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Author Topic: User Created Content [CoH]  (Read 18769 times)
stark
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on: February 26, 2009, 10:27:53 AM

« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 02:33:31 PM by stark »
Malakili
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Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 10:35:31 AM

I was just talking about this the other day.  Well not THIS.  But that I think the ultimate "solution" to having enough content in MMO games is to let people create content.  Its a rough thing, as there could be almost anything and everything open to abuse, but it just isn't possible for a few 10s or even 100s of people create enough content for 1000s of people, and to keep that content fresh.

This is one of the things that keeps people in sandbox games I think.  In a sandbox game, you are ultimately creating your own "content" even if that content is taking place in a pre-set environment.  If you could take that concept of giving more freedom to players to create their own content, you could have almost limitless content, and I think it is really the only way to ultimately go in terms of MMOs.  Think Second Life, but much more controlled to fit a certain game setting.

There are a lot of problems with makign this work on a large scale and keeping things from getting abused, etc, and I don't have the answers, but I think this is the direction that we need togo.
Mrbloodworth
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Reply #2 on: February 26, 2009, 10:38:20 AM

Like the Ryzom ring?


After reading this CoH version, i still think the Ryzom method is better.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 10:41:22 AM by Mrbloodworth »

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Merusk
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Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 10:58:58 AM

Being able to create zones, items and tinker with all kinds of shit as an IMM/ Admin is what kept me MUDding at the same place for almost 6 years.

Hell, you could create a whole system that determines what 'item budget' is allowed based on the # of mobs, levels of them, etc for item-centric MMOs.  That'd be pretty stellar.

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Lantyssa
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Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 11:22:19 AM

Being able to create zones, items and tinker with all kinds of shit as an IMM/ Admin is what kept me MUDding at the same place for almost 6 years.

Hell, you could create a whole system that determines what 'item budget' is allowed based on the # of mobs, levels of them, etc for item-centric MMOs.  That'd be pretty stellar.
Yeah.  It's what kept me going for a decade.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
Nija
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Reply #5 on: February 26, 2009, 11:23:25 AM

Ask L-C about user created content. He's one of the reasons that Anarchy Online had to disable it so quickly.
skolor
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Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 06:09:42 PM

Being able to create zones, items and tinker with all kinds of shit as an IMM/ Admin is what kept me MUDding at the same place for almost 6 years.

Hell, you could create a whole system that determines what 'item budget' is allowed based on the # of mobs, levels of them, etc for item-centric MMOs.  That'd be pretty stellar.

At first glance, this seems awesome. It'd be enjoyable, for a while.

The only problem is that it requires a shit-ton of replay value. Sandbox type games, and even most single player games keep getting played because they have a lot of replay value. You want to go back and do that again. MMOs are largely driven by "I want to do that once." No one in an MMO is going to go farm a boss, just because its an interesting fight. They might farm it because it has a cool drop, but they sure aren't farming it because of the fight.

If there was, effectively, an unlimited amount of content, people would only play what had the lowest Risk/Reward ratio. With unlimited content, groups would never be made, because the tank would want to run one thing (Which had an item drop that was perfectly itemized for his spec/class), the DPS would each want to run another, and the healer wouldn't care, because they don't really matter at all. Everything would fall apart pretty fast.

On the other hand, a large amount in the community involvement in the creation process is the way to go. Create special community Dev groups with a set number of members (the same size as the encounter), and have allow them to create things on a test server. Let them debug it, play with it, and come up with cool ideas. By deputizing parts of the community, you generally get a good idea of what the average user wants. You also get a lot more dedicated of people actually bashing away at it. If kept sparse, so that you can't just say "Hey, I want to go make XXXX", but open enough that with some work anyone can get into a Dev group, you'd probably get the best results. Too many Devs, and the game itself will get boring. Not enough, and you won't have enough input. Off the top of my head, I would think the balance point would be around 1 new community dev person every week or so.
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Reply #7 on: February 26, 2009, 06:44:40 PM

Speak for yourself.. I still run low-level dungeons because I like their atmosphere.  I don't need crap on my DK, but I'll still run max-level dungeons, too, because I find some of the fights fun.   Now some I'll never set foot in again, (I HATE YOU GNOMER!) but not all players run dungeons just once or only for drops.

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Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 08:34:26 PM

Here's the official FAQ.

On the surface, it sounds like a great system. I've got some missions in my head I want to create for CoH/V, so will definitely give it a spin.

However... it doesn't deal with CoH/V's biggest issue: repetitious use of maps. If you could actually create maps - and I'm sure that is on the cards because it is too obvious not to be - then we might have a winner. The vast majority of my missions are going to use the smallest map possible so I can get the players involved in the story, not fighting through a 3 level Crey Lab with a defeat all objective.

On a slightly different note, the promo video for Mission Architect is aweome. Captain Dynamic sounds scarily realistic as a designer of these kind of missions. "Touch my awesome button" has annoying meme potential written all over it.

Captain Dynamic video.

Xurtan
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Reply #9 on: February 26, 2009, 10:16:40 PM

Speak for yourself.. I still run low-level dungeons because I like their atmosphere.  I don't need crap on my DK, but I'll still run max-level dungeons, too, because I find some of the fights fun.   Now some I'll never set foot in again, (I HATE YOU GNOMER!) but not all players run dungeons just once or only for drops.

This. It's not like I ran Unrest of EQII over and over again for loot. The loot isn't even that good at max level anymore. -_- I just love the zone.
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Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 11:23:12 PM

I have never understood why someone has not just gone back to what works and brought paid actors into their games.  The last game I ever saw feature characters in was Everquest and they were always wildly popular.  In UO whenever there were GM events players came from everywhere to participate, wars broke out, and the entire game was enriched with memories. 

The whole RPG genre originally started with smart players trying to beat the wits of some goofy dude playing the roll of a Dungeon Master.  Redistribute some of that upfront cost in scripted encounters to scripts played out by people with mini-gm controls and GOOD auditing systems to keep them in check.  There is plenty of cheap labor out there.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 11:26:17 PM by BoneDancr »

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Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 11:40:29 PM

The problem with live events is that everyone who can't take part - most of the player base - gets annoyed that they can't take part. Especially if you factor in multiple servers.

MxO had (still has?) live events running managed by GMs and its a core part of that game. But it's the only title I'm aware of that does it regularly. I'd wager the cost / benefit for GM content isn't worth it compared to pre-generated content that can be run at the individual player's leisure (or might randomly active during their time on).

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Reply #12 on: February 27, 2009, 05:58:24 AM

The problem with live events is that everyone who can't take part - most of the player base - gets annoyed that they can't take part. Especially if you factor in multiple servers.

Then there's also the problem of the players themselves.  I took part in an event in Oasis where 3 sand giants wandered away from their mother, who came looking for them.  The zone was to the point of crashing there were so many players in it (200+, a lot for EQ1) and all of those players were simply trying to kill the giants for loot instead of RPing, as the event was intended.  They interacted a bit, replied to those players who were RPing and spent a lot of GM "insta heals" on themselves so they wouldn't die, but it was total chaos. 

When they left after running through the script, all there was in chat was  a ton of bitching that "wtf they wouldn't die. Lame" "I didn't get any loot"*  and "Wtf was the point of that."   I had fun, but then I was RPing back and forth with the giants as a Warrior of Innoruk should.. warning them about the light races that only wanted to slay them, trust me!

Later events you couldn't even target the characters and they refused to deviate from their script.  There was no interaction with the playerbase, so you were in essence watching a poorly-done cutscene.  It was even less fulfilling than an RP event in a kill-n-loot game.

* As if they would have in the first place with EQ1's "First to click gets it" system

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Reply #13 on: February 27, 2009, 07:39:14 AM

UO just kicked off another live events program within the last month or two. Other than a little inevitable but not particularly noteworthy bitching about who got better rewards for what, it's been pretty well received. (Rewards are fluff items and not weapons/gear, but since there's no soulbinding those unique rewards command fortunes from rares collectors.) Some of them are monster-bashes, some of them are things like scavenger hunts or (I think) costume contests.

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Nevermore
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Reply #14 on: February 27, 2009, 07:55:38 AM

Actually, CoX has had some live events.  Mostly just some devs showing up at Pocket D as signature characters for dance parties.  I know some have shown up for in-game weddings.  And there was the big Manticore/Sister Psycho Psyche wedding thing they did. 

The problem with all those is the zone fills up so fast even people who are online and want to participate end up getting locked out (new iterations of the zone will be created such as Atlas 2, Atlas 3, etc if too many people pour into a zone).

Over and out.
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Reply #15 on: February 27, 2009, 08:11:38 AM

If you could actually create maps - and I'm sure that is on the cards because it is too obvious not to be - then we might have a winner.
If you've ever used a level editor before it's not obvious.
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Reply #16 on: February 27, 2009, 08:17:40 AM

If you could actually create maps - and I'm sure that is on the cards because it is too obvious not to be - then we might have a winner.
If you've ever used a level editor before it's not obvious.


I know it's not simple, but CoH/V's base system does offer some in-roads. The current system can hold up to about 12 000 items on one map before corrupting for bases, so there are some opportunities to leverage that.

It is obvious for a custom mission offering, plus if CoH/V can get player maps down they could possibly reverse one of the major complaints about the game: repetitive maps in instances.

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Reply #17 on: February 27, 2009, 08:26:49 AM

Using the base editor to build a full level would be swamp poop though I'm sure there would be people that would try.

If they really wanted to create a real custom level editor that more than just a handful of people would be able to figure out they would have to build an editor along the lines of NWN, but that's a lot of work putting that kind of tool together.
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Reply #18 on: February 27, 2009, 09:31:07 AM

When they left after running through the script, all there was in chat was  a ton of bitching that "wtf they wouldn't die. Lame" "I didn't get any loot"*  and "Wtf was the point of that."   I had fun, but then I was RPing back and forth with the giants as a Warrior of Innoruk should.. warning them about the light races that only wanted to slay them, trust me!
Part of it is the more corporate nature of gaming these days. Back in UO, you could wing events for the rp community and have an amazing time. But then "normal" players would gripe abotu favoritism and shit, not to mention the trouble pks caused just trying to make things chaotic for everyone, don't forget how much of UO was about ruining other people's fun. I'm so glad I got to enjoy the RP community and early Seer program before it devolved into utter shit. But players truly do not deserve good things, the few that appreciate it are surmounted by the hordes of douchebags who just want phat lewtz.

I remember the single time I ever saw a live event in EQ1, it was Innoruuk's daughter looking for a champion. The GM stuck to the script, despite events diverging from the script, it was awkward and silly. Then when she chose a champion...she chose a monk who followed quellious. I was standing there (as an inny-worshipping necro) in a crowd of necros and sks going "wtf?" It was the dumbest thing ever, but I guess at least they didn't just spawn a dragon to kill everyone.

I couldn't even enjoy the rp of it, because the GM wasn't rping, they were just following a script and ignoring the players, and the knot of rpers that were trying to play along...ignored. So, meh.

Xurtan
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Reply #19 on: February 27, 2009, 10:08:50 AM

I remember the single time I ever saw a live event in EQ1, it was Innoruuk's daughter looking for a champion. The GM stuck to the script, despite events diverging from the script, it was awkward and silly. Then when she chose a champion...she chose a monk who followed quellious. I was standing there (as an inny-worshipping necro) in a crowd of necros and sks going "wtf?" It was the dumbest thing ever, but I guess at least they didn't just spawn a dragon to kill everyone.

I couldn't even enjoy the rp of it, because the GM wasn't rping, they were just following a script and ignoring the players, and the knot of rpers that were trying to play along...ignored. So, meh.

Not to defend them, but... okay, maybe a little. The issue with this is that Sony has always been pissy about anyone messing with the gods. Typical GM/Guide events don't have scripts at all, other than possible suggestions. But once you involve any of the deities, they shove a script down your throat. More than likely, they -could not- deviate from the script. For that matter it might just have been a Guide that had no clue what to do. They (Sony) won't risk anyone screwing up the 'lore'. Choosing a Monk is definitely a wtf moment though.

I miss the Rallos Zek GM events. At least they were semi-often and amusing. 
Sky
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Reply #20 on: February 27, 2009, 10:38:41 AM

Guides are semi-active in EQ2 again, btw. Oasis has a couple guides posting on the server board. I rarely read that board, though, so I missed the events they had announced. Though I'm more a fan of guides just integrating themselves into the game and becoming more of an interactive npc than having 'events'. But that's where the whole favoritism thing gets into it.

DLRiley
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Reply #21 on: February 27, 2009, 01:22:17 PM

We are a good several years behind on user created content. MMo's going to have to be played because their fun way before there is serious demand for user created content.
Mrbloodworth
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Reply #22 on: February 27, 2009, 01:39:19 PM

This is kinda upsetting, everyone has forgotten Ryzom:

"At the end of March, a live update will deliver the Mission Architect to the CoH/V franchise and its players, marking the first time that MMO players will have the opportunity to create missions, create story arcs and then share them with others in the “City of” space, regardless of server. "

To me, this seems like a watered down version, i'm sure its because games are different and require different implementations... But i just kinda feel for the indi guys that this whole things is quite obviously patterned after (R2). While i realize its not new to games, it is rather new to MMO's, but its seems CoX is going to get the credit for that one.  Ohhhhh, I see.

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Sky
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Reply #23 on: February 27, 2009, 01:41:42 PM

And everyone think Clapton wrote Crossroads, and Santana wrote Black Magic Woman.

I've played CoH/V and thought it's awesome, I've never played Ryzom. Having mindshare is a big part of things.

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Reply #24 on: February 28, 2009, 01:13:31 AM

Without having deep experience of Ryzom's Ring feature (hmm, that sounds dirty) it seemed to be a lot more sandboxy than CoH/V is going to allow. CoH/V is going to allow character advancement through the MA system (with tradeable tickets instead of random rewards) while I'm not sure if what happened in the Ring followed through to the main game in Ryzom.

It's a bit of puffery, but CoH/V are the first theme park-style MMO to go this way and allow a lot of rewards (and possible exploits) for players to get from both creating and playing through MA content.

Finally, I find CoH/V fun. I don't know what kind of impact the MA system is going to have on CoH/V's player base though - not sure it will bring back that many new / exited players.

UnwashedMasses
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Reply #25 on: February 28, 2009, 04:36:27 PM

Being able to create zones, items and tinker with all kinds of shit as an IMM/ Admin is what kept me MUDding at the same place for almost 6 years.

Hell, you could create a whole system that determines what 'item budget' is allowed based on the # of mobs, levels of them, etc for item-centric MMOs.  That'd be pretty stellar.
Yeah.  It's what kept me going for a decade.

Ditto.  Seems  like live-events were a big part of administrating a MUD, and were a part of the promise for MMOs that never really happened.  I'd like to think they could be patched in, but I suspect the industry has outgrown them.  The Circle MUD I worked in had regular "quest" events which could net you prizes and "quest points" for special gear, all driven by live human nerds who could roll with the punches.  You know, DM something.
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Reply #26 on: February 28, 2009, 06:02:10 PM

It's good to see a mainstream successful MMO try this. I just don't know that it's going to be different from every single other user-customized experience people have been thinking we're six months away from for the ten years I've been playing these games:

Users generally suck at creating compelling content. Until they're paid, and even then it's not a guarantee  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
Mrbloodworth
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Reply #27 on: February 28, 2009, 06:06:39 PM

It's good to see a mainstream successful MMO try this. I just don't know that it's going to be different from every single other user-customized experience people have been thinking we're six months away from for the ten years I've been playing these games:

Users generally suck at creating compelling content. Until they're paid, and even then it's not a guarantee  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Well, this looks highly constrained, you really only get to pick fluff things really, you cant even do mob placement, or goal placement, you just basically tell it, "at the end of the level" or "at the middle". The random mission generator takes care of a LOT of the details it seems. Your just providing the seeds.

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Venkman
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Reply #28 on: February 28, 2009, 06:16:59 PM

Yea. It has a sort of Sims Carnival feel, more of a wizard for customizing an experience than an NWN-like total-world builder.

Players will still find a way to screw it up though smiley

In all seriousness, this is actually making me consider CoX again. It's been a few years, and I'm jonesing for some fly-around action anyway, at least until DCUO comes out. And being able to level within missions you and friends created could (theoretically) do something for the what-I-remember-as arduous grind from the 20s onward.
Malakili
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Reply #29 on: March 02, 2009, 09:34:40 AM

It's good to see a mainstream successful MMO try this. I just don't know that it's going to be different from every single other user-customized experience people have been thinking we're six months away from for the ten years I've been playing these games:

Users generally suck at creating compelling content. Until they're paid, and even then it's not a guarantee  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

 Some of the best gaming I've done has been on custom maps for Valve's games, or on custom PW servers in Neverwinter Nights.   Granted, the general content will probably be awful, but there are always gems out there to be played.  The trick is to figure out how to sift through the mountains of shit to find it.
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Reply #30 on: March 02, 2009, 03:19:06 PM

I'm really looking forward to this. I've been subscribed for years and I'd really like the chance to make something new. Hopefully we can make some new maps layouts, I'm so sick of the standard layouts I can navigate with my eyes closed.
ClydeJr
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Reply #31 on: March 03, 2009, 09:38:28 AM

I remember back when I was an admin on a MUD, I tried to run a live event. It took several hours of planning to get everything set up in place for the event. I picked a crazy old man as the guy to give the player clues about the first part of the event. I cloned the guy off some other old guy mob so he was low level, had little health, and was killable. I started the event, was RPing with a bunch of players, and then one of the local jackass players came by and killed the guy. "Hur hur, hey where's the loot?" The other players bitched him out and then waited for me to respawn the guy. I told them that since the guy died, the event was over (I was a little pissed and mentally planned to rerun the event the next week with a few tweaks). So the players started their own event: PK and grief the event killer for the next week. That was a fun week.
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Reply #32 on: March 03, 2009, 11:29:00 AM

Our top Immorts created this annoying character to herald an upcoming zone and event.  Several of them played him, and they raised him like anyone else so we all thought he was another player.  My mortal was one of the top avatars at the time and she was a tri-class beast in a mostly dual-classed world.  Although we had a no PK policy which was well-followed, we hadn't changed the code to prevent attacks between players from the same realm yet.

So they're getting close to springing the event and this 'guy' is getting more annoying and more offensive.  Offensive enough I'm willing to risk having a year and a half of work being BalZurred down to level 1.  I walk up to him in the middle of the main square and promptly backstab him into shutting up.  I'm ready to track him down and kill him repeatedly when a god teleports me to their room and explains the joke.

All our high-levels immorts that knew about it were dying laughing at the thought of me going berserk, while all the still unknowing mortals were cheering me on, and I'm totally dying of embarrassment at giving in to my anger and being played.

After the fact, it was a fun event.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
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Reply #33 on: March 03, 2009, 02:54:08 PM

ITT we remember that muds were fucking rad sometimes, and wonder where MMOs got lost along the way.

I'd like to see a game carry this user-generated content concept from it's inception. I know there's plenty of games with user-generated content, but very few MMOs that don't take the idea to stupid extremes (SL).

What would be really interesting, is if the game's servers were independent, and the content on one server was unique from that on another. Seeing how they develop over time could be really fucking cool, and satisfy that whole "Waaaaaaaah we want to affect the world for realsies" complaint.

Edit for truthfulness: also turn every server into a steaming pile of incoherent shit within 6 months. Some content gatekeepers would probably be a good idea.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 02:59:14 PM by damijin »
Delmania
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Reply #34 on: March 03, 2009, 02:58:37 PM

ITT we remember that muds were fucking rad sometimes, and wonder where MMOs got lost along the way.

I'd like to see a game carry this user-generated content concept from it's inception. I know there's plenty of games with user-generated content, but very few MMOs that don't take the idea to stupid extremes (SL).

What would be really interesting, is if the game's servers were independent, and the content on one server was unique from that on another. Seeing how they develop over time could be really fucking cool, and satisfy that whole "Waaaaaaaah we want to affect the world for realsies" complaint.

MMO "lost their way" when they went from being niche games with tiny playerbases (only a few hundred), to being large games with several thousand players online split across the various world.  The more people you have playing a game, the less likely you can ensure that UCC will fit within the context of your world.  Just like at Spore and sporn.

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