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All Posts by Disdena

All Posts by Disdena

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1068 posts found
Originally posted by Quizzical

So why isn't it done?

Because for most gamers, isometric view is synonymous with "fixed angle overhead view". There's no need to render things a different way; there is no discernable difference to the end user unless they're really looking for it.

Originally posted by Everwest

The thing is, most people really only have so much capacity to get that "SHIT SHIT SHIT" feeling while playing a video game.  For many people it's going to be roughly the same whether it costed you five minutes of progress or five hours, because dying pretty universally sucks.  It runs contrary to our goal.  The only question is going to be how frustrated you are by your failure. 

I wish I could show a graph to demonstrate, but basically, at a certain point, for every level you crank up the tension, you crank up the frustration exponentially more.  That "SHIT SHIT SHIT" feeling no longer resolves into, "Well, it'll take me 10 minutes to get back to where I was," and instead turns into ragequit.

Agreed. If I'm immersed in the game experience, all I'm thinking about is the situation I'm in and the actions I need to take. For me, any feelings of panic, dread, etc. come from my desire to avoid failing, not from the effect that failure would have on me as a player. The only thing that changes is how I feel immediately after failing.

If the penalty for dying is much too light, then it can be difficult for me to feel like it's important to avoid dying, and then I won't have strong feelings about trying to win. But beyond that "I-care-about-not-dying" threshhold, piling on even worse penalties doesn't make me any more excited during a tight situation or more happy when I pull through and live. It only changes how I feel after failing and stepping out of the fantasy and back into reality.

*dons Psychology Major cap*

The primary motivation for playing is to experience things that you can't experience in the real world, either because they're not possible or because there is some prohibitive cost or risk. There are many ways that video games try to appeal to gamers. If you want the fantasy of living a magic-wielding hero's life, they can give you that (even though it's impossible in real life). If you want to explore an unknown place, they can give you that (even though it's expensive and risky in real life). If you want an arena where you can prove that you're superior to your peers, they can give you that (even though it's risky in real life).

A game can take the place of a risky real life situation. And the danger you experience in a game is a substitute for the excitement you would feel from being in such a situation in real life. But the danger is an illusion. That is the whole point of a game. You try, you hope, you sweat, you panic, you frantically push buttons... but you fail! And you sit back and realize it was just a game. It's like watching an intense movie. No matter how wrapped up you get in it and how much anxiety and stress you feel over what the characters are going through, you are always just one head-turn away from stepping out of the experience and seeing the film for the illusion that it is.

Wanting the risk of "real" loss (as in, substantial loss of virtual items that have a real value in dollars or hours spent) in a game misses the function of a game. The point of a game is to provide an experience without that real-life risk. If you want danger and risk, gamble! Skydive! Day trade! Kickbox! Join the Marines! Start your own business! Move to Darfur! Life is full of rewarding things that have risks attached. If you want to experience danger and you're not satisfied with the illusion of danger in a game, take that as a hint that you can step away from the keyboard and find danger in real life.

A game is more than the sum of its features. If you're a good developer, you don't just tack on more features and assume that makes the game better. There has to be a coherent vision bringing it all together. The game is designed to do certain things a certain way, and then everyone works hard to implement all of those features.

Leaving out a feature that exists in another game is not an oversight, it's a necessary part of game design. When a game tries to do everything that all of its competitors do, it shows... and it's not pretty.

Originally posted by AlBQuirky


Originally posted by Disdena
So you've beaten all the hardest raids in WoW, right? You haven't? That's the point of the OP's post. People are way too fond of calling something easy even though they're not capable of doing it or have never tried.

So WoW is hard because of a few raids that make up how much of the total game?


Would you call leveling in WoW hard?

Would you call crafting in WoW hard?

Would you call quest running in WoW hard?

Would you call the death penalty in WoW hard?

Since I don't raid in WoW, would *my* personal opinion of "WoW is easy" hold any merit? Not for people who place raiding at the top. But it may hold merit for the of the playerbase who do not raid.

But the person I was quoting made a direct comparison between WoW raids and DAOC raids. Specifically, "the hardest (most gimmicky) raid in WoW is still easier than almost all raids in DAOC." Level of difficulty is subjective so it's possible for one player to agree with that statement while another player disagrees. But if he hasn't done any raiding, his opinion on the subject doesn't have any merit.

Originally posted by JasonJ

A game is released, in a group, it turns out that if you die, you can run back before the fight ends and continue to help the group...because of THAT, people start REZ ZERGING all content because that makes it EASY...instead of actually LEARNING how to NOT die.

Dieing = easy.

Not dieing = hard.

Because easy, is easier...why learn how not to die? Because not dieing is hard!

I don't know if the topic is worth exploring in this thread, but I'll ask anyway: what is it that makes not dying harder than dying? Or to put it more clearly, what makes a game where you can die many times harder than a game where you can only die once?

On one hand, you've got a normal game of Starcraft or whatever, fighting against the AI. On the other hand, you've got a Starcraft custom game where you control 5 Marines and have to take down a something-or-other without losing a single unit. Which is the harder game? In the real game, you need a lot of knowledge about the mechanics, ability to multitask, and macro strategies as well as manual dexterity for micro. It is clearly a more complex game that would take much longer to master than the minigame. Does the fact that you lose units constantly throughout the match make it an easier game? I think not.

Take the same concept and apply it to hit points. Instead of interpreting death as failure, treat injury as failure. There are some games where you can take several hits before you die. There are others where you die from a single hit. Would you say that one-hit-kill games are harder than games with a health meter? Would a one-hit-kill MMO (or RTS or fighting game or MOBA) be more challenging? I sure don't think so. Allowing for mistakes means the difficulty level can be planned around the fact that the player will take a lot of damage. This means there are more complex decisions to be made. The one-hit-kill game is inherently less complex because there's a more static risk-vs-reward system present. You don't get that "I have to change tactics when I get low on health" aspect.

Originally posted by DavisFlight
WoW is called easy because all of its hand holding mechanics and nonexistant risk vs reward. The hardest (most gimmicky) raid in WoW is still easier than almost all raids in DAOC.

So you've beaten all the hardest raids in WoW, right? You haven't? That's the point of the OP's post. People are way too fond of calling something easy even though they're not capable of doing it or have never tried.


Pshh... I could do that too if I felt like it. NBD.


You can take any supposedly difficult activity and whittle it down to a set of basic instructions—a simple flowchart to follow for success. As if you could look at one diagram or read one paragraph and be on par with the best players in the world. But for most games, there's more to it than the simplest case. And not having the depth of knowledge to make fast decisions as things deviate from the simplest case ensures that you won't ever do as well as a veteran.

Now, there actually are games—even games that many people consider "hard"—that you really can boil down to a simple set of instructions. Counting cards in blackjack is commonly perceived to require a high level of intelligence but is actually rather straightforward. Most people have a lot of difficulty solving a Rubik's Cube but it really can be done in just a few minutes by following simple instructions.

Are there any MMOs which are similarly simple? Where you could give a novice a 5-minute rundown and then stand back as he completes the hardest content in the game? You know, there might be. But only the people who have run that content have the right to judge it like that. Why would we listen to someone complain about the ease of a game that they've never even come close to finishing, or perhaps never even played?

Oh nonsense. MMOs are easy. Any and all MMO content can be beaten by pressing 1 2 3 1 1 1 1. An internet forum user said so in a dismissive manner, and I have it on good authority that they know everything.

I'm a couple weeks late to the discussion but I feel like I should point out something that was overlooked for nine pages: Correlation does not equal causation. Even if you were able to prove that all professional atheletes or all top-of-the-ladder MMO PvPers are rude assholes (and I'm definitely not agreeing that that's true), that would not prove that being an asshole causes improved performance. Other explanations exist. For example, it could be the other way around: some aspect of the profession athlete/e-athlete lifestyle causes a change in personality. Or there could be some aspect of the sport/game that self-selects rude people. I'm not sure just how accurate the movie Moneyball was, but it depicted baseball scouts who based their decision of which players to recruit on many things that had nothing to do with playing baseball well. Such a bias would naturally mean winding up with a league full of professional players who all tend to exhibit certain traits, while other more skilled players without those traits don't get to play professionally.


Originally posted by HabitualFrogStomp

We can talk about gear, class choice, and game mechanic knowledge, and thats all very relevent. But there are always exceptions to this rule, theres always going to be one guy who plays one of the worst classes, doesnt have an endless reseviour of knowledge to tap into, and doesnt have access to all the highend gear, who will stomp your face over and over again. Its happend to everyone, and its going to happen again and again pretty much regardless of the game.

I can't think of any game where I've ever encountered this. If someone does consistently well despite a handicap or perceived handicap, I take that to mean that they have an exceptional amount of knowledge of the game. What's the rationale behind losing to someone who is playing an underpowered class and saying "pfft, he probably doesn't know as much about the game as I do, I bet he's just a huge jerk!"?

Originally posted by ClaudeSuamOram
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Nothing. It is the amount, not the form. Players were up in arms when D3 raised the repair cost in a patch, and they reduced it right after.

If you take away an hour farming worth of gold every time someone dies, i am sure the blacklash will be as bad as xp loss. At the same time, if the xp loss is trivial (take the extreme example .. the xp worth of 1 low level mob), no one will complain.

Yes...and at the same are rendering a death penalty no penalty at all.


I think you're missing the point. You said earlier that a player could earn the cash for their repair bill rather quickly. Why? No one said anything about the amount being charged. Depending on the magnitude of the repair bill, it could be trivial or impossible to pay.

It takes time to earn money just as it takes time to gain experience points. This sort of ties into the crafting post I made. Currency represents work done. You either go around doing things that make the game create some money and hand it to you, or you do X-Y-Z for other players in exchange for their money. Losing your money means doing more work, just like losing experience points.

Originally posted by Sephiroso

but yes, games should use some sort of death penalty beyond a simple 'oh great now i have to spend x gold to repair' and a corpse run. you should lose experience or be forced into experience debt, which honestly both are the exact same just different titles. it only makes sense anyway, to relate it irl, when you get severely injured(read die for mmos) you naturally are taken several steps back before you're back to where you were physically.

Just curious... what is it that makes financial loss a bad penalty and experience loss a good penalty? Both are ways of saying that some of your progression has been undone. You performed some task that gave you a reward, and now you'll effectively have to do that task again for no reward (or to get your reward back, whichever way you want to think about it).

The thing is, there's a growing trend to treat endgame as the part of the game that really matters. The levelling portion of the game is just an extended tutorial, or a gate to keep super casual players out. "Experience points" stop being a reward and the game moves on to some other method of progression. But (assuming the game is made with a strong economy in mind) money never stops being a reward, and losing money never stops being a punishment.

Originally posted by ClaudeSuamOram

- Crafting with meaning.  Interactive. For instance...Blacksmithing...the player actually stokes the fire to increase temperature or cool it as needed, beats the red hot iron, giving the player the ability to pin point strikes, and add ingredients to a recipe for mixed results...allowing the player to experiment. Depending on the ingredients added, it could alter the items durability..or stats if added to items. No leveling fodder made. Just as no levels for players, no skill increase crap for crafting either.... you either make it, or break it. Success brings money, failure brings money/ingredient loss. It's business...and all business has risks. But the reward can bring great profit.


I'm sure I do not speak for everyone but that's exactly the opposite of the kind of crafting I want. Any system that hides information and calls for experimentation is just rewarding players who go to a wiki and look up a guide. Someone will find an optimal strategy, and even if it's not the single most optimal strategy, it'll be a better path than wasting time and resources blindly trying to figure out if there might be a better way.

When it comes right down to it, a crafting system is a way of letting players give money to other players to do something that they don't want to (or can't) do themselves. You want a +20 Dex, +35 HP earring. I have one for sale. In order for you to make one yourself, you'd have to X-Y-Z, and you don't want to, so you buy it from me. The entire crafting system relies on the existence of that X-Y-Z. If there's no X-Y-Z, there's no crafting system (because everyone who wants that earring will make it themselves, not find a crafter to buy it from).

I am finding that Path of Exile has a great crafting system, even if it's not really described as crafting... and definitely doesn't involve hitting an iron with a hammer. You have orbs that you can use to randomly alter equipment, but those are the same orbs that players use as currency. So you're constantly faced with the choice of either using orbs purely as crafting items and always using them to alter your own gear, OR using orbs purely as currency and only using it to buy gear from others, OR buying from others when the price is right and using the orbs only when it's a risk worth taking. The third method is the most effecient and also the most difficult; you have to have a lot of knowledge about not just the mechanics behind the orbs, but also how much people will pay for certain bonuses on items, and also know which bonuses are worth the most to YOU and complement your specific build.

To me, a crafting/barter system like that is far more rewarding than realistically hammering a blade, mixing metallic alloys, or stoking a fire to a certain temperature. I might find some enjoyment in that in a single player game... but when I craft in an MMO, I'm doing it for money. I'm doing it because I think I'm smart enough to find a good investment of my time that other players will pay me a lot for. Making the X-Y-Z nothing more than "Go look up the forge temperature/alloy chart on" is unappealing.

Originally posted by Xiaoki

The most common model for MMO combat is the EQ1 model.

EQ1 came out March 16 1999. Thats 2 weeks away from its 14th anniversary.

So, what can be gained from EQ1 style combat in 2013? What innovations can be added to it? What can an MMO coming out now do different with their EQ style combat that hasnt already been done by a dozen other MMOs?

GW2 added a dodge mechanic and Wildstar focused on battle tells but they are still rooted in the EQ1 combat model.

Quite frankly the only way for MMO combat to truly progress and innovate is to go real time action combat. Im not saying the EQ1 combat model is bad or that new MMOs releasing now with the EQ1 combat model are bad but what is there to be excited about with their combat?

And if combat is the activity you do most in MMOs and an MMOs combat is boring to you then why would you play that MMO?

What do you definte as the EQ1 model of combat?

If you were a spellcaster in EQ, you spent most of your time in combat sitting down for mana, standing up once in a while to cast a few spells. If you were a non-spellcaster in EQ, you spent all of your time in combat standing in front of the enemy while your autoattacks hit, with 1 button (Kick or Slam) that could be mashed on a 6 second cooldown. Name any MMO in the last 5 years to adopt this as a basis for the combat model.

Originally posted by Aerowyn

which arpgs have this though? all the ones I have played have been heavy on the RNG.. having that "chance" to get a cool drop has always been a staple of these games

ARPGs are always like this. Omali was saying that all MMORPGs were like that too, to which I said no.

Originally posted by Omali
Hating the random number generator in a game like Path of Exile especially, or really in RPGs period, is probably a sign that the game isn't for you. You aren't going to come across any MMORPG that doesn't have that factor where you could spend two hundred hours and never get a rare drop, while the guy next to you walks in and saunters out three hours later with two of those same level 58934 Swords of Ball Busting. 

But there are games that don't have that factor. Repeatable content that gives you credit towards an eventual prize takes the RNG out of games. That way, players can run some quest/dungeon and know "7 more times til I have enough tokens for the Flamehell Axe of Uberheat". If they prefer that to "Flamehell Axe of Uberheat has a 1/30 drop rate and I'm 0 for 23 so hopefully I get it in the next 7 runs... *siiiiigh*", I'm fine with that. They're two different ways to enjoy progressing through a game. POE happens to use one method, OP enjoys the other.

I like this thread. The "improvement of skills by use" feature is an especially good example. Somewhat bizarrely, there are even some games now which still use this system but include a built-in macro system intended to allow you to spam skills while AFK. This is a pretty good example of what happens when an unskilled game designer looks at a feature's actual use and never realizes that it had a different intended use. They think they're improving upon existing systems by helping people abuse them harder. Same argument could be made for quests; recent games place all of the focus on the task and the reward while bending over backwards to avoid "inconveniencing" the player with the story (which is what quests were originally all about).

Everquest has many examples, I'm sure. I can think of two off the top of my head.

- Feign Death skill

What is intended => A panic button for damage-dealing classes to get a monster off of them if they take too much aggro and are in danger.

What happened => The primary use of the skill became breaking camps in raids. Rather than fighting an impossibly strong group of mobs, one feign puller would get aggroed and then feign death and wait for some of the mobs to reset. Stand up and repeat until the group is down to a number small enough for the raid to safely kill.


- Race/class-based economic ability

What is intended => By allowing characters with higher Intelligence and Charisma to learn skills (including craft skills) faster and get better prices from NPC merchants, races and classes had incomparable differences (good for balance) that amount to more than just how many hit points they have or how much damage they can deal.

What happened => The advent of the crafting mule. Players simply created alternate mule characters with ideal stats and used them exclusively for buying, selling, and crafting.

Originally posted by Scalpless

RNG is why people play games like this. If you don't like it, find another genre.

Pretty much this.

There are games where you are guaranteed that a certain amount of time and effort will guarantee a certain amount of progression—no more, no less. This isn't one of them. So if you like those kinds of games, maybe go play one?

There's a lot to learn. It might help to watch a LoL stream, but it's easy to be lost if you don't understand the game yet. One streamer that I like in particular is Ciderhelm. He has a lot of knowledge about the game and tries to explain relevant aspects of the game as he plays. (Unfortunately he's gotten a bit more commercial and many of his prerecorded videos include ads now.) His Don't Feed ____ series is especially informative and comprehensive.

Kudos to you for staying positive and polite amidst a lot of criticism that you were probably not expecting (or not hoping) to hear. Everyone has posted a lot of good advice for you, though. You're suffering from a pretty massive case of head-in-the-clouds syndrome.

Rather than repeat what others have already pointed out, let me just say this. What you have is an idea for a game. Coming up with an idea for a game represents about 0.00000001% of the work involved in making the game (and that figure is almost certainly short by a few zeroes). Just about anyone who plays video games can rattle off half a dozen good ideas for games in under a minute. An idea, by itself, is worthless. The ability to envision yourself playing the game is worthless. Being able to make high level design decisions (like "what should the max party size be?" or "what kind of special attacks should some of the bosses have?") are worthless. Worthless as in, if you walked into any studio and offered to be their "game idea man" for a whole year for only 10 dollars, they'd tell you that that's 10 dollars more than they're willing to spend.

The fact that the idea isn't even originally yours—and even comes from a story that is already about a video game—somehow makes it worth even less.

I became a big fan of ESDF as well as remapping Mouse4 and Mouse5 (on the side) to Alt and Ctrl. The advantage of having your fingers resting on the home row keys cannot be overstated.
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