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All Posts by DoktorTeufel

All Posts by DoktorTeufel

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Setting aside the fact that Blizzard tries to change and evolve World of Warcraft to suit what their players seem to be asking for — as opposed to SoE, who ignored their entire player base and destroyed Star Wars Galaxies in an attempt to clone World of Warcraft and cash in — all I take from this is that it's a lot easier to provide customer service for a few hundred thousand customers (whom you desperately need to keep) than it is for tens of millions of people.


Basically, Blizzard's customer base is gigantic and constantly growing; they can't keep up. SOE's customer base is small and constantly shrinking, so it's much easier for them.


And finally, I'd rather be annoyed by a GPU problem than have the entire game destroyed.



Originally posted by Saerain

Because it's the only form in which you can play anything resembling an RPG with friends anymore. As soon as MMOs showed themselves profitable, multiplayer RPGs disappeared for some reason, whilst FPS and RTS multiplayer functionality continued progressing.


Multiplayer RPGs were supplanted by MMORPGs because, with MMORPGs, you not only get box sales for both the initial product and its expansions, but also hundreds of thousands (or millions) of customers paying a monthly fee. Yes, it takes manpower and resources to maintain and develop an MMORPG over time, but the subscriptions pay for that and also turn a profit.

Originally posted by paulscott

Secondlife can be pretty fun if you have a computer/art skill to back it up.


Exactly this. If you don't have either of these qualities (I don't; mathematics, science and English studies are my strong suits), you're a second-class citizen, and that's putting it lightly. Your only recourse is to do silly in-game jobs for chump change, or buy stuff for real-life money.


It's understandable, but I for one am not going to enter a world where I'm disadvantaged from the get-go by not having a marketable skill set.

I'm almost 100% certain it will be pay-to-play. It's going to be a persistent world (connected to EVE) requiring dedicated servers, regular maintenance, and support staff. Then again, Guild Wars has servers and support staff and is F2P, so you never know.

Originally posted by whpsh

The whole purpose of the ADA is not to keep people out because you don't think they'll enjoy it, but to allow a minority access to things that they may (or may not) enjoy. It's the same logic that is applied to all legistlation to protect minorities. You're logic is like requiring minorities to pass a complex literacy test back in the day. I'm sure they didn't feel like minorities could fully appreciate voting either and used that as an excuse to deny them.

And I can't imagine that it is really that difficult to include some basic features (like font size changes) that would allow for any reasonable person to agree that at least SOME effort was made. And obviously there ARE disabled people that desperately want to play or there wouldn't be WoW add-ons as were listed as an example. You start adding the social gathering aspect of an MMO and then throw in real money and it gets really close to specifically denying a person an opportunity to make revenue because they are disabled.


Look, I doubt anyone here is biased against blind people, or disabled people in general... I'm certainly not. It just seems unreasonable to expect that companies offering a primarily visual medium (many MMORPGs can easily be played with the sound off) should be required to go to extraordinary lengths so that people who can't even see (or very nearly can't see) can use their service.  


It's not about minorities. Blind people are missing a fundamental human sense. If I were blind, I'd simply accept that the entire world won't alter every product to cater to my needs. To me, that's a lot like people who are allergic to peanuts expecting the entire world to protect them: if you're deadly allergic to a bog-common food product, you really ought to prepare all of your own food carefully from unprocessed ingredients or something along those lines.


It's not discrimination, it's asking people to expend resources and take extraordinary measures to cater to 1/10,000 of the population. You can't expect a company to keep every single person with a rare disability in mind when they create a product (at least in my opinion; I know others don't share that opinion).

Perhaps so, Einherjar, but the fact remains: The law is the law, whether or not it was designed with the Internet in mind. Until the law is changed, it still applies as written, and it certainly overrides EULAs, because a contract that contradicts the law isn't binding. There's no provision for waiving laws simply because you (and/or MMORPG developers) don't think it's appropriate for said laws to apply to online services.


Trying to aim in console first-person shooters is a lot like waving around a ten-foot pole with a sack of bricks tied to the far end.

Originally posted by Lansid
Originally posted by Kyleran

Antiquated law that applied more to physical hard goods where its a bit easier to define what sufficient quality/utility should be for an item.

Be hard to prove an MMORPG didn't deliver the proper gaming experience.


Stranger things have happened...

and that's in California.




Okay, maybe this is just me, but I feel like some products and services (movies, graphic games, artwork, etc.) just aren't going to be enjoyable for blind people, and no one should be forced to bend over backwards to alter products or services with a crucial visual element to accommodate the blind.

Originally posted by StealthBomb 

Let me explain. It's true that in relatively short order you can gain access to powerful ships and weapons. However, what you will not have is all the other skills that maximize their potential. Simply qualifying for a given class of ship is not the same thing as having level 5 skills across the board in engineering, electronics, gunnery, and the other trees that squeeze more and more performance out of that ship and its equipment. So while you may have yourself a battleship that's just like mine, I have level 5 in every skill that could possibly affect the performance of the ship and its gear. We are therefore functionally, if not in fact, not flying the same ship at all.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or doesn't do well with math. X% more power here, Y% more damage there, Z% higher firing rate over there, N% higher damage resistance bonus over yonder... it certainly adds up to a tremendous advantage which is difficult to deny. All you have to do is examine the skill tree and break out a calculator, which is helpfully included in the UI.


Exactly right. Skill level 5 takes longer to train than the first four levels combined (if I recall correctly; it's been two years). When people say, "You can be competitive within five or six months," they actually mean, "You can have almost all the skills you need for a given ship at level 4 within five or six months."


Getting all the skills you need to level 5 and maximizing your potential takes easily twice as long. And all those 5s do indeed make a significant difference in your performance, when taken as a whole.


I don't have EVEMon anymore, but I'd be interested to know how long it would take for a brand-new character to hit level 5 in all skills pertaining to a T2 interceptor, which of course also includes learning-type skills. Even with some reasonably affordable implants thrown in there to accelerate the process, I'm guessing it would take about a year.


And T2 interceptors are about the smallest "non-cannon fodder" ships available. Level 5 in all skills pertaining to motherships would take, what, two years? More? Plus, as I pointed out earlier, if you only have one account, that's all you'll be training in for that year (or two, if you're shooting for something bigger).


It just takes a while to properly update projected release dates. I made a joke thread about "all the games coming out in December" a couple of weeks ago, heh. 

The common response to this question is invariably, "It's never too late to start playing EVE."

There's a lot of truth to that, but it's not the whole truth. The fact of the matter is, you'll never catch up to people who've been playing the game for years in terms of skill points, you'll likely never reach the same ISK-earning potential the big boys have (unless they quit, but then there are smaller big boys waiting to take their place), and the opportunity to "get in on the ground floor" in nullsec space has long since passed. It's like the difference between the colonial U.S. and today's U.S.: There are still opportunities to be had today, but the land grabs, gold rushes and new "angles" to discover have gone the way of the buffalo.

It's certainly true that if you focus all of your skills on one area, you'll be able to properly compete in that field of expertise within a matter of months... as long as you don't set your sights too high, that is. If you want to fly a mothership or anything bigger/more advanced than a battleship, you're going to be waiting a long time, and your choice of what to do while you wait will be limited (see below).

If you spend a few months mastering all the skills required to fly a T2 interceptor properly, for example, you're not going to get any better at mining, trading (there are skills for that), running missions, research, production, reconnaissance, hauling (with large cargo ships), corporate administration, or really anything else for that matter. I mean, you can technically do those things at a beginner level, but your character's going to really suck at them (and not be able to compete with specialists or earn much money) until you've got the interceptor training done and out of the way.

Basically, if you want to do more than one thing at a time in EVE as a new player, you'll have to buy multiple accounts at full price.

Even so, I still highly recommend EVE and consider it a fantastic game. But, the full range of activities the game has to offer takes a LARGE spread of skill points to meaningfully participate in. That's my #1 problem with the game to this day. It's great to have specialists and inter-dependency in an MMORPG, but I personally think the game gets incredibly boring after a while until you have enough SP (or enough accounts) to do a wider range of activities.

Unless you become a pirate, that is. Piracy is an end, a means and a full-time exciting profession in and of itself. If you have spunk and a good head on your shoulders, and aren't afraid to take risks, you can join a good pirate corporation after just two or three months as a tackler or similar. If not for piracy, I would have retired from EVE long before I did. 

November 15, 2005... it's been over four years now. I left the game that day, did not pass go, did not collect $200. I said a simple, drama-free goodbye to all online guild mates and friends, logged out in my house on Tatooine, canceled my account, and uninstalled the client.


But there's hope.

Yeah, personally I think EQ2 has awful art direction, and the graphics engine in general is simply terrible. It sucks up a ludicrous amount of system resources to deliver rather bland and muddy graphics, or it did when I tried the game a year or so ago. My PC's no slouch, either: It can handle new first-person shooters on high settings with smooth frame rates, not to mention newer, much better-looking MMORPGs.

Regarding EQ2's art direction, I'd swear many of the character models look better in EQ1 (especially Froglocks), and the EQ2 armor sets just look mediocre, awkward and even silly in many cases. Here's a juxtaposition of an EQ2 "legendary" armor set and a FFXI "legendary" armor set (Lineage 2 would shame EQ2 even more):

Can you even look at that silly outfit and keep a straight face?

Of course, the art direction/graphics factors don't mean people shouldn't play EQ2, but they're definitely going to be off-putting to new players. Personally, I don't care about HIGH-TECH graphics, but I do care that the graphics used, no matter what year the game was made, don't look like crap by their very design.

Originally posted by tro44_1
Originally posted by johnmatthais
Originally posted by tro44_1

Whats NGE and what so bad that it did?

Only thing I remember SWG players screaming about was things like


"NO JEDI  !!!"

Which is probably what drove them away more than anything, from what I hear.


But wtf is that stuff?

Well, the pre-NGE Jedi was a "hero/alpha class," so called because Jedi were far more powerful than any non-Force Sensitive character. Earning the right to play a Jedi (called "hologrinding," though the exact method changed over time) was a laborious, difficult process shrouded in mystery. Even after you had a Force Sensitive slot unlocked, Force Sensitive characters were subject to harsh restrictions (like permadeath) and you had to skill them up very cautiously.


Of course, as the game aged, the process of acquiring Jedi became more and more demystified, leading to everyone and their brother and their dog attempting to grind up their own Jedi. And of course, SWG is an MMORPG, so generally the players who wanted Jedi the most desired them for their power in PvP, in order to "faceown" and "roflstomp" and "pwn" other players. Just imagine an immature Darkfall player, and you have a good idea of the sort of people playing a fair number of Jedi in SWG's early years. Obi-Wan Kenobi they certainly weren't.


Also, I disagree with johnmatthais: Jedi were a real problem pre-NGE that needed to be addressed somehow, but ultimately the NGE was far worse for the game as a whole and for the player base in general. It also screwed over anyone who had worked hard to earn their Jedi.

Originally posted by Lansid

Now if you use hybrid classes, it blurs the line a bit more. So if everyone is a tank, do you go after the tank/mage or tank/healer? But by that point in time, if you have a viable hybrid, more often than not you will have a viable solo class, which steps further away from group mechanics. *shrugs*

The only way solo classes are viable is if the monsters are stupid and easily predictable, and probably not very numerous either. I mean, I've never heard of solo SWAT officer, or a solo Navy SEAL. My point is simply this: Sure, if player characters are mostly hybridized, they'll all be able to solo — solo one or two normal enemies, that is. But they will need companions to explore locations where enemies are thicker on the ground.

Left 4 Dead 2 is a perfect example of this concept. No, there aren't any stats in that game, BUT: All four Survivors can solo any enemy in the game, one-on-one. Hell, they can solo scads of enemies. But against larger groups of zombies (especially with "boss" zombies mixed in that require cooperation to defeat), you're not going to be soloing anything.

And so in a "L4D2"-like aggro-less/multiple enemies system, which may or may not be feasible in a non-twitch MMORPG, you could have groups like these that are perfectly viable:

* A team of hybrid characters whose skills are all focused on DPS. They kill quickly, but if they let their guard down, it's easy to become toast.

* A team of hybrid characters whose skills are all focused on tanking (and probably "knockback" or something to go with it). They kill more slowly, but they also take more damage, giving them more time to react to situations without getting screwed.

* A team of hybrid characters whose skills are all focused on healing. A lot like the all-tank group, except with fewer side perks, probably kill even slower, but a low chance of dying/wiping.

* Any mix of the above, possibly also including crowd control.

What you would NOT have is this:

* A character doing any sort of difficult content solo.

Indeed, there's no truly solid definition for "AAA"... most people understand the term well enough, but it's hard to pin down precisely if you ask for a definition. On a related note, the exact same is true of the term "indie" — people understand what it means, but the exact definition of what separates "independent" developers from others is hard to pin down. Technically speaking, Blizzard is "independent," because they don't answer to anyone but themselves. They just have a shitload of cash and employees.


EDIT: "AAA" is not an official rating, like "R" or "PG-13" or "four stars." It's not a measurement of quality, even though it has CONNOTATIONS of that. "AAA" really just means "grandiose, heavily marketed and hyped project done by a large, established, professional group of developers" (though again, the exact definition is hard to pin down).

The Holy Trinity is founded on a basic premise: Enemies are incredibly stupid, and either stay in one small area or patrol in a predictable fashion. Once "pulled," the enemy or enemies can be made to exclusively attack one (or a few) high-defense, high-health characters. The healer classes can then efficiently heal the tank(s), while the DPS classes attack with calculated impunity.

It all boils down to dealing damage, mitigating incoming damage, and restoring lost health. Given the state of most MMORPGs today, there's really no way to escape from the Holy Trinity; and because it's such a basic concept, it's fairly hard for a game to escape the mold, even if it tries to innovate.

In my opinion, one possible solution would be to improve AI behavior — making it more unpredictable (perhaps they run and hide, take cover, etc.) and removing the concept of aggro — and avoid giving monsters gigantic health and attack scores. If content requires a group, it should be because there are multiple enemies, not a few strong ones. That doesn't mean there can't be any strong monsters, mind you, just not FFXI-caliber ones that are very difficult to kill one-on-one.

Another solution would be to simply standardize "hit points" among both players and monsters, so that there's no such thing as a tank, and perhaps also remove instantaneous healing options. There would still be some HP variance, and you'd still be able to increase your stats, improve your skills and whatnot, but just like in real life, the idea would be to kill your opponent without getting hit at all, or at least not much. Dodging, taking cover, and perhaps body armor would be skills available to all. Unfortunately, this is really only possible in an action MMORPG, which might not be a bad idea actually.

It's a tough question with no easy answers.

But the problem, john, is that you took my statement — which was made in the context that we're discussing a certain class of games here, i.e., released games that warrant at least a blip on the radar — and attacked and insulted me for daring to omit the titles you mentioned in my statement (a statement I issued only to make a point).

I didn't leave them out on purpose to spite you or them (except for Darkfall). And you were wrong, because I have heard of them, though indeed I didn't remember half of them until you reminded me. But, I'm not going to list every super-niche indie title in existence every time I make a post about sandbox MMORPGs on this site.

So just chill out. I'm not saying those games are trash and not worth looking at, but you do need a certain critical mass of public awareness and player population to count when we are discussing effects on the genre as a whole! A small, unknown game with 20-100 players online has NO BEARING on the topic of this thread.



I'm a big supporter of independent games, too. But if a sandbox game is unreleased, has a tiny player base (i.e., not really "massive"), and/or it's not even an actual RPG, I'm not going to give it much consideration when posting about RELEASED... MASSIVELY multiplayer... online ROLE-PLAYING games. I'm sorry if that pisses some people off, but that's just the way it is.



Originally posted by johnmatthais
How the hell do they not count? What are you, an idiot? You asked for sandboxes that came out after 2003 and I gave them to you.


Ah, an angry, rude, drag-the-thread-off-topic troll... my favorite.

I didn't "ask" for any and all sandbox MMORPGs that were released post-2003. I made a mistake, that mistake being: I didn't blatantly specify that unreleased sandbox MMORPGs and incredibly obscure sandbox games with 20-100 users logged in concurrently don't count. I was making a point, not an irrefutable statement of fact. But you scraped the bottom of the barrel to find any and all online-enabled, vaguely sandbox games in existence to prove me wrong.

Face of Mankind just entered open beta YESTERDAY. I'm sorry, but I don't read the entire game list all the way through once per day. As well, Rise isn't even classed as an MMORPG, on its own homepage or in its own Wikipedia entry.

Now, you can continue raging and hurling venomous insults all you want. I don't really care, because I'll be ignoring you from here on out. We need to get back on topic. Just know that I'm talking about released, notable sandbox games like SWG, EVE, UO, and Ryzom (not just SWG as you claim), not unreleased titles or obscure, experimental titles that may not even fit the MMORPG genre.

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