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Should Indie MMORPGs Be Scored on a Different Scale than AAA Games? | One Good Roll | MMORPG.com

SystemSystem Member UncommonPosts: 11,024
edited November 2022 in News & Features Discussion

imageShould Indie MMORPGs Be Scored on a Different Scale than AAA Games? | One Good Roll | MMORPG.com

In this week's One Good Roll, but this week, Steven contemplates whether Indie games and AAA games should be scored on the same scale.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • IncomparableIncomparable Member UncommonPosts: 1,128
    The combat imo should be graded in the same rating. Since that is what people are mainly doing; indie or AAA.

    I would say if it is a themepark MMO with a lot of grinding, and questing, then since they put a lot of it in, even if their budget is small, it should be rated in the same vien as a AAA MMO. Since imo, if their budget is small they should focus mostly on combat, and not so much on filler content, but instead repeatable end game content such as pvp, pve raids, mini games, player created content, etc but with a smaller story since their budget is smaller.

    So the only thing that gets rated differently imo should be the advantages of AAA MMO is the number of glitches, and the length of story. So if they have a small budget but a large story they should be called out on it, and rated as if they a AAA MMO. But, everything else should be rated equally.

    “Write bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble”

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,851
    Being an indie game is not an excuse for being a bad game. It doesn't cause games to be a buggy mess. The lack of competent programmers is what causes games to be a buggy mess.

    Being a low-budget indie game is a valid excuse for being a short game. It could mean that a game has fewer features and fewer classes than AAA games, uses a lot of stock assets for graphics and sound, has far fewer quests and less content, and so forth. But what's there still needs to be good.

    An indie MMO that only has three classes, a hundred quests, two fixed dungeons, exclusively uses purchased art and sound assets, and a level cap of 20 with no endgame could still be a good game if what is there is polished and fun to play.

    If you've got a good base to your game, you can add more to it after launch. But if everything in the game is bad, then the game is going to be bad no matter how much or how little of it there is.
    BrainyChampieMendelSplattrKyleranValentinakoldmiserLackingMMOobiiCogohi
  • user298user298 Member UncommonPosts: 152
    A game is a game. It's either fun or it is not. Doesn't matter if it's "indie" or "AAA made by huge corporatation". So there's absolutely no need to come up with any "different scale" nonsense.
    ChampieBrainyMendelTalindinogn
  • Blowfeld81Blowfeld81 Member UncommonPosts: 44
    edited November 2022
    If a game sucks, it sucks. No different rating needed.

    When a two man dev team with 50.000 dollar think they can revolutionize the genre, then they are most likely either geniusses or totally delusional.

    As a customer I pay money for a great experience. If you cannot deliver a grand MMO, because you lack experience, team size, proper organisation, vision and- most of all- funding, then don't expect me to buy into that shit.

    Just stick to creating smaller games & sell them, get experience doing so, learn, make yourself a name and then tackle the big boy genre when you are ready.

    "Bob developed a shitty car. He made out of paper mache and some old tires he had lying around. He then used an airbrush to paint it crazy. Costs half the price of a Porsche- motor and electronics to be delivered soon. Fuck off, Bob!"
    ChampieBrainyCogohi
  • DarkZorvanReturnsDarkZorvanReturns Member RarePosts: 654
    No.

    There are indie games made by one or two people just as complete and fun as AAA games with massive teams and funding.

    There are AAA games with huge teams and massive funding that are total shit and forgotten about within a month.

    I've never seen "Team Size" or "Funding" as part of any score given by a reviewer, and rightly so.

    What matters is, is it a good game or a bad game? That's all that needs to be considered for scoring a game, same as it's always been.
    ScotBrainyMendelSplattrultimateduckCogohi
  • emperorhades1emperorhades1 Member UncommonPosts: 187
    Ah, so cute. Reviewers think people care about scores.
    Champieuser298RidrithKyleran
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 19,959
    edited November 2022
    Absolutely not, by all means point out that a low score is influenced by areas that most indies struggle with like top graphics and animation or being stuffed with content, but always use the same score.
    BrainyMendelKyleran
  • aslan132aslan132 Member UncommonPosts: 617
    Well, I think its been summed up pretty well by everyone so far. If you are going to compete in the same market, you are going to get scored the same, just the way it is (and should be). A score is just a number, and most people who are genuinely looking into a game will also read beyond the number. There are pro/con lists and reviews, by critics, content creators, and playtesters usually, if not a video or two of gameplay. We already have a pretty good idea what areas a game shines in and what it lacks before launch. Use the same scale, and explain why you feel that way in your reviews, that's what they are for.
    BrainyMendelKyleran
  • NeblessNebless Member RarePosts: 1,752
    I find it funny the author actually thinks reviews matter to most.  Just like movie reviews it's just 1 persons opinion that doesn't really mean jack.

    Only 1 yardstick is needed, Am I having fun playing it?  If not I don't care how small or big the company that made it was.
    Champiemaskedweaseluser298KyleranMcSleaz

    SWG (pre-cu) - AoC (pre-f2p) - PotBS (pre-boarder) - DDO - LotRO (pre-f2p) - STO (pre-f2p) - GnH (beta tester) - SWTOR - Neverwinter

  • BrainyBrainy Member EpicPosts: 1,482
    Dont give extra points for low budget games.  Focus the rating on fun or not fun.  There is no need to tip the scales for bad games.  Even low budget Embers is charging more than High budget New World.

    When you look at indie games like Vampire Survivors, they are highly rated on steam because they are fun.  Pure fun.  So a 1 person dev can compete with a 100 person team just by making the entire content they have, FUN.

    If anything should tilt the scales, it just be FUN through all the content they claim to have.  This is the most important thing.  10k hours of content vs 100hrs, state of the art graphics vs older, these are much more subjective and I believe should have less weight.

    Even with deep gameplay features, which is one of my most important catagories.  The fun factor is way more important than complex gameplay to me.

    Fun factor IMO is top thing that should matter.



    Mendel
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,851
    Nebless said:
    I find it funny the author actually thinks reviews matter to most.  Just like movie reviews it's just 1 persons opinion that doesn't really mean jack.

    Only 1 yardstick is needed, Am I having fun playing it?  If not I don't care how small or big the company that made it was.
    For a game that isn't terrible, a good review should tell some people that they ought to have a further look at the game and other people that they ought to move on because the game isn't for them.  There are a lot of game design decisions where some players prefer A to B and others prefer B to A.  Telling players that the game chose A rather than B is useful information to both sides.
    BrainyCogohi
  • QbertqQbertq Member UncommonPosts: 399
    I do it naturally.  I don't expect a company with 3 coders and a 50$ budget to have the same capability as a company having 300 coders and 100mil.  Having said that, the indie shouldn't try for a game the aaa company makes.  Also, whatever the do produce, poor programming has nothing to do with size but attention to detail 
    Amaranthar
  • BrainyBrainy Member EpicPosts: 1,482
    Nebless said:
    I find it funny the author actually thinks reviews matter to most.  Just like movie reviews it's just 1 persons opinion that doesn't really mean jack.

    Only 1 yardstick is needed, Am I having fun playing it?  If not I don't care how small or big the company that made it was.
    I think reviews are useful, especially when compared with the totality of all other reviews.

    I constantly go on steam and look and which games are the highest rated.  I have found the highest rated games have a good track record for me personally.  There has been a couple that fell short, but overall some of the best games I ever played, many were highly rated and I only found out about them because they were highly rated.

    If I seen this site rate an MMO with a high score, especially if I was unfamiliar with it, I would certainly dig deeper and consider buying it.

    I personally dont have time to sort through all the trash that comes out.  So its useful to get at least some of the sorting through other sources.
    KyleranCogohi
  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member EpicPosts: 5,331
    Qbertq said:
    I do it naturally.  I don't expect a company with 3 coders and a 50$ budget to have the same capability as a company having 300 coders and 100mil.  Having said that, the indie shouldn't try for a game the aaa company makes.  Also, whatever the do produce, poor programming has nothing to do with size but attention to detail 
    One caveat, "polish." But yeah, I agree with your point.  
    Qbertq

    Once upon a time....

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel Member EpicPosts: 11,895
    Nebless said:
    I find it funny the author actually thinks reviews matter to most.  Just like movie reviews it's just 1 persons opinion that doesn't really mean jack.

    Only 1 yardstick is needed, Am I having fun playing it?  If not I don't care how small or big the company that made it was.
    Reviews and mostly review scores do matter to a lot of people. In fact the scores often matter more than the review itself. We see that all the time. Especially here. People argue about the review score more than the points of the review. Devs care too because poor scores bring down the perception of the game, even in sites like metacritic.

    Which makes sense why someone might want indie games scaled different. Because half the time people just want to know the score without reading the whole review, so shit indie games might be fun but lack all the polish and features.

    Ofc it wouldn't make sense to scale them separately. The smart way would be to remove scores from reviews entirely... But everyone literally only wants the review score. 



  • user298user298 Member UncommonPosts: 152
    Nebless said:
    I find it funny the author actually thinks reviews matter to most.  Just like movie reviews it's just 1 persons opinion that doesn't really mean jack.


    Yea, I feel sorry for such people who actually care about subjective reviews. I know it's not their fault that they were born with such deficiency (inability to form their own opinion through firsthand experience and instead always accepting random people's subjective opinions as the "only truth"), but still, it's pretty sad observing such persons.

    Thankfully I am not one of them; if I want to do things like play a game I am curious about - I just go and play it. Or, if I don't feel like wasting a non-refundable money on that - I just watch the gameplay on Twitch/YouTube (without listening to worthless opinions of a person who is playing it), which is enough to quickly determine whether I should spend money on it or not.
    maskedweaselBrainy
  • BrainyBrainy Member EpicPosts: 1,482
    edited November 2022
    user298 said:
    Yea, I feel sorry for such people who actually care about subjective reviews. I know it's not their fault that they were born with such deficiency (inability to form their own opinion through firsthand experience and instead always accepting random people's subjective opinions as the "only truth"), but still, it's pretty sad observing such persons.

    Thankfully I am not one of them; if I want to do things like play a game I am curious about - I just go and play it. Or, if I don't feel like wasting a non-refundable money on that - I just watch the gameplay on Twitch/YouTube (without listening to worthless opinions of a person who is playing it), which is enough to quickly determine whether I should spend money on it or not.

    Well in life some people have more going on then sitting in their moms basement thinking the entire world revolves around 1 game.

    Time is a factor, and there are many things people have to do, and dont have time for a first hand account of every single thing.

    The reality of your statement is you are probably not very well informed.  How could you be, if you think you can first hand test every single thing you come across.  You test every car that exists before you purchase? Anything you buy in a store you test over every single competing product first?  There are trillions of things in this world, you need a filter of somekind, otherwise you are just randomly dabbling.

    So if you ignore reviews, then what you are really doing is missing a piece of information that can be helpful to making a good decision.  Having this information, doesnt prevent you from discounting the information at will, its just one piece of many pieces of data that can be used to make an informed opinion.

    I believe you are actually benefiting from reviews but just dont even realize you are.  Low reviewed products generally get yanked from shelves.   Many products have reviews before they even reach the shelf to determine its viability.
    maskedweaselRidrithCogohi
  • Warhawke80Warhawke80 Member RarePosts: 418
    A game is good or it blows....

    It's really as simple as that.

    Brainy
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member LegendaryPosts: 3,447
    edited November 2022
    No, they absolutely should not be graded separately.


    First, let me state unequivocally that I think games journalism (and film/tv journalism) is complete garbage. The review and scoring process is a complete joke and utterly worthless, though the reasons are different for games compared to films.

    I still read reviews in order to learn facts about the game in question, but the scores are always dismissed.




    What I want to see is some objective criteria for reviews so that they start to have meaning again. An average game should be 5/10. We should be given scores along different axes so that we can pick out what is important to us.

    For example, I think these are good axes by which to judge:
    • Graphics quality
    • Innovation within genre
    • Gameplay depth
    • Complexity
    • Time to completion
    • Replayability
    • Quality (bugs)
    • etc

    I think if you came up with a good set of criteria by which to judge, then the issue of indie vs AAA won't matter. The indie might lose out points on graphics and time to completion, but it might gain points on innovation.

    From a player's POV, seeing the criteria would help me judge too. If I see good scores for gameplay depth and replayability, I'll be more likely to overlook shit graphics or lack of innovation.




    [nb let me also say that film journalism is far, far worse, though for very different reasons. I feel like every film review I've ever seen has been written by some up-his-own-arse film addict with a hardon for drama, and so the reviews are only relevant for about 100 people, and not for the general public]
    BrainyMendel
  • RidrithRidrith Member RarePosts: 753
    This is easy. NO. If they're going to charge AAA pricing, they should 100% be reviewed without a bias one way or the other. If they're indie, who gives a shit. That's on them.
    BrainyDeathkon1Mendel
    I like to complain about games.
  • Deathkon1Deathkon1 Member RarePosts: 822
    edited November 2022
    No I don't want excuses in a games development, the worlds not a nice place criticism happens why should you get a pass, should bethesda get a pass for all the bugs in skyrim or should I ask did they get a pass? Hell no they didn't, your game will be rated the same as everyone else no exceptions no pity no mercy, you do a good job get praise you mess up you get complaints.
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  • cheyanecheyane Member LegendaryPosts: 8,671
    Of course not. Why should they? There are no good reasons they should. Excuses don't pay bills.
    KyleranDeathkon1
    Chamber of Chains
  • mitech616mitech616 Member UncommonPosts: 23
    I think there's only ONE aspect that may need to be considered/reviewed/viewed differently when it comes to AAA vs indie MMOs, and that is: visuals/graphics. The assets that take the most time and money to develop are high-end visuals.

    Things like combat mechanics, optimization, quest design, and game design don't need a massive team of people like the creation of assets does. It also doesn't tax resources on an engine when visuals aren't as high-end. What it DOES require is skilled programming and creativity. You can have that in an indie game.

    I do think Mortal Online 2 has gotten the short end of the stick on reviews and it does offer more than its score would indicate. But for some other recent "releases", they've been just lacking overall. On top of the possibly expected dated visuals (sometimes TOO dated), there have been poor mechanics and ge design. In those cases, poor ratings are deserved and they should have spend more time creating an entertaining amd stable experience.
    MendelKyleran
  • VrikaVrika Member LegendaryPosts: 7,589
    No. Review scores are not the right place to give a participation award to handicapped developers.
    maskedweaselMendelBrainyKyleranScotDeathkon1
     
  • MendelMendel Member LegendaryPosts: 5,511
    If a reviewer gives me an 'Awww, look.  A little puppy' moment for an indie product, then that reviewer's opinion is lessened in my eyes.  The first thing any review should be is fair and honest, whether it is a professional game reviewer or just another guy on Steam, Reddit, or Discord.  Reviews should *not* be seen as playing favorites with any developer.  Favoritism destroys credibility.



    Brainykoldmiser

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

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