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

First Riot Post
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Dirty Fairy

Member

02-05-2013

Runescape was the biggest fail of all time. Worst example of this for me, I loved that game back in the day haha. It sucks a big one now. But yeah ever since my friend got me playing league, and into it, I haven't seen a bad update. And if there's a problem or a "bad" update then it is usually fixed very quickly or taken out. Pretty much love every new thing that riot puts out so... Good job. Glad they take so much feedback from players, its pretty cool.


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Beas7ie

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Senior Member

02-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigorian Tutor View Post
It's almost like the gamers are individuals with different wants and needs that cant all be met with perfection at the same time. So companies do there best to judge what gamers want from a title and what is reasonable to accommodate. A large sustained community kind of implies that Roit has done a good job. Dispite how vocal the community is. And still the fact remain LoL like any online game will eventually bottom out no matter how the developers try to handle it.

The most disappointing game of all time is ME3. I cant go into details I just get so angry thinking about it.

What color explosion do you want?


Also what pisses me off is the multiplayer. Not the gameplay as that's great but EA's moneymongering pissy upgrade system. It pisses me off how they have so much "Free" dlc but unlocking the contents of that "free dlc" is a crapshoot as all new characters and weapons are unlocked in packs that give you random **** mostly equipment such as extra ammo that you have plenty of. There's no way to save up to buy that one specific character or weapon that you really want to try out. You either have to grind over and over and over or pay a few hundred dollars until you get lucky and randomly unlock it in the upgrade pack you buy.


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Nevon

Senior Member

02-05-2013

Runescape for sure was the biggest failure.

I played that game for 6 years sadly. Back when it was still 2D graphics and quit a few years after it received it's huge graphical update. What made me quit is when they decided to put in some mini-game that allowed people to cap skills in hours what had previously taken us weeks and months of grinding to accomplish. Then on top of that, they removed world PVP to try and counter real world trading. Truly a company that would cut off their nose to spite their face.

I personally hope Riot doesn't implement skin trading for more or less the same reason. A lot of the people cherish their older legacy/limited skins because not a lot of people have them and it shows how long they have been with the game. Allowing people to trade/sell these would likely piss off more than a few of their longtime, loyal players.


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Garlic Prawn

Senior Member

02-05-2013

I'm gonna say the thing which makes a game sequel/patch most annoying for me is when the developer takes away freedom.

This is not always about having more options though. Morello's talked much about false choice. I look at freedom in a game as having decent real choices to make. As an analogy, there is a lot of false choice in Tic-Tac-Toe, but a lot of true choice in Rock-Paper-Scissors, making Rock-Paper-Scissors the game with more freedom, even though it's at its core a simple chance game.

Examples.

Smash Brawl - Taking away movement options and adding tripping - Limits what players can do and pigeonholes them into playing a certain way. People try not to run, and characters with aerial mobility or high mobility specials like Metaknight get huge advantages.

Street Fighter 4 - Having so many option selects and unblockabale setups - Takes away decision making from players by making gameplay more mechanical. It's no longer "Should I do this or that?", but "I'll do this option select every time." Also add burden of knowledge for each of those setups, since they have to be responded to in very specific ways.

Diablo 3 - Having crappy itemisation and removing skill and attribute points - Severely limits build customisation and replay value. Why roll two Barbs when they're going to be exactly the same in the end? Why can't I play a melee DH? Why get any non primary stat but VIT?

League of Legends - Forcing champions into particular roles and not being open to people playing them in other unintended ways. Also getting too serious and 'epic' with character design, meaning we are lacking in unconventional or whacky characters recently.

Unfortunately I've not been a fan of LoL's current direction. The stuff that attracted me to the game is somewhat missing in the newer releases. It seems that Riot want EVERY new champ and skin to be big success stories, but that approach is leading to a lack of the outlandish ideas that made champs like Jax and Amumu so unique and iconic. If you guys made Master Yi today, would he have his crazy goggles or would that be too silly?

I'll say though, that for all the little annoyances I have with LoL, it's still a pretty good game, and we gamers are lucky to have such talented and passionate folk working at Riot staff. I don't agree with all your decisions, but much respect for developers who take out of their home time and weekends to check bugs and talk to their rabid fans.


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Kaalika

Senior Member

02-05-2013

Previous games failed me by allowing unbalanced play, nerfing flow in play, and not dealing with trolls on a permanent basis.

By flow I mean the way abilities go together into a whole, complementary kit.

By balance I mean equal power but different expression.

By not dealing with trolls... there was one game, on a pve server, a troll was temporarily banned several times but he kept coming back and exploiting the game to force flag people who were unwilling to pvp. I unsubbed the second time he returned and never loaded it up again even when it went f2p. They'll NEVER get any more of my money. Not only did the guy troll he exploited and was allowed to come back and ruin the experience for other players repeatedly. They did NOTHING about it.

Unfortunately League is turning out to be like this also. Trolls aren't dealt with as they can just make new accounts. It looks like it's just a money grab from Riot - ban one account, trolls buy more stuff. Meanwhile the nice people like me just leave, after spending money.

I'm never spending money on this game ever again after what I've experienced here. Even if I come back, or if I start a new account. That's it.


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Xela Syab

Senior Member

02-05-2013

Final Fantasy kinda failed me. It just kinda lost substance.

My issue with LoL is the whole "we need new maps and mechanics, but not reskins of SR". I think Dominion is more balanced than SR simply because champions that are not in the "meta" are used or very strong. Essentially Riot can "reskin" SR but add new dynamics like different jungle camps with different buffs, altar/caps/shrines/consumables, something different than brush maybe aoe fog.

Another mode to consider would be an arena mode where the goal is to gain more gold than the enemy team, it wouldn't be just an adc/bruiser slugfest since supports are needed to give assists and gain gold for healing and defending.

My other opinion on lol is that wards are destroying this game and creating certain playstyles. Knowledge is power and wards give the most knowledge of anything in this game besides Clairvoyance. Imagine a chess game where you know where you're opponent is going to move? Sounds like fun but ends up being boring after awhile and tedious.


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BamGfAsRpd

Senior Member

02-05-2013

RuneScape.


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Saikaici

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

02-05-2013

Game developers don't always know what their players want. Often times they do.

I think WoW does have devs that care, and understand what their players want. It's just that not ALL of the players want it, but they go for the people that make up a much larger base. Personally, I couldn't keep going with the constant "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality with gear. It wasn't rewarding because I knew in a patch my stuff would be just okay instead of really good.

With successful games, the devs know what their players want.
With failed games, the devs didn't know what their players wanted, or sometimes they have failed marketing, failed stories, failed mechanics. Somehow, somewhere, they didn't give the players what they wanted. Maybe they failed to attract players. But they didn't succeed.

As a maturing gamer, I realize games must be multiplayer. If I can't play with my friends, I get bored and feel like I'm wasting the time.

LoL comes together to give a bunch of things many games can't get a hold on.

Playing with friends - I have 1,2,3,4 friends I wanna play with? No problem. Oh, 9 friends? Lets scrim. Mostly I can find some mode to play with however many friends I have. Games that have failed me on this front are World of Tanks. I enjoyed the game, but playing with any number of friends was a hassle. Just one friend? Uhm, okay, but we're going to let everyone know you're grouped AS WELL AS consistently put you in as the lower tier of tank. Horrible.

Low hardware requirements - Yes, LoL has low requirements. This is a huge plus to WoW as well, but hey, I can actually play with virtually all my friends. If they can't play this... they probably can't play games with me anyways. TERA is problematic in this regard. Looks amazing, but I can't get my friends to play it with me because of the hardware requirements.

Balance - LoL, especially when I started playing two years ago had nearly bi-weekly patches. This was amazing. Something OP and seen in every game? Taken care of [relatively] quickly. I did have a problem with this in WoW. My preferred spec is trash? Oh... Blizz may fix it in a couple of patches. Or next expansion. Oh, they might rework the whole talents and everything to fix it, and then I don't like playing it. Bleh.

"Progression" - Out of a lack of what to call this, I'm calling it that. It's when you build up your character to become strong. In WoW you do this by leveling up, and at endgame, gearing up. In LoL, you have a fresh slate every 20-60 minutes. This is rewarding. WoW absolutely destroying that progression feeling every raid tier or expansion. It just feels horrible. Not here in LoL, because you don't get attached to the build over time.

Pace - LoL does this amazingly. Sure, its way different to compare, but the overall pacing just works. I tried dota2. I tried to like it. The pace just felt uneven, especially once you get behind you just lose steadily and stupidly.

Invalidation of old content - A lot of MMOs are terrible about this. So bad. It goes hand in hand with my "Progression" theme above. Anyways, LoL does this amazingly with the champs, which are the main source of revenue [I assume], and overall what makes it so interesting. I love being able to know that each champ I buy is always going to be able to be used. It'll be relevant to the game for as long as it is running. Of course... I'm not taking into account champs being nerfed to death. I hate how I missed Vanilla raiding, BC raiding, half of Woltk, and I can't do progression through them. Even if I got on a server with a guild that was strictly that level and did those raids, they're probably used to them and would carry me, on top of new mechanics and normal things suffering from power creep. While Dominion and TT suffer from this... they don't compare to this.

"Characters" - League of Legends feels like you are among legends. Actual legends. Each champion is a legend, and a well formed personality in their own. I missed this as I tried Dota2. Each champ there is a glorified caster minion, in personality. Their background is nothing. They mean nothing to me. They're just there.

I love how I could choose a few champs that I would want to know in person and meet someday. I would like the champs to be some of my friends, I see them as people.

The Game Engine - Once again, I bring up Dota2 here. It's not that I dislike dota2's visual style or thematic. It's just hard to tell where my champ is, what the other champs are, my skills, the effect I have on the enemy, and things like that. LoL's more cartoony style, while not as pretty, lets me distinguish what's going on quickly. In a game built on these mechanics, it's crucial that I can tell what's going on.

Payment Models & Purchasing - LoL has a buy it once, own it forever thing going on. Except for those pesky wards, which caused a decent amount of uproar. I buy a champ, it's mine. That skin? Mine forever. The microtransactions feel worthwhile, not like a cup of coffee you'll be done with in an hour. World of Tanks is my worst offender here, as to just play with 3 people, you had to pay a small amount for that day. Seriously? Pay to play with friends? Already ridiculous. Add on being nickle and dimed to death for something that should be free... just stupid. As for subscription models, they're definitely on the way out. I think WoW is probably going to be the last successful game under a subscription model. Look at the most hyped MMOs in the last few years. Aion, Rift, SWOTR, TERA. All free to play within very little time. Ridiculously small amounts of time compared to the lifetime of what they wanted to live up to.

On a second note, there's no pay to win here. World of tanks has that to a slight degree. Buy better tanks... Not completely though.

Appearance of Longevity - I believe this is more subconscious. Everyone knows WoW is going to be running for years to come. LoL is going to be here for at least half a decade longer, if not much much longer. When I see a new game, I judge this. A 60$ new game? No thanks, I can finish it in under 30 hours, be done with it forever. If it's good. A new MMO? Could be awesome... but is it going to live that long? This matters just because I can't give the game my concentration if I think it's going to die on me. Just not going to happen.

Game Mechanics - LoL has very unique mechanics, at least if you look at the overall picture. Aion of Strife in SC was the base for Dota, which in turn spawned HoN, LoL, and Dota2. This is a small genre in relation to the huge action, shooter, puzzle, RTS, and numerous other genres that have had a huge market presence over the past fifteen to twenty years. Many, many games have failed me on this front. Rift didn't do well. In a way, WoW has failed me too. It's really interesting keeping skillsets varied and viable, but limited enough. So far, Path of Exile has been great, but sort of very hack and slash. It's fun with friends though, scales well to new party members. While I have other problems with the Mass Effect series, I enjoy it's gameplay and mechanics. Actually, to be completely honest I'm just a sucker for their sniper rifle.

As the post above me mentioned, Jagex ruined Runescape for me when they cracked down on real world trading, not because of that itself. It's because it removed a crucial risk-reward element that was the wilderness. In fact, that was my endgame goal in many ways. The devs didn't think it through, they lost a lot of players. REMOVING GAMEPLAY ELEMENTS RUINS GAMES.

Developer relations - Without contest, I love LoL's constant developer contact through the forums. Yes, we idolize you. However, having something that the devs are actually fairly likely to read is quite unheard of for a game of this size. In fact, as much as the community hates Morello, he tries to find out WHY the community is upset about things, and why we feel the way we do. I remember when Lux's ult name was changed. It's probably a prime example of when the community would just not let it go. I was so happy when I was following the thread that Morello finally realized that the community was pissed because the new name didn't fit the champion. That was satisfying, and I saw why this game has gotten so far. Understanding what the players want is the Dev's job as they make a successful game.

The one thing I want the Devs to understand right now
My number one concern with LoL right now is the rate of change resulting from Season 3. Numerous things were changed. Tons of things. The philosophy of gameplay was changed, via itemization. A ton of changes were made, and it has shaken balance and "continuity" for me.

I find itemization less rewarding as it made health the no-questions-asked stat for defense. It removed the strategy of choosing your defense type as well as deciding between damage and defense. It is paradigm shattering.

So many changes were made in Season 3 that it's hard to fine tune each change. Honestly, this is what puts me off about S3 the most. Getting used to the new items, changing armor pen, reworking the talent trees, a new shop. It's just a little bit too much, IMO.

Ah ha ha. Late night rants. TL;DR? - Our reds are truly pretty good devs. They have to think they know what we want, otherwise you're a horrible dev and really out of touch with your product. Just because a few of us don't want it doesn't mean it shouldn't happen.


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JevelFaithful

Senior Member

02-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Exactly right, among other things. Last-hitting IS archaic, but is necessary to drive conflict pacing. Another mechanic could replace it, but something needs to exist that accomplishes it.

Denying is not needed - the game functions fine without its existence and there's plenty of other ways to outplay and outskill opponents.
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]


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Red Ryu

Senior Member

02-06-2013

With the Super Smash Brothers stuff, well a lot of things happened that led to Melee and Brawl being at odds with each other.

Floatier in Brawl, heavier in Melee.
Melee is harder to pick up, Brawl is easier to pick up.
Melee is more tech heavy eith combos, Brawl is more RPS rock paper scissors and more about having reads with game knowledge, I know Melee has this too but Brawl puts more emphasis on this than having better Tech skill which you need in Melee.
Brawl is campier, Melee is "less" campy.
Balance kinda is on the same area just focused differently with problems in each game.

It's really a matter of taste in the end along with character differences. It's pretty solidly built for a non traditional platform fighter. Yeah there is exploit, but it's gonna happen one way or another in any game.

Though with Smash Bros. Sakurai moved away from what Melee was because while he felt like it succeed with the huges amounts of work he put in, he felt like he failed in other aspects, one being his goal of being a fighter that of an easily accessible fighter.

Which with Wavedashing and L Canceling and the speed of Melee, it didn't hit that goal, though I will fully say it is still a great success of a game that appeals to a specific audience. Brawl took away things and that is what caused the conflict, which being fair I think he took one thing away that should have stayed, Wavedashing, but took away one that needed to go, L Canceling.

Just a difference with how designers approach this with their goals and I can see how Morello approaches this differently with the lack of the "everything must be OP" That DOTA does. There is no correct answer on the best approach, it is always a matter of which audience it appeals to. There are areas design can most defiantly fail and it happens to hit the Black and White areas of good and bad. But the Grey, which I feel most of design hits, is where a lot of things can differ and are ok for designers to look at and tweak with more.