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All Posts by lordoffiling

All Posts by lordoffiling

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Originally posted by scorpex-x

It's kinda sad honestly, they tried something different and they got railed pretty hard for it.

 

I played it during a free access beta and although I kinda liked it, the art style was a huge turn-off to me.  Loony toons art styling + pandering to feminist activists = no thanks.

Also: Pandering to feminist activists? The hell are you talking about?

Originally posted by scorpex-x

It's kinda sad honestly, they tried something different and they got railed pretty hard for it.

 

I played it during a free access beta and although I kinda liked it, the art style was a huge turn-off to me.  Loony toons art styling + pandering to feminist activists = no thanks.

Except they *didn't* try something different. They added telegraphs to WoW and left basically everything else the same.

 

People stopped playing because they realized that no matter how much it might *look* like something new, it isn't. It's still travel-to-quest-hub, pick up eight go-kill-ten type quests, push keys 1-4 on your keyboard to kill, come back, claim rewards, proceed to next quest hub.

 

The day MMO makers realize that they can't just repackage WoW and achieve success will be a glorious new era for the industry.

 
EDIT: Also, pandering to feminist activists? The hell are you talking about?

Wheel of Time's universe could be amazing. But dear God you would have to be SO SO CAREFUL in your gameplay design. Aes Sedai in the books are overpowered to the point of ridiculousness. If you gimped them, people would bitch. If you didn't gimp them, no one would play anything else. The only solution would be to make all the other gameplay paths as interesting/useful as Aes Sedai somehow.

 

Or, you could perhaps do what Star Wars Galaxies originally came up with, except a lot better. Make the path of discovering that you can channel a long and strange one, and once you get it have it be incredibly dangerous. Channel in the wrong place and the Children of the Light could be on your ass. If you're a man, the Red Ajah would try to capture and Gentle you. Once you're severed/gentled, that's it for you, no more being an Aes Sedai until someone in the game figures out how to Heal it. Yeah. It could work!

Nothing generates clicks and comments quite like an SWG "What-if" article.

Am I the only one who remembers Pre-CU accurately? Having to *stand in line* for ten minutes to get doctor buffs, without which you couldn't put your *armor on*? Having three separate life bars, all of which got depleted when you used your abilities? Huge open worlds (yay!) with *nothing in them*?

Ugh. The problems with SWG 1.0 went on, and on, and on. Yet people still hail it as this great thing. I just don't get it.

Pfft, things we want in our MMOs? That list writes itself. It's far more important to establish what we *don't* want. (or at the least, what I don't want. Your mileage may vary on this list.)

1) No more old-school WoW quests, with quest text I don't read, objectives involving killing 10 of a thing that I could do in my sleep, returning for a miniscule reward, and towns that serve as nothing more than hubs for thirty of these fracking things.

 

2) Hotbutton combat. By which I mean, targetting something, and then clicking through a sequence of buttons on my hotbar to kill it. Being visually engaged with the combat is fun. Watching cooldowns on my hotbar is not. A few games have gotten us away from this somewhat, TERA, Neverwinter, it's time to recognize hotbar combat as the relic it is and be done with it forever.

 

3) Overbloated quest journals. This is related to 1, but it needs its own bullet point. If there are ever more than two or three quests in my journal it's too many. The last thing I want in my entertainment product is the feeling I get at work, where I'm bogged down with so much crap to do that I don't know where to start.

 

4) Over-the-top visual effects. This one is aimed at SWTOR and FFXIV in particular, but it's a good lesson for all. If something doesn't need a particle effect, don't put one in. A good example would be meditating or seething in SWTOR. My character is down in a meditative pose, or pacing back and forth Darth Maul style, there's no confusion as to what he's doing, he DOESN'T NEED TO GLOW. (I could spend a couple hours on that soapbox, don't get me started) Or as in FFXIV, if it's a basic attack, does it need to flash and fill the screen like it's an end-game ability? It's fine if you're alone, but if you've got twenty guys doing it, very quickly it becomes visually exhausting and impossible to tell what the hell's going on.

 

5) No forced grouping. Now before you freak out about this one, let me just underline that the data is in on this, and people hugely prefer solo or duo gameplay. The common response to this is to say something like, "Well go play a single player game then!" That is a flippant and irritating answer. Everything we know about MMOs today tells us that it isn't being forced to group up that brings people to MMOs, it is the sense of being in a living, breathing game environment, and of being part of something larger than yourself. Making friends by chance, in natural, organic ways, is fun. Being forced to make friends--indeed, being unable to proceed with the game unless you do--is not. Remember, your target audience here are gamer geeks. We are by and large an introverted bunch. Most of us have one or two good friends and generally have no interest in going much beyond that.

 

6) While we're talking about grouping, how about: No more Tank, Healer, Damage trinity. A group of any size, and of any composition, should be able to find a way to use their unique combination of skills and abilities to complete any of the game's content. Finding yourself humped because your healer or your tank dropped connection, and hence discovering that the entire evening has been wasted, is not fun.

 

7) While we're on that subject, how about doing away with content that takes all night to finish? Your target audience, the gamers who will be spending money on your game? They can afford to do that because they have lives outside of the game. They have jobs. You want them to have jobs. Jobs mean disposable income, and disposable income is something you can reap as a game designer, provided your game is good enough to spend money on. But, if they have jobs, there's a good chance they don't have as much free time. Most of them will have, oh, maybe two hours a night? Maybe less if they have people and responsibilities at home to attend to? Get the content down into bite-sized chunks.

 

8) Story is good in an MMO. It can really add something. Story wherein I am the chosen hero, the one man who can bring peace to the land or whatever? That story in an MMO is irritating to the bone. Remember, you're making a *world* here, one with many people. We're totally fine with feeling like we are just one part of something larger. Indeed, that is the very reason why many of us are here. If we stand out, if we shine, it should be because we're good at the game, not because the story tells us what a special snowflake we are.

 

There. That's my list. Sorry for the TL;DR post.

Bottom line, the game just bored the piss out of me. No aspect of it gripped me for even a minute. The combat was clunky, the quests were mindless, if it's not fun to play and the story isn't engaging then all you've got is a big wad of nothing. That's just all there is to it.
Seriously. Where is our Old West MMO? Why is no one even *talking* about *maybe* making one?
Is it just me, or, are there PS2 games with better visuals than this?

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?

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