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Community Developer - What's Most Important?

 
  • AEGIS
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#4103
3 years 1 month ago
As a developer of a superhero MMORPG what would you consider to be the most important aspect of your game?
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#4104
3 years 1 month ago
Making sure the RPG part is strongly considered. I think this is where COH succeeded and CO and DCUO failed. Not coincidentally, I think Freedom Force is the best superhero video game ever-- the RPG elements were incredible.
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  • ZeeHero
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#4105
3 years 1 month ago
alltrueist wrote:
Making sure the RPG part is strongly considered. I think this is where COH succeeded and CO and DCUO failed. Not coincidentally, I think Freedom Force is the best superhero video game ever-- the RPG elements were incredible.

I would add to this that it's extremely important to capture the super hero feel in the game. little things like being able to fight with travel powers on, travel powers themselves, how fall damage affects players, and even how the death penalty or anything for that matter is implemented can make a huge difference in whether the player actually FEELS like a super hero playing the game.

There is tremendous life and personality in a name. It should be at least as agonized over as any character trait.”
― Travis Beacham
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#4108
3 years 1 month ago
No forced grouping. And not finishing storylines in group content only.
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by Myarkstir.
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#4109
3 years 1 month ago
Myarkstir wrote:
No forced grouping. And not finishing storylines in group content only.

I think this would fall under "Understanding the fantasy" for a superhero game. Games like Final Fantasy XIV do a great job with their group content even when you have to group to progress the story.

Super Heroes however can handle a villain or a bunch of henchmen on their own more often than not. Super Hero team ups are almost always when a much larger cosmic threat appears, or when the theme of the heroes is tied into being a group (a much less commonplace scenario)
There is tremendous life and personality in a name. It should be at least as agonized over as any character trait.”
― Travis Beacham
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#4110
3 years 1 month ago
In addition to the other replies, which I agree with, I think a huge part of a good MMO is self-determination. I think the game should provide the environment, physics, story, and character context without forcing a certain play style. My toon is my avatar for what I think would be awesome to do in real life, so constraining that diminishes the experience.

I also think balance is really important. The worst thing that can happen in an MMO is cookie-cutter mentality. The game is way more fun when there's a lot of player/toon diversity.

I'd like to explicitly add that I think these and the previously posted things are more important than graphics. I also think that a sense of challenge is more important than loot. This probably goes back to Zee's comment about feeling like a superhero. One thing I liked about CoH that I never really got as much from other games was a sense of accomplishment, whether it was from soloing something really difficult, or maxing out my badges, or doing a task force, or forming a massive team for a GM fight. A lot of times it was like us vs. the game. I don't know what it is about other games; mechanically they should cause a similar feeling, but I just haven't felt it the same way.
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  • ZeeHero
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#4111
3 years 1 month ago
I appreciate a well designed challenge, but challenge should not feel forced either, what I mean by this is the mechanics should not feel improvised and cheap, as if someone was desperately trying to add challenge to something in a way which just makes it feel frustrating.

one example of a well designed challenge I enjoyed was the Thordan Extreme boss raid I took part in tonight in Final Fantasy XIV. its an extremely difficult and complex fight which left me feeling satisfied with my teams progress, even though we did NOT beat it tonight.

The mechanics were set up in such a way that it never felt too punishing to die, that you know there was something you could have legitimately done better to survive next time.

one example of bad mechanics, well, I have a hard time describing them but go play Champions Online's Cosmic Monster fights at level 40 there. that's the shoddy work of a resource starved and inexperienced dev "team" (1-3 devs lol) Basically the punishing opposite of a well designed challenge.
There is tremendous life and personality in a name. It should be at least as agonized over as any character trait.”
― Travis Beacham
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by ZeeHero.
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#4112
3 years 1 month ago
Yeah, another example of bad challenge is something you might call pattern decoding, as in there's only one right solution. The Diablo 3 set dungeons are a perfect example of this. Another super old-school example are the disappearing blocks from mega man 2. By contrast, Super Metroid is maybe my all-time perfect challenge game because you were able to decide the trade-off between survivability and beating the clock without any cheap gimmicks.

I guess what I was thinking was, superheroing feels more fun when you're always a little bit of an underdog. For me that's probably the main difference between a superhero MMO and a superpowered MMO. I want to feel like I've been called to step up. A couple of the CoH task forces did this really well. Statesman's comes to mind. The Keyes Reactor trial, maybe not so great. Some of this stuff would need to be play-tested, for sure.

Anyway, that's more of the fantasy side of things than the mechanics. Not sure if that's what the original question was looking for...
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  • Pyrion
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#4113
3 years 1 month ago
A good community.
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#4114
3 years 1 month ago
make it fun, for me that would be, get the combat flowing nicely so it ticks all the bells and whistles in brain for challenge timing and reward, give the missions variable outcomes for replay ability and immersion. then get a few starting story lines and a core story line with at least marker missions through to its conclusion, all that can be fleshed out though.
getting it feeling fun to play and replay is important, start with that then build off it rather then trying to inject it later :P
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  • ZeeHero
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#4115
3 years 1 month ago
Thing is superheroes usually are NOT the underdog, they're more powerful than the average person by far. the only time a super hero should feel like the underdog in a game is in endgame raids vs very high powered enemies.

Such as when the justice leauge in DC goes up against brainaic.

If you're going to understand the fantasy realizing this much is important.
There is tremendous life and personality in a name. It should be at least as agonized over as any character trait.”
― Travis Beacham
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by ZeeHero.
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#4117
3 years 1 month ago
ZeeHero wrote:
one example of a well designed challenge I enjoyed was the Thordan Extreme boss raid I took part in tonight in Final Fantasy XIV. its an extremely difficult and complex fight which left me feeling satisfied with my teams progress, even though we did NOT beat it tonight.

The mechanics were set up in such a way that it never felt too punishing to die, that you know there was something you could have legitimately done better to survive next time.

one example of bad mechanics, well, I have a hard time describing them but go play Champions Online's Cosmic Monster fights at level 40 there. that's the shoddy work of a resource starved and inexperienced dev "team" (1-3 devs lol) Basically the punishing opposite of a well designed challenge.


This. Gameplay and the gameplay mechanics are what matters to me most. FFXIV has been one of the only mmos where I've actively enjoyed the mechanics that the devs came up with for the game, especially the raid content. Keeping the players engaged is what matters. This is a video game after all and I play them to enjoy the experience.

CoH had pretty good gameplay for its time, but it was starting to lack engaging game mechanics. Champions had decent gameplay, but the "raid" content and mechanics were broken as hell. I did not enjoy getting one shotted by bosses, even as a tank. Still don't after all these years I had played the game. DCUO I felt, ALMOST had it. It had engaging gameplay, some ok mechanics, and fun team content, but with it being built in mind for consoles hurt it and made the gameplay feel too....repetitive.
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by Reldin.
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#4118
3 years 1 month ago
Beware; mad mans ramblings follows!

Overall regarding the initial question regarding MMOs and what I consider most important. While it might sound stupid: Everything!

Its an MMO. If you look at what made ppl cling to the MMOs of olde (Ultima Online is still rolling while dozens of modern better looking MMOs bit the dust) its not singular aspects. You want to create an MMO. To do it right you create a "world simulation". You need to be frigging good at everything because you want lots of ppl keept logged in. Even the greatest combat system gets stale and bores players to death after the initial rush. Action games gets played, gets put aside and get forgotten. The best of them gets refereed on occasion. Sometimes someone goes back for some nostalgia but thats usually it. Unless they offer more but even then we are not talking about a living breathing world but stress relief. Combat still have to be awesome because... I don't think that needs explanation why for a Superhero MMO.

So get it on with a complex "Sims" like gameplay added and don't get distracted by those "Oh you want to play Barbie/Sims/Something Else?" wieners; the other SH MMOs already payed the price for doing so. Most MMOs focused on the Combat aspect only; I'm very sure thats why they never really take off. Especially the Superhero MMOs, and with two SH-MMOs we do not have an over-saturation situation here.

Now to Superhero MMOs in specific. Well... most is said already. When my char drops the glasses, rips off the shirt, and stands tall on the next building there have to be dang fanfares in the background and simple bankrobbers getting their pants full. Let me call in the JLA, the Avangers, the Titans, the whatevers when the creature from beyond sanity wants to play marbles with the planets of the Sol system; not when the Ding with the thing runs amok with a bazooka downtown. Basically what Zee and others said: Superhero feeling mandatory.

*sigh* Why does it always eat so much time to write those comments; lagging behind my schedule for today again :P
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#4119
3 years 1 month ago
What I would want as a developer is different from what I want as a player. As a developer I need to cater to a wide range of players rather than myself or even the largely mythical "average gamer". That means I would seek to have a wide but balanced risk/reward range. There are players who don't feel alive if they have more than 10% health. There are players who quit the first time their character dies. There are players who only solo, and players who rarely ever solo. So you need to provide easy, low-reward grinding as well as challenging high-reward struggles. Quiet routine patrols for a lone street hero (or burglar) as well as epic battles between large forces. Making sure the risk/reward ratio remains reasonably constant means you attract and keep a wide range of players. If people feel forced to play differently from their natural play style, they will trickle away as they discover something more to their tastes.

I would be very cautious about PvP. Balancing PvP is very different from balancing PvE, and basically doubles the game, contrary to common sense. You either have to have parallel mechanics or make drastic alterations to PvE abilities that worked well without PvP. Also, PvP is a major source of instant ragequit and badmouthing. Add that it is really hard to playtest PvP with limited human resources so basically the players will be the real alpha testers, complete with the ragequit part. Not for the faint of heart.
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  • Gerald Deemer
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#4120
3 years 1 month ago
I think balancing is a big point. Especially in PVP. Look at COs PVP. It´s dead. I suggest to learn from all failed superhero games (that´s nearly all of them :dry: )

But I think the most important thing is content!
New landscapes, new archetypes, new story lines, new cosmetic content, new stuff has to come out regulary.

If I look at the most successful MMOs out there they have 1 thing in common. All of them are feeded with content regulary.

Oh and I would hype the bigger DLCs with trailers and big announcements just to build hype and keep the players in good mood and win new members.
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#4121
3 years 1 month ago
My main goal when developing a game like VO (or any game for that matter) would be to have good balance and variety of goals. I think modern games need many easy, short term goals as well as bigger long term goals. Some of the short term goals can help build up to a longer goal. The games that I have played the most consistently over time are the ones that let me jump in for 15 minutes when I can and feel like I have gotten something done. They also have very long, challenging goals that take many play sessions to accomplish. Games are about reward and with modern gamers you have to keep their attention at all levels. Quick, instant gratification combined into challenging long term goals is what hooks players and keeps them.
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#4123
3 years 1 month ago
ZeeHero wrote:
Thing is superheroes usually are NOT the underdog, they're more powerful than the average person by far. the only time a super hero should feel like the underdog in a game is in endgame raids vs very high powered enemies.

Such as when the justice leauge in DC goes up against brainaic.
Fair enough, but I disagree. Some of the most compelling and best-loved characters are constantly out of their league and struggling to overcome long odds. Spiderman comes immediately to mind. Ms. Marvel. Harry Potter. Frodo. Holden Caulfield. Beowulf. Neo. King Arthur. Ignatius Reilly. Richard Mayhew. Naruto. It's such a resonant idea that it's literally called the "hero's journey."

A game where I one-shot anything I want is boring. I'm not saying the odds need to be annoyingly stacked, and it's always possible to IUP, but it's more fun when things favor the game a little bit. I'm thinking like increased mob density at higher levels, or faster respawn rates. I want the experience to be like I'm only surviving because of superpowers. I want to get to the endgame and be badass, but I also want to feel like I earned it.

Maybe this is just a matter of having configurable difficulty settings.

Anyway, my point is, however it does it, a superhero MMO should make players feel heroic.
If you're going to understand the fantasy realizing this much is important.
We don't have to have the same take on it, and I think realizing that is also important.
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  • ZeeHero
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#4124
3 years 1 month ago
I agree the game should be able to cater to a variety of hero types, which multiple difficulty settings can cover. One shotting everything is a huge exaggeration of what I mean by not being the underdog. I mean non powered mooks should be mostly cannon fodder. Not that the game should be always easy.

Focusing the difficulty on Supervillain boss battles (especially with solo options) is how I'd want a super hero game done.
There is tremendous life and personality in a name. It should be at least as agonized over as any character trait.”
― Travis Beacham
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by ZeeHero.
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#4125
3 years 1 month ago
cristobal03 wrote:
ZeeHero wrote:
Thing is superheroes usually are NOT the underdog, they're more powerful than the average person by far. the only time a super hero should feel like the underdog in a game is in endgame raids vs very high powered enemies.

Such as when the justice leauge in DC goes up against brainaic.
Fair enough, but I disagree. Some of the most compelling and best-loved characters are constantly out of their league and struggling to overcome long odds. Spiderman comes immediately to mind. Ms. Marvel. Harry Potter. Frodo. Holden Caulfield. Beowulf. Neo. King Arthur. Ignatius Reilly. Richard Mayhew. Naruto. It's such a resonant idea that it's literally called the "hero's journey."

A game where I one-shot anything I want is boring. I'm not saying the odds need to be annoyingly stacked, and it's always possible to IUP, but it's more fun when things favor the game a little bit. I'm thinking like increased mob density at higher levels, or faster respawn rates. I want the experience to be like I'm only surviving because of superpowers. I want to get to the endgame and be badass, but I also want to feel like I earned it.

Maybe this is just a matter of having configurable difficulty settings.

Anyway, my point is, however it does it, a superhero MMO should make players feel heroic.
If you're going to understand the fantasy realizing this much is important.
We don't have to have the same take on it, and I think realizing that is also important.

Of course is overcoming certain odds an important part in a heros life. I sit next to a tower of DC comics spanning several decades and all the heros have their odds to overcome. But besides some exception (usually in their origin stories) none of these involve the casual thug; at least not in direct combat. The biggest struggle they have when they catch a really nasty none powered bastard is not even fighting him, its resisting to use their powers to kill him. I am not a big follower of Spiderman but as far as I know his only "combat odds" are Supervillains and his daily odds (what I love to see translated in a MMORPG) to overcome start when he removes the mask with his normal life. And thats the biggest odds almost all heros struggle with regardless of franchise or origin or even era. The "struggle with themselves and their non hero life" and the dreadful results of failing that (ie. Fridge Girl for an extreme example :( ).
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#4126
3 years 1 month ago
the coh difficulty level was awesome. You could set it to +4 x8 if you wanted high difficulty or -3x1 for a quick run through. we could be responsible for our own challenge without affecting others. Tanks were tanks, they didnt need a healer following them to keep them alive. you could take on a group of minions and a lt or 2 and be confident. Wow went way too far the other way and it takes way too long just to kill a couple of minions. boring.
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by ivanhedgehog. Reason: added
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