not to even think of the original. Lets put it this way... the original was Windows Vista and ARR is Windows 7... but imagine that Vista was even worse than it actually was... dunno if that makes sense.

If you are worried about black screening again then there is a Benchmark Test you can download from their site to test if it will run on your computer and allow you to do character creation and save that to a file for release day. Check it out wink

Oh and here's my obligatory youtube links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sdNI3GpWq4 <- Benchmark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Iv6x3-otLE <- Character Creation
(This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 12:24 AM by Scarlet Thread.)
08-09-2013 12:12 AM
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fuzzylr Offline
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Post: #11
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
My problem is all the MMO's that spread the hype and then never deliver. I've payed so many. Tera was pretty but a grind fest. The targeting system made it difficult for healers to cast sometimes in a timely manner. Lag made the job 100x worse. I really liked The secret society. However, what got me was the fact that it was the same stuff over and over again. They have you running across a damn map as much as wow did.

I want to make three of them. (If I do is another story all together...LoL). I'd like to see the system balanced to a point. I don't think a priest should die or grind quest to his / her max level. Nor do I believe it should be all solo play. I'd like to see real AI in MMO's versus the scripts. I would like to see real challenges and quests of all types. I think Guild Wars 2 did a great job in breaking up the quest grind with the occasional give me quest. I also noticed they didn't rob you blind like wow does on those types of quest.

I don't know if it changed but when players started using GW2 in ways the programmer had not intended they straight up hard coded AI cheats. I lost interest and left. I hate PvP and PVE (dungeons) sucked. I had no interest left.

I think Most MMO's lack balance in many aspects. Content, playability, Story and adventure.

Fuzzy
Student|Westwood
Project V. Studios | Game Dev
08-24-2013 05:14 AM
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Scarlet Thread Offline
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Post: #12
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
(08-24-2013 05:14 AM)fuzzylr Wrote:  My problem is all the MMO's that spread the hype and then never deliver. I've payed so many. Tera was pretty but a grind fest. The targeting system made it difficult for healers to cast sometimes in a timely manner. Lag made the job 100x worse. I really liked The secret society. However, what got me was the fact that it was the same stuff over and over again. They have you running across a damn map as much as wow did.

I want to make three of them. (If I do is another story all together...LoL). I'd like to see the system balanced to a point. I don't think a priest should die or grind quest to his / her max level. Nor do I believe it should be all solo play. I'd like to see real AI in MMO's versus the scripts. I would like to see real challenges and quests of all types. I think Guild Wars 2 did a great job in breaking up the quest grind with the occasional give me quest. I also noticed they didn't rob you blind like wow does on those types of quest.

I don't know if it changed but when players started using GW2 in ways the programmer had not intended they straight up hard coded AI cheats. I lost interest and left. I hate PvP and PVE (dungeons) sucked. I had no interest left.

I think Most MMO's lack balance in many aspects. Content, playability, Story and adventure.

Haha it almost sounds like you just don't like MMO's in general. But srsly I totally agree with a lot of the stuff you said there.

I am actually one of those weird people that likes grinding, in a way (depending on a few things of course), though I'm definitely a minority and I don't think MMO's should be grindfest without the option of doing other things

Yeh I think the problem is developers are getting away with bad mechanics that wouldn't stand up in a single game simply because they can and they make the "online" part the excuse.

I don't go by the hype anymore since it simply always Disappointing. BTW after trying FFXIV ARR I'm a little disappointing. I think I played for about an hour before I got to kill anything. Now that's just effed up. Whether the end game is good or not idk it didn't seem worth it to keep going.. really kinda bland (at least not as bad as the first one.

Sooo.. I guess I've had my wingy complain about MMOs and all but now I'm wondering; we always talk about how things are done wrong. I wonder if we have solutions ourselves to some of these big issues. Interesting thought imo. I think definitely some solutions are easy but many problems are very difficult to solve especially when changing one thing ruins it for others. Balance is another issue... it's a very difficult. In other words, I guess I'm asking, "If you were to make an MMO what would you do right (or what you think is right) that so many MMO's have failed in doing?"
(This post was last modified: 08-24-2013 12:56 PM by Scarlet Thread.)
08-24-2013 09:06 AM
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fuzzylr Offline
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Post: #13
RE: The State of Current & Recently Released MMORPGs
Guild Wars two had a great start. Then they ruined instances by hacking up the AI for instances and said forget balancing. They I hit max level and come to find out that World dragons and PvP was all there was to do. I got bored and left. I am not asking for much. I just don't get this attitude. It's my way or the high way.

Fuzzy
Student|Westwood
Project V. Studios | Game Dev
09-06-2013 03:40 AM
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