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All Posts by bamdorf

All Posts by bamdorf

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146 posts found
Originally posted by XAPGames


One possible game mechanic that could assist would be an up / down ranking of a player's reputation (not just the character, but rather all characters on the account).  Have the up / down ranking weighted to the ranking player's own reputation so that their ranking of others is diminished (or even ignored) if they have poor reputation.  From there create a configuration option "auto ignore players with ranking below this threshold (with a numeric pulldown)".


I expect this would just create another mechanic for some really horrible griefing.   At least in open world pvp you can fight back.   How do you fight back against a rep trashing griefing campaign?


Personally I liked the crafting in EQ2.   I liked the crafting in Vanguard somewhat more.   But the best crafting I have seen in an MMO is Fallen Earth.   Just about everything you pick up can be used in crafting and just about everything you can craft is potentially useful.    And, you can queue a whole bunch of crafting, and then go adventure while it is being finished.


Originally posted by fat_taddler


A lot of what made the older MMO's so much more immersive and time consuming (in a good way) was the fact that most of us had no idea what we were doing.  This in and of itself was a huge part of the fun and contributed greatly to the social aspects of games.



We didn't know what we were doing for maybe a couple three days.   After that, your point rather loses any value as far as I can see.  And you know, that first few days of total ignorance were not the fun part at all... there was a great possiblity of people giving up in frustration.


Originally posted by vandal5627
You can't really blame the games entirely but you can't really deny that they do play a small roll in which it effects the minds of the persons that play them.

OH yes I can.  In fact I can with equal laziness put forward the idea that video games actually reduce violence, by giving people an outlet.   With at least as much value as your statement.

This is a lot like "pornography must cause people to commit pedophilia".    

That there is some fuzzy "common sense" connection between things....doesn't make it so.    And people using that fuzzy, lazy "common sense" are a terror, imo.


If you are going to generate unique content for each player or team, how is that different from a single-player instanced game like Modern Warfare 2 (except for more variety in the maps, of course) and many others?


If the content is somehow persistent, then it would seem that it will suffer google death.


I can't see a way around these two ideas.   Maybe I just need more imagination, LOL.




1.  The internet encourages bad behavoir---

I am not so sure about this.   The worst guild drama that I was involved in was between people who knew about each other in real life.   It didn't stop the drama, it actually made it worse.

2.  People complaining that Pokket should not use her post to attack specific people.   Huh?   I read the post and that did not seem to be the thrust of it at all.   OK, if I dug into it maybe I could figure out who the people were.   But that would be missing the point, and would be bad behavior...on my part.

3.  The idea that somehow women are responsible for the problems while men don't do that sort of thing is so ridiculous I can't think of any useful way to respond to it.

4.  I think the philosophy that works for me is that one good friend is worth going through 100 bad ones to find.   Because the 100 don't matter.  The feeling I have, even at my age, is  the difficulty in trying to figure out how it even occurred to people in to behave that way under any circumstances.  O.K., sounds like I am kind of stupid, but then I like myself that way, I guess. 


P.S.  Enjoy your columns as always, Pokket.


1.  Longevity.    People played EQ, DAOC, AC, UO for YEARS.  Well, yes, I did play WoW for  a long time and I did make friends there....which is mainly why I played it a long time.    Today it seems games are played for a month and  then it's time to pick up the new flavor, because you've seen it all and want something new, and you haven't found any community.    I will guess  that the vast majority today play MMOs as if they were console games, as has been said, and so the play duration is similar.   Heck, I played Skyrim for three or four months.   It was way better than most of the new MMOs.

2. Enjoyment factor.    Don't tell me that I had a different experience, say, in EQ because it was new.   Yeah, the first month it was new.   After 3 years or so, don't think that comment really applies.

3.  Caring about other people.   The business of doing stuff with people but not really interacting with them at all is so discouraging.    Let's all help each other to  not care about each other.

4. Community.  Some stuff tends to encourage community, some stuff doesn't.   Sure  you can have great community in any MMO.    But when it's a lot more work, and there doesn't seem to be any good reason for, it will tend not to happen.    The devs cater to the masses, of course.    Same reason most movies are repeats of garbage.    In the Golden Age there was a scramble to be innovative, imo.   Now there is a scramble to make a little more slick version of the same thing.




I assume the OP means "subscription ONLY".  

Isn't it logical for games to offer multiple payment models so players can choose what they want?   I think what we have been seeing lately is a struggle to find the right alternatives --- how to balance the payment methods offered so that there is not an overpowering difference.   For example if the cash shop makes the game p2w, then the subs will tend to disappear, and so forth.   For players who can log on nearly every day the sub method is very cheap, whether it is $10, $15, whatever.   But some can't do that.  So the vendor who offers  alternatives  has a chance to increase revenue...if they don't screw up the game in the process.



I don't think it is far off to say that a very good result in a creative effort is an accident.    Takes good people, good ideas, and a large dose of luck.   In any field.   So there are very rare exceptions --- personally I think every movie David Lean made had something special.   But that's the exception.    More typical is Lucas...after three pretty fun Star Wars movies, with more technical ability and the same creative team he produced three so-so efforts.

Much of what we have in these columns is a desperate attempt to break down an MMO to find out why it wasn't the next great program.    I understand the feeling, but a good, big program is not a simple sum of its parts --- it is a magical combination of things  that work.     Of course with really bad examples it is possible to point at things.   But remember, when EQ came out it was buggy, had a steep learning curve, and could be so brutal it would make people cry.    Yet it took off, and it is still here.   So the point is even when it seems we understand why a new game isn't so isn't that easy.

Creative stuff is magical, I repeat...because it is true.   When you are hoping for the next great MMO, patience is a great virtue.   I do not accuse people for promoting and being enthusiastic about MMO x.   I think you have to have that to have a chance...but the truth is before the community gets out and plays it,  you just never know, and the odds are not very good.

I am trying to stay hopeful, but I am getting old.


Originally posted by Fluxii

It's generation DUH's new mentality.

We want it NOW!

We want it NOW and EASY!

We want it NOW and EASY and FREE!

It's an entitlement progression that just keeps getting worse.  Occupy Wallstreet anyone?

Entitlement literally means you deserve.   If I work 40 hrs a week and get a paycheck, that paycheck is something I am entitled to.   If I pay into Soc Sec for 45 years, it isn't a freebie, I am entitled to it.

What you are describing is a NONentitlement progression.

Otherwise, I don't disagree.


There will always be people who like A, and some who like B, and some who don't care.   And there will always be a small subset of the first two groups that work themselves into a frenzy trying to prove that how they think is right because it can be proven from first principles, is a rule of the universe, etc., even though we are dealing with human opinions, not mathematics or "hard" sciences.

It is not enough for these people to just enjoy the style they prefer, they must squash emphatically anyone who thinks differently.   The argument(s) that the OP presents are very much like the arguments of any run-of-the-mill religious fanatic.   If I feel unhappy in a given pvp game, or happy for that matter, you simply cannot "argue" me out of my feelings, particularly by insulting me, claiming that I just don't understand why my feelings or preferences are wrong.   Which is the biggest insult, perhaps.

But you can annoy me.

It is ironic that some of the responses have had some interesting insights.  Go figure.




Originally posted by Shadanwolf
NO games. Re-reading the Hobbit in preperation for seeing the movie in a week or so.(GW2 was my last disappointment)

Yes, I forgot to mention...I reread the Hobbit also.   Hopefully there will never be an MMO based on the Hobbit.


Fallen Earth.   Because my  brain has been radiated.    (Well...not really.   But I did have a head MRI once...thankfully, nothing was found.)


Originally posted by cdestey
Originally posted by bamdorf

Hmmm.    I don't have fun playing FFA games.   I also don't feel I need to analyze my thinking to see whether I am logically consistent, i.e., that my "feelings" are justified, since feelings aren't about thinking anyway.     For someone to post with the clear insinuation that I am using inappropriate arguments to decide that I don't like  FFA, based on a list of ideas he thinks are operating is insulting.  You have no right to condemn what you imagine I might be thinking.

I also like blue generally better than red (colors not political!).   I haven't tried to figure that one out either.   And if someone says my blue thing is wrong and gives a list of reasons for it, well maybe insulting isn't the right word, come to think of it.

Whether people who like FFA are sociopaths (or any other statement from the OP's list) is something I haven't thought about and don't care about.   Having realized (not decided, since it is not a rational process, as, e.g., art appreciation) that I don't enjoy it I can stop right there.   I have no further interest in the subject.

 I think you're misunderstanding the post. He's not listing reasons why YOU should like FFA games. He's listing the arguments people use to attack FFA games and those that play them.

I can see why you say that and it is not wholly unreasonable.   But I disagree.   The OP's message screams (to me)  that people who don't like FFA pvp don't have a legitimate argument against it.    I am one of those people.   I am saying I don't need a legitmate argument.    As far as "people who attack FFA games" I wonder what he means by that.   Lots of people say they don't like it, it's not something they would play, but I can't remember a single serious post saying that FFA should be banned from MMO space --- which would constitute an "attack".   The posts I remember are that people want developers to state clearly what level of PvP is goign to be in their games.    Quite so.   Am I over reacting if I sense that this post  is a creation of a list of straw men so one can indulge self-justification?    If you like FFA you don't need any justification.   If you don't, ditto.


Generally I want a game where I feel some level of challenge, have to figure some things out, but I do not want have to pull my hair out and have pulse pounding drama at every turn.    I want to relax and be able to work at things.     I don't want to feel that a Sword of Damocles is suspended over my head and the next step I take will be my doom.   And that people will curse my name because I screwed up.

A huge number of people demanded changes in EQ1, some were not challenges exactly but more like useless frustrations, but there was enough momentum to tone the game down a bit.    And that is exactly what happened with WoW, and it worked.   WoW went large because people wanted it and asked for it.   It seems to me that the goal ought to be to offer people the freedom to adapt their approach and playstyle to the game, but still have it somewhat balanced while giving people doing really hard stuff some kind of meanful reward.  And most of all some reason to build communities.    It's not easy.   WoW is the closest so far, imo.

Right now I have decided to go back and play Baldur's Gate 1 again.    8$ from Amazon LOL.  Been a long time and I have forgotten a lot of it.    BG has some challenges in it (especially if you don't use a walk through), but one can play along at it quite a bit without feeling that you are at the edge of doom.  Still,  It is often a relief to get back to a safe area...that is, mostly safe, since assasins can hit you anywhere.    But BG  has the big advantage over MMOs  that you can save, then experiment.     You can take your time.   



My speed boots in EQ1.   Considering how much people would pay for SoW that gave something like a 30% speed boost, having permanent boots that increased speed was wonderful.


I agree with several posters that it is the whole of the TES thing that is important.   Leave somehing out, it would be less.   Sort of like Salieri thinking about a Mozart compostion and saying that if a single note was lost there would be diminishment.

I had one impression from Skyrim that I had not experienced before.    I actually starting caring about certain NPCs.    Some I could do a quest for and fix their problem....some I could not.    Kind of like real life, in a way.     I suppose that goes under Immersion.


Hmmm.    I don't have fun playing FFA games.   I also don't feel I need to analyze my thinking to see whether I am logically consistent, i.e., that my "feelings" are justified, since feelings aren't about thinking anyway.     For someone to post with the clear insinuation that I am using inappropriate arguments to decide that I don't like  FFA, based on a list of ideas he thinks are operating is insulting.  You have no right to condemn what you imagine I might be thinking.

I also like blue generally better than red (colors not political!).   I haven't tried to figure that one out either.   And if someone says my blue thing is wrong and gives a list of reasons for it, well maybe insulting isn't the right word, come to think of it.

Whether people who like FFA are sociopaths (or any other statement from the OP's list) is something I haven't thought about and don't care about.   Having realized (not decided, since it is not a rational process, as, e.g., art appreciation) that I don't enjoy it I can stop right there.   I have no further interest in the subject.



Thanks Pokket....  I always enjoy your articles and casts, and find your opinions about games useful, even if I don't necessarily like precisely the same kind of gameplay.

I like to think that I am all grown up now and realize that advertisements, marketing campaigns, and promotions (whether for products or politicians) are not cheap lies, but rather tend to be rather expensive lies.   But at the same time I can't avoid getting a little hopeful that something good may be in the I just can't become totally cynical.  

My other observation is that the best games I have played in the last 30 years were nearly all complete surprizes where I had no particular expectations at all.   Strange, the less I expect, often,  the better the games are.    I don't know why that is!



It's been said before, bears repeating.


In EQ for example, I found my first guild in game because many of the same people showed up in the same area of a zone for several days.     People naturally grouped for safety, then got to know each other because there was sufficient down time to talk.   The point was that this happened because it took a long time to go from lvl 12 to 14 at the S. tower in EF. 

People didn't automatically group or automatically form guilds, but the situation lent itself naturally to that progression.   To look at the other side, I was in more than one guild that split up after months because some people decided they wanted to get the the endgame, and left for that type of guild.   In WoW it was my experience that the fast part of the game, getting to cap, didn't lead to much chance to socialize, it was too fast, and few people wanted to take time to do the dungeons.    But then when the cap was hit in a sense the game slowed down as people were doing and redoing the end game stuff, so guilds formed.  (I said, that wasy MY experience, just saying) .  Of course when people got tired of the repetition they dropped out, like me.

So the mechanics of "progression"  whatever that means (leveling or gear grinding or ??) in an MMO to me are the the key drivers to socilaization.   If we are ony going to be together for 3 minutes and then on to the next thing, one is going to have to work very hard to socialize.    The tools for socialization were crude in EQ... no Vent, etc, all chat...but it still happened.   But the features that build community in games like EQ have been trashed for the very reason that people don't want the game to be a chore, i..e, death penalty, slow leveling, downtime, yada yada...

I must be getting old...why do the games have to speed up?    I like to have time to think about what I am doing, and of course my thinker is slowing down... LOL.



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