The Revolution the MMO needs: Fun.

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BloatedGuppy:

RJ 17:
Gotta use my english degree for something...god knows it doesn't apply to many jobs, apparently. >.>

RJ 17:
Only MMO I played was WoW, I was with it from the beginning till the end of content updates for Burning Crusade. That was what, about 4 years or so? And I was in DEEP. I wasn't blowing off commitments and becoming a recluse, but every second of free time that I had was spent in the World of Warcraft.

So no, I didn't get to play EQ, though I had a couple friends that played it and that's how I know it's nickname of Ever Crack. They couldn't fully explain WHY they were so thoroughly addicted to the game...but at the same time they couldn't deny that they were indeed thoroughly addicted to the game, just like a crackhead. :P

WoW was actually a legitimately compelling game in some ways. It was crisp and responsive and easy to learn and play. The art style was friendly, the world was huge, and it was bursting at the seams with content, even if some of that content wasn't particularly propulsive or mechanically sophisticated.

EQ was fascinating and had some truly unique elements that will never be seen again (like its hideous difficulty), but was far more addictive. You'd be squatting in a damp cave for 5 hours doing absolutely nothing but waiting for some rare mob to spawn so you could grab a quest item, and in the back of your mind this whispering voice would be screaming "What on earth am I DOING!?".

God I wish that comic was true....u.u
:P For the record, I'm an English major with a minor in Writing, so I've at least got a good foundation to reaching my highest aspiration of becoming a successful novelist.

As for WoW, like I said, I absolutely loved that game. In truth it was more real life circumstances that kinda forced me to quit than actually WANTING to quit. Right out of college I simply didn't have the time necessary to dedicate to the game, as such I officially became a "reserve" member of the guild I was in. I couldn't be around on a regular basis for raids, but if they needed a spot filled and I was on I was more than welcome to come along. So really I came by less and less and less and finally, about the time that Lich King came out, I was pretty much officially done with it.

BloatedGuppy:
In defense of WoW, though, that's not entirely true. Something as simple as one wolf having a bleed, and another having BAF and a howl that fears you, can completely change the dynamics of the experience. WoW's issue was by it's third expansion it had become painfully easy and rote, so it didn't matter what the mobs were doing, you were facerolling them all anyway.

Very true. Cataclysm neutered the levelling experience so thoroughly that by level 30 most mobs were dead before they got their special attacks off - no need for interrupts when you can just kill them in seconds. Since I don't really enjoy endgame that's been a major reason I've drifted away from WoW.

For interesting combat my preferred MMO is City of Heroes - particularly since not only are the enemy groups very diverse, but you have a lot of control over how challenging the missions are. At its most extreme even the most min-maxed and overpowered build will get a fight from taking on some enemy factions in a mission where every mob is 3 levels higher than you and the spawns are set for 8 people. There's no equivalent to that in WoW, other than soloing the 5 mans or older raids.

Runescape would be the revolution if it removed skill grinding and make quests give skill-ups instead, as well as mini-games and certain monsters under special conditions. This is what Runescape does right:

Quests are story driven, have meaningful impact on the game world, and only a few are of the "Kill X bring back Y" type. Combat, while extremely simple, is the most challenging I've seen in an MMO. Many high level fights require strict positioning and inventory management, with consequences for mistakes. Finally, community, something many modern MMO's lack, is actively encouraged. Players can use their character on any server. There is also an easy-to-use clan system, with many activities benefiting from its use.

Problem is it takes an inhuman amount of hours to be eligible for all of its content.

MMOs aren't fun? Huh, tell that to the millions who are still playing WoW. Myself included. I'm still having fun since Burning Crusade. I just take breaks every once in a while to keep myself from getting burnt out on it.

I think the more likely answer is that you just haven't found an MMO that you like, or MMOs just aren't your thing.

"Hammering number keys in a specific order"

Well, sure if all you do is dps in groups. That's probably the most formulaic thing you can do. Healing and tanking require more situational awareness. But if all you do is raids and dungeons then you're definitely going to get bored of it.

In WoW's defense, come Cata they took out a lot of the 20 bear asses quests and replaced them with quests in which "you ride around in a van and solve mysteries" to quote Yahtzee. I recently got Loremaster a few weeks ago, and I gotta say, some of the new low-level zones are awesomely fun.

I remember playing Guild Wars and even if it had "find this guy and gather this many things" type quests, i remember loving the dialogue, the NPC's conversations, the incredible music and surroundings, and the story.

But the thing i loved the most was the incredible universe. I loved every race, every class. I loved every single place you could visit (not every single one, considering there are some enemies that left scars within me... deep deep scars).

The only thing that for me was left out from place, was the fact there was not really much to do by the time you were over (not counting the pvp. I love pve way more and thus i'm grabbing to that aspect). Sure you had couple of "gather this many things" quests, but i hated those. I loved the ones in wich you did cool things, like riding a giant scorpion, sneaking past guards to save people, or using the surroundings to damage the enemies (siege weapons and so on).

I loved those, and gw2 with the new dynamic events and new kinds of quests and thread your own adventure really appeals me. It's like telling me "Hey we grabbed the thing you love the most and changed the core mechanic in a way you will love it waaaaaaaaaay more, with new places, new possibilities and way morestuff to do!".

Yes i admit mmorpg's are not for everyone, and it's hard to find one you like. But for me Guild Wars 2 is what i was searching for, it's a sequel to a game i loved and still love, and dedicated so much time.

The reason i stopped playing the first one, was because after i leveled all my characters and did the story so many tiems, and re-did the story + expansions so many times (i love helping weaker players and teaching them the mechanics, or at least help people who are re-starting the game), i was left with nothing to do, no objective.

I will play Guild Wars 2 because it gives me a main goal in a universe i love, and i know even after i am done i will have fun with the dungeons, i will get new dynamic events, and i will definitly re-play this experience multiple times.

Hope people don't see this the wrong way. I love Guild Wars. I fell in love since the beginning. And yeah... i guess it's the fanboyinsm talking, but i consider this game to be fun :D

I've got an awesome MMO idea.

2 words.

Multiplayer zombie survival game.

.... wait, that was more than 2 words.

Abandon4093:
I've got an awesome MMO idea.

2 words.

Multiplayer zombie survival game.

.... wait, that was more than 2 words.

Like this?

Class 3

Whether it makes it to launch is anyone's guess, given that so many promising MMO concepts get cancelled during development, but I'd like to see what they come up with.

woodaba:
So, Guild Wars 2 has just had a fairly successful beta weekend, and many people are foretelling that it will change the MMO with it's organic questing system. However, while I do feel that GW2's quests are a step in the right direction, it does not cure the MMO's most basic, fundamental problem. They, for the most part, are not fun to play. The average MMORPG experience consists of hammering the number keys in specific orders to make the thing you want to make dead die, or heal your comrades, or whatever. This system, for me, and many others, is simply not very fun. I could be hammering out code on microsoft excel and it would be an exact same experience I would get from an MMORPG.

Now, Tera seems to be taking a step away from that, with its action based combat system, where player reflexes, tactics, and positioning all play a key part in battle. However, Tera fails because its quests (as far as I know) are the same snore-inducing crap we get from most asian MMOs, kill y, gather x, repeat ad nauseum.

While the MMO is making steps in the right direction, with the aforementioned Tera combat and Guild Wars 2 questing, not to mention the upcoming Planetside 2 and its FPS approach to things as well as Star Wars: The Old Republic's story and dialogue, I still think fun is the key element missing from the modern MMO. Being able to do things other than hitting number keys would be pretty cool, I feel.

This is just me getting up on my soapbox, but what do you feel is holding back the modern MMO, if anything?

For the record, my favorite MMO was Ultima Online. It truly felt like a living, breathing world, rather than a theme park, which is what Modern MMO's feel like.

I think your points are fairly accurate for any pve aspect of an MMO, but if you always use the same button sequence against another person then you will die a lot.

Until an AI can adapt better to your strategy then I doubt much will change in anything PvE, unless the whole play structure is completely redone.

GW2 is a good start, but most of that comes from the PvP. While playing any of the PvE content I generally used the same tactics.

woodaba:
So, Guild Wars 2 has just had a fairly successful beta weekend, and many people are foretelling that it will change the MMO with it's organic questing system. However, while I do feel that GW2's quests are a step in the right direction, it does not cure the MMO's most basic, fundamental problem. They, for the most part, are not fun to play. The average MMORPG experience consists of hammering the number keys in specific orders to make the thing you want to make dead die, or heal your comrades, or whatever. This system, for me, and many others, is simply not very fun. I could be hammering out code on microsoft excel and it would be an exact same experience I would get from an MMORPG.

[snip]

For the record, my favorite MMO was Ultima Online. It truly felt like a living, breathing world, rather than a theme park, which is what Modern MMO's feel like.

Fun is subjective. I found the GW2 beta weekend incredibly fun. More fun than I've had in months...possibly years.

And the world lived and breathed more than any virtual world I've ever been in. I spent half my playtime exploring the cities, and I still didn't see everything. There are little details everywhere you turn that make everything feel real and vibrant.

So yeah...now that GW2 is on the horizon, I'll have everything I ever want in an MMO. I don't care what the rest of the genre does. (Though I'll still probably play it all, since I won't have to pay a sub for GW2.)

Sixcess:

Abandon4093:
I've got an awesome MMO idea.

2 words.

Multiplayer zombie survival game.

.... wait, that was more than 2 words.

Like this?

Class 3

Whether it makes it to launch is anyone's guess, given that so many promising MMO concepts get cancelled during development, but I'd like to see what they come up with.

Damn you internet! Stop anticipating my moves!!!!!

Guild Wars 2 has one other thing in it's favour in my mind; the lack of a subscription. I think to a certain extent the feelings of grindy-ness are due to people playing too much and burning themselves out. When you're on a subscription it feels like you have to play the game as much as possible to get your moneys worth. If you take it in smaller doses you'll enjoy it a lot more. I've enjoyed WoW from time to time. Usually I've resubscribed when there's been a new expansion, and it's been fun briefly. But you get sick of it after a while.

The improvements in the questing system are a big deal though. I actually thought SW:TOR was good in this respect. Levelling a character to cap didn't feel like a grind the first time through because you've got the story keeping you interested. Second time through you're repeating a lot of the quests and it's not the same. Also, the time you take to cap was much too short. The public quest system in GW2 seems good so far. I mean it feels quite natural just running round the world exploring and doing whatever quests that happen to appear. It's not really that absorbing from a story or lore perspective, but it is quite addictive. You can sit down to play for 20 minutes and find 2 hours pass in a flash.

Here's some footage I took in the GW2 beta btw. I'm not usually much of a PvP fan, but I enjoyed the battlegrounds over the weekend. There seems to be a lot of depth in the build customisation which I like.

Sixcess:
For interesting combat my preferred MMO is City of Heroes - particularly since not only are the enemy groups very diverse, but you have a lot of control over how challenging the missions are. At its most extreme even the most min-maxed and overpowered build will get a fight from taking on some enemy factions in a mission where every mob is 3 levels higher than you and the spawns are set for 8 people. There's no equivalent to that in WoW, other than soloing the 5 mans or older raids.

Alas, I played CoH at release, so my experience of it was entirely during the Fire Tanker/Blaster era, where every group of mobs was dead within seconds due to an overwhelming Alpha Strike. I think I went from 30-50 without a single fight every changing. I'd hold an entire group, the Blaster would obliterate it in 2-3 shots, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.

Glad to hear they finally sorted their shit out. Fire Tankers alone had to be the single most hilarious incidence of bad MMO balance in the history of the genre.

BloatedGuppy:

RJ 17:
They feed off the latent addictive nature in all humans by promising people "shiny new epic lewtz" if you play for just another 8 hours! JUST 8 MOAR HOURS! Only to kick the player in the balls by having the boss NOT drop the item they need, thus ensuring that the players are snared for another day of gaming.

It's just a cheap tactic to ensure that people keep playing your game and I'm sick of it and the hordes of mindless zombies that such games spawn!

Did you ever play EQ? That game was actually a Skinner Box. No fudging around it, that was some addictive shit. Just fiendish.

I still pine for it, mind you.

Everquest IS F2P now... Still as fun as ever, too!

My views on MMO's in general have been summed up by Penny Arcade.

image

If an MMO came out that had the story (and female clothing that actually covers the whole damn body, but this is a personal gripe) of TOR, the combat of Tera, and the questing of Guild Wars... well you'd probably never see me again.

I'd just like MMO's to stop aping WoW and tired, cliche'd RPG mechanics.

Ability bars, "Oh are you a Tank or a Damage dealer" classes, numbers fighting numbers making numbers fly everywhere, getting quests from static NPC's, Quests that can never be completed because the 50 other people behind you in the que need to do the same quest in the same way, often in the same place, Getting better loot so you can get better loot, Either spending ages going through "+1 broadcocks" and "+10 staffs of penetration" spreadsheets or just going down the same fucking route everyone else does because it is "the optimal route"

MMO's don't need more fun, They need more variety. There are thousands of MMO's that play The.Fucking.Same.

woodaba:
So, Guild Wars 2 has just had a fairly successful beta weekend, and many people are foretelling that it will change the MMO with it's organic questing system. However, while I do feel that GW2's quests are a step in the right direction, it does not cure the MMO's most basic, fundamental problem. They, for the most part, are not fun to play. The average MMORPG experience consists of hammering the number keys in specific orders to make the thing you want to make dead die, or heal your comrades, or whatever. This system, for me, and many others, is simply not very fun. I could be hammering out code on microsoft excel and it would be an exact same experience I would get from an MMORPG.

Now, Tera seems to be taking a step away from that, with its action based combat system, where player reflexes, tactics, and positioning all play a key part in battle. However, Tera fails because its quests (as far as I know) are the same snore-inducing crap we get from most asian MMOs, kill y, gather x, repeat ad nauseum.

While the MMO is making steps in the right direction, with the aforementioned Tera combat and Guild Wars 2 questing, not to mention the upcoming Planetside 2 and its FPS approach to things as well as Star Wars: The Old Republic's story and dialogue, I still think fun is the key element missing from the modern MMO. Being able to do things other than hitting number keys would be pretty cool, I feel.

This is just me getting up on my soapbox, but what do you feel is holding back the modern MMO, if anything?

For the record, my favorite MMO was Ultima Online. It truly felt like a living, breathing world, rather than a theme park, which is what Modern MMO's feel like.

"Fun" is subjective, like it or not millions of people find what your describing to be quite entertaining and that is what they want from a game, which is why you see it continuously re-used. Those general MMORPG mechanics are simply put perfect for what they set out to do, changing them when people are happy with them is kind of pointless, it's sort of like saying that games like Chess have not changed for centuries so it should be changed for that reason alone.

There are plenty of games that have changed things around. Someone already mentioned "Fallen Earth" but there have also been games like "Neocron", "All Points Bulletin", and others. Most of these games failed to catch on, because in the end most players want the stat based RPG mechanics, and that mandates a combat system based around the stats rather than twitch reflexs and such. Attempts to do both at the same time... like say "Star Trek Online" which has a choice of RPG or shooter controls for ground combat, have been mixed to say the least.

I get that you, and a lot of other vocal people, do not like the way current MMOs are, but you are vastly outnumbered. I also notice a general tendency for the people who complain to not take the time or money to invest in the games that break that mould.

To put things into perspective I loathe Microtransactions, but I have sunk some money into STO because I like the way how it's managed to support both a ground and space component at the same time, and want to encourage future science-fiction games to take the time to do that instead of being all one or the other.

In your place I'd look towards games like say "Fallen Earth", "All Points Bulletin" and others, which might not be great, but seem to incorperate some of the ideas you want. Support those ideas, make it clear why you do so, and if you get enough people to do the same thing you can make the games successful enough to be duplicated.

Basically you need to prove there is enough of a growing niche to support differant kinds of games, right now though, the people who claim they want something differant spend more time QQing on forums than actually supporting the games that do things differantly... not just with time, but also with money.

woodaba:
snip

I get what you're saying, but I think you might have to adjust your argument a bit. As other posters have mentioned, fun is extremely subjective and trying to adjust ones game to suit the tastes of everyone is impossible, so yeah.

The one issue I have always encountered when playing MMO's is that everything becomes less adventurous and immersive the more I go on. The more I know about the world and the mechanics, the less fun it becomes.

That's the crux of the matter: I know too much.

I remember first starting out in WOW and not knowing where the hell I was, it was a living, breathing world where anything could happen. Just walking across the entirety of Kalimdor was one of the most fun experiences I ever had, I didn't know where I was going, what kind of danger there was or what level the creatures would be. I didn't know if I might meet alliance members, or if I would get a quest. It was incredible.

But all of that soon diminished, as I became more aware of the static information and mechanics, where I was supposed to go to, what kind of gear was the best and where everything was. The more I knew, the less fun it became. It was no longer an adventure, it was stat calculations and armor ratings and shit. It stopped being a world and became a bunch of numbers.

That is what I would like to change, the immutable aspect of MMOs. I would make it so that the level of the creatures, the quests and the information you get would change dynamically, things wouldn't always be the same. Keeping you a little bit in the dark would make it a much more immersive experience.

So yeah, that's my two cents.

My biggest problem with MMO's, and I hate to complain because lord knows I get sick and bloody tired of everyone else whining and complaining on this bloody forum, but my biggest problem is the fact every quest (or mission in the case of Star Trek Online) usually feels pretty much the same and no matter how urgent the game tries to make it seem there's always the undermining knowledge that this same mission has been completed by 1000+ players before me and will be completed again by 1000+ players after me and thus my impact on the overall gameworld will be pretty much nil. The thing is I can't imagine any way of them fixing this.

Got to say I actually felt a little restricted with the PvE content of GW2. There didn't seem to be enough stuff to level appropriately without submitting just a little bit to the grind that they've tried to exorcise. I know that grind is always going to be a part of an MMO experience - and they did a hell of a job disguising it in most places - but I was a little disappointed when the positive factor of it being so easy to lose yourself in the world combined with the negative factor of you getting insta-killed by a mountain goat five-six levels above you because your appetite for exploring the absolutely amazing world has gotten you in too deep.

That said I absolutely adored the PvE content - though there's a lot that I'm sure they're going to brush out - REALLY looking forward to the endgame content which helped GW1 shine in my eyes, but I want to point at WvW as an absolutely gobsmacking PvP experience. Was playing on the Jade Sea server and towards the end we, the blue team, completely took over the green team's borderlands. Was a genuinely thrilling experience and one that will last a long time. I expect much backing and forthing.

woodaba:
but what do you feel is holding back the modern MMO, if anything?

People chew through (quality) content faster then developers can make it. They need to make "the grind" to counter that. Most of the problems in MMOs tend to spring from that.

Make it "Fun" without a grind? People are done with it in two days.

I'm not sure how much I'd qualify that as "holding the genre back", since a lot of people are playing because they ENJOY the grind in at least a small way. I know that when I was playing WoW Burning Crusade I really enjoyed even the grindy parts. I think people who don't like grinding at all maybe aren't suited for the genre in the first place.

Aerowaves:
t I was a little disappointed when the positive factor of it being so easy to lose yourself in the world combined with the negative factor of you getting insta-killed by a mountain goat five-six levels above you because your appetite for exploring the absolutely amazing world has gotten you in too deep.

yup, I experienced the same thing, being a squishy mesmer didn't help either.

I think we'll have to get used to bringing a friend or two along when we do want to venture into higher level zones.

That being said, despite whatever issues or flaws I found in the various mechanics..my entire time in the gw2 beta was one thing: FUN.

The problem is that each new MMO only brings 1 new feature, like Rift started dynamic events and GW2 used them, TOR started having a story, and Tera has 'action combat' but they are all just WoW clones aside from that 1 new feature so they fail. A new MMO would have to have all of these things to truly be good, and it would have to also have plenty of content, good PVP, a group finder at launch, be accessible enough for 'Retards' as they are called in the MMO community to play it but also hard enough for people to not complain that its too easy.
Getting all that into 1 game is impossible, therefore there never will be a truly good MMO. The best thing, unfortunately, would be to get all of that stuff into WoW. Replace some of the quests with dynamic events, give the remaining quests a voice acted story, make the combat a bit more actiony and decrease the reliance on the holy trinity. It has all the other things done.
The irony is that wow easily could make these changes in the next expansion or have even done so in Pandaria except they are taking the 'If it aint broke don't fix it' approach cos they still have 10 mil subs and im sure at least 1 of the 2 mil they lost will be back for Pandaria.

TL:DR: What Irridium said.

The other issue with MMOs these days is that you have to force yourself to play them as a casual. Playing 6+ hours a day like in pre-cata WoW is just not an option anymore. You will burn through the content too fast and get stuck in the situation I am with TOR where you are bored of all the content.

Aerowaves:
Got to say I actually felt a little restricted with the PvE content of GW2. There didn't seem to be enough stuff to level appropriately without submitting just a little bit to the grind that they've tried to exorcise. I know that grind is always going to be a part of an MMO experience - and they did a hell of a job disguising it in most places - but I was a little disappointed when the positive factor of it being so easy to lose yourself in the world combined with the negative factor of you getting insta-killed by a mountain goat five-six levels above you because your appetite for exploring the absolutely amazing world has gotten you in too deep.

GW2 could use a little bit more fluff on the PVE level, I agree. Something I wish more games would ape was WAR's Tome. In WAR, if you killed a boar, you'd have a "Boar" page in your Tome, with a picture of a Boar, and some info about Boars, and as you killed more Boars, Boar specific fluff quests would unlock. Kill X Boars. Kill a named Boar. Find a picture of a Boar. Etc. Nothing you'd actually put in a quest log and focus on, but just random fluff pittering away in the background. It was a fun way to feed the player lore while giving them more tiny victories to celebrate.

However I DON'T want people leveling faster. I want the leveling process to be long and fun. This breakneck dash to a tedious "end game" is one of the more tiresome revolutions the genre has undergone. If I hear one more smarmy dev intone that the real game starts at 50 I'll punch them right in the throat. The whole game should be the game, jackass.

Aerowaves:
That said I absolutely adored the PvE content - though there's a lot that I'm sure they're going to brush out - REALLY looking forward to the endgame content which helped GW1 shine in my eyes, but I want to point at WvW as an absolutely gobsmacking PvP experience. Was playing on the Jade Sea server and towards the end we, the blue team, completely took over the green team's borderlands. Was a genuinely thrilling experience and one that will last a long time. I expect much backing and forthing.

If it captures even one iota of DAoC's RvR glory it'll be worth every penny I spent on it.

Zaul2010:
The problem is that each new MMO only brings 1 new feature, like Rift started dynamic events and GW2 used them, TOR started having a story, and Tera has 'action combat' but they are all just WoW clones aside from that 1 new feature so they fail.

Negatory, good buddy. Those games did not "fail". Rift has been an extremely profitable success for Trion, TOR peaked with a massive two million subs which has since slumped to one, but needed only 500K to be profitable. And Guild Wars 2 ISN'T EVEN OUT YET.

The bar of success for MMOs is not set at 12 million subs. Even WoW reached those numbers with smoke and mirrors, their NA sub base never went above 4 million and the numbers for the Asian subs were dodgy. Everquest was a monolithic success that created the explosion in the genre in the first place, and it peaked at 800K subscribers.

Well financially they succeed, but in the eyes of their players they fail.

Zaul2010:
Well financially they succeed, but in the eyes of their players they fail.

In the "eyes of their players" they "fail" every single time they do something said player dislikes. Mages nerfed? FAILED! PvP not implemented soon enough? FAILED! Caters too much to casuals? FAILED! Caters too much to hardcores? FAILED!

I don't know to break this to you, but WoW had a new "This game has failed" post on the front page of the forums almost every 5 minutes for the first year of its life, and still gets them from time to time.

Apparently all the MMOs are failures. Huge flops, every last one. If we listen to the players. All that money they're making is entirely incidental, I imagine.

The problem is they're not persistent worlds, they're completely static.

In any high-profile title of the last 5 years, the player can't change a single element of the virtual world for more than a minute or affect the players around him. Whether you're playing with a hundred, a thousand, or a hundred thousand other people on one server, you'd have the exact same experience, barring the difference in instance queue times.

There is no consequence for death, no open world PvP, no risk in trading, no housing or clan warfare, no non-combat roles. And if the ability to meaningfully interact with the environment and other players is gone, what am I to play an MMO for? The horrible combat system, the outdated visuals, or the crappy storytelling?

MMOs have lost their simulative nature and depth, and are now disappointingly simple and unambitious games. It's a shame, because 10 years ago this was the most promising genre around.

Thoric485:
The problem is they're not persistent worlds, they're completely static.

In any high-profile title of the last 5 years, the player can't change a single element of the virtual world for more than a minute or affect the players around him. Whether you're playing with a hundred, a thousand, or a hundred thousand other people on one server, you'd have the exact same experience, barring the difference in instance queue times.

There is no consequence for death, no open world PvP, no risk in trading, no housing or clan warfare, no non-combat roles. And if the ability to meaningfully interact with the environment and other players is gone, what am I to play an MMO for? The horrible combat system, the outdated visuals, or the crappy storytelling?

MMOs have lost their simulative nature and depth, and are now disappointingly simple and unambitious games. It's a shame, because 10 years ago this was the most promising genre around.

I saw towns and bridges in GW2 stay destroyed or captured for some time.

though I cant really comment on how long it will last once the game is out.

well, they stay in that state till players come and either fix the bridge or re-take the fort

SajuukKhar:
I saw towns and bridges in GW2 stay destroyed or captured for some time.

though I cant really comment on how long it will last once the game is out.

I can't imagine very long. Rift had the hypothetical scenario wherein mobs from an invasion could get out of control and overrun a zone, but in reality it was always caught and snuffed out in fairly short order by players. Particularly if it's something that inconveniences them or has a significant impact on a high traffic area, it'll get nipped in the bud right quick.

That said, those can still be nice community building moments, where everyone floods an area to turn back invaders. You actually celebrate the appearance of other players, rather than feeling annoyed with them.

I don't agree with the OP on this one.

I find combat in MMO's to be very challenging and rewarding. I never got bored of combat in SWTOR despite having put hundreds of hours into that game. The same could be said for my experiences with Guild Wars back in the day.

The lack of fun in MMO's comes from the grind. Something that may never go away when it comes to the subscription based formula. I can only hope the future of MMO's does the following and more:

- Enable constant fast-travel outside of combat to towns, quests, missions and locations of interest. Remove any arbitrary cooldowns.
- Substantially increase character run speeds in open area's
- Allow for quests to be given on the fly and to be rewarded without any backtracking
- Remove all backtracking. If a battle doesn't help push the story forward, let us bypass it.
- Eliminate XP grinding, levels should be gained through quests and tasks.
- Eliminate all senseless inventory management. Crafting supplies should automatically be placed in a separate inventory screen accessible anywhere at all times. Think of the menu screen from a game like Legend of Zelda where all your items are visible.

mmos' are not designed to be fun. Mmo are designed to be addicting,using a reward system akin to rewarding your dog a treat for doing the correct trick

woodaba:

Now, Tera seems to be taking a step away from that, with its action based combat system, where player reflexes, tactics, and positioning all play a key part in battle.

Vindictus says hi, and reminds you its both out, and did that before Tera :p (and with out the pedo bait)

not only that, but if you REALLY think hot keys are 100% boring 100% of the time, you REALLY need another hobbie. if you can't find the simple joy of rolling a tank and building it to a point of neigh unkillability, then start walking through mobs that would shred any other AT and drop lesser tanks, i don't know how to help you. o.0 i really don't

I'll admit, hotkey based MMO's are getting old, but they can be, and are still fun. i mean i just got down spending a few hours running around collecting the 'Underground' and 'kill' badges in Preatoria in CoH with one of my lvl50's cause it sounded like fun, and, it was :D

Sixcess:

WoW is the undisputed king of the pallete swap monster and yes, there's not much difference between a lvl 5 hungry wolf, a lvl 20 rabid wolf or a lvl 80 monstrous wolf save for color and size. But that's WoW, and I've already said I consider WoW's grindiness almost indefensible. City of Heroes, for example, boasts a much wider range of enemy groups, with a lot more to differentiate them than the color of their model.

yay for CoH love :D

RJ 17:
ker snip

just to expand on what Six was talking about above
it starts pretty much at lvl 1 too. starting at the Tutorial you fight
alien rock monsters
demon worshiping gang bangers (complete with horns and flame based powers)
death worshiping gang bangers (complete with skull masks and HP and stat draining powers)
non magically animated zombies and the doctors that made them
psychic trash robots (no really, you fight robots made of scrap powered by psychic energy)
the big bad evil organization's low level grunts (every group, especially ones that you encounter through out the game have 'tiers' of enemy's that you run into, so with the Archnos, its just the basic Wolf Spiders, and the Huntsmen at first, then you get the drones, Widows and Fortunadas, then you get the Tarantulas, and so on)

and that's the 1-10

:D
CoH so spoiled me

Fun is an MMO revolution?

I'm assuming we're going by the Maoist interpretation of "permanent revolution," because I started finding MMOs fun in 2004, and the ones I've played in the years since then haven't stopped.

Mh.. tell me what you tink about an upcoming mmo : ArcheAge
Might be goin in your direction.
http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/572/ArcheAge.html

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