The Daily Grind: When have studios tried to ‘strong arm’ you into changing your MMO playstyle?

    
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This is fine, everything's fine.

The other day when we reported how World of Warcraft had removed the auto-accept functionality from its group finder, Reader Kalech noted, “If people don’t want to be social, they’re not going to be social no matter how much Blizzard tries to strong-arm them.”

That made me pause and reflect, because over the long history of MMOs, studios are forever trying to influence, direct, and sometimes “strong-arm” players into engaging in certain activities or playstyles. It’s not always that overt or constrained, but once in a while you do see a studio try its mightiest to shove players into PvP or to make them socialize more.

So when have MMO studios tried to force you into changing your playstyle — and were they successful?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Reginald Atkins

I remember another life time ago it seems.. when GW2 put a storyline event in a PVP zone… I decided it was time to check out what was going on in FF14 since 2.0 was out and what was going to be a 2 week break from GW2 turned into 3+ years.

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Aiun Tanks

Every Cryptic/Perfect World game trying to strong-arm you into logging in every day. Sometimes multiple times a day.

quark1020
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quark1020

I had some trouble thinking about this one. Normally, I’m a very flexible person when it comes to change. I don’t have any particular dislike to any play style, so I’ll adapt to most changes if the game is still fun. There was only one time where the change made me quit completely.

Star Wars Galaxies.

They overhauled the entire skill system, nerfing my favorite play style (Tera-Kasi Master) and then finally removing it completely since it wasn’t an “Iconic” character. There were still many people who didn’t mind the changes, and they had my condolences when the game finally shut down, but I was not sorry to see the game go.

kjempff
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kjempff

WHEN HAVE STUDIOS TRIED TO ‘STRONG ARM’ YOU INTO CHANGING YOUR MMO PLAYSTYLE?
Since 2004

Reader
Paul

Every game (and there are many) that tried to encourage PvP by locking progression / rewards behind a PvP barrier. Good way to get me to stop playing – I won’t be coerced. If their PvP is so fun we shouldn’t need enticements to do it….

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Sashaa

In a way, on the Elder Scrolls Online, if you’re something else than a dpser, in pve, doing group content and really trying to be good at what you do, than you’re constantly being strong-armed by the devs into focusing on dps… Wether you’re a healer or a tank, your only goal in life will be to allow the mighty dpsers to push bigger numbers. You’re a tank? Don’t care, wear dps focused gear and use dps boostin skills. You’re a heal? Don’t care, wear dps focused gear and dps boostin skills. Hell, outside of some specific very hard group pve content, you don’t even need a healer or a tank anymore (that includes vet DLC dungeons and vDSA which are supposed to be among the hardest things to do in 4-ppl pve).

Look at the magicka nightblade for example, a good one will easily do more than 30% of the group heal without even trying, and while dealing a good 40k dps without trying to hard (which is more than enough for anything that the game has to offer). So if you’ve got a few in your group, the healer just becomes a buffing bot doing less than half of the group heal. Yayy fuuun… And tanking is even more laughable at times (especially in 4-ppl content) considering that a dps just has to slot a taunt and everything’s gonna be fine.

And that is the work of ESO devs, because they are the ones who chose to make the mechanics this way (easily bypassed by big enough dps). Things could be very different if they only wanted to (like on most mmorpgs I’ve experienced since EverQuest). That’s something you have to accept when you play ESO. Playing as you want? Well, if you want to play it like a mmorpg, which involves theory crafting and optimisation when it comes to group pve, not so much!

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Sajiri

FFXIV was/is always trying to make people help and be nicer to newer players by forcing them to redo old content constantly. I already tried to be nice to new players without that, but all it really achieved was making the overall community more impatient at having to run the same years-old content over and over and making them angrier and angrier. All it achieved for me in the end was that I can now no longer stand the game.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Yes.

No.

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Pingly

Allods online: NO MINIMAP! MINIMAPS ARE FOR WEAKLINGS!

hurbster
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hurbster

ESO trying to get me to PVP by locking some very handy skills for stam users behind PVP. So I just mainly stick to magika characters. Or screw it and ignore the meta.

Same goes for those peeps who just want to PVP and have to raise their Undaunted skill line to get the passives.