|61 posts found|
General: Fighting Talk: Old vs New MMOs Part IV
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
10/05/10 10:44:33 AM
Talk about a conclusion you coul d see coming from a mile away.
I didn't read all the replies and frankly I quit reading the article after part II because it became obvious where this was going. It was a nostalgia piece through and through. That's all. Now it's come down to "Back when we were first gaming we walked to school, uphill, both ways and we were damn glad to get the beatings from the teacher because we knew it was for our own good! You kids just don't get it!"
After money and in-laws you know what causes the most divorces in the world right now? High School Reunions. People go to them and get caught up in trying to relive the past and it messes up their present and future. One thing about these boards, and internet message boards in general, that you can bank on is that the glass is ALWAYS half empty. I'm as guilty as the next guy for jumping ugly on the latest and greatest. Somehow that has become the indicator of an "intelligent and discerning" gamer and anything less is derided as rabid fanboi-ism. It's become a knee jerk reaction to simply down something because it's new. Maybe if we let the new games be what they're supposed to be instead of trying to shoe horn them into places where they don't fit, like our memories of the past, we'd find out that these new games are actually pretty good and there is a reason that they are sporting good subscription numbers and our old favorites are closed down or on life support.
General: Five Things PAX Should Show Us
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
9/01/10 8:44:26 AM
Personally I'd like a little taste of something from World of Darkness. A video, a screenshot, heck I'd even take a post card. Just a little something to show that WoD isn't sitting on a desk somewhere still in the "ideas" phase.
It's rumored that they'll probably hold their tidbits for the Grand Mascarade, but PAX seems like a good place to give WoD fans a little tease.
PvP has to be apart of the game, not added on top.
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
8/24/10 2:33:23 PM
Game mechanics are important but in the end it comes down to the players.
I played DAoC from release right up to the release of ToA. I didn't quit because of ToA, but it didn't help what I felt was the core issue and that was the shift in community attitude from Realm v. Realm to more of a Player v. Player environment.
Dark Age game mechanics split the PvE and PvP arenas of the game. The PvE areas of each realm were off limits to other realms. However everyone knew that when they stepped through that boarder keep, even if they were only going to PvE (which you could do on the frontier) they ran the risk of encountering memebers of enemy realms who could kill them on sight. So in one game you had PvE and full Kill on Sight PvP.
The PvP and the PvE didn't intersect much. A player's level gained in PvE impacted their performance in PVP. Gear gained in PvE impacted PvP but the items gained in PvE were available to all through regular game play. In that avatars of relatively similar rank had relatively similar gear and no one had a completely optimized avatar. The game wasn't set up to do that. The two sides of the coin existed co-equally and did not intersect in any way that wasn't within control of the individual player. If you didn't feel like you were geared well enough or you weren't high enough rank, then you stayed in your realm and no one messed with you. When you felt you were ready, you joined the party. If you never wanted to PvP, you didn't go out into the frontiers. If you wanted to PvP, you went out onto the frontiers any time you liked and you could even level out there if you liked your leveling flavored with the constant threat of being ganked.
Slowly the developers began to break down that wall between PvE and PvP. First they introduced realm points, used to make a completed toon more powerful by giving them extra abilities. Next came gear that was only obtainable in PvE that made a toon more powerful in PvP (Epic Armor). Then came spell crafting and alchemy with the addition of Shrouded Isles loot and quests, all PvE materials, that allowed people to optimize their toons and make them even more powerful in PvP.
The final nail was ToA where the gear and abilities gained in PvE could make a toon into God Mode PvP. With the right combination of abilities and gear a single group could get inside a keep and hold off an entire realm. As a result of this PvP was elevated to the status of "end game" and PvE became something that had to be endured in order to get to the "end game". Instead of the whole game being an adventure to be experienced it became a simple pathway to the frontier. PvP moved from being something the community did together (Calls to Arms when the ______ inviaded your realm's frontier) to something that groups did and the realm was reduced to simply a set of abilities and powers available to the group.
The great secret to the game is always lost in the telling of it's legend. The secret was that PvE and PvP were separate parts of the game that the players CHOSE to be involved with when it suited them. It was the community that motivated people to participate in the RvR segment of the games by asking all able bodies to respond and help defend the realm's frontier keeps and relics.
As soon as the walls between the two began to break down the playerbase began to favor one part of the game (RvR) over the other part (PvE). One became the Holy Grail and the other became the Dirty Word. No longer did people participate in RvR as a community. They did it to gain individual awards and the game mechanics favored that approach.
So I agree with the OP that a game with PvP in it must have PvP in it's design from it's inception and it can't be stuck on later with duct tape. However I think for most of the playing population there needs to be separation and choice along with community involvement in PvP.
Serious question: is it possible that this game could actually fail?
General Discussion « Star Wars: The Old Republic
8/10/10 9:16:38 AM
The success of World of Warcraft proved this and this alone. What an MMO needs to have large subscription numbers and therefore succeed is a large and rabid fan base that is already built in. The Warcraft franchise and Blizzard had a huge playerbase already established before they put out World of Warcraft. Blizzard and that playerbase had built up a lot of good will which Blizzard then carried over into the making of World of Warcraft. That playerbase adopted and supported World of Warcraft. There was an implicit bargain between Blizzard and that playerbase that went, "Put out a polished and playbel game that meets our expectations and we'll buy and support your game. Blizzard kept up it's part of the bargain by delivering a polished and playable product that fit that playerbase's expectations and then the playerbase kept it's part of the bargain by playing.
Bioware, if it can tap into the large and rabid KOTOR fanbase with SW:TOR, will produce a hit. What do KOTOR fans expect? Story told through NPCs and cut scenes as well as the ability to chose the avatar's destiny. What's SW:TOR got that they're always touting? Story told through NPC and cut scenes along with the ability to chose the avatar's destiny. The only question is if iwill play with the loyal KOTOR following. If Bioware can tap into that audience, they'll do well. If that audience doesn't like it ... Warhammer.
My general sense is that traditional MMO fans will find this as unfulfilling as Warcraft. Why? It's not built to appeal to them. It's built more for an RPG audience that already exists in large numbers and Bioware is trying to turn into monthly junkies.
General: What's Wrong with Freedom of Choice?
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
8/10/10 8:56:56 AM
It's not about hating on "Freedom of Choice". It's hating on the recent trend of games to go to what was heretofor preceived as an "inferior" model. People just don't like change. They're used to MMOs being P2P and therefore any change in that model upsets them.
First off the F2P model does away with the "exclusivity" factor in MMOs. Anyone with a computer can download and play an F2P. It's very accessible and attracts a different crowd. The general bias seems to be the crowd isn't "grown up" meaning since anyone can download it you get a lot of "kids" playing it.
Second the perception is that F2P changes the traditional MMO currency from "time" to "money", meaning that a player does not have to "earn" the uber sword of pwnZ0rz. They can simply buy it from the item shop. From the advent of games it has always been that "time in game" = knowlege, power and rewards. To people who are used to trading the "currency" of time for in game items the F2P paradigm is offensive because we gamers have been told that the "right" way to achieve in games is to spend time in game and have probably adjusted their lives and playstyles to fit into this paradigm. Therefore anything that threatens the P2P model threatens the established order of things and therefore is "bad" to the people who adjusted to the P2P paradigm. Query whether it is more offensive to get "pwned" by a person who can spend 12 hours a day on line or a guy who can plunk down his Visa with impunity.
Also lets face it. No one likes the idea that the guy who is getting all the benefits in real life, such as having a great job and great credit, can use that great job and great credit to get ahead in the fantasy world as well.
Finally there isn't a clear understanding of what the F2P model really is. It's evolved in a relatively short time, but people are still viewing it through the initial experiences. True some games allowed players to simply buy the best stuff, but those games struggle just like games that require someone to spend huge blocks of time in the game. In the end it becomes too exclusive.
Then in the best of the F2P games the items shop is used to sell vanity items and "shortcut" type items like "The potion of 4 hours of double XP!". Also they sell certain "content" such as DDO and if you don't pay then you can't play that area. They allow players to still acquire items using the currency of time, but they also allow people to use their credit cards to "keep up" or "get ahead" in areas that the people spending time will eventually get to as well.
This taps into the persistent and mostly apocraphal belief that it is patently unfair that some nOOb who doesn't play as much as me can log into the game, spend a few bucks and wipe the virtual floor with me. The idea that "better gear trumps skill" is highly offensive to everyone because we all believe we're terribly uber, especially in the fantasy world of MMOs. This complaint is rampant in every game, even P2P games as someone who spends 12 hours a day in the game is "rewarded" with better gear and begins to kick ass, yet people deride their success by saying, "you have no life and no skill. Fight me on even terms and my leet skillz will shine through." This is just as offensive to people as getting mauled by someone who logged on 20 minutes ago and bought themselves the "Two handed sword of 'leet pwnZ0r" and proceeds to maul everyone who's been playing for weeks "learning their characters."
Finally there is the gamer's perception that all MMOs should be about "competition" that prevails in the MMO community at the moment. When people talk about "character advancement" what they really mean is the ability to kick other players around the virtual map either in PvP or in the "Phat Lewts" catagory. It's no longer satisfactory to be part of a community and experience the game through and with that community. Now it is about being at the top of the heap.
Early MMOs were more like renaissance fairs online. Thye communities were strong and the game was more a chat room with swords. Sometime between then and now the idea of being the best became the prevailing attitude and the game became a vehicle not for socializing but for the gamer and the gamer's small group of friends to prove their leet skills. Gone were the days of cooperation and so began the days of isolation. Community was relegated to the purgatory of "General Chat" and even that has degraded. It's amazing how few people log on and actually try and meet people anymore. Pick Up Groups (PuGs) are now considered as something like an MMO root canal because, "People suck at the game."
Yet when I tried F2P games, what did I find? People socializing and an actual community. Why? Dunno. Maybe people didn't feel pressure to "achieve" since they weren't paying for the game.
Me, I don't give a hang. I figure on a subscription game I'm going to plunk down 200 to 300 dollars per year. Anything less than that is a bargain to me. After all, nothing ventured ....
General: What's So Good About Hardcore?
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
7/26/10 12:14:38 PM
"Hardcore" to me has become a description of a playstyle as opposed to a description of a game. A game may support the "hardcore" playstyle, but I'm not sure "hardcore" can describe a game itself as if you adopt my view then any game can be "hardcore". "Hardcore" in my opinion has several aspects. The simple answer is I have a tough time describing it, but I know it when I see it. With that said I'll try to put some boundaries in there for a definiition.
First I recognize "hardcore" as doing that one aspect of a game to the exclusion of all else that does not advance you in that chosen aspect. For example if you are a "hardcore" PvP player then you will ignore all aspects of the game that do not advance your goal of being ranked among the top PvP players in the game. A hardcore PvP player will view PvE as at worst a waste of time or at best a way to obtain trinkets and gear that advance them in their PvP pursuits.
Second I recognize "harcore" as a belief that the game must "punish" those who fail to achieve the goals of the chosen aspect of the game. It's much more sanguinary than "Oh, I got kicked to the bindstone." "Harcore" means that victory can gain you something tangible and that loss costs something tangible. I think everyone would agree that corpse looting is a "harcore" mechanic while a simple ghosted corpse run is on the other side of the scale. Getting locked out of a PvE instance for a month if you die to the final boss would be considered "hardcore" whereas a simple "Go back to the start of the crawl" might be considered less so.
Third I recognize "hardcore" as a commitment to spend a disproportionately large portion of one's game time on that particular game mechanic. A "hardcore" raider in WoW spends his or her game time on running the instances or preparing to run the instances. "Nights off" are rare and it requires a personal commitment to endure the farming and preparation and be present for the raids. The player's enjoyment of the game is derived from fulfilling the personal commitment.
Fourth there is an "exclusivity" or "elitism" element to "hardcore" that blends in with the commitment requirement of "hardcore". No eveyrone can be in the club because if they are then the idea of "hardcore" breaks down. It's not "hardcore" if everyone who logs on for 30 minutes a week can do it. To be in the "Hardcore" playstyle club the player must show the commitment to that aspect of the game and may be derided for not putting in the commitment those that espouse the "hardcore" doctrine do. Use of catch phrases like "L2P" and "noob" and "bads" and "zergers" and even the term "casuals" can be indicators of a "hardcore" playstyle. "Hardcore" playstylists tend to wined up grouped together so long as it furthers their goal in the chosen mechanic. Like any other game mechanic guilds or friends that do not further the goal of the individual player are quickly discarded in favor of others who's commitment matches those of the "hardcore" playstyle player.
Fifth there is a "study" aspect to "hardcore". A "hardcore" playstyle requires not only the commitment in game, but a commitment outside of the game as well that is measured in study of game mechanics or whatever aspects of the gmae that someone intends to be "hardcore" in. "Hardcore" inevitablely requires "Min/Maxiing" as any game mechanic that does not further the players goal in the chosen area must be either adjusted or discarded. The player must have "the" spec and "the" gear etc necessary to be tops at that chosen aspect.
Finally there is a "Phyched Up/Burnt Out" cylce aspect. Since hardcore requires high commitment, energy, time and sacrifice it inevitably leads to two things. The newest members of the "hardcore" playstle club have the most energy, drive and highest commitment while those who have been at if for a while are subject to a "burnout" where they no longer wish to be "hardcore" anymore. At this point there may be attempts to reconnect with old "non harcore" friends or reroles to new servers for a "fresh start". After a time a player might return ot the "hardcore" playstyle, select another area to be "hardcore" in or simply reject the "hardcore" playstyle all together.
Within those parameters any game can be considered "hardcore" so long as it supports that kind of playstyle.
General: Cult of (Multiple) Personality
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
5/10/10 10:50:17 AM
Every community has it's elitists, it's drama queens and it's asshats. Being on an "RP" server isn't an innoculation against things which exist in the MMO community as a whole. So I can't see calling out the RP community solely for what exists in the community as a whole. That's not to say that the RPers don't have unique issues.
The greatest damage to RP comes from homoginization. MMOs are generally built around combat and to participate in the content everyone has to be a fearless adventurer. No one is allowed to be deathly and irrationally afraid of worms to the point where they can't participate in the content. So everyone is a battle hardened warrior of some kind who always casts the right spell/buff/heal at the right time or they'd find themselves sitting around with nothing to do in game. Not even role players are willing to put up with in game incompetence, be it real or feigned. Try RPing a crafter for once.
Also you've got more jilted/unrequited lovers, wrongly accussed and wounded soul characters than you can shake a stick at in the role playing community. Too many people seem to think that Role Playing is spewing a long tale of woe to everyone they meet. Everyone is up to scheming for world domination or foiling some nefarious plot for world domination. Murder, rape, kdnapping and death are every day occurances, sure, but they don't happen to the same people every single day of their lives. But that's what you get in the RP world. How about a nice RP session about eating your favorite breakfast or on how pretty the flowers are today? Give the huge events a rest for a week.
Then there is the incessant plague of vampirism that blights the RP world. I'm sure it's only gotten worse with the advent of Twilight. Thanks to that particular series the Vampire has been toppled from the lofty perch of baddest mother to stalk the night down to angst ridden emo kids who fall in love with their food. (Thank the gods the Wolfman is still out there tear assing around the woods at night killing the unwary, spiking babies off the ground and generally ruining everyone's sleep.) But where ever you go on whatever server you're bound to run into the vampire (probably spelled VampYre) squad walking around IN BROAD DAYLIGHT! Every other vampire should be required to fall on a stake and re roll as a tax collector or a dentist. You know ... something thar really scares the bejebus out of everyone.
Then there is the group who gets into RP for the sake of trying to get some action. You know cyb0rz. The crew who runs around with their virtual fly unbuttoned. Yet somehow this whole lascivious crew runs riot and no one gets pregnant or gets a social disease.
Finally there are the emotional black holes who are into RP to deal with their own real life issues. They suck everyone around them into their vortex of despair and moodiness. The wounded butterfly crowd convinced that the world is responsible for their lot in life and instead of escaping it in game they bring it in game under the guise of role playing and use every dungeon crawl as a group therapy session. A good rule of thumb is if your character is dealing with the same kind of angst you're dealing with in Real Life, delete the character and start over. I know gaming is cheaper than therapy, but come on.
I'm sure there are a bunch I missed. However before anyone gets to feeling at all superior remember that these types exist in all facets of the community and there is a good chance you've been in at least one of these catagories more than once and probably this week.
Remember the days when you did content for fun?
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
4/27/10 8:49:48 AM
Things have evolved in the MMO world. Some for the better and some for the worse.
First off I don't think it's right to blame WoW or any other game. I think the root cause is that we players got caught up with the idea of "endgame". Somewhere there was a shift from communtity and leveling being what the game was about to community and leveling being something that has to be endured to get to the endgame (raiding or PvP etc). I think the change happened when we players became obsessed with the rewards and the length of the leveling tredmill.
Think of the leveling tredmill like a daily workout. There are people in the world who love their workouts and build their days around them. Then there are the rest of us who view the workout as something we must endure to get on to other things. It's not my favorite part of the day and honestly I wish it was shorter. Along come people who try and sell me workout machines and routines that they claim will give me the same work out in less time. If I believe them, I might try it.
If you don't view the leveling tredmill as fun, you want to spend as little time on it as possible. That's just human nature and it isn't wrong. It also turns the argument over who changed first, the Devs or the Players, into a kind of chicken vrs. egg argument.
This is coupled to a persistent belief that a player must somehow be "rewarded" for every minute they spend in game. By "rewarded" I mean everyone seems to think they should get some kind of pixellated feedback in the form of a pretty new shiny or an some kind of movement on a progress bar simply for showing up. Thus the leveling tredmill is literally stuffed with carrots and cakes to keep the players moving along.
The truth of the matter is that we playes are responsible for our own good time. If we subscribe to the theory that we have to blast through lower level content to get to something else the chances are that we will view the lower level content as more of a nuisance than anything else. The other option is to learn to love the workout. As with all life how a person games is a simple choice to stop and smell the roses a bit. Devs are simply respondnig to market forces and if more players would chose to view all the content of a game as equal then Devs will respond.
If you think about it the idea of an "endgame" is antithetical to an MMORPG. MMORPGs are about persistent worlds to be explored and experienced and by definition that has no "end". Actually it is us players that choose to value one part of a game more than another and refer to it as "the endgame".
As I look back on my MMO career which is now nearly a decade long and spans more games than I care to admit to the best times I've had in any game were spent with other people, either strangers or friends, doing something that was pretty simple, repetative and probably silly. They were times when we bent the game mechanics to our will and made the game fun for ourselves and it can happen in any game regardless of whether it is a "sandbox" or a "themepark". It just took a little imagination. In the end that is the key, isn't it.
This game has been riding the hype cycle since it was announced. That hype cycle comes from the developers who are trying to whip up interest in their game in a market that is 1) getting saturated and 2) dominated by one game that shows no sign of going away. But here is the problem with the Hype Cycle. It can backfire and in this case it did. It blew up in Cryptic's face like a warp core breach. Why? There are several reasons.
First stop viewing this in a vaccuum. Look at the state of the MMO industry as a whole at the moment.
You've got a player base that is pretty restless at the moment. The playerbase of MMOs has been badly burned by the turkies that have been foisted on them as MMOs recently. It's caused a lot of rancor and, rightly or wrongly, it's gotten to be an "us" vrs. "them" mentality. It's a general perception that developers and development companies are trying to shove crap down the throats of the gaming public and as a result the gamers now completely mistrust the developers and the development process.
Now lets focus a little more on Cryptic themselves. Cryptic basically turned STO beta testing into nothing but an extended advertising campaign. They used it as a way to accelerate the hype surrounding a game building toward launch. Cryptic basically sold closed beta spots in STO by telling people "Buy a lifetime subscription to Champion's Online and we'll put you in Closed Beta for STO!" Maybe I'm just cynical but that seems a little cynical on the part of Cryptic, using the hype for STO to drive sales for CO. Maybe it's good business, but it can definately leave a bad taste in consumer's mouths.
And lets not underestimate the impact of that little tid bit. Cryptic Studios recently released Champions Online and it was something less than a raging success. Now they've sold people lifetime subscriptions to CO so they can log into closed beta and find out that they don't want to play STO either. I can't say I'd blame those people if they had something foul to say if STO didn't exactly floor them.
Add this to the fact that Star Trek might be one of the most iconic IPs available. People are wild about Star Trek. It's become a piece of Americana. A lot of people feel vested in this and if someone doesn't, in there opinion, do justice to Star Trek then by gods their going to let that person know it.
Now comes the members of Cryptic Studio spewing damage control with classic doublespeak, vague statements and promises to make it all better. Doesn't it defy credulity to imagine that anyone would believe the crappy line that, "well Klingons should be PvP centric" when Cryptic has been touting how wonderful it's Genesis PvE content is. Let me translate this into a language someone who isn't in the business can understand and maybe it will make sense why everyone is up in arms. "If you buy the game you can either play one race and have access to all the content, or you can play another and not have access to the content. Either way you pay the same amount for the box and the subscription." Then after that they have the nerve to say, "Oh, you want some of that too? Well just tell us what you want and we'll put it in because that's the wonderful thing about MMOs!" And this is the final slap because when you have "haves" and "have nots" classically the "have nots" want what the "haves" have and if you ask the "have nots" what they want they're going to scream, "Dummy we want what you gave the other guy! Aren't you the developers? Aren't you getting paid to figure this out? Why do I have to ask for what the other side got without asking?"
Add all this together and you've got a nice foundation for a PR disaster. Say what you want, but against this backdrop a development company and every other development company has to expect problems if they're not going to deliever the goods originally advertised. Maybe, since everyone is so keen on copying Blizzard, they should follow the Blizzard model and not release something before it's ready to be exactly what Blizzard and it's customers expect it to be.
So excuse me if I don't get all weepy and chastened by the predictions of this article. In my opinion for too long we gamers have settled for increasing hype of decreasing quality and if Cryptic is getting kicked in the wallet because they failed to see what is so plain to everyone else then that's their business SNAFU. In my opinion people in the media that cover the genre have been softballing this stuff for too long and have been complicit in driving the hype cycle for the studios.
And now this article tells me, "shut up, nOOb. You should be glad for the scraps they throw you"? I don't get it. What are you pissed because we gamers are not playing our roll in driving the hype cycle to suck other gamers into these vortexes of bad games and just sitting down to another night of half baked and half produced gaming? You're kidding right? Did you even think about it? Try this analogy on for size. If you sit me down to a nice steaming pile of horse apples am I going to just eat them with a big grin on my face? Hell no! I'm going to say, "Hey those are horse apple and I won't eat them" and then I'm going to tell my friends, "Hey don't go in there! They are serving horse apples and what's worse, even though they game me free horse apples, they expect you to pay for them!" They half baked up a load of crap and served it and when someone says, "hey, that's crap" you say, "Shut up fool! They'll stop letting us taste the crap for free!" Well, pardon me all to heck if I think you've eaten one to many horse apples for your own good.
And so my answer to this article is "SO WHAT?" So what if gaming developers stop putting out press releases. So what if they stop letting players do the beta testing. I guess I won't have to eat any more horse apples then. Oh darn. Seriously though something has got to change and maybe that's just the change that's needed. Maybe these changes wouldn't be so bad, because it will certainly slow down the hype cycle surrounding games that lead to high expectations and raging disappointment.
How's that for nerdrage? Now you go have yourself a sparkling weekend as well.
Star Trek Online: Exclusive: Jack Emmert Talks Klingons
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
12/18/09 10:46:26 AM
I'm just trying to picture the meeting going on at Cryptic right now when the call comes in from Activision and Atari.
Atari - "So let me get this straight. We gave you how many millions of our dollars and a can't miss IP and you give us what? You give us a game that is losing subscriptions before it's even launched?"
Cryptic - "Well you see time got tight and ..."
Atari - "Ok, you know what? Time is short. We've only got a month and a half to release. Lets skip the song and dance routine. Lets get to what counts. What are you doing to remedy the situation?"
Cryptic - "Well we're hoping gamers will play anyway and then we'll add the content they're asking for."
Atari - "So you're hoping they'll hang in with the game until you give them the game you said you were going to make with how many millions of our dollars and a can't miss IP?"
Cryptic - "Ummmmm ..."
Atari - "Did you guys screw up this bad on your own or did you have to bring in some consultants to help you make this big a mess of it?"
Cryptic - "Did we mention that we have both space based and away missions in this game?
Atari - "Oi!"
Man this situation is so weird I'd almost accuse them of making it up. Who you've really got to feel for is the people that bought a lifetime subscription to Champions Online to get into Closed Beta for Star Trek Online, only to get hassled about getting into Closed Beta, finally getting into Closed Beta and realizing that they don't want to play either CO or STO. This is on the verge of becoming one of the most epic scams perpetrated in the history of MMOs and it's being carried off by a development studio!
I'm not sure "hate" is the right word. Truthfully the game is pretty good. I think what people "hate" about it is the blind loyalty that it engenders in so many who have never tried anything else in the MMO genre. A times it seems like masses of people consume it simply because they've been told it's the best and they don't need to try anything else.
I always say WoW is like vanilla ice cream. If you've never had ice cream before and someone hands you a cup of vanilla ice cream you're like "wow! This stuff is great!" Vanilla is that flavor that everyone can eat. However some people have sampled other things and they've decided they prefer Rocky Road. The trouble comes when someone says, "Hey, you've got to try this Rocky Road! It's fantastic!" and the response they get is, "Why would anyone every want anything except vanilla, you rube?"
In the end it's like hating Microsoft, the big bad bully in the room that everyone resents, especially when everyone else who comes along tries to copy the bully by making more vanilla in an attempt to woo away the vanilla eating crowd. People who like other flavors get to feeling like the selection is being limited due to the mass success of vanilla.
Now I want ice cream.
I wanna talk holds and stuns in pvp games and a little stealth
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
10/29/09 9:08:00 AM
The trouble with CC in MMOs is the CC is designed for use in PvE. Once it gets into PvP the duration is usually too long. It also creates a lot of problems in PvP when toons that do a lot of damage have access to CC.
I've always thought CC should be limited to a defensive purpose, meaning it should only appear on support toons as a way for support toons to get themselves out of trouble. This prevents ranged damage dealers from incapacitating enemies from afar and then burning them down and it prevents metee toons from incapacitating targets and hacking them into little pieces with impunity. It shouldn't be a "BAM! Now you have to stand completely still for a minute and do absolutely nothing until we decide to kill you" type of thing. I don't consider it skill to win a fight simply because you saw the other guy first and, therefore, were able to make him completely unable to defend himself.
CC in MMOs should be limited to point blank area of effect roots and snares that are short duration (10 seconds) and break on damage. This would allow the support toon to get itself out of trouble, but also leave the CCed toons to defend themselves a bit.
The trouble is with the trend towards "soloability" (is that even a word?) in MMOs you have lots of toon classes that can do damages and have access to CC so the fight usually comes down to who sees whom first and who lands their CC first.
What WoW has done for the world of MMOs
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
10/28/09 9:03:42 AM
MMOs were already starting to stagnate before WoW. Before WoW everything that came out was anti-EQ, but still based on the EQ model. Truth is there hasn't been anything new under the sun since long before WoW came out.
What WoW did do was breathe some new life into a stagnating genre. It brought in hordes of new players and raised the bar for playability and customer access. If you're going to evaluate WoW in terms of the MMO genre, WoW did more good than harm.
If you don't like WoW that's your business. I'm not it's greatest fan ever, but here is the simple fact. WoW is just like vanilla ice cream. It's not everyone's favorite ice cream, but everyone will eat it if there isn't another flavor around they prefer. Only those of us who were around before WoW say things like "WoW killed MMOs", but if we really look at it MMOs were going no where fast even before WoW.
Originally posted by RoosterNash
Please go on about PVE griefing. I've never played a PVE realm so I'm as ignorant as one could be in that respect. What is it that a person does to grief so many at one time?
And there are differences between ganking and griefing in my humble opinion, but I've already shared briefly on that.
Rooster, the best example I can cite to you was done by a guild known as The Dark Wolves on the Merlin server in Dark Age of Camelot. I don't know if you played that game so a little background is necessary.
In Dark Age there was a dungeon known as Darkness Falls. In that dungeon the mobs dropped a certain piece of loot known as "seals". A player could then trade in these seals to demon looking NPC merchants near the entrance of the dungeon for armor and weapons. People used to flock to this dungeon for that very reason as it made getting gear a little easier than just hoping for the random drop from other mobs outside the dungeon.
The members of the Dark Wolves figured out that they could attack and kill the NPC merchants in the dungeon and keep their own realm mates, people who were doing PvE exclusively, from getting items from the NPC merchants. So one night as a guild event they went into Darkness Falls and repeatedly killed the NPC merchants while proclaiming that they were doing God's work by purging the world of demons. When the GMs were summoned by the frustrated realm mates who were trying to purchase things from the NPC merchants but couldn't, the Dark Wolves argued that they were merely XPing (since it turned out that you got experience for killing the NPC merchants) and the frustrated realm mates were encroaching on the Dark Wolves' camp. In the end the GMs simply left after deciding the Dark Wolves weren't really exploiting any game mechanics (since the game allowed players to kill the NPC merchants get XP for the kills) and the Dark Wolves spent the rest of the evening killing the NPC merchants, shouting about how they were saving the souls of their realm mates by keeping them from buying demonizing armor and keeping their realm mates from getting items from them. During the next patch cycle Mythic quietly slipped in a patch note stating that players could no longer attack and kill their realm's NPC merchants in Darkness Falls. While they never said it, this was obviously done to stop the Dark Wolves and the countless copy catters that followed from doing this kind of thing over and over.
Now that is griefing on an epic scale in a strictly PvE environment. They literally griefed their whole realm (at that time close to a 1000 people) at one time while doing PvE. They even posted screenshots of the hordes of angry tells they were getting during the event. In fact that's griefing on a scale I don't think can be achieved in a strictly PvP environment.
In fact it's probably easier to grief large amounts of people in PvE because of grouping opportunities. Think about WoW and 20 to 25 man runs in dungeons. Each member of the raid is just one Leroy Jenkins moment from griefing 19 to 24 more people by (1) ending a 3 hour dungeon crawl in seconds and (2) insuring that the rest get no loot.
To me Ganking is less premeditated than Griefing.
Ganking is part of the incidental flow of gaming in an FFA PvP environment. It's going to happen and everyone pretty much accepts it. If someone can't handle a little random and senseless violence then they probably shouldn't be on a PvP server to start with. Ganking is kind a kind of "hazing" that any member of a PvP community should expect.
Griefing, on the other hand, implies an intentional and premeditated act to spoil another gamer's game time. I seen all kinds of griefing in my travels in MMOs. I might not be able to define it exactly but I know it when I see it and it always implies an intentional act does specifically to spoil another gamer's fun. I'm keeping this in the PvP context because that is how the question is posed, but I have to say that some of the most epic griefing incidents I have seen have been in a pure PvE environment and involved literally hundreds of "victims", usually at one time.
Why does it happen? Probably for the same reason that anything happens in life. People have all kinds of justifications for all kinds of bad actions in life. At least the consequences in the cyber world are minimized, which probably has something to do with why it happens. It's also a way for someone to feel powerful. It's also a way for someone to feel superior. The anonymity of the situation probably has something to do with it as well. If you put people in a situation where there are minimal repercussions and a cloak of anonymity you'll get all kinds of acting out. Frankly at times I'm surprised at how rare griefing really is given the environment of MMOs.
I don't think it's any more prevalent today than it has been in the past. In fact I'm sure that developers put more time and effort into placing limits on griefing than they ever did back in the earlier days of MMOs. In the end it happens because someone feels the need to pick on someone and that happens in life, right, wrong or indifferent.
When does Ganking cross the line into Griefing? That's in the eye of the beholder.
I too am guilty of the random killing spree that makes people go "huh?" I'm always off exploring areas of the games I play that have nothing to do with quests. I just want to see it. Games today seem so linear compared to the old school games and it's just a habit with me to try and get off the beaten track and find better hunting. Subconsciously I'm still looking for that fresh "camp bonus" you'd get in old school DAoC for finding a group of mobs that hadn't been killed in a while.
And I tell this part to my shame. I still have a big three ring note book full of notes on quests, specs, items, zones and dungeons from DAoC circa 2001 - 2002. I can track the path I took leveling my first character from 1 to 50, a Celt Champion, through Hibernia by reading those notes including getting his epic armor from that gods forsaken Path of Essence Quest. I haven't played that game for 4 years but for some reason I can't bring myself to throw it out.
Another thing I do is as soon as I log on I start looking for a group even though I know a group isn't necessary. That's one old school habit I'll never lose and it's become a reflex even in games where I can solo from start to finish, such as CoX.
To answer the original question, No.
Dark Age players are famous for crying for something, getting it and then crying for the old thing back. I'm an ex Dark Age player and I know a lot of ex Dark Age players and to a man we all agree that Dark Age in it's glory days was good, but none of us are coming back for DAoC 2 or Origins or anything like it. Why? Because we know it won't be the same and we've moved on. If they were going to do a sequel they should have done it when they had the player base to transfer to it.
Dark Age is the ghost of MMO past and people who think that it can be a force in today's MMO industry are just whistling past the graveyard. Out of respect for what DAoC was EAMythic should just pull the plugs out of the walls and let the ghosts of DAoC rest in peace.
Rabbid Fanboys! Every game has them which ones are the worst?
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
8/25/09 5:13:48 PM
Dark Age of Camelot fanbois hands down and far and away. Telling them that Dark Age wasn't all that is like whacking a hornet's nest with a short stick. They're also of a completely different stripe than any other fanbois of any game that I've encountered in my travels through many MMOs including DAoC. They are true addicts in every sense of the word; smoking the crack as greedily as they can, but all the while complaining about the quality of the crack.
Unlike Fanbois from other games, who will never say a bad word about their game of choice, DAoC fanbois are constantly bitching and whining about this or that game mechanic that is in the game. However if anyone else dares say anything about the game, even if they're agreeing with the fanboi's bitching and whining, the fanbois will suddenly jump ugly and defend the Holy DAoC as the very height of MMO development. Once they've run off the intruder the Fanbois will go back to bitching and whining about the game.
They also demonstrate a love/hate relationship with the game. They're constantly pointing out what should be changed, what needs buffed or nerfed, what should be added or subtracted from the game or simply begging for DAoC 2. No where will you find a group of fanbois so cynical about the game and the company producing the game, yet doggedly hanging on to either "the glory days" or praying for a miracle wherein DAoC 2 is produced. They've literally convinced themselves that if the devs would just listen to the fanbois and do what the fanbois want everyone who ever had a DAoC account would resubscribe and it would be grand. The game has spiraled downward to the point where they've had to cluster all the servers just to get a viable playing population (about 3000 to 3500 in prime time), yet the fanbois are convinced to absolute certainty of three things; 1) the game in it's current state is nowhere near as good as it was "back in the day" 2) that all EA Mythic has to do to get hordes of people to resubscribe is to simply roll back all the expansions and patches (which contained the things the fanbois whined for before they were instituted) to some magical point between release and the release of the Shrouded Isle expansion and 3) that no other game in the history of mankind had any kind of PvP or RvR that could hold a candle to the PvP/RvR in the most holy Dark Age of Camelot.
A curious lot the DAoC fanbois. The game is on the verge of extinction yet they still fervently believe they are one patch and an apology (they're the only Fanbois I've ever seen that seem convinced that the people who brought them the game owe them some kind of an apology) away from eternal greatness. They take the cake.
In a game that is designed to be "massive" as most MMOs are, you cannot avoid having a "zerg" without some kind of instancing. Games that are designed around large numbers of people playing at once simply cannot avoid having a large pack of people running around in PvP.
The other trouble is most MMOs reward time in game with levels/abilities/gear. The game will automatically get stratified into the haves and the have nots. That leaves the "have nots" with a choice. Get repeatedly farmed or find a group big enough to compensate for the gap in levels/abilities/gear between the "haves" and the "have nots".
Truthfully I have not met too many MMO gamers that are really looking for good fights. What most really want is to get set up and have their enemies charge at them like extras in a Bruce Lee movie; preferably one at a time or in a small enough group that they can be killed. Somewhere out there is the magical number that represents the tipping point where there are too many attackers for the "hero'" to handle and that number is denoted by the word "Zerg". To someone who is solo, 4 enemies could be a zerg.
In the final analysis, be careful what you wish for. The Dark Age community tore itself appart along the lines of "8 Mans" and "Zergers". Eventually the "zergers" left and now the game can barely muster 3500 players at prime time. The game is so close to implosion that Mythic is merging all the servers and resorting to desparate measures to try and lure players back to the game. Once the "zergers" leave the game, there really isn't an MMO anymore since there isn't a population that can sustain the game without the "zergers". Then again no one is exactly sure who is a "zerger" just like no one is exactly sure what a "zerg" really is.
All in all, the oldest and most successful military tactic in human history is "firstest with the mostest." To expect people not to use it is unrealistic.
The BEST and WORST community you have experianced.
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
8/09/09 10:37:58 AM
Best - City of Heroes, Virtue Server. From the launch forward City of Heroes stands out probably because in the beginning it didn't have anything in the way of loot or an economy, so there wasn't any focal point for drama. Even now since the introduction of loot and an economy the butthead quotient is very low.
Worst - Warhamer just because there really wasn't a community. Just a bunch of people pushing to get to max level so they could try and take on the world with their little group. WoW community wasn't brilliant but at least you could turn it off by turning of the chat channels. WoW wasn't really an MMO in my eyes. It was an RPG/FPS with optional community content.
Honorable mention in both catagories - Dark Age of Camelot. Dark Age was my first MMO and the one I played the longest. From release to the Tragedy of Atlantis expansion it was a very good and tight community. After ToA the community disappeared and it became all about "8 Mans" vs. "Zergers" and that great community turned on itself and ate itself. The community went from open and friendly to insular, bitter and peevish. Then those same insular, bitter and peevish gamers went to Warhammer are started bitching when Warhammer wasn't DAoC2. Warhammer's community never really had a chance. And they're going to flame this post because I have dared to insult the Almighty Dark Age of Camelot.