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LasraelLarson

What Key Ingredients MUST a New Released MMO in 2017 and beyond contain for you to be remotely interested in trying?

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source material aside, what are some key components of a newly developed MMO released today and into the future...  what would you consider essential?

for myself 2 things come immediately to mind:

1.) Mega-server architecture.  whilst i would be OK with multiple region hosting & divisions by Continent like the EU & NA (or SA, Africa, or East Asia) for example.  i would not even consider a newer MMO that had separate server infrastructure.  one mass server infrastructure per region is an absolute MUST have for any newly released MMO.  NO MORE MERGES!  NO MORE TRANSFERS!

2.) Global auction hall - with fully functioning robust sales history search & order listing & fill features.  with this I would want the Auction hall and mail system set up on a completely separate data structure that could integrate across regional boundaries.  so no distinct markets for EU & NA, (or others) they would all be integrated into one "GLOBAL" Auction Hall.

 

the above i would consider essential core elements of a new MMO.  there are other things less essential i may add later, but what are some key design & structure elements of a new MMO for you?  not source material of course as that is a taste - preference thing, rather than a function or design feature.

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To be honest I do not think I would ever sign for another MMO.I tried many over the years (there has been a lot of years lol) but only really played two and they were Lotro and Eve. I play a lot of LoL but I do not class that as a MMO so.

I played Lotro from day 1.. Lifetime account but stopped after RoR, tried it a few times since then but just couldn't get back into it.. the game just lost it soul.

Eve, well there is simply nothing like it and that's why I have always gone back.

Personally I feel that the traditional MMO has had its day. Quests collecting x of this, go speak to this guy, levelling up etc.. its all been done hundred times now and its a tired format.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Subscription.  I feel I've given F2P/B2P MMO's a fair shake of the sauce bottle over the last 5 years or so and I can honestly say for me the quality of an MMO just seems much higher in games like WoW and FFXIV, particularly in group content which I'm more interested in. 

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My first reaction was to say that it must be LOTR! But then I'm not sure what I'd do even if offered LOTRO2. I still play LOTRO but I feel that I've now done the "MMO thing". This is a change in me and my interests, not gaming in general. I don't think I would want to invest so much time and effort in any other game because I have other hobbies which have taken a back seat while I've been playing LOTRO.

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I want an mmo that has npcs that are aware of the tropes.  I want an npc to say "Hey go talk to that guy, yeah I know he's across the street but I'm lazy."  Quest chains that stop the back and forth nature that so many mmos have.  Go out and kill x amount of mobs, now run back to me so I can give you the next step.  Just have the quests be a chain that advances as you do them, kind of like a checklist.  Go kill x amount of mobs, then kill boss, etc.  Instead of running back only to be told to kill that boss you've already slaughtered six times because of respawns.  It would also be nice to have a  quest that is literally called "Go collect 10 bear asses."  I would also like to see the removal of traditional leveling in favor of skill progression.  In reality no one would actually be able to forge new armour every few hours.  Have the armor itself able to be upgraded as you progress so that it means more.  Weapons could be done the same way.  Finally, include a "troll" class.  I mean a figurative troll whose job in a group is to hurl insults and quote terrible memes at bosses to debuff them.  A bit of tongue and cheek would make the whole "grind" more entertaining.

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I'm done with MMOs as they stand, if we want to have massive multiplayer worlds then there needs to be a complete re imagining of the entire concept. The idea of the questing, leveling, loot grind makes me not want to play these games anymore, it's become boring and generic.

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I don't want anything special or brand new. I just want a well-executed classic MMORPG. Swords'n'trolls is fine with me.

A big draw for me would be to get rid of or enrich the combat model around tank-healer-DPS and do something where terrain goes into tactics. That would make it a lot more interesting. You can mix it in, you don't have to give up on everything. Healthbar combat is always a bit meh and feels silly to me.

The auction hall is actually central to a good economy. God interface, easy research on past sellthrough, prices are aware of quantity (aka can search on a price-per-piece basis).

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Eh, make it subscription only, but take EVE's economy and stick it something like FFXIV or WoW, taking FFXIV's approach to having one char be all classes, so I don't have to redo the generic world quests if I want to play a different class, and then mixing in WoW's PvP side.

F2P just ruins MMOs, unless it's something that's done like The Secret World, and the game industry needs to move beyond using that buzzword on everything when the traditional model of subscriptions and units sold works just fine for most everything.

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On 12/6/2016 at 1:03 AM, Brrokk said:

My first reaction was to say that it must be LOTR! But then I'm not sure what I'd do even if offered LOTRO2. I still play LOTRO but I feel that I've now done the "MMO thing". This is a change in me and my interests, not gaming in general. I don't think I would want to invest so much time and effort in any other game because I have other hobbies which have taken a back seat while I've been playing LOTRO.

that would be source material in nature.

i am inclined to say create new intellectual property all together, rather than run with established source material.  the temptation to stray outside of canon is too great.

the one caveat i would have to that, would be to present the material outside "source canon" in a variety of unconfirmed scenarios, like folk lore & conclude the story telling journey by explicitly acknowledging the varying "tales" as speculation & unconfirmed...  the real truth of it is elusive to this day.

so perhaps better to just start from scratch with original material if you feel your writing chops are up to the task.  that or if riding on the coattails of another work..  when straying from, be absolutely explicit in doing & state that it is speculation, or conspiracy, or tall tails & so forth.  even going as far as to create multiple variations (or views) of the story, even at conflict with each other, to reinforce that it is speculation at work, or if the presentation is from the mouth of self-professed truth-sayer, heavily negate credibility of said narrative person/device with peripheral exposition.

as many others have stated, the creativity there has become very stale.  relying on established source material is certainly a factor, but copycat syndrome most definitely is a factor as well.  so yeah, i guess source material wouldn't be a mechanic per se, but the delivery (or telling) mechanism would.

 

3.) New & Creative story delivery & exposition mechanics...  or something  ;)

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2 hours ago, LasraelLarson said:

that would be source material in nature.

i am inclined to say create new intellectual property all together, rather than run with established source material.  the temptation to stray outside of canon is too great.

the one caveat i would have to that, would be to present the material outside "source canon" in a variety of unconfirmed scenarios, like folk lore & conclude the story telling journey by explicitly acknowledging the varying "tales" as speculation & unconfirmed...  the real truth of it is elusive to this day.

so perhaps better to just start from scratch with original material if you feel your writing chops are up to the task.  that or if riding on the coattails of another work..  when straying from, be absolutely explicit in doing & state that it is speculation, or conspiracy, or tall tails & so forth.  even going as far as to create multiple variations (or views) of the story, even at conflict with each other, to reinforce that it is speculation at work, or if the presentation is from the mouth of self-professed truth-sayer, heavily negate credibility of said narrative person/device with peripheral exposition.

as many others have stated, the creativity there has become very stale.  relying on established source material is certainly a factor, but copycat syndrome most definitely is a factor as well.  so yeah, i guess source material wouldn't be a mechanic per se, but the delivery (or telling) mechanism would.

 

3.) New & Creative story delivery & exposition mechanics...  or something  ;)

I agree that new intellectual property would be the best approach. I think, though, that the difficulty of it should be recognised. In my opinion J.R.R.Tolkien was a genius-level inventor. Stephen Donaldson tried to copy his level of invention and failed. Terry Goodkind and David Eddings have done OK but still not made a coherent world-with-backstory. C.S.Lewis did OK but doesn't really measure up to Tolkien in either Narnia or Interplanetary Trilogy. Michael Moorcock said he disliked Tolkien; I think because he knew he couldn't equal him. I don't think world-history creation is something that could ever be done to-order by a games company.

All this is just my opinion. If anyone else thinks one of those authors is the greatest, that's fine: people have different preferences. My point is, though, that the good ones are rare.

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1.  Time-limit playing per week.

I don't want to spent endless hours in game and I dont' want to be left behind/out-competed due to other people being able to be 12-16 / per day in game.   So something like 20h/week time-limit?  And after that you don't gain anything in-game, can't log in or something.   Zero idea how to actually conceptualize, design & implement something like this though.

 

2. P2P and ZERO Cash Shop/microtransactions including no cosmetics/fluff/etc. That include RMT like EVE or betwen players too and other forms of such things.   Non-negotiable. I am done with microtransactions / RMT in online games.   It can be more than 15$/month though.

 

3. Content - no more "go kill 10 boards" or kill that respawning mobs on that hill for 0,1% chance of item drop  or "click on that rock 100 times to get 50 ore to improve your craft by 25".    That means more good concent made by hand - stories, actual quests, dialogues, dungeons, etc.   How to make it possible and financially viable? No idea.  Maybe point nr.1 can help with that though.

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On 09/12/2016 at 9:23 AM, Brrokk said:

I agree that new intellectual property would be the best approach. I think, though, that the difficulty of it should be recognised. In my opinion J.R.R.Tolkien was a genius-level inventor. Stephen Donaldson tried to copy his level of invention and failed. Terry Goodkind and David Eddings have done OK but still not made a coherent world-with-backstory. C.S.Lewis did OK but doesn't really measure up to Tolkien in either Narnia or Interplanetary Trilogy. Michael Moorcock said he disliked Tolkien; I think because he knew he couldn't equal him. I don't think world-history creation is something that could ever be done to-order by a games company.

All this is just my opinion. If anyone else thinks one of those authors is the greatest, that's fine: people have different preferences. My point is, though, that the good ones are rare.

Well, not to bash on Tolkien in any way, but he did take a huge amount of inspiration from earlier sources in order to "create" his world, most of his mythology is taken directly from Norse mythology, Sauron is a direct representation of Odin, the universal structure that Tolkien uses is practically identical to the Norse Universe, in fact if you delve deeply into Norse mythology the similarities are huge, even down to the names of characters (especially the dwarves) being directly copied across. There are of course other texts that provided Tolkien with raw material to work with,(Beowulf being another large source)

Dont get me wrong, I have absolutely no issue with this at all, and fully acknowledge the genius that Tolkien used to expand on his inspiration, I just find it a little strange to hear people comment on authors not matching to up to Tolkien in terms of world building and backstory, when a significant part of Tolkien's world and backstory are not even his own invention.

Tolkien's magic wasn't in inventing his universe, it was in his ability to mould existing ideas from different sources seamlessly into what we know now, it was like taking a dozen different pieces of cloth/wool/silk and instead of producing a patch work blanket, he produced a crisp flawless quilt.

I think of him as less an inventor but more of an architect, all the parts are already there, it still takes a sublime talent to shape them into something special whilst adding your own "flourishes" along the way.

So when it comes to World/History creation in a computer game, I hold out hope, the source material is still all out there, just needs someone to come along and mould it into something magnificent again.

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For any mmo to garner my attention the bare minimum for me is:

A sub only system, not because I have anything against F2P or B2P systems.  However experience has taught me that over time developers get lazy within those systems and create content around the store and not content around game play.

No or very little fetch quests.  I never had any interest in working for the post office, I have even less doing so in a game.  If creators can't be bothered to break out the whiteboard and actually block out a story line, I can't be bother to play their trash.

Limited supported playstyles.  If your game promotes itself as everything to everyone what your really saying is it's nothing to no one.  Nothing brings out mediocrity like trying to do too much with too little.

If procedural is a catch phrase of your game, you'll never see me playing it.   Again if content creators can't be bothered to put time, effort, and/or passion into it, I can't be bothered.

If the development/creation team spends a lot of time playing it outside QA sessions by choice not requirement, it's probably fun and would at least garner me taking a look.  Any game it's own creators won't play is like food a cook wont eat.

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1. Ability for players to host private servers easily. I'm wary of MMOs now because I know you can spend years of your life on a game, only to have it taken from you with a single shitty update. Imagine how good a vanilla or MoM server would be. Shit, you could even include later content, but just block the bad shit like Trait Trees.

2. Ability for players to actively influence the world. Everything feels too contained in MMOs, too static. I want one where you can be running back through an old area, only to find a player faction has taken over an outpost and now control the region around it. Or you find a once bustling village is now wiped out. Something a bit more than just NPCs standing in one spot forever.

3. Ability for players to create their own quests. Imagine being able to stand in some tavern, offering players a quest to go kill something else for a reward. They take your quest, leave the tavern, and then enter the portal to your quest zone. Table-top D&D style adventuring but with an actual game.

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1.  Rich established storylines.  Perhaps something "like" Game of Thrones, Dragonlance, Ravenloft or Forgotten Realms. 

2.  Deep character development and customization.  To the point where having even a single alt is somewhat of a chore but compelling enough where replayability is encouraged, making 2 toons manageable.

3.  I'm with Doro on this one.  Allow player created content of some type.

4.  Raids that are adaptable towards group make up.  Bosses that change tactics based on player actions.  Almost like AI but not that intensive.

5.  Enjoyable busy work for max levels.  It used to be daily quests but honestly I think we are all tired of the same 10 quests daily.  And I am not encouraging a Hytbold format. 

6.  More single player dungeons.  This might help #5.  The crafting dungeons were fun enough but could have used some variety.  Don't get me wrong I'm a filthy group player but every now and then I need to escape to something where I am solving the problem without others getting in my way. 

7.  To hell with slow travel and Gryphons.  Once you have discovered areas on foot you should not continually need to see them from horse back or via the air.  (where you have no control of your toon)

8.  Rare mobs that are difficult and world Bosses.  And have them drop something usable FFS, and not some stupid pet that has 1 % drop rate.

9.   Some type of subscription to keep development in progress or a one time fee.  No F2P tricks and swindles, unless it is like the first 10 to 20 levels as a trial. 

10.  No in game store period.  Every game item is obtained in game. 

11. Some way to get rid of gold sellers, botters, or cheaters.

12. Dungeons and raids as endgame content.  Lair bosses for those with limited time and multiple wings for those who do have the time.  Maybe a way to split up the wings of each raid.

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Locks, loot and gating for instances should be logical, alt-friendly and new-player-friendly.

For example: 

Instance cluster 1:
5 instances:
- 2x small group
- 2x normal group
- 1x multiboss raid

When completing 1 of the 2 small group instances you get an account wide deed that gives acces for all your chars to the normal group instances
When completing 1 of the 2 normal group instances you get an account wide deed that gives acces for all your chars to the normal group instances
When completing a boss in the raid you get an account wide deed that gives acces for all your chars to the next boss

When you complete at least 3 out of 5 instances you get account wide deed that gives acces to the instance cluster 2

When instance cluster 3 is released, everyone automatically gets a "finished instance cluster-1-deed" granted, so you only have to catch up 1 instance cluster when a new one is released.

There are no raid locks - only form of raid locks is a form of loot locks - every instance boss give 3 loot-boxes:

Gold: The best loot - once completed in a lock cycle, it won't return
Silver: Medium loot - once completed in a lock cycle, it will only return if you have completed a weekly quest "complete all instances in this instance cluster"
Bronze: not-so-great-loot - always available

I think all loot should be a combination of luck and guaranteed rewards. For example: a chance for a 'great' barter coin, guaranteed 'small' barter coins that can be traded for a great barter coin if you have enough. And you can trade for bind-on-account items, so you can gear up alts/ no more alt swapping needed.

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OK time to add another key ingredient.  this one will be my actual #3 as my previous 3 was just to draw the distinction between story as Intellectual Property Vs. story as an Exposition mechanic.

3.) Item Churn:  which when boiled down to basics, is the ability to take existing items that are out-leveled or out-used there functionality and breakdown or re-purpose (item churn) the old item into new materials for better items.  a great example of this is Hearthstones card disenchantment & crafting feature which is briefly shown in this video:

the more item churn systems you can add to a game, the better IMO.  & having multiple systems of item churn that can overlap with each other would be fantastic.  i am so tired of games with item bloat that have no functional item churn system in place, or systems (like LOTROs essence gear system) that have no churn at all.

whilst hearthstones crafting above is an excellent example of item churn, and in a sense LOTROs legendary relic system is a much less elegant system of item churn, i think having systems that take existing virtual components & allow for them to be re-purposed to newer more useful items is a key feature.

the task or challenge is to make the item churn feature effortless, elegant & fun; rather than burdensome, boring & massively time consuming.  additionally if it also ties into the narrative of a developing world...  as example a NPC Furrier, Farmer, Trapper, Furniture Craftsmen, Smith, or any number of NPC under the sun, whom via iteration with you and your items (churn) also advances (gets richer, hires more hands, physical shop evolves, offers more services, items, etc.)

good item churn implementation can give a sense of progression beyond just physical levels & if complex (without also being burdensome, or boring) can even evolve a narrative.  i think anyone developing a game for 2017 and beyond, needs to have a serious look at item churn.

item bloat with no purpose other than to kill inventory slots is both lazy & disenfranchising & with the sheer amount of discarded virtual junk, only reinforces a disconnect to being in a (virtual) world.  MANY creative ways in which items (churned) could advance not just player progression, but the overall narrative as well.  i really do think developers who have some latitude to fixate on how an item enters the world, & how it can progress, transform, or evolve through the world will design better, more coherent worlds.

so ITEM CHURN, ITEM CHURN, ITEM CHURN!

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First of all I want to see netcode and server tech that allows thousands of players to interact without any lag or performance issues.

ESO after the One Tamriel update ticks the most boxes for me right now. It has its fair share of problems, but none that I find game breaking.

If Star Citizen manages to deliver on most of what's expected, it will probably be the next step for MMOs in general, and it is the type of MMO I've dreamt of since I first started playing online games. If they can get the economy and procedurally generated content right, there's a chance I wont ever pick up another MMO after it.

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On 12/28/2016 at 4:45 AM, vr00mie said:

First of all I want to see netcode and server tech that allows thousands of players to interact without any lag or performance issues.

oh 10,000 times YES!!!  absolutely imperative, game-breaker issue.  have a top notch game engine & client!  so big a subject i actually made another thread on just that single issue/topic:

even if utterly solo, it still has a massive impact of the overall feeling of being in an active world, seeing others interacting around you.  critical that a new MMO can handle player loads on game maps.  & all the interactive functions from combat skills to vaults & auction halls to crafting, etc.  ALL of it responsive.  hugely important!  BIGLY huge!!!  ;)

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On 12/30/2016 at 4:00 PM, LasraelLarson said:

oh 10,000 times YES!!!  absolutely imperative, game-breaker issue.  have a top notch game engine & client!

But that is not entirely server and network (code) dependent. It is very difficult to control the polygon count visible on the player side. Player models have high polygon count, and many different kinds of animations. People do all kinds of unpredictable things when they are grouping.

It is also difficult to re-integrate a player's action if a network packet was delayed (or out of order) if that packet was victim just to random network delays (without the code being at fault). The worlds in that client and the server with the rest of the clients went out of sync and you need to re-integrate.

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On 1/2/2017 at 11:37 AM, Darmokk said:

But that is not entirely server and network (code) dependent. It is very difficult to control the polygon count visible on the player side. Player models have high polygon count, and many different kinds of animations. People do all kinds of unpredictable things when they are grouping.

and adjusting the user end graphics setting (up or down) to improve performance is a separate issue. auto-settings detection software to adjust graphical settings to render details in line with your computers graphics card, memory & CPU isn't the same thing as elegant efficient net coding in the client & game engine.

On 1/2/2017 at 11:37 AM, Darmokk said:

It is also difficult to re-integrate a player's action if a network packet was delayed (or out of order) if that packet was victim just to random network delays (without the code being at fault). The worlds in that client and the server with the rest of the clients went out of sync and you need to re-integrate.

i have linked this video a couple times before, but i will again because what you mention actually does happen frequently in it.  this is Swifty playing in WvWvW in GW2, if you look closely, you can see other player animations skip ahead as there are syncing adjustments being made.  the larger the group, the harder it is to spot, but it does happen.  additionally they bust down 2 Keep gates at separate points in the video & when the gate comes down, there is a small spike of lag that is fairly easy to spot if you have the eye for it. & when outside the second keep gate, Swifty turns around at one point and you see player combat animations firing at the gate, but the actual players are invisible, (not rendered).  so have a look at the lag ...  ;)

now in spite of there being plenty of issues to see with performance, overall players (Swifty) included generally perceive "no lag"  or "it doesn't lag" because whilst these minor blips occur, they are able to move unimpeded by issues of skills not firing, or animations freezing up, etc.  & this video is from 2 days post Launch on Aug. 28 2012.  that was over 4 years ago & the situation has only improved over time as ArenaNet has made constant adjustments.

now the above vid from Swifty isn't a rare exception, but rather commonplace for GW2 vids showcasing large player crowds.  i could easily link 100's of examples of good quality clips of large player groups.  i can't count the number of times i've watched streams on twitch with similar situations.  & whilst it is by no means perfect, the overwhelming experience of most players is that while lag happens on occasion, it is overwhelmingly a decent performing game.  & there are also many other games that match this.

even old WoW has a pretty decent track record.

now compare Lotro.  & i could find a several dozen examples of bad performance...  hobbit to Isenguard clay-mation server runs, PvMP crowds with skill lag, freezing etc.  i won't link the ample bad examples, but rather use something that looks OK for Lotro & is rather the exception than the rule.

this is from around the same time as the above video;  just post the Launch of Riders of Rohan on Landroval in December 2012:

now if the above was actually a commonplace experience in LOTRO & a continuity for performance, i think LOTRO would be doing much better...

still doesn't compare to this when it comes to animations, movement & skill use...  (vid below is just large group buff stacking and roaming about with big battle at the end:

and i guess that is at the heart of the issue, what do a majority of players in your game experience.

BLIZZARD manages it with World of Warcraft (& all its games for that matter.)  ArenaNet manages it with GW2.  I've seen plenty of evidence that is the case with games like ESO & Black Desert as well.  i am certain there are more examples.

now with Lotro i remember the sweet time for me was when i got my brand spanking new system in July of 2010 right up til the launch of "Shores of the Great River" in March of 2012.  with only the small hiccup of the lagtastic FTP launch in September of 2010...  i had almost 2 years where LOTRO actually played well.  unfortunately it is always a case of the exception, rather than the rule.  & even on the LOTRO video (2 above) if you go to this vloggers channel, i can find ample examples where the performance is not as good as it is in the PvMP raid vid.

to often & commonplace (especially the last few years) are experiences like this:

 

 

now had Turbine not spent millions on fringe elements like funds building console ports:

On 3/1/2015 at 0:10 PM, Aylwen said:

... Turbine's biggest asset was its crazy bold ambition ... But it was also its biggest downfall. We tried to do too much with too little, attempting the LOTRO console game, building a proprietary downloader (Propel), mock ups of a Harry Potter MMO to woo WB...all of which soaked up bodies and millions and came to nothing. To me IC was classic Turbine, even in the WB era.

On 3/1/2015 at 1:59 PM, Aylwen said:

I think they started working on it around the time MoM went alpha compliant but it's a bit hazy to me at this point. Might have been a bit later. On a whim I volunteered to help out with testing one afternoon sometime in the spring/early summer of '09. At that point it consisted of a Trollshaws area (same art and look) and a playable Ranger-type character. It was kind of cool to play a LOTRO toon on a 360 controller and the combat was pretty decent, snappy. But, incredibly, at one point they decided there weren't going to be any hobbits or dwarves... But they finally realized a direct port was beyond our means. So it kind of morphed into a PvP death match game with Orcs and Uruks. To their credit the first thing WB did was yank the plug on that albatross, but not before it had wasted millions of dollars and drained off a good chunk of lotro devs, producers, and engineering time.

 

As an aside, Kotaku at one point ran a 'scoop' that we were making a Harry Potter console MMO. Actually, Harry Potter was a pitch we made to WB in the spring of 09 they didn't bite on. Long before they actually bought us WB and Turbine had been in various discussions and part of the big injection of investor capital we got through the Highland Group was WB money.

On 3/2/2015 at 3:23 PM, Aylwen said:

Millions got spent on these fringe projects-console, Propel, hell we even had a Turbine West office in California (seriously) we maintained that sat empty for years-while the rank and file were poorly paid and crammed into a decaying and dark building that (as much as I loved it) did nothing for morale generally. As much as I have griped as a LOTROer about the sometimes shoddy work of the devs, it has to be said that it wasn't exactly an atmosphere designed to bring out 110% in people. To that add overwork as the dissipation of the existing staff over multiple projects meant that everything ended up being a beggar's banquet.

A lot of us had worn-out equipment; I mentioned elsewhere that when my PC died, over a week elapsed before they could throw together a new one for me. Contrast that with ZOS where I was assigned two PCs, including a 2k $ Alienware rig. When new PCs did come in there was a cut throat scramble among departments to acquire them.

Basically game development is like everything else: you get what you pay for. Hire and pay on the cheap, offer minimal benefits, unpleasant (to many) working conditions, stay understaffed, and then turn a blind eye and offer little solid central leadership and accountability...forget making a great game, you'll be lucky to make any games at all.

perhaps they could have refurbished/rebuilt the game engine & client to keep up with all these new systems & designs;  or perhaps that just wasn't possible given the history of development with Turbines game engine being inextricably tied to Microsoft & built with their extensive assistance.  A support structure Turbine lost in 2004 when Microsoft was no longer the publisher...

whatever the case, from the average players perspective, the ball was dropped (more than once.)  & there are current industry players, who have managed to stay on top of performance issues.

so whilst (formerly) Turbine may have too many strategic errors to recover from & even if (currently) Standing Stone Games continues to address performance, i think there are some things they will never overcome without a critical rebuilt of the client & game engine...   & in the current situation, that doesn't seem likely.

but for any new game in 2017 and beyond, it is absolutely reasonable to have such performance issues as a baseline for a key critical selling point.  Those who launch going forward without a base standard of crowd performance for the average player, aren't even worthy of consideration.  it is a MUST!

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