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All Posts by Jimmy_Scythe

All Posts by Jimmy_Scythe

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932 posts found


Most MMO are shitty games and I don't want to spend time grinding in them when I could be doing something better with my time. 

Also don't forget that MMOs are games that are meant to be played with other people. Often times, you end up playing with t he same people over and over again. And that means that you're on their schedule whether you likie it or not. The bigger the group, the more likely that the one of those people has a pavlovian response to the ding. Which means that if you don't show up, or stop playing, or have to ditch to go do something important, you become the asshole. It's never them, or their addiction to PHAT L00TZ. Nope. It's always your fault because you let them down.

In the end, games are entertainment. I want to be entertained. I do not want to join the online equivalent of a cult. 

@ OP:

Oh for fuck sake!! Seriously?!

I hate to do what I'm about to do, because I'm a retro gamer myself and I love Olde Skool arcade and console games, but this has to be done.

First, there were tutorials back in the day. In the arcades they were called "Attract Mode" and they showed you what the goals of the game were. The games would also have the instructions printed on the bevel of the screen just in case you were the type of person that reads the nutritional information on cereal boxes. On consoles, instructions were a complete waste of time for most games. You only had TWO BUTTONS!!! Want to know what they do? Try pressing them Enstien. 

Second, console games of the era were designed to compete with arcade games. Arcade games were designed to kill the player. The idea was to get another kid to plug quarters into the machine every thirty seconds to three minutes. What's more, arcade operators could crank the difficulty of a game if they thought the machine wasn't making enough money. Yeah, coin op machines were the F2P of their day.

Third, meaningless accomplishment is meaningless. Unless you're Billy Mitchell, no one really cares how damn good you are at video games. The endorphin rush is still the same regardless of how you got there. A sprinter and a marathon runner both get the same high. Back then,we used fake difficulty to make money, today we use massive grinds and peer pressure to keep people paying... er... playing....

The truth is that nothing really changed. Players were getting bored with the impossible difficulty of earlier games, so the industry found a new way to hook them. Now, players are getting bored with leveling treadmills and arbitrary achievements so the industry is going to have to come up with something else. 

I'll bet good money that you aren't going to like the next thing that they come up with either.

Originally posted by Normike

WoWs sneaky move next year should be to go F2P, enhance their cash shop, and basically become the new Runescape. Since Runescape is apparently king of MMOs in terms of amount of people playing and number of accounts, with a very profitable cash shop.


It's been awhile since I played Runescape, but I don't remember them having a cash shop. As I recall, it's a freemium game where you either play limited content for free or pay a $5 a month subscription.

<shrugs> things might have changed though.

Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

Go a week without playing an MMO. If you aren't addicted, then this should be easy.

I'll just leave this here and see what you guys do with it....

I'll use it as an example of how people will call anything addiction when they don't understand compulsion, habit, routine, marketing, peer pressure or any of the other factors that prompt people to return to something when they have an arbitrary reason to stay away from it.

I'd think a sign of a greater issue would be ceasing to enjoy a particular form of entertainment for a week because some random guy on the internet told them to.

I'll just leave this here and see what you do with it....

Touche good sir... Touche

Originally posted by AzurePrower

A week with out playing an MMO? Easy.

Try going a week with out using a computer or any other electronic device. That's hard.


You mean like when I go camping for two weeks?

Go a week without playing an MMO. If you aren't addicted, then this should be easy.

I'll just leave this here and see what you guys do with it....

OKAY I changed the name of the thread already!!!

<huff.... huff... huf....>

Can we please get back to the subject of a free to play Nexon gaming being released on the most MMO unfriendly service known to man? Please?

Yeah, I remember FFIX and PSO and even Everquest Online Adventures. The title was meant to draw attention to the thread.

The actually pay off was the fact that a free to play Nexon game is going to be released as a free download on XBox Live Arcade AND the whole thing will run by an item mall. The fact that Microsoft is cool with this has got to be a sign of the apocalypse.

Dungeon Fighter Online

No... Really....

.... I'm not kidding.

It's going to be on XBox Live Arcade. Considering Microsoft's stance on XBox Live games, I can honestly say that I didn't see this one coming.

Originally posted by Zamen

It makes one wonder if we are all witness to the beginning of the end. Has it started hear with us? And in 2 possibly 3 hundred years will the people in this world simply live there lives self contained within there own homes, work via computer and Socialize  in the virtual worlds created in cyberspace? That in its self begs to question... would that really be a bad thing? Makes one think i guess.

So what happens when The Machine Stops?

Just because I like pouring pure gasoline on a roaring flame war....

Has anyone considered that the term 'massively' could have a different number attached to to it depending on genre? We know that MMORPGs put 'massive' at server population around 1000 to 3000 concurrent plyaers. But for something more network intensive, like an FPS or an RTS, the number of concurrent players would be something way lower. I think Planetside had an upward cap of 400 and MAG has 250 players per server. Hell, I played on original Tribes servers that hosted about 120 players at once back in the days of 56K. So an MMOFPS would need between 200 to 500 concurrent players?

Whoever said that a persistent would was not required was right. The important element is the MASS of people playing on the server at the same time, in the same virtual space. The level of mass that defines the MMOness of a game is really dependant on genre and the network demands that a given gaming genre would demand.

Originally posted by Emergence
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe
Originally posted by Emergence
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Emergence

Let me give you some advice. If you feel like an expert on something, then you're not.

Uh huh... so by your logic no one is an expert.

Over the course of my adult working life, I've worked with some of the best people in their fields. At times, I've been asked to consult others. What all experts have in common in a sense that they really have no idea what they're doing.

Wait... so at first I'm NOT an expert, and then I am?


"You don't know what you're doing and your learning as you go."

You just said that, and now you say "What all experts have in common in a sense that they really have no idea what they're doing."

So first I am a 17 teenager novice, and now I am a 58 year old expert?

When you don't know a lot about something, then you don't know what you don't know. When you do know a lot about something, you know exactly what you don't know and you feel like an idiot for not knowing. You know?

Uh huh... will you please stop...please?


And this is an example of when being stylistically clever is a bad choice. Let me aim for clarity this time.

A novice may have knowledge about a subject, but they usually don't know about the holes in their own knowledge. An expert has vast knowledge, but they also realize that there's a lot more to they have yet to learn and they know exactly where they are lacking.

Here's a quick example: While I was working on my degree in English I asked a bunch of graduate students what a participle was. None of them could tell me right off the top of their head. After a certain point, that kind of knowledge is no longer important to the writing process because you don't leave particples hanging. Even today, as a professional technical/copywriter, I go out of my way to avoid using semicolons and dashes. Sure, I could look up there usage in the Hacker's Manual, but why bother when I have other tools that will get the point accross just as effectively?

And that's were the phenomenon comes from. Novices are actively thinking about what they're doing as they're doing it while experts just use the patterns that always worked for them without conscious effort. Thing is, you still run up against things you don't know about. Experts recognize this while novices don't know that they lack knowledge and just move ahead obliviously and make mistakes without knowing it.

The result is an inverse humility. Novices get pissy and strut their "expertise" while actual experts get real quiet and start working it out in their heads. There's an actual psychological term for this but I'm too lazy to look it up right now.

Back to your post. You are a graphic designer. If you made the pictures you posted, you're adequate. Or your art style is very dry. Or you didn't spend a lot of time on those images. At any rate, you can draw. This doesn't make you an accountant or an MBA.

While I'm sure you may have heard some figures from co-workers, the business end of the business is not your specialization. In this light, your popping off about your involvement in the industry holds even less weight. You push pixels. You don't do the books.

Originally posted by Emergence
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Emergence
I would get fired if I mentioned what our company makes, the amount players tend to pay... I have mentioned enough in this post about something I shouldn't be talking ... I could get in a lot of trouble if they even knew I was posting here.

However, once our first game goes live, I'll gladly give you a link so you can go and play :) For free of course! As there will be several other players who pay so much more than your free ride takes from us, that I'll be perfectly fine about it.

I'm going to go out of my way and take some of what you say at face value. Let's assume that you are under NDA for your company's first project. What's the company's name? I'm not asking about the project. I'm not asking for any stats. I'm asking for the company name. k?

Next up, this company that you allegedly work for hasn't produced a single game yet. You don't even have a game live at this point. How can you claim to have inside information about how the F2P business model pans out when you don't even have a working game that is making you money?

Right now, based on what you've volunteered, I'm assuming that you're a high school kid and that you and your friends decided to make an MMORPG. You don't know what you're doing and your learning as you go. That's good and that's bad. It's good that you're learning some hard lessons early so that you can be more successful next time. It's bad because you feel the need to fill your sense of failure with false arrogance.

Let me give you some advice. If you feel like an expert on something, then you're not. Over the course of my adult working life, I've worked with some of the best people in their fields. At times, I've been asked to consult others. What all experts have in common in a sense that they really have no idea what they're doing.

When you don't know a lot about something, then you don't know what you don't know. When you do know a lot about something, you know exactly what you don't know and you feel like an idiot for not knowing. You know?

Originally posted by Sid_Vicious

If I am paying a monthly sub than it better have many time sinks otherwise they are better off just making it pay to play since I would most likely stop within a month.


All of my favorite computer and console games growing up had timesinks but I expect more entertaining and bigger ones in MMORPGs since I am paying monthly.

So you'd be totally cool with a game where you clicked a button to attack a mob and then had to come back in EXACTLY 48 hours to see the results and decide what to do next? And if you didn't come back on time, the monster would just keep attacking you.

Yeah, I'm exageratiing a whole lot, but that is basically what you're advocating for. There are plenty of Facebook and browser games that do that already. I expect something more from a AAA title with it's own client and a monthly fee.

Originally posted by Shoju

And what makes you think that the majority of gamers really want an 'alternative'?

The fact that the majority of gamers are playing genres other than MMORPGs. Grand Theft Auto 3 alone sole more copies than the total number of World of Warcraft accounts. If you were to combine The top two games of just about any other genre and compare them to the subscription numbers of the top two MMORPGs, you would find out just how small the MMORPG market really is.

And why is the market small? Because it clings to designs that turn the majority of gamers off. And it isn't just action and console gamers either. By the end of the year, Starcraft 2 is expected to sell over 7 million units. The first sims game sold 16 million copies with the sequels doing equally well. The Pokemon series, argueably a RPG series, has sold 155 million units over the years.

And look at the upcoming games that are getting the most buzz. Planetside Next, Firefall, that zombie game from Undead Labs, End of Nations.... The MMORPG market is saturated and dominated by WoW and the market for that kind of gameplay is limited. Developers are striking out in new directions where there is some actual money to be made.

So I just watched a presentation about open branding and I was thinking about how this could be applied to games. The concept is that a base company creates a brand and then allows other companies to use that brand, for free, provided that they stick some basic guidelines regarding the brand. It's kind of like a corporate GNU license.

The idea strikes me as actually pretty solid for gaming and MMOs in particular. Think about all of the free servers out there. Now imagine if they were all legit and the company owning the original game could pick and choose the best gameplay and lore modifications from among them. Imagine completely different spin-off products that are independantly developed and brand supported. It's the best of all worlds. You get the creativity of the indies, fan involvment, and the growth of your IP.

Yeah, there are some wrinkles here. The core organization behind an IP can pull the brand from anyone that violates the IP guidelines, so the indie projects don't have complete creative control. But the sheer diversity of products that could be created from an IP like Starcraft or Pokemon would be huge. The best would survive, thrive and grow the IP while the worst would simply fad away.

Originally posted by Shoju
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers.

The 12 million people running around in the World of Warcraft Skinner Box suggests otherwise.

But Blizzard's formula clearly doesn't work for anyone else though, but other developers haven't quite worked that out yet.

Just because something is effective doesn't mean that it's necessarily beneficial to everyone involved. As someone who works in advertising, I can tell you that there are ways to get a high number of people to buy anything. In fact, the best case scenario is when we get millions of people to buy almost nothing at all (see also Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill).

The problem with Timesinks in MMOs is that they don't benefit anyone in the business chain. Developers are shackled to a design that allows for minimal creative freedom, publishers have their profits cut into by heavy bandwidth usage, and gamers get watered down, boring games. At this point, anyone that offers an alternative will be making a lot of money. The only reason these techniques are used is because it's the way that MMOs have always been done.

Keep in mind that MUDs were originally available on academic servers for free. DIKU itself was prolific specifically because of all the free DIKIMUDs available. When that model was switched to a commercial purpose, things went the wrong way fast.

Originally posted by Lerxst
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

It doesn't really make any sense. I realize that F2P games use the grind as 'stick' in order to get players to buy stuff from the cash shop, but aren't there more immediate ways that you can "encourage" your player base to buy that crap. If the goal is to get people to pay for junk, time seems like a horrible way to do it since there will always be people that are willing to waste their lives rather than pay for anything.

The same question applies to subscription games. When your players spend huge amounts of time playing your game, the bandwidth costs eat up your revenue. The less time people play per session, the more money you make because you aren't spending as much on bandwidth. Rather than demanding players sit on their asses for 20+ hours a week, why not just use that sub money for monthly content expansions. You could still do one major box expansion every year just to get a spike in returning players.

I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers. There are more effective ways to keep people paying those subs and buying those items.

Why not just give up the MMO genre and stick with the old FPS games.  They're the only games that have what you're describing.  Most of them don't even require a subsrtiption to play.


MMO's were meant to be grind-fests since they first came out.  Even MUDs required repeatedly using skills in order to improve them.

Go back to FPS HURP DERP DERP!!!!

Seriously? Seriously?

BTW, how do you know what MMO's were "meant to be?" Do you know Richard Bartle or something? Nah, you couldn't because then you'd realize that he was actually experimenting with social interactions in virtual spaces. I doubt you've ever been to a tinyMUD or MUSH. Way different than the DIKU deriviatives that most MMORPGs descend from. But then again I doubt you've actually set foot in a MUD.

Don't try to lecture me on history that I lived through and don't claim an understanding that you don't have. There are plenty of actual RPGs that are carried by diverse gameplay and story. There is no reason why MMORPGs can't do the same.

Because I'm bored period. I work at home so....

But still, I don't have to be at work to be bored enough to post here.

Originally posted by severius

Time sinks are the heart and soul of the mmo business.  Without them they would be half-assed single player games with 1/3of the content in a traditional isometric rpg and worse than bugs you get the distinct pleasure of playing alongside the communities of both xbox live and :P

Took you a whole hour to think that one up huh?

I don't think I've ever played an MMORPG that wasn't a "half-assed single player game." For all intents and purposes, UO and Everquest were basically standard RPGs with the story ripped out and replaced by a mob of complete assholes. The design never really rose above the "let's all beat the living shit out of random mobs together" mentality. UO had the groundwork for something more, but never quite achieved it. Seriously, the only difference between most MMORPGs and Diablo is the number of people you can group with. Well... that and the fact that Diablo was more fun.

If the whole point of these games is to just get into a giant mob and steamroll accross the landscape, why not just cut out all the extra, unimportant shit? Why do I have to specifically identify everything in my pack? Why not just have an Identify skill that automatically identifies stuff as I find it? Why do I have to specifically place my health and Mana pots in my hotbar? Why not just have a hotkey or hotbar slot set aside for them? Why do I have to collect ten Gimp harnesses from three different kinds of gimps that only drop harness one out of ten times? And when I do the Kill X missions, why do I have to kill 25 of something that I've already killed hundreds of? Why do we even have heal over time in a world where there are instant healing spells and potions? And why does every damn monster respawn in the same damn place? Even the bosses.

I get the whole playing with others toward a common goal bit. I even get the character progression bit. What I don't get is the introduction of grind when it 1) adds nothing to the game and 2) actually works against the business model that these games opporate under.

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