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View Full Version : The Weekly Marmot Biannual: Massively Multiplayer



Ciderhelm
04-24-2010, 09:13 PM
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http://www.tankspot.com/snowfall/donorbanner.jpg (http://www.tankspot.com/premium.php)

lostplotman
04-24-2010, 10:48 PM
i dont think an MMO that has a BIG content like wow can have its lvling content removed. lvling is how characters and players get to know eachother. i know it sounds corny but it is how u learn to play it. by slowly adding new skills and improving the ones u have it increases the the content in a slower manner. but i agree with the majority of what was said lore. i recon the 3D of gaming will be introduced in the future though. or at least id like to see it happen.

Lakshata
04-24-2010, 11:46 PM
World of Warcraft, but a shooter, I would love to see if it could be executed well. Something like if Mass Effect, and WoW could be combined would be awesome.

I thought there was supposed to be an MMOFPS, called Huxley, but I haven't heard about it in forever.

Ulushnar
04-25-2010, 01:09 AM
i dont think an MMO that has a BIG content like wow can have its lvling content removed. lvling is how characters and players get to know eachother. i know it sounds corny but it is how u learn to play it. by slowly adding new skills and improving the ones u have it increases the the content in a slower manner. but i agree with the majority of what was said lore. i recon the 3D of gaming will be introduced in the future though. or at least id like to see it happen.

Not really, I'd say the gearing-up process at 60/70/80 was where I made most of the contacts I would later raid with and where I learned to use all my buttons in the most optimal way. I'm leveling an enhancement Shaman at the moment and as of level 28, it doesn't particularly feel like I'm playing an Enhancement Shaman. I don't have anything like a decent collection of enhancement toys and I'm actually relying more on Elemental stuff for the bulk of my damage.

And Lore, again with the shirts! Gah!

Apocalypstix
04-25-2010, 01:42 AM
I've found that most of the people I leveled with have fallen off/lost interest/ switched sides. It's the older 80s that I spend more time with now.

Submit lore to What Not to Wear. :P

Petninja
04-25-2010, 02:54 AM
The game that will kill WoW is going to be the next MMO Blizzard releases, but it will be a slow death. WoWs limitation is that it's old tech, old concept, old hat. It was the best you could do when it first came out, and that fact alone is enough to stunt the growth of new MMOs. With the budget, talent, and experience Blizzard has developed by maintaining WoW their new MMO design team will be able to take all the concepts that Lore mentioned and build them around a new engine, with all the newest bells and whistles, and take that MMO in the direction they want without having to worry about legacy code. The best part about this is that while they can create this game from the ground up they can design it to work alongside WoW. With the new Battle.net infrastructure people will be more willing to give another game a shot since they can still chat with everyone who didn't move over yet. Eventually, a large portion of the player base will migrate and Blizzard gets to corner the market yet again rather than letting it age on and on until someone else sees a moment of weakness and releases something to refresh the community.

There's really no one else in the industry with a name or a franchise to compete with them, possibly excepting Square's MMO in the making. Bethesda can't polish their shoes, let alone a game. They won't be the ones with the #1 prize at the end.

Ryoku
04-25-2010, 03:05 AM
Nothing to do with the content, but why not just make a playlist on youtube, so that it automatically goes on to the second video?

Avatariku
04-25-2010, 05:45 AM
I personaly find that alot of mmo games that come out seem to focus far too much on the PvP side of the game. I have bought quite a few new mmo's when they came out since i started playing wow and all i find is that the game might have a raiding side to it, but it seems that its main goal was purely PvP.

I think a game has to embrace raiding more to be competitive with wow, maybe even dethrone it, otherwise its just going to be another PvP game, a dime a dozen. Raiding is exciting when it comes together nicely, but can also be a total disaster if its half assed. Which no offence to any wow fanatics, i find WoW raiding content massively half assed now a days. For me personaly, i enjoy the epic feel to raiding. The massive structures, the feel that its massive, not just visualy. I loved black temple's feel, it felt big, epic, not simply because it looked huge, it felt huge. Icc it feels like a tiny little dungeon. The only big feeling i have is gunship, but with its lolshipness to it, it kills any epicness i feel.

I think leveling is interesting to some people but an mmo can surely give an option to clear that experience up. Some people like it, some dont. I agree with whoever said up there that i get closer to my characters after max level than while leveling. I think its because you can only really grow your character once its maxed level. While your leveling you get new stuff sure, but whats the point? You will replace it a day or so after. And i always feel like im only asking myself, geez when will i hit 80, not, man what will the next level bring me. Lets face it, leveling is beyond boring. Every level is no different than the next. There are only a handful of quest types, they may have variations of where and what to kill, but in the end, they are all the same.

Ceravantes
04-25-2010, 05:52 AM
I always hated accidentally making something terribly, probably my favorite change that blizzard made, and lowering the raid size, 72, to even 40.

Alrinea
04-25-2010, 06:33 AM
overall a nice episode, i liked it.
just one thing you got wrong: eve online was released 2 years before wow, yet you mentioned it only in the post-wow section. other than that: keep up the good work, hope well talk again in 6 months when its 1 year anniversary :)

xtremehacker
04-25-2010, 09:08 AM
Great video release,

One simple fact is the character graphics and the overall gaming experience of WOW is superb compared to the many other MMO releases.. The Blizzard team not only spent time creating a couple of different in game experiences ( leveling, crafting, end-game .. ect ), they also spent alot of time making the game very aesthetically pleasing. That alone for me makes it much more enjoyable to play.

Once again you've outdone yourself with a great Weekly Marmot

Peace
Xtreme
Chimoe

Spiritus
04-25-2010, 09:19 AM
One of the things I thought about for a new MMO was actually a regress back to a more drawn out and fulfilling leveling experience (Think EQ, without the "penalties"). I think a huge percentage of WoW players enjoy leveling very much, as is represented by the vast number of "Alt-o-holics." Beyond that, you have a ton of people who enjoy collecting, whether that be achievements, pets, mounts, etc. While the raider/pvper is the core of WoW, providing direction and purpose for the story line, the [and I use this term free of stigma] "casual" player is what made WoW rocket to the millions of subscribers it has today.

I think the next large player base MMO will focus acutely on PvE, have a much longer leveling experience, and provide more opportunities for collection. I also think that a huge percentage of the content will be solo-play, with no more than 10persons needed to accomplish any task.

Would I necessarily want to play a game like that? I'm not sure, but I think it would be an extremely successful model.

Meia
04-25-2010, 09:36 AM
Congratulations on half a year! I've been watching and enjoying your shows the whole time. Keep up the good work!

Thank you!

Predakhan
04-25-2010, 11:44 AM
One thing WoW does horribly is help new players use the leveling experience to actually learn the game and their class.

Casper7526
04-25-2010, 04:24 PM
Beyond the great work on all your marmot movies, I want to add one little thing to this one.

To me...someone that has been playing MMO's before even Everquest came out, the genre in a whole is the best gaming genre ever invented.

I kinda wish you would have spoke about or researched MUD's a bit. They were the true start of MMO's and years before everquest, I was raiding/crafting/pvping and everything inbetween. The first real MUD (Adventure) was created in the late 70's. MUD's had all the ideas first as they were created by mostly just regular people and not many companies. Games like everquest and beyond just took what made MUD's successful and put a graphical interface to it. MUD's also eventually ended up using some graphical elements (even before everquest) but it wasn't 3d obviously. Some MUD's have been in stable existence for longer than any 3d MMO you can imagine, and some still hold very wide player bases (for a MUD a few thousand people is HUGE).

TLDR - MUD's were and still are awesome!

Knighterrant81
04-25-2010, 06:11 PM
One thing WoW does horribly is help new players use the leveling experience to actually learn the game and their class.

This, more or less. The weakness I see in WOW (and why I think their playerbase has plateaued) is that it takes a LOT of investment from the average video game player to get into this game. More and more, you see people who say "yeah I play WOW, but I never made it to max level." In a lot of ways, those people have never played WOW. They've only played like 1/2 to 1/4 of the game. The more expansions (and more levels) released, the more daunting it is for players like this. The improvements to leveling in Cataclysm should really help with this, but more and more, WOW just has a lot of levels and a lot to learn, the game is groaning under its own weight.

Addons are another factor to this game that can be intimidating to new players. There's very few games out there that really allow the amount of player customization that WOW does. I've had friends that are convinced using Addons is tantamount to cheating. When you get down to it, Addons are an important part of what makes WOW...WOW. I think putting more of the functionality of common Addons into the game would really improve it. Then, you don't feel like you have to download some questionable software from some shady website to play the game. Think Equipment manager, for instance. If you need it, its there. However, if you aren't ready for it or don't understand it, you can turn it off. If wow had some built in options to do what Grid, PitBull, PowerAuras, or other common addons did, I think more players could get that addon feel without having to actually use them, while letting those of use who use them to continue to do so.

Learning how to use your class, and how to gear up is also something you can't get by just playing the game. I enjoy roving sites like Tankspot for every tidbit of info I can get on playing my class, but asking players to know about or find websites like Elitist Jerks just to have a chance can be intimidating. Having a community, such as a guild, that can help teach you is great, but it can be hard to figure out on your own. Perhaps Blizzard or another company can figure out a better way to connect the high end online theorycrafting community (which is half the fun of the game for me anymore) with the average leveling/casual playerbase.

The leveling improvements are honestly what I'm looking forward to the most in Cataclysm. I've done the raiding thing. Its awesome, and I'll probably continue to do it in Cataclysm, but you can bet I will level at least one new toon to see how they've improved some (horribly painful, especially considering the BC and Wrath zone design) areas of the old world.

I don't think you're going to see games that focus on soloing being very successful. The coolest part of an MMO is that you play with other people, regularly, and your characters each have unique abilities that allow you to fill different roles in your group. That's what makes MMOs work, imo. Even if its not fantasy style, or class-based, you're not going to have much success if all you've got is a solo game where other players happen to pass by you every once in awhile. The best stuff may not always require a grind, but it will certainly always require teaming up, at least a little.

Martie
04-26-2010, 06:29 AM
Sorry to rain on your parade.

Episode 26... The "half year minus a week" anniversary?

Seriously, episode 1 isn't the one-week anniversary, episode 2 is.
Same deal with years - the first episode of the new year celebrates the anniversary, not the last episode of the old year.
And the 26th episode is the last episode of this half year.
(Expect some congratulations from me next week.)

damionrayne
04-26-2010, 08:06 AM
Hey Lore, not sure if you'll read this or not. But I wanted to say there are other MMO's out there currently that you didn't cover in your video. Though it was a great video.

You were a tad wrong on your time lines,

Final Fantasy 11 came out in 2002, and Eve-online came out in 2003. Both games are still thriving, though Eve's player base is only 350k at the moment, it's still one solid persistent universe with no shards, no instance and one giant world. FF11 still has 2 million players and is going strong.

Wow classic was released in 2004...2 years after FF11 and one year after Eve-Online.

So to say these games took something from WoW, or were gimmicks from WoW is wrong. Both of these games had unique concepts and ideas and both came out before WoW. So I only thought that I'd question your statement that these games came out after WoW and only in response to WoW.

They did not.

Now I'm not trying to start anything, though I know flames will come. I'm only trying to say that stating that games came out to compete with WoW and to attempt to mimic WoW when they were released years beforehand is a bit inaccurate.

Much Respect Lore,
Keep up the good vids!

Pallie
04-26-2010, 10:33 AM
As a fan who came here just to watch the tank videos but now am staying more to watch these weekly marmots, gratz on half a year. I also am a former game developer who gets a lot of the points Lore made but there is so much more to go into when it comes to future MMO game design.

We can go back to Richard Bartle (and kudos for someone else mentioning MUDs as the origins of MMOs) who started it all. He theorized about 4 different types of "people" that would play or enjoy MUDs/MMOs. http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Scaroth

Achievers - want to "conquer" the game by gaining XP, leveling, increasing their craft skills, getting better equipment, downing bosses, etc... Their focus is on acting on/against the environment.
Explorers - want to discover new places and things, learn the lore and backstory, gain knowledge of the world and it's mechanics, find clever exploits, solve puzzles, etc... Their focus is on interacting with the environment.
Socializers - want to interact with other people through conversation, helping, giving advice, trading, group raids, etc... Their focus is on interacting with other players.
Killers - want to dominate and/or compete against other players, usually violently. Also tend to enjoy doing whatever they can to generally harass and annoy other players (griefers)

It is also theory that you, as a game player, aren't necessarily just ONE of these types of Bartle players. You could be a Killer/Socializer who likes to get premade battlegrounds groups together. But you still mostly enjoy dominating in PVP. Or an Achiever/Socializer who would be perfect as a hardcore raider.

The way WoW succeeded in my mind is that they made the game accessible enough so that people could discover they liked the game experience and then they hooked them by having enough features/content/etc that played to that player's specific likes. So current LK raids are "easy" in the sense that getting together 10 decent people for ICC and downing 4-6 bosses is fairly simple to do, but it also plays to a number of different types of players. The Achievers are obviously there for the "conquering" and the frost gear. Explorers will be there because its new "stuff". Socializers are obviously there because its 9 other people to socialize with. Even the Killers are somewhat there so that they can dominate on the dps charts. All this is possible with an 80 toon and spending a few weeks gearing them out with badge gear. I do agree that it is quite an investment to make for "casuals" but once you have achieved the level cap and once you have invested enough time to getting decently geared, you can play the game however you want to. As people have already said, make getting to that point less of a grind and more fun and you are golden. I got lucky in the sense that I leveled together with my wife and a couple of other friends from another MMO and we all got to 80 in approximately the same time and had fun doing it together.

I'm in a semi-hardcore raiding guild and we generally have a core of people just interested in raiding 2-3 nights a week, but those same people have interests in the game other than raiding. A few do premade BGs. A few have alts out the arse that they like to level. A few will spend time in trade chat crafting for people. A few go on heroic achieve runs. The thing is, there is SO much to do and such a variety that people don't get bored easily and go away because of the rate "new" things come out. In my opinion, if Blizzard continues to keep releasing content and releasing enhancements at the rate they are now, they won't be dethroned anytime soon. People are already thinking about Ruby Sanctum even though so many people haven't even killed the LK yet (myself included). And it can be new raid instances as new "content", but it can also be enhancements like the Random Dungeon finder. Can you imagine if they somehow came up with a reliable system to allow anyone to put together an Ony 10 with cross-realm players at the drop of a hat? Now you just made putting together raids that much simpler. Ok, I realize there is LOADS that would have to be in place for that kind of system to work, but wouldn't you like to just log on, drop yourself into the queue for Ony/OS/ToC, and 15 mins later, your decently geared and experienced raid is assembled and someone with experience leads it on through. Gee, casual raiding much?

And thats just one example of a "pain" in the game that could be done better by either Blizzard or another game that would keep people subscribing. Remove all the "crap" stuff in the game and make it easier to get to the fun parts and you keep winning with players.

Ok, so that changed subjects a couple of times, but the gist of what I wanted to say is there.

Zytharia
04-26-2010, 07:50 PM
I also want to say happy biannual anniversary, and that I believe Final Fantasy introduced something to MMO's such as story lines, but it was still extremely grindy

Vajrapani
04-27-2010, 10:01 AM
Thanks, Lore, for going out on a limb with this topic--I really appreciate the chance to hear what others are thinking about the genre as a whole. I began playing just after TBC. I was a D&D geek as an '80s youth, and just couldn't resist a game that made the D&D experience "real."

Thanks to Steveh for bringing up a great way to dissect the massive player base that WoW has gathered. Articles by Luke Crane, author of the Burning Wheel pen and paper RPG, are similarly useful and thought provoking, if anyone's interested: rpg.net I believe.

Not to be yet another quibbling lore nerd, but I think it's important: the root of the content we play in WoW lies, going way back, in Lord of the Rings and the genesis of the fantasy genre as a whole. Moving forward, the root of WoW is in Dungeons and Dragons. It's there that I think we can look for what future MMOs will expand on.

To my mind, the biggest hole in the game, the element least served, is the game that the Socializers play via WoW. I believe future fantasy MMOs that can develop the role of the server economy into a game unto itself, rather than simply a support for the raiding (and to a much lesser extent, the pvp) game, will have found themselves a market that Second Life players currently enjoy. Despite many players like myself who are no longer young, WoW players are still generally a young and male. What if a future MMO allowed players to build villages, build temples, make public art/spectacles, have families, gardens, crafting shops? I think more women would be interested in such a virtual fantasy world. Such a game would find an entirely new population to draw its player base from. Such a game wouldn't need to shave 10% off the iceberg of WoW's player base.

Kazeyonoma
04-27-2010, 10:05 AM
The grindy nature of MMO's came from korean MMO's and Everquest long before FFXI. Games like Ragnarok Online was an MMORPG just not in firstperson or in 3d but rather in isotropic form and it was super grindy, both for gear upgrades, gear/item drops, and high end leveling.

Sniperbait
04-27-2010, 11:03 AM
Great work on bringing all that together. You talked about adding new aspects to the game, or "gimmicks" as you put it, and one up coming MMO that I've been watching intently is Star Wars: The Old Republic. One thing the developers have really been hyping is the role that plot plays in the game experience. Good idea or bad idea? Judging on Bioware's past history with RPG's and plots (KOTOR, Mass Effect, Dragon Age) I think they could make a great plot with this.

Denekawa
04-28-2010, 06:16 AM
What got people to play WoW in the first place was the fact that it was new and fresh. You had no toons, hadn't seen the world yet, knew no one yet, didn't have a plethora of websites hand-walking you through every aspect of the game. It also was the first game that probably required you to enlist the aid of others to accomplish your goals in the game (pvp/raiding).

Where WoW is getting old is that we all have about 8 toons, seen and done everything (for the most part), know as many people as we care to know, have every website telling us in advance everything we need to know about the game bookmarked and on RSS feed. We no longer enlist the aid of others to accomplish our goals because we have an automated system feeding us random RL bots as needed.

The concept of MMOs is very very old... it stretches back to the days of nothing but text based gaming (MUDs). In fact, that is where MMOs really were born. All the gaming companies really did was add graphics to what had been done for years in text based games. Took it to a new level, but the basical idea and concept was still the same.

You can add new expansions and levels and gear, but you can't change the fact that those who have been playing this game for a long time are going to quickly master it. The only thing that makes MMOs interesting to those players is the challenge. That is what Blizzard currently is taking out of the game. So while they may think the player base as a whole want Invincibility Mode turned on all the time, what they are in fact doing is killing the only thing left that the game could possibly offer to keep us all playing.

The new player base is extemely small. The biggest markets for WoW is currently outside of the U.S. because to them, it is new and fresh. But it's not the game we all leveled in, so the new players are getting pole vaulted into level 80 at rates never seen before. So they don't develop the love for the game that we have. They don't realize what they missed or are missing. The reason the player base that has been playing the game for so long is so vocal about some of the upcoming changes in Cataclysm is that it clearly marks the end to the last aspect of the game that separates the MMO from the single person shooter. The need to rally a large group of people together in order to down a new instance. There's nothing epic about 10 man anything. You can ultimately find 10 non-stupid people and cruise through anything tossed before you. Now 25 mand and 40 man, that took real coordination to pull off. Half the fight was in your raid makeup. If every raid leader could assemble 25 non-stupid people, end game would be a joke. But you always carry a certain number of those who just can't help but stand in the fire. That just made the game more epic... we won in spite of our stupidity.

Unless Blizzard re-thinks their desire to make the common denominator 10 or less, I suspect that many will wander off. And perhaps that is the plan... to urge us all to move on to Starcraft2 and let WoW quietly slip away into the night. As you said, the technology behind it is old, people have been playing it for a very long time. Nothing would help everyone out the door quicker than to make it so easy as to even make the most casual player think it's too easy.

Their only gamble is in whether people really care about space as a genre.

Prancy
04-28-2010, 01:22 PM
overall a nice episode, i liked it.
just one thing you got wrong: eve online was released 2 years before wow, yet you mentioned it only in the post-wow section. other than that: keep up the good work, hope well talk again in 6 months when its 1 year anniversary :)

I wouldn't lump EVE into the "wow but w/ a gimick" catagory, like it says it was released before wow and the gameplay of eve isn't even comparable to wow

Andomar
04-28-2010, 03:20 PM
Gratz on the 26th episode, I enjoy listening. I'd just like to mention exponentially declining reward as one of the reasons for WOW's success. I heard a Blizzard dev describing this as "no super weapons (http://www.gamespot.com/news/6186416.html)". People that spend 2 evenings a week on WOW can raid with the people that spend 5 days a week. The latter will have better gear, but the differences are marginal (exponentially less reward for time.)

One other thing: I think the biggest threat to WOW is not necessarily the competition. Inside Blizzard, the Finance department and the Create department will be struggling over issues like how long to spend on an expansion, how much to pay for sound tracks, how much risk to take, and so on. So far Creative has been doing great, but I know of no long term defense against the Finance department.

Pallie
04-30-2010, 08:29 AM
To my mind, the biggest hole in the game, the element least served, is the game that the Socializers play via WoW. I believe future fantasy MMOs that can develop the role of the server economy into a game unto itself, rather than simply a support for the raiding (and to a much lesser extent, the pvp) game, will have found themselves a market that Second Life players currently enjoy. Despite many players like myself who are no longer young, WoW players are still generally a young and male. What if a future MMO allowed players to build villages, build temples, make public art/spectacles, have families, gardens, crafting shops? I think more women would be interested in such a virtual fantasy world. Such a game would find an entirely new population to draw its player base from. Such a game wouldn't need to shave 10% off the iceberg of WoW's player base.
I think you hit a very very good point. My wife does actually play the game and she enjoys the social aspect of raiding. We enjoyed a similar MMO that emphasized Socializing more than most other parts of the game previously. In that game she spent hours redesigning a room/house/palace spending in-game currency with other players to get more furniture, etc. She also had shops of her own to run and manufacture things for herself or other buyers. She likes to play the AH on WoW and would greatly enjoy being a "shop" owner in some sense as you talk about. Imagine all those people that play silly Farmville games on FB having their own little plot or piece of WoW that people can check out. Even if those "plots" of land have no value to raiding or other pieces of the game, you'd have an explosive economic game. I think you've hit a gold mine here.

Zietgeist
05-04-2010, 05:38 AM
Can I make a donation for Lore to get a new shirt?

Spiritus
05-04-2010, 04:25 PM
Can I make a donation for Lore to get a new shirt?

I'll match every dollar so he keeps wearing his normal wardrobe. =P

xulev
05-05-2010, 09:21 PM
An interesting point about what you were talking about is.. that it's blizzard that is really making changes to their mmo.. without their competition really keeping up. If you think about all the steamlining of things they have done; from making leveling faster to the dungeon finder... well, they are constantly improving on their concept and it's gonna be hard for a competitor to really stay ahead of them.

My guess is the "wow killer" will be another blizzard mmo. ;p

lildry
05-06-2010, 02:16 AM
The first online game I played was Diablo II. The biggest think I like about wow that I hated about Diablo is that Gold actally has a value. Gold in diablo was used for repairs and to tease a person after they died and you picked up their gold. I would never do something like that... to someone I liked. The key to makeing gold valuable in wow was to offer a item that looks really cool for the price of a hundred thousand gold. A good example would be the diffrent mounts you can purchase with gold. The games that are no pay to play games can only get new contant from expansions. When you have a pay to play game like wow, new contant can be added by patches. The new contant is paid for with the subscription, It makes new contant easier and faster to make.