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All Posts by TangentPoint

All Posts by TangentPoint

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Originally posted by st3v3b0
Originally posted by TangentPoint

I'm not really surprised it didn't pan out well for them post-KS.

Asking people to pay a monthly membership to get access to a site, to participate in the development of a game was just a bad idea, IMO. Sure, it's nice to feel like you're "part" of something, but then really... what were people getting?  

Tell that to all of the monthly subscribers of Star Citizen (SC).  The problem with most of these other people trying to copycat SC is they have nothing to show except theory.  Most people do not trust theory (like myself), but if the company can show they are REALLY developing the game and not just release lore and concept art then they have a chance to be successful.  Brad and Pantheon did not learn from their failed KickStarter as they claimed they did.  If they really learned from it they would not have been so hasty to create a dumb down site to collect money from with (again) no real content to show why people should invest.

In a nutshell.. Games need to be further along in the process before trying to get money from people.

Fair point... I'll qualify my statement, then...

For SC, while I still think it's kinda cheesy to request money from people to join a message forum community, at least it's being done with a product that has successfully funded, several times over. It's set up in support of a product that has clearly shown results, and that came out of the gate strong with lots to show.

Pantheon limped out the door with its campaign, continued to limp along throughout it, and then even farther after the campaign ended - until now they've finally had to halt progress. The forum membership seemed to be more to soften and augment the blow of the failed KS campaign than to augment it.

 

I still maintain, if the VR guys take some time, do some studying and research, follow the successful campaigns, see how they're set up and run, see how their reward tiers are structured, get tons more content ready and then re-present it all with a new KS campaign, they might well succeed next time. Probably not to SC levels, but at least enough to meet their initial goals.

 

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see a game like this happen. Absolutely. I'm not knocking the game, the concept, the vision.. any of it. I'm just really disappointed in how they've managed it. They needed to knock it out of the park, and they just didn't. They seemed to rush into it thinking just a cool sounding concept and the phrase "Brad McQuaid, original creator of EQ1" would be enough. It clearly wasn't.

 

I'm not really surprised it didn't pan out well for them post-KS.

Asking people to pay a monthly membership to get access to a site, to participate in the development of a game was just a bad idea, IMO. Sure, it's nice to feel like you're "part" of something, but then really... what were people getting? 

That could have just as well been a public forum section. What was it, really? A section of the forums where people discuss and debate ideas for the game and give feedback on what they think. Err.. people do that all the time, every day, on any given MMO's forums. For free. It's only special because now, suddenly, they've paid money for the privilege? Sorry, but to me that just seemed to be them making money off of making people feel "special", doing something any one of them could and would have been doing anyway. 

It also took a lot of the wind out of my sails when they started talking about going for more and more outside investors, especially as it became obvious the KS wasn't working out. Wasn't the whole idea behind the game about making a MMO that couldn't be made if investors or publishers were involved? Isn't the problem with investors that they're all focused on following the "WoW model" to try and maximize the return on their investment? Isn't that supposed to be the opposite of what they were trying to do with Pantheon? And then they seek out those exact people to try and get it made anyway???

I'm really trying to not go into bash mode here, but it's difficult. The only thing I'm left thinking when I consider their every step in this process, from the KS on, is "what the hell are they thinking?"

I still think that, having failed the KS, they should have just gone back to the drawing board, considered the KS ordeal a learning experience. I think they should have just put their heads together, did some homework on how the successful KS campaigns have been run, assembled a more impressive, complete and detailed presentation, with more than just screenshots of early dungeon work and concept art. I think they have to completely revisit the reward tiers and goals, and not include things people consider core, "day one" content, as "stretch goals". 

Their idea of asking people to re-pledge with them, and pay a subscription fee to get "special access" to "special forums" on their website (which was only really fleshed out toward the end of the KS campaign as well... specifically for that reason) just did not sit well with me. I know it didn't sit well with many others, either, considering how much less money they raised post-KS.

They seriously need to go back to the drawing board and re-think this entire thing from the start. I don't know what they think they're doing, or what they think they're going to do, but so far it hasn't been working.

 

Originally posted by SirBalin
Originally posted by greenreen

I mentioned that I was going to try this game and that I was concerned that I would get ganked non-stop by the seasoned players so I'm here to report back that everything is smooth. Several times I've left the safe zone and was able to traverse into Danger Zone 4 to get supplies without being hunted down repeatedly. All the regulars must be staying in Danger Zone 5 where the best resources come from because they weren't nearly as aggressive as the older information makes the game out to play like. Perhaps this territory patch is engaging them and I found a good point to enter. I was hoping this would be the case.

I think all the ganking I read about was mostly due to the population, now that it's lower the size of the map helps a newblet like me hide a bit so that I've been able to solo some. I'm approaching 3k prowess which is low when people say end-game is average 30k but it has only been 5 days.

This is a good thing that they aren't stalking because certainly that could drive people away. I'm still nervous when I cross into the Danger Zones but it's all on my side, so far no one has ganked me then waited for me to return to do it again. Make no mistake though, the chat is aggressive and people are talking mess to each other about who is better and who isn't so I realize there are probably some out there who would gank me - low level or not - but I'm content that they aren't circling and hunting for me.

 

LOL, as a formal fanboy of DF...I will tell you what any DF vet will...it is a gankfest, because that's what we always wanted...you need to be ready to be jumped all the time.  However, you didn't get jumped for one reason...the game is dead...lol.  So yea...it's not a gankfest, it's a deadfest.  Sorry... prior fanboy being honest.

You can't generalize like that.

Having to be prepared to be jumped all the time does not mean you will be jumped all the time, regardless of population.

I played DF back during 1.0, and then again for a while in DF:UW. I was jumped/ganked maybe a handful of times each go around, mainly because I made it a point to avoid more populated or heavily traveled areas, unless I was prepared for a scrap with someone. DF's world being quite large, it's pretty easy to go find someplace out in the middle of nowhere. After that, it's just a matter of keeping a sharp ear for someone approaching.

And of course, this is really only an issue if you're traveling alone a lot, or with only one other person, and not being careful.

From the Pantheon: RoTF FB Page:

Bittersweet news:

In the past few months we have seen some of the most passion bubble up from the Internet than we have in some time; all for an idea of a game we all want to see happen. It has been an exciting time for all of us.

Over the first month of development through crowdfunding, we’ve been able to achieve what was needed to be done in order to gain investor interest. That is, we’ve shown there is interest in a game like Pantheon, we’ve built the term sheets and business plan, and now have a prototype we can show to potential investors.

The downside now is that our initial resources have depleted, which regrettably means that development is going to slow down until finances can be secured. It’s not something we want to do by any means, but as we cannot guarantee paychecks to the team, they each need to be able to spend time on other things to pay the bills.

Once we’re able to get that level of funding we can then secure much-needed studio space and be able to pick up the pace of production dramatically. We are deeply thankful to this community for getting Pantheon to this critical point, where we have been able to put together an attractive package to present to potential investors.

In the interim, any donations made at this point until further notice will be going directly to maintaining the website during this phase, and not towards development.

An unfortunate turn of events, but not really unexpected, either.

They got completely off on the wrong foot with this from the get-go, and never got on track.

The KS campaign was just not compelling enough to get them to the finish line. Then they lost momentum with asking people to sign up and pledge again at their new website. The whole "join our website and get access to everything" left me with a bad taste in my mouth as well. You could tell it was looking bleak when they started asking, rather urgently, for those who'd pledged for the KS to please re-pledge at their site, which didn't happen too long ago.

And now they're flat out telling people their donations will go only toward maintaining the website?

Ugh.

If I may go into arm-chair critic mode here... With the conclusion of the KS campaign, they should have just said, "Okay, we didnt' reach the goal we needed, but we did learn a lot of what we should have done, and what we have to do. We're going to go back behind the scenes and work at this on our own time and come back stronger, with a better pitch, a more fleshed out game design, and a better planned reward tiers. We'll be doing this on our own time, and will still have bills to pay, so it will be slow going, but we've got a head start now, and a good foundation to build from.

If they're all as passionate about this as they've stated (and I'm sure they are), they can all continue to do what they've been doing within those parameters. It won't be full-time, and they won't be drawing a check for it - but then it's an investment of time and effort.

There are people waiting for the kind of game they're talking about making. But those people also want the reassurance that it's going to get done. IMO, Brad and Co. just have not done enough to convince people of this.

It also concerns me that they're seeking outside investors entirely for this now. Investors are going to want a say in how the project turns out. They're going to want a guaranteed return on their investment, sooner rather than later. And that means they're going to want the team to implement features that are proven successful in more mainstream games. I don't have a crystal ball, but I seriously fear so much of what they've talked about is going to either be dumbed down for mass consumption, or undermined by "casual friendly, easy access, convenience, frequent reward" and everything else that makes for "yet another WoW-clone" type MMO.

I dunno. I just don't have a good feeling about this project anymore.

 

Originally posted by SwampDragons
So you got bored and then they should kill wow? lol

That's pretty much the way a lot of gamers think - especially MMO gamers.

"The game doesn't interest me, so it shouldn't exist". 

There's a lot of truth to it when people describe (modern) MMO gamers as having a self-entitled attitude. OP is just one of many.

Originally posted by NightBandit

I've just cancelled my subscription as I'm fed up to death with the gold spamming and yeah I understand they do it in all game but lets be honest they could of and should of prevented this after all the years companies have had in fighting this. I had 34 emails from gold spammers today and I'm fed up to death of filling in an email support ticket for each gold spammer i report.

Yeah, it's really odd how developers aren't more on top of this from the start. You can not plead ignorance about this anymore. RMT is as real in MMOs as bugs and server downtime. You'd think they'd have better tools in place to deal with them. 

Even FFXIV:ARR was not developed with tools in place, and SE already had years of experience dealing with them in XI, so they know what to expect; you can't even call it a newbie mistake in their case.

Maybe they figure "oh well, we'll deal with it when it gets bad enough and in the meantime we're getting all those additional box purchases..." 

Ended up emailing more than playing and enough is enough...! I hope there is not a limit on the ignore button but there are other issues such as about to harvest a resource and then you hear the sound of someone else harvesting the ore you are stood in front of and it says someone else is harvesting that resource from another instance wtf!!!

Wait, seriously? If someone's harveesting in another instance, you can't harvest that same node in yours? What the... That can't be intended. Is that a phasing thing?

Originally posted by Octagon7711
Didn't some people say they prefer P2P games because of the quality they put into the game?

Quality of content, gameplay, service, etc in the long-term; not "the game just launched and is having issues that need to be sorted out in the short-term".

You anti-P2P people crack me up. Any little thing you can perceive as an "issue" somehow gets tossed into the "but P2P MMOs aren't supposed to have those problems!" routine, even when no one has ever made any such claim. And it's always taken to an extreme.

 

Originally posted by Kuinn
Why is there 2 different options for people who sub? To make it look like there's less subbers because they are divided or wut?

Actually it would mean more subs, not fewer.

One answer is future (will resub), the other is present (already have resubbed). They're both positive in that regard. As is the "1 more month" option.

Originally posted by eAzydaman
Yup gonna be playing this for a long time. I don't get people who answers to this thread and they haven't even bought the game, why even bother commenting.

"Haven't bought it yet" is an option in the poll, as is "waiting for F2P". Clearly, the OP was interested in those votes as well.

Why do you care who comments? Are differing opinions a threat to you or something? Insecure in  your own choice/vote?

Originally posted by ThumbtackJ

Thank you all for the feedback. I'm certainly interested, unfortunately, the game runs like absolute crap. I'm fiddling with the settings right now trying to find a decent balance, but so far no luck. Everything is fine when I'm standing still, but the second I go to move the camera, or move in general, it gets choppy as hell (running on a GTX680, 8GB DDR3, i5 2500k, Windows 7x64, for reference).

 

EDIT: Still poking around at it. It crashed on me once now, and for some reason, Chrome stops working while L2 is running, so that's certainly odd. I have no clue what the issue is. Maybe it has just not aged well in terms of optimization? I'm giving up on it for now. Maybe I'll come back to it later, but for now I can't be bothered.

The laggy performance is something held over from when it was still new. 

Basically, L2 is built on a heavily modded Unreal Engine 2. They took a game engine that was built around individual, discrete maps, and retro-fitted a streaming system to dynamically load new map "chunks" while you play. Map chunks are basically what would be separate maps in a typical Unreal Tournament type game. You'll notice the performance hitching a lot when you're nearing a chunk line (which happens to correspond with the grid lines on the map). How bad the chunking is has a lot to do with how many new zones are streaming in (like if you're coming up against a corner where it has 3 new maps to load instead of one), and how many assets there are to stream in for each one. It doesn't help that Unreal Engine 2's maps are quite "heavy" to begin with.

So, basically, it's an effect of NC choosing a game engine that was never intended for seamless worlds, and making it work with seamless worlds.

Another reason you'll see a lot of lag, especially in populated areas, is because the Unreal 2 engine - at least the modded L2 version - doesn't pre-load everything automatically during the "loading" process. It loads in just whatever is within your player's view frustum. As you rotate the camera, or begin moving in a given direction (but mostly rotating), it's only just streaming in the assets you'll need to see... this makes it lag up a lot... especially when it's player characters loading, given all the different models and textures it has to load for all the various armor sets, character races, hair, etc. etc. 

In Unreal Tournament 2004, you didn't get that lag because the engine would do this sorta "360 pan" during the level load, so that all those assets *were* pre-loaded by the time the game view came up. For some reason, L2 doesn't seem to do that, and so... lots of lag.

Now, Epic went on to re-code Unreal Engine 3 from the ground up to load seamless, streaming worlds right "out of the box". So if L2 were to be recreated today, on that or similar tech... you wouldn't have that problem. As an example, see TERA. It's a game very much based on Lineage 2 type concepts (it was originally going to be Lineage 3, but some folks stole the code and split, to start their own studio to make TERA... true story that), but it runs beautifully, even as you move into new areas.

 

Anyway! Long-winded explanation... but it's something to keep in mind if you continue playing. There are tweaks you can make to mitigate it, but I forget exactly what they are at the moment. I'd have to open up the settings and look at them myself. I don't have L2 installed atm :-/

Originally posted by Sk1ppeR
Originally posted by greenreen
Originally posted by Sk1ppeR
The game is a ghost city, what did you expect? 

That's not true where I'm at. The chat is always busy. People are always at the bank when I visit or the crafting stations. People emote me when they see me or we jump to say hi. There are new people in chat asking questions. Even GMs talk in the chat. Second time in less than a week I've seen them asking questions to report back the info to staff. That's something I only ever saw in Ryzom during their events. The only other time I saw a GM was in WOW when they silenced someone and in LOTRO when they were invisible watching us fight a boss then outed themselves and said they were curious about our thoughts on the difficulty.

Just last night someone was teaching someone about fighting so there were 3 people in my local talking and twice people waved at me and I didn't see it until later, someone else whispered me asking if I liked the game which I ignored because I thought they would then ask to guild me. Then I was jumping in and out of global giving one liners and there were at least 10 ppl talking there. Every question I've asked in Help was answered and pretty fast. Even a dopey one about real life meant as a joke someone answered it lol

Another day two people said they were new to the game and one said they spent all their gold so I told them to keep their eyes out for a chest while in global a few ppl told them something jokey like welcome to darkfall, it's hardcore. Another day someone came to where I was trying to learn to fight and killed all the mobs in the area then left them unlooted so I started looting them. Then one time I was fighting and someone said you don't want to be my friend or something and left because I didn't say hi to them when they acknowledged me in the area. I just didn't see the chat, was trying to get my fighting together so I didn't suck as much. I've since binded my keys better for my short fingers lol Now I've got Q and E as former 1 and 2, ZXC as 3 4 5 so that I don't have to try to hit the number keys. People pass me on mounts and I can hear when people are harvesting in an area. There wasn't one chest out yesterday when I went hunting several times, they didn't loot themselves. Other days I was able to get 2 each play session so I know at least 2 can be in the area.

It might not be high population but I encountered less people playing Wurm online and Ryzom so I know low pop from really low pop. There were probably less playing Haven and Hearth too but I can't be certain because no one chatted in a global.  Often I play up to 3am and there are still people around. Some major games after midnight, chat goes quiet.  This one doesn't.

 

So we are going to forget how DFUW devs begged for people to subscribe because they couldn't keep up the servers? And we are also forgetting that some devs don't get payed simply because there is not enough revenue....we forget about all that? 

Better question: Does it matter?

You're clearly attempting to move the goal-post now just so you can be "right" and "win" the debate you've decided to start here. The bottom line is, you made an assertion about the game being a ghost town. The OP explained that hasn't been their experience, and gave a number of examples illustrating as such.

You come back, still determined to try and prove your point - even though the OP has already demonstrated it to not be the case in their experience.

So.. what is it, exactly, that you're trying to prove here, Sk1pper? What's your goal? Trying to convince someone the experience they're having isn't actually the experience they're having? Can't rest knowing that someone isn't hating the game as much as you apparently do?

You know, it's one thing to have an opinion about a game, positive or negative, and voice it for others to read.. and then leave it alone. That's fine. What I don't get are people who, like you Sk1pper, seem determined to try and ruin others' experiences in a game just because you don't happen to enjoy it. Wouldn't it be more productive use of your time to be off playing something you enjoy, rather than giving someone  crap over a game they clearly are enjoying? Or, is there nothing you're actually enjoying at this time?

Originally posted by ohioastro

Do you have any answer to the obvious counterexamples - namely, the numerous people (like me) who had no charges?  Or the people who canceled without being charged an extra month?

I want to turn this around: what are the motives of the people pushing this sort of smear?

To warn people that it can happen, and has happened, perhaps?

Because it didn't happen to you personally doesn't mean it hasn't happened to anyone else. 

And so long as it has happened to some people, then it is true and, hence, not a 'smear'.

I realize there are people who are going to try and defend Zenimax against any and all criticism, spinning any situation any way they can think of to try and make sure Zeni comes out smelling like a rose every time - every MMO has these people, including ESO. 

However, if you're going to accuse people of "smearing" the company, make sure you're at least using the term correctly.

Originally posted by Sk1ppeR

But I thought subscription was going to keep that kind of people out :OOO 

/sarcasm

It's not a matter of sub-based games having no players like that. That would be a ridiculous thing to say.

It's a matter of them having substantially fewer players like that.... which is absolutely true.

And please, no one say "But WoW...", don't bother. WoW is, statistically, in a whole other ballpark, in pretty much every category.

Originally posted by warmaster670
Originally posted by gobla
Originally posted by twodayslate
Originally posted by hookiedupu2

I don't care what he's known for and what he isn't. It's what he does with this game that'll make or break my views of him.

I personally don't give a fat crap about what he did or didn't do, but rather what he does and will do. Bill Gates was a college dropout, for example.

All I wanna do it sit with a sniper rifle and blow people's faces off, or fly. Or both. Give me those options and I'll be a happy camper.

Hardly the same thing, precedence plays a big part in the development of MMOs.  Particularly where this guy is concerned, he tends to want nothing to do with playerbase input.

Not always a bad attitude.

This, often times player input is worthless, since players will whine about anything whether or not its good or not, and often times have no idea what would work in a game.

Indeed. There's also the fact that so much of player feedback is people asking for changes that would improve the game for them personally "right now", without thought or concern of how it would affect the game for everyone in the long term.

 

Originally posted by Mothanos

Each and every mmo that launched needs to be "activated" with a subscription with a few exceptions.
Gues many people never played a sub based mmo before ? LOL

The sub information is typically entered at the time the account is created and the game's CD-Key is applied. The company typically just doesn't do anything with that information until its billing cycle begins. They don't leave it to the player to go back and activate a sub on an account they've already signed up for. That includes pre-orders.

I've never had to set up a subscription to a game after I'd already created the account and was in game playing it. I've played numerous sub-based MMOs (I can list them all if it's necessary), and I've never seen a one handle it the way ESO has. Not saying "no one else does it that way", but I can certainly say "Many don't do it that way". 

It's also a good point to say that there's no reason to have to set up a subscription plan if you're getting 30 days play time anyway. Just send out a notice that "Hey, your time is going to run out in 10 days and you have not yet set up a subscription plan. Please do so to ensure uninterrupted service". I've seen MMOs do that as well.

It's definitely an odd way to handle the subscription setup. But then Zeni has done a lot of odd things with this game.

 

Originally posted by Elikal

I am so sick and tired of being right.

I TOLD ZOS IN BETA THIS WOULD HAPPEN! I told it here, and I was called hater and flamer, and this is exactly what happened!

 

This is the third time I try to gather a group for some Region Boss (Skull and bones symbol on the map) and 1-2 of the group are just invisible arrows because they are phased away. So the group scatters after 10-15 minutes in vain trying SOMEHOW to get together.

I am so frustrated with this! I am really generally having a good time with ESO, but this phasing PISSES ME OFF TO NO AVAIL! WHY in the name of the Great Maker did they have to divide player like this! Wasn't ZOS touting out loud, oh we have MegaServer, so you always can play with friends? Well, good job, because I CAN NOT because how phasing is handled and EVERYONE is tossed into some other phase and we can't get together at all!

 

GRRRRRRR

Welcome to the new world of Massively Multi... eerr.. Singleplayer Online Games, where it's all about "me". "We" has been pushed almost completely out the door - except for organized PvP (where people still manage to demonstrate very "solo-minded" behavior), and dungeons or end-game raiding (where, ironically, some of the worst selfish, egocentric behavior comes out).

People weened on single-player games came to the genre, saw it involved interacting, cooperating or competing with other players, and said "oh, hell no!". Rather than adapt to something they weren't accustom to and, you know, maybe try and expand their experiences a bit, they instead went into anti-social overdrive and started demanding the games be made more soloable so they could play by themselves as often as possible. 

They only want others around when they need help with something, otherwise it's, "get the hell away from me with your social, teamwork nonsense. I play multiplayer games with thousands of others because I like being alone". 

It's like a vegan going to a TGI Friday's, and then saying "I don't want to sit around all these meat-eaters". 

They're like the types who go to parties, then stand in the corner by themselves, avoiding eye contact, hopeful that no one gets too close, because they might have to do something uncomfortable, like... saying "Hi" or something. And what if someone actually tries to engage in conversation? Oh boy. Better have a clear shot at the front door for a quick escape if that happens... "I don't go to parties to be social! Just show me where the drinks are, and leave me alone".

Want to find perhaps the most anti-social, egocentric, anti-team population of players in gaming? Play a modern MMO! 

But seriously.. This is what the genre has become. Millions spent on technologies that help players be the "lone hero", in a genre originally inspired by games designed around teamwork and camaraderie. 

Frankly, from what I've seen, read and heard of ESO, it seems like Zenimax has gone out of their way to keep players separated as much as possible. Phasing, can't see players of other factions, can't go into areas of other factions 'til you're finished with  your own... It's like "Keeping People Apart As Much As Possible" was one of their core goals for ESO.

 

Originally posted by Mardy
Originally posted by DMKano
Read Tangent points post above - there are ways of making lower level zones have relevance throughout the game.

That's wonderful.  And when you start making games like that, and have thousands of players playing it, let me know.  Until then, you're still stating the obvious about a themepark MMO.

You say that as though you assume it can't be done, or already hasn't. Thing is, it's already has been done, and it already has been proven effective.

 FFXI maintained ~500k players for up to 8 years - even as newer and, supposedly, "better" MMOs (ie. WoW) launched along side it. They still have at least ~200k players to this day - even as a 11+ year old MMO. So, that's already been accomplished and proven empirically.  A large part of what kept people playing the game for so long, and not getting caught in that cycle of obsolescing content is the fact that so many zones in the game remain relevant from day 1, pretty much up until you're done playing the game altogether. There's very little obsolescence of areas/zones, because there's content available for players at all level ranges within them.

Of  the complaints I've seen/read over the years about XI, returning to lower level zones to access higher level content was never one of them. This is largely because the concept of "lower level zones" was never established to begin with. That is because FFXI was a game built around a world. Conversely, most so-called "modern themepark MMOs" are worlds built around heavily guided and linear games. There's an important distinction there.

That XI, for most of its life, also had a very lateral/horizontal progression, instead of the vertical gear-grind type progression common in themepark MMOs nowadays, is also a big reason, but that's another topic altogether.

Lineage 2 adopted the same concept, though in a slightly different way. A given area would have a wider range of enemies, separated into level groups, but all within the same overall "zone". They also have/had Catacombs/Necropolises scattered about the map - basically dungeons - with some very high ones being located in lower level areas. Again, a reason for people to return to those locations. Further, there was always content that required people to return to the earlier, lower level zones... including towns... allowing those to remain relevant even far into the leveling curve. Of all the things I heard/read people complaining about in L2, returning to a lower level zones to access higher level content was never one of them.

That's just two examples.

And let me play the devil's advocate here.  I'm used to playing older games, games like Everquest for an example.  Do you know what SOE devs are faced with when they develop things in older zones or re-develop older content to make them more "modern" or higher level?  Players bash the heck out of them for attempting to be lazy, because people don't want to go back to zones they've seen a hundred times or spent hours upon hours in.  They want something NEW, something they haven't seen before.  They're tired of going back to the same 'ol places.

Two different things.

It doesn't work in that example because they're shoe-horning higher level content into areas originally not designed around it. It feels like the same old place, because it is the same old place, at least geographcially. Re-purposing existing areas to implement higher level content after the fact is an entirely different beast than having those areas designed around a wider range of levels to begin with.

If areas are designed around a wider range of levels/difficulty from the start, then players aren't returning to those same areas over and over again as they're leveling up. They're not hanging around the same familiar areas, killing new things. They're passing through those previously explored areas to access new, unexplored ones.

It's like playing Metroid, or even Zelda. You go through areas of the game multiple times, except each time, some new chunk of the map is opened to you that was inaccessible, or un-survivable before, either due to difficulty, or some item you didn't possess the first time through. It keeps the games interesting, it keeps the areas relevant throughout the whole experience, and it keeps that sense of mystery alive - even after you've already been through the areas before - because there's still those certain spots you just could not get through previously.

Your example is analgous to a developer going back and shoe-horning a PvP system into a game that was designed around PvE. It always feels tacked on, and tends to end up feeling unfulfilling and incomplete, especially compared to a MMO where PvP was designed into the game from day 1.

So what makes people think that just because there are ways to make lower level zones relevant, that paying subscribers actually want that?  EQ1 is a great place to get these types of feedback because there aren't many MMO's with the amount of zones that Everquest has.  The revamping of older content or making them relevant have been tried before, and they are generally met with resistance and negativity.  Maybe there's a reason why gaming developers don't do it, because we surely can't think we're the only smart ones out there with all these great ideas right?

Based on your explanation of how it was handled in EQ1, it's not a good example, for the reasons I explained above. 

Again, you're arguing something can't work.... when it's already been proven that it can, and does. 

It has to be designed that way from the start.

It's one of the problems with linear, quest-driven, themepark style games, where "leveling to end game" is the primary goal. Built-in obsolescence of content. It's one of the things that makes these types of MMOs merely "games", rather than a world. The areas aren't so much "locations in a massive world", so much as they're just "the next setpiece for you to quest and level through on your way to the end". It makes themeparks feel "thin" to me.

It's sad that there are many who can't imagine any other way of doing it (developers and players alike). It's particularly evident when people make remarks like "How else do you expect them to do it?". It shows how far removed we are from worlds that were, in my opinion, far more imaginative, far more engaging and far more thought-out in their design, and their "place" in the world.

Well, for one, areas can provide content covering a wider range of levels. It has been done before.

In FFXI, for example, you had many areas (mainly dungeon/underground areas - which were world areas, mind you, not private instances) that started off at low level.. say, as low as level 2 or 3. But as you got farther and farther in, the level of the creatures, and of the specific content (quests, rare spawns, etc) increased greatly.

To give one example, King Ranperre's Tomb contains mobs from level 2 clear up to level 80+, including one of the game's earliest Raid Bosses, the dragon Vrtra which is level ~95. How? Well, the dungeon is broken down into distinct "areas", that are pretty easily distinguishable as you're traveling through. The zone weaves between underground passageways and above-ground ruins, and the difficulty increases as you leave one area (above ground, say) and enter another (going back underground). So it's easy to tell when you've gone too far and need to back up a bit.

So, what does this zone offer? Well, it offers a nice low-level xp'ing spot for newer characters/jobs. It offers a variety of missions/quests to undertake. These days it offers "Grounds of Valor" which are repeatable mini-quests. It offers a variety of interactive objects and locations, including one of the game's many hidden "Strange Apparatus" rooms. There are rare mob spawns down there which are/were a popular thing for many players to seek out for their rare drops. There's a wide variety of content ranging everything from newbie to vet level....

And here's why this is good... It keeps the location "relevant" throughout the game. There's no such thing as "out-leveling King Ranperre's Tomb", because even at high level, there's something you could very well find worth returning to it for. And KRT only spans 2 maps. There are similar areas in Vana'diel that span 5 or 6 maps/floors, with the same kind of design/setup/progression.

Now, these days, with XI's new level cap and the ridiculously OP gear players can get, Ranperre's Tomb would be more of a joke than anything to a higher level player. But in the level cap 75 days, which went on for about 8 years into the game's service, KRT was not a place you ever felt 100% safe in... not even at high level. And that, to me, is awesome. It's how more MMOs should be. They should feel dangerous.

It also keeps that sense of wonder alive. You go there as a newbie, and realize you've hit a point where you simply can't go any further. "What's beyond these mobs that I clearly can not take on at my level? Hmm.. guess I'll have to level up some more and come back to see what's the what...". You come back later, can get a bit farther in, appreciating how much stronger you've become since you were last there.. only to hit another wall in the form of even tougher mobs that, again, send you back-pedaling 'til you've grown even further. Granted, you might look it up on a guide and already know what's farther in, but that's not the point. The point is, you never truly out-level the zone. There's always something that's going to give you some kind of challenge.

And there are myriad areas like this scattered about Vana'diel. That, to me, is wise use of real-estate. I wish XI had done it more, even on some of the overland areas. But, I can understand why it was limited to dungeon type areas - easier to control the progression of difficulty via corridors and rooms than it is via a vast open landscape. To me, the idea that a single zone can provide content spanning pretty much  your character's entire range of levels is pretty damn brilliant.

It's something that themepark MMOs absolutely can do. Yet, for some reason... most all of them simply don't. Those vast, detailed and beautiful worlds they spend years crafting are, in my opinion, the worse for it. Even FFXIV: ARR suffers from this same problem, since they decided to strictly follow the "standard themepark model". The areas in ARR are visually beautiful, but in terms of engaging the player, or long-term relevance, they fall straight into the hole of built-in obsolescence.

Edited to reword a few things :p

Originally posted by Tbau

I prefer sub games but sadly have to say he is right. The amount of sub based games that have been released over the last 6-8 years being so horrible that many non-sub based games look good by comparison.

Now add in that sub based games like TESO has locked paywall content like races and a way around the base game design, closed factions, I have to say that subscription games are looking far worse than the nickel and dime F2P games since they will now start to include it with their subs. No WAY am I going for that.

Whoah whoah whoah... Slow down on the blanket comments. TESO is pulling the pay-wall thing in their particular sub game. FFXIV: ARR has no such thing in game. Whether they add them in at some point remains to be seen. As it stands, at least for now and the foreseeable future, ARR is at least one P2P MMO that is not also nickel and diming its players.

So yeah... easy on the blanket statements there.

 

Holy crap. Monolith is still around? Wow. 

 

lol... Weird. For some reason it didn't even occur to me that they'd been making games all along. I still remember playing Shogo all those years ago...

 

And then Matrix Online (RIP).

 
 
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