Guild Wars has been heavily criticized for its focus on instancing over open world content. Instancing has a variety of benefits. For one, developers can create one instance and accommodate hundreds of groups within that instance without the concern of overcrowding and the resulting competition over spawns. It's an extremely powerful tool for multiplying the playability of developed content or, to put it another way, it's a lot easier to develop an instance that can keep hundreds players occupied through iteration than it is to develop enough static open-world content to achieve the same goal.
That having been said, fully instanced MMOs cater to a minority crowd. Nothing creates an environment that feels like a vast, living world like a...vast world. For most people, gathering at a hub before you port of to your instance of choice is the antithesis of the immersion offered by wide open spaces. As a game progresses and people shift from exploration -> specific goals involving specific content, the ability to port here and there is usually quite welcome...largely because there's a sense of relief at having been able to bypass the trip you've made dozens of times already through the...vast world.
I don't see what makes these "vast open worlds" so interesting. Everyone spends their time in Jeuno, and White. THE HUB TOWNS. Most of the time all the zones are barren. At least this was the case before FoV was released, and people actually have a reason to spend any time in the zones and even Idle out there. Cape Terrigan is always populated these days and normally no one goes out there. When FoV was introduced Monster Hunter immediatly came to mind since thats exactly how Monster Hunter plays, accept you are not restricted to doing missions once and hour. before FoV FFXI was just like guildwars, accept the players made it like that rather than the developers.
Compared to having your own little space of the world and the illusion of doing something nobody else is doing?
Theres potential to have the NPCs acknowledge my exploits that effect their "lives". MMOs do not have this potential due to the fact they are dealing with an open world. All
of the games key battles are instanced, all the BC/KS and such are instanced. SE is doing very little to justify an open world other than allowing the headaches of said open worlds to exist which is my core point. There are no substantial
benefits to the player of being in an open world.
FFXI is proof that's not the case in all but a small handful of encounters. I'm not quite sure what the rationalization is behind your statement...I just know it's not true.
Did you forget about Absolute Virtue and Pandemonium Warden already? These were SEs answers to combat the power of numbers that they are incapable of addressing. SO they had to create mobs they require specific obfuscated methods of defeating. These are the flaws of a game where you have to deal with a large number of players, creating mobs that can stand up to the power of numbers where the methods of defeating them were/are obfuscated.
Playing an online game with such a powerful aversion to interacting with other players is sort of counter productive. If you want a standalone game, there are a number of pretty decent RPG titles on the market now. You may prefer to gather random people to help you get done what you want to do, but no smart MMO developer is going to cater to that kind of anti-social approach to MMO gaming.
Its not anti-social, I've been in plenty of LSes where peeps absolute did not feeling like helping getting these retarded missions done. They had no incentive to do so. If this were an instanced game like Monster Hunter, they'd be like "ok sure" since the missions in MH are largely fun to tackle and there are monetary/material gains. In Monster Hunter you can solo, but its definitely more fun
to play with other people. If you can't gather peeps you can at least take solace in that it only means that as long as you have the skill it only take longer rather than being utterly impossible.
Plus instanced games can allow for more action-oriented play-mechanics rather than timed auto-attack BS for the sake of easing server congestion of button inputs. Also you can't call this game smart since FFXI was their first
MMO and it was of course based on the dated Everquest. Also FFXI is one of the least popular of the mainstream MMOs out there, so its extremely niche, not smart.
Also playing offline RPGs would be much more anti-social than prefering to play with random people. Beign able to play with random people would make me much more social than sticking to a core group of "Friends" which sorta contradicts the point you were trying to make about what makes oen anti-social. Especially since pick up groups allows for more variety and exposure to other players playstyles and personalities. Basiclly getting to know more of the players on the server. :P
That made...no sense at all. Not only because it was extremely difficult to read, but because instances have absolutely NOTHING to do with job balancing. It doesn't matter if you're in an instance or the open world...class balance is class balance and has absolutely nothing to do with where the group is.
Thats probably because you have limited experience with instanced games. My earliest tastes of online adventure games were instanced. During those days I sued to which those games were much bigger till I finally got into playing MMOs. After playing a bunch of MMOs all they have done was prove to me how much better instanced games were in contrast. Mainly due to them being much more streamlined and fun they are. So far the only thing you expressed being better about MMOs were that they feel "open and alive" which is is much higher in subjectivity than the points I've made. This game was largely dead until FoV and level Sync were introduced.
Everyone was starting to think the game was dead due to how difficult it was to form parties in the low levels, how does this make the world feel "alive"? New players during that prolly that no one played this game anymore because of that. starting nations were very empty before the teleport NPCs and FoV was introduced.
You seem to lack the perspective to take this issues into consideration. Tho I prolly didn't elaborate very well.
In instanced games, as a new player, its extremely easy to find people to play with. FFXI isn't even a good example of a good MMO anyway since you have to either be aware they you need a guide to play this game, or have someone hold your hand throughout the game. Edited, Feb 22nd 2010 6:43pm by baltz