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All Posts by jakin

All Posts by jakin

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Originally posted by Phry
Always interesting to see how things were from the inside, ...

If the insider view interests you, Raph Koster's just finished a series on SWG on his site.

Link to the final post in the series

Gordon Walton may have been in the chair when the NGE came up, and Jeff Freeman may have been in the seat when it was built, but from Raph's posts I think it seems inevitable that it would have happened and there isn't very much that any one developer, producer or other team member could have done.


Frankly, to me, it seems like the moment Raph mishandled the Jedi system (detailed in the second post of the series) SWG's fate was written and everything else was a domino effect that simply couldn't be stopped.  In other words, the NGE wasn't even close to the death of SWG, it was just the final death throes of a product with too many built-in flaws to continue existing.  Brilliant in parts, but deeply and tragically flawed.

There are some logical problems with this article.


Independent anything (film, music, art, etc.) is by definition independent of the field's mainstream structure.  In other words, it is a project judged too risky, unappealing or downright strange for a major studio, production company or art house to fund with any reasonable expectation of getting their money out of it.


For that reason the projects are self- or donation-funded and so generally are low budget and thus small in scope.  If SOE funded a small development team to make a low-budget game, that wouldn't make it an indie project would it?


Likewise, the success of a project doesn't make it any less independent.  The Blair Witch Project  grossed $248 million on a small budget (though the exact figures seem to be in doubt).  That doesn't mean that Blair Witch suddenly became a mainstream movie - it is simply a very successful independent film (a very low odds proposition).


Star Citizen is a project being funded independent of a major game studio - thus it is an independent game.  It's backers are effectively donating money to the development process (with no recourse if Chris Roberts decides to bugger off to Tahiti one day) in hopes of getting a good game to play at the end - they have no official say in the outcome of the game and thus bear no resemblance to a publisher.

Originally posted by Stellus
Will they turn off continent locking so we're not all stuck in VR?

The record attempt is taking place on the closed competitive server so that Guinness can verify the participating numbers.  All players will be playing on Hossin.


As of this point there have been over 3000 sign-ups, so the only way to get in now would be to get on the reserve bench on the day of and hope for a drop-out's spot.

It's the most challenging MMO I've ever played.  To me, the learning curve is steeper than any other, EVE included.  EVE was deep but the combat was fairly simple.  Planetside is a skill challenge on top of some surprisingly deep possibilities.


I love the challenge.

Originally posted by Caldrin

its a pretty fun game and cnt believe its been around for 2 years already..


My only little gripe with it that in 2 years they have not really added that much content.. a new map thats not finished, a few weapons and a vehicle. I dount count all the player camos and stuff that they sell as content..


FWIW - the new continent (Hossin) is officially "released" as of the last update.  It'll still be iterated on but it's now out of what could be called a live beta.


The main thing that took so long is that they had to completely rebuild the continents after launch to make them play well.  Adding the lattice system sapped a lot of the time and momentum that they could have otherwise used to push out different content.


The game is absolutely fun, but currently it feels like it's in a holding pattern until they launch the PS4 version and/or figure out how to handle the larger issues of making the game more than a Team Death Match.

Planetside 2.  Even if you've played shooters, the scale makes it pretty tough to get truly good at it.  Then there's the air game which takes hundreds of hours to get to the upper tiers.

Hackers - very rare (I've seen one in the last 4 months)


Stat padders - still present, but meh.


Shooting through spawn shields - mostly fixed, some notable exploiters were banned.


Aimbots and what not apparently have been hammered in recent months.

A few games of Epic with a buddy of mine.  He was really more interested in the painting than the game, and we were both far too poor to afford to get into it fully, but those few games were really enjoyable.  Saw some seriously awesome setups for a Space Hulk game at a local gaming con that were really cool to watch play out.


Much respect for the folks that can put that much detail into mini painting - I'd be lucky to get the main colours all in the right places.

Update was delayed until next week due to consequences from the forest fires in the area.
Originally posted by threefeet

how does this help? it doesnt fix the queues, it just puts people in a different queue to distract them from the fact that they are still in the queue for the BG they would rather be in, thats on a server that still has not been upgraded/fixed to handle the number of players who actually want to play the game.


If a player is only interested in participating in the WvW gameplay format (i.e. PvE and the arena PvP is uninteresting to them) this map gives them a place to play, where otherwise they are forced to queue and find something else to do (or just not play).  That's an improvement.  Not to mention the increased transparency of the queue system itself is immensely helpful.


want to have this 'fix' the queue times Anet style? make all the server achieves count in it. thats the only way their idea can 'fix' it. and instead of selecting only certain guilds to test this, they should have randomly chosen players who had purchased the game about release time w/ wvw xp under their belt for their input. the fact that most of the guilds in it will be biased toward their style of play never came up in their deciding this, clearly. and every guild from my server prefers the 'karma train' garbage that is pve; that is not the way wvw was designed to be played.


This sounds more like someone upset they couldn't test than any kind of cogent argument.  How is random selection any better or worse than volunteering.  At least volunteers are self-selected to be interested in the content and gametype.  As for style of play, every player in every group has a different view on what is the "proper" way to play WvW.


in the reality based world outside of the greasy teenage devs working on it, the best way to fix long queue times is to upgrade the wvw servers so they can not only handle more players but reduce the lag in battles significantly. many times that god-awful lag is what can make or break a win in a big fight. and i have noticed that individual players do not go to any given BG, all players who enter a BG are chosen as a group of others who are also queued for that particular BG, which significantly adds to the queue times.

Tough to take you seriously when you start ranting in this fashion friend. 


The fact of the matter is that there is a finite number of characters and effects you can pack into any given area on any given hardware.  That limit is a lot lower than most people would like, but it's a direct effect of having gameplay that is more action-oriented.  EVE Online can get away with many many more players interacting because their interactions are simpler and less time-dependent than Guild Wars 2 combat is.  In truth, map caps should probably be lower than they are, but they can't do that without releasing more maps to play in - which is exactly what they're doing here.


As to your queue voodoo there - now that you can see the queue positions and time you can see whether you are correct.  What you're probably seeing is a group that queue's together and thus are all in line one after the other, then when a group of players quit a BG, that new group all gets in at once.

the clear lack of vision and direction in this game is what has made me move on from it, which is unfortunate because so many of us who had high hopes for it during the first year have seen that hope dashed; if there was anything significant coming or planned for the future they wouldnt have created a thread in their forums specifically for player feedback on the living world, though there are hundreds of thousands of posts directly related to that topic already.

You moved on because the vision and direction that ArenaNet has for their game does not fundamentally match what you enjoy.  No harm, no foul.  To say that they don't have one is disingenuous at best, outright ignorant of reality at worst. 


Then to criticize them for gathering feedback (in a focused fashion rather than scattered across a thousand threads) when just two paragraphs above you were saying they need to randomly invite testers to provide feedback seems contradictory.



This is one of those "things" about MMO development that completely mystifies me.


Obviously developers and publishers care about why a given player decides to throw in the towel, but why is it that virtually all MMOs wait until that point to ask the player what they are thinking?


I'm hard-pressed to think of another product type where there is a capability for nearly 100% capture on a given survey question (every MMO uses a log-in launcher of some sort - put a question there and everyone who plays will have to answer it) and yet the only time I've ever seen a survey is when I'm already out the door.


Sure, sometimes there might be one event that triggers the decision to stop playing, but more often it's the death of a thousand cuts.  Friends quit, game gets grindy, systems change, balance gets messed up - all these things contribute to the decision to leave but by the time the leaving actually happens the reason is usually "I'm done with the game", and all of that fine-grained stuff is lost in the generalization.


Moreover, what is to be done with the rise of Subscription-less or Freemium games.  Virtually no one actually "quits", they just drift away.  I haven't played Guild Wars 2 in months, but my account is still there - how would ArenaNet capture that information from me? 


It would seem to me that it would make the most sense for Developers to start working on an unobtrusive (i.e. no 100 question surveys) but meaningful way of leveraging the fact that they have a virtually captive audience they can poll whenever they want, while that audience is still mostly satisfied with their product.  Forums are selection biased and in-game metrics are both limited and must be carefully evaluated to get the right message from the data.  Opinion surveys could be a valuable addition (which other product fields would kill for) that for some reason goes unused.

Well - if you read the producer's letters that come with the new stretch goal announcements, they usually say something like this (from the $33 million one) "Each stretch goal system represents additional artists, tools, programmers and new technologies that will make the finished project even better!"


I'm not a programmer, but I've been around the hobby long enough to see it stated over and over again that dumping more people onto a project is not a means to accomplish that project faster.  More people take time to get up to speed, which takes away time from the people currently coding, etc.


As such, it's not really likely that each stretch goal would result in the game getting shipped earlier.  What each stretch goal gives is a more complete experience at launch. 


Where Squadron 42 would have been |------| at launch, it is now going to be |--------------------|.


Whether you agree with the philosophy of crowd-funding or not, I think pretty much every project works like this to a certain degree.  It's just the source of funding that is different in this case.

Just to clarify terms - this is all related to World vs. World experience points.


PvP usually refers to GW2's instanced arena battles rather than WvW.

Originally posted by GrumpyMel2


It's not a binary choice. You guys don't need to choose between zero control and anarchy and absolute control and a static world. There are levels in between. You just need to figure out some sensible bounds and limits that you can have the players work within and still not break the game while allowing for creative input.


I don't think the tools are quite there yet for this to be realistic.


Content creation takes a really long time in current-gen MMOs.  With the demand for high quality graphics, hand-crafted design, and full voice-over it will likely take a very long time before game development can be as responsive as would be desired.


To a certain extent, developers are forced into static worlds because they have these long lead times before content can be produced.  If it takes 4 months to go from concept to finished content the storyline pretty much has to be static and scripted or else the content would be continually behind the times.


The GM-type program that various games have had comes reasonably close to the ideal of responsive storytelling, but a game company would have to build a game specifically around the idea of having in-game GMs to really make the idea sing - and such a choice would drive a lot of other decisions (sandbox systems, single-shard universe, large staff of GMs on payroll, etc.)


More on-topic to the OP.  I once tried running a "sandbox-style" campaign for our D&D group.  My take-away lesson was primarily that my group was not really prepared for a largely undirected game experience.  Some of that was my fault, but to a very large extent, without a figurative ! (long before that paradigm existed) the players were conditioned to wait around (usually in an inn, later in their castles) for the very obvious "for adventure - go here" hook.


On the other hand - it may have just been our group.  In another campaign with another DM one of the newly-rolled characters came into the game with a very obvious adventure hook that would lead to the character joining the party, and our group as a whole simply walked away from the new character and the hook and the whole thing ended up in the trash can. 

Personally, I've only ever paid for one thing  -  Content.


In DCUO for instance, F2P up to a point, but then bought the DLC packs as they came out to have more things to do.  In GW2 I bought a character slot as I wanted to try a 5th race and I had already used up my initial 5 slots.  Expansion packs would be fine too (as long as there is something worthwhile in the pack).


Frankly, I'd probably be ok with paying small sums regularly for content patches.  That would give me the option of buying the content I like while staying away from the content I don't.  Though asking the consumer to make constant value judgements might be ego-bruising to the development teams.


As a player, I simply don't understand most of the 4 things listed in the article though.  If a game is purposefully inconvenient to the point where I would feel the need to buy something to make it less painful, I simply wouldn't play that game.  Same with the power argument - if I was so underpowered using the items the game supplies that I feel it necessary to buy stuff just to play; again off to the junkpile.


Vanity items particularly perplex me.  I just cannot for the life of me ever see myself paying actual cash for a virtual item just for the purpose of having a good looking avatar in game.  Just does not compute.



Originally posted by Jakdstripper
... snip ...


it's been my experience that once a cash cow is turned on, it's incredibly hard to turn it off. i truly hope i'm wrong.


A great deal of this will depend on how the private server option turns out.  If it is indeed a fully featured replica of the persistent universe (as many are expecting, though I can't possibly see how it could happen) then CGI will have very limited options with regard to pricing.  Someone somewhere will set up their own server where everything is easier to obtain (it's already pretty obvious that there are a lot of backers with very deep pockets attached to this game already).


Pirates of the Burning Sea had a program something like this and as I recall it turned out a couple of the more popular ships in the game.  I think it's a pretty neat way to leverage fan talent on the cheap, while giving aspiring artists and modelers something to put in their portfolio.

Originally posted by drtack1

Why does write a story on Dust514??? This makes no sense, if the title was on the pc I may understand, but the majority of EVE players are still mad because Dust came out on ps3 with no pc version......they do realize 100% of their player base of EVE in on a PC right???


You're thinking as if DUST was some kind of expansion for EVE.  It isn't and never was.


DUST was CCPs attempt to diversify their company into console gaming.  They decided to try to develop a console based shooter and then decided that since they already had the EVE fiction in place they would set the shooter they were already making in the EVE universe.


Sometime further down the road someone suggested trying to tie the two games together, mainly because CCP operates from the "can we even do that?" realm more often than not.


CCP had no desire to see EVE players also playing DUST.  It was always about broadening their market base.  Whether they were successful in that is a separate subject and one can easily argue that PS2 came along and ate their lunch, but at the end of the day DUST should be viewed as if it were a completely separate game that happened to be produced by CCP because that was their whole reason for doing it in the first place.

Originally posted by cinos
Originally posted by jacklo

WvW gets flame ram mastery!

Are they serious?

I just can't get interested in this game anymore until I see some major effort put into WvW.


I guess you missed this then:


Big changes are coming to the eternal war in The Mists!  Each borderland map in WvW has been redesigned to include five new Ruins of Power—capture points that armies can battle over in order to earn lethal Bloodlust boosts for everyone on their server!

That would be a negative not a positive.  The new capture points are interesting, but putting bonuses on them that favor whatever server can afford to hold those points plus operate normally is a bad idea.

Originally posted by stayBlind
Would anyone have a problem with an exclusively NON-LBGT guild?

I can guarantee you that such a guild is very easy to make.  It's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In fact, it only takes one or two members of a certain mindset and it's a sure thing.


Of course, there's no warranty on what the rest of the server will think of such a guild - but thems the breaks.

Originally posted by immodium

What I find unusual is why someone would play a game and think "I need to get my sexual orientation/religious/political views involved somehow"

I don't think it's so much seeking to get their views involved, but more of someone looking for an atmosphere where they can express their beliefs and / or be who they are without worrying about ridicule.


Alternatively, I know it's also the case that sometimes people are looking for a place where they know they won't have to deal with casual bigotry.  People in a LGBT guild simply don't use the term "gay" as casually as much of the gamer population.


MMOs are supposed to be social experiences.  I don't see why game companies wouldn't want to encourage social groups to form around shared interests.  Such bonds usually keep players in a given game far longer than they would without any social bonds.  As long as the game is proactive about harassment, and the groups themselves aren't especially militant about their views, I can only see it as a positive for the developers.

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