Its long… thought someone might like to browse… similar topics and discussions to what have been had here on this forum - even tho the OP is refering to MMO, it overlaps with a lot of other games like LE…
I don’t suppose they explain what “authentic experience” means in this context do they? I’m assuming they don’t want an MMO to require them to walk for hours/days/weeks to get to a quest only for the magic user to get one-shot by some random mob because they’re wearing the equivalent of a bathrobe & everybody else dies of dysentery or malaria or something similar.
This is a very good topic. The key is that, once upon on a time, games used to be fun.
Now fun is defined by slanting the RNG such that you have to run around for 100s of hours to get an item that lets you have fun.
I think that LE has struck a pretty good balance between the running around part to get RNG to work in your favor and the fun part. Hence the reason I’m mostly playing LE and not something else.
I have to agree with @Llama8 that “authentic experience” is a bit nebulous. however in my mind it’s the idea that a good game shoud be FUN, and not simply trying to take advantage, at least not too much, of the fact that for whatever reason, people like to gamble. although i suspect in evolutionary terms your brain had to reward you for running around and discovering things, particularly food, so that you wouldn’t sit in your cave all day playing video games.
This makes me think about something my son told me many times.
According to him, games like LE or Diablo or any looter are bad by design, because of their kind of RNG. For him, RNG “before” something OK (when you enter a map, RNG decides where the mobs are), but RNG “after” is bad (when mobs are dead, RNG decides what we loot). Basically, this is for all loot games.
He compares to something like, for example, Sekiro. You have no loot (or almost no loot), and what makes you better in the game is that you personnaly train and progress. It’s not any loot that gives you better stats and makes you better. In looter games, it’s not the player who is good, it’s the stuff they find.
I love Last Epoch (and played a lot of Diablo 3 and Wolcen) so you know I don’t think like him, but I see the point. I don’t feel it is bad design, but he is right. And for some people, the small instant of fun (“wow, I defeated Uber boss XXX”) needs endless hours of grinding, which are kind of a job. We work for hundreds of hours towards several minutes of fun.
I’m still totally OK with that, but I do see and understand why some people aren’t.
From the post… but yes, “authentic” can mean different things to different people and the post is most definitely subjective… I think in this case, I think the op means unique, meaningful, fun… read on Mcduff… I find some of the comments - if you can skim through 4000 odd, quite interesting - both positive & negative - especially the difference in attitudes & interpretation/expectation in games for those that are younger and didnt experience the originals of the various genres… and then there is the obvious commercial influence that has probably corrupted more than a few games but you cannot ignore the fact that games must make money… Just an interesting skim…
When World of Warcraft first launched, it was incredibly authentic, and So rich with areas to explore, quests to do with stories about each character that we’re coherent and made sense. Every single thing in the game gave you a reason to give a crap about it. Now, you get expansion after expansion of nothing but shallow quests that don’t even remotely make sense, pointless grinds designed like a terrible second job at a retail store, features of the game that were once easy to obtain locked behind even more grinding, punishment systems designed so that you feel guilty for having a life. Look at any MMO out there right now, and you will see that this is the case for all of them. Even Elder Scrolls Online, the newest and most unique, supposedly, of all MMOs. Daily login rewards that can’t possibly be claimed after the day is over if you happen to have a life and miss a day. The story has become just bullshit and terrible. Every single steam DLC reflects how the quality has diminished and is getting much worse. They hardly put any effort into it anymore …
Why are MMOs moving away from being authentic and very well designed, to being these pointless grinds?
Of course not. They can’t. The irony about rants like this about “authentic experiences” is that most of these feelings they’re having are not actually authentic, they’re just wistful nostalgia that’s being mistaken for something else.
I played WoW when it launched and I remember very clearly what it was like, so when people write things like this:
It tells me that their memory is 100% broken. I’ve played every expansion, and Vanilla WoW was the most painfully grindy, gatekept, punishing version of WoW that I have played. Like, that quote above could be rewritten to be specifically about vanilla WoW and it would be spot on, but the author’s nostalgia goggles are too thick to realize what they did.
The reality of these “classic authentic experiences” is that they happened decades ago when people were young and still discovering the world, themselves, and games. So much of the feelings and experiences of those times, people long for having them again without realizing they never be recaptured. No matter how much you love a book, you can’t read it a thousand times over decades and still have it fill you with the same feelings of wonder and discovery as it did the very first time you read it. Once in a great while you might something that can briefly give you back those feelings again, but that’s the exception and not the norm. This person’s problem is not that new games are not delivering “aUtHeNTiC eXpERiEnCeS” anymore, it’s that they’ve been playing the same game for almost 20 years and they got tired of it.
And, a lot of the people saying similar don’t get that a big part of what made WoW so revolutionary was nothing more than other MMOs at the time being really poor by comparison. I also remember what it was like playing many of its contemporaries - UO, AO, FF11, SB, L/L2, COH/V - and any problem I have with vanilla WoW is dwarfed by what a shitfest those games were. WoW did most things much better than what had come before it, and had magnetism that none of the rest of them had - It was Warcraft. It’s not particularly appropriate to judge something that old by current standards, but if vanilla WoW came out for the first time tomorrow, it would not be as successful. Even now, capitalizing on the nostalgia of it, Classic WoW’s popularity pales in comparison both to its original release and to that of current WoW.
But, more than anything else, I think the entire argument about this topic is dumb. I wish more people in the gaming community could have the maturity to just not like things without needing to justify it with some grandiose commentary about the state of the industry or the good old days or whatever. These are just games. They’re supposed to be a fun passtime, not an identity. It’s ok to just not like a game and leave it at that. You don’t need to springboard up onto a pedestal with some half cocked rant for it to be ok that you don’t like a game.
I have not played Sekiro, but i do like this idea. Also i mod the rest of your post, +1 insightful
This also reminds me of my favorite idea which is weighted RNG. Let’s say you just cannot live without a Bastion of Honor (which is true of course).
The idea is that there is some way that as you progress, i.e. spend time towards obtaining it, your odds of obtaining it, get better. There is still an RNG element to it, you could be 1 hour towards your goal and obtain it, but the idea is that as you have more time the RNG eventually converges to 100% chance.
it should be obvious that this is strictly an illustration of the idea. the details towards implementing some of this are non-trivial.
However in the sekiro example, i think that this sort of thing should still apply. what if i just don’t have good reflexes, should i never be able to beat the game ? it seems like the game, as you try to improve, should provide buffs of some sort so that after a sufficient amount of time you can beat it.
maybe the enemy slows down slightly on each encounter, i don’t know…
anyway, just thinking out loud here, and perhaps wandering off topic
I am a firm believer that only two “Designs” for MMOs would be truly fun and not feel like a “job”.
A PvP-based game (not a game which happens to have PvP, literally PvP based, meaning its how you progress). Something like the upcoming Camelot Unchained
A player-expandable MMO similar to Neverwinter, but with a much better dungeon builder, and a WAY WAY better vetting process to weed out useless/stupid submissions.
Both of those things provide “endless” fun, without the need for endless “progression” (aka Grind).
PvP focused mmo’s don’t make money, despite the vocal minority, there is just not enough widespread player interest for a “hard core” pvp focused game. By hard core I do not mean specifically Singe death “hardcore” but the more loose sense of the term as in I am so hard core I pvp on the pvp focused server of the pvp focused game.
Then that isn’t a PvP-based game. Go read about Camelot Unchained. That will be a PvP-based game.
If only I have a response I could just pull out of my hat. Oh wait someone beat me to it Why pvp mmo’s fail
When I read the praise for vanilla WoW I was done whit the whole post. Only people who played vanilla WoW and maybe had their first MMO experience with it will think about it as a good game. It was a grind simulator with a shit story surrounded with a clunky system.
Sure it had good parts for people who want fast progression like the crafting, the holy trinity that makes every dungeon content completely braindead as well as a balance that made some class specilisations completely useless.
We don’t good MMOs anymore because we don’t have good MMOs anymore.
Great post, you said it all.
You see, I cannot change. Getting old is for other people. Me? I am still exactly the same person I was at 20.
Therefore, if my experience with a game feels different now, it has to be because of the game. Not me. Of course not.
Levelling a new character in WoW is WAYYYYY more fun now than it was in Vanilla (yes, I was there). But it was the first, and gave me feelings that can never come back.
Translate it in ARPGs terms:
I remember buying a magazine because it came with a CD offering a playable demo of Diablo 1. Just the first floor and the Butcher. It was amazing!!! Does that mean Diablo 1 was much better than Diablo 3 or LE or PoE? Of course not. Yet I dont really remember my first time with these, because it wasn’t a brand new world opening anymore.
Speaking of PoE, it used to be great. Now it is shit.
I cannot find the feelings I had when I first played it, so it must have changed for the worst. Nothing to do with me playing over 12 seasons and getting tired of it. Because, you know, I cannot change.
Hello, Amazon. Now don’t you wish someone had explained that to you BEFORE the New World disaster? Sadly, while most of us players have always known that, apparently your highly paid executives don’t…
There are plenty of really good MMOs. I can’t believe you’ve played them all.
I grant you that there are not really good NEW ones in the last 2-3 years, but why would we always need to play something released in the last three months? Lots of “older” MMOs are still going great.
Yes there are some for sure. I play some from time to time if it’s ESO or GW2 or FFXIV. Then again at some point I feel done with it and not eager to play more.
On the other hand there are good games that are missmanaged heaviely like New World or Lost Ark but you can still find fun with them when they tickle certain tastes.
Sadly “good” is rather subjective. I think WoW is doing a good job to be a widely good game but I’ll never touch it again because for me it turned to shit.
I find myself in a place where often “The bad” of a game far outweighs “The good” of a game and this gets frustrating over time ^^. I simply wait what the future holds and if certain titles in the making are keeping their promises but since DAoC there is no game I realy had fun with and DAoC is a whole cluster of badly aged designs and I can’t force myself to play it.
On the other hand I don’t understand why Wildstar or Warhammer was going down so quick but I think there are not only devs and publishers to blame but the whole market itself. Sometimes when I look at MMos it feels like noone realy likes to play those but keeping at it because the time they invested or something along those lines.
Me, what I like is doing all questlines and visiting all areas in a game. You know, to see the sights.
Never cared much about endgame.
I still consider WoW brilliant, but I also won’t be going anymore, I have seen everything I wanted to see (several times).
Right now I am having lots of fun in Lost Ark, each island is very different from the others, and it is really big so I might be there a while.
LOTRO, SWTOR, Neverwinter, Rift, ESO, GW2, are amongst those I would recommend if you fancy a nice stroll in a different universe. I revisit most of them once in a while, always with a new character.
Maybe I am just weird.
I like these kind of meta discussions.
Weighted RNG might come later, who knows.
The Sekiro example really makes me wanna do throw out a dungeon Idea, where its all about the mechanics.
Like, you enter the dungeon, and somebody sealed your Equipment and items.
All you have is your base stats and skills (and blessings maybe).
So, lets say you have 100 hp, some base regen and every skill does like 1 damage.
(Some skills do more, like 2 or 5)
The enemies slowly get stronger and stronger and you get rewarded for how far you come, solely on your mechanics.
But this might be hard to balance or justify.
If you can enter the game. My experience with WoW was:
- Go there, bring me ten dead wolves
- Here they are sir
- Thanks. Now go there and bring me twenty dead wolves
- Here they are sir
- OK now go there and bring me ten dead wolves and three flowers
At that moment, I stopped. When I tried again several years later, it was the same. Same thing with Tera, that I also tried. I could hardly imagine more boring. Many years later, same thing with Mu Legends or Black Desert Online.
OK, I’m not a MMO guy. Not at all.
Don’t know when you played, but for me WoW got massively better after the Cataclysm. It was really a turning point, huge improvement in questing / levelling design.
But I see your point.
I can’t say when it was, don’t remember. But it’s not bound to WoW, it’s been the same for all. “Go there bring that then repeat” requires player qualities I don’t have.