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All Posts by KirinRahl

All Posts by KirinRahl

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90 posts found

There is no faster way to kill your audience than to put an enormous level-grind in front of all your real content.


The thing people don't want to do, at all, is level by themselves for 50 solid hours, much less 150, in order to catch up with high-level friends.


You know what catering to hardcores does for you?  Literally nothing.  You have to have room for both, and the way to do this is to introduce content for hardcores while making the game accessible and easy to enter for casuals.  Looking up at a vast, looming levelgrind kills casuals immediately; even veterans (like me) hate doing fetch quests and kill quests over and over and over again just to access dungeons and endgame PvP.  


It's not a fucking journey no matter how hard people want it to be; traveling across the country on a bicycle is a fucking journey.  This is a video game and it should not be designed specifically to suck hours out of your life for the sake of 'being hardcore'.  That's not what hardcore is about.

I've considered Wildstar's XP curve, pretty much all of it quests, to be too long from the very start.


It used to be that the time to kill each enemy was extremely long also (24 revolutions of your two abilities in the first zone, oh my God, shoot me), but that was thankfully fixed up well before launch and the combat feels like much less of a slog these days.


The questing is s till way too long.


I don't think long XP curves have anything to do with laziness of current players.  I think it has to do with the fact that the leveling process was always kind of intended to be a tutorial, or to be something you don't have to max to press on with; these days, you really need to be max level to do anything, whereas back in Asheron's Call, the right spec could do things in their 80s that would be fun and end-game-y without actually having to hit the big 127 first.


Now, it seems like maxing out is the first step in the game... and the first step takes for fucking ever.


Also, frankly, when you get a bit further than (or a bit behind) your friends, the long curve makes things even worse; it's really hard to get into MMOs that aren't WoW, partially because you can level a WoW character to max in a weekend if you've got a max-level buddy to run through everything with Recruit-a-Friend.  With Wildstar, you can mentor down, but the mentor-er gets basically nothing for it and can't really make things easy for the mentoree; it's not nothing, but it's also not that substantial.


It's a barrier to entry.  It makes the game less friendly to people who are used to being spoon-fed content.  I understand that the devs are looking for hardcore folks to respect the game, but frankly, I've been playing this kind of stuff for fifteen years by this point; there's no need for me to do 50 quests to gain a level and a half.  I've seen it all.  I'm here for the end game and the challenge modes, not to slog through 150 hours of leveling before I can get to the good stuff.


I like Wildstar.  I did the slog.  But I think it's going to be unhealthier for it as time goes on, since people will buy the game, burn out in their thirties, and wander off after something that rewards them quicker.  It's just the way of things these days.


Auction Houses are good for some things and bad for other things.


Broadly, they're good for players who don't give a great big fuck and would rather accrue items to the point where they no longer have to look for items, despite the fact that that means the game is functionally over.


They're bad for players who are interested in an active, healthy economy, wherein not only the largest possible suppliers of a given item (or those who choose to offer it for the cheapest) are able to functionally participate in the market.  On  World of Warcraft, if you want to dominate a certain type of material on your shard, you literally buy all of it and post it 10G higher; lots of folks I've known have had the gold and the chops to do that at times when it would benefit them the most.


There's not a lot of game there, though, as compared to a game in which crafting is a real thing that matters a lot.  ESO, although they do not have quite the same depth of crafting content as the aforementioned sci-fi-game-which-is-not-EVE, seem to be putting together a system in which humans with good crafting skills can crank out an item -precisely as good- as the crazy bullshit that drops from endgame instances.


So, y'know.  There are a lot of arguments both for and against.  I err on the side of the used bookstore rather than on the side of Amazon... although I surely do buy piles of ebooks from Amazon, I always go and get my favorites in hardback from Powell's, so I can have them on my shelf.

Just about my favorite thing about XIV was coming back after the first try wasn't so great and finding myself running straight to 50, having a great time.  I'm rarely surprised when it comes to games like this, and the game was so revitalized that I just couldn't help but play it.


Specifically speaking, my favorite moment would have to be a time in Haukke Manor with a bunch of PUGs.  We pulled way too much; a sideroom, a couple of the screaming succubus ladies,  just way too much, and the between me popping stuff and one of the DPS folks pulling out a healerpet, they actually managed to keep me up through it.


It was a great experience, and everyone was on my server (!), so we all hopped in a guild together and played onwards from there.  Rare to find a great group.  One of my favorite in recent memory.

Originally posted by spawn12345

Have they fixed the game yet?

Are they still in the delusion that people will play a pve mmo without upgrades?

Is their anything wortwhile to do in the game yet?

There are definitely upgrades.


They're doing a patch the 28th that changes up the entire progression system with each tier having approximately double the power of the tier below it.

Smedley, the man who was instrumental in absolutely gutting one of my favorite games of all time, now wishes to make amends?


I'll have a look at it, but I am gonna be the furthest possible thing away from gentle if it is not a Goddamn blinding light from heaven.

Maybe some jerk-off at the ratings board insisted they tone it down or be given an M rating.


It would certainly not be the first time someone was forced to do something retarded just to be able to sell their game to a reasonable number of human beings.

Are you in the beta?


'Cuz if you are, it's pretty shitty of you to break the NDA and tell folks about all the things that you don't like.


Point of fact, they have NDAs specifically so that people like you don't come out and say 'Man, their quests suck' or 'Man, their game works like ass on my giant gaming rig' or 'man, their abilities aren't balanced in every situation I can think of'.


They don't want you to do that mainly because doing that harms the image of their game when it is in an extremely vulnerable place.  No one has paid for their game yet.  If you're a beta player, you got in for free, agreed to give your feedback to them (and not to share your feelings with the outside world), and you got to have a voice about what's cool and what's not in their game that actually gets listened to, because you're one of the few people who has actually experienced it in its rough, unfinished state.


There isn't even a fucking release date yet, man.  Do you think betas aren't intended to fix exactly the kinds of problems you listed here?  For some reason, are you convinced that the game is going to come out looking exactly like it does now, and not in an improved form with increased functionality and wider support?


Do you realize that the modeling team basically can only do modeling, and that they're probably listening to feedback from places you haven't been arsed to read?  Do you think they made this change specifically because they decided it would be funny to stick it to all the fanboys who love big tits?  It really sounds like they attacked you in some way, rather than just made a change to the game you agreed to help them test.


What if this change was made because some busybody at the ratings board has a stick up their ass about how big tits are allowed to be in video games, and threatened to make Wildstar an M-rated game?  Which, by the way, is ridiculously bad for your sales and would be a serious blow to the developer.  What if that's what happened, and you're fucking with them while they're over a barrel and trying to make a product that will actually keep food on their tables?


I don't know if you are a halfwit or if you just have a total lack of respect for the hard work and dedication of others, but on reflection, I'm not going to rule out a combination of the pair.  Let me end on this: even if you are in the beta, and you know more than the rest of us combined as a result, you have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that you are a colossal waste of a key that could have gone to somebody who gives a rat's ass.


Edit: just to be absolutely clear, this rant is pointed squarely at Sunnymash.

I wrote a big long post, but here's the long and short of it; I've deleted most of it now.


The first girl I ever loved died of brain cancer.  Suddenly.  Found out she was basically already gone and had thirteen days.  Still with her at the time.  Quite young.  I was mad.  I was furious and fucking crushed and out of my mind and in fucking agony and I'd spent all my time with her for quite a long while.


It's a huge loss and I reacted to it the way any person would react to a huge loss.


Now, with Vivian, I spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours with her, we had a great time, we fought, we laughed, she taught me how to sing, all sorts of cool things happened in that relationship.


MMOs also involve hundreds of hours of having a great time, with being mad and being glad and laughing and learning to do things.  I don't love them like I did her, but it doesn't mean I don't feel a sense of loss when they are gone forever.


The degrees are obviously different.  But Tabula Rasa is gone just as surely as Vivian is, or Jason's, that little place that had great pub cheese, where I ordered 'tequila, straight-up, and keep it coming' at six years old, goaded on by my uncle.


Loss sucks.  Even when you lose something that's not central to your life (and hey, maybe your MMO is), it still hurts and makes you angry and sad.  We blame people because there is someone to blame.  I have no one to blame for my big loss; what, am I going to be mad at cancer?  I contribute to research, it's what I can do.  But it's really easy to be mad at Smedley or whatever ridiculous gamewrecker lives at NCSoft and just loves throwing fucking 'off' switches.  So we are.  They're there, and we're hurting and sad.


If you don't feel sad and angry after losing something you've spent so much time with and attention on, I have no idea how you came from the same monkeys I did.

Originally posted by Hrimnir
Originally posted by darkthund3r

Some people apparently like huge silicone-enhanced breasts. I for one do not, as do many others. And i'm a 100% heterosexual male, thank you very much.

And FYI to all you "smaller breast haters": Body sliders may eventually become a post-launch feature. If you decide not to buy the game because of "too small breasts", you won't be missed.

I love how people qualify that with 100%, like you can be 93.8% straight or something?!

I'm about 86.5% straight, myself.


To wit: I almost universally have an unusually large armored lady somewhere on my account.  Brienne of Tarth is super cool and being totally unable to have a relatively sizable, not-hugely-attractive girl rolling around in eighty pounds of armor is a thing that I find unfortunate.


I'd like for you guys to be able to have your matchsticks-and-melons also, if that's what floats your boat, but tank girls are adorable and I like playing 'em.


They're not overestimating the IP.


They just know that selling their first two million copies for a box fee plus a sub is going to make them a shithouse full of money and make up a big hunk of their dev costs.


Then, much like a SWTOR, they can go free-to-play later if they find that their playerbase has stagnated and they need new blood.  And they will; the open world RvR really cries out to have new blood flowing through it at all times, especially with how rough it is to run a box+sub MMO in this day and age.


So it's really not a gamble or an overestimation, it is a choice made on the developers' part that will maximize the amount of explaining they have to do to their investors; it does not close the door on F2P later, but you'll have to wait if that's what you want.

Originally posted by Wizardry

Smartest thing they could do is not have ANY pvp,those players create controversy anyhow complaining about BALANCE.


This is patently false.


Absolutely everyone bitches about balance, even in PvE-only games.  Balance is rarely perfect, and when it is, it's generally also pretty boring.


PvP people don't make this problem, people do.  The grass is always greener.  And sometimes classes are just better; I mean, if you played WAR and wanted to do great DPS, you played a Bright Wizard and that's all there was to it, even if you never set foot in PvP.

It doesn't sound to me like this would be terrible if it's not done in the most simplistic possible manner.


Most of the issue I have with crafting in MMOs (and I have a lot of issues with it) revolve around the fact that it's a totally solitary pursuit for most which has lots of community interaction shoehorned into it.  If you make leather, it makes horse sense that you should have to get a blacksmith to buy buckles and rivets, but that doesn't mean it doesn't suck ass to have to do so.


FFXIV's crafting has been interesting if only because there is some gameplay involved in crafting rather than mats + diceroll = thing, which is what basically every other system has.  Also, you can have a few different sets of crafting gear that allow you to work your way through all the disciplines, and even has cross-disciplinary skills that make you a more flexible crafter when you've leveled every profession.  That's super interesting, although the system itself is still fairly simplistic.


The other major thing I complain about is that simplistic nature I spoke of above; between the two of these things, the simplistic part is probably the big part.


Most crafting systems are ridiculously simple.  The ones which aren't ridiculously simple are overwhelmingly, face-meltingly complex.  There has been no middle ground  and, when it comes down to it, very little actual effort towards making a system that is deep without being needlessly complicated.


In short, most crafting is straight-up status-quo stuff, with no real differentiation; add mats, press 'go', receive bacon is the way it generally works, which is a shame, since actually making things (I'm a minor-league blacksmith in actual fact) is fucking fascinating.

This is the weakest, most irrelevant timewaster of a conversation I ever see crop up.


I've seen it so many times, and every time it ends with everyone reiterating their own opinion about the whole matter.  Occasionally they also cross their arms and huff.


This is a stupid conversation.  The game has many MMORPG-like elements in it.  It's closer to an MMO than it is to Battlefield or Star Conflict or Call of Duty or DotA.


Stop picking this nit.


That is an incredibly shortsighted view of things.

F2P shouldn't be an intro or a trial.  It should be the game, although a version of the game in which you have to do a lot to get the things people pay to play can easily skip into.  Most F2P games that succeed and make money do so because they do it this way, rather than allowing play for a short time and then requiring money to press on.  Arcades were tiny versions of that, and those motherfuckers are dead and gone.

Also, as I posted earlier, it would not take a significant amount of development to make some very positive changes happen.  It's possible to overhaul the entire PvP currency system, but it's not really necessary in order to make that constant march onward (read: progression) actually felt.

In what world does it make horse sense to make people stop playing early?  What you need for a healthy PvP game (because most people don't PvP at all) is to have new blood up in that shit.  You have to have people actually playing.  Not a few of them, a lot of them, and achieving critical mass is of incredible importance in a game that requires other people to play against.

The way to keep people in PvP, and thereby keep PvP interesting, moving, and running, is not to lock people out of queueing at all after a few times.  Do you see World of Tanks doing that? 

Does League of Legends make more money than God himself and have more players than every game in history because they stop people from queueing after the third time in a given week?

Absolutely not.  There's always new blood.  There are always people for their real customers, the people who pay for things in the game, to play against.

Locking that off is ridiculous, and saying 'it's because they need to make money' is... like, Mr. Magoo levels of myopic.

Three Warzone queues per week for free players?

Go fuck yourself, SWTOR.

I posted because I loved the PvP game and I wanted to see it get better and more rewarding.

Now it's worse.

In what world is it a good idea to keep new blood out of PvP?  What in the ever-loving fuck could possibly be wrong with the designer who made this decision?

I am constantly listening to people bitch about launch-day/week issues with servers, and it seems kinda insane to me.

Every MMO has this problem.  It has nothing to do with not buying enough servers; you literally cannot buy enough servers to catch up with launch-day demand.  MMORPGs see as much as five times their usual traffic in the first days of launch; they can either buy 50 servers for 250 severs' worth of population and deal with a world of bitching, or they can buy 250 servers, then watch 200 of them gather dust and cobwebs a week later.

One of these things costs an incredible amount of money up-front and gains nothing.  One of them costs much less money and doesn't actually hurt an MMO at all.

It is financially irresponsible to prepare for the day-1 crush, especially in a high-profile game like this.  It's not worth it.  It doesn't do you any actual good.  All the goodwill you buy with your zillions of dollars in servers evaporates in a week... while all the ill will you get by buying only your average estimated population worth of servers also evaporates in a week.

It doesn't make sense to prepare in this way.  It just doesn't.

The number of characters onscreen is impressive, but I highly recommend you do not take that as an indicator of quality in itself.

It's a zillion characters, that's true enough... without real AI, without any kind of physics to keep them from walking through each other, with a total of two character models, without any apparent networking going on to make all of those character models tell a server where to go from remote.

This is a cool step, but it is not as big a step as you might hope.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for Camelot Unchained, but do not go all-in on the strength of a server.  Instanced rendering does not a crazy-wonderful game make; it's not like they have to have fifteen tiers' worth of armor sets all animating properly on all those models all at the same time.  Two sets of clothes.  No action other than moving from A to B.  No interaction whatsoever with other characters.

So.  Grain of salt, you know?

I don't know about that.


The early game of TOR is pretty great.  I stopped playing when I got to 50 and slammed into the massive gear wall in PvP, then breezed through an endgame raid with greens and blues from leveling.  I did okay in PvP, I knew I had small numbers and I took actions to accomodate that, but it was still kind of a fuckin' nightmare.


It's endgame was awful.  It's PvP gearing 'system' is an -absolute joke-, to the tune of 'I made a 61-page thread about how bad this is'.  Seriously!  I'd link it but it's kinda beating a dead horse, and now they have a whole new gearing system they're gonna use, which is... -really- nice, to my mind.


I might go back for 1.2, just to PvP and get some real gear.  Maybe other returnees will be enough to do some operations with.  We'll see.  I haven't entirely decided, but the changes they made to the PvP gearing alone is enough to make me wanna try it again.

Disdena sort of has the right of it here.


That said, you could also co-opt  things like ductility and conducivity if you have a crafting system in the appropriate genre, or if you allow similar metals sourced from different areas in the world to have different stats.  When I was playing SWG, I got the best possible CDEF pistol reaction chambers from nonferrous conductive metals on Corellia... finding the best ferrous framings that kept my guns sturdy, I had to go  to an entirely different planet for.  So sci-fi has a place for things like ductility or hardness or what-have-you.


That, and the methods of -creating- iron or steel weapons are very different.  You could conceivably take iron, charcoal and coke straight up to Damascus, but it's quite ordinary for folks to just make regular old steel out of the stuff, and how much carbon you get into your steel makes a big difference.  That said, what if carbon is a magical insulator?  What is a good, high-carbon blade doesn't hold an enchantment well at all, so you're forced to look to platinum or gold or meteoric starmetal to get the kind of magical capacities you'll need for an endgame item?  Do inlay.  Make pommels and hilts and crossguards out of less high-impact-resistant metal while the working surface is all that great, high-carbon steel, and the spine of the blade is a more flexible, lower-carbon sort with inlay?


There're lots of things you could do.  I like the idea of having analogues to real crafting methods in games, although I also kinda like the idea of having sympathy or aether or other properties attached.  It's possible that those properties would be more obvious (read: viewable) to folks who knew what they meant; blacksmiths see ductility and carbon content, enchanters see aether, sympathy, or equilibrium.  Jacks-of-all-trades perhaps see a less informative version of each; maybe skill in particular areas improves your ability to assess the content of the things you're looking at in one context or another.

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