Saturday, October 10, 2009

My 2 cp: Limited (MMO) Play.

What do I mean by limited play? Today I am going to go over some things I think have drawn or pushed away players in certain games. Things that have shown tried and true, and things that have shown to make a true flop. Limiting the wants of today's gamer.

What do gamers want?
In this day and age if you really want to make a hit you have to consider there are many different types of players. People like to raid, group, solo and PvP. If you leave out one of these you just may limit your player base. Show me one game that is a major hit that specifically aims to PvP. One game out over a year in NA. I'm sorry but there isn't one.

As an example, games that focus heavily on PvP really have not done so well. While many players love to PvP, it seems the game really suffers when just targeting this audience. People want to sometimes unwind and relax not always be on the alert IMO. Disagree with me all you like, still doesn't change the fact that there are none.

Games that target a specific audience limit the player base to begin with. People get bored, move on. Who is going to take their place when you already closed the door on the other types of play? Aion? Warhammer?

Travel options, penalties, and fluff.
Many games have learned and taken note that players were running on foot a decade ago in games. However some have not. People don't want to spend massive amounts of time getting to areas to group or quest. In this day and age... really why do so when there is another game out there that won't make you travel slowly?

I have spoke on the penalty topic in previous posts so I won't linger here. People don't want harsh penalties, they don't want to lose items in the process of making an item. This makes people just feel like pulling their hair out. Why not make a chance of not skilling up instead of losing a component? Very harsh.

People want fluff. Not all gamers, but we are talking about a wide variety of people being happy. Companion pets, mounts, nifty things people like having on their character.

While you might have always wanted to be a mage who can melee... Given the chance to build a character from scratch can prove to be messy in all actuality.

People tend to like the good ol' pick a class and define this with different aspects. May it be talents, alternate advancement, people seem to like a specific role. It can get annoying to pick what you think you want to just find out it's not all that great in reality. Champions?

Also people don't want to play a generic class 'set' levels to find out which path they are to take.. Only to find out they made the wrong choice. You have to do it all over again, which can border on quick burnout when done enough times. Aion?

Gamers seem to like the tried and true path of a specific class. This may not be for everyone but it does add more definition to play.

Listening to Customer feedback and content updates.
I don't want a game that changes every little aspect every time someone cries about something. However a company that listens to what players want and takes this into account is making an investment. A company that moves quickly keeps players. Sitting there letting players wait on things to be fixed or additional things needed to keep the game up to date, they will lose players at a steady rate.

Players want to feel that they are paying to play a game where the company cares about the player. Companies that don't deal with gold spammers and botters, what does this tell us as players? We get the message that the company isn't listening. They want to make the rules yet not enforce them. Players also love it when the company keeps in touch with the community.

Games that are slow to add content, the players seem to jump ship every time a new game comes out just for NEWNESS. People want new content on a steady basis. The demand it.

However I notice these that jump ship always seem to go back to the one game that holds the market in a vice grip. Why? This company listens, changes, bends, offers to a huge player base many types of play. WoW, Blizzard? Of course, this company isn't perfect, none are. There are issues I have even with WoW.

There are other companies such as S.O.E. that have proven to listen and change and have had their games life span go further than many would have thought possible.

In the end.
There are many wonderful games out there. However it is really sad to see many fade into the background because they didn't really take most of this into account. Gamers will play the game that offers the most bang for the buck, the company that listens and cares. People don't want limited play and a deaf ear.

I may sound harsh or even on the verge of being a critic of different aspects. However I have played many, many, many games in the last decade. I have seen many fall, many fade away. I have seen so few make a huge impact. I'm still seeing new games come out making the same errors other games a year ago did. Some may hold promise, but for now I'm still not quite convinced. Will it stop me from playing them? Probably not. Will it keep me for years to come? Probably not.

And that's my 2cp this week.

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