Usually when it comes to discussing world hemispheres of MMO game design, comments and observations are made about what western studios can learn from their eastern counterparts. MMO Bro, however, flipped that discussion recently to share four things that eastern MMOs can (and perhaps should) learn from western games.
“The problem, though, is that in most eastern games I’ve played, the story still feels like kind of a background element,” he writes. “There isn’t a lot of effort put into developing it or helping the player experience it in a dynamic way. It’s usually bland quest text. In the west, we’ve seen MMO games make great strides toward better storytelling in recent years.”
“This is ultimately what I consider to be my first MMO, or at the very least the gateway drug that opened me up to the possibilities of EverQuest […] While the core gameplay loop is still enjoyable to me personally… it won’t be for many especially considering how slow paced the game is and how cludgy the targeting system can be. A good bit of my love of Destiny is likely because Phantasy Star Online was my first ‘looter shooter.'”
“The original GW2 project was to create an ever-changing world, a dynamic environment in which no two players would have the same experience and no two sessions would play the same way. The current orthodoxy is, ‘It’s a game, after all… a game that doesn’t need reinvention but mostly needs a steady stream of great content, so we can focus on delivering great content.’ I get it. It’s just a game. I won’t take it any more seriously than it deserves.”
“This summer I have been able to do something I have never done less than a year into an expansion — have all my alts at max level […] In the post-7.2.5 world of Azeroth, with Broken Isles flying, heirlooms, and legion assaults, characters can be leveled in a just few days to a week. It all comes down to how many assaults you can hit.”
“There were cracks appearing in the façade of mutual goodwill during the anniversary event, when it became clear that several activities were exclusional. However, it has been the debacle over the pricing structure of the Mordor expansion that has returned community relationships back to how they were previously. Many LOTRO players do not consider the itemisation and costs of the three different editions of the expansion to be equitable. Once again, the game developers appear to be taking their customers loyalty and support for granted.”
“I spent approximately 20 minutes playing FFXIV over the weekend. I logged in, talked to some NPCs, teleported to some cities, talked some more, then had to take a minute Chocobo ride back to the main base camp to complete the quest. The main story quest, mind you. I had more fun in the 60 seconds of dead time on the Chocobo than I did in the entire 20 minutes playing overall, as I was able to boot up a mobile game, snag some rewards, and restart some locked chest timers.”
“I’ve been plugging away at the Tyranny of Dragons campaign in Neverwinter on my Hunter Ranger and it struck me that the casual approach to group content in the game seems to work pretty well. Not that I’m running dungeons or more formal group stuff at the moment, mind. By casual group conent, I mean the lairs and dragon fights that feature in this campaign.”