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Title: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Xanthippe on July 22, 2005, 06:22:00 PM
http://www.camelotherald.com/more/2099.shtml



Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Shockeye on July 22, 2005, 06:31:42 PM
Quote
Q: Will the Island be connected to the “regular” game?

A: No and yes. This is supposed to be a fun, central point where people can fight for the heck of it. There are no keeps, control of the island doesn’t count on a scoreboard, and no targets to fight over. It’s like a battleground, but with one key difference: if your realm should come under attack, you’re only a run/swim away from defending it, and it will take very little coordination to switch from informal play on the island to serious siege warfare on the frontier. We wanted to leave the keep warfare immediately accessible, but as we all know, some nights it’s hard to coordinate a war and you’d just rather kill people.

So first they open non-TOA servers and then they bring in a free-for-all area.

What are they going to do about the grind?

I'll pass. Again.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 22, 2005, 06:40:56 PM
Emain was an acceptable solution years ago. Now it's an ephemeral illusion.

This is an easy way to trash the meaningful and complex PvP system to throw the players in a quick and pointless PvP action. People have forgotten how stupid are the combat mechanics in DAoC. Who liked that sort of quick and fun PvP now doesn't play and is not going to play DAoC.

There are games like WoW and Guild Wars that now offer that type of gameplay.

Mythic once again demonstrates that they just want to be trendy.

They saw the endgame raid in EQ and they tried to copy it in ToA. Now they saw the quick access to pointless PvP battlegrounds and they want that too.

I believe that they'll never realize that the few players that are still playing aren't there for the same features that are available in other games.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Pococurante on July 22, 2005, 07:06:22 PM
What am I missing - this thread (http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=3982.0) is full of wistful pinings on better ways to get to RvR firstest with the mostest.

This does not do that?


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 22, 2005, 07:35:33 PM
What am I missing - this thread (http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=3982.0) is full of wistful pinings on better ways to get to RvR firstest with the mostest.

This does not do that?
From my point of view no. If you want extended explanations give a look to my website.

DAoC is known because it has a complex endgame and because it's the opposite of the BGs in WoW attached with the rest of the game with duct tape. Now they are removing the keeps, the sieges and all the "emergent" layer of the PvP to throw everyone in a Hot Tub. This means that they are imitating what already happens in Guild Wars and WoW.

This was valid years ago when those games didn't exist. Basic PvP action in DAoC is obslete today. The ruleset they use, the design of the classes, the mechanics of the 8 Vs 8 encounters are all obsolete and available in better forms in other games. I'm sure everyone agrees on this.

So if there are players that still enjoy the RvR is because of its UNIQUENESS. Not because it's a bad copy of WoW or GW. It's because it still has a complexity and an involvement of the community that WoW can only dream about.

This doesn't mean that the RvR doesn't have problems. It's true that the action needs to be more dynamic and less dispersive but you do not do this by adding ANOTHER zone to the already huge landmass.

What they should do is about consolidating the space instead of increasing it. Instead of having fourteen zones they should just build one main frontier shared by all the realms and with ten keeps in total.

This would recover the good points that they are implementing with the idea of "The Isle" and integrate them with the actual RvR warfare. Instead of replacing it and dumb down the unique qualities of the PvP in this game.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Lt.Dan on July 23, 2005, 12:46:46 PM
Was it so hard to find a battle in New Frontiers?  You know, with instant porting and stuff.  Emain sucks the fun out of the rest of RvR.  Try pulling a group out to take/defend a keep.  "OMG RPs here", "How do I get to Mid?"  But it's nice to have a spot to visit and get crushed by RR10 guilds I guess.  At least they did away with milefort standoffs - now you get beach/wharf camping :P  (You guys really need a crying Indian smilie)


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Xanthippe on July 23, 2005, 12:57:17 PM
They are not replacing anything with the Island.  It's an addition, not a replacement.

The frontiers are still there, the keeps are still there.

This is a battleground for 50s.  Quick fighting arena is all it is.

What I find so cool about it is that Mythic is listening.  It seems like they quit listening with ToA, but now they're listening again.  The changes that have been implemented lately - classic servers, battleground for 50s - are things players have long been clamoring for.

Yes, it's an antiquated game, but I've been pleasantly surprised to find some really great changes.  From little things (no more having to purchase anything to transport anywhere, better transportation options, improved quests and quest direction) to big things, like instances and new servers.



Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 23, 2005, 02:22:41 PM
Quote from: Xanthippe
They are not replacing anything with the Island.  It's an addition, not a replacement.

The frontiers are still there, the keeps are still there.

This is a battleground for 50s.  Quick fighting arena is all it is.

Quote from: Lt.Dan
Emain sucks the fun out of the rest of RvR.

Quote from: Xanthippe
What I find so cool about it is that Mythic is listening.

Quote from: Richard Bartle
When a virtual world changes (as it must), all but its most experienced players will consider the change on its short-term merits only. They look at how the change affects them, personally, right now. They will only make mention of possible long-term effects to help buttress a short-termist argument. They don't care that things will be majorly better for them later if things are minorly worse for them today - it's only the now that matters.

This short-termist attitude has two outcomes. Firstly, something short-term good but long-term bad is hard for developers to remove, because players are mainly in favor of it. Secondly, something short-term bad but long-term good is hard to keep because players are mainly not in favor of it.

Design that is short-term good but long-term bad I call "poor". Virtual worlds are primarily a mixture of good and poor design, because the other two possibilities (outright bad and short-term bad, long-term good) either aren't implemented or are swiftly removed. Good design keeps players; poor design drives them away (when the short term becomes the long term and the game becomes unfun).

(...)

Virtual worlds are under evolutionary pressure to promote design features that, while not exactly bad, are nevertheless poor. Each succeeding generation absorbs these into the virtual world paradigm, and introduces new poor features for the next generation to take on board. The result is that virtual world design follows a downward path of not-quite-good-enough, leading ultimately to an erosion of what virtual worlds are.

Mythic is following the EXACT same path that Richard Bartle described so well. Instead of understanding what the players are effectively asking, they just flat out second what they say without delving in the implications.

Mythic now thinks that copying a quick Battleground like WoW will help them retain those players that like that type of quick PvP fun. The "better of two worlds" like they did when they implemented EverQuest endgame raids in ToA.

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20041103/bartle_pfv.htm

The conclusion is from Darniaq (http://www.rngamers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=406#406):
Quote from: Darniaq
New companies that come to MMOs can't come and compete with WoW. They've got to change the rules. They can do that, but it takes longer. The typical emergent strategy can take upwards of six years to go from the word-of-mouth initial campaign to having changed the marketplace as a result of new thinking. The next game that tops WoW won't be yetanotherDikuwithbiggerlicense. It'll be new thinking.

Mythic is shooting on its feet once again by removing the only unique and interesting trait in their game to chase once again the happy trend.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Xanthippe on July 23, 2005, 03:48:01 PM
I suppose I don't agree with the idea - if it's being raised here, anyway - that virtual worlds have any sort of permanence.  They come into being, morph, and eventually die.  Other virtual worlds replace them.  MMOGs age.  Few people want to play an old game, if only because it feels clunky compared to newer games.

Mythic is not doing anything revolutionary.  I don't think that anyone not attracted to DAOC originally will be attracted now.  However, for those who _do_ still enjoy playing, or used to enjoy playing, I think that Mythic is doing a very good job at trying to morph DAOC into something still fun to play.  I.e., there's life in the old girl yet.

Bartle is right, but he's not Right.  Short-term is what people want; long-term is "what's good for them" I guess, however one wants to define that.  I am playing because it makes me happy now.  I'm not playing because maybe I will be happy in a year; hell, I will likely not last until Thanksgiving.  So what?  I'm not looking for a place to settle down.  I want to sow some wild oats, have my fun, move on.

I don't think it's possible, at this early stage in the life of MMOGs, to define what's long-term, and why that is actually better than short-term design.  I think MMOGs as a genre are too young for that, and still should be radically evolving.

At any rate, as Abe said, you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.  No matter how hard you try, it's not going to happen.

This new Emain-y thing will make happy those people who liked to play in Emain.  I was not one of them, but I do not care for the new frontiers because it created as many problems or more problems than it fixed.  I do like to play in the battlegrounds.  (In fact, I'm still in the Lion's Den on Gareth on my 3rd toon in there because I enjoy the whole bg thing so much).

You can't get away from having problems, no matter what you do.  It's a matter of which set of problems do you want, this set or that set? 

I like that Mythic is not afraid to trade sets - i.e., to try to please folks.  They're not wishywashy about it, but they do seem to make an effort - maybe a year or two late, but better late than never.  I'd so much rather see that in a company than the typical hubris Blizzard has started to show.



Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Velorath on July 23, 2005, 10:41:25 PM
I think the problem with this idea is that most of the players in DAOC, at least in the server I was on, were RP whores.  Relics and Keep taking always seemed to take a backseat to people rp farming in Emain.  Give them that option again for a quick place to go to kill each other for rp's and I think the Frontiers will dry up.  This just seems like giving people a place to grind through realm levels.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: eldaec on July 23, 2005, 11:42:56 PM
There are already too many rvr zones.

If they feel a dull expanse of flat ground where 8 man groups run into reach other, pointlessly and forever, is good for the game they should have built it into the existing frontiers.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 24, 2005, 04:38:39 AM
I suppose I don't agree with the idea - if it's being raised here, anyway - that virtual worlds have any sort of permanence.  They come into being, morph, and eventually die.  Other virtual worlds replace them.  MMOGs age.  Few people want to play an old game, if only because it feels clunky compared to newer games.

Mythic is not doing anything revolutionary.  I don't think that anyone not attracted to DAOC originally will be attracted now.  However, for those who _do_ still enjoy playing, or used to enjoy playing, I think that Mythic is doing a very good job at trying to morph DAOC into something still fun to play.  I.e., there's life in the old girl yet.
Yeah, I think you nailed down the problem pretty well. I'm the only one around to still strongly believe that this game has a lot to say.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Soukyan on July 25, 2005, 07:51:02 AM
There are already too many rvr zones.

If they feel a dull expanse of flat ground where 8 man groups run into reach other, pointlessly and forever, is good for the game they should have built it into the existing frontiers.

Alas, this is what most "hardcore" RvR players want. They can buff their ego and wail on each other all day while talking trash cross-realm in IRC. And boost their RPs through the roof to obtain the leet titles. It used to happen in Emain all the time. People would plan meeting places and times in IRC to do dualing, 8v8, etc. So, I suppose it's not a bad thing that Mythic is giving them an arena to meet in. I'm thinking it's just the game company giving in to the inevitable catassing of RPs. They've named up to RR12 now, right? We'll see RR12-15 titles announced in just a few short months. While this post may sound negative, it is not meant to be. Mythic is doing what they know will keep their hardcore playerbase. It's essential at this stage of the game's life cycle. Don't believe me? Look to EQ and what they did at these milestones in its life cycle.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Monika T'Sarn on July 25, 2005, 08:34:04 AM

What are they going to do about the grind?

I'll pass. Again.

The grind seems to be pretty much gone with catacombs. Task dungeons, instance xp bonus and more quests make leveling about as easy as WoW - maybe even easier. If thats not enough, you get a free level once a week. Leveling to 50 on the classic servers was quite painless.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Nevermore on July 26, 2005, 08:16:21 AM
(http://www.bol.ucla.edu/~rjurado/images/newisland.jpg)


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HaemishM on July 26, 2005, 12:18:59 PM
What am I missing - this thread (http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=3982.0) is full of wistful pinings on better ways to get to RvR firstest with the mostest.

This does not do that?
From my point of view no. If you want extended explanations give a look to my website.

I'd rather duct tape my testicles to a moving car, you cwat.

This is an addition. It's for people who are 50 who don't have their own battlegrounds area to go farm RP's off of each other. It's an "instant action" area. Emain was popular in the first days of DAoC because you KNEW THERE'D BE ACTION THERE. That was before realm points provided anything (pre-realm abilities, hell pre-realm point/bounty point potion things). This doesn't take away from the siege game, it provides an alternative to the siege game.

If you like DAoC PVP, this should be a good thing.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: AlteredOne on July 26, 2005, 01:59:49 PM

Yes, this is what a lot of players seem to want.  Yes, it could siphon some players away from the keep siege game.  But look at it this way... The two most popular Classic servers are running with 10x the population of most "normal" servers.  3x the population of even the most popular Normal servers.  The level curve is short on these servers, and the players are highly focused on reaching the RvR endgame.  End result:  I predict you will have plenty of players for both the "Island" and traditional keep sieges.  In fact keep sieging seems extremely popular on these servers, as many guilds are systematically doing realm missions to gain RP.

If the current trend continues with nearly 50% of primetime players on 3 servers, Mythic will need to do something radical with the "Normal" ToA servers.  Merge them, further cluster them, or whatever... It's a real ghost town on most servers these days.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 26, 2005, 04:52:14 PM
The removal of ToA was another of those "short term good, log term bad" . That expansion needed a radical fix. Something that Mythic refused to do because they NEVER ADMITTED (http://www.cesspit.net/drupal/node/792) the failure it was:
Quote
This is aimed at many of our former customers, not our current ones. Our satisfaction is high in the polls that we take of our current customers.
And
Quote
Future expansions and patches will be primarily designed for the more typical servers.
They still REFUSE to acknowledge the problem of ToA.

Now about New Frontier. These new frontiers have the EXACT same problems of ToA. They are hardly accessible for casual players because the sieges can take hours of play, no quick reward, painful to organize, extremely static gameplay with siege engines, huge money sinks that only 1% of the playerbase can afford and so on.

NF NEEDS these problems addressed. But instead Mythic keeps this usual superficial approach and prefers to SECOND these problems and choke the potential of the game. So instead of making NF more accessible and fun for everyone they just open a "hot tub" quick PvP arena and let the rest of the game to rot.

After this fucking isle will launch the keeps and the frontier will become a background. Like the sky, the moon, the trees etc...

Oh sure. The players will be happy. And the subscription numbers will keep going down till Mythic will stop to support the game and keep this downward trend that now is even applied to the development. The fact is that the game is progressively failing at suggesting something new and different. Even the expectations of the players are so low that they just BEG Mythic to *stop* doing anything to the game.

My point is that if Mythic is losing subscribers and will keep losing subscribers, it's just because they STOPPED to believe in the game and support it. They are doing exactly what EA did with UO. Stop believeing in it and let it rot and squeeze money from it till it's possible. This is a *deliberate choice*. A deliberate choice about keeping working in the game because you believe it still has a lot to say or just let it slowly die while you ferry the resources to other projects and "new shinies".

If DAoC is swamped and it's seeing a downward trend it's because Mythic stopped caring about it. Along with the players. Mythic is responsible if DAoC is rotting. It wasn't an unavoidable end. Since I'm one of the few who still CARES for the game I'm not going to accept all this without venting what I think.

DAoC is now a horse beaten to death. OF COURSE it is not going to move. Because they are kicking it. Not because it is old. If they would actually give it a possibility maybe it would move and still surprise. But Mythic is actively removing the premises for this to happen.

Short term good, long term bad. The more they keep kicking it in the nuts the more it will run faster in the short term. And the more it lose the possibility to survive in the long term. Mythic has already the new puppy in the form of Warhammer. DAoC is now a burden for them, so they are going to beat the hell out of it while all the love goes to the new puppy.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HaemishM on July 26, 2005, 05:01:06 PM
Just how long do you expect an MMOG with 200k users to keep that many, especially when there are a number of new similar games available? These products have a life cycle, despite what anyone in the industry would like you believe. 5-years is actually too long, but that's about it. 5-years of DAoC puts them at the projected release of Warhammer. Which as a company means they get to keep paying their employees. The game has been profitable from day one, and I'd imagine still is. When it isn't, they'll turn the servers off. Until then, they will do what they should, which is cater to what they think the playerbase wants.

In this case, more RVR action. This island is all about more options for RVR action, and I think it's a good thing in terms of DAoC's current user base. As for not acknowleding TOA's failings, I'd say opening a server that supports EVERY expansion except that one is a pretty tacit acknowledgement that the expansion was not robot jesus. 


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 26, 2005, 05:07:41 PM
Just how long do you expect an MMOG with 200k users to keep that many, especially when there are a number of new similar games available? These products have a life cycle, despite what anyone in the industry would like you believe.
Bullshit.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 26, 2005, 05:09:40 PM
Wow. This thread just got interesting fast.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 26, 2005, 05:15:11 PM
As for not acknowleding TOA's failings, I'd say opening a server that supports EVERY expansion except that one is a pretty tacit acknowledgement that the expansion was not robot jesus. 
Quote
This new server type is meant for people who would otherwise not play DAOC at this time. I don't expect that most people currently playing are going to do much more than roll on the new server out of pure curiosity.

This server is just an attempt to meet the needs of a niche group of players.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Daydreamer on July 26, 2005, 05:18:40 PM
Just how long do you expect an MMOG with 200k users to keep that many, especially when there are a number of new similar games available? These products have a life cycle, despite what anyone in the industry would like you believe.
Bullshit.

I have to agree with HRose here.  As games become obsolete technically and design wise they lose players to new games sure, but the social connections that people for with each other in game, as well as connections to their character and the world keep them coming back.  If this wasn't the case then why would Meridian 59 still be running?


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 26, 2005, 05:20:58 PM
I've never gone back to a game I've maxed out in. Except for SW:G and that was only to look into Ebaying my shit. Games keep running on the dying hope that they'll be able to provide jobs for the people that made them. When that can't happen things like SOE buying MxO happen. UO is at what, 10% of what it was at it's peak? 5%? Maybe less? Seriously, these games have a shelf cycle. What Haemish said is absolutely correct. The problem is that there are a few ANOMALIES and that's how arguments like this happen.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Biobanger on July 26, 2005, 05:26:13 PM
I was assume that Mythic knew that adding a little something into the game would retain most of the subscribers a month or two longer than normal. That would be the best way to squeeze the remaining juice out of the game...


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 26, 2005, 05:40:05 PM
I've never gone back to a game I've maxed out in.
That just means that most of the games you played were treadmills. What I mean is that it's the design to decide if a game has a long or short future.

SOE was able to launch a totally new EQ2 in the time the first EQ launched a few expansions. What if instead they consolidated the teams to work on just ONE product? Mmorpgs become technically old because the companies stop to support them. The same happen about the design and the players ultimately leave as the LAST step.

As someone else wrote on corpnews:
Quote
The "it will inevitably turn into a niche game over time" is a load of shit. The problem is, the core developers move on to new projects, companies cut back development costs and concentrate on other things.
What happens is the result of a deliberate choice. If a mmorpg isn't being developed after release as it was BEFORE release, it will get old. Of course, that's obvious. But again it's just the consequence of how the company is organized.

It isn't an absolute rule. It's what is happening as a consequence of a specific approach.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 26, 2005, 05:57:58 PM
The number of people willing to play a game when it gets ugly is probably 1% of the whole. The people who are willing to play ugly games are still playing them - The Realm, UO, M59, etc. While it may be a deliberate choice, it's a choice they are forced to make or World of Warcraft and it's ilk will EAT THEM.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 26, 2005, 06:16:19 PM
The number of people willing to play a game when it gets ugly is probably 1% of the whole. The people who are willing to play ugly games are still playing them - The Realm, UO, M59, etc. While it may be a deliberate choice, it's a choice they are forced to make or World of Warcraft and it's ilk will EAT THEM.
What I'm saying is that even "ugly" is a choice.

A game becomes ugly because the coders stop developing the engine and because the artists stop making new assets. Again, if Mythic will be able to produce a "Warhammer" that isn't ugly, this means that they could have used those same resources on DAoC to keep its quality up to date as it would be with a brand new product.

Everything in a mmorpg is dynamic as much as you want it to be.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 26, 2005, 06:18:05 PM
Ugly isn't a choice. It takes time and money to crank out new assets for a game that could have been going into something New. Companies don't think like nostalgic gamers. It's a waste of time to support something old when you can sell a new box and possibly get new players (in most cases). In Mythics case and the complete and utter unsurprising crash and burn of Imperator, now's a pretty good time to bleed DAoC for all it's worth.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 26, 2005, 06:37:24 PM
It's a waste of time to support something old when you can sell a new box and possibly get new players (in most cases).
Yes, in fact EQ2 has so much more subscribers than EQ1, AC2 has so much more subscribers than AC1, Imperator was going to have so much more subscribers than DAoC.

These old games can be as new as you'd like. Plus you can use their age as something to build upon, as a strength. As it has been said many times, "mmo sequels are dumb".

For now there isn't even the evidence that shifting resources to new products brings to better results. Eve-Online is one of the examples of a dev team completely committed to one game only and that is seeing a constant growth of subscriptions despite the many basic flaws of the game. They just broke 60k subs, that, for a game of this genre and gameplay, is an awesome result.

You think that the approach makes sense. For me they are just shooting on their feet. New players arrive to these games constantly. If what they find is kept up to date through a radical ongoing development, they are going to stick with the game. If instead the game is kept alive just like a nostalgic museum the new players will just take a look and move to something less rancid.

NO new game would be able to compete with a game with five years of TRUE development on its shoulders.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 26, 2005, 06:39:33 PM
EQ2 doesn't have more subscribers because it ISN'T new. It's just more EQ. AC2 wasn't new either. In fact, it's easily argued that nothing new has come out since EQ. EQ was the new hotness when UO was around and compare what happened to those numbers. Now WoW Blizzard is the new hotness and look at the numbers.

Quite simply, what's new to developers isn't necessarily new to players. But on their end it makes sense in most cases to try and go for that next carrot. Unfortunately haflway through the development of an MMORPG it seems every developer gets a bad case of AIDS EQ.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Johny Cee on July 26, 2005, 11:50:28 PM
Jesus....

Nearly every <product> has a lifecycle.

Years of playing DAoC expose the underlying system issues.  Eventually, players burn out or can no longer deal with these issues. 

During this time, other new games come out.  People leave enmass with their established social circles.

The only way to fix the problems are through massive investment and systemic change.  Which is as likely to alienate players as keep them.  And without the benefit of new shiney and buzz.

What investor would underwrite a massive rewrite of core systems code for a probably marginal gain?  Seriously.  With all the probable bugs and errors and shit that happens when a brand new MMOG hits market, since your reworking your basic systems. 

People have some patience for new games being buggy.  They have zero patience when you take away things they've taken for granted.  Just look at every other DAoC change,  even if for the better.  Zerker nerf, NF, Smite nerf, etc.  These changes marginally improved the game for everyone,  and massively alienated a significant minority of their customers.  Hell, you can't even finance these improvements with box sales.

It's flat out a superior investment to put your money into a new game with a potentially lucrative license.
 
Here's a non-game example:

Snapple revolutionizes iced tea as an on the go drink.  Big sales.  In response, Lipton etc etc. rebrand and start competing against Snapple in the iced tea market.  Snapple's sales decrease.  Instead of pushing more money at tea,  they push various other fruit drinks.

Coke tried to change their recipe when they were losing market domination.  It was called New Coke,  and died a nasty death.  Why?  Because more current consumers were pissed off at tasting Pepsi II then they reclaimed lost Coke drinkers.

I mean, fuck all.  I think Management and Marketing classes are for chimps,  but at least be fucking familiar with SOME fucking aspects of product lifecycles and consumption patterns before you start spouting off.  These things are fairly well documented and studied.

And don't quote me some exception that proves the rule.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Paelos on July 27, 2005, 12:13:35 AM
I understood a couple of parts there:

Marketing classes are for chimps
Products have a lifecycle
Time exposes weakness
Snapple is fruity now

I think we need to start posting in bullets for the children.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 27, 2005, 03:10:17 AM
Nearly every <product> has a lifecycle.
No, capitalism has a lifecycle.

Last I know people still read and love "Lord of the Rings", "Moby Dick", "Robinson Crusoe" and all the rest. This is about culture and it never becomes old.

What becomes old is the "shape", not the myth. And the shape is exactly the part that in a mmorpg can be DYNAMIC. So progress along with the technology.

Quote
Years of playing DAoC expose the underlying system issues.  Eventually, players burn out or can no longer deal with these issues. 

During this time, other new games come out.
That's correct. WoW capitalized on the faults that other games REFUSED to address. But the point here is that there was a complete lack of committment to SOLVE those problems before leaving the first kid passing by to steal all your work just because you wanted to retain a conservative development.

We knew about those problems and there were the conditions to solve them without waiting for a WoW to use those as its own selling points.

Quote
The only way to fix the problems are through massive investment and systemic change.  Which is as likely to alienate players as keep them.  And without the benefit of new shiney and buzz.
Bullshit again. There isn't even a concrete demonstration of this since noone has even attempted doing so.

Quote
People have some patience for new games being buggy.  They have zero patience when you take away things they've taken for granted.  Just look at every other DAoC change,  even if for the better.  Zerker nerf, NF, Smite nerf, etc.  These changes marginally improved the game for everyone,  and massively alienated a significant minority of their customers.  Hell, you can't even finance these improvements with box sales.
The execution of those changes has been AWFUL at best. There has been little to none communication with the playerbase and the protests were more than motivated from my point of view.

That whole issues was completely about community relations and not even about design. I fought for a whole week trying to exaplin to a TL how they screwed the whole thing and howe they DESERVED to be harshly criticized. You do not shove radical changes to the players without going through an open discussion about the reasons and the possible solutions. The community was completely cut out from the process and Mythic just cared to announce the nerfs when the story was already written.

The players had all the rights to be pissed off and it should have been a lesson for Mythic. (which they didn't learn, btw)

Quote
It's flat out a superior investment to put your money into a new game with a potentially lucrative license.
We will see. I have a good memory on the contrary to everyone else.

Money isn't about opinions, we will see concretely how Warhammer will go and how these mmorpg sequels pan out. For now every "sequel" I've seen has been a complete failure and a cannibalization of the subscribers of the previous product. Shattering and weaken the strong communities in those games that are supposed to get replaced.

The *facts* demonstrate that, till today, what happens is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you say. "Superior investments" that are cut from existing games to found new project have given, at best, inadequate results.
 
Quote
Snapple revolutionizes iced tea as an on the go drink.  Big sales.  In response, Lipton etc etc. rebrand and start competing against Snapple in the iced tea market.  Snapple's sales decrease.  Instead of pushing more money at tea,  they push various other fruit drinks.

Coke tried to change their recipe when they were losing market domination.  It was called New Coke,  and died a nasty death.  Why?  Because more current consumers were pissed off at tasting Pepsi II then they reclaimed lost Coke drinkers.

I mean, fuck all.  I think Management and Marketing classes are for chimps,  but at least be fucking familiar with SOME fucking aspects of product lifecycles and consumption patterns before you start spouting off.  These things are fairly well documented and studied.
I refuse to consider Virtual Worlds as garbage you eat and throw away.

It's this capitalistic shit that empties of every value these games. And it's the same capitalistic attitude that transform forms of art and expression into empty processes to reproduce over and over and over like the grind we know in these games. If what we have is just about game clones it's exactly because the process of production is completely fucked up. And this is again all about short term evidence of something good that will turn into crap pretty soon.

The few good games we see from time to time are those as result of miraculous exceptions that escaped this grind machine that is just killing all the value that is left.

Again: there is, till today, NO EVIDENCE that the processes you describe bring to decent long term results.

Instead there is the evidence that SOE was never able to reach the results of the first EverQuest. Even now that the game is five years old it's still the most popular. They launched all sort of crap, from sequels to different genres and big brands and they still can only DREAM about the results of their first game. Exactly the same with Turbine. And exactly the same again with Imperator that has been stopped before it could fell on its ass.

The only exception being NCSoft which has completely different premises, like completely independent divisions working on different genres. We would see the exact same results of the examples above if the same company developing CoH would try to do a CoH 2 or something similar.

Mark my words. Mythic will never reach with a new game the numbers it had with DAoC. The same about Turbine with MEO and D&D. No matter how big your licences are.

The fact is that DESPITE these companies are cutting development costs and resources to those "old" products, those products still outperform by a good margin all the new shinies they push out. Now lets only IMAGINE (because we cannot do anything else) what could have happened if those resources weren't wasted on products doomed to fail miserably.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Soukyan on July 27, 2005, 07:09:36 AM
I refuse to consider Virtual Worlds as garbage you eat and throw away.

It's this capitalistic shit that empties of every value these games. And it's the same capitalistic attitude that transform forms of art and expression into empty processes to reproduce over and over and over like the grind we know in these games. If what we have is just about game clones it's exactly because the process of production is completely fucked up. And this is again all about short term evidence of something good that will turn into crap pretty soon.

Value of these games? Transforming art and expression into empty processes?

Okay, it's fine to view these games as art if you so choose, but let's take a look-see at art then.

Artist starts exhibition. People take notice and like the works. Some folks make some monetary offers for works. Artist sells because, well, who can pass up an easy buck (I haven't seen any artists dying for the cause of art and expression and refusing to sell their work lately). Said artist may become a permanent household name, but also may dwindle away into obscurity as the freshness of his/her style wears off or another new artist replaces people's interest.

Yes, some artists make it big and stay big. Some make it big and become a corporate venture of epic proportions, mass-producing works for capital gain (see: Thomas Kinkade). While he may still be popular in certain circles, his "art" definitely has a product life cycle at this point since it was made into a mass-market product.

This is how MMOGs tend to work. They start with a concept, an idea. They are developed and gather a following that builds. They reach a critical popularity point (no matter how small or large) and if they turn a profit they remain and dwindle. If no profit is being made, they are either closed or swallowed up by other profitable companies.

Now, on a personal note - step back from the games and think on things for a while. We live in a capitalist society where those with the money and power (mostly) drive the trends in our markets. (It's been a long time since I saw a good old fashioned boycott that allowed the "common man" to make a difference ;). But the "majority" drive the markets as well and the "majority" has dictated that these games have a life cycle just as any other product out there does. I know you feel strongly about the art and expression in these games and you should use game development as that outlet. It would provide gamers with more product to choose from. But you come across like an addicted zealot in your statements quoted above, and "art" and "expression" are not justifications for game addiction, nor do they prove that these products are any different than Snapple, Pepsi or Coca-Cola. Except perhaps that because of great marketing and a powerful brand image, these drink products will be around for many more years than I care to speculate. The same cannot be said of MMOGs. Strong brands will last longer (EQ, WoW, possibly AC), yes, but there is still an end in sight.

[edit]
The fact of the matter is that "Virtual Worlds" as they exist right now are consumables and can be eaten and thrown away. When we develop true virtual worlds, well, then I guess we'll be seeing each other there.
[/edit]


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: eldaec on July 27, 2005, 09:15:58 AM
Quote
Mark my words. Mythic will never reach with a new game the numbers it had with DAoC. The same about Turbine with MEO and D&D. No matter how big your licences are.

The fact is that DESPITE these companies are cutting development costs and resources to those "old" products, those products still outperform by a good margin all the new shinies they push out. Now lets only IMAGINE (because we cannot do anything else) what could have happened if those resources weren't wasted on products doomed to fail miserably.

Huh? If you are suggesting that Mythic are doomed forever to never to achieve more than a quarter of a millions subs, and only make games with ever smaller customer bases no matter what they do, one would assume you also think that they should just go and work on WoW instead? Or maybe disband and reform a new company without the daoc limit hanging over it? Maybe you mean no company can ever design a better product than their first by starting from scratch? Or that any product will always get better if it is continually given a facelift, and the proletariat are just crying out to play a MMORPG based on 5, 10, 15 year old design concepts and technical limitations?

This really is heading into ever deeper space logic territory.

Mythic will continue to make games. Some will suck and not sell many copies. Others will be decent and sell many copies. Such is life. Mythic aren't even trying to make a pie in the sky ever-evolving virtual world, so trying to judge them that way doesn't seem to make sense. What they seem to be moving toward is making PvE / RvR games, which last a few years at a time, and (hopefully) make each one better than the last. Plenty of genres and games studios have done perfectly well out of this in the past for varying lengths of time and it seems a perfectly reasonable thing for Mythic to try to do.

If you don't want to look crazy, I'd strongly suggest sticking to the forumlation...

'I think <company> should make <change> to <game> because then I would enjoy it more'.

The pseudo-philiso-economic stuff just starts making people wonder if you are wearing underpants on your head and have a pencil stuck up each nostril.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Glazius on July 27, 2005, 09:56:49 AM
Nearly every <product> has a lifecycle.
No, capitalism has a lifecycle.

Last I know people still read and love "Lord of the Rings", "Moby Dick", "Robinson Crusoe" and all the rest. This is about culture and it never becomes old.

What becomes old is the "shape", not the myth. And the shape is exactly the part that in a mmorpg can be DYNAMIC. So progress along with the technology.
If I had to pay $14.95 every month to keep my Lord of the Rings box-set on my shelf it'd already be gone.

Yes, sometimes there are periodic replacement costs for books as the binding wears out or what have you, but MMORPGs are at _least_ two orders of magnitude higher.

--GF


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HaemishM on July 27, 2005, 10:19:39 AM
Quote
The only way to fix the problems are through massive investment and systemic change.  Which is as likely to alienate players as keep them.  And without the benefit of new shiney and buzz.
Bullshit again. There isn't even a concrete demonstration of this since noone has even attempted doing so.

Actually, we do have an example. Ultima Online. They made massive changes to deal with a perceived problem, and many of those changes were incremental changes. They tried to keep PKing in but add consequences, they continued to lose people to EQ. Finally, they make a huge systemic change (to the Fellucca/Trammell) split, and they got a massive influx of subscriptions, or at least the massive bleeding of subs stopped. The PK'ers left, the PVE'ers either came back, or kept coming.

But you know what happened? They STILL were behind the new hotness in EQ and have never recovered the same place of prominence. They extended the life cycle of the product, but even now, you can see the old bitch wheezing her last breaths. The only way they've managed to keep her around this long is by catering to the people still playing AND capitalizing on new markets, the Asian markets. But it's all just bailing water on the Titanic.

All products have a life cycle, even MMOG's. ESPECIALLY MMOG's. The life cycle is dynamic and much longer than on single-player games, mostly because of persistence and social stickiness. But a product is only going to live as long as it makes profit for the company. UO is probably 2 years away from limping into shutdown, maybe longer with the Asian market. But anyone who doesn't see that is being blind. People don't play games forever. Sure, you may play the same Monopoly game today that you played as a kid. But you won't play it nearly as much. And if you had to keep paying for the Monopoly game monthly when you didn't play it that month? You wouldn't keep paying for it because you've played that game before.

As for a company's perspective on things, companies who stay still (i.e. who only focus on one game) are making a business mistake. They aren't growing. Growing is essential to businesses in this day and age because of the limited life cycle of most products, especially entertainment products. Even though MMOG's have a much longer life cycle than other games, they are still finite. There's only so much you can add to a game or a game world before it becomes just more of the same, whether you change the game dynamics or not. Gamers are hardcoded to want more, newer challenges. It's the whole crux of what gaming is, learning new patterns and mastering them before moving on to other, newer patterns. If you claim that games have treadmills at all, you cannot claim that gamers repeating the same content or types of content won't get bored. They will, which is why the games have life cycles. A company that makes games has to realize that there's only so much they can get out of one game, even with radical chagnes or expansion over the course of years. EQ1 has had a lot longer run than I thought it would, but it is shrinking. UO is shrinking. DAoC is shrinking. EQ2 was an attempt to extend the brand beyond just the life cycle of the first game, as was AC2. If games don't have life cycles, why the hell would SOE want to sign up Lucasarts to do SWG? Because expanding your company's product base means you are trying to grow your business beyond the life cycle of your current product. Coke has existed for 100 years, but they have expanded beyond Coke into Sprite and Mr. Pibb and Mello Yello and now all different flavors of Coke and Diet Coke, because you can only suck the teat of a cash cow for so long before people want something new and improved.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Lt.Dan on July 27, 2005, 11:29:54 AM
The pseudo-philiso-economic stuff just starts making people wonder if you are wearing underpants on your head and have a pencil stuck up each nostril.


Wibble?

What Haemish said.  Mythic will keep milking DAoC.  Their subscriber numbers probably took a small boost from classic servers but ultimately new shiney takes away any long-term growth.  Keep em happy, keep em subbed. 


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Pococurante on July 27, 2005, 12:40:29 PM
Franchise != implementation

Ultima is a franchise that was abandoned.  UO is an implementation that was abandoned.  A competing Ultima implementation with current technology would do quite well.  EA bet the farm on other products and miscalculated.  But that doesn't mean there is not more profit/life in the Ultima franchise.

It's misleading to look back at products older than 2004 and make future predictions on MMOG lifecycle.  Since 2004 the technology has made signficant strides in terms of the client's immersion and quality of graphics.  Today's products will age much more gracefully.  For this reason and in this area I agree with HRose.

Haemish by your logic EQ2 should have succeeded simply because it was the same concept but with flashier graphics.  I'd say its "failure" has more to do that Sony chose not to offer a painless upgrade path so instead traded EQ2's success just to maintain EQ as the primary cash cow.  More short-sightedness.  I give OSI mild props for trying to make UO2 sufficiently different that they didn't have to offer an upgrade path, but wound up offering a game whose concept didn't interest me or apparently many other fans of the Ultima Franchise.  So again Haem this is why I think you're mistaken.

The MOG industry thinks it is unique and has nothing to learn from how others operate.  It suffers from the "one off" mentality of the movie and music industry.  Refusing to offer a clear upgrade path is trading away the long-term cash cow for a short one.  The repeated failures of the big guys to introduce a new offering means they refuse to take control of their product lifecycles and windup wondering why events overtake them.  This lesson really should be sinking in right about now for them.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HaemishM on July 27, 2005, 02:47:35 PM
Now, I will agree with you about upgrade paths. I think SOE, Turbine AND EA all fucked the goose on this one by not offering any good reason for people to move from their first gen products to their second gen. I believe they thought that if they positioned EQ2 to replace EQ1 in any of the marketing hype leadnig up to EQ2's release, they'd have had a too much turnover in EQ1. They made the mistake of making the products be separate, distinct products. EQ2 wasn't EQ1 just prettier with new content, it was an ALL NEW GAME THAT WASN'T LIKE EQ1 (except that it really was). Turbine made the same mistake with AC2, except they really did make the game an entirely new and different type of game.

SOE should have transitioned from EQ1 being the flagship to EQ2 being the flagship and designed the game and the marketing accordingly. But as a company, that wasn't the only things they did. They diversified their market by introducing an FPS MMOG and a sci-fi MMOG in Planetside and SWG respectively. As a company, had they just done EQ2 and only EQ2, they'd be fucked. But they didn't. They grew the company.

Mythic is doing something very similar (or were trying to with Imperator). They screwed up in thinking Imperator would be something different enough to attract a new crowd. But with Warhammer, they have a popular license with a following who will try the game out. Their challenge is going to be to make the game distinct enough from DAoC that it doesn't just feel like DAoC with Warhammer skins, but in also trying to keep the GW fans happy as well. But, and here's the important bit, this is something Mythic has done before. DAoC was funded (and built off of) existing, profitable properties and venture capital. They had netcode already built, they had some game systems already built. I'd say there will be as much DAoC in Warhammer as there was Magestorm in DAoC.

Sure, they could put all their effort into DAoC and never try to create another game. But in 3 years from now, when their user base is half what it is now and there are 30 more competing products and what's left of the user base has been playing the game anywhere from 3-6 years, then what? Try to create another game that won't release for another 2 years after that and hope your cash cow holds out? Even MMOG's with crushing timesinks have life cycles.

As for the Ultima franchise, oh EA fucked the franchise rightly and goodly. Proper fucked. And yes, there is life in the Ultima brand, though EA has not one fucking clue how to resuscitate it. They have no clue, because they don't even understand what was special about it in the first place. They don't have anyone who can create new IP, which is why they keep buying up successful developers and running them into the ground. But Ultima Online the original game? No, it's a fucking zombie. They are milking it for all its worth because they know that no amount of facelifts or radical game redesign is going to revive it in the North American market. Sure, they could true-3d the thing with the Unreal engine, but it's still UO and despite what the old Dread Lord types say, it's a game that's been played out. At some point past the 3rd or 4th expansion, every MMOG has reached its high point and is on the downward slope.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 27, 2005, 05:14:21 PM
Let me derail these arguments a moment.

WoW is superior to DAoC in three aspects:
- Design
- Engine
- Art

Now. Where is the evidence that a brand new title at Mythic can achieve those, better, results? The design is there. The design is the most flexible part of a game because you can improve it as you find the flaws. You can be as radical as you want. As risky as you want. What about the engine? How you can expect that Mythic comes out with an outstanding engine for Warhammer? They do not even program it. They use a licence. Imperator was going to use the exact same engine of DAoC. Art? They have good artists, the quality on their games has radically improved. but they are nowhere the originality and personal style of WoW. How can they magically reach new height all of the sudden?

There is NOTHING that set different premises on Warhammer that is different from the premises of DAoC. There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE that Mythic can now magically produce a so much better game? Why? Because it would already happen with DAoC. They have ALL the possibilities they need to express all their talent. Warhammer is a new IP. It's not a new wonderful engine, it's not wonderful new art and it's not wonderful new design. Behind it there is the same group of people and the conditions between the two games aren't going to change. They, instead, are wasting time to restart everything from zero and will have to redo everything they did with DAoC for the second time in an even shoerter time span.

Imho, this is how you waste your resources.

Now lets take this rumored Shadowbane 2. Where is rthe evidence that they will be able to build a brand new engine that can solve all the problems of the first? Why you are all here as GOONS? These years have taught you nothing? The experience is so useless?

There is no evidence that these companies can do so much better than what they are doing because their product give them already FULL possibilities to express themselves at their best. This trend to hype brand new products with new titles (that inexorably fail as they have to concretely demonstrate their value) is an extremely silly illusion. "Hey, it's all new! It's not the game you used to know!"

It's a way to fool themselves to hope that "everything will be different". But it's so fucking ingenuous and superficial.

I say that Mythic, or Wolfpack, or SOE or everyone else won't reach past peaks of success because they have the possibility to reach that performance RIGHT NOW. If they cannot it means they won't be able by launching illusory new products. It's comprehensible how they are trying to fool themselves with these stupid ideas, but it's NOT comprehensible how they are able to fool YOU.

After all this time.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 27, 2005, 05:31:21 PM
Sure, they could put all their effort into DAoC and never try to create another game. But in 3 years from now, when their user base is half what it is now and there are 30 more competing products and what's left of the user base has been playing the game anywhere from 3-6 years, then what? Try to create another game that won't release for another 2 years after that and hope your cash cow holds out? Even MMOG's with crushing timesinks have life cycles.

But why you believe that 3 years of focused development are equal (in subscribers) to three years of the game let on its own? This is where I have a different opinion. The work you do is ALWAYS payed back if it has a value. And it's exactly because there are 30 fucking products out there that you DO NOT need to build another one. Instead you need to THINK. And offer something that is unique and that won't be easy to copy (look the other page where I quoted Darniaq).

(btw, a company completely focused on *one* product and nothing else would already be a novelty for the whole industry and would be already on its own a very effective way to set a standard that other companies would find hard to match. This is how you set the bar in the first place instead of just smelling the ass of someone else)

These companies need to ANTICIPATE the trends instead of chasing them when the money cows have already discovered them. What Mythic had to do was about improving the design concept of DAoC *BEFORE* WoW could capitalize on them. Instead they decided to sit on their asses and stare. With that conservative approach that stopped them from solving the problems of buffbots, interrupts, coordinated ganking groups and all the rest we know even too well.

They decided to not address the buffbots for a very simple reason that ALL OF YOU already know. They thought that it would have had a bad impact on the subscriptions due to the dual accounts. Again: short-term decisions that have radically hurt the game in the long term.

Addressing other radical problems between the classes, interrupts, instants, root, mezz and all the rest. This would make the balance of the game once again unstable. It's a risk that they didn't want to take, again to chase a *conservative* development. Again: short-term good, long term bad.

If DAoC lost subscriptions it's as a DIRECT RESULT of those decisions. Because now we are in the long term and the decisions they took are showing their results. Where I disagree with you is that different decisions would have brought to DIFFERENT RESULTS.

Now. Tell me how you can expect that Mythic will be able to magically build something so much better than DAoC in an even shorter time span? How can you be so gullible?

From my point of view a brand new DAoC launched today as a "new" product would have the exact same result of the DAoC we have now. They cannot magically produce new conditions that magically create so much better games. It's still Mythic. All they can possibly do is already here. All they can possibly do is already possible through DAoC.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Margalis on July 27, 2005, 06:58:36 PM
There is a big problem with positioning EQ2 as the successor to EQ1. If you are willing to dump EQ1 and move to 2, you are also likely to look around and see what other options are out there.

What they should have done is something like EQ2 is the replacement to EQ1 but you can take over some of your old characters or items or whatever. Or get some sort of perks for having played through EQ1. Because once you've decided you are willing to give up EQ1, EQ2 is now competing with a bunch of other things in your mind. Or take the entire land mass and encounters of EQ1 and port them to EQ2 (with the new classes and rules), add on a new set of things that begin where the EQ1 levels end, and allow people to somehow port characters over.

It's tough because moving from one MMORPG to another is a loss of progress. MMORPGs are all about accumulation. (Stats, items, levels, etc) People should recognize this and allow users to keep some possessions from game to game - that will compel them to switch to another of your games instead of someone elses.

Sony never had a clear message for EQ2. If you like EQ1 what are you supposed to do? Play EQ2 or not? They really screwed it up big time.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Johny Cee on July 27, 2005, 07:04:38 PM
Hrose:

Your major flaw is that,  in any time based MMORG, power/utility/enjoyment is directly correlated to length of time played.  It is also your major source of retention.

This causes major disincentives to starting fresh well into the game cycle.  So it can be assumed that less and less new players will start in a game where they, relatively, start out farther and farther behind the curve.  Who wants to start in a game where everyone else is months ahead of you?

Even if in DAoC you could quickly get up to speed,  player/realm dynamics hamstring attracting new players.  Bandwaggoning to winning realms has always been a problem,  and helps to push population dynamics.  Low pop realms bleed population to high pop realms.

And no, there is not a simple and effective method to balance without massively affecting player choice and therefor pissing off your player base.
 



Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 27, 2005, 07:22:52 PM
Your major flaw is that,  in any time based MMORG, power/utility/enjoyment is directly correlated to length of time played.  It is also your major source of retention.

This causes major disincentives to starting fresh well into the game cycle.  So it can be assumed that less and less new players will start in a game where they, relatively, start out farther and farther behind the curve.  Who wants to start in a game where everyone else is months ahead of you?

Even if in DAoC you could quickly get up to speed,  player/realm dynamics hamstring attracting new players.  Bandwaggoning to winning realms has always been a problem,  and helps to push population dynamics.  Low pop realms bleed population to high pop realms.
I know that. In fact I always pushed for the design to have this problem as one of the main focus.

That's something that new games should take the challange to address. What you describe is the result of treadmills not of "mmorpgs".

Guess what? I strongly support Virtual Worlds because they can move AWAY from the treadmills and bring old and new players in the same environment. Ultima Online was already good on this aspect and never suffered the gap that we have in the recent games.

Btw, in the classic servers the treadmill is actually faster today. The same even in EverQuest. The point is that the players hardly accept ANY treadmill today.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: eldaec on July 27, 2005, 07:59:17 PM
WoW is superior to DAoC in three aspects:
- Design
- Engine
- Art

Absolutely agree (with the caveat that RvR > WoW PvP).

WoW learnt from a larger number of previous games.

Mythic have shown even within the life of Daoc that they will shamelessly steal^h^h^h^h^h learn from others designs, the WH engine will obviously be better than daoc one, and the art will no doubt be at a new level of shinyness (and just in case we've all forgotten, DAoC *was* shiny at launch).

Warhammer will, in all probability, be superior to WoW in terms of
 - Design
 - Engine
 - Art

DAoC can never realistically be so.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 27, 2005, 09:30:21 PM
Warhammer will, in all probability, be superior to WoW in terms of
- Design
 - Engine
 - Art


Can I get some of what you're smoking? Warhammer will just be a horrible EQ-Like Grind wrapped in RvR. It will be shiny DAOC. I'm sorry, but after Imperator faith has flown completely out the window. If they just adopted Warhammer itself, that'd be one thing - but they won't.

As for Engine and art? It'd be hard to be worse than WoW. Sure it runs on 4 year old computers, but it looks like it should. And the engine, well server and clientside is an abortion. Oh and it won't have the word Blizzard attached to it.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 27, 2005, 10:22:37 PM
How can you say that Warhammer will be better?

DAoC uses the last Gamebyro version, the same that Imperator was going to use. They have new models, multiple texturing for the ground, SpeedTree for the trees and all the rest (effects on weapons and sets, high-res textures and so on). Everything that they can do new can be applied (and is already) to DAoC. And the same for the graphic. DAoC is still shiny (http://www.cesspit.net/drupal/storeroom/daoc-repository/daocstory.html) (the best at the bottom, load all the page, it's worth it). As much as it can.

If they can create brand new zones for a *whole game*, this means that they can easily redo and keep up to date all the zones that DAoC has already and that now have aged. I've already covered this topic (http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=3131.msg81248#msg81248). Warhammer isn't a magic word that will allow Mythic's artists to reach new heights. DAoC has a pretty generic setting so they can do what they want with it. Doing something more realistic, doing something more "dark" or whatever. It's up to them.

There's only one limit: how much time will require to go through all DAoC content and restyle radically most of it?
Answer: surely less time and money than they would need to produce a brand new game from zero.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Johny Cee on July 27, 2005, 11:14:18 PM

I know that. In fact I always pushed for the design to have this problem as one of the main focus.

That's something that new games should take the challange to address. What you describe is the result of treadmills not of "mmorpgs".

Guess what? I strongly support Virtual Worlds because they can move AWAY from the treadmills and bring old and new players in the same environment. Ultima Online was already good on this aspect and never suffered the gap that we have in the recent games.


Even if time does not equal power,  you have the same problem of time played.

If the most you can get is useless trinkets and knowledge, this is STILL a massive advantage for long term players and creates a learning curve for new players.

Treadmills come in many flavors,  whether it's items, levels, or just game knowledge.

The only subscription based mmog I can think of that cuts out the level/items/abilities grind is Planetside.  But then,  why are you paying a subscription for a game when you get the same experience for free with FPS's or Guildwars or whatever?

Retention is related to attachment, and attachment is related to scarcity.  Whether to an avatar, circle of social contracts, shiny loot, or whatever.  You can't have attachment when you can freely get anything you want in the game/virtual world.

Magic Online still does noob friendliness/veteran fun better than any other game.  And it has it's flaws. 


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: eldaec on July 28, 2005, 12:12:28 AM
Can I get some of what you're smoking? Warhammer will just be a horrible EQ-Like Grind wrapped in RvR. It will be shiny DAOC. I'm sorry, but after Imperator faith has flown completely out the window. If they just adopted Warhammer itself, that'd be one thing - but they won't.

I fully admit that may experience of WoW is best described as 'cursory', for no particular reason other than I didn't really need a new MMOG when WoW arrived.

But I am not right in thinking that WoW is in fact an EQ-like grind with more quests than usual, wrapped in warcraft skins?

Absolutely WH will be shiny Daoc, but I also expect it will be daoc with some number of lessons learnt applied. Mythic are nothing if not 'fast followers'.

Quote
Magic Online still does noob friendliness/veteran fun better than any other game.  And it has it's flaws.

Agree, and so do many other online-multiplayer games based on short 1v1 or small team matches, but MtgO doesn't have the persistence or team play that people seem to feel is the point of MMOGs?


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 28, 2005, 12:14:17 AM
I fully admit that may experience of WoW is best described as 'cursory'.

But I am not right in thinking that WoW is in fact an EQ-like grind with more quests than usual, wrapped in warcraft skins?

I completely agree and I don't feel Warhammer will be any different. I mean Warcraft was originally just a Warhammer ripoff anyway. Unfortunately no matter what Mythic makes, it will never have the following of <insert Blizzard game here>.

Quote
Absolutely WH will be shiny Daoc, but I also expect it will be daoc with some number of lessons learnt applied. Mythic are nothing if not 'fast followers'.

That's what I thought til...well, you know.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: eldaec on July 28, 2005, 12:28:01 AM
Quote
If they can create brand new zones for a *whole game*, this means that they can easily redo and keep up to date all the zones that DAoC has already and that now have aged. I've already covered this topic. Warhammer isn't a magic word that will allow Mythic's artists to reach new heights. DAoC has a pretty generic setting so they can do what they want with it. Doing something more realistic, doing something more "dark" or whatever. It's up to them.

The core problem with this strategy is that to do so whille at the same time getting rid of core design flaws (and daoc does have them : conc buffs, pop balance, dull pve combat) is going to be much harder than just starting from scratch.

We're looking at an 07/08 WH launch in all probability. I don't think daoc is a game well equipped to be healthy 6-7 years after launch and so given the state and design issues in daoc specifically, I don't think a new start with a second iteration of the rvr combat model is a bad idea.

As for the point about the limitations of the WH setting, I think Mythic would, with any license, design the mechanics first, then apply WH flavour in the content layer. I think that's absolutely the right way to do it, there is nothing in WFB or WFRP mechanics that would necessarily translate well to a diku-mmog which, like all diku-mmogs, will primarily be about your cat-herding skills. And while the marketing decision to go with a license is somewhat uninspiring, in Mythic's particular case they've always openly admitted to being crap at backstory and so not really trying; bringing in GW to cover that angle seems a sensible move.

The idea of an ever-evolving single game that runs for years and years is a nice idea, but requires you to get a little bit lucky with the underlying core design. Daoc didn't get lucky. I would expect mythic to move one step in the right direction with daoc2. Oh, I mean WH.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Margalis on July 28, 2005, 01:06:44 AM
Any time you change the design, even for the better, you are going to piss people off. And from a programming perspective it's usually much easier to just create new stuff than tweak old stuff, unless you are talking about extremely minor tweaks. And simply revamping the same game over and over isn't going to bring in a lot of new customers that passed the first time around.

Although I do agree with the basic point that you can't expect Warhammer to be magically way better than DOAC, but we'll see. I think the Warhammer license is awful, but then again so is a game based on Camelot so whatever.

WoW never impressed me in the least. Graphically it sucks. From what I can tell FFXI is still the best MMORPG graphically, which is pretty damn sad considering it was designed for PS2. The character and enemy graphics and animation in FFXI are an order of magnitude better than WoW.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Wasted on July 28, 2005, 02:16:46 AM
I speak from a great deal of ignorance but isnt warhammer a strategy units based game, the one I see people playing with miniatures in the games workshop stores?  Isnt it going to be quite different in design then from Daoc or are they doing a world of warhammer setting and bastardising a war game to fit into the single char rpg?

On the subject of art doesnt the warhammer brand carry its own particular style templates and wouldnt it be wasteful of Mythic to buy the licence and not exploit those styles?  I cant understand how it can be claimed that mythic cant produce art greater than they could with daoc when context and consistency are such important traits of art.  On one level you may be able to say you prefer the castle design in Daoc better than in warhammer, but if in the context of a warhammer game the art quality is good and the style themes that magical quality of consistency and innovation then there is no reason they cant produce a great looking game even if in the restraints of the DAOC style templates they where at their limit some time ago.

And for the engine, its been some years since I played DAOC but I seem to remember that the technical aspects of the game where quite good, I'm sure I remember thinking that it was a pity that the game design wasnt more inspired because the technical aspects impressed me.  I would think then that a tried and tested rule set like warhammer with a popular universe would be perfect for a dev company that was high on technical skills and low on original game design ideas.

And I really cant credit the claim that turbine cant beat thei AC numbers with DDO, I can see MEO perhaps not reaching expectations but if turbine cant make a big success out of DDO it will be one of the greatest fuckups of the industry.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: stray on July 28, 2005, 02:30:20 AM
I speak from a great deal of ignorance but isnt warhammer a strategy units based game, the one I see people playing with miniatures in the games workshop stores?  Isnt it going to be quite different in design then from Daoc or are they doing a world of warhammer setting and bastardising a war game to fit into the single char rpg?

Warhammer was an RPG first. Think Monty Python & the Holy Grail + Medieval European History + Warcraft (actually the original Warcraft is a direct ripoff from the Warhammer world and races. Just more stupified.).


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: eldaec on July 28, 2005, 02:31:39 AM
Warhammer fantasy is a setting. There are many games designed in it.

There's character role play play game, the fantasy tactical battle game you mention, an epic scale strategy game etc etc.

The fantasy battle game you mention is the relatively good one.

(40k stuff notwithstanding)


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Wasted on July 28, 2005, 02:35:36 AM
I had a little look on the mythic warhammer site but information is sparse, they are calling it a rpg so I guess its too much to hope for any sort of tactical/squad/unit based action then in this mmog...pity cos that idea attracted my attention, another rpg a lot less so.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: stray on July 28, 2005, 02:56:07 AM
As an rpg, it was great. Even if fantasy rpg's are a bit played out, it's still the one to make (besides D&D, of course).

As an online rpg though (especially a Mythic one), it'll be complete shite. So I'm with you in that respect.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 28, 2005, 03:59:37 AM
I'm sure I remember thinking that it was a pity that the game design wasnt more inspired because the technical aspects impressed me.
For God's sake, I still CANNOT maximize the window so that the client takes the whole screen instead of just 80% of it. And it has still the worst memory managment I've ever seen.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Llava on July 28, 2005, 04:25:44 AM
They could just name the game "Warhammer: Blizzard."

That might confuse huge crowds into buying it.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: stray on July 28, 2005, 04:41:51 AM
They could just name the game "Warhammer: Blizzard."

That might confuse huge crowds into buying it.

That's what Warcraft should be named actually. Starcraft = 40k ripoff as well.

It's all pretty ironic though. First there was Warhammer. Then Warcraft. Then Daoc. Then WoW, which took some ideas from Daoc. And now Mythic, partly the inspiration for some of WoW's gameplay, has the license to the game that inspired the entire Warcraft universe to begin with. And the funny thing is: They're probably asking themselves "How can we best copy World of Warcraft?"  :roll:


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HaemishM on July 28, 2005, 10:35:24 AM
Come get your SirBrucing of the morning, bitches.

Let me derail these arguments a moment.

WoW is superior to DAoC in three aspects:
- Design
- Engine
- Art

No, no it isn't. Although most of these things are subjective, the Warhammer engine is NOT superior to DAoC's. It still chugs in places that it absolutely should not chug in for as few polygons as the graphics are throwing out. The server side is shittasticly bad, with all sorts of issues relating to the lag between database and the server (see duping bugs, harvesting bugs, etc.). Art is subjective. Now what WoW DOES do right is decent PVE design, with less restrictive time requirements.

Quote from: Hrose
Now. Where is the evidence that a brand new title at Mythic can achieve those, better, results? The design is there. The design is the most flexible part of a game because you can improve it as you find the flaws. You can be as radical as you want. As risky as you want. What about the engine? How you can expect that Mythic comes out with an outstanding engine for Warhammer? They do not even program it. They use a licence. Imperator was going to use the exact same engine of DAoC. Art? They have good artists, the quality on their games has radically improved. but they are nowhere the originality and personal style of WoW. How can they magically reach new height all of the sudden?

Why the fuck would Mythic care about achieving WoW level results? Their infastructure couldn't handle it. They'd have to staff up by about 2-3 fold just to be able to handle those kinds of numbers. It would be a monstrous shift in their business. Their bandwidth alone would be obscene. I'm not saying they couldn't handle it, but it would be a complete 360 from how they run their business now. Sometimes success is a two-edged sword.

What should Mythic be expecting with Warhammer? What should they want? They should want a game that's as popular as DAoC was on release, while keeping DAoC at no less than half its current user base for the first 2 years after WH's release. They should look at shuttering most of the DAoC servers by 2009. That would be 7 years of profitable subscriptions. How long do you expect these games to last? Seriously, how long? Get this through your thick skull, you twat, a new MMOG does not have to be the biggest boy on the block to be successful. It doesn't have to have 1.5 million US subs to be a profitable success, especially to a lean, indy company like Mythic. From a business standpoint, I'd invest in Mythic before I'd invest in Blizzard, because I can expect a steady return.

Also, I never said Warhammer had to be a better game or that it would be. Frankly, I think it'll be DAoC2 with Warhammer skins and some tweaks in the gameplay, none of which will bring it bigger numbers than DAoC had. But it will give them a new game on the shelf, with a license that has an existing fanbase, so from a business perspective, it's a better move than just trying to milk a 3-year old MMOG franchise that doesn't offer much different from the industry leader other than setting.

Please tell me in the history of MMOG's where focusing on one game in the long-term has helped keep an MMOG at the same subscriber levels. UO? Nope. They gained probably a year or two with the addition of Fellucca/Trammel, but now, 8 years after release, it's limping along in its original market and trying to prop itself up by sucking up to the Asian market. That's another good business move, IMO, but for the users of the original market? It's catastrophic, as evidenced by WindupAtheist's recent parting of the ways with his revered game. EQ1? They did a radical redesign twice (once for graphics engine with Luclin and once with the addition of instancing), and while they are certainly still profitable, no one is out there claiming that they are growing subscriptions by any massive amount. They just merged servers recently, which shows to me that the population is likely contracting.

Quote from: Hrose
There is no evidence that these companies can do so much better than what they are doing because their product give them already FULL possibilities to express themselves at their best. This trend to hype brand new products with new titles (that inexorably fail as they have to concretely demonstrate their value) is an extremely silly illusion. "Hey, it's all new! It's not the game you used to know!"

Why do they have to do BETTER? EQ2 doesn't have to do better, especially not if they keep EQ1 profitable. New products give them FRESH FACES. Sure, if they completely closed down the old games and started up the new ones, they would have to reach and surpass the success of their previous products, because that would be their only product. But if they keep the old game up and add a new game (whether a sequel or not) and the sequel has equal success as the first, that's TWO profitable games as opposed to one. And if they are lucky, they can do something like SOE's Station Pass, where they charge a little more than one subscription and offer multiple games. Not only do they keep the old game subs, they get a little extra revenue from subs, they get money from new box sales of the newer products, and the chance that you'll stick around as a subscriber longer is increased, because you'll have more options. WIN WIN!

Their business has to grow, and it WILL NOT GROW LONG-TERM by just adding on to the same old game. At some point, even with constant expansions, the game will reach its highest sub point and then contract. There will be little expansions in user base along the way, like ripples, but they will contract again eventually.

Quote from: Margalis
There is a big problem with positioning EQ2 as the successor to EQ1. If you are willing to dump EQ1 and move to 2, you are also likely to look around and see what other options are out there.

What they should have done is something like EQ2 is the replacement to EQ1 but you can take over some of your old characters or items or whatever. Or get some sort of perks for having played through EQ1. Because once you've decided you are willing to give up EQ1, EQ2 is now competing with a bunch of other things in your mind. Or take the entire land mass and encounters of EQ1 and port them to EQ2 (with the new classes and rules), add on a new set of things that begin where the EQ1 levels end, and allow people to somehow port characters over.

Exactly. This is what they SHOULD have done, IMO. Not everyone will port over (some just won't want to leave the old, some won't want to upgrade their computers, etc.) but they should never have tried to separate the user base. Hell, if they were worried about new players being jealous of the old players stuff, fuck it, put the veterans on their own servers, and only allow newbies after telling them the score. EQ2's lack of breakout success was for a lot of reasons, and one of them was there was no clear message from SOE on what the product was, nor any reason for their current user base to pony up for it.



Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Nebu on July 28, 2005, 10:40:09 AM
Let me derail these arguments a moment.

WoW is superior to DAoC in three aspects:
- Design
- Engine
- Art

I'll agree with engine.  The other two are purely opinion.  

Design: The WoW game design was very linear, lacked adequate challenge, and had little to no sandbox-type play.  I found the design to uninteresting considering the buckets of cash they poured into it. I'll say your statement here is one of opinion and preference. While I'll admit that WoW had the best PvE implementation in a fantasy mmog to date, it was designed well enough to hold my interest for more than a week or so.  I've played DAoC for 3 years. WoW caters to what I label the "console crowd".  It's easy to learn and easier to master.  It lacks the depth and subtlety that is evedent in any title geared toward mass appeal.

Art: WoW made my eyes bleed.  I hate the graphics in every way imagineable. Though DAoC is a tad bland, I find it much more enjoyable.  Again, I'll chalk this one up to personal preference.

WoW is a marketing success but a gaming failure in my opinion.  They had so many opportunities to really advance the genre and they punted. Better engine? yes. Better UI? yes.  Better game? Not really.  The tragedy here is that the financial success of WoW pretty much dooms us to another 5-10 years of uninteresting fantasy-based mmog gaming.

EDIT: Damn Haemish and his fast typing!


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Merusk on July 28, 2005, 11:13:58 AM
WoW is a marketing success but a gaming failure in my opinion.  They had so many opportunities to really advance the genre and they punted. Better engine? yes. Better UI? yes.  Better game? Not really.  The tragedy here is that the financial success of WoW pretty much dooms us to another 5-10 years of uninteresting fantasy-based mmog gaming.

When did Blizzard ever innovate?  I see people complaining that 'omg it's just more of the same.' but before the game came out the consensus was that all Blizzard has ever done is take an old idea and polish it until it shines.   Anyone who expected innovative gameplay from WoW was sadly deluded.   It's EQ1 'done right.' for the masses, and that's all a lot of folks expected.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Nebu on July 28, 2005, 11:22:35 AM
When did Blizzard ever innovate? 

When has anyone really innovated in the past 20 years?  While we all know that Diablo is a rip-off done better I would say that Warcraft and Starcraft were somewhat innovative.  Sure,  it could be argued that they were also derivative but what games today aren't to some degree?


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Pococurante on July 28, 2005, 12:07:39 PM
My next MMOG will have art on the level of Morrowind Oblivion (http://www.elderscrolls.com/art/obliv_pc_screens_01.htm).  Or it won't be my next MMOG.

(http://www.elderscrolls.phx.pl/oblivion/screen_15.jpg)


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: WindupAtheist on July 28, 2005, 12:52:06 PM
Quote
That's another good business move, IMO, but for the users of the original market? It's catastrophic, as evidenced by WindupAtheist's recent parting of the ways with his revered game.

Robots, ninjas, and elves?  What the hell were they smoking?!  *collapses into wracking sobs*


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 28, 2005, 12:53:23 PM
My next MMOG will have art on the level of Morrowind Oblivion (http://www.elderscrolls.com/art/obliv_pc_screens_01.htm).  Or it won't be my next MMOG.

*snip*

Looks like they went to the EQ2 school of model design. But the scenery is nice.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Pococurante on July 28, 2005, 01:03:17 PM
That's really what gets my attention about Oblivion.  But now I risk crossing threads which could make all life as you know it stop instantaneously and every molecule in your body explode at the speed of light.

(http://www.dvdbreakdown.com/pix/11_screenshots/Ghostbusters10.jpg)


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: WayAbvPar on July 28, 2005, 01:08:39 PM
My next MMOG will have art on the level of Morrowind Oblivion (http://www.elderscrolls.com/art/obliv_pc_screens_01.htm).  Or it won't be my next MMOG.

*snip*

Looks like they went to the EQ2 school of model design. But the scenery is nice.

I was thinking the same thing. The forest and such looks great- the model is a bit muddy still.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Furiously on July 28, 2005, 02:01:31 PM
My next MMOG will have art on the level of Morrowind Oblivion (http://www.elderscrolls.com/art/obliv_pc_screens_01.htm).  Or it won't be my next MMOG.

*snip*

Looks like they went to the EQ2 school of model design. But the scenery is nice.

I was thinking it was a midget or pigmy minotaur.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HaemishM on July 28, 2005, 02:04:53 PM
That minotaur is a eunuch.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Pococurante on July 28, 2005, 03:08:35 PM
Just as well - bull wang isn't my cup of pixel tea.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HRose on July 28, 2005, 04:11:07 PM
Please tell me in the history of MMOG's where focusing on one game in the long-term has helped keep an MMOG at the same subscriber levels. UO? Nope. They gained probably a year or two with the addition of Fellucca/Trammel, but now, 8 years after release, it's limping along in its original market and trying to prop itself up by sucking up to the Asian market.
You see the reality completely detached from relationships of cause and effect.

If something happens it's because it has a cause. A product may become obsolete for a concrete cause, not because there's a rule set in stone that dictates this. If a product is left on its own, it will be replaced. If a product is kept up to date, it won't be replaced. Since mmorpgs are paid over time as a service there is no need to replace them, if not to difersify the offer, which is good but is not always happening (see EQ -> EQ2, Shadowbane -> Shadowbane2, AC -> AC2, DAoC -> Warhammer etc..).

What is happening to UO confirms my points, not yours! UO is dying because they cut the resources from it LONG AGO. From my point of view, in order to GROW the subscription base of a game over time, you need to reinvest in the product all the money it produces. You think this happened to UO? What is happening to the game is the result of those choices. It's the direct consequence of a reason, of a cause.

The example of UO confirms the trend of every other product. As the resources shift to different projects and the developers themselves stop to care about the game -> the game starts to die. It happened with EQ, it happened with DAoC, it happened for Turbine and so on. It will happen to Blizzard as they'll try to do WoW2 or another mmorpg. It happens every time a company stops to believe in a product and is seduced by something else.

I believe, on the contrary of you, that is possible to constantly GROW the subscription base of a product. Eve-Online is the only example I know about of a whole company completely dedicated to the project. All the money they earn are reinvested into it. This is an extremely niche product. It has an awful newbie experience, it directly push players away by HIDING its qualities behind pure boredom and all the rest. Still, it reached 60k a week ago. It is now released from two years and has kept consolidating its subscription base constantly.

I believe that this result that they achieved is the DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of their choice to support the game. Without that support and ACTIVE work on the game, the subscriptions wouldn't be at 60k. Because the success of a game, guess what?, depends directly on the work you do on it. Not on fanciful lifecycles. Shadowbane has its selling point on a complex PvP sandbox exactly like Eve, it has a way more popular setting and, still, it has 1/6 of the playerbase of EvE. In fact the development of the game is lagging as one of the worst examples between all the mmorpgs.

You can criticize what I say and I even appreciate and share some of the points you made, but what I say is that the downward trend of the subscriptions doesn't depend on "magical rules". It depends on the development itself. I'm stating something that isn't even an opinion. It's logic.

Of course a continue investment and development isn't enough, on its own, to bring directly to a growing subscription base. Because then the work you do must be good work, not just "work" and stop. I believe this good work is always rewarded. ALWAYS. You are never wasting resources. I don't know where Eve-Online will go since I cannot be sure that what CCP will do will be always "good work". But I believe that if they'll continue with this trend and keep adding interesting systems and radically rediesigning and upgrading parts of their game LIKE THEY ARE ALREADY DOING, they'll see the subscription raise. Without lifecycles to menace that trend.

DAoC, EQ, UO and other games that are declining are declining for a reason. The resources have been cut and the development constantly choose short-term solutions that consequently hurt the game in the long term. DAoC is losing subscribers and will lose more in the next 6 months because instead of addressing the problems of ToA, they removed it. Refusing to face those problems, refusing to acknowledge them. Instead of DEVELOPING the game they have chosen to retreat. To go back. Not only the development is swamped. But it's going back.

The buffbots, ToA and, now, the Isle idea are ways to DODGE the problems of the game. Are ways to REFUSE to solve the problems. These solutions work in the short terms. Because they are workarounds. Becuase they are bandaids. The lowest common denominator here is the fact that ALL THESE SOLUTIONS ARE TEMPORARY. The launch of the three new classic servers is positive because it brought back players that left after none of the problems of the game were solved and brand new shitty solutions were introduced. Short term this is a GOOD solution -> they see more subscribers.

Long term this will make them lose more and more subscribers. Exactly because the solution is temporary, exactly because the new three servers are killing the population of all the other servers. And because the game didn't step forward, it moved backwards to undo the fuckups that they still refuse to accept (see the quotes (http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=4075.msg102274#msg102274)). The Isle will be again short term good. Long term it will make the gameplay dull, it will remove the unique qualities of the RvR and the players will start to ask themselves: "Why the fuck I'm playing this game if it has become a bleached version of the BGs in WoW?" And they'll leave because DAoC hasn't anymore UNIQUE to say. Because the development has stopped and because everyone at Mythic is now looking with greedy eyes at the new cash cow that Marc Jacobs bought recently.

If DAoC will lose more and more subscribers it's because of the development that has kept choosing these short-term workarounds. Mythic DESERVES to lose subscribers because this is what they chose deliberately. All that is happening (less subscribers as time passes) it's because they set the premises for this to happen and NOT because there are unavoidable Damocles swords on the heads of these games.

Mythic itself is the Damocles sword on DAoC. We are now on the "long term". It's time for Mythic to see the result of their choices. To reap what they sowed.

You can unload the responsibilities on god, destinty, odd marketing rules or whatever. But the fact is that they are losing so much subscribers as the result of the poor choices they did along these years. Now they are so short-sighted that they aren't even able to understand that what is happening is the result of what they did at that time.

Lifecylcles are myths. Both UO and EQ had growing lifecycles of five years and more, DAoC two, SWG six months, Shadowbane four months, Horizons one month. Other games died as they started or shortly after. Eve-Online two years and growing steadily. WoW is pure sprint.

There is no fancy rule beside the direct quality you are able to offer. All these products have no set rules. They aren't organic. They do not expire. The lifecycle is purely the consequence of the work that is done of them. Nothing else. When the work stop or when the developers stop caring, the world starts its downward trend. All the rest is about myths and superficial points of view.

Ultimately, the games are left to polls (http://www.camelotherald.com/more/2103.shtml).



Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: schild on July 28, 2005, 04:37:35 PM
Lifecycle. This word, it does not mean what you think it means.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: HaemishM on July 28, 2005, 05:06:15 PM
Things fall apart. Entropy is the one constant in the universe.

Even the most popular television shows, most enduring book series, they all get old after awhile, unless they are changed with enough quality to help. But even then, eventually things must come to an end or they must find new markets. Comic books are a perfect example of this, in that superhero myths either need to be ended or recharged for a new audience periodically or they grow stale.

And even when they are recycled, they aren't always going to last forever.

A game isn't a book, or a TV show, or a movie. It's an interactive experience. It involves performing a series of actions to overcome some desired challenge. Humans, by their very nature, grow bored of repetitive actions. You cannot change any game, ANY GAME, enough over a length of infinite time to make it not get boring to people. Games with definite, FINITE level schemes cannot be refreshed enough to stave off boredom forever, because if you change the game's dynamics completely, you change the reason people play it.

Really, if you cannot grasp that fundamentally altering a game's dynamic enough to be an entirely new game to people for longer than 5 years won't work, and that people WILL be bored, you are an even bigger fucking idiot than I thought.

Think about the reaction you had to DAoC's changes for just a moment. The changes that eventually drove you away from DAoC, think about them. Now imagine that a larger majority of players either liked those changes or didn't care enough. Now imagine that kind of change you didn't agree with happened ALL THE TIME. Sooner or later, you will piss off the core and that'll be that.

MMOG's have a lifecycle of between 5-10 years, and 10 years is REALLY PUSHING IT with the current paradigms of design.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Furiously on July 28, 2005, 05:17:54 PM
I'd take exception to that - MMOG's USED to have a lifecycle of 5 to 10 years. I think there is too much competition out there now to keep people from looking at the next shiney.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Lt.Dan on July 29, 2005, 08:39:04 AM
Even the most popular television shows [...] get old after awhile, unless they are changed with enough quality to help. But even then, eventually things must come to an end or they must find new markets.

Solution: Give the cute kids precocious dialog or even better spin-off the precocious children.  MMOGs could learn alot from that.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: Soln on July 29, 2005, 10:46:51 AM
Isn't there some economies of scale to consider?  There must be some advantage WoW and Lineage have with 2M+ subs to roll out new content/fixes/CSRs/whatever.  All that revenue gives them better resources to compete with and counter existing and new competitive threats.  But also (and more interestingly) wouldn't that number of subs give them an advantage in attracting new subs?  There's always conquest (getting new subs) and retention (keeping existing users subbed) costs to consider, and I would think that those companies get extra momentum and a lower cost in attracting new users.  They become "the place to be" and in MMO's there's probably a herd effect to consider.  Mythic is doing it's best, but Emain circa 2002 is just a retention tactic.  Nothing wrong with that IMO.  But it was not probably ever meant to be innovative, and thus to attract new users. 

As an aside, I recently resubbed/quit EQ2.  There's a substantial, mandatory exit interview. Anyone take it?  They're making a strong effort to learn why people are leaving and where they're going to, and show at the end graphics and a little memo on any features you may have selected you would've prefered (e.g. "like soloing?  Oh we have new solo'erific dungeon in TS", etc.).  That's a try at retention with a manic capital-R.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: tazelbain on July 29, 2005, 10:58:01 AM
Isn't there some economies of scale to consider?
Ya, but the reserve is true.  The larger your base, is the more opportunity there is to screw the pooch; the more people are trying exploit your system; the more people are screaming on the boards.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: AOFanboi on July 29, 2005, 11:59:19 AM
What MMOG developers need to learn is that by focusing on the next thing (read: expansion) they are removing focus from the current thing. There are bugs in AO that have remained unfixed since launch. WoW has never bothered to fix the annoying loot bug, and managed to add two serious (one game-crashing) bugs in the latest patch instead.

Bah.

The best game purchase I did this year was a $3 Java implementation of Sudoku for my mobile phone. It was certainly not any $30-40 PC game.


Title: Re: Mythic brings back Emain
Post by: WayAbvPar on July 29, 2005, 12:46:01 PM
My best bang for the buck purchase of the year is currently on the front page (http://www.f13.net/index2.php?subaction=showfull&id=1122607631&archive=&start_from=&ucat=2&) (yes, this site has a front page). Free to start, $12 to get the full version.