Instancing – Is bad?

An old thread on F13. Discussing about instancing and why it belongs to PvE.

Instancing is surely needed and valuable today but not because it’s an evolution. The exact contrary.

Instancing is now required because the genre collapsed on itself and noone has been able to create a world. Basically the genre has failed and it’s going back to “just a game” that requires a better compromise to be fun.

Darniaq has pointed some of the reasons about why instancing is interesting and they are all true. My opinion is that instancing is a workaround because the design of these MMOGs hasn’t been able to valorize the massive value.

The fact that these games are massive is becoming a problem. The design failed. So we go back to try to get the best from both worlds: the quick, tailored fun of the instances (cooperative play) and the social aspect of the hubs (like IRC or the message boards).

This is exactly what Richard Garriott anticipated in his interviews years ago. I find it quite depressing.

The basic idea about why I said that mmorpgs have failed is just because they simply don’t take advantage of the massive aspect. This aspect is just a way to be included in a popular genre but it’s obvious that even huge projects like WoW don’t have A CLUE about why they should be massive instead of cooperative/instanced.

We have a bunch of mmorpgs that don’t know why they are mmorpgs. Like a case of lost identity.

And by looking at the concete examples I just see how this fact of being “massive”, in general, it’s not a strenght. But a problem.

So I notice that the easy road is to go back to a model of gameplay that FITS better with these games. The fact is that noone is really developing a mmorpg and now these games are pushing to go back at their origin.

Darniaq, what eldaec said. Instancing not “bad” because it’s a wrong solution. Instancing is the OPTIMAL solution for a type of design. Instancing is the (best) consequence of that type of game.

I don’t like what happened before instancing. I criticize the design that brought to instancing as an optimal solution. This is why I say that the genre has lost its identity.

There are other solutions. No, not in the market it seems. If you simply observe what we have now I agree that instancing is the way to go. But if you look toward a new model you could see how much instancing is the result of a flawed genre.

The fact that another example isn’t present doesn’t mean it is impossible. Or not.

No Geldon, it’s not about a technologic innovation, it’s about a dry design. The genre has hit a wall and now it’s going back to rediscover old technology. Instanced is everything cooperative you already play, from Doom to Counterstrike.

This is Diablo with NOTHING different aside that you have a graphical chat instead of a textual chat.

I don’t see an innovation, nor progress. I see a natural collapse of a situation that hasn’t found an effective way to develop. We are going back because the technology ALREADY supports massive worlds. But the *ideas* still don’t support them.

We are underdeveloped on the ideas, not the technology. We are taking the easy path to dumb down everything and this strategy doesn’t apply just to the gaming industry but pretty much everywhere.

And imho CoH and even WoW aren’t innovative from this perspective. They are the good result of a company that was able to learn from the mistakes of others. It’s about “polishing”. In this case CoH offers PvE. PvE has nothing to share in a massive world and in fact they use instances.

As I said above the result is better and funnier because they brought the game where it belongs: in a cooperative experience. But CoH isn’t a mmorpg from this point of view. Take Ultima Online and CoH and you see that, aside the setting, one strives to be a word, the other strives to be an arcade.

Now I don’t say CoH isn’t a good game because it is an arcade. I don’t think that building a good game like that isn’t noteworthy, but it’s simply not what a mmorpg should be. Or where the true potential to discover is.

Instancing is a profitable workaround but isn’t about addressing the real problem to move further.

Instead of surpassing the obstacle they are going backward.

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