Game talkAGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote

 Posted by (Visited 83142 times)  Game talk
Sep 062006
 

Here’s my live notes from Rob Pardo’s keynote at the Austin Game Conference.

Rich Vogel intro: WoW is now a global brand, approaching a billion dollars in revenue and at 7m paying users. Rob Pardo was lead designer of Starcraft and is now VP of Design at Blizzard.

What Really matters: how Blizzard Game philosophy translates into World of Warcraft

We have a set of core philosophies, and I will talk about how we apply them to WoW.
We have a lot of mantras: “concentrated coolness,” “easy to learn, hard to master,” etc. With many designers it’s important to have those shared values.

It all starts with a donut. Allan Adham (original designer & founder at Blizzard) would draw a donut to explain what Blizzard is about. The middle of the donut is the core market. The casual market is the rest. We see Blizzard as being about both, and that the casual market grows faster than the core.

A chief way of doing this is through system requirements.

Easy to Learn, difficult to master is the first Law. Design in the depth first, the accessibility later. A lot of folks seem to approach this the other way — when we first develop our games, we first try to come up with the really cool things that add year sof replayability. Then we start talking about accessibility afterwards.

In WoW, we early on talked about character classes. One of the most important things you can do in a class based MMO is the combat system. So we tried to make the combat classes as unique and different from one another as possible. Dungeons too, we wanted them to be a much more hardcore experience, we wanted only groups in there, and so on. The dungeons are there to serve more of the cor e market. It’s something to strive for, a bridge for the casual players to become a little more hardcore.

PvP was another big depth decision. All of our games have been online competitive games. Early on, we didn’t know how honor would work, whether we would have achievements, but we knew we needed PvP Alliance vs Horde.

Lastly, we knew that raids and end game had to be there. We all played UO, EQ, we led uberguilds. We wanted encounters more like you see in Zelda, scripted encounters.

After that, we started talking about accessibility. Which starts with the UI. One of the first pitfalls with UI is trying to make everything visible from the UI. We try to streamline the UI, present only the stuff that is important. This is why we made the auction house accessible via an NPC, rather than via the HUD.

System requirements is another huge component of accessibility.

Another thing we talked about very early on was the game being soloable to 60. We really wanted it to be available to everyone. If you just wanted to play like a single-player game, you could do that,but you’ll see dungeons, battlegrounds, people with cool gear, and so on. We saw this solo game as our casual game.

We also spent a lot of time on the newbie experience. First and foremost, it’s not overwhelming. We generally shy away from tutorials. I enjoy games like Prince of Persia and God of War, which ease you into the game. That’s the approach we take as well. We drop you right into a newbie zone, and it’s not overwhelming. You’re not in a huge confusing city. The newbie experience is not finding your way out of the starting town.

The newbie zone also gets you right into the action. Everywhere you look, there’s a building or two, a couple of NPCs, and monsters. Within five minutes of starting up, you can fight monsters.

Exclamation point design: a game completely driven by quests. We wanted you to always have a reason for existing, a story. The exclamation point design is something we first did in Diablo II. Even the most casual players click on the guy with the exclamation point that is right in front of them, get a quest, and are off and running.

“Killing with a purpose” is the quest philosophy for WoW. With other MMOs, quests were just go out and see that experience bar move. Getting another bubble of XP is really fun but no accessible. We thought that giving you a reason to kill things was more accessible. A lot of people criticize how many bounty or collection quests are in WoW, but it came out of “killing with a purpose.” This way you are always moving around the world, seeing different things in your combat.

Clear concise objectives: try to provide all info in the game, don’t drive players to websites. We try hard through our quests what you need to do, where to go, where the quest giver is so you know where to go back to. Every time we bring in a new quest designer, they want to do a ‘mystery quest” that has vague information, but the reality is that the player will just go to Thottbot, and the people who don’t do that are the casual players who are the ones you need to handhold!

Don’t make players talk to every NPC to find a quest. We try to make it easy to find the quests, a menu of options for things to do. There is a side effect, what we call the Christmas tree effect, which is too many exclamation points overwhelming the users. There’s a balance between too few and railroading, and too many.

Give players a menu of options, but with a limit of 20. Raising the cap on the number of quests is one of the most common requests. We do have technical reasons not to, but the real reason is that the bigger the quest log gets, the less you feel like you are on a mission to do something. If you vacuum up the quests, and then kill indiscriminately, you are probably doing one of them. So putting in a limit makes people make some decisions.

Quest designers are “the cruise directors of WoW.” Their job is to show you the world. When we first do a zone we talk about POIs, points of interest, how many of each type of quest, and that’s the job of the quest designer. Different people like different kinds of quests. So we have to give you a list of possible entertainment to choose from.

Pacing: the bridge between depth and accessibility. Once you have all those deep features, then you have to figure out how you get from the newbie experience to that core experience. For WoW, that’s done through the levelling curve. When I hire designers for Blizzard, one of my pitfall questions that I ask is “why do you think WoW was successful?” One of the hidden answers is the levelling curve — if you extend the levelling curve too far, it becomes a barrier. You hit a levelling wall. Our walls are shorter and there are less of them.

The short levelling curve also encourages people to reroll and start over. We had some hardcore testers who would level to 60 in a week. There was much concern within the company. But I would tell them that we cannot design to that guy. You have to let him go. He probably won’t unsubscribe, he’s going to hit your endgame content or he’ll have multiple level 60s. In games with tough levelling curves, it discourages you from starting over.

Rest system also helps with the casual player who plays 4-5 hours a week. The hardcore player will keep the game in “no rest” state the whole time, whereas casual players will get rewarded for weekend binges followed by days off.

Bite-sized content: we try to tune our quests for accomplishment in chunks. We aim for a 30 minute session, lunchtime battlegrounds. We are doing more “winged dungeons” in the expansion, because we kinda stumbled upon it. We split up the dungeon into separate wings that can be done in 1/2 hour to an hour — like Scarlet Monastery. This was a lesson we learned during development, so we weren’t able to apply it everywhere in the original release. You want to avoid getting to a place where the content of your game doesn’t allow people to play unless they have X amount of time that night.

We aimed battlegrounds at the folks who over lunch would play Counterstrike, or Battlefield 1942.

Concentrated coolness. What this means is, rather than make variety and lots of things to do, make fewer things really cool. The best example in woW is the class system. Lots of games have more classes, multiclassing, etc. We consciously avoided that in order to make each class as cool and different from the others as possible. This allowed us to have unique spells, abilities and mechanics. No red fireball, white fireball, blue fireball, etc. Even the two pet classes, hunters and warlocks, use their pets completely differently. We consciously avoided sharing mechanics across classes. We recently announced that the paladins and the shamans are switching sides. One of the primary reasons why we undid that rule was that we found ourselves merging them into each other for PvP balance. So we decided that it was less important for each side to have its own class than it was to have concentrated coolness for each class.

More classes are not always better. Once you get enough different units or classes, players can only handle so much. When you see someone, you might not know what they can do, and this matters because when you want to form a group, you lose track of the strengths and weaknesses. In battlegrounds, you need to know instantly what the opponent can do to you. Even if you have 50 completely different ideas that are cool, it’s still important not to use them all.

Our class ideas originally came from Warcraft 3. What we chose to do was to take the heroes and combine them. Warrior got aspects of mountain king, blademaster, and Tauren chieftain from War3. We chose to concentrate the coolness.

Tradeoffs. Every decision comes with tradeoffs. designers are greedy by nature — we want everything, moms, dads, cats and dogs playing together. Nothing in game design is black and white, it’s all shades of gray. Whenever we can, we try not to compromise. It usually results in both sides being dissatisfied. If we had solo dungeons, then he group dungeon fans would feel their achievements would be cheapened. So we chose specifically not to have solo instances.

An example of Tradeoffs: system requirements of Wow versus Crysis, for example. Crysis looks awesome. But we would rather have the broader market. So that forced us to the stylized art style that is resistant to looking dated. It did generate lots of negative press, and our graphics programmers always wanted to push farther too. You just have to be prepared. But every game we’ve released, we have gotten the comment that our screenshots were not up to par.

There are benefits to the cutting edge side too. It’s easier to market, and developers want to make the best quality art. You’re fighting against developer psychology if you choose the other route.

World size vs teleportation is another. WoW vs Diablo. We wanted to the scale of the world to feel epic. But you get players getting frustrated and calling it “World of Walkcraft.” You use flight taxis to maintain integrity and having limited teleportation means you can have remote areas where you consciously do not provide a flight path to it.

But on the teleportation side, you get a lot more social connectivity, which is what MMOs are all about. There’s a barrier there if people have to travel and coordinate. We consciously decided to have that tradeoff. Players do want the convenience.

Another tradeoff is prestige gear versus customizable gear. Players ask for dyeing armor, all that. When I played Ultima Online I loved that. It was a great feature. But there’s only so much art time you have, and we chose instead to concentrate the coolness on armor from specific rewards instead. The whole point for a lot of hardcore players is to show off your advancement. So we chose the best gear to be from raids, so we can recognize someone’s achievements based on their gear. The tradeoffs is that you lose everyone looking different and users expressing creativity. And if you try to have both, you’ll end up muddled and somewhere int he between.

The Blizzard polish. Polish is the word associated with us in reviews. There’s this big assumption that polish is something you do in the end. That we’re successful because we spend 6-12 months at the end polishing. We do get more time, but we do the polish right from the beginning. It’s a constant effort. You have to have a culture of polish. Everyone has to be bought into it and you have to constantly preach it. if you leave it to the end, it’ll be more difficult.

You’ll get a lot of “why does it matter that this feature is polished? It’s so small.” But people notice 1000s of polished features, not the single polished feature.

Polish starts in the design process. (pic of skeletons in a room, which he says is the designers in a room). We’re kind of in a new era at Blizzard, when i started we had very few people with the title game designer. That’s been changing over the last few years. It’s interesting bringing in an experienced designer from outside, because they want to make a unit week, add a mechanic constantly, work 100 miles and hour. We have to get them to slow down. You need to talk through things with everyone else, and you have 100 features and they all have flaws and don’t work with each other. So when we are in a design meeting, we try to consider everything. Will it work in this raid encounter, in PvP, as a newbie, for the art, solid mechanics, etc. Contrary to popular belie, we do consider production. Mounted combat is an example of something killed by production time. Bounce ideas off everyone. Let the beer goggles wear off.

When we develop maps, we do it on the whiteboard, so we can iterate, and there’s no cost to changing things.

Phase 2 is when we actually make something. The first thing we try to do is make it fun. Northshire valley, for example — we spent an inordinate amount of time on it. Where do we put the trainers, how does the combat feel, etc. We probably spent more time on it than any other area, by an order of magnitude. After we made it fun, then we made it big. We didn’t go out and build the entire world of WoW until we knew what we were building. It didn’t make sense to do that until we had figured out all the details of the fun. If you have to retrofit the fun into the content, you’re gonna be screwed. When we went into the friends and family alpha test, people were surprised that it was fun. It was a lot easier, once we knew what was fun, to do levels 10-20, and 20-30 and so on. The design at that point was creative design, not mechanics.

Control is king. Game control is taken for granted a lot of times. I remember on Warcraft 3 I could feel a little bit of lag on the mouse cursor, and I kept saying it to the programmer, but he kept saying he couldn’t see anything wrong. Finally he coded in a hardware cursor so we could run both cursors at the same time, and lo and behold there were three frames of lag. And that matters, it’s important. People will leave over that, but you’ll never know that is the reason.

“Beware of the Grand Reveal.” This is a pic of a dungeon that was supposed to be in the original release but is in the expansion, because the subteam went off to work on it in a vacuum, disconnected from the rest of the team. The grand reveal was when they came back and showed it. It was supposed to be a raid dungeon but the doors were too narrow. So back to the drawing board it went, three months of redo because we didn’t redo along the way.

Lastly, have fun with the game. Put in the little in-jokes. If developers are having fun making the game, chances are the players will have fun with it too.

Phase 3: the finish line. Feedback strike teams is something that we have used for a long time. We pull devs from all the teams and put together a diverse group with a mix of play styles — RTS guys who don’t like MMORPGs, etc.

Don’t take small decisions for granted, especially in that newbie experience. We had cases early on where people grouped up with 1 other person that they would get into the next area at 4th level, and that meant they had a bad experience. So we try to ask a lot of questions and don’t let things die on the feedback and striketeam list.

The beta test for us is not about finding bugs. It’s not really about getting a lot of game feedback. it’s about stress testing from a technological and gameplay level. We encourage our testers to exploit the hell out of the game. In our RTS beta tests, people always get upset that we run a ladder in the beta test, because the guys on top are exploiters. But that’s the point — we want to see who the top ten exploiters are so we can look at their games!

Don’t ship until it’s ready. This matters even more with MMOs. You might hear that it’s improved later, but no one actually goes back to try it. You will really cripple yourself, you put at risk the next five years of your product. So hopefully all you publishers will give the developers more time.

I hope we turn this genre into something special. The thing I think is really unique about MMO games — you look all the other genres, and the genre depicts a very specific type of gameplay. But massively multiplayer, this genre has the biggest frontier, it has the most we can achieve, and we should be pushing at all kinds of different directions.

  169 Responses to “AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote”

  1. [IMG ] More details of the keynote by Rob Pardo at the Austin Conference: “The beta test for us is not about finding bugs. It’s not really about getting a lot of game feedback. it’s about stress testing from a technological and gameplay level. We encourage our testers

  2. stated a new character, a warlock, now apparently commonly refereed to as just a lock. She’s 16 now, my old characters are funding her clothing addiction. It’s cute. I’m having fun. Notes from Rob Pardo’s keynote at the Austin Game Conference are were posted

  3. Last month, ShadowBolt commented that if he knew the formula to World of Warcraft’s success, he would sell it and live in a house made of candy. He will be pleased, because Rob Pardo – Vice President of game design at Blizzard – unveils right here the philosophy behind the game. The crux of Pardo’s thought lies in regarding the MMO game as a giant doughnut. You might be thinking that the vast seas of gold have driven Pardo bonkers, perhaps you’re right. But seven million people agree with this

  4. Rob Pardo’s keynote speech gives all the management details that shows how they thought up and executed WoW’s production. Great read.See my website: http://www.GamersGoneBad.com

  5. Some fun links and a request: I just started playing World of Warcraft maybe within the last month or two, and I’m really digging it. Go figure! Here’s a great article from one of the guys at Blizzard (I assume) talking about why their game works. Some people research cures or how to blow up more people from further away; I research game design. [IMG :)] (By the way, the article looks really long when you see how big

  6. The text of Rob Pardo’s keynote from the Austin Game Conference got me thinking about core values and product teams. Rob is the lead designer at Blizzard, and is responsible for World of Warcraft’s experience, which is fantastic. The simple details that they got right make this game

  7. They’re aiming to get a big enough group together on the beach to spell out ‘CRIKEY’, and then go swimming.Vaguely live map of trains in the United Kingdom Matthew’s wild trainspotter mapEyespot Pretty nifty web-based video editing toolAGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote Raph blogs Rob Pardo (lead design director chap for WoW)’s talk at the Austin Games Conference.File Under Mad Skillz Hypnotic Quake 3 trick video. The plasma climbs are yummy. Best game ever made, that.

  8. They’re aiming to get a big enough group together on the beach to spell out ‘CRIKEY’, and then go swimming. Vaguely live map of trains in the United Kingdom Matthew’s wild trainspotter map Eyespot Pretty nifty web-based video editing tool AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote Raph blogs Rob Pardo (lead design director chap for WoW)’s talk at the Austin Games Conference. File Under Mad Skillz Hypnotic Quake 3 trick video. The plasma climbs are yummy. Best game ever made, that.

  9. toujours des orcs et des combats et des elfettes” dans les jeux, par Damion Shubert, lead combat designer chez Bioware. Passionnant, les clés du succès de WoW données par le vice président de la game design team (!) chez Blizzard, Rob Pardo. C’est cadeau. Simplicité, respect, immersion addiction & fun sont les maitre-mots. Et puis avoir 64 millions de $ en poche ça aide. Ceci dit WoW va atteindre le milliard de chiffre d’affaire…[IMG]

  10. 來自:Donews 轉載自:Gameres 原文出處:Raph Koster’s Website[IMG ][IMG ]

  11. CNET: The winning ways of ‘Warcraft’ GameSpot: WOW designer kicks off Austin conference Gamasutra: AGC: Blizzard’s Pardo On WoW’s Success Raphkoster: AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote[IMG ][IMG ]

  12. Mr. Pardo is the lead game designer on World of Warcraft, which is still taking up a fair amount of my time, so I found this quite interesting (certainly more so than the somewhat misleading article in The Escapist a while back). Raph has a slightly different transcript of Mr. Pardo’s keynote on his site. I found this one of the most interesting quotes: “We have a lot of goofy mantras,” Pardo said. “Things like ‘purity of purpose,’ ‘concentrated coolness,’ obvious ones like ‘easy to learn, difficult to master.’ When

  13. In this article detailing Rob Pardo’s Keynote at the Austin Game Conference, we get a pretty awesome look into the minds of Blizzard. They run their company the way I’d like to do Development. A couple of quotes will say it better than I can.

  14. that shipping is the end of development. If a game is a ship, a small single player game might be SS Minnow from Gilligan’s Island. MMO is like an aircraft carrier that stays in service. Shipping is not the end. Polish is key. That seems to be aBlizzard mantra.And play your own game. Deliver on the fantasy. Blizzard was panicked about Star Wars Galaxies, the competitor to World of Warcraft. Instead of light sabers and stormtroopers, there was dancing and hairdressing.

  15. There’s an interestingpostup on Raph Koster’s blog where he publishes his notes from Rob Pardo’s keynote speech at last week’s Austin Game Conference. Rob Pardo was a lead designer for WoW, and there’s some more coverage of his speech over at

  16. common in the MMO production schedule would be a fantastic understatement. Warhammer Online and Age of Conan’s now almost-comical dancing act away from a release date can probably be traced right back to last year’s launch of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.Rob Pardo’s well-known mantraof “polish, polish, polish” finally has a sort of anti-hero poster boy; a sterling example of what not to do when making one of these games. But, of course, WAR and AoC are just the latest examples of this trend. MMOs have been delaying or dying off

  17. [...] Title without CSS Raph did our Work for Us AGC’06 , Blogosphere Posted by: schild @ 09:34:32 on 9/6/06 Having slept in from a sickness some call a “hangover,” I stumbled into the convention center and immediately found another sick guy. His name is Raph, and he “livebrogged” the keynote. Enjoy. We’ll have more once we get hold of the notes from this morning’s panels. [discuss]       Back [...]

  18. I hope we turn this genre into something special. The thing I think is really unique about MMO games — you look all the other genres, and the genre depicts a very specific type of game play. But massively multiplayer, this genre has the biggest frontier, it has the most we can achieve, and we should be pushing at all kinds of different directions.

    In other words…

    “Dont try and make another WoW. Make a niche game with a complex economy and mabye dancing!”

    *sigh*

    Well I will say, this explanation is alot better than saying the keys to WoW’s success are; a bankable franchise and a “Well Established Talented Team”

    Here is Blizzard’s
    New and Improved, “Keys to Success”
    -Easy to Learn, difficult to Master
    -PvP
    -Raids
    -Responsive UI
    -Low system Requirements
    -Solo-able until endgame
    -Seamless Newbie Experience
    -Get players right in the action
    -Easy to find quests
    -Killing with a purpose
    -Clear concise objectives
    -Give players a “Limited Menu of Options”
    -Bite-sized content
    -Concentrated coolness
    -World size vs teleportation
    -The Blizzard polish
    -Have fun with the game

    I think all these things are all well and good, and there is so much I want to say about each thing. I think some of these points WoW lived up to, others not so much.

    Purpose is something mentioned yet, I never felt like I had any actual purpose slaying 15 mottles boars.

    However I will, tell you when I have felt like I had “purpose”.

    World of Warcaft: Being a Guild Master; Searching for guild members, deciding loot systems, raid seeding, Raid times, actively managing 60 people. Somehow managing to get 40 of them to log on at once and stay for 5 hour sessions where they have to work as a team to complete a virtual goal. This was stressful, fun, and meaningful all at once.

    Star Wars Galaxies: Getting that first shop. Playing as a pure merchant, I had to actively negotiate wholesale orders from crafters and secure the capital to pay for such large orders. Then I had to actively advertise that instead of carrying one particular crafters wares, that I carried multiple crafter’s, and that I could offer them better prices and a more convenient location. This was stressful, fun, and meaningful all at once.

    EVE Online: PVP. Getting ransomed by pirate players. This was stressful, fun, and meaningfull all at once.

    Stress contributes to meaning, which contributes to immersion, and that immsersion of being thrust into a virtual world is what creates the “fun”. When the lines blur and you are no longer an avatar, but you yourself are feeling threatened, or doing the threatening, or being monetarily successful, that is fun. It is a type of fun that can only be had when other people facilitate it. It is Social fun interwoven with game play.

    That is in my opinion the key to success, not making a highly polished player experience, so polished it feels almost offline/console like. And at the same time, a 3-D chat-room offers nothing that a java chat-room would, except some exciting visuals, and a cool costume.

    Polish helps a lot, but social fun interwoven with game play is what makes the world come alive.

  19. Interesting stuff, though I wonder if he actually plays his own game? This part in particular stood out for me:

    Bite-sized content: we try to tune our quests for accomplishment in chunks. We aim for a 30 minute session, lunchtime battlegrounds. We are doing more “winged dungeons” in the expansion, because we kinda stumbled upon it. We split up the dungeon into separate wings that can be done in 1/2 hour to an hour — like Scarlet Monastery. This was a lesson we learned during development, so we weren’t able to apply it everywhere in the original release. You want to avoid getting to a place where the content of your game doesn’t allow people to play unless they have X amount of time that night.

    A 30 minute session?! The only way a battleground will take 30 minutes or less is if one side is getting stomped. And as for going through a dungeon in 30 minutes, thats just a pipe dream (unless he’s talking about going back to a level 20 dungeon when youre level 60). WoW is an incredible time-sink on every level. About all you could accomplish during a 30 minute lunch would be to check your mail and the auction house and maybe do a little crafting. Forget finishing a quest, much less actually completing a dungeon, winged or not.

    If you really want to support the short sessions, you need to have interesting content nearby. A level-centric game makes that pretty much impossible to achieve.

  20. There’s a lot of good thoughts in that keynote, and a lot of things that make sense to me as a gamer, and that I wish more shops in the industry would do – even if I don’t play WoW because of one of the tradeoffs he mentioned.

    Here’s a small selection:

    You want to avoid getting to a place where the content of your game doesn’t allow people to play unless they have X amount of time that night.

    “Killing with a purpose” is the quest philosophy for WoW. With other MMOs, quests were just go out and see that experience bar move. Getting another bubble of XP is really fun but no accessible. We thought that giving you a reason to kill things was more accessible.

    Polish starts in the design process. (pic of skeletons in a room, which he says is the designers in a room). We’re kind of in a new era at Blizzard, when i started we had very few people with the title game designer. That’s been changing over the last few years. It’s intersting bringing in an experienced designer from outside, because they want to make a unit week, add a mechanic constantly, work 100 miles and hour. We have to get them to slow down. You need to talk through things with everyone else, and you hve 100 features and they all have flaws and don’t work wtih each other. So when we are in a design meeting, we try to consider everything. Will it work in this raid encounter, in PvP, as a newbie, for the art, solid mechanics, etc. Contrary to popular belie, we do consider production. Mounted combat is an examle of something killed by production time. Bounce ideas off everyone. Let the beer goggles wear off.

    Don’t ship until it’s ready. This matters even more with MMOs. You might hear that it’s improved later, but no one actually goes back to try it. You will really cripple yourself, you put at risk the next five years of your product. So hopefully all you publishers will give the developers more time.

  21. Tholal said:

    A 30 minute session?! The only way a battleground will take 30 minutes or less is if one side is getting stomped. And as for going through a dungeon in 30 minutes, thats just a pipe dream (unless he’s talking about going back to a level 20 dungeon when youre level 60).

    Yeah 30 minutes is just a bit short. Most of my dungeon crawls in WoW lasted 90-120 minutes, not counting time spent getting there. Battlegrounds were normally 60-90. That’s still a fairly good timeframe but yeah, you have a point.

  22. [...] Comments [...]

  23. [...] AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote on Raph Koster AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote on Raph Koster Here’s my live notes from Rob Pardo’s keynote at the Austin Game Conference. Rich Vogel intro: WoW is now a global brand, approaching a billion dollars in revenue and at 7m paying users. Rob Pardo was lead designer of Starcraft and is now VP of Design at Blizzard. What Really matters: how Blizzard Game philosophy translates into [...] via Raph Koster [...]

  24. Killing with a purpose.

    HAHA! right.

    “go kill 5 rats.
    good!
    now go kill 10 rats.
    great!
    now go get the magic key.
    wonderful!
    now, use the magic key to enter the magic castle, and then kill 20 rats…”

    he’s REALLY trying to tell us that the “purpose” somehow isn’t just to watch the XP bar rise?
    and he said that with a straight face? really???

    i think i’d like “Killing with a porpoise” a lot more.

  25. [...] Raph Koster has published a really nice live notes write up of Blizzard’s Rob Pardo keynote from this years Austin Game Conference. This is worth the check out and covers a lot of ground…quote: In WoW, we early on talked about character classes. One of the most important things you can do in a class based MMO is the combat system. So we tried to make the combat classes as unique and different from one another as possible. Dungeons too, we wanted them to be a much more hardcore experience, we wanted only groups in there, and so on. The dungeons are there to serve more of the cor emarket. It?s something to strive for, a bridge for the casual players to become a little more hardcore. PvP was another big depth decision. All of our games have been online competitive games. Early on, we didn?t know how honor would work, whether we would have achivements, but we knew we needed PvP Alliance vs Horde.Read the Rest… [...]

  26. [...] Rob Pardos keynote  [ Comment ]Print News | Mail NewsRaph Koster has published a really nice live notes write up of Blizzard’s Rob Pardo keynote from this years Austin Game Conference. This is worth the check out and covers a lot of ground…In WoW, we early on talked about character classes. One of the most important things you can do in a class based MMO is the combat system. So we tried to make the combat classes as unique and different from one another as possible. Dungeons too, we wanted them to be a much more hardcore experience, we wanted only groups in there, and so on. The dungeons are there to serve more of the cor emarket. Its something to strive for, a bridge for the casual players to become a little more hardcore. PvP was another big depth decision. All of our games have been online competitive games. Early on, we didnt know how honor would work, whether we would have achivements, but we knew we needed PvP Alliance vs Horde.Read the Rest…– -1313-Evil_Homer @ Wednesday, 6 September, 2006 [...]

  27. [...] The Austin Game Conference is going on in…um…Austin. Rob Pardo of Blizzard was the keynote speaker. Raph wrote a quote from Allan Adham (Blizzard founder), who, after drawing a picture of a donut, said “…The middle of the donut is the core market. The casual market is the rest. We see Blizzard as being about both, and that the casual market grows faster than the core.” [...]

  28. That was extremely interesting, thanks for posting.

    Grouping or grinding; neither palatable. Which parts of the doughnut were they?

  29. [...] This follows the pattern that is often the rule for transitions that occur in this country—subtle, incremental, giving everyone involved something they can come away with, and resulting in an inherently logical solution from a Japanese perspective.   Leave a comment   pandaris[squaresoft_icon] 06 September 2006 @ 08:44 am   1 x Endless Saga1 x FFVII: Advent Children3 x FFVII: Dirge of Cerberus3 x Final Fantasy XII4 x Fruits Basket1 x Howl’s Moving Castle (see the icons here!)Please comment and credit   Leave a comment   raphkoster 06 September 2006 @ 03:42 pm AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote   http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/Here’s my live notes from Rob Pardo’s keynote at the Austin Game Conference. [...]

  30. HAHA! right.
    “go kill 5 rats. good!
    now go kill 10 rats. great!
    now go get the magic key. wonderful!
    now, use the magic key to enter the magic castle, and then kill 20 rats…”

    he’s REALLY trying to tell us that the “purpose” somehow isn’t just to watch the XP bar rise?
    and he said that with a straight face? really???

    Yes, he is saying that’s killing with a purpose.
    Why? B/c compare that to EQ1′s favorite advancement mechanism; camping. Sitting in one place for hours killing the same critter over and over is drop dead boring to most people. At least in the WoW method, the individual quests themselves are not long, they do try to steer you through new areas as you advance, you can carry 20 different onces at once you you always have SOMETHING to do, and perhaps most importantly, even those littel kill 10 rats quests nets you a tangible reward.

    Do not mock the Skinner box.

  31. The biggest problem here is that, and I know it’s been said a million times, WoW is an MMOGame. It’s not a Virtual world, it’s not supposed to be meaningful or anything like that.

    It’s a game, a game about building an Epeen. Despite how many reasons he may give for all of the “fun” involved in WoW — It’s still nothing compared to the amazement I feel in a solid virtual world.

    I’ve played in quite a few virtual worlds and WoW was the most uninteresting and unimportant to me.

  32. [...] Read More Raph did our Work for Us AGC’06 , Blogosphere Posted by: schild @ 09:34:32 on 9/6/06 Having slept in from a sickness some call a”hangover,” I stumbled into the convention center and immediately found another sick guy. His name is Raph, and he “livebrogged” the keynote. Enjoy. We’ll have more once we get hold of the notes from this morning’s panels. [discuss]       [...]

  33. Despite all of WOW’s flaws, issues, and unpalatability in certain areas I will say one thing for them: They seem to be supremely focused on the end user experiance and making it palatable from the newbie through the leveling curve in “bite sized chunks”…..so grats to them for making the customer come first.

    However is the cost of thier success mcdonaldization of the genre or exploring vast frontiers?

  34. Interesting to see what the goals were and compare them to the feel of the game once it’s settled in for the long haul. They did a fairly good job of hitting most (though not all) of those goals.

    Also interesting to realize that in Blizzard’s thinking, I’m a casual player. Maybe I am, these days.

  35. I’ve tried to get into WoW twice now and just can’t fathom the popularity to be honest. Every time I logged it just felt like all of the most common MMO bag of tricks put together in a nicer, more refined package. That’s great for casual players and people new to these online experiences, but to me it just felt repetitive and pointless. A shiny, polished, gold-plated turd. ;)

    Granted they did a lot of what’s been done BETTER, but what’s been done has never been all that interesting to me. I like depth and complexity. I don’t like my games black and white with clear-cut in your face boundaries between skills, players, and equipment. I’m an EVE player right now, and it’s because there’s substance there.

    I agree Blizzard does a lot right for a first time experience, but I hope to that there’s enough companies out there willing to do it differently with publishers willing to back them.

  36. Awww, it edited out my deity and belief system tags…heh :-\

  37. “I’ve played in quite a few virtual worlds and WoW was the most uninteresting and unimportant to me.”

    And 6.5 million people are all shouting “THEN GO BACK TO YOUR VIRTUAL WORLD.” Sad fact is most virtual world MMORPG’s are just plain fucking boring. I love EVE… on paper. Don’t get me wrong… it has great ideas that work well in the game. However, it feels more like a second job than any level grind ever will. Months of hardwork can be smashed in an evening… and god forbid you decided your little sister’s birthday was more important than logging into EVE.

    Virtual worlds are great if you have the time to enjoy them, but virtual worlds are a niche market. Enjoy them, but don’t typecast “MMOGames” as something people don’t care for. They are for the majority of us that can’t afford to live a second life online and that means short, fun, and rewarding gameplay experiences.

    The beta test for us is not about finding bugs. It’s not really about getting a lot of game feedback. it’s about stress testing from a technological and gameplay level. We encourage our testers to exploit the hell out of the game. In our RTS beta tests, people always get upset that we run a ladder in the beta test, because the guys on top are exploiters. But that’s the point — we want to see who the top ten exploiters are so we can look at their games!

    Classic… love it.

  38. *shrug*

    There’s a place for both types of games, it just depends on what you find fun. In fact, it’s really more of a spectrum than a dichotomy.

  39. The biggest point I took out of that whole dialogue is that they have no idea how to build the casual game beyond 1 – 59 and they really don’t care to either. Raiding IS the only end game or rerolling. All the debates about how Blizzard loves the casual player and even Pardo himself stating that the casual market is the fastest growing doesn’t mean a hill of beans to the design. End game is all about raiding and the rest just masquerades as something other than that. Unless of course all casuals want to look at others in cool gear when they hit 60….

    That keynote changed my opinion of the designers at Blizzard in many ways.

  40. And 6.5 million people are all shouting

    And MySpace is shouting at your dinky little WoW to stfu and go back to your magic doodads. I think they’re both equally boring, but that’s just me, and equally senseless as American Idol or Survivor or, God forbid, the story of Christmas. (Sorry, I spent yesterday criticizing religions and then watched Da Vinci Code on the plane this afternoon. Twice. Because it was a long flight.)

    he’s REALLY trying to tell us that the “purpose” somehow isn’t just to watch the XP bar rise?

    No, “purpose” means “because you were told to”.

  41. [...] Your page is now on StumbleUpon! For each appearance in your referral logs, one of our members has ‘stumbled upon’ your site after clicking “Stumble!” on our toolbar to discover a new great site. Enter Your URL → [...]

  42. Every time we bring in a new quest designer, they want to do a ‘mystery quest” that has vague information, but the reality is that the player will just go to Thottbot, and the people who don’t do that are the casual players who are the ones you need to handhold!

    That sounds like “Don’t write mystery thriller books, because the reader will either look at the last page first or is too stupid to understand your book anyway”.

  43. [...] 值得一读的暴雪制作人访谈 [ 2006-09-07 15:20:41 | Author: Admin ] 刚看到一篇BLOG,是在AGC(Austin Game Conference)上采访BLIZ的VP of Design at Blizzard的。没有什么最新的消息,只是讲述一下为什么WOW会如此成功的幕后制作情况。但是绝对比什么新闻有意义的多,起码我们会了解到这个游戏为何如此让人“沉迷”http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/#more-678 Category: 魔兽世界 | Permalink | Comments: 0 | Trackbacks: 0 | Views: 0 [...]

  44. No, “purpose” means “because you were told to”.

    that’s not the purpose. that’s the dressing.
    the underlying purpose is still just to watch the XP bar rise.

    if killing those ten rats meant that the town was rid of a rat plague for the next week, and that a rat plague meant that rats would eat up people’s food and grains, meaning they would starve and begin to get sick and eventually dye, so that your ridding them of the rats had a positive effect on the town… then that would be a purpose.
    but only if the mechanics actually supported that. meaning, if you didn’t kill the rats, then the towns people would eventually die.
    you can’t just say “oh no! the rats are plaguing the town! help help!” and not have anything to back it up. because that’s just playing make-believe. that throws the purpose back to just watching the XP bar rise.
    make-believe is fun when it’s free. but not as fun when you’re paying $15 a month to a company who sunk tens-of-millions of dollars into a video game.

  45. haha. it’s early, and i misspelled “die”. d’oh!

  46. So in other words, allowing player actions to have an impact (even a small, indirect one) on the game world would give adventure-oriented combat gameplay more purpose than kill…loot….repeat…ding?

    I can agree with that, but I need to point out that it would require continual modification to the game world based on the actions of the players. The developers would have to keep track of what the players do and then introduce new events periodically to keep things fresh. That can be coded to some extent, but ultimately you need that “GM” coming up with new plotlines or the whole thing starts to feel meaningless. It is possible to do (I’ve done it myself for MUDs), but to do it in a full-scale commercial MMO is going to be a truly massive undertaking. If Stormwind is razed to the ground by invading armies in WoW, then where do all the new human characters go? Some refugee camp somewhere that doesn’t exist yet? That would take time to build, so unless the dev team had it ready in advance it would be hard for them to have an army attack Stormwind that had even a chance of truly causing lasting harm to the city.

    That being the case, I’d rather try to design systems where players can make their own content in some way. So maybe if players found that town, and then the rat plague was a “random” event that can affect player towns? Since the town itself isn’t supposed to be a permanent fixture of the game world and is generated somewhat dynamically, it’s easier to allow truly bad and lasting things to happen to it.

  47. [...] Keynote by Blizzard VP of COntent [ #143319 ] Thursday September 07, @07:50AM If you’re a WoW head like me, this was a very interesting read… Submitted for a front page.http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardo s-keynote/ List all Journal entries Keynote by Blizzard VP of COntent | Log in/Create an Account | Top | Search Discussion Display Options Threshold: -1: 0 comments 0: 0 comments 1: 0 comments 2: 0 comments 3: 0 comments 4: 0 comments 5: 0 comments Flat Nested No Comments Threaded Oldest First Newest First Highest Scores First Oldest First (Ignore Threads) Newest First (Ignore Threads) [...]

  48. [...] It all starts with a donut. Allan Adham (original designer & founder at Blizzard) would draw a donut to explain what Blizzard is about. The middle of the donut is the core market. The casualCasual Player oder -Gamer bezeichnet den typischen Feierabendspieler, der etwa 10 bis 15 Stunden pro Woche spielt. market is the rest. We see Blizzard as being about both, and that the casual market grows faster than the core. A chief way of doing this is through system requirements. Easy to Learn, difficult to master is the first Law. Design in the depth first, the accessibility later. A lot of folks seem to approach this the other way when we first develop our games, we first try to come up with the really cool things that add year sof replayability. Then we start talking about accessibility afterwards. Link: AGC: Rob Pardos keynoteWeitere News zum Thema: WoW: Goldmarkt am Ende? Starcraft Online, das nchste MMORPG von Blizzard? TR: Systemvoraussetzungen fr Tabula Rasa WoW: Hero Klassen endgltig vom Tisch? WoW: Video von fliegenden Mounts Diskussion im Forum:Rob Pardo ber das Erfolgsrezept bei World of Warcraft [...]

  49. you can’t just say “oh no! the rats are plaguing the town! help help!” and not have anything to back it up. because that’s just playing make-believe.

    I’m [almost] speechless.

  50. I’m [almost] speechless.

    why?
    because all games are, at their core, playing make-believe?

    yeah, i know that. but it’s more fun when playing make-believe has real (within the context of the game or world) consequences attached to it.

    tag. you’re it.
    three strikes and you’re out. sit down. better luck next time.
    you’ve landed on park place. pay up.
    four downs and the ball goes to the other team. back to the sidelines.
    rats have overtaken the town. everyone in the town is sick and dying.

  51. Some refugee camp somewhere that doesn’t exist yet?

    Why not have the players build it? And, better yet, turn off the ability to make human characters. Sure, that’ll have consequences. But why should the character generator be any more sacred than the newbie starting town?

    That can be coded to some extent, but ultimately you need that “GM” coming up with new plotlines or the whole thing starts to feel meaningless.

    I don’t need someone to tell me my actions are meaningful if they are. If they aren’t meaningful, I don’t want someone to lie to me and tell me they are.

    the rat plague was a “random” event that can affect player towns

    Better yet, make disease normal. And make certain player properties, such as race, react differently to different diseases, so that some players get benefits from a plague of type X, and others die.

    because all games are, at their core, playing make-believe?

    I believe the term you’re looking for is “immersion breaking”. The purpose of all this realisticness is to produce better immersion. When the audience looks behind the stage prop of a building and sees the cardboard, it breaks immersion. Similarly, when they march off to defeat the evil rat plague and discover there is no actual plague, just rats to kill, it breaks immersion.

    I’d rather try to design systems where players can make their own content in some way.

    Non-contradictory point I just realized:

    The primary content of any multiplayer game is always the other players. To think otherwise is a bit self-delusional. Why? Because we still can’t design systems as complex as human beings, and we’re a long, long way from designing systems as complex as human relationships. Thus, system-provided content always becomes secondary to content provided by other players. (Also known as “Playing a game is an expression of really easy creativity.”)

    The content provided by the system is necessary, essential, yes, absolutely. It’s why otherwise unconnected people start playing. But it cannot remain the primary content. If you doubt that, take a look at comment #1.

  52. [...] outlining the Blizzard philosophy on designing game content [...]

  53. [...] From Raph Kosters Website: Rob Pardos keynotes from Austin Game Conference the discription of the design decisions made during the development of world of warcraft. its a very good document, have fun with it http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06…ardos-keynote/ here are some quotes of it: Quote: [...]

  54. [...] OH SHIT. [ravuya@home]# ravsql –database BetterThanWorldOfWarcraft INSERT INTO world DUNGEONS, WARRIORS, DRUIDS, PRIESTS, WARLOCKS, HUNTERS, BATTLEGROUNDS, SPELLS, (SELECT * FROM QUESTS WHERE LENGTH > 24) HAH! I win again. Wait.. [ravuya@home]# tighten –graphics Raph actually knows what he’s talking about wrt this speech, though. Wish I could’ve gone and taken this idiot’s spot. ravuya: [Website][Yes, I actually changed what appears here.] [...]

  55. [...] How they built WoW Rob Pardo the Lead designer gave a keynote at the Austin Game conference..has some pretty cool information on how they designed this thing we call WoW. Very good read. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06…ardos-keynote/ [...]

  56. [...] http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/_________________Glaza Sentinels of Frostrune Warrior Class Leader/RAID leader/Guild Affairs Officer “Come on Baby! I have Blessing of Protection” [...]

  57. He still hasn’t addressed the multiple flaws in the classes – in particular, Feral and Mookin Druids forced to be HealBots in end-game because Blizz didn’t have a bloody clue what to do with them! No matter how many times we complain as a class and as individal players, Blizz keeps putting more and more healbot got gear into the game. If I wanted to be a healbot, i would have rolled a preist!

    Blizz doesn’t care that 1% of my take home income goes to them so we can play as a family each year and they continue to ignore or marginalize the non-core classes more and more.

    Rob Pardo is ignoring us because they have a broken set of classes and specs and no clue how to dig themselves out of the hole they have nearly buried themselves into.

    Rob, if you’re reading this, email me as I’d like to bend your ear a bit!

  58. [...] Interesting report on the Rob Pardo (Blizzard VP of design) keynote speech at the Austin Games Conference. Great insight on the design decisions made during the development process and Blizzard’s overall game design philosophy. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/#more-678 [...]

  59. [...] the discription of the design decisions made during the development of world of warcraft. its a very good document, have fun with it http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ here are some quotes of it: [...]

  60. [...] http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ Developers are smart. And the game has been getting better all the time – really looking forward to the expansion _________________ Jaete the mage Lobotomy the druid Helfir the corpse [...]

  61. We have two extremes now when it comes to how content is provided in VWs/MMOs; either publisher *provided* content (WoW) or pure-player *constructed* content (Second Life). There is an inbetween, and it uses a concept that I’ve heard referred to as a “rule of rules.”

    If you’re playing a game and you want complexity, you can do it two ways: you can either provide a certain number of rules, or you can provide rules that combine. What WoW-type games do is, essentially, provide lots of rules in the form of content. That’s the “rats.” Here are rats to kill. Here is a quest. And another quest. And another. What SL does, though, is provide the absolute other end of the spectrum, which is the tools to create any and all rules. You can code games in SL, but only if you want to start with the “prime movers” of any world; colors, textures, prims, programming. That’s not content, that’s physics. That’s like giving kids a rubber plant, a tree and a pig and telling them to play ball.

    A system, however, that provides a “rule of rules,” allows, as Michael says, for events and interactions based on a certain set of allowable interactions and creativity on the players’ parts, but not others. So, for example, if you know that killing rats is going to help stop the spread of Dire Plague, and that Dire Plague kills humans but is good for trolls… well, then your gameplay and quest decisions will not require ane exclamation point at all; you will know whether or not you want to feed the rats or kill them based on the race of your character. You don’t need a separate “rule.” You have a “rule of rules” and make your own decisions.

    The number of permutations and ways to evaluate play options escalates geometrically when you start designing in lifelike or complex systematic, interactive rules rather specific rules. For example, suppose these rats live well in the presence of horses, but not cows. And both humans and trolls can ride horses, but only humans can eat beef and drink milk. OK… more reason than ever for trolls to like rats and kill cows. Interesting quest fodder. But rats spook horses, and if you don’t keep their numbers down to a certain level, etc. etc. You get the point.

    Managing these kinds of systems end up being much more interesting, imo.

  62. [...] Sporo info o tym jak powstawal wow i dlaczego devsi wybrali taka, a nie inna droge rozwoju. Calkiem ciekawe imho http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/_________________ Priest The primary function of any healing class is to allow all other classes to have fun at your expense. #wow-pl @ quakenet [...]

  63. [...] Are Core Values Organic? The text of Rob Pardo’s keynote from the Austin Game Conference got me thinking about core values and product teams. Rob is the lead designer at Blizzard, and is responsible for World of Warcraft’s experience, which is fantastic. The simple details that they got right make this game compelling, and frankly have also made it difficult for me to latch on to any other game recently. I’ve tried playing a bunch, including Saint’s Row and Dead Rising, and there always seems to be some simple detail that drives me nuts. [...]

  64. [...] Raph was kinda enough to transcribe this talk by Rob Pardo at the Austin Game Convention: The Blizzard polish. Polish is the word associated with us in reviews. There’s this big assumption that polish is something you do in the end. That we’re successful because we spend 6-12 months at the end polishing. We do get more time, but we do the polish right from the beginning. It’s a constant effort. You have to have a culture of polish. Everyone has to be bought into it and you have to constantly preach it. if you leave it to the end, it’ll be more difficult. [...]

  65. He still hasn’t addressed the multiple flaws in the classes – in particular, Feral and Mookin Druids forced to be HealBots in end-game because Blizz didn’t have a bloody clue what to do with them! No matter how many times we complain as a class and as individal players, Blizz keeps putting more and more healbot got gear into the game. If I wanted to be a healbot, i would have rolled a preist!

    Blizz doesn’t care that 1% of my take home income goes to them so we can play as a family each year and they continue to ignore or marginalize the non-core classes more and more.

    Rob Pardo is ignoring us because they have a broken set of classes and specs and no clue how to dig themselves out of the hole they have nearly buried themselves into.

    Rob, if you’re reading this, email me as I’d like to bend your ear a bit

    See one thing I like about Blizzard is the fact they don’t cave into player complaints on core things, like classes and their purposes. Coming from SWG that was always one of the dev teams flaws – people would cry and moan and something would get nerfed.

    Instead Blizzard seems to take the time to know in advance what a profession is supposed to be, and make smaller tweaks every once and a while.

    There are two constants in WoW from the player base …

    - My profession sucks. It needs to be better. Give me more power.
    - Every other profession is overpowered! Nerf them!

    If you stood in Ogrimmar or Ironforge long enough you’d hear somebody in General chat complaining about every single class in the game. It just seems to be part of the mind set of gamers. My class isn’t good enough. Yours is overpowered.

    Case in point the other night some of my guildies were chit-chatting in ventrilo. The conversation boiled down to warriors are overpowered, priests are overpowered, mages are overpowered, rogues are overpowered, hunters are overpowered, druids are overpowered, pallys are overpowered and if we were playing alliance shaman would be overpowered.

    Anybody here who has played for at least a few months has heard somebody complain about each and every class in the game.

    Which IMO means Blizzard is doing something right. Everybody loves their profession, hates the other professions, but those professions love theirs and hate yours.

  66. That’s like giving kids a rubber plant, a tree and a pig and telling them to play ball.

    YES!

    the rest of what you said was on the money as well.
    WoW and Second Life do exist on opposite ends of the spectrum, and there’s not much between the two. Second Life seems to be pretty much over there on its own. almost every other MMO is over by WoW’s end.
    there’s a few lower budget MMOs scattered around closer to the middle. most noticably EVE. but so far no MMO i know of has struck the bullseye (being the middle).

  67. The primary content of any multiplayer game is always the other players. To think otherwise is a bit self-delusional. Why? Because we still can’t design systems as complex as human beings, and we’re a long, long way from designing systems as complex as human relationships. Thus, system-provided content always becomes secondary to content provided by other players. (Also known as “Playing a game is an expression of really easy creativity.”)

    The content provided by the system is necessary, essential, yes, absolutely. It’s why otherwise unconnected people start playing. But it cannot remain the primary content.

    Not true, unless you’re referring to simple socialization as content. In some multiplayer games, (Eve comes to mind) system-provided content does indeed become secondary to content provided by other players. In others (EQ, for instance) it doesn’t. WoW started out weighted in favor of system content and is only 50/50 now, assuming you consider battleground PvP user content. (That ratio might improve if they remove the restrictions on world PvP that discouraged player-run raids on opposing faction towns.)

    User created content gaining ascendance over system content is probably a goal of any non-masochistic designer, for the reasons you mention plus a few others, but there are too many games where it hasn’t happened to view it as inevitable.

  68. [...] It all starts with a donut. Allan Adham (original designer & founder at Blizzard) would draw a donut to explain what Blizzard is about. The middle of the donut is the core market. The casual market is the rest. We see Blizzard as being about both, and that the casual market grows faster than the core A chief way of doing this is through system requirements. Easy to Learn, difficult to master is the first Law. Design in the depth first, the accessibility later. A lot of folks seem to approach this the other way when we first develop our games, we first try to come up with the really cool things that add year sof replayability. Then we start talking about accessibility afterwards. Raph Koster attended the AGC and was kind enough to take notes and post a very thorough and detailed synopsis of Robs speech. Its a remarkable read that covers everything from the design of the newbie areas to pvp to the end-game content. [...]

  69. Fix the warrior talents in BC you asshat!

  70. [...] Here�s my live notes from Rob Pardo�s keynote at the Austin Game Conference. ….. VERY nice read __________________ Illidan Horde: Kurisu/Mage — Disconnected/Hunter Formerly Deaddragoxo of EQ Xegony [...]

  71. Actually, I include all multiplayer games, from chess to Mario Kart to EQ. Imagine removing all the other players from a multiplayer game.

    Not true, unless you’re referring to simple socialization as content.

    It is. Content is–and I hesitate to make this kind of declaration… it just begs to be chopped apart–anything you experience. I mean… what’s the difference between canned dialogue from an NPC and witty conversation over a chat channel that makes one content and other not?

    The difference isn’t in the prominence of user content, but I’m not sure where it is. I’m just sure that players are the primary content of multiplayer games.

  72. [...] Rob Pardo is Blizzard’s President of Game Design and is largely considered the father of the Warcraft franchise. Rob Pardo is also an avid MMOG player, all the way back to UO. He was a guild leader of Legacy of Steel, one of the most hardcore raiding guilds in Everquest history. When he stepped down as GL, the successor he named to lead LoS was Tigole, who is now the lead game designer for World of Warcraft. Some people have chosen to find comfort in the delusion that Everquest raiders snuck into Blizzard one night and hijacked the casual-friendly 1-60 game for their own raider constituency. Hopefully that bit of history and the following excerpts will serve to relieve that misunderstanding. What follows are excerpts from notes by Raph Koster (SOE Designer) of Rob Pardo’s keynote speech during the opening of the Austin Game Conference. : Q u o t e: We have a set of core philosophies, and I will talk about how we apply them to WoW. We have a lot of mantras: “concentrated coolness,” “easy to learn, hard to master,” etc. With many designers it’s important to have those shared values. It all starts with a donut. Allan Adham (original designer & founder at Blizzard) would draw a donut to explain what Blizzard is about. The middle of the donut is the core market. The casual market is the rest. We see Blizzard as being about both, and that the casual market grows faster than the core. — Easy to Learn, difficult to master is the first Law. Design in the depth first, the accessibility later. A lot of folks seem to approach this the other way — when we first develop our games, we first try to come up with the really cool things that add year sof replayability. Then we start talking about accessibility afterwards. In WoW, we early on talked about character classes. One of the most important things you can do in a class based MMO is the combat system. So we tried to make the combat classes as unique and different from one another as possible. Dungeons too, we wanted them to be a much more hardcore experience, we wanted only groups in there, and so on. The dungeons are there to serve more of the cor e market. It’s something to strive for, a bridge for the casual players to become a little more hardcore. — Lastly, we knew that raids and end game had to be there. We all played UO, EQ, we led uberguilds. We wanted encounters more like you see in Zelda, scripted encounters. After that, we started talking about accessibility. Which starts with the UI. One of the first pitfalls with UI is trying to make everything visible from the UI. We try to streamline the UI, present only the stuff that is important. This is why we made the auction house accessible via an NPC, rather than via the HUD. — Pacing: the bridge between depth and accessibility. Once you have all those deep features, then you have to figure out how you get from the newbie experience to that core experience. For WoW, that’s done through the levelling curve. When I hire designers for Blizzard, one of my pitfall questions that I ask is “why do you think WoW was successful?” One of the hidden answers is the levelling curve — if you extend the levelling curve too far, it becomes a barrier. You hit a levelling wall. Our walls are shorter and there are less of them. The short levelling curve also encourages people to reroll and start over. We had some hardcore testers who would level to 60 in a week. There was much concern within the company. But I would tell them that we cannot design to that guy. You have to let him go. He probably won’t unsubscribe, he’s going to hit your endgame content or he’ll have multiple level 60s. In games with tough levelling curves, it discourages you from starting over. — Another tradeoff is prestige gear versus customizable gear. Players ask for dyeing armor, all that. When I played Ultima Online I loved that. It was a great feature. But there’s only so much art time you have, and we chose instead to concentrate the coolness on armor from specific rewards instead. The whole point for a lot of hardcore players is to show off your advancement. So we chose the best gear to be from raids, so we can recognize someone’s achievements based on their gear. The tradeoffs is that you lose everyone looking different and users expressing creativity. And if you try to have both, you’ll end up muddled and somewhere int he between. All the notes on the keynote speech, which is much longer and includes some fascinating insights on WoW’s direction, can be found at Raph Koster’s page: http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ [...]

  73. The problem with using PvP as the vehicle for player-created content in your games is that it tends to be very unappealing for many primarily PvE players. They see the bad behavior of the griefers and the gankers, and don’t want to expose themselves to that, so they just don’t participate in it. If the game provides no other tools for players to easily express themselves and create content besides PvP, then at that point the system content is the only thing that matters.

    PvP combat is an important way for players to create their own content, but the game needs to provide hooks and reasons for them to do so. Simply dumping everyone into the world and saying “you can fight if you want” has a relatively low success rate. Even giving them perks for winning battles doesn’t do much.

    So can we call PvP true player-generated content when it only appeals to a fraction of players in the game? I don’t think we can – or at least, we can only say that it’s content for those players who enjoy PvP already.

    However, PvP can qualify as player-generated content if it significantly affects the game world in such a way that even those who don’t participate sit up and notice. This is where EVE has made some inroads, because the game supports and encourages true warfare, rather than just individual fights, or skirmishes that don’t significantly affect the battle lines for the factions involved. Not only that, but the war engine that is EVE has so many parts and roles to it that everyone can find a way to be involved, even if fleet combat isn’t really their thing.

    Moving forward, what I think is needed is a game that combines elements of both the WoW’s and the SL’s out there and comes out in the middle. Give players the reasons and tools to create their own content and have it take on a life of its own, but also give them plenty of system generated content to get them to stick around for long enough to become involved in the player generated content.

  74. I’m just sure that players are the primary content of multiplayer games.

    i’m sure of that as well.
    does anyone have an NPC army play while they’re playing an RTS on multi-player mode?
    i know i never did. what’s the point?
    i’m in multi-player mode to play against other players.

    the first time i logged into SWG (my first MMO) i was kinda surprised to see NPCs.
    i didn’t even know what an NPC was in regards to MMOs. i figured that pretty much everyone i encountered would be another player, aside from the main Star Wars characters.

    i would imagine that anyone new to MMOs, and unfamiliar with their standard mechanics, would feel much the same way.

    if players aren’t the primary content, then what’s the point of the second M in MMO?

  75. [...] Found this posted on slashdot, someone made a transcript of Rob Pardo’s keynote speech at the Austin Game Conference, a very interesting read: http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ Q u o t e:Rich Vogel intro: WoW is now a global brand, approaching a billion dollars in revenue and at 7m paying users. Rob Pardo was lead designer of Starcraft and is now VP of Design at Blizzard. What Really matters: how Blizzard Game philosophy translates into World of Warcraft We have a set of core philosophies, and I will talk about how we apply them to WoW. We have a lot of mantras: “concentrated coolness,” “easy to learn, hard to master,” etc. With many designers it’s important to have those shared values. It all starts with a donut. Allan Adham (original designer & founder at Blizzard) would draw a donut to explain what Blizzard is about. The middle of the donut is the core market. The casual market is the rest. We see Blizzard as being about both, and that the casual market grows faster than the core. A chief way of doing this is through system requirements. Easy to Learn, difficult to master is the first Law. Design in the depth first, the accessibility later. A lot of folks seem to approach this the other way — when we first develop our games, we first try to come up with the really cool things that add year sof replayability. Then we start talking about accessibility afterwards. In WoW, we early on talked about character classes. One of the most important things you can do in a class based MMO is the combat system. So we tried to make the combat classes as unique and different from one another as possible. Dungeons too, we wanted them to be a much more hardcore experience, we wanted only groups in there, and so on. The dungeons are there to serve more of the cor e market. It’s something to strive for, a bridge for the casual players to become a little more hardcore. PvP was another big depth decision. All of our games have been online competitive games. Early on, we didn’t know how honor would work, whether we would have achievements, but we knew we needed PvP Alliance vs Horde. Lastly, we knew that raids and end game had to be there. We all played UO, EQ, we led uberguilds. We wanted encounters more like you see in Zelda, scripted encounters. After that, we started talking about accessibility. Which starts with the UI. One of the first pitfalls with UI is trying to make everything visible from the UI. We try to streamline the UI, present only the stuff that is important. This is why we made the auction house accessible via an NPC, rather than via the HUD. System requirements is another huge component of accessibility. Another thing we talked about very early on was the game being soloable to 60. We really wanted it to be available to everyone. If you just wanted to play like a single-player game, you could do that,but you’ll see dungeons, battlegrounds, people with cool gear, and so on. We saw this solo game as our casual game. We also spent a lot of time on the newbie experience. First and foremost, it’s not overwhelming. We generally shy away from tutorials. I enjoy games like Prince of Persia and God of War, which ease you into the game. That’s the approach we take as well. We drop you right into a newbie zone, and it’s not overwhelming. You’re not in a huge confusing city. The newbie experience is not finding your way out of the starting town. The newbie zone also gets you right into the action. Everywhere you look, there’s a building or two, a couple of NPCs, and monsters. Within five minutes of starting up, you can fight monsters. Exclamation point design: a game completely driven by quests. We wanted you to always have a reason for existing, a story. The exclamation point design is something we first did in Diablo II. Even the most casual players click on the guy with the exclamation point that is right in front of them, get a quest, and are off and running. “Killing with a purpose” is the quest philosophy for WoW. With other MMOs, quests were just go out and see that experience bar move. Getting another bubble of XP is really fun but no accessible. We thought that giving you a reason to kill things was more accessible. A lot of people criticize how many bounty or collection quests are in WoW, but it came out of “killing with a purpose.” This way you are always moving around the world, seeing different things in your combat. Clear concise objectives: try to provide all info in the game, don’t drive players to websites. We try hard through our quests what you need to do, where to go, where the quest giver is so you know where to go back to. Every time we bring in a new quest designer, they want to do a ‘mystery quest” that has vague information, but the reality is that the player will just go to Thottbot, and the people who don’t do that are the casual players who are the ones you need to handhold! Don’t make players talk to every NPC to find a quest. We try to make it easy to find the quests, a menu of options for things to do. There is a side effect, what we call the Christmas tree effect, which is too many exclamation points overwhelming the users. There’s a balance between too few and railroading, and too many. Give players a menu of options, but with a limit of 20. Raising the cap on the number of quests is one of the most common requests. We do have technical reasons not to, but the real reason is that the bigger the quest log gets, the less you feel like you are on a mission to do something. If you vacuum up the quests, and then kill indiscriminately, you are probably doing one of them. So putting in a limit makes people make some decisions. Quest designers are “the cruise directors of WoW.” Their job is to show you the world. When we first do a zone we talk about POIs, points of interest, how many of each type of quest, and that’s the job of the quest designer. Different people like different kinds of quests. So we have to give you a list of possible entertainment to choose from. Pacing: the bridge between depth and accessibility. Once you have all those deep features, then you have to figure out how you get from the newbie experience to that core experience. For WoW, that’s done through the levelling curve. When I hire designers for Blizzard, one of my pitfall questions that I ask is “why do you think WoW was successful?” One of the hidden answers is the levelling curve — if you extend the levelling curve too far, it becomes a barrier. You hit a levelling wall. Our walls are shorter and there are less of them. The short levelling curve also encourages people to reroll and start over. We had some hardcore testers who would level to 60 in a week. There was much concern within the company. But I would tell them that we cannot design to that guy. You have to let him go. He probably won’t unsubscribe, he’s going to hit your endgame content or he’ll have multiple level 60s. In games with tough levelling curves, it discourages you from starting over. Rest system also helps with the casual player who plays 4-5 hours a week. The hardcore player will keep the game in “no rest” state the whole time, whereas casual players will get rewarded for weekend binges followed by days off. Bite-sized content: we try to tune our quests for accomplishment in chunks. We aim for a 30 minute session, lunchtime battlegrounds. We are doing more “winged dungeons” in the expansion, because we kinda stumbled upon it. We split up the dungeon into separate wings that can be done in 1/2 hour to an hour — like Scarlet Monastery. This was a lesson we learned during development, so we weren’t able to apply it everywhere in the original release. You want to avoid getting to a place where the content of your game doesn’t allow people to play unless they have X amount of time that night. We aimed battlegrounds at the folks who over lunch would play Counterstrike, or Battlefield 1942. Concentrated coolness. What this means is, rather than make variety and lots of things to do, make fewer things really cool. The best example in woW is the class system. Lots of games have more classes, multiclassing, etc. We consciously avoided that in order to make each class as cool and different from the others as possible. This allowed us to have unique spells, abilities and mechanics. No red fireball, white fireball, blue fireball, etc. Even the two pet classes, hunters and warlocks, use their pets completely differently. We consciously avoided sharing mechanics across classes. We recently announced that the paladins and the shamans are switching sides. One of the primary reasons why we undid that rule was that we found ourselves merging them into each other for PvP balance. So we decided that it was less important for each side to have its own class than it was to have concentrated coolness for each class. More classes are not always better. Once you get enough different units or classes, players can only handle so much. When you see someone, you might not know what they can do, and this matters because when you want to form a group, you lose track of the strengths and weaknesses. In battlegrounds, you need to know instantly what the opponent can do to you. Even if you have 50 completely different ideas that are cool, it’s still important not to use them all. Our class ideas originally came from Warcraft 3. What we chose to do was to take the heroes and combine them. Warrior got aspects of mountain king, blademaster, and Tauren chieftain from War3. We chose to concentrate the coolness. //-1)){collapseSingle(222202389,”0″)} //]]> // // [...]

  76. [...] http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ Good information from the designers of WoW about their design philosophy, quests, core vs casual gamers, etc. [...]

  77. [...] The Austin Games Conference started yesterday and had some neat stuff in it. Of big importance: Blizz announced that WoW now has over 7 million players worldwide. They only announced the 6 million mark back in March. Holy crap! A neat read. These are notes from Rob Padro’s keynote at the conference. He was the lead designer on Starcraft and is no VP of Design at Blizzard. Really interesting read with some cool info on how the game was designed to work and how they came to some of the decisions about the game._________________ Your focus determines your reality. The key is not becoming, but rather understanding. We cannot become anything more than what we already are. [...]

  78. [...] Rob Pardo @ AGC: Blizzard Game Design Philosophy & WoW Keynote from AGC There’s a lot of good stuff in here. [...]

  79. [...] Posted: Today @ 02:07 PM          Msg. 1 of 1 http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/But I am le tired [...]

  80. [...] Off-topic Discussion :  Thorium Brotherhood Downtime Forum Off-topic discussion, all OOC  .mod_smileys_img { vertical-align: bottom; margin: 0px 3px 0px 3px; } Goto Thread: Previous•Next Goto: Forum List•Message List•New Topic•Search•Log In [Article] How was WoW made and yes, all other MMORPGs suck Posted by: Xoruka (IP Logged) Date: September 07, 2006 02:13PM How was WoW created: [www.raphkoster.com] Even better, MMORPG creators are saying that they suck ass: [www.gamespot.com] ====================================== [www.myspace.com] My son will ask, “Daddy, what’s a queue time?”. “Well, son,” I replied, “back in the early days, we had to wait our turn in line in order to go to battle. We were simple folk then and didn’t know any better. But you won’t know the hell that is the queue time wait. No, son, you will now know the hell that is war.” Options: Reply To This Message•Quote This Message [...]

  81. why?
    because all games are, at their core, playing make-believe?

    yeah, i know that. but it’s more fun when playing make-believe has real (within the context of the game or world) consequences attached to it.

    That’s it exactly. You’re just descibing the props necessary for your own suspension of disbelief threshold to be reached. Others have different thresholds and props. For example I need visual cues. Try as I might, a text based MUD just never cut it. I need something on the tabletop; figurines preferably but even coins will do. I’m quite content with npc dialogue telling me that the rats need to be killed or bad stuff will happen. You have a different threshhold and props. But it is all make-believe and I hesitate to say ‘just’ in conjunction with it.

  82. [...] How to make the best-selling MMOG ever Rob Pardo’s keynote speech from AGC (hosted on Raph Koster’s website, of all places). TL : DR inc! Quote: [...]

  83. David, the game can be about more than just combat. Like EvE is. EvE permits an economic war as well as a simple shoot-out between ships. David Kennerly has written this, on what could undoubtedly produce political battles. The fixation on combat is almost definitely a substantial reason why MMORPGs are so niche. I get the sense that there is a massive number of ardent RPers who wouldn’t touch them with a mile-long stick. And those people are niche as it is.

    Thought (that I shudder at): a Matchmaker class. Gain XP when a couple cites you at marriage as the reason they met. Easy to implement. Granted, that’s niche, too, but I’m undecided as to whether a raging barbarian is more or less repulsive. Might add in the proviso that divorces take XP away from you.

    And Kohs, breathe. =P I was responding to Aufero.

  84. [...] Raph’s Website CNN.com – Some games may enhance sociability – Sep 6, 2006 AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote In Austin for AGC Using Games to Tap Collective Intelligence Two writers I met at Worldcon The Sunday Poem: Summer Camp Classes and balance Will Wright’s BAFTA talk Next Generation – A Theory of Games For Just About Everyone Vivendi’s investor presentation [...]

  85. [...] http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/_________________Pain or damage dont end the world, or despair or fuckin beatins. The world ends when youre dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man and give some back. [...]

  86. [...] If you didn’t know, the Austin Game Conference is on atm. Of all the developer conferences, AGC is more geared towards MMOs. As ever ‘live blogging’ of the keynotes and talks is all the rage. Some of interest… Raph Koster did his bit for Rob Pardo’s (Blizzard VP of Design) opening keynote http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ There is the ever present ‘MMO Rant’ http://f13.net/index.php?itemid=258 http://www.brokentoys.org/2006/09/06/this-is-my-rant-there-are-many-rants-like-it-this-one-is-mine/ http://www.gamespot.com/news/6157195.html?part=rss&tag=gs_news&subj=6157195 One of interest to me considering my little project is Raph’s own ‘The Age of the Dinosaurs’ http://f13.net/index.php?itemid=259_________________Obbo al’Can Tired grumpy old Ship Builder [...]

  87. [...] Rob Pardo: Blizzard’s Game Dev. Philosophy and WoW [...]

  88. [...] Rich Vogel intro: WoW is now a global brand, approaching a billion dollars in revenue and at 7m paying users. Rob Pardo was lead designer of Starcraft and is now VP of Design at Blizzard. What Really matters: how Blizzard Game philosophy translates into World of Warcraft We have a set of core philosophies, and I will talk about how we apply them to WoW. We have a lot of mantras: concentrated coolness, easy to learn, hard to master, etc. With many designers its important to have those shared values. It all starts with a donut. Allan Adham (original designer & founder at Blizzard) would draw a donut to explain what Blizzard is about. The middle of the donut is the core market. The casual market is the rest. We see Blizzard as being about both, and that the casual market grows faster than the core. A chief way of doing this is through system requirements. Easy to Learn, difficult to master is the first Law. Design in the depth first, the accessibility later. A lot of folks seem to approach this the other way when we first develop our games, we first try to come up with the really cool things that add year sof replayability. Then we start talking about accessibility afterwards. In WoW, we early on talked about character classes. One of the most important things you can do in a class based MMO is the combat system. So we tried to make the combat classes as unique and different from one another as possible. Dungeons too, we wanted them to be a much more hardcore experience, we wanted only groups in there, and so on. The dungeons are there to serve more of the cor e market. Its something to strive for, a bridge for the casual players to become a little more hardcore. PvP was another big depth decision. All of our games have been online competitive games. Early on, we didnt know how honor would work, whether we would have achievements, but we knew we needed PvP Alliance vs Horde. Lastly, we knew that raids and end game had to be there. We all played UO, EQ, we led uberguilds. We wanted encounters more like you see in Zelda, scripted encounters. After that, we started talking about accessibility. Which starts with the UI. One of the first pitfalls with UI is trying to make everything visible from the UI. We try to streamline the UI, present only the stuff that is important. This is why we made the auction house accessible via an NPC, rather than via the HUD. System requirements is another huge component of accessibility. Another thing we talked about very early on was the game being soloable to 60. We really wanted it to be available to everyone. If you just wanted to play like a single-player game, you could do that,but youll see dungeons, battlegrounds, people with cool gear, and so on. We saw this solo game as our casual game. We also spent a lot of time on the newbie experience. First and foremost, its not overwhelming. We generally shy away from tutorials. I enjoy games like Prince of Persia and God of War, which ease you into the game. Thats the approach we take as well. We drop you right into a newbie zone, and its not overwhelming. Youre not in a huge confusing city. The newbie experience is not finding your way out of the starting town. The newbie zone also gets you right into the action. Everywhere you look, theres a building or two, a couple of NPCs, and monsters. Within five minutes of starting up, you can fight monsters. Exclamation point design: a game completely driven by quests. We wanted you to always have a reason for existing, a story. The exclamation point design is something we first did in Diablo II. Even the most casual players click on the guy with the exclamation point that is right in front of them, get a quest, and are off and running. Killing with a purpose is the quest philosophy for WoW. With other MMOs, quests were just go out and see that experience bar move. Getting another bubble of XP is really fun but no accessible. We thought that giving you a reason to kill things was more accessible. A lot of people criticize how many bounty or collection quests are in WoW, but it came out of killing with a purpose. This way you are always moving around the world, seeing different things in your combat. Clear concise objectives: try to provide all info in the game, dont drive players to websites. We try hard through our quests what you need to do, where to go, where the quest giver is so you know where to go back to. Every time we bring in a new quest designer, they want to do a mystery quest that has vague information, but the reality is that the player will just go to Thottbot, and the people who dont do that are the casual players who are the ones you need to handhold! Dont make players talk to every NPC to find a quest. We try to make it easy to find the quests, a menu of options for things to do. There is a side effect, what we call the Christmas tree effect, which is too many exclamation points overwhelming the users. Theres a balance between too few and railroading, and too many. Give players a menu of options, but with a limit of 20. Raising the cap on the number of quests is one of the most common requests. We do have technical reasons not to, but the real reason is that the bigger the quest log gets, the less you feel like you are on a mission to do something. If you vacuum up the quests, and then kill indiscriminately, you are probably doing one of them. So putting in a limit makes people make some decisions. Quest designers are the cruise directors of WoW. Their job is to show you the world. When we first do a zone we talk about POIs, points of interest, how many of each type of quest, and thats the job of the quest designer. Different people like different kinds of quests. So we have to give you a list of possible entertainment to choose from. Pacing: the bridge between depth and accessibility. Once you have all those deep features, then you have to figure out how you get from the newbie experience to that core experience. For WoW, thats done through the levelling curve. When I hire designers for Blizzard, one of my pitfall questions that I ask is why do you think WoW was successful? One of the hidden answers is the levelling curve if you extend the levelling curve too far, it becomes a barrier. You hit a levelling wall. Our walls are shorter and there are less of them. The short levelling curve also encourages people to reroll and start over. We had some hardcore testers who would level to 60 in a week. There was much concern within the company. But I would tell them that we cannot design to that guy. You have to let him go. He probably wont unsubscribe, hes going to hit your endgame content or hell have multiple level 60s. In games with tough levelling curves, it discourages you from starting over. Rest system also helps with the casual player who plays 4-5 hours a week. The hardcore player will keep the game in no rest state the whole time, whereas casual players will get rewarded for weekend binges followed by days off. Bite-sized content: we try to tune our quests for accomplishment in chunks. We aim for a 30 minute session, lunchtime battlegrounds. We are doing more winged dungeons in the expansion, because we kinda stumbled upon it. We split up the dungeon into separate wings that can be done in 1/2 hour to an hour like Scarlet Monastery. This was a lesson we learned during development, so we werent able to apply it everywhere in the original release. You want to avoid getting to a place where the content of your game doesnt allow people to play unless they have X amount of time that night. We aimed battlegrounds at the folks who over lunch would play Counterstrike, or Battlefield 1942. Concentrated coolness. What this means is, rather than make variety and lots of things to do, make fewer things really cool. The best example in woW is the class system. Lots of games have more classes, multiclassing, etc. We consciously avoided that in order to make each class as cool and different from the others as possible. This allowed us to have unique spells, abilities and mechanics. No red fireball, white fireball, blue fireball, etc. Even the two pet classes, hunters and warlocks, use their pets completely differently. We consciously avoided sharing mechanics across classes. We recently announced that the paladins and the shamans are switching sides. One of the primary reasons why we undid that rule was that we found ourselves merging them into each other for PvP balance. So we decided that it was less important for each side to have its own class than it was to have concentrated coolness for each class. More classes are not always better. Once you get enough different units or classes, players can only handle so much. When you see someone, you might not know what they can do, and this matters because when you want to form a group, you lose track of the strengths and weaknesses. In battlegrounds, you need to know instantly what the opponent can do to you. Even if you have 50 completely different ideas that are cool, its still important not to use them all. Our class ideas originally came from Warcraft 3. What we chose to do was to take the heroes and combine them. Warrior got aspects of mountain king, blademaster, and Tauren chieftain from War3. We chose to concentrate the coolness. Tradeoffs. Every decision comes with tradeoffs. designers are greedy by nature we want everything, moms, dads, cats and dogs playing together. Nothing in game design is black and white, its all shades of gray. Whenever we can, we try not to compromise. It usually results in both sides being dissatisfied. If we had solo dungeons, then he group dungeon fans would feel their achievements would be cheapened. So we chose specifically not to have solo instances. An example of Tradeoffs: system requirements of Wow versus Crysis, for example. Crysis looks awesome. But we would rather have the broader market. So that forced us to the stylized art style that is resistant to looking dated. It did generate lots of negative press, and our graphics programmers always wanted to push farther too. You just have to be prepared. But every game weve released, we have gotten the comment that our screenshots were not up to par. There are benefits to the cutting edge side too. Its easier to market, and developers want to make the best quality art. Youre fighting against developer psychology if you choose the other route. World size vs teleportation is another. WoW vs Diablo. We wanted to the scale of the world to feel epic. But you get players getting frustrated and calling it World of Walkcraft. You use flight taxis to maintain integrity and having limited teleportation means you can have remote areas where you consciously do not provide a flight path to it. But on the teleportation side, you get a lot more social connectivity, which is what MMOs are all about. Theres a barrier there if people have to travel and coordinate. We consciously decided to have that tradeoff. Players do want the convenience. Another tradeoff is prestige gear versus customizable gear. Players ask for dyeing armor, all that. When I played Ultima Online I loved that. It was a great feature. But theres only so much art time you have, and we chose instead to concentrate the coolness on armor from specific rewards instead. The whole point for a lot of hardcore players is to show off your advancement. So we chose the best gear to be from raids, so we can recognize someones achievements based on their gear. The tradeoffs is that you lose everyone looking different and users expressing creativity. And if you try to have both, youll end up muddled and somewhere int he between. The Blizzard polish. Polish is the word associated with us in reviews. Theres this big assumption that polish is something you do in the end. That were successful because we spend 6-12 months at the end polishing. We do get more time, but we do the polish right from the beginning. Its a constant effort. You have to have a culture of polish. Everyone has to be bought into it and you have to constantly preach it. if you leave it to the end, itll be more difficult. Youll get a lot of why does it matter that this feature is polished? Its so small. But people notice 1000s of polished features, not the single polished feature. Polish starts in the design process. (pic of skeletons in a room, which he says is the designers in a room). Were kind of in a new era at Blizzard, when i started we had very few people with the title game designer. Thats been changing over the last few years. Its interesting bringing in an experienced designer from outside, because they want to make a unit week, add a mechanic constantly, work 100 miles and hour. We have to get them to slow down. You need to talk through things with everyone else, and you have 100 features and they all have flaws and dont work with each other. So when we are in a design meeting, we try to consider everything. Will it work in this raid encounter, in PvP, as a newbie, for the art, solid mechanics, etc. Contrary to popular belie, we do consider production. Mounted combat is an example of something killed by production time. Bounce ideas off everyone. Let the beer goggles wear off. When we develop maps, we do it on the whiteboard, so we can iterate, and theres no cost to changing things. Phase 2 is when we actually make something. The first thing we try to do is make it fun. Northshire valley, for example we spent an inordinate amount of time on it. Where do we put the trainers, how does the combat feel, etc. We probably spent more time on it than any other area, by an order of magnitude. After we made it fun, then we made it big. We didnt go out and build the entire world of WoW until we knew what we were building. It didnt make sense to do that until we had figured out all the details of the fun. If you have to retrofit the fun into the content, youre gonna be screwed. When we went into the friends and family alpha test, people were surprised that it was fun. It was a lot easier, once we knew what was fun, to do levels 10-20, and 20-30 and so on. The design at that point was creative design, not mechanics. Control is king. Game control is taken for granted a lot of times. I remember on Warcraft 3 I could feel a little bit of lag on the mouse cursor, and I kept saying it to the programmer, but he kept saying he couldnt see anything wrong. Finally he coded in a hardware cursor so we could run both cursors at the same time, and lo and behold there were three frames of lag. And that matters, its important. People will leave over that, but youll never know that is the reason. Beware of the Grand Reveal. This is a pic of a dungeon that was supposed to be in the original release but is in the expansion, because the subteam went off to work on it in a vacuum, disconnected from the rest of the team. The grand reveal was when they came back and showed it. It was supposed to be a raid dungeon but the doors were too narrow. So back to the drawing board it went, three months of redo because we didnt redo along the way. Lastly, have fun with the game. Put in the little in-jokes. If developers are having fun making the game, chances are the players will have fun with it too. Phase 3: the finish line. Feedback strike teams is something that we have used for a long time. We pull devs from all the teams and put together a diverse group with a mix of play styles RTS guys who dont like MMORPGs, etc. Dont take small decisions for granted, especially in that newbie experience. We had cases early on where people grouped up with 1 other person that they would get into the next area at 4th level, and that meant they had a bad experience. So we try to ask a lot of questions and dont let things die on the feedback and striketeam list. The beta test for us is not about finding bugs. Its not really about getting a lot of game feedback. its about stress testing from a technological and gameplay level. We encourage our testers to exploit the hell out of the game. In our RTS beta tests, people always get upset that we run a ladder in the beta test, because the guys on top are exploiters. But thats the point we want to see who the top ten exploiters are so we can look at their games! Dont ship until its ready. This matters even more with MMOs. You might hear that its improved later, but no one actually goes back to try it. You will really cripple yourself, you put at risk the next five years of your product. So hopefully all you publishers will give the developers more time. I hope we turn this genre into something special. The thing I think is really unique about MMO games you look all the other genres, and the genre depicts a very specific type of gameplay. But massively multiplayer, this genre has the biggest frontier, it has the most we can achieve, and we should be pushing at all kinds of different directions. Visit the Website __________________ ROBDOG MMO Patch Timer Admin [...]

  89. [...] Raph Koster has posted his notes from the Austin Game Conference keynote given by Rob Pardo, VP of design at Blizzard. Must reading for anyone interested in how to make a fun, succesful game. [...]

  90. [...] More details of the keynote by Rob Pardo at the Austin Conference: “The beta test for us is not about finding bugs. Its not really about getting a lot of game feedback. its about stress testing from a technological and gameplay level. We encourage our testers to exploit the hell out of the game. In our RTS beta tests, people always get upset that we run a ladder in the beta test, because the guys on top are exploiters. But thats the point we want to see who the top ten exploiters are so we can look at their games!” [...]

  91. [...] En af designer af wow har fornyeligt prsenteret nogle af design ideerne i wow. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/_________________~~ Finenad lvl 60 Troll Mage Herbalism 300 / Alchemy 300 ~~ ~~ Finite lvl 3x Undead Warlock mining/engineering ~~ SD Roster – SD Guildbank [...]

  92. [...] AGC: Rob Pardos keynote (Blizzard and WoW) #1 http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06…ardos-keynote/ Interesting read. Quote: [...]

  93. I’m quite content with npc dialogue telling me that the rats need to be killed or bad stuff will happen. You have a different threshhold and props. But it is all make-believe…

    alright. but i just find it very hard to believe that anyone can suspend their disbelief that much and still enjoy it. i mean, i can suspend my disbelief that much for a little bit.

    i was able to do just that when i first played SWG.
    but it doesn’t take long before i stop enjoying it. as time went on, my threshold (as you say) got higher.
    and with each MMO i tried afterwards my threshold got increasingly higher, as i repeatedly thought about how disappointing an NPC telling me “the rats need to be killed or bad stuff will happen” was when compared to what i expected before i ever played an MMO.

    i just expected so much more. i wanted a meaningful experience. not an empty XP grind.
    i still expect that actually. and i’m continually disappointed.

    and Michael, i know, i was just backing you up ;)

  94. I am not a regular poster here, but having escaped the WoW-coma, I feel I have something to say.

    World of Warcraft is brightly-colored texture maps and button-pushing. The only real challenge anyone faces lies in end-game “raids”, or in pvp, for different reasons.

    The challenge in end-game content is in mass successful execution. Success is a gestault of many players’ abilities, as it lies not in the abilities per se, but in understanding when and how to use them. I’m thinking the Majordomo Executus fight, C’Thun, Anub’Rekhan.

    PvP is tactically random every time. Since one is reacting to another human, the challenge is to outwit their gear, character’s talents, and play style, which vary greatly. It is engaging in that regard, but falls apart at the strategic level. I have found these botht o be enjoyable.

    However, the recently-introduced “world pvp” is a failure. There is no real impact of any of the new “content”, beyond the zone for which it was designed. There’s no “quest” where a successful raid can bring a barrel of dynamite into an enemy city, nor do the results affect any analogous real-world military logistics (supply lines, resource management, etc).

    Further, in order to qualify for any of the above, one needs to grind out the rare gear that will enable a character to survive. For a good part of the time, a person is chasing either levels or loot – neither of which are “fun” in and of themselves.

    I think most players desire options that are not related to their character…they want both freedom AND a sense of engagement. They want their actions, the actions of their toon as an extension of them, to matter, somehow, beyond the envelope of their quest log. In World of Warcraft, this is not permitted, and therefore no social ability will ever matter.

    Every time we bring in a new quest designer, they want to do a ‘mystery quest’ that has vague information, but the reality is that the player will just go to Thottbot, and the people who don’t do that are the casual players who are the ones you need to handhold!

    One might as well publish walkthroughs on the game. This statement is tantamount to admitting the rather limited options in World of Warcraft, in my book.

    In sum, Blizzard has pushed all the right buttons to torque players into ever-jostling pyramid of prestation, based on aquired badges in the form of virtual items, collected like the glitzy-est set of baseball cards. Little actual interest rests in game content, but the potential for smug self-aggrandizement will always sell subscriptions to the disenfranchised.

  95. [...] -  saw some nice articles on MMORPG’s: this, this and this – 2 new site reviews added on Xyanide.  Average approaching 70%! [...]

  96. [...] ִ öԴ. SlashDot ʹ ޸ Design ƴѰ ʹ. How They Desinged Rules of WOW ?Ʒ leveling curve 庮ϼ ̷ 庮 Ӱ ϴ ִ.ϱ ٰ ؼ Ҽ ְ, ϱ ؼ ٽ ó ٲپ Ҽ ִٴ ε. ̰ WOW Ư Ȯ ǰ Ҽ ִ 쿡 ش, ѱ MMOó ⸸ ٸ ׸ ġ ٲپ ϴ 쿡 leveing curve ϰ Ǵ ƴұ ʹ.پ ó Ʈ ִ ¿ ̷ ƴұ?   How They Made World of Warcraft SiliconJesus writes “Rob Pardo, VP of Design at Blizzard, gave an interesting keynote at the Austin Game Conference outlining the Blizzard philosophy on designing game content, core and casual players, and why story should always drive the game.” From Raph’s writeup: “If you extend the leveling curve too far, it becomes a barrier. You hit a leveling wall. Our walls are shorter and there are less of them. The short leveling curve also encourages people to reroll and start over. We had some hardcore testers who would level to 60 in a week. There was much concern within the company. But I would tell them that we cannot design to that guy. You have to let him go. He probably won’t unsubscribe, he’s going to hit your endgame content or he’ll have multiple level 60s. In games with tough leveling curves, it discourages you from starting over.” More is available from the conference, with Gamasutra having a rundown on Mark Terrano’s writer’s keynote, and Gamespot’s piece on the MMOG Rant session. Paneled by the likes of Matt Firor, Lum, Rich Vogel, and Jessica Mulligan, that must have been entertaining to see live. One more thing – WoW has 7 Million subscribers now.     AGC: Rob Pardos keynote Heres my live notes from Rob Pardos keynote at the Austin Game Conference. Rich Vogel intro: WoW is now a global brand, approaching a billion dollars in revenue and at 7m paying users. Rob Pardo was lead designer of Starcraft and is now VP of Design at Blizzard. What Really matters: how Blizzard Game philosophy translates into World of Warcraft We have a set of core philosophies, and I will talk about how we apply them to WoW.We have a lot of mantras: concentrated coolness, easy to learn, hard to master, etc. With many designers its important to have those shared values.It all starts with a donut. Allan Adham (original designer & founder at Blizzard) would draw a donut to explain what Blizzard is about. The middle of the donut is the core market. The casual market is the rest. We see Blizzard as being about both, and that the casual market grows faster than the core. A chief way of doing this is through system requirements. Easy to Learn, difficult to master is the first Law. Design in the depth first, the accessibility later. A lot of folks seem to approach this the other way — when we first develop our games, we first try to come up with the really cool things that add year sof replayability. Then we start talking about accessibility afterwards. In WoW, we early on talked about character classes. One of the most important things you can do in a class based MMO is the combat system. So we tried to make the combat classes as unique and different from one another as possible. Dungeons too, we wanted them to be a much more hardcore experience, we wanted only groups in there, and so on. The dungeons are there to serve more of the cor e market. Its something to strive for, a bridge for the casual players to become a little more hardcore. PvP was another big depth decision. All of our games have been online competitive games. Early on, we didnt know how honor would work, whether we would have achievements, but we knew we needed PvP Alliance vs Horde. Lastly, we knew that raids and end game had to be there. We all played UO, EQ, we led uberguilds. We wanted encounters more like you see in Zelda, scripted encounters. After that, we started talking about accessibility. Which starts with the UI. One of the first pitfalls with UI is trying to make everything visible from the UI. We try to streamline the UI, present only the stuff that is important. This is why we made the auction house accessible via an NPC, rather than via the HUD. System requirements is another huge component of accessibility. Another thing we talked about very early on was the game being soloable to 60. We really wanted it to be available to everyone. If you just wanted to play like a single-player game, you could do that,but youll see dungeons, battlegrounds, people with cool gear, and so on. We saw this solo game as our casual game. We also spent a lot of time on the newbie experience. First and foremost, its not overwhelming. We generally shy away from tutorials. I enjoy games like Prince of Persia and God of War, which ease you into the game. Thats the approach we take as well. We drop you right into a newbie zone, and its not overwhelming. Youre not in a huge confusing city. The newbie experience is not finding your way out of the starting town. The newbie zone also gets you right into the action. Everywhere you look, theres a building or two, a couple of NPCs, and monsters. Within five minutes of starting up, you can fight monsters. Exclamation point design: a game completely driven by quests. We wanted you to always have a reason for existing, a story. The exclamation point design is something we first did in Diablo II. Even the most casual players click on the guy with the exclamation point that is right in front of them, get a quest, and are off and running. Killing with a purpose is the quest philosophy for WoW. With other MMOs, quests were just go out and see that experience bar move. Getting another bubble of XP is really fun but no accessible. We thought that giving you a reason to kill things was more accessible. A lot of people criticize how many bounty or collection quests are in WoW, but it came out of killing with a purpose. This way you are always moving around the world, seeing different things in your combat. Clear concise objectives: try to provide all info in the game, dont drive players to websites. We try hard through our quests what you need to do, where to go, where the quest giver is so you know where to go back to. Every time we bring in a new quest designer, they want to do a mystery quest that has vague information, but the reality is that the player will just go to Thottbot, and the people who dont do that are the casual players who are the ones you need to handhold! Dont make players talk to every NPC to find a quest. We try to make it easy to find the quests, a menu of options for things to do. There is a side effect, what we call the Christmas tree effect, which is too many exclamation points overwhelming the users. Theres a balance between too few and railroading, and too many. Give players a menu of options, but with a limit of 20. Raising the cap on the number of quests is one of the most common requests. We do have technical reasons not to, but the real reason is that the bigger the quest log gets, the less you feel like you are on a mission to do something. If you vacuum up the quests, and then kill indiscriminately, you are probably doing one of them. So putting in a limit makes people make some decisions. Quest designers are the cruise directors of WoW. Their job is to show you the world. When we first do a zone we talk about POIs, points of interest, how many of each type of quest, and thats the job of the quest designer. Different people like different kinds of quests. So we have to give you a list of possible entertainment to choose from. Pacing: the bridge between depth and accessibility. Once you have all those deep features, then you have to figure out how you get from the newbie experience to that core experience. For WoW, thats done through the levelling curve. When I hire designers for Blizzard, one of my pitfall questions that I ask is why do you think WoW was successful? One of the hidden answers is the levelling curve — if you extend the levelling curve too far, it becomes a barrier. You hit a levelling wall. Our walls are shorter and there are less of them. The short levelling curve also encourages people to reroll and start over. We had some hardcore testers who would level to 60 in a week. There was much concern within the company. But I would tell them that we cannot design to that guy. You have to let him go. He probably wont unsubscribe, hes going to hit your endgame content or hell have multiple level 60s. In games with tough levelling curves, it discourages you from starting over. Rest system also helps with the casual player who plays 4-5 hours a week. The hardcore player will keep the game in no rest state the whole time, whereas casual players will get rewarded for weekend binges followed by days off. Bite-sized content: we try to tune our quests for accomplishment in chunks. We aim for a 30 minute session, lunchtime battlegrounds. We are doing more winged dungeons in the expansion, because we kinda stumbled upon it. We split up the dungeon into separate wings that can be done in 1/2 hour to an hour — like Scarlet Monastery. This was a lesson we learned during development, so we werent able to apply it everywhere in the original release. You want to avoid getting to a place where the content of your game doesnt allow people to play unless they have X amount of time that night. We aimed battlegrounds at the folks who over lunch would play Counterstrike, or Battlefield 1942. Concentrated coolness. What this means is, rather than make variety and lots of things to do, make fewer things really cool. The best example in woW is the class system. Lots of games have more classes, multiclassing, etc. We consciously avoided that in order to make each class as cool and different from the others as possible. This allowed us to have unique spells, abilities and mechanics. No red fireball, white fireball, blue fireball, etc. Even the two pet classes, hunters and warlocks, use their pets completely differently. We consciously avoided sharing mechanics across classes. We recently announced that the paladins and the shamans are switching sides. One of the primary reasons why we undid that rule was that we found ourselves merging them into each other for PvP balance. So we decided that it was less important for each side to have its own class than it was to have concentrated coolness for each class. More classes are not always better. Once you get enough different units or classes, players can only handle so much. When you see someone, you might not know what they can do, and this matters because when you want to form a group, you lose track of the strengths and weaknesses. In battlegrounds, you need to know instantly what the opponent can do to you. Even if you have 50 completely different ideas that are cool, its still important not to use them all. Our class ideas originally came from Warcraft 3. What we chose to do was to take the heroes and combine them. Warrior got aspects of mountain king, blademaster, and Tauren chieftain from War3. We chose to concentrate the coolness. Tradeoffs. Every decision comes with tradeoffs. designers are greedy by nature — we want everything, moms, dads, cats and dogs playing together. Nothing in game design is black and white, its all shades of gray. Whenever we can, we try not to compromise. It usually results in both sides being dissatisfied. If we had solo dungeons, then he group dungeon fans would feel their achievements would be cheapened. So we chose specifically not to have solo instances. An example of Tradeoffs: system requirements of Wow versus Crysis, for example. Crysis looks awesome. But we would rather have the broader market. So that forced us to the stylized art style that is resistant to looking dated. It did generate lots of negative press, and our graphics programmers always wanted to push farther too. You just have to be prepared. But every game weve released, we have gotten the comment that our screenshots were not up to par. There are benefits to the cutting edge side too. Its easier to market, and developers want to make the best quality art. Youre fighting against developer psychology if you choose the other route. World size vs teleportation is another. WoW vs Diablo. We wanted to the scale of the world to feel epic. But you get players getting frustrated and calling it World of Walkcraft. You use flight taxis to maintain integrity and having limited teleportation means you can have remote areas where you consciously do not provide a flight path to it. But on the teleportation side, you get a lot more social connectivity, which is what MMOs are all about. Theres a barrier there if people have to travel and coordinate. We consciously decided to have that tradeoff. Players do want the convenience. Another tradeoff is prestige gear versus customizable gear. Players ask for dyeing armor, all that. When I played Ultima Online I loved that. It was a great feature. But theres only so much art time you have, and we chose instead to concentrate the coolness on armor from specific rewards instead. The whole point for a lot of hardcore players is to show off your advancement. So we chose the best gear to be from raids, so we can recognize someones achievements based on their gear. The tradeoffs is that you lose everyone looking different and users expressing creativity. And if you try to have both, youll end up muddled and somewhere int he between. The Blizzard polish. Polish is the word associated with us in reviews. Theres this big assumption that polish is something you do in the end. That were successful because we spend 6-12 months at the end polishing. We do get more time, but we do the polish right from the beginning. Its a constant effort. You have to have a culture of polish. Everyone has to be bought into it and you have to constantly preach it. if you leave it to the end, itll be more difficult. Youll get a lot of why does it matter that this feature is polished? Its so small. But people notice 1000s of polished features, not the single polished feature. Polish starts in the design process. (pic of skeletons in a room, which he says is the designers in a room). Were kind of in a new era at Blizzard, when i started we had very few people with the title game designer. Thats been changing over the last few years. Its interesting bringing in an experienced designer from outside, because they want to make a unit week, add a mechanic constantly, work 100 miles and hour. We have to get them to slow down. You need to talk through things with everyone else, and you have 100 features and they all have flaws and dont work with each other. So when we are in a design meeting, we try to consider everything. Will it work in this raid encounter, in PvP, as a newbie, for the art, solid mechanics, etc. Contrary to popular belie, we do consider production. Mounted combat is an example of something killed by production time. Bounce ideas off everyone. Let the beer goggles wear off. When we develop maps, we do it on the whiteboard, so we can iterate, and theres no cost to changing things. Phase 2 is when we actually make something. The first thing we try to do is make it fun. Northshire valley, for example — we spent an inordinate amount of time on it. Where do we put the trainers, how does the combat feel, etc. We probably spent more time on it than any other area, by an order of magnitude. After we made it fun, then we made it big. We didnt go out and build the entire world of WoW until we knew what we were building. It didnt make sense to do that until we had figured out all the details of the fun. If you have to retrofit the fun into the content, youre gonna be screwed. When we went into the friends and family alpha test, people were surprised that it was fun. It was a lot easier, once we knew what was fun, to do levels 10-20, and 20-30 and so on. The design at that point was creative design, not mechanics. Control is king. Game control is taken for granted a lot of times. I remember on Warcraft 3 I could feel a little bit of lag on the mouse cursor, and I kept saying it to the programmer, but he kept saying he couldnt see anything wrong. Finally he coded in a hardware cursor so we could run both cursors at the same time, and lo and behold there were three frames of lag. And that matters, its important. People will leave over that, but youll never know that is the reason. Beware of the Grand Reveal. This is a pic of a dungeon that was supposed to be in the original release but is in the expansion, because the subteam went off to work on it in a vacuum, disconnected from the rest of the team. The grand reveal was when they came back and showed it. It was supposed to be a raid dungeon but the doors were too narrow. So back to the drawing board it went, three months of redo because we didnt redo along the way. Lastly, have fun with the game. Put in the little in-jokes. If developers are having fun making the game, chances are the players will have fun with it too. Phase 3: the finish line. Feedback strike teams is something that we have used for a long time. We pull devs from all the teams and put together a diverse group with a mix of play styles — RTS guys who dont like MMORPGs, etc. Dont take small decisions for granted, especially in that newbie experience. We had cases early on where people grouped up with 1 other person that they would get into the next area at 4th level, and that meant they had a bad experience. So we try to ask a lot of questions and dont let things die on the feedback and striketeam list. The beta test for us is not about finding bugs. Its not really about getting a lot of game feedback. its about stress testing from a technological and gameplay level. We encourage our testers to exploit the hell out of the game. In our RTS beta tests, people always get upset that we run a ladder in the beta test, because the guys on top are exploiters. But thats the point — we want to see who the top ten exploiters are so we can look at their games! Dont ship until its ready. This matters even more with MMOs. You might hear that its improved later, but no one actually goes back to try it. You will really cripple yourself, you put at risk the next five years of your product. So hopefully all you publishers will give the developers more time. I hope we turn this genre into something special. The thing I think is really unique about MMO games — you look all the other genres, and the genre depicts a very specific type of gameplay. But massively multiplayer, this genre has the biggest frontier, it has the most we can achieve, and we should be pushing at all kinds of different directions. var viewer_image_url = “http://blogimgs.naver.com/blog20/blog/layout_photo/viewer/”; var photo = new PhotoLayer(parent.parent.parent); photo.Initialized(); window.onunload = function() { photo.oPhotoFrame.doFrameMainClose(); }.bind(this); [...]

  97. [...] Az Austin Game Conference nevű játékfejlesztői összeröffenésen jelentette be csendben a Blizzard, hogy elérték a hétmillió aktív előfizetőt a World of Warcrafttal (mellékesen itt van Rob Pardo előadása a konferenciáról). Aki ellenállhatatlan kényszert érez arra, hogy ebből kiszámolja, mennyit keres rajtunk a Blizz havonta, vegye figyelembe, hogy a hétből legalább négymillió kínai/koreai játékos, akiknél teljesen más az árazás, mint a világ nyugati végein. [...]

  98. [...] Ma Brivido gioca a WOW? Mentre leggevo questo articolo dove uno dei progettisti di WOW spiega le varie scelte dietro il gioco, quando dice: We had some hardcore testers who would level to 60 in a week. (trad: alcuni tester accaniti riuscivano ad arrivare al livello 60 in una settimana) provare a indovinare a chi ho pensato… Scherzi a parte me la vedo difficile fare il 50 a COH/COV in una settimana. E forse questa "facilit" ad arrivare al massimo livello da parte di WOW la ragione dei 7 milioni di abbonati (cos dicono – secondo me da prendere con le molle)… __________________ @lmollea, avatar ero-villanico di Luciano Mollea in CoH Cold Stone: lvl 40 blaster ice/ice Professor Radio: lvl 14 defender empathy/radiation Teren Sill: lvl 15 scrapper martial arts/super reflex in CoV Garrick: lvl 8 stalker ninja blade/ninjitsu —- who knows where the road may lead us, only a fool would say (Alan Parsons, La Sagrada Familia) [...]

  99. [...] “Rob Pardo, VP of Design at Blizzard, gave an interesting keynote at the Austin Game Conference outlining the Blizzard philosophy on designing game content, core and casual players, and why story should always drive the game.”Read it here [...]

  100. David, the game can be about more than just combat. Like EvE is. EvE permits an economic war as well as a simple shoot-out between ships. David Kennerly has written this, on what could undoubtedly produce political battles. The fixation on combat is almost definitely a substantial reason why MMORPGs are so niche. I get the sense that there is a massive number of ardent RPers who wouldn’t touch them with a mile-long stick. And those people are niche as it is.

    I agree with you, but most games focus on combat because it’s easy and immediate – players “get” combat and will quite happily pursue combat-related activities. Not only that, but out of all the things that games do it probably has the broadest appeal apart from virtual space ownership (Sims/SL).

    Simply put, combat, whether against other players or against NPCs, is a relatively easy way to add excitement to a game.

    I think the catch is not to make your VW about combat, however heroic it might be. Rather, make your VW be about something more overarching – political battles between rival nations, which are sometimes combat, sometimes diplomacy, sometimes economics….etc. Exploration of a vast frontier – combat may sometimes be involved, but other times not.

    Regardless, combat is a good engine for the economics of a VW, because it requires material of some sort to fight a battle of a war. Whether it’s swords or bullets, having a combat system in a game opens a door where you can insert a lot more gameplay centered around production, distribution, and usage of items by your players. In a game with no potential for combat, what use do people have for items themselves, apart from decoration or production?

    Personally what I would do is set up a VW where combat, crafting, diplomacy, trade, resourcing, and services are equally important to all players. Allow them to fill the role they see for themselves and have that role be affected by others. If done right, you create a game full of virtual societies that provide content for everyone.

    The hard part of course is doing it right.

  101. [...] 2006-09-07 19:59 Allmnt: Hur skapades World of Warcraft? Tack vare en man vid namn Raph Koster s kan vi ta del av talet som Rob Pardo hos Blizzard framfrde dr han talade om hur man skapade WoW och vad man fick lov att tnka p och vilken grupp av mnniskor man vill tilltala. Som bonus kan nmnas att World of Warcraft nu har ntt massiva 7 miljoner betalande anvndare, i Mars detta ret hade man sex miljoner anvndare. En kning p en miljon anvndare p sex mnader r inte dligt. Rob Pardo pratar om skapelsens bakgrdar. Medans Blizzard hvar in kapital. Per Eriksson, spelforum.nu [...]

  102. [...] Come si lavora al MMORPG pi venduto di tutti i tempi Rob Pardo spiega come si lavora a WoW Un articolo molto lungo, in inglese e un po’ per "addetti ai lavori", ma interessante per tutti quelli che vogliono capire un po’ meglio la filosofia con cui la Blizzard ha sviluppato WoW, e il punto di vista dei loro dev. un keynote di Rob Pardo, Vice President del Design alla Blizzard, tenuto di recente alla Austin Game Conference. Curioso che sia attualmente hostato sul sito personale di Raph Koster, uno dei creatori di Ultima Online. __________________ Support The Noob (Gianna is an evil genius) [...]

  103. [...] Come si lavora al MMORPG pi venduto di tutti i tempi Rob Pardo spiega come si lavora a WoW Un articolo molto lungo, in inglese e un po’ per "addetti ai lavori", ma interessante per tutti quelli che vogliono capire un po’ meglio la filosofia con cui la Blizzard ha sviluppato WoW, e il punto di vista dei loro dev. un keynote di Rob Pardo, Vice President del Design alla Blizzard, tenuto di recente alla Austin Game Conference. Curioso che sia attualmente hostato sul sito personale di Raph Koster, uno dei creatori di Ultima Online. Consiglio un bel caff prima di leggerselo per intero, per credo che ne valga la pena. __________________ Support The Noob (Gianna is an evil genius) Ultima modifica di Deckard : 08-09-2006 alle 13:56. [...]

  104. [...] _uacct=”UA-30217-1″;urchinTracker();;var now=new Date();var tzo=now.getTimezoneOffset()*60;var cv=”TimezoneOffset=” + tzo;if(document.cookie.indexOf(cv) Creative Development For Games >> Game Design  AuthorTopic: Building the World of WarcraftEric ForhanMemberPosted: Sep 08, 2006 14:00 GMT       A transcript of Rob Pardo’s very interesting and informative AGC keynote speech on design-to-implementation of WoW:www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ Home | Products | Solutions | Downloads | Support | Search | About UsCopyright © GarageGames.com 2000 – 2006 All Rights Reserved [...]

  105. [...] Re: Awesome read about game design This is actually a fuller transcription. It is better than the gamespot article: http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06…ardos-keynote/ [...]

  106. [...] Reported by walTer September 7, 2006, 10:29 am Rob Pardo is the VP of Design for World of Warcraft. He recently gave a speech at the Austin Game Conference giving us some insight into how WoW was put together…7 million subscribers must mean they made some fairly good choices. Here are some highlights from the speech by a guy, Ralph, that attended the conference. “The short levelling curve also encourages people to reroll and start over. We had some hardcore testers who would level to 60 in a week. There was much concern within the company. But I would tell them that we cannot design to that guy. You have to let him go. He probably won’t unsubscribe, he’s going to hit your endgame content or he’ll have multiple level 60s. In games with tough levelling curves, it discourages you from starting over.” Tons of interesting stuff in this thing…also there are a few more links for related info over at Slashdot.Discussion ensues… No comments yet Perpetuate the discussion indefinitely Name: Comment: [...]

  107. [...] Blizzard’s Rob Pardo gave a good keynote for a conference that focuses on online gaming, saying lots of interesting things about the way World of Warcraft has been designed. The one big takeaway is probably that Blizzard does depth-first design, saving accessibility until they’ve figured out how to keep people playing for a long time. Accessibility is still a priority, though, and they try to make sure that players of all inclinations feel like they’re included and making progress in the game. [...]

  108. [...] One of the WoW designers gets into the core conepts about the design of WoW. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/_________________Were all starvin’ and I bet Dr. Kliner’s head crab is eatin’ Grade A head! They may call ‘em crabs but they don’t taste like crab. [...]

  109. /slap Kohs

    Play it before you satirize it. To my knowledge, you still haven’t and yet you feel free to mock the one of the biggest-selling games in this genre.

    That’s dumb.

    Stop right there.

    (We’re on the same team, i’m allowed to do that. You’re not. Bloody artists and their opinions…. )

  110. That bracketed bit is by way of apology for interruption to normal service btw, folks.

    We now resume with your usual feed of half-baked opinion and gross misstatement. :)

  111. [...] Et 1, et 2, et… 7 millions !!! Et oui, a y est ! Nous somme plus de 7 millions arpenter les contres d’Azeroth Blizzard l’a annonc au salon Austin Game Conference. D’autre part, Rob Pardo, chef designer sur WoW, a donn une confrence dans laquelle il explique quelques concepts utiliss par Blizzard pour la cration de notre jeu prfr. C’est en anglais, mais a vaut le coup d’oeil. Il y a un rsum ici et un article l. __________________ WoW sur Elune : Kisnik, voleur 60 – Kimoo, druide 30+ – sur Eitrigg : Sil, prtresse 60 – Xym, guerrier 45+ AO sur Rimor (canceled) – Main : Chorwin – Alts : Kifix, Wyyw, Gloobi et quelques autres… Les nains si ils ont jamais peur c’est car ils voient depuis longtemps tous les matins dans le mirroir la chose la plus moche de la terre entiere : Eux. – Coraline [...]

  112. [...] Vice President of Design at Blizzard, Rob Prado, gave an interesting keynote about design philosophies in World Of Warcraft at the Austin Games Conference. Have a looksee at Raph Koster’s writeup. [...]

  113. [...] AGC keynote:魔兽世界设计点滴 http://www.raphkoster.com posted by god 2 hours 6 minutes 以前 查看资料 如果升级曲线过长,它就会成为一个障碍。WOW的升级曲线要短的多,这样可以促使人们练小号。我们的有些专业测试人员能够在1周内练到60级。公司内部很多人对这种现象很担忧。但我告诉他们,游戏并不是为这些人设计的。在设计时必须忽略这些人的存在。而这些核心玩家也很有可能继续玩这个游戏,他们可能四处瞎逛,也可能练多个60级的小号。如果升级过于困难,玩家练小号的欲望就会减少。 (by Rob Pardo,暴雪公司设计副总裁) 讨论 | tags: agc wow 所有 [...]

  114. [...] How to make a best-selling MMOG From the Austin Game Conference Quote: [...]

  115. Chris Watson wrote:

    … Blizz doesn’t care [...] 1% of my take home income [...] they continue to ignore or marginalize the non-core classes [...] Rob Pardo is ignoring us [...] a broken set of classes and specs …

    So, to summarize, you’re paying too much to play a game you think is “broken” written by people who you think know who you are and are ignoring you, and you think that this addictive delusional paranoia is Blizzard’s problem?

    *the sound of speech failing someone so completely they may never speak again*

  116. *the sound of speech failing someone so completely they may never speak again*

    Somehow, I doubt that.

    Come on… don’t you recognize a passionate customer when you see it? They’re all crazy, but it’s better if they’re crazy about paying you, in which case, in the words of Guy Kawasaki, “Take the money.” =)

    I thought it was kind of cute, personally. Passion often occludes reason.

  117. [...] An example of Tradeoffs: system requirements of Wow versus Crysis, for example. Crysis looks awesome. But we would rather have the broader market. So that forced us to the stylized art style that is resistant to looking dated. It did generate lots of negative press, and our graphics programmers always wanted to push farther too. You just have to be prepared. Definately worth of a read for anyone in, or looking to join the game industry. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/_________________It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue Visit us our irc channel at #assemblerirc on efnet. [...]

  118. [...] Rob Pardo, Blizzards Vice President of design, discussed Blizzards approach to designing World of Warcraft (WoW) at last weeks Austin Game Conference. His speech is very interesting and offers some insight into why WoW has been so successful. We also spent a lot of time on the newbie experience. First and foremost, its not overwhelming. We generally shy away from tutorials. I enjoy games like Prince of Persia and God of War, which ease you into the game. Thats the approach we take as well. We drop you right into a newbie zone, and its not overwhelming. Youre not in a huge confusing city. The newbie experience is not finding your way out of the starting town. The newbie zone also gets you right into the action. Everywhere you look, theres a building or two, a couple of NPCs, and monsters. Within five minutes of starting up, you can fight monsters. Ralph Koster summarized Mr. Pardo’s speech on his website here. [...]

  119. [...] Rob Pardo fra Blizz holdt et oplg p en eller anden konference om hvordan de designede WoW: http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ Det er selvflgelig bare overfladen af det, men meget interessant. [...]

  120. [...] Raph’s Website &raquo; AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-... posted by majcher-w at 2006-09-11 07:23# <noid_> This really makes me want to play WoW again. [...]

  121. [...] Et 1, et 2, et… 7 millions !!! Et oui, a y est ! Nous somme plus de 7 millions arpenter les contres d’Azeroth Blizzard l’a annonc au salon Austin Game Conference. D’autre part, Rob Pardo, chef designer sur WoW, a donn une confrence dans laquelle il explique quelques concepts utiliss par Blizzard pour la cration de notre jeu prfr. C’est en anglais, mais a vaut le coup d’oeil. Il y a un rsum ici et un article l.   [...]

  122. [...] A transcript of Rob Pardo’s AGC keynote. A very thorough look at the thinking behind the design of World of Warcraft. [...]

  123. “Killing with a purpose” is the quest philosophy for WoW. With other MMOs, quests were just go out and see that experience bar move. Getting another bubble of XP is really fun but no accessible. We thought that giving you a reason to kill things was more accessible. A lot of people criticize how many bounty or collection quests are in WoW, but it came out of “killing with a purpose.” This way you are always moving around the world, seeing different things in your combat.

    I barely kept from laughing out loud when Rob said this. It boggles my mind to think that collecting bandanas qualifies as killing with a purpose. Not that it doesn’t work for 7 odd million people. Still, I’m with the others here who want rat-killing to mean something.

    In keeping with Michael’s and Andy’s discussion on rats, here’s an old MUD-Dev post. (It was originally intended to show how you could build community for introverts or casual players without requiring the time or social investment of typical forced grouping.)

    Here’s the sort of example I like to use. Bubba is an NPC swordsmith in Sometown. Unfortunately, rats from the sewers beneath Sometown tend to infest Bubba’s storage cellar. They chew holes in the bags that protect Bubba’s stores from the damp climate, thus allowing rust to ruin his stored metals. Bubba gives player, Boffo, a quest to clean out the sewers beneath his shop. All of this is typical quest stuff appropriate for either solo/introvert/casual/mobile play. But without more, it does nothing at all to promote community. One possibility for promoting community will involve making this quest easier or more rewarding when completed by a team of players. (For the introvert/casual/mobile player, however, the quest will be seen in a little differet light–they’ll complain that it is harder and less rewarding for the solo player.) This may result in better connections for a certain subset of players, but will only frustrate the introvert/casual/mobile player. However, they needn’t be ignored.

    What if, as a result of the rat-infested cellars, the quality and quantity of Bubba’s offerings to community patrons suffers. He can only make a few low quality swords and daggers. Additionally, the NPC guards that patrol the walls and gates of Sometown suffer degraded capability because Bubba is a major supplier of their equipment. This sort of model connects the solo quest back to a community context. When Boffo clears out the sewers at great risk and personal sacrifice, the community may notice. They may recognize his accomplishment because it affects *all of them* and not just Boffo himself (as would the typical item or XP reward). But Boffo needn’t be an extrovert with copious amounts of free time in order to attain this recognition and sense of belonging. He can pursue solo gameplay at the tactical level (which requires much less social investment and time commitment than team play) but still enjoy a sense of community at the strategic level.

    Note the additional gameplay opportunities as well. Perhaps player Buffy is also a swordsmith in Sometown. Her business could boom because of Bubba’s woes. She could be pouring rat-growth hormone into Sometown’s sewers on the sly. Interesting.

    Of course, Boffo and Buffy will all have to learn to pull in the same direction if they are to increase Sometown’s power and influence over the surrounding countryside. Otherwise, Someothertown could end up controlling the iron mine on which Bubba, Buffy, and the entire community rely for supplies.

    Both competition and cooperation are wonderful examples of gameplay that is content. And both arise quite naturally from a rich, varied, and interactive *context*. A sandbox is not a rich enough context, but that doesn’t mean we should completely abandon a context-centered approach in favor of static content faucets.

    To me, this is killing with a purpose.

    Not true, unless you’re referring to simple socialization as content.

    Not only do I believe that socialization is content, but I think there is more to it. I believe that there are (at least) four basic types of content that I think MMOGs offer that can be provided by other players: 1) Communication, 2) Competition, 3) Cooperation, and 4) Creation.

    For me, I enjoy this sort of content best when it arises from playing the game. This is why I don’t particularly like Second Life. I don’t want to provide content where it feels like I am just providing content. I want to provide content where it feels like I am simply playing the game. I think this is the real sweet spot between WoW and Second Life that has yet to be fully explored.

    –Paul

  124. [...] This tangent was brought to mind when I was thinking about one of the things that Rob Pardo of Blizzard said in his speech: namely that it is a real challenge to convince any game team to make ’substandard graphics’. Rob Pardo, via Raph’s Liveblogging his words verbatim: An example of Tradeoffs: system requirements of Wow versus Crysis, for example. Crysis looks awesome. But we would rather have the broader market. So that forced us to the stylized art style that is resistant to looking dated. It did generate lots of negative press, and our graphics programmers always wanted to push farther too. You just have to be prepared. But every game we’ve released, we have gotten the comment that our screenshots were not up to par. [...]

  125. [...] Links are piling up all over the place (due to time spent on DF posts), so let’s clear out a few right now.There are some interesting articles in The Escapist this week. The first, by Russ Pitts, features an interview with an OGM (Online Guerilla Marketer, or “dickhead”). These are the people who post in forums, ostensibly as one of us, who are actually marketing employees of the companies putting out games so shitty that they have to hire people to promote them in forums.As an example, Bethesda would have no need to hire an OGM for Oblivion.Here’s the link: OGM.The second, by Allen Varney, is an article about “feelies,” or all those great things we used to get in game boxes besides the game discs and manual. I still have my ankh from Ultima IV. That article is here.Sirius sent me a link to a very funny article in Wired about Microsoft.Well, funny in a way.While it might take Microsoft a month or more to patch a vulnerability in Internet Explorer, do you know how long it took them to issue a patch when their Windows Media DRM was cracked?Three days.Hell, I’m surprised it took them that long. The article is here.Oh, and that patch was compromised in about a day.Blake Senn sent in a link to Rob Pardo’s keynote address at the Austin Gaming Conference. Actually, it’s a link to Raph Koster’s notes on Rob Pardo’s address, but they’re extremely thorough and very interesting, and you can read them here.Skylander let me know that Bovine Conspiracy has started a wiki called “The Moo Guide” to keep track of release dates for upcoming PC and console games. It’s a great idea, very nicely designed, and you can find it here: The Moo Guide. [...]

  126. [...] Originally Posted by Clubside Granville … I had a discussion with a Linden that I won’t get into, but one of the key conclusions I drew from it was that they were aware of the user retention issue and currently don’t know how to address it. My suggestions pre- and post-SLCC stand: without compelling "things to do" such as traditional gaming, they are hopelessly stuck with wanna-be artists, lonely people who like to chat by keyboard and lookie-loos….. Maybe you have read it already, here is a link to Rob Pardos Keynote at the Austin Game Conference, explaining the design decisions behind WoW which is arguably the greatest success in terms of player retention. My take on this is that while playable in groups, WoW offers a lot of "gaming" to the solo player, so you don’t need to coordinate login times or be forced to join group of strangers who could have different levels, skills or playing style. Worth a read, IMHO, even if SL is obviously a very different product. [...]

  127. [...] I realized recently that I’ve played WOW for about a year now. The thing that got me thinking about this a really great article about how WOW was designed. [...]

  128. [...] Why was WoW such a success? Yes, it had a strong backstory and franchise (several well-received games) but so does LOTRO. It had a strong design, an accessibile model, and was generally well polished, all of which helped players enjoy the game, but these are things that any multi-year, multi-million dollar MMO must have today to be competitive. I believe the key to Blizzard’s success was the openness of the beta and the anticipation among groups of friends that developed because of it. To date, Turbine has been protective of the beta and I can’t blame them: they likely feel that bad word of mouth sunk DDO. LOTR is also a risky, high value intellectual property that demands to be reinterpreted in the best possible way. No matter how technically excellent the game is today or responsive the developers are during the beta, they take a big risk by opening up their beta (especially at this stage). [...]

  129. [...] Re: Best practices: Recruiting enshula wrote:Im beginning to wonder whether your trying to build forum hype on here or seriously looking for input.Rest assured, I’m actually looking for input.  The only reason I have a website is because I made a half-hearted attempt to form a guild at the beginning of the year.  I had a Ventrillo server, but it’s lapsed.  I haven’t even broached with my friends the topic of them posting testaments to my ability to lead.  I haven’t even finalized my decision to postponing my run at a CCIE.However, I learned the hard way that forming a guild is not something you do on impulse.  I did it that way once, five people joined me and then I hit a stall point.  I had misread the tea leaves; running a successful guild is not just about putting up a Ventrillo server and a web site.  So I talked to everyone, let them know it wasn’t going to work, gave them all two nexus crystals and 500g both as a token of my regret at my failure and a symbol of my gratitude in their joining me for that attempt.  And then I withdrew from the game for four months.Now I’m back, waiting around for the expansion.  Again the idea of forming a guild has crossed my mind.  But this time I’m asking questions intent on making a better go of it this time around.  And I’m allowing myself to be persuaded.  While I continue to maintain that their outsized contributions should be recognized, I abandoned my ever-so-clever idea on rewarding raid leaders with extra dkp.  I’m also being persuaded about the importance of fun and learning why a guild cannot be run like a cross-guild PvP group.I could avoid mention of the fact that I’m thinking about putting together a guild.  However, I’ve had problems with "the Grand Reveal" in real life before and I’m working consciously to avoid it here since building a guild has an effect on so many people.  For those who aren’t familiar with the phrase, you can see an example in Rob Pardo’s keynote from the Austin Game Conference:"Beware of the Grand Reveal."  This is a pic of a dungeon that was supposed to be in the original release but is in the expansion, because the subteam went off to work on it in a vacuum, disconnected from the rest of the team. The grand reveal was when they came back and showed it. It was supposed to be a raid dungeon but the doors were too narrow. So back to the drawing board it went, three months of redo because we didn’t redo along the wayElsewhere on this forum, I proposed a guild loot system incorporating a compensation principle you see every day in corporate America.  Quite sure of my own genius, it took no fewer than three pages of people calling me an idiot before I thought "maybe it will create more problems than it will solve."  But how much better I figure that out here on paper than in the game with real people.There’s no need for me to reinvent the wheel, not when there are so many intelligent people with experiences to share from whom I can learn. Omnia ferro ignique vastantur; praedae undique actae.  -Livy, 10.12.8Everything was devastated by sword and fire; loot was gathered from everywhere. Online   Index » General Discussion » Best practices: Recruiting [1] [...]

  130. [...] Well this transcript and Raph Koster’s transcript of this speach confirm for me what others suspected, that WoW is  just a massive bait and switch.  I wish I could have read this before I started playing WoW as that donut model was what I was specfiically under the impression that Blizzard was NOT doing.  I would never have bought the game or played it if I had been under the impression that I would be frosting and raider fodder.I consider this design fundamentally dishonest.  I used to give them the benefit of the doubt.  I can honestly say Blizzard has earned my contempt and disgust. [...]

  131. [...] ӵַhttp://vaanmengfan.blog.sohu.com/17300944.html ƴ˵ַ #rec{border:1px solid #ccc;margin:10px auto 10px;line-height:150%;padding:10px!important;padding:10px 10px 0px;width:670px;} #tag_cloud{ padding: 0 5px 0 5px; overflow: hidden; list-style: none;} #tag_cloud li{ list-style: none; display: inline; padding: 0 10px 0 0px; background: none;} #tag_cloud a{ color:#479299; text-decoration: none; line-height: 150%; white-space:nowrap;} #tag_cloud a:hover{ color: #fc7821; text-decoration: underline;} #tag_cloud li.tag_popularity_1 a{ font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal;} #tag_cloud li.tag_popularity_2 a{ font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold;} #tag_cloud li.tag_popularity_3 a{ font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold;} #tag_cloud li.tag_popularity_4 a{ font-size: 18px; color: #fc7821; font-weight: bold;} .tagEntry{ margin: 10px 0; padding: 0 10px 10px 5px; clear: both; border-bottom: 1px solid #eee; word-break: break-all; overflow: hidden; } .tagEntry_authorPic{ float:left; padding: 1px; border: 1px solid #ccc; width:48px; height: 48px; overflow: hidden; margin-right: 5px; } .tagEntry_authorPic img{ height: 48px; } .tagEntry h5{ padding: 0; margin: 5px 0 5px; line-height: 26px; } .tagEntry h5 .tagEntyr_title{ font-weight: bold; font-size: 13px; } .tagEntry_authorName{ font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; } .tagEntry_pubTime{ font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; margin-left: 10px; } .tagEntry_content{ line-height: 150%; } .tagListMore{ text-align: right; clear: both; } .tagListMore a{ margin-left: 5px; } [...]

  132. [...] Very interesting read from AGC. A few things that really caught my eye from Rob Pardo’s keynote. Dungeons too, we wanted them to be a much more hardcore experience, we wanted only groups in there, and so on. The dungeons are there to serve more of the core market. It’s something to strive for, a bridge for the casual players to become a little more hardcore. Another thing we talked about very early on was the game being soloable to 60. We really wanted it to be available to everyone. If you just wanted to play like a single-player game, you could do that,but you’ll see dungeons, battlegrounds, people with cool gear, and so on. We saw this solo game as our casual game. you have to figure out how you get from the newbie experience to that core experience. For WoW, that’s done through the levelling curve. [...]

  133. [...] Raph was kinda enough to transcribe this talk by Rob Pardo at the Austin Game Convention: The Blizzard polish. Polish is the word associated with us in reviews. There’s this big assumption that polish is something you do in the end. That we’re successful because we spend 6-12 months at the end polishing. We do get more time, but we do the polish right from the beginning. It’s a constant effort. You have to have a culture of polish. Everyone has to be bought into it and you have to constantly preach it. if you leave it to the end, it’ll be more difficult. [...]

  134. [...] AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote Submitted by Abalieno on September 6, 2006 – 19:35. World of Warcraft’s Deus Ex Machina Rob Pardo finally talks about the game as a whole. [...]

  135. [...] Originally Posted by ElGallo In short, it’s really, really hard to make a huge, unfun game and then try to reforge it into a fun game than it is to make a tiny, fun game and then make it huge. It’s not impossible (according to some, EQ2 did just that) but it ain’t easy. With all due respect to Pardo (and the link for his keynote where he discusses the point you made is here: Raph’s Website AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote ) I suspect the start small concept is one of the reasons the Horde areas kinda suck in comparison to Alliance. The early areas were all alliance. We’ll see if Vanguard can pull it off. __________________ You wouldn’t happen to be an emergent AI? [...]

  136. [...] Blizzard Game philosophy translates into World of Warcraft Rob Pardo was lead designer of Starcraft and is now VP of Design at Blizzard. Here are some notes from a keynote he gave at Austin’s Game conference. (This is a few months old – apologies if most have already read it – lay off Kntajus! ) __________________ "Like a monkey, ready to be shot into space. Space monkey! Ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good." [...]

  137. [...] What Sigil should have done: 1) Get a decent project mananger from day one. 2) Follow these instructions instead of building a huge world and then trying to patch in the fun. 3) Design your game’s engine around a realistic spec. instead of forcing your playerbase to upgrade. 4) Manage the fans’ expectations better, instead of hyping it as a revolutionary third-gen MMOG. What Sigil can do now: 1) Not a damn thing. SOE has been handing Brad rope for months. __________________ [...]

  138. [...] Players will always judge the rest of your content by the quality of your initial content. Industry experts have long held that you have approximately 15 minutes to “hook” a new player. The newbie areas in Vanguard were mediocre and very unpolished. It seems that Sigil spent all of their time and put all of their A list talent to work on the high level content. They failed to realize that if you don’t make your newbie content compelling nobody will ever get to see the “good stuff” ™ later on because they will quit in frustration. This is a classic game design pitfall that many inexperienced game designers fall into. As much as I find fault with Blizzard’s current raid-centric direction with WOW I have a lot of respect for “polish, polish, polish” mantra for their newbie areas. Read Pardo’s speech at the GDC and he explains exactly why MMO devs should focus on the newbie content first. [...]

  139. [...] Worldguard . - - , . . ? http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06…ardos-keynote/ __________________ God to Earth – “Cry more noobs!” [...]

  140. [...] #1 发表于 2007-1-17 17:05  资料 短消息  魔兽世界设计理念 http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/ 好像是E文的,我看不懂 一个人的黎明,一个人的黄昏 [广告] 动漫天下活动第一期之『看图填话』 function setanswer(pid){ if(confirm(“您确认要把该回复选为“最佳答案”吗?”)){ document.delpost.action=’misc.php?action=bestanswer&tid=501161&pid=’ + pid + ‘&bestanswersubmit=yes’; document.delpost.submit(); } }   menuregister(false, “newspecialfooter”, true) 投票 交易 悬赏 活动 论坛跳转 …   > 版主申请区  > 投诉与建议  > 论坛小向导  > 帐号&奖品发放区      > 帐号兑换区      > 奖品兑换区  > 活动申请与存档  > pogo活动区  > 休闲水庄      > 水庄精品区-灵云阁  > 图园天地  > 创意Paradise      > 教程与素材  > 新游戏杂谈      > 新游戏八卦      > 新游戏排期      > 新游戏视频  > 动漫天下      > 动漫音乐      > 动漫下载  > 外宣大厅  > 公会合作  > 惊天动地 综合讨论      > 玩家经验      > 职业心得      > 公会原创      > 新闻八卦  > 惊天动地 交易市场  > 惊天动地 视频欣赏  > 惊天动地 公会外宣      > 惊天动地 公会外宣报导  > 奇迹世界 综合讨论      > 狂战士篇      > 龙骑士篇      > 魔法师篇      > 圣射手篇  > 奇迹世界 焦点新闻  > 奇迹世界 公会原创  > 奇迹世界 公会外宣  > 激战 综合讨论区      > 阿斯卡隆图书馆      > 卓克纳熔炉酒馆      > 风荷公会议事厅  > 激战 公会外宣厅  > 希望 综合讨论区  > 希望 工会交流区  > 希望 交易区  > 希望 水库  > 神泣 综合讨论      > 神泣 精品区◆◆◆光之同盟◆◆◆      > 神泣 精品区◆◆◆愤怒同盟◆◆◆      > 神泣 精品区◆◆◆公会原创◆◆◆      > 神泣 精品区◆◆◆新闻八卦◆◆◆  > 神泣 公会外宣      > 神泣 公会外宣报导  > 魔兽世界 综合讨论区  > 魔兽世界 心得交流  > 魔兽世界 苍白的墓志铭  > 魔兽世界 中立交易区  > 魔兽世界 地下酒馆  > 黄易群侠传 综合讨论区  > 大航海时代 综合讨论区      > 大航海数据库BUG汇报区  > 卓越之剑 综合讨论  > 卓越之剑 奥修国家图书馆  > 新闻版  > 地下城与勇士 综合讨论区  > 蒸汽幻想 综合讨论区  > 魔力宝贝 综合讨论区  > 魔力宝贝 交易区  > 魔力新闻版  > 蜀山 综合讨论区  > 光之国度 综合讨论区  > 天使电玩 综合讨论区  > 天使电玩 资源发布区      > 单机游戏 资源发布区      > 电视游戏 资源发布区      > 掌上游戏 资源发布区  > 机甲世纪 综合讨论区  > 航海世纪 综合讨论区  > 黑暗与光明 综合讨论区  > 冒险岛 综合讨论区  > 街头篮球综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 一骑当千  > 热血江湖综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 梦幻西游      > 新闻版  > AC 综合讨论区  > 天使之恋OL 综合讨论区  > 征途 综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 龙与地下城 综合讨论区  > 仙境传说 综合讨论区  > 仙境传说2 综合讨论区  > QQ音速 综合讨论区  > QQ幻想 综合讨论区  > 问道 综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 魔域 综合讨论区      > 新闻杂谈  > 跑跑卡丁车      > 新闻杂谈  > DJMAX 综合讨论区  > 劲舞团 综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 劲乐团 综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 劲爆足球 综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 超级舞者 综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 大唐豪侠 综合讨论区  > 传世OL 综合讨论区  > 华夏II 综合讨论区  > 星战前夜 综合讨论区  > 水浒Q传 综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 传奇世界 综合讨论区  > 新天上碑 综合讨论区  > 魔法飞球 综合讨论区  > 快乐西游 综合讨论区  > 超女世界 综合讨论区  > 武林外传 综合讨论区      > 新闻版  > 信长之野望 综合讨论区  > 疯狂卡丁车 综合讨论区  > 天龙八部 综合讨论区  > 3D网络麻将 综合讨论区      > 网络麻将新闻版  当前时区 GMT+8, 现在时间是 2007-1-17 17:52  清除 Cookies – 联系我们 – 天使在线互动社区 [...]

  141. [...] же, если пинг 50, а монитор добавляет еще 50…(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) kindwisher 2007-01-16 02:34 pm UTC (link) “Что-то не то” и “ой-ой-ойхотел быть “врачом”, точнее – физиологом :)(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) moneo 2007-01-16 02:53 pm UTC (link) [пожимает плечами]ну,смотрите уже на вещи диалектически, однако.(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) olegart 2007-01-16 04:30 pm UTC (link) ну, отдельныхспектров диалектически посмотреть?..(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) moneo 2007-01-16 05:11 pm UTC (link) > А отдельныхпонятий не будем заниматься, уважаемыйа?(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) olegart 2007-01-16 05:28 pm UTC (link) А на основании чего вычто один тезис чем-то лучше другого?(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) moneo 2007-01-16 05:37 pm UTC (link) на основании того, чтолинейчатости спектра – это бред собачий(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) olegart 2007-01-16 05:52 pm UTC (link) на основании того, чтои заметность голым глазом 50 мс задержки.(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) moneo 2007-01-16 06:15 pm UTC (link) > Что значит “заметна”?чтоо действиях противника доходит на 100 мс позже(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) (no subject) – olegart, 2007-01-16 06:23 pm UTC kindwisher 2007-01-16 04:43 pm UTCможет быть заметен…Хохохо… Ну вы отожгли :)(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) moneo 2007-01-16 05:08 pm UTC (link) > Если кто-то заявляет олень, проведу на досуге двойной слепой тест! 8)(Reply to this) (Parent) px_x64 2007-01-16 09:19 pm UTC (link) >Для наглядности: мое ПВР -хотя и не всегда, видимо зависит от состояния(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) kindwisher 2007-01-17 02:16 pm UTC (link) ПВР – предельное времякадрами не дискретные, как на кинопленке…(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) px_x64 2007-01-17 02:38 pm UTC (link) ПВР – предельное времяматюкаясь. Нечасто такое бывает, но бывает(Reply to this) (Parent) drauk 2007-01-18 01:15 pm UTC (link)http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/”Control is king. Game control is taken for granted a lot of times. I remember on Warcraft 3 I could feel a little bit of lag on the mouse cursor, and I kept saying it to the programmer, but he kept saying he couldn’t see anything wrong. Finally he coded in a hardware cursor so we could run both cursors at the same time, and lo and behold there were three frames of lag. And that matters, it’s important. People will leave over that, but you’ll never know that is the reason.”Он заметил лаг курсора в 3 фрейма. Мы не знаем ФПС, но в среднем на девелоперской машине (которые приличные) фпс должен быть около 50. Итого 6 мс получается. [...]

  142. [...] we can achieve, and we should be pushing at all kinds of different directions.ripped straight from http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/I agree with 99% of what he's saying in there. I especially adore the phrases "concentrated [...]

  143. [...]    Stoll wrote: [...] That guy left the game silently, proably out of boredom. Looking at what his reaction was, I believe his boredom wasn’t because of some combat system or profession everybody complains about. It was because the game lacked immersion.All I gotta say.I am quite certain, thats also one of the reasons the game has not reached the wider star wars audience. Compared to the many Star Wars Games on the market and bearing in mind that it is virtually the biggest one, it should be the king of Star Wars games. Yet, it seems that SW: Battlefront, KotoR, or the older Jedi Academy titles seem to jockey for position.Also, one of the reasons why there is lack of immersion is because most game systems are too isolated from each other and ofen just barely disguised mechanics. There is one fairly good example: Jedi.It is actually a sword and sorcery class of Star Wars Galaxies and whenever someone (even the developers) talk about Jedi, its all about DMG output, balance or about nifty skills Jedi should have. In fact, what is most striking, there is hardly any attempt to talk about all the other things that make Jedi different (and cool) or are simply important in the lore (with plenty of potential to make a cool game).For example KotoR profits a lot from the morale system in quests and that you can influence the NPCs to get more or better information. Vanguard (an upcoming game) will even have a diplomacy system. This would actually somehow manifest light and dark side instead of just have it as two different sets with some differently flavored skills (you can also mix). All classes and playstyles would profit from such a system, not even Jedi with their special skills. Also entertainers could be naturally better at charming NPCs and would get for example easier quests that work with their usual skillset. You could potentially open the door to a lot of side effects, up to that dark Jedi are mostly avoided and despised by NPCs but are able to use nasty mind twisting force powers in their quests to balance their disadvantages (just brainstorming).Anyways, the dark side should be much different and should actually draw from the motive of consuming (it may age your avatar or applies debuffs and other negative effects on you when you use dark force skills way too often and intensely. A force lightning should be more like: as long as you keep it active, the more it does damage to your opponent but at the same time draws health points (and/or from other stats) to balance it out.Not to mention that the empire and the universe as whole would react somehow to the large number of jedi, anyhow.Ah, and there is it: AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote [...]

  144. [...] an interesting post up on Raph Koster’s blog where he publishes his notes from Rob Pardo’s keynote speech at last [...]

  145. [...] Game philosophy translates into World of Warcraft Rob Pardo was lead designer of Starcraft and is now VP of Design at Blizzard. Here are some notes fr… (This is a few months old – apologies if most have already read it – lay off Kntajus! ) [...]

  146. [...] Or how to deal with blurry boundaries between these types of players. Rob Pardo of WoW fame gave a keynote at the Austin Game Conference in 2006 and did touch on this issue. Raph Koster took notes and put [...]

  147. [...] Published July 23rd, 2007 Uncategorized In my very first post I quoted from Rob Pardo’s Austin Conference keynote as transcribed on Raph Koster’s blog. Back then I was interested in how the WoW designers [...]

  148. [...] the universe as whole would react somehow to the large number of jedi, anyhow.Ah, and there is it: AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote Your browser does not support iframes. Iframes are a requirement to see a user’s [...]

  149. [...] only ever vaguely described what I am doing. I know that’s bad, too. I want to avoid the fallacy of the Grand Reveal (scroll down a bit for that part). It’s so very easy to stay wrapped up in coding and never publish [...]

  150. [...] Raphkoster: AGC: Rob Pardo’s keynote 本站资料版权归属艾泽拉斯国家地理©转载请注明出处和本站链接 Powered by Z-Nuke v1.7 Build 2060 (cache on) © 2004 沪ICP备05011202号 _uacct = “UA-562714-6″; urchinTracker(); [...]

  151. [...] http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/09/06/agc-rob-pardos-keynote/Good information from the designers of WoW about their design philosophy, quests, core vs casual gamers, etc. [...]

  152. [...] I realized recently that I’ve played WOW for about a year now. The thing that got me thinking about this a really great article about how WOW was designed. [...]

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  155. [...] by JZig on September 12, 2006 There’s an interesting post up on Raph Koster’s blog where he publishes his notes from Rob Pardo’s keynote speech [...]

  156. [...] 2.0: “It doesnt have a Wienie” ever goes bad! For a hint, it goes hand-in-hand with the World of Warcraft mantra of “concentrated coolness”–the importance of making a few things really awesome instead of spreading yourself [...]

  157. [...] interesting thing is that progressing from the outside of the donut (Blizzard’s design philosophy) into the hole of the donut changes you. As Cameron noted that transition has the effect of [...]

  158. [...] game design which was described by Blizzard VP Rob Pardo at his Austin Gamers Conference keynote speech in [...]

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