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All Posts by Syri

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Sarcastic Europeans? never! ;)

wtf mate?
General Discussion « Rift
8/11/11 10:47:49 AM

When I bought my boxed copy, it certainly came with 30 days play time. It's possible that is an upgrade from the trial, and buying a retail box for a bit more will give you the 30 days still. I'm not sure though, as I've not seen it without 30 days.

1. Star Wars

2. Bioware

3. Star Wars

4. Bioware

5. Star Wars

Originally posted by heerobya

Anyone upset over having to play online needs to grow up and get with the times.

It's not some crazy effort to make higher profits, it's a reasonable effort to prevent revenue loss due to piracy.

Different sides of the same coin, I know, but pay for your games - better services, better products.

...

Take off the blood-red tinted glasses, think about this stuff in a realistic and logical fashion, and it makes sense.

Absolutely correct! Everyone has broadband now! even those in rural areas who are lucky to have a telephone line! And all of those people who rent and can't get a fixed line in the property, well, they have such cheap and fast mobile broadband now! And of course, nobody would ever play a game on their laptop on the train... Not without taking their cheap and trusty mobile broadband dongle anyway! You know, the ones that work EVERYWHERE. And flights, nobody would ever want to game on a laptop while on a flight, not when there's crappy in-flight movies to watch! And the servers... They'll never go down, EVER. Even if they need maintenance, they'll be so good they can be re-loaded on the fly, without dropping a connection!

In case you didn't realise, that was sarcasm. Yes, a lot of people have broadband, but it is by no means widespread enough to assume it will be available all of the time that someone would want to game. Combined with having to rely on servers actually being up, you're left with a pretty compelling reason why this is such a bad idea. If you buy a single player game, you expect to be able to play it offline, at your own convenience. Sure, restrict online play to online characters only, but don't prevent people from playing the game offline. There's plenty of ways to accomodate fair online play without needing to do that.

Originally posted by Ikeda
Originally posted by Azerin
Originally posted by nickster29

Just an FYI, NCSoft is the publisher for GW2, Arena.net is the developer.

 

One of these new MMOs that NCSoft just announced is being developed by Carbine Studios, and the other might just be an in-house development.

 

It will not affect development on GW2.

^^^ What he/she said. Arena Net is the dev house for GW2, NCSoft is only the publisher. Think Bioware/EA for example.

And all the GW2 anti-TOR DOOM-sayers are shouting doom on TOR because EA is their publisher... so OBVIOUSLY they have SOME impact on game development don't they?

I think most of the shouting about EA is the fact that they tend to force games to be released early, try to milk as much cash out of games they publish in DLC etc, and that they meddle a lot with the games.

NCSoft, from what I can gather, take a hands off approach. They provide the resources such as technical support, servers, engine licensing and so on, but they leave it to the developers to shape the game and decide when it's ready.

This is just my understanding, based on what I have heard and experienced myself.

I think that some form of story is important, as it gives you a reason to be playing the game. Take an RvR model like the one used in DAoC for example. There's a lot more purpose to getting 50 or so people together and going and taking over a castle if you've got something that makes that castle a threat to you. If you're just storming castles for the fun of it, it'll get old pretty quick, but if there's a reason you should control the castles, and a reason someone else should try to stop you taking it.

For PvE objectives, it can also help in building interest in a land. Yes, a lot of people will be drawn in just for the promise of loot, but if you've also got a story to it, that leads you on to more and more dangerous lands that you need to be kitted out for, it just provides that extra drive to make you want to progress.

The tricky part is realising when you've got too much story. In an MMORPG, the whole objective of most games is that you are a hero, a great adventurer, working towards some ultimate good in the world. If you have too much story thrown in, your path becomes set. You don't really go out adventuring, you're just following a path already set out. It's like comparing freehand drawing to dot-to-dot pictures.

Personally, one of the changes to WoW that put me off it was the amount of story they started to put in. It always had a lot of lore, but it used to be that it was just text you read, go on and do the task, then choose where to go next. Now though, you have to start at point A, complete all the objectives, then move to point B and complete all of those, and so on. You can't pick and choose which parts you do any more, you can't just drop that quest that went grey and move on to the later part of the zone that still gives exp, you're trapped in the story.

Having a story behind quests is nice, but having some choice for the player is even nicer. It makes you feel like you're actually that epic hero, making their striding steps in the world, rather than just some actor, mimicking the path some hero took before, to emulate them.

As I'm sure a lot of people on these boards are aware, one of Trion's main criticisms for Rift is their lack of any worth-while PvP at the end of the game. I've put together a suggestion for them, based on a new PvP zone, and posted it in their forums.

http://forums.riftgame.com/showthread.php?225759-World-PvP-Zone

If you would like to add any ideas to that, feel free to. If you are in support of it, please show that support so that it might come to Trion's attention. If you just want to flame about it, don't. I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to see more to do in the game.

Personally, while I can see some elements of WoW could be considered challenging, there are also a lot of areas in which it's not so much how you play, but rather how long you've played, that dictates your success.

Yes, the game does have some challenge to some of the raids and instances, where a group needs to work together. Most of this can be negated though by just spending more time on the easier parts, building up your gear, then just going and steamrolling the challenging part. Not all of it can be done this way, but a great deal of it.

The levelling, that's certainly been dumbed down a lot. It used to take a reasonable amount of time to get through the levels, but now, they reduced the amount of experience needed, so it just feels like you sail through the earlier levels. The revamp with cataclysm has made this even worse, by turning the quests into linear quests, focused on a small area, then moving on to the next small patch. The addition of the built in quest navigation is yet another example of this, though it can be disabled and there were addons to do the same before, it's made the whole levelling process a lot simpler for those that don't want to disable it, or even know it can be disabled.

Progressing through the PvE content is also rather easy. You might find the odd challenge in dungeons, especially if dealing with pugs, but if you put enough time in, you can get enough gold, crafting materials, or both, to negate a lot of the gear required from instances, or at least make the instance runs easier to do. It doesn't take extra skill to get through things, as without the gear, you just won't do it. It just needs extra time to GET the gear.

PvP is similar, though due to the opposition being human, it does involve at least a bit more skill. The gear still plays it's part here though, and two characters of similar strength and skill will have their fight determined by who has the best gear. There are times even where someone with the most skill can be beaten simply because their opponent has better equipement. Do you need to be skillful to get good gear? No... You just need time.

There are some areas where skill can help, but most, if not all, can be negated by simply putting in more time and grinding. This is why, in my view, WoW is an easy game. It's not such a bad thing to be easy, and certainly some people do prefer it. It means it's an accessible game, and one that will attract a lot of players, serving as a good introduction to the genre. Where it causes problems though, is that almost the whole industry has decided to copy these ideas, rather than take a chance and provide something that's a logical "step up". There are other MMOs, and many with more complex mechanics and designs, but none that are I am aware of that have managed to provide such a complete "package" of content, appealing to the same broad range of players, while also offering that step up in the challenge.

I started off with DAoC, which I played for a year or two before trying WoW. When I tried WoW, it was with my old DAoC guildmates. We made a new guild, we all got on and made it our new home. Shortly in though, a lot of the guild decided to go with horde instead of alliance. Those of us left tried to carry on, but one by one, people just vanished, and the game just seemed so dull and pointless without those people around, and so it was back to DAoC.

Now, the reason for trying WoW in the first place was due to changes made in DAoC around that time, these being the infamous Trials of Atlantis expansion. I found that going back to DAoC, it was pretty much the same, now rather dated, game, with the same flaws introduced with the ToA expansion. It didn't take long before I started MMO hopping.

Burning Crusade saw me back with WoW, and I decided to hook up with the old DAoC guild members who'd gone over to the horde (I wasn't keen on any of the races horde launched with visually, just didin't appeal, or I'd have tried that sooner). I enjoyed the game suddenly, now I had my old friends again, there was a reason to carry on the game, and I was soon hitting the level cap and getting into raiding.

Now, the point of all of this, the thing that kept me with an MMO wasn't the game itself, but the people I played with. The community made the MMO experience. In the old days of DAoC and the like, the community seemed much stronger. There wasn't so much hand-holding built in to the game, so you had to ask for help on things, and this created more social interaction. Once MMOs started to go with the single player levelling, and then culminated in the automatic dungeon group builders, a lot of that social interaction was lost. The changes to the game aren't the only things to blame though. With the market being opened up to more casual gamers, it also saw a great many more varied personalities, which inevitably caused many more personality clashes.

In my eye, the changes to the games have been partly to blame with losing interest, but it's the changes to the community that have really started to put me off. You can still get lucky, and come across a great community. The thing is that now, it's more likely to be a great guild than a great game.

Originally posted by Angier2758

I started playing MMORPGs when I was 16 back in 2000.  Heck my first paycheck went to UO.. then a month later it went to EQ.

 

Want to know the saddest thing? The genre really hasn't gone anywhere.  Nothing all that creative or original has happened.  The worst part?  MMOs that have came out recently have offered LESS.  I see all the classic MMORPG arguements still floating around and really they are all pointless.

 

That's the bottom line on why WoW is so successful.  Not only is the competition just bad or in a niche, but really nothing has changed much since EQ.

From the way I see it, the whole industry has lost much of it's creativity, not just MMOs. 11 million people play WoW, so instead of trying to offer something new, all the people with money to invest are trying to emulate it's success, they don't dare make any major investment in anything too different.

The FPS genre is the same. Military style FPS games became popular, millions playing counterstrike, then Call of Duty, and suddenly almost all FPS games use a similar model, with only carrying two guns, real world weapons and realistic settings and all that. Nobody really dares inovate, because rehashing the old stuff is selling too well, and nobody wants to see if something different might just sell more.

It's a sad thing for those few who are looking for something different, and certainly some niche titles spring up in every area of the industry. The money goes into the clones though, so it's going to take an extraordinary niche title to break that mold.

Originally posted by Squal'Zell

one thing i forgot to add, and you make a good point of it, there needs to be a safer (or safe) zone. say the main starting area plus surrounding region. until a new player gets their bearings. in UO you where safe in cities, in EvE you re "safer" in high sec. but you are right, you cant have 100% FFA you need your "safe area"

on the other hand the option to choose full loot or not still does not work. why would someone choose full loot. you need a perk for the risk you activate.

i mean why would i activate the full loot in the first place? when others don't have it

now if say, only people with full loot get a special title, or special permissions, or ANYTHING that gives me an insentive to accept the risks.

and again, if there is no way of loosing items (say 90% opt out of full loot) it destroys the economy as you wont need to buy anything once you have it, crafters go out of business and new items will cost to much that newer players won't be able to afford. 

If you were making looting optional, you'd have a decay system on items. Not so harsh you need a dozen swords for one dungeon run, but enough to keep the crafting business ticking.

As for incentive, the same ones that make you play a game with that feature. The challenge, the feel of danger, the fact you might just walk out with someone else's stuff... If you put too many incentives, then you might aswell just make it on anyway. If you don't have extra incentives other than recieving that style of gameplay, then those who like that will choose it, those who don't won't feel forced to, and will enjoy the game more.

The theory behind this thread is to get a sandbox that will attract a larger crowd. Like it or not, full looting is going to put a lot of people off, no matter how well accomodated it may be with starting zones and such. Some people don't even like pvp, even without looting. If you have a way of choosing which level you want, and telling who has chosen which, you can let people with different tastes share the same server. It's better for all that way. You might get the odd person you can't loot, but can still fight. You will no doubt see some you can't attack. I think that, as long as it's accomodated and presented right, it should still provide fans of all flavours of pvp. And if they can all share one game and one world, it helps that all important community too, in my view at least.

Originally posted by Squal'Zell

#5 Free-For-All PvPing and Looting is a Niche

you think its a niche simply because you do not fully understand the concept of full loot FFA pvp in sandbox games. i played darkfall for a bit, i was minding my own business killing stuff and suddenly someone pops in from nowhere and kills me and takes everything i have, ok cool my bad i wasnt paying attention, i respawn in town go to my bank and take out one of 12 swords identical to the ones i just lost that i had bought from a crafter couple of days ago. (since like stated above, everything is player made)

although darkfall is not perfect, the reason i didn tlike it is simply because there was not enough clan/alliance mechanics to compensate for the FFA, eve is good in that sence. i used to be part of an alliance Mostly Harmless and if i was wondering alone people would think twice about attacking me (even if they are much stronger than me) 1 i have my alliance to back me up. they know that if they loose a ship they will loose 100 fold from my alliance that will simply crush them, their ships, their towers, their stations and steal everything they own (no im not exagerating). also if alliances get created, you also need territory control mechanics for FFA to work. you will be very safe in your alliance/coalition of alliances territory since you are allies and allies wont attack eachother even though they can (but they will again have to suffer the consequences) it is human nature that given the proper tools will create alliances and friends.

i think that in your mind, if you are in game, in the world anyone you see will attack you loot you and teabag you. except your 50-100 guild members (the other 200000 are out to get you) which is not true at all. if properly made you can easely have 1/3 to 1/2 of the server that wont touch you since you are a "friendly" to them (and they would expect the same from you)

if you think you will loose that uber rare sword by grinding in a dungeon for ages... highly doubt it, anything player made should be in theory better than anything looted for the game system to work (which is what destroyed the economy in SWG when NGE hit, you could get better weapons and armor from drops than the crafters, crafters had no more insentive to craft)

 

conclusion

as you can see, im not making the game hardcore, im simply making it not collapse. any change you propose will destroy a key aspect of a game (or its the reason the new batch of sandbox games, mortal and darkfall, are not doing so well as one would expect a sandbox to be) making the game broken or have the feeling of "something is missing"

you think your ideas might work because you are not looking at the bigger picture. you forget that killing the full loot will hurt the crafters and the economy, making instant travel will turn the game from playing a game to grinding a game, allowing multiple characters breaks the game balancing and encourages scamming and asshattery. 

the reason its not more popular is that the sandbox games are not well funded, well programmed or well maintained.

see eve online, its well funded, well programmed and well maintained and it has 360k subs (with 40-50k playing at any one time) and 360k is very respectable for a sub based MMO

just remember to look at the bigger picture and don't forget to take more than the mechanic itself but mechanics that are affected by it. (like the economy for example)

 

 

While I understand that having free for all pvp, providing you have the right guild and alliance attitudes, can add to a game... it requires the right guild and alliance attitudes.

A new player entering a game will most likely NOT have a guild, and if they get a guild, may not be part of a big alliance. If you are making a game to cater to a wider audience, you can NOT have them put off the moment they enter the game, just because some experienced player who's got a big alliance behind him wants to go sit in the starting area looting the newbies. Don't forget, if it's a game to appeal to mass audiences, that means it could well attract the corpse camping gankers from the likes of WoW, who roll round the level 20-30 zones on their level 85s just one shotting people "for laughs".

In the current games, where the community is smaller and more accepting of that part of the game, they make a way around it, or went there for it in the first place. If Joe Bloggs wants to play though, but doesn't want pvp, or doesn't want full loot pvp, they'll be put off, and the game becomes yet another FFA PvP niche game.

Having the full loot side of it as an option still lets those who choose to go for full looting do that, but it also means those that don't want to, for whatever reason, also have that choice.

I would say that it should be an option at character creation though, not something you can turn on and off at will. Having both though allows you to avoid alienating some of your potential customers, and having it as a flag lets you keep everyone on one server, meaning a bigger community, and not dividing friends.

Originally posted by Sanity888
Most people who know the difference between “sandbox” and “theme park” games believe that sandbox games, at least MMO sandboxes, are a niche. I’m one of the few who don’t believe it. Everybody points out the success of World of Warcraft and the lack of any sandbox-type successes like that. World of Warcraft has 12 million subscribers, half of them are in Asia, and in reality only 3-4 million are in the United States. Second Life has 21.3 million accounts registered, and while yes, most of them were like me who only stayed around for a couple of minutes and then left, it still holds around 50 thousand concurrent users. There is also EVE Online, who has claimed some 300 thousand subscribers. Star Wars Galaxies saw the height of their subscriptions during the sandbox pre-CU days and it never recovered after the theme park-inspired NGE hit.
 
But I want this thread to be constructive, not a destructive thread of opinionated dolts, so for the sake of not starting an argument, I’ll just concede to the point that sandbox MMOs is currently a niche market. Okay, now how do we get sandbox MMOs “out of the niche”? What features can a potential sandbox MMO have that will cause it to become popular, maybe as popular as or even more popular than World of Warcraft?
 
If you are coming here with the opinion that sandbox MMOs will always be a niche and nothing will make it not be a niche, then I don’t want you to reply to this thread. This thread is meant to be constructive, not destructive. I will have my own ideas and I expect people to reply to them objectively and constructively, and I also expect people to form their own opinions on how to make sandbox MMOs popular.
 
Below is a list of ideas I believe sandbox MMOs could use to become popular, and break them from the niche they are in. Feel free to add any of your own ideas – if they are constructive enough I will edit this and include them with my own, of course giving credit to the person who originally wrote it.
 
#1 Make Sure the Game is Relatively Balanced and Bug-Free at Launch
As many have said, this should be expected (but is rarely delivered) of any game, sandbox or themepark MMO or any other genre.
 
#2 Appeal to Both the Casual and Hardcore Audience
Agreed, there has to be a way to get into the game easily, and let people gradually discover what it's about. I would say that the best way to do this would be to have some kind of faction system, similar to what we saw in SWG, with players starting neutral, and then choosing to join one side or the other to "open up" the game.
#3 Allow Players to Change Skills and Make Many Characters
I think that changing skills is essential, but as has been pointed out, alts can make you self-sufficient, which goes against your 6th point, building social aspects. I would say one way of satisfying both sides would be to have seperate skill pools for crafting and action skills. So you would have a pool of points to spend on production skills, meaning you can't make everything but can pick and choose, but you can also have combat on the same character if you like, without severely impacting your production abilities. If you want to build communities though, having a need to work together is a must.
 
#4 The Bigger the Environment, the Faster the Transportation
While faster transport is nice for a larger world, I don't think being able to teleport from anywhere is a good idea. I would say, depending on the lore, teleporting from certain "gates" or flying from certain ports is acceptable, but instant from anywhere is just going too far. Mounts of varying speed are good, where the more you're willing to invest the faster you can have. I would be against flying though, unless the lore accomodates it well, and there are either restrictions on the duration of it's use, or there are also threats in the air aswell as on the ground, so you don't just use it to skip hostiles.
 
#5 Free-For-All PvPing and Looting is a Niche
Definite agreement on this. Having it as an option allows those who DO enjoy it to still take part in it, but also opens the door for more players who simply don't enjoy this.
I would say that a faction system would improve on this further, by giving some kind of structured PvP, instead of only free-for-all. I think the option for free-for-all should still be present though, but making sure that it isn't having a negative impact on those who don't want it.
For all those who are for free for all full loot pvp, think about it, you can still do that if you, and the other people choose to. If you want to take the genre out of the niche market though, which is what this thread is about, then you need to make it a more friendly environment to those who DON'T want that.
 
#6 Social Aspects Are Important, Too!
Agreed, social side definitely needs to be accomodated. I think that there should be a stronger focus on players working together, in making towns, and in creating the items needed for adventuring. I would strongly recommend use of item decay for example, to make sure that crafters keep in business. Though it would have to be balanced so that you're not having to carry a supply of six spare swords every time you do a dungeon run for example. I would also suggest that dungeons, raids and such don't drop weapons and armour, instead favouring designs and patterns, either to allow players to make new items, or to add customisations to existing items. There could also be materials that drop in the dungeons that is required for some of the better items, that, along with the item decay, ensures that the content remains viable, even when everyone has the crafting patterns.  
 
These were my six ideas to make sandbox MMOs less of a niche and more mainstream. Again, feel free to comment constructively or add your own ideas to the list.

Added my comments and suggestions above to the original post.

I think that a lot of people are failing to see either what a sandbox is, or what the OP's thread is about. This is about a way to bring a game which has it's main focus on player created content into greater popularity. A sandbox is a game that has the greatest focus on player created content. Free for all PVP with looting is merely a sub-genre, that is commonly used in sandbox games. You could quite easily have free for all pvp with full looting in WoW, but it wouldn't make it a sandbox, not as long as you still level in a linear path from 1 to 85, still do dungeons and other level appropriate content, still visit the established areas of the world without being able to alter them... It's the ability to shape your character and the world around it that makes a sandbox, not the ability to kill someone and say "haha, I got your stuff".

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