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Mopars Musing

I am an old school gamer in the deepest meaning of the word. I trace my gaming back to before DnD and was online gaming with people before "online" existed.

Author: Mopar63

Finally Done with MMOs

Posted by Mopar63 Wednesday January 21 2015 at 10:30PM
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You know it has taken a lot but I think the MMO world might have finally drive me away. A number of factors lead to this decision but the straw that broke the camels back was the ESO announcement. I will cover all of my reasons here so you can understand.

RPG is Dead: The original MMOs where MMORPGs, games with a heavy tilt toward role play. The idea was to create a persistent world that you and your friends could have RP adventures in and have others from around the world join you. However over the years the MMO community has done all but openly attack RP gamers. The genre has gone so far as to have the name changed with the removal of RPG. Further games now are seldom written with good RP elements built in them with game mechanics or even story lines.

F2P Failure: The original concept of F2P was brilliant, it allowed the gamer to see the game and invest the amount of money he wanted based on how deep he wanted the game to go. The promise of F2P was amazing, the reality a nightmare. F2P has become the shop of meaningless stuff with mounts and outfits that break the immersion of the game just to have something else to sell. As if that was not bad enough it quickly moved to the realm of P2W with players able to buy their way through the games, not actually needing to play anymore. The end result is little meaningful content and the gamers instead fed a constant diet of tripe to keep cash flowing for essentially nothing.

PvP for Griefers: To this day EVE Online holds a special place for me, I truly think it is a great game except the game is broken for all but serious PvP and Griefers. So called safe zones have no real safety as any poor new pilot that wants to strive out on his own can be targeted the minute he leaves a so called NPC corp. The war dec system is designed to promote the griefer play style and if you say this publicly you are ridiculed as a weak play. PVP and it's entire concept is really cool and something awesome when done right. However few games do it right, instead rewarding players for smashing new players before they have a chance to know they have entered a PVP zone. Friendly, gentle introductions of PVP are deemed useless but only by the serious long term players.

Early Access is Paid Beta: Back in the day it was considered an honor to be granted access to the beta of a new MMO. You played hard and worked to help find bugs. Today the way to get into a beta is to pony up money and never do anything useful for the game development. The devs know this so they launch a beta and ask for money to join, oh and BTW the servers will not be reset. In essence the game has launched in a broken state and we are given the honor of paying to play crap. If this was the exception then it would not be so bad and we could target companies that performed this practice to shut them down. Sadly it is the norm with ALL MMO devs performing this dispicable practice, and while we all scream about how crappy this is, most still pony up the money to play. Are the game devs bad for doing this or are we STUPID for ever thinking the next time will be different?

Dev Bait and Switch: Two games for me come to mind, the first is MWO. When this game went into beta all of us die hard MW fans leaped in. The devs told us how they wanted to be loyal to MW and that we, the diehards where their people. Then the game goes into "open beta" and suddenly the dev efforts where all about the little cash story items instead of the cool game elements we where promised. When finally pressed one of the devs let the cat out of the bag, the game was not being developed for the MW diehard but for a wider audience. They lied to us to get our money to develop their game for other people.

We see this same behavior today with Zenimax and ESO. They made clear from day one that they would NOT go to anything but the standard subscription model for ESO. They where not making a game for everyone and the subscription model would ensure that true ES fans would be the gamers in game and their target. It was pointed out that console games would likely not pay a subscription fee and we where told they did not care, subscription was the model, end of discuss.

Taking into context the timing of the recent announcement it is fairly clear that ESO was planned from the start to go to the B2P model. Not just the evidence but friends within the company have told me this. The entire subscription model was a way for the company to keep cash flow while they finished the console versions. Now that those versions are about to release they can shift to the B2P model so the PC gamers are not mad at the console gamers not having to pay subscriptions. We where drawn in by a promised, paid our money and once they had what they need they changed the rules, bait and switch.

If these practices where done by one or two companies then I would not condemn the industry. However when EVERY company in this industry has been guilty of it we need to serious look at this type of game. How can we, as passionate gamers, stand by and allow the destruction of what was a great genre of gaming and not do something? What can we do? Stop giving these con men money. Stop playing the crap they put out. Stop buying into early access and beta programs. Make them keep their promise when they develop a game and shut them down because no one will play when we are shown that they lied.

With solid solo and co-op games like Divinity and Inquisition, new titles coming up like Witcher 3, our fantasy gaming itch can be scratched without paying out $100 a year to play a single game. Maybe if we switch to these games the MMO developer community will actually take notice that we are fed up and done with business as usual. Maybe they will try to do something unique like produce the game they promise.

Until the MMO community makes a stand we will get nothing but crap and the worst part is that is what we deserve.


When did MMO forget RPG?

Posted by Mopar63 Wednesday July 14 2010 at 7:45AM
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You know I do not care what game you play or what world you visit the sure way to be hammered during MMO play is to ask abut RP. I am amazed almost daily by the hatred it seems that so many MMO players to the concept of RP. I have actually seen characters and even been one of them, kicked out of guilds for literally bringing up a discussion of RP. I have watched players happily join a guild and play with it a few days and then run cursing from the guild because he found out it allowed RP.

Where does this hatred come from? Why is it so strong? Do these players not realize that the BASIS of the MMO is RPG? Role playing is what started the genre and is the basis from which all these types of games have spawned.

The only explaniation I can come up with is found by looking at the majority of MMO players. If you took the time to speak with most of the MMO players on your particualr game, how many of them could tell you the back story that was unfolded during thier recent quests? How many of them could name even one of the NPCs and tell you anything about them?

The answer is not many, the reason because that information got in the way of them rushing through. The current crop of players of the most part feel they can "win" the game if they go through fast. They fly for the end of the level like it is some trophy and do not realize that the real prize was the journey.

From their point of view RP slows you down. It keeps you from lett status because you are taking to long, hence you must be losing.

Part of the problem is however also with the RPers. Somewhere along the line RPers have forgotten how to RP. Oh they are great at doing forum RP or even speaking with a strange accent and using bizzare words but their actions seldom reflect the RP.

For this I will fall back to EVE for examples. A lot of so called RP groups are not really about RP at all unless if sounds good. Oh they write mighty forum posts or put up great words in local chat but do their actions reflect this RP? Do they act in a way that is consistent with what thier chat says? Oh some do but the majority use it as a backdrop of BS. They few who do act their character are considered lame and generally pushed off as loons.

I mean seriously where has true RP gone? Where is the Paladin, the paragod of Good when it comes time to steal from a church? Does he stand up to the group and say no, I will not do this? Does he actively work to stop them? Does he even walk away and let them do what they must but not be a part of it? Of course he does'nt becuase he would miss out on XP. After all some extra XP is more important than his righteous stand.

The next time someone talks about RP stop for a minute, do not run in fear or scream in hatred, stop and talk to the person. Find out what they gain and why they do it. Spend some time exploring something other than the next level and loot haul. It may not be for you and you might not enjoy it, but that is okay. Hopefull however you will learn a little respect for those that do. Remember without RPers there would not be MMOs.


Building an MMO Computer

Posted by Mopar63 Tuesday July 6 2010 at 3:31PM
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A friend of mine approached me one day, he is an avid MMO player and wanted to build a computer just for playing his MMO. The concept of the build was simple enough, it should play any MMO at at least 1680x1050, support multi-monitor as an option and keep cost under control. The software to be installed was Windows 7, MSE, Live Essentials, Ventrilo and the two MMOs he was playing at the time.

With this in mind I started working through parts looking for best return in performance for the money. While most MMOs do not take advantage of true multi-core processing, I did not want to hamper his ability to multitask with just a dual core. AMD offers a triuple core that gave me the perfect option. We settled on 4 Gigs of RAM to give him good multitasking performance and found a decent video card. The build looked like this..

AMD Phenom II X3 720

Kingston DDR3 1600

Gigabyte 870 based motherboard

ATI HD 5770

OCZ Solid II 60 Gig SSD

Antec Three Hundred (Illusion) Case

Antec Earthwatt 500 PSU

The SSD was a real kicker to this list. While it did reduce the HD space we found his software still fit with almost 50% of the drive open. We decided to not bother with an optical drive. MMOs are downloadable and we could set everything else up with USB Keys or downloads.

The system is nothing short of amazing in how fast it loads it's applications. Everything is near instant and a TON faster than spindle drive based systems. The X3 gives the MMO 2 full cores all to itslef and then uses the third core for the OS and Vent, the system is very responsive under all the multitasking he does.

The 5770 allows for good detail levels and keeps frame rates nice and high.

When we compared game play to my wifes gaming system we where quite suprised. Her system uses a Phenom II X4 965 with 8 Gig of RAM and a 1 TB WD Black drive, for video she uses a 5850. Now while benchmarks showed she got higher frame rates in real play there was no difference between the two machine at 1680x1050. In fact any difference actually made the smaller machine seem faster due to the SSD.

What this has shown me is that if you are a pure MMO gamer and do not use your PC for much else besides the web then this kind of build will get you a blazing system at a reasonable price. We paid a total of $750 for this system including shipping and it will compare will in real game play to much more expensive builds.




Why EVE No More

Posted by Mopar63 Sunday May 16 2010 at 7:18PM
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You know typcially when someone leaves a game they make this long tirade post within the games official forum. They rail against the company, the game, the fan base and all that is associated with the game and speak as if they are an authority on all things and what they say needs to be listened to.

Well you will not find a post from em about my leaving EVE in the forums here or on the EVE site. I will not rail against all the game and call it evil and I do not think my opinion on this is the only viable one.

I will however take a moment to express my thoughts here, this is MY blog after all and I can do what I want.

First let me say I am not some noob that never got EVE. I have been playing almost 5 years, my fikrends in fact stand in awe since my typical game life span is more like 6 months at most.  During that time I have through various characters started a number of corporations, some successful and some not. I have been elected leader of an alliance and been a part of a few others. I have mined until my blood was made of lava and done everything from mission running to faction warefare and outright PVP. There is not some aspect of this game I have not played.

During this time I have gradually observed that EVE has shifted over the years from a place that was a harsh universe to a pure griefer heaven. Now I did not decide to leave EVE because I was attacked, heck I can hold my own in PVP and enjoy a challenge lose more than an easy win. However there is a simple truth griefers rule the day in EVE.

You see even in the harshness of the real world there are some lines people do not step over, or seldom do, because the consequencies for those actions are long reaching. For example a person does not stick up a liquor store becuase doing so would mean jail time. Now take this same concept to EVE. The stick up in this case is some poor miner eecking out a living and the thug flips his can. A clearly illegal action. Yet the WORST the thug would suffer is the lose of a ship he can likely replace with an hours play time.

In the real world this is the equivelent of tell the liquor store theif that he loses his car but he can have a job with the city that will buy him a new car in an hour. Where is the harshness of this?

We talk about the harsh death penality for EVE but the truth is it is only harsh for a small group of people. The griefers do not care about the death lose as they know it is not all that hard to get back their ships. The simple truth is there is no real harsh penalty for being an ASS.

THAT is the reason I am leaving EVE. I like my games challenging, I like to have to work for what I get and have done so. However to see that some nub can come along and take away the effort of others and NEVER have to suffer a real penaltuy for that behavior, like I said griefer heaven.

Look at the examples we have of a single person ruining the game efforts of HUNDREDS of other players, the time and money they invested in the game gone in a moment to an ASS that will never have to pay in any way for the crime. Look at the people in Bob, Goonswarm and others where a sm,all group of single individual ruined the work of others.

Now I was not a part of either organization and will freely admit their demise did not hurt my feelings but the method was pure BS.

The purpose of a game is to escape reality for a bit and lose yourself in the fun of the game. However when the idea of fun for a small group is to torrment new players or attack people just for the thrill of it, griefing, and they have no penality for this behavior, in fact it is rewarded by the very game system, the fun disappears for the rest of us.

This is the simple truth that so many in the EVE community acknowledge but then ignore, this is a game for griefers. The idea of a sandbox game is great but the truly open sandbox like EVE takes the fun out of the game in the end and instead rewards people for being cruel. Imagine these same small jerks walking up to a gaming table and suddenly slapping all your minatures off the table. I do not know about you but I would get up and kick their ass. THAT is why they will not do it because they have a real consequence to pay for this action. Yet in EVE this happens and yes we can go blow up thier ship. However unless you are will to devote you entire play time to hunting them down, harrassing them relentlessly for months and stopping what you enjoy in the game they would likely feel they had to pay any consequence.

BTW if you did the above you could get banned from the game under it;'s very rules. It is okay for a jerk to ruin your play time but not for you to make him TRUELY pay for that ruining.

So at the end of the day I came to realize I had two things I could do, become an ASS in EVE or move on to other endeavors. I have enjoyed my time in EVE and referred more people than I can count to the game. I will not bash the game but I will no longer recommend it. I do not ask CCP to change the game in anyway, they are free to make the game the way they desire. However at the end of the day I want to enjoy my game and not play with little children that can act badly without repurcussions.