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All Posts by Rabenwolf

All Posts by Rabenwolf

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Originally posted by rpmcmurphy

Personally I hope that crowdfunding doesn't have too much of a hit on publishers. If it wakes them up to their complacency then that's all the effect crowdfunding needs.

I think CIG are doing many good things but to unintentionally align them as industry leaders may be stretching things too far, for example, Elite has had PBR from the start, they've had Oculus support from the start and is seen as the go-to example for virtual gaming. They've supported far more tech then CIG have, which, when combined with their PBR support shows a more adaptable engine, and I dare say, a more organised company. They're also willing to quickly add support for things like TrackIR etc. CryEngine is in many ways a bane for CIG especially when it comes to integrating new tech or features, binary stars being a prime example.
Not intending to diss CIG, just to add a little perspective.

I think the helmet HUD was a good experiment but ultimately it's going to be replaced, it's a typical example of form over function, what looks good on paper failing in practice, The new HUD design looks far more usable - http://i.imgur.com/6bfIdFY.jpg Vision and organisation in a good fov is vastly improved.

What CIG have succeeded at is a very successful crowdfunding campaign, they produce some great work and interact with their community very heavily. Personally I'm a great fan of their Jump Point magazines, it opens up a lot of the development process to the backers.
I think that towards the end of the year people will start seeing SC as a cohesive project and that's when it'll get more respect from non-backers.

What would waking up the publishers really do or mean in real terms? If anything they forced themselves to become a middle man. Now we can have a direct developer to consumer relationship, which while it has its own set of cons to go along with its pros, its much better for gamers and developers. A successful game for example can help the studio grow and fund their next project (this also means keeping developers employed, many get laid off right after a project with the current system).

I wouldnt say they are industry leaders, nor have I made that claim. I did say though that Chris Roberts is an industry icon that pulls in some top tier talent. Theres a difference, and I do think its relevant. Regarding Elite, yes thats great too and what they are doing is feeding into SC and vice versa. Remember this was considered an uber niche market here, most publishers wouldnt even fund such projects. So every success SC makes in both funding and public perception also boosts the appeal of Elite, and what Elite does goes right back into the appeal of SC. Both are essentially growing the market and pushing the boundaries on both ends. I'm not trying to say that its CIG thats doing all the heavy lifting, but that their success and how they are going about it matters quite a bit. Without SC I doubt Elite would have the kind of attention or appeal it does now, but thats a good thing when looking at the bigger picture.

Agreed, the crowdfunding campaign just blew me away in terms of scope and capability. The direct developer to community interaction and the social network they are building around it is top notch, its a breath of fresh air. We get to see them get creative and build a community though secondary forms of content. Its really setting the bar high while also normalizing that kind of developer to consumer interaction. CIG can really branch out into many different areas if the community is set up right. We kind of see this with Steam and a major reason why I believe its done so well.

Cheers!

While I do not follow Star Citizen like many of its eager fanbase, I do see the importance in what its doing. Its a bit sad to see some bash SC for doing something that can potentially impact the industry in a significant way.

Some things to consider.

Chris Roberts is a gaming industry icon who has certainly earned his recognition. After Microsoft (as a game publisher) tore his game studio apart (digital anvil) he went on to produce films. Some films he produced include the Punisher, Outlander and Lucky Number Sleven. So how is this relevant to Star Citizen? Simple. Knowing how to spend money and manage large projects is a skillset tied directly to that field. This skill set makes the management of Star Citizen something we generally do not see in the games industry.

With his bad experiences tied to publishers, and often the freedom they take away as well as their amazing ability to mess up a good project, he went about making Star Citizen with the intent of keeping the publisher OUT OF IT. Basically giving them the big ol middle finger. So how is this relevant? Because the publisher is one of the greater evils in the game industry, they do more harm than good...both to the consumer and to the developer. They know games cost a lot to make, so you have to go to them to fund your project, but see they take all the benefits too leaving you as a developer with very little reward for making a successful game. This means you are constantly reliant on them, and the negative influence they have on creativity is huge.

Quite frankly, if Star Citizen succeeds, and it also shows it can raise funding for AAA level titles... it will be a huge blow to the face of third party publishers. It could start something much more open for AAA game development, something we really havent seen in a long long time.

Additionally, his combined abilities tied to both the film and game industry, Chris Roberts is able to pull in some top tier talent. For example, the concept artist has also done work on the latest Gaurdians of the Galaxy flick. The HUD designer is also the same guy who designed the HUD in Iron Man. Rarely do we see film talent and game development merge like this.

Chris bridges two worlds in the entertainment industry and the people whose careers exist in those worlds. With game development he brings additional entertainment, like the first attempt at a game art centric reality TV show (Next Great Starship). As 3d artist, this is especially something to appreciate. Many high end sponsors also believe in what he is doing, including but not limited to Wacom and Autodesk. A wacom cintiq is a professional tool, with tablet based monitors ranging between $1000-3500, and Autodesk software which is by far some of the most expensive in the industry. They wouldnt give this stuff away just for anyone.

Emerging technology also plays a huge part in all of this. Everything from the adoption to PBR (phsycially based rendering) to hardware like the Oculus Rift. What success SC has will echo across multiple fronts, even if you do not play or plan on playing SC...it will have some impact on the games and hardware you consume.

Thus you can see why people are eager to "throw" money at something they believe in. It really isnt a ponzi scheme or some great scam. If Roberts just wanted to keep making good money, he could have continued to produce films. I believe him when he saying he just wants to create the worlds he always imagined...and with where technology is now, we can do things we could only dream about in the past. The market will react to the demands of the consumer, and by showing the demand and showing theres money in the demand, it becomes much more likely to be reality.

Feature wise, its doing pretty well... but how its executed is questionable. I also found the game hard to play due to what I can only describe as a lack of quality and interesting design choices. I think between when the game was announced and the time everyone got to play it, the bar went up in terms of expectations for quality.

 

 

Blizzard wouldnt stoop that low... Zenimax on the other hand...

I just realized...Nexus looks like a giant BLUE BALL...

Seems appropriate given the circumstances...

Pfttt already level 10 and I reserved all the best names in the game so far.

 

Game works fine! Its the smoothest launch ever!!!

The more important question is...how many contested zones are there? If there are one or two, thats not so bad, even for pve players.

The review is spot on. ESO is one of the worst MMORPGs I have ever played, its just one big failure in game design. The one thing I respect and feel they did good on, which is refreshing, is to not litter every bit of empty space with randomly roaming enemies... instead there are pockets of enemies.

This game doesnt have a future outside of a f2p business model. Give it a couple of years and chances are high Zenimax will shut it down to cut cost.

I play all my games on max settings, but what you think looks good is subjective. What you not looking at is the technical aspects which make up the assets being presented. I could take a poorly made asset, toss into a game engine, apply some post effects like DoF and Bloom..and bam some would say thats great looking art. The problem is they are getting "amazed" by some processing effects, nothing more. There are some parts of the asset making process you WONT see directly... like the rigging. Characters (players, enemies, npcs) are rigged with a kind of virtual bone system. These are then animated and that gives you everything from walk cycles to neutral poses..ect. You can see when these are bad/poor when the animation comes across as poor. Some assets are more obvious, trees are a great example of poor work.

What you are probably not used to seeing is a heavy use of normal and specular texture maps, which are applied on SOME assets. These make textures look shiney, the normal maps give the illusion of depth. Some of these would be great...if they were not projected onto existing geometry like the skin of a persons body (as a form of armor replacement).

Anyways I digress, tired of beating this dead horse. I cant expect everyone to understand, only frustrating when those who dont have the gall to say someone else is wrong despite not knowing why.

Originally posted by ohioastro

This is the equivalent of lecturing people about why classical music is objectively superior to rock and roll.  The graphical style is aiming to evoke certain emotions, and they can succeed or fail on their own criterion. Some games use a cartoon style to good effect; others aim for a kind of realism.  What you're doing comes across as arrogance - to raise up your aesthetic preferences over those of other people.  For example, if there were a ton of dead space buildings in town then players would complain that it was too hard to find the key spots - this is a design choice and a very defensible one.  The scale is, of course, far off relative to the real world - how long would it take a real person to ride a horse across a continent?  This is much slower than in a game with such different ecosystems so close.  So what?  Why would the "realistic" thing be better? And what is the counter to the utterly predictable problems that this would create for game play?

Its apparent you have no idea what I was talking about nor its subject matter, either that or you just chose not to employ basic reading comprehension.

It has NOTHING to do with aesthetic or "style". If you read my post you would have gathered that by now. Its clear however that you are responding based on sentiment and limited knowledge based around assumption... I highly recommend avoiding that.

Additionally, in regards to realism... who said anything about realism? In game development, scale, scope and quality are very important parts of what sets up the visual design process. If the scope is small (smaller towns, less people, less character animation or npc behavior..ect) then the quality of assets, the scale of their behavior, can go up. If the scope is large, and you have sprawling cities, then the quality of individual assets and behavior can go down. The reason for this is cost... cost as in cpu/gpu cost.

With ESO, the scope and scale are SMALL, everything is actually being instanced with players occupying the same space but in different instances. As such the quality can actually go UP, but this wasnt done.

 

 

Originally posted by gelraen

Well, I think you make a few bold statements here:  one that "objectively" the art style is no good, and the other that it is apparently painfully obvious that they didn't have the talent or experience to make a good game.

I'd say that your first statement obviously isn't objective at all, it's completely subjective of you to say that the art style sucks. I happen to think that it's great and that it is far more immersive than any other MMO on the market (except for AoC, but that has other issues...) because of it's gritty realism.

Your second point is also simply your opinion.  In my opinion it is a great game, but it certainly does have some flaws.


There's a massive amount of character/class customization to be had and that's just great.

1. The fallacy of your response is simply this... you said "ART STYLE", where as I did not. Art style is different from the actual quality of assets and the art being made. So it says to me that you might not understand the difference. A good example could be Bioshock Infinite... it has a clear style thats actually very good, which means its had a decent art director involved. Individual assets however were often very poor, lots of mirrored textures which create odd patterns and sloppy UV work.

2. As an artist who makes such content, I can speak to the objective nature of whats done poorly. What I did say was absolutely objective, yet because I dont think you understand the technical side or even what to look for, in your mind its subjective. This is in part because you do not seem to know the difference between art assets and art style.

The art is not good. Meaning the assets are either poorly made or had minimal effort put into them. They have poor use of tiled textures, theres a lack of individual assets including that which involves actual clothing, weapons and armor. Environment art is very poor. Cities and towns are a small handful of assets duplicated all over the place while also keeping it small in both scope and scale. This is 2014, no need for a 4-5 huts to = a grand city anymore. Lack of dynamics in cloth, npc behavior, rigging and animation, silhouettes for character types, environment variation and design... its all done to such minimal levels that having a $200 million dollar budget makes NO SENSE AT ALL. This is objectively poorly done work. There, again, is no excuse outside of cutting corners, to have all the armor get pasted onto the characters body as a type of skin. It tells me the artist dont understand the importance of silhouette based design, which is even more important for this particular genre.

So regarding the art, no I dont think its a subjective interpretation. I am objectively pointing out whats actually done poorly, intentionally poor or unintentionally poor.

Regarding customization... theres objectively very little outside of picking the order of character and weapon skills, as well as gear styles. You cant change the color of the gear, its usually the same asset with a slight variation every 6-10 levels. Most players really start looking the same, and with only 4 character classes...you will see the same class based skills used over and over, especially since they limit the player to 5 (alternating) slots.

3. Now when I say "I think the ESO has an identity crisis of sorts", that is clearly basing that particular paragraph as subjective. Notice the word "think". I go on to explain my rational and reasoning why it is so.

4. Regarding that last bit about why you think it might turn some mmo players off... because its more of a solo/single player game... I think thats also wrong due to the fact that as a mmorpg, it doesnt do very well, and as a single player rpg, it also doesnt do very well. The point being it manages to do neither very well, so what you have is a mediocre game in both areas. It misses out on much of what made the single player franchise great, game play wise. The single player has such few options available to them, and very little in the way of both surprise as well as what to spend their money on. Theres no mod community to add to it or make it unique. From a multiplayer point of view, they lost what makes a lot of mmorpgs great, especially with grouping, social features and both visual and gameplay progression.

Thus point #3, the identity crisis. Theres an old adage that works really well in this case, it goes something like this: "the person who chases two rabbits catches neither".

Finally, I'll end with a video that can showcase to you the difference in quality as far as art and design go, the difference between doing as little as possible and trying to do as much as possible for this particular generation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6EXTBrwUY

For $150, I expect a nice box, with an art book and maybe a sound track inside, plus some statue or other collectors piece. I cant see it being worth it for just some digital content, though I wish the game wasnt f2p. Would rather pay to play or at least have the Guild Wars business model.

I am glad some are easy to please, and in a way thats more of a blessing than a curse. For others, its not so easy.

 

That said, I wish more people would explain WHY, with specifics, its a great game. Too often I think people dont even know why they like stuff or what makes it "great". I would argue that its not a great game, that its actually a very poorly made game. Even poorly made games can be enjoyed by some, but I dont think that changes the status of the game itself.

I think the ESO has an identity crisis of sorts, its trying to be a single player game in a multiplayer world, and it generally tends to do neither of them very well. How can anyone be immersed when you take a quest in which everyone else is doing it as you are doing it, and yet the NPCs are oblivious to the army of clones all doing the same thing. A great example of this bad design is this one quest where you have to follow an NPC and see what hes up to. Eventually you enter into a locked house and have to fight whatever he was doing inside... but it was locked.. so why then would it make sense to have a dozen players already inside killing the enemy which is tied to YOUR quest. Really bad design.

Is the animation and art good? Objectively? No. They chose to cut cost by texturing the naked "skin" of most characters. Chest armor for example is just a texture on your body, not an actual piece of armor (as in Mesh). This is kind of expected maybe for a game back in 2004, but its 2014 and theres no excuse for that other than trying to cut cost. Animations are really really bad, stiff, lifeless, very minimal. Whats the purpose of money? Time sink? Well only for bag space and horses, and if you got the collectors edition well the horse is just 1 gold.

I think they had the potential to make a great game here, but whats painfully obvious, I would hope to most people, is that they neither had the talent, experience or even time to make the game good. Sure it can be entertaining while its still fresh and new... but once you realize how recycled and minimal the entire game is, then really its kind of hard to be impressed by anything. They tried to be different, which is good, but they didnt do it well.

So enjoy it, but if you think its a great game, try to explain why its great..and not just with sentiment.

Originally posted by keithian
Originally posted by Rabenwolf

That list shows intent, but until its actually executed... write it off as a possibility or a mere letter of intent.

 

They probably did not expect such a large negative reaction and if they start seeing subs canceled well before the first month is over, that means they will have to do or say something to encourage players to stick around...even if they dont end up delivering. This technique has been used often with subscription based business models.

Nice ridiculous negative spin.  If anything it shows they are working their asses off to fix things, not to mention honor their aggressive commitment to 4-6 week content releases. The amount in that Adventure Zone is huge. Most of the content they had planned many months in advance so your theory of lets rush now before the month ends is a bunch of BS.

Your apparent hostility to anyone and anything that doesnt confirm your bias has been noted.

Lesson number 1, dont tie your self esteem to a video game/brand/company. It is silly, since as a result you end up defending it as though you are defending yourself.

That said, perhaps you are not understanding what content entails. In the patch intent list, only a small fraction of that is content. If you bothered to look at most of the complaints people had with ESO, you would know that its not the content thats bothering them... its the numerous design choices and bugs. Coincidently (i think not) that is the vast majority of what the patch intent list covers.

The simple FACT is that this list is about intent. It was Blizzard's "intent" to have player housing back when WoW was in beta, they even had the instances in major cities setup for it (though blocked) and when it came to execution it never happened. By ESO expressing intent that touches on the frustration of the players, they are in fact delaying the exodus from the game. Its a common practice, you need to give the frustrated players something to chew on, some "hope" to keep them from dropping it entirely. That is what is being done. You can be in denial all you want, and if it makes you feel better all the more power to you.

Additionally, I never said they were rushing anything, those are your words and lack of reading comprehension that has come to that conclusion. What they are doing is trying to create hope and or the impression of some form of communication that development is occurring. The general practice, btw, is that once a game goes live...the development team either gets moved onto another project or is let go...with a live team, much smaller than the original team doing the rest. The reason for this is to cut cost and generate profit. You need to assume that whatever resources they have had going into the game will not all be there post launch.

I dont think ESO will break the pattern of most mmorpgs which generally means huge losses to player base in the 2-3 month post launch period, the trend of losing subs has never been reversed based on what we have seen. Final Fantasy just released the game, which was smart and thus they broke that pattern. Will ESO have to do the same or will it be f2p soon enough? I'm putting my money on fp2 in order to recoup the rediculous $200 million dollar budget of the game.

Dont agree? Well then only time will tell. The odds would not be in your favor if so.

That list shows intent, but until its actually executed... write it off as a possibility or a mere letter of intent.

 

They probably did not expect such a large negative reaction and if they start seeing subs canceled well before the first month is over, that means they will have to do or say something to encourage players to stick around...even if they dont end up delivering. This technique has been used often with subscription based business models.

I just canceled yesterday, been holding off simply because the account website doesnt work with Time Warner internet in my region. Really odd right? Thats one issue I have never seen before and its been around for awhile now...still no fix. So I had to use my cell phone to cancel...thankfully their website was handheld friendly.

That said, with Wildstar... its pretty much another polished WoW like game... in fact its EXTREMELY similar so it offers that WoW experience all over again with a fresh new title. Whether or not that will stand the test of time is to be seen.

With ESO, well Zenimax wasnt prepared. They didnt know what they were doing, the name of the franchise sold the boxes but the game is so badly designed that the result is a loss of subs...probably faster than most new mmorpgs. A shame really since there was a lot of potential to be had.

The one fallacy I have to all of this is... that what people think, and even those with access to a larger audience... actually matters.

The simple reason is that this genre, the mmorpg, relies on the masses. People a multitude of players it cannot function or rather it wont function in a way that the publisher and developer want. If they deem its not worth it, if the numbers are to low, the life line gets cut.

This is not something single player games experience. Single player titles can appeal to 1 person and be hated by the rest, and it wouldnt matter for that 1 person because they still have access to it. Massively multiplayer titles dont have that luxury and if the trend is that subs are dropping, and the perception is going "south" then theres a pattern that follows. Validation matters because thats where the trend is, its where the life line is. Again, only for this genre.

Originally posted by dbgager
Originally posted by Rabenwolf

The problem isnt just the gold spammers or even the bugs. The game is flawed in its design,  flawed to the point where it will require way too much work and really a miracle to turn around.

I see a lot of people defending the game as though its some how tied to their self esteem. That needs to stop. Zenimax isnt experienced in this particular genre, and it shows. The name (Elder scrolls) might have gotten a lot of people to purchase, but the design isnt there where they will stay.

lol...Its called you either enjoy the game or you don't. Its as simple as that. People are defending the game because they are having a fun time playing it. and that is the only reason. When they stop having a fun time they will stop defending it.

No its not as simple as that. I wish it were, but theres sentiment involved...its where we get the term "fanboy" from. Its not rational. People, gamers as well, often have a bad habit of showcasing brand loyalty... the behavioral science reason for this is that they have tied their emotional well being to the brand itself...thus self esteem.

Take Apple products for example...it could be a horrible product, but once the person, an apple fanboy buys it, they might feel the need to defend it or it as a purchase because in a way, they are also defending themselves.

I know this might be kind of deep for some, but once you start educating yourself on the whys and the hows, you realize nothing is ever "that simple". I mean can you even define enjoyment?

Many of those who defend the game, such as yourself (given some of your posts I have seen) make it PERSONAL. Thats the problem, and when you make it personal your target or goal is more about discrediting the person rather than the content.

One could also argue that if X person is here defending the game it means they are not really enjoying it to the point where they would rather play it than spend much of their time on a forum defending it...UNLESS the act of defending it gives them that enjoyment...which is odd because you would think a game gives more enjoyment than the defense of it on a forum.

Originally posted by DamonVile
Even if it's not fixed complaining here is really no better than crying on some strangers shoulder. It's not like anyone at ESO ever reads all this non-sense.

Depends... are coping mechanism pointless? Usually when people have some sort of invested interest in something, they feel the need to express it as a coping mechanism...primarily when its negative. For example...a user buys the $99 collectors edition, hypes themselves up for months prior, lots of time is spent thinking about it...and then they get the game, get a negative response and cant stand it. Well there needs to be an outlet, usually in the form of expressing an opinion and where better where there are others who share that same opinion.

So its reasonable to an extent.

A flawed poll given those options and wording...

But anyways...

 

ESO is whats known as a SPIN OFF (within the context of a side sequel for video games, focus on mechanics not merely narrative), in the same way Hearthstone/WoW is a spin off of the Warcraft franchise. There are numerous cases of this happening throughout the game industry... 

Spin Offs usually do very poorly. Dust 514 is a good example of this as well.

 

The problem isnt just the gold spammers or even the bugs. The game is flawed in its design,  flawed to the point where it will require way too much work and really a miracle to turn around.

I see a lot of people defending the game as though its some how tied to their self esteem. That needs to stop. Zenimax isnt experienced in this particular genre, and it shows. The name (Elder scrolls) might have gotten a lot of people to purchase, but the design isnt there where they will stay.

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