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All Posts by Elmoren

All Posts by Elmoren

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33 posts found

Looking for a US Scroll, would be greatly appreciated.  PM me, and thanks!

Headline says 150, article says 125. GG copy editing.

Every class has a 'hook' or 'build' if you prefer, some even have two (or even three).  They aren't hard to figure out if you're looking to PVP.  If you stray from the synergy of a class' abilities and try to throw random things together, you will ( and SHOULD ) fail miserably at whatever you're trying to accomplish.

With the exception of one class, everything in this game has a viable build.  It may not fit the role you like (Your healer can not solo other classes, and its not supposed to), but they all have a place in a PVP scenario.

Likewise for PVE, solo and group play. 

 

Don't be upset because your build didn't work out.  Try something new, or ask someone who seems to be doing it right (the forms work as well).  But don't come crying that the game is unbalanced.  These are role based classes with few true hybrid 'builds' - and thats exactly how they intended it.

So I double post everything from my site onto forums - if you haven't come across any of it until now; feel free to just go ahead and read the article below, and/or head over and check out the original posting along with the many, many other features I've written. 

Star Wars: The Old Republic - First Impressions (Part 1 - The Good)

 

Bioware - I had so many expectations going into this game.  I intentionally ignored the beta hoping that I wouldn't come into a world filled with nonsensical bugs and poor thought out mechanics.  But here we are.

I'm going to break this one up into three posts, divided by the usual review style. 

The Good

The general story line of all the characters flows well, and is clearly well thought out.  I still find myself skipping over filler, but I am genuinely intrigued at parts and find myself playing for 10-15 minutes longer then intended just to find out what happens next and hit a comfortable breaking point in the story.  While not terribly predictable, there are some parts that could've used a little more development.  In Particular, there are a few parts in one of the quest lines where I believe I won't be the only one that sits back and wonders how many hard narcotics were being used the night certain parts of the story were written. 

Combat flows well - but it's an ability/cool-down based system.  There is nothing even close to innovative about the combat in this game, and thankfully they managed to implement it well and spared me one more thing to complain about.

Graphically the game is a perfect blend of quality and performance - I'd rate the game a 7 out of 10; the character models and effects need work, but the environments are great and display themselves fluidly - and that's more important then it sounds, many gamers will be able to run this game well without the need to upgrade and/or replace their systems entirely.

The space combat (Yes, really).  I started gaming young, and I realize most of the audience for SWTOR is probably around ~18 years old, and therefor do not remember games like Rogue Squadron(1998) and its subsequent sequels which are nearly identical to the space combat you experience in SWTOR.  I was thrilled when I saw they chose to implement it this way - it works perfectly as an almost mini-game/break from the action of a typical MMORPG.  The rewards are on par and are well worth the brief missions (most are completed w/cut-scenes in less than five minutes - they're on timers).

The experience curve is excellent.  You'll spend an adequate amount of time leveling your character to 50 (the current max level).  I'm currently 30 hours into the game, and I'm sitting at level 25.  Granted, I did a bit of experimenting and exploring, but all in all, I mostly plowed through my quests with ease, and I'm barely half way to the maximum level.

The companion system is a very intriguing idea, but comes across as kind of a cop out and a borrowed mechanic from other games.  This is listed in the 'good' section because Bioware implemented it well, and built a game around it.  The system makes sense and operates fluidly - and I like it.  But in a way, it's also a major problem as it encourages players to solo content instead of group with other players (decreasing the social aspect of MMORPG's) and to an extent becomes cumbersome once you acquire 2-3 companions (of which you can only have one follow you around at a time).  You now also need to manage multiple sets of equipment, one for you, and one for each companion (or at a minimum one for you and your favorite companion.  That gets tedious, but that's a personal preference I suppose.  I'm leaving the loyalty section out of this, see the bad section in part two.

The trade skill system is a refreshing change from the norm.  In SWTOR, you don't actually craft anything, your companions do.  You pick three 'crew skills'; one to manufacture the goods, and two to gather materials.  Everything's done via a mostly well thought out menu, and you can assign any number of companions to undertake tasks at the same time.  One can be crafting light saber hilts while the other forages for power crystals - all the missions and crafting segments are done on timers, so you know exactly how long it'll take, and how much crafting an item, or gathering the material for that item will cost you.

 

The Eve Conundrum
Jita (General) « EVE Online
12/12/11 10:02:25 PM

Nope, I'd love it if someone could apply the mechanics you're so fond of in Eve to other games, but it seems that most developers are addicted to money and success these days - so they pump out quest/equipment/raid grind unfinished MMO garbage to make a few bucks, then bail.

Originally posted by Beacker
Originally posted by Elmoren

As a result of the poorly optimized graphical engine, MANY (probably 95%) of the users experienced problems with their systems and the display of the game.  Most grew frustrated, but being a proud group of people, we played with our settings, downloaded and re-downloaded drivers, and tried to tough it out.  Most of us were unsuccessful in doing so for more then a few weeks.  Other frustrating elements existed, server downtime, odd NPC behavior, quests and crafting not working as intended (or at all), some stats not working, or being reflected.  The list goes on and on.  Murphy's Law states; "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."  With that in mind, I classify Vanguard as having a Murphy's Launch. 

 

95%?! Give me a break, why do you have to make up such an absurd number? Maybe you should fact check before posting such nonsense? You made the number up. I hate when people go and write something and then they have to put in bogus numbers.......

You probably hate when people write something and make up bogus numbers (which I didn't do), almost as much as I hate when idiots who call someone out and don't bother to back it up either. 

Absurd number?  Really?  Go look at the Vanguard tech forums, or even the support area in general, and look at how many posts (or count the individual posters, if you're that bored) there are regarding graphical/hardware problems.  Then reference it against their sales.  Won't be too hard to figure out that nearly 100% of the people playing Vanguard when it was initially released experienced issues to one degree or another.  I was being gracious, if anything, with the 95%. 

Sure, it got better.  Or did it?  Seems to me the game is still dead - and the gameplay itself isn't the issue.
 

 

Agreed, the lack of IP is definitely something that's helping it's survival. 

Planning to go more into the F2P versus Subscription model, and talk specifically to Vanguard and it's future in an update later this week.  If you've got the time, check back on my blog every once in awhile for updates about topics just like this one.  Should be interesting to see where Vanguard goes - like you, I hope it doesn't die outright.  But I just don't see it getting anywhere meaningfully after such a pitiful launch and the stigma now associated with it.  That's just the times we live in.

Let's pray I'm wrong, for Vanguard's sake.

The (shameless) plug to my own blog is http://balance-reviews.blogspot.com/  Hope you enjoy.

Thanks! 

If they sold it to the right, ambitions and well funded company - I'd say that's almost as much of a win/win as the game going free to play.  That company needs to be both experienced and well funded, as handing over a fully functional game is no joke - especially one like Vanguard which was developed by one studio, and subsequently taken over by another.  It's now a much more complicated code base with a steeper learning curve as a result.

Copied and pasted from my blog, which is receiving daily updates and covers everything from game reviews to general MMORPG and digital entertainment topics. 

Feel free to review leave feedback here, or on my site

 

Vanguard and the Road to Recovery

 

I feel like the title of this one is a bit misleading.  For anyone who was a part of the MMO scene in 2007 when Vanguard Launched, I'm sure you're already conjuring images of the absolute insanity that was the launch of this exceptionally high potential MMO.  For those that weren't, allow me to recap:

Vanguard had been publicized for years as generally awesome.  It filled a niche market - somewhere between hardcore gamer and casual MMO enthusiast, and offered multiple paths of character development incorporated with unique racial choices, innovative (for the time) spell and class selections, and unicorns.  What was eventually delivered was a buggy mess, quickly earning the game the nickname of Vanguard:  Saga of Crashes (It's actual title was Vanguard: Saga of Heroes).

As a result of the poorly optimized graphical engine, MANY (probably 95%) of the users experienced problems with their systems and the display of the game.  Most grew frustrated, but being a proud group of people, we played with our settings, downloaded and re-downloaded drivers, and tried to tough it out.  Most of us were unsuccessful in doing so for more then a few weeks.  Other frustrating elements existed, server downtime, odd NPC behavior, quests and crafting not working as intended (or at all), some stats not working, or being reflected.  The list goes on and on.  Murphy's Law states; "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."  With that in mind, I classify Vanguard as having a Murphy's Launch. 

As a result of Murphy's Launch, the game began to hemorrhage players immediately, and in doing so became part of the ever-growing club of video games launched by production companies far earlier then they should have been launched.

One might be asking how this happens so frequently.  Vanguard, while an infamous example, is far from alone in experiencing this.  The market is literally flooded with rushed titles these days - some have SOMEWHAT recovered from their poor launch - Age of Conan comes to mind.  Note the word 'somewhat' before recovered; the game will almost certainly never be what it could have been had they waited 6 months more to release it and actually delivered on what they promised.  Or at least what was printed on the box.

So why do games get released early.  As you can probably imagine - software development has a budget.  Failure to meet that budget usually falls into one of the following categories:

-Failure to correctly obtain a level of effort (time estimate) on how long all the parts of the development process will take.
-Failure to account for the potential (and certain) problems you will encounter during software development.
-Poor Project Management
-Inexperienced personnel attempting to 'be the hero' and take on an extensive task in an unreasonable time period.  This forces them to either learn at a rapid rate and attempt to wing it, or to rush (or both), which generally leads to disaster.
-Inadequate QA throughout the development process, resulting in a lot of people saying "Oh shit" when launch time comes around and there are for more bugs in the software then are feasibly manageable.

So much can go wrong with software development, as the above is really just a small subset of potential mishaps, but I'd generally commit to nearly 100% of the rushed-launch games that we're seeing went over budget as a result of the above and needed to be rushed out the door to compensate.

So where does Vanguard go from here?  A patch with some additional content was announced recently.  It doesn't seem like much - but it shows development effort in a game that hasn't seen a major update since January of 2010.  It's a good sign - pending the community responds accordingly.

You see, while Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) gives us an inch, they take a yard.  Vanguard currently has no way for returning players to hop back into the game unless they pay the monthly fee (~$14 if I remember correctly).  That hurts everyone, especially SOE - but they probably figure that that people that re-subscribe to check out the game will provide more funds then those that'll re-subscribe after a free trial.  I disagree in the long run, but in the end, they run a business, and have to do what's been best for them, historically.

What it really comes down to is the success of this patch.  If the community responds well, they might start sparsely supporting it.  If not, Vanguard will probably be shut down, and or made free to play.  Both are good possibilities.  Free to play might be the best thing for the game - but they've already stated adding an item shop into the game will be very difficult and time consuming.  It's more then likely that if the community remains sparse, and the game stays unpopulated, that we'll see Vanguard shut down by this time next year.

In the end, game publishers care about one thing.  It's not whether you like the game, hate the game, enjoy grinding, enjoy groups, enjoy instancing, PVP, PVE, raiding, or crafting.  It's whether or not you're paying for it.  I can't imagine many people are paying for Vanguard lately (forums more or less confirm that suspicion).  Which leads to my prediction that despite its diehard and loyal community, Vanguard probably won't see another Thanksgiving.  Which is a shame.

Vanguard, despite all it's past faults and a poor launch, is still nothing short of a great game.

Not the game for you - sorry, that's just how it is.  The pvp-anywhere, always be aware mindset that persists in Eve is what makes it great.  CCP already lost 20% of their employee's implementing worthless features and straying away from the core fundamentals and mechanics of the game.  It'll be a shame if they ever implemented something like what the OP suggests, and they lose the remaining 80% as well.

Level 58 druid with a few lower-level alts.  Interested in casually raiding weekdays (US or EU timezone, I'm flexible) and just generally gearing up and having fun.  How's fippy look these days?  It it busy enough and worth coming back to, or am I going to be disappointed if I re-sub?

Thanks in advance for the info.

Xsyon is a scam
General Discussion « Xsyon
11/29/11 6:08:21 PM

Wasn't ready at launch - this should be a lesson to all of us by now.  It's almost unreal how many times we hear "it'll be ready in a big patch on ______ or just after launch!" when in reality, all they're doing is buying time to gather your money before 99% of the developers out there stop caring or bothering.  As was clearly the example here.

It's called a honey pot.  We all should've known better.  Hopefully the remaining curious public don't fall into the same trap.

Kinda useless.


Re-downloading it now, hoping I find something worth while when I log in.  However two days since your post, over a weekend, and no replies here to this question says a lot in and of itself.

I can't imagine why the company in charge of these games is bothering to do anything except fix the games.  I guess people are allergic to success and money.

The game is quite frankly too small - you're doing the same thing at rank 1 that you do at every rank after it.  Sure, you get better guns.  Most do the same thing at different ranges.  Most 'pro' players will snipe you with a pistol then spray you down with an SMG. 

Two districts, running around, sometimes not shooting anyone - while you complete objectives for... more guns... to complete objectives with?  You see everything there is to see the first 10 hours of game play.

The game needs new missions, new types of play (Why is slayer or deathmatch not a queueable type on an appropriate map?  Are these people allergic to money or success?)

Missions are boring and repetitive, spawn positions make little to no sense at all, and consequently end up favoring the team that has more people on it.

Matchmaking is fun, however uneven teams in objective-based FPS games aren't fun when one team has an extra person to stand on a location with.

Hacking is nowhere near the problem it used to be. 

The lack of a developed controller support is inexcusable in a game released since 1995.

They can fix what the have now, and they have done an outstanding job of that.  However, the game as it currently exists needs to be expanded upon GREATLY, otherwise players will lose interest for better FPS's and move on quickly. 

It's fun, while it lasts - but that fun feeling quickly fades away due to the repetition and lack of variable game play.

With an older account, it'll take time for them to dig up the ban reason and respond to you.  You'll probably have to go through account recovery. 

If you did nothing wrong, you will be 100% fine, but it will take a few days.  If the person who screwed up the account lives in the same house (has the same IP) as you, you'll remained banned.

Out of curiosity, how's launch day going?

I love how everyone references Warhammer, like it's even a part of my title on here for any reason other then MMORPG.com's too lazy to upkeep their writers titles.  Especially since their writers haven't written for a site in over two years.

Warhammer's a POS.  As is this game.  It'll have its LOL'niche' crowd populate its one server for the two month free priod, then it'll get old and die due to bad mechanics and an inferior UI.  I'll be back when that happens to repost here and laugh.

Until then, enjoy that new car smell on the mmo of the week while you build your cities and swing wildly at each other and call it 'pvp'.  I got my $40 back.  You should too, but hey, my opinion is wrong apparently. {mod edit}

Originally posted by mrcalhou
Originally posted by Kyleran

It's your sort of thinking that leads developers to create every game along the lines of the formula made popular by WOW.  There certainly is room for games for smaller niche's of players a la EVE or several other smaller titles.

 

No, my opinion is that of games that are complete.  They hold basic fundamentals of software design present, and they do not cut corners or omit basic features in order to deliver a product in a rush and make a quick profit.  Don't bother arguing this, there isn't a counter argument.  The game is being rushed out the door, probably due to poor planning, so they can recoop some costs.  This is the first time this has ever happened in the industry.

I'm not INSISTING on anything.  I'm saying a little extra work (and some of the additions people complain about are literally MINOR additions) goes a LONG way.  They didn't produce this game for the hell of it, they need it to make money too.  Why limit your income by not putting a little pride in your work and doing things the right way.

This has amazing potential, as a whole.  It was poorly and hastily done, and will suffer tremendously.  Eve has a Niche Base, I played Eve for years, their fans are dedicated and concise in their opinions.  Eve is a complete game.  You won't find things unexplained, lacking tooltips or UI development, or generally leaving people completely in the dark.  The information is right there in the game ready for you to access.

What "Wow formula" are you talking about, anyway?  The formula of success?  Sorry for expecting someone developing a product to have finished it before marketing it.

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