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All Posts by aesperus

All Posts by aesperus

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5136 posts found

It's no secret ARR is basically a wow clone w/ an FF skin. While I personally preferenced FFXI (can't say I enjoyed FFXIV 1.x, tbh, too many horrible design choices), I'm also conscious of the fact that a game like that just wouldn't work in today's climate. Expedience, and simplicity, are what most (key: MOST, not all) players seem to want. The amount of people who enjoy actually difficult content is fairly low by comparison (~10% or less).

There are definitely a lot of things I wish they did differently in ARR, but they aren't ever going to make a second FFXIV. You can be sure of that, especially given the public shame they displayed in regards to that game.

An interesting idea.

Probably the closest thing to that that might be possible (it would still have a lot of issues needed to be worked out) is to do a base scan and then reference it to the character creator to try and find an approximate match. Still, it would make more sense to just release a character creator prior to launch, and let players save character files to be uploaded when they make their accounts (if desired), so people can jump right into the game and not feel like they are torn between making the character they want, and 'beating the rush' of new players.

- 3d Scanning tech has come a LONG way since its inception. However, what often goes unspoken is the amount of work done off-camera behind the scenes to clean up the mesh & make sure the model animates properly. It's not nearly as plug-n-play as many places will have you believe. As a result you can have issues with the animation rig (as previous posters have stated) not applying correctly to the model. In addition to that, however, you can also have problems w/ armor & weapons not fitting right (massive clipping problems, floating pieces, etc.), and there's also the problem of 'too much' information. There's a reason why most character creators that allow you to build old people don't model in most (if any) of the wrinkles. It's more efficient to just have a sprite / texture / bump than it is to actually model all those nooks & crannies.

Originally posted by Vermillion_Raventhal
Zelda or Darksiders type game where progression is gaining abilities and new gadgets vs. leveling games.  Players skill is much greater in game play.  Difficulty is based on creatures abilities and ability to counter through skills, powers and items.  

Yes, I'm playing one currently.

Apparently there's also a Dragon's Dogma online in the works, if it's anywhere near as good as the single player I'll probably be playing that too.

Originally posted by NomadMorlock

This is the point where ESO leaves GW2 in the dust.

I'm not even going to go into how the game is challenging (try pulling more than 4 mobs solo) and I die at least once a night.  I could play GW2 and not die in a week.  There is something that's fundamentally rewarding about learning to play well in a challenging game.

P.S.  This thread sounds like a paid advertisement for Arena Net with all the 75% off GW2 spam. Why do you think they are offering their game for almost nothing a few days before ESO goes buy 2 play?  In my opinion it's because they know they stand to lose going toe to toe with ESO with the same payment model.  

The problem is, while on paper ESO offers significantly more customization (at least when it comes to skills), in reality little of that actually matters.

There's a reason nearly everyone runs around w/ staves in PvP (though they have been working on fixing such issues). As for PvE, you can solo almost any of the world bosses by spamming certain abilities (not in combination mind you, but each one individually). Some of the dungeons are a little better, but not by much. They've been working on addressing these issues, but they aren't finished. The game has a lot of potential, and if they can actually balance out the combat and make for more interplay between abilities, the game could definitely stand out above the rest.

But it's not there yet.

Originally posted by Foomerang

The more i read people's laundry list of required features, the less I'm inclined to believe it's what they actually want.

There are a lot of closed minded ideals floating around here. Long lists of why every game out right now doesn't work for them. People want open ended gameplay. Freedom. Lateral progression. Virtual worlds. Most mmos have multiple ways to play them, but they are never good enough for whatever reason. Entire games are dismissed over a temporary state.

I don't know. It seems like an impossible task. I play a lot of games. I try to have an open mind and I tend to enjoy my time spent gaming.

How do you expect to even spot an open ended game let alone enjoy it, when your approach is flatly closed minded?

I feel like this is a climate that is stifling the community here.

This is something developers have known for years.

Part of their job is trying to figure out what people will actually play vs. what people say. Because the simple truth is that while gamers are probably the most vocal about wanting new things, in practice they are also one of the most conservative demographics. Meaning, we will claim we want endless innovation and new things, but will almost always go back to playing the same old crap with a new paint job. It's a generalization, sure, but we're talking about a large body of people here, not an individual.

The only answer I can really give is providing something that people haven't though of seems to be one of the better ways to go about avoiding this. But that is much easier said than done. Every game can't invent a new genre, so there needs to be room for other things and new features.

Honestly GW2 is the better product, speaking strictly from a value standpoint. It has much more longevity, more content, and more difficult combat. That said, what makes the game good is also what makes the game bad (for some). The experience is almost 100% dictated by what you make of it. If you play the game on a level where you are mindlessly doing hearts (quests), and just spamming buttons / aoe, the game will seem very shallow to you. If you are the type of person who enjoys thinking about their games, figuring stuff out on your own and coming up w/ tactics, it's one of the best MMOs on the market currently.

That said, ESO probably does have the more immersive world. It's dark & gritty, and aesthetically elder scrolls. The combat is a somewhat new idea, though imho they've failed with it. They are actively working on improving it, though, so maybe they'll get it right. The lack of cooldowns sounds cool in theory, but it wreaks havoc with the balance & pacing of the game, which gets exaggerated by how shallow most of the skills actually are. They are very few skills in the game that have multiple uses, or that augment other skills to make them more effective. Most of them are just passive 'you gain X damage for Y seconds', with the most interesting probably being the crystal shards proc (spells have a chance of making your big nuke instant for sorcerer).

The WvW in ESO is also a bit better imho, but don't let other posters fool you. It is just as much PvDoor as in most other WvW. They even had a big problem with people trading emperor between faction (letting other factions win to pass the perks around). I believe that's been taken care of, but gaming the system still exists, and the campaigns have but a fraction of the population they once had (hopefully F2P will help that?). What makes the WvW a bit better comes down to primarily the map design (feels epic), and the keep animations of walls being torn down feels great in the middle of a giant battle. If only the combat itself felt great to match.

TLDR; GW2 has more content and better gameplay (imho), but ESO has a more immersive world and better World PvP. If you like mechanics and want a game with longevity, GW2. If you want a game that feels more gothic and immersive, ESO.

Originally posted by Foomerang

Hey I picked this up on the sale and have been trying to find a class I can get into. The problem I'm having is the ranged classes all feel the same to me at early levels. It's hard finding a class that draws me in.

So I'm sure they get more diverse down the road, which is where you gw2 vets come in. I'm looking for a class that I can max out utility. Don't really care about max dps. Member and engineer seemed like they could become interesting. I'm not that interested in spammy barrel roll all the time. Any suggestions?

Tbh Mesmer wouldn't be my recommendation to any new player, as it has one of the harsher learning curves.

I'm not sure how far you've gotten into the game, but if all ranged classes are feeling the same to you I've got to wonder if you even fully unlocked each range weapon, because I can assure you they are very different from one to another.

That said, the top 3 classes in the game for utility are mesmer, engineer, and thief (in no particular order). Elementalist also has some good utility skills, but they are built as more of a 'do a bit of everything' type of class. Similar to engi, but engi skews more towards utility, and ele more towards buffs (boons) which tends to make them great supports.

If you're really determined to play a ranged utility class I'd prolly say that mesmer is your primary option. Use Greatsword for ranged damage, staff for utility / conditions, and scepter for ranged condition damage.

- A word of caution. Mesmer, Engineer, and Elementalist are probably the 3 MOST trait dependent classes in the game. By this I mean that their individual skills will feel somewhat weak compared to other classes until you have the right traits & gear to boost their effectiveness. Once that happens they sort of 'click' and become way better than you ever thought they could.

** For any other advice I'd probably have to know a bit more about what you've played so far (the highest lvl you've gotten), which weapons you've tried, and what about them makes them seem 'the same' to you.

Originally posted by MightyUnclean

In a brief add for the new GW2 expansion, I saw something about a new or alternate progression model.  Does anyone know what this is about?



It's talking about the mastery system & specializations.

Masteries: A system where you can progress by learning new skills that will help you out in the world. I.E. Learning to hanglide, learning how to use mushrooms as jump pads, etc. which will give you access to areas you wouldn't otherwise be able to get to. Think Zelda or Metroid for a comparison. There are also masteries in WvW (which let you use siege equipment better and give you access to special skills), and there will be masteries to help make crafting legendaries easier.

Specializations: New advancements for each class. They'll give you access to a new weapon, and will replace some of your class skills & traits with new abilities.

OP, you've basically just described GW2 pvp. I'd suggest playing that.

That said, having a game where you can 1-shot (insta dead) is bad design. No one likes to feel like they've instantly died, and couldn't do anything about it. So right away you have to split up the damage, to give players a chance to react to it.

Certain games (we'll stick w/ GW2 as an example) have combos that can kill, or put a player within an executable range. For example with a burst theif you can teleport to someone, stealth + backstab them, and crit them for 70% of their HP with the right build. This can be terrifying, but it also gives players a second or two to react before they die to the follow up hit. Better players will use this time to recover, and counter with attacks of their own. Which creates the following dynamic:

Amongst a larger skill-gap, players die very quickly. 1 Combo is enough to take them down. Amongst more skilled players it's going to take a LOT more hits to kill them (even when using the same classes). This is because better players are more efficient with their skills and know how to recover.

This same dynamic can be seen in older MMOs, even if it's a bit more simplistic. For example, take WoW. If you Pyroblast + fireball + flameburst someone, they are probably going to be dead on crit. That's essentially 3 hits. Better players will make sure they don't get hit by the full combo, and will pop damage immunity or CC the pyroblast cast to prevent it from finishing. The combat itself may be much more simplistic, but it's not bad design. More complex / dodge mechanics are relatively new, because the tech didn't exist back then.

Originally posted by time007
haven't been keeping up the past 8 months in gaming, due to being jaded over countless games (don't get me started on the list heheh)  I won't say things like sandbox, themepark, big name, AAA etc as they become divisive and bring out the devils advocates, trolls etc.  not looking for an argument over definitions, but what is the next big thing coming out next?  Everquest Next? Camelot Unchained?  Last I checked those were over a year away so was wondering if there was anything decent bigname/AAA coming out soon?

It really depends on what you're looking for.

There's a handful of smaller-budget (aka 'indie) MMOs coming out, most notably Albion, Crowfall, and CU. In addition to a few more sandboxy indie MMOs. Everquest Next, sadly, looks to have been gutted. It's not cancelled, but all signs point to Daybreak (a new studio that is the acquisition of SOE) cutting as much production costs as possible without actually tanking the game. In otherwords, the fired a few hundred people; but left enough of the staff around that they could still release a shippable version of the game. Read: A version of EQN will probably be released, but it will be a shell of what the original vision entailed. They haven't actually said this, but we know about the layoffs, and the studio has publicly stated that EQN isn't cancelled. So, make of you will from those indicators.

Aside from that, there is the GW2 expansion due out sometime later this year. It's surprisingly enough looking to be a good expansion, but I'm going to assume if you were interested in that you probably wouldn't have made this thread.

If you're fine with more asian MMOs, Black Desert is also shaping up to be an impressive game. Somewhat similar to Archeage, but from what I've been hearing they aren't making the same mistakes, and are improving on most of what made that game appealing. Not to mention it's probably got the best graphics of any MMO to date. Currently though, there's not a ton we know about the game. it's in open beta in Korea, and some of us westerners have managed to get a KSSN to play; but nothing's translated. There will be an english port of the game, but that isn't due out for another couple years.

Originally posted by tuppe99
Originally posted by Quizar1973
Originally posted by Overlord_Neizir
ESO and GW2, More so ESO because it has the Justice System.

Both These games are On the Rail Questing....Its nearly impossible to lvl without

I know there is no current game where I don't have to quest. I was hoping that there is one that disguises the linearity of it somewhat. One example of an extreme case would be WoW where you spend exactly 2 levels per zone before you have to move on to the next. This is the type of game I want to avoid.

GW2 you can lvl to max without touching a quest (unless you count the brief tutorial as one). There are even multiple ways to max lvl without questing. PvP, WvW, crafting, exploration/gathering, consumables, dungeons. In fact the two fastest ways to lvl are 1) Crafting (though it can get pretty expensive), and 2) EotM (which is an alternate form of WvW).

Originally posted by Loke666

When the first Diablo came out it was just labeled "action", not sure where they got the RPG part from. Elder scrolls: Daggerfall where at about the same time seen as an action RPG.

The problem is that people slap the RPG thing on almost any kind of game today, before it had to do with interaction with npc/players or that it was based on a pen and paper RPG. Just killing stuff for loot does not a RPG make, or Doom would be a RPG as well.

Witcher is indeed a RPG though.

That's because few games are that black & white these days. In the olden days genres were much more clearly defined, because the games were a lot simpler. Mario was a platformer, duck hunt was a shooter, etc. There was only so much data people could use to create a game, and thus games had a fairly limited amount of content in them. What made up for this was the difficulty many of these games had, which led to replayability, and spending longer amounts of time trying to beat the same content.

These days games are a blend of a bunch of different 'labels'. The labels they are given are a rough guideline to what is the 'dominant' gameplay type. Are you mostly acting out a character through a narrative? RPG. Are you mostly shooting things? Shooter. Are you mostly racing vehicles? Racing game.

Problems is, games evolve. Look at adventure games, for example. Take secret of monkey island. You are playing out a character through a narrative, but doing so through fairly unique puzzle mechanics. As such it's no longer an RPG, but an 'adventure game'. Fast forward to today, and we have MOBAs. Part lobby game, part MMO, part RPG, some (smite) even part FPS.

That's the problem w/ labels. We will always have them, because it's part of how people think. We compartmentalize, we label, we categorize. However it's never perfect. Labels may give us a vague understanding of what we're looking at, but never the whole picture. And they never will.

- Think about this for a second. We have a whole category of games called 'party games'. What does that tell you about the actual gameplay? Not a damned thing. It just conveys that they will be oriented towards having fun with a group of friends.

Originally posted by Akerbeltz

Among other things that explain why mmoRPGs are in the shitter, i'd like to stand out one that it's not usually commented: Players are provided with too much information and data.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I think it would be much more interesting if the players just got the information the avatar is able to perceive, so players would be constantly guessing. It would put the RPG back in the frontline and the gaming experience in terms of player/player interaction and emerging gameplay would be far more enriching and satisfactory, making the game deep and viable on the long run, instead of the cheap short-termish thrills we have today. 

You're definitely correct (at least from an immersion perspective), but the problem happens before you even make a character.

Everyone wants to know all the details of a game before they buy it (which is understandable, because noone wants to pay for crap). However, what this often translates into is high expectations which, while based in reality (the information provided) gets multiplied by expectations that were never actually mentioned. I.E. 'This class will get a bunch of new skills', then some players think 'oh I'm betting there will be 100s of skills', and when there are only 90 they feel let down.

In-game, this often translates into things like DPS meters. One of the things I really hate in MMOs. There is waaay too much focus on min-maxing stats, and not on actual gameplay. There are a select few games that try and break this norm, but they are still very much the minority.

This problem isn't unique to marketting, it happens in many aspects of overhead and is basically a product of poor management in-general. I've also worked for many studios (both large and small) and have seen similar practices / mindsets from both marketting as well as producers.

Really it comes down to the culture at each individual studio / company. If a company has pride in it's own products and seeks to maintain that, they will sacrifice some of the potential profits to maintain that vision. Studios like Naughty Dog come to mind when I say this, for example. When a company's mostly profit oriented, it will start to min-max those profits, and then you get companies like EA, that will squeeze their own assets to churn out extra pennies. I still remember a while back when they wouldn't pay their employees overtime, because they didn't want to cover the costs. Thankfully that practice has changed.

With MMOs, though, it's much harder to put the burden on indie developers. We've had a few MMOs as a result (probably one of the most well known being Arenanet, who started as a very small team out of their apartment for GW1, and has grown into a pretty sizeable company for GW2). However, MMOs are still tons of work. More work than you can expect to do with any other type of game. Most likely there will have to be some sort of a give & take in regards to MMOs. What is unfortunately probably necessary is for WoW to die, and the hype around MMOs to die down a bit. However it's unclear if the genre as a whole would even survive such a transition. Either way, our expectations for what we expect from games (and MMOs especially) has inflated to an insane high. That bubble has burst, and now those expectations need to subside so we can start appreciating games again.

Originally posted by Loke666

GW2 should be better on rewarding you for doing stuff the first time though, besides achivements you really should get XP and extra rewards to encourage people discovering more of the game instead of running a few zones and dungeons over and over. On the plus side they at least killed the stupid Queensdale farming train, that really was a disaster.

GW2 can be improved in many ways but I still havn't seen a more fun game in many years. Now if they just could add servers with harder difficulty and higher loot droppings...

While I agree with you in regards to most of the loot, there are quite a few significant first time rewards that aren't just achievement based.

For one, you need to unlock the entire world (explore all of it) on at least one character to even think about crafting a legendary.

Also there are unique skins you can only get for finishing the personal story. They also started adding some pretty nice (ascended) rewards for completing living story content.

It would be nice to have first-time rewards for dungeons, though.

Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by aesperus
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by nuttob

Because players are so used to levels in games now they treat it as essential. GW2 could be done completely w/ out character levels, but most gamers would lose their sh@* or be completely lost / confused if they went that route. People are too hooked on traditional progression methods.

Don't get this wrong. I really like GW2. But this is one of the mechanics I'll don't like. The leveling mechanic itself is irrelevant. The problem I have is that the game removes the progress you make.  You can start in your  race's 1st starter zone. Then move on to another race's 1-15, then the 3rd race's 1-15 etc etc. Do that for all the races then move on to the 2nd zones and do them 1 at a time. You can theoretically hit level cap running DEs in starter zones without ever upgrading a single item, learning a single trait or changing anything on your character what so ever. How you showed up in your tutorial, is how you can ding 80. What's the point?

I just explained why the game has levels.

But levels are not the point. They are basically there as a means to transition players who are used to 'WoW' into a different type of gameplay. It's the same reason the game has hearts, which a lot of people criticize as being 'the same as quests', because they are supposed to be. People just couldn't handle a game being that drastically different when it was released. That said, the game could exist without levels if it wanted to, but it doesn't because there's no point.

For example, I have a friend who recently started playing GW2 again. He mentioned that he played it around when it first launched, but couldn't really get into it because he 'just didn't get it'. He had trouble finding the right class and couldn't figure out what he was supposed to be doing. So recently, I pointed him towards the ranger. It's the one class that feels the most like a traditional class from other games. You have a pet, and you can sit back & let it hold aggro while you press buttons on your longbow. Since then he's really enjoying the game, he's found enough of a comfort zone that he is no longer relying on hearts to level, and is branching out into other aspects of the game, even enjoying more non-traditional classes now that he understands the game a bit better.

The point is, you don't need to like levels. Heck, I would prefer it if the game had no character levels at all. But leveling isn't the point of this game. It never has been. They're not much different from how GW1 worked, except instead of 20 you now have 80. They are basically there as a transition period. The people more familiar with the game fly through those levels in a matter of days (or hours if you're doing it via crafting or exp scrolls). The newer players still benefit from it, because it prevents the game from feeling 100% foreign to them. The progression of this game comes much more from achievements, skills, acquiring unique skins, exploration and pvp. The levels are basically there to just help people transition into the core gameplay. They can largely be ignored.

Thanks for the coverage Bill, and great work!

I've been kinda on the fence about this expansion (I really hope it's good, but trying not to get my hopes up too much). I'm definitely looking forward to the new bosses, the new class, and the new pvp mode.

I just hope some of the specs (esp mesmer) turn out to be much more awesome than I'm dreading. Especially mesmer, why did they have to give them a shield!? ><.

Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by nuttob
Originally posted by Muke
Originally posted by DMKano
I think it will do great. Sadly not for me, I just can't play a game with level downscaling - 100% no go for me. But glad to see Anet putting out a quality expansion.

You actually like running around in zones where you are lvl 500 and the zone is designed for lvl 2? No challenge, noone visits zones which are too lowlevel for's like WOW where 99% of the zones are empty.

This is one of the main reasons I don't play WOW anymore!  I love downscaling, and I wish every MMO had it!

With some games it's optional. If you want to participate you can level sync.

If I've grinded levels and power out, level scaling diminishes that. If the game adjusts my level to be equal to that of the zone I am in, why do we have leveling?

Because players are so used to levels in games now they treat it as essential. GW2 could be done completely w/ out character levels, but most gamers would lose their sh@* or be completely lost / confused if they went that route. People are too hooked on traditional progression methods.

Originally posted by Mendel

OP, what if you found a game that perfectly ticked all your points.  It's everything you want from a game and more.  But the subscription fee as $1500 (US) a month.  If you want a Lamborghini of a game, are you willing to play Lamborghini prices?

(general discussion) Is there a market for a premium luxury game with a premium luxury price?

The problem is that MMOs (and multiplayer games in general) don't work like that.

You could have an absolute dream of a game (top graphics, top art, every game mechanic you could ever want, good story, great progression, great gameplay), but if only 5 people are playing it, the game won't last. Even if they are paying the 1500/month (which they won't, because no one wants to put money into a game they feel no one is playing).

It's long been understood that MMOs live and die by how crowded their worlds feel. Once they begin to feel too 'empty' it's usually a quick slope to obscurity.

Originally posted by Axehilt
Nothing sparks a productive conversation like saying your own personal preferences are "true", implying others' preferences are false.


One person paying a subscription doesn't support an MMO. Sorry to say. There are very good reason subscriptions aren't being used much anymore, not the least of which being that people are playing too many different games. Back when people generally stuck to a couple games for a while before switching, subs worked. Now that you have people playing the new hotness(s?) each month, you have people playing dozens of games in a given year. No one wants to pay anywhere near that many subs, and most people stick to one or 2 at most.

The landscape has changed, we are living in an environment where there are tons of games, and thus business models have had to change to adapt.

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