Voice Comms have killed the MMO

Discussion in 'Rants' started by tr1age, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. tr1age

    tr1age [Community Leader] Butterflies!




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    I throw this up here for you to discuss...

    Back when MMO's first came out, you needed to learn to type faster and better than the guy/girl next to you so the player you wished to talk to didn't run off your screen before you could talk to them. Best case scenario you had them on AOL or ICQ and by some gift of god had a second monitor to see it.

    Today we have programs like Discord that tap into voice and chat all in one, we run communities where before I game is released we have the entire thing down to a science, we jump into vent, mumble, teamspeak, skype, video chat, share screens, watch youtube, stream it to twitch, WHATEVER there is no more patience. And don't get me wrong, I could hardly see myself playing without being in a voice comm with someone these days or streaming it to my invisible followers. I like to be part of a group or interacting since the MMO of today doesn't seem to offer it. I get way more interaction outside of the game than with the person I am gaming next to.

    There is no more lone wolfing.

    In the days of UO you used an external chat program to pick a place in game to meetup. Now we meetup before we even launch the game via a text or snapchat. Even if you are "alone" you are usually talking to someone somewhere else in the world, playing at them, not with them. Experiencing a parallel gameplay of "omg I just did X" instead of, "Omg WE just did X".

    This is a very important distinction that's easy to miss - UO fully recreated exactly as it was isn't even remotely the same experience now that it was 17 years ago. Player mentality itself has changed, as has the availability of trivially grouping up with friends while being in constant communication.

    Back in the day, PKs(player killers) were often lone wolves - powerful, but working alone, which struck a beautiful balance where they were terrifying, but you could often escape even as a newer player, or even get a ragtag group of newbies together and take one down. Today, it'd all be roving gank squads where you barely have a chance to react before they call out the sync.

    Even in modern games like the Alpha of Corwfall:

    The level of teamwork is expected to win. You cannot pug when there are 5 people calling out. The game becomes less about the game and more about the perfect comm.

    Everyone can know everything about a game if they use Google and those that don't will be disadvantaged in games where there's any sort of competition.

    There is something magically about walking through a world and typing to someone and not getting a strange look as if you just called someone after getting their number off a dating app instead of texting, but getting them to stop what they are doing to talk back. Interaction, a living breathing world, often promised in games(guild wars 2)... but these living breathing worlds are lacking one thing: real people and real interactions. A want to help your fellow player not a reward or achievement. (don't get me started on general chat)

    Back when, name tags didn't show up over players heads, you had to hit a key to toggle it for a 5 second interval. The reason being? Avatars were more unique and customizable and recognizable. Not via 5000 sliders for your nose and tits, but because you could wear clothing, dye your clothing, and look unique, not just sporting the next tier of armor. You didn't need a voice chat overlay to see who was talking, because you knew who everyone was around you.

    When I tell people i live in NYC they always say "You must go out a ton then!" And I tell them the same thing every time, "No, I just like to know I can". The same thing I can say is true in an MMO, I may not want to play with everyone I run across, but it is nice to know I can run into them and have that option. Too many instances in games where we already instance ourselves from the world with our voice chat and external communications and even communities like this. Not only do games create bubbles for us to be in, we create our own. Thus these worlds with hundreds of people running around feel empty and fake. Immersion gets lost, we don't daydream about our next move, and we know the answer to the quests we are on are a google search away.

    I reference UO because I have been playing it lately, and then played the beta of Overwatch with some Tabbers and loved the teamwork we did but wanted a game where we could get lost in a world together, but couldn't seem to think of any that wasn't direct combat like Overwatch that direct omms feels natural not forced...

    Ultima Online was both a game, but also a time. Online games are dependant to a large degree on the community and I'm not sure you could replicate the demographic Ultima had.

    Ultima Online didn't have any significant competitor at the time and everybody was forced into the same world, wolves and sheep alike. Nowadays there are too many options and the market is too segregated. PvE people will just play their PvE game, and truly open games are just left with PvP focused players. Everybody's a wolf and there is no surprise factor anymore. It's just kill or be killed. When it boils down to that, a lot of people get more enjoyment out of alternatives like MOBA games that are just full on PvP constantly.

    The mix of wolves and sheep was part of the magic. There were people that just wanted to craft, and they relied on good fighters to protect them when they mine/lumber, and in return the fighters rely on them to supply them with weapons/armor etc. This was almost RP, but not because it was forced old english, but because we needed to do it to survive the worlds were in and to progress. It will never be the same again.

    Everyone can be a wolf now( if they have fingers and an internet connection) and that is the problem.
     
    #1 tr1age, Nov 23, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
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  2. Milleuda

    Milleuda Mother Hen




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    I kept my favorite parts in the quote above. I'm really sad that I don't have an MMORPG to call "home" anymore. I'm one of those that enjoys PVE, PVP, and casual crafting, so the MMORPG world really fits me best.

    I do think any group of people can create a community within a game and make it what they want it to be. Unfortunately, you are correct in that there are way too many games now, so finding the game (MMORPG) that most people will enjoy together is next to impossible.
     
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  3. Passage

    Passage Polychromatic




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    I'm with you on homelessness. I'd had a dedicated game for nigh on a decade, but after leaving Wildstar I've just been floating around.

    Because my days are long, the gf and I will chat or watch a movie together while I game. This concurrency keeps me off voice communicators for the most part, and it's affected my relationships in several games (while obviously prioritizing my RL ones).



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    #3 Passage, Nov 23, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  4. Zakis

    Zakis War Priestess




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    Completely agree Millie. I have been searching for that one "MMO" that I can call home. I miss those days. Luckily my "one game to rule them all" is on the horizon and in the process of taking a huge step forward this week.
     
  5. Passage

    Passage Polychromatic




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    Wasn't the community less toxic back then, too? Honestly, when I think of voice chat now, there are two scenarios: the group of teammates (raid groups for me), or CoD-esque trolling (room wide insta-mutes).

    I don't know that voice chat is killing the MMO, though. I'd have to say it's the reward system. There aren't enough games with goals that walk the line of difficult but obtainable well enough.


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  6. tr1age

    tr1age [Community Leader] Butterflies!




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    Added a small snippet:

    Back when, name tags didn't show up over players heads, you had to hit a key to toggle it for a 5 second interval. The reason being? Avatars were more unique and customizable and recognizable. Not via 5000 sliders for your nose and tits, but because you could wear clothing, dye your clothing, and look unique, not just sporting the next tier of armor. You didn't need a voice chat overlay to see who was talking, because you knew who everyone was around you.
     
  7. Euchale

    Euchale Crazy German Guy




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    I don´t really remember those days, as I started out with WoW and immediately joined a guild and was on teamspeak with them from the beginning. That is what helped me speak in open spaces, as I was VERY shy back then.
    On the other hand, when you run instances with other people, you would often rely on writing and only if it doesn´t quite work, you would meet in teamspeak.

    For me, being able to speak with other people is the main reason to play a MMO, if I do it through text or voice is just down to availability.
     
  8. Milleuda

    Milleuda Mother Hen




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    I remember trying to heal in EverQuest and type in between mob pulls. It was stressful and I definitely am thankful for voice comms now in those situations.

    Where the typing "magic" happened was in town (socially). It was nice to pass by a group of people having a conversation in /say. In a way it made the experience more immersive and almost RP-like without forcing it. Nowadays I ignore my chat box because most of it is garbage, trolls, or gold sellers.
     
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  9. Passage

    Passage Polychromatic




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    Topic >> lol
    Topic >> story
    Topic >> of my
    Topic >> life
     
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  10. Euchale

    Euchale Crazy German Guy




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    I had a bar dedicated to heal-related text-macros that included things like /target and some stuff with % that I don´t remember. That was fun.
     
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