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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

I Am A Swag [Lady of the Night]

Posted by BillMurphy Tuesday August 31 2010 at 4:16PM
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Today Jon called me a "swag [lady of the night]".  And he's right.  I am.  I'll freely admit this.  I'm the kind of guy who has already admitted in the past to purchasing the Lord of the Rings Collector's Editions not for the added footage, but more so because I wanted the pretty statues.  I'm even wrestling with the notion of sprining for the DCUO Collector's Edition, because I really want that Jim Lee designed Batman statue.  I love fluffy extras, and I love the one room of my house I'm "allowed" to store them in. 

So with PAX approaching, I have one very simple goal outside of making each of my appointments: I want to get a very specific t-shirt from Bethesda's Fallout: New Vegas booth.  As God as my witness, let no nerd/geek/gamer/booth attendant get in my way. 

The problem is, I want two. 

My future bride loves California's state flag.  She's always wanted it on a t-shirt.  But each time I've been out that way, despite a high tourist flow, I've not been able to procure one.  Bethesda will be handing out shirts that have said state flag on it, only slightly altered: the bruin has two heads, it's somewhat vintage-faded, and it says "New California Republic".  If you ask me, that's way better than the real current flag of the Governator's state.  In fact, I think they should vote it into real existence.  But I'm sure with a multi-million dollar defecit on their hands they have other things to worry about.

Anyway, my point is that I do love the swag they hand out at these things.  I'm anxious to see what I come home with this time.  If you're going to PAX, what's on your list to nab, or better: what's your favorite piece of game related swag?

Community Spotlight: Lore vs. Gore

Posted by MikeB Thursday August 26 2010 at 1:57PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Do you play for the lore or the gore?” by bronecar. Simply put, do you play MMOs for the story or for the gameplay?

Bronecar opens up the discussion with his own thoughts:

“The way I see it, gameplay should always come first, followed by a solid background story. After all, MMORPG's are not novels.

I strongly believe they should coexist, but if I were to choose, I'd say drop the lore and go for the gore.”

MumboJumbo draws some comparisons using singleplayer and PvP games to illustrate his opinion:

“Take some examples...

In Mass Effect 2, I found the story to be far more interesting than the gameplay, so on that account, as long as the gameplay was passable, I would be happy with the game and story and lore etc.

But in a game with more PvP credentials or sandbox interaction, the gameplay is by far more important, eg PvP in WAR was all about how satisfying you could kill the enemy especially in scenarios and nothing to do with any lore or story, the PvE in the game was very passable here. Again with a sandbox interaction you can have some story sketched, but as long as you have lots of freedom to interact, combine things and change things in the world then the story is very secondary, because the gameplay sorta is the story for yourself. Eg various god-sims, it's all about how flexible your options are.”

Eyelids asserts that if you want a story, there are plenty of books out there:

“The action of a game is primary. The game should not require lore to hold it up as a crutch for poor gameplay. If the gameplay is solid and they decide to trhow some lore in, thats fine but a game by its very name is A GAME! You want to read about fairies or space pirates, there are a million books out there for that. The game must never be dilluted otherwise it ceases to become a game more like some sort of childs interactive experience.”

Fdzzaigl argues the opposite POV:

“Storyline has always been integrated into new media steadily, becoming better presented over time; the gaming industry won't be an exception.

The 'games are not books' argument doesn't make sense, books are not the only media in which storyline is presented; you've got magazines, comics, theatre, opera, film, and so forth each

presenting storyline in their own manner; you wouldn't go tell all the people enjoying that to "Go read a book instead!".

Games are starting to find more ways to present a storyline themselves in an interactive manner which fits the medium and I think that is rather exciting.

A game should have a good balance between storyline and combat for me; I can't enjoy a pure mindless hack&slash fest for too long; but an interactive movie isn't exactly great either.”

Personally, I’m indifferent to a “good storyline.” I love great storylines in my single-player RPGs, and I can definitely appreciate them greatly in MMOs, especially when they are weaved into the game world itself (I.E. the environments tell a story, there are easter eggs, and all sorts of little details), but it’s not paramount. Good gameplay trumps story for me in an MMO.

What are your thoughts on story vs. gameplay? Let us know in the comments below!

Playing a Human

Posted by garrett Wednesday August 25 2010 at 10:34AM
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I have played a lot of games in my time, and I still cannot understand why humans are such a popular race in any game. Many games don’t give you much of a choice, and perhaps I have become jadded, but I am sick of playing a human as a playable race.
 
Does anyone here who reads this blog have a growing level of boredom with the Dwarf, Elf, Human fantasy races that we cannot break away from? Listen I love Orcs, I play them in Warhammer and in WoW, and yet even then I am getting bored.
 
So may other games gave us cool races: the rock trolls in DAOC, the Charr in Guild Wars 2 look very promising, TERA is giving us the Aman and Baraka which also look great. I just wonder if people are getting tired of the Tolkein Races as I call them.
 
Paul Barnett once gave the greatest break down into why people choose to play a race in the Warhammer world and I wish I had it on tape…Paul if you are reading…you need to record that rant. It was hilarious.
Overall I do believe there is a lot of variety in terms of races in MMO. It definitely adds flavor to the game and gives people some fun options.
 
Every now and then I must admit to going back and playign a human in a game, at least if there are few other options.
 
So just curious, what races, species, or beings are you drawn too when you pick up a game?

The Elusiveness of Ignorance

Posted by BillMurphy Tuesday August 24 2010 at 4:15PM
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I remember a time during my youth when I would pretty much play anything and love it.  It’s not even that I couldn’t distinguish the good games from the bad, but rather that I simply accepted all games for what they were.  I would put as much time into Final Fantasy III as I would the horrific American-ized version of a Ranma ½ game Street Combat.  I knew the latter was a terrible fighter, but I would still spend a good hour at a time playing the hell out of it… which is decidedly longer than any person probably should have ever played that game.  My brother’s adolescent girlfriend bought it for me from the video rental place at our local grocery, and I couldn’t have been happier with a gift.  Sure, I would go on to fondly remember FFIII as one of the games that defined my childhood, but Street Combat is there too despite its multitude of suck. 
 
So it was a little nostalgic to watch my niece recently clamor about some piece of shovelware for her DS the other day.  I could remember times when I simply didn’t care what faults a game had.  If it could be played, it could be enjoyed.  For a time, even though I would eventually tire of it, even a bad game had its merits and a spot in my rotation.  I wish I could have that attitude toward gaming back.  Back in my early days as a wee nerd, I would play anything you threw my way.  And there are probably more factors than mere gaming naivety involved. 
 
For instance, back then it wasn’t me paying for the software. 
 
Somewhere along the line I grew up, and in my mind “growing up” happens when you start to have to make and spend your own money.  It’s a cynical way to view the world, but that’s just it.  Because until that point, you might not understand why you don’t have all the coolest new toys like Jimmy down the street, or why you have to wear your siblings’ clothes.  But once you start working and you find out just how quickly money disappears… that’s when you become a critic about everything that costs a dime.
 
So while I’d love to go back to a time when I could blissfully play even the crappiest of games and find some merit in them, it would require me becoming financially “made” and I just don’t see that happening any time soon.  It’s not that bad I guess.  I don’t really want to play Street Combat anymore, and while I may play plenty of bad MMOs for my work here, no one’s forcing me to continue paying for them once my job’s done.  And that’s when one glorious facet of growing up comes into play: the miraculous tax write-off.

Community Spotlight: AAA MMOs and Expectations

Posted by MikeB Thursday August 19 2010 at 7:22PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “TOR, GW2, FFXIV three massive mmos about to rock the genre or just more games added to the list of games not living up to the hype?” by Rockgod99. Rockgod99 polls the community on their thoughts regarding the launch of a variety of upcoming AAA MMOs, wondering whether or not the games will succeed in “rocking the genre” or simply fail to meet their lofty expectations:

“Its in the title.

Three big ass games, a sickening amount of hype.

Will we be graced by three amazing games or just more crap that simply doesnt live up to peoples expectations/ hype?

I personally feel all three games are going to set this forum on fire, noone will be happy but thats just me lol.

what do you think?”

KingKong007 offers us a jaded POV:

“What did we learn in the past 4 years ? (starting with Vanguard/Lotro and ending with SC).

MMMO's in development have 3 fases:

- From 2 years before publishment to 1month before Beta.

Extreme hype from the publishers/ Everything is possible/ ALL is included/ biggest launch ever/ more features are included as long as any idiot on a website demands it.

- From Beta to 3 days before publishment.

Extreme hype from fans (most coming from those not in the game yet), corrections from publishers, down to earth expectations and lots of comments about obviously lacking features. Depending on the product the comments range from "it is still in Beta" or "biggest dud ever".

- 3 months after launch.

The game crashes to reality in a loss of around 80% of its launching hype. All people coming back down to earth and a hardcore small number of fans still defending the obvious thing: it is just another standard MMO.

Find out for yourself how this mechanism works for the 3 games above.

FF14 is by far the closest to launch (and in Beta): no PvP and 1 minute slooooow combat to even kill a trivial mob. People are already coming from predictions of millions of subs to a few 100K at the most on most forums.

TOR is the next on the line, it is a very mixed bag of comments, wait until the so called Beta will show its true face seen in video leaks in our fase 2 above.

GW2 is by far the game that still sits in its early development cycle. So it gains the most hype. It is still in the cycle of "everything and 100 times more" is in it .... reality check : 4 game developpers (head game designer first) left a week ago to join Jeff Strain already....

Lesson: People never learn from the past.”

Jayanti doesn’t think the genre will be rocked again until Blizzard eventually puts out their next MMO:

“Sadly, I think the genre won't be rocked until WoW2, or whatever Blizzard are making. 

I think smaller games will add one or two exciting new features each, and someone like Blizzard will take all those and put them in one game, and all the people who only play mainstream games will go "OMG! These new features are awesome! Blizzard rocks!" then everyone will copy them and the casuals will think Blizzard changed the genre.

i.e. Exactly the same as they did with Warcraft.”

JOK3R_3D sizes up the upcoming games and offers his take on which ones have a chance to “rock the genre”:

“I would Say TOR, GW2 and TERA are the only ones that stand a ghosts chance of rockin the genre. FFXIV seems like an updated FFXI and I have yet to see anything impressive with RIFT.

Then again, WAR, AoC, Aion, and even LotRO were supposed to rock the genre too and look how that turned out. So really, no matter how good or revolutionary an MMO looks on websites and videos, it doesnt mean squat. Anyone whose followed MMOs for the last 5 or so years should know that by now.

TOR looks good and is super hyped right now. Id bet it will sell millions around release. But in truth, theyre make a lot of dumb decisions. Starting with the space on rails mini game, and ending with their pets system. And thats just the tip of the iceberg of what little we know so far.

Guild Wars 2? Who know. Im already a bit downed (and even somewhat confused) by their self heal, no MT thing. Are they bringing back that NPC team thing, like TOR's companions (thought not as bad). I hated it, no one really teamed up anymore there after that. I mean the game is F2P so as long as its good it wont really matter and thats why I think the first one did so well. I would definitely not have subscribed to GW1.

TERA, ill admit, is my favorite so far. But even that can fail. First of all there is so much false "korean grinder" ignorance going around it makes me want to pull my hair out. But other than that there are many things they can do wrong. Is the political system theyre implementing good? Will the player warm up to it or reject it? Same with the combat, AoC looked like it had great combat to me, then you play it and it doesnt feel right. TERA's is different but well, no one knows the future ... is what ive just wasted 5 paragraphs trying to say, lol.”

So, I chose this thread to highlight this week in light of my Star Wars: The Old Republic: Great Expectations column from earlier in the week, which focused on a similar subject. In my column, I discussed my own expectations for the game and the larger issue of expectations for SW:TOR in general, but discussing expectations on the whole wasn’t within the scope of the article. Thankfully, Rockgod99 created a thread in a similar vein and we were able to get an idea on the community’s expectations for a variety of games.

Going off the specific games that Rockgod99 mentioned, my personal feelings are that Final Fantasy XIV will capture the FFXI audience, but likely fail to pull in non-FFXI players or Final Fantasy diehards, while Star Wars: The Old Republic is sure to be a huge splash no matter what, though whether or not it has legs and players stick around beyond however long the storyline content lasts remains to be seen. Guild Wars 2 is probably the only game on my radar that I think has a serious chance to make a real long-lasting dent, and that has to do with a number of factors. They’ve been saying and showing all the right things, and they just recently put all of that to the test at Gamescom. They’re also  offering all of this at the cost of simply paying the box price, ensuring they don’t really have to worry about competing with the other AAA titles that make use of a subscription based model. That lack of any sort of subscription is key, but it still leaves me wondering how they intend to fund live environment development with just box sales when developing a full-fledged MMO. It may have worked for Guild Wars which was smaller in scope, but Guild Wars 2 is in entirely different waters. I'm not sure releasing a new boxed expansion every year will cut it, we'll have to wait and see.

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Why Couldn't They Have Just Made Crackdown 2?

Posted by BillMurphy Wednesday August 18 2010 at 5:38PM
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I already wrote quite a bit about why I think APB and its developer Realtime Worlds find themselves in a bit of a tight spot these days.  APB, though a flawed game, is a fun one and it’ll be a real shame if the title’s taken down before it has a chance to grow and find its footing.  But all that said, part of me wishes that instead of the experiment that is APB, I really would have liked to see RTW continue making Crackdown games. 
 
I know a lot of the staff that worked on the sequel from Ruffian Games were in fact from Realtime Worlds.  But tell me, those of you who played the original Crackdown, wouldn’t APB have been a great deal cooler if it were more Crackdown-esque in its gameplay?  Wouldn’t APB have been a helluva lot more fun if they ditched a lot of the poorly executed “realism” and went instead with a more ridiculous tone that made Crackdown such a little gem in the 360’s early years?
 
One reason the Crackdown games are so fun is because of their online component.  Playing around in such a large area with friends, tossing trucks into pedestrians, jumping over buildings, laying down mines and then watching the havoc unfold… Crackdown might be a little shallow, but it’s not short on fun when it comes to multiplayer.  Now imagine that the best of the multiplayer action from both Crackdown and APB were merged.  Massive superhuman warfare between two opposing sides on a large scale in a city that’s ripe for the climbing, jumping, throwing fun that RTW’s freshman offering gave us.
 
I still don’t think I’d pay a subscription or buy twenty hours a time to play a massively online Crackdown, but I’d certainly find it a more compelling game at its very core, and I’d wager a lot of Xbox 360 owners would as well.  But then, that’s the console gamer in me talking.  Sorry, it’s hard to shut him up sometimes.

PAX and the Summer Conventions

Posted by garrett Tuesday August 17 2010 at 8:50AM
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Is it me or does every single game company work over time in the summer? All the conventions blur into one as we start with E3 then finish with PAX. In the ten weeks that fill the gap between these two monster shows we have, San Diego Comicon, GenCon, GameCom, DragonCon, SyndCon, SOE FanFaire, Games Day, etc. etc. Geez it never ends.
 
As MMORPG’s Industry Relations guy I get to pick and choose which shows to go too. It is not easy. We skipped GamesCom this year for PAX. Although GamesCom is Europe’s largest show it can be a crazy trip and while we will miss our friends, it is just part of the choices you have to make.
 
So of all these shows which one is the best? Well, I have to give the Gold Medal to PAX. Rising up from nothing, this fan show has now become a premiere event. With dates on both coasts and PAX East looking to grow double by next year, the Penny Arcade guys have created a show for the fans. The Fans rule and that is something E3 has always missed. While E3 has its industry types walking around, celebrities, and top brass of the game industry, they do not allow fans, big mistake in my book. GamesCom also is open to the fans and when the show was in Leipzig I have never seen crowds so huge for video games. It was insane.
 
These types of fans shows are awesome and give us a chance to meet with you guys as well as developers to get all the info on the game biz. We’ll be going to PAX in a few weeks and I am very excited. Not only will all the MMOs be there, but also the tabel top and RPG games are there as well.
A trend we have seen lately in games is the return to Table Top, which is exciting for me because that is where I got my start. I hope to meet Richard Garfield and talk card games. I hope to see some of the old school gamers who will shed light on why the industry is turning back to its roots.
 
PAX is the show for me this year that I am most psyched about. If you are going we’ll definietly take time to chat! Oh and check out Star Wars of course….

Community Spotlight: Is Tanking Really Necessary?

Posted by MikeB Thursday August 12 2010 at 3:07PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “PvE without a Tank System/Mechanics is simply a Zerg Fest! Prove me wrong otherwise” by MMOExposed. While MMOExposed doesn’t do much to elaborate on his point, sometimes a bold thread title can really get a discussion going. Are tanks or tanking mechanics really necessary?  Let’s find out what the community had to say!

Tazarconan provides us with some in-depth thoughts on the matter:

“I had a huge conversation about this matter with some rl friends the other day.

I have reasons to believe that such a system could be way better than the usual tank and spank wow/style tanking system. Let me explain. I ll take as example ddo online .Tanking in ddo is something misty. There are tanking styles players paladins,warriors with shields and builds that support  survivalability of the player and also a taunt . But there is the style of the combat and the combat mechanics that u almost never see all mobs being tanked by the tank. One of the reasons is that there are many sudden encounters where 1 mob spwns next to the mage 2 in front 1-2 from left side and 1-2 from right side and all these mobs u have to fight them by tanking them at least for some seconds by almost everyone in the party.

Such situations raise adrenaline keeps u tight and alert and ofc if the combat system is actually working its way more fun and intresting than the casual tank system.Combat is becoming that way more intresting and fun (that depends on player's taste cause many ppl nowdays want always to win easilly without the need to actually fight hard or think carefully to win something). Also that way u dont just put all your talents for max dps but you have to think carefully to build a character that is also having some good standards of survival (tough to kill).

And thats one of the more intresting things also in ddo many options for the character build feats skills extra feats racial feats etc. and its also something id like to see in more and more mmorpg's that are coming a deep character advancement system ..something more than just 3 talent trees.”

Twistdstrange offers a solution that allows tanks to play a role, but aren’t quite necessary:

“A possible solution would be to allow the inclusion of tank characters, but not make them exactly necessary unless the group wants one or the situation specifically would call for one.

I think a group should be made up of anything, and players shouldn't be inclined to choose the player's class over the player herself.

As far as grouping in WoW goes, the general tank consensus is Paladin or go home.

If you were putting together a group of friends to play with, wouldn't you rather say "Let's take John [a DPS], he knows his stuff, besides he's a riot in vent."

Instead of, "Let's lurk general chat for some random tank that we can pretend to like for forty five minutes until we get our loot and drop group."”

Coman injects a bit of humor to the discussion, warranting a mention here with a simple but effective joke:

“I keep placing Siege tank at the ramp of my base. but the zerg just keeps coming anyway....it does help a little though...”

Arenasb is fine with tanks, not so much tank mechanics (threat, aggro management):

“Tanks are fine, anyone to try defend the group or his teamates by soaking up damage is fine by my book. However, what I really hate are the artificial threat and aggro mechanics in games like taunt. Utilize other tactics such as body blocking, kiting, and general control is much more interesting than a threat based mechanic.

If you want to call this zerging than so be it. It is so much more interesting than having one person sit there and use threat with taunt to keep all of the mobs attention.”

I don’t really know where I’m at on the issue. I would say I’d probably lean more towards arenasb’s stance as I like the idea of the protector role in a party, but the whole taunt aggro management bit, not so much. Being able to literally rescue another player, using collision to block, and of course CC would be largely preferable to me.

Another user mentioned that tanks are useless in PvP as a result of the whole taunt mechanic because players will ignore a tank in PvP. I don’t feel that is inherently true. If tanks are given most of the CC they can be hugely disruptive and become a real nuisance that requires being dealt with. Also, another good example of PvP tanking, ironically enough, is City of Heroes, where tanks can force other players to target them by use of taunt. I’m sure a few of you will be iffy on that as it removes player control a bit (but hey, so does confusion, right?) but it was a unique take on PvP tanking nonetheless.

What are your thoughts on the role of tanks and tank mechanics in MMOs? Share them with us below!  

Is EQ: Next Really Necessary?

Posted by BillMurphy Tuesday August 10 2010 at 4:19PM
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Let me preface this brief post by saying that I’m actually pretty excited at the thought of a new Everquest.  I also apologize for the fact that this blog is going to be more questions than answers.  I like the mythos SOE has created, there’s a soft spot in my heart for both EQ and EQII, and I feel that both titles have aged rather poorly (despite the throng of people who would contest otherwise).  But is it really time for a new EQ?  Is there going to be room for it?  More so, is it necessary?

The fantasy MMORPG space is rather crowded these days.  Will the Everquest brand be enough to make EQ:Next rise above the crowd and attract more players than the current juggernauts and those games which are on the horizon or will it suffer from the problem of merely cannibalizing Everquest’s own audience?  I suppose that’s part of the idea though: SOE knows that in many gamer’s eyes Everquest is still a classic intellectual property.  Maybe all it needs to rise to the top once more is a new take on the old formula.  But if that’s the case, why are the early art and details promoting a game that’s very similar to the fantasy MMOs we already have in the field vying for gamers’ attention?

But with all of the other competition already out there, I’ll be curious to see if EQ:Next actually makes a real splash.  It will take, as we’ve seen time and again, a special breed of game to really draw the attention of MMO gamers.  EQ was the game that started the craze, but World of Warcraft took that ball and ran with it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if many WoW players didn’t even know that Everquest was still up and operating, much less expecting another expansion.

Still, we know very little about what this next incarnation of Everquest will offer.  All we have is basically an announcement that more news will come and some art to tease us of a more stylized Norrath.  Maybe I’ll feel less skeptic when we know more, see more, and play more of what SOE has up their sleeve for EQ:Next.

DAOC...come on...

Posted by garrett Thursday August 5 2010 at 7:13PM
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You know....Torchlight is getting a sequel...Torchlight which is awesome by the way, is run by a small studio. They can make those decisions on the drop of a hat. Hey, we're developing a Torchlight MMO, but wait, we're gonna do a sequel first to enhance game play, we'll add co-op and customization and fun new dungeons with a new story...AMAZING! I am truly excited for this.

The dark side of the above news, which is really not dark at all, is why cannot one of the best MMOs ever do a sequel....DARK AGE OF CAMELOT.

I have said it before and I will say it again....WHY NOT!!!  I just sat down tonight to do some work and maybe log into one of the MMOs....yet I sit here recalling the day when, I could jump on DAOC, check the gate and see who was there and run an 8 man group for an hour or so with friends. I suppose I could go into WoW and run BGs...meh....where is the goal in that? Sure I am Horde and Orcs are awesome and all, but does my realm really need me? Even if they didn't at least DAOC made you feel like they did.

So in almost 9 years and all the MMOs that have come out, no one has created a 3 faction PvP system with an open zone environment.....dear god what do we need to do to get this simple game design made?

3 Factions, 4 Factions, 5 Factions.....give us choice. Here is an idea, don't build an endless game world with crazy huge zones that take weeks to explore and force us to grind levels up to 80 because, well, that is the norm now....do you think we like that as players??

No, trim down the leveling and the zones. Write content that has a point....and leads you into PvP for your realm. Have open battlefields with say maybe ruins or something, but no keep sieges...they suck for melee players....they really do...

Oh and here is a concept, create a rewards system for helping other players...with epic loot....

TADA! A fun MMO which mixes the days of old with some new fast paced game play....win win...Okay maybe you won't pull the WoW fanboys out of their endless raids for scraps of code shaped like a cartoon axe from Thundarr...but at last you will get some honest to goodness hardcore MMO players.

In the end it doesn't even have to be DAOC, it just has to be a solid game with choice, and a strong PvP system that makes players feel like there is a point.

Random Thought: Detective MMO?

Posted by BillMurphy Wednesday August 4 2010 at 6:08PM
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I’ve been watching a whole lot of Dexter on Netflix lately.  I know, I know… “Bill, not EVERYTHING needs to be turned into an MMO.”  I'm not saying everything should be, either.  I'm just sort of pondering in type, and seeing what you guys think.  Maybe this would be nigh impossible to pull off as an one, but how interesting of an experiment would it be to try and pull off a persistent game where some players are criminals and others are detectives?  The crimes could be murders, robberies, or anything I suppose.  And obviously there would need to be quite a lot of work to make the wrong-doing nearly as appealing as the tracking down of the wrong-doers.  But to me, it represents one possible way in which the MMO could evolve.

Perhaps it’s a little too creepy to imagine a virtual game world in which players stalk around murdering NPCs (or worse) but I can’t help but feel APB missed a rare opportunity to do something really special.  Their game of cops and robbers is a fun and frenetically paced shootout, but there’s a more subtle layer to the balance of law and order (dun-dun!) which is completely missed.  I know the practice of dusting for prints and all that CSI stuff might not interest some folks in terms of game mechanics, but I grew up playing Police Quest.

There are almost too many little details which would need to be crafted into the game.  DNA remnants, fingerprints, traceable weapons, and so on.  Not to mention the fact that it would only be a matter of time before some walkthrough popped up that showed criminal players exactly how to leave nothing behind to trace them.  But the idea of it lingers and it’s something I’ll be wishing for for ages, I expect.

Still, a guy can dream right?  Dream of a San Paro (APB) that not only includes rampant violent criminals and the police that hunt them down, but the more complex crime investigations of murderers, burglaries, and other less flashy criminal acts?

Better yet, who wants to give me about $40 million so I can see to its creation myself?  I promise I’ll not throw it away on booze, football helmets filled with cottage cheese, and naked pictures of Bea Arthur (R.I.P.).  Not that much of it anyway. 

Community Spotlight: Have you Ever Ragequit an MMO?

Posted by MikeB Monday August 2 2010 at 1:58PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight is focused on the thread “Have you rage quit an MMO? What sent you over the edge?” by Amathe, who is no stranger to our Community Spotlight series. Simple enough, Amathe wants to know whether or not  you’ve been pushed over the edge in an MMO before, far enough to just quit the game completely on the spot:

“I have.  So many times lol. 

Usually it's either that my progression has hit a wall, I've been nerfed hard, or the number one reason "drum roll" ... guildmates annoyed hell out of me.

So it's confession time.  Have you quit a game (not in a studied, calm, this just isn't working out or something better came along way) but in a demonstrative anger - let them eat cake - sort of way?

Let's hear your story. :)”

GTwander quit Mortal Online over what he feels was exceptional amounts of “jackassery”:

“I ragequit the Mortal Online beta, but not because of bugs, it was the jackass players.

I would have over a certain theif, that I won't name, but he really got my goad. It's not that he kept coming back for more, it's that he went out of his way to harrass me and the other harvesters verbally. A total jackass.

What sent me over the edge was when I started building a house alongside a pretty cool guy I met, after helping construct his. I wasn't 100 pieces of wood into it before I got shot in the back, killed, and had my house torn down by some random guy claiming all the surrounding area was already staked by his guild. I tried to negotiate with him, but he left already, so I caught one of his guildies and tried to talk him into letting me stay without issue. Instead, I realized they were the group going around Meduli and demanding ransom to prevent harvesters from being harrassed by their thieves. So I told him "you guys can suck it" and decided to build way further out and return through thier area on my fighter to harrass them at any chance I got. While building the next house, I just stopped about another 10o rocks in and said "you know what, f**k this game and it's players". I wasn't about to  waste my time and energy on these jagoffs, nor risk being run off the site a second time. I just uninstalled and decided I'd go back if the game got it's shit together and had the players cool down from all the jackassery.”

Shadowfox561 quit Aion and Age of Conan. Well, he didn’t exactly quit Age of Conan…:

“I have rage quit Aion after I spent two whole days trying to complete one quest and I kept getting noob teammates and in those two days all I did was lose EXP instead of gaining it and I needed to finish this quest in order to gain a new quest line.

I also had a bad experience with AoC where they banned my whole guild while I was on vacation, I come back and it says I cannot log into my account. because 3 members of our guild were using a minor glitch int he system in order to power level themselves up and defeat a  difficult boss by making him get stuck and then ranging him to death.”

How can we leave out SWG? SuperDonk speaks for many SWG vets who ragequit with the launch of the NGE:

“I rage quit SWG about 60 minutes after downloading the NGE patch.  Before the patch I was about a week away from Jedi after a year of playing and logged in to find that 90% of everyone was Jedi.  I might of stayed if they had not completey changed the battle mechanics. 

I was so pissed.  They destroyed my game, I didn't even know about it until a couple of days before the patch.”

Shylock1079 offers his EVE Online ragequit story:

“Yes I have.  Of course, at the time I didn't realize it was considered rage quitting.  Oh the worst part?  I had just purchased the 3 month sub and I was just two week in.  The game?  EvE!  It reminded me of High School; if you didn't already fit in you would be an outcast for a while.  

After two weeks of viewing EvE online tutorials vids, I had finally gotten the hang of things when my house flooded and internet went down.  When I came back on two days later my Mining Rig was destroyed along with everything in my hold that was in transport.  I spent days mining just to get it.  My corp was kind and understanding..but the only advice they gave was simply "don't buy something you can't replace."  Wise words.  The problem is all the heavy playing I did in those first two weeks were so monotonous that I couldn't muster excitement to go back to the grind.  I felt like I was working the whole time.  I got angry and left with 2.5 months left. “

 

I’ve never personally ragequit an MMO. I’m typically pretty deliberate about what I want to play and why and it’s pretty hard to get me to outright quit if I find positives in the bigger picture. I would say the two closest examples to a ragequit for me would be Star Wars Galaxies and Age of Conan. SWG wasn’t much of a ragequit though, I quit as a result of the NGE but frankly it had been a long time coming by that point as I’d been patiently waiting for them to address the game’s many issues. To me, things were starting to look pretty good before the NGE, so it came as a shock when SOE decided to turn all the progress on its head and throw out the baby with the bathwater, and this was enough for me to finally put the game down.

Age of Conan, oddly enough, related to my SWG experience. The game was ridiculously buggy from a technical standpoint at launch and had numerous balance issues. The community was eager to provide solid sensible feedback on how to sort said issues, however, instead of listening to the feedback Funcom seemed to “fix” things that weren’t broken while leaving actual broken things unaddressed. This communication disconnect was extremely similar to what went on in Star Wars Galaxies regarding SOE and profession balance issues/bugs, and that combined with the technical issues prompted me to jump ship early as I wasn’t interested in going through all that again. Both circumstances sound like they could very well be “ragequits” but I quit after careful deliberation and not out of angst or impulse, so I wouldn’t go so far as to classify them as such.

Have you ever "ragequit" an MMO? Share your story in the comments below!