The Daily Grind: What frustrates you the most about your MMO’s dev team?

    
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Obviously it won't be a Blood Elf, though.

I guess I want to preface today’s discussion by acknowledging that there are a lot of terrific developers and teams out there in the industry today. These people put in a lot of thankless work and have to deal with us finicky gamers, and I think that entitles them to all sorts of exclusive medals.

That said, nobody’s perfect, and some dev teams have some faults. One game studio might be too tight-lipped about everything while another is always over-promising and under-delivering.

Whether it be communication issues, attitudes, lack of response, or high-profile spokespeople who have no business being in front of a camera, there are places where dev teams could improve. So what frustrates you the most about your MMO’s dev team and how could they get better?

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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Utakata

The hubris and turgid sophistry they use to approach bad and/or asinine decisions. /glares at Blizz

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Their attitude earned my enmity years ago. I’ve personally boycotted them since Starcraft II Terran campaign when I went to buy it the day it came out and realized I was paying $75 for 1/3rd of a game. That, combined with their overall disdain for their customers and ‘We know better than you do what you want’ mentality. I’ve glanced at some of their sales for things like Diablo : Reaper of Souls, and pondered giving them another chance, but I just can’t stomach it. We’re talking a ‘fanboi’ who owned all the Warcraft games, Diablo games, Starcraft games, and WoW up to that point. Just depressing that a company that brought all that fun to people would treat them as they do.

I’m currently playing Runescape again, because my last game (Wurm Online) of 4-5 years lost my money due to moderator abuse(Supported by the devs.). I’m paid up till mid-year 2019, but I’m starting to look around again for the next game that can keep me entertained/deserves my money. Not sure where to go…

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NeoWolf

Currently I only on and off play two games SWTOR and ESO and in all honesty as much as I love them I also find them both lacking.

With SWTOR the Devs frustrate the hell out of me as does the incompetent Community manager who exists in a bubble of friendly yes men. The game has been all over the place it touted itself as being KOTOR 3,4 and 5 implying it would be all about story and it further made a point of noting the Class stories, each class having thier own story not one single same story as most games do…this for me was HUGELY appealing.

And initially it seemed that way but once the dust settled and you finished the class stories then they were all..yeah turns out its expensive and a lot of work to have individual stories so from now on everyones having a single story… sigh.

What followed was all over the place in quality as teams and leads changed constantly and direction meandered like a drunk at the wheel…and we got expansions that went from god awful (Makeb) to truly inspired (Shadow of Revan) but the faith in their consistency had gone.

Then we got the Fallen Empire it was different, I didn’t hate it initially at any rate the remaining writer was trying something new a non jedi/sith or empire/republic related threat from outside it was interesting and the Cinematic trailers sold it amazingly well I felt… but in that it also became its downfall.

With the trailers we established the key player Valkorien the evil overlord who may or may not actually be another of the Emperors skin suits, his children Arcann a psychopath who craved his fathers approval as much as he despised him who was beyond redempetion, and then in contrast his Daughter Vaylin a sweet child, gifted in the force who her father spirited away from her mothers positive guidance and twisted with experimentation and abuse into a weapon…but in that they also made sure implied throuygh the story that her mother could be the key to fixing her, there would be a showdown but the feeling was it would end with mother and daughter reunited and Vaylin returning to the light…I was excited for it, hopeful, searching for every dialogue option that could bring it about and indeed they included dialogue choices that seemed to imply it was possible.

But it all turned out to be a misleading damp squib and instead of an epic rehabilitation and family reunited story to help otherthrow the Father and son who were bother utterly broken, we had her instead murder a companion in a so called “meaningful choice” and then we are literally forced to annihilate her with no possibility of any other outcome..

To say that story fell flat on its face in an epic frutrating and disappointing mess was an understatement… and then to top it all off they said because people asked for it you can now have the psychotic, patricidal douche bag that was Arcann as redeeming him was apparently super easy oh and by the way you can bang him now… ta da.. Its like the writer had a stroke or something I still shake my head in bewilderment every time I think about what started off so promising.

After that the had flip flopping as the Dev team suddenly ended up made mostly of PVP developers and then lo and behold the game was pushing pvp and ops like they were the new shiny, while story offering became embarrassingly bad, short disappointing.. daily areas became another new shiny as you know endless repetivie grind is what passes for something to do when you run out of content.

And without any of that to gripe about then you have the OVERWHELMING push of the lockbox..sorry CARTEL packs, although I AM pleased to see they did listen to one piece of feedback I posted on their forums suggesting they rotate choice pieces of pack content into the store from time to time so people can buy direct and have rotating sales… nice to see they lsitened to that at least.

There has also be practically NO new features, systems, species and NO new classes since the game launched, which has been hugely disappointing.

And finally you have there almost complete lack of listening skills to thier community and that falls at the feet of thier community managers whose job it is to RELAY what they communities issues and desires are to them. Their have been “some” good community managers in SWTOR but Mr Musco is in my opinion not one of them, he has a circle of people he listens to…his little yes men and outside of that the community could be using megaphones to get thier issues heard and he wouldn’t have a clue. He is also unreachable despite claiming otherwise.. a community manager that does not represent or in contact with the community im afraid is a contradiction in terms.

And then we have ESO this is a frustrating game for me. I love the setting, I love the visuals, I love the art, I love the music, I love the stories… indeed there is SO much to love about this game and the Devs and community team are really nice people who are SUPER passionate about the game.. BUT it falls on its face for me in a few ways.
A) I HATE action combat in MMOs.. absolutely DESPISE it, If I want pew pew I’ll go play an FPS I don’t want or need button bashing combat in my MMO’s its not to my taste.
B) There really is NOT a great deal of variation in builods across the 4 classes..there is what works and then many ways to break your character and make it ineffective. C)Pricing in the Crown Store has become greedy and insane,
D)The Bare Bones U.I this is a MAJOR turn off for me, that whole mentality of bare bones and then let the modders sort it is fine IF your game has at least the bare bones of a U.I to begin with, but it doesn’t. If you say look at what the mod Wyykyds Suite adds to the U.I ALL of that should have been part of the basic U.I, a MINI MAP should have been part of the basic U.I but it isn’t, none of it indeed the U.I looks like it was designed for a super simplistic console game.. and it BUGS the bejesus out of me and is a reason I have unsubbed multiple times.

TL:DR
Stuff and Things relating to SWTOR and ESO.. mostly SWTOR :)

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cursedseishi

FF14 and housing…

Say what you will, believe what you want, but between pricing and availability it just simply doesn’t work or feel all that great to me. Is the smallest homes prohibitively expensive to genuinely new players? It might not be, but at the same time the cost of the house is one half of the issue. On low populated servers, that player will likely have a chance to work up and get a tiny house. But, say, on a major server like Balmung or more active ones? Well… first off, good luck getting a character there, and secondly… yeah, I can’t speak for availability on them but I’d imagine it is likely rather cramped.
And this is ignoring the initial promise that, as individual players, we wouldn’t be expected to compete and deal with Guilds for housing either or only recently were actions taken to keep people from owning multiple plots.

It’s nice and all to have a neighborhood, sharing spots with auction boards and the like… But, this whole system of ‘instanced but not quite instanced’ has been detrimental. The game needs to go down for a day just to add more housing now, and god forbid something major happens that keeps you away from the game for an extended period of time since you’ll be liable to lose your house in game. It’s been no small secret that I wish they’d simply ‘Realm Reborn’ housing, make it truly instanced per character rather than per 50 plots or however many, and give everyone a free small house and then Tom Nook it and charge gil for expansions and the like. Giving everyone the option to expand is more effective a gil sink than giving a portion of people the chance.

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Sorenthaz

Can’t really think of anything for my current main MMO (FFXIV). I guess my biggest gripe would be in regards to how they poorly handle PvP, their balance sense is all sorts of horrid. Healers feel like nigh-unkillable minibosses that require multiple people locking them down and DPSing them. Queues have become stupidly lengthy because PvP doesn’t give much exp anymore, so it’s no longer a good leveling method. They removed the casual 8man Wolves Den/Feast mode and killed the queues for anything other thank 4man ranked at this point… and then the Royal Wings MOBA-esque mode? Yeah that died way too fast because of their poor decisions. I get that PvP in the game is more of a minigame series of sorts, but they made so many bad decisions that has led to incredibly long queue times. Yet they still have the bright idea to hold vanity/cosmetic stuff hostage behind Wolf Marks.

For WoW it’s that the dev team doesn’t feel like they know what the players actually want, and instead are trying to reinvent the wheel with each expansion and lately have been going off of what the data tells them to where the game design is starting to feel detached and very robotic in nature. It gets irritating to me because the dev team doesn’t seem to be capable of building off of things that work in an expansion; instead they just tear it down and try to make something new out of it. Class Order Halls and Artifacts are the big ones.

They could’ve just given us more Order Hall stuff to do and expanded those, but instead they gutted it and turned it into the ‘War Effort’ nonsense with the mediocre mission board that no one cares about beyond getting some extra reputation off of it. Then of course our awesome Artifact weapons got replaced for the garbage Azerite system… and Ion’s answer to folks complaining was to just add MORE nonsense to Azerite gear. I would’ve so much more preferred to have the Heart of Azeroth effectively be used to fill our weapons with new power/life, transforming the weapons and possibly twisting them even.

Imagine if Xalatath or the Skull of Manari started getting filled with Azeroth’s lifeblood – stuff like that would’ve been neat. Or seeing an Azerite-empowered Ashbringer would be cool as well. Lots of potential just flushed down the toilet because Blizzard doesn’t want to actually expand and build, they just want to make every expansion different from the last and will double down on that even when folks hate it.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Im curious what you think WoW audience wants?

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Crowe

The current MMO (or “MMO I’d like to be playing”) is focusing on releasing a battle royale mode rather than devoting all of the efforts spent on that to the MMO itself.

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Fervor Bliss

Group Think, “Art is not a democracy” George RR Martin.
Then players that have to try to make every game the same with mods, and the dev’s that let them.

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rafael12104

Oh, that’s easy.

They can’t take a dump without Korea taking a dump first.

Too much? Well, how would you describe devs that don’t dev unless it has already been dev’ed.

Customizing a game regionally needs to move beyond translations, damn it!

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imayb1

That has also been a huge problem for NCSoft games.

I think they really can’t understand that fundamentally, NA players want slightly different structures than Korean players. While NA players will put up with it for a while, they won’t tolerate it indefinitely and it gets really frustrating to hear from the localization team that they’ve relayed the players’ wishes but keep getting shut down.

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Dug From The Earth

When the dev team no longer seems to be making the same game that the players are actually playing.

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Sleepy

General frustration – lack of historical awareness. Recreating the same mistakes over and over with each new MMO, either oblivious to the issues it caused previously, or convinced that they can really make it work this time!

FFA PvP, class balance, ‘dynamic worlds’, pandering to the small, loud minority. It’s incredibly frustrating to watch the same mistakes play out over and over again, year after year.

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Legend Of Vinny T

It’s apparently one person, who has to be both Software Developer and Community Manager, because the studio wants to kill the game but the publisher doesn’t.