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Games Science

New Technique To Help Develop MMORPG Content? 71

ShipLives writes "Researchers have developed a new method that can predict MMORPG player behavior. The tool could be used by the game industry to develop new game content, or to help steer players to the parts of a game they will enjoy most. I don't think it should replace user feedback, but it's a pretty cool data-driven approach. Ideally, it could help developers make good decisions about new games/expansions."
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New Technique To Help Develop MMORPG Content?

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  • by Immostlyharmless ( 1311531 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @02:10AM (#36459388)
    To determine that people tend to do things in order, and that achievements generally build on one another? What sense would it make to run around doing achievements at random? Apparently 20% people do, for the rest of us, apparently we think methodically, this is news?
  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @02:14AM (#36459420)

    Asking users what they think is generally a bad approach to game development. People don't really know what they want. Your questions are likely to be leading (you are not a professional pollster). They might lie about what they found to be difficult if they're embarrassed about losing, or alternatively they might demand that everything get simplified because they want to win, not realizing that it wouldn't be fun if it were too easy. And in competitive games, forget about it. Every class/weapon/tactic that kills them must be nerfed, whatever they like to use must be buffed.

    It's far more effective to simply watch them play the game, without speaking to them at all, and see what frustrates them, what confuses them, what they enjoy, and so on.

    Unfortunately, the method in TFA(bstract) seems to just evaluate player behavior based on what achievements they have. That will, apparently, tell you what aspects of the game they like best, but it's not going to help much with the small stuff. I suspect Blizzard is already gathering that data anyway.

  • by umbrellasd ( 876984 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:47AM (#36462136)
    Incorporating feedback is the death of creativity. The uniqueness of the artist's perspective and expression is greatness. The ability to produce what other's want isn't art; it's business. This trend of monitoring user behavior is nothing more than marketing to maximize profit. The singularly amazing game experiences will always be the uncompromising vision of those with the courage to make a statement and public opinion be damned. Giving people what they want is foolish. Giving people what they need is wise. Knowing the difference is genius. I'd have to say Blizzard's work is the epitome of this problem. Deplorably average in every way and catering to the profit line without taking risks; watered down, derivative (a hodge-podge of cultural homages and recycled tripe--Warcraft I, II, III, etc.)

    Fuck that.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford