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All Posts by Gormogon

All Posts by Gormogon

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177 posts found

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.

Originally posted by syriinx
Originally posted by Gormogon

 

Really?  Yellow '!' above quest givers' heads, hub-based questing system, trinity-based group PvE combat, progression raiding, a level 60 cap originally planned (later changed to 50), two competing factions, PvP servers with faction-specific safe zones and PvE servers with optional flagging, one-word naming scheme, race-restricted classes, fixed body models for each race, (mostly) seamless world with strongly-themed zones ... but you're right, the only reason people make the comparison between WildStar and WoW is the levels and login screen and shares "very little" with anything that WoW has done.

 

And most of these are genre staples (beyond the genre in most cases), not systems.  Yellow ! is a good one though.  But 2 factions is pretty common in all media formats and PvP servers with optional PvE flagging is another common sense thing.   Fixed body models just makes designing gear easier.  And one word name scheme?  now you are grasping at straws.

 

Nowhere did I argue that the features weren't widespread or that Carbine didn't have good reasons for their inclusion.  Gravarg argued that people called WildStar a WoW clone just because it was an MMO (ie it had levels and a login screen), and claimed that it "shares little if anything WoW has done."  The similarities between the two games run much deeper than both being MMOs, regardless of Carbine's reasons for selecting them or their existence elsewhere in the genre.  Many players do or will associate the WildStar features I mentioned with WoW, regardless of whether you think it's wrong of them to do so.

 

Gravarg's underlying point that "WoW clone" gets thrown about too liberally isn't wrong (for example, GW2 has none of the specific features I mentioned but still gets called a WoW clone by some players), but using WildStar as an example to make that point, throwing in the assertion that it "shares little if anything WoW has done" to support it, is absurd.

Originally posted by Gravarg
People will still call anything with a login screen a WoW Clone, unfortunately.  Just look at Wildstar,  other than it has levels and a login screen, it shares very little with anything that WoW has done lol.  Some say the graphics are similar, but they're not.  Wildstar's are more quarky and um...wild hehe.

 

Really?  Yellow '!' above quest givers' heads, hub-based questing system, trinity-based group PvE combat, progression raiding, a level 60 cap originally planned (later changed to 50), two competing factions, PvP servers with faction-specific safe zones and PvE servers with optional flagging, one-word naming scheme, race-restricted classes, fixed body models for each race, (mostly) seamless world with strongly-themed zones ... but you're right, the only reason people make the comparison between WildStar and WoW is the levels and login screen and shares "very little" with anything that WoW has done.

 

Before you drop your "WoW didn't invent those things" straw man, I never said it did.  I'm saying the comparisons with WoW are WAY more significant than the "login screen and levels" idiocy.  WildStar does a lot of its own things, but c'mon man.

 

Also disagree about the graphics.  Carbine has even embraced the visual comparisons to WoW: "I actually find it flattering, because WoW has been out for nine years now, right?  And there's still people playing it, and it's still a beautiful game.  Sure it's dated, but it has lasted nearly a decade and people still love it.  The art has evolved over time, but Blizzard created a great foundation for a style that could last that long, because it's about craftsmanship and the art of it, not the latest new graphics or high-tech tricks." - Matt Mocarski, Art Director for WildStar

I think GW2 does a number of things right.  I'm over the rectangular maps.  While I prefer WoW's world setup, GW2 also has a big, detailed world with visual diversity that requires substantial effort to explore fully.  That means more to me than how the maps are bounded.  GW2 also has a robust system for the customization of your gear's appearance with lots of dyes and visual diversity to mostly tasteful armor designs.  It's actually unusual to run into players in GW2 with a virtually identical gear appearance. I think many players value that individuality.   I've also quite enjoyed ArenaNet's holiday events and the overall cooperative nature of play.

 

The living story, the living story as an excuse to release buggy and/or unbalanced content, the story elements in general, the failure to make most dynamic events more than just "twenty-minutelies" that don't require a '!' and turn in, the generally poorly-realized, stationary metabosses, an effort-reward mechanism that is way out of whack, sometimes rewarding you for doing almost nothing and other times relying on the gambler's trap to keep you playing even though the reward no longer makes up for the investment (thinking of the difficult jumping puzzles, the legendary grind, the limited-time-only living story achievements and rewards, etc.) ... these things ended turning me off he game in the end.

I actually think the animal mounts look pretty bad, with that raptor thing looking particularly awful.  Something about them as mounts doesn't seem to be appropriate for the setting IMO.  I actually think they'd look better with some crazy armor, like the Dino-Riders from the 80s (seriously).  The Chua hoverboard and those chopper thingies look pretty dope, though.

 

In before "Well, that's just your opinion!  That doesn't make it fact!" and "I think they're perfect.  They're totally WildStar!  If you think they aren't appropriate to the setting you obviously haven't been paying attention!  If you hate the game so much go play something else and stop trolling."

I'm a big supporter of environmental effects, immunities and weaknesses, situational gear and abilities and so on.  My experience, however, has been that the vast majority of players (nearly all) are vehemently against those ideas.  The argument being "I worked (hard?) to get this gear, and now you're making me take it off to replace it with gear I'll wear a handful of times a year" and "You're messing up my rotation!  Now I have to use these weak-*** abilities (and plummet on the dps meter! Weh!)"

 

Intelligent threat recognition and calls for help from enemies could be really interesting ... it might be a way to encourage group play without the traditional solution of multiplying a mob's damage and HP.  At the same time, I look at Orr in GW2 where you can easily wind up with a slew of mobs attacking you and how much rage those zones induced in GW2 players.

 

Everquest implemented some ideas regarding how characters of different races and even classes might react to each other, which sounds a little like what you're talking about.

 

I do think there is a (very small) market for the features you've described, but I definitely would not go anywhere near the claim that this is what's needed to revitalize/rescue/revolutionize/whatever MMOs.

There's really nothing to "win" in GW2 that warrants obsessing over marginal stat increases.   I would argue, however, that because of this it's the acquisition of desired skins and dyes and the completion of achievements that drives play after the world has been explored.   In these respects I find GW2 to be extremely grindy, especially given the limited time only nature of some of the stuff associated with the Living Story.   Actually, the whole gambler's trap aspect of GW2 -- you've invested so much already; if you don't keep going until you succeed you've wasted all of this time/effort/money/whatever -- is a huge turnoff to me.  If I felt the reward were worth it, I have no problem having to make an effort, but every time I play GW2 I feel like I'm being reminded that I could have gotten more enjoyment playing something else, reading a book, whatever.  I love GW2's world and ArenaNet's creativity, which I think makes the feeling that the game is pushing me away that much more disappointing to me.  :(

I think we all fantasize about experience the Golden Age of whatever we're invested in (America, the NFL, gaming, whatever).  For my money 1997-98 was the Golden Age of gaming, and 1998 will probably never be topped.

 

1997

  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy Tactics
  • Goldeneye
  • Ultima Online
  • Fallout
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Age of Empires
  • Total Annihilation

 

1998

  • StarCraft and Brood War
  • Fallout 2
  • Thief
  • Pokemon Red and Blue (US)
  • Half-Life
  • The Ocarina of Time
  • Baldur's Gate
  • Rogue Squadron
  • Grim Fandango
  • Xenogears
  • Resident Evil 2

I would let fans like the OP bully dissent out of the community as much as possible. It's usually a lot cheaper than fixing any actual issues the haters may have identified.  A small, loyal community that will accept anything you feed them is much better than a larger community with people demanding improvement and expansion.  It helps too if you can get the moderators at popular gaming sites on your side to quickly shut down any such negativity and produce reviews placing your game in the GOAT discussion.

 

But seriously, I believe honesty is the best policy.  That usually means avoiding nonsense like "We had to do it this way" and owning up to design and businesses model choices: "We made this decision for this and that reason, and while we recognize that not all players will be happy with it, we believe this is the best for the long-term health of the game and/or its community."  I'm not a fan of NDA's in late-stage betas to begin with, so yeah, sure... drop it if you think you get something out of doing so.   Professional developers are perfectly capable of making that decision, though.  While I feel I should be able to voice my opinion in support or against, they (hopefully) don't actually need me to tell them how to run and market their game.

WildStar vs. TESO really reminds me of RIFT vs. SWTOR in 2011 (although the latter was ultimately released at the very end of that year).  I believe we will see similar trends in popularity, with TESO benefitting a lot from its console presence at the beginning.  I'm currently having a hard time seeing WildStar maintaining even SWTOR's profile.  That RIFT, TSW, and TERA range is where I think it will settle in ... which is to say nothing about how good or bad it might be, just where it fits in in the MMO landscape.

I never really thought about difficulty growing up.  I just sort of took things as they were.  I mean, there were games I found challenging, and I relished the challenge -- there are a number of platformers I beat as a kid that actually surprise me with how difficult they were in retrospect compared to most stuff I play today (Castlevania, Mega Man, TMNT; yes I know there are even harder ones) -- but I didn't specifically go out looking for hard games.

 

One thing that could be said is that easier games allowed more people to enjoy them, allowing the consumer side of the market to expand greatly.  I think there are probably more kids today wanting/expecting easy games (or at least the option) than there were when I was a kid, when a larger number of the popular games often came in just "hard" difficulty.

 

That of course doesn't have to apply to just kids.  There are also many adult gamers who have been brought into the market because difficulty is less of a barrier to entry IMO.

WoW before Cata did the best job employing its lore of the games I've played (I only have limited experience with the EQs).  They certainly altered and shoehorned things for gameplay purposes, but I loved coming across locations, characters, and quests that referenced the RTSs, and there was very often an underlying story unifying quests that unfortunately most people didn't appreciate because they don't read quest text.  The game itself built up an entire history for Azeroth, from the great troll kingdoms down to the smaller settlements.  Although of course, things were located where they were for gameplay purposes, vanilla WoW's writers often felt the need to provide in-world reasons for them being there.

 

Star Wars has a ton of lore, far more detailed than WoW and I imagine nearly every other game setting, but SWTOR always felt to me like Bioware desperately wanted to do its own thing, choosing to acknowledge the lore via loose associations (like the races and the planets the action takes place on) and sticking the rest in infodumps (the datacrons for example).  The art direction ripped off a lot from the movie era as well, which compromises the feeling that the SWTOR period somehow fits in a larger unified timeline IMO.

 

Incidentally, the Forgotten Realms might have even more lore than Star Wars, but by the time you get to 4e and Neverwinter a lot of it got nuked to irrelevance.

 

 

I'm looking forward to trying out the combat.  I'm not convinced it will wind up being anything more than a novelty in the genre, but I'd like to see the timing mechanics for myself, as well as see whether the telegraphing system actually allows for more complex combat or whether a good player can learn the attacks of various adversaries well enough to not need them.  I'm also really interested to see how well housing and the path system are integrated into the game, or if they will just be frosting on top of WoW.

 

My biggest concern is simply that there is nothing about the game that really tugs at me.  The hook is that WildStar is a throwback to "vintage WoW," with the trendy action combat of TERA and Neverwinter.  I haven't seen anything that makes me feel like I want to play around in the world for any longer than needed to answer the questions above.  In other words, it feels like another 8-week MMO to me walking in.  I haven't gotten into the beta yet, though, so I guess I'll see.

 

Although heavily instanced to the point that some don't consider it an MMO, the original Guild Wars used a non-sub model (B2P) with a cash shop (introduced in 2006).  I'm not familiar enough with MMO lineages, but perhaps GW influenced some of the later games that went F2P, especially in demonstrating viability as a contemporary of WoW.

I vaguely remember a couple of minority characters in Lake-town in the Hobbit movie, but I didn't think anything of it.  I guess I rationalized it as Lake-town being a regional melting pot for humans that migrated to and traded in that part of Middle Earth.  It doesn't bother me that hobbits and elves in Middle Earth are all white either.

 

There are things that do bother me, however, as the crazy, politically correct, liberal white male who violates the sensibilities of the bigots that make up the majority of the gamer community in the West (Yes, I'm pointing the finger; go ahead and play the victim now... you know you want to).  For example, for all the diversity they had in GW and its expansions (and even still in Tyria in GW2) and the praise they deserve for it, I think ArenaNet's efforts to whitewash Kryta for GW2 were unfortunate. The Krytans of the original GW definitely tended to be dark skinned with dark hair and features and hairstyles distinctly not associated with European peoples.  Yes I get the fanwanked explanation that zombies killed almost every Krytan, not to mention Kryta's largest city was swallowed by the sea, while white Ascalonian refugees had "strong genes" and all had ten children and in ten generations they've apparently spread all over Kryta.  Yes, I get that in GW2 expansions may take us to other parts of the setting where we will get different human races.  That doesn't change the fact that they did have something different and chose to move away from it to accommodate the racism of the white majority player base to make more money.  A victory for capitalism and white players everywhere, I guess.

 

I think if a game can justify racial options and non-Caucasian humanoid NPCs, it should include them, but certainly not all fantasy species -- or even humans in some settings -- justify such options.   I'm also not going to complain about having to roll an Asian character in an Asian setting or a white character in a Norse setting or an Arab player in a strictly Middle Eastern setting, or a racially homogenous collection of NPCs in any of those settings.  Your kingdom has no significant connections to other regions of the world and you want everybody to be white?  Okay.   On the other hand, if your city is in the tropics or is one of the world's major trading centers and attracts human merchants from all over, then yeah, you really better have more than the traditional white European humans everywhere playing every important role, or you deserve to be called out for it.

 

Anyway, I do sometimes roll dark-skinned human characters.  I have a guardian in GW2 who I imagine to be a "Krytan pureblood" noble and in WoW I have a bald black paladin with a goatee, because it is pretty much the only look that pulls it off in that game.  I also have characters in various games that are blue-skinned, monsters, corpses, sentient plants, women, robots, half my age, and twice my age ... and don't think anything of it.

If I want to play something with WoW's features and WoW's level of polish, I'd play WoW.  Mechanical/progression issues in the game aside, if you can't deliver "WoW, but better," then you better be introducing your own quality, revolutionary features.  That is why WoW clones are bad ... because everybody is lacking the ability to pull off a better WoW, whether it is because of lack of money, talent, or understanding of what made WoW memorable for millions of players.

 

But even more than that, the landscape is constantly changing, WoW continues to retain many players for social aspects and the struggle humans have with cutting their losses every bit as much as its gameplay IMO.  Making a WoW clone today is trying to force a decade-old model on today's players.  Technology and the gaming community evolve.  I'm the first person who will acknowledge that there will always be a place for throwback type of games, but we don't need a market full of them.

 
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

Why make a real movie?

 

i am quite sure that an annimation type of movie of the same level as the woW trailers would have justified the genre much much more....  

 

I'm curious about this too.  The current level of FMV trailer/cut-scene technology in the gaming industry can definitely support a feature-length film based on a fantasy game.

 

Maybe we'll get something like the He-Man movie with Medivh opening a portal to Earth to allow the Horde to ransack Vancouver, and the Alliance works with five plucky teens to drive them back to Azeroth by opening another portal using a contraption made with an umbrella, an iPhone, and a guitar controller for Guitar Hero! 

This issue was brought up in beta and it was addressed to the satisfaction of SE (Yoshi-P even released a statement on it) and the vast majority of fans.  Blame the latter for convincing SE it really wasn't a big enough issue to take seriously. Here's our mmorpg discussion about it: 

 

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/390188/Stop-denying-the-terrible-persistant-lag.html

 

Then deal with it or quit, because SE doesn't give a flying **** about the problems you're having, because it's apparently not really happening or it's entirely your fault.  Or it's beta.  Or something.

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