Ages ago on the MMORPG subreddit, a player made a bold statement: MMORPGs are designed for low-skill gamers. “I remember being dazzled by EverQuest and Ultima as a child,” he wrote, reminiscing about his memory of high difficulty old-school games. “I recently loaded up [Star Wars: The Old Republic] again, and I’m shocked. Piss easy. Everything. XP falling from the sky. Mobs dead in one GCD. Brainless. The same reason I quite every MMO. I never meet people, I never feel challenged. I just feel bored. ‘Wait till endgame’ isn’t gonna cut it anymore. I’m over it. I’m done. I feel like I’m just hitting the ‘Reward’ button again and again and again, solitary and alone, like a stupid little rat in the cage.” He then basically blames the perceived shift of the genre on people who don’t want games to be “like a job”: “The genre just seems to be fueled by mediocre, anti-social … [Read more...] about Massively Overthinking: Are MMOs designed for ‘low-skill gamers’?
Mechanics are hard
I’m currently bogged down in an over-the-shoulder crafting blur, vicariously depleting gold and recommending several YouTube-approved crazy material gathering runs as I get my husband acquainted with Guild Wars 2‘s crafting system. I’ve been ill for last week or two and have spent each night this week helping him through the experience as a wind-down activity to try and encourage my eyelids to finally close. Watching him progress made me think about what it takes to create a mechanically engaging crafting system that doesn’t act as an at-best inconvenient time sink or at worst a snore-inducing snoozefest. A great crafting system should consist of so much more than a tired old “clickety-clack, look in my pack, look at that stack of crap grow” grind, and in this edition of MMO Mechanics, I want to discuss what developers can do to ease the grind mechanically. I’m sticking with mechanic headers instead of game titles here because I … [Read more...] about MMO Mechanics: Creating engaging crafting mechanics
Last night was a lot of fun… and once again expanded our sphere of influence for shenanigans. We have not been doing mythics the last few nights because many of our regulars have not been available. Tam for example is travelling this week, and Mor is being a fake nerd and actually socializing with other human beings in real life. He somehow doubts his fake nerd status… but Grace and I both assured him that the only acceptable interaction is over the internet. So instead Grace and I both decided to step down our nerd status one peg… and communicate with other people online trying to fill the last few DPS slots we needed for a Mythic plus. I have this aversion to pugging… and what I mean by pugging is actually posting a group and filling with complete strangers. Like someone might be a stranger to me, but if they are a friend of a friend of a friend… it somehow feels better. Last night for example one of our … [Read more...] about Mechanics are Hard
Can we all just take a moment and praise the powers-that-be for a Ganesha announcer pack in SMITE? That should be fantastic. I missed most of the patch notes because I was preparing dinner, but after going over the patch notes on their site, I think this could be a great update. Unfortunately, I did not make my ranked goal for this split, and since I’ll be away on business this weekend, I will miss my shot. But there’s always the Summer Split, which begins in this update (5.7). I do not think this is a major update but it is certainly an important one. Quite a few gods that needed nerfs got them, some gods that needed some love got them. Is it time for me to play Bacchus again? I sure think so! The change to Belch of the Gods was something that frankly, should have happened years ago, but I’m glad it’s happening at all. It’s important to look at the positives. I also want to say (again) that Mixer has been a positive … [Read more...] about Hirez Roundup #24: The Times are a-Changin
For many years I have been on a mission to unlock the elusive code that made EverQuest so great. There is no single equation that accurately explains the magic of the EQ experience. The brilliant design of that MMORPG released in 1999 is a combination of many ingredients. In every culinary recipe, greatness or mediocrity is but a few degrees of difference of ingredient quantity and of skill of preparation. The same was true of EQ. Some of the best design ingredients of EQ were the following: traditional RPG experience based level advancement system promotion of player freedom via unstructured gameplay with no imposed narratives or story arcs traditional and diverse RPG class system which emphasized class interdependency and required most classes to group which created a deep social experience well tuned PVE combat via melee and spell abilities that rewarded highly skilled players and encouraged emergent gameplay death penalty mechanic which introduced serious consequences into the … [Read more...] about The Death Penalty Mechanic and Loss Aversion in MMO Design