Richard Garriott on MMORPGs - very interesting

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lord_Darkmoon, Sep 19, 2016.

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  1. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    In an interview (which is from 2014) Richard Garriott spoke about his opinion on MMORPGs. He said about MMORPGs in general and how SotA will differ from them:

    "I agree with your assessment that most MMO’s these days are too much the same. WoW and before that EQ, both of which are truly GREAT games, became the model that most others are now built in. In this model everyone is a combatant, who may also have a side crafting interest. After spending time creating a character and making permanent decisions about class before you have ever played, you are dropped into a familiar looking space…A medieval town with the usual shops, “!” over the heads of anyone important, menu conversations that you quickly click through to get info pumped into your quest log, quest logs that out arrows on the map to follow to the next rat quest, then once a few pelts are in your pocket, you return to repeat."

    He also says regarding to Story and more freedom in soloplayer games: "It is true that solo/co-op and multiplayer all allow differing features better than each other for their environment. It is my belief, we can bring much of the solo player experience forward into a multiplayer game. Though importantly SotA can be played fully offline."

    He also says about SotA: "For the Youngsters in the audience… Shroud of the Avatar is a new type of multiplayer RPG, from the creator of computer RPG’s, the inventor of the term “Avatar” and the creator of the genre of MMORPG’s. While most MMORPG’s are crafted in the style of EQ and WoW, Lord British is leading his team to reinvent RPG’s again, with features like: Selective Multiplayer (from solo player to massively multiplayer), fully realized classless role playing and combat professions backed up by a totally player driven economy and player built towns, encouraged but optional PVP, conversation driven quests without the brain dead trappings of most MMOs (no exclamations over NPCs, no quest log, no arrows on map, no level grinding!"

    Some of those Statements made me scratch my head when I look at how SotA plays and feels today... No Level grinding? SotA is not about combat?

    Here is the full interview:
    http://www.ihatemmorpgs.com/2014/06/q-with-richard-garriott-of-sota.html#.V-ASZI9OJBY
     
  2. PrimeRib

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    The fact is WoW took the things that seemed most effective in other games and then gathered their own days over 10 years x 10m subs x $15 / month to figure out what people really wanted based on how they played and what they paid for.

    No one wants to crate a "poor man's WoW" but you really need to have solid other ideas, rather than "not like wow." The fact remains that mechanics exist in games, because they're effective and familiar.

    I think trying to make the game work offline was a mistake. It was sort of a knee jerk reaction to the Sim City thing. I don't mind playing off line but you've forced yourself to create a huge alternative set of mechanics which most people won't care about. I remember being confronted with the same problem and decided I'd rather have a mobile version than try to make offline work.
     
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  3. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Problem with the offline version is that it should play like a single player offline RPG and not like an offline MMORPG. And I cannot see how they will accomplish this with the mechanics the game currently has. Basically they would have to create another game which I think won't happen. But the offline mode will be compared to other single player RPGs and if it can't stand it's ground it will be another big negative for SotA.
    I mean who needs an offline MMORPG?
    When I think about offline SotA I think about it playing and feeling like Ultima 7, Ultima 8, Ultima 9, Skyrim, The Witcher 3... Will we really get this? Right now we don't even have the ability to advance time through sleeping, let alone visible consequences to our choices. What about the MMO-UI? Who needs a chat in an offline game? Will the devs really dedicate MUCH time to create a real single player offline RPG that plays and feels as such and can be compared to Ultima 7, 8, 9, Skyrim and the Witcher?
     
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  4. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    ~Extremely Shallow Interviewer~
    It was an ego stroking event for the interviewer who doesn't know gaming outside a single genre. I see little in the article that would offer any insight into "what is to come".
    I'll go ahead and say it, no one knows what this game is until it's opening credits announce "launched".

    When I look at our game from the single player offline I feel it suffers from having shown the offline player what the online player is experiencing. That is to say that in most instances the offline game isn't being compared to other offline games, it's being compared first to it's online counterpart and then to other offline games. This changes the perceptions of the critical player, by changing the comparative narrative.

    Anyone who hasn't played Ultima VII in many years has romanticized it's fun value and needs to revisit that old program from start to finish to truly appreciate what we have and what is to come.
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  5. 2112Starman

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    I think its spot on!

    While I am a grinder (OCD)... this game is not all about combat. I hit adv lvl 75 and have been backing off just grinding. I spent the entire day yesterday building my PoT and working on my houses finally (all of which were still bare to this date with nothing). I did a ton of crafting of decorations.

    The point being, you dont have to just fight or level grind.

    I think its just hard for people who have played games like WoW for a decade that they dont have to "race" to the finish in this game. I left wow after 2 years. I have 7 lvl 70 characters. I finally realized that when I log in, the only thing to do was go somewhere and kill something. This is the reason I had so many lvl 70's... oh I hit lvl 70, what to do next, I dont have 5 hours to get in a big raid that will probably fail anyways so Im going to make a new char and go kill stff differently with it.

    There are a *lot* of people I see in this game who play more then I do who still haven't cracked 300 hp.

    I feel happy that in this game I can pick what I want to do (like I did in UO) when I log in.

    1) Today I go gring exp killing stuff
    2) Today I go to some social events
    3) Today I go to the virtue league and do some PvP
    4) today I go into the woods and do some resource farming
    5) today I go into a mine and pull ore
    6) today I craft the mats I have been saving up
    7) etc....
     
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  6. Sixclicks

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    I think he was just stating his planned vision for the game rather than what it is in it's current state. It's got a long way to go and a lot of needed changes to meet those goals though.
     
  7. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    Unfortunately, although I agree with this type of mindset/playstyle, many people who play MMORPGs won't get this. They are looking to get to the "end", and they then realize there is no "end" in sight, and they complain. Many don't realize that we are getting more of a sandbox to play in.

    I get a lot of the complaints about this game moving away from it's stated goals (singleplayer experience with an MMO component), and I think that once those pieces are in place they game will be more "complete".

    Add to this list:

    8) Today I go to complete some cool quest series.

    :)
     
  8. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    A short look at our gaming from a guy who once was going to put bird's brains in charge of actual nuclear missiles.o_O...
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  9. mdsota152

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    This is so dead on point ... I find I have to sometimes fight the urge to 'complete' something or 'kill something' and just sit back an enjoy some of the other more peaceful aspects of the game. I just did the same thing as you, spent some time crafting some deco's for my home and POT. I dislike grinding in any game but for some reason we've been taught that's how games are played and I find myself sucked into doing that even when it not necessary. I have to keep reminding myself, SotA is not about a fourty hour or hunderd hour game and done... it's about the long haul... I don't need to 'complete' everything by this weekend... just need to break that habit.
     
  10. 2112Starman

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    The only thing that keeps me on the grinding track is PvP. PvP in the game is still very much the highest ADV level wins.

    But even then, Im only looking to be better then people like me who work 50 hours a week. Ill never compete against the people who play 18 hours a day and already have 20 GM's... but I've been playing these games long enough to not even care about that any more.

    In the end... honestly you learn that people could care less if you had 7 lvl 70's in WOW with epic gear and top rankings in PvP... They really could care less.
     
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  11. mdsota152

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    Yea, that's why I don't bother with PvP ... I don't have the time to grind it out or the competitive edge anymore needed to compete without constantly being killed. I'll do it with friends from time to time in a 'friendly' match. So with that part of SotA out of the picture for me, I just need to learn not to feel so rushed with everything else.... hmm maybe if they allow us to craft a feng shui garden... :)
     
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  12. 2112Starman

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    Just remember, what I learned playing Wow is that each and every Wow player thought they were the best player.

    If you actually think about that, there is some real structural issues with a game that makes people actually across the board think like that while playing the game.

    I really haven't seen that this much at all in SOTA in the 10 months I have played. Maybe just a little bit in some of the lvl 75+ groups I have been in while farming a pass (listening to team speak), but still really rare.
     
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  13. shathiell

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    You can because of your initial grind :)

    I can see the points here around the grind and how it affects the current experience for immersive storytelling. My character is adv lvl 36 and hasn't progressed the love storyline due to the 5 skull area I have to fight through. I have chosen to take it slow, however levelling progression will need more options in the future (hopefully coming in the form of more quests) in order for offline mode to be successful.

    One idea is to do away with the theme park mechanics of adv level and look at what others are starting to do with level scaling content (ESO will have this server wide soon and even Wow is doing it in legion)
     
  14. 2112Starman

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    But ya gotta admit, it only took me 1.5 months of grinding to be in a spot where I can do just about anything in the game! I knew I would have to do this from day one which is why my PoT and houses sat around empty with nothing but chests.

    Im not getting to work on them with all the mats that I horded.
     
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  15. shathiell

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    Yea I agree from a MMO-sandbox view it is good and I don't have any issues because I can choose to ignore the storyline and do other things (Which is exactly what I did). However, Darkmoon's points around offline mode are still very valid and if this was sold to you as a story driven sandbox offline RPG in its current state it probably wouldn't be very appealing.

    I played some Skyrim last night (I like to do that every now and then) and having the freedom to do what I want in that game is pretty powerful (Mods help there :) ). I don't know if we will ever get to the same level in the Offline mode of SOTA but we can wait and see.
     
  16. docdoom77

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    I just finished Ultima VII again 2 weeks ago (and I am now working on Serpent's Isle). I say in all seriousness, it was one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences of my life. It still outshines most of the games I've played in the intervening years. It's not just rose-tinted glasses. That game nailed it; it has a level of quality and depth I have not encountered before or after. And any successor to U7 has very big shoes to fill. So far, SoTA hasn't filled up the pinky toe.

    Without time advancement, lasting consequences, and interactive companions, those shoes will remain unfilled.
     
  17. Ravicus Domdred

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    I feel your pain friend.
     
  18. Damian Killingsworth

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    agreed... In the past two years, especially after SotA was added to steam, and ESPECIALLY since persistence, the forum has been populated with cries for "kill 10 rat quests", and "needs to be just like UO", and "when will noobs be forced to PvP me?" and the like. I would like to think that RG and the team decided to give the babies their bottles, while the adults quietly and secretly craft their original vision behind the scenes.

    To take the risk and make the incredible effort to deliver a new type of game that the world has never seen, apparently takes more than a couple of years, especially when the people who are bank rolling you are telling you they want the same vanilla flavor of yore.
     
  19. PrimeRib

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    The point is, there's nothing inherently wrong with "kill 10 rats." Sure every game does this to slowly expose you to the idea of combat and skills. But it will also happen later to say "here's something which is nearby and about your level." The rats will then drop something interesting, which is effectively a treasure map, sending you on another quest. Any of these quests may be repeatable or part of some larger faction mechanic where you gain reputation with the rat hunters and game may change a bit while the rat hunters move further into rat territory as more rats die. Perhaps there's a mini-boss to kill the rat king.

    As I said, the mechanic works. It's familiar. If they can do better, I won't stop them. But just removing the quests leaving people to slaughter rats for no reason in particular isn't a better system.

    Right now I'm sitting with a "low xp" and have given up trying to find a useful quest NPC or trying to Google some out of date wiki or grind wolves for 1000 more hours to slowly watch my skills get bigger numbers next to them.
     
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  20. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    I think we are looking at a mystery which was missing in UO. UO was shallow as a pot hole in the road. I think our literary quests will be as all such quests are, which is heading our way down a trail in order to have a chance to read the following paragraph within each story. Each story will run into the other story at some point and harmonize between them. I believe the deeper mystery is following a trail of some Avatar that came here before us and somehow had something to do with the cataclysm even if it's just that he saw it happen. I think there will always be sinister undertones which will be hinted at but never fully discovered. I think we are in the type of game that will draw us to look at the entire story as a single thing when they currently appear as single lines. There are more clues here than just those within the scripts.

    If they link many things within the action game itself to the planets, this will keep our ground actions lively. This I believe is the single most important part of our game, yet if they fail to link as many things as they can to the planets, then it's a carbon copy of other games meshed together creating a common MMORPG and single player experience.

    But also I believe that they will present a stage where RP can thrive with additional flavors if those flavors mesh well with the script and mechanics provided. I think it's a RP "do it yourself" in many ways and for those that don't "get into their character" then they will never experience the full flavor it could be.

    I do fear that the "techno players" may take over and influence Portalaium in a bad way. Much of what I've seen thus far suggests that's embedded here already which is a total immersion breaker when real life can never be measured in numbers and stats. That just makes for a stale environment and kills any "wonder or mystery" to figure out, when so much "raw data" is always emphasized.

    Richard Garriott is an immersion sort of guy in his attention to graphics, so I'm really hoping he kills the data feed between player and producer.

    Much of what depicts or could depict more real life is the loss of control for the player. I think the planets can provide that just like surfing, where the surfer may seem like they're in control, yet it's the harmony between wave and surfer that becomes the fun part. I want to get use to surfing those waves that have never been surfed in any MMO or single player game before because that would set our game as unique in this sea of all too similar games.

    We've already seen the first planetary effect begin to effect our world. In real astrology, the planets are what first set our watch and began our timing of the day, night and other biological effects. That is to say that the planets of the real world don't effect us, they predict us by timing. Within our game however, they will directly effect us and cause things to happen. The only one that does that in real life is the Sun, while the rest are only differing timers. Within the game however, the others won't be timers, they will be magical things. Soon after we begin to have all our planets effecting things, this will setup a repeating algorithm like an EKG and be able to be mapped. Once these maps and graphs are known, then we can begin surfing with more predictability to enhance all our gaming quality.
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
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