MausGMR, on 16 April 2012 - 05:57 AM, said:
If you want a game that has recorded commentated matches that appear on youtube for MWO, we can do that no problem. We did that with MWLL and it was certainly possible, but it certainly wasn't terribly interesting for anyone outside of the MWLL community.
If you want it to be an E-sport, your talking about taking it past simple competitive play with recorded matches and taking it to the masses. If you want it to succeed as an E-sport then it has to appeal to the masses that enjoy E-sports. Supporting the Mech niche just isn't going to cut it, we can get everything we want from youtube and community shoutcasters.
E-sports means worthy of sponsorship, and worthy of prizes. To get this, the game needs exposure, and popularity, and considering current user levels, I doubt it's going to reach anywhere near the level the a company would need to consider taking MWO up as an official E-sport.
When it comes down to watching games, people like complexity because typically us gamers like to understand and talk about all the complex strategies, tactics, and options available to the players competing. That's why people like starcraft, and other similar games. It's all about the differences that one split second decision or piece of perfect timing makes and how that can effect the overall game.
Mech games typically have quite steep sided slippery slopes, once you get on them its very hard to get off. Units can't retreat from disadvantageous situations easily, the amount of actions performable in a short period of time is fairly low as your limited to walk forward/left/right/reverse and shoot some guns. The pacing is slow, and as such, the amount of rapid fluid changes that happen in a short period of time are low. Think about it for a second, can you think of any game that is popular as an E-sports game, that doesnt have multiple things all changing and going on at the same time, where a player can make 10 choices in the space of a few seconds that can completely throw the direction a fight is going in.
Steep sided slippery slope games are usually pretty boring to watch, because once you get on that slope its very hard to get off it, and spectators realise this. They will go "oh look, that atlas has caught that dragon in a built up street. The AC20 and lasers far out performs the Ac5 and backup weapons of the dragon, and his speed advantage is mitigated by the terrain around him. This fight is pretty much decided, why bother watching."
Yep, I've watched MANY MWLL videos on Youtube. All of which are either recorded by 1 individual , first person perspective , or (a few) ghosting in 3rd person.
None of which had a dedicated UI or broadcasting tools. HUGE difference in quality and information given to the individual watching.
The few that actually have the Voice tracks of the individuals playing are incredibly fun to watch.
Given proper Spectate/Broadcast tools they'd be even more so.
MWO, it appears, will tread grounds between the nice action of a shooter and the Tactical/Strategy decisions of a light RTS. People do like complexity, I agree, and MWO has it in the 'mechs, variants, weapons, and presumably the strategies employed to achieve the objectives, whether that be destruction of the other team or holding a certain area and not being destroyed. The selection of what 'mechs to take in and of itself could be interesting. I don't even play DOTA2 and I enjoy watching the selection and counter selection process .
The point being with Starcraft, almost all of the enjoyment of watching is listening to the build order and possible strategies being employed. Very dry sound, and yet people watch. I've heard it said that High level StarCraft2 players (And spectators) can usually know within the first 5 minutes of a match whether of not someone has won or lost, and yet they keep playing. Why? I'll refer you to Jason O'Connors nice piece on why we watch Sports ( http://ezinearticles...nk%29&id=126611
MWO has a somewhat lower level of speculation/strategy/build info , yet has at least some visceral visual action.
It's barrier of entry is definitely higher than an EVO fighting game or CS, but much lower, IMHO, than an EVE online tournament or StarCraft2.
I could easily downplay CounterStrike by saying why would anyone watch it? It's just some guys running around with guns. It's whoever sees each other and fires first, right? It's whoever has the bigger gun. Why would I want to listen to commentators talk about what gun someone has, or the fact that the guy is sitting watching a doorway.
Anouncer 1: "Yep, he's uuuhhh... sitting there watching the door"
Announcer 2: " Yep."
Announcer 1: "HE'S MOVI....ohh... nevermind that's just the idle animation"
Announcer 2: " Soooo.... uh that SMG he has, how many rounds does it hold?"
Kind over simplifies it, don't you think? Yes, I know. CS has a MUCH faster pace and actions per minute to assimilate. It doesn't mean that a 10 minute match with 24 'mechs is going to be incredibly boring (Although there's always that possibility). There are always modifications and solutions when it comes to a tournament setting to negate boring gameplay or other issues.
CounterStrike is a GREAT game to spectate BTW
Any talk about pacing is irrelevant as of right now as we have yet to see, beyond the Alpha video, of what MWO brings to the table. The MWLL videos I've watched have all been exciting, and it appears MWO is faster paced.
EVE online's tournaments are almost ALL info with the visuals being negligible at best. However they are fairly popular. Granted not ESPORT level popular. However the tools necessary to run a PGI sanctioned tournament and an ESport are relatively the same, the only difference being with an ESport it has reached an even WIDER audience with endorsements. Besides those distinctions, the rest is just semantics.
If we got to the point of an Official tournament, I think most would be happy. If it were able to expand past that to a larger audience , then wonderful. But pushing for an ESport is pushing for the tools we'd like to see in.
Personally, I would say, you are correct. The biggest issue MWO faces would be popularity , exposure, and the funding needed to implement the necessary tools to even get to a point where official PGI tournaments are viable, let alone a full blown ESport.
But then again, had someone said to me "What do you think about a game where people fight with different Tanks", I'd have laughed, and yet WoT seems fairly popular.
We shall see.
Edited by Helmer, 16 April 2012 - 06:48 AM.