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All Posts by dwturducken

All Posts by dwturducken

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13 posts found

With regards to the combat, I can agree with the issues of the reviewer in the context of this game being one MMO among many. However, I have been a fan of computerized attempts at Star Trek games since the days of the grid-based, Battleship-style strategy games on the Apple II and Commodore 64. I even still have copies of a few.


My impression of the combat, from that perspective, is much more forgiving. There have been a great many attempts at bringing the "feel" of Star Trek to the computer, and most were failures, at worst, and silly, at best. (I'm lookin' at you, Starfleet Academy!) Each element feels familiar, as though the developers, in the planning phase, knew what they were up against, what had come before, and said, "OK. What were the best games that incorporated the things that we want this game to do?"


Much like World of Warcraft was the culmination of years of work that began with a simple, little RTS, STO feels like all of the games that had come before were brought together into this one place, polished off, edited down, and distilled into one glorious, immersive experience. Is it a perfect game? Absolutely not. Is it the best game out there? Not by a longshot. What it is, at its heart, is a game, much like anything that has come from Cryptic, created first and foremost by fans of the material.


As someone who loves the MMO concept but has yet to find a "home," I have tried many of the options that are out there. None has really captured my imagination in a way that I have felt warrants paying a monthly subscription, since the closure of "my" game. As a part of my search, I created a new email address specifically for the purpose of trying each game fresh and blogging about the experience (the blog, of course, hasn't really gone anywhere).

Having tried many games based on established properties, I do have to agree with the sentiment that SW:TOR is the only game that really seems to go out of its way to remind you that you are not subscribing. I do, however, have to wonder why it would do this. I only have one game to go from, because I have not heard any other "insider" address this at any length, but Matt MIller, regular contributor here, has stated in a couple of places, one being an AMA that he and some other former members of Paragon Studios were kind enough to give after their contracts expired, that City of Heroes actually saw an increase in profits after that game went F2P. While there is that desire to have as many regular payments each month as possible, it's the middle tier that seems to spend the most.

Most of the players I have known ("known" being limited to in-game, so I take it with a grain of salt) were either the middle tier, spending real money when they had a little extra saved, or the straight subscriber, budgeting the real money for the sub fee only and saving up their monthly stipend of in-game currency for the stuff they wanted above what came "free" with the sub. Very few of my friends, real-world people with families and "grown up" obligations on their money and time, have the kind of disposable income to do both.

But, back to SW:TOR, some of the restrictions are very annoying when playing in a group of mixed sub and F2P players. The lack of "sprint" on a new character, or even being unable or unwilling to delete one of your two characters that has reached the second or third planet after its faction's capitol because the rest of the players want to try a new concept, putting you ridiculously above the level of everyone else. Just the minor "quality of life" gains of spending $5 are a huge benefit for the slightly less than casual player who really hasn't decided whether the game is worth committing to, or if your group is going to burn out on the game after a couple of months and move on to something else.

For the strictly casual player, though, the limitations are really nothing. If there is something the player wants to do but can't without a sub, there are probably other games out there that will let him do that for free, and do it better, besides.

This game, and its predecessor, are still installed on an active computer. In fact, I always keep one computer alive that still runs Windows 98, just for these games, the original XCom, and he old Gold Box D&D games. I don't see how anyone who played this game all the way through when it originally came out can look at a $25 price tag and think that's too high, especially if he or she doesn't still have the CDs in a box, somewhere.

What I am always struck by is how old this game actually is. How many folks do you suppose are working at Bioware right now simply on the basis of playing this game, or the one before it, and thinking, "I want to do THIS when I grow up!"

In 24 hours, the Kickstarter has nearly reached 50% of goal. There are a number of people posting to FB and forums saying that they are currently at home thanks to the shutdown of the US federal government, so there's a lot of potential money that depends heavily on timing and politics.

This is a news piece, not an ad. It got your attention long enough for you to formulate and express an opinion, so you're thinking about it. Mission accomplished.

 
The critical flaw in the presented argument against used games is that it would make video games (correct me if I'm wrong) the ONLY physical purchase on the market which you would be unable to resell or to buy used. I mean, I understand the piracy concerns, but the same argument could be made for the hammer I bought at a yardsale or the Ford I bought used from a Honda dealership. It just doesn't work as an economic model. Besides, if I break my game disk, I can run down to the used game store and get another one.
Laptop for Skype. I have yet to be satisfied with any in-game v-chat app, as it is, and I usually play socially with the same group of people, anyway. Also, we generally don't have the actual game settled on ahead of time, anyway, so having v-chat independent of the game allows much greater flexibility.

As we reach comment overload, here, some reaching dissertation-level proportions, I doubt anyone is still paying attention to them, but here goes.

In discussing this topic on another forum, someone pointed out that Matt has given the impression of favoring the old school RPG philosophy of campaigning, building a character from nothing (level 1) to whatever the fullest potential of whatever that character's concept is. As someone who grew up playing PnP RPGs, this was my initial hope with RPGs making the transition to computers, from MUDs to Baldur's Gate and the like to MMOs.

The problem with forcing this kind of play, by limiting the number of character slots or the number of archetypes/classes or whatever, is that it encourages the mindset of moving on to the next new shiny. I realize that companies want to add to their bottom line, but a game takes a LOT of work to put together. Even with the ability to buy an engine and generic assets like terrain features and buildings, a game is not something that you just "throw together." There is a feeling of the player getting out of a game about what the development team puts in.

With the move toward Free2Play being the standard for MMOs, now, I guess I have to assume that a certain amount of "leech" is factored into the equation when planning content, as far as what is made freely available and what is in the store, but that pushes those of us who look for that one game to the fringes. I have not paid a subscription to a game (setting up regular a regular payment schedule) since City of Heroes closed. Sure, I've paid for a month here and there, trying out the "Gold" or "Premium" level of various games, but nothing has been able to feed my urge to log into a game and try something completely different, both from the character flexibility and the diversity of content.

 

The only thing I would disagree with you on is the cutscenes. The "2D cartoons" are called "motion comics." I don't particularly like them, but they're evidently quite a thing.


That said, I couldn't agree more. I kinda think you were generous on the Longevity, though.


I attended a vigil online in Champions Online a couple of months ago for a player who had passed. He had gone to Champions from City when the other game went into open beta, and he evidently never looked back. I don't know what his name was in City, but in Champions it was Angel of Caine.

The discussion started almost immediately on the official forum on whether to petition for a statue of him somewhere in game. It only took a page for the negative comments to start, but this was someone, like Ascendant, who all of the longtime players had known in game. I doubt anything will come of it, for a number of reasons, but, while I can understand the slippery slope, when it's someone who made such an impact, that person needs to be remembered.

That said, I think the way you guys at Paragon (or, if it was Cryptic at the time) paid tribute to him City of Heroes was more fitting than a statue. I did my little tribute in Champions, and others have done theirs in their games. Now, we just carry him with us, keeping all the positivity that he embodied alive in our various communities.

Originally posted by Livnthedream
I find this article is bad for a couple of reasons. By op's logic every dm ever should be forced to keep their campaign going because a player does not want it to end. How unreasonable is that? Also, what about the changes wrought in mmo's? I played WoW at release and no longer do partially because I no longer see the character I originally made in the game. Games and people change, things die, this is called life. Whether you want to get angry or deal with it is pointless, as it is the way it is and there is simply no changing it.

The flaw in this logic is that a DM is a part of a group of (ostensibly) friends who collaborate, so the campaign continues or does not by a sort of mutual consent. An MMO continues or does not by brutal corporate dictates, more often than not. At the recent PAXEast, you had a panel of six heavies in the game and MMO field say unanimously that there is no reason for an MMO to ever end.

Worse is the trend toward "always on" DRM, or whatever EA is calling it this week. I will not buy certain games, now, because I will suddenly be unable to play a single-player game while my ISP is working through its monthly midday network failure.

In answer to your ending question, City of Heroes was my first experience with an MMO, and it was couple of years before I tried any of the others. Now, yes, it's in my head, because it only seems to be only the two super-powered MMOs that are/were not tied to a major comics franchise that even allow such a mechanism in-game.

The character that always illicited the most positive response was my main hero, Metal Britches. "After one two many drunken karaoke renditions of "Piano Man," <secret identity>'s frat brothers left him in early 21st century Paragon City as a prank. Attempting to create a "time suit" from memory, using early 21st century technology, he uses the resultant powered armor as a tool to fight crime while he perfects the design."

Of course, once I found out about Mender Silos/Lord Nemesis, I "ret-conned" it to include him as one of the frat brothers. It wasn't incredibly creative, but it tended to entertain.

Not to sound like a sycophant, but one of the greatest strengths to City of Heroes was its diversity of options. It wasn't all things to all people, but there was enough for everyone at all levels. That's really what's lacking in anything that's out there on a free-to-play model. World of Warcraft is doing it, but the implimentation, not to mention the actual content, is so vanilla that I just can't stick with it for more than a $30 timecard, and forget the cash shop.

Really, what I want from a game depends entirely on the game and my mood. I have to have four (or more) different games installed on my computer, now, to be able to scratch a given itch. Sometimes, I just want to go off and run missions/quests solo. Sometimes I want to run with a team/group. Sometimes, I want to go fishing, but it's snowing outside. (OK, that last one wasn't in CoH, but you get the idea.)

If you're listening and willing to comment, what are your thoughts on Jack's statement to Jeremy during the MMORPG.com panel at PAXEast on the future of MMOs? Barring that, regarding the general comments of the panel regarding the cancellation of CoH?

Yeah, so City of Heroes at any stage versus the myriad versions of SW: Galaxies? Should the vote really come with a caveat?
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