Light No Fire a fantasy version of No Man's Sky

The creators of No Man's Sky, Hello Games, are making a fantasy version set on one planet with procedural generation. With what looks like some familiar No Man's Sky assets and elements but with dragons and other fantasy elements.

 

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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Get The Fantasy Out!

I'd tolerate the Work As Gameplay elements (building a house? Weeeeee!) to have a crack at the rest of the coolness in that trailer. It's a good thing No Man's Sky started in sci-fi - that means they didn't tarnish their fantasy offering at the get-go.
 




I'd be excited, but they're stressing the multiplayer elements really hard, and several times we see quite a few players around, and honestly, I've played enough survival games and sandbox MMORPGs to be 100% completely "over that" as an idea. Just too many players are jerks and losers - it's small minority but it's enough to completely poison the fun if you can't avoid them. At least with NMS, the odds of running into them were literally astronomically small (and I think you could turn them off even, though maybe I'm wrong). But here it looks like you're sharing a single planet with them, only the size of earth, so they will track you down and annoy the hell out of you, like it's a bloody Minecraft server.

On the other hand, if that's wrong, and you can play this with say, only people on your friends list, and have no other players in your world, this could be fantastic.

I will say they definitely need to massively up their game interface design and gameplay-wise. NMS is a car-crash on both fronts. But maybe they can, starting over.

EDIT - From what I can find out, you're limited to totally alone or with everyone in the world, which is... not great design, frankly. Also anything you build, everyone else can find, and presumably destroy, steal, etc. Great.

I feel like this design smacks of naivete (I will avoid doing the dril tweet!). They think the world is full of nice people because there's so much space in NMS, but it ain't, and as soon as the open beta of this goes live, they're in for an abrupt awakening, and then they'll be forced in the naive man's position of, do I change the game to make more like I initially intended, and less friendly to jerks, but also less free, plus that's hard work, or do go "These jerks seem to be having fun, who am I to stop them?", a position which often seems attractive, and involves zero work (very attractive), but ultimately leads to everyone not a jerk gradually leaving the game.
 
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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
I'd be excitd, but they're stressing the multiplayer elements really hard, and several times we see quite a few players around, and honestly, I've played enough survival games and sandbox MMORPGs to be 100% completely "over that" as an idea. Just too many players are jerks and losers - it's small minority but it's enough to completely poison the fun if you can't avoid them. At least with NMS, the odds of running into them were literally astronomically small (and I think you could turn them off even, though maybe I'm wrong). But here it looks like you're sharing a single planet with them, only the size of earth, so they will track you down and annoy the hell out of you, like it's a bloody Minecraft server.

On the other hand, if that's wrong, and you can play this with say, only people on your friends list, and have no other players in your world, this could be fantastic.

I will say they definitely need to massively up their game interface design and gameplay-wise. NMS is a car-crash on both fronts. But maybe they can, starting over.

EDIT - From what I can find out, you're limited to totally alone or with everyone in the world, which is... not great design, frankly. Also anything you build, everyone else can find, and presumably destroy, steal, etc. Great.

I feel like this design smacks of naivete (I will avoid doing the dril tweet!). They think the world is full of nice people because there's so much space in NMS, but it ain't, and as soon as the open beta of this goes live, they're in for an abrupt awakening, and then they'll be forced in the naive man's position of, do I change the game to make more like I initially intended, and less friendly to jerks, but also less free, plus that's hard work, or do go "These jerks seem to be having fun, who am I to stop them?", a position which often seems attractive, and involves zero work (very attractive), but ultimately leads to everyone not a jerk gradually leaving the game.
Good call with the toxic minority, but maybe they can summon the Oblivion guards?

I'd be really surprised if the developer didn't have a grasp on common MMO issues.
 

I'd be really surprised if the developer didn't have a grasp on common MMO issues.
I can understand why you might think that, but this has been a recurrent issue with companies broaching the MMO space.

These are experienced companies who have put out good games before, put out multiplayer games before, even ones that are MMO-adjacent, yet when they enter the MMORPG or large multiplayer survival game space (with is almost contiguous with MMOs), they just drastically underestimate how unpleasant people will be, how childish they'll be, because that's not their experience, and, I'm going to be honest here - the developers are usually comprised largely or entirely of college-educated white (or occasionally asian) males, typically from middle-class backgrounds, and even where the entire team isn't that way, the leadership of the team usually is, who have the least possible experience of "bad behaviour" in our society, and least negative consequences from their own poor behaviour (if they've engaged in it).

That combines dangerously with optimism and never having run the exact kind of game before to lead to a situation where they just fail to anticipate the majority of the safeguards people might want, or hyperfocus on one safeguard (like no involuntary PvP), but miss others.

You'd think they'd learn from how many companies have made this mistake, but there's a ton of evidence they just don't, because they think their game is special and better and unique and has a "good community" and won't have the same issues. I've even read devs refusing to put safety stuff in literally on the grounds of "we have a good community, and it'd be insulting to them!", only to have to backtrack weeks or months later, when it turns out they totally didn't.

Countless MMOs which have any way to negatively impact other players have had to raise barriers after launch, maybe the vast majority, but the situation that shocked me most was that of World of Warcraft and RealID.

WoW's dev leads fit the profile (a bunch of college-educated middle class white men and no other real voices), and they'd decided that people in their game were too unfriendly, and they wanted to make them more friendly. Instead of looking at ways in which the game itself caused people to be unfriendly* (we wouldn't want to do that!), they decided this could be solved simply by making people less anonymous, perhaps having had their brains rotted by the notorious and long-since proven-wrong Penny Arcade cartoon which so incorrectly postulated that anonymity was fundamental to bad behaviour (a very "white male" opinion, I would add - because they've never had to hide their identity to avoid harassment based on it) - Facebook and Twitter have both shown it's immaterial.

Their chosen methodology was to make it so if you /friend'd someone with the new system, they would get to see your real, actual, registered, unchangeable-without-serious-customer-support-action, email address you had for the game. Which in the vast majority of cases contained your real name. Indeed that was why they used it, they explained. And then anyone who was /friends with the person you /friend'd would also be able to see the same, too. They'd also be able to see all your characters, in all Blizzard games.

This was immediately met with large numbers of players with non-white/non-Christian names, female names, and so on who either didn't want this system, or wanted it, but realized they couldn't participate in it, because it would be handing out their real names and ability to track them to random strangers. Particularly because with less common names (which in the US correlates with non-white or non-Christian names) would be possible to track down easily IRL.

Blizzard laughed this off. They did not take the concerns remotely seriously. They were completely dismissive and contemptuous about them, and implied people were just trying to get out of being found out as trolls or the like.

Then Blizzcon happened. There was a panel where you could ask questions. A Blizzard guy was asked about RealID, and specifically there was no way to track someone down from their RealID, implying that the person asking the question was paranoid or stupid. The crowd wasn't happy but Blizzard just moved on with more questions. Unfortunately for them, one guy with a laptop in the crowd, managed to use the information the RealID of the guy answering the question to track him down on multiple social media sites, find his address and pictures of his house, find pictures of his family, and so on. Even though he had an ultra-generic white guy name. And the crowd made sure Blizzard knew about this.

After that Blizzard did change the system, most importantly entirely removing the "spreading" of names, so they'd only go to people you wanted, not their friends or the like. I believe they also altered it (possibly slightly later) so it no longer showed your email address, just the name you'd registered the game with.

Then Blizzard, still completely failing to understand that things aren't the same for everyone (sadly), decided they'd force RealID names to be used on all forum posts. Five days after announcing that, they walked it back and never brought it up again.

A little later still the "Battletag" system came in, and gave literally all the good features RealID had without spreading your real name - RealID is now a rump feature used by almost no-one.

Sorry for such a long and boring story, but this was Blizzard - at the time this happened they'd been running WoW for 6 years. The largest, most successful MMORPG on the planet, with a diverse audience, maybe 30% women, and a lot of players outside the US (the majority, at that point, in fact), and just huge amounts of money and expertise and experience, and yet they couldn't get basic stuff right because of the echo-chambered created by the overly-similar backgrounds and experiences of their team. I'm sure some more junior people were objecting to this, but they definitely weren't listened to. Only public humiliation and massive negative feedback when they tried it again caused them to change course.

* = Contemporaneously to this Blizzard had started to make a lot of changes to WoW which moved it from an increasingly friendly and cooperative game to a more hostile and aggressive one - hard to believe now I know, but WoW was trending that way pretty hard in WotLK in the late-Naxx through Trial of the Crusader period. And in Cataclysm - the next expansion, they absolutely tripled-downed on those changes, and managed to destroy their own community in a way it's never recovered from. Only recently did they work out their mistake - when all the old management had left, and in the most recent expansion they've been working hard to rebuild in a way that wasn't possible with older attitudes. Why do I bring this up? Because a lot of the unfriendliness they were so irked by was directly due to changes Blizzard made to their own game.
 
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