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The Matrix Media Movies Entertainment Games

How The Matrix Online Went Wrong 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-like-this dept.
As the July 31st deadline for The Matrix Online's closure looms, Gamer Limit is running a story discussing the game's shortcomings, as well as some of the decisions that led to its failure. Quoting: "I honestly thought the writers must have absolutely hated the remaining cast of The Matrix Trilogy or something, because they constantly seemed to go out of their way to phase out existing characters in favor of newer ones. The cast overall basically made me, as a player, feel distant from the main storyline and made the entire game feel like a Matrix side story instead of the continuation it was meant to be. ... When MxO first launched there was an entire team dedicated to playing the game as Agents and other key characters as a means to further in-game events and directly interact with players, giving players the feeling that they truly were making a difference. After the SOE buyout of the game the LESIG team was reduced to playing minor characters before eventually being phased out and replaced with a Live Event Team (LET) comprised purely of volunteers."
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How The Matrix Online Went Wrong

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  • So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by d3m0nCr4t (869332) on Monday July 27, 2009 @06:26AM (#28834805)
    Honestly, who cares?
  • by myowntrueself (607117) on Monday July 27, 2009 @06:51AM (#28834927)

    Really?

    Do I need say more?

  • by Targon (17348) on Monday July 27, 2009 @06:54AM (#28834939)

    People may not remember, but it wasn't Sony who first designed EverQuest, it was 989 Studios. Sony is the company that BROKE the game, and as time went on, it became more and more broken due to basic mistakes that Sony made.

    So, whatever SOE touches tends to turn to crap. Sony as a company may have some good products, but SOE has a proven track record of taking a good product and ruining it with stupid decisions on the design end of things.

  • From the article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by isoteareth (321937) on Monday July 27, 2009 @07:02AM (#28834977)

    "In my opinion, this is way too early to give up on any MMORPG title since these kinds of games usually take a bit to get going, WoW didn't start off as the juggernaut it is today either."

    Sure WoW has been building for a long time, but its launch was so strong that their biggest issue was underestimating how quickly they'd have to expand their server base. There were tremendous complaints about the lag early on as servers were absolutely swamped.

    If you don't have a strong opening, it's going to take something remarkable to build the base required to justify the expense of a major MMO. From what I've seen major commercial MMOs that have weak releases rarely reverse that condition. Most simply limp along. A weak release can be the kiss of death for several reasons, including low player density driving off the few players you do have, and lack of a sufficient mass of customers to generate positive buzz and drive long term growth.

    Basically, you don't throw good money after bad.

    "After the SOE buyout of the game the LESIG team was reduced to playing minor characters before eventually being phased out and replaced with a Live Event Team (LET) comprised purely of volunteers."

    When your game isn't bringing in enough money to justify a paid team of in-game actors, of course there are going to be cuts. This is a business. How much sooner would doors have had to close if the budget had not been scaled back? Of course this costs customers, but it very much seems that there were already not enough customers to justify this level of cost. It's no secret that most MMOs already have incredibly lead customer service departments. This is, I epxect, basically like employing a second CS department.

    "You could never be an equal to a storyline character."

    Welcome to MMOs.

  • by dzfoo (772245) on Monday July 27, 2009 @07:16AM (#28835055)

    You say "films" as if there was more than one.

            -dZ.

  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stjobe (78285) on Monday July 27, 2009 @07:42AM (#28835235) Homepage

    Warhammer Online also had the misfortune of being run by GOA here in Europe, which is a death-sentence to any MMO.

    Too bad, the game had (and still has) huge potential, but I'm guessing that it's now on Mythic's back-burner and they just want to keep it running while they squeeze out a few more subscription dollars.

    (played since open beta, still play occasionally, but not at all happy with where the game is)

  • Re:Not "RP-Able" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Monday July 27, 2009 @07:55AM (#28835313)

    Hmm... so I couldn't find a reason and meaning in the Matrix because I can't find reason and meaning in religion?

    Ok, snideness aside. You can't make sensible puzzles in MMOs. It just doesn't work. It's a nice time sink for the fast players, everyone else will read it up on the internet. How do I overcome an opponent through some higher development? I ask the relvant wiki.

  • by zippthorne (748122) on Monday July 27, 2009 @08:41AM (#28835609) Journal

    Have you looked into EVE? It's not for everyone, but ...

    EVE is not for anyone any more. Advancement is done using the progress quest engine, so at this point, if you haven't been paying for the game since nearly the beginning, your ambitions are going to have to be limited to "find someone who's been playing since the beginning and join their coalition as a lowly minion for life."

    It was a clever idea, but if a game is going to last, there has to be a way for new players to reach the level of other players in just a few months (i.e. wow's level cap), or a principle of conservation of stats so that advantages are offset by weaknesses giving new players a chance to compete/contribute, or a periodic reset, or some kind of way to keep things interesting so that new players aren't kept forever below long or overly dedicated players like some kind of horrid caste system.

  • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Monday July 27, 2009 @08:59AM (#28835795)

    EVE is not for anyone any more. Advancement is done using the progress quest engine, so at this point, if you haven't been paying for the game since nearly the beginning, your ambitions are going to have to be limited to "find someone who's been playing since the beginning and join their coalition as a lowly minion for life."

    Bleh, I've been playing since 2006, and a new player is more than ready to fly besides me and seriously kick ass in less than 3 months or so. Training skills is easy. Getting people to stop whining about everything and just go out there and have fun fighting is *hard*.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karganeth (1017580) on Monday July 27, 2009 @09:26AM (#28836105)
    Developers. We would rather learn from other people's mistakes than our own.
  • Re:From TFS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Monday July 27, 2009 @04:05PM (#28842769) Homepage

    Haha.. I actually sat down and watched all three in sequence recently, and they're not bad when taken as a whole. True, the latter two lack the mindbending experience of taking the red pill, but so does the first once you've already seen it. The biggest stumbling block in the suspension of disbelief is the idea of using humans as an energy source, which is the premise that covers all three films. Once you get past that, the movies make an entertaining narrative.. although I still had to fast forward past the singing/dancing segments, much like I have to fast forward through the Ewok celebration and tavern "music" in the original Star Wars trilogy.

    It's also amusing that the cell phones in the film look as dated as the landlines and payphones.

  • by SL Baur (19540) <steve@xemacs.org> on Monday July 27, 2009 @04:37PM (#28843255) Homepage Journal

    you can be just as effective in a new character after a few months in the same ship as my 2003 character, just I have a lot more choices.

    That proves the opposite of the point you are trying to make. New players in World of Warcraft have every bit as many options as longer term players have once they reach the level cap. Of course, people whine about that too ...

    Oh and the number one thing people whine about economically (mount money) is about to get nerfed when the 3.2 patch goes live.

    The number two thing was the %s profession (latest previously scheduled one was Jewel Crafting) getting nerfed. Instead of nerfing JC, Blizzard has apparently decided to buff the other professions, also in the 3.2 patch.

    As I see it, and I didn't start WoW until a month or so prior to TBC, I see a company doing its best trying to please as many of its customers as it can without destroying the game in the process. *That* is the true secret of WoW's success and something that SOE has apparently not learned. Explicit support for Macs and tacit support for Linux is just icing on the delicious chocolate cake http://thottbot.com/i33924 [thottbot.com]

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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