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All Posts by Moodah

All Posts by Moodah

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Originally posted by DW74

It always amuses me when people who are not in the business of making games automatically assume that people who went to college, got degrees, and now work for game studios are stupid,  uneducated, or unwilling to make cool stuff just to displease their customers. Do you honestly believe that mmo devs wouldn't -love- to be able to put huge, detailed cities in their games? As a previous poster said, it's always engine-related. Devs know they can't build an in-game 15 square mile city full of homes and skyscrapers and landmarks and then fill it with 10000 players at the same time. It just won't run. Not until we have mega-servers, everyone is on fiber, and everyone has the equivalent of a home supercomputer will we get cities of that magnitude. Or they would have to make it sectional, and have loading screens between "city blocks", as it were.

Don't misunderstand me. I have often said to myself and others that cities could be more realistic. I have asked "where do the orcs sleep in Org?" more than once. But I recognize that game design is about budgets. Monetary, polygonal, effects, and so on.

Far from that ..  although size of the cities is not what I was taliking about as proportions for example. Putting right things into right places.

I do think that they do it in part on purpose, because when designing a city, what they are really doing is designing a hub. Making sense in the urbanistic and historical kind of a way takes a back seat to accesibility, quests, going in and out etc. It would be nice to see a compromise of those two approaches.

And in a way I do think that people are in a business of making games do not and in the end - can not even, know about everything in such detail that they are able to mimic an architect, historian or an engineer. That is the reason you see games and movies hiring military advisors for example, to help them make the way soldiers move and hold guns the right way. I do not doubt their inteligence or education.  I would like to see the financial priorities re-shuffled a little bit so that sometimes in the future we really get to see urban enviroments done better.

I remember watching the documentary from making of LOTRO, where John Howe, tried to teach the other designers how the medieval armor actually worked and how separate plates interacted with each other etc, so that the armor would look right, because thus far they haven't been doing it right.

In turn, when the looks of felbeasts was being discussed, one of the artists who's speciality was biology, suggested that the wings would never work the way John Howe initially designed them. Two artists, single art, different disciplines. Doesn't mean one of them is less educated or intelligent, just that they can not know everything.

Take the main Deviant city in the first area in Rift. It's a slightly oversized appartment complex, not a capital. At least for AOC for example tried to give you an illusion, by making the other side of the river in Khemi, so it looked a little bigger.

You have a point there, most of today's cities did go through a couple of modernisation phases and wars, where things god destroyed, redone etc. Don't forget however that most of the fantasy, at least western, does happen at the certain historic times when those buildings should be contemporary.

 

One particular picture from Helsingor in Denmark komes to mind

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Helsing%C3%B8r_street.JPG

Salzburg

http://famouswonders.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Salzburg-Old-Town.jpg

Brussels

http://ih1.redbubble.net/work.1830457.4.flat,550x550,075,f.old-street-in-brussels.jpg

 

While most of the towns are not like that, the remains, since I hand picked the old part photos, the ones that remain intact more or less are.

What all those have in common is that they had squares/plazas/markets, where most of the stuff was happening, which were more wide open, but then everything else was as crammed as possible. What I just came to realise at the time that I'm typing this is that what they do in all MMOs is that they just take out those squares/plazas/markets and leave out everything else. Put a fence arround it and call it a city .... that's probably why it feels so weird.

Nice city btw.

True, Assasin's creed games come closest to real that I've seen.  I always wondered those things because whenever you set out to do something, you do need to do a little bit of a research.  If anyone watched the making of LOTR the movies, you can see just how much thought and design went into creating a city like Gondor for example, which is very far from making a copy af a realistic city template, more taking some principles of how a city should function that were established to ages, and then applying it to the fantasy place. It was unreal, but believable.

 

Sulaa, the video you linked. The first thing I see for example is that the door is way out of proportion with the characters. Second thing I notice is that except for public plazas, you would never have so much open space in any large city. The land was too precious and expensive, so people tried to cram as much useful space as possible per square meter. That's why you can see that medieval cores of today's cities have those tight narrow claustrophobic streets.

One thing has always bothered me in MMOs - and games in general, to a lesser degree. Why for heaven's sake the designers never seem to "get" the feel of a real city, regardless of how it looks like?

I reactivated LOTRO recently after a long time and having fun in general. In some places, like outdoors, the game aged pretty well. On the other hand, the cities like Bree were never that good looking to begin with, which make me think, did I ever see a city or town that gives out that feeling of a real place, and the answer is, not really. 

Stormwind, Ascalon, Old Athens, Bree, you name it - they are all designed arround accessibility, but look like just a bunch of house models thrown in one place to give the player the access to everything a hub has to offer. They however show no sign of urban planning or design.

The streets are usually too wide. Wide streets are too many. There is no claustrophobic little back-alleys with suspicious bars. No slums with beggars. Everything is basicaly a series of squares connected by promenades.

They also never seem to nail the size and width, it always seems "off" so to say.

 

A little background first - my first MMO was Anarchy Online, played Guildwars, WOW, LOTRO and EVE more extensively, tried most of everything else that came out from the subscription based MMOs.
 
I'm not a power gamer, and I never feel the need to hit the cap in a week. I usually take my time leveling, read the quest texts, read the books spread arround the world and generally try to soak as much of the lore as I can find, take a good look at surroundings and many times stop when I see something beautiful. If I see something that seems interesting in the distance, I go check it out even if there's no quest goal for me there. Between a job, familly and sport, MMOs are on the last place in my daily priority list.
 
I picked up Rift on an impulse, without much prior knowledge, because I pretty much stopped following the development of MMOs - nowadays I just stay aware that something is being made, but not much more than that.
 
So, without any pre-concieved notions of what Rift is supposed to do be, I logged in for the first time on friday, and spent pretty much most of the weekend playing.
 
The game has an interesting setting, that I feel they could utilise much more. It is definitely high-fantasy, but I was always a sucker fot steampunk and tech-fantasy, so Defiant was an obvious choice. I feel though that they could explore that marriage of magic and tech much more than they do, and that it could be more visible in the world (armor, weapons, gear, buildings etc.). It is there, but it is more subtle.
 
Mechanics are pretty much the same as any other recent MMO, with the pleasant surprise of the seemingly abundance of choice of the way you develop your character. Min/maxing crowd will probably end up with a couple of best specs, but for everyone else there is tons of choice to be explored. After playing Cataclysm, where they basicaly stripped away everything, down to a point that you have one single choice for one spec, and the only next thing in line is to remove talent trees altogether, it is a very pleasant surprise.
 
The look of the world and the characters seems to me like a marriage between EQ2 and GW. I whish once, they would make a game where you can make an old mage with grey hair and croocked back, leaning against his staff, and being the Defiant, he would have an artificial eye and a prostetic hand - that would be just too awesome. Rift sticks to the current standard - everyone is young, pretty, either skinny elvish look or muscular square jaw type. Areas seem big to me, as I spent the last two days running arround Freemarch, and it felt big, but still not stretched out.
 
Quests are standard MMO, go there, kill that, collect that etc. If you read them, they do have an overarching story to it, and while it's not the best fantasy I've ever read, it's good enough to support a game and storytelling in this format. You can learn more from gathering books, which sometimes have pretty interesting stories.
 
Rifts are fun and though they don't make the world really dynamic, there is something semi unpredictable always happening. Jump-in/jump-out grouping is a huge positive and make you have fun with strangers. I was lucky and did not run into any idiots thus far.
 
Yesterday, when I was wrapping up the Freemarch, finishing the quests arround Iron Fortress, I started thinking how awesome it would be if I wouldn't be able to wrap up this part of the story on my own. That I would have companions to work with, and spend a couple of hours together, in which time you would talk and grow bonds, instead of just cleaning out the place on my own - and yes, I know that technicaly I could look for a group, but in practice most of the people do stuff on their own when they can. I don't hold this against rift though, because it is a modern standard after all. We sacrificed the team spirit and group bonding for solo convenience, ironicaly in games that should be about socialising in a virtual world. Yes, it is much easier to start up and play today, but it was more enjoyable before. 
 
Maybe everything just went the wrong way, when we got to do everything solo, to combat the long time investment needed for grouping, instead of making the process of finding groups easier. I remember in Outlands in wow, they introduced a feature that you could use a LFG tool for group quests also, which I used alot, yet they removed it, along with group quests, instead of expanding on it - go figure.
 
All in all, Rift is a very pleasant surprise so far. I hope they go deeper into the tech/magic for the Deviant and spiritual/natural for the Guardians. I also hope they don't decide to start streamlining things to make it more for the masses, the game is already streamlined enough as it is. It's a pleasant marriage of EQ2, GW, LOTRO. and probably least of those WOW, most of all, I'm having fun.
 
----------------
Edit: typos

MMOs in genral are very supportive of obsessive behaviour. 

With WOW having milions of players, if just a fraction of those moves somewhere else, they can fill a significant part of some other MMOs - like RIFT. 

They were unsatisfied and don't get the kick out of WOW the way they used to, but they still like how it works. Like locust they descend on every new MMO that comes out in search of a new expirience, but continue playing the new game the same way they played WOW for years.

Then they start complaining that the new game is in such and such way different than wow and that it's absurd and should be promptly corrected.

Since they now form a significant part of the new game's playerbase, the developers are bound to listen to the whining, so they take stepps to make them happy, in order to keep them from moving.

Players in the end realise that what they really want to play is WOW, so they go back to it after a few months, leaving the new game.

Non-Wow players of the new game left behind, are unhappy that suddenly the game resembles wow more than it did before, and they also start leaving, because if they wanted to do it, they would play wow in the first place.

Only the most devoted folowers stay in the new game, which now all of the sudden barely survives on leftovers.

That is what happens in every single MMO that comes out. It is just a genre of the game that demands long term devotion and people who leave still are not looking for the new, they want back the feeling that the game they ran away from gave them some time ago. Problem is just that WOWs playerbase is such an overwhelming portion of the market, that the migrations of even a small percent of it's users can really impact the lifecycle and development of other games.

It realy comes down to what the developers do post-launch. Wether they choose to cater to the ex-wow playerbase in hope they will remain (which is think is next to impossible), or to build their own playerbase, being satisfied that they just milked some money from the wow-migrants, counting that they will eventualy go back anyway, and invest that money into building their own devoted comunity over time, slowly but constantly raising it's numbers (what eve did),

Sadly, for some reason, most choose the first option, to their own detriment.

I agree, although I do think that there's a bunch of people for whom the only reason not to play eve was cause they could not establish a connection between the ship and themselves.

I'm an idealist ... I'd like to think Incarna will be a 3D chatroom, but with a potential for more down the line.

Originally posted by jrs77

Incarna gets added to EvE next summer so CCP can test their graphics-engine for World of Darkness.

For EvE itself, Incarna does add nothing but a 3d-chatroom, so you don't have to spin your ship in your hangar anymore, while there's nothing else to do.

People who are not interested in EvE Online with it's current gameplay won't like the game after Incarna was added either, as Incarna doesn't add any gameplay to EvE Online.

Atmospheric flight will never be introduced to EvE and Torfi (CCD Head Dev) repeated this in the most recent interview again. The video was just some random gimmick done for fansfest sometime back in 2005/2006.

EvE Online is all about epic space-battles and it will never be about something else. If you like to play around with a character shooting stuff etc in the EvE Universe, then you've got to wait for Dust 514.

I have a problem with kind of  thinking that goes "I don't like it, I won't use it so why should you add it". EVE is a sandbox by definition, which means there are many things at your disposal and you yourself pick into which parts of it you want to immerse yourself. Ship combat is just one of the things to do and there are many players who never touch it yet keep playing and paying. Market, industry, mining, or even just hanging out is done by alot of players who like the eve world for it's immersiveness. Nobody is entitled to claim that all those people are playing wrng and "don't get eve" just because their playstyle is different. Incarna is the expansion for those people. They are partly making things so you can break them which is what makes eve unique.

So instead of being selfish in your claims to the "right way" of eve, be happy that the sandbox is expanding, even though it maybe isn't your part of the anthill that gets expanded. Ask yourself how many new things were introduced in the past 5 years that centered arround pew pew in space, and how many were arround everything else.

Incarna will enrich your universe even if you never leave the safety of your pod, next time when you dock in the station, you will know that there are people walking arround there and your own ship will be more believable.

I think all MMO players should care, because if Blizzard pulls this off, you can bet that every other company will be doing something like it in a year or two.

I'm thinking about what Kyleran said, maybe all those people voicing their protests, should send Activision a good old fashioned paper mail letter. It is too easy to delete e-mail. If nothing else they would have to hire a truck to take them away ... would draw some attention eh? ;)

Originally posted by Harkkum

After all, even here in Finland, where there's just roughly five million people, most of the names are shared with tens if not hundreds of others. How can you make out based on a forum post who out of these hundreds (s)he is?

Yeah, but even if one John Smith who has no connection whatsoever to the John Smith playing the game is going to get potentially harassed because of this, it is one too many.

I'm hoping the gamers did not yet go all dumb these days and that they will take measures to vote with their wallets. Scary thing is that Blizzard is the one setting the trends, and if they successfully go through with this thing, you can bet that in two years, every game company will try to copy it, with the pesimistic outcome being that it will be impossible to play an on line game without disclosing your RL identity, which is not something I am comfortable with.

I also think there has to be some EU office responcible for these kind of  things, which means that we do need to find out who is the one responcible for taking care of privacy issues, and bring it to their attention.

If none of that works, personally I think the best way to go about it is to show our discontent by not givign them money. I hope they turn it arround somehow though, as I am rather enjoying playing the game atm.

PS. I read somewhere that Facebook is got into some legal trouble in Germany in the past few days because of handling of private information. Such things dig heavily into both privacy and consumer rights fields. When it comes to legal issues EULA is worth nothing, if it contradicts some law.

Wait wait ... did the OP just just complain about the current definition of the themepark MMO, having theme park elements and not being sandboxy enough?

Phasing is one of the cooler things about WOTLK and I hope there will be more of it, although like someone before said, I hope they learned from some of their intial slips and make it better.

I don't understand what the OP is doing in WOW at all, as there is next to nothing sandbox about the game. It dirrects you from level 1 to 80, and then it dirrects you some more. And I don'r mean anything negative with it - when I want something more sandoxy I  play EVE.

Well, he has certanly put a bunch of IFs beforethat would be the case -

he can imagine that IF sometimes the game comes out that blows wow away or perhaps if blizzard puts out the new MMO out that outdoes wow.

Seemed to me, that he said something in line - "As far as I can see it at this time, no - and very unlikely in the near future"

 

I highly doubt that the F2P model has become some financial promised land all of the sudden since D&D switched to it. It worked fabulously for a game with a very little playerbase and still remains to be seen how it works for LOTRO,  probably will.

 

There is probably no single smart reason why a multi-milion subscriber game earning loads should switch to a F2P model, and probably the only reason he didn't decisively say no, it from the "never say never" perspective.

Originally posted by Shadewalker

I'm willing to bet that as in WoW, those complaining about the gutter community in AoC are playing on US PvP servers. In neither game have I encountered a single instance of such  behaviour on European PvE servers. Playing AoC on Hyrkania I find the community extremely mature and always helpful in public chat.

 Probably, I play on Aquilonia, which is a RP-PVP server, and I must say I was surprised how the global chat reminded me of a big guild chat. People were generally helpful and know each other, mostly keeping it mature even when they are on opposite sides. 

Actually, the way I understtod it in one of the very very early videos, featuring Gaute, is that it will be leaning to the guildwars side, where you will have limited space which will force you to pick your "deck" of skills that you will use.

 

Personally I would be happy it went that way, as I really enjoyed the GW way, because it made me pick skills and think which ones I can use in combination with others, while not being to pick all. I'm happy there is talk about the similar system with the expansion skills.

I find eve to be the easiest game to RP in, and probably the biggest chunk of playerbase does keep in character most of the times, from the simple reason that what you do in EVE universe does make a difference, so everything you do, it is very very hard to do it OOC except if you are not talking about your favorite TV show currently on.

Every time you are planning an op, mining a roid complaining how boring it is, cursing how someone screwed you over something, you are IC in eve ... it is natural and takes no effort, and thus it does not really need roleplaying initiatives by the players to get the other players to roleplay (RP guilds).

Every other game out there you exist in the artificial world, with no real influence on any outcome, so you can not create your story physicaly in game by taking certain actions, instead you are forced to try creating the "imaginary world within the imaginary world", because the "imaginary world" does not allow realising any imagination in the first place.

Originally posted by Horusra
Originally posted by Moodah

I would argue that the "mememe" generation is not specific to MMOs and there is nothing you can do to avoid it because the "mememe" IS our new generation. Our civilisation made and brought up the shallow egocentric mass consumer youth that cares about nothing but rewards and does not know the concept of responicibility. They see themselves as eliglible for every reward without having the concept of having to put in the work and dedication to reap that reward (not each and every indivdual is like that, but on lareg scale, that is our latest spawn)


 

I would say you are part of the dinosaur generation by equating time spent (dedication) as greater than skill.  In this day someone that can do in one day what took you a year is more deserving than you.

 

I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. I am not defending long grinds in MMOs, in fact I hate them. I do not thing they equal content. I also do not think that content locked away in a way that it takes a long time to get there can be named "difficult" or "challenging"  - in fact they are none of it, they are just made so it takes an hourly dedication to get there - like for example you have a town next to yours and a town far away. Driving to the one farther away does not take more skill in driving, it just takes more time. What IS hard about it is that it takes more time - and that is not what games should be about.

I was responding to the sentiment that WOW is, for good or for bad, the best the current crop of MMOs offer, and just because it took something 2x as long a couple of patches ago, does not make it any less challenging., however someone argued that the influx of "mememe" generation into it, makes it a worse playground, because some kids think the sanbox is made just for them and with them in mind.

I argued that that is not WOWs fault, instead that IS how our younger generations looks on things  (and I specificaly said that it does not count for every person out there, but in general, the younger generations are more egocentric).

And I don't think I'm a dinosaur at all, I'm 32, work for my living. Have been self-supported since 18. I noticed the traces of ugly head of the "mememe" generation with my own little sister who is 7, and despite the best efforts of my parents, by spending time with other kids in scool, she gets caught up already with many sentiments that are not positive.

Kids these days think that things make them better, that they measure themselves by the kind of things they own, but the concept of ownership where they have to pay the price for it is alien to them,. They have a bunch of more rights and a lot more say thatn older generations had at that same age, but they are not taught that obligations balance out rights.

Point that I was trying to get across is that there is not a damn thing Blizzard or any other MMO (or gaming) company can do to make them change, so we are, wether we want it or not, faced with them growing up and starting playing games - the same games we play, which means the "meme" generation is here to stay wether we like it or not, and the games we play in the future will be more and more tailored to them, and less and less tailored to us, as we grow older - if the companies want to continue earning money, which they absolutely do.

Originally posted by parrotpholk
Originally posted by Nekrataal

I don't blame Blizz for the other compagnies bad games, but I do blame Blizz for the regression of MMORPG's communities quality.

WoW brought millions of clueless sheeple to the genre which, imo, don't even want or like MMORPG's. They just mindlessly follow the herd... Those guys( & gals) are actively influencing the genre toward the single player game "Me, myself & I" mindset & thats pitiful for a genre that is supposse to be "Massive" & "Multiplayer" & "Role playing".

Blizz is guilty of mass advertizement that resulted in an influx of morons condammed to surfe the commerial "brainwashed" thrends all their pitiful life.

Maybe I'm a bit harsh, but thats kinda how I feel when I think about the piss poor community we have today.

Sorry if I offended some WoW fanbois & no you are not all morons & sheeps.

 

I somewhat agree with this. Blizz didnt kill the industry but bringing the me me me now now now generation  into the genre they infect other games and expect them to be like WOW. Blizzard made a game that was more successful than they imagined and good for them. The problem is a lot of the players who now slither to other games and scream for WOW.

 

I would argue that the "mememe" generation is not specific to MMOs and there is nothing you can do to avoid it because the "mememe" IS our new generation. Our civilisation made and brought up the shallow egocentric mass consumer youth that cares about nothing but rewards and does not know the concept of responicibility. They see themselves as eliglible for every reward without having the concept of having to put in the work and dedication to reap that reward (not each and every indivdual is like that, but on lareg scale, that is our latest spawn)

So called "degradation" of MMOs have very little to do with WOWs succes, but more to do with the other developers who either:

- try something half-new, in which case they do it half-assed so that the end product has some fresh ideas, which are far from enjoyably playable,

- try copying features from wow, and in the end do it worse than wow itself, so that people really have no reason of playing it over wow

in any case, we saw with both AOC and WAR that there were alot of people whilling to try new things and play something else, problem is that either those new things were broken, or they were worse than the old ones. ... Can't really blame wow for other people not being competent enough can't we.

As a casual player that has his life guided by work, family and other things, it was always frustrating for me not that I can't get the best gear - never cared much about that, but that I couldn't see half of the game storyline-wise. 

I'm one of the players that reads every quest text and enjoys discovering things about history, conecting overarching story into more or less one whole and then it suddenly stops half way

I think it is a step into a right dirrection definitely. Give me a possibility to do some quests that wrap up the storyline for the expansion, even though I don't have to be the one to kill the hardest bosses, give everyone a possibility to interact with them and the overall story, give everyone some decent quest rewards from those that they can feel they acchieved something. Reserve the best gear for the people who can and are whilling to invest time and energy, but don't leave everyone else halfway - I did not buy half of the expansion, I bought the entire thing.

There could be a quest for example that you can let's say your goal is to go into the dungeon, find some thing and your goal is to run away from some boss instead of killing it ... that would be fun, and have some adrenaline involved :)

I think they are doing the right thing for everyone involved.

I don't think wow will be "killed" or "dethroned" by any other MMO, as no MMO ever killed another MMO so to speak. The only things that kill MMOs are the horrenduous decisions pulled by devs at some point that make people leave en masse.

Othervise, MMOs lose some people maybe when the really really big thing comes out, some of them return after a while and some of them stay somewhere else. That does not impact the life of a MMO greatly as we see that EQ1, UO and all those ancient games still live and get expanded.

You have to realise that MMOs in general are a big time investment for the player. He doesn't just build his char, he also builds the social network arround him and the knowledge about the game. People leave and check out other MMOs, or take breaks when they are sick of it, but most of them eventually reactivate and return to "take a peak" on how everyone is doing.

Social network within the game is a huge factor and some people keep playing just because of it. New game has to be so significantly better than the previous one, that going for it outweights the loss of friends and characters.

In most cases it does not, because as soon as the novelty of playing a new thing wears off, most of the people realise that there are no radical new concepts in the new game, and that they are basicaly playing the same thing again, they usually return to their cosy and confortable previous game where they feel at home.

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