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All Posts by Rabiator

All Posts by Rabiator

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100 posts found

Maybe - but I'm not going to pay for the beta, especially this one.

On the upside, this games seems to be the kind of SciFi MMORPG I could like.

On the other hand, it seems the old company took money from people before and those people are left hanging (see the thread "Earthrise re-launch: what if you already bought the first game?"). So the new devs better demonstrate that they can deliver a game, before they start charging money.

 

Originally posted by JRRNeiklot
3D was the beginning of the end for video games.

I beg to differ. 3D, especially with first person perspective, brought a new level of immersion. Instead of looking down on the map and directing your little avatar from above, you can now see the game world through the eyes of your avatar. Big improvement.

This said, I think the ever growing efforts in making the graphics more realistic are nice to have but not really needed. Games like Half-Life 1 or Everquest 1 had graphics that were fully sufficient to support the gameplay. Crysis level graphics are a luxury, not a necessity.

Originally posted by free2play

If they are small universe games like STO they won't touch EVE. If they are small Universe games with FFA PvP they won't be around long enough to matter.

If they focus exclusively on the pew pew they will dry up.

While the Pee Vee Pee crowd of EVE fancy themselves the only thing that matters, EVE is more. Thousands of people log in to Jita every day and never leave Jita. Thousands log in docked up in a Mackinaw and never undock in anything else.

EVE is huge. It is multi profession. Slapping together a space game isn't going to cut EVE down. Much like Blizzard and WoW the only thing that can kill EVE is CCP and EVE. Anyone who sees EVE and thinks they want a piece, don't look at the 400K playing, look at the 2 million who quit.

There is some truth to this. EVE has a huge game world with a large and sophisticated player economy. Emulating that will be hard.

But EVE has some weaknesses too:

-PVE gets boring with high level characters. Especially since many level 4 missions got nerfed years ago and complexes and wormholes need tedious scanning now.

-EVE is actually short on simulation. Relative velocities matter for the likelihood of hitting an enemy, but beyond that it is not much different from a "classic" MMO where players launch their skill combos at opponents. There is not much need for (or sense in) dodging missiles or dogfighting. While playing EVE, I've often missed the dogfighting playing style of Freelancer and similar games.

 

So far, I think the competition was weak rather than EVE being unbeatably strong. Black Prophecy was very short on content and variety. I've tried Vendetta Online, but it was a very small universe and with the server in the USA, lag was too much for me (in Europe) to be competitive. Jump Gate Evolution did not even make it to beta. Infinity is likely to be several years away.

 

 

I think graphics matter to some extent - but very few games fall below my personal minimum requirements these days.

Graphics should look halfway realistic and come with decent resolutions, so you can recognize things in the game world at some distance. IMHO that quality level was reached around 2000, with games like Half-Life 1 and Deus Ex. Anything better is a bonus but I think it gets into diminishing returns fast.

In recent years, even titles from minor studios and indie developers usually reach or exceed Half-Life 1 graphics quality. Many obscure asian MMO grinders actually look better than HL1 (but they suck in other ways ). Minecraft could use a modest graphics enhancement, but otherwise I can't think of a 3D game that really sucks in terms of graphics. Usually the deficiencies in game play are much worse than those in graphics.

That was...

...unfortunate but not unexpected.

Unfortunate because the flight mechanics were a lot of fun, just like in Freelancer. And the game start aka Prolog actually had an exciting story, so the dev team was obviously capable of quality work.

 

Not unexpected because after the prolog, there came a whole lot of not much, at least in the first months. Zero further plot, a very limited number of PVE missions and PVP that became horribly unbalanced with more than one level difference between two opponents .  It was to be expected that players would get bored and leave.

 

But it seems there will be a sort of sequel with  Black Prophecy Tactics: Nexus Conflict (actually Tealas Post has made me aware of it). I think it might be worth checking out. Not sure yet if it is still Freelancer style or more Homeworld-style ship command, the info on the web site is a bit thin. But either could be fun

Originally posted by Banquetto

Oh, indeed. But Hadleyrand12 was expressing surprise that it wasn't more successful. I'm not sure that it really could have been, I think it was fundamentally appealing to two groups that didn't really overlap that much.


I'd actually be interested to know how many SW:G enthusiasts really consider themselves Star Wars fans. I don't, and I think the fact that SW:G didn't pursue the space opera made it more appealing to me.

Well, yes. Maybe I should have worded my post differently. I was commenting on the fact that a not dumbed down SWG did better than the simplified version post-NGE.

 

Considering the absolute number of subscribers, I guess the people who really enjoy a sandbox are just not that many. Today, the most succesful sandbox is EVE Online, and with maybe 400k subscribers, it is not much bigger than SWG at its peak popularity.

 

Originally posted by Banquetto

 


Originally posted by Hadleyrand12
I am talking about SWG (preNGE).

 

I in fact never got involved in the jedi grind, but it seemed to have everything a gamer who wanted to actually ROLEPLAY in a ONLINE community would have wanted.



What's the overlap, though, between gamers who wanted to actually roleplay in an online community, and fans of Star Wars - which, let's face it, is about as mindless and action-packed as space opera gets? It probably wasn't an ideal match of IP and game design.

 

Obviously enough that the original SWG was reasonably successful. Not as big as Everquest but decent.  SWG had its best time in 2003-2005. In the time after the NGE, subscriotions went down a lot, until the game closed last year. 

The numbers are pretty persuasive. Check out these statistics: http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-2.png

 

If you like space games like Privateer or Freelancer, I can recommend the X series from Egosoft: http://www.egosoft.com/games/x3ap/info_en.php.

Think Freelancer with a larger world, a more dynamic economy and the option to own stations and multiple ships...

Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

3. it is also a difference if you have 2000 red crosses on the radar of a scifi-game or 2000 unique player avatars jumping around. so you need restrictions for the graphics (automatic donwscaling of quality in such zones, all use a mask = no faces, all use simple uniforms, less effects, etc ...). also a good load-balancer and server-architecture helps.

i dont say large scaled pvp is not possible in a theme-park, but it is harder to implement. 

I guess a modern gamer rig could handle rendering a few hundred avatars at Half Life 1 quality. Which was not that bad IMHO. It was not as pretty as recent games but it had everything needed to support gameplay. If that is the result of your automatic donwscaling of quality, I'd consider it acceptable, especially if it is only in mass scenes.

But then again, I'm easy to please when it comes to graphics .

Originally posted by paroxysm

We can't have battles that scale that large until things change.

1.  Technology.  We need a new gap jump in how things are done.  You can't be immersed in PvP when it's not smooth.  Turning graphic quality down and visual distance down are not the answers we need.

2.  Reason to fight.  We need real reasons to do things.  Otherwise, it feels like an unrewarding job.  You can say factions are at war, but that's not a reason without a backstory you can get behind.  You need to feel like your choice makes a difference and have an attachment to your faction/side.  We need goals other than capturing a flag or controlling X resources that have no impact on the game.

3.  We need real synnergy of classes and tools instead of just "zerg him down!  1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2"

4.  Numbers.  I think new infrastructures are on the right path for making one big seemless world. 

1. Technology:

Should be doable now. I remember playing Day Of Defeat 1.x over a 56k modem. Up to 20 players on the map it was smooth enough. That was 10 years ago, in the time of 1GHz single core CPUs and rather puny graphics cards (IIRC I had a Matrox G400 with 32 MByte, that was considered pretty good at the time).

With the improvements since that time, I think 200 players per map should be doable . And I guess Planetside2 will show what is possible.

 

2. Reason to fight:

Agreed, that is more tricky to get right. Or at least the industry has more trouble getting it right. But it works for EVE Online with its system for occupying territory. Not every day, but there is the occasional megabattle with a few hundred ships. So it is possible to get the players on board.

 

3. Synergy of classes:

Would be nice, but even the zergfst can work. See EVE...

 

4. Numbers and big seamless worlds:

Limited partly by technology (again, see EVE for an example that works) and partly by content creation. Designing such a huge world is a lot of effort. But even so,  I could see some of the "bigger" MMOs get there, especially after a few expansions.

 

Overall, I think the technology is there today, the game design needs to catch up.and the players will come when the gane design is right.

Neocron (even if it is technically not dead yet).

In terms of features, it was far ahead of its time end would still count as decent today. Unfortunately, the coding quality sucked hard, and so the potential of the game remained potential instead of reality

Originally posted by Valkaern
Originally posted by MMOarQQ

ArcheAge will save us.

Maybe...

Hopefully it'll be worth the wait. I think it's a pretty smart move on their part to integrate the two as a 'Sandpark'. I don't think they have to be mutually exclusive.

Even the most linear themepark games that I've tried have always felt like there was plenty of room for a multitude of sandbox systems, and what better way to introduce those that have never really been off the rails to sandbox systems than if the themepark was surrounded on all sides by a sandbox that was available to explore but not required? It would have probably kept me playing longer during the clone years. Who wouldn't want more to do and more horizontal growth opportunities?

Anyway, I just don't see any valid reason why the two haven't been intelligently combined before AA. Although I'm pretty eager to try out ArcheAge, I do hope they take their time as most of the videos do seem to show some rather clunky play (which shouldn't be a huge problem as there isn't even an English publisher yet).

If you look outside the MMO world, it has been done before with the X series of space sims.

Those have a storyline to follow like a typical themepark game, but the player is free to ignore it and do something else instead (and come back later). There is something else to do as well, you can explore the universe and build stations that play a part in the game's economy. All in all, those are rather sandboxy games that cover the themepark aspect as well.

If someone (Arch Age?) will do that kind of  "sandpark" in MMOs too, I'm all for it

Based on how much time I spent in it, probably Day Of Defeat (1.x and DOD:Source counted as one, since DOD:Source is mostly a graphics upgrade).

Second place actually goes to a MMO: Eve Online.

Also worth mentioning: Civilisation II and X3 Terran Conflict.

Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by aSynchro

I want a mmorpg without numbers.

Nothing breaks the immersion more for me than having to choose between a sword with +150 stam/+37 strenght/+17 dodge and an axe with +140 stam/+45 strenght/+15 parry because you need 102.4 % of block stuff for tonight raid. I'm a fiercy warrior damnit, not an economist from Harvard !

"Rusty sword", "Sword that feel heavy but powerfull in your hand", "Shiny axe that glow yellow when undeads are near", "shield that according to the vendor is excellent against dragon" etc. is all i should know and need.

Well, it is very well possible but you more or less either need a game without levels or to have weapons that scale as you level up.

I guess the descriptions could change as your character gains more experience and knowledge. "Shiny axe that glow yellow when undeads are near" could eventually turn into "Magical axe that works well against the undead - but you have seen better in your travels".

Another (related) anti-immersion factor is the minmaxing that comes with a level system and a limited number of skillpoints. Better get rid of that and let characters learn whatever they want, like in EVE Online. This does not completely prevent you from having specialised roles, you can still have
  • Character classes that are inherently better than others at certain tasks
  • Roles defined by equipment, of which your character can only use one at a time. An example would be the upcoming Firefall MMO, where your class is defined by the battleframe you wear ath the moment. Or EVE again, the ship you are flying determines what you can do well.
Of course, each of the above ideas requires more thought than just cloning WOW, so I don't expect too many new games to go with it

 

I don't care about "big" in the sense of popular much, but one (non-MMO) thing I'm looking forward to is X-Rebirth (Elite style space sim combined with empire building).

I might get it a few months after launch though, as the X-series tends to be released in a slightly unfinished state and gets patched up afterwards. Just like a typical MMO . So it might be 2013 until X-Rebirth lands on my PC.

Considering graphics, I want full 3D but I'll settle for slightly obsolete graphics. The sort that went into AAA games 5-10 years ago. Think Half Life 1 or better. While the characters still looked a bit rough in that generation of games, they had everything needed to support gameplay. Such as decent screen resolutions, which allowed you to recognize objects at some distance.

Today even most free2play MMOs meet the above standard, so I think the industry at large has reached a satisfactory quality level here .

But on the gameplay side, things are not nearly as well. Original and well designed games are just as rare as 10 years ago. I think development studios in general should shift more of their efforts to gameplay design, as that area really needs improvement. Too many games are just uninspired clones of another, successful game.

 

Short version:

I'm generally happy with the state of graphics in games. But gameplay often sucks and really needs more attention from developers.

Originally posted by Fed1

Being able to heal MOBS of your faction is a sandbox feature. I have no problem with it as long as the healer is then flagged PvP.

 

This.

BTW, EVE Online does it this way too, if outsiders interfere in high sec PvP:

You support one of the combatants, you become a legitimate target for his opponents. In the two years I played EVE, I have heard no complains about this concept.

Originally posted by FSkuta

My little brainstorming on this topic:

The most operand conditioning I see is in Questing itself.

Large population of "western"players blame mostly asian game development companies for their Grinding game-mechanics where most of  the players mostly do is kill monsters, kill more monsters ...

I see a golden egg in this mechanics and I have never made my mind on this until now - reading some posts, nodding to them.

Quests are usually "gather that, kill that" - they do not usually require any kind of user's skill input (random puzzle - sure, to make sure almost everyone can do that, even disabled person) unless it requires to finish off dungeon and kill the boss which requires sort of team play in group.

I can imagine RPG game where everything is based on so called "grind" and team play - grouping is forced from 1st character level by raising the difficulty of killing the monsters. So single-playerness is almost impossible, strategy of fight is on 1st place, people level together, do not use questing NPCs but the game server determines when to give ME the special loot for meeting some criteria (killing 10 rats in a row).

Playing Chess or Go, or even Carcassonne - makes me return to MMORPG.com to check out if there is some new game where I can excel my abilities of strategy.

I think you are right about  the lack of skill required in questing, and it is currently my biggest turn-off in most games I try. But thanks to Free2Play being really common these days, I usually find out before I shell out money on a crap game

So far I know only one true MMO where strategy and tactics are important, and that is the PvP part of Eve Online (note that the PvE is not much better than in other games).

There are other games that allow the player to shine through skill, but those don't deserve the first "M" in MMO because they can handle only a small number of players. An example would be World Of Tanks - it has a lot of MMO mechanics combined with a nice combat simulation, but battles are only 15 vs. 15 players

Originally posted by Paragus1

I remember back in the day, sometimes as a beta tester they would mail you actual CDs to install the client on.   Now it's a glorified free trial.

I've noted the same with some F2P MMOs. Currently War Of The Immortals.

The first difference to "classic" beta testing with NDAs and all that stuff was that I actually got an invitation mail without applying (I have an account for a different game of that company).

The second difference was that the game is already quite polished in terms of bugfixing. In two days of playing I noticed only one bug, and that was in word wrapping. Obvious enough that the devs must have seen it themselves, unless their English language skills are zero. Now the game mechanics are not really innovative, so the game may actually run on a mature engine, just with different models . But my point is that beta testing in the sense of checking the game mechanics seems to be redundant here. Which makes it more of a marketing beta.

The last "old school" beta testing I did was some years ago with Seed, an indie game that really needed the help of dedicated beta testers as it was full of bugs. And they had those testers, but sadly went pay2play way before the game was ready. But I'm getting off topic...

 

Originally posted by Quizzical

To the contrary, AMD is very much trying to go for game-changing products.  Bobcat and Llano are exactly that in some markets.  Indeed, Bobcat is so good that when Intel launched its competitor, Cedar Trail Atom, they didn't even bother to herald the launch with a press release, let alone review samples.  Had everything gone as planned for Llano and Zambezi, they would very much be revolutionary products.

How exactly do you propose to feed data to 6 x86 cores and an integrated Barts GPU while keeping costs and power down?  Barts has quad channel GDDR5.  Try to match that bandwidth with DDR3 and you're looking at about 10-12 memory channels.  Motherboard manufacturers are finding it awkward to lay out the traces for four channels in Sandy Bridge-E.  And that's in a full size ATX motherboard that goes in a mid tower case.  In a laptop it's harder.  Solder GDDR5 onto the motherbaord and power consumption soars, both at idle and at load.

IMHO the APU in its current form is only good for low end to mid range graphics, due to the problems with memory bandwidth. The Llano is already pushing the limits, performing weaker than a Phenom II X4 plus a discrete graphics card  that looks similar on paper (say a HD5570).

Things may change once you can put a GB of video RAM into the APU. Until then, I'll stick to separate parts for my PCs.

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