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Will the majority of my time be spent walking?

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Nukingsman, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Sevvy

    Sevvy Cupcake-About-Town

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    SWTOR may have had 2 million subs at one time, sure. How many subs does it have now? How many subs did they bleed after that initial 3 month period? SWTOR was not a success. How are SWTOR's 4 servers doing right now? Are they stable?

    The last sandbox games that were popular were SWG and EVE. WoW was released shortly after that, and subsequent MMOs have emulated WoW to try to catch lightning in a bottle again. To me, that says more about trying to emulate WoW than it does about sandbox games.

    Bolded part is just ridiculous. Really?
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  2. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Last Swtor numbers I heard still put it at ~500k subs, and many more players since the f2p transition. While it certainly had some growing pains it seems to have stabalized in a good place.

    The "death" of Swg can pretty easily be attributed to the launch of WoW and Eq2. You also see rather major dips with little to no recovery in a number of other games, including UO, which had just hit its peak. EvE is an outlier for a number of reasons. The biggest being the sheer number of players that own more than 1 account. There is a reason why the sub number continues to climb but the average users does not match the trend. Mystic has terrible reasoning on a number of things, but the market has made it pretty clear that the sandbox audience is rather small.
  3. mysticjbyrd

    mysticjbyrd Cupcake-About-Town

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    Terrible reasoning?
    Such as what?

    This is the most ridiculous argument in the MMO genre. WoW got lucky. It is so utterly ridiculous that it is quite laughable. Blizzard is the gold standard of gaming. WoW was and still is a great game. That is why people have stuck with it for years.
  4. Sevvy

    Sevvy Cupcake-About-Town

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    When did I say WoW got lucky?

    Dude, you are kind of ridiculous.
  5. Split_Light

    Split_Light Cupcake

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    I can probably say pretty safely that my playing dynamic is a good deal of the reason that run times have been shortened, auto teleports to dungeons and PvP have been put in, and travel has in short been made much faster.

    I played Everquest for years, starting back in the day where you sometimes found yourself waiting for 15 minutes for a boat to come, and another 10 minutes for the crossing. I walked from one end of Norrath to another, yelled for a dungeon or just an open spot to camp in a dungeon (I'm looking at you Guk). I was occasionally annoyed by the travel but for the most part lived with it, and if I was in a hurry I'd hopefully find a druid or wizard I could pay to move me. Then my life shifted dramatically.

    I'm 40+ yearss old, have 2 kids, a wife, a job, a house, and responsibilities. I have at most about 2 hours when I log in for an evening of play, between when the kids go to bed and I have to go to bed as work comes early.

    I don't have time to walk to a dungeon and yell for a group. It's not going to happen, and if that's what's required to feel like I've accomplished something, I'm going to look elsewhere. If I can't get into an instance fairly quickly I won't have time to complete it. It has nothing to do with Sandbox vs Themepark, Casual vs Hardcore. It's just the reality of life once you hit a certain status. And the brutal truth is, we 40+ers make up a pretty big chunk of the player base now, and more importantly, we're the playerbase with money. For the most part, if I see something in the cash shop that looks cool and I want, I can afford to buy it (within logical reason of course). Your average teen isn't going to be able to do that. Thus games cater to, and will continue to cater to me.

    Someday I hope to have my kids out of the house, and perhaps even retire. Then mayhap I can go back to late nights of hedonistic gaming, but until then. If I can't feel like I've accomplished something in 1 to 2 hours I'm taking my money elsewhere.

    As much as Carbine may want to create a game that appeals to "hardcore" players, whoever those may actually be, they will also make sure it appeals to players like me, because they need to make a profit, or there will be no game for anybody.
  6. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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    Observation: He's been here a week and has over 200 posts.

    The reason companies are 'emulating WoW' is because it is actually working (It isn't really emulation either, but i'll get to that later). It's working because they are turning a profit.

    Your criteria for success is based on your own hopes for the game, you're looking for a long term Home MMO, so you consider games which drop most of their subscribers after 3 months to be a failure. That is not how business works. Most of these games are budgetted in the $50m-$100m range, if they sell 2 million boxes on launch, they've just covered their costs purely on box sales even if every single player unsubscribes after 1 month. That's a win, and when companies are making money they have every reason to carry on doing what they are doing.

    The reason these games are all making money is because of the huge crowd of players who buy each new AA themepark MMO on release. It's likely to be the same people, the same block of 1-2 million players who jump from game to game, and make all of these titles succesful on pre-orders alone. These players consume themepark MMOs as if they are long single player titles, and if you consider the information we have about the number of people playing MMOs solo, this makes perfect sense. The business model works because these themepark games are very popular, they just aren't popular for the reasons you're looking for.

    The bulk of SWTOR is basically a single player RPG set in an online world, sold as an MMO, with a spattering of content thrown in at the end of the game to justify the genre title. It was considered a flop, probably because their budget was over the top to begin with, but i'll wager by now they've still turned a profit. It doesn't take much. GW2 was primarily a casual levelling experience, the bulk of their development efforts went into producing varied levelling content and story to be consumed by the kinds of players who play these games as a long single player RPG in an online environment, in order to get to cap, and then move on. They made their money back very quickly after release.

    So that's what these games are to this large block of roaming consumers who fuel the current MMO market - long single player RPGs with a smidge of online interaction. Developers aren't so much emulating WoW as they are using WoW's familiar mechanics as a framework to create big budget RPGs that sell millions of copies. They get to retain a portion of those players and milk them for more than their servers cost to run, but in the face of WoW's complete dominance of the Home game genre, they don't seem to be putting much effort into retaining a large number of players long term.

    After all, if long term retention was their primary goal, how do you explain the absolutely rubbish job they're all doing of producing lasting end game content?
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  7. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    That is not entirely accurate. You kinda forgot a couple of things. Like how advertising is rarely calculated into that budget (and can easily cost 2-3 times the budget of the game itself), publisher and in turn devs never get full box price (unless you buy it as a digital download directly from them, a huge part of the reason why digital sales are pushed), and timescale. Timescale being a rather important one. Whatever initial investment is put upfront is rarely enough to finish a game to begin with, and its done knowing that a game will not ship for ~5 years. In general the expected return on that investment because of that timescale is expected to be high. That $300m that Swtor cost probably had around a $1b expected roi.

    This is a great hypothosis, and most certainly there are players that play this way, but I would love to see some actual numbers. I honestly do not believe that its as large as you think it is. Other demograpghic information, while surprising, does not suggest the "content locust" is actually that large.

    Why attribute to design what is more easily explained away as incompetence? They repeatedly do a poor job for a variety of reasons. Everything from publishers demanding certain things because of player feedback, to just misjudging the demographic, to poor planning and execution. Listen to the Eso devs explain how they want their pve to mimic pvp and then turn around and say that they know what end game raiders want for example. That content is not easy to produce.
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  8. Sevvy

    Sevvy Cupcake-About-Town

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    So the games I listed have been a success? SWTOR, WAR, AoC? I mean, SWTOR came out to compete with WoW. It failed.

    I don't have the expectation that a MMO is going to come out and unseat WoW. I honestly don't want that community here, anyway. :p But when people are being laid off in droves and games are bleeding subs by the hundreds of thousands, then some people have seriously low expectations on what is success. I doubt the guys that spent years working 60+ hour weeks working on it to see their games fall apart consider them a success, either.
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  9. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    No, I am saying that what we, the community, call a success and what the suits/publisher/studio call a success are vastly different. Do you have any idea how many movies are made and never released? How many games are particially made and never released? For many creators even getting the game released at all is considered a success.
  10. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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    Time investment.

    No matter what they might say to certain communities regarding raiding and end game content, the allocation of resources is very clear when you look at the amount of work put into the single player levelling story vs the amount of end game content provided at launch for games like SWTOR, GW2, TERA, AoC.

    I mean damn, look at Tortage. It's as if they spent the bulk of their content budget on producing a single player game to last a few hours and then slapped the bare framework of an MMO onto the end of it in the hopes that not everyone would remember to cancel their subscription.
  11. Sevvy

    Sevvy Cupcake-About-Town

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    Just getting the game released is a milestone, for sure. And an accomplishment. I mean, I work for a software company. I know what expectations are once your product hits the market. If the product I worked with was as "successful" as SWTOR, I wouldn't have a job. :p

    Not that big of a deal. I just don't think I've seen a successful MMO hit the market since WoW. EQ2 was a moderate success. But it did officially launch before WoW. And I'm looking forward to the next MMO that comes out that won't just fall off the table at the 3-month mark and bleed subs and employees like crazy. :D
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  12. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Please clarify.

    AoC was clearly incompetence, look at Funcoms other projects. Swtor is likewise. Yet even with that incompetence its still in the top 5 population wise. Gw2 was stated well prior to launch that they felt that the entire game was endgame, that they felt they clearly did not need it. Tera was a poorly ported asian title. Do keep in mind that the Asian mindset is drastically different from the western.

    I mean you seem to be completely forgetting that "story" is the thing that is one of the most requested items when it comes to the game. Unfortunately that means a lot of different things to different people, and many of these developers only really have single player games to draw on when looking at writing and story. Like most players you seem to not understand just how ragtag the game industry really is. Many game devs do not have formal education on actual game design. Most get into the biz through art/modeling and programming. There is no codified "game developer" standard of education. When players tend to ask for things they site examples, using what they felt from those games as what they truly want. When a developer looks at that game they look at the mechanics, but the mechanics do not always grant the same feelings in different settings. Its why so many stealth games are just so horrible.
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  13. mysticjbyrd

    mysticjbyrd Cupcake-About-Town

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    "Caught lightning in a bottle." That implies luck.
  14. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    The phrase refers to something being wildly exceptional. WoW's successs is wildly exceptional. It could be a product of genius or happenstance, that part isn't really covered by the phrase.
  15. mysticjbyrd

    mysticjbyrd Cupcake-About-Town

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    I don't believe in coincidences. He said that others copied the formula of WoW, and failed to catch lightning in a bottle again. Since the formula was copied, and the differences in games were minimal, then that removes genius. Thus we are left with luck.

    Or at least this is the way I took it to mean. Maybe he meant something different, but it certainly looked like the tried and true 'WoW got lucky' argument all over again.

    So you are conceding that WoW is the gold standard of MMOs? That's nice, now you won't look so foolish anymore.
  16. Sevvy

    Sevvy Cupcake-About-Town

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    I agree that WoW is the gold standard for MMOs. But that's unfortunate. Because I think it has led to the epic failure of some potentially solid MMO titles.

    I was lol'ing at you getting all uppity about you misinterpreting what the phrase "catch lightning in a bottle" means, then saying you're not dumb. It was funny.
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  17. mysticjbyrd

    mysticjbyrd Cupcake-About-Town

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    I actually already explained this to you. There are 2 possible ways to 'catch lightning in a bottle', luck and skill. If you in the same sentence claim that everyone else copied their model, then you are removing the skill factor. (This is completely false anyways though, but that is aside from the point). Then that only leaves luck.

    Blizzard is the gold standard of gaming. To say they caught lightning in a bottle is completely disingenuous.

    The fact of the matter is it was skill, and everyone has failed to copy WoW's model of success. Wildstar is the first to properly clone WoW's success model.

    So, apparently you don't even understand what you are saying.
  18. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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    I'm not sure how much of my post you're actually reading, but this is very much what i'm implying to begin with. This roaming community of players who jump from themepark MMO to themepark MMO are consuming the story, in the form of a themepark levelling experience with quests and cutscenes, which is primarily single player content, and which seems to be recieving the overwhelming thrust of developer time and budget, and then moving on. This is what I mean when I say that these games are being consumed as if they were long single player RPGs.

    I am not suggesting that these studios do not want to produce the next WoW, there isn't a publisher around who wouldn't love to retain millions of players paying a full price subscription over a period of 9 years, but the split of time investment into single player story elements versus long term end game content suggests that long term retention is last on the list of priorities.

    Having so little content to retain players at the end of the single player journey is not something that developers simply forgot about for 6 years. The amount of time, effort and money these companies put into their quickly consumed story experience shows that they are capable of producing content. For so little time to be spent on the long term experience tells you something about their intentions, not simply their competance. It must have been considered acceptable for them to scrape something together and hope players will stick around long enough for their update schedule.

    Now if you want to suggest that the decision to put so little effort into player retention is a sign of incompetence in itself, maybe I can agree (Based on Gaffney's commonly repeated soundbite that the best way to throw millions of dollars down the drain is to launch an incomplete MMO). I'd be interested to know if these games could have held any significant portion of the WoW subscriber base or any significant number of new gamers if they had more long term content at the time. Maybe, maybe not. However, I suspect that all of those games, probably even SWTOR, have now made money, even with the approach they have taken.

    Edit: I'd also really suggest that you guys just leave him be, I don't think you're going to pry any interesting conversation out of that one.
  19. mysticjbyrd

    mysticjbyrd Cupcake-About-Town

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    Well said, I agree.
  20. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    I appologize for not being clear enough. My point is players are asking for Lord of the Rings, and are getting Starship Troopers. There is a clear disconnect between the developers and the playerbase. Mainly because developers look at games differently. Players are attempting to communicate feelings and devs are only seeing mechanics.

    Even WoW does not pull a "full sub" though. Last earnings call was a rough arpu of ~$8.50, and thats including the store, box sales etc. I understand what you are getting at.

    Except most do not. Swtor most certainly did, and Aoc was clearly only half finished. What was Rifts excuse?

    Its not just about "long term" content though. Virtually all of them had other significant issues. Everything from horribly balanced math to poor controls, poor tutorials etc. I feel the bigger issue is devs getting to close to their own game. That combined with how long of lead times, and how much is "set in stone" it makes it extremely hard to keep up with all of the new releases. You can see it on this board for the game that is not even launched. "Give us Chocobo mail!". Players are leaving because they are not getting the experience they want, or atleast think they deserve, and of course there is always the issue with the grass being greener, even though it usually isn't. You cannot point to a single unified cause of why different mmo's are not as successful as the community hopes, even when it has a solid playerbase and is making money. Did you know that Galaxies was seen as a failure even though it made bucketloads of money? It was widely expected to be the first western mmo to break 1m subs. When it failed to hit that mark Sony thought that they had just misjudged the playerbase, that there just were not that many mmo gamers to go around.

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