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All Posts by Cymdai

All Posts by Cymdai

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199 posts found

I don't know if it's the future, so much as a GIANT beacon of where we already are. Allow me to elaborate.

Destiny is currently a very polished, very refined shooter with a loot system and an online PvP system. While generally hollow presently, it is easy to see the potential and the promise that the game may one day possess. There are grandiose promises, cash-backing into the game, grand visions, etc.... but they're not there yet. What Destiny DOESN'T present is any innovation. It's more of the same. It was an over-hyped game that essentially plays like Halo meets Borderlands.

That is one of defining aspects of nearly every game that was supposed to be amazing in the past few years.

1) Huge budget

2) Huge hype

3) Huge promise and guarantees of what will come (but for whatever reason, isn't in at release)

4) Average game at release with little staying power.

And not just with MMO's; with console games in general. Look at games like WatchdogsTitanfallThe Elder Scrolls Online, and now Destiny. Games that look amazing, sound amazing, promise amazing... and then are just generally forgettable experiences. On the contrary, it's Kickstarter that's bringing out the best games (in my opinion, anyway; how amazing was Divinity: Original Sin?!?)

What Activision, Blizzard, EA, and whichever other major publishers are failing to do is realize that a huge budget doesn't make a game memorable.  Good questing, innovative combat systems, unique playstyles, complex storylines, interesting characters; this is what keeps you coming back for more. Simply re-presenting what has already been done before with better graphics isn't going to keep players coming back for more, and for all it's flair and hype, Destiny is more of the same with promises of being revolutionary. Personally, for me, the games I remember the most in the last year or two weren't games that I was even initially interested in, but titles like X-Com, The Last of Us, State of Decay, Wasteland 2, Hawken provided me far more enjoyment than all of the AAA titles.

Also, I simply refuse to believe what a game MIGHT be in time. Sure, it happens in some cases (Path of Exile was great, Diablo 3 got better though it NEVER did introduce the PvP that made it memorable in the first place) but for the most part, games that are all hype and glitz simply never deliver, or at least not in a timeframe that matters.

How did you folks forget about FFXIV?

AO and Vanguard were certainly atrocious, but for this to not even be mentioned is mind-blowing.

1) The business model is outdated. Subscription-based MMORPG's typically can't produce enough content that is both meaningful enough, challenging enough, and interesting enough at a pace that will last most MMORPG players, and Free-to-play games become so paralyzed by the reliance on cash-shops and pay-to-win, nickel-and-diming mechanics that they are often completely unplayable.

 

2) No MMO in the last decade has effectively countered RMT, cheating, botting, duping, hacking, etc with any semblance of effectiveness. Because of this, games are brutally and mercilessly saturated with rampant, flagrant cheating. If you never experienced FFXIV, then you haven't seen how an in-game community can be absolutely eviscerated by literally endless RMT spam, cheating, botting, etc. Players literally had to disable regional/zone/say chats just to even see their chat log because it was so toxic and endless. When people can't talk, they can't interact, which means that there isn't a community developing at all.

 

3) The total lack of evolution in gameplay. We're still using and seeing the same combat systems, the same quest-types, the same class-archetypes, the same principle functions, the same faction-grind-oriented gameplay, the same raid-for-phat-lewt mechanics. I can confidently say that there has been 0 evolution here in 10 years. If anything, games have become easier, faster, more roller-coaster oriented and less exploratory. There's no real player-related content beyond Eve Online, there's minimal interaction between devs and players, and there's nothing separating today's MMO's from each other at all.

 

4) The death of challenge. Challenge doesn't mean grinding out dailies and farming mobs for loot only. Challenge doesn't mean raiding. Challenge should be ever-present throughout. When's the last time you played an MMO that presented any challenge at all, barring the last 1% of the content that involves raiding?

 

5) The emphasis on the "here and now" and the lack of emphasis on "Prolonged involvement". Everything in games these days is about the now now now now now, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, and instant gratification crowd. What staying power does your modern MMO have? There are no rewards for commitments to guilds, for playing a game continuously, for being involved on the forums, etc. As such, there's no community involvement, really, because it's not about finding a guild and sticking with them, it's about "Who can help me right now, this second, with what I want?" instead of "Let's grow and develop together".

6) The communication breakdown between developers, forum moderators, and players. The place where companies can get a feel for the game's problems, what people want, what they need, what they like/dislike, what bugs are present, etc, is the forums. When's the last time you went to a game's forums that weren't completely toxic? It's either saturated with extreme whiners and ragers and liars and trolls who would do anything to wish failure on the game, or overloaded with whiteknights and apologists and propaganda artists who would assure you that the game is perfect. The medium for civilized, thoughtful, insightful conversations is further ruined by militant moderation practices (If you even tried to say anything about a bug on FFXIV's forum, you could be perma-banned; it was that serious) that filter out the real news more often than not.

 

But, more importantly of all....

 

7) The total death of the community; the thing that gives games long-lasting appeal. With no emphasis on game modes, cooperative mechanics, party mechanics, teamwork, group incentive, and even fun activities, these games all feel like single-player games with an online function. This is the biggest complaint, to me, because without a community, there's no immersion, and without immersion, there's no passion or interest. Without that, I can't delve into a game nightly and be excited... and I haven't seen a true community since FFXI some 8 years ago. That's just sad :(

Xatsh really sums up my problems with the game in a nutshell.

However, no matter how many adjustments and fixes are made, there's on continuous problem I have always had with the game; nobody stays around.

I remember the turnover for players in the first few months. As with all MMO's, people will burnout/get bored/quit. But it was so staggering that I cancelled my sub. My FC of like 119 people ended up keeping around 16 after 2 months.

I resubbed in the Spring for 1 month, just to see what had changed. I found a new FC, made some new friends, etc. But by the end of the month, that FC was already expected to be a ghost town, too. Why? Because the majority of people in it did the same thing I did. They stopped in, looked around, said "Hey, that's nice. Still not good enough for my sub, though" and left.

However, another person said it best. The game is fun to re-visit every few months. dabble in, etc. But for me, MMO's are about community and continuity, and that has just always been something I haven't experienced at all with FF14.

I really attribute FFXIV's success less towards it being a good game, and more towards the competition being incredibly mediocre.

 

ESO was, is, and will likely remain hot garbage. Literally a joke of a game which, without it's franchise title, would never have succeeded at all, and, in all seriousness, reminds me of Vanilla FFXIV at release (with the copy-paste dungeons especially)

Wildstar is literally just another WoW clone with some cute distractions. Definitely the first MMO I was exhausted of looking at within 5 hours of playing it.

SWTOR is the definition of "pay to win", and arguably the filthiest cashgrab ever produced by a big-name studio.

Rift was alright in it's prime, but it shows it's age.

FFXI is literally a shadow of what it once was, after pandering to the ultra-casual players over the years.

Eve is still Eve; either you love it or hate it and there's nothing in the middle.

TERA flopped pretty badly.

WoW is still WoW; everyone's played it at least once, but it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

 

I might be missing a few more, but those are the big name titles.

 

Let's also not forget.... FFXIV released twice. You have to think what a laughing stock of a company you'd be if, with 2 separate releases 2 years apart for the same game, you failed to produce 1 quality title. Hence, people come from playing ESO and see FFXIV, and they're like "Wow, a game that actually works and looks semi-modern...? Hurray!"

For me, FFXIV was a brief, semi-enjoyable ride. But as others said, when you finish the content, there's nothing at all to do besides grind dailies and wait for resets. That doesn't constitute a "complete" game in my book, and certainly doesn't justify a subscription fee. 

I'm gonna give it another whirl today and see what happens.

 

However, being a person who doesn't care about raiding at all, I do question if this will be the product for me.

....I can't shake off the "been there, done that" feel that I'm getting with this game already.... and I'm only level 12

 

The art style is neat, the way they tell the storyline is entertaining, and the animations in this game are legitimately top notch. I'm also all about the devs sense of humor which I think is incredibly fresh compared to nearly every other MMO released in the last few years. I caught myself laughing at the game for the first time. After playing FFXIV, that was definitely a long-forgotten feeling.

But after playing around for a few hours, I just can't shake the feels. There's a few of them, too.

1) I've been there, done that before. Standard style MMO combat with the occasional dodge, tab targeting, etc

2) The fact that there's a lot of free to play MMO's that offer many of the same things as WS does.

3) The questionable long-term appeal of the game. I'm about 10 hours in, and nothing has "grabbed me" persay.

 

For those of you who are a bit farther along, can you offer some additional insight? Perhaps I'm missing some of the best features still?

My opinion on ESO is this: If it were NOT for the name "Elder Scrolls" in the title, complimented with the decades of lore and world setting, this game would be a flat out 3/10


 


During beta, it was hot garbage. During release, it's better than it was, but it's lacking in every way. Every. Single. Way. The map of all the dungeons? It's a testament to lower quality standards. Maybe you guys don't remember the last AAA title that copy-pasted maps, but it was the original Final Fantasy 14 release, and it copied SUBSTANTIALLY less than ESO does.


The fact that this wasn't mentioned is disappointing. However, gamers' standards over the years have fallen so low that I doubt anyone even would have noticed or cared. 


As I'm not buying this heaping disaster of a game, I won't say what it is now. But based on what it WAS? I'd bet it's no higher than a 5, and that's a generous rating for a game that wants you to pay a subscription fee for offering no real new features or innovation from the hundreds of F2P MMO's out there.


Anyone who has watched Brad McQuaid over the years should not be surprised by this type of news. The guy is a slimy greaseball, and he was accused of doing similar things with EQ and even Vanguard.

People who gave him money or are willing to work for/with him deserve this. He has a decorated history of being trash, and I'm baffled as to how/why anyone would give him the time of day or any of their money.

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.

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