|209 posts found|
My point is that people are blaming the payment model for communities being worse today than they were 10-15 years ago. I agree with you that they are. But I think the primary blame for the community dropping off is the lack of need of other players.
Those examples you gave are all older titles in the forced grouping era of MMORPGs. During that era players generally behaved much better, because they needed one another. They were always grouping and if you got a bad reputation you weren't going to find groups. When grouping you were generally sociable and it made for much better communities in general.
The anti-social players started when games became completely soloable. Post-WoW it just became easier and easier for players to do that, and in many cases grouping slowed you down. Suddenly players are rejecting group invites when they are solo because they don't want to have to get slowed down. If they want group content they use group finders with cross server grouping. They may never see these other guys again. So suddenly you have a lot more Greed looters, and anti-social types. There are less repercussions for doing so.
That problem is both in the P2P and F2P games in this era.
Originally posted by firefly2003
In regards to problem players... wouldn't it be easier to just for registration and to actually play the game require a Credit Card on your account file as a mandatory requirement, if a player is banned that CC on file is banned and another CC number is required to make another account? People only have a finite number of cards once their banned they can't come back. It would be a good deterrence to such players and nothing would be charged to the card unless you buy something of course but a ID requirement would be a nice thing to have in all future MMOs and a CC is the best solution, I think their would be a small minority of players out there would be against this mostly, paranoid people, kids, and hackers-cheaters.
I don't think it's a terrible idea, it's similar to what a lot of companies have done with their free trials.
The main problem for us though is that it creates a barrier of entry. We don't want players to feel that they have to pay to play. We value free players. Maybe they convert to paying customers later, but either way we like having them in the game. The percentage of problem players is pretty small, so you cut out of a lot of potentially good players to get rid of a much smaller number of problem players. We want EVERYONE to try our game. If they like it keep playing, if they don't move on. But that's hard to do when you force them to enter in credit card details before playing the game. People are wary they are going to get auto-charged after at time period, which some free trials did automatically at the end of trial periods unless you manually cancel. They may be kids who don't want to go through the effort of trying to talk their parents into giving them some money for it if they haven't tried it yet. They might be suspicious of giving out credit card information to a company they aren't familiar with. Maybe they are on a shared computer and don't want to get out a card. Or maybe they are just too lazy to walk to the table and pull out their credit card just to try a game.
Bannings have an effect, even on free players. Sure they can make a new account. But they lose all the time they put in to their character. I think people tend to underestimate how much that affects players actions. The cost of a box or a subscription is probably far less affecting to many players than the loss of days, weeks, or months of time. I don't think it's much of an issue when players have already put time into their characters. If they were going to behave like jerks, they would have done that in a subscription game, as well. You just ban them like you would in one.
The problem players that does not help with are the gold spammers. But there are good solutions for that out there already. Automatic flaggings/bannings, ignore features, report features, auto-ignore, and then more complex and sweeping things like having an option to filter out global chat from non-members in a membership game.
Originally posted by Mkilbride
For future deliveries Kickstarter requires you give an Estimated date. Not expected, but Estimated. You have to specify something there. We've only ever officially announced two dates: Start of alpha and start of alpha 2. And we delivered on both of those dates. We're not going to give any firm dates until we are fairly sure we can meet them.
Originally posted by AtrocitusIn order to have a delay, you need to have a release date in the first place. And there has never been one. The game will be done when it's done.
Originally posted by Atrocitus
If your going to troll you should at least do your homework. There was no "recent F2P announcement". This game has been free to play from the get go. That was clearly written on the Kickstarter a year ago.
May was a month busy with constant content updates along with some bug fixes bringing us further along. Most of the content updates this month focused on the Plymouth area in preparation for the recently started Alpha 2, but we also found time to sneak in a number of new features.
A lot of effort went into improving the Rogue features of the game this month. Thievery saw a number of improvements, and we introduced several new mission templates that center around Pick Pocketing NPCs or stealing from shops. We also introduced a new locked container system. These containers or inventory items require Hacking skill to unlock. The mission system also received a significant number of improvements. This includes improved mission chaining, generated mission selection, mail event notifications and prop interaction features. It also includes several new types of generated mission templates. We also made headway on the Work Order system which we expect to go live next month.
As mentioned in last month's report, we added in a few more alpha testers to the fold. We will be opening a few more slots this month, so be on the watch out for news about slots being filled and of course check out your email for invites.
Crafting and Harvesting
Graphics and Animations
Thievery and Hacking
User Interface and Options
Bug Fixes and Minor Improvements
Too many mediocre MMOs - Are the developers really the problem?
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
5/31/13 5:36:31 AM
In my opinion, the sooner developers start realizing that they can never create static content as fast as players can consume it, and turn to generation the better the genre will be in the long run. MMO players consume content quickly, and game studios approach to that problem is to throw more people at it. Where it should be let's build a system that can produce content for us with less effort.
Star Wars: The Old Republic ... in the shitter
General Discussion « Star Wars: The Old Republic
5/24/13 5:50:30 AM
Originally posted by gervaise1
They are definitely making money. Servers don't cost that much to run.
One other thing I'd like to add along the lines of the original post. I just wanted to mention that we are pretty happy with Hero Engine in general. Every engine has its strengths and weaknesses but overall, even if we had an unlimited budget I think our choice would be to stick with Hero Engine. The only thing we might change if we did would be to use a deferred rendering engine with Hero's core.
Hero Engine isn't a cutting edge graphics engine, but it can produce graphics competitive with other MMOs. But the other areas of Hero Engine really shine. Productivity wise, it's fantastic. Being able to make script changes and have them working in game immediately is a huge productivity boost, as is the collaberative editing tools. Some of our alpha testers can attest to how easy it is to change things on the fly while people are playing. Where in an engine not designed for this sort of thing your looking at restarts and patches and losing a ton of productivity in the process.
While many players might look at things like Unreal Engine, Crytek, Unigine, and wonder why we didn't go those routes instead. They are after all better graphics engines. But they don't tackle the MMO specific issues that Hero Engine does. Seamless world design and on-seam proxies is a complex feature that most single player or small group games don't need and do not invest time in. As is spatial awareness (which allows things like phasing), and being able to introduce data easily on the fly without causing issues to players. Parts systems and character customization. Client side caching, communication between many types of servers where most single player engines are really designed with a one server (the game or zone server) in mind. Those are all things that take time to develop and test properly. So using an MMO specific engine such Hero Engine is a huge time saver for developers.
Originally posted by hfztt
There's quite a few more than that with the Early Adopter program. But us not letting more people into testing has nothing to do with server stress or load. It has everything to do with keeping testing small until we are comfortable with the product being seen by the masses.
Alpha testers generally understand what an alpha test is. And in the early MMOs beta testers generally did too. They understand things like some animations or models being placeholder, or certain areas being under construction. But in this day and age beta is synonymous with open beta. Most games keep very small betas of experienced testers, and then when a game nears release they start giving away beta keys and letting in thousands of players. That is typically in the couple months just before launch. As a a result, that is the perception of beta testing to a modern MMO player. While many of those backers probably would completely understand a game being in a testing phase, many other players do not.
Repop is in alpha, it's not ready for a large number of eyes on it at this point. While almost every major gameplay feature is working (exceptions being sieges and vehicle upgrades) it still has a lot of animation, FX, and content work that needs to be done before it begins opening the door to larger numbers of players. Alpha phase 2 begins next week, but it will still be a small number of players. Each phase from this point on is aimed to double the number of players as the last. They'll be coming much more quickly and each will be focused on a specific area of content until we feel comfortable with the game moving on to beta.
This has nothing to do with server specs or Hero Engine though, and is entirely tied to how quickly we can finish the content necessary to move to each new phase.
Hero Engine is a quality engine. The problem is it takes a long time to build an MMO (5 years typically). Star Wars: The Old Republic was their first license. They were building it for their own game, Hero's Journey. Bioware wanted an early copy so they licensed it and eventually they wound up cancelling Hero's Journey and focusing on Hero Engine. The engine has been licensed by many other companies (Zenimax for example). But MMOs typically have a much longer development cycle than single/small multiplayer games, and some of the people who license Hero have chosen to bind it with a high quality rendering engine and use the other features of Hero Engine.
The important things to note on TOR are that:
Now I can't speak too much about the games you mentioned, as I am not completely in the know about everything that went on behind the scenes with them. Faxion appeared to be built on the Hero's Journey core. They basically took an in-development version of Hero's Journey, themed it to their game, and gave it stylized graphics. It was stable and solid, but it had a few marks against it. The art was very stylized and I think that and the setting turned off a lot of players.But it was also very much a Pay to Win title, which I think also hurt their chances of retaining the players they had. I don't think their failures had anything to do with the engine though.
Dominus was a promising title that was built in short time using the Hero Engine. It was a PvP focused game, and had a pretty large sized beta. They ran into publisher issues, there are things discussing it. Had they been created in the post-Kickstarter era they probably would have shipped. It's unfortunate that they didn't. But again this had nothing to do with the engine.
Backing the hell out of this. An issue, though.
General Discussion « The Repopulation
5/23/13 8:50:48 AM
I see your message on Facebook, it's only about 90 minutes old. Josh will fix you up when he gets online today, though it's pretty early in the morning still in America, give it a few hours.
We feel like the market has expanded over the years. There are more people playing MMOs than ever before. But many of those players are tired of the theme park treadmill. I don't think we're alone in those thoughts, there's a number of sandboxes on their way now. That wasn't the case when we began development though.
Repop is a very different game. It certainly isn't going to be for everyone, and we're not trying to make it be. Much of the PvE game is driven by our generated mission system which is very different from any of the other quest systems to date. Some are going to enjoy that some will not. While public quest type systems have become more prominent, we're doing a lot of different things with our engagement system which may or may not appeal to some players. Longer term content shifts based on player reactions and such. Crafting is very complex and intertwined into multiple trees, which will also not appeal to everyone as it is very different from the crafting in most other titles.
The fact that we don't have a large budget combined with those things definitely points to a more niche audience. We're not hoping for 15 million players. But at the same time we're be disappointed to only have 2000 players. The market has expanded over the years, so that a tiny percentage of it is still a reasonable sized number. Yet if you go through the sandbox titles in that time the only one which has been able to sustain any substantial numbers is Eve Online. Eve is certainly a niche title. But that niche is larger than what would have been the market leader pre-WoW, in the west at least. But Eve grew slowly over many years, and with less competition. Star Wars Galaxies also fell in that category before closing, though it never really recovered from the NGE. Most other sandbox titles have had under 10,000 players. We feel that is a mixture of a few things. One being that the games are generally a lot more hardcore and don't appeal to most players (a very small niche) and the second is that most of them are subscription only and players aren't willing to pay money when there are so many free alternatives.
We feel we have a product that can appeal to more than just a few thousand players. I think there's a lot of old school players who miss games that were a bit more social oriented, and not on rails. We also think there are a lot of new school players who are simply looking for something different. There is a huge number of MMO gamers who have never played anything other than Wow-style theme park treadmills. But many of those players wouldn't be willing to try the game with a barrier of entry. A free trial is one way to go about that, but it's not the same. Players don't look at it in the same way. Some players simply are unwilling or unable to pay, but that doesn't make them bad for the community.
So we feel we can hook enough players who will enjoy a very difference experience. But in order to maximize that we need to get those players to try the game. We do that with true free to play. There aren't level restrictions or caps for free players. You can play and do almost everything that a paying player can do. There's a few small restrictions such as you can not form or lead a nation without paying a one time fee or membership, and it's not going to be as convenient (free players have less bank slots, inventory slots, mission slots, etc). But you are able to play and be competitive without ever spending a penny. That's our pitch to players. Why not try it. If you don't enjoy the game, move on with no risk, and no credit card entry to sign up for your free trial.
So our hope is that players will do just that. Give the game a try. And even if it only appeals to 1% of MMO gamers, that's still a significantly larger number of players than what we could expect from a subscription game.
It should also be noted, that while Repop is certainly going to be very different than your average MMO in a lot of ways, we've made a lot of design decisions that are meant to appeal to a more casual audience than your typical sandbox. We do a lot to encourage grouping and make it easier for players to find groups, but it's not forced on them. We also use a lot of generated content so players who need something to keep them focused and moving forward (probably a large percentage) will always have those opportunities. Where most recent sandboxes catered primarily to more hardcore, old school gameplay mechanics, we've taken a middle ground with most of ours. We want to expose players to sandbox features, social content, non-combat options, and the like, but we are also trying to appeal to a more casual fan base than most of the other sandbox titles in recent years. We do feel that more casual players will be able to enjoy the game, but also think that the only way to prove that to them is to get them to try it in the first place.
Originally posted by Yalexy
Your certainly entitled to your opinion, but our vision from the get go is very much against Pay To Win, which we've stated time and time again. We feel that free players are important to a games success. Because some other developers don't feel that way, the F2P model often gets a bad reputation.
There's really two ways that developers approach free to play.
1) They cater to the paying players and make it difficult enough on the free players that the free players either start spending money or move on to another game. This maximizes the amount of money you make on each player, while not having to foot as much of a bill for players who are not paying as most non-paying customers will find another game. This method often involves a lot of locked content that you can subscribe in order to unlock, and the free to play is a mechanism to get you to subscribe.
2) They view free customers as being important. Not only can they convert into paying customers, but they can bring in other players to the game, some of them who may become paying customers. They understand that while these players may be costing them a tad of money, they may also be making the game more enjoyable for others as they may be friends, family members, etc of paying customers, and because the more players they have the more enjoyable the game will be for those playing (its no fun in a barren world).
We fall into category #2. Your not going to find stats items in the cash shop or require to spend cash to unlock a chest or wear good gear. Too many people make assumptions based on some other game they played which tried to nickel and dime their customers with 200% experience potions, gear for cash, lockboxes that you can buy an unlock for, purchasable rare resources, and making game mechanics stacked so that it's miserable to play without paying. It's true that most F2P games to date fell into category #1, but not all. Because that is the route the majority of developers have taken, players often erroneously assume that's all there is. I think in the coming years we're going to see a lot more developers go to option #2. We're already seeing a lot of games that went with the first option slowly shifting towards #2.
This game was designed as free to play. It's been a free to play title since before the Kickstarter campaign, so there is no reason for anyone to act surprised by this. It was clearly mentioned on the Kickstarter page. For the sake of argument, let's say for a minute we agreed and decided F2P was a bad idea, we wouldn't be able to change the model after it was already a selling point on Kickstarter. Now we certainly don't feel that way, we feel strongly that F2P is the correct approach for Repop. But it's pointless to try to convince us otherwise at this stage, it's in writing. Once you start leaving promises unfulfilled your heading down a slippery slope. The business model isn't something that we took lightly. We put a lot of thought into the direction we wanted to take, what we did and did not want to support as part of the memberships and cash shop, and at our overall approach to not create a huge gap between free and paying customers.
My advice for anyone who is against the idea of free to play would be wait until the game opens, and then make your judgments.
@DarkCrystal: Defiance, TSW, GW2 had huge advertising campaigns running, pre-existing IPs, and were on store shelves. You don't see the difference between that and an indie company with online distribution? Putting a barrier of entry on this game would prevent many gamers from trying it in the first place. There is a stigma against indie titles after many disappointing games over the past few years.
My background is also in the MMO game industry since 1997, starting in the media and database development, and moving on to more of a technical and development role in the later years. To say that the industry is moving away from F2P is highly debatable. Yes, a handful games have begun moving to box + store. Not so much to keep out the free to play players though, but because the box sales are a quick injection of cash, and then they can use the store in place of subscription. It should also be noted that TSW did not start as a box + store model, it started as subscription and moved to free like so many games before them. T
I don't think you can say that the subscription communities are much better than free to play communities at this point. Have you tried using the Group Finder in WoW recently? When you have a large number of players who will often never see each other again and do not need one another, its easier for people to be jerks. That happened when games all became very soloable. In the old days people had to be relatively social due to the forced grouping mechanics. If they were jerks they would only really have other like-minded players willing to group with them. Those players have certainly always existed though. Subscription or no subscription. Now it's easier for them to get away with things like power looting, clicking Need on things they just want to sale, or generally just acting in poor manners. Because even if their group boots them, they are just one group finder or one battleground away from a new one.
There is more to lose from being a problem player due to the up front cost, but that doesn't seem to stop trouble players. It is only really a problem in entry level areas, because while players may not be investing $50 up front, they are investing time. Nobody wants to have a character they have spent, weeks, months, years progressing get banned, even if they never paid a penny. And it certainly doesn't stop gold farmers. There are other avenues that can be taken to fight things like spammers. An option to block global or area chat from non-members, for example, as well as the normal ignore options.
We don't want to put up any barriers of entry on players. The more players we can get exposed to our game, the better. If the game doesn't meet up to their expectations, they can move on with zero risk. That puts the honus on us to retain those players. That's all we can ask for really.
MMO purpose of playing never changes and it's not fun
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
5/15/13 6:36:37 AM
Originally posted by Cryomatrix
This is akin to making $50,000/year putting it all towards a house with no money left over and then you make $100,000/year, upgrade to a bigger house putting all your money into it and you again have no money left but a bigger house. Then you make $200,000 and upgrade to a bigger house with no money again.It's actually even worse than that. Because every time you get a bigger house, everyone else gets a bigger one to match it.
Neverwinter Community: What the hell is going on?...
General Discussion « Neverwinter
5/14/13 1:56:33 AM
I don't think a game being F2P gives it a higher chance of having douches. Maybe at lower level but once players have invested sometime they don't want to be banned. Even if they can just create another free account they have lost a lot of their time. There's always been jerks in MMOs, but in this age of group finders, cross-server instances, etc it's a lot easier for guys to behave selfishly. In the old days that type of behavior would see them exiled by anyone who wasn't like-minded.
Developers have fooled us over the definition of "Pay-to-Win"
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
5/12/13 10:44:25 AM
I personally am not a fan of anything that allows players to buy power in a game (armor, weapons, with stats, etc). But I don't generally have a problem with things like experience potions or convenience items like removing your experience debt, etc, so long as players don't feel like they have to purchase those items to be competitive. It's obviously more meaningful in some games (PvP especially) than others.
My main problem with allowing players to buy items of power is that part of your status as a player is the gear that your wearing. After a while you are capping out or you are hitting a soft cap in a skills based game and the experience doesn't really matter, but the gear makes a huge difference. In the old days you saw a player with awesome gear and you wondered how they got it as a starting player. Or you envied them if they had more than you as a veteran. That gear was part of their trials and tribulations as a player. I don't like allowing players to simply buy their way past that. One of the aspects of MMOs is the competitiveness. I don't like the idea of thinking that the players who are the best equipped are simply the ones with the most money.
With experience potions, you get similar boosts from things like rest experience which most games feature anyway. After the initial race for power it really doesn't mean much.
I have no problem with the free to play model though, in fact I prefer it. It lets you try the games, see if it is something you want to invest money in and then go from there. But there's a big difference between some of the models. If I feel I have to spend an money just to be competitive, I'll find another game. If I like a game though I have no problem unlocking things like account perks or the occasional experience potion if I have a day cleared out.
[Column] Neverwinter: On Neverwinter
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
5/11/13 9:00:24 AM
Originally posted by sigreth
I think your confusing instancing (private instances of zones/areas) with open world (seamless loading in between areas shared by everyone). But even if you meant open world, there were a few before Wow. Asheron's Call was a large seamless world and one of the first MMOs.