My Number is Bigger than Yours
Date: 03-18-2008 Views:
KeyWord: writer club, mmo
Summary: How many people buy things they think they need and they don#DY#t read the label? My guess is plenty, and I see it more and more in the MMO genre.

The article is from MMOsite Writer Club member cesarsuki.

How many people buy things they think they need and they don#DY#t read the label? My guess is plenty, and I see it more and more in the MMO genre. MMOs are not a trend, or should be considered as something that will fade out anytime soon. Games like Ultima, World of Warcraft, and Everquest have popularized the genre by having a large amount of players. But that doesn#DY#t mean it#DY#s for everybody.

Experience vs Content

"I hate grinding", "This quests are boring", "There is nothing to do after level 70" do any of these phrases sound familiar?  I bet they do. As consumers we get more picky when we have many choices. We raise our standards rapidly, and we demand lower cost for our entertainment. We indulge in complaining to the game developers the game publishers and anybody else behind the game.

From the point of view of a game developer/designer designing a perfect five star game is a nightmare. We are like little children, we are mean, and nothing ever pleases us. Sometimes we cry for an expensive luxurious toy, and when we get it we prefer to play with the empty box where it came in.

So, how do you please  one million customers? first, developers set a target market, Such as fantasy players, of sci-fi gamers. They cater to a specific type of player rather than trying to invent a universal marvel that will please any kind of online gamer. For example, a hardcore Counter Strike: Source player won#DY#t be very comfortable playing Fairyland. Even though it is not impossible that there is such player that enjoys both games, it is easier for developers to "catalog" the kinds of players into specific types.

Moving along, we have the game design problem of completion. How long should it take for players to finish the game? In conventional single player games there is a certain amount of time, that skipping all the content that is not necessary for the main plot of the game you might be able to finish it in a matter of hours. But that is not the case for MMOs, more specifically MMORPGs.

Exercise:

On your PC, or your console play your favorite First Person Shooter for about one hour. Then when one hour has passed, sit immediately on your computer and log into your MMORPG.

It is going to be like driving a car at full speed and suddenly slowing down to 15 MPH because there was a school sign on the road. There is a very different time pace between them and I think many players are expecting a faster game pace on a basis of instant gratification. If what you need is instant gratification or achievements in shorter time then the casual MMO should be your first choice.

Then, we have a dilemma about experience versus the amount of content. If you level too fast in the game, you might skip doing the quests and just grinding the monsters, because there wouldn#DY#t be any point on you doing Fedex quests if you can stay on the same spot and get the same experience in the same amount of time. That is a waste of writing an animation because many players won#DY#t do the quests.

If you level too slow and you have no content to support your long hours, that is also a problem, because you will get bored with the game very fast. In conclusion, there must be a balance between content and experience so that we can enjoy a game, let#DY#s say for a couple of years with a nice guild we made, without going trough a hell of grind and/or a starvation for content.


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