How many different threads does this forum need rehashing the same thing over and over again? Jesus.
Blizzard. 600 Layoffs in March. Subs plummenting between 600,000 to 1,000,000 a quarter for last 3 quarters. More layoffs soon?
Trion. San Diego/EU studios closed. Up for sale. ArcheAge dubious.
SOE. Today (8/28) just hammered EQ2 and DCUO staffs. Not sure about EQ, VG and everything else except EQN/Landmark.
NCSoft. Layoffs last December. Not sure what they're doing now.
I'm now glad I didn't follow my dream of being a game designer ;-)
Are there any big layoffs that I've missed? And if people aren't playing MMOs anymore what they hell are they doing (in my case waiting for EQN).
How many different threads does this forum need rehashing the same thing over and over again? Jesus.
Looks like the nature of a highly competitive market. Two many poor products(MMO's) have been flooding in and failing as a result. Good MMO's, read: programmed well and a good art team, are still doing well, will do well into the future.
Themepark money machines may be dead for the time being though. Also, what constitutes success may have to decoupled from WoW. For instance, 500,000 subs may be a benchmark now to say, yes this MMO is successful, as opposed to 10 million.
It's hard to gauge because the industry itself is always laying off. It's a shitty industry honestly and it needs to be reworked.
That said, MMO's have lost their luster in the gaming community because the majority of people see them for what the modern MMO is - a carrot on a stick errands game. What MMO developers fail to realize is that if you make a game that REQUIRES people to interact in order to do anything then those people will stick around longer because they've made friends and there is a camaraderie among the server population. If you quit in any modern MMO nobody will give a fuck. You are just another ant in the colony. Which is why I can shit talk WoW all day and it means nothing because there is no community to black list me from in the game. I could call everyone in a top raiding guild a cunt faggot and it wouldn't matter because I could just level a new character in a week and be right back where I was because my reputation means nothing in that game and the time required to get back into raid worthiness is minimal. Let's not forget also that as long as you can breath through your nose and have two hands a raid guild will suck your dick just to join nowadays.
Last edited by kudos; 08-28-2013 at 09:22 PM.
Looks to me like shitty products and/or companies resulting in lay offs. Nothing to do with MMOs.
I agree no one would give a fuck if you quit the game. But that is just you. For some people that have worked on building a guild or have been with a guild for a decent amount of time it hurts when someone leaves. That can be said about any game including EQ, if you were in a shit guild or in a guild that had hundreds of members, no one would give a fuck.
Again, no one cares what you say because you are nobody, same would be if you shit called people in a top guild in EQ, if you are nobody then nobody would care. The time it takes to get back into normal mode raiding? That would take a while, we're talking 4-6 weeks maybe longer if you have shitty luck / playing casually. That might not be a decent amount of time to regear but for most people that is. That doesn't include leveling either. And your last point is laughable at best, not going to respond to that shit.
Last edited by Toxxulian; 08-28-2013 at 11:12 PM.
Originally Posted by Curt Schilling
Yup, shitty industry is shitty. The blame can certainly be spread around, from the inept retarded designers, to allowing the bean counters to make decisions, to we the consumers buying up shit products.
A circle of poo that never ends.
WoW created pandas, which roll over and crush their young. WoW killed itself as each successive reset baby was left as a splattered infanticide remnant.
Sub numbers drop in the summer because many players do outdoor stuff during the warmer months.
That said, my guess is MMOs peaked a while back. First person shooters have taken a large chunk of the audience and games like LoL and Diablo have taken another chunk. This will mean that MMOs will get less money for development.
There might be some game company out there with a new idea that will attract huge multi million subs, but I really doubt it. And I certainly don't see anything like it in the current or near future games. But here's hoping.
MMO market has been dead for awhile now, people just continue to fool themselves into thinking it's hugely successful from WoW's numbers. Truth is people hate MMO's and that they are not meant for the average gamer. Fads are strong and the fad that generated from WoW was enough to catapult that game into being massively successful, and it pulled people into it because they wanted to be apart of the new cool thing. Once that feeling went away, the majority of the WoW spawns began to realize that MMO's aren't actually that fun to them, but rather it was WoW that was fun. Hence why every single MMO gets a massive influx of players for the first month, but then they all leave once they realize it's not WoW and it doesn't carry that fad with it. (example: South Park, YouTube spoofs like Leeroy etc etc. people fucking love that shit) I remember when EQ had its fad era, and all of those stupid guild shows and rap songs started popping up. The only difference was that it targeted nerds while WoW's fad material targeted the masses.
Simply put, the current MMO market was obsessed with WoW, not MMO's.
Last edited by Illuziun; 08-29-2013 at 02:03 AM.
MMO's don't seem very massive nowdays, you log in and have contact with the same 40 people. Even if a new MMO comes out you take 20-30 from the old MMO that you know and play it with them.
Last edited by Borzak; 08-29-2013 at 04:01 AM.
They are just reaping what they have sewn all these past 10 years. All they have done is dumb everything down further and further each time, simplify everything, cater to the lowest common denominator players, fuck everyone else, and just reproduce each others ideas while never moving an inch from the original WoW clone template. That was their safe option and they went with it, even although they surely knew it was at the expense of quality and what many people really wanted. And now they pay the price.
I enjoy watching them all crash n burn, but the sad thing to me is that no underdog has really come out of nowhere and shown them the error of their ways. EVE sort of did, but still, I wanted to see some small indie teams get huge. But Darkfall didn't work out too well, Dawntide folded, and some others turned to crap. Maybe we'll get one eventually. But for now the entire genre is one big pile of turd.
They keep pumping out mmos faster than the audience expands. Back when WoW first came out you could count the number of mmo's on one hand. Now there are probably hundreds.
The industry is fine, but the competition is fierce now. You can't get away with the crap EQ and WoW pulled back in the day.
Sub numbers are practically meaningless nowadays with nearly every MMO being cash shop games. Whether sub (WoW, Eve Online, and soon TESO, any others left?) or "F2P" cash shop (practically everything else), some games are making profits hand over fist, some aren't and are laying off employees.
Where are all the numbers going? Both the missing WoW subs and the next generation of would be WoW players? sure some of them were only interested in WoW because of WoW and are in other genre's (LoL, FPS, whatev) but a huge number of them (I'd wager the vast majority) are lost in the millions of unreported F2P players of the hundreds of F2P MMO games out there. For fuck's sake Neverwinter hit over 2 million "players". Even assuming half of those either quit or are bots I find it hard to believe that Neverwinter is one of the more successful (in terms of # of players) F2P MMOs out there. There's easily 10++ million MMO players out there which are simply unaccounted for due to the shift in business model from subscription to F2P.
What you're seeing with layoffs is the death of the WoW-Clone failures originally designed as subscription based games and retroactively converted into a F2P model to salvage the wreckage. The most recent crop of designed-as-cash-shop games seem to be doing alright.
Of all those games, I think only DCUO was originally designed as F2P? I could be mistaken don't feel like googling it, it's whatev.
No more than other traditional gaming markets. There have been no truly 'new' type MMOs in ages and the most polished was released almost a decade ago. The market is saturated in similar style games. Compared to 2001, the market is still fairly stable and large even with the quasi-clones. People are bored but all the industry needs is something fresh again.
Traditional MMOs from powerful developers are archaic. World of Warcraft was the beginning of the end. It took too many subs, brought too many diverse gamer types to the genre, and over time deteriorated with its catering to players the essence of the classic MMO: a struggle against a paradigm. Blizzard attempted a paradigm shift when they started instituting daily quests, gear redundancy/solvency, and then raid equality. More options is not always better. Playing to the crowd is almost never a good option. Governments fail because of it. Companies fail because of it. And now an entire genre of video game is collapsing because of it. EverQuest developers never listened to their player base. Furor and Tigole constantly bashed their decisions, yet they still drove their guilds ahead and praised certain aspects of the game. Through their struggle and grief players forged alliances with other members of their community. The entire process is akin to the drill instructor instilling mutual hatred towards himself amongst his maggots; the most important part of being a leader is leading, which means doing potentially self-damning things for the greater good. Producers and developers don't do that anymore. They take the easy road. They gather information, read forums, do podcasts and create transparency in an effort to build a trust with the players, but trust isn't earned through succumbing to the whims of the mob. That was the downfall of Rome.
Now we're left with pay2win models and knock off games whose only ingenuity and diversity are funky graphics and dildo lightsabers. WoW proved you don't have to innovate, you just have to polish and take a passionate interest in what your game is all about. I hate to bring it up, but we need a game that has The Vision. Call it crazy, maniacal overlord tendency, or whatever you want, but these games are supposed to be based around the D&D model where the gamemaster does everything in his power to challenge you and hopefully kill you. Simply put, developers these days have no balls, and it's all our fault. Or better yet, it's the fault of all the people that decided to invade the niche environment that had been created, and with their infection came the parasitic greed that we see so readily in the genre presently.
In the ocean of MMOs all the games are these tightly wound life jackets suffocating the players as they bob around helpless, unlike previously, like in EverQuest, where the game was a giant fucking ship with majestic sails and grizzly pirates shooting muzzle loaders down at the players as they tried to throw grappling hooks onto the deck and hopefully hoist themselves up and snag a piece of loot or two.
Last edited by blumpster; 08-29-2013 at 06:12 AM.
I tried (at last) SWTOR because a friend insisted it was awesome : As a lvl1 Commando i cleared a fort taken over by 20+ rebels, got called a hero/savior by the NPCS and my NCO.
I also had a quest journal with "Kill 4 Snipers, go to Location X, Find Lt. Y" and of course an easy to follow map with every little detail needed present.
A long long time ago, just after making my warrior i fell off a platform in Kelethin and lost my corpse, when i finally(safely) got down i ended up moving around and at some point got jumped by a couple of wasps, i died again and lost my corpse.
Being overly curious and as nothing outright attacked me if i left it alone, i discovered a cave entrance with dead Orcs, zoned in.. the welcoming committee was Dvinn'ish.
Ever wondered which felt more like "a dangerous adventure into the unknown" ?
Last edited by EmiliaEQ; 08-29-2013 at 06:54 AM.
Burrrrrrn! Sad thing is, no big company has the balls to make a game like that anymore. It's not "accessible".
When you play through an MMO by yourself, and get to the end without having to make friends, etc. What's to keep you playing?
So many MMOs now try so fucking hard to make sure you don't have to interact, it's fucking dumb. WoW itself might as well not have an over world now.
I'm not happy about people losing their jobs, that always sucks. But looking at the genre, for the kind of games I want as MMORPGs, a complete fallout and return to being niche isnt the worst thing that can happen. The last decade of popularity certainly hasnt provided what I am looking in these games. If gaming mainstream focus switches from copying MMORPGs to copying MOBAs as the latest fad that's just fine with me.
The market isn't dead. Players are just waiting for a game that isn't the same rehashed shit.
The product has completely stagnated, the market is saturated with similar unspectacular offerings, and the financial model has changed since the early days of MMOs. There will be far more layoffs in that segment to come. Plus, the demographic that used to play MMOs heavily (us - when we were youngish) are now playing mobile games and MOBA titles. We were the DnD generation looking to finally play DnD in a huge shared world; today's younger demographic (i.e. the one that would continue to drive sales of MMOs) instead is growing up without that sense of slow, evolving, social gaming, which is part of the reason why current MMOs try so hard to make them isolated experiences with a few opportunities for further engagement.
This is just business. No different when a contractor bids a job and gets it. He probably has 20 good men on the payroll all the time but then calls up 30-50 more due to the size of the job. Once the job is over and everything is under control or there is nothing in the foreseeable future, he lays off the 30-50 until they are needed again.
MMO's have been aggressive in the past and they have been rearranging and shifting to fit their personal and payrolls into today's economy. You're seeing nothing different that every business in the world is doing as well.
Oh great, another thread where people talk about shitty Eq design like it's the greatest thing ever. Newsflash: You're not an enlightened few who can look down on the lesser lifeforms because you know what's great and they're all 14 year old CoD fans screaming obscenities into their headset.
If you think falling to your death as soon as you start out and then being murdered with no chance of survival is better than taking out a fort of storm troopers then that's fine, but you're delusional if you think that's "better"
It's about "HERO MODE".
Instead of "Try and go find us help" you are asked to "Single-handedly clear a military fort that was taken over by storm rebels/troopers" ! (taking 2 pulls, 3 pulls, even a roamer without blinking).
My friend told me "the class campaign are amazing"... right so i'm on rails from day 1... talk about "exploring a dangerous world".
I play a MMO to be bear grylls ! i dont want a squire with a golden caddie by my side praising me at lvl1 and saying i'm better than chuck norris and tiger woods put together...
I want "here is a rusty knife, welcome to the wild wild west, now go fuck yourself" however i get "my lord welcome to floor3 : furniture, home appliances, televisions".
It's not about reproducing EQ's retarded ideas, its about changing today's "Take over fort Knox to radio for help" into "find a way to radio for help or we all die".
A detail ? i beg to differ...
It's the games industry in general, not a certain genre. The B level is dead, you have AAA and indie at this point. If your $80+ million project fails, so does your studio.
Mobile gaming has completely transformed the entire gaming landscape. People want instant satisfaction, or something close to it. This is something you're starting to see transition over to typical MMOs. You can't afford to let a F2P gamer get frustrated and instantly uninstall your game because they didn't immediately know what to do or how they can "win" something. There's a tiny window to hook a new player and keep them coming back for more, and that window is opened by bullshit rewards and the feeling of being good ASAP. That's why you were able to clear a fort with 20+ rebels at level 1. They want to make you feel powerful from the minute you step into the game, despite how illogical that may be.
These aren't games anymore, they're businesses. F2P is going to ruin the genre because the focus isn't going to be about making the game fun to keep the customer subscribed, it's about figuring out every possible way to monetize the game world and user experience to pad the bottom line. The people signing the paychecks of the guys making these games don't want to see a 10% ROI over 10 years, which is what a typical EQ-like MMO is primed to do over time.
For those of us who grew up playing games where danger was real and there were true consequences for your actions, this trend is incredibly hard to swallow.
Do you remember when someone would get a very rare weapon or armor piece? People would crowd around in awe of your awesomeness.
Does that even happen anymore? I haven't played WoW theriously since WOTLK and it seemed that everyone was geared with the same shit. Nothing to gawk at or fap to.
I do miss fapping to the first Hand of Rag I ever seen.
I don't think the market is dying, maybe the game market in general there has been a lot of layoffs in the last year or so.
This reminds me of all the RPGs being action-RPGs now because developers claim that Western gamers don't want anything else.
There are a couple of 100,000 gamers willing to pay a subscription for a (for lack of better terminology) "hardcore" MMO. It's not really what I mean because as a now casual player I too would want to play on this "hardcore" MMO.
However a game for those 200,000 or so players has to:
1. Be designed cheaply (Which means zones not seemless like VG or EQN).
2. Incorporate some new technologies (Be it voxel, destructive zones or something like StoryBricks NPC AI or both). Without new technologies, there's not a lot of reason for people to move from Rift or EQ2.
3. Modernize the UI and reduce button-mashing.
I think the Holy Grail of a seemless world is one of the big stumbling blocks of recent MMOS - it is what hamstrung Vanguard. Had they gone zones they could have finished the world and eliminated most of the bugs.
I think McQuaid offered to make us the best hardcore MMO ever if we were willing to pay $50 a month for it.
One day, a small time developer will make a very challenging low-cost MMO. A generic version of Everquest that is not Everquest. Please let me know when that happens so that I can give them my money.
$15 a month is really nothing these days, in my opinion. I'd gladly pay $30+ a month for a really well done niche MMO.
Last edited by supertouch; 08-29-2013 at 09:04 PM.
Last edited by kudos; 08-29-2013 at 10:47 PM.
Casuals actually spend a very long time leveling to get to the cap. So they work towards that quite often. It may take you a few days, but casuals do spend weeks doing the same thing. Not only that, but grinding easy content to get shit you get during a raid or whatever.
It's just perspective.
And who the fuck wants to spend 10 minutes reading quest text? That's not fucking fun at all. Fuck you very much. Gamers want to play games, not sit around and derp around some shitty quest dialogue.
As far as an MMO goes, I don't even bother trying to read stuff whenever it pops up in a dungeon or raid or whatever.
Last edited by Nuday; 08-29-2013 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Missed a sentence. : /
The quest text kills me. Seriously, I actually enjoyed the EQ style b/c it forced you to pay attention when you did find a quest. Plus they were no where near as abundant. Ugh.. FF lost me with questing. I know I don't have to but I feel like I need to when I see all those stupid quest icons... Fuck cut scenes and fuck quest text!
WOW is not fun or entertaining at all these days, which is why I haven't played longer than a weekend since WOTLK. I'm just speaking in generalities. I would like a game that is not quest driven please. Just like WOW took over exp grinding with quest grinding; give me a game that takes over quest grinding with some other engaging activity.
Okay, I don't want to read hours of quest text, but I at least like it to be there? I don't know.
In MMO's I want it there when I'm doing solo stuff. I think it is silly to expect people to stand around and wait on people to read the quest text when they are grouped, though. I think that is an advantage of having voice work, though: you can toss out some quick storyline or whatever as the group moves through the content.
DayZ proved people still want hard, unforgiving, non-handholding, downtime ridden multiplayer games. All that stuff makes the good stuff better. Someone with a big studio should take a lesson from that.
On the budget subject , I hope/wish devs of mmo's would realize where not to drop their wad on. SWTOR being the extreme example. I personally don't give a shit if there's zero voice'd anything in an mmo , nor special cutscenes etc.
I'd much much rather see that money/time spent on "in world" content and never once pull me out of the world to tell me a story with voice acting.
I'll probably give Wildstar a spin if the two "unrevealed" classes are fun. I'll get like a week or two out of it most likely.
The problem with quest text in wow is that you'd come to a quest hub, see 4-8 exclamation marks and then each of those would have several quests and then you go FML I want to choke on bleach. Fuck reading that shit, I won't even remember a fraction of it. They did a lot better job in vanilla with less quests.
It had a quest grind but it wasn't as bad as it got later - I think they doubled the number of quests by patch 1.12 or if not doubled definately added several hundred. IIRC, only STV was really bad questwise early on. But maybe I'm misremembering - been a long time.
I'm in the crowd that thinks this kind of thing is exactly what the gaming industry needs. A harsh bit of reality, and a nice wake up call. I'm just hoping for anything that will bring about another awesome game that will keep me interested and excited to log in once again before dinosaurs take the world back over.
So, I had a thought. In my drunken reading of this thread, I thought to myself...
EDIT: Probably something that wasn't thought out well enough. Carry on.
Last edited by Viktorr; 08-30-2013 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Clarification
The success of the market changed the MMO landscape. The next big game won't be because some studio pumped money in and managed a home run. The next great game will be because some gamers made the game THEY wanted for THEMSELVES, not what they thought the masses wanted. I can't wait to see these companies fail.
is this a joke?
"I have this great game idea. we make a game about nothing!"
"nothing? how do you play nothing?"
"thats the beauty of it! You don't! while NOT playing our game, the player gets bored and plays other games, or watches TV, reads books, chats on irc/skype/twitter!"
Last edited by Caliane; 08-30-2013 at 03:16 PM.
Last edited by etchazz; 08-30-2013 at 03:37 PM.
I like the casino thing. The whole ARPG genre was built upon it. Diablo with good loot is awesome.
Time is also one of the levers, though. Your time is a resource and you can roll the dice on using your time to camp stuff. Like - it may take me 14 hours to get j boots, but over time that may save me more than that and improve my gaming experience.
Without time being used up then the choice between leveling, screwing off(arena stuff), camping items, or working the market - without time those choices lose value in terms of successful progression.
You were rewarded in EQ1 for using time to obtain game changing items, and time was the barrier to entry that separated the men from the boys. Without that barrier, there is no obviously viable way to create separation between players, which is what everyone wants I would argue
camping wasn't just sitting waiting for a mob to spawn. most of the time it was very challenging. it was about getting the right people with the necessary skill, talents and dedication to survive the camp.
You could just keep the 3 rooms cleaned to "get a chances for the drops" or pull everything in sight and run around like mad to "maximise loot/hour".
After the 3 rooms were cleared you could relax a bit, and as long as you cleared "fast enough" there was no rush to do more.
Grinding AA in "Velk top spiders" sucked, i prefer the "3 room sebilis camping"...
Compare that to Strathom "speed rush" where the entire point was to get to the boss ASAP to be able to reset the instance... now that's just bad gameplay.
There is also the downtime issue, looking at a book was retarded (VanillaEQ) just as much as zero downtime is (no time to socialize, have to farm).
The difference between LDoN to Sebilis was enormous (at least for me), having a monk/sk/bard pull meant the other 5 could chat.
Running around like mad to maximize LDoN cycles was just awful.
So between the casino addiction, the moderate downtime/pull, the slowish leveling, somewhere somehow a decent balance was reached.
I miss that.
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