|40 posts found|
Star Wars: The Old Republic: Game Update 1.4 Arrives on PTS
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
9/10/12 5:55:32 PM
I so want that t-shirt crayon armor. Thanks for today's Hearty Laugh of the Day.
[Column] General: MMOAsteroids, No Kidding!
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
9/01/12 2:38:33 AM
Originally posted by Isane
Indeed, but it'll probably get ruined by the cash shop.
The game is called Wartune, although I haven't seen any evidence of a war, and no idea who wrote the tune. There is some "lore" provided, but... I haven't really been reading it. I've been playing a few days, currently at level 28. Here's a brief rundown of what I've found so far.
Review bullet points:
1. Basic turn-based side-scrolling combat. At first you only have Campaign mode, which are solo "dungeons"; at later levels you gain access to group "dungeons". Forming pugs for dungeons is easy, and the game auto-advertises your run if you opt to create one. You can prepare 5 abilities to use in combat, plus 1 rune (consumable). There's a little skill involved, but not much.
2. Very generic character classes, warrior-type, archer-type and mage-type. Classes can spec two different ways; for example, I'm a mage and you can choose "dps" or healing, or mix them as a hybrid and be crappy at both. Basic stats to go with them (strength, intelligence, etc). It's very simplified design, even young children could probably grasp character build-outs.
3. Quite good artwork for a free-to-play browser game. The combat backgrounds are quite detailed to match the area you're in, and player "castle" backgrounds are quite detailed. They've put somewhat more effort into the various artwork than they probably even needed to, if you care about that sort of thing. There's a distinctly Asian flavor to character appearances, and there's no customization options. Female avatars are the typical enviable-figure types, although it's nothing that hasn't been seen elsewhere in hundreds of other games. Also, there are interesting tiny details that, again, I appreciate because they weren't necessary. When you liberate some story NPC from a dungeon, they often become a wandering avatar in your city that you can click on for a comment later on. Completely pointless and irrelevant... which I like because it shows someone was actually thinking about it at some point.
4. Farmtune. Sounds really juvenile, but it's fairly harmless. The game's "farm" aspect is simply a way to essentially force you to meet other people, and the chat is constantly filled with "add me for farm". You really can't get anywhere with your farm without other players - as a result you'll find your friends list (initially capped at 200 "friends") full pretty rapidly. General etiquette is to invite anyone and everyone you see to be a friend.
5. City-building. The game employs the typical time-based "building" for upgrading various parts of your player city seen in most of these types of browser games. The higher the level of your barracks, the higher you can upgrade your troops' abilities; the higher the level of your warehouse the more gold you can store, etc. Not rocket science. Guilds have their own version of the "city" with available upgrades, where guild members can acquire additiona skills/stats and items.
6. Gear. Game is pretty much controlled by gear. Gear can be enchanted (trade gold for stat improvements), socketed (add gem(s) for stat improvements), recycled (disenchanted for refinement crystals) and refined. Refinement is potentially the most valuable of these features - it allows you to re-roll all of the stat bonuses on any item. So if you loot some pointless ring with phys attack as a mage, you can refine it so it has stats you can actually use, as long as you have enough crystals (so far has been very cheap to do it). Rerolled stats are random... so it's easy to waste time/effort on this. At later levels you also get access to "astrals" which are just yet one more way you can buff various stats/attributes.
7. Miscellaneous garbage. Interestingly, there's not a huge amount of down-time, something that seems to plague most other browser-based games. One busy-work task is to simply check the farms of your 200 now-closest friends, which takes some time in itself (although not that much, since the game notifies you graphically if one of youre friend's' farms needs attention). There are bounty quests which are really nothing more than time-wasters and free experience, one of which is... whack-a-mouse. Easily the funniest concept I've ever seen in one of these types of games.
Wartune is a decent time-waster. If you don't want to pay, the P2W factor isn't really all that onerous; it just means you're not going to be at the top of the heap in the arena. Standard for all of these browser-based P2W games. The PvP arena is where pay-to-win resides.
From what I can tell right now approaching level 30, the open-world PvP factor is very tame, which is good for the more casual free-type player. Unlike some games of this type, you can only plunder other players 5 times a day (5 plunders total, not plundering one person 5 times) and city-protection tokens are fairly common drops if someone really cares about not losing a handful of gold. No one is subordinate to any other player in a serfdom or slavery-type way (contrast this with, say, Castlot, where one player can "own" 2000-3000 soon-to-be-rage-quitting players simply by being higher level or having bought uber-gear). The game essentially throws resources and experience at you constantly, so the PvP can (at least at lower levels) be ignored. In fact, the game throws so much stuff at you, I'd almost think it's designed to force you to want to pay for more inventory slots (surprise!). So far, there's been nothing close to debilitating raids on my city or resources. Sure I get plundered several times a day (there's a daily quest for it) but it's virtually immaterial, and I'm of course just going to turn around and do it too.
Seems to borrow heavily from most of the well-known tropes; races and concepts from Warcraft, some other bits and pieces from Skyrim and Oblivion; some parts from Dragon Age, etc. Almost makes you wonder if there's some sort of copyright violation. Essentially the game seems to be a typical time-based gear grind, so if you've got no other game right now (so yeah, I'm not playing Guild Wars 2) or no money, hey, why not.
Like all time-based games though, as the server ages no doubt it will be harder and harder to be a new player, as the existing playerbase no longer does the group instances etc at the low levels. Right now the game is constantly abuzz with new entrants, but I have no doubt that will pass as the casuals/disinterested drop out and only the more dedicated players bother to stick around.
The developers have already added two new servers since the first one opened a few days ago, which I found a little unusual. Ordinarily these types of games will wait for 2 or 3 months to open the next server, as players often will "reroll" on the new server in an attempt to "min-max" their character better to, for example, dominate the arena. In that way the game can create an ongoing revenue stream.
It's free. Strongly suspect as a server ages, its population will decline and become exceptionally top heavy, so if you want to take a peek now is probably the time while the servers are fresh with new blood. (This is not an advertising paragraph. Joining games of this type weeks or months late almost always sucks badly).
If you're an OCD min-maxer (my name is Three S., and I'm recovering, thank you), this is just yet another game that's going to try to get you to cough up "real money" at almost every turn. But to play a free-to-play browser-based game is to know what you're getting into, and if you're just in it for the free entertainment, like I am, the production qualities in Wartune are actually quite good. It's never going to be an AAA title, but I've definitely played many games that were a LOT worse than this.
I didn't check before writing this to see if there's still MMORPG.com keys available--I used one and the starter gear you get for it was quite good. I'm on the original Temple of Ibalize server, and if you want more info or a helping hand in the game, lemme know.
Final note: for me the performance of this game in Chrome was abysmal. Could be on my end, but the Flash responsiveness was awful. Game runs flawlessly in Firefox.
This game is such a huge waste of the Star Wars IP
General Discussion « Star Wars: The Old Republic
8/26/12 4:15:40 AM
Originally posted by Ahnog
If nothing else you're always willing to stick your head into the lion's mouth of this hostile forum and speak your piece, got to give you that.
Odd though that the one thing you didn't mention was PvE combat... which comprises 90% of the game (well, if I exclude the time spent on loading/transition screens) on a PvE server, if not more, since that's essentially all there is to do. And the combat was so soul-draining, going from one clump of 3 stationary victims to the next, with uninspiring quests to go with them (kill 20 sand people! now kill 40 sand people! now kill 60 sand people!), I just couldn't play my serial-murdering light-side jedi consular anymore.
But, that's me. Glad you're enjoying it, I wanted to and really wish I could have too.
Definitely give Vanguard a look before the "free" honeymoon wears off. Low level areas that had 0-4 players in them last month now have dozens, and there are dungeons at virtually all levels (quality can always be debated, but for sheer quantity Vanguard has more low-level PvE than probably any game in existence). Like any MMO, don't be shy and just build a group yourself if you don't see one advertising. Use the game's group-finder too.
If you want to run dungeons from day one, don't start on Isle of Dawn. In your mid-teens definitely try to hit Khegor's End with a group. Giant area, budget a few hours in advance for it.
STO isn't even in the same category/genre as EvE - other than "space" the two have nothing in common - so comparisons between the two don't really lead us anywhere.
If you need a comparison, STO is far more analogous to WoW or EQ2, just in a different setting (and with a far more aggressive cash shop).
Originally posted by chryses
I guess it depends on what you expect from STO. Not sure if anyone actually answered your original question point-blank, which was 'is it worth downloading' to which I'd say, yes, absolutely it is, because it costs you nothing but time and a little hard drive space. So I'd say why not? Uninstalling is free too!
A space game with exploration is almost certainly going to be a 'sandbox' (and I don't want to veer off into that topic here too far), where you can find or create something new, perhaps claim it or even just name it, and it's now maybe even part of the persistent gameworld/lore. STO was never remotely designed that way. The gameplay itself, especially the space game, is not strictly "WoW in space" - but the core gear-based concept behind the game certainly is. It's a Themepark through and through. As my fellow lifetime sub buddy says "we didn't get the Star Trek game we wanted, but we got the one we deserved." He's somewhat bitter over what his lifetime sub bought him.
You're right about the time investment though. You don't have to mortgage your soul to make a little progress in STO in short play windows. It means the game is far more shallow but far more accessible. All depends on what people want out of their time, I suppose.
tl;dr STO may not be a good space game, but it is a free space game, and free is a hard price to beat.
What Cacaphony said; it's likely your problem.
You might find some value in starting all over anyway, though--a handful of the first missions have new rewards, like the initial Azura mission where you can now get a "summonable" trade freighter as a reward. Didn't exist at launch. It's also handy for relearning your abilities, many of which have been tweaked or nerfed thoroughly since the beginning. Since the Sirius/Regulus sector missions are so easy they go by quickly.
Sector space no longer that closed-in feel it had at launch because they... uh... added a toggle to allow you to remove the astrometrics gridlines while traveling. So now it's wide open!
Except it's, well, not.
Don't you think it's time to remove "Free" from F2P?
General Gaming « General Discussion
8/19/12 8:23:14 PM
Originally posted by Jaedor
The games are free to play. Maybe not free to dominate, free to pwn or free to enjoy, but they are free to play. Seems to me all the griping comes from not measuring up to some other player who is paying, not that you can't play for free at all.
Alas, I'm on team Eddie here, I couldn't stick with it either. Still great write-ups and advice here though, thanks. I just don't have the huge amount of time this game is going to require, and I don't have the patience to google-translate a Japanese wiki anymore. Just getting too old. For the college student gaming on a Pell Grant, it'd be great - there's a massive amount of content to the game.
I popped into POTBS just out of curiosity (it's free and I have a metric ton of Station Cash), but that wasn't even remotely fun. First time I shot up a ship's crew assuming it would disable an enemy, then went after another, came back and found out all of the crew I'd shot up had magically "healed"... no. Not playing a game where it looks like ships tank, dps and heal, sorry SOE.
Originally posted by MadDemon64
You're exactly right on this point, but the OP is saying that the advertisements suggest you are "exploring the galaxy", when... there's not really anything to discover. So it's a bit misleading, because it's just playing off Star Trek's marketing tag of "going where no man has gone before" without any real validity. It's all been discovered long before you logged in. I'm not bashing Cryptic on that; just saying that the OP is not going to get a full-on exploration game even though it's suggested by the advertising.
This is where Cryptic really missed the boat in my opinion, and your point sort of highlights it for me. Star Trek the series (pick any one) wasn't about phaser diplomacy. It was about what you said - politics (usually in the form of allegory to current events) and science (even if the science was a bit sketchy at times). But the game is primarily a Star Trek combat simulator. Initially, it was beam down, phaser some Nausicaans, beam up, shoot down their ships. Move on to phasering Orion Syndicate members. New sector, phaser Romulans and Remans. Phaser some Cardassians. Phaser the Borg. They've made a few improvements over time - Memory Alpha isn't completely awful anymore and the duty officer system is pretty cool - but at its core the game is still combat-based (as Boneserino said), where Star Trek isn't supposed to be. It raises a somewhat different question - why do so many MMOs expect combat to be 90+% of a player's play time, and should it be? But I'm already too far off-topic as it is.
Space combat is still fun, even 2+ years on (it was hilariously fun back when viral matrix lasted something like 30 seconds and disabled enemies completely). Bioware could take a few lessons from it.
The only "discoveries" in STO would be role-playing related... and you'd have to do all the imaginary work yourself. There are diplomatic missions in random star clusters which are ostensibly "first contact", so if you have an active imagination you can assume you discovered a new race/planet/civilization, but it won't have any impact on the rest of the game, or even on your own character's development. But, it is a discovery. Sorta.
To be fair to STO (as much as possible, anyway), no game is probably going to be able to deliver that "zomg awesome" factor of discovery anymore, since anything discovered or any optimized strategy is immediately posted to a dozen wikis and discussed on multiple forums (fora?). The blessing/curse of a post-Warcraft society.
They definitely haven't been removed outright, because I still have a half dozen or so sitting in my bank. There are also some duty officer missions attached to the science speciality for breeding tribbles (although you have to have certain specific tribbles to start the missions). I suspect you can also still find some on the exchange for 1cr, or otherwise dirt cheap, although I haven't looked there in months.
As to where they drop in-game, if anywhere, though, I honestly don't know anymore. It's been forever since I've gotten one as a drop. I think it would have been fairly soon after launch when I was still playing episodes regularly. If you have zero luck and simply want a tribble, let me know and I'll mail you a random one in-game that you can then reproduce at will.
I leave them in the bank, and keep food in my inventory, for obvious reasons (you wind up logging in to a bag that has no food and two dozen tribbles in it). As a lifer inventory space is never a problem.
I appreciate the time you took to craft a response here. Netmarble should really consider putting you on the marketing payroll given the information you've already provided in this forum.
Now that I know I can undo any minor stupid decisions I make I'll just stick with it for now. Escape has been useful in one instance - without it, I tend to get run down by rowing ships, and if they outnumber me, I have no chance. I got 90% of my cash looted by an NPC (about 200k) and they took my special ship item too. I know 200k isn't much later on, but at the beginning it was pretty devastating, especially since they carved my hull in half and killed my entire crew. I did have a lifesaver, so I spent 30 minutes limping back to port with 1 sailor on board, but the "death penalty" suggests this is a game where one will do everything humanly possible to avoid risk. Good simulation; somewhat bad for raw "fun". It was virtually the equivalent of starting over.
I'd argue this comment applies to everything in the game. Nothing is really obvious to new players. Again, that's interesting game design, because it means you need to spend quite a bit of time through trial-and-error and chatting to figure out how just about every game convention works. Downside, I'd wager, is that the game's burnout rate is pretty high among new players.
When you say "switch jobs", are you referring to the "guild booklets" or whatever I got from the three intro tutorials? I have some items in my inventory that don't have a clear purpose, so honestly, I wasn't sure how to even go about switching jobs. Plus, right now my job is something like "Trade trainee" - it's not specific like helmsperson or biologist. I'll need to go wander Venice and see if I can figure that out. Some of these things remind me vaguely of games like Wurm, where you have these nested menus hiding what you're really looking for. It took me almost 15 minutes just to figure out how to equip a new ship - it's not intuitive that I have to talk to an NPC to switch which ship I'm using, for example.
If you gank someone, you have to cover your tracks somehow, otherwise the community can use evidence found at the scene against you in MMO court. If the evidence is solid, your identity is exposed for some fixed amount of time and you can be ganked without penalty; if the evidence is mangled or eaten or the accusers are idiots, you gain legal immunity to gank for some fixed period of time. Players level up by number of successful kills or number of successful convictions, and get Epic Purple lab equipment or whatever.
I think a forensic MMO would be fun, but would get old fast if it's just NPCs. If you let the players take on the roles, it'd probably turn into a gank fest and 90% of the community would leave. So I can't figure out any way to actually make this work in an MMO setting. But sounds good in my head.
"More" in what time frame? There's been quite a bit of "ground" added since launch, but it's still the same clunky ground combat it's always been.
The most recent season added the Tholians, and you can now go fight Tholians on Nukara in an environmental suit. So it's vaguely different in the sense you go down alone (because it would make sense for the Federation to send down its most valuable fleet Captain Rear Vice Admirals to a hell-planet to fight swarms of fast-spawning Tholians all alone) without your away team. But it's still the same clunky combat.
Hard to answer your question though without knowing what time frame you last looked at the game. Were you around for the "DS9" season? Walking on the exterior of DS9 as an infiltrator was fun.
Decided to download UWO over the weekend, and it really harks back to the original NES cartridges (which I still have) of Uncharted Waters. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many features from the original actually exist in the online game in some fashion.
Would like some advice from those who are playing it, though. Is there any real way to seriously handicap a new player with regards to selected a job or a skill (in other words, is there some way I can screw up badly enough to where it makes more sense to just start over)?
Reason I ask is that there seems to be so many behind-the-scenes details with regards to stats and skills, it's somewhat difficult to get an initial bearing. On school chat, several (alleged) veterans asserted that the Escape skill is a waste of a skill slot, especially considering the amount of skills I can learn is limited. However, I use Escape during every single ambush or encounter I'm in, because I'm a trade trainee and have no battle skills. Therefore... for me, Escape seems pretty valuable.
The tutorial is a bit disjointed and not always easy to follow, but I did finish all 3 of the beginner schools in Venice. I then decided to wander a bit just to see things, and I can see the game could be a major time investment. There is quite a bit of content, and I haven't even left the upper Mediterranean. But while the gameplay and the community seem friendly enough to newbies, the learning curve is pretty steep just to figure out any sort of efficient gameplay planning. Using trade as an example, I started as a trade job noob in Venice, which sells glassware as its specialty... and every town that's not a mind-numbing distance away from Venice (Ragusa, Ancona, Syracuse, etc) always has hugely inflated prices for glassware, so making an actual profit from trading early on is challenging, unless I spend an entire 3-hour play session sailing across the Med and back. I'm not complaining about the travel time - more I feel like I'm "doin it rong". I'm now generally doing merchant guild "quests" instead for cash, and maybe that's what I'm supposed to do.
Curious if I'm just on the wrong track with my thinking of how this game generally operates. Change jobs to Adventure to at least get off the ground (no pun)? I'm happy to grind out trade, but concerned I'm wasting a lot of time doing it pointlessly.
Stumbled on to this article today. "Unfortunately it happens from time to time that a good concept for a game cannot be implemented as originally planned."
The press release fails to add that frequently poor concepts for a game do seem to get implemented somehow. Whether this one was destined to be good or poor, we'll never know.
FORUM EXPERIMENT: Do You Play This MMO?
General Discussion « Star Wars: The Old Republic
8/03/12 4:40:18 PM
Were you interested in this game before it came out? Why? Why not?:
Not particularly. I have fond memories of KOTOR but also specific memories of them having no real replayability to them. Also, although I never tried SWG, the SWTOR "era" of Star Wars isn't all that real to me. I'm not a Star Wars "geek", so to me, this era of "Old Republic" is simply a Bioware fabrication, not the "Star Wars universe" I'm looking for. The "zomg who cares it's lightsabers!!1!!" isn't a selling factor for me.
Do you currently play this game?:
If yes, please explain why:
If no, please explain why:
I didn't intend to play it. But my best friend bought me the box for my birthday in January, so (unfortunately) only he was out the $60 and all I had to do was pony up the sub fee. So I tried it. He, unlike me, is a huge Star Wars fan, and was in beta and bought the collectors' special edition (or whatever they called it), and joined up with his family's large guild. By the time I joined at the end of January, his family's "large guild" was down to just him still left in the game, and he wasn't on that often, so I was on my own. His bro-in-law hit level 50 inside of two weeks and essentially took the rest of the guild with him back to WoW.
It wasn't awful, but it wasn't noteworthy. For me, the drudge factor set in for two reasons - how insanely easy the game was, and how static the worlds were - so I left before my sub fee was due for March. My good friend, the true Star Wars geek, unsubbed in June.
What MMOs are you currently playing and why do you play these particular titles?:
Star Trek Online, because I have a lifetime subscription. Please, don't ask.
What compels you to post in this particular subforum as frequently (or infrequently) as you do?
I don't post here but check it frequently, mostly for entertainment value. Sadly for me this forum is more entertaining than the actual game was. Occasionally there's also some good feedback. One person (can't find it now) posted something very profound in this forum - that although it seems so many people loathe this game, know that many of us who do (I hate to admit I'm one of them) actually envy the people who still enjoy it. It's not like we subbed to the game wanting to hate it. Even though I may not be their target demo, for a quality game I'd happily pay $15/mo (or more); the cost is not the hurdle. I just cannot see what the game's supporters see of value in this game. I wish I did, I honestly do. So I keep coming back to see if someone provides a reason that resonates with me. When this game goes free, if that reason appears, I'd likely at least go back and take a peek.