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Thread: When you try to please everyone, you please no one: true or false?

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    Default When you try to please everyone, you please no one: true or false?

    One of the trends I'm seeing from MMOs, including Rift, as of late is that they try to please everyone. For example, Scott Hartsman's new press release said the following:

    "We've also been working on ways to get a similar sense of involvement with key story characters, and new key areas, in a way that's available to more people.

    The story involvement with world events is a good first step here, but we think there's even more we can do. Chronicles of Telara are solo/small group instances that get everyone involved with key characters and villains in the worlds’ ongoing story.

    We're aiming to do this in a way that is accessible to solo and duo people who may well be great players, and excellent friends who really enjoy Telara, but may not have the uninterrupted time they’d like. These are shaping up to be a really fun way to make sure you can stay involved with the story.

    We're going to be working on these in a way such that they're fun to do for the most casual of players, all the way to the people who are already enjoying the raid game and interested in new things to do in their downtime. (Even the hardest core raider doesn't raid 24/7!)

    Telara needs to be a world that's capable of entertaining all kinds of people, who like all different kinds of things - When we succeed there, everyone wins."
    Part of this desire to "please everyone" is driven by budget. Games cost a lot of money to make and maintain these days. An AAA MMO, like the one that Bioware is making, costs upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars. Consequently, a huge return is necessary and the only way to make that return is to appeal to the widest audience. Besides which, appealing to the widest audience seems good business sense.

    However, there comes a point when, in trying to please everyone, you please no one, and this has to do with the rate of content development. Despite what developers want you to believe, it is not the case that development teams for different areas of the game are independent. Game designers, graphic artists, scripters, programmers, etc. are all general purpose enough to be assigned to a variety of areas. Otherwise, you'd have game companies looking for "junior level PvE raid designers" rather than "junior level game designers" in their jobs pages.

    Consequently, the more spread out your team is over different areas, the less that gets done in any particular area. We see this in Rift, for example, in the exclusively raiding content releases in the first three months of the game. Meanwhile, little has been done elsewhere, for either the solo/duo/trio players Scott was referring to, or for the PvPers who are constantly making their displeasure known on the forums, or for the 5-man instance runners who have been running the same T1/T2 instances since release.

    In the next few patches, and in particular 1.4, some of that is going to be addressed. But again, if you hold to the principle that developers can't be everywhere at once, then other areas of the game are likely going to suffer because of it. Perhaps there won't be a new 20-man for months on ends. Or perhaps new 5-mans are getting delayed. And so on.

    The question, then, becomes: is this model actually sustainable? Can developers actually develop enough content, sufficiently fast, to "please everyone?" And if not, would an alternative model, in which the game tries to concentrate on one or two areas, be better for its long-term?

    After all, it is common sense that you can't do everything, and that in trying to please everyone, sometimes you please no one. I'd argue that this is particularly true for MMOs, which have to keep up a certain pace of content development in order to keep people playing and, consequently, paying.

    At the same time, if you only concentrate on one or two areas, you will likely lose the players who do not belong to those areas - ie the PvPers if you focus on PvE, or the PvEers if you focus on PvP. But would those players have left over the slow rate of content development, anyhow, if you tried to split your attention? The trade-off point is not obvious.

    Discuss.
    Last edited by Etadanik; 07-29-2011 at 11:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Rift Chaser Liavy's Avatar
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    inb4 Sez

    Now to actually read the topic.

    Edit: Oh, this topic again. Nothing to contribute.
    Last edited by Liavy; 07-29-2011 at 12:00 PM.

  3. #3
    Sez
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    Quote Originally Posted by Etadanik View Post
    Discuss.
    My biggest Peev... Everything else you said, gone. /sigh


    Quote Originally Posted by Liavy View Post
    inb4 Sez

    Now to actually read the topic.

    Edit: Oh, this topic again. Nothing to contribute.
    Damn it Liavy!
    Last edited by Sez; 07-29-2011 at 12:00 PM.
    Sez is now Zes on Dayblind

    - Rogue Lead - <Gestalt> - Defiant - Dayblind Server -

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    Ascendant Original_Hellfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Etadanik View Post
    One of the trends I'm seeing from MMOs, including Rift, as of late is that they try to please everyone. For example, Scott Hartsman's new press release said the following:



    Part of this desire to "please everyone" is driven by budget. Games cost a lot of money to make and maintain these days. An AAA MMO, like the one that Bioware is making, costs upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars. Consequently, a huge return is necessary and the only way to make that return is to appeal to the widest audience. Besides which, appealing to the widest audience seems good business sense.

    However, there comes a point when, in trying to please everyone, you please no one, and this has to do with the rate of content development. Despite what developers want you to believe, it is not the case that development teams for different areas of the game are independent. Game designers, graphic artists, scripters, programmers, etc. are all general purpose enough to be assigned to a variety of areas. Otherwise, you'd have game companies looking for "junior level PvE raid designers" rather than "junior level game designers" in their jobs pages.

    Consequently, the more spread out your team is over different areas, the less that gets done in any particular area. We see this in Rift, for example, in the exclusively raiding content releases in the first three months of the game. Meanwhile, little has been done elsewhere, for either the solo/duo/trio players Scott was referring to, or for the PvPers who are constantly making their displeasure known on the forums, or for the 5-man instance runners who have been running the same T1/T2 instances since release.

    In the next few patches, and in particular 1.4, some of that is going to be addressed. But again, if you hold to the principle that developers can't be everywhere at once, then other areas of the game are likely going to suffer because of it. Perhaps there won't be a new 20-man for months on ends. Or perhaps new 5-mans are getting delayed. And so on.

    The question, then, becomes: is this model actually sustainable? Can developers actually develop enough content, sufficiently fast, to "please everyone?" And if not, would an alternative model, in which the game tries to concentrate on one or two areas, be better for its long-term?

    After all, it is common sense that you can't do everything, and that in trying to please everyone, sometimes you please no one. I'd argue that this is particularly true for MMOs, which have to keep up a certain pace of content development in order to keep people playing and, consequently, paying.

    At the same time, if you only concentrate on one or two areas, you will likely lose the players who do not belong to those areas - ie the PvPers if you focus on PvE, or the PvEers if you focus on PvP. But would those players have left over the slow rate of content development, anyhow, if you tried to split your attention? The trade-off point is not obvious.

    Discuss.
    You pointed to Tor as an example of cost of mmos, SWTOR has cost 300 million so far to make, the most expensive game EVER. And it blows so bad. Trust me do not buy it. Having played the closed beta I can tell you their is a week of actual game that you solo through and then nothing.
    Last edited by Original_Hellfire; 07-29-2011 at 12:02 PM.

  5. #5
    Rift Chaser Liavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sez View Post
    Damn it Liavy!
    Finally something sig worthy.
    Last edited by Liavy; 07-29-2011 at 12:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Rift Disciple Soulsek Ro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Etadanik View Post
    One of the trends I'm seeing from MMOs, including Rift, as of late is that they try to please everyone. For example, Scott Hartsman's new press release said the following:



    Part of this desire to "please everyone" is driven by budget. Games cost a lot of money to make and maintain these days. An AAA MMO, like the one that Bioware is making, costs upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars. Consequently, a huge return is necessary and the only way to make that return is to appeal to the widest audience. Besides which, appealing to the widest audience seems good business sense.

    However, there comes a point when, in trying to please everyone, you please no one, and this has to do with the rate of content development. Despite what developers want you to believe, it is not the case that development teams for different areas of the game are independent. Game designers, graphic artists, scripters, programmers, etc. are all general purpose enough to be assigned to a variety of areas. Otherwise, you'd have game companies looking for "junior level PvE raid designers" rather than "junior level game designers" in their jobs pages.

    Consequently, the more spread out your team is over different areas, the less that gets done in any particular area. We see this in Rift, for example, in the exclusively raiding content releases in the first three months of the game. Meanwhile, little has been done elsewhere, for either the solo/duo/trio players Scott was referring to, or for the PvPers who are constantly making their displeasure known on the forums, or for the 5-man instance runners who have been running the same T1/T2 instances since release.

    In the next few patches, and in particular 1.4, some of that is going to be addressed. But again, if you hold to the principle that developers can't be everywhere at once, then other areas of the game are likely going to suffer because of it. Perhaps there won't be a new 20-man for months on ends. Or perhaps new 5-mans are getting delayed. And so on.

    The question, then, becomes: is this model actually sustainable? Can developers actually develop enough content, sufficiently fast, to "please everyone?" And if not, would an alternative model, in which the game tries to concentrate on one or two areas, be better for its long-term?

    After all, it is common sense that you can't do everything, and that in trying to please everyone, sometimes you please no one. I'd argue that this is particularly true for MMOs, which have to keep up a certain pace of content development in order to keep people playing and, consequently, paying.

    At the same time, if you only concentrate on one or two areas, you will likely lose the players who do not belong to those areas - ie the PvPers if you focus on PvE, or the PvEers if you focus on PvP. But would those players have left over the slow rate of content development, anyhow, if you tried to split your attention? The trade-off point is not obvious.

    Discuss.
    I think the best way to do this is to ditch the idea of massive guilds. Try and make things seem like a 12/12 room MMO with a massive world around you. Personally the way you please everyone is by forcing the players to play with less players therego making them become more personal with fewer players. I think that's the general shift in MMOs. I think that MMOs now are running from the Massive part because in reality Massive just refers back to the early days of when an RPG no longer was 12 man affair.

  7. #7
    Shield of Telara Adebar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sez View Post
    Damn it Liavy!
    He hasn't done the 'inb4 OP' yet. I doubt anyone besides you has.
    127% of internet statistics are made up on the spot.

    Never trust obscure quotes from famous people on the internet. -George Washington

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