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All Posts by Tanemund

All Posts by Tanemund

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Originally posted by druidsfire
Originally posted by Tanemund

My view on this is pretty similar to some of those above.  I think it is incumbent on the Game Developer to either 1) define exploit clearly or 2) brand a particular practice an exploit.  One the Game Developers do that then the burden falls on the players to either 1) stop exploiting or 2) run the risk of being punished in some way.

 

Hmm. 

 

A game studio creates content whose point was to actually play through it before being rewarded.  The play style is not unique to SWTOR.  It's pretty much the same methodology for dungeons and raids since the days of EverQuest.  You don't get the big rewards until you clear the dungeon/raid and defeat the final boss. This is how it's worked since 1999.

 

Why in the world should BioWare have to actually assume we're all stupid and need to be explicitly told that porting directly to a downed final boss and looting him is an exploit?

 

Seriously, at some point, common sense should be invoked.  We as players KNOW that's not intended behavior.  We don't need a game studio to actually tell us that's an exploit.  We know it is, and at that point, a player's personal conscience is up to them.  Nitpicking over BioWare telling us or not is foolish.  Something like this is cut and dry whether it was or wasn't an exploit. If it was questionable, yeah, I can see your point, but this one?  Nope.  

 

While I agree with you that it should be common sense by now that Developers mean for content to be fully played before the raid boss is killed, I'm afraid that we're forced, even in the real world, to operate on the biggest idiot theory.  (Sad to say we live in a society where they have to put "Caution :  Contents are hot and may cause burns" on coffee cups these days).  Until you make things crystal clear the extremely clever and the extremely stupid are going to keep right on rolling.  Its unfortunate but you literally have to club people over the head before they get it.  You have to make it so even the biggest idiot can get the message.

 

I saw a great slogan the other day:  "Common sense has become so uncommon that it now qualifies as a superpower."

 

With that I'm going to stop typing as I'm depressing myself.

My view on this is pretty similar to some of those above.  I think it is incumbent on the Game Developer to either 1) define exploit clearly or 2) brand a particular practice an exploit.  One the Game Developers do that then the burden falls on the players to either 1) stop exploiting or 2) run the risk of being punished in some way.

 

A simple post from Bioware saying, "If you do this you will be considered an exploiter and face punishment" would be enough to fulfill their duty.  They could also add that we are actively working on a fix for this exploit and will implement it as soon as possible and without warning.  Now the burden shifts to the players.  They are warned that a certain behavior is an exploit and they can choose their path accordingly.

 

This kind of reminds me of the steroids flap in baseball.  What every one of the sanctimonious seems to forget is that it wasn't even against the rules of baseball to use steroids until 2004.  It was incumbent on baseball to make a rule banning the use of steroids and it didn't.  How can it be fair to now say, "Those who used steroids before it was against the rules are cheaters"?  You can't break a rule that doesn't exist.

 

By the same token if the Devs don't make it plain that a certain activity is an exploit, then it isn't fair for them to run around hitting people with the ban stick or whatever. 

 

A simple three line post in blue makes all the argument irrelevant.  Instead of making veiled references and allowing each gamer to follow their own conscience, Bioware could have very easily taken all of the guess work out of the equation by simply stating, "Porting to the end of the instance to loot the dead boss is an exploit.  We know people are doing it.  If you do it from now on you risk discipline."  Simple.  Easy.  Skid proof.  Now the chickens are coming home to roost as those who did it claim one thing and those who didn't claim another.

 

Bioware has only itself to blame for the muddled mess it created.

I think its been touched on several times in this thread, but the truth is it comes down to what we players value and what our goals for the game are.  That is a personal choice we all make and there isn't a right or wrong choice.

 

Personally I've never understood why someone would play an online game with a huge online population with the goal of staying isolated from everyone.  I do understand, as a casual player, that at least some game content needs to be solo friendly so that people who can log on only once in a while can get some leveling done.  However, I will say from personal experience this mentality of people before pixels has led to a much more satisfying gaming experience for me.  I tend to worry less about game mechanics and whether it is a "good" or "bad" game while I'm focused on the people I'm meeting.  Through gaming I've met people from all around the world and developed deep and abiding real friendships with people that continue even when there is no game to play.

 

I guess its because I learned early to value the friendships and relationships I formed through MMOs over the arbitrary and random pixelated rewards granted me by the game.  I happened to fall in early with a group of people who believed the same thing.  I always kept in my mind that if someone spilled coffee on the server all my nice pixels would be toast, but the people behind the pixels would still be there.  The game just facilitated and fostered those relationships to the point where they stood on their own two feet.  Sometimes when my playtime is limited I'll pop open my friends list and say, "Hiya" to everyone on it and just ask about their day.  Over time I've discovered I get more satisfaction in doing that than leveling my Wood Cutting ten points.

 

What I'm saying is no great revelation and I'm not the only one.  I do think that if you game long enough eventually you come around to the conclusion that all the game is there to do is enable relationships to form.  I always say the best times I had in game were doing simple things like farming mobs in PvE etc with a group of people who I liked and were fun to be around.  On occasion I've tried different paths and valued pixels more.  I've chased gear scores and PvP rankings and a myriad other things in game.  They never satisfied me because no matter how much of a PvP bad ass I was, no one threw me a parade and/or cared if I logged on unless they were seeking me out to take the title from me.  Yet the simple act of chatting with some random stranger made me important somehow.  Someone cared whether or not I logged on and missed me when I wasn't there.  So I always find myself coming back to the conclusion that the people are more important than the pixels and that is where I find my greatest satisfaction playing the game.

 

But again that comes down to a personal choice.  No game mechanic can force me to participate in any kind of community if I don't want to participate.  Forced grouping, public quests, world events; how many programing dohickies have been tried to foster the growth of community and exactly how many of them worked?  None.  Why?  Because in the end people (myself included at times) found more efficient ways to level up to the "endgame" and basically skipped those pieces of content because they were awkward and encumbering when compared to blasting through solo content.

 

I guess the answer is to be the answer.  You might get dumped on a few times (people will take advantage of your kindness and friends will abandon you from time to time because they're "not getting what they want from the game" while they hang out with you), but in the end the results will be gratifying.  If enough people do this a community begins to form and all those things we've been missing in MMOs since the dawn of time might come back to us.

 

Just something to think about.

Elitism existed before Gear Scores.  All Gear Scores does is give elitists an easy crutch with which to perpetuate their elitism.  It makes elitism more prevalent now because there is an easily identifiable "number" that someone has to hit to be included in the group.  Elitists used to seek each other out.  Now everyone tries to make their group/friends/guild into an elite haven.  I'm not sure its "elitism" so much as an "Us v. Them" mentality meaning "we" are clearly superior to "them."  Somewhere between MUDs and today's MMORPGs the idea of community went from everyone in my realm to everyone in my guild/friends list.  I think a few things are responsible for that.

 

1. Focus on the End Game and viewing every other piece of content as something to be endured and powered through rather than enjoyed.  I'm not sure when this happened but when I first started playing MMOs the leveling curve was so long that most toons never reached max level and therefore no one talked about "end game".  Instead there was the game.  Period.  The rush now is to get to max level everything with the minimum of effort.  In most games now you can level crafting while you're doing something else by having an NPC slave do it.

 

2. Proliferation of informational websites that give full walk-throughs on content the day the game is released.  One of the purposes of community was to pass along information such as, where is a good spot for this level or I've got a great spot to farm gold etc.  Now you just log onto the wiki and cookbook your way through the game.  Because of this easy access to information people don't feel any need to connect with anyone and/or will be intolerant of anyone asking questions.  This also includes leveling guides which will take a player from 0 to max level without even once grouping with another player.

 

3. The movement by developers to "reward" players for every second they spend in game.  Heck the developers reward people for simply making an account.  This can be anything from bonus XP to gear etc, but today's MMOs are stuffed to the gills with things that reward players for simply expressing an interest in the game.  This ties in with the informational websites in that a player can simply avoid content that doesn't provide the proper "reward" of XP or gear to facilitate leveling as quickly as possible.

 

4. Player choice.  No matter how you program the game, if people choose to be "isolationist" "elitist" "xenophobic" or whatever that is how they're going to play the game.  You cannot program community into a game.  That is a choice the player base makes and for whatever the underlying reason, most people choose not to associate.  Today people not only Min/Max their avatars, they Min/Max the circle of people they interact with in the game.  It simply means they hang out with people that can effectuate their in game goals faster than others.  Those people may be friends, but those friends become expendable if they're not progressing in the way that an individual player wants to progress.

 

Just look at the way "PuG" or "Pick Up Group" has become one of the dirty words in online gaming.  Its become a way to call an entire group of people "noobs".  However this won't change until we gamers change it, and we won't because ... OMG TEH PIXELS R SHINY!

Like others I think Dune would make a fantastic MMO World.

 

Asmiov's Foundation series, but it could be a little tricky.

 

Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Series.  They're making it into a Television show like Game of Thrones. 

 

 

I think that they COULD so long as a true sandbox game was offered.  By that I mean there are true consequences for engaging in PvP.  I'm not talking about full loot.  I'm talking about people who engage in PvP are truly risking something themselves.  That could be a faction shift that bars them from towns or the spawning of NPC bounty hunters or simply not being able to tell if your intended target is lower or higher level. 

 

People talk about true "risk and rewards" PvP when they mention sandbox, but that's not the truth.  What they want is the ability to loot the people they gank.  They want the victim to take the risk while the ganker reaps the rewards.  To have a true sandbox (by that I mean a game that is just a world where the players are left to their own devices) you have to have the risk flow both ways.  If the would be ganker is unsure of the level or skill of his intended target, they are running the risk of attacking someone they can't handled, getting mauled and getting their shoes stolen.  (By the way, taking someone's great stuff by ganking them has no style.  In my gaming group its all about comedy.  So when we ganked someone lower level than us, we would loot their pants and then roll on any white items in their pack.  Our victims had to run bare-assed for a bit and they lost a bunch of white stuff they could have sold for in game cash, but they weren't really harmed by the experience.  Most of the time that was enough to tell them to avoid us and where we were.)

 

If the risk flowed both ways meaning the attacker risks losing something as well as the victim, then sure they can co-exist.  If the attacker's only risk is that the victim might loot him back then all that does is encourage ganking of lowbs or zerging to insure victory.  Regardless of protestations to the contrary, most people in games assume risk just like they do in real life.  They're going to pick on the 100 lbs geek instead of the 230 lbs linebacker.  Also another cautionary function exists in real life in that you don't know everything about that 100 lbs geek.  He might be a world class MMA fighter who when you attack him proceeds to smear your ass all over the pavements like so much strawberry jam.  Most people aren't going to do ANYTHING that might cause them to lose face and stuff in real life let alone their precious pixelated lewts in game.

 

Give PvP a real consequence with teeth in it and ganking will piss right out.  Then PvP and PvE folks can co-exist in a sandbox because PvP has a true risk/rewards spectrum.  Unfortunately that game hasn't been invented yet and I suspect its too close to real life for anyone to enjoy it.

Hello!

 

As many of you know, I am an 3-God.  My comings and goings and doings in 3-Space are myriad and magnificent.  That qualifies me to give advice and counsel via random post on message boards to the steaming masses of nOObs that supplicate daily for a boon from my manifest and spectacular wisdom.

 

Today I shall instruct nOObs everywhere in a matter of grave importance; the Naming of Avatars.  The state of avatar naming in MMOs today is putrid.  If people named their dogs like they named their avatars, dogs would have turned on mankind en mass and mankind would be wearing the collars by now.  Look folks, it is a sad fact that many MMO players have either the limited creative ability of a dry sponge or the meglo-maniacal mindset to believe they are doing something original.  Well the time has come for someone to kick this problem right in the nether regions with the hobnailed jackboot of the unvarnished truth, and that truth is; YOUR AVATAR NAME SUCKS!

 

That's right.  It sucks.  And by association you, therefore, suck too.  Look, don't get mad at me.  I'm just the messenger.  The truth is everyone has been laughing at you for a long time.  I'm the only one that likes you enough to tell you.  Really.  I'm just like that guy that finally tells you that you've had a picture of a phallus pinned to your back for half the day during the eighth grade.  The rest of them out there just laughed at you.  So I guess you could say that I'm here to help you.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  I'm here to help ... or something.

 

Yea, nOObs you are all fortunate that I am not a vengeful or spiteful 3-God.  Instead I am here to provide clues for the hopeless horde of ineptitude that aspire to properly name their Avatars.  Pay close attention nOObs or forever be doomed to the seventh level of nOOb Hell (also known as General Chat).  Here are Ten Commandments that should help you properly name your Avatar.  These Ten Commandments will keep you from sucking at the game of your choice right from the moment you fill in the name slot for your avatar.  Believe me this is important, because the wrong name just starts you down that slippery slope of ignominious nOObiedom for the rest of your gaming career.  Yet with my Ten Commandments I'll shall spare you the searing fires of internet troll scorn.  I'm an 3-God after all.  I'm cool like that.

 

Tanemund's Ten Commandments for Naming Thy Avatars

 

1) Thou Shalt Not Name Thy Avatar After Thyself - Truly folks, if you are over the age of five and you give your avatar your real life name in any form, seek professional help.  By that I mean have someone who is a professional MMA fighter kick you in the head several times.  You're a nobody in real life and now you're setting yourself up to be nobody in a game.  What's worse, everyone in game knows you're a nobody in both realms.  That alone should be enough to deter you from ever doing this.  However if that isn't enough to stop you, then this should.  People will know who's mother to call when you're up past your bedtime. 

 

2) Thou Shalt Never Name Thy Avatar With a Verb - Your avatar's name should not be or contain action verbs like "Kill", "Crush", "Thud", "Evacuate", "Conjugate", "Smell" etc.  If you land in a crowd of people like this on line its like you stepped bodily into a Batman rerun.  You know who names their characters with verbs?  Professional wrestlers.  If you want to be like them, well I'm sorry, but you're beyond my help.

 

3) Thou Shalt Never Name Thy Avatar After a Vampire - This is kind of a continuation of a rant many of us crotchety old pissed off 3-Gods have been on for about a decade, but seriously this vampire feces has got to go.  Vampires like Dracula stalked the night and devoured unwary children when I was but a wee fledgling 3-God.  They were bad asses out for blood and gore.  Now every prepubescent teeny-bopper can't wait to fall in love with a glowing Emo-loser who's privates are as smooth as a Ken Doll.  And that's what you look like if you name your Avatar "Lestat" or "Edward" or the like; a smooth crotch Emo-loser.  If you insist on doing this the rest of us can only hope that Dracula ambushes you on the way home from the vampire LARP party at your friend's house and causes your sphincter to prolapse before he drains you dry and urinates on your ashes.

 

4) Thou Shalt Never Start or End Thy Avatar's Name With the Letter "X" - Having reviewed the history of Mankind, there was only one person in the world cool enough to pull off starting or ending his name with "X".  That was Malcolm X.  Every other attempt to do so has just been pathetic.  Seriously, unless you're naming your Avatar Xavier or Xanadu (Then again why the hell would you want to name your Avatar that?) the only reason you put an "X" before or after your name is because someone else previously logged in an Avatar with the name you wanted to use and so to get it you just stuck an "X" in front or behind the name.  Worse yet you put an "X" both in front of and in back of the name you wanted.  Not only does this expose a lack of creativity, it also indicates a person with personal hygiene habits that are characterized by a tendency to eat boogers.  And not necessarily one's own boogers.  How's that for a vivid visual?

 

5) Thou Shalt Never Name Thy Avatar With a Sexual Reference - This one is simple.  If one's Avatar is named "Coitusmonster69" we can safely assume that person has neither had coitus nor 69ed.  In fact, we can safely assume they have never been closer to a woman than the range of a can of mace.  It's true.  He's not a stud.  Don't be that guy.

 

6) Thou Shalt Never Give Thy Avatar a Name with an Abbreviation in It - A sure sign of severe mental retardation and/or functional illiteracy is the tendency to type "LoL" or "LMAO" or "TBH" or "KTHNXBYE" after sentences (or in this case names) in any form of written communication.  This means either your ability to express yourself in writing is so stunted that you actually need to give your audience the equivalent of an "applause" sign to indicate that you are being funny, ironic or sarcastic or that your audience is so vacuous that they can't grok the fact you're being funny, ironic or sarcastic and they need an indicator that they should laugh.  Man has had written languages for almost 7000 years now.  Somehow we can pick up a book written in the 1600s and determine if the author is being funny, facetious, or ironic without some amalgamation of random letters at the end of every sentence.  At least those of us who finished the fifth grade can.  If you didn't finish the fifth grade then rest assured that I'm not talking about you.  LOL.

 

7) Thou Shalt Never Name Thy Avatar After a Celebrity or Band - All I can say about this is to ask which of you is Beavis and which is Butthead?  Yes, I know that the Female blood elves in World of Warcraft dance like Brittany Spears.  That is NOT a good excuse to name every other female blood elf "Brittany Spears" or some derivation thereof.  And no one cares if your favorite band is "Megadeth".  Only people who are starting to notice they have hair in strange places on their body care about that.  The rest of us think you and Megadeth should be blown out of an airlock with the rest of the garbage.  One day some celebrity is going to round up their legal team and go after all of these half assed trademark infringements with a vengeance.  Until then we can only hope that the pack of snickering 12 year old fart sniffers who name their Avatars after a celebrity or a band have their penises amputated while dabbling in self-abuse during a close encounter with a vacuum cleaner.

 

8) Thou Shall Never Have Multiples of One Letter in Thy Avatar's Name - For example.  If you name your Avatar "Chuckkkky" you are an idiot to the third power, which I believe would be mathematically represented as either an (Idiot)3 or an "(Idiot x Idiot x Idiot)".  Either way it's not a pretty picture.  Think this one through logically.  This means you are the forth person to log into that server who wanted that name.  The first guy named his Avatar "Chucky".  The next guy named his Avatar "Chuckky" and so on until it got to you, the least creative guy in the pile of "Chucky" manure.  What else could be the logical explanation for this behavior?  Are the rest of us to believe that you stutter when you type?  Really, you wanted this name so bad you were willing to butcher it to the point of alphanumeric incontinence?  If you have an avatar with a name that looks like this, not only should you delete it, but you should seriously consider a new hobby and possibly deleting yourself from the gene pool.

 

9) Thou Shall Never Have Misspellings in Thy Avatar's Name - Avatar naming slots obviously do not come with spell checkers.  As a result one should be ready to use the good ol' standby, the dictionary.  I've seen far too many "Deathangle"s and "Distroyer"s in my gaming life.  Imagine how quickly the pride changes to shame when someone who can spell hips "Deathangle" to the fact that he is not the angel of death, but the angle of death, whatever the hell that means.  At that point there can only be one of two responses.  The first of which is, "I am a geometry teacher with a sense of humor".  This response has a probability of truth somewhere around .0007%.  The second response is, "I came in dead last in the mentally handicapped 100 meter marathon at the Special Olympics."  (Yes, I said 100 meter marathon.  That's irony.  LOL).  Do your own math.

 

10) Thou Shall Never Choose a Name from Fantasy or Sci-Fi Lore or Cannon - This is the greatest of these Commandments and violation of it is most foul smelling to us E-Gods.  This is for every person who logs in an elf (why oh why would you ever play an elf?  And, by the way, a Dark Elf is even worse because now you're that mysterious, brooding outsider elf who has a tortured past.  That's sad times two.  I know, I know.  Lots of math in this post) named "Legolas" or a dwarf named "Gimli" or an "Aragorn" or a "Gandalf" or a "Skywalker" or a "Kirk" or any other famous member of any science fiction or fantasy lore or cannon.  If your Avatar is named "Tyrion" or "MacLeod" or "Lo Pan" or "DArtHMaUL" do us all a favor and choke on your two-Twinkie-and-a-Mountain-Dew-dinner.  If you've ever done this you are as close to a mindless zombie as you can get in the MMO universe.  You deserve to have your genitals scalded shut with a branding iron so you cannot pollute the rest of the world with your brainless progeny.  Even a three year old cannot get dispensation for this kind of mess.  Anyone who is vaguely self aware with an ounce of self respect knows better than to do this.

 

I hope you nOObs find these Ten Commandments helpful in your quest to properly name your Avatars.  You can take my advice and make me proud or ignore my advice and make me laugh.  I'm good either way.  And so this is your benevolent 3-God Tanemund signing off and until next time I say,

 

"OMFG U R TEH SUX!!!!!!1111SHIFTELEVEN!!!!

Most people don't want to be the hero.  They want to be the uber pwnz0r Rogue with the tortured past that all the men fear and for whom all the ladies slide out of their pants.

 

And then he's bitten by a vampire and becomes immortal and spends eternity brooding on the unfairness of life that he can never love or be loved, all the while pwning the noobers and wannabees who wish they could be just like him.

 

No one wants to be the hero.  They want to be the unjustly persecuted anti-hero.

I know PvE gets a bad rap around here, but that's what most of us spend our time doing in MMOs.  Either through just plain leveling or crafting or farming to go on raids or to get PvP gear, PvE is where our avatars live the majority of their pixellated lives.  Even though I tend to PvP as much as possible and I have some great memories, the strange part is my most cherished memories of playing MMOs are PvE related.  Usually it's something foolish that happens during leveling or farming or even just horsing around.  These seemed to be the moments when  I really connected with people and they became more than people I knew on line; they became friends.

 

I'd like to see a post about your top ten PvE memories be they funny, silly, sad, maddening or otherwise.  They can be in whatever games you choose.

As has been repeated many times above, not including Everquest in this list is inexcusable.  Like WoW, EQ cast a huge shadow over the online gaming industry for a while.  It was the first game that people outside of gaming had ever heard about.  It was the first game to "go public".  Before that MMORPGs were the purview of early denizens of the internet.  Games like DAoC were produced as Anti-EQ games and people talked about games being "EQ killers".  Before WoW this game was the 800 pound gorilla in the room and it introduced many things that most of us take for granted in our online gaming (level based advancement, anyone?).  Whether games that came out later copied or rejected the base principles of EQ, they were influenced by it, just as games that come out now-a-days are influenced by either copying or rejecting the WoW model.  Even people that didn't game knew about EQ.

 

 

Were DAoC and SWG good?  Yes.  Were they groundbreaking?  The data seem to suggest that they weren't.  As noted above no one seems to be in a hurry to copy those games, so their influence is limited.  In the end I'm not sure these games would pass the "Star Test", meaning that even people who don't game would know of these games.  You ask the average person who doesn't game what EQ or WoW is and they'll know.  Ask them what DAoC or SWG was and they'll go "What?"

 

After that I can see the logic behind the rest of the picks.  I'd probably drop the fourth choice in favor of EQ.

Originally posted by wargfoot
Originally posted by Tanemund

Ack!  Look how a great idea can get ruined in just a few sentences.

You killed the dream.

Proof positive that nothing can mess up a good game faster than players.

 

/shame

You going to run a Kickstarter on this?  Because if you are I'll throw you enough to get your first ream of paper. 

 

By the by that's another way to monetize;  different color paper.  Although with this you have to be careful because as everyone knows red paper is clearly superior to green paper.  And then there is that whole scissors issue.  Better  nerf scissors right off the bat.

 

Ack!  Look how a great idea can get ruined in just a few sentences.

First off, why would you ever want to see a game hyped up?  How many games have been hyped to the point of disappointment lately?  The last think you want is people getting hyped up for the game until they've got completely unrealistic expectations for the game.  If you want a successful game you almost have to sneak it under the radar now.

 

Second, as has been said before the game is still vaporware.  It's a lot of promises, posts on forum boards and a few scraps thrown out by the developers.

 

Third, maybe everyone needs a refresher.  Am I the only one that remembers that Mark Jacobs, who is now being hailed as the possible savior of the MMO genre, was the guy who created DAoC, and then proceeded to kill the player base and ruin the game just 24 months later with the Trials of Atlantis expansion?  Then he cranked out that turkey called Warhammer.  Don't tell me he was not the lead dog on that project.  He may have left before the ship sank, but he was captain when it ran into the ice burg.  With that as a given I'm a little skeptical when someone bandies around the name "Mark Jacobs". 

 

With those three factors in play I think the "we'll wait and see" approach is wisest.  Blessed is he who expecteth nothing for he shall not be disappointed.

Blizzard, as a developer, is the company gaming companies should copy.  Now before you get that look on your face, let me lay out my argument.

 

First off, I don't mean that everyone should copy Blizzard games or the Blizzard formula.  That's been tried ad naseum and it doesn't work.

 

However gaming companies should follow the Blizzard model of development.

 

1) Have a solid original vision for the game.  (Blizzard envisioned the World of Warcraft World and the idea of a theme park where everyone got to see everything in the big vast world.

 

2) Remain true to that vision.  (Blizzard stuck to the lore and didn't stray).

 

3) Do things that the masses can enjoy (i.e. keep graphical content at levels that you can run on any PC, not just the PCs using the very latest graphics cards).

 

4) If you're going to put it in the game, make sure it works and it appeals to the crowd it is intended to appeal to.  (It may not be the "best"  PvP you ever saw, but WoW's vanilla PvP works for the most part and PvPers have goals to reach etc.  Hey, it wasn't the best but it was fun for a while).

 

5) Make sure it is ready to be released before you release it.  (How many other gaming companies just shove stuff out the door before its ready while Blizzard is famous for delaying releases until they have worked out the kinks).

 

Any gaming company can do this, but so few actually do it.  This is the secret to Blizzard's success, yet the model remains uncopied.  Too bad.

Some people have touched on it, but not said it out loud.  The thing that ruins PvP or RvR or GvG or whatever you want to call it is a "rewards system" of some kind.  As soon as you add in some kind of incentive to get people to try and kill each other it turns into a farm fest.  Players adopt strategies to obtain the rewards with as little effort as possible.  All those people who want "meaningful" PvP are deluded.  As soon as you add a "meaning" to personal combat it becomes another type of PvE farming.  Then the "reward" becomes just another participation trophy and it loses all its meaning, and thus the PvP or whatever loses its meaning.  (By the way it is "LOSE", not "LOOSE".  If you don't know LOSE from LOOSE, then you don't know your NOSE from a NOOSE.  You LOSE a contest, fight, game or whatever.  You "LOOSE" a ship from it's moorings or your wrath upon the world.  Spell checker English for the LOSE!)

 

For example, look at the honor farming in the WoW Battlegrounds.  The two sides came to a kind of tacit agreement that they wouldn't interfere with one another.  You also had about 10 to 15 percent of the people just going AFK in the starting areas.  I can remember getting yelled at by my own realm mates for actually fighting the enemy.  I was slowing down the honor farming by extending the fight.  People didn't want to fight.  They wanted to get as much of the "reward" (in this case honor points) as fast as they could so they could get their armor and move on to some other kind of farming.  You got more honor for killing NPC guards and bosses than you did for killing enemy players.  In fact you got a lot of nothing for killing enemy players.  So with everyone focused on the reward, they didn't focus on killing each other.

 

If you want to screw up players contesting other players in a game then just add in some kind of incentive.  The players will focus on the incentive and develop an unwritten set of rules to get the reward with as little blood being shed as possible.  PvP just can't be "meaningful".  It should be like PvP in real life; random, stupid, pointless and usually fueled by alcohol or illicit substances of some kind.  Basing PvP or any other type of player contest on a military (i.e. objective based) model will ultimately lead to the one military tactic that has been used without shame since time immemorial - the ZERG.  Ask the Iraqis what happened to them in both Gulf Wars.  They got zerged by hundreds of planes and tanks driven by the Jolly Green Giants with guns (in case you've never been overseas, Americans are flat huge when compared to most of the other people in the world and this is especially true of our fighting forces who are physically fit and highly motivated individuals).  Why?  Because ZERGING is the one tactic that works for everyone and, more importantly, it is the most efficient way for the masses to get the REWARD for participating in PvP, RvR, GvG or whatever you want to call it.

 

If you want PvP it must be utterly meaningless, pointless and provide absolutely no reward.  This means only people that REALLY want to fight (not just pwn, but fight) will show up to the fight.  It shouldn't be a battlefield.  It should be a riot.

 

The risk/reward factor of PvP should be does your character get maimed, disfigured, arrested, sued or any combination thereof.  The risk/reward should also include the fact that you can't know the level or abilities of the player your facing until you get into the fight, just like in real life.  Who knows?  That 90 pound weakling might turn out to be an MMA champion who proceeds to beat you into a bloody pulp.  That would make PvP really exciting.

 

What do you mean?  People should just go on random, pointless killing sprees?  Yes that's exactly what I mean.  Kill for the sheer pleasure of killing and for no other reason.  However most people don't want that.  Not only does it border on psychopathic, but people want a risk/reward system.  What they want is their opponent to take the risk so that they can reap the reward.  They want to pwn a bunch of noobs and take their phat lewts.  And what happens when they run up against someone they can't pwn?  Well they're going to call their buddies and zerg his ass and then take his uber phat lewts.

 

You want to PvP, then do it.  Don't do it because you'll get a new cod piece.  That's just another participation trophy and its meaningless, just like all the other pixels in the game.  If you want to be a PvP legend then go kill a bunch of random people in the name of the Flying Spaghetti monster and don't take a damn thing from their cooling corpses.  Just kill and /dance in the blood.

This is a bit tangential, but it fits.  I think WoW was the last game I can remember where people didn't just throw up their hands and quit because there were bugs or broken features (i.e. the log in server disasters at the beginning and the 12 problem child servers that seemed to crash every 30 minutes).  People complained, but they seemed to wait for the fix and Blizzard was pretty good about responding to the biggest problems first and at least getting some kind of band aid on them until they could finally fix it.

 

If a game launched today with the log in server issues/log in queues (by the way that is WoW's greatest contribution to mankind:  a whole generation of gamers learned to spell "queue") that WoW had the first month, people would be leaving in droves and shouting the demise of the game from the roof tops.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't believe in this day and age there is an excuse for a company to have a launch as bad as WoW's was, but back then Blizzard got an opportunity to make good.  That just wouldn't happen today.

 

Remember when battlegrounds launched?  People would queue up and then go to work and stay logged in all day so they could get one battlefield done.  No one could get into the battlefields as a result.  Again there was a lot of grumbling, but Blizzard was given a chance by the players to make good and they did.  They clustered up the servers for PvP purposes and soon all the players were busy as little beavers grinding away honor to get their "Welfare Epics". 

 

Something has changed since 2004.  People don't seem to want to give a game a chance either to be what it is or to improve.  How many times have we heard that Age of Conan is 100% better than it was at launch or that The Secret World is really worth a go now?  Yet those games have been tried and written off as bug-riddled, boring clap trap. 

 

The reason we all had good times at Tauren Mill wasn't because the of any particular game design beyond the fact that the Horde and the Alliance each had a base in Hillsbrad so it was a convenient place to fight one another.  We stuck out the log in issues and the queues and when we got in, we didn't wait for the game to make our fun.  Instead we went out and made our fun.  Witness the hilarious gnome zerg of Ironforge someone detailed above.  That's creative and hilarious and it had NOTHING to do with anything content set up by the developers.

 

The lesson is if you want to have fun, you can have fun even in the most buggy piece of junk game.  The fun isn't the content.  The fun is in how you play the game and the people you hang out with.  And give the developers a chance like we did back then.  Believe me when things go wrong they devs aren't sitting around lighting cigars with $100 bills and laughing "Haha we sure fooled those idiots, didn't we?"  Instead they're up all night pouring over code going "OHCRAP, OHCRAP, OHCRAP, OHCRAP!!!" just like you do at work when things aren't going right.  Give them a chance and they'll work it out and the fun can continue unabated.

 

/rant off

Honestly its us players.  No matter what we get, its not what we want.  We don't give the Developers any room.  Within ten minutes of release we declare everything DoA and follow the crowd to quitsville.  We're quick to blame the faceless "Them" that we imagine hides behind the curtain and steers each game down certain paths.

 

In the end we're to blame.  We're responsible for our own fun and I've played many games that were "dead" according to the players that were, in fact, fun games if you let them be what they were designed to be instead of wishing they were "X, Y or Z" game.

 

You've got to admit that we geeks are a tough and opinionated audience. 

World of Warcraft nostalgia articles?  Isn't that one of the signs of the End of Days?  Someone check to make sure the seven seals are still intact.

 

I too played WoW during those days and those were fun times and fun fights in the Hillsbrad Foothills.  It was one of the few places you had to worry about being ganked by the other faction.  The rest of the time we pretty much ignored one another.

 

I remember the worst thing you could do (I too was a sucker and played a Paladin) as an Alliance player in those fights was hit the Bat Wrangler in Tauren Mill.  If you did that the sky would darken with angry level 60 bats which attacked every alliance player in sight.  Those bats turned several near victories into ignominious wipes of defeat.

 

Strange how the best times came from something that wasn't "rewarded".  Once a reward is placed on something it becomes a grindfest.  Maybe there is something us players could learn from those days.  Random acts of violence for no particular reason are fun!

I don't mind nostalgia.  There is nothing wrong with remembering good times.  However what I can't stand is the constant revisionist history that goes on in the guise of nostalgia.

 

When SWG came out I was playing DAoC.  Two or three people from my guild left to play SWG.  Within a week they were back claiming that SWG was buggy to the point of being unplayable and that PvP was pointless due to debilitating lag.  One guy stuck it out and gave us constant reports right up until he quit because of the complete overhaul Sony did on the game.  Basically everything now cited as "right" with the game was "wrong" back then.  Each of his reports started with something like, "Well, they just missed on "XYZ" feature.  If they'd only have done "ABC" it would have been great."

 

Now I'm going to go away from SWG because I didn't experience it personally.  I did experience the glory days of DAoC and it's funny how the things everyone bitched and moaned about have now become the things that were great about "ye olde timey games."  I suspect that what goes for DAoC goes for SWG as well.

 

1) Forced Grouping - Everyone today raves about forced grouping.  However back in the day I heard nothing but rants about how it took half an hour of gaming time just to find a group to get started.  How many remember putting your name on a list to get into a group camping a specific leveling area?  Finlaiths anyone? 

 

2) Down time/Teleport Padding to the different frontiers - Today everyone waxes poetic about down times in the game such as medding up health/mana and sitting on the teleporting pad for 10 minutes waiting for the mages to come down and beam you to the other frontiers.  Oh what a wonderful time to talk to your realm mates and make merry.  Horseapples.  Those times were universal smoke/bathroom breaks and the ones that got back first did nothing but complain about having to wait.  And how about waiting an extra ten minutes for those that went AFK and forgot to put on their teleporting necklaces and had to wait for the next port?  Twenty minutes of game time sitting on your virtual arse waiting for something to happen so something else could happen and then maybe you could play the game.  Oooooo fun!  No wonder people actually roleplayed back then.  You had to do something to kill the time while waiting for an opportunity to actually play the game.

 

3) In depth crafting systems - Well back in my day it took 237 days /played to make junior appretice crafter and we had to walk uphill both ways to the forge carrying huge piles of crafting materials and we were damn glad to get them.  We were all a huge happy group of people sitting around the forge singing songs and swapping tales of adventure.  Now-a-days these spoiled kids make master crafter in 30 minutes and they do it via a pet while they continue to quest!  Folks, crafting back in the day was an absolute bitch.  It took as long to level your crafting as it did to level your character.  There were frequent dead spots in the leveling where you had to go out and farm up the cash to move  up to the next level.  All I ever heard was people complaining about how much they hated sitting there pushing one button and watching a green bar move across the screen, only to do it again and again and again.  The only laughter I heard was maniacal hysteria when someone went through a marathon crafting session of several hours only to find out they still weren't high enough level to make ANYTHING that anyone wanted to buy.  Remember having to find a leather crafter with high enough skills to make the leather linings you needed to make any kind of metal armor?  And if you didn't want to wait around you could roll an alt and spend a thousand hours leveling leather crafting up to the sufficient level!  How about having to level up woodworking so you could make handles for the swords you were trying to smith up?  Oh, what fun!  If you want crafting that realistic, get a job in a factory in real life.

 

4) Meaningful PvP - I have to be honest; I'm not sure what the hell this means.  I think people mean that there was an element of risk to PvP and/or a system of risks and rewards for winning and losing in PvP.  So then I look at a game like chess.  Chess has been around for centuries and for those centuries (with the exception of war or gladitorial combat) chess has been the very definition of mano y mano contests.  Its PvP in it's purest form.  However there is no inherent risk or rewards system for winning and losing.  You don't get to raid the other guy's wallet simply because you beat him at chess.  You don't get to take his dog home because you check-mated him.  You might lose some money if you bet, but you don't have to bet to play.  Yet people have played chess avidly for centuries without any semblence of risk/reward.

 

By the by when did it become mandatory that someone get "rewarded" or "punished" for participating in PvP?  Yea brother, we must slay that vile person who dared to roll the other faction and pilfer his meager purse and then hold up our bloody prize and scream our cyber victory to the gods!  A MANLY type of PvP for MANLY MEN such as we!  Piffle.  I think people who believe this are in their 30s and still want a lollipop from the barber when they get their hair cut because they held still like a good boy while the barber cut their hair.  If you want to PvP, don't wait for a reason.  Just go out and do it.  Kill for the sheer joy of it and play pool with your victim's eyeballs like a good virtual serial killer.  When they ask you why you killed them don't say things like "LMAO" or "L2P Newbist!".  Say something creative like, "well, my new armor was too tight in the crotch and its chaffing and that puts me in a really FOUL mood and when I'm in a foul mood I kill everyone in range.  Now, hush up while I write my name on the ground in your blood!"  Or how about finding a line of people and just killing the last person in line while shouting, "THOSE WHO ARE TARDY DO NOT GET FRUIT CUP!"  The truth is if you do this you'll get to be a kind of cult anti-hero of the kind people will remember meeting.  Thus not only did you make a good memory for you, but a good memory for them as well.

 

The point of this wall of text plus the bonus rant at the end is that "fun" is up to you.  Anything can be "fun" if you go in with the idea of making your own fun.  It doesn't matter if the game was made in 2014 or 414.  If you wait for the game to make your fun you're going to be disappointed.  Your fun is your responsibility and if the game isn't fun, then make it fun or quit and try something else.

 

Edits : Punctuation.  Thanks Weird Al.

The market for MMOs has shown that FFA Full Loot PvP won't work.  If you want a viable money making game then you have to give peace a chance.  In the end these games aren't set up to build online societies where everyone plays a role and a code of conduct develops as an agreement between the players.  Instead they're set up so everyone is the hero and everyone is a warrior.  So you've got a combat environment where only might makes right and therefore the whole online society breaks down into chaos.  The reason is there are truly no consequences for bad behavior in MMOs. 

 

In real life if you PvP you find yourself arrested and possibly sued.  You might get your victim's wallet, but there is a possibility that you'll land in jail.  There is also the possibility that you picked on the wrong guy and he turns out to be a Krav Maga expert who proceeds to smear your body all over the pavement like so much jelly.  My point is there is an element of risk in real life that doesn't and almost can't exist in MMOs.  I mean, who wants to play a game that is like real life after all?

 

However in an MMO if you're max level and you kill noobs, what happens?  Probably nothing.  Maybe some other max levels come out to defend the noobs and you get killed, but so what?  Log out and come back at another time.  You risk no real punishment.

 

Meanwhile the noobs have more in game risk than the gankers.  So eventually the noobs don't log on and the on line community withers on the vine without new blood.  The risk is all one way.  The ganker's risk is almost nothing, while the noobs risk is everything he has.

 

The answer?  Well I can think of three.

 

First off do what DAoC did.  There are home zones without PvP where you can get your toon to max level without worrying about being ganked.  Then there are PvP zones (the frontier) where no matter what level you are you run the risk of being killed if you go out there and you voluntarily assume the risk by going out onto the frontier through a special portal.  That takes the "accidental" or "random" gank out of the equation.  You went onto the frontier knowningly and voluntarily assuming the risk of getting ganked, killed or zerged.  Take all the guesswork out of it.

 

The second way is to add elements of risk for bad behavior.  Make it so someone who PvPs is risking beyond the ire of the no longer existent community.  When MMOs first came out forced grouping meant if you behaved badly you could be frozen out of groups so you couldn't level.  That kept all but the most socio-pathic in line.  Now the risk for FFA PvP needs to be hard wired into the game.

 

You want to gank noobs, OK.  But for every noob you gank a hunter/killer NPC spawns that is programed to hunt you down and kill you.  The more you gank, the more NPCs are hunting for you and when they catch up to you not only are you going to die, but your account will be frozen for a number of days that depends on how many noobs you ganked.  And maybe those noobs will be able to claim a piece of the ganker's stuff as compensation for the stuff they lost when they were ganked.

 

To add a further layer let people with max level toons disguise themselves as noobs.  That way the ganker doesn't know if he's attacking a helpless noob or a full powered, arse whuppin' machine. 

 

The third is to make a society where there are other occupations besides "warrior."  For example the game can be to become an epic blacksmith who can make the greatest weapons in the game.  Cross this guy and suddenly everyone is wielding the epic sword of whup arse EXCEPT you and everyone is out to get you because you picked on the guy who makes the epic sword of whup arse.  In other words, messing with the economy gets you ostricized from the community and you get no more resources.  Thus you wither and die while the society rolls on.

 

That's just three simple things that might make FFA PvP more tolerable.  There are other ideas, but you'll probably never see them implemented.  It requires imagination to make an online society (which would be stable and cause the game to last a long time) whereas its easy to program special zones for PvP. 

 

So get used to instancing when it comes to PvP.  Its simply good business for the devs.

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