During day one of PAX East 2012, we attended and recorded the MMORPG.com panel with Curt Schilling (38 Studios), Rob Hill (Trion Worlds), James Ohlen (BioWare Austin), John Peters (Arena Net), Brian Knox (Enmass) Craig Morrison (FunCom) and Matt Higby (SOE). In order to bring you the audio in a timely manner, we uploaded it to our Youtube channel which is available as an embed below.
If you would like to listen to it at another location, the mp3 version is available as well.
THE Quote you're looking for (starts at 17:12):
Update: Youtube copy is up.
Note: Keep in mind that when we do live blogs, there is a chance that some parts of the transcript could be incorrect. Everything in here should NOT be considered direct quotes as they are brief summations. Transcript of the points coming at a later time.
- Starting at 6PM EST (Roughly)
- 6:08PM - Getting ready to start.
- 6:10 - Bill Murphy intros the speakers, seven panelists. Curt Schilling (38 Studios), Rob Hill (Trion Worlds), James Ohlen (BioWare Austin), John Peters (Arena Net), Brian Knox (Enmass) Craig Morrison (FunCom), Matt Higby (SOE)
- 6:12 - Question: Are we at a standstill with MMO Innovation. Higby: At a radical alteration. Developers now focusing on how to make them fun to play. Morrison: Discussing community involvement and empowerment. Knox: MMOs need to get better, develop faster and iterate with the community. Peters: Have to be all in from the beginning. Ohlen: Positive about innovation in the space, have to build up the technology and tools. Now that we've built up the technology, we can begin to innovate more. I'm kind of excited. Hill - Expanding to a market that we haven't seen before, the console gamers. That's going to be a huge thing. MMO everywhere; the phone, web, anywhere. Curt - You want innovation, but what you want to get is back to that place of comfort. Casual gameplay will be what it will be, rapid iteration along with pushing social interaction.
- 6:19 - Q: Where do you personally stand on free to play versus subscirption? Curt: It's amazing to me. I have been in the industry for five years; I've been trying to do everything but game design. The business model is getting so much more attention than it should be. I think in our space, the move forward free to play / microtransations will be in play. I want to see this industry continue to flourish. Hill: I think there's room for both, not just in the industry but in the games. Ohlen: I believe there's room for both. You have games that can be successful on each side. Peters: It works for both. Knox: At the inception of the game is when you make that choice. There is space for both. Morrison: Choose the right model for the right product. We've moved games from pay to free to play and it works. It's about making the game fun and finding the pricing model to make it works best for it. Higby: I agree. I love free to play games, they don't try to trick you into buying a box.
- 6:25 - Q: Rapid Fire - Why are we excited for your game? Higby: Planetside 2, unpreceidented action. Morrison: the secret world - It's about freedom of choice and freedom of progression. Gpoing back to the old school, deeper complex systems. Knox: Tera, may 1st action combat, console style action. Great Party play, open world. Peters: GW2, MMO that encourages people to play together, not with eachother. Ohlen: SWTOR, for 2012, we want players to feel like they are getting their moneys worth. Huge changes additions, 1.2 coming next week. Defiance, will be built around the tvshow and community. Curt: We will change MMOs with ours.
- Q&A from the audience starting.
- Defiance trailer shown.
- Q: Planetside 1 came out mmo/fps that was kinda new. Since then we haven't seen anything like that since, what made the industry move back to MMO Shooters? A: Higby: PS2, MMO games have promises to gamers, create community and creating good competition.
- Q: What was the MMO that got you into them? Curt: EQ Ohlen: Diablo Peters: DAoC Knox: EQ, Ralus PvP server, the whole self policing thing really got me into it. Morrison: Anarchy Online. Higby: EQ
- Q: Most players compare new games to WoW... A: What's WoW? *Huge applause* Higby: It isn't good for the games we make to try to compare them to it and others, can't compare. Morrison: Look at it as 'how can we make our game as good as we can?' Knox: You can out design yourself if you try to do that. Just set out to make a game you love and the fans love. Peters: I think people compare it because it's the most polished mmo, longest running MMO at the moment. Ohlen: EQ is the grandaddy. You have to look at the competition in the general scope of the MMO space. Learn what you can, innovate and differentiate. Schilling: They ask themselves while developing, "What will they do to leave their 7 year account for?"
- Q - How do you design a game knowing database sites will exist? Shilling: Those repositories will grow, those are the community, the people that will invest mass amounts of time. Know: We'll give anyone the info if they want to build a community site for us. Morrision: We're using a variation that came along in the last few years. Ohlen: It's not just a mmo, there's hint and cheat guides for any game. If its too easy people get bored, if its too hard, people go to guides. Peters: What matters is, I don't need to look it up if its fun. The wiki or DB won't tell me if it's fun. Higby: People should be able tos the builds, uses LoL example.
- Q: How do you deal with the marketability of game in regards to difficulty. Higby: Our game is PvP based, its not convoluted. Morrision: I think and hope it will change over years, WoW had a huge affect on the general scope. Opening the doors for new gamers, the industry has struggled with accessibility versus challenging. Knox: I think the line is very thing and the best developers know when to walk the line. Peters: It only matters if the game is fun. I log into games because I want to play and have fun. The most important things are the challenges that will be there and the player's enjoy. Ohlen: You need to have the abliity to play through the whole game. You have to encourage them to try the more difficult content, encourage gorup content.
- Panel Over.