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All Posts by Gormogon

All Posts by Gormogon

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154 posts found

I still recommend the game even though I've given up playing it myself.  And it definitely is true that people bemoan "Kill 10 rats" type of quests and the class/level system, and increasingly the lack of voice overs, and it's like TSW is standing there waving its arms unable to get anybody's attention.

 

I think there are some things that are really REALLY good about the game.  I think as far as questing goes, if you're going to use questing as your primary PvE mechanic, the objectives in TSW are the best I've come across in a game.  I'd love to see some of the ideas adapted to fantasy MMOs.  Imagine deciphering an "ancient code" in a fantasy alphabet you have to learn about in the game by hand, leading you to a tomb where, instead of having to kill hordes of mobs, you have to solve a puzzle to disable the traps and claim the treasure.  Yes please! 

 

On the other hand, I loathe some of the limitations they have arbitrarily placed to intentionally waste people's time.  You mean if I come across this mangled body I can't really inspect it because I'm already doing X?  Yeah, because we need you to run around doing X to chew up play time, so you have to run back to inspect the body after we've sent you to the other side of the map.  I know every "non-hater" of the game defends this mechanic on the grounds of "immersion," but at the end of the day, TSW is a tiny game that had to fish for ways to keep people engaged.  GW2 does the same thing, using different tools.  People shouldn't need their time wasted to keep them playing for N hours a day.  It's an annoying, condescending approach to game design.  As long as its not breaking any of the game's fundamental mechanics, let me play the way I want to play.

 

The chat system wasn't the only problem at release.  Some of the quests were horribly broken, though sometimes in ways where it wasn't obvious.  Funcom did a really good job responding when I reported them, and resetting things so I could move on.  Being able to talk with a rep who was patient and willing to work with me was so much better than the friggin' customer service robots in SWTOR, and it's something I wish Funcom got some credit for, because that's how in-game customer service is supposed to be.  Nevertheless, TSW proves that the silent majority absolutely does not buy into the whole "Every game has these issues at release" garbage every fanboy ever uses to defend broken systems at launch.  Some things are worse than others, but TSW was an offender, and it suffered for it.

 

TERA's player base at release wins the award for most detestable, but TSW's is still incredibly obnoxious and condescending.  The whole "Playing this game proves I'm smart (and obviously you aren't playing it because you're dumb)" mentality is absolutely pervasive among the TSW player base, and I'm sure it helped drive away some players.   I've never had less fun playing with strangers than I did in TSW.  Who the F trash talks people because they are struggling with a quest?  Get over yourselves.

 

By far the biggest issue I've had with TSW is that the combat experience is completely unsatisfying.   I know TSW fans dismiss it as people making petty arguments over animations and what not, but killing stuff is half of your game; if you can't do it in a way that's satisfying to people, they should leave.  It's your fault, not their's.  Ask many long-time WoW players and they will tell you that WoW's greatest strength is its responsiveness, where it is arguably still the king of MMOs all these years later. I describe it as the idea that, as you are hitting your action button, you have the sensation of your character responding, like it's a mechanical relationship.  From there, the animations and timing give the actions "weight."  TSW lacks that.  Somewhere there is a disconnect between pressing the button, your character's actions (and the accompanying sound effects), and the mobs reacting to being hit.  When combat is so much of your game, you have to be a lot closer than TSW was, or you are going to pay the price for it.

 

In the end it's unfortunate.  I get the sense that the reasons why TSW never took off end up portraying the reasons it should have taken off in a bad light, and discouraged future games from drawing from TSW's positives in terms of quests, NPC integration, atmosphere, and alternative character-building system.

 
Originally posted by Homitu

Thing is, it changed drastically over the years, most notably with the introduction of the LFG tool.  I met many of my greatest gaming friends in vanilla and TBC WoW by setting up groups and running dungeons with them.  Although none of us have played WoW for years, we continue to play all kinds of other games together and hang out in Vent daily.  Sadly, I can confidently say that our meeting and ensuing friendship would never have happened in modern WoW's environment.  It just wouldn't.

The process of manually forming a group necessarily breaks the ice and initiates conversation.  Having to coordinate travel to dungeon sites (ie. the alliance run from South Shore to Scarlet Monastery) further enhanced the social requirement.  Not to mention the comradery created by the potential world pvp that might occur on the way.  

People can argue the onus is on the player to be social all they want - that's definitely true to some extent - but the game's systems can absolutely encourage or discourage social interaction.  In my opinion, the single greatest bane of the LFG tool has been the negative impact it's had on the social dynamic of players in MMOs.  

 

This is very much in line with my experience and thoughts on the social side of WoW, right down to how arranging travel to a dungeon promoted interaction between players in the group.  I would argue it's more than just LFG, however.  I think many opportunities for positive, meaningful social interaction have systematically been removed from the game over the years, broadening its appeal to people who want to play around people rather than with them.

 

It's interesting so many people have had such a similar experience with its evolution.  Usually you can get yourself in quite a bit of trouble generalizing your experience in a game, but in this case there very much seems to be something to it.

 

ETA: I know people who played WoW, but never had a friend that did.  So I guess I'm a 6 back when I started playing back around the time TBC as released, and a 2 in the MoP era.

It's not something you'd really want to implement on top of an existing system, but if you made climate an actual feature of the gameplay I think it could be really neat.  You'd obviously need an inventory management system that accommodated the different types of gear one could wear and so on, as well as possibly a flexible ability system that allowed the player to adapt to conditions.

 

Even so, it will always be a very niche thing.  Most players that I've talked to over the years hate the idea of rewards/penalties based on the environment (climate and otherwise).  But I believe there is a slice of the market that would enjoy it if you did it well.

I'm partial to how WoW did endgame crafting in early TBC, I'm sure because that was my first significant experience with it.  If raiding is designed to be a significant focus of your endgame, then to me it makes sense to allow players access no matter what avenue they took to get there.  That is, whether you crafted your gear (or bought crafted gear), ran earlier dungeons, or PvPed, I think that first level of raiding should be accessible to you.  WoW was like that in early TBC.  Your PvP set was good enough in Kara.  So was your crafted Frozen Shadoweave gear, and so on.  So were heroic drops.

 

Beyond that though, no.  I think it's perfectly fair to expect that the best raiding gear result from raiding and the best PvP gear result from PvPing.  What sometimes winds up missing is the best gear for farming/crafting.  Somebody who chooses that playstyle should IMO have bonuses related to crafting and farming that make it better and/or more efficient than those who devote their attention to other areas and dabble in farming/crafting on the side.  Something like GW2's magic find concept or increased efficiency in gathering or material use, shorter cooldowns on specially crafted items, and so on could be things that made that style of play more materially rewarding.

Originally posted by Datastar
Originally posted by seacow1g

I gave the beta a try this weekend and let me tell you: I actually found that they did a lot of things right in this game. Props to the devs for all the work they put in. I'm especially impressed how successful they've been in their implementation of mass pvp.  I would go into more detail of all the little things I found that were well designed in this game except I found that they took out one often ignored feature that  made me decide that this is NOT a world that I want to settle in: the inability to dive underwater.

 

I'm sorry but this is gamebreaking for me. Do I spend a lot of time underwater in games? No. Do I care much for underwater combat? No.  Do I think you should be able to hold your breath alot and swim underwater forever? No (I actually like how it works in Skyrim and Oblivion). But it's just something you "do" in virtual worlds. It's a little interaction with the world that has existed for a long time now and I see no reason to take it out (especially when your gameworld has so much water). It's just as important to me as jumping or emotes; I don't spend much time doing either of those things but take it out and the gameworld just doesn't feel "right". There's so many kinds of adventures and exploration that a player can never have now because they chose to not allow underwater swimming in any form; very disappointing.

 

Now before this devolves into an argument about whether or not they intend to keep diving out of the game, I just want to point out that there have been numerous forums posts about this and there has been no indication that they intend to change this. On the contrary they actually use your inability to dive and fight underwater as a wall mechanic to zones i.e. you get eaten by slaughterfish that you can't fight back against if you try to swim too far out to sea. I'm assuming for all intents and purposes that this design decision is here to stay, and I cannot abide it.

How many times in your life have you been scuba diving, spear fishing, or punching whales in the face in real life?  This is not an activity one does in RL regularly furthermore they do have fishing which is the preferred method of catching beasts of the water just saying.  Now granted it would be nice to see a little more depth to the water interaction in terms of being able to dive down a bit but the combat is rather useless imho and could live without either of them.

 

This is such an inane response. 

How many times have you killed a dragon with a sword or shot a fireball out of your fingers in RL?

One time I ran around with half a dozen people freeing and escorting citizens, but I found the material rewards were much higher running with the zerg; as far as I could tell rescuing citizens was not even close to as profitable (aside from the fact that everybody wins when you reach the milestones).  Necromancer->Zerg->Epidemic->Profit or Engineer->Zerg->Nades->Profit.  There are plenty of champions in the events which seem to drop deluxe gear boxes in addition to a piece of gear.  

 

Incidentally, if you could get 100 people on board, everybody would need to save just 15 citizens, or one every 3 minutes.  It's kind of frustrating that getting more than a dozen people to work on it most cycles is harder than any of the content in the city.  :(

 

I think ArenaNet does visual detail really well (for MMO purposes), and the destroyed city is a really great example of that.  On the other hand, having enough unique content to keep it from getting really repetitive has been a problem all through the parts of the LS I've seen.  The short-lived nature of the LS content creates time pressure that makes players feel obligated to keep doing the same tasks ... but the tasks themselves otherwise don't often have much substance to them.  In the case of LA I would rather have seen some sort of event progression more like Orr's temple events rather than a mostly generic cycle.

My earliest experiences were with WoW's meeting stones that required two players to make the trip to summon the other group members.  Alternatively, a warlock in the group could portal a group member in the same way.  If a player left the group, two members would have to go outside and use the meeting stone to summon the replacement member.

 

I know most players today would find the whole process abhorrent, whether it's the purest "everybody should have to show up on foot" crowd or the "everybody should be instantly ported inside the instance" crowd, but the meeting stone way is the one that feels the most "right" to me.  But then, groups are formed much differently now than they were seven years ago.  Back then most groups for non-max level content were put together among strangers in the zone where the dungeon took place, using zone chat.  Or perhaps you put a group of three or four together in zone and somebody had a friend or two they knew might want to run the dungeon with them.  So it wasn't usually the case that the nearest two people were half an hour away... it was usually no more than a couple of minutes.

 

It was a little different at max level, because players were often starting from a city, but then in raids there were still often a couple people out in the world who were much closer.  If nothing else, players who wanted to travel to the raid/dungeon the "traditional" way could volunteer to do so (I was usually one of these people), and those who couldn't be arsed to do so could wait for a summons.  And while it took some time to get everybody there, people didn't expect 20-minute runs back then either.

 

The whole "Is anybody near the stone?" and "Let us know when you're ready (for a summon)" dialog, as pointless as it seems, was interaction between players.  People so underappreciate how even the tiniest bit of interaction can snowball into a much more positive thing.  It's why, while there is no going back to the way it used to be, the introduction of handholding mechanisms on the minimap was IMO a devastating thing to social interaction.  "Can anyone tell me where I can find Echeyakee?" might lead to some jerk responses, but it would also lead to players helping other players.  It doesn't mean that they would put each other on their friends lists or even ever interact again, but it helped create a positive social atmosphere.  Those opportunities are sadly gone forever.

 

To quote myself from my response to the article currently on the front page:

I've waited for betas for a long time, through many phases in the past -- that's the rule rather than the exception -- but I've never felt so jerked around by a developer at the same time.   The fact that they've been so public about their invites but let in relatively few people, and then handing out 40,000 "insta" invites when at least that many have been signed up and waiting for a year (or perhaps more) for an opportunity to feel they were a part of the game's evolution is a bit crappy IMO.  Understandably, this is really all about hype because one tester is the same as any other, but it's not how I would go about building a relationship with people that have the potential to be my customers for years.

 

I know the folks who get off showing their loyalty to a game developer will throw around the entitlement buzzword, but there is actually more to it than that.  You don't have to be entitled to something to be treated poorly or even just not as well as you could have been treated.  A 10-year-old is not entitled to a foul ball at a baseball game, but a 35-year old diving under the seat to snatch it before him is still crappy.  We walk into stores, restaurants, and many other places without having spent a penny, not being owed anything, but are often treated in a way that makes us feel like our business would matter to them, not just today but as part of a continuing relationship down the road.  In this case some of us have been let in the doors practically on day one, but when we ask to try on some shoes or get a taste of that wine or test drive that car, we get ignored, left to watch generic presentations while people walking in on a whim hundreds of days later get helped.  

 

I don't believe you have to agree that those waiting for a long time deserve anything to recognize that they could have been approached by a business in a more positive way.  I'd say that same thing whether I had an invite to WildStar (or any other game) or not no matter how short or long I've waited.  Heck, I've invested over a thousand hours in GW2 and still believe ArenaNet's handling of the Living Story and it's limited-time-only content is doing a major disservice to a large number of present and future customers.  Yes, absolutely there isn't enough "room" for everybody to always be treated equitably, especially when it comes to a beta.   Some people have to get in long before others.  But I also think escalating divisiveness and resentment is not a positive thing for the game.

 

Anyway OP, make sure you are still signed up for the beta by visiting the website and trying to sign up again.  At one point at least some of the submissions were lost/purged (maybe when they integrated NCSoft accounts into the process) and people who thought they had signed up were apparently no longer so.

Originally posted by Krighton

I'm hopelessly in love with this game, despite the abysmal treatment many people have received from Carbine Studios and beta access.

It's got great potential to storm the MMO genre and wake it up again. Because of this, I believe Carbine has gotten very cocky and think they're *holier than thou* when it comes to letting people play it.

"You're not good enough" yet they claim it's random, but we all know better. On one hand, if the game completely failed, many of us would screech with pure joy as their Karma eats their bank accounts alive. Because you simply don't treat potential, monthly paying customers like shit.  You give them what they want.

 

This kind of paranoia is not productive IMO.   That said, I've waited for betas for a long time, through many phases in the past -- that's the rule rather than the exception -- but I've never felt so jerked around by a developer at the same time.   The fact that they've been so public about their invites but let in relatively few people, and then handing out 40,000 "insta" invites when at least that many have been signed up and waiting for a year (or perhaps more) for an opportunity to feel they were a part of the game's evolution is a bit crappy IMO.  Understandably, this is really all about hype because one tester is the same as any other, but it's not how I would go about building a relationship with people that have the potential to be my customers for years.

 

Anyway, with respect to the article itself ...

 

I appreciate the tidbits regarding the historical and societal aspects of the setting.  I'm interested primarily in the Dominion, so this was up my alley.  Thanks!  I'd actually like to see Carbine release videos kind of like they do for the game's features, classes, and races, but more as miniseries that show us historical events (happening "live" rather than as a historical overview) and set the stage for us.  BioWare did something a tiny bit like this (in a very bland way) as a historical overview for SWTOR with the timeline videos, but Carbine can certainly pull it off with a lot more style, and animated miniseries would fit the atmosphere they've created IMO.  One of the things that helped me connect so strongly with WoW was having played the RTS games and being able to see places and people from those games.   WildStar doesn't have the advantage of building on earlier games, but I'd no less like to walk into a town and say, "Hey!  This is where ____ happened!" or "Hey!  That's that guy from that thing!"

 
 
 

It never bothered me when I ground for primals nearly every day for several weeks to make Frozen Shadoweave and Spellstrike armor in early TBC WoW, or doing Netherwing dailies for a mount.

 

I think having an end that the player shoots for can make all the difference: you have to do this for 25 days, but if you do then you're done, and you have X to show for it.

 

Dailies become a problem, at least for me, when you're given them to do in perpetuity (or at least until new dailies make them obsolete) because they're simply the best or only way to allow you to keep progressing in the game.

I would never pay to have my characters leveled for me,  not even if I had a dozen other max level characters.

 

I'm less offended by the idea than others though.  Even if only 1 out of 6 MMO players would do it, that still places the number in the millions.  There's been a market for it for a long time; power-leveling services have been a part of MMOs at least since I began playing them 7 years ago.  Although I'm not particularly pro-developer, I would rather see them get the money than a third party.

 

Are there some negative consequences in terms of community and long-term satisfaction of a game when players buy their way to max level?  I think there probably are.  But then every design decision has consequences.   If you find the consequences negatively affecting you to the point that you no longer want to play, vote with your wallet and all that.  If it costs companies more revenue than it brings it, the idea will get dropped in the next iteration of games.

 

I think plenty of people against it would reevaluate the idea too, were the circumstances such that jumping to max level allowed one to play with friends sooner, or help out one's guild, or have a character for a very specific role, or be able to complete time-sensitive content (think the Headless Horseman or Coren Direbrew).

During the first month my TERA server had some dedicated anti-griefing guilds that patrolled some lowbee regions.  I fully support players who will make trouble for players trying to make trouble for players who are not currently capable of stopping them (go ahead and read that again ).

 

For me, personally, I would be fine being part of a guild that made that part of its mission, but it's not really a reason I would join any given guild.

 

 

 

Every major game has one or more hangouts where you can participate in a circle jerk and bully all discontent and criticism out of the community.  Since what's being said here is hurting your feelings and making you doubt yourself, that's probably where you belong anyway.

 

In the grander scheme of things, needing the overwhelming validation of one's tastes or opinions from other people is not a healthy way to go about one's life.

 

Play what you want to play and stop telling people what they're allowed to say to make you feel good about yourself and your gaming choices/preferences.

 

Installed and close to up-to-date:

 

  • World of WarCraft
  • EverQuest
  • EverQuest Next: Landmark (alpha)
  • Guild Wars
  • Guild Wars 2
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
  • The Secret World
  • TERA
  • RIFT
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Aura Kingdom
  • Neverwinter
  • EverEmber (beta)

 

Rotting on hard drive; should probably be uninstalled:

  • Age of Wushu
  • Firefall
  • Defiance
  • Lord of the Rings Online

Personally, I'm a fan of buildings, towns, and natural caverns as dungeons, even over Greyhawk-style mazes.  Give me Durlag's Tower (Baldur's Gate) over Grimrock any day.    You can also have linearity while disguising it in a more natural design.  Nintendo's Zelda games come to mind.  A number of WoW's vanilla dungeons too.  Fewer games are making the effort anymore though.

 

Orr in GW2 is probably the closest thing I've played to a zone that plays like an overworld dungeon (I have limited experience in EQ), and while I love those zones, it seems to me most players hate them with a passion.  Orr, incidentally, probably makes the best use of GW2's dynamic event system too, and even that doesn't help its (lack of) popularity.

 

For now, IMO nothing is going to change the "X badges per hour" mentality that has infected MMOs thanks to TBC WoW and it's imitation of vanilla's popular SM instances.  It's not just what today's players expect, it's what the vast majority of them want.  Ditching the instanced three-turn hallway design is a sure way to make sure the only people running your dungeons are a handful of "old timers."  Which is not to say that making games for old timers with modern graphics and smoother mechanics than what a 15-year-old game offers is not worthwhile in many respects, but you're fighting against the market.   

 

Player-created content, where designing and building sprawling dungeons is part of the appeal and selling point for some players could be a game-changer, but that remains to be seen.

Originally posted by grimfall
Feeling a little bit sorry for the development team now.  Was hoping they could turn it on, go home get a nap and watch the game.  If it's not a quick fix to get the servers back up, I'm cool with letting them have the rest of the day.

 

Agreed!  It was totally a surprise that the Super Bowl was being played this Sunday and that there would be so many problems in an alpha build demanding their attention that might prevent them from getting to hang out with friends and family like everybody else.

I don't use it and don't care for it.

 

If a player finds the convenience and value-added features worth it, I think it's fine that they want to use Steam.  I fully support every game having a Steam release.  However, I personally wish that companies would not release Steam exclusives (which says everything one needs to know about Steam, and of course similar game management platforms like EA's Origin, being used as DRM no matter how unintrusive many gamers find it).  There are a number of games that I would have bought had an alternative been available.

 

Not everybody values the things the same.  Things like friends lists, easy access to multiplayer features, file management, automatic updating, and so on ... these don't mean as much to me as they do to others, while the ability to almost completely control my own game experience both in-game and as part of my life in general is worth a lot to me.  Steam doesn't have to go out of business or revoke access to one's games to make letting them control access problematic.  They've been great stewards of the gaming industry so far, but people die and move on, the business cycle creates financial pressures, greed can get the best of people, and there's no guarantee that things won't change for the worse.

The Final Fantasy series does some different things with character builds that I'm surprised aren't explored more often.  The Materia system in FFVII, the sphere systems of FFX and FFXII, and the license board of XII all offer opportunities for customization and specialization without strictly-defined classes.  Combat feeling "off" for many players unfortunately overshadows what TSW did with its character building system.

 

There is a certain appeal to classes in terms of defining how a player relates to the world through his or her character.  Like the Elder Scrolls, the old Quest for Glory SP games, which are sort of RPG Lite, had skill-based character growth with a class system on top that opened up certain quests or methods of solving certain puzzles.  Magic Users (the class) in Quest for Glory 2 could become initiated into the Wizard's Institute of Technocery, which helped promote the idea of wizardry as an elite fraternity, one that the player could one day be a part of.  In WoW's case being a druid, for example, helps one make a connection with a certain dimension of the WarCraft setting and various characters in it.  I think classes can be an extremely powerful tool in that respect, outside of what they do in mechanical terms.

Had it been the other way and people complained about a lack of voice acting, citing voice acting in Oblivion and Skyrim as something that has helped define the series, the author would have argued that devoting resources to voice acting was taking those resources away from other areas of the game, and that he'd rather see this, that, and the other thing than voice acting (even though they are budgeted separately).  Because that's what fanboys do.

SWTOR.  I followed its development closely and participated heavily in the pre-release forums going all the way back to the beginning, so it wasn't exactly that I got hyped, played it, and then felt let down.  When the game was announced I had some pretty high expectations for what the game could be.  By the time it launched, I was already more disappointed than I've ever been about a game.

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