Friday, June 15, 2007

That Same Old Debate - RAIDING

Darren over at Common Sense Gamer has a nice little rant up. Kendricke, Oakstout, Pixey Styx, and Cameron Sorden all chime in the comments as to what a solution to Raiding for non-raiders and all those age old questsions could be. Great read, all of it, and you should check it out, too.

There's not much I can say that hasn't been said either. Except this:

Why must there be better rewards for any one type of player in these games? The 1st company to find the way to put in equal rewards for equal difficulty across all playstyles will be lauded as the single-best developer of the MMO in history. It may never happen though. It'd be like finding a way to get all those bastards in the Middle-East (ourselves as Americans included) to shut the hell up, put down the C-4 and get on with what's more important in life. Like I said... not happening soon.

Anyway. Read the article and its comments. It's good stuff. Keep up the great blogging, Darren.


Kendricke said...

There won't be a company that provides equal rewards for equal effort because you can't design solo content that takes into account the variables and inherent difficulty presented by coordinating and organizing 20+ people into a cohesive fighting unit.

You can't break down effort mathematically at all levels. Sports coaches and military leaders understand this. Most game designers do as well.

After all, you won't see one guy on the field winning any football games, so to earn that "SuperBowl Ring" loot, you've got to form up with other "raiders" and consistently perform better than other "raiders".

Pixery Styx said...

Think you are wrong here Kendricke

There are always options available however its wether or not developers want to play it safe and follow the usual raid end game or take the bull by the balls and make something happen that turns the mmorpg world on its head, risk vs reward

Bildo said...

Kendricke, you're still applying real world situations to a video-game service.

If I walked into a McDonald's (which I never would), and paid 15 bucks for some food, and then some guy who works harder for the same 15 dollars comes in after me, pays 15 bucks but receives more food... is that fair?

It's a service we're paying for here.

If a game company from the get go said, with your 15 dollars we'll be adding plenty of raid content that offers the best rewards, and some solo-group content that offers lesser rewards for lesser work, and said this was their game design right from the start... they'd still have people like myself who think this is wrong.

But instead of necessarily whining about it on the forums, I do what makes more sense... I stop paying. I love leveling in WoW, but I hate raiding, and Battlegrounds. When I hit the cap both times (though I did raid at 60 for a while) I quit and moved on to other games.

I pay for games until they no longer give me what I want.

What I'm suggesting, and I don't think you can really say I'm wrong on this notion, is a game that delivers content for everyone that keeps everyone competitive with each other.

It's not hard to do, really. Sure, there are still going to be whiners, as you can't please everyone. But damn, you sure as hell can try. This is a lesson Blizzard is learning, a lesson SOE is learning, and a lesson Turbine and many other companies are learning.

It IS possible to treat all sects of your playerbase the same. You, as a developer, just have to be willing to go the extra mile.

We all pay the same price, and until raiders (or whoever is getting the bigger shinies in whatever game) start paying more for their gametime, I really don't see how they truly and honest to goodly "deserve" more.

It's just not making sense when we're talking about a SERVICE. Remember, though we like to be very serious about these games, that's all they really are... games. Not real life, not real competition, not real period.

If anything it makes nothing but pure business sense to keep the widest portion of your playerbase happy and paying.

Kendricke said...

The "service" you're paying for is the same service I pay for. We both pay for monthly access to game servers.

What you do with your time is not going to equate to what I do with my time. How you spend your time online gaming is not immediately comparable to how I spend my time.

Seriously, what else are you spending your money on each month? Unless you're buying items or characters directly through RMT, you're only paying for access to servers.

That's why the McDonald's analogy doesn't fit. We both get the same amount of access for the same price. I don't get 4 weeks of access for my $15 where you only get 3 weeks.

Kendricke said...

By the way, when you start talking about "deserving" I start hearing "entitlement"...

Cameron said...

It's not that they should be entitled to the same stuff that people who play significantly more are. But they should be able to feel like they've "won" the game. Or at least gotten close. As it stands, there's no finality to these games for the non-raider, but there is a very tangible brick wall.

Take WoW. You get to 70, you've done all the 5-mans you can do or care to do, and you don't want to raid or you don't have time to raid. You may as well hang up your character. What's left? Pick-up PvP? Blech. But there's no "good job, you won" feeling to it. Even though for all practical purposes, you're done playing. There's still the looming raids, taunting and inviting you. You don't want to do them, and your character hangs in limbo. You make alts, do it again, same thing happens.

There's no way to gain the same sense of finality you get from finally downing Ragnaros in pre-BWL, or downing Ony before that. You just see people running around in far better gear than you doing awesome things you can never do.

Those players need to feel like they can do something meaningful with their character even if they can't advance them anymore in the game.