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Debate: Smaller Games vs. Big-Hit MMOs

Discussion in 'MMO Debates' started by ogreman, Aug 11, 2011.

Big vs. Small Games

  1. Big-Hit MMOs

    10 vote(s)
    41.7%
  2. Smaller Games

    15 vote(s)
    62.5%
  1. Lions

    Lions Clubbed for Drama

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    Therefore you're saying that if a new MMO is the greatest most innovative game ever but only has a small following, and a few of those followers are "trolls", then it suffers from the same problems as a big-hit MMO.

    I really am having trouble here.. at least in seeing what your issue is with big hit MMO services. All my communications with them have been without a problem. Perhaps you've misunderstood what I'm trying to say here. I assume that you know we're talking about customer service. Yet you seem to keep making a big deal about being able to talk to the developers. But why should you need to talk to the developers of big time games. They have suggestion emails you can send to and things like that. And it's not like these big hit MMOs have a ton of bugs, there are regular patches and they are very quick on picking up on that kind of stuff. So basically what I'm saying is that while it's neat to be able to talk to the developers, it really doesn't effect the quality of the service. And hell, does it even matter if they play the game? Chances are that if you are contacting customer support it's because of account issues with payments and whatnot. And personally I would feel a lot more comfortable discussing payment issues with employees of a multi-million dollar company rather than with a guy that codes a game out of his apartment.

    Because they have lives? Because their life isn't entirely run by a game that likely started out as a hobby? If Blizzard launches a new update and there is a glitch with it, they will have teams of developers on it and guaranteed that the problem will be fixed within 24 hours or so. If an individual is working hard on a big update and finishes it they probably won't feel like sitting around waiting to answer requests on ways that they screwed up. Chances are, they want a break. And the fact of the matter is, there are simply way more problems with smaller games being buggy than bigger games being buggy.
     
  2. quinn

    quinn Starcatcher Ogre Veteran

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    But they don't, because the people that own them make the game because they want to have an innovative and fun game, not because they want to make boatloads of money. I think I've said that already. Big MMO companies don't give a darn about how the players are acting...banning the them all would be cutting a vast amount of money off their profits, after all.
    How many of those "suggestion emails" do you think actually get read? There are just too many of them in larger games. And I'm not talking bugs here, I'm talking actual gameplay. And of course it matters if they play the game...if you don't play the game, you don't know what your users want, and how to balance gameplay effectively across all groups of players. You may put a new change in the game that effects, say, just the people that grind for their in-game money. However, this will make the people who play the markets have a larger advantage over them. You also need to pay close attention to the way the economy in your game works, or introducing new items could cause large economic changes.

    And I'm mainly talking about actual communication, not just generic customer support messages. I know that I'D feel a lot more comfortable giving money to someone I know personally (online), then some random money-grubbing corperation.

    If they made this game, they will want it to succeed. They will want it to be awesome. The developers can actually add into the game things that will make it fun, instead of sitting in a cubicle for days to make something someone else told them to. I've seen plenty of people who have given up their day job to support their game. And you know who else probably wants a break? Developers who hate their jobs and only do it to make money. Guess what? Those developers are going to have to sit there for the same amount of time, whether they are fixing bugs they made or not.

    This whole buggy thing is silly too. A game by one or two developers will likely be way less messy than a large game...you don't have to sift through someone's code that you didn't make and try to work around that. You'll know exactly how everything works. It is much easier to isolate a bug with less code. You say it's 'fact', but it's really just false.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2011
  3. Lions

    Lions Clubbed for Drama

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    Of course big MMO companies care about how the players are acting. Having what is known as a poor community is bad for business.

    It's corporation. And maybe you would feel more comfortable but I don't think everything is nice and fluffy like that, and I believe that anyone can pretend to be anyone. Yes we would all like to give more money to a person trying to provide an innovative entertainment experience. But you clearly don't have a credit card if you are going to try and tell me that you would just give away the information on it just because a guy on the web is 'nice'.

    And once again, I'm talking about customer service. And again I say, even if they don't play the game, it really does not matter so long as they know how to resolve payment issues and things like that. You don't pick up the phone to call an employee and tell them what you want implemented into the game, that's not what customer service is about. And as for the suggestion emails that you seem to wipe aside.. obviously enough of them get read to create a feel for what the majority of users want. As said earlier, these games are clearly doing something right if they manage to get millions of players to pay for them. On the flip side, does that mean that smaller companies are doing something wrong? Why are less people playing these smaller games if they are as fun and creative as you say?


    Really? I would love to meet and greet some of these developers that you say quite their jobs to play a game because I'm not buying that. You say that a donation based system works. Two words: grow up. We all know that a donation based system does not work because the majority of players, no matter how much they enjoy the game, simply will not donate. And the players that will make a donation? They certainly are no substitution for the money someone makes at a job, even if it's at McDonalds. Even if this guy has 50 players donating him like 10 bucks each that's still nowhere near enough to live off of. And it's not like all these people are going to donate 10 bucks a month like clockwork. Big MMO companies on the other hand hire people who's specific job it is to spend 8 hours a day working on the game. I don't care who wrote the code, when you've got 30 people working on a major bug at any given time it's going to be easier to fix than when you have one guy sitting there trying to figure out what went wrong.
     
  4. quinn

    quinn Starcatcher Ogre Veteran

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    Obviously not, or games like Runescape and Splashfighters would not be filled with such garbage.

    I would rather use a pre-paid card or such. Besides, most online transactions use things such as Paypal, where you can dispute it if you do not get what you paid for. And it's a bit hard to 'pretend' you spend hours each day devoted to talking to players on your game.

    Because they aren't mainstream, because they don't pay for boatloads of advertising, they don't want to be that popular because servers can get expensive.

    Suggestion e-mails may get read, but not all of them by the person who actually makes the game, or by a person who actually cares about the game as a whole, other than how it extends to their job. They are doing something right, sure, but they could be doing a whole lot better. Why do the mainstream games all have boatloads of grinding/-insert tactic to make players spend money- in them?

    I'll gladly give you multiple games (not all of them MMOs) where people work only on that game in return for donations.

    First, Toady One of Dwarf Fortress. Made $6,000 dollars this month, and has no other jobs. The game is developed for free, based on donations alone, with no benefit from donating other than your name on a page. (Oh, and a crayon-colored drawing.)

    Second, Jick of Kingdom of Loathing. Makes a lot of money, and develops the game himself.

    Third, Cavemanjoe of Improbable Island (18+ game), quit his job, runs it as the only admin.

    The last two don't have exact stats, but it's at least enough to keep the game servers running, and the developers fed.

    Next time you're going to tell someone to "grow up", check your facts, okay?

    EDIT: Before you try to insult me some more, I'll add some more facts.
    Dwarf Fortress, as I said, has no benefits for donations.
    Improbable Island has only a few actual game bonuses, and they are very small. Most of them are color changes of playernames, titles, ect.
    Kingdom of Loathing has in-game bonuses for donating, in the form of an item that can be used as currency in an in-game store. This item can be bought with in-game currency from other users as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2011
  5. Lions

    Lions Clubbed for Drama

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    Woah calm down buddy. I wasn't trying to insult you.. take it easy. My apologies if this is pissing you off.

    And I have to go to work now so I don't have time for a long response but I want to write this down before I forget.. KoL as you said yourself is not based purely off of donations, there is also the purchasing of virtual items. Plus, KoL boasts more than 100,000 players so I would hardly consider it a smaller game. In comparison to WoW maybe, but I consider a smaller game to be.. smaller. Dwarf Fortress is a great example of a donation system that works, but let's be honest, not every game will turn out like that. In fact, probably 90% of smaller games would not work with a donation based system. I've never heard of this Cavemanjoe of Improbably Island so I can't say anything about that.
     
  6. quinn

    quinn Starcatcher Ogre Veteran

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    KoL is definitely smaller than most large games, and larger than most 'small', in terms of playerbase. It still only has a small, individual developer team and staff, though.

    Not every game needs to work on donations, but if it's a good game that people enjoy, I firmly believe that a donation system can and will work if a game attracts a stable playerbase....the same with any payment system. Games with in-game purchases won't hold up if they aren't enjoyable, either.
     
  7. Lions

    Lions Clubbed for Drama

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    Okay this brings up a question I wanted to ask a while back..

    what defines a small/big game? Are we going by players or by developers, and do we have a set amount?
     
  8. Joker

    Joker Ogre Hall of Fame Ogre Veteran

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    I would think big games are large MMOs and small games are mostly browser games??
     
  9. quinn

    quinn Starcatcher Ogre Veteran

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    That doesn't even make sense. There are plenty of gigantic browser games these days.

    I would assume based off this argument that 'large games' are the ones developed by large, well-known companies with a lot of money, and 'small games' are those made by indie developer teams.

    But that's just me..
     
  10. Kingsfield

    Kingsfield Taken a Room in the Pit The Pit

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    I agree quinn, would be best to consider well-known game companies versus indie games
     
  11. Joker

    Joker Ogre Hall of Fame Ogre Veteran

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    Big is big and small is small:p. It does not matter if browser or not imo.
     
  12. Admin Post
    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Are there any more arguments to be made? The voting is no longer tied now.
     
  13. Lions

    Lions Clubbed for Drama

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    I give up, I'm pretty much out of things to say and damn this is difficult when I don't even agree with anything I'm typing, small games FTW! :)

    Congratulations on the Debate Champion award quinn. :D
     
  14. quinn

    quinn Starcatcher Ogre Veteran

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    I was about to say something similar...this has just been going on for too long -_-

    Good luck on the voting.

    Now you know how I felt last debate :p
     
  15. Lions

    Lions Clubbed for Drama

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    Haha yes I do, it's definitely easier to debate something you agree with.

    Though they say that to be a great debater you have to be able to win debates on things you don't agree with, guess I'm not there yet. :p
     
  16. Admin Post
    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Congrats to both of you on a great debate:). Quinn now has the Debate Championship Medal.
     
  17. funnygamer

    funnygamer Clubbed

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    I just saw and read this debate. You guys are pretty good. And yeah. It's much easier to debate when you really agree with the side you're protecting. But it's also fun and challenging to protect something you don't believe in. Haha.
     
  18. Plague

    Plague DA BIG CLUB The Pit

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    Bigger games /Big hit MMOs = more content, longer gameplay, less boring cos you have many things to do, fun to play with other ppl.
     
  19. Snowy

    Snowy Ogre Hall of Fame Royal Ogre
    1. AdventureQuest 3D Heroes

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    I think there is a variability between the two, like how well smaller games can sustain themselves and preference of big-hit MMOs. I would probably choose big-hit MMOs since they would be the most reliable choice as they would last for a long time, though smaller games generally do spark new ideas and concepts that big-hit MMOs don't have.
     

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