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All Posts by Ryahl

All Posts by Ryahl

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47 posts found

Indeed, @Uhwop is correct, an analogy about Ford and boat-making falls apart when one realizes that Ford... makes boats.

But to the original point made by @DMKano, my article makes no presumption of the need to task SOE devs to make non-MMO's.  Rather, it's stripping intellectual property owned by SOE and repurposing it to non MMO-assets.  The humans who originally made the tool, as is often the case with these types of purchases, are disposable.

@Uhwop I believe the Namaste-SOE relationship was purely licensing.  At least a look at the storybricks website lends itself to that conclusion.  However, I seem to recall SOE developers at the most recent SOElive events implying that it was more of an investment in storybricks rather than strictly licensing (my recollection here may be wrong though).

 

Originally posted by daltanious
Khm, "With TESO, Wildstar, and now, Archeage released, the horizon is looking pretty barren." is author of OP out of his mind? Three examples of failures and he talks about barren horizon?

The author (me), may indeed, be out of his mind.  That's a day to day call on occasion.  I am fully specialized in forgetfulness and absent-mindedness, it's my thing!

But I think you misinterpret my point here.  Over the past twelve months, TESO, Wildstar, and Archeage each has had its moment as "the next big thing."  Indeed for a good chunk of the past twelve months, a lot of the MMO discourse was "TESO or Wildstar?"  Each of the fan archetypes I described in my opening paragraph manifest for each of those games.

Each of those games has now launched.  It is EQN's turn to step into the role of "next big thing."  Had each of those games been raging, screaming successes with a kajillion accounts each (hyperbole intended), my point would be the same.  Having released, they are now off the horizon and are in the present, EQN is the horizon.

EQN is also the only (although I hesitate to use the term ONLY) AAA MMO in development.  With Blizzard cancelling Titan, the AAA publisher project list is a bit sparse.  

If you look at the hype-meter here at MMORPG.com, it's EQN and a number of indies.  In the years that I have followed MMORPG and in the time I have been writing here, that's not been the case before.  There are nearly always a couple of AAA's sitting out there baking.  

The other MMO's on the horizon are the Kickstarter/Indie bunch: Star Citizen, Gloria Victis, Pathfinder, Camelot, The Repopulation, Elite:Dangerous.  You can add Shroud of the Avatar to that list as well.  Those are each very interesting projects.  But, they each hearken back to the MMO roots with smaller teams, substantially smaller budgets, narrower scope (than EQN), more niche focus.  Of course, with the way Star Citizen raises money, I'm not sure small is the precisely right term anymore (bigger than small, but still not enormous)?  Those projects certainly are on the horizon.  But, if for no more than sheer budgetary reasons, their profile on the horizon is smaller.

I had no intention to associate EQN with the individual perceptions of the successes or failures of any of those three titles.

Originally posted by Shaigh

3. How does action combat work within a world of consequences?

All you need are checkbox options in the interface where you can go to war with a specific neutral/friendly faction so that there is no friendly option. Tab-target games with neutral NPC-factions have these kinds of options just so that your next opponent isn't a friendly target.

Something of this nature is certainly needed.  The challenge, based on my read of EQN is the number of factions they hint at.  If you recall EQ1 (which seems to be their faction model), there are hundreds of intertwined factions.  

On this topic to @2t3v3b0, I agree that control moves are the logical solution to this.  None of the control moves demonstrated in the last SOE videos would suffice though.  Each of them is embedded in another attack (typically an AOE).  Certainly there are moves they haven't shown off, but several of the classes that have been demonstrated seem very ill-equipped to play nice with NPC's.

For me (and only speaking for me), Wildstar never entered my radar.  I recognize that things I dislike are liked by others and vice versa, but I can only offer insight into my own decisions.

1.  The "snap into a Slim Jim" promotional campaign was a non-starter.  It struck me as "Barrens Chat: Developer version."

2.  I won't play an MMO with twitchy-action combat.  If I want twitchy, I'll play a shooter, a fighting game, or a racing game.

3.  40-person raiding is less of a good idea than Flex-Raiding.  WoW is completely moving in the right direction on raids.  Difficulty can be separated from logistics and we should be making logistics more accessible, not less.

I'm not a hating type of person, I genuinely hoped W* would work, even though it was clearly not built for me.  Here's hoping it's salvageable.

Thank you for the comments everyone.  This article has been in works for awhile and I took some efforts to try to bridge a research topic into the MMORPG environment.

Special thanks to @lizardbones, multiple guilds is definitely a social hook I left out.  It's very much a design element that caters towards the small world efficiency of a large community!

Originally posted by WereLlama

The lure of raiding is similar to the lure of watching live sports. People want to be part of it in case something historic happens.  I assert people want to be part of history, not just an anonymous human with little to no impact on the world(game or real).

So for raiding, the key should be tying the raid encounter to the history of the server, if at all possible.

Did slaying that Giant in WC impact others? Did you all make the zone safe for camping for an hour or two, receiving appropriate praise from the lower level campers?

Going forward, I hope WoW and other games consider new ways to tie boss raiding to the social impact of the world, and not just easy, medium, hard, mythic difficulty levels.

-WL

 

Agreed entirely on the idea of getting out of instances and back into the world (and making that meaningful).  Right now, aside from a couple of games, that's just not where the development is going.  It makes sense, though, given emphasis on mechanic complexity that raids are currently within instances and there's nothing inherently wrong with putting special content into an instance - there are a lot of paths to epic.

Getting MMO players back out into the MMO worlds themselves is a topic for an entirely different day.

Originally posted by WereLlama

The wizard pyramid is in Western Commonlands (near the lake).. Sheesh!.. Destroys the entire integrity of the article.

-WL

 

I know WereLlama... I just don't have screenshots (or the computers) from that far back, but you are right I did get east/west wrong in the article.  East was gryphons... west was hill giants... I should better remember the things that stomped me as a newbie! :D

 
Originally posted by Dogblaster

Multiple difficulties for each raid and also multiple sizes made me quit wow and never come back. Vanila and TBC were the best, from wotlk and on Blizzard was catering to masses and dumped everything possible down ... Screw that really :)

 

I get where you are coming from Dogblaster and I admit I used to feel exactly the same way about this issue.  When WoW started down this path (with Raid Finder), I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about it.

I think their decision to visually theme gear and change itemization based on difficulty levels makes it a lot more palatable, though.  Succeeding at Mythic results in gear that is better, and looks different, than succeeding at Hard, Normal, or Raid Finder.

I still think the comparative, competitive side of PVE is an important part.  I just no longer think it should be the only part.

I do think @Pemmin makes a very important point, though.  WoW has the subscriber base to build these tools.  Getting four different difficulties that scale and work well has to be a pretty massive undertaking.

 
Originally posted by thecapitaine
This game gets my vote as most improved MMO for 2013.  I initially was very disappointed with the RNG method of acquiring heroes, the balance between heroes, and the prices in the cash shop.  However, Gaz has addressed each of those as well as heaping on new ways to play, adding new heroes and costumes, and basically enhancing every element of their game.

It is a game that is very easy to just jump in and play for 20-30 minutes at a time.

It is also a game in which those 20-30 minutes can easily turn into "hey, where did the last five hours go?"  There are so many ways to find yourself doing "just one more [insert option] and I will log off!"

It's definitely a great game and the developer team has done an amazing job adding to it.  The only downside, as I see it, is that your feelings about the game are likely to be deeply tied to how well a specific hero fits your preferred playstyle. 

With the stable-size of the game roster, it's almost a guarantee that there is a match.  However, finding that match can be problematic if you don't know the universe really well.  Once you find that hook, though, the game really shines.

Originally posted by Samhael
Also, that should be "Luke Cage" not "Like Cage."

Ugg!  This is what happens when I try to rush a story.  I would award a No Prize except (1) I'm pretty sure it's trademarked and (2) they would stack up too high if they were based on my typos...

Apologies for the multiple mistakes!

Originally posted by Solar_Prophet

It's Kate Bishop, not Hope. Also, it's Starktech, not 'Start Tech'.

Gazilion's transparency when it comes to the game is definitely impressive. Doomsaw himself has actually spent time in the game answering player questions and the like. I wish more devs were as open and honest as him, as the games industry would improve vastly.

I have no idea what I was thinking interchanging Hope for Kate.  That one's just flat out confusing to me.

The Stark Tech one is a direct typo.  I'm thinking auto-correct caught me there and I missed it in proofs.

The Gazillion team are really enjoyable to observe.  They clearly have a passion for the game and really enjoy interacting with their customers.  They also have some people on that team who are well-vetted Marvel fans as well, I'm often surprised by their breadth of IP knowledge.

Patch 2.1 was, any way you slice it, a very well-done piece of content.

I would probably feel completely different about Roulette if you could queue as a partial group and still get the rewards.  I understand the importance of Duty FInder tools and generally appreciate their inclusion.  What specifically bothers me about the Roulette is that it outright insists that you not play with friends.  We're moving past facilitating group opportunities for off-hour and small-guilds with that mechanic.

Originally posted by BadSpock
Originally posted by Banegrivm
Originally posted by ThomasN7
The most thing I miss is a sense of community. I miss the days where you can log in and hang with your online pals, level together and help each other out on hard quests to accomplish goals. That stuff doesn't exist anymore.

The last time I felt this was Warhammer. God I miss those days. Community feels like it is all but non existant anymore in games.

What rubbish.

There are likely tens of thousands of guilds in World of Warcraft alone, not to mention all other MMOs, that do these things each and every day.

Being forced to group versus being more solo friendly hasn't done anything to affect grouping for those who want to and chose to group.

It's just an excuse people give because their friends stopped playing MMOs or are playing a different game now than them.

I wouldn't quite call it rubbish.  I agree with BadSpock that community still exists in the modern MMO.

However, I agree with the assertion of the original statement as well.  The meaning of community is very different today than it was 15 years ago.  Back then my community was the guild and a good chunk of the rest of my server, or at least those who played in my time frame.  This meant that it was common for me to:

1.  Regularly run dungeon groups with members of allied guilds

2.  Have three or four allied guilds that always had spots on our raids.

3.  Had three or four allied guilds for whom I regularly attended their raids.

Community today certainly exists and thrives, but its far more insular.  From a social network perspective we have far more closed communities than we once had. 

While the old, wider community was a function of resource scarcity (rare spawns) and open-ended raid caps, I don't think those mechanics are exclusively required to make it happen.

To extend kind words towards the GW2 community, people who regularly engage in WvWvW on the various servers certainly have a broader community reminiscent of older MMO's.

To all responders - thanks for the kind and interesting thoughts.  And no, I'm not Suzie. :D

Originally posted by calyptic101
The main problem with themparks is that developers can not keep up with players. The reason players want more sandpark or sandbox games is simply content. Player driven content simply mever runs out.

also the comments about you losing your stuff 8n eve sounds worse than it actually is. Losing your internet spaceship is no big deal for players you make it sound like that players worked for months to acquire what they are flying. Replacing what you lost is easy. Good article though.

First, thanks everyone for the kind thoughts.

@Calyptic101, I don't really understand EVE beyond newbie space, so thank you for the clarification.

I suspect, though, that what an EVE player considers "replacing what you lost is easy" is surprisingly a lot more than what much of the mmo market considers a minimal penalty for failure.

I'm speculating it's a bit like the xp-penalty in EQ1.  By the upper levels you almost always had a nearly full xp rez available, so the actual penalty wasn't that much.  Most everyone had experienced "losing a level" temporarily leveling up, though so the perception of loss was always much greater than the reality of the loss.

Originally posted by BadSpock

Not much about FFXIV:ARR is there?

Should be a more general column, not specific to the game IMO as it is MUCH more about themepark vs. sandbox.

 

FFXIV:ARR is definitely a themepark, as you said, unapologetically so.

ARR is also giving a ton of different rides, and in a lot of ways, allowing you the player to choose which to ride and which to skip, as well as which to repeat to your heart's content in a way that is somewhat unique in the genre.

Building a better park IMO - and that is EXACTLY what I want out of my MMORPG.

Great character building, great graphics, cross platform play, excellent story, lots of group content both small and large scale, a full housing system, and the promise of a subscription fee with NO item mall or cash shop or freemium premium F2P B2P P2W or RMT.

I would that there was more to say about FFXIV right now, but I think we are all stuck waiting for Thursday (and a few days after that for full translations).

The article is very much a general MMO focus, but my column is primarily a FFXIV one.  With downtime between beta-3 and beta-4 I'm going to branch out a bit, but I have to try to tie it back to ARR as well.

Agreed on the other points!

Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

But you cannot add sandbox features to game, which is designed based on the theme-park model and call it a sandbox. Its core and its underlying design philosophy remains theme-park. You will just get a more flexible and dynamix theme-park, thats it.

And this is exactly, what i expect from EQN: an even more dynamic GW2 or something like that.

There are two EQ Next products and the details on each are still pretty murky.

My take on what I watched is that EQ Next is a more dynamic and adaptive theme park.  It sounds like it has some sandboxy aspirations, but it also sounds like there are plenty of stopgaps planned to minimize the ability of one player to adversely affect the other.

The other product, EQ Next Landmark, though, sounds pretty sandboxy in a Second Life sort of format.  It seems to lack combat, but as you note combat isn't essential to a sandbox.

The two products integrate with content from Landmark filtering into Next, but the specifics are pretty vague at the moment.

It is quite possible that Landmark is a bigger deal than Next.

Thanks Knightaudit.  

I miss the contested dungeons of older MMO's.  The shared dungeon experiences of EQ (Unrest, Mistmoore, Kedge Keep or Tower of Frozen Shadows) and EQ2 (Stormhold or the SolA/SolB reimagining) contain some of my favorite MMO memories.  

I understand why theme parks moved towards instances (kill stealing, training, etc.) but I liked having to deal with respawns and running into people in the bottom of a dungeon.

I think that recent games with multi-tapping rules (DCUO, LOTR, GW2, etc.) open the door to go back to large, shared PVE environments.  Instances still have their place, they free up the developers to try create more complex encounter mechanics.  

Nowhere was this more absurdly put forwards than in TOR.

 

Jedi1: Relax everyone, I have killed the Emperor

Jedi2: No, no, you are wrong, I have killed the Emperor.

Jedi3: You guys are totally confused and possibly mind-controlled, I certainly killed the emperor and my unique droid companion can prove it.

Jedi4: ... I have a bad feeling about this...

Jedi Council: It doesn't really matter, none of the other professions even know that all of you killed the Emperor and their story lines are still dealing with an emperor empowered universe.  Here, have a twinkie!

I'm going to offer two reasons why this is an intriguing idea:

  1. This changes the F2P MMO from a monetization model and into an economic hub model.  Right now in F2P games an inordinate amount of time is spent making new cosmetic gear.  If the community is making that gear and the developer is just the taxing/transaction authority, then the developer should be freed up to make new content (which also requires new art assets).
  2. In many MMO's we see a restriction in wardrobe tied to the artistic design choices of the development team.  While it is certainly a good thing that these restrictions keep us from having penis-helmets, developer art constraints are also why women tend to have a very limited clothing choice set in MMO's (naked, nearly naked, and just suggestively naked).  At the risk of starting one of those threads, I would point out that a player made art community opens the door for more choice, be that racy or conservative, for both male and female avatars.

If MMO's are going to move towards player created content, then I would rather see some returns back to the creators of that content.  I doubt anyone is going to be able to quit their job and turn into a freelance MMO fashion designer, but I imagine there are some people who could supplement their software purchasing costs while they build out their portfolio.

Not me, of course, my artistic ability stops shortly before stick-figures.  Yes, before...

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