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All Posts by jakin

All Posts by jakin

7 Pages « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »
123 posts found

This article seems awfully heavy on the rose-coloured glasses.

It's painfully obvious to anyone who's seen both of EA's Warhammer offerings that Wrath of Heroes is EA's cheap attempt to capitalize on the current popularity of F2P MOBAs using as many assets as possible from an underperforming (yet likely costly) intellectual property.  Same base models, same animations (the vampire is using the warrior priest animations from WAR), same basic engine - trying to bring a product to market with a minimum team and minimum timeline for the sake of cash generation.

It should be noted that said minimum team includes developers who demonstrated a complete lack of ability when in positions on WAR (Carrie Gouskous was Lead producer through many of the worst patch cycles and Nate Levy was (IMO) completely ineffectual as a Combat and Careers dev).

This MOBA has very little to do with Warhammer (as noted above) and less to do with DAOC (just including three teams does not make it anything like DAOC's three faction RvR combat).

It may end up being fun and it may end up being popular, but I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope given it's pedigree and obvious rush-to-market design philosophy.

Originally posted by bumuscheekus

Let me understand this properly. ... Or am I missing something crucial? 


 Kind of missing something. 

Dust514 isn't really an add-on to EVE, it's CCP's attempt to branch out into console games.  To do that, they're using their established intellectual property (that being the universe of EVE) to build a FPS.  Then, because they're CCP and they like to try to be different, they're going to try and make a persistent FPS that links into their PC game but remains separate.

(I'm getting this from fanfest interviews mainly)

The business decision to expand their userbase into the console realm is what's behind the title.  They could have used World of Darkness or anything else, but for reasons I can understand they went with their most well known property. 

What you can expect to get back is clearly outlined on EVE's website:


9. Hacking & Account Transfers

Hacking is any unauthorized access to another person's account, by illegal means or not.

You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and for any damage, harm, lost or deleted characters, etc. resulting from your disclosure, or allowing the disclosure, of any password, or from use by any person of your password.

  1. If your account is accessed by another player and assets are stolen or transferred to other players, we will investigate and items that we are able to track down will be moved back to the rightful owner.
  2. Any ISK stolen from the account may be transferred back to the rightful owner on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Any assets sold to another player will not be returned to the original owner; however, any ISK gained from the sale may be transferred to the original owner of the items instead on a case-by-case basis.
  4. Reprocessed assets cannot be restored to prior status.
  5. If someone gained access to your account as a result of your use of a third party program or other violation of our EULA/TOS, all requests for reimbursement will be null and void.
As to how long it will take, that depends on how busy the GMs are and how much effort it takes to track down your stuff.  If you don't hear from the GMs within a few days, very politely send a reply to the petition asking what the status is and if they have an estimate of how long it will take to be resolved.
In the meantime, it would be prudent for you to simply continue playing as if you will not get anything back.  It is very possible to pull yourself up by your bootstraps in EVE if you wish to put in the effort.  Either way, the GMs won't reimburse you for subscription time you spent spinning your ship while you could have been out mining or missioning to earn ISK - so you may as well make use of the sub time you have.

For a brand new feature to the gaming space (such as this) I think charging might in fact be a crafty move, if only to limit the numbers of players that adopt the new tech.


For Blizzard especially, with their millions of subscribers worldwide, introducing a new feature or service has a host of unknowns they may or may not have a handle on.  Introducing the feature as a microtransaction automatically limits the adoption rate to something more managable, and limits the impact if something hiccups during the break-in phase.


If over time the buy-in is high regardless of the price, then Blizzard may as well keep the charge.  On the other hand, if the buy-in is low or the community (as you're doing here) indicates that it might be more profitable to roll the cost in - Blizzard can look like a kind, caring, responsive company by including a previously paid-for extra in the monthly sub charge.  Win-win for them.

It would seem that from the Roundtable on DUST (I've only read blog coverage, but I think it captured the gist), the only unanimous takeaway message is that EVE players want there to be heavy interaction between DUST players and EVE players.  Given the usual method of interaction between players in EVE, screwing over from both camps is virtually expected as a game feature.


DUST is a pretty grand experiment on CCPs part.  I'm no shooter fan, but as far as I know there is no precident for a persistent game world shooter on the level DUST is pitched at even in its most basic incarnation.  I think DUST will have to grow its own crowd of players that accept it isn't a normal shooter experience.  I expect actions will matter more than your typical console / FPS player is accustomed to.  (wild supposition on my part - could be wrong)


I do agree somewhat though that the trailer really sets a high bar if taken at face value.  CCP has usually been very good at keeping things close to the vest (look at how much information has been released about World of Darkness for instance).  This trailer could very well create a hype backlash - but then I'm not sure people who would fall victim to such hype would spend much time in EVE to begin with.

Many of the above, but also one I didn't see on a quick scan through:


Star Control 2  /  The Ur-Quan Masters


One of the few games I have actually wanted to replay a few times, and the story and gameplay still hold up surprisingly well even now (and it's freeware now too-

Depth really just relies on the skill of the developers, not really on the platform itself.  You can design some pretty deep text-based games if you're good, and some of the deep, old sprite based games (like say Star Control 2) could probably run in a modern browser format.


My personal guess is that AAA MMOs will always release with a standalone client, but more and more you may see browser based "thin clients" or portal interfaces that allow a subscriber to take part in certain actions within the game that don't require the full client to be installed.


Take the old SWG for instance.  My boss at the time was forever logging in from work (because he could mostly) to survey resource shifts, move harvesters and stockpile resources.  For someone with a normal job that's not possible, but if there was a browser-based interface that allowed that function at the time...different story.


EVE's another one - players have been clamoring for a way to change skills via the web since the game opened.  Now with planetary interaction, there are a bunch of elements that don't need the full client to potentially work.


I guess the fear is that without requiring players to log in there will be less attachement to the game world than there would be otherwise.  I suspect that's not the case personally.  Future MMOs have the potential to roll a social media portal, a browser-based interface and a full on graphical client all into the same contiguous game space. 


A really good future MMO has the potential to infiltrate all areas of your life far worse than the EverCrack effect ever could have hoped.

Originally posted by Disdena

Being unfamiliar with Rift and WAR, I don't understand the open grouping concept from just the info that was in the article. What's to stop someone from joining the group and then just soaking up experience and loot without contributing? Or worse, someone who makes the group even worse than it was without them (for griefing purposes or just from gross incompetance)?


Dunno if Rift is exactly the same but WAR's open groups are the same notion as a closed group just with automatic inviting.  If someone joins and the group leader (either the one that formed the open group or randomly assigned if the original leader leaves) doesn't want them there they can still kick them out - but there's nothing preventing the offender from rejoining unless the leader closes the group.


That said, the situations that open grouping is used in don't really lend themselves to anyone caring about the competency of the other group members.  In WAR it was either a PQ, which by-and-large was zerg-able (not really requiring any particular skill or coordination) or open PvP, which was pretty fluid anyway and didn't really depend on set piece attacks (again more zerg oriented).


Open grouping doesn't work (in my experience anyway) for typical MMO dungeon content (raid or otherwise) or for small group elements (scenarios in WAR for instance).  The grab-bag nature and the lack of permanence tends to torpedo that kind of content if taken by an open group.

Sadly WAR is toast.  It'll bump along until EA decides to pull the plug, but there's so many deficiencies to cover that it would take a full dev team a year of fixing just to get the game back on it's feet.  I say that with true regret as well, as both my wife and I loved WAR when we played.


Mythic may have been a good company once, but it died when it was sold to EA.  There is literally no hope of Mythic producing anything again simply because they're nothing more than a brand of EA's online gaming division.  EA's decisions drove the reduction in development staff, the appointment of unsuitable lead producers and resulting in the languishing of a game that could have made something more of itself.


Not to say the WAR developers didn't help dig their own deep deep pits.  Paul Barnett really oversold a game concept that either never really existed or was abandoned very close to live.  The class balance developers took way too long to even begin to address the disparities inherent to having 12 very different classes, and even then wound up never addressing the more glaring deficiencies. 


Most importantly though, knowing that they were launching with two factions, they should have had an internal active population balance mechanism from Day 1.  I'm not sure what the idea was, but it seems like they just hoped that active faction populations would normalize and balance out on the large scale - and that players on the short end of the stick would simply stick it out until the winds shifted back to them.  If that's true, it shows a really astonishing lack of understanding for player mentalities.


For their own sake I hope Bioware is much more successful with KOTOR, and that EA doesn't see fit to cut them off at the knees post-launch.  They may then have some chance at retaining their identity.  My gut feeling is that it's going to be another launch-big, dwindle-fast type game, which may result in the same actions from EA management - but hope springs eternal (even if I wouldn't play it myself).

This would be a pretty quiet site if all that happened was people stopping by to read the articles. 


People have opinions, strong ones even on occasion, and being able to share those opinions is held as one of the fundamental underpinnings of Western society.  Though it doesn't happen excessively frequently - there have been occasions where a well-reasoned argument or debating point has gotten me to reexamine my own views.  To allow that possibility is enough for me to welcome people who firmly defend their views (without dragging it down to personal attacks, rhetoric and other inappropriate tacks).


The most striking element in Bill's article though was the line "Frankly, I just don’t have enough energy to care about it."


One could argue that this attitude is the primary thing responsible for the declines in our society today.  Most of the key events of the past century have been started by a small group of people who did find the energy to care. 

The greatest ally the crooks and corrupt of the world have is the people they're oppressing / taking advantage of being distracted by their own lives to the point they never look up and see the world around them.

Sure - MMOs and gaming don't fall into the same league as ending apartheid, but I would never discourage anyone from expressing their passion for a given idea.  Having a passion for anything and a willingness to defend it is an asset to society as a whole IMO.

Problem:  MMOs function on a faucet / drain economic system, therefore there needs to be a way to introduce currency into the economy.  Combat is the most common activity practiced by the whole population so the faucet has to be combat-related.  Therefore, killing will net currency.

Back in the day, killing a mob usually would either give coin or coin + usable item.  Again back in the day people cared about game worlds making some sort of sense and lizards dropping copper pieces doesn't.  Immersionists complained.


Solution:  Critters drop type-appropriate loot that can be traded for cash.  Animals drop body parts, humanoids drop coin and/or broken equipment (because butchering humanoids has ESRB implications).  Immersionists are happy.


Time passes and virtual worlds are traded for online games...


Problem: Players critique "grey loot" because selling it interrupts their playtime, logical integrity of the world takes a backseat to convenience and "doing what I want when I want".  Currency still needs to enter the game via combat however.


Solution:  Essentially automate the vendoring of trash loot (in this case sending a lackey off to sell it and bring back the money).


How long before they cut out the middle man and go back to simply awarding cash for killing directly again?  It's funny how things move in cycles.

No, it means that just like every other IP-based MMORPG, they choose / are forced to bend and break the existing lore of the IP in order to make a system compatible with the existing structure and technology of the game.

AFAIK, the Skaven aren't actually fighting "on the side" of Order - they're being controlled by Order forces in their battle against a united Chaos front.  It's bending the lore yes, but hardly the most outrageous thing they could have come up with.

Originally posted by Robsolf
The only people on the free model that really have any rights to access content are those people who paid points for those areas.


I don't see how that is any more distinct than someone that bought the box.

F2P players that buy the area buy the ability to access that area, just as someone that bought the box back when it was P2P bought the ability to play the game for a month.

Turbine could very well rejigger it if they chose to without affecting anyone's "rights" - as you say, it would be a terminally stupid business move, but I don't see how it's any different.

"Lineage II must eventually find some way to stand out from the thong of new titles."


I know the Freemium model is all the rage these days due to DDOs success, but I suspect the next big wave is customizable monthly payments.  That might work for WAR - where you pay for the things you enjoy and have no access to the things you don't.

For instance, Tier 1 and all it's content is free as a trial.  For a couple of bucks a month you can have access to each other Tier.  For a small charge on top of that you can have scenarios, and so on.

If they get creative enough with the parcelling, you could have a greatly customized experience for the player, while the developers have instant, unambiguous feedback on which systems players don't feel worth their money.

The only element of LOTRO that interests me is Monster Play.  If  I can "earn everything by working toward it" how do I go about accessing Monster Play as a F2P?

Originally posted by Comnitus

Originally posted by Selenica

Take a close look people. This same thing is going to happen to Bioware.

Blizzard, too. And ArenaNet. And CCP. And SOE. And... eh, what the hell, let's throw in Turbine as well.

Or did you have any evidence to suggest that it'll only happen to BioWare?


Because EA doesn't own Blizzard, ArenaNet, CCP or SOE.

The main point there is that when Mythic and Bioware signed on with EA they became simply brands within a large corporate structure.  There is no more Mythic or Bioware, any more than there is a Bullfrog or Origin Systems.

They're slapping the Bioware sticker on TOR because it suits their purpose.  Bioware has a good reputation in the gaming community and EA will trade off that reputation as much as they can.  Mythic's very public failure with WAR (be it their own fault, EA's bad management or a combination) virtually assures the Mythic brand will eventually be put out to pasture - sooner rather than later if TOR proves to be a hit.

I'd go one step further and call it manifestly unfair to the rest of the F2P spectrum to lump DDO and LOTRO (and whatever the next AAA game is that adopts this hybrid model) in with the rest of the item-mall driven games.

DDO was a borderline case, given it's popularity was never very high post-launch, but LOTRO released as a full on triple A game.  Box price, monthly sub and lifetime memberships up front and continuing.  It has been a successful subscription-based game for years, through two "boxed" expansions no less.

While I'm not conversant in the business models and cashflow of a genuine free-to-play game (i.e. developed as such from the ground up), I've got to imagine that LOTRO has had access to development resources far beyond the wildest dreams of any free-to-play game to date.  Even Guild Wars probably didn't pull in the sustained revenue that LOTRO has.

This trend of converting "aging" games to a freemium model as their popularity wains seems to be prone to putting a whole lot of pressure on genuine free-to-play games, similar to how WoW has put long standing pressure on the subscription-model, fantasy, quest-grinder market.

The "Gotta get them all" element of AP in Fallen Earth really hurt my enthusiasm for the game in the early stages.

It's probably possible to just casually pick them up as you go and create a workable character, but as soon as I knew there was a defined number of AP I couldn't get it out of my head that I'd need to eventually go through and pick them all up.  Especially since I was looking ahead at a PvP endgame.

That one mental element took me right out of the open-world, sandbox mindset and into the grind.  Looking up a list of questgivers that I needed to hit, knocking out generic missions and mission lines just to pick up that one more AP point, taking on missions as a job rather than an experience.  Completely killed my enjoyment of the game and I ended up just not logging in anymore.

My own fault for letting the mentality drive my play, but I still think it wasn't the best implementation of the AP system they could have come up with.

The odd thing about these periodic threads is that most of the anti-EVE posters generally imply that there is something missing in EVE that exists in every other MMO.

EVE is just a timesink, but I seem to remember running around a small area killing slugs in LOTRO for the deed, or doing circles of an area looking to kill a given mob for a certain rare drop.

EVE takes forever to find the "fun", but I spent plenty of time waiting around keeps in WAR for the enemy just to have a fight.

EVE is just a chat engine, why would you want to play with all that human drama in your hobby - but any guild is completely drama-free right?  Much less a high-end raiding guild.

There's no fun PvE in EVE, but "Fun PvE" in most other current MMOs consists of running dozens of badly written quests as quickly as possible, or running through an unchanging, pre-scripted encounter trying to find the one or two developer designed ways to win.

Anyway ...

EVE demands a few things of the people that play it:

  • you usually need to play with a group of like-minded people (at least at first).  You can solo, but the activities that are suitable for soloists are repetative and as such you need to have a long-range goal in view to make them a means to an end.  Which leads to...
  • you must be able to set goals for yourself.  Doesn't matter what the goal is, you have to be able to set a goal and take pride in accomplishing it.  If you arrive in EVE and functionally stand there waiting for the game to provide "the fun" (aka goals) it probably won't be long before you quit.
  • you need to devote time to it.  This is why I don't play anymore, I simply don't have the time EVE requires.  Not so much in the travelling, but the things I enjoyed in EVE take longer to accomplish than a couple of hours every couple of days.
If you want to give EVE a good, honest try - join EVE University (if they're still going that is, or some other decent newbie-friendly corp) and dedicate yourself to learning the ropes.  Then while you're in that corp, actively look for your next corporation / alliance based on what you enjoy.  Factional warfare is usually a good place to start, or the Red vs. Blue corp, if you're interested in learning to PvP effectively - but bear in mind they're a training field for corp / alliance warfare, so you don't really get to see the whole picture. 
At some point though, you need to set yourself a goal and start working towards it.  You'll burn out every time if your goal is simply to fly X ship class, or get Y amount of ISK.  Your goal has to be something in the meta-game, not something explicitly in the game mechanics. 
It's basically like your last year of high-school.  Everyone is asking you what you want to be when you grow up.  You've got to decide that for yourself.  Once you do, you find EVE opens up and becomes more than simply a collection of game systems.  Read a couple of the posts above for ideas (I always wanted to do the drug smuggling thing - never got around to it though).
Good luck if you're interested in giving EVE an honest try.  If you do and it's still not fun, at least you know for sure you don't like that style of game.

OK - first off, I would have loved to show up to Metaplace, except that the first I heard of it was it's closure announcement.  :)

Now, as to the topic at hand.  Investment dollars are by-and-large driven by idiots.  The majority is always following behind the trend, investing in past success and generally riding the downward slope of a trend.  Check out the average success of the average investor (even professionals) - it's dismal, and it's mostly because humans are genetically programmed to follow the herd not lead it.

I fully agree that the easy money may fall on the heads of "social game developers" for the next while, but it's hardly cause to claim the death of the MMO.  No more than the advent of reality television heralded the death of complex scripted drama.  It's trendy and popular right now, but it will all balance out in the end (otherwise we'd be buying stuff from, playing with Neopets and watching bad John Hughes films).

Look at the movies.  Avatar does very well, so now everyone is jumping on the 3D bandwagon.  Most 3D movies will be crap, 3D TVs will be a footnote in history next to BetaMax, 3D channels will be stillborn and the world will keep turning.

I appreciate that it must be discouraging for folks like Raph to have been beating the VW drum for so long, only to see the money and success follow the diametrically opposite path, but the players are still out there.  A straight up (functional :P ) clone of SWG (as an example) could easily pull the same numbers as EVE Online - which as far as anyone can tell is perfectly profitable for CCP.

I have faith, but then I still play flight sims - a genre that's been out of favour for 15 or 20 years now it seems.

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