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Crimson Desert....potential sequel or successor to BDO announced

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by WillJoestar, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. HRose

    Jun 12, 2016
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    Nice try but, you see, it's not my jaded perception that has seen all the previous successful western mmorpg studios collapse. Mythic was brought to the ground, SOE sold and pretty much vanished, the same destiny as countless others. Both Mark Jacobs (of Mythic) and Brad McQuaid (EverQuest), who once dominated the field, these day struggle as indie devs with very flimsy hopes of survival. Guild Wars 2 collapsed in recent months despite seemingly doing fine until the truth came out (and for similar reasons, since all their developers were moved away from GW2 to work on new projects, that failed, and then everyone was fired).

    If you take away the eastern trend that has its own weird history and self-feeds, the western history of mmorpgs has been just a total trainwreck.

    It's not an opinion, it's just obvious.

    There were years when the mmorpg genre drew the biggest investments in the whole game industry. Not anymore.
    PeaceInChaos and MADE like this.
  2. Ganymede Sicard

    Apr 8, 2019
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    story focus? AWESOME! that's really great!
    play as 5 predefined characters instead of making your own.. fuuuuuuuuuu there goes my interest.... how are we going to play an MMO with only 5 characters? everyone we'll see in towns is going to be one of these 5? so we'll thousands of clones everywhere? nonsense...
  3. Maevynn

    Dec 5, 2015
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    I don't think that's what it is at all, actually. My own theory on it is that this game has two "modes":
    • MMORPG: We have no idea about this part at all.
    • Single-player campaign that PA have mentioned: Exactly that. We probably play as Macduff there.

    I like your write-up (your second-to-last post), even if I don't agree with the overall conclusions of it. I think you have reasons for coming to the conclusions you have, and I'd just like to bring in my counter-points/opinions if you don't mind having a discussion about it!

    I'm going to put this in a spoiler because it's very long, but I wanted to get all of my thoughts out there.

    I agree with what you said leading up to how the MMORPG industry as a whole fed on WoW's scraps like hyenas, especially in the 00s post-WoW. I got into MMOs around the age of 13, which was 13 years ago back in 2006. I had never played WoW because my family really couldn't afford the subscription (and would never let me when we could anyway) so I bounced around every F2P/B2P game I could. Even just watching WoW from the outside, it was obvious that everyone was trying to copy it. Few used much in the way of new mechanics, almost always just some slightly different interpretation of WoW. When I did eventually try out WoW when I was older and they had a free trial, I found that I knew how to do everything already because all of those games had been doing the same thing. (I never enjoyed it enough to play though, probably because I was bored with the concepts that had already been thrown at me 100 times.)

    But nobody could deny that WoW was-and-is very successful. I think it's because WoW was accessible, had an existing fanbase behind the franchise, was widely marketed, and didn't assume someone had already played a game like it (or DnD) before. Most other games hadn't had the ambition of wanting to be that huge because it just wasn't realistic, and WoW struck the market at just the right time when much of the Western world had a computer in their homes that could run it. After WoW's success, people wanted to emulate it, as you said, but they failed for the reasons you said—but also I think from one key flaw: They made the assumption that everyone who would be playing their game was looking for an experience like WoW, and—most importantly—had even played an MMORPG before. Many MMORPGs have stunted their own growth by making the early experience just too much for someone who's new to the genre to handle. BDO is sometimes an extremely disorienting experience for someone who's already played an MMORPG, so you can only imagine how much more stressful it can be to someone who hasn't. But, do you know what game does assume players have never touched an MMORPG before? FFXIV, with its very extensive and spaced-out tutorials (granted, would be nice if you could skip that section for free once you'd been through it once). A very valuable quality in an MMORPG is when it makes it easy for the uninitiated to try it out and creates new MMORPG players in the process. If it succeeds, they will likely stick with their 'original' for a while and keep coming back to it.

    I've been carefully reading the interviews and press releases on Crimson Desert, and I think it's causing such a chaotic stir because it's actually seemingly doing something different and we're having a hard time grasping it without seeing it in front of us. PA is taking a risk by being ambitious here because they've clarified many times that there will be an "extensive single-player campaign" along with the actual MMORPG side of things. Its designer sounds somewhat ambitious himself, saying he wants Crimson Desert to be a game that other companies want to copy, that he wants it to become that new standard that everyone references. They've been gingerly warning investors since earlier this year that Crimson Desert is going to play differently than a 'typical MMORPG' and even different than 'Black Desert'—which in of itself is fairly atypical but not as far of a divergence from what an MMORPG is understood as. This is my interpretation and some disagree, but what we may be looking at here are two separate game-modes and not the entire game playing like what we saw. In my view, that is very likely solely the single-player campaign limited to Macduff's storyline, and we have yet to see the MMORPG side of things yet at all. If true, this is both a very new idea for an MMORPG (because as you said, developers tend to be risk-averse), while also being a very old concept for games in general.

    So we have to ask ourselves, in my opinion, as people who have seen the same MMORPG qualities regurgitated for the past 15+ years: How are we judging this as a community? Well—based on how everyone is reacting—only through the lens of what's already been done and not considering much else. People aren't opening up their minds to the possibilities and instead are assuming—perhaps quite fairly, considering how bad we've been burned by companies in the past—that this game will be like all of the others they've seen and that a 'single-player campaign' just means 'the main questline'. But PA keeps telling us that it's different than a normal MMORPG, that it's even less typical in its design than Black Desert which is already extremely atypical... How? Well, an MMORPG with a single-player story bundled with it, as a separate mode, is 'weird' and fairly unheard of if that's what they're trying to do here.

    The development of them simultaneously would seemingly overlap often too. Just as an example—and I'm certainly not a game designer—they might be able to 'lock off' parts of the world in the single-player campaign to create a distinct environment. So, let's assume that Macduff's storyline takes place primarily in "the North". They may need a wide-open area for us to play in as him, and it's likely easier because that's already there. The MMORPG needs those areas too. All of the efforts that went into designing that area for players to play in in the MMORPG, also works for the single-player campaign. Many of the monsters, bosses, NPCs, and even many elements of the combat will likely be used in both the single-player campaign and the MMORPG.

    It also capitalizes on the interest of a particular market: Single-player RPG fans. Let's say Crimson Desert's single-player campaign is a mostly (if not completely) separate mode from the MMORPG, and that it's a Witcher or Red Dead Redemption-like experience—or maybe something more linear and less open-world. Then you can market it to the fans of those kinds of games without being dishonest, and being able to provide that content for them.

    A single-player experience has certain advantages (not always, FFXIV is a big exception but they make ample use of instanced content and cutscenes to offset this, in my opinion) over an MMORPG when it comes to storytelling. Players don't have to worry about being PK'd while talking to an NPC, a developer can design what path a player will take in an area to create a certain experience, players aren't competing with other players for enemies, and a player doesn't see 50 players running around half-naked while they're trying to talk to an NPC who's dying of frostbite, and so-on. It means a developer can have cutscenes, quick-time events, linear level design in certain areas, and actual high-stakes situations that won't be messed up by a high-level player just smacking down the level 10 boss in 1 hit because they're in the party. Other players tend to find ways to find shortcuts to challenges, distract each other, streamline content, and sometimes even purposefully ruin things for others. This doesn't mean that an MMO experience can't be great for all of these reasons (and for some people that is the fun of it), but there is a reason that a game like The Witcher or Red Dead Redemption 2 are solo and why FFXIV will often chuck the player into instanced situations they have to go through solo. It's just a different kind of experience, not necessarily a worse one.

    Separating this into its own mode creates the possibility of doing away with the (often generic and lackluster) 'main quest' in the MMORPG itself that has to invent a character for the player and not offer many meaningful choices as a result of being something everyone has to do and end up with the same result—and instead can focus the narratives of the MMORPG around what the players want to do with their character (such as factions, associations like a "mage's guild", etc.) making the MMORPG far less linear and allowing players to make their own stories and contribute to something instead of being one of the thousands of 'Chosen Ones'.

    So maybe for the kind of storytelling they seem to want, a separate single-player experience is the best method. If they do draw in those who are interested in a single-player RPG, then the MMORPG is only one step away. How many times have we finished a game, like the Witcher, and wished we could keep exploring the world? Well, Crimson Desert offers the solution to that. Beat the campaign? Then make your own character and explore this world with others. Some of those single-player RPG fans could become fans of the MMORPG and be long-term players of it. But even if they don't? They probably bought the game already anyway. I don't see the single-player experience as an inherently bad thing, I think it's just 'different' and we don't know what to make of it or if it'll even be successful.

    I really enjoyed the single-player campaigns of WC3, and playing those is what got me into the multiplayer aspect of WC3 both with custom games and playing against others—where I spent much more of my time. I would argue that if WC3 had only the multi-player mode or only the single-player mode, neither mode would have been played as much. It was the combination of them that was key, and those experiences make me think that if PA does do this right, and the campaign truly is a single-player experience separate from the MMORPG—it's not a disaster, it's potentially even smart.

    And Crimson Desert isn't designed to be BDO's sequel/prequel. PA said as much. It's a different thing with different concepts they're playing with—and they have warned us (and their investors) that they're trying new things that are atypical for an MMORPG. This is the first time with a game I really haven't known what to expect and will need more information before I make an actual judgment on it. From what I can tell we've only gotten a small peek into 1/2 of what it is.

    • I agree that everyone tried to copy WoW for a good while there and that MMORPG devs are notoriously (but wisely) risk-averse because of the insane cost of an MMORPG.
    • IMO much of WoW's success was its accessibility and how it created new MMORPG players, something many MMORPGs after it haven't focused much on.
    • PA has been warning people for months now that Crimson Desert is going to be kind of different compared to most MMORPGs (and specifically that it'd even be different even compared to BDO) so we may need to throw our expectations for what it will be out the window.
    • My theory is that the single-player campaign and MMORPG are separate "modes".
      • Such a design could draw in single-player RPG fans and get them into the MMORPG side of things.
      • I do not think we've seen even an ounce of the MMORPG portion of Crimson Desert yet.
    • I don't think familiarity in narrative experiences is always a bad thing, too much unfamiliarity just distracts.
    • If the single-player and MMORPG modes are separate, the content developed for both can be shared very easily.
      • This also means that they can make the story side of things more designed around the narrative—which benefits a story—while making the MMORPG side of things less linear—which benefits the social, dynamic, and open-world aspect of an MMORPG.
      • They could even be partially doing away with the idea of a mostly-solo 'chosen hero main quest' within the MMORPG itself, and instead focusing on fleshing out things like factions/guilds.
    • Other games have had their single-player and multiplayer portions synergize and make both more successful than they would have been prior.
      • PA may be trying to pull this off, which is a bit risky. (And might be why their stocks dipped in response—investors 'spook like horses', as a friend put it, at anything new.)
    Ganymede Sicard likes this.
  4. WillJoestar

    Oct 25, 2017
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    This whole trailer is basically comprised of story cutscenes, no actual game play, there is no way they could call this an MMORPG and have everyone playing the same characters lool they have costumes and cosmetics to sell people plus everyone the same class loool off course not. Like I said this is all story mode cut scenes.

    What Im impressed with is that this appears to be in-engine if so this game will blow every other MMO out of the water looks wise.
    I just want BDO combat man thats all I ask please I hope they don't **** it up.
  5. Phoenixxx75

    Phoenixxx75 Lahn 61 NA

    Feb 24, 2019
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    Maybe he plays both like me. I play bdo for a couple of hours most days then log out and play other games. Bdo gets boring if I play for too long and I am not feeling very motivated anymore.

    Great graphics is nice but great gameplay and story/lore are more important to more people than you think.
    Solitaire, Maevynn and Ben Phoenix like this.
  6. HRose

    Jun 12, 2016
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    Yeah, it's curious that FFXIV eventually became a better clone of WoW, than WoW. Although it also failed before it became successful.

    This is a possibility I think very plausible. They'll probably try to market the new game in different ways. As if it's a different "style" of MMORPG, so not to overlap with BDO.

    But it's not a strategy that works and the closer they'll be to the true release the more they'll have the pressure to promote and hype the game... and the less they'll care about BDO. Eventually they'll straight away tell you all the things that work poorly in BDO to show how Crimson Desert instead is much better.

    But that's essentially certain.

    The problem here is the same problem implicit with content development: making a linearly scripted single player content requires a huge amount of money and huge amount of time. That's why Bungie despite its best efforts produce at best 6 hours of story content once a year.

    What plagued MMORPGs from the beginning is that the content that takes months and months for developers to make is then experienced by players in one evening.

    Let's project this on Crimson Desert. You have this wonderfully scripted single player campaign, full of custom animations, dialogues and what not. That takes a lot of money, and a lot of time to produce. It's like a movie in a game, GREAT.

    So how long it lasts? 15 hours? And then what?

    You go play the actual mmorpg after 15 hours of single player? So why should anyone care about the single player portion if it's one thing you do and then forget because it's behind you?

    On the other hand that's the reason why mmorpgs are usually designed systemically and not linearly. The "content" in a mmorpg, if done well, is generally managed by the players. It generally matters. It's a similar design shift of designing a boardgame or a strategy game. They have reusable parts, rather than a simple linear system that goes from point A to point B.

    It's possible that in Crimson Desert there will be some sort of branching so that what you do in the single player portion determines some kind of faction that will then reflect on the mmorpg world. But even in this case it simply means that we'll have a 15-hours character creation, like a movie we watch beforehand.

    That will lead to players saying: "Okay, I've seen this boring Game of Thrones spoof five times already. Can I just skip it now?"

    Single player is baggage in a mmorpg. It can be a nice lure for new players but at some point the curtain drops.

    Unless they sell this as a full price $70 AAA single player game, and then don't care if players quit as soon the single player portion is over (waiting the following year for the inevitable expansion that progresses the story a little bit more).

    You do realize that PA doesn't have a magic sauce, and that building The Witcher 3 took many, many years (and it wasn't even as linearly and heavily scripted as we've seen Crimson Desert), and that The Witcher also didn't come with a full blown mmorpg... and if it had it would have taken them MANY more years?

    It's very naive to think a game company can just do everything. BDO is itself an example, being rather broad and sprawling in its design, and doing too many things, not very well.

    I'm criticizing this because I've seen it happen. It's certainly nothing new. Even Stark Trek Online was built with this idea of story driven content in a mmorpg. It ended up being a bad mmorpg and a bad story driven game.

    When making a mmorpg is the hardest job, adding a single player game on top of it (and wrongly thinking that it will be easy) won't improve the situation. You will face a harder job, with even conflicting requirements.

    For example a very realistic guess with Crimson Desert is that (if it launches within 1.5 years) it will be very, very small. Like one zone or two, with the promise of releasing more with expansions.

    For even more guesswork I could imagine that, assuming Crimson Desert launches and it is good enough, players will start to complain within a week that "there's nothing to do." PA will promise story expansions left and right.

    ...And eventually they'll have to buy time by introducing super-grindy systems, at an even higher intensity than BDO itself.
    #346 HRose, Nov 16, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
    Erebor likes this.
  7. PeaceInChaos

    PeaceInChaos Sorceress 63 NA

    Jan 16, 2017
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    Liked for your mention of SOE... DCUO will always hold a special place in my heart. Before they sold the development to Daybreak. More like gamebreak.
    Erebor likes this.
  8. Beeso

    Nov 7, 2015
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    Sisi desert online
    Erebor likes this.

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