Preliminary Thoughts

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#51 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (3028 posts) -

This is just my opinion, I can appreciate other opinions...but this is mine.

At this point I simply do not see the point of MMOs. It would be far better for making an immerse world to have the player and maybe three or four friends play in a world filled with thousands of AI characters. A massive world, freedom to do what you wanted within a narrative and none of the 'ass-hattery' of other people screwing up your game. A game the runs at you pace, a world whos sole function is to give YOU an experience based on yoru own input and play style.

Sartre wrote his best-known quote in Huis-clos (No Exit), which contains the famous line "L'enfer, c'est les autres," usually translated as "Hell is other people."

Other people add very little to the experience with day's technology because MMOs run 24/7/365 with people all all at different levels all running willy-nilly all over the world. Its like a stage-play where everyone is trying to play the lead role...even if they don't want to...and all doing a piss-poor job of it. There are very few MMOs were the other people really matter, and truly the only game that uses others to the maximum benefit would be EvE. The point of other people in Eve isn't window dressing they are not the 'other elves' who make the city look lived in...they are you allies, opponents, co-workers, and MOSTLY the crumbs to be crushed under your mighty corporate thumb.

You will notice in Star Trek that the point and function of the Holodeck wasn't to have the whole ship or everyone in the Federation all playing at once in one world. The Holodeck was portrayed as an experience, often for a single individual or a small group, willing to experience something singular/special. MMOs are NOT the best way to let someone experience a world, they had a function 20 years ago to make a world seem alive, but they were/are/will be a dead end for real immersive gaming....because [whisper] other people suck. ;-)

#52 Posted by Darji (5293 posts) -

Anyone know when ESO goes back online?

#53 Edited by Bane (453 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I couldn't agree more regarding other people in the game world. I participated in two of the beta tests and found the game to be quite enjoyable from a gameplay perspective. The one thing that prevents me from playing it however, is the other people.

Look at all the Chosen Ones

The "you're the chosen one" plot makes no sense for an MMO. Okay, so I'm the chosen one. So are they, and them, and those guys over there, as is everyone else that's playing the game. The game's internal logic is broken right from the start. Since the end game is this huge PVP war for Cyrodiil why not have everyone just be a simple soldier in their chosen faction's army? Not every plot has to have the player as the center of the universe.

I could ignore, or at least tolerate, that bit of broken logic if I were able to ignore the other people. That turned out to be impossible. I found them to be out of place, disruptive, and immersion breaking. What I don't understand is Elder Scrolls games had a perfect solution in place already and they didn't utilize it. That solution is the closed cities found in Oblivion and Skyrim. Make the closed cities the public spaces where you can do your trading, crafting, socializing, and grouping. Once you walk through the gates though, you or your group enter your own instanced copy of the world, free from all the bullshit that comes along with having other players in your space.

Waiting for an enemy to reset while others /dance

It's too bad really because I think they did a lot of things right:

  • The premise of exploring the entirety of Tamriel is very appealing.
  • I think they did a great job capturing the feeling of Elder Scrolls as a whole.
  • The sheer volume of things to do has to be insanely huge based on what my journal looked like in a short amount of time.
  • The combat system is fun and something I think the series needs. Games like Dragon's Dogma and Dark Souls eat the Elder Scrolls' lunch when it comes to combat mechanics.
  • The crafting is awesome! As you can see in my screenshots I was able to make myself a set of Iron Orcish armor and weapons. The material and the racial style have been separated which I really hope they bring over to the next single player Elder Scrolls.

I told the three friends that wanted to play that as it stands now it's 90% awesome, but the 10% that's shit (the other people in our space) completely ruins the rest of it. Since they would've had to buy Xbox Ones in order to play there's no way I could recommend it to them. If the game is ever changed to incorporate instances (or some other solution) we'll take another look, but until then it's a non-starter for us.

#54 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@monkeyking1969 said:

This is just my opinion, I can appreciate other opinions...but this is mine.

At this point I simply do not see the point of MMOs. It would be far better for making an immerse world to have the player and maybe three or four friends play in a world filled with thousands of AI characters. A massive world, freedom to do what you wanted within a narrative and none of the 'ass-hattery' of other people screwing up your game. A game the runs at you pace, a world whos sole function is to give YOU an experience based on yoru own input and play style.

Sartre wrote his best-known quote in Huis-clos (No Exit), which contains the famous line "L'enfer, c'est les autres," usually translated as "Hell is other people."

Other people add very little to the experience with day's technology because MMOs run 24/7/365 with people all all at different levels all running willy-nilly all over the world. Its like a stage-play where everyone is trying to play the lead role...even if they don't want to...and all doing a piss-poor job of it. There are very few MMOs were the other people really matter, and truly the only game that uses others to the maximum benefit would be EvE. The point of other people in Eve isn't window dressing they are not the 'other elves' who make the city look lived in...they are you allies, opponents, co-workers, and MOSTLY the crumbs to be crushed under your mighty corporate thumb.

You will notice in Star Trek that the point and function of the Holodeck wasn't to have the whole ship or everyone in the Federation all playing at once in one world. The Holodeck was portrayed as an experience, often for a single individual or a small group, willing to experience something singular/special. MMOs are NOT the best way to let someone experience a world, they had a function 20 years ago to make a world seem alive, but they were/are/will be a dead end for real immersive gaming....because [whisper] other people suck. ;-)

That's why I believe the upcoming *Minecraftian MMOs* such as Everquest Next and Shards might make a splash. Minecraft is like the most hardcore casual game on the planet, and has sold over 30 million copies. I'd wager the social aspect of MMOs will really come into its own, when people band together to build shit they'd never be able to build on their own.

The other trend which might be taking off big time is what I'd dub *Solitary MMOs*. Games with gameworlds so vast, social interactions are the exception, not the norm. Like No Man's Sky. I guess the old Space Sim genre will soon celebrate a renaissance as MMOs, with Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous and whatnot. Not quite the same as No Man's Sky, but the endless horizon of space is truely a frontier rife for interesting MMO concepts beyond EVE.

Then there's the trend of *Pure Anarchy MMOs* like DayZ and Rust, which kill the formulaic social interactions with a rock, literally. When anything goes, every stranger is an encounter with limitless possibilities - even if it usually is just another rock to the skull. These games tend to be somewhat Minecraftian as well.

MMOs definitely have a future, but for me at least, the classic themepark MMO is played out. The fascination of their persistent worlds and ponderous character progression (social progression being a part of that) alone doesn't hold the same fascination for me anymore as they once did. Fret not though, new and exciting things are on the horizon.

Also - let's not forget The Souls franchise (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls I & II), which meld lots of aspects of MMOs seamlessly into a more or less solitary experience. Do I really need an MMO to get my online RPG fix? No. The Souls' approach would have much better fit the Elder Scrolls heritage, than ESO's full-on MMO stab at online. Hopefully the next proper Elder Scrolls game will have some online component more akin to Dark Souls. That'd be baller.

#55 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@seppli: DayZ and Rust are great in theory, and i enjoyed my time with booth, but the fact that the worst kinds of people in the universe play those 2 games, i wouldnt want it to replace and MMO, and in their current states neither of those games have any real narrative or questing so how could they..

As for the souls games, they arent really RPGs, if you remember what RPG stands for when it isnt a grenade.. its Role Playing Game, the amount to which you role play in DS is creating a character and choosing who to kill.. there is no pretence that you can do activities other than murderising. MMOs let people be crafters, or chefs etc. as for the drop-in nature of their multiplayer, for which borderlands or diablo would have been a much better example.. The whole idea of MMOs is community, getting your massive guilds of 100s of members, doing raids with 20+ people wailing on a boss, creating resource foraging parties, fighting in a grand scale war.

If you dont enjoy MMOS thats cool, i can respect that, but dont try to take it away from people.. it isnt costing you anything for this game to exist, the developers are not bethesda so you arent losing your next TES game or Fallout because the resources are being used on ESO, so whats the problem? i dont give a fuck about farmville, but i dont want to deny people the enjoyment of it.

@bane: The Story of ESO actually does a pretty good job of explaining that away by saying "you will not be alone on this task, we will need allies to rally to our cause" i know its not perfect, but the whole chosen one had to be theres because this is a TES, they have always been chosen one story lines.

as for your issue with other people, i genuinly like having thousands of people, it makes questing easy because my 3 or 4 friends, none of them are free to play when i want to. MMOs are all about community, and the one of TES has been pretty good since early access because all the trolls that were ruining it in beta are gone.

I generally dont go out much, because people in real life are dirtbags.. but spending time chatting with the Luchadeer Crusaders has been a great social experience, and im one of the few people in zone chat helping people who dont understand certain mechanics of the game

I realise this makes me weird, ive known that for years.. but this game caters to my needs, and id really like it if people would stop shitting all over the things i enjoy, just because their needs are different

#56 Edited by Krullban (1062 posts) -

@bane: You don't see the other peoples stories. What's stopping you from just considering them other random people in the world?

#57 Edited by BurningStickMan (238 posts) -

@krullban said:

@bane: You don't see the other peoples stories. What's stopping you from just considering them other random people in the world?

One of the first mission lines I got in the beta involved a plot to assassinate the king. The local constabulary suspected a particular family, but couldn't act without evidence. They asked me to sneak (yes, there's the same stealth mechanic as in the single player games) into the family's house and search for evidence. "Be careful, don't get seen if you can avoid it!" etc, etc.

So far, very Elder Scrolls. I enter the house. The house turns out to be a public instance. There's at least 10 other people running around or looking at their menus. No guards, because they'd all been killed. If the evidence was hidden or locked, that had already been taken care of. No need to even stealth - I just strolled over to the shiny object, picked it up, left the house.

Later the city is under siege by another faction. I'm asked to lead a daring raid through their forces on the coast, and burn their siege ballistas. Check my inventory, ready for combat, charge out onto the beach...

It's empty, except for other players. Totally, absolutely devoid of opposition, because as soon as new enemies would spawn in, another player would be there to whack them. I calmly jogged over to each ballista, "used" it to set it on fire, jogged back to the questgiver.

That kind of stuff. I thought I was being petty for being turned off by it in the beta, but I'm glad others feel the same way. Aside from that, they've done a surprising job at turning Skyrim into an MMO.

#58 Posted by Steadying (1472 posts) -

I really hate how little " soul " this game has. It just seems like a clunky Skyrim instead of trying to be its own thing. It even has the same crosshair/whatever you call it for fuck sake.

.....I still really wanna play it though. I enjoyed my time with the beta. I really wish it were F2P. I'd pay 60 bucks for it, but not a sub fee.

Online
#59 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@grimmie92:

I'm not trying to take away anything from anyone. I do enjoy the classic themepark MMORPG genre somewhat, despite how tired it feels to me. I did enjoy what I've played of ESO too. Just not enough to play it over all the other games I am playing instead of it.

I'm merely responding to @monkeyking1969's sentiment that MMOs do not have a point anymore. My fascination with MMOs has waned over the years, yet there's lots of exciting new trends in online gaming, that'll inspire future MMOs, that'll very much rely on the point of being massively multiplayer online. That's what my previous post was all about.

He's absolutely correct in that stuff like ESO's *The Chosen One* storyline is nonsensical in the context of a full-on MMO environment. Themepark MMOs in many ways lose as much as they gain from being massively multiplayer online. However, being massively multiplayer online in the context of a Minecraftian MMORPG, like Everquest Next promises to be, does indeed make a lot more sense.

Player-built and run cities? Guilds with their own custom mountain keeps? Traveling with a mining expedition to the deepest layers of the Netherworld to gather that oh-so-special onyx marble with that raven shine, to create that custom wet cell you always dreamed of? That's the stuff!

The Malechite Bathroom I'd build, if I'd fucked the world for all it's worth. And other things Minecraftian MMOs might do... with a little help from your friends.

#60 Posted by Anund (940 posts) -

All I know is they are patching the servers right now and I wish they wouldn't because I wanna play the game ;)

#61 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@seppli: the thing is, thats just your opinion, and while it is valid, saying that making an mmo in a fantasy setting (even one as finely polished as ESO) is a waste of time is kinda silly.. there are people entering the market of MMOs every single day, what are they supposed to play if people simply stopped making MMOs cos @seppli on Giant Bomb told all the developers to not bother because he was bored of them.

Im glad you cant make those kinds of calls because I, and thousands upon thousands of people out there still very much enjoy MMOs, and as far as themepark MMOs go, this one is pretty heavily interactive, like i demonstrated in my comment about towns being burnt to the ground, obviously everybody does this, but it isnt quite as still a world as the term themepark generally implies.

and all that stuff about everquest, ill believe it when i see it.. because the actual gameplay part of that game still looked exactly like every other mmo, although it was rather pretty

#62 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@grimmie92 said:

@seppli: the thing is, thats just your opinion, and while it is valid, saying that making an mmo in a fantasy setting (even one as finely polished as ESO) is a waste of time is kinda silly.. there are people entering the market of MMOs every single day, what are they supposed to play if people simply stopped making MMOs cos @seppli on Giant Bomb told all the developers to not bother because he was bored of them.

Im glad you cant make those kinds of calls because I, and thousands upon thousands of people out there still very much enjoy MMOs, and as far as themepark MMOs go, this one is pretty heavily interactive, like i demonstrated in my comment about towns being burnt to the ground, obviously everybody does this, but it isnt quite as still a world as the term themepark generally implies.

and all that stuff about everquest, ill believe it when i see it.. because the actual gameplay part of that game still looked exactly like every other mmo, although it was rather pretty

I've said none of those things. You read between the lines. You read wrong. I was writing about why the MMO genre still has a point, beyond the social progression/requirements of large group PvE raiding and various forms of PvP.

While it's true that I believe ESO is poised for failure as a subscription service in today's market environments, you are taking this shit way too personally. I'm not saying they shouldn't have made ESO, or not launched it as a subscription service. That's their call to make. From where I'm sitting, they're just trying to make their money back as efficiently as they can (above average pricing for the client & monthly fee), whilst gambling on it catching on as a subscription service. Given a large enough subscriber base, nothing in gaming is more lucrative than a subscription MMO (other than phenomally successful nickel and dime games like LoL).

Nothing of what I've seen seemed sufficient to combat the quite prevalent MMO-fatigue. It's all close enough to the tried and true, that it doesn't get me as excited as I have to be, to drop general gaming in favor of MMO gaming. That's the crux of ESO for me. It doesn't excite me enough to drop everything else. That's what it takes these days. Sure, future games like Everquest Next are little more than a collection of lofty promises. Those promises however hold enough potential fascination to reignite my passion for MMOs again, unlike ESO.

If ESO is your thing, that's fine. I'm not trying to talk you out of it. I know being into an MMO is a personal investment, so I get why you might take my disregard of ESO so personally. I've been standing where you are at before. In my experience, things will not go your way. They never do. Unless you happen to be fan of WoW - then you're set.

#63 Edited by Death_Burnout (3800 posts) -

Regardless of a subscription you really, really don't have to make full commitment to this game, to a lot of MMO's these days actually. This game is very easy to drop in and play an hour or two because it is so streamlined, and that's not a detriment.

That's actually what pissed me off about that bone-headed Quick Look, one minute they berated ESO for once being a generic MMO then made cynical remarks for it trying to do something different.

In my mind, if anyone was sitting there in 2014 expecting a massively multiplayer Skyrim to a tee, then there is no helping them. For where we are in online gaming and considering this was in development for a long time, it's pretty good. I just don't enjoy the swarms of people playing it, but that will die down eventually.

#64 Posted by Bane (453 posts) -

@krullban said:

@bane: You don't see the other peoples stories. What's stopping you from just considering them other random people in the world?

One of the first mission lines I got in the beta involved a plot to assassinate the king. The local constabulary suspected a particular family, but couldn't act without evidence. They asked me to sneak (yes, there's the same stealth mechanic as in the single player games) into the family's house and search for evidence. "Be careful, don't get seen if you can avoid it!" etc, etc.

So far, very Elder Scrolls. I enter the house. The house turns out to be a public instance. There's at least 10 other people running around or looking at their menus. No guards, because they'd all been killed. If the evidence was hidden or locked, that had already been taken care of. No need to even stealth - I just strolled over to the shiny object, picked it up, left the house.

Later the city is under siege by another faction. I'm asked to lead a daring raid through their forces on the coast, and burn their siege ballistas. Check my inventory, ready for combat, charge out onto the beach...

It's empty, except for other players. Totally, absolutely devoid of opposition, because as soon as new enemies would spawn in, another player would be there to whack them. I calmly jogged over to each ballista, "used" it to set it on fire, jogged back to the questgiver.

That kind of stuff. I thought I was being petty for being turned off by it in the beta, but I'm glad others feel the same way. Aside from that, they've done a surprising job at turning Skyrim into an MMO.

Yep, that right there. The other people impact the way my game plays making them impossible to ignore.

There's a small village on the coast. The elder wants me to challenge their three strongest warriors to a duel. I look around and see that each of the three warriors has a crowd of people standing around them. I walk up to the first, try to interact, nothing happens. I wait until it resets, take a swing with my sword along with everyone else standing around, and we collectively win the "duel" in a single action. Repeat for the other warriors, turn in the quest.

I enter a dungeon. There's a room with a bunch of bookshelves and one enemy. I kill the enemy and start browsing the bookshelves. I'm a few sentences into the first book and I get attacked from behind. The enemy had respawned for the next player to kill. I kill them again, decide to look at these books later, and move on. I creep down some stairs and stop at the bottom. There are several enemies in this room and what looks like the boss at the other end. As I'm contemplating how to proceed several other players rush past me, kill everything, and leave. I walk through the now empty room to the boss area and wait for it to respawn. The room respawns, I kill the boss without even aggroing the other enemies, and walk out.

I'm walking along the coast (emphasis on walking) just taking in the sights, looking for crafting materials and whatnot. Other players are running and hopping around like idiots, two more are having a naked dance party on the beach, and they're all generally ruining the experience. I see a mineral vein so I head in that direction. One player comes from the other direction and gets there first, forcing me to move on or sit around and wait for it to reset. Another player runs past me going the other way, turns around, gets in front of me and asks in the chat "are you a person or an npc?" I assume because I was just walking like a normal person. The simple fact that they had to ask tells me I'm the exception while running and hopping around like an idiot is the rule.

Having everyone questing in the same public spaces is completely ridiculous.

#65 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3028 posts) -

@seppli: DayZ and Rust are great in theory, and i enjoyed my time with booth, but the fact that the worst kinds of people in the universe play those 2 games, i wouldnt want it to replace and MMO, and in their current states neither of those games have any real narrative or questing so how could they..

I see what you are getting at and can even agree that how those games works, is not ideal. On the other hand I can see how a few tweaks to various real world and game world social aspects could make them far better than most traditional MMOs.

I don't know a lot about Rust, but from what I have seen of DayZ I think the game just needs two or three "root" social game mechanics that tip the balance from it being advantageous to kill people to it being less advantageous to kill people - but not impossible. Tweaking cooperation slightly above stealing without making either impossible.

The reason why we don't just all kill each other in real life is not because we're good, we the world we live is complex so there are downsides to antisocial actions. There are causes and effects to everything we do and we have to make choices. Helping is often more advantageous than not helping in teh long term, but in a moment teh short term solution theta is selfish might be best even with consequences.

That's why games are still exiting...there is still so much more to make and try in gaming. There are so much more subtle rules and game mechanics yet to be tried.

#66 Edited by Karkarov (3274 posts) -

@bane said:

I'm walking along the coast (emphasis on walking) just taking in the sights, looking for crafting materials and whatnot. Other players are running and hopping around like idiots, two more are having a naked dance party on the beach, and they're all generally ruining the experience. I see a mineral vein so I head in that direction. One player comes from the other direction and gets there first, forcing me to move on or sit around and wait for it to reset. Another player runs past me going the other way, turns around, gets in front of me and asks in the chat "are you a person or an npc?" I assume because I was just walking like a normal person. The simple fact that they had to ask tells me I'm the exception while running and hopping around like an idiot is the rule.

Having everyone questing in the same public spaces is completely ridiculous.

I will say there is one very legitimate complaint people can level at ESO (other than bugs) that is 100% legit.... and that is it. They do seriously need to start heavily instancing areas, at the very least the indoor/quest areas.

#67 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@karkarov: the whole server management system isnt in game yet unfortnately, but once the mechanics they talked about where you would be place in the instances where your guild and friends are, and that you could choose your playstyle/hobbies and be matched with others doing similar activities.. i think the one and only issue i have with this game will be fixed.

There is simply too many people in towns and quest areas, and i think thats because there is literally nothing controlling instances so everyone is just dumped into the same one until the server sees too many people and splinters it. if they could make it so the maximum size of an instance outside of Cyrodiil was 100 people, i think everybody would be much happier. the changing of instances is already very smooth thanks to the megaserver, they just need to put a leash on it.

#68 Edited by BurningStickMan (238 posts) -

@karkarov said:

@bane said:

I'm walking along the coast (emphasis on walking) just taking in the sights, looking for crafting materials and whatnot. Other players are running and hopping around like idiots, two more are having a naked dance party on the beach, and they're all generally ruining the experience. I see a mineral vein so I head in that direction. One player comes from the other direction and gets there first, forcing me to move on or sit around and wait for it to reset. Another player runs past me going the other way, turns around, gets in front of me and asks in the chat "are you a person or an npc?" I assume because I was just walking like a normal person. The simple fact that they had to ask tells me I'm the exception while running and hopping around like an idiot is the rule.

Having everyone questing in the same public spaces is completely ridiculous.

I will say there is one very legitimate complaint people can level at ESO (other than bugs) that is 100% legit.... and that is it. They do seriously need to start heavily instancing areas, at the very least the indoor/quest areas.

Instancing would help, but (in my admittedly limited experience) it just seems written like a single player ES game, from the design of the missions down to the "sole hero of the universe" story. Like this was ES6 that they turned into an MMO instead. I've got to think there's a way you can write quests that would account for multiple people. To be fair, this is the starter areas - maybe they wrote those first and it gets better later. But if not, there's a lot you've got to turn a blind eye to if you're here for story and immersion.

#69 Edited by Syndrom (366 posts) -

i think people that want ES6 are just in the wrong place.

It's an mmo, you have to expect the idiots and typical mmo player stuff. I don't really think these are valid complaints against the game.

I've been just ignoring alot of that stuff and i'm having fun in the game. It's actually been a long time since i've had this much fun in an mmo.

#70 Edited by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@syndrom: this is what ive been feeling as well but its so hard to ignore when people are shitting on a game so much that it is turning away people who would potentially really enjoy this game

Also, my physical imperial edition just arrived in the middle of writing this, it is hard to type with the amount of joy inside me right now

#71 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

On the other hand some complaints are from people love MMOs dislike this game because it has a bunch of "junk" that other MMOs are abandoning. From the beta parts I played and even watching the QuickLook by Jeff, ESO has several quest designs abandoned by Blizzard designers before "Mists"!

Hardcore fans of the genre are looking for the "next gen MMO" and ESO is completely and totally not that which is why they are disappointed.

#72 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@extomar: could you elaborate on said quest designs?

Id say im a pretty hard core of the genre, if by genre you mean MMOs, and as long as its fun i dont care if it is revolutionary or not, i still hold Battle of the immortals as one of my favorite MMOs of all time, and that games design is dated as fuck, and yet i know i could log in to that game any day and have a fun time

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