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All Posts by Tanemund

All Posts by Tanemund

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88 posts found

Just a dumbed down version of Age of Wushu.  If you played any Wushu you'll recognize this as it's stupid little brother.  Don't get me wrong.  Wushu wasn't built for geniuses either, but at least it felt a bit original as the first Martial Arts MMO I tried.  Swordsman felt like a carbon copy with all potential for thought removed.

 

In 25 levels I've never been passed 3/4 life in PvE.  The mobs aren't even aggro.  You're literally spoon fed everything you'll ever need.

 

Its fun for about 30 minutes.

... Meanwhile, back at the ranch Larry noticed that one of the sheep was looking at him funny ... staring at him in that slack jawed, detached cud-chewing way he found so enticing.

 

Hey, this is fun!

 

Random text bomb 4tehwinzorrsz!

CoH was my second MMO after DAoC.

 

Best character creator EVER in any game.  Period.  It was a game in itself.

 

It was an altaholics dream.  The game had so much going for it in powersets and replayability.

 

Even though by today's standards it was "grindy", back then it was so "casual player" friendly that it was shocking.  Coming from a game where you absolutely HAD to have a group being able to solo missions at any level was a revelation.

 

And travel powers?  Talk about an eye opener after plodding across gigantic maps for hours with trains of mobs chasing you in other games. 

 

Its the only game I ever played where I didn't find myself thinking, "Boy if it only had this it would be awesome."  It had everything you wanted to do in it, including PvP if you wanted to PvP.  There was always something to do.

 

In the end though, if you role played even in the most superficial way this game was made for you.  Without an official role play server, Virtue became the de facto one.  That's the home of my all time favorite character, Nox Noctivagus.  He was the hero that opposed Lord Ignotus and his Order of the Fang (I beta tested CoV and spent a large amount of time there.  Of the 50s I had in the game, two were Heros and five were Villians.

 

Over the course of my MMO career this is the game I kept coming back to over and over.  When I was sick of another game and it's community I'd fire up CoH and I always had a blast with the game and the people playing it.  It was one of the only games I've ever played where the community just took you as you were (Jump Kicks and all if that was your thing) and PuGing was actually a pleasurable way to meet new people because no one was too stressed out about getting this or that pixelated prize.

 

And that's the finest epitaph any game can have, I think.

 

Best, most helpful, welcoming and friendly community ever in any game, bar none.

 

/salute all those who played CoX.

One of the funnier ones I can remember was the Dark Wolves in Dark Age of Camelot killing the NPC merchants in a dungeon over and over so their realm mates couldn't buy the equipment the NPCs were selling.  The grief occurred in a dungeon called Darkness Falls which realms fought for control over.  Once a realm had control its members could enter the dungeon and kill the monsters in there for a currency known as seals.  These seals were then traded to NPC merchants at the realm's entrance to the dungeon for armor and weapons that had, at the time, great stats.

 

In DAoC you couldn't kill your realm mates directly, which made griefing a little more difficult.  Someone figured out that you could kill these merchants.  The merchants were little pigmy demons with pot bellies.  The Dark Wolves one night entered the dungeon, declared they were on a holy quest to save their realm mates souls from demonic possession inflicted on them by the demon armor.  When people complained to the Mods, the Dark Wolves answered that they were XPing and that their realm mates were interfering with the Dark Wolves' camp.  Since it wasn't against the rules the Mods had to let it run its course until they quickly hot fixed the game to prevent people from killing their realm's NPC merchant demons.

 

My personal best is from the same game.  In Dark Age back when I played it you needed a group to get anywhere in the game, be it leveling in PvE or fighting in RvR.  The realm would always start a huge chat group in RvR (the PvP part of the game) to communicate the location of enemies or put out a call to arms if a huge attack was on.  Everyone used to join the Chat Group even if they weren't RvRing just to keep track of what was doing on the frontier and shoot the bull.

 

Back then Dark Age had a memory leak in it.  It got progressively worse as you played it.  After an hour of play time it could take up to five minutes to shut the game down.  The longer you played, the longer it took to shut the game down.  Everyone bitched about it so to address the problem the Devs didn't fix the leak.  Instead  they put in a command prompt in the game that let you quit directly from the game to desktop.  You typed /QTD and the game would drop you right to your desk top rather than going through the long /quit and sit period.

 

They instituted /QTD in a patch one day.  My friend and I were talking about the patch when I got an idea.  I bet my buddy ten bucks that I could prove barely anyone reads patch notes.  He took the bet and we both logged in and I joined the RvR Chat Group.  I typed in "Hey, everyone check out this /QTD emote.  It's hilarious!"  Almost immediately about three quarters of the people in the Chat Group crashed out of game.  You could tell by the messages rolling in the chat box that said, "So and so has just left the chat group."  This left the quarter that was still in the game without group mates and they were promptly ganked by whatever mob or player enemy they were currently facing.  Then the people that had crashed out began logging back in to be promptly killed by the waiting mobs or player enemies.  In Dark Age when someone died you saw death spam in the chat box that would say something like "so and so was just killed by so and so" and the spam just rolled on and on.

 

So in the space of about 10 minutes I killed most of the people in my realm in a game where you couldn't kill your own realm mates.  In truth I didn't set out to get them all killed.  I set out to prove no one read patch notes and win 10 bucks.  The realm wide death spam was just a bonus.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "Get it Right".  Honestly I've managed to have fun in just about every MMO I've tried simply because of the people I play with and find in the game.  With that said, I can tell you what my favorites were in each category you listed.

 

Leveling Experience - I think City of Heroes/City of Villains was the best leveling system I've ever been involved with.  As mentioned before the "Debt" system that penalized you for dieing was painful but not overly punitive.  Also it was set up to where you could solo efficiently when you were alone, but you could also group up and get bonuses that made it go faster.  The leveling curve still took time to get through, but the content was enjoyable so it didn't feel like grinding.

 

The World - World of Warcraft probably was the world I enjoyed the most due to size and variety of environment.  WoW contained one of my all time favorite zones in any MMO (Darkshire) and back during Vanilla WoW when I played it took time to get around.  I also liked how the devs had hidden little pop culture references in the landscape as well.  If you took time to notice the world it was really well constructed.

 

Instances - City of Heroes/City of Villains was most enjoyable to me.  Age of Wushu isn't too bad either.

 

Combat - This is a tough one for me.  Pure "Turn Based" MMORPG combat I'd have to say the best I played was Dark Age of Camelot.  The game was full of positional and reactive styles that made you pay attention during the fight, rather than just standing there spamming your best move over and over.  CoH/CoV had a fun combat system as well.  One that didn't have TAB targeting and was Real Time as opposed to Turn Based that I really enjoyed for a short time was Neverwinter Nights and I still get a kick out of Planetside 2.  World of Tanks was fun as well.  I'm not sure if that counts as an MMO though.

 

Customization - Character Creation was CoX hands down.  Blew everything else away.  Star Trek Online was decent in this area as well.  Customization of UI would have to be WoW because they allowed people to mod the UI.  One of my all time favorite mods was "Click" which bound a heal spell to your left mouse button so when you selected someone with your mouse on your healer helper it also cast the spell.  That was nifty.  Star Wars the Old Republic had built in customizable UI which was fun too.

 

Story/Lore - Dark Age of Camelot won this category for me.  Three realms each with their own feel and back story.  Lore permeated the game in a way I've never seen it permeate any other game.

1) "Bads" - (Noun) - A derogatory terms applied to anyone who doesn't PvP exclusively or enjoy PvP above anything else.  A "bad" is anyone who dies in a PvP match.

2) "Zerg" - (Noun) - A derogatory term applied to any group of players that has or may have had one or more players in it than the group of players they just defeated in PvP.  In gaming circles this word is a visual cue that this victory shouldn't even count as a victory because it was allegedly accomplished by sheer volume of players exhibiting no "skill".

3) "Soloability" - This is not even a word.

4) "Skill" - (Noun) - In the end this boils down to is studying the proper posts/websites to determine what gear and abilities are necessary to achieve maximum success, having spent the required amount of time in game to possess the proper gear and abilities on one's hot-bar and to mash the required hot-bar key when given the proper visual stimuli.  All "skill" in MMO combat amounts to this and this alone.

 

I'm not sure I can react with sympathy here.  Instead you'll get two coppers from another author.

 

It sounds to me like you're bummed out about your career choices and you're rationalizing the fact you're running from the problem rather than dealing with it. 

 

It seems that in the past you've used this same technique when it came to gaming; rather than simply state "gaming makes me happy, therefore I game" you used the, "I use gaming to escape from the pain and misery of real life" line.  Now instead of saying, "I'm not happy with my work and career path" you're saying, "I can't do my job because the meanness of the world bums me out."

 

Either you're simply rationalizing the fact you're not happy in your work or you're really bummed out by this revelation that not everyone is 100% nice all the time.  Let me give you the benefit of the doubt and lay it out for you as if you're problem is you're wounded instead of just unhappy with your career path.

 

Do you want me to say you've had some massive insight and that you're the spearhead of a new "Turn on, Tune in, Drop out" movement?  Honestly what would you like me to tell you? 

 

Do you want me to coddle you and lie to you?  Do you want to wrap you up in a big hug and assure you that the world really is a nice place where everything is easy and knowable and everyone can be taken at their word and that Santa Claus really is going to show up with a sleigh full of toys?

 

Or do you want me to agree with you and lie to you?  Would you have me slap you in the face and tell you that the world is a mean nasty place where people are self interested and do things that benefit them almost 100% of the time, even if it means starving, raping and killing their neighbors?

 

Well what happens if I simply look you dead in the eye and tell you the truth is it's both?  What happens if I tell you that whatever you believe made kittens and chocolate and morality possible also made it possible for killers and arsenic and chaos to exist?  What happens if I tell you that whatever you believe in gave you the power to choose which side of the coin will flourish and which will diminish?  What happens if I tell you that you have been given the power to choose which side you'll be on?

 

So some people didn't take the Pope at his word and you're running for the hills?  What happens when you find yourself on a church mission in a place like Rwanda just after four weeks of absolute chaos where 800,000 people died?  What happens when you see people hacking children to death for being from the wrong tribe?  What happens when you see all vestiges of humanity stripped away and hordes of people doing things to one another that makes war look like recess?  What happens when you see things that would make combat veterans turn away and cry in anguish?  What do you do when you see the very face of evil look you dead in the eye and smiles and says, "witness what I have done.  Now what are you going to do?" 

 

Will you dare to stare back or will you buckle and run?  Will you write about your experience and challenge the evil or will you write a wimpy post about how you can't handle the fact that everyone isn't excellent to each other and you need a break?

 

What if I tell you that the very evils that you're lamenting expand when people like you give up their platforms and bury their heads in the sand? 

 

You are an author, a wordsmith and the bard of our times.  You have a platform and the unique opportunity to tell the world what it is you see and expose the stuff you don't like.  You have the power to make people laugh and cry and think and feel and, most important, begin to CONNECT with one another and UNDERSTAND one another.  Abdicating that responsibility by giving up your platform and power is simply victory for the forces you're upset about.

 

So if you're quitting because you're not happy with your career choice, OK.  I get that, but say that rather than rationalizing it.  Everyone is entitled to change their minds.  Just be honest with everyone and yourself rather than pretending to be some wounded butterfly who needs to sail away on a sea of red wine and Sara McGlaughlin songs.

 

However, if you're really are quitting this detail because the mean people made you unhappy then I say suck it up you wimpy little wannabe and get back in the fight.  There are a whole lot of us that have been through a hell of a lot more than you and we're still in there swinging and not looking for pats on the back for it.  Use your posts and your voice to combat the things that are wrong in the world, even on a gaming website.  Help people connect and understand.  That is the privilege and the responsibility that your talent has given you and you should use it early and often on any forum, platform or soapbox you can possibly find.  Accept the mantle and the yoke and wear it proudly.  Don't give up your voice in the chorus of "this is wrong and it needs to be fixed" because you're "bummed". Don't give the mean people your silence, because that is what they really want.

 

In the end, either way you should quit your bitching and get back to work.

 

Here endeth the lesson. 

 

Now go forth and kick ass.

 
 
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Tane
Sorry but players didn't invent instancing, which is the greatest cause of shite pvp.

Shaky,

 

I accept that players didn't invent it, but player whining did.  Players whining about "gettting zerged" and "getting ganked" etc caused the developers to do the easy thing and create 1) instances where the numbers are even and 2) create mirror classes across realms.  Rather than analyze what caused the problems and addressing that, the developers simply attacked the symptoms of the disease because that in the end was easier (and cheaper) than addressing the root cause (the disease itself).

 

The disease is Power Creep.  When someone can get an advantage in PvP through simply gaining items or abilities that others don't have then that is when PvP goes from Player vrs. Player to Loot Score v. Loot Score.  Power creep bleeds skill out of PvP contests and turns it into the card game War.  Ever play War?  Skill doesn't mean anything in the card game War.  All that matters is you have the highest card when you turn them over.  Its the same in MMOs that blend PvE and PvP.  When two characters run into each other Power Creep turns the game into who has the best loot/abilities available when the confrontation occurs. 

 

In DAoC groups would sit around the Border Keeps waiting for their "I WIN" abilities provided by PvE items and abilities to come back up because going into a PvP fight without them was suicide.  The vast majority of people in PvP in any game don't look for good fights.  Instead they're looking for fights they can win, just like in Real Life.  No one looks for a fight they might lose against a giant rugby player.  Instead they want to pick on that kid from the debate club.

 

It was the same in DAoC.  If people in DAoC really wanted good even fights then the most popular battle ground would have been the level 5 battleground, where people weren't even their advanced class yet and loot was extemely limited.  Instead everyone put artifacts on their level 24 toons so they could pwn it up in Thidranki.  The higher the levels, the more goodies from PvE were available through items and abilities and the less skill based combat got.  (Please don't start in with that "pre kiting" stuff.  I know there was some skill, but your group was still sitting at the boarder keep waiting for Purge to come up before you went to fight, so spare me.  I know because my group was just as guilty.)

 

The solution to Power Creep is to keep items available in PvE equal to both sides and make PvP as skill based as possible.  But even then you won't get even fights because people will 1) avoid each other to collect alleged PvP rewards as fast as possible 2) only fight when they have a clear advantage of some kind and 3) cheat using various hack programs.  Just take a run through Planetside 2 if you don't believe me.  People usually just avoid fighting and get Certifications by capturing enemy fascilities.  If you fight you get yelled at because "there are no certs for defending."  For the most part the only PvP occurs when several are running over the few on their way to the next capture point.  And then you run into that Heavy Assault who is immune to damage and can fly.  Meh.

 

So there you have it.  Player whining caused instances and player behavior makes them the only viable alternative.

We can whine and cry about game mechanics but the truth is we players mess up PvP more than anything else.  Take DAoC for example.  All the changes that people complain about today were changes people were practically begging for back before they happened.  People wanted Emain and the Mile Gates gone and along came New Frontiers with no Emain or Mile Gates.  Soon everyone was crying that NF was too spread out and they couldn't find each other to fight and they wanted Emain and the Mile Gates back.  I could go on and on about the changes made to that game because of player requests, but one example will serve.

 

As soon as the competition starts, the whining starts.  Then the devs start swinging the nerf bat and making changes and everything goes to hell in a handbasket.

 

That's probably because the players don't take time to think about the matrix of PvP and exactly what makes something "overpowered".  For example (again in DAoC.  Sorry but everyone points to that game as great PvP so I'll use it.) Midgard Berserkers had a style called Doublefrost that did huge damage, but cost an extreme amount of endurance.  As a result a zerker could use Doublefrost twice or maybe three times a fight before they went completely out of endurance and couldn't use styles anymore.  Sure the damage was big but the enemy healers could keep up thanks to the dramatic fall off in damage after two swings.  As a result most smart zerkers in Midgard didn't spam Doublefrost.  Instead they saved it for killshot swings.

 

Then Midgard got an endurance regeneration spell (Endocrack cast on tanks by Shaman that lasted for 10 minutes) and suddenly zerkers were able to spam Doublefrost over and over and over doing huge damage with no danger of running out of endurance.  Many zerkers were born and most of them used only one style, the extremely high damage Doubleforst style, since they didn't have to worry about running out of endurance.  Suddenly everyone started screaming "Nerf Zerker Damage!" 

 

But Zerker Damage wasn't the problem.  The problem was Midgard combat styles like Berserker Left Axe were designed to be used without the benefit of Endurance Regeneration (Which, for those of you who remember, was to the be the special realm skill of Hibernia like Celerity was to belong only to Midgard), so they were meant to do huge frontloaded damage so Midgard groups could drop PvE monsters quickly before they had to sit down and regen endurance for the next pull. 

 

What was "overpowered" was hooking Zerk Damage and Endurance Regeneration.  However instead of addressing this point, Mythic took the easy way out, listened to the players and nerfed Zerker damage across the board, gutting the class.  The better move would be to modify endurance regeneration in some way to maintain a high endurance penalty for high frontloaded damage, however listening to the Nerf cries was easier and Midgard began its days as the Hind Tit realm.

 

The moral of the story?  Be careful what you wish for.

Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by ShakyMo
It's not a myth.

One need only look at the numerous "remove all pvp" threads you see during every games beta.

 Now now, common sense isn't allowed around here.  The same goes for facts.

IMO, there are both and combinations of them.

I think the reason you see that is that most MMOs have PvP as a kind of "stick on".  The game is designed to be a PvE experience and then late in the development someone decides, "We've got to give the people something to do between PvE expansions, so we'll stick in battlegrounds."  For PvP to be good in a game the game must be designed for PvP from the ground up.  It can't be a developmental "add on" to appeal to gamers who like to PvP.  I would rather have no PvP than afterthough, tack on PvP.

 

I'll repeat what I said in another thread.  I think for PvE and PvP to survive in the same game you have to isolate them from each other as much as possible.  The more they impact on one another the more the balance tips in favor of the most efficient game players, meaning the people who figure out how to get the most benefit for time spent in game or who just have more time to spend in game.

 

To me the thing that made it work in DAoC was the separation.  RvR was entirely voluntary and if you didn't want to RvR all you did was stay in your realm and PvE.  Eventually your toon would plateau in PvE.  You hit a "gear limit" and a level cap where, pretty much no matter how much you PvE ed after that your toon wasn't going to gain any more power.  By the same token, if you wanted your toon to get more powerful in RvR, you had to RvR and get realm ranks and realm points to by realm abilities.  Everyone had access to pretty much the same thing in PvE and RvR. 

 

It all made sense to me.  If I didn't want to get ganked by high level enemies, I stayed in my realm.  I could get to level cap and get geared up without interference, so I could eliminate the advantages of my enemy having more PvE time by simply refusing to engage until I caught up.  Then when I decided to go out on the frontier I did so knowing that the only advantages my enemy held on me were 1) any realm rank advantage he had for being on the frontier more than me and 2) his skill at playing his toon.

 

Where it broke down was the introduction of Trials of Atlantis where if you spent more time PvEing with your level 50 that toon got exponentially stronger in not only PvE, but in RvR as well.  Suddenly the toon everyone had been using in RvR sucessfully for over a year was bashed into a grease spot by a toon that had never seen the frontier before, but was wearing six artifacts and had all ten master levels done (things one did not have to PvP at all to get).  Suddenly PvE rewards had more impact on getting RvR rewards than either 1) skill or 2) time spent in RvR.

 

In my mind for it to work you almost have to design the PvE and PvP aspects of the game separately and keep them as separated as possible.  That prevents low levels from being ganked by high levels (unless the low levels voluntarily expose themselves to it) and it prevents the power creep in PvP that adding more PvE content to the game necessarily involves.

Originally posted by Rusque

I play both, but I prefer MMO's that are not strictly PvP to focus on PvE with PvP as a bonus.

I think the biggest myth in MMO's is open world pvp. There's really two ways it goes:

1. Little genuine pvp occurs, mostly ganking or getting ganked - typically around valuable areas (materials, instances). The common response is to go get your buddies and come back for a fight, but that's the think isn't it? No one actually wants to fight. They want to win. There's a difference. So if their group is not capable of beating your group, they just run off.  Once in a while you experience decent pvp, but the rest of the time is pretty boring.

2. Certain areas become "pvp" hotspots. It's funny that people think that instanced pvp came about because developers are mean and want to ruin your fun! No, people naturally gravitated towards certain main pvp areas. You knew that when you logged on there would most likely be a mass of people punching each other in that area. The only thing instancing did was create even numbered and equal leveled sides (which gankers hate) and take the lag out of that particular region.

QFT

 

The natural upshot of point 1 is the "zerg" accusation.  As soon as someone brings a friend the "zerg" word starts flying and both sides start accusing the other side of "not playing the game properly".  "Zerging" i.e. overwhelming an enemy with sheer numbers, is a perfectly valid military tactic that is still employed to this day.  The only difference is when someone gets zerged in real life they're not around to bitch about it afterwards.  The Coalition zerged the living puke out of the Iraqis in both Gulf Wars.  Both operations were textbook applications of massive force at places where the enemy was weakest.  The rest is just words and gas.  However gods forbid you do this in some random video game.  SHAME!  SHAME UPON THEE FOR GETTING HELP!  Instead you should just take  your beating and come back for another one, just like an extra in a Bruce Lee movie.

 

As to point 2, developers can do whatever they want, but in the end they can't control tacit agreements between "enemies". 

 

For example in DAoC everyone fought in Emain Macha.  There were four zones in each of the three frontiers, but everyone fought in Emain.  Why?  The terrain was generally flat with few obstructions (trees, hills, structures, mobs).  It was like fighting on a golf course.  No one fought in Albion where there were agro mobs everywhere and buildings, trees and elevation changes to mess you up.  And Midgard?  Who wanted to go blind staring at all that white on your screen straining your eyes to differentiate between roaming mobs and enemies?  Nope.  Buy a portal medal and get thyself to the milegate!  You could pretty much run around naked in the other frontier zones for hours and not die to enemy attack unless you went flat stupid and ran up to their border fort or chanced upon an XP group.

 

Another example this time in one of the instances where fighting was encouraged.  WoW Alterac Valley - Between the AFCavers and the unspoken agreement of the enemies to almost complete bypass one another and go kill the enemy NPCs the only PvP that went on in that battleground was when someone logged in late and wasn't in the zerg.  Then they got jumped and ganked by 10 enemies as they ran to catch up to their pack of friendlies.  People were actually yelled at by their own allies for fighting the enemy because it was slowing down the rate at which everyone, including the enemies, was collecting medals to buy epic armor.

 

In the end if a developer wants PvP in their game they almost have to lower the consequences of death to nothing, otherwise only the strongest will PvP and the rest will opt out.  FFA PvP inevitably leads to survival of the fittest as most people don't want to spend their precious gaming time doing corpse runs and finding their stuff gone when they get back to their corpse and then get ganked again.

 

And no one really wants "No Rules" either.  Fansy the Famous Bard proved that a long time ago.  In the end, people want to choose when they PvP, and just like in real life, for 99.999999999% of the people that means when they can win.

I like to have the option of both, but that presents a huge problem for developers.  Its hard to balance powers/actions/abilities for both PvE and PvP. 

 

For example in the earliest days of DAoC, playing a Hibernian meant you were nothing but a target drone in RvR.  At launch Midgard dominated.  We refered to them as "Stungard" because there were no immunity timers on Crowd Control spells.  The healers could just spam stun on enemies and keep them completely incapacitated while the other Mids chopped them to pieces.  My earliest memory of RvR was watching a single dwarf healer stun my group over and over while the two zerkers she was with took turns killing the eight of us.  Mid and Alb didn't have Endurance Regeneration, so one would sit to regenerate endurance while the other killed someone and then they'd trade.  Myself and the other seven Hibs just stood there like statutes until we were all dead.

 

Albs had those chain stunning pets that were murder in RvR as well.

 

Then Hibernian Bards got insta mezz and the balance shifted horribly to the Hib side.  Add in group purge and hibernian tanks were running wild on the frontier.  If they ran with two druids (which almost ever group did) the Hib tanks were purging three times a fight and the heavy tanks, thanks to Determination, were almost immune to Crowd Control spells.  I remember Det 5 tanks referring to mezz as "about as long as a lag burp". 

 

You give a gamer too many experiences like that and they'll hate PvP.  In the history of DAoC there probably wasn't a game mechanic that created more agony and was fiddled with more than Crowd Control.  It seemed like every patch there were two new tweaks to the Crowd Control system.  A decade later and they're still mucking with it.  And this is in a game people argue as the absolute pinnacle of MMORPG PvP gaming.

 

All these mechanics worked fine in PvE, but once it got out onto the frontier they were hideously overpowered.  With that said, however, there was something else for me to do in the game (PvE) until Mythic tried to sort out the Crowd Control  problem.  And most of my most cherished MMO memories from all games come from quiet evenings spent with friends killing mindless AI over and over again.  Lots of people forget that in those early days of DAoC the people who could lead good PvE groups and raids got as much respect as the people who could lead RvR groups and zergs.  My gaming group and I spent hours exploring and pouring over maps of all the zones because when we wanted to be sure that when someone landed in one of our groups they got to see something they'd never seen before, go somewhere they'd never been before or did something they'd never done before be it in RvR or PvE.  Our message was and is still simple. 

 

Anything is fun if you have the right attitude and the company is good.

Personally I think it was the separation of PvE and RvR that made DAoC great.  Before Shrouded Isle the only impact PvE had on RvR was character level and the best armor drops you could get, which was epic armor.  If you wanted to PvE without interruption you could do it in your realm.  Well and good.  You could get your levels and armor without being subject to interruption by enemies.

 

If you wanted to PvE with the excitement of possibly getting ganked by an enemy you could go out on one of the three frontiers.  It gave PvE a little extra pop because you knew when you went out there you were taking your life in your hands and enemies out there could wait until you pulled monsters and then gank you during the fight giving you an XP death and a grave you probably couldn't reach.

 

And if you wanted to RvR you hit the frontiers (meaning you probably ran to Emain) and did your thing.

 

RvR deaths didn't set you back with an XP death penalty.  You could PvE your butt off at level 50 and yet pretty much everyone had what everyone else had when it came to armor and arms.  Once a toon hit 50 and got its epic gear, it was pretty much done as far as PvE was concerned.  There weren't many raids or bosses to kill to get better gear and truthfully if you wanted to make your level 50 toon more powerful then the only way to do it was to RvR and get realm ranks to get realm abilities.  The separation kept things fairly even.  Most folks didn't even PvE with their level 50s because they didn't want to wear out their Epic Armor killing monsters.  Instead we parked our level 50 in a boarder keep and roled an alt to play while we waited for our next run in RvR or the next Call to Arms.  (And if you were a Hib your bound in Tir na mBeo so you could get a horse ride back to the boarder keep when you got killed in RvR.  If you were a Mid you bound in Huginfeld.  I never played Alb before they put the bindstones in the boarder keeps).

 

With Shrouded Isles the separation began to break down a bit.  The new zones added new quests and PvE content that produced items that helped even level 50 toons become more powerful.  Used in conjunction with spellcrafting (the ability to imbue stats on player made armor and weapons) these new PvE items helped all the level 50s maximize their stats and resists.  It took a bit but pretty soon everyone's level 50s had maxed out and were tear assing around the frontier again.  With toons that hit level 50 after SI came out, you simply planned these SI quests and PvE content into your regular leveling from 1 to 50 and the only difference between that toon and the toon that had been RvRing for a few months was realm rank, which you got by doing RvR not PvE.

 

Then Trials of Atlantis hit and the wall between PvE and PvP came crashing down.  We were told that Trials of Atlantis would only make small "linear" changes to level 50 characters.  We were told that Trials of Atlantis wouldn't be necessary to RvR.  Trials of Atlantis added 10 new levels to the game, but instead of being honest and raising the level cap, Mythic called them Master Levels 1 - 10 and you gained them by doing 10 (one for each level) four to twelve hour PvE raids.  On top of that Mythic added Relic encounters where you could get items that had huge bonuses by completeing a task (usually killing some boss somewhere) and then you had to level the item up by doing MORE PvE activities (killing demon type mobs for example).

 

At first most people just dabbled with Trials of Atlantis.  That was until the first group with three High Master Level Mana specced Enchanters templated in artifacts so their stats were completely blown out of proportion set up two or three Power Fonts in a keep's lord room and began to blow entire realms worth of enemies into smoking piles of flesh.  My group used to laugh and call it Focus Pulling Albs (the realm of Albion had the biggest population on our server) and it was fun for about a week.  Our realm ranks soared to previously unheard of heights and we could pretty much shut down any frontier we wanted by hitting a choke point, setting up shop and spamming the "1" key.  Then, frankly, it got boring.  There was no great skill involved beyond the fact that I could do simple math to formulate a template and the fact that the job I had when I first picked up the game and the lack of a family allowed me long hours of uninterrupted playing time.  Once I spent the time it was a simple matter of getting in the right place and pushing the same key over and over until all the people with red names were either dead or running away.  It was like playing in God Mode and for a while people didn't come out to the frontiers to play when we were out.  This complete inequity offended the hell out of people.

 

The most offended were those that had been playing since release (Yo!) and had been RvRing for two years prior to the release of ToA.  Suddenely your level 50 realm rank six whatever that had served you well since 2001 was simply cannon fodder for those that were ML10 and templated with artifacts.  Without doing the Trials of Atlantis PvE you didn't stand a chance in RvR.  So people reacted in one of two ways.

 

Those with the time to do it (remember we're talking about raiding here.  No doing it in nice clean 1 hour bites.  You had to sit at your comp for 4 to 10 hours straight when ToA first came out.  AND you'd better be available when the raid started because there was no catching up once it got rolling.  AND you needed 10 to 25 of your closest friends with you to finish most of these raids.  AND all of this assumes you don't wipe, lose half the people in the raid to Real Life and have to start all over.) hit content in Trials of Atlantis with renewed vigor.  The ground through the raids and ground up their artifacts to template their toons and a few months later they came back to the frontiers.

 

Those without the time quit the game.  In the end that's what got me.  We decided we needed to change toons to make a stronger RvR group (This was the beginning of the age of the Determination Tank) and I decided I couldn't afford the time to go from level 1 to 50 (the average time was 15 to 20 days /played to reach level 50 back then) and spend more time doing Trials of Atlantis stuff.  I had a new family and I just couldn't spend four to six hours a day parked in front of my computer anymore. 

 

Around that time City of Heroes came out and I decided to give that a try since it was much more "casual player" friendly.

 

I know that Mythic made "Classic servers" without ToA and I know they've dumbed down ToA rediculously since I played but the wall between PvE and RvR has stayed broken and to me that was the death knell of the game.  It's possible for a game to have great PvE and great PvP, but as soon as one area crosses over and becomes necessary to be competative in the other area beyond normal leveling up, then the game goes from skill based to a contest of who can afford the Real Life time to plow through the content.

 

Just my two coppers.  YMMV.

I'm holding back, but not because of anything except the fact that over the years since I played DAoC I've gotten burned by the industry with more "pre-order" disasters than I'd care to admit to.  The last MMO I pre-ordered was Star Trek Online and every time I think about getting out my wallet and paying for anything that hasn't even reached Beta yet I get the chills. 

 

Maybe that's kind of cynical of me, but the industry as a whole has left me a little gunshy.

 

By the same token I'm not a huge backer of this game either.  I'm going to have to see more than some concept art and some flowery promises before I'll get happy in da PANCE over anything a game designer says or promises.  Been there, done that, got a tee shirt.

 

Sadly I think a lot of gamers are in the same place I'm in.

What has Mark Jacobs got on Santa Claus?  I can pinch Mark Jacobs.

 

What has Santa Claus got on Mark Jacobs?  Santa Claus delivered and he didn't ask me to front money to gas up the sleigh.

 

Frankly the Kickstarter campaign is a good business move by Jacobs.  Before he spends dollar one or significant man hours on a project he can gauge the interest in it.  This will make it easier to get loans from investors because he can point to hard numbers for a client base.  That will be how CU changes how MMOs are made, if it changes anything at all.  Designers can use KS as a mechanism to gauge interest before approaching investers.  Why guess what the gamers will pay for when they'll tell you up front?  This is better than simple polling because people are required by KS campaigns to put their money where they're mouth is.

 

Ah well.  Santa Claus 4tehwinz0rz!!!11!!!!shifteleven!!!

I find myself enthusiastic about and worried about this idea.

 

As a geek, and therefore, an outsider of sorts, I love "independence".  Anything that steps outside the normal way of doing things is something I'm ready to give half a chance.  The idea of a "grass roots" movement starting the next wave of games tickles my fancy because it seems that we geeks are taking back our own.  Lately everyone seems to want to be classified as a geek, and that makes me (at least) who has been a geek all my life, a bit nauseous.  I mean all those people who wouldn't have anything to do with me now want to be exactly like me.  I guess anyone who finds their "lifestyle" going mainstream feels the same way.

 

World of Warcraft brought an invasion into MMO space.  Quite literally the zerglings came in and suddenly it was hip to be square (Huey Lewis reference) and play a video game online.  That's when the gaming companies started to try make MMOs.  It hasn't gone well and its left those of us who played MMOs in their infancy (when 200,000 subscriptions was a lot) feeling jilted.  For me MMOs were the pen and paper games of my youth come to life and then someone took that and grossly disfigured it into something I didn't recognize.  With all that as a given then yes I'm excited to see where Kickstarter takes us, even if it takes us right back to where we were ten years ago.

 

However, I'm also worried about this because of the amount of imput the playerbase can have.  I've been around gaming long enough to know that gamers agree on exactly nothing.  Witness Mark Jacob's concept.  It's barely passed the drawing board and there are hundreds of posts telling him what people want and don't want in the game.  All of those posts boil down to "I want my favorite part of my favorite game in your game."  To me its a toss up between which is worse;  the suit who pushes an incomplete game out the door or the player base who creates a ten humped camel of a game by claiming ownership of a game by virtue of giving it money to start. 

 

The other thing that worries me is this strange amnesia that Kickstarter has generated.  For example, think about how literally just a few years ago the words "Mark Jacobs" were dirty words to people who played DAoC.  He was the guy who brought us Trials of Atlantis (the event almost universally pointed to by ex-DAoC players as their reason for quitting), the guy who sold Mythic to EA and the guy who brought us the first attempt at what everyone was praying was DAoC 2, Warhammer.  Now out of the blue he dangles Hibernia, Midgard and Albion in front of us again and asks for money and for some reason we're supposed to be willing to shell.  Wasn't it just a few years ago that the Tabula Rasa disaster happened?  Yet a few flowery posts full of promises and a trailer and somehow all is forgotten?

 

My point is the people who are leading us in this bold new direction are the very same people that led us to where we are today; suffering under the yoke of bad games generated by mega companies who are trying to produce the next World of Warcraft instead of trying to do something new and innovative.  And the crowd they are appealing to are the very same people who felt betrayed by those who are leading us in this bold new direction.  Taken in that light I'm not so sure I'm jumping up and down about Kickstarter gaming.

 

Time will tell, I suppose.

 
 
 

From what I've read in this article and the comments it seems Cryptic is relying on the Foundary to compensate for a single linear leveling quest line.  That smells like a recipe for disaster to me. 

City of Heroes had a player made content system.  That degenerated into a powerl leveling tool.  Players simply designed instances that were small maps with lots of mobs to "Kill, Crush, Destroy".  Paragon Studios took measure to prevent that and use of the player made content stopped.  Even the story arcs that people had taken the time to plot and plan out and carefully design weren't played.  People weren't interested in the "story".  They just wanted to level up.

I know Dungeons and Dragons based games have a rich tradition of player involvement and creativity, however that tends to fall by the wayside when people get focused on the "Endgame".  The journey is no longer the "thing" in MMOs.  Now there has to be a goal otherwise why bother playing.  I'm afraid that user generated content will simply be used as an express lane to whatever the "endgame" might be.

Also the last game Cryptic put out was severly lacking in content as well.  That was STO and the aftershocks of that disaster must still shudder around Cryptic.  I know it's making me take a wait and see on a title I would ordinarily be first in line for.

 

@ Pokket - Rejection hurts and that's what happened here.  Those people rejected your friendship in favor of something else (in this case pixels generated by some server somewhere).  It's petty to be sure.  I understand it's upsetting.  So much for the fuzzy part of my post.

 

First, I'm not sure that using your position here at MMORPG.com as a platform to complain about these particular people is appropriate.  This can be viewed in a lot of lights and one of the obvious ones is here is someone elevating the drama in an attempt to gain sympathy and attention.  That doesn't seem likely in your case since you seem to have all the attention you could possibly want, but I'll cite that as just one example of how this can reflect.

 

Second, if anyone out there doesn't like drama, the best way to avoid it is to simply not engage in it.  The response is, "Hey, if you've got to go, then go.  Since we've got some fundamental differences then it's probably best we parted ways."  Every single person in the world can tell this same story.  I'm not sure I can credit you with "speaking out" against some evil in the world when everyone has experienced it and dealt with it.  Drama happens when you make more of something than it is, so be careful before you claim to be fighting the battle for the whole world.  For some reason they felt the need to tell you a fib (that's what this qualifies as.  They didn't steal RL money from you or ruin your relationship with your significant other) so maybe there might have been a vibe or something you were putting out that made them take this course as opposed to the direct, "we're leaving" method.

 

Third, be very cautious with the word "friend".  Just because someone is on your friends list or in your guild in an MMO doesn't make them a friend.  Just because you've heard their voice on Vent or met them IRL doesn't make them a friend.  Shared experiences, shared values and mutual respect and affection make friends.  I have a few friends that I met online, but they didn't become friends in the truest sense of the word until I shared real life experiences from birth to death and everything in between with them.  Now that they are my friends, something as small as them wanting to change guilds because they want something different from a game than I do would not undermine our friendship.  And because of our friendship they know this.  Gaming is a portal to meeting people just like reading groups or anything else.  Once the portal has done it's job of bringing people together then it's up to each of us to do the hard work of vetting and the vetting process is by nature long and discerning.  (This could lead to a discussion of why I think communities in MMO have broken down so thoroughly, but I'm not going to drift off topic).  Besides I don't think you want to impute the bad behavior of a few people to the entire human race, do you?  That makes the world a truly dark place with little to no hope.

 

Warren Buffet has a famous quote about friendship.  It goes, "I know a woman in her 80's, a Polish Jewish woman forced into a concentration camp with her family, but not all of them came out.  She says, 'I am slow to make friends because when I look at people, I have one question in mind; would they hide me?'"  I'm not saying your standards have to be quite that high, but they should be higher than, "I've known them in game for a few years and we talk every night on Vent."

 

I can't say I have a perfect track record in life, but I have developed a paradigm that works pretty well.  I figure everyone out there is like a chunk of rock.  You've got to chip away some of the outer layers to find out what's inside.  Sometimes you find nothing but rock.  Sometimes you find lead.  Sometimes you find silver and, very rarely, sometimes you find gold.  The trick is to keep each in the proper place in your life.  I know a lot of people and I'm friendly with many of them, but I am friends with very few of them.  Sure a friend is someone who will stick in the clutch and back you up, but they also are the people who will tell you things about yourself that you don't necessarily want to hear.  To use a poker term, a friend is someone you'd go "all in" for and they would go "all in" for you.  Simply put be careful who you bet your arse on.

 

So, figure this is like sticking your finger in the light socket when you were a kid.  It hurt, but it didn't kill you and it taught you not to stick your finger in the light socket anymore.  Take it, move on and remember it in the future.  Maybe you're not cut out to be a Guild Leader, or maybe you just don't want the aggravation.  In the meantime remember; Love many, trust few, do harm to none.

Kudos to the OP for a well thought out and intelligent post.

 

I especially agree with #1.  Listening to the playerbase is a sure fire way to get a game into trouble.  Instead developers should WATCH what the playerbase is doing.  For example if everyone is playing class X, then it's a sure fire indicator that class X is somehow advantageous.  If none of the player base are doing public quests, then it's a sure fire indicator that public quests aren't what the playerbase wants.

 

In truth what most of the player base wants is easily defined.  For themselves they want the most reward for the minimum commitment of time and effort.  For their fellow gamers, which are now automatically viewed as opponents instead of comrades, they want the least reward for the maximum commitment of time and effort.  Why?  Because you "win" in a community game if you "pwn" everyone else in the community.  Given that as a starting point it's futile to listen to the players.

 

Which leads to another thing that is killing MMOs.  There has been a fundamental shift in the playerbase.  The first generation of MMO players were former pencil and paper gamers with access to a computer modem.  The recent generation of MMO players grew up playing video games and are used to a game having a story with a beginning, middle and end and then some kind of PvP attached to it.  The first group was about community while the second group is used to being able to finish the game on their own.  That's not right or wrong or good or bad.  It just is a fact.  People playing online games now have different expectations of a game than the people who first played MMORPGs.

 

Finally the game developers keep looking for one ring to rule them all.  Even WoW doesn't do that and it's the closest anyone's ever gotten to that Holy Grail.  WoW is like vanilla ice cream.  Lots of people like vanilla ice cream.  However instead of trying to copy vanilla gaming companies (and gamers) might be better served to adopt the Baskin Robbins approach, meaning there are 31 flavors so find the one that you like.

It's hard to credit anonymous sources.  That goes double when the anonymous sources are saying things that everyone wants to believe in the first place.  Nothing sells like a conspiracy theory and nothing pushes a conspiracy theory like an anonymous source.

 

Like it or not the fact we pay to play these games does not give us an ownership interest in them.  If the people who own the game want to shut the game down for any reason they have every right to shut it down.  "It's not making enough money" is a pretty good explanation of why the game was shut down.

 

I like MMO hotstove as much as the next guy, but this milk is spilt.  I understand it's news, but it seems all we're doing is breading more mistrust and hatred for gaming companies here.  Actually that might make a good article; the love/hate relationship that exists between gamers and game makers.

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