The Daily Grind: Which MMO do you wish the devs would just. stop. touching?

    
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Baaaaad writing.

A few weeks back, MOP’s Not So Massively columnist Tyler Edwards penned a piece on the problems plaguing Heroes of the Storm, and as I read it, this line leaped out at me: “This is one of the biggest thing keeping me away from Heroes these days: All of the characters I used to love have changed so much I hardly recognize them.”

I joked that it’s true of a lot of Blizzard games, especially World of Warcraft, and that the common denominator across all those genres is… well, Blizzard. It’s a Blizzard thing. The devs there can’t help themselves, or maybe more specifically, the people making the decisions the devs follow can’t help themselves: They just can’t stop touching it.

I don’t think Blizzard is alone. I can think of a few other studios’ titles I wish would stop patching when I know the patches are just gonna rewire the meta and start another round of complaining. It’s not that the games are perfect the way they are, just that we’d all be better off if nobody broke them any further.

Which MMO do you wish the devs would just. stop. touching?

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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mysecretid

In my personal opinion:

1. World of Warcraft: One of the earliest lessons I learned running tabletop rpgs was this: Don’t give your players things, encourage them to love those things, and then intentionally take those things away from them.

You can get away with this maybe one time, as sort of a “life is sometimes random and cruel”themed story, but you are a gamemaster, not a mirror of reality, and they’re trusting you to entertain them.

Real life gives out free crappy most every day of the week — people want their entertainment to entertain them.

Blizzard keeps introducing things (from plotlines to game mechanics) and then unceremoniously dropping them entirely in favor of something else with the next expansion. I’m already annoyed by it.

2. The Secret World: Developer Funcom basically abandoned their original TSW game in favor of Secret World Legends, which was effectively just the original game with simplified game mechanics.

Given how deep and complex some of The Secret World‘s writing has been, did Funcom really think that asking the fans of the original game to start brand-new characters from scratch and then play those characters through all the years of content they’ve already played through with their original characters was going to count as “positive change” for those gamers?

Maybe they thought the influx of new players with Secret World Legends would render any compaints irrelevant. but have those newer players stayed around in sufficient numbers?

Even if the answer is “indeed, yes” — except for a small amount of new content set in South Africa, released around the time Secret Worlds Legends came out — how long has it been now since Funcom has added any further content to their supposed “crown jewel” online game?

There’s a science-fiction single-player game set in the TSW universe due out this Hallowe’en, but the original online game, in either of its forms, lies fallow.

Funcom implements a big change to one of their most acclaimed games, and then … nothing …

Not what I was hoping for, alas.

3) Guild Wars 2: I played a fair bit of the original Guild Wars, but very little Guild Wars 2. The sequel game never felt like a sequel to me, somehow — it felt like an entirely different type of fantasy game which just happened to share the lore and background of the original Guild Wars.

I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, only that I could never wrap my mind around it all. They’ve always felt like two very different games to me.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Cmon, WoW was improved drastically compared to launch. If anything Blizzard should be more careful touching class design. Sometimes they screw up badly, especially with ability pruning.

I cant think of any MMO that shouldnt be touched by devs. Its what destinguishes MMO from singleplayer games – being in constant development

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squid

Ultima Online, roughly 18 years ago. Constant content additions killed that game.

Carlo Lacsina
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Carlo Lacsina

It’s not that I don’t want Anet to stop touching Guild Wars 2, I just feel like they’re touching it in the wrong places. They gotta start touching capes, but they’re just grabbing buttcapes.

Also, they need to manhandle Cantha, they gotta get it in the game.

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Anstalt

None of them.

Most MMOs are themeparks, so if the devs stopped touching them completely then they’d be dead within a year. Devs are needed to provide the content so that we continue to play. I also don’t mind devs doing balance tweaks and class changes, again, this is something that is required for any ongoing game because the way we play and our abilities vs the content are ever changing things.

That said, I do wish they’d stop dumbing stuff down. I don’t mind tweaks, even if you end up nerfing my preferred class, as long as the “soul” of the class stays the same and the game isn’t simplified too far. Removal of depth is the thing I hate the most, yet that is the most common thing I see when it comes to mechanics/balancing/etc.

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Robert Mann

? Hellgate?

I mean, after so many times it’s basically a meme on failure… but otherwise I’m going to say that devs should focus differently, rather than stopping touching. Focus on fun, making things more balanced for the builds that aren’t FotM status, etc.

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aussie_eevee

No MMO should ever suffer that fate. MMOs are supposed to be a living breathing world… They are constantly evolving, and growing. Change is to be expected and celebrated.

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Loopy

#nochanges

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aussie_eevee

Hashtag dead MMO.

cambruin
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cambruin

As Cataclysm changed WotLK? :)

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aussie_eevee

Not sure what you are implying. Naturally Cataclysm changed Wrath. And wrath changed TBC. and TBC changed classic. And MoP changed Cataclysm and Warlords of Dra- Eh, we don’t talk about that one… *cough* uh… Legion changed MoP, and BFA changed Legion.

An MMO that does not change… dies. An example being Star Wars Galaxies. It was pretty dead before it was cancelled in favour of The Old Republic because it suffered development hell.

But World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, and even smaller games like The Old Republic and Star Trek Online, etc are doing well because they are constantly changing and evolving over time.

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Bruno Brito

Doing “well” is a stretch. Specially for SWTOR.

cambruin
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cambruin

TBC improved upon Vanilla, as WotLK improved upon TBC. Then Cataclysm came and the first big dip in pop occured.

So yes, change is necessary, but with it comes risk. So I’m fairly… what’s ‘worse’ than conservative? Reactionary?

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Bruno Brito

They are constantly evolving, and growing. Change is to be expected and celebrated.

I would agree with that…if every change was GOOD. It isn’t.

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Sleepy

Firefall, when it was still a thing. That game was touched so much it was entirely inappropriate.

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nomadmorlock9

ESO’s recent combat and racial changes have gone to far in some respects. When you can no longer play a 5 year old character in the generally same manor you have deviated too far from the original design of a class or race.

On top of this they have stopped listening to the player feedback which really helped bring the game to the place it needed to be. Instead they have adopted a policy of “we know better”.

In many cases they are now refusing to acknowledge mistakes or revert changes that should never have been made out of what appears to be pride and stubbornness.

Not a good path to go down.

cambruin
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cambruin

Explain. Please.

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Anthony Clark

ALL of them.