Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

LOTRO Dev Talks About Bringing MMOs To Consoles

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the give-me-a-mouse-and-keyboard-or-give-me-death dept.

Role Playing (Games) 129

Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer for Lord of the Rings: Online recently spoke to Eurogamer about the game's upcoming expansion and its future in the MMO market. One thing he mentions is the challenge of designing an MMO for consoles, which have a larger player base than PC games. He admits that UI development would be a huge issue, but also thinks MMOs could benefit from splitting tasks between various devices. "Long term, for me, the real exciting vision is ... thinking about a game, a franchise, as this centralised content. There's this thing called Lord of the Rings that sits on a bunch of servers ... and whether you're on your PC, your console, your mobile device, those are all just access points, and they're all good at different things. ... The console is great for fast action, immediate activities. Combat, raids, things like that could be a lot of fun sitting on your couch. And some things that are necessary but slightly rote and boring, like managing your inventory or setting up for a raid, or some elements of crafting — those are things that you can do instead of playing Bejeweled when you're sitting on the train or on a break or whatever it happens to be."

cancel ×

129 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

uh (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 6 years ago | (#24837577)

Yeah get a party together and set up your inventory on the train and then everybody get back together 2 hours later when you're in front of your tv?..

Re:uh (1)

snuf23 (182335) | about 6 years ago | (#24848927)

End game raids are usually planned days in advance. An app that allowed you to track who is planning to attend via a website or mobile wouldn't be a bad thing.

You know what's even more fun? (2, Insightful)

liquiddark (719647) | about 6 years ago | (#24837621)

Punctuated entertainment that doesn't try to consume every second of every day of your life. Magine that - there's other things to do besides play a fucking videogame. Be nice if some MMO developers stopped thinking up game ideas before they take their OCD meds.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#24837671)

Punctuated entertainment that doesn't try to consume every second of every day of your life.

You're anthropomorphizing. How can a (your words) fucking videogame do anything other than sit there and wait to be played? How can it "try" to do anything?

Here's a novel idea: Play the same MMO everyone else plays, in moderation.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

pizzach (1011925) | about 6 years ago | (#24837723)

Personal opinion, but games are so much more satisfying when they end.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24837753)

Yeah, pacman and space invaders used to piss me like that.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | about 6 years ago | (#24841195)

Pacman eventually ends - when the level counter goes above 255 it goes tits-up.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (3, Insightful)

liquiddark (719647) | about 6 years ago | (#24837831)

Don't be intentionally stupid. The game is built by a set of humans collectively organized into a business. They not only do try to do something besides sit there and ask you to play, but in the case of the majors, they have a legal requirement (to their public shareholders) to encourage you to become completely addicted to the game so that you keep playing and keep paying.

MMO games are addiction machines. This article points out just one of the slippery slopes they try to grease to get you to invest so much that it is psychologically damaging to play.

As for moderation, I played WoW for years, and the one thing I noticed in that time was there were very few people playing "in moderation". The prices at the auction houses, the time it took to accomplish any goals, and the lack of any punctuated content meant that you had two paths - play til you got bored, or play constantly (definition in this particular case: 20+ hours a week).

I don't know who your "everyone" includes, but the stories I heard from the players I met - in real life I'm talking, not in game - were all at least that deep in the game. It's how the thing is made - there's a stack of shit ten miles deep that the developers are trying to bog you down with in the name of "pacing mechanisms" and "meaningful progression". In the end, it's timesink so that you keep playing and keep filling their pockets.

Punctuated content, on the other hand, should take the line that a person can accomplish a complete task in a set time period, and there are limits to how much an individual can crank through in a given time period. Think movies versus TV. You go to a movie and you pay your fee, then two hours later you're done. You sit down in front of a TV and nine hours later you stand up and crack your back and realize it's dark outside and your life is passing you by.

Not what everyone wants. But holy christ, come on. These guys are suggesting that you could do part of the artificial shitty task list they've made up for you in your free time. If that doesn't sound ridiculous to you, you're a little crazy.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 6 years ago | (#24837915)

"MMO games are addiction machines."

Guild Wars seems to have done OK without a permanent grind; I'm sure they haven't made as much money as WoW with its monthly fees, but I'm equally sure they've made a decent profit.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837941)

Fair enough. I can only speak about the majors I've played - Everquest, WoW, and (to a vastly smaller degree, but mainly because the game isn't that good) City of Heroes. I'm sure there are games that don't try to suck up all of your time. But TFA was about a new way to do exactly that.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

liquiddark (719647) | about 6 years ago | (#24838197)

Not sure why it logged me out, but that was me.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

enHatt (1283014) | about 6 years ago | (#24841199)

Perhaps it's trying to tell you to spend less time online?

Re:You know what's even more fun? (5, Interesting)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | about 6 years ago | (#24838295)

I'd be willing to guess that the reason Guild Wars doesn't make as much is because they don't have a grind. Grind satisfies that lucrative OCD-fueled core of the target audience by giving them something to channel their compulsions. The community can be heard to grumble about the grind; but day in and day out they're in there, grinding honor, faction, mats, DKP, and whatever else goes on in WoW these days. Sure, everyone says they hate it, but it shines and sparkles just so; and they can't look away.

If you don't populate the game with enough BS to keep the 24/7 players happy, they will leave. If you do, you're forced to balance the time investment requirement to that standard. Thus forcing casual players to invest more of their time to keep up with the Joneses.

But while structuring reward systems to require as much time to complete as possible is good business. Taking up every moment of your free time to get those rewards is still your choice.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

Kingrames (858416) | about 6 years ago | (#24842753)

It actually does have a grind. it's just much less annoying. People who want special titles for their characters have a lot of hard work to do.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (2, Informative)

Arnold999 (1220926) | about 6 years ago | (#24840375)

Guild Wars is not an MMORPG
http://www.guildwars.com/products/guildwars/features/default.php#details [guildwars.com]

Guild Wars has some similarities to existing MMORPGs
[...]
Rather than labeling Guild Wars an MMORPG, we prefer to call it a CORPG (Competitive Online Role-Playing Game).

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

AioKits (1235070) | about 6 years ago | (#24842605)

Guild Wars has some similarities to existing MMORPGs [...] Rather than labeling Guild Wars an MMORPG, we prefer to call it a CORPG (Competitive Online Role-Playing Game).

Suppose that's better than Competitive Online Role-Playing System Entity.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (3, Insightful)

LRayZor (872596) | about 6 years ago | (#24839495)

Actually their ideal situation is probably that you keep paying WITHOUT playing (too much). That way their content doesn't get old so fast, the resources required to run the game aren't as high, etc. etc.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

liquiddark (719647) | about 6 years ago | (#24841225)

Agreed. But then people just stop playing because it takes too long to do anything so they never get anywhere at all. So the devs take the hit and make the game play-heavy and try to find ways to hook players into addiction-level gameplay.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24839535)

You know what? They don't have any obligation at all.
From a business point of view, getting your customers to play the game every hour they possibly can is bloody stupid. Addicts and powergamers don't pay even one cent more than the casual guy, that plays two hours every other weekend, but they take up server ressources, they take up bandwidth and they take up development ressources by chewing through content at a ridiculous rate.
Get a grip. Addicts don't make the company money, casual players do.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#24842677)

The game is built by a set of humans collectively organized into a business. They not only do try to do something besides sit there and ask you to play,

Certainly, they try. But there's only so much they can do. At the end of the day, there's still just the game, and it still just sits there until you do something about it.

You sound like you're an addict, just looking for someone else to blame for your own lack of self-control.

in the case of the majors, they have a legal requirement (to their public shareholders) to encourage you to become completely addicted to the game so that you keep playing and keep paying.

Actually, no, the most they would have is a legal requirement to make the most money they can. Keeping in mind that you can't keep paying if you're so addicted you're out of a job, I would imagine they'd much rather build a casual MMO, if that's possible.

As for moderation, I played WoW for years, and the one thing I noticed in that time was there were very few people playing "in moderation".

Your turn -- don't be intentionally stupid. In the immortal words of every mother, "If your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you?"

play til you got bored, or play constantly (definition in this particular case: 20+ hours a week).

Or, if you play 10 hours a week, it only takes you twice as long to do the same things. Is that so horrible?

Sounds like a lot, but it basically means you'd be playing the game instead of watching a movie. If the game isn't as interesting as a movie, that says the game isn't interesting to you -- not that there's some magical requirement to play constantly.

there's a stack of shit ten miles deep that the developers are trying to bog you down with

Actually, no, the idea there is that if you have the time, there will be more to do.

Everest is there, but you don't have to climb it. I really don't get why it fills you with such vitrol that it's there, and that some people do spend significant chunks of their life trying to climb it.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

liquiddark (719647) | about 6 years ago | (#24843143)

I'm not sure what your point is with any of that. My point was that the developer is intentionally encouraging the player to get addicted. That was the end of my point. You admit that they are trying to do that, so we don't need to discuss it any further.

However: *was* an addict. I have no problem admitting that, and I had no problem admitting it while I was an addict. And nowadays I have to play the addict's game, avoiding the general class of addictive influence (ie most online games) so that I don't fall back into it. So when I see a developer lauding themselves for encouraging addictive (literally addictive, not simply hype-buzzword addictive) gameplay, I have plenty of reason to shout about it. Congrats on not getting addicted. Let's not pretend that there's no difference between a design that's intended to encourage moderate use and one that's intended to addict you so you keep putting cash into pockets.

Even if you in particular don't have problems playing games, most of the folks I personally have met who played these games for any length of time do. Some of them know it, some of them really don't. A lot of them aren't very educated about the precise doses of rewards they're being fed to give them the just-one-more shakes. Someday, somewhere, the industry is going to pay for designing its most successful models along addictive lines. It would be nice to see some sign that they want to avoid that day.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

liquiddark (719647) | about 6 years ago | (#24843513)

I reread your post, and you know, I just can't let it go unanswered. You don't really understand the addictive nature of these games.

You sound like you're an addict, just looking for someone else to blame for your own lack of self-control.

You sound like you're trying to justify the addictive influence some of these guys are banking on. Don't do that. Game companies and tobacco companies are not inherently good organizations. They're inherently amoral ones, dutiful only to the dollar. An addict is partly to blame for his disease, but the addictive influence is also to blame, particularly in the case where the thing is engineered to induce a state of dependency.

Keeping in mind that you can't keep paying if you're so addicted you're out of a job, I would imagine they'd much rather build a casual MMO, if that's possible.

Punctuated content. You see any in the games out there right now? No. Thanks. They could make those games, but they don't because they don't see the dollar in it.

Your turn -- don't be intentionally stupid. In the immortal words of every mother, "If your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you?"

What does that have to do with anything? If none of my friends are addicts, that doesn't give me some magical protection from addiction when I smoke crack. You're confusing mob mentality

Or, if you play 10 hours a week, it only takes you twice as long to do the same things. Is that so horrible?

There are a lot of things you simply cannot do adequately in 10 hours a week, actually. Raiding. PvP. High-level instances. Crafting. All of these become exercises in futility when you're playing less than 20 hours a week in WoW, and let's not even talk about EQ - it's (or at least, it was) designed so that you have to invest ridiculous quantities of time and energy with several of your cohorts in order to simply gain levels.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | about 6 years ago | (#24845565)

There are a lot of things you simply cannot do adequately in 10 hours a week, actually. Raiding. PvP. High-level instances. Crafting. All of these become exercises in futility when you're playing less than 20 hours a week in WoW

Just wanted to point out that this isn't entirely true. If you are lucky enough to find a guild with a lighter raiding schedule, you can actually do it with less hours. The problem is finding such a guild. I'm someone who just switched from a relaxed guild that didn't raid often to one that has 5 organized raids per week. In my initial guild, I could have played roughly 5-10 hours per week to keep up with the raid schedule. With my new guild, I'm in the 25+ hour range. My wife on the other hand plays more on the 10 hours per month schedule and she still gets into raids, but that's mainly because if we were short a person, I'd get her into the group (oddly enough, her warlock still was one of the top DPS in the group).

Game companies and tobacco companies are not inherently good organizations.

Companies are not good or bad. They may be seen as having those qualities by people, but they don't.

You don't really understand the addictive nature of these games.

Games, movies, books, TV series, etc... are all designed to make a person interested in handing over their money. Anything that is a "series" (including online games with growing content) have the advantage of providing additional content to get consumers to hand over more money. The addictive qualities of a game are merely trying to keep you as a paying customer but the goal is no different than any other item/service from a company.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | about 6 years ago | (#24849039)

At the same time, there's a limit to how far you can get in raiding with a limited schedule, depending on other guild factors.

If you have 10-25 skilled people who can always be prepared to raid the same 10 hours each week then you can theoretically progress. It will be slower than other guilds, but it will happen.

The problem is that guilds which the base assertion describes are very rare. Most guilds, even hardcore ones, require a number of additional people as backup for absentees and also must recruit new players to replace old ones who stop playing. This acts as a counter to progression, slowing and even reversing it in certain conditions.

It's complicated by many other factors, but in summary the various, natural stresses a guild experiences place a limit on how far it may progress without extending its hours of raiding. You're still technically be raiding, but the effect will be similar to playing Guitar Hero on easy. There's a point where you've mastered that level and are tired of the game or wish to move up in difficulty.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 years ago | (#24846891)

There are a lot of things you simply cannot do adequately in 10 hours a week, actually. Raiding. PvP. High-level instances. Crafting. All of these become exercises in futility when you're playing less than 20 hours a week in WoW

You don't play the same WoW I do. I do raiding and high-level instances all the time, and my guild raids for 9 hours a week (not all of which are you required to show up for... attendance is purely optional). We do fairly well, having made some progress into Hyjal and Black Temple, most recently. I don't PvP, but there absolutely is no time requirement in PvP--while that may have applied to the old honor system, neither the new honor system, nor arenas, are time-consuming.

Crafting is the biggest joke in what you list. Crafting is purely up to you as far as how much time you spend on it... you WILL get to the same place as the guy who plays all day, it'll just take you 6 months instead of 1 month for him. Saying you have to spend 20 hours a week on WoW crafting is laughable, and makes me wonder if you've even played the game, because it has never been a time-intensive activity. Even if you are speaking from experience with WoW, the fact that you consider the crafting system time-intensive clearly demonstrates that the problem squarely lay with you, and not the game.

Simple fact of the matter is that people who spend all day playing WoW do so because they just plain want to, not because it's impossible to get ahead otherwise. It's very easy to get ahead in WoW with a minor commitment to it.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#24847305)

You don't really understand the addictive nature of these games.

Don't I?

It's not a physical addiction. You, on the other hand, seem unable to make that distinction:

Game companies and tobacco companies are not inherently good organizations.

Tobacco companies make a product which is physically addictive, which causes actual withdrawal, and which kills you if you keep it up.

Game companies make a product which, contrary to popular opinion, you can actually pick up for a few hours, and then put away. It's no more inherently addictive than television.

They're inherently amoral ones, dutiful only to the dollar.

You've just described the majority of capitalist corporations.

Punctuated content.

Let's be clear, then. What do you mean by "punctuated content"?

What does that have to do with anything?

If all of your friends are addicted to the game, that is their problem, and no reason you have to be.

You're confusing mob mentality

Sounds like you didn't finish your thought here.

There are a lot of things you simply cannot do adequately in 10 hours a week, actually. Raiding. PvP. High-level instances. Crafting.

Does your work on these things magically go away if you don't reach that magical number of 20 hours a week? Does that ore disappear out of your bank?

By your logic, sports are addictive, because to be in the olympics, you have to devote a huge chunk of your life to your sport. But that's no reason you can't go swimming on your own -- nothing will force you to keep swimming 12 hours a day.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (2, Insightful)

liquiddark (719647) | about 6 years ago | (#24847357)

I see where we're having a disconnect. You don't believe in non-physical addictions. You're wrong. I'm done here.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24838703)

Punctuated entertainment that doesn't try to consume every second of every day of your life.

Maybe what MMORPGs need is a "quick save" feature (how they implement it, is not my problem). A friend of mine has had countless arguments with his mom because he doesn't get on the dining table when he should. He always answers "I'll go when I can save".

Game designers need to understand that we weren't born to just play games.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (2, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 6 years ago | (#24842199)

Are you serious? MMORPG's can't "Save" like a traditional game can (in reality they "save" every instant you're playing the game, as essentially what happens, happens. There is no returning to a previous save), nor can they be paused. The reasoning is simple: you're not playing alone. You can't pause the entirety of the game world in WoW every time some kid needs to run off to dinner. The game would literally never UNpause because some new kid would be running off. You also can't expect it to do so even in instanced content. 24, or even just 4 people in the case of regular instances, have better things to do with their OWN time than to sit around waiting for some kid to go to dinner, take out the trash, finish his homework, etc.

The simple reality is that if you don't have sufficient control over your schedule to set aside a small block of uninterrupted time (naturally emergencies are exempted), then you really should either stick to single player games, or stick to non-interactive aspects of the MMORPG, in which case just as I mentioned - there is no requirement to save anyways.

You might say that "OMG you can't have a life if you do that", but it's actually quite common in many other activities. If you're out bowling, do you suddenly have to stop, take out the trash, and then return to the alley to continue? If you're at baseball practice, does your mom make you come home and eat dinner between pitches while the rest of the team waits? Such situations are common: when doing an event that requires that you be participating with a lot of other people, you don't interrupt it unless absolutely necessary (and you don't even get involved if you know you can't stay for the entirety of the event).

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24846223)

Are you serious? MMORPG's can't "Save" like a traditional game can (in reality they "save" every instant you're playing the game, as essentially what happens, happens. There is no returning to a previous save), nor can they be paused. The reasoning is simple: you're not playing alone.

I know, but perhaps you could train for "solo" missions, or maybe purchase "abort mission" tickets (which would only apply for team missions) that could take you to a safe point in the game, keep your experience and items, save the game, and log you out automatically.

And my friend most of the time trains alone, so at least there should be a "quick save" feature for people like him. Or how about this? A cooperative "save dungeon state" that would only apply to the current mission/dungeon. You know, like Virtualized PC's but with dungeons instead. What happens in the dungeon stays in the dungeon.

Re:You know what's even more fun? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 6 years ago | (#24846567)

I know, but perhaps you could train for "solo" missions, or maybe purchase "abort mission" tickets (which would only apply for team missions) that could take you to a safe point in the game, keep your experience and items, save the game, and log you out automatically.

WoW already has the hearthstone which is an instant ticket to a safe spot. I'd assume similar items are to be found in most games. And even if you can't use it (it has 1 hr between uses) - there is no penalty to just logging out. Sure you might have a slightly inconvenient corpse run and a minor repair cost upon logging back in if you die, but we're talking something that will take MAYBE 2-3 minutes to recover from. As to items, quest progress, etc, most MMORPG's, certainly WoW, "save" all that as you go anyways (or rather, the world is persistent so the whole concept of "saving" is irrelevant).

And my friend most of the time trains alone, so at least there should be a "quick save" feature for people like him. Or how about this? A cooperative "save dungeon state" that would only apply to the current mission/dungeon. You know, like Virtualized PC's but with dungeons instead. What happens in the dungeon stays in the dungeon.

They're not going to implement this for groups because the players would have a fit, and rightly so. If I was told to put my game time that I've secured on hold because some adolescent kid has to go eat dinner I'd quit the game in a heartbeat. It's already hard enough to get random people together for a PuG and hold it together. Now you're asking that everyone have to meet up AGAIN with the same group (working out the logistics of everyone's schedules) just to resume long enough for the next kid's chores to come up? No Thanks.

As to single player instanced content (the "virtual worlds" you speak of) - that's a hell of a server load for a single person, not to mention, that the save files for such things would be tremendous in size. And it simply comes down to a question of WHY??? If you were so intent on playing a game in a world completely removed from the interaction of other players, then you've essentially taken the MM out of MMORPG, and made the O unnecessary.

Honestly, it sounds like your buddy is much better suited to a single player console game of sorts where he can pause it and go do his thing until he's allowed to play again. After he attains sufficient age to control and schedule his own free time, it might be worth looking into MMORPG's again.

He needs a different class of character. (1)

Yoik (955095) | about 6 years ago | (#24848575)

A character with a teleport to a safe spot solves that problem, though I suspect that the issue isn't really the "quick save". Depending on the game many sorts of magic users have that. WOW provides it to everyone at level 1.

Personally, I like a high quality permanent defense mode like invisibility or a "tree form". It is also a "quick save", but perhaps better described as a "pause" button. You do have to deal with where you froze if you don't get back before your friends leave.

Every class has its advantages to the player, whether it is the ability to take a bio-break or to respond to a parental summons. You choose what works for you.

Raids on your couch? (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#24837731)

I haven't played WoW very seriously, but from what I've seen, at least some classes need to be pretty focused, and have quite a lot of things to keep track of -- more buttons than exist on any console controller.

I guess I don't see how raids from your couch would be fun. After all, MMOs aren't the only genre that a keyboard and mouse is better for -- and especially if you're actually fighting other humans, why would you deliberately cripple yourself?

I can see exploration from the couch, or soloing.

Good idea, though, with the "centralized content" -- not entirely original, but good to see it catching on.

Then again, I'm really not sure I want to see people inevitably logging in just to text... txtspk is even worse than 13-year-old WoW griefers, if that's possible.

Re:Raids on your couch? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24838977)

After all, MMOs aren't the only genre that a keyboard and mouse is better for --.

porn?

Re:Raids on your couch? (3, Insightful)

Negatyfus (602326) | about 6 years ago | (#24839965)

I can see it happening. Have you ever tried to set up a gamepad profile for a PC game? There are certainly ways to set up quick access to 12 or 16 hotkeys on a gamepad using shift buttons. On top of that, MMO's aren't the twitch affairs that FPS games are. Usually there is a cool-down of a second minimum between skills, and a player with some experience on the gamepad could hold his own in raids for sure. Most raids are fairly repetitive, anyway.

Re:Raids on your couch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24841283)

Usually, there's also a lot of communication. Good luck typing on your gamepad.
I don't see any MMORPG happening on a console without a keyboard.

Re:Raids on your couch? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24841663)

Where have you been since the year 2003? Ever hear of Everquest Online Adventures or Final Fantasy XI? The PS2 and PS3 have USB ports for a reason.

Re:Raids on your couch? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#24841921)

Ever here of voice chat? And Xbox Live does that WAY better than any PC MMO too.

Re:Raids on your couch? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 6 years ago | (#24844859)

12 or 16 buttons? Back when I still played WoW, I had 5 toolbars with 12 icons each showing on the screen at once, and one more that the bottom-left could be mapped to. I also had a sixth toolbar with another 12 slots, 10 of which were used (I was a mage, my teleport/portal spells were there).

While it's true some of these were shortcuts so I didn't have to go through the Skills interface to reach them, more than half of them were various spells/abilities/items I used on a regular basis.

Re:Raids on your couch? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 6 years ago | (#24844915)

er, whoops, I meant to delete the part that reads ", and one more that the bottom-left could be mapped to". Pretend it isn't there.

Re:Raids on your couch? (1)

rtechie (244489) | about 6 years ago | (#24848621)

So how do you click on the monsters or on screen elements?

The problem is not the number of buttons, but that MMOs are built around the vastly more flexible "point and click" mouse model. Is this as necessary in an MMO as, say, real-time strategy games? No.

It's possible to design a perfectly-functional MMO that uses a menu-driven interface. They just tend to lack depth and sophistication, like Phantasy Star Online.

Re:Raids on your couch? (2, Insightful)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | about 6 years ago | (#24840397)

I haven't played WoW very seriously, but from what I've seen, at least some classes need to be pretty focused, and have quite a lot of things to keep track of -- more buttons than exist on any console controller.

Funny, I've got a keyboard attached to my 360.

Secondarily, when I played WoW, I played it on my 50" HD panel while on the sofa with a wireless keyboard and mouse on the PC. This actually resulted in the play being more fun since I was able to use my primary surround system for listening to music, able to stretch out and relax while playing, and while waiting for groups to gather, I could simply go split screen and watch something on the Tivo.

At the time I had wished the game ran on the Xbox, primarily so everyone would have a standardized way of communicating with their voice, instead of having to spend another 20 minutes trying to help some random person set up Ventrillo, have it sound like garbage, or not work for whatever reason.

I can't speak for the Wii controller, but if you wanted to make it a controller-only game, the 360 controller has a keypad expansion that could be utilized, and even without that, you can do enough chording of buttons and quick pop-up menus to satisfy most MMO games.

Not sure what is so terribly insightful by making vague, negative predictions of how things could be. Those tend to be tripe since, well, companies want to make money by delivering goods people will want to buy, people won't buy a game that's horribly crippled by the system's input these days. Not with free demos being the norm, so folks can see what they are getting into before throwing down a credit card.

No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (4, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | about 6 years ago | (#24837755)

I haven't played LotRO, but from what I hear its interface closely mirrors the WoW interface which would make it pretty much unplayable without a keyboard/mouse setup. Movement and using different skills are such a large part of both games and being unable to have precise control over both ends up making things ridiculously difficult in some PvE encounters and most PvP settings.

Entering text would be a complete pain in the ass and unless LotRO has built in voice support that everyone uses the console version would suffer due to a lack of Ventrilo or Team Speak support as voice communication is fairly vital in executing raid encounters. I suppose it could be included with the game, but that means getting it to work on both or either the PS3 and Xbox 360 and all the additional hassles that go along with that.

It'd probably work out decent for solo play where one joystick controls character movement, while the other moves the camera and cursor, and commonly used abilities are mapped to buttons. From my experience when I was grinding while playing WoW I never really used more than one or two abilities. There's probably a lot of other things that I'm overlooking, but as I haven't played this particular game, my knowledge is a little general.

It seems like something that won't draw a lot of additional subscribers and will probably end up costing more to develop and implement so that it works well than they'll see returned in increased revenue. I'm not saying that a console MMO couldn't be done, but it would need to either solve the problems I mentioned above by adding good voice chat functionality and allowing keyboard and mouse input or be designed from the group up with console controllers in mind.

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24838199)

you do realise that the current gen consoles now come with full keyboard support. You don't even need a special keyboard just a generic USB one from an old PC laying around does the trick.

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about 6 years ago | (#24839131)

I know that both support using a keyboard and mouse, but so far there aren't a lot of games that actually allow you to use them. The only one that I've ever heard of is UT3 on the PS3. That's one out of the countless FPS games on the consoles. Most of these games have PC versions as well which means that somewhere along the way there's some code that handles this. How much would need to be changed in order to get it to work on either of the consoles, I honestly don't know, but it seems as though once it's done you can reuse at least some of it for other games.

My best guess is that Sony and Microsoft both discourage it. The controllers for their systems are probably sold at significantly higher prices than they cost to manufacture to make up for the early subsidization of the console and being able to plug in a keyboard and mouse for some of the more popular games on the system would probably cut back on the number of controllers people buy. It might also have a big impact on online play where the keyboard and mouse combo is probably more desirable than the console controller and possibly provide an edge to people who use it.

Otherwise I'm honestly not sure why so many games on these consoles lack support for using a keyboard and mouse. Most of the top selling games for each console have PC counterparts or will in the near future. You'd think that if they encouraged developers to offer keyboard/mouse support that they might be able to encourage more PC gamers to pick up a console. Is there any good reason for being stuck with just using the regular console controllers?

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24839403)

Yeah, was considering getting a 360 wireless controller for when I was over at a friend's. The controller itself costs 49.99 and if you want a rechargable battery/the usb charger/connector it'll cost you another 20... so ~1/4 the price of a 300 dollar console, for a single controller...

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24841799)

I know that both support using a keyboard and mouse, but so far there aren't a lot of games that actually allow you to use them.

Any PS3 game that uses the standard PS3 text entry UI (the one also used in XMB) supports keyboard text entry, even if the game itself doesn't use it. PS2 games with online capability use the keyboard, mostly for text entry in setup forms or game chat, but in both of the PS2 MMORPG's it can also used for game control.

Otherwise I'm honestly not sure why so many games on these consoles lack support for using a keyboard and mouse. Most of the top selling games for each console have PC counterparts or will in the near future. You'd think that if they encouraged developers to offer keyboard/mouse support that they might be able to encourage more PC gamers to pick up a console. Is there any good reason for being stuck with just using the regular console controllers?

Analog movement is a big thing. The choice to support mouse+keyboard in addition to the standard controller is a developer decision. Some do, some don't.

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about 6 years ago | (#24838989)

I haven't played LotRO, but from what I hear its interface closely mirrors the WoW interface which would make it pretty much unplayable without a keyboard/mouse setup

Uh, that's not a UI problem, it's a complexity "problem".

Imagine having a WoW game without 25 spells/attacks to use.

Just wouldn't work.

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 6 years ago | (#24839529)

global cooldown in wow is 1.5 seconds.

you could conceivably have 3 pallets switchable with one of the "trigger" keys (similar to what was used in pso gc, but fitted to more modern controllers)

these could be swapped around in 1.5 seconds to access primary, seocndary, and tertiary priority abilities, and would offer the equivalent of 1-2 action bars.

Been done. Was shallow. (3, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | about 6 years ago | (#24840525)

Yes I've played Phantasy Star Online, and nowadays its successor, Phantasy Star Universe. It did that. It also had about as much depth as a mud puddle. It was just a glorified button masher.

Managing all those abilities and possibilities and synergies between them, is half the fun of WoW. It's basically like a puzzle game. You have all these pieces, and your team mates have some more, and you have to see what cool things you can build out of them. In real time.

PSO had two lists of 3 buttons each. One normal block of 3 (the fourth button was for a substitute limit break) and a shifted one. Considering that two of those are your normal attacks, it leaves very little room for depth in your abilities. It's also a mere half a WoW action bar.

But let's say you use both shoulder buttons as shifts, and all 4 buttons. That's 12 different icons, or the equivalent of one WoW action bar.

It might be enough for an over-simplified straight-up damage class like rogue or maybe warrior. A mage is already getting squeezed in there. But it would make hybrids utterly impossible. You can't play, say, a druid where the whole _point_ is that you get the skills of 3-4 other classes (if weaker than the pure classes equivalents of those powers), with barely enough buttons for _one_ such class.

Re:Been done. Was shallow. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24842247)

Maybe you should ask those who played the two console MMORPG's: EQOA and FFXI, how their games handled it, rather than discuss how a glorified Diablo clone did.

EQOA has three hot bars with five slots each, two of which are used for abilities. You never need ALL your abilities ALL the time so you put in what you need for what you're dong at that moment. you control the hotbar with the D-pad, flip between them with right and left d-pad, scroll up and down. You activate the abilities with the circle button.

FFXI uses macro bars. If memory serves me correctly you have 10 of them with 10 abilities each, you have access to two at a time and can quickly scroll between them. You pop them up with the shoulder buttons and switch between abilities with the D-pad, activate with the X key. You can also use Ctrl+ or Alt+ to use abilities in the two macrobars you have swapped in at that moment. You never really need to use a lot of abilities so people often setup up sets of 2 for different job classes. FFXI also uses a modified version of the standard FF menu system which was pretty quick to use, even in combat. I used it for abilities that didn't need macro-ing, Red Mage debuffs for example. Also, even PC players of FFXI used gamepads, movement and generalized gameplay worked best with it. Setting up macros and text chat were what the keyboard was mostly used for.

Re:Been done. Was shallow. (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | about 6 years ago | (#24845799)

I'm not much of a console player (my kids have the Wii and XBox360, but I don't touch them too often) so my concern would be for classes that need to monitor the other party/raid members. I have a alt priest character in WoW that I'm leveling and healing in battle ground raids is a real pain without some sort of mod to help with healing (in my case, Healbot Continued). Using a console controller, how easy is it to target and cast a desired spell on party/raid members? It seems that a controller wouldn't be too difficult if you spend most of your time on a single target (or AoE) but for switching rapidly between targets it seems like it would take a lot longer.

Re:Been done. Was shallow. (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | about 6 years ago | (#24847877)

At least in FFXI, it's remarkably easy. All of the players in a party or raid are arranged vertically on a listing, which you can scroll using up and down on the d-pad when selecting a target. A full 'alliance' setup (FFXI's raid grouping) has 18 members, and it never got unmanageable for me when I played a white mage.

Re:Been done. Was shallow. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24848417)

Good question, luckily my character in EQOA was Cleric and my highest level job in FFXI was White Mage.

If memory serves me correctly, you use the shoulder button to switch between party members in EQOA. flick flick the shoulder button, flick the dpad to the ability (if needed) then circle. Very fast.

In FFXI the dpad switches between party members. But you can also macro a heal spell on a specific target, for example, when I hit Ctrl+1 that healed me, Ctrl+2 healed the the one in the second slot etc. I could also access those with the shoulder buttons. Didn't really "need" macro's except for letting others know what I was going to do.

Re:Been done. Was shallow. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 6 years ago | (#24843389)

But it would make hybrids utterly impossible.

Speak for your druid self. My paladin required 3 buttons in healbot mode, about 4-5 in tank mode, and dps mode wasn't much better. It's one of the reasons I quit.

I've played about 3 classes to any sort of depth, and they all used 3-4 buttons 80% of the time. The warlock was the most complex, as it needed about 30 buttons for the other 20%. But most of my time was spent hitting the same button sequence.

Re:Been done. Was shallow. (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 6 years ago | (#24845051)

In WoW, Mage and Warlock tend to use a lot of buttons. Although, I tend to put my summons and teleports/portals on the toolbar that you need to hit the up/down arrows to reach.

Still, they have more buttons in general because you need to adapt which spells you use based on enemy resists and (of course) your talent build.

Re:Been done. Was shallow. (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 years ago | (#24846989)

Depends on what you're doing. In PvE, mages use 1 button 90% of the time, another button 5% of the time, and 5 other buttons 5% of the time. PvE mage is fun as hell (I main a mage), but is not a complex activity at all. In PvP, it's more complex, though.

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (1)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | about 6 years ago | (#24839549)

Entering text would be a complete pain in the ass and unless LotRO has built in voice support that everyone uses the console version would suffer due to a lack of Ventrilo or Team Speak support as voice communication is fairly vital in executing raid encounters. I suppose it could be included with the game, but that means getting it to work on both or either the PS3 and Xbox 360 and all the additional hassles that go along with that.

For the record, LotRO does in fact have built-in voice chat, for better or worse.

I know folks that use joypads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24841229)

Keyboards help a lot, especially for typing messages, but I have used, and others I know regularly use Joypads with loTRO

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (1)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | about 6 years ago | (#24846337)

See this right here is part of the problem. You're right, for the kind of interface they've set up you'd probably want to use a keyboard and mouse. But perhaps someone would like to remind me why I can't do that with a console again?

Final Fantasy XI on 360 has no problem with this. The damn box has USB ports on it even so you don't need to buy a specialized keyboard/mouse combo like in previous generations. Both 360 and PS3 support this kind of thing if a developer wants it. Neither should have a problem with performance either (again, Final Fantasy XI for MMO proof alone, there are others).

So, in the end, who's at fault here? MS and Sony for giving access to any dev that wants these peripherals for their games? It's not like games that require non-gamepad peripherals are instant death (Rock Band anyone? Freakin Guitar Hero? Dance Dance Revolution? All of those require non-standard peripherals and have ZERO issues with selling big). Yeah, I don't really like MS and Sony either but this is not their fault. It's a lazy developer's fault, end of story.

The second problem is also simple. Remind me why you need an entire keyboard of input for WoW. While "more keys" is nice, EVEN WITH all those keys on the keyboard the philosophy Blizzard used of, "well, we'll just use another key instead of think of a better method of input," lead to massive amounts of button hopping ANYWAY. When you're rolling through a high level raid as a shammie and realize that you need to juggle four or more seperate action bars at a minimum even with all those keys on the keyboard that something is terribly WRONG with that method of interface design.

What's better? How about Fable? Zero issue casting a wide variety of spells VERY fast on a gamepad. It was even comfortable. How about ring menus? In WoW I used a one-click button to summon a ring menu around the mouse cursor to plant whole action bars of icons. I went from having to press potentially forty keys to four. I cannot describe to you what that does for WoW in terms of playability and speed of action. Further along this try out Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath on 360. I've been a RTS player for years on PC (Dawn of War, Starcraft, Red Alert, and many, many others) and much as I could tear it up and spit it out on PC I play better in every regard on console with a gamepad. Why? Because instead of just throwing keys at me the developer thought of a BETTER method of input...and succeeded beautifully (Disclaimer: I won't ask everyone to prefer one over the other, but it's undeniable that RTS on console nowadays can work and work beautifully).

Bottom line is that if a developer "needs" a keyboard and mouse for their game there's absolutely no reason they can't require one for a console, they've been long supported, just the developer has to want to use it. On top of that if a developer "needs" a keyboard and mouse, they might want to take a few minutes and think about WHY. Text for communication, that's a given. Using more than a few buttons for combat means you're using a broken philosophy.



But as always, this is just my opinion, feel free to disagree, I could be wrong. But it IS hard to argue that there's nothing wrong with a interface philosophy that has you learning more cryptic keyboard-fu than advanced vi (and I say that even as a big vi fan).

Re:No Keyboard/Mouse support mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24848383)

LOTRO does have built in voice chat, which works pretty well. A lot of pugs don't enable it, but for raids or pvp, it's pretty much mandatory.

My request to the LOTRO devs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837803)

If you bring MMOs to consoles, please only bring the ones that other people have made.

Pretty sure this has already been done. (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | about 6 years ago | (#24837805)

Final Fantasy Online (11) already has this. PC gamers and console gamers already play side by side.

Re:Pretty sure this has already been done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837871)

This is about doing it well. Final Fantasy XI managed to require a controller to be playable while at the same time requiring a keyboard if you intended to do any chatting.

So, yes, it's been done before, but it's never been done well before.

Re:Pretty sure this has already been done. (1)

PrinceBrightstar (757413) | about 6 years ago | (#24838303)

While not an MMO per say as party limit is 4-6 players, Phantasy Star Online was the pioneer in bringing online RPGs to consoles in 2000. With Phantasy Star Universe, you've got both PS2 and PC players going on the same servers.

Re:Pretty sure this has already been done. (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about 6 years ago | (#24838407)

indeed, and the funny thing is the modern mmo's like wow typically aren't really any prettier, all to keep requirements down so anyone with a computer can play (almost)

don't get it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837833)

Everything in LotR is set in stone. Your mary sue isn't going to save the day nor will the character be acknowledged by Gandalf or Sauron. The One Ring's going to be destroyed and everyone's going to live happily ever after once the elves cross over to the east.
It's not like Star Wars where there's a god damned retcon every time Lucas scratches himself.
And if the LotR takes place after The One Ring is destroyed, what will make it any different than a branded morepig other than mopping up remaining uruk-hai and orcs?

Re:don't get it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24838757)

Everything in LotR is set in stone. Your mary sue isn't going to save the day nor will the character be acknowledged by Gandalf or Sauron. The One Ring's going to be destroyed and everyone's going to live happily ever after once the elves cross over to the east.

Any game with 100,000+ players is going to have this issue. No one can ever be a truly epic hero or affect the story*. Every third WOW character is a level 70, if it were a solo game you'd be godlike at that stage but in Warcraft you're still just an average face in the crowd raiding dungeons for loot and bashing each other in arenas. The best you can hope for is being known for being part of a top tier raid guild or 3v3 arena team, but your character will never do anything at all that affects the game's lore (forgive me for not knowing too many details but I find the Warcraft backstory convoluted and kind of asinine)

That's not necessarily a bad thing though if you aren't looking to satisfy some inner Napoleon complex. Making a character who simply inhabits a world is pretty fun and satisfying too, if the world itself is a compelling place to explore and inhabit. Do you HAVE to be Strider or Gandalf or Conan or Merlin or Darth Vader at the height of their powers when you play a game ? Can't you find some satisfaction in being Hobbit Champion #2348 who doesn't save the world, but who does have a lot of fun adventures, makes some friends and finds some neat toys along the way?

* Eve may be an exception, but that's because it's an entirely different type of game.

Re:don't get it (4, Informative)

edremy (36408) | about 6 years ago | (#24839281)

Actually, Turbine's done a really nice job of handling this. Gandalf (and Gimli, and Bilbo, and Aragorn, and...) *do* acknowledge your character- you're playing a parallel series of quests to the Fellowship, and you cross paths quite often. Yes, we know at the end of the books the ring gets destroyed, but who cares? In LOTRO currently the fellowship is just leaving Rivendell: the coming expansion will cover the Mines of Moria. I think the actual end of the game is scheduled somewhere around 2014.

And an ending to an MMO isn't a bad thing either- a Tale in the Desert does pretty well with a global EOG+reset every now and then

Re:don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24841143)

[quote]And an ending to an MMO isn't a bad thing either- a Tale in the Desert does pretty well with a global EOG+reset every now and then[/quote]
Depends how you design the game from the start.

I'm not a pasty nutbag locked in my room for 20 hours a day, so it's taken me a year and a half in WoW to get one character to level 60 (which worked out to about 6.5 hours of play a week, on average, over that time period). Even if the game only reset once every 18 months, I'd be restarting from scratch every time I got to what people insist is the "real content" (although I'll never see it anyway unless I set up a private server and cheat because there's never anybody around playing any of it now that the expansion is out...)

Anti-social (3, Informative)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 6 years ago | (#24837873)

Part of the appeal to MMOGs is the social aspect. Especially that you can play with other poeple you know in RL at the same time. e.g. I play WoW with my husband and have had up to 6 people with their computers in our house playing at the same time. Not so easy to do if everyone needs their own console and TV (and sofa).

Re:Anti-social (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#24841971)

Yes, because consoles are so much bigger and more expensive than PC's.

Re:Anti-social (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 6 years ago | (#24845159)

Yes, because consoles are so much bigger and more expensive than PC's.

Partial strawman. The grandparent never mentioned price.

Laptop computers are a lot easier to carry around than a console and TV to plug it in to (bolded for emphasis). The GP didn't explicitly mention laptops, but it was implied. Laptops have outsold desktops since 2003 [nytimes.com] .

Anyone ask Sony...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24837949)

FFXI's been on the PS2 and PC for ages. From the time I played, admittedly years ago, there seemed very little difference between PC and console players. I did see it on the console and felt the UI was very cluttered, whereas my 18" monitor was higher resolution than any TVs a gamer could reasonably buy (that should date this opinion).

Kudos for the LOTRO guys trying to bring their game to consoles, but it seems a bit... ambitious? unnecessary? futile? counterproductive? to bring it to a PDA or even a subnotebook. Do you really want a selling point of your game to be the ability to do boring crap on inferior hardware?

Seems wiser to focus efforts to taking full advantage of the two known, well-established gaming mediums for this sort of gameplay.

Re:Anyone ask Sony...? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24842399)

I'll agree that FFXI could have benefitted from HD resolutions. Don't know why it doesn't support it, even 480p would have helped. It was also very grainy with a lot of shimmer, you know what I mean, compared with EQOA.

Re:Anyone ask Sony...? (1)

wbo (1172247) | about 6 years ago | (#24844059)

Actually FFXI does support HD resolutions, just not on the PS2. The PS2 port is limited to 480i, but the XBOX 360 port runs at 720p and the PC port can run at almost any resolution your graphics card can support (I currently run it at 1920x1200 on my 24" LCD at home.)

Re:Anyone ask Sony...? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24848617)

Yep, I played it on the PS2. Most devs didn't go to the effort of doing anything other than 480i on the PS2. Squaresoft never did.

Big question here... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 6 years ago | (#24837985)

But what about those of us who don't have one or more of those devices? I have a PC and I have a cell phone, but no console. My phone can't handle anything more sophisticated than a bad Bejeweled port or SMS-- both of which my cell provider likes to charge through the nose for.

Sure, Nintendo did something much like this with Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, necessitating the use of a Gameboy Advance for each player, and both Sega and Sony had their Video Memory Units and Pocketstations-- but an MMO developer does not typically have that kind of control over hardware, and for each layer of hardware requirement you add, you whittle away that many more players.

MMOs work on consoles, and arguments that you can't use a keyboard on modern ones are easily defeated. Heck, a keyboard-equipped console could be considered the ideal platform for an MMO, simply because it is that much easier to track a user by their hardware signature, and ban him beyond a spoofed MAC address and a new copy of Lord of the War-Crafting Anarchists. Cell phones? They're an even bigger development headache than PCs, between the number of architectures, limits (both hardware and provider-assigned firmware) and the stupidly vast array of service plans that may or may not include data or SMS. A lot of people already balk at the idea of a recurring fee for MMOs. Incurring usage fees on their phone bills would drive even more away.

Re:Big question here... (1)

Icarium (1109647) | about 6 years ago | (#24841327)

Unfortunately, with regards to keyboards, what makes a console attractive to a developer is the exact same feature that would discourage a developer from making a console game that requires a keyboard. Predictability - when you develop a game for a console, you know exactly what hardware the console has as standard. Keyboards and mice are far from standard on any console - would you spend the vast sums of money required to develop a modern game, if you know for a fact that 99.5% of your target audience does not have the required hardware? You might get lucky (Wii Fit, Guitar Hero), but it's a hell of a risk (Eye toy anyone?)

There is no reason why new games cannot be developed for multiple platforms, but porting existing PC games that make copious use of keyboard shorcuts and custimisation is messy at best. (And games don't always port too well the other way either - I've come accross many a game ported from console to PC that had very clunky control systems compared to what you'd expect of a PC game)

Re:Big question here... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24842445)

Requiring a keyboard for an MMORPG isn't a big deal. Everyone knows you'll need a keyboard for it. I encountered a few people in EQOA and FFXI who didn't have one, but would always say: "yeah I'm getting a keyboard soon."

Woot Turbine (0, Offtopic)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | about 6 years ago | (#24838025)

Turbine and Blizzard are my two favorite game development companies now. As for a community contact, Ken Troop of Turbine is a eloquent speaker. I wish I knew what happened to him. I had his email. I want to hear more from Turbine and Blizzard. I wish they'd email me directly or hire me. I can program my own games, but I'm much more deadly as a designer so my time isn't being wasted on grunt coding. If you want to see my stuff, it is at roamingdragon.com

I honestly think a solo programmer still has potential to make a MMO in the current climate. The whole action market is untapped. If you know the right coding theories, you can get 50ms ping times between players. Action games only need like a 150ms ping times to be playable.

The big thing that I am bringing to the table is a 1000 players in the same fight broadband only algorithm. I have some major back server theory that reduces the load on the server by several orders of magnitude, but no one but your accountant cares about keeping the bandwith low on the main servers.

I just finished updating my old animation maker tonight. Next week I plan on knocking off some bullet lists of things I need to do in order for my game to be fun. My game is online playable, but it is missing blocking, most of the fighters, some animations, and some small tweaks. Realistically, I can't possibly have something demoable in under 3 months, but I am also not looking past a year to be finished with beta.

You're probably wondering why I am rambling, but it is because I'm a hardcore gamer. I pay attention to the big guys because to compete, you gotta do certain things about as good as they are. I almost was the first to have a graphical MMORPG on the market back before UO came out, and I quit my game when they got into it. It was dumb because I could have had a fun game out, but I laid down my gloves because I thought I'd get hurt in the ring. Nowadays, the only action MMO that I know of is PlanetSide. And as fun as PlanetSide is, it is repetitive and lets you level too fast.

I'm trying to get in with Blizzard or Turbine as a JR Game Dev who gets paid like 25k a year. All I want is enough money to buy food, rent and get to work. The trick is that I am a wealth of information about game design. I can criticize and analyze games at all stages of the production. I'm not looking for creative control, but just some input/output on the games. Too bad Turbine doesn't remember me from when I gave them many good ideas on the game developer forums. Too bad Blizzard doesn't want to take a chance with a guy that was big with War3/SC.

I'm looking forward to being a threat in SC2. I have two routes. I could just go for the top of the ladder again like War3/SC1. Or I could make a website dedicated to strategies like the old Warcraftstrategy.com site. I have two world class players as my 3v3 allies who also have tasted #1 1v1 ladder themselves. So in 3v3, we're pretty much impossible to defeat unless they're screwing around because they're bored. If I make a strategy site, it will hurt my game play as people will know my strats. I can't make it multiplayer strategy because it is unfair to my 3v3 partners. So I am thinking of making a 1v1 strategy site and making it good just to get the attention of Blizzard.

Anyway, why am I so excited? It is because I play video games until they bore me. And when they bore me, I either get a new game, or develop my own. I have a thirst for a 1,500 player in one room fighter, so I am making one. My real thirst is for a MMOG with a fighter as its core combat system. My goal is to make a game that you can spend your entire life playing and not get bored. The thing with MMOGS is that the bigger the game is, the more important your rares are to you personally because you're going to use them longer. Anyway, I rambled enough. I just have no one in the industry to talk to about game development so I guess I just ramble here.

Re:Woot Turbine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24838795)

-1 Possibly mentally unstable?

Re:Woot Turbine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24840619)

you have problems. seek help.

Re:Woot Turbine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24846943)

Get off your high horse. You are just yet another small kid who thinks he knows everything about game development. Prepare to get your dreams crushed once you enter the real world.

No chance (1)

drsquare (530038) | about 6 years ago | (#24838705)

It ain't happening. Console gamers like to play for half an hour to an hour in the evening maybe, not an eight hour raid and shitting in a sock. They also like games that are fun, not grinding.

Re:No chance (1)

Negatyfus (602326) | about 6 years ago | (#24839947)

It's already happened. There are a few reasonably popular MMO's that are mainly played on consoles. For example, Final Fantasy XI.

Re:No chance (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#24842019)

I shit in a sock too. But I don't play MMO's.

Re:No chance (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24842621)

Haven't played many console games or know too many console gamers do you. Sure there's the "play Madden for a half an hour" crowd, but there's plenty of console games that people play for hours on end...grinding. God knows how many hours I put into EQOA and FFXI not counting all the single player games.

Lotro is a real mixed beast (2, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 6 years ago | (#24839217)

Is Lotro the family friendly MMORPG, the game that doesn't require endless hours to achieve the smallest things OR is it a game that in many ways rivals WoW and even Everquest in the endless grind?

The answer is that Turbine just doesn't seem to be able to make up its mind what it wants Lotro to be.

Level 1-45 are fairly light, LOTS of quests that give good XP and rewards so you constantly feel you are doing new things, going to new places, getting new skills etc etc. Compared to WoW and other MMORPG's getting to the endgame is trivially easy. We are talking 5 days of game time and that is with normal playing for the first time with no grinding for xp.

A mount? Well if you have been a bit frugat, you get your horsey at the right level, np. No endless money grinding for this either.

Crafting, well that is an odd one. The thing is that in Lotro you can't craft for yourself unless you grind VERY HARDCORE. That is PURELY grind to gather resources without gaining XP, else by the time you are a master and can create the best items in a tier, you will be to high level to make any use of them. So does Turbine want people to grind resources OR is this a way to let people do crafting LATER, when they already levelled? Perhaps they just never intended for everyone to be a crafter and where hoping that 1/5 of a kin would craft and the rest would supply.

So far so good, you don't really need to craft early on as it makes no sense, you get better equipment from questing for your level. Later on, you can craft for new characters you create. New players? No, they won't be able to afford to buy crafted gear. But since you can casually quest for XP and items without having to commit for more then an hour for the longest fights it is, by MMORPG standards, a pretty casual game. You don't have to worry for instance about having to kill 100 beasts for 1 item, drop rates are high and often shared in a group meaning a mob drops a quest item for everyone.

And then, things changed.

The level 45 class quest, is the first time players will encounter the dreaded ONE ITEM PER BOSS quest. The class quests require you to collect a list of items from all over the place, there are two quests to do, so two lists, the end items come from one semi-long instance 2-3 hours and one super long instance but that can be done in sessions. The problem is that only one person in the group can get the item and a few of them are shared between classes. Most famous is Slime of Helcham, an easy enough item to obtain, 2 hours, 1 if you got keys. Oh yes keys. They also drop ONE per boss and of course the person who NEEDS them, isn't around next time. With three popular classes needing slime and the fight being, up to that point, one of the thoughest AND one of the most bugged, people easily have to do half a dozen runs just to get it. Then of course, they will also be called upon to aid others in their kin.

Rune winged of Dominance is another item, same instance, but several bosses onwards. If you got keys, it is easy to get to directly, but of course, those who absolutely need keys won't be around when the gates need to be opened. So either you go hardcore and designate people who are key carriers to be online at certain points for opening the doors OR you commit yourself to do it in one run so all the keys will be with the group.

Why does the above matter? Well, it is taking the casual out of the game. In itself there is nothing wrong with being hardcore but there is something wrong with a game that changes its stripes half-way through. You wouldn't want a civilian flight-sim to suddenly turn into a twitch shooter would you, or have your twitch shooter suddenly ask you to remember radio frequencies for every airport?

Another example is reputation grinding, this was added in one of the book updates and is a real mixed beast. Some repuation factions give rep just for killing enemies in certain areas and this is easily obtained, gain rep questing and gain the rewards. But for some there are no enemies, no rep dungeon. Scholar crafters (potions) could really use reputation with the elves of rivendell as the rep rewards give huge improvements on their recipes 3x the items from the same resources. But it is the hardest rep of all to get without having to resort to endless grinding.

They also introduced a nice "screw you" casual player with one of the special events, the event gave the reward of a cook recipe that replaced a very expensive but useful cooked food with a far cheaper version. If you were offline in that period as a cook, you lost out. Yes, lotro turned one of those holiday like events that in other games give you a santa hat into a MUST attend event for a crafter class.

That my dear Turbine will be the hardest part of getting on to the consoles. PC users are used to playing extremely unfriendly games that seek to punish them for daring to play them. We mastered flightsims that pilots struggle with and racing sims where the official advice for setups was wrong (grand prix legends had everyone trying to get their cars as low as possible, without realizing for a long time that is not how this cars are supposed to run) to games that need endless patching and tweaking.

Console gamers expect more polished games that they can simply play and have fun with. Put down and pick up whenever they want to.

Oh, and the console market is SMALLER then the PC gaming market. Any idiot would realize this as there are FAR more internet connected PC's out there in peoples homes then internetconnected consoles. Be honest, who has an internet connection just for a console?

What Turbine apparently doesn't get is that the PC market is split between the casual gamers, who game with flash games, and the hardcore market, who do MMORPG's.

The proof the PC market is huge? Just look at the MMORPG figures. WoW has 10 million players. 360 has sold 19 million units so far. Do you think that the market for MMORPG on 360 is 50% of installed base? Of course, you can add the sales of the PS3 to that, but still you would need an awfully high success rate to get 10 million WoW players on the consoles.

And that is just WoW, the various korean MMORPG's also have millions of players. To get the total MMORPG market on the consoles would require nearly every console owner to actually buy the game.

And that is ignoring the tens of millions of people who play on flash sites, never wanting to commit to anything that takes longer then a minute to learn and can be enjoyed in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee.

THAT is the real challenge for MMORPG's, not to capture the console market but to finally leave the grind at home and make the game, the whole the game and ALL of the game FUN without grinding.

And Turbine failed at that, they almost got it right at launch and then they added things like the reputation system and screwed it up. Oh, the official line for the rep system is to make it casual friendly, this is marketoid speech, as you can grind rep for 20 minutes and then leave. Sure, that is casual friendly, that you would need 100 of those twenty minute sessions to actually achieve anything, isn't.

That Lotro is still the most casual friendly western MMORPG is not something to be proud off. It more a case of utter damnation of the rest.

Turbine has gotten closest but they need to have someone in charge of all the devs who rubber stamps every idea, every change, every development "grind" "non-grind". If it is grind, it goes into the bin.

Because there is one secret MMORPG developers have yet to learn. People will continue playing a fun game for YEARS. They don't need the grind to keep them hooked. Fun does that. Look at all the WoW players who left, did they leave because the basic fun element is out of the mmorpg for them? No, they left because they got sick of the grind. Dare to be different, dare to count on your raids and instances and battles SIMPLY BEING FUN! Non-MMORPG games have been doing it for decades.

Re:Lotro is a real mixed beast (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 years ago | (#24842739)

Oh, and the console market is SMALLER then the PC gaming market. Any idiot would realize this as there are FAR more internet connected PC's out there in peoples homes then internetconnected consoles. Be honest, who has an internet connection just for a console?

I personally got broadband with PS2 online gaming in mind. But these days home networks are very very common so a lot of people have their consoles networked. Sure there's a lot of net connected PC's but a lot of them aren't capable of playing much more than Flash games.

Re:Lotro is a real mixed beast (4, Informative)

jbacon (1327727) | about 6 years ago | (#24843105)

Honestly, you've got a lot of WoW hate in that post. I've been playing the game since launch, as a rogue, and my current guild is on track to finish Sunwell (most difficult expansion instance) before Wrath of the Lich King hits. You could say I'm a pretty hardcore player.

However, I only play 4 hours a day, four days a week. In those sixteen hours a week, I manage to successfully raid the most difficult instance in the game, farm consumables for said instance (lots of them), and even spend some time leveling various other characters. I have another character at max level, a mage, and a paladin on the way.

Now, sixteen hours a week is a lot of time, but as I said, I'm a hardcore player in the top tier of progression. I choose to do it. A casual player can do an hour of battlegrounds or arena per day and end up with a full set of epic gear after a month or two.

However, that doesn't address GETTING to the level cap. Leveling to the cap is easily possible with zero grinding sessions - nothing but quests. Sure, sometimes the quest is "Kill X number of Y", but the reward is gear, gold, or lots of bonus experience. Blizzard has made many changes to make what was already a very easy leveling process even easier (compared to a game like EverQuest or FFXI). Experience needed per level was reduced by 15%, low-level quest rewards were reworked to have more optimized stats, mounts are now available at level 30, and so much more. There is no penalty for death other than a small amount of money and a short walk - no experience hit, no de-leveling. Heck, with a good guide, you can go from 1-70 in less than three days played time.

In conclusion, WoW is not a grind unless you want it to be. A player can be successful without devoting their life to it. It's easily the most casual MMO I've ever seen.

On top of that, it's FUN!

pc vrs console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24839617)

pc needs dual core and 2 gigs of ram to run the lotr
client decently.
Consoles have decent processors but a quarter gig of ram.

Some how I dont see much happening on consoles that isnt dumbed down immensely.

Pussy Nazi Sez (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24840253)

No pussy for YOU!

It should be hard for Turbine (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 6 years ago | (#24840265)

What they deliver in UI usually is far worse than other companies. One thing I remembered from my LOTRO days was how their UI came off half finished. Parts of the UI would have an appropriate fantasy-rpg look while other parts looked liked a PDA from DOOM3.

I think it is interesting Turbine is looking towards consoles for success. With two of the biggest names ever in gaming titles you would think any competent company could hit a home run. I know, they don't publish their numbers and its rumored that LOTRO has a significant population, but the one measure of a game's success is how many fan sites exist and better yet, how many independent and active message boards exist for the game.

Look, if they or anyone else wants to make a MMORPG then introduce a custom controller. It worked for Guitar Hero. Sorry, but that game would never have worked otherwise. Why hamstring your MMORPG out of the gate trying to work with the base controller? Voice chat would get past the need for a keyboard. You can add support for a keyboard but just get a custom controller. If you think the market is large enough to support a MMORPG then it should be more than sufficient to support the controller.

Consoles need keyboard and mouse support!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24841773)

I see no way of making a good MMO on a console. I have wrote in about every forum I went to and complained about the lack of keyboard and mouse support on the PS3 and XBOX360. Seems like its never gonna happen though.

There's an easy way to do this (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | about 6 years ago | (#24842037)

Build for the console first then a computer second. Final Fantasy XI: Online did this six years ago and we're still half a million strong; SquareEnix must have done something right. The biggest issue is getting past not having a keyboard. In XI, you can use just about any USB keyboard and get it to work with a console and you're all set or use the soft keyboard (which is pulled up in one buttonstroke) wherever you need to. Hell, even the little Xbox 360 controller attachement works for this. It works because it stays within the constraints of the weakest console, in this case, the Playstation 2. The game and all of it's expansions still work flawlessly on Playstation 2. While a lot of people agree that, for the most part, it holds the game back a bit, there is also a majority of XI players living in Japan. So the game works because it was tailored for the weakest console then ported upward. Granted, the PC version looks the best but the Xbox 360 Version is VERY smooth in framerate and color. If you make a game for the PC in this sense and try to backport it I'll bet it won't work very well.

Console MMOs possible, is the market there though? (2, Interesting)

iregisteredjustforth (1155123) | about 6 years ago | (#24843835)

People need to remember that MMORPG's aren't the only MMO games out there. Sure they are the dominant archetype among mmo's, but successes have been made of others too, many of which are more suitable for consoles.

An MMOFPS like Planetside would suit console's perfectly in my opinion - easy enough to control using a standard console controller, and a good mix of action / twitch and persistent elements. Some console games are halfway there, they provide persistent elements in having ranks / xp for characters and allow weapons and skills etc to be selected accordingly ala COD4 or BF:BC.

The main difference is the lack of persistent elements affecting the environment of scenarios the players are playing. They are still playing standard multiplayer games but with added persistent elements on their characters. Part of me wonders why few people are bothering to try anying mmo-like on consoles, considering the potential money to be made. I can see no real technological reason full blown mmo's can't be done on consoles more often, so it makes me think developers simply think the market isn't there.

It could be that developers think most console gamers would be totally against paying monthly for the privelage to play a game. Big mmo's with high server and support costs maybe won't exist until people are more used to the idea of paying monthly for a game.

Someone will crack it at some point though, and make millions(billions) when they do.

Would require some modifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24845075)

Since a console gamer won't be able to type easily, and PC gamers might not have voice chat turned on, perhaps there could be some sort of macro system set up, so a few buttons on the console's gamepad could send commonly-used phrases. Could be set up as a categorized menu. Since we're talking about console gamers here, I assume the categories would be things like "Racial slurs", "Sexual insults" (possibly including gay jokes, but this could be moved into a separate "homophobic slurs" category if needed), "Calling other players noobs", etc. It might be tough to cover the wide variety of abuse and insults that a console player would really want, but you could probably get pretty close; console players aren't that creative, after all.

Another thing that might need tweaking is the PvP system. If you've played LOTRO, you'll know that there is limited PvP -- only by taking your character to a specific zone can anyone engage in PvP with you. Obviously, given the general antisocial nature of console players, this would not be acceptable or considered fun. I imagine to appeal to console players, you would need to A) give them a huge advantage from the start that they don't need to work for, and B) allow them to take this advantage and use it to attack other players everywhere, including in the newbie instances.

I think a few changes like this would really help create an appeal for console players -- who wouldn't want to see a level 55 Uruk-hai killing his way through Archet while calling everyone else a gay Mexican Jew lizard?

Requirements (1)

Kelz (611260) | about 6 years ago | (#24846593)

First: You need hype, and a concept that has mass-market appeal. LOTRO could have possibly been that, but they are very true to the books and probably have more of a nerd-niche than they would have liked. WoW came out too long ago, and Warhammer still doesn't have enough mass market appeal.

Second: It needs to be bundled with a keyboard, and probably a mouse. theres too many things to target in most MMOs, and far too many UI menus and buttons. Thing Oblivion on an X360 but with 10x more options.

Final Fantasy XI? (1)

rtechie (244489) | about 6 years ago | (#24849073)

It's only the most popular MMO in Japan.

Console MMOs have been made. They have issues with UI and sophistication relative to PC RPGs. This is glaringly apparent with Final Fantasy XI.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?