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All Posts by lordoffiling

All Posts by lordoffiling

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28 posts found

I'm so tired of hearing "No, we don't need 'X' made into an MMO because they'd ruin it." I don't accept the premise of that argument.

For example, Mass Effect is one people always say that about. "Nooo, they'd screw it up!" Assume for a minute that Bioware learned its lesson with SWTOR and that they *wouldn't* screw up Mass Effect Online. Assume it was good. Does your answer change?

That's the power of Chris Roberts' name. Fans of his work back in the Wing Commander days are all grown up now, and have disposable income and a powerful thirst to return to his world. People think this is crazy but it's really not, all we are doing is investing in an idea put forth by a proven developer. People do it every day.

Ugh. The sheer amount of ignorance on display in this thread is sickening.


Women come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Fat, thin, tall, short, large breasts, small breasts, and everything in between. Men do too but we generally don't care if we can make a male avatar that accurately represents us. A lot of women do. Certainly not all, but a lot of them.


That having been said, it's also important to realize that universes in which everyone is the same height and girth tend to look stagnant. I posted about this before. The more I can make a character my own, the more I can tweak his appearance and abilities, the more likely it is that I'll want to hang onto him. Deep character customization generates longevity in the player base.

A good IP for an MMO, to me, has to have a few properties:


1) A strong sense of setting


2) Not too character specific


3) Factions, and a driver for conflict


So, a Terminator post-Skynet MMO would work, because that's a powerful setting. Yeah, you've got John Conner hanging around somewhere but the post-skynet setting is certainly not about him specifically. It's about humanity's struggle to survive. And I don't need to tell you about the factions and the driver for conflict. Robots that want to wipe out humanity make fine fodder.


The Dark Tower, on the other hand, doesn't work. It's far too focused on the Gunslingers, Roland specifically. The setting isn't the focus of the story, there are very few locations that are well described. Everyone would want to be a Gunslinger, because it seems no one else in the story was worth a damn. It just doesn't fit. It might make a good video game, but not this kind of video game.


A few good suggestions I saw up there were Dune (big open world, factions, a precious resource to contend over), Mad Max (same reasons), and I cannot believe I'm about to type this: Masters of the Universe. That's a suggestion that surprised the hell out of me as a great idea.


Hmm... Has anyone suggested Suikoden yet?

When people say "WoW clone" they are usually talking about one of three things:


1. Blocky, low-res, cartoony models for both characters and game objects


2. Push-button combat that includes a gazillion powers on multiple tray rows


3. NPCs that dispense "Go here, kill 10, come back, claim reward" type quests by the truckload


A true WoW clone has the trifecta. Games like Allods Online are true WoW clones. Most other games people call WoW clones only have two of the three. [mod edit]


WoW's blowout success and domination of the market has caused the genre to be set back almost a decade from where it ought to be. All of the game development taking place has been a variation on one of two themes: "Let's do what WoW is doing, except (insert thing)" or "Let's do what WoW is doing, only better." No one is saying "Screw WoW, let's do our own thing." Creativity and vision, remember those? It's impossible to have with the millstone of WoW's success hanging around the neck of the developers. Until they can get free of that millstone, no one is going to get off the bottom of the ocean.


I still play now and then.

Having admitted that, this game did serve an important purpose in the MMO industry, believe it or not. Companies are finally starting to realize, cloning WoW is a bad idea. Bioware came onto the scene and shouted, in the loudest most expensive voice possible, that adding the Star Wars brand and Grade A voice acting and cutscenes to a WoW clone does *not stop it being a WoW clone*.

And so finally, we're getting games like Neverwinter, with visceral, engaging combat. The sandbox is re-emerging. Games like Wildstar are trying new stuff. The message, at last, was received: Rehashing old gameplay over and over is done. The industry wants new ideas, and we're getting them.

This article is completely wrong. Those are *not* the reasons. The real reasons are as follows:

1) Every Quest In The Game Is Boring

Probably the most glaring problem with WoW is its boring quest structure. Thousands of quests to do, and every single one is some variation on "Go here, kill 10, come back, claim reward". Even a few of those types of quests are inexcusable. Filling your *entire game* with them is preposterous. They worked at the time for one reason: Because before WoW, there were no such thing as quests. No such thing as a quest journal, no such thing as goals. You had Ultima Online, you had EverQuest, you had Dark Age of Camelot, none of them really gave you much more to do than wander out into the middle no nowhere and kill stuff for no reason other than there was *nothing else to do*. WoW's quest system gave some structure to the mindliess killing grind. While that was an improvement at the time it was still nowhere near what it needed to be.

2) Push Button Combat is Boring

Pressing keys one through six on your keyboard in a repetitive twist of abilities is not fun gameplay. In addition, because maximum damage output relies on firing the abilities the moment their cooldowns end, the tendency is to stare at the buttons and play the UI, rather than observe the center of the screen, where all the quote-cool stuff-unquote stuff is happening. Combine boring combat with boring quests and what you've got is a game that is quite simply boring, all the way around.

3) It has set the MMO industry back a full decade

MMOs could and should be much more than they are. This genre of game still has vast and deep reserves of undiscovered potential. However, because WoW came along and dominated in what can only be the biggest case of "right place, right time" success since the discovery of crude oil, we had to suffer through no fewer than six years of every MMO that came out attempting to beat Blizzard at their own game and topple WoW by copying its boring combat and quest systems. This led to an overbloat of mediocre rip-offs and the coining of the term WoW clone. It's not a sour grapes term. If you play the UI rather than playing the game and every single quest involves going to a place, killing a set number of monsters, then returning to the quest giver to claim your reward, you're playing a WoW clone.

4) No Reinvestment

WoW brings in hundreds of millions of dollars per year. It reinvests a tiny, tiny fraction of those funds back into the game. Blizzard have more money than they know what to do with as a result of WoW, but when compared to how much it brings in versus how much and how often it expands, the impression one gets is that they're laughing all the way to the bank. Coasting is not impressive. The list of features that other, lesser games have that WoW doesn't is extensive, and when they are taxed with this observation at panels and interviews, the excuse given is that to add the requested feature would be too expensive. Would it really be so much to cut into their 3000% profit margin to add, say, player housing for example?

5) Did I mention it's holding back the industry?

There are other, better games out there that should be doing far better than they are, but they're not because WoW is still there, hoarding the would-be paying subscribers for themselves. People are either unwilling to pay another sub fee, or unwilling to leave WoW for all the hours they've invested in it. Like a giant tree in the woods that blots out the sun, killing smaller but superior trees before they can grow and improve the forest, WoW destroys potentially superior titles that have features and ideas that the industry needs, simply by being.

There you have it. The real list of reasons why people hate WoW, may it one day melt in a barrel of acid.

Silly to think they would do anything else. Same thing with WildStar. They'll go with the monthly fee and milk it as long as they can to recoup their development costs, then convert to a F2P model about a year after launch.

This is always the plan. Oh, they hope for a runaway success like WoW but they know that sort of lightning will never strike twice. So they sponge up those dollars for as long as they can and shift to the payment model that actually works in the current market once the puddle is dry.

Or, you know, you could make your quest objectives *interesting* instead of basing completion around killing monsters.


Just, you know, throwing that out there.

Originally posted by Razeekster
I am hoping they are hard at work on the game itself... Not sure why they need so much money.

The initial round of crowd funding was to shore up a gap in numbers. They were getting a certain amount from investors, it wasn't enough to make the game. The idea here is, if they can be *completely* crowd funded, they won't have to worry about the investors anymore. They can make their game decisions based on what they think the fans will like best rather than what they think will please the investors more.

Plus, more money means more resources means more product. The list of star systems we'll be visiting is already way higher than it was thanks to this effort.

Originally posted by Nanfoodle
This blows my mind. Blind trust the gaming community has is something we are going to pay for later I am sure. 

It's not really all that blind. Chris Roberts gave us Wing Commander 1, 2, 3, and 4. He gave us Starlancer and Freelancer. He gave us Privateer. We have every reason to trust him to make us a good game, so we back him.

Originally posted by Meriik

  I fear if this project succeeds, which at this point i think it will, then other mmo developers will be more inclined to make their games in Neverwinters image, thus destroying my beloved genre even further.  Anyway, just sharing my opinion, dont hate me too much!


Here's the thing, OP: Neverwinter doesn't have to succeed or fail for that to happen. Free To Play games are more likely to run in the black, budget-wise. The writing, as they say, has been on the wall for a long time now.

To put it the way Yahtzee did: "That ship has sailed, circumnavigated the globe, and returned to port laden with exotic spice."

Having said that, I'm still not seeing anything in this cash shop that would give me an unfair advantage over anyone. Can someone point me to something specific that is in the cash shop that is unbalancing?

I'll give the Cryptic guys this, they have some serious staying power. They've earned my respect for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is their ability to stand up to near-constant criticism and say, "We will not stop making games! We will not stop developing the games we have already made! And yes, we'll go right ahead and hire those poor guys from Paragon Studios and make our games better!" Here's hoping they hit the fairway at last with Neverwinter. Come on, guys, you can do this!

Can we interview him again in a few days? You know, after he's gotten some sleep and isn't running on his twenty-second cup of coffee.

Christ, look at it. His answers are nearly incomprehensible.

And that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

I'm a lifer for that game. Someone asked me whether I felt ripped off because it is going Free To Play. I said no, because the F2P people get a gaming experience that is far chopped down from what I get.

They basically get a glorified free trial to the game. I support this approach to MMORPGs, and I believe no MMO should launch without either a F2P option or a comprehensive free trial in place. These are games that you can neither take back nor trade in, you see, and since they offer vastly different experiences (don't laugh) you need to be able to determine for yourself whether they're right for you before you shell out the cash.

Originally posted by Elethon

What troubled me with CO was that the powers kept getting overhauls and it was too costly to respec into a worthwhile build. That aspect about this game made it completely unplayable for me.

Is anyone playing this that can tell me if it still feels like a beta?


 The answer to that would be no. The game is generally bug free and the retcon thing's pretty well in hand since Cryptic tends to pass them out like candy.

That said, it still suffers from the same problem all Cryptic games have: Nothing to do once you've done it all. Most MMOs have something for their endgame crowd to chew on. A good one will let you take part in epic battles that pit player versus player or player versus environment in a meaningful, world-changing way, something that's important for you to log on and do on a daily basis.

An OK MMO will have a PVP endgame that's fun to play, at least.

This MMO's PVP isn't really anything to write home about, and the world-affecting stuff I mentioned is nowhere to be found. So, you're left wondering, "What now?"

Actually I'm looking for an old ride.

We've begged and we've begged but we still have no mechanism to refit our old ships so that they can remain competitive at high levels.

Indeed, good for them!

Going Free-To-Play with DDO was a bold maneuver. They sunk a lot of time and money into converting it when they could have just hauled stakes and let it die. Now they've done the same with LOTRO and it's paying dividends again.

It's nice to see something other than the typical business model do well. Nice to see the underdog score a touchdown.

No shame in that. KotOR2 was fantastic. It just wasn't *finished*.

Let's not kid ourselves. Obsidian Entertainment has some serious game. They just need to learn to allow themselves enough time and money to finish and polish a product before they release it.

They had the same problem with Neverwinter Nights 2. Story-wise it made Bioware's first NWN offering look just sad. The characters were more fleshed out and interesting, the story didn't revolve around retrieving artifacts (first some monster parts, then evidence, then Words of Power), it was just better all the way around. Again, like with KotOR2, they just tripped at the finish line.

I will say that Chris Avellone appears to have dinner with the Grim Reaper every Thursday night, though. KotOR2's ending? "Hmm. How can we handle... aha! I'll take control away from the players via cutscenes and kill the characters I just spent a whole game making beloved." NWN2? "Hmm... I've got it! I'll squash everyone under falling rocks! They'll never see it coming!"

The man has a serious fetish for making his audience an emotional wreck.

"So the ladies really liked Bishop, eh? We'll just see about that! Let's see how they like him once he's *dead* and his soul's being stripped away on the Wall of the Faithless!"

As for Bioware and SWTOR... They've proven they don't need our help anymore. They've officially reached 'the next level'. They can say to the world that their games have pristine storytelling and be spot-on true. That's why I don't worry about SWTOR. It's in good hands. Good, proven hands.

Some might remember Cryptic with Champions Online and Star Trek Online. They designed the games in such a way that they could both be played on the 360, went out of their way even to make it happen. Then due to something behind closed doors, after years of negotiation, they finally said 'screw it' and stopped trying to work with Microsoft.

Many developers have apparently had this problem. I don't know if it's the 360 or Microsoft themselves that make MMOing on their system such a hassle, but FFXIV is not the first MMO to flip them the bird and they won't be the last.

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