A discussion about combt and risky adventurin, as opposed to an overwhelming amount of side activies

Part 1. An adventure

My first mmorpg experience was that of an adventure.
Step outside the town walls and face mobs and possible aggressive players.
Some zones were too difficult to explore. I invested time in getting better gear, better abilities through lv up and manage to explore them.

Later on I had to invest time in doing quests to become a class, with profeciency in twin swords and deal fairly high dmg.

I ventured into more savage zones only to realize that I needed the help of my friends to kill the mobs and to protect my respawn area from players that might want to make themselves comfortable with my absence.

Later on me and my friends had enough stories to tell a guildmaster, in order to join a guild with plans ro control a castle. We said how we found against players of that guild and how we crafted these gear sets and how we killed this and that boss.

It was a real discussion of human beings.
Not "show me your DPS". Not "show me your gear score". The guild master wanted to see some kids (or dudes) that enjoy the game and want to get involved in guild wars to claim control of the mmorpg server world.

It was a game of adventure, combat, rivalry and investment in gear and playstyle mastery. A group of kids assembling some classes to fight against the environment. A group of kids enjoying fighting other players. A sense of competition just like football basketball, sports or other friendly games.

In this group some one took the role of tanking (not 100% necessary), one of healing of supporting, one of crafting gear, another of gathering materials (the game could use a separete character that could provide consumables, but there wasnt such need of mechanics).

In time everybody got full gear. A few months later in higher lvs new gear was procured.

Part two follows


  • George BlackGeorge Black Member
    edited February 14
    Part 2. A real life simulation

    Mmrpgs these days have made combat a part, sometimes a small one of the overall experience. There are too many side activities and professions.

    The sense of adventure has been completelly diminished:
    1) instanced small group dungeons with 0 risk
    2) easy overland, which makes a player speed run through 4/5 of the map
    3) repetitive endgame on the 1/5 of the map, or instanced BGs and Dungeons
    4) boring questing as opposed to few (100) meaningful quests that provide a bit of challenge and fullfilling rewards and progress functions.

    In my first mmorpg I gave you a picture of how there was one crafter and one material gatherer.
    In todays mmorpgs a single character can MASTER almost 10 professions, easily, in some games.

    Do you know what this means? That you need to solo gather mats, refine them, craft (usually by using crafting abilities).
    And if you can master 10 professions you dont need anybody. And nobody needs you.

    And if you spend time in those activities, and your friends as well, when will you party up?

    And if you produce volumes of crafts and put them up for sale, and the rest of the server -almost every single one produces crafts and mats from almost all professiencies- how can the economy be anything different than an overstocked market with prices just doing down?

    End then there are so many easy solo dailies, either combat ones or crafting ones.

    Weapon making
    Wooden weapon making
    Metal armor making
    Leather armor making
    Robe armor making
    Animal growing and slaughtering
    Herb gathering
    Mineral gathering
    Rune gathering
    Siege weapon making
    Horse training
    Outfit making

    Guys... do we really need to have all those items, just because it makes our mmorpg lives more realistic?

    Do we really have to worry about having these things in our inventory or our kiosk?

    When will we adventure?

    Part 3 follows.

  • George BlackGeorge Black Member
    edited February 14
    Part 3. The beauty of Balance.

    How much time should we spend in side activities in order for our game to feel like an mmorpg, and not a hack and slash experience?

    How many professions do we need in order for our fighter/mage to feel like a useful member in our guild?

    As I said above if one character can do everything easily as is the case with ESO, you dont need your friends help in the fight against poverty.
    And if everyone can do everything easily, the MEANING of a professions gets degraded to a brainless joyless daily activity.

    Too much inventory managment.
    Too many things for the developers to spend time on.
    Most importantly too many distractions without impactful value for players.

    Personally I believe that the professions mentioned in part 2 are NOT ALL necessary for a beautiful mmorpg.

    I dont think we need to separete into crafting and gathering professions.

    And I dont think that a character should be able to do more than one profession, in addition to the combat class.

    Bring back the adventure in mmorpgs.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder
    edited February 14
    Ah yes, the age-old debate surrounding self-sustainability in mmorpgs, or to put it another way "how much should a player be able to do on their own". On the one hand, high self-sustainability means the game is more accessible to more people, particularly newer players who don't have a huge list of friends to call on for things. There is also a problem of getting stuck on a low population server or playing at off-peak times.

    The downside to high self-sustainability is (as noted above) that the community aspect of the mmorpg is reduced. The result is that a lot of modern mmorpgs feel more like single-player RPGs than true mmos. Why waste time looking for other people to play with if you can do it all yourself much faster? Why bother even talking to other players when there is no need?

    That said, being too restrictive on what a player can do solo can also be a problem. When your character progression is directly tied to working with other people, your success in-game depends more on who you know than on your own skill. Some people might consider this a good thing as it increases the social aspects of the game but again, if you are a new player or someone who regularly plays during off-peak times, this can be a huge barrier to deal with.

    I haven't yet found a game that gets this delicate balancing act right and I probably never will as there are so many things to consider.
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