Why do Game Developers think they know what the players want? What games failed you?

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Morello

Lead Designer

02-07-2013
43 of 91 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linna Excel View Post
There's a fine line that you can cross though. You drop too much core stuff and you'll lose appeal to your core audience. Take GW2, it's overall a well made game and deserves for the most part the accolades it got.

That said, at times I can interact with other players in a 30 minute lol match more than I can in a few hours in GW2. It's also very ADD compared to the original and it's hard to build a relationship with other players because after one event is over, the scatter into the wind. For its popularity, it's also very lonely at times. People might have hated the old THK or some of the desert missions, but they were memorable and caused you to plan and interact with your party in order to win.
Definitely - but I think this is less a GW1/GW2 thing than it is a lack of a core competency that MMO players expect. I think in this case, this issue is sequel-agnostic.


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Morello

Lead Designer

02-07-2013
44 of 91 Riot Posts

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Originally Posted by Kijitow View Post
Just gonna put it out here that Melee now has a larger competitive following than Brawl.

It's gonna be at EVO this year.
I thought it always did? Luckily, competitive Melee players can still play Melee, even with the existence of Brawl - so no harm done imo.


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Painful Dream

Senior Member

02-07-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fatalii View Post
The new final fantasy games. Everything after ff10 just blows. No free world map and ****
Are you kidding me? 11 is more than decent, and 12 is honestly one of the best FFs ever made, except for the easy "last boss". but the same could be said of Yu Yevon in FFX... Plus FF12 has the hardest boss battle of any FF game (omega mk. 2)

EDIT: FF10 is extremely overrated. The last boss dies with a single phoenix down PLUS you get revived if you die (it's a staged fight)


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Echo 419

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Senior Recruiter

02-07-2013

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Originally Posted by Morello View Post
It's a tricky topic, because our job is to make decisions based on what players not only want, but need. Let me explain that a bit.

Determining what players want is actually pretty simple - your most invested users tend to be very vocal and will put effort into making sure they're heard (ie; most forumers!) This is a good metric of understanding what players want, at least for high-engagement folks.

What players need is where players don't proclaim a desire for something, but it helps provide something they say they want. Many times, this is more than a single solution - it requires several steps of implementation to reach a result, or takes time to bake in many cases. Let me provide two example of want vs need, and why want cannot be the only driver for developers;

At Riot, we nerf champions. Nerfs are rarely wanted (and many times, unwanted). But, players want to have a fair experience with a variety of options. Additionally, a game without power caps and heavy power creep (something still happening faster than I'd like...) can disrupt the core game design focused around choices, decision-making, and strategy. To accomplish this, we need to nerf champions, even if players don't explicitly want us to.

To use your example, in the pattern of Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, the changes to easier raid content and more accessibility is actually informed by a want that a lot of players expressed - IE, raids were content that was exclusive from them and they wanted a piece. I respect the guys who make WoW (and its success is a testament), but this is a good example of where the developers should have recognized the core need of exclusivity and the right tuning of that, and steered away from players said they wanted. Personally, I think Burning Crusade is a sweet spot.

The above is a fantastic example of why we have to make tough choices and not always just do what players ask us to do - it's not always the right course of action.

The problem you're speaking to, in my opinion, is when developers think they always have that answer and that being a developer gives you divination into what that is. In my mind, game development isn't about having answers - it's the ways in which you find them.

Our interaction on here isn't just lip-service, it's so we can better optimize decisions around player wants - and explain what players need when they don't want it. This informs us a lot, but we make decisions based on a number of factors - player desires and feedback being one of them.

I hope this helps explain how I feel about this, and how the developer/player interaction looks to me.
in the sense of want and need
players want an easy experience so they latch on to some one to learn and dominate
when 40% of a million want a way to easy exp on a game ... and wanna feel better about them self's ..... then the game bends to the masses and is ultimately destroyed by its own want for money


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Morello

Lead Designer

02-07-2013
45 of 91 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Statiqhock View Post
I know I'm bringing from way back but : why is it archaic? waht makes it archaic? Is it particulary unfun? I tought it was just a skill you had to learn to play, one that's not inherently funbBt that become kinda fun when you manage to do it while keeping up with everyone and you can meddle with your opponent's last hits. Just like ther are in every game and part of the reason you (or at least "I") play video games. To master new tricks.

edit : after reading a bit, I,m actually pretty happy with myself. I actually enjoyed and remember fondly most of the games people are QQing about here. I recognize most of what people mentionned, but I still enjoyed the game. [insert sense of moral superiority here]
You're defining it well actually - it serves a function, but it's not an engaging mechanic on its own. I think there are better mechanics in the ether for reaching this goal than last-hitting (and the goals are important enough that we kept it).


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Morello

Lead Designer

02-07-2013
46 of 91 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheC°°kieMonster View Post
DID you run ingame survey for the population to see upon login?

Let them opt out of the poll or do the poll for 10 RP ... lol or free ...

Let us use our voice and be heard.....

The top 5% in ranked IS NOT the population....the population is 100%
We run tons of data and polls - and ones done with scientific rigor. What data are you using to inform that we get our data that way? :P


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Wangnam Style

Senior Member

02-07-2013

diablo 3, diablo 3 and more diablo 3

"THIS IS FUN GUYS IF YOU ARENT HAVING FUN UR STUPID" -blizzard


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Morello

Lead Designer

02-07-2013
47 of 91 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cidat View Post
Morello:

One thing I notice about multi-player games is the ability to enter and exit a game freely, and not be inherently penalized for it. If we are playing a FPS and there are thirty people on each team, players come and go as they please, and if someone does bad its no big whoop.

However, League of Legends is fundamentally different from these other multi-player games in this respect. When we are matched up, we as the players are forced to stick with whoever we are randomly paired up with. We can leave at the character select screen, but there will be a waiting penalty to reenter a game. And in ranked we get penalized points now.

Unfortunately, there is a problem with this set up, because trolls have more power over the people who want to sincerely play the game. The very last ranked game I was put into, there were two friends who obviously que'd together and then trolled the entire team at the character select screen, and AFKed leaving us at a 3 v 5. I smelled them out as trolls right away even before the game began, but I didnt have a choice. I had to stay. Sure I reported them, but reporting is little satisfaction. I didnt deserve a loss, and instead of being mad at the trolls I want to turn my attention to the design of the match making process.

Its like at the olympics when one of the fencers lost her Gold medal, not because of her skill, but because the rules the Olympic committee were set up in such a way as to cause confusion. Or the ping pong players who took advantage of the match making set up, and throwing games so they can be placed in a more favorable match up . Certainly, throwing a game on purpose is not good sportsmanship, and shame on them, but its not the ping pong players fault for wanting to take advantage of poorly designed match making rules. The fault lied with the Olympic committee for not thinking things out, and they are more to blame than anyone else.

League of Legends is a great game, but ironically its not a game design issue that is causing problems. I personally feel its the match making process that is causing the greatest ire for the fan base. This is a game that requires a high level of teamwork, and to put 10 people randomly together in a game dosnt easily reflect the abilities of each individual. We feel lost as individuals.

Is there anything you can say or add to this?
It's interesting because you're right - the requirement to finish a game you start creates a lot more behavioral problems as a result. This design is important because it's a double-edged-sword; one thing it does do, and part of the unique appeal of MOBA (prediction: this will not be unique in 5 years) is the investment in success one gets when you can't leave.

I'm primarily an FPS player myself, and join and leave those as I please. I like to win, but the investment I have in trying to win (and the associated joy/sadness) is ramped up a ton in League - mostly because I'm committed to the game session. My actions will have consequences - something I find sorely lacking in modern AAA development.

League of Legends is designed to be fun, but first and foremost, it's designed to be engaging. Tradeoffs do have to occur to make that happen - but the fact that we take on player behavior as a problem for us to deal with gives us a unique freedom to do design like this.


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Morello

Lead Designer

02-07-2013
48 of 91 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eloquid View Post
I only partly understand this, but... How much focus do you need to remove cast time from Sivir's ulti or just a little bit increase her range to make her relevant again. Or make it obvious when Rammus's W is active, the particles are not visible in teamfight. These are just examples of things that community was asking for ages and it can't be more than 5 minutes work for makers of these champs, but we still get things nobody asked for and most will never like while what we want keeps getting ignored.

Nasus' buffs are good sign, but still some notorious and really needed changes are happening too slow.
The Sivir one is legit, though the other things are not 5-minute fixes Many things that might seem simple are more complex than they look (Rammus VFX).

I agree we're not well set-up to do this right now.


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Morello

Lead Designer

02-07-2013
49 of 91 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shosuko View Post
Of all of the games I've played over the last 10 years, Riot is the least of my worries.

They don't always get it right, but the amount of time they do is impressive. When something does go wrong, they admit it and fix it. They also pay a lot of attention to the fan base, without just doing what the fan base wants.

I'm really proud of Riot, and feel every penny I've dropped into this game has been more rewarding than any other. Even now where I'm not playing this game so much (we all go on breaks) I'm still buying a few skins I like b/c I know I'll be back.

Other games that have dropped the ball typically do it b/c they won't reverse a decision. This is the single worst offense a game developer can make. Let's face it, no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes. Bad companies turtle up and ignore the ragings hoping the players will "see it their way." Riot cops to it. Even if they don't revert, they explain their logic behind it. Their developers always have amazing insights into game development and game balance that I appreciate, even when I disagree.
While I've been trying to mostly answer questions here, I wanted to say thanks for this. Won't lie; brought a smile to my face.