Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

5 August, 2018

A thoughful pause
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:55 PM

Usually around March I post on by blog asking for feedback. I like to hear what people say and get some inspiration for what’s going on. I’ve done in March because the holidays are past and there’s not much to distract. An real “news” that isn’t a lingering hangover from the previous year is likely to be fresh about then.

Since I’ve been a little slack this year, I wanted to ask what people thought, and maybe get some ideas about what would be interesting to write about for the rest of the month.

Here are some topics I’ve thought about writing this month. I’ll not likely get to all of them, but it’s a list in my mind:

  • Stories in MMOs – Although, I could talk a bit more about this.
  • Community building on the smaller scale
  • How to facilitate role-playing in games – This could be pretty lengthy.
  • Better social tools in MMOs
  • Blends between MMOs and other games – An idea I had long ago about how to feed into an MMO with other games
  • MMO mechanics that should make a comeback – Everyone loves corpse runs!
  • Making more interesting MMO characters

So, time for you all to suggest something. Any of these sound particularly interesting? Or anything you want to add to the list? Let me know, I’m eager to hear.

Also, we’ll make this an open thread. I’ll try to reply to comments more over the next few days since this was kind of a short post. Let’s hear your thoughts!

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  1. Context : I am not a big MMO player, but have played both GuildWars ( 1year and 2 years) and tried Aion. I am also a casual player that love to try new games and/or have new experiences.

    “Blends between MMOs and other games ” – interaction with the world.
    I love Immersive Sim (Deus Ex, Dishonored, Shadow of Mordor,…) and open world experience (GTA, Skyrim, …). What I found lacking in MMO is the direct interaction with the world that those games provided : how can I believe I am living somewhere ( or having an epic tale) when there is a huge layer of User Interface between me and the world. If you remove the (very nice) decoration, the world is basically flat, with some walls. On this world you can only interact with NPC to either kill or discuss.
    My most fondly remembered time with GW2 was not the killng of the big boss : it was feeding and milking the cow, trying to solve enigma or exploring the border of the world.
    Skyrim was praised for its interaction with the world : opening doors, stealing, drinking, etc… I remember the first time I cut a tree at the station, by activating the lever and recolting the wood logs.
    The Elder Scroll Online was a huge deception for a lot of gamer for re-using the MMO action bar.
    Is there some technical difficulties to build a MMO around this type of gameplay ?

    Comment by Ettesiun — 6 August, 2018 @ 6:02 AM

  2. It all sounds interesting!

    Comment by Pasduil — 6 August, 2018 @ 7:51 AM

  3. With regards to the story stuff. I loved the main quest in ESO. But that’s more like playing a single player game. But I also liked that you can just ignore it and to whatever you wanted. But I get annoyed at the “you’re the savior of all -kind!” narrative. The experience was similar in WoW for me. First chars in each faction I read the quests and stuff to get the story, but alts I just leveled through dungeon grinding.
    But in that regard I wish games would just offer a “get alt char to max level after you leveled one char to max regularly” option. That doesn’t cost money (looking at you WoW!). For me the most fun I have in MMOs is endgame content. Not leveling. After leveling through each factions area once, I loose interest in that bit. And getting to max level on alts is usually just an annoying grind that, if you’re lucky, you can shorten by crafting/enchanting equip on your main to make leveling faster.
    The way EvE Online handles it is a bit better… there you’re already kind of in the endgame. But that you cannot get skill points other then through waiting is also annoying. That you have to wait ages until you can sit in a titan is meh. But story wise you’re just a cog in the machine. And we all know what epic stories EvE Online provides.

    What I’m mostly saying… I don’t mind MSQs if they don’t keep you from enjoying the game outside of them. It is sometimes just fun playing through a nice pre-made storyline. Doesn’t have to be big huge MSQs. Could just be small side quests that aren’t just “go there, kill 5 x, hand in 10 y” kind of quests. That’s something you could just add to a game peu à peu every couple of months.
    EvE Online doesn’t really have anything in that regard which can make you feel rather divorced from the narrative. And if you don’t find people to play with regularly it can get rather lonely.

    Comment by Ibn — 7 August, 2018 @ 4:46 AM

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