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All Posts by jakin

All Posts by jakin

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124 posts found
Originally posted by lickm3

I am really curious on this game. <snip>

If you're telling me that you can't see the difference between a game made in 1990 and one made in 2013, I'd seriously suggest getting a full medical check-up.

 

Though It's pretty rough trying to figure out what you're critiquing, I gather that you're saying that pledging a game on Kickstarter is a stupid thing to do, presumably because one is just giving money to a team without any proof they'll produce anything?

 

Valid point if that's the point you're making, which is why anyone pledging anything should be doing a reasonable amount of investigation before ponying up their money.

 

In this case, CGI long ago raised the amount of money they would need to produce a complete single-player space sim descendant of Wing Commander.  That is what most people were pledging to support in the beginning.  So at a bare minimum, you're pretty sure that you'll get something.  It might suck, sure - but people are backing it in the hope that it won't (same as pre-ordering a game or getting a lifetime membership).  Nothing stops the more cynical from waiting until it's released and making their judgement then.

 

Not sure what the SWTOR comment was about - that team was certainly using other people's money to develop that game, that's what being a publicly funded company is all about.  Thing was, they needed to make more than development costs to break even - CGI's crowdfunded approach means they can start turning profit as soon as development costs are covered.

I'm desperately, desperately hoping that these achievement rewards are not going to be limited to one character.  GW2 is pretty schizoid when it comes to rewards helping or hurting players running multiple characters (i.e. some things are available to the whole account, other things are character specific - without a whole lot of rhyme or reason) - as such, I really can't anticipate which way these will go.

 

If the bonuses aren't applied account wide I'll be pretty disappointed.

Originally posted by grummz

Its really going to hamstring the discussion if I can't mention Firefall. I try to leave it at the very end only and talk about the philosophy that we observe in current MMOs. 

As for facts and figures, there are no public sources. I am drawing upon my experience leading the WoW team, working on Diablo II, and talking to many of my friends who are leaders in the industry. I'm not the only one who feels this way.

 

 

I don't think the issue is the simple mention of Firefall, is the structure of the article.  Both of the past pieces have essentially boiled down to: 

- this is what's wrong with every other MMO.

- this is how Firefall will do it right.

 

It would appear more balanced if you covered several MMOs specifically rather than hand-waving more generally. 

As mentioned in the comments - there is no area in EVE that is "wasted" as your article addresses the point.  That could be a discussion of the validity of using hard and fast character levels vs. skill-based systems, but still the point should be addressed.

You mention down-leveling as being negative, but don't mention what model you're dismissing.  GW2's level-matching doesn't take anything away from the player that I've ever observed, and I have found myself in lower-level areas far more often than the highest level ones.

 

I don't think anyone begrudges you the right and ability to talk about the game you are creating in the context of the article, but the framing of the pieces so far is really is coming off as more Firefall advertisement than MMO commentary.

 

My two cents.

I don't think I'd be quite as effusive in praise for this effort.  I can't speak to the group dungeon, but the solo dungeon is poorly conceived.  The worst part is putting boss hints in the chat log (seriously, it's an action based game - why wouldn't the tell be visual?) but the whole concept is just odd. 

 

A single player dungeon who's instance spawnpoint is on through and on top of a mob spawn and event path capable of instagibbing players as they port in and out.  Patchy audio and buggy mechanics with very little sense of drama or completion.  I actually have no idea how I came to be chasing down Canach, but he's pretty limp as a villain.

 

The Southsun arc has IMO been pretty uninspired on its own merits though.  It has reminded me of nothing more than Star Wars Episode 1.  I remember when it released every critic was making great fun of how they went from a galaxy spanning epic threat to what amounted to a trade dispute and a political "drama".

 

There are massive, primordial dragon forces tearing Tyria apart at the seams, all existence is threatened and all heroes are called, but instead of facing that threat down we're all running around on an island investigating a property dispute.

SOE has this uncanny knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  How many times have they had killer properties, neat game systems, and/or huge hype only to continually be second rate.  Their last true victory was the original EQ and Smed's been turning gold into crap ever since.

 

Even if they manage to pull together a good game, I strongly suspect based on past performance that their post-launch bumbling will sink it.

Unless they've done a lot of low-level code work on the game in the last couple of years (years in which there was very little perceptable development mind you) I'd suspect that transitioning to F2P would bring back all the performance issues the game had back when it was popular.

 

That and they haven't remedied the population balancing issues that plagued the game from launch until it dwindled.  Two sides means one inevitably stomps the other into the ground, which sets up the death spiral for server population as people leave or reroll to the winning side. 

 

If they could figure out fixes for these things, WAR F2P would be a juggernaught.  It's got fantastic art direction and tremedous fidelity to the IP, and the mechanics and classes / factions were actually quite different and fun (if horribly unbalanced for much of the game's history).  With a decent monitization model it could support futher PvE development and really flourish.

 

Sadly I don't think it's in the cards - but it would be nice to hope.

Originally posted by birdycephon
Its called an investment, except you dont make any proffit, and dont have to pay capitol gains tax.

No it's not - it's a consumer purchase based off marketing hype.

It's the same as buying a new model year car based only on what you see at the autoshow.

 

I'm sometimes surprised by the amount of venom the "suits" get from the gaming public.  Don't mistake that as whole-hearted support for the big businesses involved in game publishing, but if only for sake of balanced arguments, consider the role that "suits" play.

 

How many games only saw the light of day because some guy with his eye on the money told his bright-eyed designer that the game "has to ship now".  Yeah - it might have released buggy or unfinished, but at least it released.

 

Could Vanguard have used a couple more people with a firm hand on Brad making sure he hit milestones?  Probably.  What about Garriot's complete re-imagining of Tabula Rasa in the 9th or 10th hour?

 

Designers are idealists and all about big-picture ideas.  Sometimes they need backing by people who aren't drinking the Kool-aid and have their eyes on the mundane things like money and timelines.

Originally posted by BlueLantern
Originally posted by Anthur

"The second run-through would have been a different story, and since the dungeon won’t reset for a week, if you beat the Maw once, the difficulty will remain boosted for the week."

Man, Anet is really trying hard to seperate the community with this new content. Add fusions as a new gate mechanism and than also freeze the difficulty you acheived for 1 week. So no going back to lower dificulties to help others or even join them if they missed the first run.

So the spam in LA will look like this the next weeks:

"LFG fractals level 1"

"lf2m fractals level 3"

"Anyone fractals level 2?"

"lf1m fractals, level 5, full ascend only, got guardian."

and now for the truth. you can set the difficulty scale when your group enters based on the highest common attained level of your group members.

 

http://www.guildwars2hub.com/guides/basics/complete-guide-fractals-mists

Anthur is correct.  Because the difficulty level is based on the lowest difficulty achieved in the group you will absolutely see people LFG with certain difficulty cut-offs.  People looking to progress will not be keen on continually running through the early difficulties with new PUG members.

 

As with most dungeons, this mechanic favours setting up a group that's willing to run a few evolutions in a row together, either on a static basis or at least a one-time commitment.  Hot-join PUGs will be tougher to form.

Originally posted by ZeGerman
I also am a capitalist and I believe in rewarding people for excelence not persistent mediocrity.   The gear treadmill in other games is a problem not because you get better gear but because the means to get it are not based on skill but on time spent.  The first step in destroying this incredibly destructive gameplay mechanic is to remove it entirely.  The next step (Not Sure if Anet will succeed) is adding back in better gear but making it legitimately difficult but not require huge amounts of time.  The dungeon gear is close enough to reward the people who mindless spend hours playing now hopefully they will try introduce legitimately better gear that is skill based rather than time based.

Anything introduced that is based on true gamer skill will spark a fire that makes this Ascended nonsense seem like a match.  Look what happened when Arenanet put in a genuinely hard jumping puzzle for Halloween - dozens of complaint pages in dozens of thread.  Now imagine the result if there was an advantage to be gained (better gear, more skills, etc) by completing that puzzle.  Armageddon.

 

The reason RPG systems are popular is that it's usually possible to outgear a given encounter if allowed sufficient time.  That way people of poor-average personal skill can still complete the content.  If something is permanently gated behind a skill-barrier, people will drop the game in frustration by the hundreds. 

 

Remember the old NES games that were genuinely tough?  I remember reading some abysmal stat on the number of players that actually "beat" those style of games - well under half just quit the game at some point and tossed it on a shelf forever.  A very bad plan to follow for an MMO.

 

There has to be some kind of progression that illustrates your character getting better over time.  No MMO can survive without some goal to achieve once the leveling experience ends, and that goal has to have a lot of repeatability built in as development takes many times longer than playing the content. 

 

Ascended gear seems to be trying a new spin on progression, with the better gear only being relevant to the content you are trying to progress through.  A player with Ascended gear and max infusions OUTSIDE of the Fractals dungeon will be effectively indistinguishable from someone who has only slotted exotics.  At least, that's how I read it, and if so - the plan is to do the same thing with future content (which will presumably be focused on other playstyles).

 

 

They don't have the money to keep producing FMV trailers - the game went F2P for a reason, and it wasn't because they were rolling in cash.

 

Future Batman already arrived as part of the expansion that opened the South Gotham zone, showed up in one of the raids I think (never saw it).

 

I think your best chance at storyline is the comic series they were publishing alongside the game (if they're still doing that).

Originally posted by Xasapis

Well, WvW has many issues design wise.

  • First of all, the outmanned buff is totally useless as anything besides an indication that you don't have enough people on to do anything constructive in WvW.
  • Then you have the scoring system, which is totally broken. Score is dictated by the server who has a presence 24/7. It doesn't matter what quality of players the server has, if you can cap the majority of keeps during the night and keep them as much as possible during the day, you'll get a huge point bonus.
  • Due to the above problem, the people on the non 24/7 servers will be demoralised and unwilling to upgrade their keeps/towers. What's the point anyway, when whatever they upgrade will be lost, not because they are bad and got owned, but because there was nowhere there to protect it. In the end, you can throw so much gold down a pointless drain.
 
 

I'll give you the outmanned buff being rather pointless, but the scoring system isn't a design issue, it's a player comprehension issue.

 

The "scores" in WvWvW are taken far too seriously - as if they are some kind of scoreboard and the one with the most points is "winning" the match.  That's actually not the case.  The scores are there to figure out who should be matched with who.  If a server has a 24/7 presence they will naturally accumulate more points as they will hold more objectives for longer than a server with only a strong peak population.

 

In time that 24/7 server will be matched with other servers that accumulate similar point values (presumably because they're 24/7 as well) and they will get the matches they deserve.

 

The problem with the matchmaking system as designed will come with servers that are on completely opposite activity cycles.  They'll accumulate the same point numbers and thus be matched frequently, but the play will be universally one-sided in each activity time period.  On the other hand, there are three servers in every match - chances are they won't have three equally opposed servers.

 

If the player population eventually figures out that the only fight that matters is the one that happens when you are online then these complaints will go away.  Sometimes your server will get stomped for a week - it'll happen, and in that time I wouldn't spend great sums on upgrading keeps either.  That's your time to suck back, reload, resupply and get ready for the next match-up by polishing your small unit tactics.

 

 
Originally posted by zellmer

No mention of all the stolen/hacked accounts either?

There's people with passwords along the lines of 435FD934u8jg8Z0j4g90j4895  that have had their accounts stolen multiple times.

The actual game is also beyond flawed to put it lightly...

 

For the most part, these people get their accounts hacked because they reuse their strong passwords for both the game and something else (guild forums for instance).  The something else ends up having poor security and the password is compromised, then the hacker simply goes and tries to access the game using the same credentials or small variations and sees if they are lucky.

 
Originally posted by TdogSkal

What the hell is 0:00 AM Pacific time?  12am?   Who mixes military time with standard time?  There is no 0:00am Pacific time.

There is 0:00am military time and 12am Pacific time but not 0:00am Pacific time.

Am I right to assume they are talking about 12am Pacific time on Saturday morning?

00:00 isn't "military time" it's simply 24h notation (which is commonly used in a great many countries outside North America).  In this case the AM is superfluous as it goes without saying that 00:00 is in the morning.

 

"Military time" uses Greenwich Mean time as a standard and also uses the 24h format.  Two different but related concepts.

 

Arenanet does all their times in Pacific as that's where they (and presumably their US servers) are located.  As I believe California is a daylight time state, that would put them three hours earlier than Eastern Daylight time.

 

You are correct however - they are saying the servers will go live no later than midnight Saturday morning in their (Pacific) timezone, but could go live as early as 9pm Friday night (Pacific timezone).  For me on the East coast that means somewhere between 12am to 3am.

Originally posted by barezz

Sure people complained, why would this surprise you?  PvP is a playstyle, and not everyone enjoys that playstyle.  There will be many players who will get upset if the zone they are trying to quest in becomes a massive PvP zone because they have zero interest in PvP.  I'm not sure why the attitude and idea that "if players just tried PvP they would LOVE it" persists.  I think it is safe to assume that most player have tried PvP in some form, at least enough to make an educated decision on their preferences.  Think of a food that you hate, that you know you hate the taste of.  Will forcing yourself to eat it make you like it?  probably not.

 Let's imagine that there was a dragon that would fly around zones and make your character sit in an inn and roleplay.  Or craft.  If you don't like those activities, those playstyles, it would not be fun.  Just being told to avoid the magic RP dragon zones for a bit would probably annoy you a bit.

If that is the direction Guildwars 2 wants to go, fine that's their call.

Here's the thing I don't get - how is this event different from a PvE open-world raid?

 

According to the article it was "several" players that were transformed.  Not dozens, not hundreds, but a few players were given inflated stats, hitpoints, and damage abilities.  The rest of the zone was normal players tasked with gathering together and killing the big bad guys.  In what way is this a "massive PvP zone"?

 

It sounds like this is a cooperative event where the role of the boss mob is taken on by other players (similar to older MMOs where GMs would fill the role of a boss in the open world).  The only difference I can see is that the bad guy won't be limited to scripted responses and may (depending on the player) actually act somewhat intelligently.  For a population that enjoys large-scale, epic, dynamic, challenging fights (presumably the PvE audience of GW2) - why in the world would this be a source of complaint?

Originally posted by Fadari

I also started gaming with UO, EQ and AC and I do not, in any way believe that a 12 year old could have played UO under the conditions of that game.  You don't have the intellect, thought processes, coordination or even the wisdom/experience at 12 to stay alive long enough to chop wood.  Fanboy's may dream about following some young girl gamer, but keep it real.  Even your knowledge of WoW is limited. You seem to have no idea what raiding was like before dungeon finders were added to some games and thus the dumbing down of content so uncoordinated groups could get their loot.  Just be honest, tell us what you know and really experienced.  Maybe an action screenshot would help prove you were there, then again I suppose you can get those anywhere.  After you've finished an article/blog, maybe a spell and grammar check might be an idea too.

-Lisa (a real female gamer)

 

 

*shrug*

 

Maybe you weren't smart / coordinated / wise (seriously? wisdom?) enough to play UO when you were 12, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone else wasn't.  I've grouped and guilded with a few 13 year olds over the years that certainly knew what was what better than the average 20-something cement-head.  Not many mind you, but enough to know it's a non-zero chance.

 

BTW - it's pretty hillarious to have obvious grammatical errors no more than a few sentences prior to commenting on someone else's.

 

 

The other element of forcing "virtual cash" is that the company ensures they get paid and leaves no recourse for the consumer.

 

Consider SOE's Station Cash.  If you bought a subscription for 6 months with a credit card and the game in question shut down a week later, you would have recourse through the card company to get your money back.

 

If you bought Station Cash with that same credit card, in an amount that would pay for the same amount of time (I know it's no longer available - just an example), and the game shut down, you now have no recourse as Station Cash sales are final.  To the card company you received the goods you paid for - it's not their problem that the intended use for that product is no longer possible.  SOE got paid and the consumer's only recourse would be to spend the Station Cash balance on another SOE product (that they may or may not have interest in) or consider the Station Cash a sunk cost and move on.

 

For that reason, buying "Store Cash" in advance of a purchase (i.e. on Triple-cash sale day or whatever) is just as risky as buying a lifetime subscription to a newly launched game.  You have no guarentee that you'll be able to use the Store Cash for the purpose you intend and you have no recourse if something changes.

 

Nice game - not worth a sub but might theoretically be worth it if the microtransation model is reasonable.

The shame is that it's SOE in charge.  Given how Sony's complete ineptitude has burned me in the past, I wouldn't pay them a red cent even if Vanguard was the last MMO on the planet.

Now that the technology for "mega-servers" is possible and feasible, the old "sharded" server model should really be tossed in the dustbin.

The typical arc of a modern MMO exposes all the problems of sharded servers.  No matter what, you need far more shards at launch than you will for your stable population - which means by default you will have shards that are effectively ghost towns.  Now some players like that - but by and large most players on ghost-town shards will either stop playing or will move to more populated ones.  Downward spiral commences and the shards drop one by one until you're left with a handful.  See Warhammer: Age of Reckoning.

The mega-server concept scales much better and should now be the default server design for any upcoming MMO.  It still breaks of course, everything will under a certain load, but it does keep the game lively for much longer.

That said, it's really tough to fill a bucket that has a big hole in the bottom.  SWTOR needs to figure out where there population is dropping off and fix that or else mega-servers are a short-term improvement to a long-term problem.

DCUO implemented mega-servers, but that alone wouldn't have saved the game, they needed to go the freemium route to survive.  They didn't really fix any of the main issues though, so they were really just filling the bucket by putting it under a waterfall.  Eventually interest wained and now DCUO is dwindling back down. 

If SWTOR implements mega-servers without making the game more compelling at the end-levels it will slow the downward spiral, but they're at best buying time not solving problems.

People always get this backwards.

Dust 514 is not about bringing console players into the EVE universe, it's about CCP branching into the console market.  Dust 514 isn't being developed for PC because CCP already has a PC game.

One day years ago, CCPs executives decided they wanted to create a console branch.  The senior producers took a look at all the possible genres to develop and decided on a FPS.  It was at that point they decided to leverage their existing IP, and then listened to "that guy" who said "wouldn't it be cool if the console game could interact with EVE!"

The Sony thing was apparently the best available choice, given Microsoft is apparently difficult to work with (and frankly, the PS3 is the better machine - that may have had something to do with it). 

While I'm sure there will be some cross-over from EVE players.  DUST is all about CCP making a name in the console market - they want to bring in brand new customers, not just milk more money out of their existing PC customers.

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