We're Going to Be Rich!

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We're Going to Be Rich!

Somewhere in one of the many game-dev hubs around the world, a little drama unfolds...

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I don't know enough about elder scrolls online to know if this is what's happening, but it would not surprise me if it was.

I do think that a elder scrolls mmo could work if it actually played like elder scrolls.

It is a testimony to the very cycle you're describing here that even though you were discussing Elder Scrolls, my first thought was, "Oh, he's talking about SWTOR." It works just as well.

themilo504:
I don't know enough about elder scrolls online to know if this is what's happening, but it would not surprise me if it was.

I do think that a elder scrolls mmo could work if it actually played like elder scrolls.

Yea... It is. Maybe not in those exact words or that exact sequence, but that's the gist of the entire development process for pretty much every MMO since WoW made it stupidly huge. Especially TOR and ESO, those two were/are both cynical cash grabs by companies that were so desperate for the WoW revenue stream that they completely lost sight of why WoW managed it in the first place.

somewhere, rhode island is shaking its fist at the sky

Though I think mostly these days they're eying League of Legends (oh yay another MOBA game), F2P from the ground up (oh yay dungeon keeper) or yet another DayZ clone (oh yay open world survival with f#$ing zombies again).

But yeah, every couple years...

People always want their single-player games to be turned into MMOs because they want the world to feel more real. They imagine Pokemon where every trainer you fight is an independent person with a life and a thought process and you really are battling away across the lands. A world with thousands of Jedi. Skyrim with every shopkeeper behaving like a human being. The whole world but more true.

And then they play the new game and realise that MMOs are nothing like that

It's the same shit that always happens and devs don't learn anything. Considering this game's been in development since Burning Crusade was relevant, it's gonna have some archaic ass design with some shoehorned in things to appease Elder Scrolls fans.

Happened to TOR and I rode the Tortanic to it's bitter end.

I'll stick to Guild Wars 2.

Nice finish there, Shamus. The serpent has consumed its own tail...

Really depressing reading, though. Illuminating, raises a very good point, but still depressing as all heck.

Mega Messiah:
I'll stick to Guild Wars 2.

Yea... I'm just hoping this doesn't happen to WildStar. Really hoping that doesn't.

ESO is going to be the biggest flop yet. I am calling it now. You have a fan base who, for the most part, are die hard single player RPG fans. I got into the beta and let me tell you, if you are not already into MMO's then you will not be into this one.
I hated it. The quests were stupid, the graphics so-so, the combat bored me.
I feel sad for the flop Bethesda is going to have, but hey, at least it will teach them to stick to what they are good at.

I played the beta.

I kept thinking: "This is not worth 15 bucks a month!"
Honestly, grab Skyrim and its ultimate edition and some mods.

BOOM you will be much better off.

Agayek:

Mega Messiah:
I'll stick to Guild Wars 2.

Yea... I'm just hoping this doesn't happen to WildStar. Really hoping that doesn't.

Wildstar looks good and at least its devs don't have their heads up their asses like ESO's do. But these days even mentioning a sub can make or break a game.

Meh, for a parody that wasn't really funny or enlightning. Sorry.

themilo504:
I don't know enough about elder scrolls online to know if this is what's happening, but it would not surprise me if it was.

I do think that a elder scrolls mmo could work if it actually played like elder scrolls.

While it does, it plays like a shit version of the an TES game.

I kept thinking "i might as well be playing skyrim"

Mega Messiah:
Wildstar looks good and at least its devs don't have their heads up their asses like ESO's do. But these days even mentioning a sub can make or break a game.

Yea. Everything I've seen says the devs get MMOs properly. I'm just worried anyway. I've been burned too many times not to be.

Well, as I always say, I have mixed opinions.

For the most part this is correct, but a big part of it is people jumping in with little or no knowledge of what they are getting into, or plans for an MMO other than to make a boatload of cash. I'm actually hoping economic Darwinism has eaten a lot of these companies at this point, after all at this point people should have caught on to the simple fact that an MMO lives or dies by it's endgame and it's content. A quick franchise cash in is not going to work.

That said, I am hoping this current generation of MMOs will do a lot better with the $15 a month price tag. See, right now I've been spending more money than I want to admit on FTP games, largely because they represent the only option for the things I want to do. Something I feel the "Free To Play" Market counts on and why so many people jump on it. Like a lot of people I'm definatly looking at the whole $15 a month for everything idea with a degree of envy, in "Star Trek Online" for example I've heard people talking about Wildstar with disbelief when they consider that they could play that game for three months off of what they spent on a 5000 point ship pack, not to mention he dilithium to outfit it without having to slowly wait grinding to the dil cap for months.

I could be wrong (I actually expected ToR to do better against WoW) but I actually think Free To Play greed has started to catch up with itself and we might see a return of subscription based games to primacy, as long as they do not try and double dip.

As far as "Elder Scrolls Online" goes, my actually analysis is that it comes across as being more of a "Neverwinter" clone, albeit with more of an open world/open zones as opposed to the very linear progression and design style of that title. I see more similarities between those titles and how they play than between WoW and ESO. ESO's success or failure largely depends on whether they can sell the benefits of their system. See, a lot of people like the idea of "free to play" because the stuff they earn is always there, without having to pay to access it, however people are beginning to realize they probably won't be playing in a year or three. When you can dump $30 for a mount or whatever people are realizing it's not that good a deal when they could instead be getting all that stuff for a $15 a month price tag and when they are done can move on with a lot less invested than the hundreds of dollars it might have taken outfitting a fleet of internet space ships, or half a dozen endgame grinders with ideal companion/gear setups. Targeted correctly ESO could rake in the dough, if I was them I'd directly attack Neverwinter and it's pricing in my ads, especially seeing as it has 3 million downloads through ARC alone. ESO is basically selling the same type of real-time/active RPG experience in a more cost effective fashion, as long as it doesn't open a cash shop and provides new content for free periodically (at least a new mount a month or whatever) it could be set.

With "Wildstar" I have more mixed opinions, to be honest it's a little too cartoony for me (which has been grating recently even if I like the basic game set up... those evil furball/ewok things the bad guys have on their side are a bit too much IMO). On the other hand it seems to be gearing up for a more hardcore MMO crowd, with "Wildstar" it comes down of course to them proving themselves cost effective and not double dipping, and actually delivering things like these old school 40 man raid experiences from the beginning.

What is going to kill a "second coming of subscription MMOs" is if they charge you $15 a month and then on top of that expect you to pay extra for all the cosmetic features and such in a cash shop, so every bit of cool content comes with a fee attached. In the end you wind up paying for the right to pay more to get the coolest stuff. On the other hand if they maintain the same pace of producing cosmetic and "cool" content as a FTP game, and provide it as part of the $15 service... well, they are going to get quite competitive, and will probably draw in a volume of users especially if they make a point of showing what a good deal it is comparatively.

The Elder Scrolls Online has nothing to do with Bethesda it was started by Zenimax in a development studio the started just for ESO run by the guy who did Dark Age of Camelot.

You know, despite how many developers go after WoW's model when making a MMO, they completely miss other successful concepts such as Minecraft because they don't see it as a MMO.

They would if they stop defining the word "Massive" as "an adjective describing the number of players that play on official servers". Kill the whole of this mindset and replace it with something more financially manageable, and soon we'll be seeing MMOs going in unique places.

weirdguy:
somewhere, rhode island is shaking its fist at the sky

And hopefully screaming "BARROMAN!"

But seriously, this wasn't the problem with 38 studios. Fraud and incompetence was. They were dead before they got through most of the MMO steps here.

Just because a game is an MMO does not automatically make it a good game. I'm preaching to the choir here, but the basics for a fun MMO game are:

1) Is it fun to play?
2) Is it fun to play solo?
3) Are there convenient tools for organizing groups?
4) Is there interesting new content being introduced to justify staying with the game?

Negatives would be:

A) In order to enjoy the game, you need to prepare your character in a manner that amounts to a part-time job.
B) In order to appeal to more potential players, all challenge is stripped out of the game mechanics.
C) PvP tacked on per Sale's insistence that they need a bullet point to help sell the game, rather than having PvP fleshed out as (again) something fun to play.

A fun game is its own reason for making a purchase and continuing to play. All else is twaddle, or mostly twaddle.

I still think that Arrival trailer they showed was pretty cool. I wouldn't mind if they just made a movie like that.

But yeah, I'm not too thrilled about a MMO Elder Scrolls. I think Skyrim might be fun if it had co op, but a full blown MMO that you have to pay for...I don't know.

Dr.Awkward:
You know, despite how many developers go after WoW's model when making a MMO, they completely miss other successful concepts such as Minecraft because they don't see it as a MMO.

They would if they stop defining the word "Massive" as "an adjective describing the number of players that play on official servers". Kill the whole of this mindset and replace it with something more financially manageable, and soon we'll be seeing MMOs going in unique places.

The problem is they think they are chasing WoW's model, but really aren't. WoW worked because Blizzard was not a single player RPG maker. Their primary games were Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. Battle.net gave them a huge understanding of infrastructure, balance, and the evil that are players. They weren't there to so much tell a story as build a wellbalanced compelling game environment. Then they layered some story and characters on over that. Whereas SW:TOR and ESO? They seemingly approach it from the wrong angle. Heck Bioware was the best RPG maker in the business. But it was meaningless because they had no infrastructure experience. No progressive end game experience. No experience dealing with live players in real time. Bethesda will be the same thing.

Making RTS games is probably one of the more perfect starting points for making an MMO. FPS's would probably not be too bad to start from. Even turn based strategy games. But starting from an experience base of RPG's? Ugh! Why not just hire the Angry Bird devs to make a MMO?

BlindChance:
It is a testimony to the very cycle you're describing here that even though you were discussing Elder Scrolls, my first thought was, "Oh, he's talking about SWTOR." It works just as well.

I think that's his point. As they say, those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Everyone keeps looking at WoW and saying "We'll make millions!" but no one actually looks at the dozens of attempts at making a game to cash-in on WoW's success and says "But we need to make sure not to do what they did." This story could easily be applied to just about any MMO that's been released in the past half-decade or so.

...we came in?

Other people seem to think that this is an allegory for the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online game (that I've somehow managed to remain clueless about), so I'll take them at their word.

How would this work? ES games seem tailor-made for single player. Then again, I'm not a video game developer or planner of any sort.

EDIT: I just had another thought. Bethesda can't craft a stable system for a single-player game. How can they possibly be able to code for a MMO?

Isn't this where...

wow this site loves bashing eso! its a good game just wait for the nda to come down! there will also be an open beta! idn man i hope no one from the escapist plays it, that way i dont have to put up with this in game!

Funnily enough right after this article went up I received an e-mail about doing another round of beta testing for ESO. And I'm just sitting here wondering if I want to participate. Every single time I beta test that game I can't help but feel like my time would be better served just playing Skyrim.

I tend to hate MMOs to much grinding and not uniqueness in abilities and gear its too much you are just another cubicle drone for me most of the time.

PainInTheAssInternet:
...we came in?

Other people seem to think that this is an allegory for the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online game (that I've somehow managed to remain clueless about), so I'll take them at their word.

How would this work? ES games seem tailor-made for single player. Then again, I'm not a video game developer or planner of any sort.

EDIT: I just had another thought. Bethesda can't craft a stable system for a single-player game. How can they possibly be able to code for a MMO?

Isn't this where...

Bethesda has nothing to do with ESO. Its being made by zenimax online, which is the head dude from dork age of camealot, and a bunch of cut rates paid to cludge together a quick money grab, while simultaneously take a dump on the lore.

Shamus Young:
Why can't we make Age of Dragon Sword it into an MMO?

Indeed! Why can't we make Age of Dragon Sword it?

Nikita Pronin:
wow this site loves bashing eso! its a good game just wait for the nda to come down! there will also be an open beta! idn man i hope no one from the escapist plays it, that way i dont have to put up with this in game!

Bad news there bub, I've played the last two closed betas so far. The NDA can only protect the game from so much backlash, and while they're close to being an Elder Scrolls game, in many respects, there's simply too much lost in the "MMO Translation" for it to succeed. Some of the problems are core to the game's premise, some are compromises Zeni made "because it's an MMO," forgetting that games define their genres, not the other way around.

But that's neither here nor there - this isn't ESO specific, it's about the cycle of stupidity that encourages publishers and developers to think cashing in big-name franchises is a gold mine, when in fact it's more like a money pit.

This tracks very well to many items in either the software and hardware industries. The magic number is almost always 'even if we only get half' of the baseline is that somehow copying it will enable riches to pour in. The normal result is somewhat environmentally specific, no body is going to buy your OS, word processor, photo markup, iPod/iPhone/iPad/Walkman replacement as it is not the original nor is it as good.

That the MMO venture finally devolves into F2P adds the perfect pitch to it. Many in the game industry look with lust at the horrible mobile games that force/entice underfunded players to continue to spend money on a not so free to play app. They objectify it, vilify it and do their best to copy it. All because 'We Are Going To Be Rich'. Right. And you are the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and the list is never ending. But it never does include them.

BrotherRool:
People always want their single-player games to be turned into MMOs because they want the world to feel more real.

And then they play the new game and realise that MMOs are nothing like that

I've never seen an MMO that draws me in more then a similar single player game.

Hell, I can think of a couple I'd play if they were actually single player*CoughTheSecretWorldCough*.

Nikita Pronin:
wow this site loves bashing eso! its a good game just wait for the nda to come down! there will also be an open beta! idn man i hope no one from the escapist plays it, that way i dont have to put up with this in game!

I'm sorry you aren't paying attention to the facts, but seriously mate, I love the Elder Scrolls. This game is not it. It is a horrible rip off MMO, made purely for money. Buy the game for 80! Or 100! If you want to actually play as a certain race, screw with the lore and get bonuses, just pay us $120! What's that, you like the game? Now you need to pay us $20 a month to play it! We never said anything at all about having a subscription so there are no paywalls - say have you heard about the Imperial Edition?

It's just a horrible cash grab with bad graphics, bad gameplay and boring quests. Yes, there was a beta. Do you know what everyone said about it?

"This game sucks more balls than the Lusty Argonian Maid."

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