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Demon's Souls message systemFollow

#1 Dec 03 2009 at 10:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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I've been playing Demon's Souls on the PS3 -- solid game, but one of the things that's impressed me most is its subtle, innovative online elements.

One of these is the "message" system. See, Demon's Souls is single player, but as you make your way through the world you have the opportunity at any time to scrawl a message on the ground. It might be something like "The next enemy's weakness is fire," "Watch out for a trap ahead," or "Secret passageway." The messages are sent through the network so that they appear in the games of other players in the same area.

It seems to me that this would be perfect for an MMO, and especially one from the FFXI team. We all know about "So chilly" syndrome: their love for providing the least amount of information to the player as possible. That's not likely to change in XIV.

I think their purpose in making the game this way is to encourage players to work together and share information on how to complete quests. And we do, but the huge flaw in the system is that we have to go outside the game to do it. You're not likely to find the precise kind of help you need by asking a random person you meet in the game. So we go to websites, which is a chore and which breaks immersion.

An in-game hint system run by the players would solve a huge part of this problem. It's natural and completely authentic to the game world -- in a land packed with adventurers, why wouldn't some of them leave notes to guide later travelers? It wouldn't be as good as a detailed strategy guide, but it would probably be just enough to let players get through most quests or missions without checking outside the game. It would keep some of the sense of adventure and discovery alive as you discover each clue along the way.

The other nice thing about the system is that it can be controlled and balanced by the developers. In Demon's Souls, messages are constructed from a list of preselected terms and phrases, similar to the auto-translator. This method could reduce spam, prevent the messages from giving too much away, and be automatically translated into all of the game's languages. Demon's Souls also includes a "recommendation" system so that the best messages can be voted up. A game as big as XIV would probably need something a little more complex (like a vote down option to eliminate useless or obsolete messages) but the principle seems sound.

Who agrees/disagrees?
#2 Dec 03 2009 at 11:42 AM Rating: Decent
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I think it's a neat idea but I wonder how many times the messages left would read something like "U suk Lo1z!1"
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#3 Dec 03 2009 at 12:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Would be a great idea, but maybe a GM or developer could oversea it. That way it wouldn't be abused like the above poster said.
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#4 Dec 03 2009 at 12:29 PM Rating: Good
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I'm in Trouble! Please rate this message! Rating: 15,843

Seriously though, I don't mind going outside the game to find tips; anything in-game can be found through my ls or fl.
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#5 Dec 03 2009 at 12:48 PM Rating: Good
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IDK, sounds in little like in game graffiti to me.
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#6 Dec 03 2009 at 12:55 PM Rating: Good
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Of if you guys read the OP, he said he would have no problem with it being exactly like DS is. Where you pick from pre-selected scripts.

The next enemy is weak to ????

If you click the above statement it would then bring you to:
-Fire
-Ice
-Slashing
-Poison
-Etc.

It's not really graffiti at all. It just appears has a small thing of white text on the ground.
#7 Dec 03 2009 at 12:59 PM Rating: Good
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In Demon's Souls, you create your message by selecting a variety of phrases and words to put together your message. Using a system like that, where you pick from a long list, would prevent all the n00bs from writing stupid useless stuff. Sure, the message could be useless, but not to many people will go out of their way to make a useless message unless they could make it say whatever they want.

of course, I say that and then...
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#8 Dec 03 2009 at 1:00 PM Rating: Decent
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mpmaley wrote:
Of if you guys read the OP, he said he would have no problem with it being exactly like DS is. Where you pick from pre-selected scripts.

The next enemy is weak to ????

If you click the above statement it would then bring you to:
-Fire
-Ice
-Slashing
-Poison
-Etc.

It's not really graffiti at all. It just appears has a small thing of white text on the ground.


So what happens when there's 2000 statements by players in the same place that all say different things? The next enemy is weak to fire. The next enemy is weak to ice. The next enemy is weak to poison.

I don't think it'll work. I doubt GMs would enforce correct information.
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#9 Dec 03 2009 at 1:37 PM Rating: Decent
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Zenoxio, even if the info is wrong, it is still kinda cool. Just a fun concept I think.
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#10 Dec 03 2009 at 1:52 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
So what happens when there's 2000 statements by players in the same place that all say different things? The next enemy is weak to fire. The next enemy is weak to ice. The next enemy is weak to poison.

I don't think it'll work. I doubt GMs would enforce correct information.


Then people rate up the correct information. You have a very negative outlook on the community you haven't even become a part of yet.
#11 Dec 03 2009 at 1:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
So what happens when there's 2000 statements by players in the same place that all say different things? The next enemy is weak to fire. The next enemy is weak to ice. The next enemy is weak to poison.

I don't think it'll work. I doubt GMs would enforce correct information.

Again, a player voting system takes care of that. In Demon's Souls you can only recommend messages (so the number of recommendations gives you a quick idea of how valid the hint is), but in a game like FFXIV, there would probably have to be a downvote option: enough downvotes and the message disappears.

Quote:
It's not really graffiti at all. It just appears has a small thing of white text on the ground.

Yeah, it's important to keep it tasteful. Just a few small symbols on the ground that you can read by selecting them. And of course have a setting to hide them completely.

Edited, Dec 3rd 2009 2:01pm by Borkachev
#12 Dec 03 2009 at 2:31 PM Rating: Good
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It's a good idea, you could help random people out using messages like "Use fire against this enemy". I remember one of these messages playing DS, it next to one of those fat guys that cast fireballs. Very helpful.
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#13 Dec 03 2009 at 2:33 PM Rating: Good
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mpmaley wrote:
Quote:
So what happens when there's 2000 statements by players in the same place that all say different things? The next enemy is weak to fire. The next enemy is weak to ice. The next enemy is weak to poison.

I don't think it'll work. I doubt GMs would enforce correct information.


Then people rate up the correct information. You have a very negative outlook on the community you haven't even become a part of yet.


No, this is how a game designer thinks. When designing a feature for a game, you have to think of the negatives too and not just the positives. Especially when it's an online-only game.
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#14 Dec 03 2009 at 2:59 PM Rating: Decent
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Well if the system turns out to need only one character like in XI, they could add the characters name and an average rateing level to the hints.
Kind of like in a forum :P, but in a game where your characters reputation can actualy effect other peoples desire to play with the character you've worked for so long on. At the very least people would quickly decide what hints they can probably safly ignore.

Zeno- I completely agree but with the right system you might be able to just let players shoot themselves in the foot if they realy want to.

Edited, Dec 3rd 2009 4:03pm by zurinadrg
#15 Dec 03 2009 at 3:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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So I played FFXI only using keyboard and tabbing was my friend, say if there were like 200 message right outside the noobzone to help me where to go I would spend a lot of time tabbing through them. I don't know, the system sounds all fine and dandy but I don't think it would work in a MMO setting where you have thousands of people playing on the same server, not just a handful of people.
#16 Dec 03 2009 at 3:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Well if the system turns out to need only one character like in XI, they could add the characters name and an average rateing level to the hints.
Kind of like in a forum :P, but in a game where your characters reputation can actualy effect other peoples desire to play with the character you've worked for so long on. At the very least people would quickly decide what hints they can probably safly ignore.

Yeah, there are some different options there. In Demon's Souls you gain some health when somebody recommends one of your messages. An MMO could offer all sorts of different incentives for providing high-quality hints (but preferably nothing so good that it would encourage people to spam too many of them).
#17 Dec 03 2009 at 3:59 PM Rating: Good
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I think it's a good idea. Messages would have to be voted on, sort of like a wiki. Also, I think it would be good if there are only specific bulletin board spots, so that messages aren't just littered everywhere. These spots would normally be at the beginning of a zone, so they could give information about the zone. Probably show where to go for quests/missions, where the good camps are, and where NMs show up.

Still, even with the autotranslate or pre-made phrases, people will find crafty ways to write something rediculous or perverted. I just can't forget all the times in FFXI that I saw something like:

<Mithra><hole><Galka><meat><rod><Can I have it?>

But one thing that could happen is that if someone is voted down enough times, then he/she gets suspended from being able to leave messages.
#19 Dec 03 2009 at 5:51 PM Rating: Good
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Under that assumption, yes, I think your resolution is brilliant.

Although just for the sake of Aesthetics, I'd prefer to have the delivery switched up a little. I think implausibly perfect typesetting in the sand might fiddle with my sense of immersion in ways we're trying to ultimately avoid.

Howabout, say, a "hint board" in town? You can click on it and look up the quest to see what other players have written about it? Since we'll be in town anyway to get our guildleves from the Crystal, it should be a convenient enough location to render it useful. This keeps the environment from getting cluttered up with helptext from quests a player has either completed or avoided years ago (because environments in an MMO get alot more facetime than they do in a console game). This avoids the case of getting messages that are inherently true but location-wise cause a case of crossed wires (because MMOs are more likely to have multiple quests in the same location than a console game). This is also is good for players that don't necessarily want help, and would find helptext to be more like spoilertext.

But, I'd sooner hope SE would be willing to get off their pillar and provide quest dialogue that in some way directed the player, than go to all that effort to support what was tantamount to a failed social experiment.



/edit: sorry Cyiode, I totally missed that you said "bulletin board" in your post.
I fail at Reading comprehension.


Edited, Dec 3rd 2009 7:09pm by Zemzelette
#20 Dec 03 2009 at 8:51 PM Rating: Good
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Parade wrote:
So I played FFXI only using keyboard and tabbing was my friend, say if there were like 200 message right outside the noobzone to help me where to go I would spend a lot of time tabbing through them. I don't know, the system sounds all fine and dandy but I don't think it would work in a MMO setting where you have thousands of people playing on the same server, not just a handful of people.


If you don't take the "text on the walls" thing literally, it actually could be implemented pretty well, I think. It could be, say, just a single image of incomprehensible graffiti scrawled on a dungeon wall, but when you examine it, it brings up a menu of all of the hints listed by players. And the voting system that was mentioned would keep things pretty organized if done right.

Like the above poster mentioned, it could be something accessible in the towns themselves, so that you could get that initial "who to talk to, where to go" info that's so important to beginning a quest. And if you wanted it all spelled out for you, you could just check for the full info that I'm sure will be available outside of the game.

This would help immersion a ton for those who want it. I fully endorse this idea. Great suggestion, OP.
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#21 Dec 04 2009 at 1:16 AM Rating: Decent
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Cyiode wrote:
I think it's a good idea. Messages would have to be voted on, sort of like a wiki. Also, I think it would be good if there are only specific bulletin board spots, so that messages aren't just littered everywhere. These spots would normally be at the beginning of a zone, so they could give information about the zone. Probably show where to go for quests/missions, where the good camps are, and where NMs show up.



this makes sense. Essentially allowing the players to have access to a ffxiv wiki that is integrated into the actual gameworld would be pretty sweet. The challenge is moderating the ingame wiki bulletin boards. idk, it works on the websites does it not?

pretty great idea imo, just needs some ironing out which i leave to pros.

Edited, Dec 4th 2009 2:21am by Llester
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#22 Dec 04 2009 at 10:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Zemzelette wrote:
Although just for the sake of Aesthetics, I'd prefer to have the delivery switched up a little. I think implausibly perfect typesetting in the sand might fiddle with my sense of immersion in ways we're trying to ultimately avoid.

Well, that shouldn't be too tricky to work around. They could use something like "message crystals" that just show up as glints of light on the ground. The story would go that the message is engraved in them or projected by them somehow.

Quote:
Howabout, say, a "hint board" in town? You can click on it and look up the quest to see what other players have written about it? Since we'll be in town anyway to get our guildleves from the Crystal, it should be a convenient enough location to render it useful.

I'm not a big fan of this alternative, because when you do this it basically becomes a more restrictive (not accessible while in the field) version of the usual wikis and walkthroughs, rather than a complement to them. I really like the idea of having the information actually scattered around the field: it adds a sense of adventure and excitement that you can't get when you're trying to find landmarks you read ahead about. You discover each new clue along the way at its proper place.

Of course, I'd take any kind of in-game information resource over what we had in XI (ie nothing).

Quote:
This keeps the environment from getting cluttered up with helptext from quests a player has either completed or avoided years ago (because environments in an MMO get alot more facetime than they do in a console game).

This is one issue that would definitely have to be addressed. I'm not totally sure how Demon's Souls handles it, but I'm pretty sure that if there are a lot of messages in one location, it randomly displays a limited number each time you enter an area. What they could do is make the highest-rated messages permanent and randomly display a selection of the rest.

Parade wrote:
So I played FFXI only using keyboard and tabbing was my friend, say if there were like 200 message right outside the noobzone to help me where to go I would spend a lot of time tabbing through them. I don't know, the system sounds all fine and dandy but I don't think it would work in a MMO setting where you have thousands of people playing on the same server, not just a handful of people.

One thing they absolutely couldn't do is place the messages around the map as ordinary NPC targets. It would be a nightmare that would endlessly ***** with your battle/party/quest targeting. They would have to make the messages a unique type of object that is only activated when you stand over it and push a designated button.
#23 Dec 04 2009 at 12:02 PM Rating: Decent
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I like the idea. It basically allows players to team up and/or help others without being in a party with them.
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#24 Dec 04 2009 at 1:56 PM Rating: Decent
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It would certainly be interesting to see something like this implemented well withing the world. I am excited by how I imagine such a system would make me feel like a part of a great community of adventurers, rather than (although in addition to) a great community of gamers. Perhaps catch some names you recognize, and certainly a lot which you don't. It would give me a feeling of connection to all those who have come to this particular place before me.

From your mouth to SE's ears.
#25 Dec 05 2009 at 2:19 PM Rating: Good
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From your mouth to SE's ears.


Yeah y'know, it might be worth finding a way to try to pitch the idea to them. Not that I think they'd listen, but a quick email might be worth the brief time it takes to send out.
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#26 Dec 06 2009 at 10:58 AM Rating: Decent
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Cyiode wrote:
I think it's a good idea. Messages would have to be voted on, sort of like a wiki. Also, I think it would be good if there are only specific bulletin board spots, so that messages aren't just littered everywhere. These spots would normally be at the beginning of a zone, so they could give information about the zone. Probably show where to go for quests/missions, where the good camps are, and where NMs show up.

Still, even with the autotranslate or pre-made phrases, people will find crafty ways to write something rediculous or perverted. I just can't forget all the times in FFXI that I saw something like:

<Mithra><hole><Galka><meat><rod><Can I have it?>

But one thing that could happen is that if someone is voted down enough times, then he/she gets suspended from being able to leave messages.


They could even make it fun and instead of having a bulletin board it could be a NPC. The Town Gossip! You tell him a hint and he tells others! It would be funny because you would see him around HNM camps and just odd places. Anywhere you would need a hint he would be around. Would be fun and entertaining, they can even have him say random funny things as well.

Edited, Dec 6th 2009 12:01pm by IamTuck

Edited, Dec 6th 2009 12:02pm by IamTuck
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#27 Dec 09 2009 at 4:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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Much as I loved Demon's Souls and its message system, I have no idea why anyone thinks that would be useful in an MMO. Some sort of community message board or other gimmick whereby information that's going to be accumulated and stored on the web anyway is available to players without leaving the game sounds fine and all, but MMOs have some things Demon's Souls doesn't: a massive world with huge numbers of players, and free-as-in-freedom text chat.

Demon's Souls is an action game where you go through almost puzzle-like levels, whose difficulty is ramped up so high that player hints may just keep you alive. The message system informs you of things you didn't know to expect or look for. In MMOs, when you look up information, it's because you need to know how to do something or where to go, how to save time, how not to wipe when you take your party to that boss battle. The nature of that sort of information is very different. You don't need to go outside the game to find that info, you can ask any of the hundred thousand plus players who already know it.

Even if a new area is released and only a small handful of people have experienced it, everything there is to know about it is immediately posted everywhere on the net. MMOs really aren't so much trial-and-error that any sort of hint or message system that does what Demon's Souls does is necessary, or really even that useful. In fact, given the sheer volume of players, I'd think any sort of community message system could become vastly disorganized and confusing to anyone looking for that sort of information, no matter how robust a rating/moderation system you make for it.

If I really need to know something, I'll ask or look it up. If I don't know that I need to know something, but there is something that would be useful for me to know, I'd expect other players to tell me or hear it discussed in my linkshell, or something to that effect. Really though, I'll just be happy if the devs make the game far less cryptic and confusing than FFXI.
#28 Dec 09 2009 at 7:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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TraumaFox wrote:
Much as I loved Demon's Souls and its message system, I have no idea why anyone thinks that would be useful in an MMO. Some sort of community message board or other gimmick whereby information that's going to be accumulated and stored on the web anyway is available to players without leaving the game sounds fine and all, but MMOs have some things Demon's Souls doesn't: a massive world with huge numbers of players, and free-as-in-freedom text chat.

Demon's Souls is an action game where you go through almost puzzle-like levels, whose difficulty is ramped up so high that player hints may just keep you alive. The message system informs you of things you didn't know to expect or look for. In MMOs, when you look up information, it's because you need to know how to do something or where to go, how to save time, how not to wipe when you take your party to that boss battle. The nature of that sort of information is very different. You don't need to go outside the game to find that info, you can ask any of the hundred thousand plus players who already know it.

Even if a new area is released and only a small handful of people have experienced it, everything there is to know about it is immediately posted everywhere on the net. MMOs really aren't so much trial-and-error that any sort of hint or message system that does what Demon's Souls does is necessary, or really even that useful. In fact, given the sheer volume of players, I'd think any sort of community message system could become vastly disorganized and confusing to anyone looking for that sort of information, no matter how robust a rating/moderation system you make for it.

If I really need to know something, I'll ask or look it up. If I don't know that I need to know something, but there is something that would be useful for me to know, I'd expect other players to tell me or hear it discussed in my linkshell, or something to that effect. Really though, I'll just be happy if the devs make the game far less cryptic and confusing than FFXI.


I think you might not be the demographic that this sort of message system would be for. I'm not really either, for that matter. But there are many players who like to role-play more, or who like their MMORPG experience to stay as immersive as possible. Having to look up a step-by-step instruction on a website of how to complete a quest does quite a bit to destroy that sense of immersion in the game.

Don't you think that these players would enjoy an in-game, role-playing friendly, player-supported alternative?
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#29 Dec 10 2009 at 4:37 AM Rating: Decent
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All the games have an oficial forum right? how about we could acess it from the inside of the game, at least the part of it that is dedicated to ingame tips. duno how troublesome it could be in a mmo... But it seams the simple way of solving these, instead of Alt-tab and go to a random forum, acess the oficial forum from inside the game.
#30 Dec 13 2009 at 3:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
anything in-game can be found through my ls or fl.


Who will invariably look it up outside of the game.

Quote:
No, this is how a game designer thinks. When designing a feature for a game, you have to think of the negatives too and not just the positives. Especially when it's an online-only game.


Unfortunately game designers tend to suck at designing games. Even the best ones are hit and miss. When you recognize a negative (the part you stopped at), you then devise solutions. Then you pick the one that best meshes with the rest of the game with consideration to your resources and other opportunities.

And as far as that goes, I think it's a fine idea; however, it might not be the most worthwhile implement with respects to development resources. It sounds like it would be something not especially easy to do, could potentially be a server strain issue, and would be an all-around novelty cosmetic. As a matter of cost-effectiveness, there are probably better ways to address those issues, like having message boards or guides accessible ingame, or having preconstructed hints that one could access. The former is more functional, the latter is simpler. Neither has the authentic element that this idea does.

Cool idea, but probably not the one I'd go with if I were developing.
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#31 Dec 14 2009 at 4:32 AM Rating: Default
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Most (if not all) of the people complaining about the pitfalls of the system have obviously not played Demon's Souls.

Edited, Dec 14th 2009 5:38am by Nakao
#32 Dec 14 2009 at 6:14 AM Rating: Good
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The idea is definitely not bad at all, but the usefulness is still somewhat questionable to me.

It's great for a game like Demon's Souls because technically you can play through the game without looking at walkthroughs or FAQs. Thus, the in-game message system is very valuable as it gives hints/helps to the player.

However, for an MMORPG with the content that is so big, the usefulness of such system is significantly lower. "The next boss is weak to Fire" is helpful, but what we really need to know are things like how many mobs are in the BC? are they sleepable? what's the kill order? what's party suggestion? what strategy for this party setup? how about if using a different party setup? are there any special moves that we need to keep an eye on? what triggered the special moves? and so on. In an MMORPG, there are too many variables involved. This means that there are a lot more information needed, and a lot more discussions can be had. In-game message system would still be helpful, but it wouldn't be as helpful as going to forums/wiki to see full information.
#33 Dec 14 2009 at 11:53 AM Rating: Good
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Vaagan wrote:
The idea is definitely not bad at all, but the usefulness is still somewhat questionable to me.

It's great for a game like Demon's Souls because technically you can play through the game without looking at walkthroughs or FAQs. Thus, the in-game message system is very valuable as it gives hints/helps to the player.

However, for an MMORPG with the content that is so big, the usefulness of such system is significantly lower. "The next boss is weak to Fire" is helpful, but what we really need to know are things like how many mobs are in the BC? are they sleepable? what's the kill order? what's party suggestion? what strategy for this party setup? how about if using a different party setup? are there any special moves that we need to keep an eye on? what triggered the special moves? and so on. In an MMORPG, there are too many variables involved. This means that there are a lot more information needed, and a lot more discussions can be had. In-game message system would still be helpful, but it wouldn't be as helpful as going to forums/wiki to see full information.


Those things are all helpful to know, but I don't think they're as essential to playing the game as those of us coming off of FFXI assume. In that game you wanted a foolproof strategy for a precise party configuration because the cost of failure was so high. In FFXIV, if you could put together a quick pickup group from the people standing around a leve crystal and then teleport instantly to the battle, I think people would be much more willing to go in without a perfect plan. Besides a few vague hints to set you on the right track, the battle would be a surprise, which should be more interesting for everyone.

Of course, combining this system with the guildleve system would be a challenge (would each instanced area have different messages, or what?) but my main point is that this kind of thing would work well with the more casual style of play FFXIV seems to be aiming for.
#34 Dec 14 2009 at 3:48 PM Rating: Good
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Those things are all helpful to know, but I don't think they're as essential to playing the game as those of us coming off of FFXI assume. In that game you wanted a foolproof strategy for a precise party configuration because the cost of failure was so high. In FFXIV, if you could put together a quick pickup group from the people standing around a leve crystal and then teleport instantly to the battle, I think people would be much more willing to go in without a perfect plan.

But in the end, we have no idea what is the cost of failure in FFXIV. While the cost of failure might be very low for easy stuff (e.g.: NM for minor quests, low-mid level NM from lower level missions), the cost of failure would be higher for the harder stuff (e.g.: final boss of missions, end-game events). Harder stuff would require more people, and that means requiring more planning which means more information than what the in-game message system can hold.

Also if we assume that the cost of failure would be low that in FFXIV we could put together a quick pickup group from the people standing around a leve crystal and then teleport instantly to the battle and people are much more willing to go in without a perfect plan, it'll only diminish the usefulness of the in-game message system itself because the hints become less important. If people don't need to know how many mobs in there and the kill order, I doubt they'd even need to know the weakness of the mob.

So basically, if you need information, then forums/wiki would be more useful because they can hold more information than the in-game message system. But if you don't really need information, well the in-game message system becomes a bit more irrelevant.

Quote:
Besides a few vague hints to set you on the right track, the battle would be a surprise, which should be more interesting for everyone

Personally, I don't think people would like getting into an unknown situation when it comes to MMORPG, no matter how interesting the battle become. This is something that I just talked about with my friends about a week or so ago. The difference in mentality between MMORPG and single player games. I'm talking about in general, so if there are people who are different, that's fine and I'm sure there are. But in general, what I'm going to say is quite true.

For Demon's Soul, a single player game, the player won't mind not knowing what to expect. It's part of the challenge, it's part of the fun. If you die, well you can just retry. Also, being a single player game, battles are designed to be soloable where you can win any battle as long as you have the skills. People wouldn't mind dying to the same boss many many times because they can just retry again and again and again until they win.

For FFXI or FFXIV, being MMORPG games, the players are more reluctant in getting into an unknown situation because the cost of failure is much higher. Let's not talk exactly about FFXI, but just MMORPG in general. If you die, there might be penalty may it be in form of equipments being looted, loss of X% of money, loss of X% of EXP, or whatever regardless of how big or small. But what bothers MMORPG players the most is the most costly cost of all, which is time. Time is arguably the most valuable variable in an MMORPG. MMORPG players don't want to waste their time doing a fight and risking a loss because not only that it wastes their own time, it also wastes the other players' time as well.

Think about it this way. In Demon's Soul, if you lose to a boss 5 times, you probably don't mind trying for a 6th. Each battle lasts 10 minutes, your 6th attempt only puts you in 60-minute mark. In FFXI, if you fail to climb Nyzul once, that already costs you 30-minutes for one single failure. Fail 5 times, that's already 150 minutes, plus needing to wait for tag cool down period. Fail to get a win in a Dynamis? The cost isn't the EXP loss for the alliance, but the 3-day waiting period. And so on.

So in the end, I think the message system works very well for single player game, but I personally don't think it's as useful for MMORPG because of the different nature of the games.
#35 Dec 15 2009 at 4:39 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Personally, I don't think people would like getting into an unknown situation when it comes to MMORPG, no matter how interesting the battle become. This is something that I just talked about with my friends about a week or so ago. The difference in mentality between MMORPG and single player games. I'm talking about in general, so if there are people who are different, that's fine and I'm sure there are. But in general, what I'm going to say is quite true.


That's an important observation, and I'm glad you bring it up. I don't think you're quite on the mark, but there is a reason why player mentality tends to differ in an MMO. It has much less to do with the nature of the gameplay and much more to do with the fact that you're playing with other people.

In laymen's, basically, people have different reasons for playing (or for setting any goal, really). The three most basic (99.99%) are:
1. Being as good as I can be.
2. Being better than others.
3. Being "good enough" (not sucking).

The kind of goal a person sets depends on the specific task at hand, but it's actually pretty easy to promote whether people pick 1, or 2-3. 2-3 are similar in that they are norm-based, i.e., where do you stand compared to other people? So you see why that tends to happen a lot more in MMOs than in single player games? Automatically, just by being a multiplayer game, 2 and 3 have been given a strong push. They're still by no means inevitable, but a lot more prevalent.

In general, 3's are going to quit pretty quickly, and that's a big problem with gearing your game to 2's and 3's. Whether you're a 2 or a 3 depends a lot on your confidence as a player, which depends on those norms that you're seeing. So as the bad players quit, even as a good player, you become relatively less good, lose confidence, and slowly become a 3. Waves of 3's leave the game, waves of 2's become 3's, waves of 3's leave, etc.

What you want is to encourage people to become 1's. A couple of effective ways to do this are to deemphasize competition and reduce the cost of failure. The structure of the gameplay becomes much more important to these classifications once a game goes multiplayer, whereas gameplay doesn't matter as much for single player games because people rarely play them as 2's or 3's anyway.
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#36 Dec 15 2009 at 6:41 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
It has much less to do with the nature of the gameplay and much more to do with the fact that you're playing with other people.

And this goes back to the cost that I was talking about which is time. Single player game isn't designed to have the length anywhere near MMORPG. 100hr long RPG is already considered as a very long game. 100hr MMORPG is pretty much "nothing". Thus, cost of failure in MMORPG is much more costly because the time invested is very different.

Playing with other people or not is less important IMO because the mentality of multiplayer gamers can still be more similar to single-player gamer than to MMORPG gamer despite multiplayer game involving other people as well.

When you talk about playing with others, I honestly think that it ranks somewhat low as a factor. Imagine for a moment that FFXI is changed into a single player game, and you're playing it alone. You are still going to be reluctant to get into the unknown. Why? Because the cost (time invested to do stuff) is still so high. Need to kill Kirin? Well you have to kill the lesser gods first. How to do that? Get triggers. How to get triggers? Camp so and so for so many hours. Even as a single player game, you'd still have to put so much effort to it. After putting through so much effort to finally get the Kirin pop set, nobody would want to start fighting Kirin without knowing what to do first if the information about Kirin is already available on the internet.

In a proper single-player game, there's the Save/Load function. In MMORPG, there's none. That alone is a gigantic factor in deciding whether people would mind or not to jump into the unknown. Remove the Save/Load function of a game, and you'd probably see way more people using walkthroughs/guides to play single player games.

#37 Dec 15 2009 at 7:26 AM Rating: Decent
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I think you misunderstood my post. It wasn't my personal opinion. That's research-based motivational psychology.

The points you're making are also good, and are not insignificant, but your conclusion that people won't go into a battle unprepared in an MMO because of the risk hinges more heavily on the goal classifications I described than on the risk and reward. The risks are far more costly to someone who is concerned about their performance compared to others than to someone who is concerned with bettering themselves as a player.

But if your conclusion is that risk should be diminished, then you're right either way.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#38 Dec 17 2009 at 10:34 AM Rating: Decent
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Maybe on stone pillars or signs like the traveler that left all the messages as he journeyed in the past and you can trace his route.
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#39 Dec 17 2009 at 2:21 PM Rating: Good
How about this: Ingame there is a library. Players can write books to be put in the library. These books could be anything, from player fanfic to strategies for certain quests.

You can 'rent' the books, and if you find it helpful, you can 'recommend' the books. Players never actually pay for the books, but the higher the recommendation the book gets, the sales (to NPCs) go up and the player gets a little money for each book. People could become best-sellers! The sales ratings could be published in the news or something to promote people to try to get up the list.

And, you wouldn't have it cluttering any areas~ people would only use it if they wanted to. Furthermore it would be fairly easy to implement. Very easy, probably.

There could be books added by SE too. I'd suggest not doing any strategy because then of course people will just always take those ones instead of the player made ones, but it would be a good way for them to delve into some of the more obscure lore about the game world that might not be directly experienced.

Edited, Dec 17th 2009 12:29pm by digitalcraft
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#40 Dec 17 2009 at 4:27 PM Rating: Good
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Eske wrote:
I think you might not be the demographic that this sort of message system would be for. I'm not really either, for that matter. But there are many players who like to role-play more, or who like their MMORPG experience to stay as immersive as possible. Having to look up a step-by-step instruction on a website of how to complete a quest does quite a bit to destroy that sense of immersion in the game.

Don't you think that these players would enjoy an in-game, role-playing friendly, player-supported alternative?


Allow me to say that I very much enjoy roleplaying, and though I did mention that all the information you could ever need would be found on the web, I never said that players should resort to going outside of the game just because I don't think a Demon's Souls message system would work. My point was the opposite, actually, that because of the nature of the MMO environment and high volume of players, you should be able to just ask people inside the game if you need information. Sure, even if they go outside the game to look it up for you, I don't think it's immersion-breaking to simply ask.

A scrawled-on-the-ground hint system or public message board system or any sort of system where players leave written hints/notes/advice for other players might be fun, but it's a redundant and unnecessary solution to a non-issue in the MMO world. You can just ask other players for info whenever you want, even in a roleplaying context. I really don't think this is any less immersive than a Dungeons & Dragons campaign: You go to a pub, shop around for rumors, and get whatever info you can before setting out on your quest.

I think, information-wise, players in an MMO should serve mostly the same function as NPCs in a single-player RPG. In single player RPGs, you really don't need to resort to strategy guides or walkthroughs, because the NPCs (usually) give you enough to figure out what you need to do, if they don't outright tell you what to do. Of course other players can't give you quests and advance storylines and such, but they are more than capable of giving you information to point you in the right direction, and I'd honestly prefer that from a roleplaying perspective than an impersonal bulletin board.
#41 Dec 17 2009 at 5:07 PM Rating: Good
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TraumaFox wrote:
Eske wrote:
I think you might not be the demographic that this sort of message system would be for. I'm not really either, for that matter. But there are many players who like to role-play more, or who like their MMORPG experience to stay as immersive as possible. Having to look up a step-by-step instruction on a website of how to complete a quest does quite a bit to destroy that sense of immersion in the game.

Don't you think that these players would enjoy an in-game, role-playing friendly, player-supported alternative?


Allow me to say that I very much enjoy roleplaying, and though I did mention that all the information you could ever need would be found on the web, I never said that players should resort to going outside of the game just because I don't think a Demon's Souls message system would work. My point was the opposite, actually, that because of the nature of the MMO environment and high volume of players, you should be able to just ask people inside the game if you need information. Sure, even if they go outside the game to look it up for you, I don't think it's immersion-breaking to simply ask.

A scrawled-on-the-ground hint system or public message board system or any sort of system where players leave written hints/notes/advice for other players might be fun, but it's a redundant and unnecessary solution to a non-issue in the MMO world. You can just ask other players for info whenever you want, even in a roleplaying context. I really don't think this is any less immersive than a Dungeons & Dragons campaign: You go to a pub, shop around for rumors, and get whatever info you can before setting out on your quest.

I think, information-wise, players in an MMO should serve mostly the same function as NPCs in a single-player RPG. In single player RPGs, you really don't need to resort to strategy guides or walkthroughs, because the NPCs (usually) give you enough to figure out what you need to do, if they don't outright tell you what to do. Of course other players can't give you quests and advance storylines and such, but they are more than capable of giving you information to point you in the right direction, and I'd honestly prefer that from a roleplaying perspective than an impersonal bulletin board.


In a perfect world, I think that'd be all well and good. But I think that you're operating on a lot of assumptions and generalizations here. For it to completely negate the usefulness of a message system, you have to assume that all interested players would have people they can ask these questions of, who are willing to answer. I know a lot of players who are surprisingly antisocial considering the nature of MMORPG's, and would respond negatively to a random question from a stranger. You also have to assume that they prefer that option to a message system. I know that you prefer asking advice from other players in game, but what if someone else doesn't? I don't think that situation is far-fetched.

Personally, if I was into role-playing, I wouldn't want to be forced to talk out step-by-step instructions with other players if I was having trouble with a quest. Sure, sometimes I would, but once in a while I have a more intensive inquiry, one that would require a serious amount of chatting to answer. I try to not pester other people with that stuff, because I'm self-conscious of wasting another player's time. I'd rather just have a message system to consult, and resolve the issue on my own. Besides, full role-players are the minority in the game. Will they have another role-player who's willing to play along and happens to know the answer on hand 100% of the time?

Sometimes quest details can get pretty complicated, y'know? It's not always easy or convenient to talk them out with another player, for either party. I can totally see a message system filling a lot of voids.

But really, I don't understanding why you wouldn't be in favor of a system like this, that doesn't detract from the game in any notable way. Any negative effects (the one you seem to be suggesting is that it would reduce in-game interaction between players) that it would cause have already been caused by out-of-game information, and there are a number of potential reasons for people to enjoy it.

Edited, Dec 17th 2009 6:18pm by Eske
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