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All Posts by Disdena

All Posts by Disdena

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1068 posts found
Originally posted by Axehilt

Without mods, it's definitely a themepark.  Because you can't really manipulate Skyrim's world and once you're done riding the rides (consuming all the content) then you're done.

With mods, yes it's a sandbox.  Especially for the mod creators, but also for anyone who customizes their Skyrim with exactly the elements they want.  Although in the latter case there's certainly a spectrum between the artist who uses paints created by others to create something truly their own, and a person who just downloads a bunch of google images and creates a collage of art that is predominantly the creation of others.  So just installing one big conversion mod hasn't really turned the game into a sandbox for that player.

We don't really need a new term.  Since a sandbox is about sand (malleable game elements) it's fundamentally a "freedombox".    While the denotion between sandbox and themepark isn't always 100% clear, it doesn't have to be: these are genre-like definitions.  Nobody sits around questioning whether WOW is a first-person shooter just because there are a few sequences where you're shooting things from a turret.  And nobody considers WOW a sandbox just because things like the Auction House are very player-driven.

If we needed a new term it would be "open world PVP".  That's the most common way sandbox is mis-used, with players thinking that's what sandboxes are about.

Okay, I have to cut you off here. The topic is about whether players of sandbox games get overwhelmed by choices. It's clear that your definition of sandbox, no matter how much you enjoy explaining it, is not the type of sandbox that's being discussed here.

I can't pretend like I have proof that the majority of people discussing sandbox MMOs use a certain definition of sandbox, but the author of the article linked in the OP clearly is using a different definition than you are. Case in point: she alludes to the fact that Skyrim is a sandbox game, and she's not talking about mods when she says it. She's referring to the fact that a player who does not understand sandbox gameplay may stop playing the game after plowing through the main story quest. This observation doesn't make any sense if you define sandbox games as those with malleable game elements. There's no point in insisting upon another definition, because that would invalidate the central premise that's being discussed.

So let's not get sidetracked over a definition. Even if you feel it's a misuse (and by the way, who died and made you Merriam and/or Webster?), the author is treating the sandbox genre as one in which most or all of the gameplay is undirected—that is, you do it because you want to, not because the game instructs or incentivizes you to do it. With that in mind, can having too much choice and too much freedom in a game like that have a negative effect on the player's experience?

Originally posted by Sagasaint

I get that. I just cant make the connection between that and "having fun"

 

to me it sounds like getting the boot, regardless of how much one was previously enjoying the game before the proverbial "wall". it doesnt seem like players are in control of when they stops playing the game.

 

so, if someone was having fun and all of a sudden the game becomes hostile enough towards him that he feels compelled to abandon it, no matter how much he wanted to stay....what motivates someone to repeat that same experience?

 

I dont understand people like nariusseldon. its like watching the first 30 minutes of a movie and then getting kicked out of the cinema...and then again...and again....and again....seriously, that sounds enervating to me.

 

but of course, different strokes for different folks, and if that works for him, Im happy for him. but still, I cant understand him.

Similarly, I can't understand people who loathe levelling up and view it as a "grind". There are people who are so enthralled by the promise of a fun endgame that they'll slog through a grind that they claim to hate. For some of these players (not all, but some), if they can get through it faster or easier—either by cheating/botting or by buying currency from an RMT—they will. And some will even go to the extreme of handing their account over to a powerlevelling service, which incurs a real money cost as well as the risk of losing their account. Literally paying someone to play a video game for them. All this because the endgame will be fun.

Play a game that you don't enjoy with the understanding that eventually the gameplay will change into something that you'll enjoy. The complete opposite of that philosophy makes more sense to me: Play a game that you do enjoy with the understanding that eventually the gameplay will change into something that you won't enjoy. When you reach that point, stop playing. Nothing about that seems confusing.

Originally posted by Quizzical

If you're never going to pay, then of course you wouldn't care whether it costs a lot or a little to pay.  But if you're never going to pay, then why should any game company care what you think about their business model?

Well... it's not as though attracting freeloaders to the game is bad for business. The more new people that join the game, the more full (and thus worth continuing to play) it feels to the rest of the playerbase. And even if those people aren't spending money in the cash shop, they may attract other new players to the game who are willing to spend money. These are businesses trying to make money, but there's really no cost (well, a negligible cost) associated with providing service to some players for free, so there's no downside. I don't think you'll find a F2P business model anywhere that says We lose money when a nonpaying player joins our game and we gain money when he leaves.

Originally posted by Mimzel

F2P games are intentionally more unclear than sub games in regards to how much it will cost you. In sub games (barring free trials) you know the cost up front. In F2P games you know you will be able to log in without paying anything. From that point on it varys from F2P game to F2P game how much you will spend.

What about expansions? These are a staple of P2P MMOs and nobody balks at them the way they balk at cash shops. A P2P MMO can come out with an expansion that costs two or three times as much as your monthly subscription fee, and you feel fairly obligated to buy it.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, or that it's worse than what happens with cash shop nickle-and-diming, but if your argument is that you always know up front exactly how much you'll be paying for a subscription, that's a key part that you're missing. You have no advance knowledge of how expensive expansions will be nor how much you will have to pay for them.

Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Disdena

If that's truly the case, then shouldn't those same games be practically devoid of nonpaying players? But they're not. Freeloaders do not exclusively inhabit non-P2W games. Why would they? Unless they're looking for a game to play competitively, it doesn't really matter what's in the cash shop even if you can directly purchase levels or in-game currency. They're not going to pay, so the only thing that matters is the base game: what you get if you pay nothing. There's no reason I would insist on going to a "truly" F2P game rather than a P2W game if playing the P2W game for free is more fun.

As I said before with the Mega Man post, a freeloader has no reason for looking at the version of the game he's playing as being "crippled". Crippled compared to what? Compared to an option he's already decided he's not going to play? That's a total non-issue.

People who know that they're never going to pay anything tend to want as much as they possibly can for free, even though it will always be far short of everything.  Games with flagrant pay-to-win item malls tend to be the best for that, as they can give a lot of the game away for free and charge later.  Subscription games with a free trial tend to offer far less of the game for free.

You make it sound as though pay-to-win games have a lot to offer to many different types of players.

Originally posted by Quizzical

The problem is, whales tend to like flagrantly pay-to-win games.  No one wants to pay $100+ per month to be average; if you're going to pay that kind of money, you expect a big return for it.  So if you want to attract a lot of whales, you have to make your game pretty aggressively pay-to-win.

If that's truly the case, then shouldn't those same games be practically devoid of nonpaying players? But they're not. Freeloaders do not exclusively inhabit non-P2W games. Why would they? Unless they're looking for a game to play competitively, it doesn't really matter what's in the cash shop even if you can directly purchase levels or in-game currency. They're not going to pay, so the only thing that matters is the base game: what you get if you pay nothing. There's no reason I would insist on going to a "truly" F2P game rather than a P2W game if playing the P2W game for free is more fun.

As I said before with the Mega Man post, a freeloader has no reason for looking at the version of the game he's playing as being "crippled". Crippled compared to what? Compared to an option he's already decided he's not going to play? That's a total non-issue.

I used to love playing Mega Man. Then I found out you could buy a thing called Game Genie to get infinite lives. Now I hate Mega Man; I don't want to pay money for a Game Genie, so my version of the game is "crippled" because I only have 3 lives.

 

Judge the game sans cash shop on its own merits. Don't worry about what other people are doing, and don't worry about how much easier the game would be if you paid for help. The idea that the normal mode of a game can be crippled by the mere existence of an optional alternate way of playing is ludicrous.

Originally posted by Cuathon

When you play LoL the outcome of fights is 100% decided by reflexes, muscle memory, and execution. I've lost 100 fights because my touchpad moves the cursor on my skillshot stun. And another 100 because I just can move the cursor to the right spot fast enough. I know I need to drop the aoe damage field, then the stun, and then the single target nuke to win. But I can't. Because half my touchpad is scraped off and doesn't work. Or just because my fast twitch muscles aren't quite as fast as the other guy. There is no intelligence involved. There is no in the moment calculation of the optimal rotation. The best options are already known. That's not intellect.

Ah, the ol' "My controller's broken" excuse.

Surely there's no intelligence involved in playing LoL; the correct action to take is not just readily apparent but so glaringly obvious that it even can't rightly be called a decision. The only reason that you've ever lost—other than those incompetant players you somehow keep getting as teammates—is because your touchpad messes up sometimes or your finger slips, never because you made a bad decision during a heated teamfight or in response to a gank. In short, there's nothing further that you (or anyone with the most basic grasp of the game) could do to improve your mastery of the game. #bronzelife

Originally posted by Quizzical

You can have a prettier looking game world, or you can have a game world that players can substantially modify.

Letting players modify things in the game world means you need more flexibility in what you can draw, which restricts your ability to make things look as good as possible.  Things in the game world that players can change are likely to limit your ability to precompute light maps and such.  And there's also the fear that players might do things to make your game world look uglier than what you would have done.

I thought for sure that someone would pounce on that line as an anti-sandbox statement. How DARE you imply that player-made content is uglier than what the developers make, etc. etc. At least a few people were predictable enough to throw in the "there are no tradeoffs, everything could be done perfectly and also look perfect if devs weren't lazy and greedy" argument.

Originally posted by Axxar

(I assume by "isometric" you simply mean a camera position similar to 2d isometric games rather than a literal isometric perspective)

He means an actual isometric perspective, not 3D with the camera positioned overhead.

 

Oops, posted while you guys were already posting.

Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

Having a different opinion than you is not trolling.

Pointing out flaws in your reasoning is not trolling.

Actually I think most of your threads have been done only to get a specific rise or response which is a definition of trolling.

He's shown that he will take the results of a thread and use them as the factual basis for a new thread. So aside from evoking negative responses, his threads also have a second function. When he's done with a discussion, he can come to a conclusion based on what everyone (minus the "trolls") said, restate it as an established fact, and jump to his next conclusion in a new thread. It's confirmation bias at its finest.

Case in point: "If those 35% can convince 50% of the rest of this community ... I'll rest my case and admit that mutliplayers are not going through crisis today." If the poll results say No, he can go hold that up as proof that a crisis exists for his next thread. If the poll results say Yes, he will assuredly make no such admission because he can claim that the poll was sabotaged by trolls.

Immersion is one of those things that people will never agree upon.

To me, there are two sides to the immersion coin. On the one side, there's moment-to-moment immersion. This is the illusion that the things you're doing have immediate and real consequences. For example, it's important that I don't aggro this ogre. It's important that I don't fall off this ledge. It's important that I interrupt this mage's spell. It's important that I keep this ranger healed. None of these things are actually important. It's a game. There's no real life consequence to failing to do any of these things. It's not unlike watching an action movie. You can feel thrilled that the hero character on the screen is in mortal danger and just barely managing to dodge bullets and stay alive, but there's no actual consequence to what's happening because it's a made-up story. Immediate immersion is dependent upon clear visual and audio feedback and responsive controls, and can be reinforced (or broken) by the game's mechanics. The game need not be difficult but must draw a clear line between your actions and the outcome. Unresponsive controls, lag, lagged sound, or inconsistent AI can ruin this.

The other side of the coin is lasting immersion. This is the illusion that the things you're doing have lasting real consequences, that your avatar and his or her universe matters. For example, it's important to get the last piece of this armor set, to get some furniture for my house, to finish this quest line. It's important to sell this rare drop for a good price and make a lot of money. As above, none of these things are actually important and have no real life consequence. I don't have a strong idea of what features of a game improve its lasting immersion. I can point to some games I've played and say "I don't care what happens in this world. It's obviously a game and there is no consequence." I can uninstall a game like that without caring. There are others that I feel bad about leaving, even if I no longer enjoy playing the game, because the idea's been implanted that it's important to keep doing things in that game. This second form of immersion is a little more important to me than the first kind, but there's also no perfect formula for pulling it off.
Originally posted by xKopogerox

Fact is

Stopped reading here. Opinions aren't facts.

I think that there's a very limited advantage to telling everyone the accounts that get banned. I think perhaps there is more value in releasing proof of wrongdoing. Perhaps the problem is that if someone gets banned, they can turn around and say "I didn't do it." If the game company has a policy of not publicly discussing customer service issues with a particular account, they can't present their side of the case. The banned player can post snippets of emails taken out of context—or hell, he can even lie outright about what they said in emails to him. If the company could turn around and present logs showing that the player really did buy gold or hack or whatever, players would have a more positive view of the company and be much less willing to believe people claiming wrongful punishment. This would be less about shaming and more about making sure that people don't get to make the game devs look rotten for fairly enforcing their own rules.

League of Legends already does this with Reform Cards, by the way. Banned players are presented with a link to the chat logs of games they were reported in, and are encouraged to share that link with the community if they feel they were innocent.

Originally posted by Leethe


No one, and I really mean no one believes that  F2P means free forever.

Uh, speak for yourself. I play F2P games all the time without spending a dime. Whether there's cosmetic items, anti-grind options (XP boost), or straight up powerful equipment on the menu, I don't open my wallet. And it's not like I'm in some tiny minority. Plenty of people play these games and enjoy themselves without feeling even a little bit tempted to pay no matter how much the game dangles it in front of them.

Kaspersky's article (http://www.securelist.com/en/analysis/204792287/Winnti_More_than_just_a_game) has more accurate information, since it's written by the people doing the research and not some newspaper slapping sentences together from other sources to sell a paper.

You weren't hacked by this group.

Played it for several months starting at release. The flying and gliding were incredibly satisfying, as much as any single-player game I've played... which is REALLY quite the accomplishment, now that I think about it. The music and visuals and character creation were all decent. I was fine with the grind even before the first patches they made to tone it down. The luck-based crafting made it worthwhile to be a crafter, though there was also a massive botting problem that NCSoft had no interest in stopping. The invasion PvP was pretty unfair and the small-scale PvP seemed unbalanced towards characters that could move around faster. And while the 200 vs 200 Abyss fights were something really fun to experience, the insurmountable technical hurdles took a lot away from it.

There were enough things about it to keep my interest to the level cap (originally 50) but I couldn't get excited over the prospect of just doing Abyss PvP and quit shortly afterward. I don't regret the time and money I spent though, and I find myself missing the world from time to time.

This is sort of what I had in mind:

Pardon my Paint. The yellow arrows are currency, green are items, red are PvP points. A white star shows where the resource is created, the black star shows where it is destroyed. You could then add more labels to further define these interactions, or add more agents that players interact with, or add other economic resources like crafting materials, or add other MMO concepts like gold sinks or item decay.

I think the thing that's bugging me the most about it is the diamond nodes, particularly <Keep/Sell?>. The function of a flowchart is to display an algorithm that walks the user through the solution to a problem. A decision node where the user makes an arbitrary judgment defeats the purpose of the chart.

A flowchart would be ideal if you were walking through the steps a player would go through to obtain an item.

Want a particular item.

Can it be obtained with currency? Yes: Do I have enough to buy it? Yes: Buy it. No: Do PvE activities. Did you get an item? Yes: Sell it, return to top.

Can it be obtained with PvP points? Yes: Do I have enough to buy it? Yes: Buy it. No: Do PvP activities. Did you win? Yes: return to top. No: return to doing PvP activities.

 

Hope that's not terribly confusing. Would've been better if I drew it out I suppose.

I don't think a flowchart is really suited for displaying this kind of information. Depending on what you're trying to accomplish, I think you might have more success with a chart that shows various entities and how currency, items, and materials transfer between them (and how they are created and destroyed). For example, mobs/dungeons create items and currency and transfer them to raiders. NPC Vendors create items and transfer them to raiders in exchange for currency, which they then destroy. Raiders transfer currency to Crafters in exchange for items, and so on.

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