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Author Topic: State of The Game - Mark Jacobs  (Read 300015 times)
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Reply #805 on: October 27, 2008, 12:30:21 AM

What the hell was this? Some sort of semi-roleplaying?

As one of the new people I just want to disclose that I am both cranky, and old.

... and not used to quoting the correct posts on this forum.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

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Reply #806 on: October 27, 2008, 01:32:09 PM

no
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 01:34:50 PM by schild »
Gurney
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Reply #807 on: October 27, 2008, 02:25:15 PM

What the hell was this? Some sort of semi-roleplaying?

As one of the new people I just want to disclose that I am both cranky, and old.

... and not used to quoting the correct posts on this forum.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

That is the senility setting in.
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Reply #808 on: October 27, 2008, 10:46:56 PM

So... the weekend has been and gone.

Monday morning meetings have surely happened.

Has anyone seen any more crazy posts from MJ?

It's meant to be "War is Everywhere!", not "Grind, Bitches!".
        - UnSub 25/10/2008
Herring
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Reply #809 on: October 28, 2008, 12:20:06 AM

So... the weekend has been and gone.

Monday morning meetings have surely happened.

Has anyone seen any more crazy posts from MJ?

I was wrong about the drunken midnight posts, and for that I am sorry.
Snok
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Reply #810 on: October 28, 2008, 12:44:42 AM

I know on my server RvR has died because the zones are so goddamn impossible to flip, it turned into musical bases for a while and now people seem to have lost interest in even that.  If you want to restrict access to the cities more fine but allow the middle zones to be easier to flip back and forth and have the second level zones be the ones that take a major concerted effort from most of the server.  Then we get more than the base 2 keeps/4 BO's per zone and people would be more interested in RvR.  awesome, for real
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Reply #811 on: October 28, 2008, 12:50:57 AM

I know on my server RvR has died because the zones are so goddamn impossible to flip, it turned into musical bases for a while and now people seem to have lost interest in even that.  If you want to restrict access to the cities more fine but allow the middle zones to be easier to flip back and forth and have the second level zones be the ones that take a major concerted effort from most of the server.  Then we get more than the base 2 keeps/4 BO's per zone and people would be more interested in RvR.  awesome, for real

From what I understand (and this is an outside-looking-in perspective as I've unfortunately canceled my account), the RvR zone control mechanic has been disabled in a response to bugs being revealed which allowed all too easy zone capture.

Of course, I could entirely be wrong, but browsing over 3 forums, this appears to be both a) commonplace and b) not entirely intended or intuitive.

Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
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Reply #812 on: October 28, 2008, 01:01:28 AM

Its still enabled, its just that poorly implemented.

It works, but you gotta do a lot of PVE to push it or be on the more populated side.

Population = Winner in the VP system.
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Reply #813 on: October 28, 2008, 01:24:19 AM

Its still enabled, its just that poorly implemented.

It works, but you gotta do a lot of PVE to push it or be on the more populated side.

Population = Winner in the VP system.
Well we had about 50-100 people in praag tonight rolling every PQ, qued up for the scenario and trolling for any destruciton to enter the zone for a couple hours and the bar actually moved backwards....   swamp poop
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Reply #814 on: October 28, 2008, 02:45:45 AM

Its still enabled, its just that poorly implemented.

It works, but you gotta do a lot of PVE to push it or be on the more populated side.

Population = Winner in the VP system.
Well we had about 50-100 people in praag tonight rolling every PQ, qued up for the scenario and trolling for any destruciton to enter the zone for a couple hours and the bar actually moved backwards....   swamp poop

The only way to win is not to play.  why so serious?

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Reply #815 on: October 28, 2008, 05:17:59 AM

I think they should pull the game from the shelves and shut down the servers for 3-6 months, at least until they fix the worst problems.  Force merge the populations, give everyone 30 days extra, then relaunch the game.  At the minute they are playing catch up, failing badly at it and the worst problems are snowballing so fast it's rapidly moving towards hilarious.

As a small example, I'm trying to think of a more badly designed class ability than encouraging the Magus/Engineer classes to suck everyone to a single point, end result, mass death in a few seconds.  Who thought that was a good idea?  The whole pvp game T1-T3 is based on positional combat.  It's like teaching people to play chess for a day, then redesigning the board to a single square in the afternoon, before breaking out the dice and combat tables.
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Reply #816 on: October 28, 2008, 05:34:17 AM

I think they should pull the game from the shelves and shut down the servers for 3-6 months, at least until they fix the worst problems.  Force merge the populations, give everyone 30 days extra, then relaunch the game.  At the minute they are playing catch up, failing badly at it and the worst problems are snowballing so fast it's rapidly moving towards hilarious.

As a small example, I'm trying to think of a more badly designed class ability than encouraging the Magus/Engineer classes to suck everyone to a single point, end result, mass death in a few seconds.  Who thought that was a good idea?  The whole pvp game T1-T3 is based on positional combat.  It's like teaching people to play chess for a day, then redesigning the board to a single square in the afternoon, before breaking out the dice and combat tables.

I don't know that this would require 3-6 months to fix.  The technical issues, I could see taking that kind of time (though obviously I can't see them closing down for that), but most of the things people are bitching about don't seem like they should require a radical redesign of the game.  Grind in T3 is bad, so reduce T3 levelling XP.  ORvR XP is bad, so augment it.  Magnetism and Rift are annoying, so nerf them.  These are small issues, we're talking about changing a few numbers, not giving Witch Elves a third arm so they can Triple Wield or something.  They should be able to be fixed fast.

That's why this is so maddening.  It's not like the game is bad, I think it's a lot of fun.  But there's a handful of little things which nag at it, like a thorn in the foot, every step, nag nag nag, and you'd think it would be easy to fix it, but they haven't done it yet.
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Reply #817 on: October 28, 2008, 05:37:28 AM

Sadly, from what I understand, magnets were an 11th hour addition that was never really play tested for more than a couple days, if at all.  A way to perk up the classes.
One of the main reasons why I canceled my sub, as it was I was willing to put most minor things behind me.

I dunno that I would honestly even consider resubbing if they were simply "nerfed".  I really think they should just be /axed, and now that I've stopped playing for a bit I see that there are far more problems than I was truly noticing when in my "playing bliss".
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Reply #818 on: October 28, 2008, 05:51:30 AM

I don't know that this would require 3-6 months to fix.  The technical issues, I could see taking that kind of time (though obviously I can't see them closing down for that), but most of the things people are bitching about don't seem like they should require a radical redesign of the game.  Grind in T3 is bad, so reduce T3 levelling XP.  ORvR XP is bad, so augment it.  Magnetism and Rift are annoying, so nerf them.  These are small issues, we're talking about changing a few numbers, not giving Witch Elves a third arm so they can Triple Wield or something.  They should be able to be fixed fast.

That's why this is so maddening.  It's not like the game is bad, I think it's a lot of fun.  But there's a handful of little things which nag at it, like a thorn in the foot, every step, nag nag nag, and you'd think it would be easy to fix it, but they haven't done it yet.

From Mark's earlier comments, he's very worried about annoying players with major changes, but at this point in time they need major changes fast.  They just aren't going to be able to fix T1-T3 ORVR now, it's going to take nothing short of a nuke to get players out of scenarios because Mythic have taught all the players to stay in scenarios.

Don't get me wrong, I think there's zero chance of them pulling the game from release for a few months, but I don't see the current problems, combined with their obvious fear of making any real changes, as "small issues".  How about, 3k exp for a keep lord?  That's not a minor design change, that's highlighting the fact that you don't play your own game post T2.
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Reply #819 on: October 28, 2008, 06:20:53 AM

I think they should pull the game from the shelves and shut down the servers for 3-6 months, at least until they fix the worst problems.  Force merge the populations, give everyone 30 days extra, then relaunch the game.  At the minute they are playing catch up, failing badly at it and the worst problems are snowballing so fast it's rapidly moving towards hilarious.
They aren't going to shut it down. Their best hope is to bring in somebody who really understands how to make zone RvR "fun" (it can be somebody already there at Mythic but is not a lead) and have them do an EQ II and rework that part of the game for the next year before Blizzard has a chance to perfect their zone RvR. Despite the fact that Mark constantly touts their RvR game design experience (with DAoC it was their MUD experience, with WAR it's their DAoC experience) that hasn't helped them with this game. They need some new thinking over there.
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Reply #820 on: October 28, 2008, 06:24:20 AM

How about, 3k exp for a keep lord?  That's not a minor design change, that's highlighting the fact that you don't play your own game post T2.

I really, at this point, don't think any of them play their game.

It will be interesting to see what the next press release/posts whatever that comes out of EA-Mythic says.
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Reply #821 on: October 28, 2008, 07:01:54 AM

It will be interesting to see what the next press release/posts whatever that comes out of EA-Mythic says.

This is why I'm still hanging around - I can't wait to see the next PR exercise from Mythic. My bet the next excitement will be the class changes attached to 1.1, but Jacobs might do a blog at any time that provides some entertainment.

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Reply #822 on: October 28, 2008, 08:06:38 AM

It will be interesting to see what the next press release/posts whatever that comes out of EA-Mythic says.

This is why I'm still hanging around - I can't wait to see the next PR exercise from Mythic. My bet the next excitement will be the class changes attached to 1.1, but Jacobs might do a blog at any time that provides some entertainment.


I'm beginning to think they are in full head-in-the-sand stage , and won't be admitting anything population/sales related in any negative way

At this point I expect outright lies from EA/Mythic/MJ about the health of the game , there are too many statements he's made in the past about how to judge success that trap him right now , going by his measurements of "are you still opening servers 6 weeks to 6 months after launch", it is turning into an abysmal failure

And I dont see them admitting even slightly they are losing subs/not selling well anymore even with all evidence pointing to it

The only statements I think he will make will be "look at 1.1 , look at 1.1 it's coming , it's on the way ," just to delay for another 6-8 weeks the reality of the situation , that 1.1 might be great , but good chance half the players wont be around by then

And how many who leave will bother coming back ?
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Reply #823 on: October 28, 2008, 08:34:07 AM

UK PC CD Games (Full Price)
Week ending Oct 25, 2008

Quote
10th place Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (6th place last week)

The last week for WAR in top ten?
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Reply #824 on: October 28, 2008, 08:59:20 AM

When Jacobs said WAR needed 500k subs to be successful, I said the following.

Quote
Regardless of the truth of the matter, you don't say shit like that out loud.  Now if it does 450k, instead of people saying "Well that's not a WoW killer, but it's solid" they'll say it's an official Jacobs-certified failure.  And that perception wouldn't help turn things around.

Followed by everyone telling me I was dumb, Schild saying 500k would be a cakewalk, Lum predicting it would break a million, yadda yadda yadda.

"You're just a dick who quotes himself in his sig."  --  Schild
"Yeah, it's pretty awesome."  --  Me
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Reply #825 on: October 28, 2008, 09:07:35 AM

To be fair WUA, they had the audience by the end of the first week. Now, the continuous string of idiotic post-launch announced stupidity drove them under it, and short of totally following the history of the genre, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. That at some point, MMOG designers stop making dumb, dumb, dumb decisions. It turns out I was wrong and the genre is still full of back-pedaling stupid. In a rare moment of optimism, I assumed that Mark wouldn't go down the road he went down. Whoops. To be sure though, it's not that players turned their back on WAR, it's that Mark turned his back on the players. Mythic is fucked, for real, and probably has no sizable faith among the playerbase anymore, but me saying it was a cakewalk - well, I'll stand by that. In a remotely sane world, it SHOULD'VE been, he had to go out of his way to fuck that up.
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Reply #826 on: October 28, 2008, 09:17:22 AM

Despite the fact that Mark constantly touts their RvR game design experience (with DAoC it was their MUD experience, with WAR it's their DAoC experience) that hasn't helped them with this game. They need some new thinking over there.

This was the first game I've played from Mythic, and if no one had ever mentioned DAoC before to me, I would have assumed this was their first game with any RvR.

Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
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Reply #827 on: October 28, 2008, 09:18:36 AM

Quote
To be fair WUA, they had the audience by the end of the first week. Now, the continuous string of idiotic post-launch announced stupidity drove them under it, and short of totally following the history of the genre, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. That at some point, MMOG designers stop making dumb, dumb, dumb decisions. It turns out I was wrong and the genre is still full of back-pedaling stupid. In a rare moment of optimism, I assumed that Mark wouldn't go down the road he went down. Whoops. To be sure though, it's not that players turned their back on WAR, it's that Mark turned his back on the players. Mythic is fucked, for real, and probably has no sizable faith among the playerbase anymore, but me saying it was a cakewalk - well, I'll stand by that. In a remotely sane world, it SHOULD'VE been, he had to go out of his way to fuck that up.

It definitely started off as robot jesus.  For myself after the first month I had 3 and a half days of playtime...to compare, in AOC I had 18 hours.  That's how fun it was.  I was catassing for the first time in years.

I'm actually still playing it, just on the highest populated current server (skull throne).  The game is still pretty fun when people are around, at least in the first few tiers.  I'm just not thinking about the end game at this point.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 09:27:55 AM by trias_e »
khaine
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Reply #828 on: October 28, 2008, 09:21:21 AM

So what's worse , Mcquaid and his antics dooming the game well prior to launch , or MJ/Mythic taking a reasonable game at launch and making every possible decision that could kill it post launch ?
Modern Angel
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Reply #829 on: October 28, 2008, 09:21:55 AM

Totally what schild said. Fuck, up until a week and a half ago or so I was still in love with it. I still maintain, and will likely always maintain, that 1-20 was the best MMO experience of my life. It was FUN. It should be in second place. But, fuck... man, that grind. And then the PvE cockblock for the sieges.

Write this in stone: YOU CANNOT BEAT WOW AT PVE. THEY HAVE BETTER SCRIPTERS THAN YOU. IF THOSE SCRIPTERS AND DESIGNERS LEAVE, THEY WILL BUY YOURS WITH THEIR BENEFITS PACKAGE ALONE. DO NOT FUCK UP AND TRY TO COMPETE WITH THEM ON THEIR TERMS. ALSO, THEY ARE LOWERING THEIR BARRIER TO ENTRY EVERY FEW MONTHS SO DO NOT RAISE YOURS HIGHER THAN THEIRS.

All they had to do was offer an alternate, PvP based progression. Keep it fast and furious. Instead they did exactly the opposite of what they should have. I mean the exact, polar opposite. Motherfuckers point to magnetic wrong with these decisions.
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Reply #830 on: October 28, 2008, 09:22:24 AM

To be fair WUA, they had the audience by the end of the first week. Now, the continuous string of idiotic post-launch announced stupidity drove them under it, and short of totally following the history of the genre, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. That at some point, MMOG designers stop making dumb, dumb, dumb decisions. It turns out I was wrong and the genre is still full of back-pedaling stupid. In a rare moment of optimism, I assumed that Mark wouldn't go down the road he went down. Whoops. To be sure though, it's not that players turned their back on WAR, it's that Mark turned his back on the players. Mythic is fucked, for real, and probably has no sizable faith among the playerbase anymore, but me saying it was a cakewalk - well, I'll stand by that. In a remotely sane world, it SHOULD'VE been, he had to go out of his way to fuck that up.
There's no back-pedaling here. Mythic's been stumbling around with the design from the beginning. Simple example. We discussed the lack of incentives to do zone RvR and to capture and hold BOs back in April and I'm sure others that were in the Beta earlier than us brought it up as well. What did they do to try and fix that problem in the 5 months before launch? Diddly squat. They just don't get it.
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Reply #831 on: October 28, 2008, 09:24:40 AM

Quote
This was the first game I've played from Mythic, and if no one had ever mentioned DAoC before to me, I would have assumed this was their first game with any RvR.

The biggest problem in my opinion is that DAOC players just RvR because that's what DAOC players do.  First, they took that from DAOC and assumed players would just do it in WAR.  Of course, how they didn't see the whole leveling through PvP thing being totally imbalanced in favor of scenarios being a problem is baffling.  Then to back it up, they didn't have to incentivize (yay for made up words) RvR in beta because they had a bunch of ex-DAOC players who did it anyways, so everything was A-OK!  I wasn't in beta, but this is what I've heard.  

But it doesn't really matter.  If this game actually leveled up people fast enough to ignore the fact that open RvR is totally pointless in the first three tiers, and focused on fixing all tier 4 RvR issues to the exclusion of all else, it could still be doing quite well.  They didn't make any changes such as that, so welcome to 250k subs.  Moving slow and in the wrong direction: Obvious fail boat, time to jump off.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 09:27:00 AM by trias_e »
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Reply #832 on: October 28, 2008, 09:25:31 AM

There's no back-pedaling here. Mythic's been stumbling around with the design from the beginning. Simple example. We discussed the lack of incentives to do zone RvR and to capture and hold BOs back in April and I'm sure others that were in the Beta earlier than us brought it up as well. What did they do to try and fix that problem in the 5 months before launch? Diddly squat. They just don't get it.

This.
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Reply #833 on: October 28, 2008, 10:06:09 AM

There's no back-pedaling here. Mythic's been stumbling around with the design from the beginning. Simple example. We discussed the lack of incentives to do zone RvR and to capture and hold BOs back in April and I'm sure others that were in the Beta earlier than us brought it up as well. What did they do to try and fix that problem in the 5 months before launch? Diddly squat. They just don't get it.

This.

That is the conclusion I came to and when I did so I lost most desire to keep playing.
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Reply #834 on: October 28, 2008, 10:16:14 AM

There's no back-pedaling here. Mythic's been stumbling around with the design from the beginning. Simple example. We discussed the lack of incentives to do zone RvR and to capture and hold BOs back in April and I'm sure others that were in the Beta earlier than us brought it up as well. What did they do to try and fix that problem in the 5 months before launch? Diddly squat. They just don't get it.

Out of curiosity, in the beta forums when players mentioned this (assuming you were in the beta), did Mythic say they'd make changes (and then did not)? Or did they say they had wonderful plans to incentivize the RvR just before launch? Or perhaps did they just ignore the comment altogether?

Just looking for some insight into their mindset.

Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
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Reply #835 on: October 28, 2008, 10:39:47 AM

There's no back-pedaling here. Mythic's been stumbling around with the design from the beginning. Simple example. We discussed the lack of incentives to do zone RvR and to capture and hold BOs back in April and I'm sure others that were in the Beta earlier than us brought it up as well. What did they do to try and fix that problem in the 5 months before launch? Diddly squat. They just don't get it.

This.

What really gets me is how a number of very basic design issues were either ignored, or glossed over, or overlooked. Such as:

 - how do players do PQs when the population in the area is low?

 - what happens if there is a realm population imbalance? How do we address this if it happens?

 - what encourages players to try out RvR?

 - have we matched the size of our world with the number of players our servers can support? Player numbers will be split by a minimum of 2 (Order / Destro) on the same server for the majority of time played.

And so on. It seems that a "wait and see" policy was taken for a number of these issues, which just strikes me as weak design.

Ironically, if WAR had launched with less content (such as, say, no playable HE vs DE area) the game would be more successful because players would have fewer places to go.

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Reply #836 on: October 28, 2008, 11:05:10 AM

Ironically, if WAR had launched with less content (such as, say, no playable HE vs DE area) the game would be more successful because players would have fewer places to go.

I'm not sure that this is a logical conclusion.  Players want to feel as though they have many options.  The goal of the developers is to channel players with incentives.  If players don't care about incentives, they can do other things and feel like a maverick doing it (everyone else is doing the thing the devs pointed them toward for efficiency or some carrot).  I will agree that Mythic spent a lot of time creating content rather than making content based on sound foundational decision making.  It's like putting chocolate sprinkles on an omlette.  It's extra stuff, but not the extra stuff people want.

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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Reply #837 on: October 28, 2008, 11:07:23 AM

While I agree with the idea that less space would've been better, I don't agree that the area number should have decreased. There simply should've been less RvR zones and scenarios per tier to funnel people in. Maybe 1 major RvR zone at each tier, on one of the lands and then a final showdown in the praag/chaos wastes sections. As it stands, it's like fighting a 12 front war with 200 people and that's a goddamn joke.

tl;dr areas too big, too many rvr zones, bad design for zones in general
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Reply #838 on: October 28, 2008, 11:08:45 AM

Quote
Ironically, if WAR had launched with less content (such as, say, no playable HE vs DE area) the game would be more successful because players would have fewer places to go.
I'd be fine with taking the Elf areas out.  They are so fragmented and pieced together, they're terrible to quest in and even worse to RvR in, T3 being the exception.  Actually there's a friggin brilliant idea in there somewhere.  

What if they locked all then RvR zones & scenarios except for the one, sort of the battle front idea.  Maybe each day they cycle to a new pairing.  That way everyone is focued in one area and you can lower the number of points required to flip a zone since people would only be able to flip one zone per night, and the opposite side would have a chance to fight back the next night. That plus take all the gear only available in PvE and put it in the keep lords of the second zones and the fortresses and presto people are sufficiently concentrated & motivated to RvR all day long!
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Reply #839 on: October 28, 2008, 11:11:35 AM

What really gets me is how a number of very basic design issues were either ignored, or glossed over, or overlooked. Such as:
Part of their problem was that the basic game play/game mechanics were in shocking bad state 6 months before launch. This despite having a significant delay in the scheduled release of the game. E.g. they were making fundamental changes to the game mechanics like how skill cooldowns were handled very late in the process. I think they simply didn't have enough time/resources to deal with the basic but higher level issues you listed. Ideally at the 6 month point it would of been us helping them test class balance issues between the two realms and helping them make RvR actually fun and balanced. Instead it was a lot of testing of much more basic stuff and these other issues simply got pushed down on the list of things they could test/work on before the release.
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