Sega CEO Hajime Satomi says he wants to improve the quality of their games moving forward. That could mean a lot of things. It's nice to hear, but what they do next with their games is the real answer.
5 Issues with Every New Online Game
New games are exciting, especially MMOs. It’s refreshing to enter a new universe, to explore and compete in a new universe with players from all around the world. But anticipation quickly turns into frustration because every new online game seems to have these same 5 issues after their launch.
Servers Are Never Completely Ready
I’ve recently been trying to review Trion’s new MMO Defiance, but the servers have been having some issues with too many players logging in at once. Honestly, it’s not surprising or even maddening anymore. The same thing happened when I tried playing Diablo, Guild Wars 2, and SimCity in the past year. If you’re trying to play the game within a week after its launch the servers for any online game of this caliber seems to have some issues. I feel sorry for the developers, because gamers have no mercy and log onto metacritic to give their game a 1 out of 10, for no other reason than they have to wait an extra 12 hours to start playing a video game.
Every New Player Asks the Same Thing
So you’ve gotten past the server problem and you’re finally in game. You walk out of the tutorial level and view your surroundings for the first time. 99% of the time 99% of the new players get stuck at the same part of a quest, or don’t know how a specific mechanic works. So, instead of spending a little time trying to figure it out they blurt their questions onto the chat window. Now, I’m all about helping new players learn how to play a new online game, but on the first day of a game’s launch no one is really an expert yet. So the first couple weeks of any game’s chat is filled with every player asking the same questions twenty four hours a day, and most of the time no one has the answer yet.
Beginning Areas Are Swamped
Maybe you turned your chat window off because you want to play the game instead of being bombarded with questions about completing quests or getting better equipment. You try to run around in the wild, but it’s full of players! In a single player game it’s just you and the NPCs. It’s easy for developers to create a balance between you and the other characters in the game. But in an MMO developers have to try and create a balance between you and thousands of other real players… a much harder task I’m sure. They’re creating a game that should last for years, so it’s inevitable that the beginning zones are going to be packed in the beginning. Sure, they’ll thin out as players increase levels, but every new online game starts out with early crowded areas.
Log Time in Early or Not at All
You might think that you’re a hardcore MMO player, but no matter what there’s someone in the game grinding more often an faster than you’ll ever be able to. MMOs are a competition between every player. You’re competing to have better gear, abilities, and levels than your enemies, but also your allies. Being able to flaunt your riches and ability is what playing online games is all about. The problem is, if you’re not quick to level up, you get lost in the “noob” category. If you don’t know how to run high level dungeons or missions early on, then no one wants to teach you when you’re finally ready. There’s a certain point where veteran players don’t want to teach another group how to accomplish a quest, they want other experienced players that already know what they’re doing. It makes it hard to find groups if you’re not a max level with good gear as soon as possible.
Players Die Out Quickly
People get bored playing a single video game. It’s just the nature of the hobby. Every week another AAA game is released, games that selling thousands if not millions of copies. These games are getting their fans and their business from other video game players. It’s inevitable that people will have to stop playing a specific game eventually or at least cut back in their playtime, in order to make room for all of the new games. For single player games this isn’t a problem, because you’re not interacting with any other real people. Oblivion, for instance, remains one of my all-time favorite games. And it hasn’t changed a bit since I stopped playing. Guild Wars 1, another all-time favorite, is not even worth logging on since Guild Wars 2 came out.