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All Posts by Gormogon

All Posts by Gormogon

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154 posts found

I didn't get to play nearly as much as I wanted this weekend, but I'd put my experience at about a 7 out of 10.


I like the Forgotten Realms quite a bit, and to me that is a huge positive for this game, but the story and hook are really not good IMO.  I realize Cryptic is not Bioware, Bethesda, or Obsidian, but it was bad enough to be an actual turn off to me.


Graphically, I was actually switching between this game and GW2 at one point to see what people were complaining about.  I run both games maxed out on a 6950.  Neverwinter's color palette is not as easy on the eyes, but the level of detail in the environment is actually pretty close in both games.  Neverwinter has the previously stated issues with unattractive character models, but they  weren't a distraction for me.  Where the game is lacking visually is in the vegetation and rocks strewn about in outdoor areas, and the lighting and lack of depth conveyed by the indoor textures IMO.  Overall the environments themselves were really pretty good, though IMO. 


Combat is going to have the unavoidable comparisons to TERA for those who have played the latter.  For me, TERA's combat is significantly more intuitive, flows so much better, and has a collection of enemies with abilities that make them stand out a lot better.  I'm also not a big fan of 4e, and while it's not necessarily more restrictive than a lot of MMOs, character building does feel restrictive compared to how I think DnD should be played.  That said, I didn't dislike the combat in Neverwinter, and while the game starts off feeling like every character of the same class will be the same, when you get far enough along, opportunities for creating your own playstyle open up quite a bit.


Where the game excels IMO is in providing different ways/reasons to play the game and making them extremely accessible.  In that sense, I think the game does/will accomplish some of the significant things it was meant to do.  The Foundry itself could keep the game going for a long time.  It's not a game I'm going to spend 1000 hours playing every year, but this weekend convinced me to level a character so I can jump in and play some fan-made content every once in awhile.

Personally, almost every time I see game footage I'm thinking X in WildStar looks a whole lot like Y in WoW, and IMO that could wind up being an unfortunate distraction for some players as they decide whether it's a game for them.  Then again, for almost every MMORPG out there, there's probably somebody who thinks it looks "just like WoW", so it is very subjective.


Ultimately, IMO, the visual similarities that many people here and elsewhere do see will put a much greater emphasis on differentiating itself and delivering in other aspects of the game right off the bat.  There are reasons to be hopeful, but it's still a early to know for certain yet.

Finally got in Friday evening.  To me it feels like a franchise tie-in.   There is nothing at all that wows me.


My Opinions:


As a shooter it's a mediocre shooter.  It handles fine, sure, but the advances in combat mechanics and AI that have been made in shooters over the last seven or eight years are absent.  The mobs are an utterly unmemorable mix of thugs, mutants, and bugs.  I'm sure there are differences between the various types besides the weapons they carry (and melee vs. ranged), but I couldn't tell you what.   IOW, if I want to play a shooter, I'm way better off playing a full-fledged modern shooter.


As an MMO (and a PC game for that matter) it's stripped down to essentially the bare minimum: a shared world.  The other features that make an MMO what it is are absent or severely downplayed.  Not suprising for a console game, but if I want to play an MMO, I'm way better off playing MMOs that puts greater emphasis on the social gaming features.  If all I want to do is play coop and shoot stuff, there are shooters out there that let me do that.


As an RPG the character building and gearing systems have some interesting things going on, and it has some ties to the lore of the setting which is always a nice touch.  But it's lacking the little things that make RPG worlds come alive.  The starting zone feels like the type of giant combat sandlot I expect of a multiplayer shooter environment, not a part of a larger world with characters living in it like I would expect from an RPG.  Many other games do a better job capturing the spirit of the RPG.


While I do believe there is a "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" thing going on, I still feel like Trion struggled with the integration of the shooter, MMO, and RPG elements into a game where they all support each other.  There's potential for the idea to take off (if the rumors of Titan being an MMOFPS are true, Blizzard saw this as well), but I think there are obviously some things that need to be worked out.  The game feels to me like Trion was content to not think about things too much and wants the players to do the same.

I've encountered the same issue apparently. Trion tells me I'm "enlisted" for the beta, but didn't get an invite and I get no download links anywhere on Trion's website. Kind of a shame ... would have liked to have had a chance to see what kind of first impression the game made on me before I decide wether or not to buy it.   I'm not typically a shooter guy, but sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised (Deus Ex comes to mind). Oh well. Though, from all the complaints about queues, it appears we probably haven't been missing much so far this weekend anyway.

These are games ... you can't forget the fun/effort ratio.  If the mechanics make your game less fun or too much of a hassle compared to alternatives, then players will leave for another game that lets them play how they want.  


The underlying assumption we're making is that players don't like to zerg but do it because it's effective.  If we make it less effective, then players will play differently.  While it is apparent that the type of players that complain on message boards often abhor zerg tactics, in seven years of playing MMOs I have not necessarily seen an indication that the MMORPG player population at large feels the same way.  I might even argue most players just want to feel like they are doing something and being rewarded for it (see GW2). 


Friendly fire, harsh death costs or penalties to the individual or the team, providing defensive installations with powerful zerg-busting weaponry, even giving offensive or defensive penalties/bonuses based on location and friendly units in proximity, all of those could help discourage zerging, but while you ingratiate yourself with some portion of your potential players, you push a much larger group away.  Not that that's necessarily a bad thing -- being able to find games that fit one's tastes should be one of the advantages of diversity -- but it is a consideration developers have to face.



A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) could make for an awesome sandbox MMO if it were in the right hands, but from the little I've seen, what we're getting from Bigpoint is almost certainly going to be just a medicore cash-in like the two single-player games from Cyanide.

I actually think the Malazan series is better suited for the current MMO environment than either Wheel of Time or A Song of Ice and Fire. It has deeper lore and a more robust cosmology to support the setting than possibly anything except LotR/Middle Earth. The power curve in the Malazan series is absurd, so it also supports character progression in a way that other fantasy series might not.

This is exactly where gaming under the big developers is heading IMO.  I believe that in my lifetime essentially all "AAA games" will basically start as single-player "lobbies" (like an inn, military base, mission selection screen, whatever, that must be accessed through an online account natch) and we'll be asked to pay to unlock every mission, every non-starter item, every special ability, every class, every race, every playable faction, every unit, every building type, every companion character, etc.  It started with selling DLC, and now Day One DLC has kicked the door open.  The direction is onward, not backward, just as it has been with other schemes that have millions of gamers shrugging and making the purchase anyway.  


It absolutely does not matter whether I or a few hundred other "old timers" think it's a horribly player-unfriendly/insulting idea, complain on internet forums, vote with our wallets, whatever ... there's far too much money to be made.  The only reason it will take some time for this format to become standard is because collectively gamers don't like feeling they're being forced to accept big changes all at once.  Take baby steps and give them an opening to argue it actually makes their gaming experience better and nearly all of them will go along just as they always have.

Originally posted by greenreen

Did anyone mention "The Nothing". That's a scary opponent. You can't even hit it between the eyes. Video of reference.


The Nothing was also my first though when I read the OP.


Any existence-negating "force of nature" offers possibilities as a supreme villain.  I have a home-brew RPG setting with insects that literally eat reality.  Transformers has a robot planet in Unicron that involves a similar concept.  Another example might be something like Marvel's Galactus, depending on whether you consider him effectively a god or something else.


Power creep over a game's lifetime and the desire to make a player feel "epic" are inevitable factors in what makes a compelling ultimate villain.  When the player has been killing demons, vampires, and mad wizards, it's hard to "go back" (the typical way of doing so is to make the boss a "bigger" version of something weaker, or to have him/her/it empowered by some powerful artifact or substance).


I personally like the Serpentor concept -- a character made from the souls, "essence", or DNA of several of the setting's deceased past heroes and villains and possessing their personalities and powers -- and am surprised it isn't used more often ... particularly if the setup is really good, where the game places a heavy emphasis on the setting's history.


People within the Rhode Island government are responsible for the screw up, but 38 is not a victim here.  They mismanaged the KoA and Copernicus properties and wound up in an unsustainable financial position.  They failed on merit. 


In doing so they hurt a lot of people who were not invovled in the bad decision making either on the political end or the business one.  They don't deserve any kind of sympathy for having to sit next to lawyers for the next two years ... they earned that.

Originally posted by moguy2
Originally posted by Gormogon

At OP: if you originally played WoW because of it's *cough* "rigorous" talent system, ability to shoot a bow on a warrior or wand with a caster, and to speak with trainers to acquire abilities, and now "can't recognize it" because it removed those things, then let's face it, you absolutely diid not "get" the game to begin with.


Or maybe you had already made up your mind that the game was no longer worth playing, and to "prove" this to yourself you downloaded a trial, played it briefly and came up with the most immediate differences you noticed for why it was not longer worth playing.

What he is saying is you dont have to think any more. Even if assigning  points wasnt super hard , that part of where you actually used your brain to do it is gone. Everyone has super powers in the lower levels. You actually dont even need a tank or healer cause stuff dies so fast due to everyone being over powered.

So yeah, he hit it on the head. Everything IS dumbed down. Alot of pre teens  can now play this . As long as their parents tell them to not chew on crayons while doing dungeons or LFR ! ROFL! 


And yes, you have logged in a group....and quit out cause you were tired of the kids.....


Really, picking one of the functional builds for you class required "using your brain" in some significant sense?


For people who had any brain at all the talent choices for their desired role were typically blatantly obvious, and for the rest there was the internet to copy down the build the rest figured out.  Simcraft to determine the benefit of one point here or there was something done by an extremely small group of people with the knowledge of how to write and run the relevant simulations.  Excuse me for "making up" stats, but I can promise that group of players was less than 1% of the entire player population of WoW.


The remaining talent choices allow for players to select abilities that are situational useful in either PvP or PvE, just like the few "extra points" one might have had laying around in the old talent system.


Other demands on ideal gearing and ability selection still exist as they always have.  No two clases get the same use out of all gear statistics.


If going back to a trainer to acquire abilities, or having to select/fight over gear for a gear slot that never gets used after the early levels was intellectually challenging to the point that removing it is a notable case of "dumbing down", I really have no answer that the "dumbing down" crowd could comprehend.


The difficulty of the game relative to player abilities WAS NOT brought up in the OP.  And for every argument that level 1-85 content is "dumbed down" I submit the fact that new players are now asked to gain 90 levels instead of 60 as in classic WoW or 70 in TBC, and that I was there in TBC when lower level content was already dead and you had to buy runs or ask guildmates to run you if you wanted to do instances or elite questing zones while leveling.  Do you really maintain that leveling through mostly empty zones while experiencing even less content without getting high level players to do it for you is better?   They've made more of the game world accessible to the leveling player than there was five years ago.  That certainly means the leveling experience at any given point is less challenging, but you need to make a better case for it being worse as a gaming experience than just throwing out "it's dumbed down" IMO.


The prevailing idea that making the leveling experience easier has created bad players has existed forever and whatever truth exists in it lies with the elitists who refuse to run with, teach, and be patient with new players ... refusing such players the benefit of experience they received from others when they were learning how to play.


I can't speak to the maturity of WoW players, but as for whether "WOW iz fild wid a buntch ov 10 yer oleds", perhaps you can offer a study that shows WoW's player demographics differ significantly from other major MMOs out there?


For the guy who asked earlier, I started playing WoW in 2007 when TBC was released and most of the top raiding guilds were still working on Kara.  I fail to see how my experience is relevant to the point that the talent system, accessory weapon slot, and class trainers were never the reason to be playing the game, whether today or nearly six years ago as you seem to want to imply.

At OP: if you originally played WoW because of it's *cough* "rigorous" talent system, ability to shoot a bow on a warrior or wand with a caster, and to speak with trainers to acquire abilities, and now "can't recognize it" because it removed those things, then let's face it, you absolutely diid not "get" the game to begin with.


Or maybe you had already made up your mind that the game was no longer worth playing, and to "prove" this to yourself you downloaded a trial, played it briefly and came up with the most immediate differences you noticed for why it was not longer worth playing.

I had a good bit of fun with the event, aside from the fact that I missed the one discontinued event needed to get my Emissary title.  :P


I think the biggest downside just for me personally was simply the time commitment of some of the acitivies to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.  That's not to say that conceptually they aren't good fun, but I invested a lot more in the Labyrinth, at the clocktower, and carving pumpkins than the material and emotional rewards I felt I got out of them in the end.


ETA: which is to say I'm not sure how motivated I'd be to do them again in the future.

I think it's unfortunate that Trent Oster would put himself in a position where people feel like he's speaking for the doctors in blaming the fans.  Nobody will care about his comment when Beamdog releases BGEE, but people will remember it if/when the docs return and start up a new company with some of the cash EA paid them for BioWare after the non-compete is up.


I would add that BioWare's relationship and interaction with many of its fans took a turn for the worse well before TOR turned out to suck ... the landscap and dev-fan relationship has changed since BioWare's successful games of the late 90s/early 00s, and the people of that generation at BioWare did not necessarily evolve in the right directions to stay "hip".  Instead a number of them looked like ever more condescending gods deigning to step down from their throne and tell the people, "It's your fault for screwing it up, not ours." 




The change to the talent system is by far the thing I see people complaining about most in the game and yet to some extent I feel many are just picking on it for the sake of wanting to make a big deal over something.


I skipped Cata, but in the TBC-WotLK era,nearly every (insert class-specific spec name) (insert class name) used an IDENTICAL talent build. The talent trees offered the illusion of choice, but the system was borked because Blizzard was never able to design the trees and combat mechanics to make spec variations meaningful (except perhaps in a PvE vs PvP context).


All they really did with MoP is eliminate the step where everybody does a Google search and copies down the talent build that everyone else is using, exposing how shallow the system has always been. They replaced it with a few situationally meaningful secondary ability choices.


The thing I have noticed after coming back from a two-year break is actually in the mechanics of the abilities themselves. To some extent the changes to the mechanics are refreshing to me. I'm not playing my toons the exact same way I was in 2009. On the other hand, ability bloat and redundancy is something WoW has been faced with every "overhaul", and now every character has so many overpowered abiilities that do the exact same things that as far as PvE is concerned "faceroll" hardly begins to desribe it.


Some will argue that WoW never really offered a compelling "toolbox" of class abilities, but once upon a time my class abilities were fairly unique. For example, on my shadow priest, Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch, Mind Flay, and Mind Blast, all had very specific damage and utility profiles and there was a way to prioritize them for maximum effectiveness, even on "daily grind" content. Now I have I believe 8 single-target damage options that for PvE purposes all do so much damage in so short a time that it doesn't really matter which one I choose to use when. I believed that the intuitiveness of the abilities in vanilla and early TBC were one of the attractions of the game, and that has largely been lost over time.


As far as how the world stacks up in 2012, Blizzard has, to me, always been the king of taking something simple and getting people to buy into it. IMO GW2's world is vastly superior to 2012 WoW in terms of visuals and layout, and yet there's a credibility to the world WoW presents that, for me, is still unmatched (I say this having played TOR, TERA, TSW, and GW2 in the last seven months). Simple, probably even childish, and yet Blizzard actually has me believing that a continent of Pandas can make sense in a fantasy setting.  That's power and talent that every developer wish they had.


I actually think MoP takes WoW even farther away from its roots in many respects, and I wouldn't be suprised if many people longing for the "good old days" are even more turned off now. I do find the idea that MoP could hold the crowd that WoW once had for two years or whatever until the next expansion as wishful thinking in 2012, but to me there's definitely fun to be found in MoP for plenty of people IMO.

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