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All Posts by Cymdai

All Posts by Cymdai

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314 posts found

Why would it shock anyone if this game did go F2P? Just visit basically any major gaming forum pertaining to this game. The topics there aren't about how full the servers are or how lively the game is. It's about emptier zones, diminished presence in FC's, etc. Not to say that there aren't people who enjoy the game, because there certainly are, but I'd say there's a substantially larger number of people who have played it and left then there are of people who Day-1 purchased and are still playing.

I remember this board in November arguing about this game inevitably becoming F2P, and I don't think it should surprise anyone when it happens.

SWtoR didn't fail because of performance.

 

SWtoR failed because it was a blatant WoW clone that offered no innovation to gameplay, lacked balance of any kind, and was essentially a single player RPG forced into an MMORPG's pajamas. If SWtoR had simply been KotoR 3 with limited multiplayer, it could have been an entirely different game with entirely different results. But it wasn't. It was the same monotonous formulaic MMO we've seen released for the past 5 years. The difference was that they had the budget, the personnel, and the time-table to make something that other studios can't, and they didn't. That was what I always attributed nearly all of the SWtoR hate to.

I think, at least for me, the enjoyment of FFXI was the first time through.

The Genkai quests, the subjob quests, the Maat fight, the first time you ran a BCNM and LOST, the first time you ran a BCNM and WON; these were all great aspects of the game.

But the real gem of FFXI was it's community. Since it took so much time to do anything, ever, period... you got to know everyone. It took a matter of weeks for the ultra power-leveling folks (on Bismarck, it was the Lunarians) but everyone else? Months, MONTHS of playing. So you really got friendly with people who progressed through the game at your pace. And gil and gear was incredibly difficult to get; nothing at all like FFXIV's "Play and you'll be fine" style. No, there were legit gear-checks where the game said "Hey, you need to farm for awhile and upgrade your stuff."

It's funny how that's changed though. Yet in nearly all games, the least exciting aspects of it are usually what builds community. (Camps and Cantinas in SWG will forever be my favorite timesink though, hands down)

But you're assuming that the scale of the world will be that of Planet Earth. 

Again, I think people are being far too pessimistic. The ability to have your world rendered for you creates the notion an actual in-game world; round! That's pretty epic to consider in and of itself.

That's true, but imagine what you could do with an intense modding community. Consider Skyrim's modding community; if you had them creating content simultaneously alongside the actual developer, you'd be able to pump out quite an enormous amount of people, places, events, and things.

 

Also, I think the best goal of such a universe would not be creating it all at once, but the notion of creating a living, breathing world over a long, loooong period of time. One of those games you look back on 10 years later and go "Wow, look at how much has happened!"

I'd just like to harp on what another poster said.

Game reviewers are almost *always* overly-lenient and too nice when it comes to new games. Try to understand that there are very few reviewers who test MMORPG's correctly.

When I say what's underlined, I want to make this point very clear:  I personally consider correctly reviewing a game in this genre requires at least 60 hours of time-played to formulate an accurate, adequate opinion.

Most of the reviews out there are based on less than 24 hours of play time. There is simply no possible way you can get your hands dirty in a play-test weekend, I'm sorry, it's not possible. Oh, you crafted a dozen items? Good for you. You got to level 15-20? Great! You did your first group-based dungeon? Congratulations! You successfully played through the very beginning of the game, which typically is the most polished, well-tested area of any MMORPG to be released. From this time, you make deductions about how the game will probably play for the rest of the game, how you assume the content will work, what you expect will develop over the next 100 hours.

This is a cardinal sin related specifically to *this* genre of gaming.

If you need an example, let's cite one of the most notorious cases of deception in history: Age of Conan. The starter area and tutorial area was polished, pristine, and very refined. Except the second you left what I'll refer to as Newb Island, the trainwreck of a game became apparent. Let's not even get into all the details, like the Field of the Dead audio CTD bug.

When I think of how many MMO's are inadequately reviewed like this, it's actually kind of sickening. Even the non-true MMORPG's, like Diablo 3 for example, are given great scores solely because of the name of the franchise. Does anyone remember how utterly ****ed FFXIV for the first month? How about GW2 and it's endless bugs? Another non-true MMO that comes to mind is SimCity; still ****ed to this day!

Now, with that said, you really, really have to worry when there are so many negative reviews in existence before the game even comes out. Honestly, this is typically the time when the brown-nosing and the endless praise runs HIGHEST! Whether it's a lack of adequate testing, the "new-game" hype, the shiny new polish, etc, these pre-release test phases are usually glistening with good news. But with the NDA upheld and all, there's an overwhelmingly negative reaction to the game. That says a LOT to me personally; it means that even with all the hype, the advertisement, the marketing, etc, there's still at least some consensus among the players that this game isn't going to be that great... and that is super, super rare in today's market.

I'll just say this. If you look at all of the professional review sites out there, they're singing the praises of the game, downplaying the criticisms, defending the title, etc. But when you dig a little deeper, it's the independent users and the random, previously unbeknownst gamers who are saying "Hey... not so fast. This game isn't good at all...."

Just something to consider.

Because it's short-sighted to suggest that no one can create meaningful content for such an in-game world.

Games now basically fall into "Themepark" and "Sandbox". Essentially, content is essentially a roller coaster ride through carefully-structured, carefully regulated pathways, or it is open-ended, with an emphasis on player and environmental interaction. Even with most sandboxes, though, there were substantial limitations and pre-set areas created in mind for the sake of creating stuff (such as SWG).

With an actual world, there could be a true emphasis on an exploratory MMORPG. Caves that are crafted with the adventurer in mind. Pioneering aspects come into mind. You don't have to require player-only creation aspects; you have the opportunity to create a true living, breathing world. NPC's could actually do stuff. There could be purposes to them, other than loafing around and visual immersion.

For example, let's say you were to craft a Civ game. These NPC's could slowly grow and develop over time, and cities could grow at a sort of fixed-pace. After cities got to a certain size, the cities would create the equivalent of "settlers", which effectively expand the range of "safe zones" for players, creating a divide between unexplored frontier and developed land. Factional expansion could have significance; kill too many Eves, and suddenly there are no more elven encampments around you. Finite populations and such create an entirely new level of immersion. Some guild decides to go on a killing rampage? Suddenly, thousands of people in the in-game world are gone. Ghost towns, lost resources, reduced protections, etc. Factional warfare suddenly has a limited number of lives, making in-game death more significant.

And with such a vast area to explore, there's nearly infinite lore potential for DLC/expansion packs, etc. Want to build up the idea of meaningful PvE invasions (think Rift, but less random/timed)? Leave an untouched horde of centaurs alone for awhile, and watch them invade with TRUE force! Geographic developments can add in levels of unforeseen immersion; you're favorite city is swept by fires, disrupting all trade and killing all merchants. No what?

Try to think less of it's limitation in the current market and more of it's potential for future markets. We may well see a new era of MMO's created with a change in mentality.

As for a Fallout MMO not working, I disagree. Just because ESO is hot garbage doesn't mean other games have to follow their lead. Consider a Planetside-esque combat system. There would obviously be tweaks in mind for the melee combat and such, but there would be many great elements possible to implement (the significance of caravans, meaningful factional PvP, scarce resources could make it a contender in the survival themed MMO market, etc)

I'm really thinking there would be 3 absolutely amazing franchises that could utilize this technology well.

 

Fallout MMORPG. Mother of god, can you think of a more perfect application for such a monstrous undertaking?

 

As another user said earlier, Civilization, but perhaps with an MMORTS twist. Think "Clash of the Kingdoms" minus the pay2win aspects. Subscription fee would make this godly, structure it with "seasonal" play (1 big game server, 1 season a year like League)

 

For the particularly ambitious, and I know people would hate on it immediately, but imagine a turn-based tactical style MMORPG with the X-Com setting here.

 

I can't express how much it would make my heart melt to see a Fallout MMO with this tech though. My god.

Just imagine the equivalent of Star Citizen and this technology.

Alright folks, check this out, because this got me ALLLLLLL kinds of excited.

 

http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/01/31/the-outerra-seamless-planet-rendering-engine-will-blow-your-mind/

 

I want you to picture what you could do with something this amazing. We're not talking about 1 continent, or 1 system, but the size of a legitimate planet.

 

Just think about how much you could muster in a sandbox format with something of this size and magnitude! Player cities would be legitimate CITIES! If you wanted to set up a guild home of exclusive nature, you could literally put it out in the middle of nowhere in a desert, on a glacier, near a volcano! 

 

I realize it's super early to be considering this sort of thing, but truly, imagine the possibilities!

The article makes one good point: it has turned the market into a substantially more cut-throat environment.

 

I used to randomly buy games just to try them out. Genre was irrelevant; I'd look at a game, and say "Let's try this one.". No matter how bad that game was, I would play it a minimum of 5 hours. Believe me, this led me through some real suckfest titles. Some that come to mind were "Prince of Qin", "Shadow Vault", and "Harbinger". The reasoning behind this being "I paid for this, I'm going to put some time into it, damnit!"

 

Since the free-to-play-revolution, I would never put myself through this nowadays. Much like the author said, my expectation for instant amusement or gratification has led me to install a game -> play it for 15 minutes or less -> then make judgment call. If there's even one thing I don't like... **** it, on to the next game. I don't think I'm alone in the matter either. When you spend money on something, you feel at least remotely obligated to get some use out of it. The problem being, when I don't have to spend a dime on the game, I don't have any pre-existing level of attachment to it, so I feel no reason to spend money on it.

 

The bigger problem, though, to me, is that most Free-to-play games aren't as free as they sound. While there are some gems out there like Hawken and League of Legends and Smite, there's HUNDREDS of games that are nowhere near that caliber. Many F2P games are free to try, but then there's a mandatory cash-advance feature of the game. Whether it's stat boosts, rune pages, itemization, etc, in most F2P games I suddenly get to a point where progress, for whatever reason, is so bottle-necked that the ONLY way to progress is to have 50+ hours a week to play, or to drop $5-10 bucks.

 

The biggest problem of all, though, is the double-dipping companies. EA and Blizzard and such are absolutely becoming the guiltiest offenders. Charging a box-sale price, and then putting in features on top of that for money is a new industry-low. I think of games like Dead Space 3, where you paid $60 for your game, BUT THEN you also had to spend more money to have access to the best circuits in the game. I think of Sim City where you paid for the game, and then individual features that could and should have been included in the release package, but were saved to sell separately on day 1. This trend is the damnedest atrocity of them all.

 

If you're going to be Free to play, then you need to be free to play in it's entirety. That doesn't mean charging for different game modes, requiring the spending of cash to progress, or having features that aren't unlockable unless you spend money. For this reason, I think League of Legends has really set the standard in "free to play done right". The problem is that a mere handful of titles followed Riot's lead, and the rest of these companies are following EA'Activision's lead.

Alright, here we go.

I was on the Ultros Server, in-game name was Cymdai.

After capping out in the content, I realized that I had not explored much of the world in the game. Sure, we had seen many of the zones, but not the most beautiful aspects of the zones. We got on our mounts of choice, my friend Kupo Nut and I, and we traversed the in-game world. We went to the most scenic spots we could find in each zone, and checked them out during different phases and weather cycles of the day and night. We weren't just sitting there; we'd craft with the pictures in the background.

 

Whether it was the floating palaces off in the distance, or watching sun set on the cliffs and the cascading waterfalls, or even catching the cities in the distance view. It was all so fantastic. The only part that made it better was that we were progressing the entire time. Whether it was leveling the Goldsmith, or the Weaver, or the Leatherworker, we always had a fantastic view.

 

During all the leisure time, we formed a stellar guild. The "Veterans of Valkurm", which was arguably the best decision I ever made in game. Because we had slowed down, we forged a community of wonderful, patient, caring players. People. We'd chat and forge friendships while we traveled the world of Eorzea and crafted goods to trade. With the time we spent and the items we crafted, we simultaneously helped gear up our free company.

 

The best moment, though, was during our journey (which started as 2 and eventually had as many as 7 of us traveling around and seeing the sights together) when we were traveling to our next location, and the storm began. Without realizing what was happening, we saw him appear. Odin was standing right before us. We had never seen him before, but we knew he was a big deal. Sure enough, we saw hordes of players charging towards him, setting up for the inevitable war that was about to begin. We all switched classes, geared up, and got ready to battle. We hailed the rest of the FC, and everyone teleported and charged. And then the fight began. We did everything in our power, and with dozens of other players, and it was an adrenaline rush. As we got him low, he readied his skill, and everyone charged at him with everything strong skill they had. But then it happened. At 2% health, he wiped us. All of us. Nearly everyone died instantly. 

 

It was a final reminder during our journeys that not every corner of Eorzea was meant to be conquered. But it was glorious. No one was mad. We were all disappointed, sure, but we laughed about it. Comradery was had. There were jokes in the FC chat about "Next time I'm gonna _______". This was a secret which we had not been privvy to, and it was quite the surprise.

And as we saddled up and grouped, we prepared to explore the world again, wondering what other surprises might lie ahead... though I doubt any of them will catch us quite off guard as encountering Odin did :)

 

That's my fondest memory of FFXIV!

I don't think it's share-holders so much as it is studio expectations.

All these publishers are no longer competing for a healthy subscriber base, a dedicated community, or birthing a franchise for the long-term; they're looking to make the next cash-cow, the next WoW-killer, etc.

MMO's were always about niche demographics being focused on, but that's not the way it is anymore. You used to have games that had big RP communities, games that had big PvP communities, games that had Raid-specific mechanics, etc. Nowadays, games try to do all of it. What ends up happening is a lot of everything is included on a basic level, but there's no depth in regards to any specific level.

That's why so many games suck. What developers need to realize is that franchises spawn when you have a cult-like following. They're like a garden; they take time and energy and cultivation to become worth a damn. But no one, and I do mean no one, wants to do that anymore. They just wanna create a big marketing campaign, make lots of promises they can't keep, and reproduce the same bland, generic MMO that we've all played 100x over with 100 different names.

Take a look at some of the hottest franchises that have popped up over the past few years, be they single player console games, or MMORPG's.

 

The Mass Effect Series.

Dead Space series.

Witcher series.

Diablo series.

Final Fantasy series.

Deus Ex series.

Fallout series.

Elder Scrolls series.

These games started off small, and grew dramatically each installment. It takes years, YEARS to build up that following. Years of people playing the predecessors, and then delving into the new titles. I wish someone would try and explain that the way these franchises grew in popularity wasn't because they did everything perfect, it was because people played the originals, and slowly and steadily said to their friends "Hey, you know what game was awesome? _____" And then those friends, probably semi-reluctantly, said "Why the hell not, let's try _____ out..." and then they liked it, and so on and so forth.

 

Patience and community development were key aspects of gaming, and they've been tossed out the window. That's what gamers should be sad about.

I disagree.

I think the entitled crowd is a product of the environment. The ones who yell and scream the loudest do so because they're enabled.

Have you ever gone to a game's official forums? It's saturated with blatant trolling posts and rampant fanboyism; there is almost never a middle ground. Most forums are policed entirely against open, constructive criticism of the game, but will allow all sorts of rude behavior by it's whitest of knights. 

I think this discourages level-headed people from wanting to be involved. No one wants to go "Hey guys, played your game, thought X and Y were awesome, but Z sucks pretty bad atm, and here's why..." only to be devoured by the fanboys, screaming "NO, THIS GAME IS PERFECT, SHUT YOUR MOUTH TROLL!!!!!!!!!! At the same time, there are people who exist solely to tell you how much the game sucks, despite playing it non-stop.

I think if game developers want better communities, then they'll work to sculpt said communities. But right now, we're in this phase of "LET'S BE THE NEXT WOW KILLER!" and when your only goal is to break record sales, than you're going to pull in a large variety of people.

MMORPG's were, are, and will always be a niche market. They're not designed to be like Call of Duty, or Madden, or other console-recyclable-garbage. They won't appeal to everyone, nor should they. WoW was a fluke; it took the concept of an MMORPG and made it accessible to everyone, even people who would never have once played an MMORPG. The timing was right, the execution was solid, and the franchise was as strong as it had ever been. But that isn't every other MMORPG, and people have forgotten that it's OK to be proud of 200,000 subscribers; now it has to be a MILLION to be relevant.

The reason people expect so much is because WoW was many people's 1st MMO, and WoW did a LOT of things well; better than most MMO's out there. It has to be the single-largest MMO ever made and in existence on a sheer scale of content alone. So going from this decade-old masterpiece to a new game, with a new developer, a new vision, etc, they have the bar set too high for reality. Can anyone at all name me an MMO that was brand new that had half the features WoW has now? No, of course not, because it doesn't exist. But until people realize how much time and energy has gone into that game, and that it didn't start off with all these features and all these modes and all these items, etc etc, then they'll jump from game to game, miserable as can be, looking for the thing that *ALL* MMORPG veterans want and can't ever have again; that feeling of delving into your first MMORPG ever, where it's all rainbows and unicorns.

 

Another user said it best; the genre needs to have a slew of failures. In my mind, it has been doing just that for quite some time. Vanguard, SWtoR, Guild Wars 2, TERA, Age of Conan; these are all games that had solid budgets and failed to really impress. I personally think ESO will be the next one to disappoint, too. And once people lose interest in "the next big MMO", a true gem will pop up, with a solid community and dev team that interacts with everyone, and we'll get a new "Eve Online".

I've got my money on The Repopulation, personally.

It's been months now, but I remember receiving a 10 day suspension from their forums when I made a topic with pics and a video of the mining bots in action on the Ultros server. I made a topic title along the lines of "3rd party botting is running rampant" and despite it being a picture of the node-warping botting in action, along with a brief video, ended up getting flamed and trolled. I wrote a comment that said "What the hell is wrong with you people...? You can't possibly be this big of a white knight and just pretend the botting isn't happening at all..." and some random user just blatantly trolled me. "Maybe the problem isn't the botting, maybe you're the problem with this game. Just leave; no one will miss you." was along the lines of the response.

I wake up the next day and check my email, and it informs me that I've been suspended from the forums. When I re-visited the thread, there were around 5 more replies, all rude and venomous and consisting of "We don't want you here anyway".

It served as a reminder as to why I don't ever really use official forums. They are always filled with the LCD of the gaming population. There's no room for discussion or criticisms of any kind, and threads just constantly devolve into flamefests at the first sign of an opinion that isn't "THIS IS THE BEST GAME EVER!"

MMORPG.com definitely has it's share of haters, but I think the thing I can appreciate about this site is that there's a good ratio of dedicated haters vs. frothing-at-the-mouth fanboys. It keeps things balanced. Official forums are always just rabid fanboys attacking anyone and everyone who has anything to say about the game.

 

BF4 is not an MMOFPS.

Planetside was an MMOFPS, and a damned fun one at that.

Planetside 2 is why we probably won't see anymore MMOFPS for awhile. Single-handedly gutted the genre and made it as unfun as possible.

Admittedly, I'm waiting to see what the numbers look like by March. That's the end of SE's business quarter, so we'll get a better idea of how successful/unsuccessful the game.

I personally can't believe people are still playing it this long. I was done with the content 1 month after release, and I wasn't even grinding. I feel like if I was playing even an hour a day, I'd have completed this game on at least 2 classes by now... but hey, to each their own.

It always, always comes down to the same few things.

 

1) A boring, monotonous, raid-centric endgame, where you grind faction and run raids with people you don't want to run raids with for minor gear improvements. Raids should be epic, a one-time, "HOLY ****!" moment, not a "Good try guys, we'll give it a shot again on tuesday..." mentality.

 

2) The fact that crafting legitimately always ends up being useless. It's an endless money sink that ultimately has no reward beyond "HEY, I MADE THIS!". Raiding always becomes more powerful in terms of item quality, and crafting is always boring, over-simplified, and monotonous.

 

3) Zero emphasis on player-centric content. I don't want static expansions every month. How about something cool and unique, like a server-specific guild becoming villains for the month, where everyone can kill them on sight? That'd be different, that'd be memorable. Instead, we get "Here's a new dungeon with uninspired gear!" Bleh.

 

Well, to play devil's advocate...

Going solely on past games and events, I've always noticed that when games are truly exceeding expectations, that developers like to throw around numbers a bit more openly. When games are doing ok/within range of expectation, developers tend to be a lot more vague about their exact numbers. I really believe that if FFXIV was the smashing success some folks would have you believe, that Yoshi would simply come out and say "Yeah, we're rocking (hypothetically) 700k subs!"

To me, it's the context clues and the subtle ways the game dodges the question.

FFXIV has exceeded expectations.

FFXIV has over 1 million registered users (note: not subscribers)

This is just the type of language you saw very prevalent with SWtoR. That's why I'm particularly skeptical.

I can appreciate your point. Admittedly, reading up on 2.1 was why I stopped playing in November. It wasn't introducing anything that I wanted to partake in, and the glaring flaws that were in the conceptual design process were still there.

Looking at your detailed explanation of the housing though... I can't say I regret my choice. While I can appreciate what Murugan (shudders... we have similar ideas on something... ugh) and others have said about "Everything shouldn't be a handout", as is the trend in so many games these days, those prices are outlandish. Rather, I should say they are outlandish NOW. When it was October, and I could get 100 philo seals per 30 mins to use towards crafting ingredients which were selling for 60k, alright, that would have been a reasonable pricing system. However, as I understand it, the economy has crashed horribly since housing was implemented and drop rates were buffed on high-commodity items.

A more substantial problem, at least it WAS a problem 2 months ago, was the retention of players in FC's. I feel as though my FC had consistent turnover. Sure, we had a core of 20ish guys and girls, but a lot of people came in for a week, got ran through HM Titan, and then peaced out. Now if I had an FC of say, 45 consistent players, all of whom contributed frequently, than sure, these prices might seem more manageable. However, the last thing people enjoyed in my FC was farming/grinding for gil (which, aside from housing, was 100% useless). I can't imagine asking FC members who just joined "Hey, we're going to need you to contribute like 30-50k a day for the FC house!"

I've always felt that the lack of utility for gil was going to be a problem. I can honestly not think of a time when I ever ran out of gil when I played... nor can I think of a time when I needed it. I suppose if you're min/maxing, then yes, you'd spend it... but otherwise, it just kind of sat there! Suddenly, housing comes along and BAM, "Where's your $50,000,000 gil?!?"

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