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

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Lysithix

Recruiter

02-06-2013

Quote:
LightEntite:
Q: Why do Game Developers think they know what the players want?

Simple answer : Alot of times, They don't.


There is only a few companies that i can say REALLY (in 2013) still understands what their fans want, and even when they deviate from the norm they are still MASSIVELY successful from almost every spectrum of the fanbase.



Nintendo is one of them. With the exception of Metroid: Other M (Team Ninja ****ed that up) I cannot recall a single core title of Nintendo's that has flopped.


Namco is another one, specifically the Tekken series. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is almost just universally a wonderful game. Capcom on the other hand constantly churns out unbalanced garbage (MvC3, SFxT), and the last one they did was SO BAD that people just stopped playing the damn game because of its rep.

So NOW they're rebalancing the game.


Mario is Missing, "Official" Zelda games, Banjo Kazooie, need I go on? (Though Banjo isn't nintendo's fault... that's Micro$oft's fault.)


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LouisLeGros

Senior Member

02-06-2013

Quote:
Lysithix:
Mario is Missing, "Official" Zelda games, Banjo Kazooie, need I go on? (Though Banjo isn't nintendo's fault... that's Micro$oft's fault.)


Mario is Missing isn't even worth mentioning as a game, let alone being a "core" mario title. I don't know what you mean by "Official" Zelda games unless you are referencing the Philips CDI games which Nintendo didn't touch and was like 20 years ago anyways. Maybe 4 swords which was gimmicky as hell and mediocre when you didn't have the difficult to put together 4 players to experience it as designed.

Even Metroid: Other M wasn't technically a bad game. The controls were a little difficult given the insistence of limiting it to the Wiimote, but the biggest complaints most people had were about the character development/portrayal of Samus.


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ConBug

Member

02-06-2013

I'll tell you where riot will fall.. if they keep letting kids ban adults for "talking to much" or "being annoying" or "negative attitude" in a game when your not even cursing or raging. after having two accounts banned for this. Riot is losing me and my business. http://na.leagueoflegends.com/tribunal/en/case/6185552/


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Tolinar

Senior Member

02-06-2013

For a moment you touched on possible activities that players occupy themselves with.

Some players log in to master the game, some log in for daily rewards, some compete seriously and others just relax and unwind with a little fun throwdown.

I want to address some opportunities... that you might have missed or should be considering.

Get out your Miss Fortune, it's Bullet Time

  • Achievement Hunting. This is especially popular with the harder gamers, so I would suggest integration into your new ladder system!
  • Swag Collection. You have a Skin and Rune system which is decent swag, and we've gradually started seeing more Summoner Icons. But I would recommend some form of IP-Based Swag for individual champions. That guy who loves Wukong to death, for instance. What can he spend his 20,000 Excess IP on? Maybe he could spend some on a new Summoner Icon, or even something as outlandish as alternate taunts or voiceovers, something cosmetic? Cosmetics aren't the BEST answer but.... it's a possibility.
  • More AI Challenges. For players who despise PVP or want to brush up. Darius and Jarvan have joined the lineup, but when do we get to see our first Jungler? When will they ward and use brush? The rise of the Advanced Bots may be a long way off, but I 100% recommend the transition.
  • A few new dailies. You know what would really take your Twisted Treeline, Proving Grounds and Dominion maps and get them into circulation a bit more? First Win of the Day awards for each map.
  • Improved Spectation options. There are days I really just want to watch a Fiora perform. Spectation Search would be awesome.

Maintaining your playerbase in the face of an aging environment means not only adding new champs and refreshing old ones, but revitalizing what it means to play! New items, bot gibbering, a new Ranked system and more storage for Rune and Mastery options all move in the right direction!

Good luck! =)


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What A Rush

Member

02-06-2013

what games failed me? i think everything that has come out in the past decade give or take some acceptions... LoL is a great game when the lobby is friendly and not full of elitist jerks. COD has been one clone of the prequel after the other and always rushed and incomplete making us pay more cash for stuff that should have been there in the first place in DLC. acceptions being games like Final Fantasy Kingdom Hearts stuff like that Skyrim being another example... the gaming industry is constantly making games pander to the lowest common denominator of a audience. oh and Total War is another good game.


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TEEAHMAT TOOSDEY

Senior Member

02-06-2013

Bungie.

Halo was an amazingly in depth game universe and wildly successful, and in it's final days, was arguably the last remaining mainstream shooter with any form of skill requirement to play the game, and by far and away the only one that promoted active and quality teamwork.

Outside the game, the Novels written by various authors were amazing, I have personally read each Halo Book 3 times, simply because I can enjoy going back and re-reading them. I was actually known in my highschool as the Halo Nerd, and though it wasn't the best thing in the world to be known for, I still didn't care and was content in the waring universe that sucked up so many years of my free time.

What first killed me was the novel Contact: Harvest. It was the first Halo Book to actually be authored by a Bungie member, and it was the first time Bungie just bent the story line over the table and pumped its ass till they were bored of it. The Next big disappointment was The Halo RTS, Halo Wars. This one was a double whammy, because not only as Bungie content with destroying the story line like it did, but also it was being destroyed by Ensemble Studios, another favored developer because of their Age of Empires Series. The final blow from Bungie was Halo:Reach. I had really wanted their last Hao Game to go out with a bang, but god was I disappointed. they went out of their way to destroy the good halo feel of the game and replace it with call of duty.


And WoW.

WotLK was awful. It was seriously the 0 skill requirement expansion. Hell the final boss of the expansion was killed THE DAY it was released. Like seriously?

Early Cata was the golden point. The game was challenging not do to high gear requirements, but because it expected the players to work competently together to actually achieve something and get **** done. T11 raiding was easily the best thing I ever had to enjoy in the game. But then the bads that simply overpopulate the game cried to loud and blizzard nerfed the entire game for them. Now in MoP the game is still incredibly easy, but instead of gating things with skill, its gated by time spent in the game. It really is more of a job now than a friggen game.


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Aithòs

Senior Member

02-06-2013

Quote:
Kaalika:
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 wit
h 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.


I also haven't been playing long and my one big gripe is the tribunal system and trolls. I don't think any gaming community in the world is mature and intelligent enough to police itself. People aren't objective (as a general rule) and will make rulings based on their own experiences and not what is "right".

I also despise the free to play model. I don't like how long it takes to unlock champions or how much money it takes to get the good ones. If they aren't on sale they run between 5-8 dollars each with over 80 champions, it is absurd to think it will take thousands of hours or thousands of dollars to unlock just the champions. Let alone skins (which are also too expensive). The fact there are people who have put thousands of dollars into a game in a few years is ridiculous, it's more than I've spent on WoW through 4 expansions including all collectors editions, monthly fees, over a dozen paid transfers and in the blizzard store on random stuff.

It is my personal opinion you should have the base game cost 50-60 dollars and give you the champion bundle and collectors pack. There should be a monthly fee and the cost of skins/champions should be lowered to compensate. It would immediately cut down on trolls because they can't afford to rebuy the game 5 times. Not to mention purely free to play people and trolls don't make the company money anyway. It doesn't even have to be 15 a month, make it 10 and give players a half off store champion/skin coupon every month or something. Or just make it a monthly RP purchase requirement, anything. I've been playing a month and the immaturity and trolling is rampant. I am really enjoying the game, but I'm not sure I want to put any more money into it (I bought 150 worth of RP) because I don't want to be forced to deal with trolls. It's easy to ignore them in games like WoW, you have no choice in this game unless you do 5v5 team...


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The Soraka

Senior Member

02-06-2013

Quote:
ConBug:
I'll tell you where riot will fall.. if they keep letting kids ban adults for "talking to much" or "being annoying" or "negative attitude" in a game when your not even cursing or raging. after having two accounts banned for this. Riot is losing me and my business. http://na.leagueoflegends.com/tribunal/en/case/6185552/

You were a dick in all your games, what do you expect to happen?


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Aithòs

Senior Member

02-06-2013

To the previous poster who said subscription based games are on the way out:

1) most of those games went free to play either because they couldn't compete in their market, there have been a ton of games that have been popular forms short time and then faded hard (Aion, Rift, SWToR, etc).

2) most "free to play" games actually cost more if you spend any money at all in their store. This game costs way more than WoW does, it's not even close. I've already spent a years worth of subscription fees and the cost of the game and I haven't even touched skins.

As I said in my previous post, give me a subscription fee any day. Micro transactions cost way more overall to the people who want them. It would be better to tie skins to performance, achievements and IP and charge EVERYONE. Not just the minority spending all their money. The company would make the same if you planned it well and it would cut down on trolls which everyone wants.


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Jamochawoke

Senior Member

02-06-2013

@ Morello, I just wanted to point something out here that was said earlier regarding the EverQuest - World of Warcraft design comparisons since you were involved in MMO design I think it's something you can easily grasp.

EverQuest succeeded due to a combination of factors including the most cohesive world outside of Lineage, the many standard fantasy tropes anyone could instantly get into, the first true first person 3D MMO, et cetera.

But what set it apart from many MMOs of its age was that the core game was intensely, ball-crushingly HARD. While other MMOs were focused on their PvE being a setup for their brutal PvP sessions... EverQuest made the world the enemy. In fact it made the world so difficult you were forced to do 1 of 2 things:

Find friends and group up to survive.
-or-
Find innovative solutions to progress when you could not group.

When it introduced overpowered character classes, such as the necromancer, it also enforced extremely heavy penalties (such as 2/3 of the world hating your guts and wanting to kill you on sight).

When you made poor decisions you were punished, heavily, for them! When I first rolled a bard I played the wrong song, aggroed half the dungeon on to myself, and then promptly died in the deepest part of the dungeon while getting lost trying to escape. I then had to retrieve my items. With the help of a warrior and ranger player duo I hired and the use of my "locate corpses" song, I eventually got it back. That's one of my favorite memories of the game.

But when you did things right... you were rewarded even more.

The game was at its height during it's second expansion, Scars of Velious. This was when the game was at its most difficult... but the rewards were the greatest. Gain the trust of the dragons? Well then guess what you get free entrance into their city, gain access to some of the best crafting recipes in the game, and many more options for raiding the other factions... and likewise for the Dwarves and Giant factions.

The whole design was oriented towards epic storytelling and epic Player versus Environment adventure (while say Lineage II, Guild Wars, Ultima Online were oriented towards exciting Player versus Player content).

Then World of Warcraft came out with a similar design to EverQuest but fixing many of the popular grievances with the world of Norrath... such as the "dying all the time" problem.

Then, something Sony will never admit to, the designers of EverQuest (who were all mostly different teams at this point), started to change their game to attract more players since their flop of a 3rd expansion, Shadows of Luclin where you go to the moon, lost them a great deal of players due to its heavy deviations from the main themes of the game. While a critical success (and one of my favorite expansions because it was just really fun), the expansion had many technical flaws and was being released around the same time as WoW, which came to dominate the scene of MMO.

A back and forth started. EQ tried to maintain its "hardcore" gameplay but constantly introduce elements of its main nemesis. Rather than try to maintain what made the game a unique IP it eventually, over the course of 10 more expansions, became a World of Warcraft clone... with absolutely no integrity to the original design or world... I think the last expansion was something like travelling to another dimension to kill "grey" aliens or something stupid like that. Thematics aside... it was really a two-fold design process that killed the game:

Making end-game raiding more and more exclusive and difficult... with rewards up to 5 times greater than what could be obtained grouping... making groupers rage and quit, as the group content began to be shifted to cater to this new playerbase of raiders having such ridiculously powerful gear and then grouping.

But then overcompensating by introducing many easy ways to recover gear from death (over 5 I think when I left), recover experience lost, et cetera to the point where there was no real punishment from the game for making mistakes and much of the "this is dangerous" feel to the world was lost. Then the crafters were able to make raid-level gear, then people complained so crafting got nerfed, then grouping was made to be the end-all, be-all as the population dwindled and raiding eventually got gutted.

Add in many times where the players innovating (which would have been one of the unique draws to the game early on) became a sore point to the players who felt gipped because they could not do similar things with their power-creeped gear simply because they didn't have the ingenuity to think of how to do it. Heavy nerfs became a steady design philosophy. And then grouping became the standard "have to have tank/healer/cc'er/dps" instead of the many different and exciting groups that used to be able to survive.

But the worst part? It all became cyclical. With an ever-increasing identity crisis and shifting development hands... the IP just became chaotic.

If you started playing EverQuest today you would be hard pressed to separate it from any of the many WoW clones... but with an even worse design philosophy.