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All Posts by logan400k

All Posts by logan400k

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68 posts found
Im glad they are hard at work on Landmark, but I would prefer they be hard at work on EQN itself. I do understand the appeal of Landmark, but not enough to pay for it AND EQ Next.
I really feel like there is a dissonance, not necessarily the fault of those in QA, between what they say they do, their intention, and the product that comes out the other end.

I think the single biggest problem with a system like this is that there is no incentive for other players to track criminals down and "punish them". Sure you kill me, take my stuff. You and your buddies gank newbies or whatever. If the game put a real bounty on you OR allowed a system where if the law caught you, your character ended up in jail with NO STUFF. That might be interesting.

Second problem would be getting players to buy into the justice system. Criminal activity without an overall system of justice does not solve the grief issues. So let's balance the books a bit.

Ever play Battle Spire? Redguard? Some did and liked them and some did not like them, but it was something different in the Elder Scrolls game line. ESO, like the eventual Fallout Online, is a logical progression. You don't have to play it. No one is compelling anyone to give it a try if they do not want to.
Smarter enemies make for more challenging play.  Enemies should be programmed to act appropriately for their environment and for the situation.

I think this is a pretty accurate assessment of the situation regarding the various means of paying for games. As I mentioned in my own comments on the previous article, I really would like to see how much the average F2P and average F2P proponent spend monthly on their game(s). Is it more or less than a subscription fee? 

 

The ironies abound in the article and in the responses. I will put up front that the following is my impression after about 14 years of MMO gaming. Just so you ware warned.

 

First, the "kids" learn and play from watching the "adults". The growth of the genre can be attributed to that as new people, of all ages, came into playing these games. Without a doubt the maturity levels vary and without a doubt squeaky wheels are often perceived to get the oil. I am not sure though that the cause and effect are entirely or even clearly understood. People coming in want the shiny things too and they want to play on a level field with their friends. Some are even impatient, but maybe they come in and understand that level 1-84 is simply a means to an end. That end being level 85 (or what have you). More and more stuff became the driving force because having a +5 Vorpal Avenger is not enough. It has to +6 or Legendary or made out of the purest Green.

 

Yes leveling has changed and gotten easier. That was never a nod to the casual gamer though. It was a nod to the Raider and the Dungeon player. She and he did not and do not feel a need to waste too much time at the lower levels, unless they are lower level raids, dungeons, or unlock achievements. 

 

I played EQ the other day because EQN looks exciting. It was nostalgia for me and I nearly got killed by almost clicking on an NPC instead of hailing them. So little improvements like that and slightly easier leveling were certainly different than WoW, which in its vanilla flavor had lots of Easter eggs and plenty of exploration. It wasn't until later, once the wonder had worn off, that WoW took on its more bullet train to the level cap approach. The explorers had stopped coming.

 

It has happened all over gaming. No one plays years long pen n paper rpg campaigns anymore. Most play a few months, weeks, or (gasp)one-shots. We have less time to spend on games, though that is mostly self inflicted. We look at games differently as well. MMOs were born of DnD and CRPGs that we wanted to digitize and turn into mulit-player games. If a company puts a single player game out these days, it is considered incomplete.

 

The long and short of it is, those gamers who are spending their money are who is influencing developers. Being a starving artist is no fun and in many ways is not rewarding. So they make fun games that are going to make money. A jaded community does not want to buy into another person's vision: they have been burned too many times.  All of these factors contribute to the state of the industry, not just "kiddies".

I would like to see what the average F2P player spends on his or her games per month. I would then like to see what the average "F2P Only" player spends per month and whether they are actually saving money or not. Is there an initial heavy investment? Does it depend on how casual a gamer you are?

 

With F2P companies would not be using it if they were not making money. In several cases the games seem to be doing very well. They would not be if people were not spending money. In fact I dare say going F2P has become a money making tactic. Which of course means its not free for those players who chose to spend money.

 

I dunno, I think the whole F2P vs. B2P vs. Sub is more a mental game with the player base than anything. Companies would not use a model where they did not make money. Players would not play a game that was not giving them everything they wanted and needed in an MMO. Who's fooling who?

My only real feeling on any of it is that for the mix/match class thing they could have based it on the old SWG original vanilla way of doing things. I really liked how you could multi-class in that. All the rest seems fun and I cannot wait to try it out. Does not mean I will like it, but I will try it out.

 

As for those who say it is not "Everquest". Okay. EQII was not EQ. EQ itself underwent some changes (I hate the tutorial). I logged in and played some last night. First time in many years. I forgot I had to hail people. I forgot a lot of things. Some things are better and some are worse but after a decade or more, there are going to be changes. Thee have to be changes. If you do not like them, vote with your money and do not play the game.

Here is my issue with story and "creating our own" - you won't be a farmer. EQ is not a farmer game, it is not and has not been about crops. Now if they were to add in elements of SWG and a player economy then I could see that happening. 

 

If they are not giving us stories, which is fine, then more than creating stories with anecdotes of play, I want the ability to meaningfully and permanently CHANGE THE WORLD. Unique advesaries who, once killed are dead forever.  Real housing that changes the landscape.  Real ability to affect the politics and poetics of my server. Otherwise its still story on rails, but rails of my own making.

 
I will be honest. Until there are Imperial Guard, if there are, I will not be interested. But I know a great many people who will want to see this.

The problem I have always had with this column is its sweeping generalizations about revenue. What are the factors that go into that revenue bar? Who in fact is making the data? Are they taking into account Asian versus Western Market? Is this because of a weak dollar? When you say revenue is it gross or net?

 

Secondly I get that these Asian MMO's are doing fantastic in Asia. I will buy into that. Yet you know why I do not play the ones available here? I am not at all interested. It has nothing to do with price plan. Free or not, if I do not want to play a game, I won't. Lots of people drink Pepsi. I despise it, but lots of people drink. So? Good for them. Stop trying to sell us on a concept. Stop trying to point the finger at the bad ole Western gamer who may not find those games as playable.  Free to play is a tactic it still takes money out of gamers' pockets for items they are pressured into needing to "win". Great racket if you can get it. 

 

the failure of SWTOR and other games to maintain a subscription only model is a failure of the game's design not the revenue model itself.  I dare say there is not a perfect revenue model out there and that it will change over time. Maybe back to subscriptions, maybe onto something else entirely.

I think being proactive is probably the best way to approach this issue.  Do your work/ Socialize with your friends outside of any gaming. Make sure your spouse or partner feels that they are getting what they need and want from you. Make it clear your gaming time is your de-stress time and DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME. Have a conversation about current events. Be interested in other people. Don't break promises or miss important events in favor of gaming. If its more than casual, let people know its a passion but take extra care to surface for air on a regular basis.

 

And make boundaries, like an adult. If you are not yet on your own or of a proper age, okay I can see where they have a right to know what you are doing. Otherwise, as an adult, enforce your boundaries and let them know, if necessary, your gaming is your business. Period.

Levels were not the only way to do things from the early days of role playing games. Runequest used a skill based system. In many ways it was totally different from D&D and Chaosium still uses its BRP (Basic Role Playing) system to this day for games.

 

I am not sure how it would translate into an MMO where players demand instant gratification from the system to compel them forward. MMO's are a competitive sport now and we mine them like gold or drill them like oil until the precious substance is gone and then move on. So a system where skills moved up incrementally from use and a player had REAL choices about how to make their character and what path to follow might not be desirable by the game paying public. Right there is the crux of the issue: convincing the current slate of game payers i.e. those who spend the money on MMOs OR convincing different people to spend money on a non-traditional MMO.

Where is the incentive to re-imagine the Paladin? I agree, the characters can be as well rounded and human as any character, but why would a game developer / designer want to take the time to stand sterotypes on their head for an audience that only wants to get to the end game? For the table top crowd adn for writing, sure no doubt it needs to be revisited. For the MMO crowd though, they are the off-tank, off-healer class; druids who are not hippie tree huggers. 

 

The Paladin is a tragic figure in many ways; dedicated to a cause or a faith or both yet still eminently human and open to human frailty. They are holy soldiers, not necessarily holy warriors though they may act in that regard. I thhink there is a difference there. They have a relationship with the clergy, not always a good one and it depends on which  version of the clergy you decide to use.

 

To make the paladin open to being more interesting, there are a few things I think that could be adjusted.

 

  • Armor - In a traditional setting a paladin is a kinight, but that does not have to be the case in all settings. Take the paladin out of he armor or at least find a good reason to have him or her there.
  • Divine Powers - let's remove the plethora of diving powers. More skills, more training and miracles that are few and far between, not commonplace.
  • Code of Conduct - Chivalry has to go, especially in non-traditional settings. Its too patriarchal and it covers only faiths of Medieval times. Modernize the code of conduct to appeal to the modern gamer and if in an MMO MAKE IT RELEVANT.
  • Tragic Flaws - Being caught between your god and your friends and family has to count for something. Let's explore those flaws and tragic Catch-22s and as with the Code of Conduct make them relevant to the game.
 
 

First, a little research might have informed the author about 4th Ed a little. It was designed to fit the MMO style of gaming that had become popular to try and draw in some of the MMO crowd who were raised on EQ and think role playing is calling someone "noob".

 

1 second please (drinks some Geritol)

 

Ok anyway, so the fact that Neverwinter is using 4th Ed rules is no mystery and in fact it makes perfect sense considering how 4th Ed was designed to be a pen n paper MMO.

 

(Turns up the oxygen tank) - Sorry again, you know, old gamer here. I'm like Batman in Kingdom Come, can't game without an exoskeleton.

 

As for Cryptic, there is no doubt they put a lot of work into their games and make pretty good structural MMO's, but they do not have a good record with IP. I know there are STO fans out there, but they lost me when my Federation officer looted a corpse. The Federation does not goo that. Its too gamey and Neverwinter will likely be tooo gamey. It won't flow well and immersion will be down. I knowo that seems like an old fashioned concept but some suspension of disbelief is required or you may as well be playing BattleCallofDutyMedal... or whatever the latest shooter is.

 

Okay, off to eat my old man mush. Talk amongst yourselfs, just stay off my lawn.

 

First off, good response to the reader / commenter.  Although you may not have buysiness or design experience, as a gamer who plays games, that gives you a certain amount of expertise on the subject of games. Assuming the games you write about are the same ones you play, which they apparently are. Many businesses hit a point where the skills needed to maintain financial growth and healthy fiscal activity are NOT the same creative skills needed to engage the buying public in the first place. That is where I have my major issues. Iam not impugning anyone's programming or writing skills, but don't sell me the same old ten rat tails quest or one trick raid boss and tell me you are creative. You aren't, you are getting by because you no longer have to engage the public in the same way you did when no one was playing your game or similar games. The industry has a general lack of creativity in games and its because new is ofen fiscally dangerous.

 

Queue Kickstarter. I get that many humans, gamers as well as others, are not always the most fiscally esponsible group.  That is a minority of course, most of us are on the average side of fsically aware. So when I give $10 or $20 or $30 to a Kickstarter, I am not taking away the mortgage money to pay for a game I may never play.  I am not mortgaging my Oriental Ave to pay for a new MMO I am more than likely moving my money budgeted for fun from one thing to another. I might even go to McDonald's a little less this month to pay for it. So an article cautioning me about funding an artistic endeavor that may never come to fruition is a little bit insulting. Sure, its good common sense and someone can always use that. What is comes across as though is discouraging people from taking a chance on something new. I want something new. I cannot program it myself nor start my own business right now to do it. So I look around for other artists who can and I throw money at them.  It might be wasted, but better $15 on a dream than $15 on a game I will delete right away. I am willing to take the chance.

 

And while no one wants to be the guy who says "Oh yeah! Sure bet!" and have his friends (or readers) hate him for being wrong, I still think we should be encouraging these creative endeavors with our $$ and not discouraging them.

I will be impressed if they reach back as far as Arena and Daggerfall and work the lore of those games into ESO.

Well I am going to write a long diatribe. :) So bear with me.

 

There is a bit of a misconception I think that all pen and paper role playing games used level based systems 'back in the day' and so when we began converting those to computers, that was the most familiar way of doing it. In some ways it was easier, but by no means was D&D the only rpg out there. Some long time rpg players have never played it. D&D and others did indeed have levels as progression and they opened up new levels of power for the character. However, a game like Runequest was skills based. In that game you had to use skills and then every game week you made a roll to see if you improved that skill. Fun for the fan of the more granular game. There were other systems as well.

 

A little more history. Most people focus on UO, EQ, and AC as early examples of MMORPGs and rightfully so. UO obviously has a skill point limit and a limit on the number of skills you could learn. EQ we know combined levels and a very limited skill progression. AC as been spoken about already. However, if we take a look at some other games we do find some variance.

 

Earth & Beyond - My favorite and most missed MMO. E&B did have levels but it had three different progressions for each character. Combat XP, Trade XP, and Exploration XP. It was not a perfect system but it allowed you (to some extent) to fucs on the avenue of your character instead of being forced to one route. The game also had a lot of personality IMHO.

 

SWG - Pre NGE etc... - SWG had professions, of which you could learn two at a time (I think there was a limit of two, correct me if I am wrong). You earned experience to move up the selected trees in that Profession, before finally Mastering it. Then you could move onto a Master Profession or whatever they called it, depending on the initial professions you learned. Some people (schocking) would only learn part of a profession for certain skills and ignore the others. I think this might be the progression system I have enjoyed the most because it did seem to combine skills based and leveling.

 

These are just two examples. One thing I have found curious for some time is why are there levels of end-game raiding based games at all. The point is to do "end Game Content" I am guessing as some kind of reward for all of your hard slogging. However, I honestly do not see a point. Let these players make Max level characters and let progression be through gear earned from raiding. GW Original let folks make max level PVP characters. Its a great idea because no one remembers the low level dungeons, instances, and hard points anymore. No one talks about any portion of SWTOR (a game I like very much) the way they talked about the Orc Camp in East Commonlands or the dungoen in the West Commonlands with all the skeletons. No one talks about zones like they talked about running Kithicor by day if you were low level because at night is was so deadly. Leveling up in many ways has become meaningless and is no longer an end to itself.

 

Ultimately you can make a good game with levels or with skill based systems. That really is nto the argument. It is about designing a game were content and progression are fun and meaningful versus a game whose goal is for us to become gods and duke it out version each other (PvP) or high end NPC gods (PVE rading etc...). I am not sure the two can coexist anymore. I would pay for a game were progressing, through story or through pure content was fun and meaningful and end game was not necessarily just about raiding. However, I suspect that a game like that would be difficult to keep funded as it would have to really capture the casual / story-content oriented crowd.

Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Suzie_Ford
trying something new isn't always a bad thing.

Yet, if it isn't really, really similar to their Old Favorite (whatever that is), they will surely complain.

I've never seen a population more prone to trying to drive with attention so firmly focused on the rearview.

To that point, there is one of the dilemmas. If it is not close to the Favorite Old Game, then people nitpick it apart and go back to the FOG. If it is close to the FOG, then why should they bother playing it? I imagine someone who needs a doctorate in psychology could have a field day with that.

 

And it is a matter of who is spending the money, regardless of whether they are a majority or a minority. I think most gamers are casual gamers who have limited time and resources for gaming. So they stick with what is familiar.  Then you have the more intense gamer who is competitive and spends their resources (time and money) on a game. For these people the early levels / low skill points are merely a means to get to the end game, whatever it is. Whether through subscription or the badly named Free 2 Play stores, they will spend those resources to get to the point they want.

 

Considering how many opinions exist on what a good game is (and I will point out that WoW, the most successful game may in fact not be a 'good' one - opinions vary) I do not  think it is necessarily viable to design a game that will try and appease both styles. People do try, but I am not sure how successful anyone really has been.

 

Even artists have to eat (we do not like to starve to death) and so the game has to somehow make money. It is all part of the equation. In the end though the point about trying something new is a good one. WoW and EQ were both new at one point in their lives.  To that end, I think a free (really free) trial should be available for games from the outset.

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