|11 posts found|
[Column] General: Terrible, Horrible Vertical Expansions
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
11/22/13 4:06:07 PM
I don't think the author's intent was to decry the whole rush to end game drive of vertical expansions, but rather emphasize that this model of progression makes ALL previous zones, and even a good portion of the expansion's zones completely obsolete. There is very little reason outside of doing an achievement to even set foot in those zones, ever.
The later expansions increasing the rate of leveling only furthers the "ghost town" of lower zones since it reduces the amount of time you spend in the lower levels and further decreases your chance of seeing another living soul before reaching level cap. It really takes the MM out of MMORPG when you don't encounter another player outside of a capital city for 99% of the game. WoW allowing you to instantly level a character the old cap is an acknowledgement of this phenomenon and is a band aid on a problem they brought on themselves with items being the only form of progression and reward for playing the game, and that the scaling on items to make equipment from anything but the latest content completely worthless only compounds the issue. Anything but the best of raid rewards from the previous expansion will be discarded with the first set of quest rewards from the new one.
People rush to the "end" because that's where all the rewards for playing are, and where the majority of players will be simply because the game is designed that way.
PlanetSide 2: Celebrating Its First Year with Live-Stream Goodness
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
11/21/13 12:22:36 AM
The major drawback of this game is that while it can be extremely fun in certain circumstances, it mostly devolves into a numbers game. Whoever can throw more bodies at a point will win. Precise and orchestrated counterattacks can be effective in some situations and it's really gratifying to pull it off, but it's mostly like trying to put out a forest fire with a bucket.
Firefall: Summer Milestone Sneak Peek
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
7/04/12 12:03:20 AM
Originally posted by SandaStunna
I'm 100% with you on that. The PvE open world stuff was interesting but extremely limited. I had a lot of fun with the thumper groups, but they were very repetitive and predictable which really isn't what I think a FPS should feel like. Needed more randomness and chaos :p
The PvP wasn't really fun to me because the level stomp is just ridiculous. Either you face roll the other team or you get face rolled with the matchmaking that was in place. It reminded me a lot of the PvP while leveling in a traditonal MMO where you could practically predict who would win by which team had the higher levels.
Thoughts from a former supporter
General Discussion « Star Wars: The Old Republic
5/06/12 2:25:47 AM
I also wanted and expected this game to last for longer than it did. It was the most fun leveling in an MMO I've had in a while with my first character. Leveling a second character though was more painful than in many MMOs I have played. This was a game that should have revolved around having multiple characters. The legacy system is proof that at least some of the developers felt that it should too. So why did they only have one leveling path ? That is probably the biggest downfall of the game design in terms of longevity. For a game that is supposed to give you "choice" you end up having NONE in where you go. You follow the same sequence of planets regardless of class. Even comparing the Empire versus the Republic the leveling path is near identical after level 20.
The other major problem is the LFG and PvP. 1.2 ruined PvP, it just killed that entire aspect of the game. You can argue it did not, but after trying to play through it for a couple of weeks it definitely killed it for me. Which is a shame because I actually enjoyed the PvP a lot up to that point. It was so much better than WoW even with the terrible Illum. But the lowered rewards on a loss regardless of personal contribution(why?) , the fact that the match would go forward with less than a full team (why?), and the tuning that made everyone explode and become unhealable even with full battlemaster gear. Just why? They had it reasonably well balanced and there was a fairly large community that enjoyed it where it was (fairly large being you could actually get a full team on both sides and there wasn't just one PvP game going, which was not the case on my server after 1.2 had been live for a week). Still, it would have been bearable with a cross server queue so that you didn't have the same matchup for 8 games in a row... which did not go live.
So from someone else that was subscribed for more than the first month, top 5 reasons for cancelling.
1) The number one, driving force for my cancel was server population. I was on a server that was live on launch which was picked by the guild creator and the population was never so much that on republic you would see more than 30 people on a planet. And THAT was at launch. Now you would be lucky not to be alone on most planets. Fleet usually has less than 40. It's just empty, and it makes doing any PvP or Flashpoints nearly impossible, especially on off peak hours.
2) Lack of options for leveling. For a game priding itself on it's different storylines, the choice to have a linear leveling path was stupid. It's the only thing I can call it, though stupid probably isn't strong enough. Especially after nerfing the experience gains from space combat and PvP.
3)PvP balancing in 1.2 . One of the worst, widest hitting "balance" tweaks I have seen. It affected so many classes and so badly hit healers and new players that it just killed off the supporting numbers of players you have to have so you don't sit for 40 minutes waiting for a game to pop only to be outnumbered 8 to 5. Being a healer they needed to tune it some, but they way overshot. Just atrocious management of "new" season of PvP.
4) Gear grind. I really got sick of it in WoW, and then they do it again. Tiered , steeply tiered especially, gear progression needs to die. There need to be other ways of advancing the character than purples that are more shiny than the last purples. It needs to go. If there was anything in the MMO genre that I think is deterimental to a lasting "end game" is that equipment becomes completely obsolete with every patch. Upgrades are fine, but there needs to be more.
5) Pace of the game. This is something that is hard to substantiate and give a solid set of causes for, but to me the amount of time you just spend running around was really high. The spacing of the quests, the quest flow, the amount of time it took to kill things in a flashpoint, etc... it just felt really slow. This becomes laughably tangible to me after playing Tera where even though the quests are hardly worthy of the name, it progresses you through an area with so much less running around which removes SO MUCH of the tedium for me.
This is really not a big deal. Even during the huge populations of beta weekend where the servers had a queue to get in I never saw more than 3 shards, and usually at most 2 and at most times only 1. And as has been said switching around is simple and which one you groupmates are in is clearly indicated and easily understood. The threshold of players to flip an extra shard appears to be quite large and having more people than is designated for a shard on that planet would be detrimental to your gameplay because you'd end up just running into people EVERYWHERE instead of just having people around like you would expect/want.
The chat doesn't make a distinction between shards, and is broadcast across them. So finding people in the zone for groups/quests is not impaired. And if someone can't figure out how to switch shards, you don't want to group with them anyway. You hit M and use the pulldown menu and select the proper one (and there are only 2-3 so it's not like "OMG which one do I pick?!?") . It's simple and intuitive.
If a feature that serves as a pressure release valve is your make or break point, you were just looking for excuses to not play anyway, or you're just trolling.
Why wont sandbox enthusiests support their sub genre?
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
10/21/11 12:48:22 AM
I think there are two major issues that have kept a sucessful sandbox off the market:
1) Quality of game being released in that genre. There have already been many titles named in this thread so I am not going to rehash specific titles but more of a generalization of the titles that have been released. Whether it has been bugs, lack of balance or an entry curve that makes it feel like you are being asked to tread water with 20lb ankle weights there just have not been many titles that have been that appealing. There have been a number of games that have come out that when you look at the features list you go "Oh hell yes, FINALLY!" and then you get into the game and go "Where are the features on the feature list" "Okay, this isn't too bad...*game crashes*...Well that's kind of annoying, but I can live with it...*game crashes again*...screw this" or "Oh my god, my eyes! I can count the pixels! Is that supposed to be that blurry, and is that checkered box in the corner supposed to look like that?".
2)Amount of development time. If you look at what it takes for a good sandbox to be sucesful, especially with a 3d engine, it's daunting. Where in a themepark MMO you have a well manicured garden path for people to walk down and enjoy, a sandbox is more akin to trying to build a national park. It seems counter intuitive since a sandbox would inheriently have "less" but the simple fact of the players being able to take of in any direction makes it much more difficult. Especially in a 3d environment that is a lot of texturing and terrain to build for it to be sucessful. And if you look at the sucessful MMOs since UO the themeparks are likely to attract more of the demographic. All in all it's just a risky approach with a lot of extra development needed.
Really I don't think there will be a sucessful 3d sandbox type game until a game comes out and lets players do some of the actual world building. That said I wouldn't be opposed to another GOOD top down MMO. I still think UO before trammel and houses occupying 4/5 of all land was one of the best MMOs to date. I'm not saying it was perfect, but it was definitely immersive and open.
Does Harsh Death Penalty really make the Challenge, or does Harder Gameplay make the Challenge?
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
6/13/11 2:49:40 PM
I think a death penalty can add to the game experience, but it can also detract from it. The game definitely has to be designed in a certain way depending on the death penalty and can't just be thrown in as an after thought.
In a game like UO there was the risk of losing your equipment if you got in too deep and or couldn't get back quickly enough. But if you did lose your gear it wasn't the end of the world as UO was more character skill driven than equipment driven. If the game had been more about the various items you accumulated then losing all your equipment would be too harsh and frustrating to risk ever diving into a dangerous situation. At that point it becomes a deterrent to gameplay rather than enhancing the gameplay with the element of risk. The risk vs reward just wouldn't balance out.
Everquest also had a harsh death penalty. While you didn't really have the loss of equipment (unless things went horribly wrong and you couldn't find a necromancer) hanging over your head it was entirely possible early on in the game to end up in a death loop where you would lose massive amounts of experience and maybe even lose your level. It definitely added to the level of concentration people put forth in the encounters, because they really REALLY didn't want to die.
Then at the other end of the spectrum you have WoW and Rift, where the only setback really is time. And you will likely end up dying many, many more times than you ever would in UO or Everquest. I don't think the anyone could make a legitimate argument that those 2 games are more challenging. So why the difference ? People will approach the game and situations much differently when there is an element of risk involved other than just the time lost running back. And the games themselved are designed and filled with crappy/cheap ways to kill people repeatedly.
Really I wish a game would release with a happy medium between punishing people for stupid mistakes (Yes, punish. If there is one thing I am truly tired of in recent MMOs is that you end up with max level players that are horrible because they can level while dying repeatedly and never learn how to play and just mooch off the rest of the group. And then you end up with them recruiting with your guild, thrown into groups or PvP with them etc... You shouldn't have to learn to play the game when you've reached the "end". The process of getting there should be enough.) while not being overly harsh if you simply get stuck in a bad situation. Such as a decaying death penalty instead of a increased time between rezzing. First time you die is the worst, then it halves every time after that up to like 5 deaths and have it reset after 4 hours or so. This would give you the incentive to avoid doing something stupid/foolhardy yet not be totally discouraging for trying something risky.
Originally posted by Anthur
I think that is why he was advocating paid expansions.
I have to say that the individualized story arcs is something I am looking forward to in a MMORPG. If nothing else it adds replayability above and beyond different class mechanics. I am a big fan of variety when it comes to leveling or the story where you can go back and explore the whole " I wonder what would have happened if I had said this instead" aspect which has been completely absent from MMOs to date other than faction requirements, and those have been few and far between.
I am not a big fan of alts, at least not until there has been some change to class mechanics or the quests, but I think this game might change that for me since it is more of a story and hopefully not just a grind fest to max level which has become the norm.
As an example I think Rift would be/have done so much better if their leveling wasn't practically the same post 20 for BOTH factions and all classes. Instead of rolling an alt to play up while they work on endgame content etc... people just threw in the towel because the replayability wasn't there and the idea of playing up a second character through the grind so close to the first through the same zones, same quests....
Next to fun game mechanics that get you interested in the first 5-10 minutes, it's the replayability that I think is the most important aspect of an MMO because honestly most people who play an MMO don't stick to just one character ALL the time, and it has been lacking in recent titles. Funny thing is that it's what will keep your subscription numbers up more so than having robust end game with lots of raids or mass PvP areas IMO (Of course those help as things to do for people, but the vast majority of subscribers aren't "hardcore". A fact which WoW takes great advantage of and people seem to often forget).
To be honest, I put probably 50 hours into the game over the past 3 weeks and what I found to be most aggravating is the one feature i was really looking forward to in this title, and that is the souls system. It is wildly unbalanced at all levels, and this results in there actually being fewer choices available than you would like. Now this is coming from someone who enjoys PvP, and likes to do a dungeon with a minimal amount of repeated deaths. While yes, you can spec however you like, that's a pretty sorry consolation when you die repeatedly to either bosses or other players. It's just not enjoyable to get facestomped over and over to the point you end up sitting in the graveyard as much as you are fighting. I have been in this position from both angles. Where I was trying a soul combo out and it was just horrible, and when I was running a dungeon and someone else was horrible. It's frustrating, and not enjoyable at all.
I think the lack of an easily usable parser is very, very telling in this game. While you may not want a "recount competition" it is a very useful measuring stick when looking at damage taken and damage done. If one tank is taking double the damage of another in similar gear, then something is broken. If one DPS is doing double the damage of another DPS, then something is broken. When it's the same player and they are just changing souls, then that's even more horribly broken.
So in my mind you can't have
+Ascended soul system
when you have
Because no one can seriously believe that when PvP imbalance is bad enough to make it a con, that there isn't going to be spillover in PvE. The concept is great, sure. Won't argue that. The execution of it leaves something to be desired.
I gave this game a shot, a month of playing around an hour and half a day average is more than adequate in my opinion to get a feel for the game. While I did not rush to 50, I have friends who picked up the game that did. I got bored with warriors at 37, the combat was repetitive and the tanking was frustrating (lack of good cooldowns, mitgation was awful). At which point I rolled a rogue because we were light on support classes, and I leveled that to 40. I felt that given the recent track record of MMOs I'd just take it pretty easy and let them rush if they wanted to, they would see what there was at max level and I could go on that + what my own opinion of the game up to that point is. I was pretty much going on them whether I would cancel my account or not. I didn't have a terrible time with the game, but it certainly became very grindy, very quickly. But they are all cancelling after being 50 for 2 and half weeks. I don't much see the point of playing when I'm not having a great time, plus most of the people I intended to play the game with are quitting.
It's a good game, but not great. I'd feel it deserver much closer to a 7. Reason being I can't really agree with 2 of your + being Ascended souls and Highly Polished. If I'd only played into the mid 20's I would probably agree with you. I have to say the first zone is definitely the best. The quests are no where near as repetitive, the overlap is better, and it's just a better flow in general (the one hiccough being the damnably stupidly designed epic quest that sends you into a dungeon 4 levels under you by the time you get done with it and overall is a huge waste of time because the objectives are so annoying). By the time you get into the mid 30's it's a huge grind. The quest creativity is just gone. It's a lifeless go here, kill this, pick this up, use this on this guy compilation worsened by the fact that a lot of it is just in open terrain where they plopped down the mobs with maybe a building or two.
I can't say that the entire game is highly polished. The game works, no doubt, but there are a lot of glaring issues with the class system and quest flow, and questing in general. You can argue that questing is a small part of the game, I will concede this only if people are going to be playing for months. If it is so tedious, onerous, and repetitive that people don't WANT to get to max level.... well then they aren't going to stick around for months, are they ? And once you get max level, what's important ? Class balance is in my top 5 for sure. And that's a con, a big one.
Rift: 5 Things Rift Does Wrong
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
3/29/11 1:52:53 PM
I have to agree with the stale questing. While the story might be engaging and what not, the quests themselves involve the same 5 mechanics with very few exceptions.
1) Kill count. Go here, kill x of this.
2) Kill +Collect. Go here, kill X till you get # of this.
3) Collect. Go pick X up off the ground.
4) Work something low, or reveal something with an item, then kill it.
5) Escort an NPC to safety.
Freemarch had probably the best questing experience for me. It had some variety in where you'd lure stuff to turrets, or you had to deactivate several altars, etc... Since freemarch it has been very, very grindy. This is compounded by the fact that you need even more quests for each level so the amount of time you spend out in the zone questing before training or whatever becomes even longer.
What makes this even worse is the combat system is very repetitive. So it's the same quest mechanics ad nauseum done by pressing the same 3-4 buttons repetitively.