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All Posts by SBE1

All Posts by SBE1

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256 posts found

I disagree with this article saying that players are to blame for lack of sand-box games.  The issue is that themepark MMOs are much easier to develop than a good sand-box.  Furthermore, sand-box MMOs have failed because they usually have FFA PvP, which is a niche market.  Other PvP games have failed because of imbalances in classes between factions and imbalances in population between factions.  This has led to developers shifting towards PvE storytelling that is upcoming in Star Wars. 


What people want is a sand-box game that isn't FFA PvP, has 3+ factions to balance out population issues in consentual PvP areas and nearly identical classes for each faction to eliminate class imbalances.  The only company currently developing a game close to this is GW2, whereby 1 server fights 2 other servers in open-world PvP zones.   I would suggest that the future of MMO development is either going to be if Star Wars can maintain a solid player population 1 year after launch or can Guild Wars 2.   I'm sure Star Wars will sell a lot of boxes, but I question the replayability of a game that is story based.  Furthermore, I have no idea how in the world PvP could possibly be balanced in Star Wars when you have force using players potentially fighting non-force using players.  Finally, the scoundrel is the healing class in Star Wars????  Strange things going on at Bioware.

Yep, making it a monthly fee essentially made this console game an MMO by default.  As a stand-alone console game with the amount of content and other issues, it probably would qualify as a success.  The game provides probably 30-40 hours of satisfactory gameplay, which is standard issue for most console games of average quality.

However, the moment you add the monthly fee to the game, it takes on a whole new requirement.  A game that charges a monthly fee should provide 200+ hours of enjoyment IMO.  It must be a game where one wants to log in a few times each week for at least 3-6 months.  This game fails on every level in that regard.

I know I'm repeating myself on this last point here, but the review of DCUO by almost all "professional" reviews simply decided to review the game as a console game, rather than as an MMO.  They found the fun of the console game refreshing (as if they never have played a console game before) and gave it a very high rating.  I couldn't believe it because there was no way this game offered 200+ hours of content.  With MOST people (not just the hard-core crazyfolks each game tends to attract) hitting max level in a week and then complaining of lack of content, plus the fact that communication was so difficult with the UI (another basic requirement for an MMO), plus the fact that monthly content updates were only promissed (and now are no longer monthly, go figure) and bugs that were present in beta found there way into production just really amazed me that so many people gave this game a glowing review.  As a console game, it's fine (maybe average to above average); as an MMO game its definately below average, and that is confirmed by the servers becoming a ghost town 1 month into the game.

I really hope staff takes another look and re-reviews DCUO, and this time reviews the game as an MMO and not as a console game.  It's not just, as many people did it but this is where I come for information on MMOs, not on console games.  I also hope staff stops giving every single MMO game a 7.5-8.7 final score, as it makes it nearly impossible to figure out if a game is good or bad in their opinion.

The Scoundrel is the healing class of the republic.   Once that was made clear, I was pretty sure this game will fail.  This is nothing more than a story played with others, and once the PvE story is over, that's it.   maybe you re-roll and try to find another story as republic/sith alternative, but replayability will be terrible.

How in the world do they expect to make balanced PvP in a game with as many soul combinations?  I forsee lots of nerfs/buffs for at least the next 6-12 months in this game.  As a PvP enthusiast, I have hesitated in purchasing this game because I don't want to level a combination that I think will work well in PvP only to get nerfed and having to restart another combination.

Either create high quality games that people will pay for, or go out of business and/or reduce your staff.  I neither feel good nor bad for anyone, as this is simple economics.  Blizzard isn't announcing major layoffs for a reason.....

Anyway, there are too many SOE games lately that have bombed.  What do you expect?  Make games that people want and buy, and you wouldn't have layoffs.  Pretty simple.  Keeping people employed for just the sake of keeping them employed is silly.  I hope these people can go and find jobs making games that people (including me) enjoy playing in the future rather than wasting time working on games that suck.

May I suggest a "revised" rating system for MMORPG.COM by adding a few more ratings:

1) Have a rating for PvE quality (rated by someone who actually likes PvE, which I believe is the majority of staff).

2) Have a rating for PvP quality (rated by someone who actually likes PvP, which I believe is the minority of staff).

3) Have a rating for innovation

4) Have an overall rating for game satisfaction/graphics/polish/etc. (similar to the rating you have now).

Personally, if a game was poor in PvE but fantastic in PvP, that would be great for me but terrible for others.  Furthermore, I suspect the rating for PvE and innovation could be done rather quickly, with the PvP rating and overall satisfaction rating coming on later on after more extensive gameplay.  Trying to write a review for the game with limited time in PvP and/or endgame content is just not realistic.  I know you try to get th reviews out quickly, but you sacrafice too much in quality to get it out quickly.

With almost all MMORPG review scores between 7.5-8.7, I guess this is one of the better games.  I still wish you guys would make a greater distinction between good games and bad games.  AION got an 8.7 upon initial review, then an 8.0 on re-review (which said the game had improved, laugh).  So, again I wish you had some type of formal numerical score. 

Aside from that, I wish we could here a bit more about the endgame.   It appears from the reviews that you don't want to go through the grind again of leveling, so hence most of the game is likely to be spent at endgame content, which is either raiding or PvP.  I'm personally more interested in PvP, and unfortunately it seems that Rift is destined to be an unbalanced game, which is unfortunate but predictable.  My guess is that after about 3-4 months, players will figure out which are the FOTM builds and that's about all you will see going forward.

Okay, I have a MAJOR pet peeve with your re-review.  You said in your introduction "By and large Aion of today is a much better game than it was at launch"

Note that your final re-review score is 8.0, whereas the initial review of the game was 8.7.   WTF? Either your current score is incorrect or the previous score was too generous.  I'm going to assume the previous score was way too generous.   

I'll tell you what the problem is....go and look at the review scores you give almost all MMOs on this website, they are mostly 7.5-8.5, with a rare MMO coming in lower than 7.5.  In essence, 8.0 would be "average" if scored on a curve.  I know I've posted on other threads about the poor scoring of MMO ratings, and I think you guys/gals need to re-think how you do ratings.  I mean, your first paragraph saying it's better than it was at launch and then giving it a lower score than you did at launch review pretty much summarizes the issues.  And please, don't tell me the standards are now different just one year later.  I will admit the difficulty in getting a "full" review done in an MMO in a relatively short period of time (and the need to move on to review the next big MMO), as end-game content tends to be very important for MMOs.  Still, as a paid professional, that's par for the course in the job.

On the other hand, I do applaud you going back and reviewing a somewhat popular MMO game.   I just wish the review scores had a greater variance so I could truly tell what MMO you like and what MMO you don't.  Right now with all the scores bunched together, it is hard to tell. 

Finally, I did play AION at launch and it was a good game, but the grindfest was unbelievable and like a lot of PvP end-games with just 2 factions (NPCs don't count, regardless of what NCSoft says) the losing side eventually quit and the server population dropped dramatically.   I have since sworn off MMO games with 2-faction PvP for end-game content.  Waiting on GW2 for 3-way server fights. 

Simple fact that 3-sided conflict insures that whenever one faction gets the upper hand, the other 2 can usually smack them down in time.  If you have 4-5 factions, it becomes nearly impossible for one faction to get the upper hand, so they don't even bother trying.  So, 3 seems to be the perfect number because any one faction usually can get their act together and dominate (for a time). 

It amazes me how many games have just moved to a 2-faction system and failed.  AION tried to include PvPvE (1 faction was NPC) and that didn't really work.  WAR was 2-faction and that stunk.

GW2 seems to be doing the right thing by doing the 3-server fights.  Keeps balance issues a bit in check as everyone has access to the same classes plus promotes server pride.  Hope it works.



Apple is the sux.


This game is nothing more than the standard MMO with tank/healer/dps mechanic, except it has a star wars graphic overlay combined with a mandatory story line that you can't get away from.

Smuggler as the primary healer.  Laugh.  Sorry, that's just so funny I don't know what else to say.

A game review by a person employed by the developer of the game turned out to be a scam?  While perhaps a tad unethical, nothing shocking really.  What I get upset about more is "official" critical reviews that seem to be very biased or just ill informed. There have been too many positive reviews of recent MMOs in the past few years that failed (as defined by massive declines in population rather quickly).  

The issue a lot of people haven't talked about with this type of gameplay is the affect of lag in large-scale PvP battles.  How will this much movement work in a 30 versus 30 fight (a typical small zerg encounter)?  Will characters who depend on lots of movement be effective?   Hard to know right now, but that's one concern I have about a class like this.



If GW2 succeeds as an MMO (I hope it does), it will finally break the theory that all MMOs have to be similar to WoW to make money.  I then believe over the course of the next five years we can see new MMOs that simply don't re-hash WoW gameplay. 

Breaking the trinity of tank/healer/dps is almost too difficult for most MMO players to understand (myself included) how the game will be played.  Having servers fighting each other instead of factions (and fighting a 3-way battle similar to DAOC) is a great idea.  I hope we see more of this going forward.

I really hope this game delivers.  Otherwise we are doomed to WoW clones for the next 5-10 years. 

While I like the fact that the game play quests didn't feel like quests, I believe a lot of this was covered in videos from the game last year.   Still, a first hand experience is nice to hear. 

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