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Casual Thoughts from a Semi-Retired Philosopher

I play MMOs as an alternative to TV. Sometimes it even turns into quality time with the wife and daughter. Most of the time it's a distraction from doing something productive or meaningful.

Author: Hluill

What is Wrong With Me

Posted by Hluill Thursday September 22 2016 at 5:42PM
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My last entry actually received a few responses!  Pretty cool.  I appreciate people taking the time to share their thoughts.

Most of them took exception to my claim that a two-handed weapon is faster than a one-handed one.  So I grabbed my Landesknecht Katzbalger and did a few forearm drills and windmills.  Then I did the same with its matching pikebreaker, which is a bit too big and heavy for me.  I then tried my Cinqedea, Lacona and my Gladius Hispanicus.  Then I did the same with my greatswords from the twelfth and fourteenth centuries.  I performed the same actions again with my wakizashi and then my dachi.

Yeah, I must've been high, but I am pretty certain that the two-handers, even that freaking huge pikebreaker, move faster, and with much more power than my one-handers...

I am a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress issues, so I am used to feeling a bit abnormal most of the time.  I am fine with that.  But it is interesting that something so basic can create such alien perceptions and opinions.

This initiated further exploration of my frustration of popular game theory.

Instead of spending hours grinding dungeons for the best gear, instead of spending hours shuffling slots in vaults and bags, instead of spending time grinding levels and health points, maybe games could focus on other things.  

Okay, I've already admitted that I am weird, but I think it's more fun to have to choose what gear to carry, just like some games make us choose amongst various skills.  A 'balanced' game (I use the term with trepidation) allows for everything to have advantages and drawbacks.  Heavy Armor and weapon is a great combo for open field combat, or close assault.  It absolutely sucks for sneaking and swimming.  A single dagger, or heavy knife, or small short-sword is great for tight places and sentry takedowns.  All you dual-wielders would rock your buff coats, rapiers and off hands in street fights.  

If I was planning to take down a boss, we might have to mix it up a bit.  I might need some friends with bows to distract the boss from my assault and to control adds.  I might need some smart and/or big guys to breach doors and walls and windows.  I might need a few guys in extra-heavy kit to go through those breaches.  There are an infinite number of variables.  And it really gets fun when we have to make do with the less-than-optimal load out.

But yeah, I am weird.  I enjoyed raids with a ranger as a tank, or a pair of rogues. I enjoyed taking down a boss without a healer (and with some creative bandage and potion use).  

My biggest mantra about MMO design is give us players as many options as possible: housing, crafting, class hybridization.  While some games seem to make progress in one area, like TSW and ESO skill systems, they regress in other places, crafting and housing and character customization.

It just seems like the MMOs are narrowing their focus to the gear-grinders.

If I Ran an MMO Company...

Posted by Hluill Sunday September 18 2016 at 7:14PM
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It has been a long time since a posted here, since February!

In that time I completely burned out on Blade and Soul and started playing Elder Scrolls Online.  And I still venture back to Lord of the Rings, Everquest 2, Star Wars and Secret World.

But I can't help but be aggravated: a definite sign that I've been playing too much and need to do something constructive and tangible!

But I can't stop obsessing that the owners of these companies need to make their developers and artists do the same.  These guys need to go out into the world and experience some of the things they are drawing and coding.  Sure, these are fictional game worlds, but I am tired of goofy stuff.

It interests me that many Hollywood producers pay for their actors to go through "boot camps" to learn some depth to their roles.  More frequently I am seeing actors that actually know how to hold a weapon and wear the gear.  I want game producers to do the same for their "actors" -- their artists and designers.

A couple things they may learn: 

Armor is heavy, and it works or else no one would wear it.

Two-handed weapons are generally faster and more accurate than one-handed ones.

Dual-wielding anything reduces effectiveness, especially full-sized weapons.

Maps need to be less detailed and show information pertinent to the guy on the ground, like obstacles!

Armor is not flattering either.  Breasts and pecs and abs are not visible through it.

Real Adventuring requires a lot of time spent deciding which gear to carry, because one cannot carry it all in a back pack.

And my immortal favorite: Anybody can kill anybody.  No skill or gear will free anyone from being defeated in combat.

Enough of a drooling rant for now.