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All Posts by gestalt11

All Posts by gestalt11

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Roles are not a required part of RPGs.   It is true that many RPGs have had roles for the RPG systems.  But plenty of others don't have "roles", most roguelikes have no roles and these are some of the earliest CRPGs ever made.  Many party based CRPGs had roles to some degree (like your first 3-4 character being in the "front line" and therefore at least partially tanky).  But even many of these "party" games had a lot of leeway in how that may play out.  The Ultima games were often fairly loose about roles and Ultima Underworld didn't really have any at all.

 

It makes me sad when people think RPG = roles.  Not only is it not necessary for group RPGs, although it can be useful, it completely overlooks some of the best CRPGs ever made.  I find it ironic that many people are convinced that roles are so great also tend to think they know a lot about RPGs, but by taking the position they have proven that they don't.  Preferring roles is fine in that there are certain pros to having them (along with cons), but maintaining they are in anyway part of what makes an RPG or makes an RPG work is just historically wrong.

Why you gotta be all speciesest against monkeys and sloths?

The issue of permadeath is so intrinsically linked to the way the game plays that any discussion of it in isolation is stupid an pointless.

 

Is the game decently fun to replay? No?  Then permadeath sucks for it.

Is the game really poorly balanced? Yes?  Then permadeath will appear really unfair and stupid.

Does the game have  huge time investment per character? The longer the time investment the harder permadeath is to justify without reducing how often you are threatened for real.  Without being threatened for real fairly regularly games become boring grinds (sound familar MMO players?) even with the sword of damocles of permadeath hanging over your head many roguelikes have fallen prey to this problem (especially some angband flavors).

 

 

Many games simply suck with permadeath added in because of issues such as the above (which is not an exhaustive list).  Some people advocate for "spicing up" a game with permadeath due to the boring nature and lack of real threat in many games, but for many people the whole exercise seems silly because the first two issues are never addressed.

 

There is nothing wrong with permadeath (although I prefer a small number of limited lives personally) some games work out fine with it.  The problem is people advocating to shoe horn it into games when other aspects of the design make it awkward or just plain unenjoyable.  Games like Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup work fine with permadeath.  In fact the tournaments they hold after a release make little sense without permadeath(or a small set of limited lives).

 

Especailly in the case of MMORPG many design themes are in direct opposition to permadeath.  Replayability and character investment are huge considerations for permadeath.  If you have to farm for 2 days to get some rare drop permadeath is almost certainly a not gonna work out.  Permadeath almost always need to have a gameplay theme of "make the most of what you get".  Most MMORPGs work on a gameplay theme of "spend a lot of time to get the perfect set of stuff (items, stats, etc)".

 

If you want to play game where things are emergent and you have an idea that you need to play the situtations you are presented with then a permadeath game almost always presents this better.  If you want to instead develop your character stats/build so that it can deal with any situation instead of playing the situation with your character, then that usually is more in the vein of a non-permadeath game.  This can happen in the grindy MMO way or it can happen via save games and going back to early ones to replay a branch until it optimal.

 

In the end permadeath is simply a way to make the gameplay not revolve around optimality and instead be more about results.  When you consider it, this is why its such a bad design choice for most current MMOs.  This does not means it is a bad design choice for an MMORPG.  In fact for the right MMORPG design it is probably a good choice.  I think an MMORPG that focused on replayability and progressing to a certain laudable point in the game via good gameplay rather than good equipment can be quite successful.  But this is not the current milieu of the genre.

 

You can see this in discussions of gameplay in roguelikes such as TOME 4 vs DCSS.  They are quite different games.  But in TOME 4 there is much more discussion about optimal builds and equipment setups.  In DCSS there can be all of these things, but due to the way that games works out, you can never depend on getting any of that stuff so worrying about optimal builds becomes pointless.  Although both games are Roguelikes and therefore have a permadeath component (optional in one game), permadeath is much less of a sore thumb in DCSS (even though TOME 1 was a straight up Angband variant and therefore rather old school roguelike).  In DCSS it is about the playthrough, not the build you started with.  It is about the experience.  TOME 4 has this as well since its procedural etc, but you are definitely playing your build as well and are guaranteed many things that are key to your build.  In TOME 4 you are also very much playing your class.  This does not mean DCSS is a superior game, they are quite different games.  The point is the mentality of a playthrough is different and one mentality has a better fit with permadeath than the other.  In the case of DCSS permadeath is not so much a gameplay detrimant or enhancer;  it is simply part of the game's nature.  TOME 4 is perfectly playable in roguelike but there is really very little effective difference between roguelike (1 life) and adventure (7 lives) when you plan ahead and understand the class you play.  But in DCSS there would be, because while you may know of 3 or 4 tactics to deal with an Ogre hiding behind a corner on level 3, there is no way to know WHICH one you have in any particular playthrough.  This is the fundamental dividing line.  And yeah sometimes in these cases you get screwed, that is the nature of the beast. 

 

For permadeath you need to usually have some way out if you are good/smart, and you need to have emergent ways  for gameplay to develop such that you don't actually solidly know which way may becomes available. 

 

 

Are knives a bad thing?  They cut people and make them bleed.  People die everyday to knife wounds.

 

Of course the modern world as we know it would not exist without the invention of the knife ...

 

Crowd funding is a things.  Its not a good thing or a bad thing.  It is a thing with its ups and downs.  Seriously people whining about it are basically saying "I am a fool who is easily parted with my money and/or belongings and this new thing has created another way for that to happen!  It must be evil because I am foolish."

 

Caveat Emptor.  And yes you are a "buyer".  This is essentially like buying a "futures" contract on a commodity(although not the same by any means).  If you were to buy a futures contract for Gold on the COMEX there is absolutely no guarantee you can actually get real physical gold.  The fine print of the contract states that COMEX can settle for the current cash value at any time.  You are never guarantee any amount of of the "thing" you may think you are buying.  Additionally most actual stuff for the item itself is done in the Forwards market not the Futures. 

 

Crowd funding is actually not much different in any real way than the current markets (which are vulnerable to all the same critques).  Some of these markets are quite crooked really, I used the gold futures market above because its extremely crooked.  Most commodities do not work that way.  When you look at the gold and silver ETFs they are clearly purposely diconnected from the actual physical market of the commodity, but other commidity markets, like say potatoe futures, are not.  Most people do not even realize the fine print of the contracts they are buying.

 

Some people will tell you crowd funding is not investing like in a stock but this is not entirely true.  This completely depends on the nature of what the project promises to you.  If you pay $30 at the inception for something you  believe correctly would be sellable for $60 then you have made double your money.  This is exactly what you do with a commodity contract in the current markets.

 

Now not all crowd funding things work this way.  Many are basically are just pre-orders for a game.  But they may start to work this way if they seriously want to attract attention.  Again this is how the current markets work.  You offer investors a chance to leverage something in exchange for seed money.  If you had an already existing very profitable thing you would not bother with loss from the leverage.

 

But there are some crowd funding things that DO work this way, generally these tend to be more like physical gadgets.  Some target early adopters but I have seen some that offer a $30 deal that they will sell for $40 later on.  Thus if you sell yours "in box" for $35 you can concievably make some profit.  Obviously this would need to be in bulk to make real money on it.  Obviously a major difference here with current conventional market is nothing is standardized and you have to do all the footwork.

 

But seriously crowd funding is just like current markets in many ways, when you take it down to the nitty gritty.  In fact it is essentially less crooked than some current ETFs (Electronically Traded Funds) such as the GLD or SLV which are under no real legal obligation to provide what they purport to be "selling".  The only reason they ever need to "deliver" what they claim they are about is public confidence.  They can settle any contract at any time in a cash equivalent that they determine.  They being the COMEX and its attendant banks(bullion banks who warehouse the commodity).   Any contract can become zero in value, even commidity contracts.  Just like crowd funding things that never make something.  Publically traded companies pop up everyday whose sole purpose is to take the money and run.  The SEC is supposed to do something about that and investigate but they don't do that much really, at least not anymore.

 

I can make a very good argument that those of you involved in the current financial markets are actually greater fools than many people involved in crowd funding ventures.  You can claim you may never get something from crowd funding, but the same is true there yet decent crowd funding projects are almost always fairly straightforward and don't do various BS you see in financial markets.

 

You guys do realize that you don't actually own your stocks ,securities etc, right?  Most people using a broker have their stocks etc held "in street name".

Worth it?   I don't entirely know about "worth" but I prefer a PC for many reasons.  The equation is not really about worth.  Its about a cartel trying to force you into something.

 

There is no doubt that a small number of companies are trying to force as many people as possible into the scam known as "console gaming".  This herding of sheep into their pens has gotten more and more overt and has payed off more and more.  So yeah that is the trend.  Every company with the gall to support PC/Mac based gaming that makes any money will be aquired and then forced into making stuff only for the console. Because "that is where the money is".  They convienently leave out there is an obvious and concerted effort to assure "where the money is".

 

Once they have their audiences captured they are on easy street.  Same old, same old.  Smart player avoid a market by creating the equivalent of a utility setup.  Consoles or the railroads of the late 1800s its always the same game.  Now the railroads there were actual physical reasons why the operated as partial "utlity" style things then the big fish just bought up every smaller network until there were only 2 or 3 actuall different things and no real competition and a captured "market".  Consoles though, they are a pure scam, they aim to do the same thing but there is no real infrastructure of actual laid down rails, they just force the various development houses into their fake paradigm via bullshit publisher deal, out right buy outs or other rather crappy things.

 

Let's face it; the scam is working and as it progresses it makes it work more and more effectively.  Because the more they force an audience into one of the 3 members of their fake ass cartel the more people buy into the idea of "that is where the money is".

We are now at point where not only are less developers making stuff for PC that isn't some crappy port but the console pushers able to squash a lot of PC publishing without any real consequences as they gain more and more leverage over the "market" (there is no market, that is the point of having a cartel.  Just like there is no healthcare market in the US and has not been one for decades no matter what either political party tells you.  You, the actual consumer, are not invovled in price setting feedback, therefore there is no market).

The phenomenon that gear is important to the RPG mechanics of a game is, of course, far older than MMORPGs.

There are two main problems:

1) Most gear-centric MMOs need perpetual "progression" (technically you are really standing still rather than regressingbut w/e) means gear becomes more and more the main determinant as time goes on.

 

2) Most of the MMORPGs have nothing besides personal power going for them as the main point of the game.  The entire games boils down to how hard can I hit or how hard of a hit can I take.

 

 

While many many other CRPG games of various types have had gear as anything for fairly important to critically important most of the non-MMORPGs had some other point to the game besides that.  MMORPGs don't.  Thus time has reduced things to the most efficient represntation.  You are your gear score because its 90% of your effectiveness and effectiveness is the only thing that matters because these types of MMORPGs have no real underlying games.  If you had various novel ways to APPLY that effectiveness things might be different.  But these types of MMORPGs are simple binary decisions, i

if (effectiveness >= score ) then do content

where "do content" is basically always the same thing with different names or slightly different script.  This is not meant to say there is no skill in execution.  But that the game itself is pretty much just one mental "if statement".  Not only is the decision completely trivial, but they is nothing except "do content", i.e. a dungeon run or mob grind over and over.

Originally posted by iridescence
Originally posted by gestalt11

 

Why do you think you hear people sometimes advocating for huge worlds or open worlds?  Its just another symptom of the same problem.  No game and the need to distract from this fatal flaw.  Because that whole line of reasoning has a terrible flaw to it.  Large doesn't mean interesting.  You can have a huge but empty world.  Yet these people yearn for something interesting, something to play with and play for and so they latch on to something seemingly grand.  Same with forced grouping.  A feature that was uncommon and unliked in the era of MUDs but for some people the forced socialization works to help them obscure the fatal flaw of there being no real underlying game.

 

If you ask yourself "What am  I trying to do in the game?"  and your answer is "Get to level 100"  then you are playing a bad game.  Not because the game has a leveling experience but because everything you did to get to level 100 is obviously trivial crap or you would be saying something else.  Rather than something like "I need to make friends with the halfings because the dwarves told me only they know where the amulet of yendor is, but then again Fredo the elf implied I might be able to steal a tablet from the bee people that might tell me what i need to do".  Now  I know of some people will say all sorts of MMORPG quests say stuff like that.  Sure, but YOU DON'T FUCKING CARE and it DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER.  You only care about what level you are.  And the reason for that is the underlying game sucks.

 

First, thank you for your well thought out post...It was interesting to read 

Exploration can be an end in itself in games. Skyrim is a perfect example. I did not care at all for the silly main quest in Skyrim. Same goes for most of the side quests [which are typically very MMO like "Go to this dungeon.Kill Badass McBoss and get my family necklace back." What I did like doing in that game was just wandering around exploring stuff. The quests were just an excuse to go rooting around in an area I had not been to before.

 

I think SWTOR tried and to some level succeeded in bringing an meaningful story to MMORPGs. But that game also illustrates them main problem in doing this. You can only produce so much high quality handcrafted content. Even with a huge budget, eventually the players are gonna run out and be sitting around bored and you will pretty much have to pad out your game with "kill 10 rats" stuff because it's not acceptable  for an MMO to say "The game is over now." like a single player game can. Either I think MMOs should follow the multiplayer version of Skyrim route and use procedural generation to inundate the player with admittedly mediocre content  but a huge world to explore or they should go full on sandbox mode and let the player interactions tell the story of the world. Expecting a years long Witcher-calibre story all handcrafted by human devs would be awesome but I don't see how it's at all practical.

 

 

 

Exploration can be and often is an end to itself and there is nothing wrong with that.  The various adventure style games were great games.  Like the old Sierra games and Myst or whatever.  But think about that for a second, think about playing those games as complete games in their totality; your feeling of the experience with the game.  Then think about playing Skryim the way you describe.

There is exploration in Skyrim and its rather interesting and nice extra bit to the game.  But the game itself is not really made for it per se.  Its imperfect in this sense.  Perhaps it is not so imperfect that it is actually a bad game.  The exploration in an adventure game has more meat on the bone, there is always some reason or some extra little bit of this or that. In Skyrim you are exploring just to satisfy some curiosity and to exercise the RPG fighting portion of the game.  This is fine as long as these elements blend together sufficiently to provide some basis for an actual game.  But by and large I think when compare the "pure" game to an aspect of another game you can start get an inituitive feel for the weakness.

 

Now I think Skyrim is a pretty good game in a lot of ways, but aspects of it are weak when compared to a "pure" example where the game is mostly centered around that thing.  But at the same time Skyrim was crafted in such a way that each of these weak features blend together into a whole such that there is an actual game to play.  There is somewhere you are going, there is something to do, there is stuff you want, and additionally the RPG portions of the game conform around these things rather than being the sole point.

 

Most MMORPGs do not actually manage to make their games into a hybrid that is a collection of features with some overall theme like Skyrim.  Skyrim is weak in many regards but combines them into a strong whole.  MMORPGs try to do a similar thing and they invariable almost all fail.

 

RPG mechanics are meant to abstract and simulate aspects of your characters "life".  They are meant to represent what you do, not be the sole object of what you do.

 

I am not going to post some kind of implementation, because this a) putting the cart before the horse and b) I would do it myself if I was that far along.

 

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and MMORPGs have a real problem.  There is no "G".  They are a collection of (usually) weak game aspects shoved into a box that does not actually have a real game to play.

 

To put this another way, people are not playing the game, they are playing the stats of their characters, the game itself is incidental.   But that is not all, when things DO get added in like the SWOTOR holocron exploration stuff they are very weak and bear no real relation to the game.  Even when that particular thing when taken in isolation is well crafted the thing as a whole is still disjointed and divorced from the "game" (or lack thereof) and even when actually kind of fun invariably feels like a time waster.  It comes out as completely out of context.  A square peg in a round hole.

 

It isn't so much about really well crafted story, or procedural geneation, or even amount.  Its that there is no real integrated idea of how things work and overall idea of what players get out of content besides advancing their character.  Everything boils down to advancing the character, when you look at an MMORPG this is the main design theme, and that is not actually a game.

You are on the right track that because of the nature of online shared stuff it is very hard for the devs to come up with some sort of goal.  And I would even hazard that they are no longer really aware of just what the structure that is imposed by a goal does to a game in general.  I am not going to speculate on how to solve that problem.  But I can tell you this.  In the absence of a good solution for this problem they have given you a crap solutions, pure character advancement with no actual game.  This works for a while because power is satisfying to some degree and addictive but it gets old.  It is starting to get old for a lot of people.

 

People will agitate in perpetuity for all sorts of interesting features that have existed in other games they enjoyed.  But they will continue to be disatisfied until these things are actually put into an actual game in a way that actually integrates with whatever the base idea of the game actually is.  Most MMORPGs have no based idea besides character advancement.  The notable exception are the games with large amount of emergent goals, such as EvE.  Running missions in EvE alone would make it a bad RPG, but since EvE has tons of emergent behavior that "becomes" the game, it is actually a game unlike most other MMORPGs.

 

It isn't that any of the various features of MMORPGs are bad (exploration, crafting etc.) its that they are just additions onto a house with no foundation just collapse anyway.  And so will anything added onto the structure with no foundation.

 

Skyrim has a foundation, a base idea of what the game is about what it should be doing.  It then added various things onto this.  In reality this base idea started 20 years ago with Arena and they have slowly but surely added more and more layers onto it.  But they have never stepped away from the foundation.  And their foundation was an actual game.

 

Many MMORPGs have done the same thing, but their foundation is not a game, its just character advancement.  It is just a mechanic that exists in other computer programs that actually are game.  This is masked by the appearance of content.  But that content is just a hamster wheel and we all know it is.  That isn't even open for debate anymore.

 

So yes exploration in a computer game can be quite good.  It can be the entire game like in the classic Adventure genre.  It can be a nice integrated piece of a different genre like RPG, where it adds flavor and variation in feel to how things get done or open up how to get through the world.  It also has existed in various MMORPGs.

But go through those three cases in your mind and compare each to the other.  You will find that when you get to many (not all) MMORPGs the exploration is not only a sideline.  But there is almost no way for them to actually make them matter for real in the game that is "natural" or "native" to how the game works, and by that I mean the only way they can force you to explore is either by dangling a carrot or beating you with a stick; it is not actually part of the game and there is no way to make it some thing that is on its face some thing you just do in the game because that IS the game. 

Edit: this is another notable exception concerning EvE, the game is structured in such a way that you literally cannot play it without a modicum of exploration and travel.  You literally cannot play the game without some interaction with the exploration and travel mechanics, the game itself actually makes no sense without it.   The location of things in games like WoW (and this encompasses many games even the non-EQ lineage games) is pretty much incidental, it really doesn't matter where Dungeon XYZ is.  Its just placed somewhere for flavor.  Even if we forget about teleporting mechanics.  You just run to the dungeon, there is no real gameplay involved sure you hit arrow keys to move and you need to follow some directions.  This is different than in EvE where you need to explore to find some asteroids to mine and then you need to figure out where to sell them and these two aspects are constantly changing.  Which mining is availlble, what has good yields, plotting out your trade routes etc.  These are all things that you need to constantly think about and the game is literally unplayable if you don't.

Let me take another swing at this.

 

When your main concern is "What is my current level", rather than "How can I do this current content with my current set of tools"; the RPG game you are playing has failed as an RPG.

 

I think most people can easily, if they are honest with themselves and forgot how "invested" they are, agree that a large portion of MMORPGs engender this issue.

 

The problem is not levels, although I personally prefer skill-based games, the problem is that in most MMORPGs you are ONLY chasing levels or some other form of progression.  You are not actually playing the game.  This is how you know most MMORPGs are just bad games in general.

 

Now I could write a very long post about all the various and sundry aspects that go into this, things like challenge and gameplay and how content is constructed.  But I don't feel like it.  Suffice it to say it is a mix of many things.

 

But boil it down to just the above statement as an elegant way to figure out what is wrong from the 50,000 foot perspective and that is it.  There is no game, there is just the "ding!" next level.

When you have dinged 1000s of level across 100s of games, it intuitively becomes less and less impressive and it as the shininess wears down to tarnish you stop getting blinded by the reflection and start looking for the "game" underneath.  You then slowly start to realize there is no game.  Which is very hard to accept, because these are supposedly games and people are playing them, including yourself.  But there is no game.  You are just doing your time for your next "ding!".  Whatever that "ding!" happens to be; level,skillpoint, loot drop, what-have-you.

 

Its a mile wide and an inch deep.  After doing most MMO content once, you are basically done.   I recently played TOME 4 on its highest difficulty setting (which is totally meant to be unfair).  I had played through the game multiples and won more than once.  Yet I had to consider and think each move I made all the way to the end.  Most MMORPGs don't do this, because they mostly suck as games. 

In that TOME 4 run I had my entire build planned out before starting, I had tested the build in the previous difficulty and I still needed to watch each threat and consider my tactics having to dynamically assess and react to each situation as it came up.  Each phase of my "progression" was not about grinding out more uberness toward no purpose(most mmo grinding is crap; you can already kill that stuff), each part was purely about getting to the next step of the content, about whether the build I had planned could make it through either due to having enough offense or defense of the appropriate type at the appropriate time.  Even after being fully kitted out and into the endgame I had to think and adjust at one point about 90% through, even fully advanced in gear and levels, I had to find a way to bypass a certain random boss that was unkillable by my build.  This is something I planned for and was able to do.  This was part of playing the game.  There was an actual game to play.

 

Most MMORPGs never really give you a real game to play, they just repeat the same cycle over and over and slap a slightly different look on it.  If something kills you, grind out more levels or loot. Bam that is it.  How are leveling areas made?  various mob spawns in regular placed locations.  What is the game?  Mindlessly go from spawn to spawn, kill stuff, hear a ding.  Oh but bosses can be like challenging and scripted .... SO WHAT?  That is a boss, where is the damn game? Answer: nowhere, it doesn't exist.  MMORPGs are a collection of sometimes interesting things with no actually interesting game holding them together.

Why do you think you hear people sometimes advocating for huge worlds or open worlds?  Its just another symptom of the same problem.  No game and the need to distract from this fatal flaw.  Because that whole line of reasoning has a terrible flaw to it.  Large doesn't mean interesting.  You can have a huge but empty world.  Yet these people yearn for something interesting, something to play with and play for and so they latch on to something seemingly grand.  Same with forced grouping.  A feature that was uncommon and unliked in the era of MUDs but for some people the forced socialization works to help them obscure the fatal flaw of there being no real underlying game.

 

If you ask yourself "What am  I trying to do in the game?"  and your answer is "Get to level 100"  then you are playing a bad game.  Not because the game has a leveling experience but because everything you did to get to level 100 is obviously trivial crap or you would be saying something else.  Rather than something like "I need to make friends with the halfings because the dwarves told me only they know where the amulet of yendor is, but then again Fredo the elf implied I might be able to steal a tablet from the bee people that might tell me what i need to do".  Now  I know of some people will say all sorts of MMORPG quests say stuff like that.  Sure, but YOU DON'T FUCKING CARE and it DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER.  You only care about what level you are.  And the reason for that is the underlying game sucks.

 

Originally posted by iridescence
Originally posted by gestalt11

This is because it is starting to be pounded through your skull slowly but surely that most MMORPGs are just really poorly made RPGs.

 

Play a decent game like Legend of Grimrock 2 (assuming you like the gameplay, which you may not) and you reach the "aha! moment" of wow yeah MMORPGs leveling experience sucks, because well the games suck.  There is no meat on the bone.

 

 

So the solution is to strip the RPG elements out of them rather than making them better RPGs?

 

I am not sure where you get this "solution" I certainly never said that.  The solution is to actually make an MMORPG that is actually a good RPG.  There almost aren't any and very rarely have been.

 

When an RPG is well made each portion of the game feels "interesting", MMOs almost never capture this.  Maybe Asheron's Call does, maybe EvE does, maybe UO.  I, personally, think even EQ was a rather poor RPG.  Any game that relied on grinding for content was a poor RPG basically by definition.

 

MMOs are mostly about grinding for power, and while that has always existed in CRPGs its generally considered a bad thing not something to glorify and make money off of.

 

If you go through a list of the most acclaimed and top rated CRPGs since the beginning (roughly 1980 but really a little earlier) you see games listed like Ultima 4 or Ultima Underworld or Bard's Tale or some the Wizardry series or Planescape Torment.  More modern games like Divinity Original Sin get a lot of recognition (even with its balance flaws, its still interesting through the whole play through).

 

90% of MMORPGs are not interesting through the entire play through, they may have some RPG mechanics people like and are therefore willing to tolerate the otherwise piss poor mediocre RPG but that is about it.

 

By and large most MMORPG fail at the actual RPG part.  Sure they design some loot and some character classes, but there is far more to a good RPG than that.  That is simply the car you drive on the road that is the RPG.  Sure if the car is a frigging Yugo the drive will suck, but if the road is completely straight and flat the drive will also suck.  MMORPG may try to give you a ferrari and then they say here you go, drive this ferrari on that really boring srtaight,flat road that goes on forever.

 

So the solution is clearly that they need to stop making complete fucking crap RPGs.

I am starting a new business for all these people who want harsh death penalties.  You just give me your address and when you die in game I (or one of the my employees) will show up with a baseball bat and inflict some serious "detterence" upon you.

 

For $5 extra we will make the "deterrence" extra high quality by assiduously avoiding any damage to your hands or cranium so that you may continue to play unhindered. 

For $10 extra we we provide the Hardcore Masochist package were we will at randomly placed points make sure to also hit you in the balls.

 

Even better you will have no idea when we show up so you can experience maxium "deterrence" through fear and uncertainty.  As a side package you can get the Extreme Ninja deal, which we offer for the low low price of $5, we will provide "deterrence" from extremely unlikely places such as popping out unexpectedly from corner or possibly breaking into your cat and hitting you, I mean, providing "deterrence" from the backseat while you start your car.  Not only will you get the satisfaction of knowing your doom approaches the extreme uncertainly of the inevitable but unpredictable sword of damocles hanging over your head will provide an exquisite edge to your fear.

This is because it is starting to be pounded through your skull slowly but surely that most MMORPGs are just really poorly made RPGs.

 

Play a decent game like Legend of Grimrock 2 (assuming you like the gameplay, which you may not) and you reach the "aha! moment" of wow yeah MMORPGs leveling experience sucks, because well the games suck.  There is no meat on the bone.

 

 

Originally posted by Ket_Viliano
Originally posted by DMKano
Originally posted by Abaxial
Psychologists are discovering that too much choice makes people unhappy .... maybe that applies to character builds as well. Personally, I don't have the patience to fine-tune where every skill point goes, but I do like systems where classes have a wide array of sub-classes.

 

Psychologist have known about this for decades - the general public is discovering this now.

 

"out of these 100 pairs of pants I picked the ones that suck - man I failed" - that's the problem of too much choice, you become painfully aware of how your poor decisions played a part in the outcome.

When you only have 2 options - you feel like this "well I only had 2 options and this one sucked, I didn't like the other one either" - see the person doesn't feel like the failure is their responsibility, they are blaming failure on LACK of choice.

 

So given too much choice - you are more likely to take ownership of your own actions - and bad outcome will result in you feeling like you failed to make a good decision (your own fault)

Too little choice - bad outcome blamed on lack of choice, you don't feel nearly as bad because hey none of the options were great and you had to pick one (not your fault)

 

This is the psychology behind it - the truth is the individual is always responsible for their own decisions - in one case he is more likely to take ownership of his actions, in the other he is much more likely to play the blame card and not take ownership of his own actions "victim of circumstance"

 

 

 

The truth is that no one decides to get raped, or bullied, or jumped in broad daylight, nor to be singled out and accused of all manner of perfidy. No one intends to be presented with worse and fewer choices, but rather while we may intend the best, there are other people who intend to do the worst to us all. Circumstances are created by people with bad intentions, and are inflicted on everyone around them. The truth is that the race goes not to the swift, nor the contest to the strong nor the bold, but rather that fortune and chance have there way with us all.

Studies show that pyschologists who focus on quantity without regards to quality are 80% less competent than those who take quality into consideration.

The fact that you can't decide is answer enough.

 

You already played these games enough.  You're brain is telling you this.  You simply want to scratch some mental itch.

 

You need to do something else.  This is addict sort of behavior.  That is not really exactly what it is.  I am not saying you are addicted to MMOs.  I am saying its similar to it, the seeking without real purpose.  Like when you know you want a snack but stare at the fridge and don't see anything alluring. 

 

Seriously do something else, anything else, something that for which you have a genuine interest and come back to an MMO when your interest is genuinely piqued rather than being manufactured by a mental itch.

 

Go out somewhere and find something else that genuinely captures your imagination.  Maybe its a video game, maybe its learning guitar.  Doesn't matter.

 

This feeling will get worse and worse until you do this.  Your fatigue will grow and grow.  If you answer that fatigue by going back to what fatigued you simply start a cycle.   That mental fatigue is simply your brain telling you it wants something different to stimulate it.  So listen to it.

Shhhhhhhhhh shhhh eat yout pablam and be a good little consumer.  No need to think.  Thinking hurts and takes too much energy.  Shhhhhhh just eat your pablam .... read some guides and eat your pablam.
I don't really understand why you guys keeping doing the same shit just with a different coat of paint.  But, hey, whatever floats your boat.

Hate to break it to people but good CRPGs have always been fringe games.  You think Ultima 4 or Bard's Tale or Planescape: Torment or whatever were ever real popular in their days compared to various things Super Mario Brothers or some other contemporary?   Well they weren't.

 

There have always been one or two break out per "era" such as some final fantasy games or STWOR 1 but those are just ananomlies.  RPGs have always been, by and large, been niche and cultlike.

Originally posted by DMKano
Originally posted by Varex12
Originally posted by AsalzSy
Originally posted by Varex12
Originally posted by AsalzSy
Originally posted by Yamota
Yeah the questing is incredibly bland and there is almost no class customization. But the combat, specially againts those big ass monsters, are so damn good. I played ESO before returning to TERA and it puts ESO in shame when it comes to PvE combat.
all i see in that video is attack/heal/spacebar with unlimited mana..now go do the same in Eso with elite mobs at skull areas without watching your mana/stamina/block/dodge & in the 1/3 of the fight you will be pretty much dead meat..bigger monsters doesn't make the combat better imo..

for me eso combat is better because of the management of resources such as mana, stamina,ultimate, block ,dodge,active buffs & light/heavy attacks..but that's me..

I like ESO, and I thought the combat was decent, but ESO combat doesn't hold a candle to TERA.  It's not even close.  

faster maybe yes but better i just don't see it & i bet if the op close the eyes & put random skills in the same video he will take down the mob again without even trying..

Not sure you know how BAMS operate.  I can promise you that closing your eyes, or using random skills, will have you dead within 10 seconds.   Guaranteed.   

Those BAMS are more difficult than any non-boss mob in ESO.   And the beauty of the combat system is that they are still capable of being soloed IF you are very good at your class and you can maintain focus for anywhere from 3-10 minutes.  A single mistake gets you killed.  But a player well-versed in their own class mechanics and the tendencies of the BAM can solo it.  In other words, skill trumps RNG.

If that's not the definition of a great combat design, I don't know what is.

 

 

To me doing the same stuff for several minutes to just kill one BAM was challenging when I was learning the rotation - once you learn the BAM's moves  - it's easy to know what to do (when to dodge, block attack etc....), and then it's just routine execution.

My issue remains on how long it takes to kill them - it's far too slow for my tastes.

If they reduced the TTK to 45seconds to 90seconds tops - it would be a lot more enjoyable *for me*, again I only speak for myself.

Kano is right.  The BAMs are decent fights and the margin of error is small but they still follow a pattern.  Each class comes up with a few alternate tactics for the situations that a particular BAM presents.

 

You then execute those things over and over and over ad nauseum.  If the TTK were lower then the margin or error and tight management would make the fights intersting.  Since they can be quite long it goes from interesting to tedious.

Things can be both tense and tedious.  Unfortunately doing the same things over and over for 5 minutes straight becomes quite tedious.  Even if it is still tense due to the margin of error.

 

This and the linear progression of the "combo" are TERA two biggest weaknesses in character fighting gameplay.  The action style itself and the BAMs themselves are considerably better than most games when narrowly focused.  Its pretty night well made in that regard.  But after a while you realize a basilisk jump straight up into the air for a bodyslam after giving a certain visual queue and for you class you come up with a response.  When you need to do this 10 times in a row and grind it out on 20 mobs, it gets pretty old even if you need to be on top of things in each fight.

See what real RPG games really are, play a MUD:

 

http://wiki.lostsouls.org/Main_Page

 

Me, I am playing various other real RPGs like Divinity OS and Wasteland2.

 

The fact is MMORPGs are bad RPGs who have nothing except power left to them and power gaming gets old.  Even the orignal MMORPGs were poor RPGs compared to the MUDs they decended from, and the trend has only become more pronounced over the years even worse they are completely formulaic, even the skill based ones all do skills the same.

 

That MUD I linked I used to play in the mid to late 90s. They have radically changed the game since then, although I still recognize a number of things.  They aren't afraid to try stuff because they got no reason to be afraid. 

Originally posted by Blaze_Rocker
Originally posted by gestalt11

Can someone give me a real world fight situation in any part of history where one or a few people played the "tank" for a number of other people.

 

You won't be able to name any because its never happened.  To be sure there are defensive formations, but in those everyone is part of whatever that tactic is (shield wall, pike formation etc.).

 

You will be able to find many rather specific "answers" to the OPs question, but the more overall answer is that it unnatural and therefore assinine those other "answers" are all just symptoms of that.  Tanking "works" by destroying other game mechanics its inherently a bad design.

 

In reality what should happen in something like a, let's just abritrarily pick the number, 25 man raid is that 15 people should create a shield wall/phalanx formation with multiple lines where a back line fighter can take the place of a front line fighter who is tired or injured  and this should be at a choke point.  This is your "tank" and then various ranged fighters and possibly various support should then operate behind them.

 

In other cases once something engages with a fighter it should have a hard time disengaging without risking mortal danger.  At the same time it almost impossible for one person to keep 2 people tied down if those 2 people have any idea what they are doing.  When I get into a fight with 3 people the danger is not (initially) that 3 people are hitting me.  The danger is that I cannot protect myself at all angles simultaneously.  MMORPGs do not work this way, although they make some attempts at positional stuff.

 

There is a reason in real life why someone does not just run past you and start attacking your friend behind you.  Its because they will have exposed their back and you will stab them and kill them in a very very short amount of time.  Exposing your back is a big no-no in real fighting.  All competent fighters avoid this at all costs, even with armor.  Really especially with armor because the weakness of armor is the exposed parts and a nicely setup run at someone's back is your best chance to get to a sweet spot.

 

In real life the "threat" is what will happen if you do certain things.  Not how many times I hit them or how many times I insulted their mother.  If I engage a single person with my sword.  They do not continue the engagement with me because I hit them with my sword.  They continue even if they don't want to because if they don't the consequences are disasterous for them.

 

Thus as you can see the mechanics of tanking are almost exactly backwards from how they would in fact work.  And in real life you don't tank rather it is the mechanics of engagements themselves.  It is simply the natural consequences of violence that keep two fighters stuck to each.  Nothing more, nothing less.

You said it. Congratulations.

 

Now I'm going to say it. MMORPGs are not real. They are games. As games they do not have to operate like the real world. We play them because we "like" how they don't operate like the real world. It's all fantasy and we enjoy that fantasy very much.

As per the title of this thread "Why are tanks hard to get?" I guess that would depend on the game. When I use to play City of Heroes tanks weren't all that hard to find because they were fairly popular. However...sometimes they were hard to get because of that popularity as they were in demand because of their damage absorbing/deflecting abilities, and once they reached the low 40's they were really getting powerful. The saying "A good tank is hard to find" was often quite true because the best tanks were always busy; either soloing or successfully running teams.

As for teaming with a tank, all the finer points have already been discussed adequately. It requires knowledge, learning and understanding. You learn how an archetype operates by watching another play them, you learn what they need by watching and listening and then you understand first hand by playing one yourself and you see how other archetypes play with you. If you're not willing to listen, learn and understand then you're not ready to team with others.

( Patience helps too.  )

You missed the point.  Congratulations.

 

Of course games do not have to work exactly like the real.  In fact it would be utterly impossible to make current MMORPGs come anywhere close to the complexity of true combat.

 

The thing you are missing is that design wise they have made something exactly backwards from a known working system.  This generally results in a system that doesn't work.  Even worse that working system is something human are hard and soft wired and conditioned to through thousands of years of the natural world.

 

Its like making an MMORPG where you can only run when you move backwards.  Sure you can do it.  But its stupid.

Can someone give me a real world fight situation in any part of history where one or a few people played the "tank" for a number of other people.

 

You won't be able to name any because its never happened.  To be sure there are defensive formations, but in those everyone is part of whatever that tactic is (shield wall, pike formation etc.).

 

You will be able to find many rather specific "answers" to the OPs question, but the more overall answer is that it unnatural and therefore assinine those other "answers" are all just symptoms of that.  Tanking "works" by destroying other game mechanics its inherently a bad design.

 

In reality what should happen in something like a, let's just abritrarily pick the number, 25 man raid is that 15 people should create a shield wall/phalanx formation with multiple lines where a back line fighter can take the place of a front line fighter who is tired or injured  and this should be at a choke point.  This is your "tank" and then various ranged fighters and possibly various support should then operate behind them.

 

In other cases once something engages with a fighter it should have a hard time disengaging without risking mortal danger.  At the same time it almost impossible for one person to keep 2 people tied down if those 2 people have any idea what they are doing.  When I get into a fight with 3 people the danger is not (initially) that 3 people are hitting me.  The danger is that I cannot protect myself at all angles simultaneously.  MMORPGs do not work this way, although they make some attempts at positional stuff.

 

There is a reason in real life why someone does not just run past you and start attacking your friend behind you.  Its because they will have exposed their back and you will stab them and kill them in a very very short amount of time.  Exposing your back is a big no-no in real fighting.  All competent fighters avoid this at all costs, even with armor.  Really especially with armor because the weakness of armor is the exposed parts and a nicely setup run at someone's back is your best chance to get to a sweet spot.

 

In real life the "threat" is what will happen if you do certain things.  Not how many times I hit them or how many times I insulted their mother.  If I engage a single person with my sword.  They do not continue the engagement with me because I hit them with my sword.  They continue even if they don't want to because if they don't the consequences are disasterous for them.

 

Thus as you can see the mechanics of tanking are almost exactly backwards from how they would in fact work.  And in real life you don't tank rather it is the mechanics of engagements themselves.  It is simply the natural consequences of violence that keep two fighters stuck to each.  Nothing more, nothing less.

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