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Author Topic: MMO Dev whines about Casuals  (Read 17137 times)
Draegan
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Reply #35 on: October 15, 2015, 02:11:25 PM

I agree for the most part, though I'm not sure about the requiring increasingly unrealistic revenue streams. Maybe hoping for unrealistic rev streams, but not requiring.

By requiring, I mean their budget is so unrealistic or uncontrollable that they end up requiring more revenue than they can possibly make in a market consumed by the 300-lb gorilla of World of Warcraft.

Also, DICKS EVERYWHERE would be a great title for a book on the history of MMOG's.

There really hasn't been many MMOs that have shut down. They've all made money over the long term. So I'm not sure who you're talking about specifically unless you're talking about some indie kind of studio.
Setanta
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Reply #36 on: October 15, 2015, 02:35:29 PM

WAR shut down as the result of just being an epic fail (although I miss my ironbreaker)

"No man is an island. But if you strap a bunch of dead guys together it makes a damn fine raft."
shiznitz
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Reply #37 on: October 15, 2015, 03:33:35 PM

The first MMO magic I felt came with UO and EQ.

UO (ex the PKing) had magic because 1) it was new, 2) with a short power curve, living in the world was all the game was about and 3) a 7xGM character gave one power and flexibility in how to play and where to play.  If a dev tried UO today, he would get crucified for not having an endgame but the fact the UO was not meant to "end" was part of its beauty.

EQ's magic came from 1) casino loot drops, 2) shared misery and 3) it was the first "social network" of the internet when one combined all the various EQ-related message boards. None of those things are "magic" any more.

Mass market MMOGs are done.  The technology is there to build micro-MMOGs targeted at specific interests but no developer has decided to really try and make it work because none of them have given anyone with actual money any confidence a MMOG developer can actually make a fun game. 

I have never played WoW.
Mandella
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Reply #38 on: October 15, 2015, 11:57:19 PM

I agree for the most part, though I'm not sure about the requiring increasingly unrealistic revenue streams. Maybe hoping for unrealistic rev streams, but not requiring.

By requiring, I mean their budget is so unrealistic or uncontrollable that they end up requiring more revenue than they can possibly make in a market consumed by the 300-lb gorilla of World of Warcraft.

Also, DICKS EVERYWHERE would be a great title for a book on the history of MMOG's.

There really hasn't been many MMOs that have shut down. They've all made money over the long term. So I'm not sure who you're talking about specifically unless you're talking about some indie kind of studio.

Really? This page has dozens.. Just the ones I recognize:

Auto Assault
City of Heroes/Villains
Darkfall
Earth and Beyond
Free Realms
Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising (Slight caveat: there is apparently an unsupported server still up)
Hellgate
Lego Universe
Pirates of the Caribbean Online
Roma Victor
Shadowbane
Star Wars Galaxies
Tabula Rasa
The Matrix Online
ToonTown
Vanguard
IainC
Developers
Posts: 5956

Wargaming.net


WWW
Reply #39 on: October 16, 2015, 08:02:55 AM

On the subject of Darkfall (and games that kick you in the balls repeatedly in general), a bunch of guys want to licence Darkfall and run it without all the ridiculous carebear stuff that was added after the original game crashed hard on release. Apparently the lesson that they took away was the same as Mark Kern's - if you kick hard enough and aim for the taint, they will come.

Quote
General:
New Dawn is empire building and conquest oriented.
We aim at making Darkfall an heroic fantasy equivalent to Eve Online.
6 to 9 months estimated of development before final launch.
InDev server during that period with progressive changes and wiped at the end.
No change in combat systems compared to DFO.
Addition of a lot of reasons to fight.
Power gap reduction.
Positive interactions rewarded to make Darkfall more than a gankbox.
No safe zones.
No classes.

I'm sure that the draw of being chainganked the minute you spawn your freshly created character into the world will be a winner.

Quote
Box price starting at 20 for the 10 000 first customers.
Box linearly price increases up to 40 from 10 001 to 50 000th customer.
Box comes with 1 month of susbcription.
Subscription bundles:
14.50 euros for 1 month.
39 euros for 3 months.
72 euros for 6 months.
99 euros for 9 months.
No in game shop.
Some account services planned later on.
Tradeable subscription in game object. (PLEX/DUEL)

- And in stranger Iains, even Death may die -

SerialForeigner Photography.
Paelos
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Error 404: Title not found.


Reply #40 on: October 16, 2015, 08:09:10 AM

The hardcore weren't held enough as children. I'm convinced of it.

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
Braves by the Numbers, my sports blog
Malakili
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Posts: 10556


Reply #41 on: October 16, 2015, 08:37:21 AM

I imagine it's roughly the same audience that secretly hopes for the apocalypse because in the post apocalypse surely they would be king and the only reason they are living unfulfilled lives is because society has imposed upon them mediocrity.
01101010
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Reply #42 on: October 16, 2015, 08:39:57 AM

Nice to see a return of the monthly subscription model. And the escalating box cost is a great twist on an old favorite.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
Threash
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Reply #43 on: October 16, 2015, 08:51:14 AM

For me, "MMO" as a descriptive term in and of itself doesn't really matter anymore. I think the core concepts of what made an MMO are already being applied to many other games. One of my favorite games in recent memory is Destiny, where they basically just took a shooter and squirted some MMO onto it.

I think MMO as a standalone genre is just not as relevant or exciting anymore, it's a thing to squirt onto other genres to mix them up.

I agree with this, for me it's Marvel Heroes.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 09:19:18 AM by Threash »

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Lantyssa
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Reply #44 on: October 16, 2015, 09:38:08 AM

This was the Big Thing I had planned for Wish:
I didn't realize you were on the Wish team.  When they closed down in beta that made me so sad.  It really was closing in on my ideal game at the time.

RIP Feathers, my chicken friend (and I'm sorry for scaring the eggs out of you with a hand scythe).

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #45 on: October 16, 2015, 10:49:11 AM

The first Wish alpha was fun. The second Wish alpha (aka Goat Fucking for Profit) leaned a little too hard on goat taming.

Nebu
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Reply #46 on: October 16, 2015, 11:11:16 AM

I enjoyed Wish.  A friend and I took over towns and exploited the hell out of the combat mechanics and the economy to our delight.  I even remember chatting with Dave during a couple of the events they had in alpha.  Shame the game didn't get to be produced.

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

-  Mark Twain
Montague
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Reply #47 on: October 16, 2015, 11:23:05 AM

Nice to see a return of the monthly subscription model. And the escalating box cost is a great twist on an old favorite.

Reminds me of economically ignorant noobs selling junk epics on trade chat. "Buy it now before I raise the price!".

When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross - Sinclair Lewis.

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Pendan
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Reply #48 on: October 16, 2015, 11:33:12 AM

The first Wish alpha was fun. The second Wish alpha (aka Goat Fucking for Profit) leaned a little too hard on goat taming.
Dave was gone before the second alpha.
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #49 on: October 16, 2015, 12:39:00 PM

Wish was really fun to work on for the short time I got to. We had so *much* hardware to run it on that a lot of things that had been completely out of the question were within reach (our server setup actually rated a spot on the top 100 supercomputer list). It was a *huge* world, but using the diffusion map approach I was able to define the resource distribution for about 40 different resources in a single day (greyscale bitmaps, about 30 meters in-world to a cell). When you mined for ore and succeeded, the appropriate resource availability map got slightly depleted (it would regenerate, how quickly depended on how rich that cell was supposed to be). Some things spawned on the surface (plants, pearls, a few others), with generally the same rules (a successful spawn in a cell 'blacked out' that cell in the availability map, then it regenerated according to the strength of the resource map, the higher the availability in a cell the higher the chance of a spawn).

NPC's were going to work by similar rules, but would also have an additional set of 'affinity' maps that would control how they wandered across the world. Affinity maps were essentially a sort of pathing system, things that kind of NPC was attracted to would draw them to wander in that direction. Being in a cell would tend to slowly lower the local affinity (so things would tend to keep moving), resources that they liked would tend to raise it, and the various maps of climate types would feed into them too. I had even worked out how to make it respond to weather events, and just about *any* type of event that we could test for could be used (for example, we could have had NPC's that were drawn to mining activity, and even that were drawn to the success of particular *kinds* of resource gathering (plucking pearls by the seashore? The Mermen would like to have a word....).

I could have done a 'Dark Lord calling the evil horde' type of event with *zero* code. Just make the Dark Lord a max-level attractor on the  relevant affinity maps, and they would all come to Barad-dr, drawn by a longing they did not understand but must obey.

Between the efficiency of the system and the raw power of the hardware, I could play around with this in real time, modify the source maps, upload them, and force a total recalculation (weeks worth of normal operation) in 20 seconds or so.

--Dave
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 12:41:35 PM by MahrinSkel »

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
KallDrexx
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Posts: 3510


Reply #50 on: October 16, 2015, 01:53:23 PM

Really? This page has dozens.. Just the ones I recognize:

Auto Assault
City of Heroes/Villains
Darkfall
Earth and Beyond
Free Realms
Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising (Slight caveat: there is apparently an unsupported server still up)
Hellgate
Lego Universe
Pirates of the Caribbean Online
Roma Victor
Shadowbane
Star Wars Galaxies
Tabula Rasa
The Matrix Online
ToonTown
Vanguard


I think Fury still beats them all for the fastest to shutter  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Wish was really fun to work on for the short time I got to. We had so *much* hardware to run it on that a lot of things that had been completely out of the question were within reach (our server setup actually rated a spot on the top 100 supercomputer list). It was a *huge* world, but using the diffusion map approach I was able to define the resource distribution for about 40 different resources in a single day (greyscale bitmaps, about 30 meters in-world to a cell). When you mined for ore and succeeded, the appropriate resource availability map got slightly depleted (it would regenerate, how quickly depended on how rich that cell was supposed to be). Some things spawned on the surface (plants, pearls, a few others), with generally the same rules (a successful spawn in a cell 'blacked out' that cell in the availability map, then it regenerated according to the strength of the resource map, the higher the availability in a cell the higher the chance of a spawn).

NPC's were going to work by similar rules, but would also have an additional set of 'affinity' maps that would control how they wandered across the world. Affinity maps were essentially a sort of pathing system, things that kind of NPC was attracted to would draw them to wander in that direction. Being in a cell would tend to slowly lower the local affinity (so things would tend to keep moving), resources that they liked would tend to raise it, and the various maps of climate types would feed into them too. I had even worked out how to make it respond to weather events, and just about *any* type of event that we could test for could be used (for example, we could have had NPC's that were drawn to mining activity, and even that were drawn to the success of particular *kinds* of resource gathering (plucking pearls by the seashore? The Mermen would like to have a word....).

I could have done a 'Dark Lord calling the evil horde' type of event with *zero* code. Just make the Dark Lord a max-level attractor on the  relevant affinity maps, and they would all come to Barad-dr, drawn by a longing they did not understand but must obey.

Between the efficiency of the system and the raw power of the hardware, I could play around with this in real time, modify the source maps, upload them, and force a total recalculation (weeks worth of normal operation) in 20 seconds or so.

--Dave

That system sounds awesome and I really wonder what would have happened if Wish hadn't beta'ed so early.  I know people hated the click to move system but it's hard to tell if the negativity was over game mechanics as a whole or the terrible time people had during the staggered beta phase that had a lot of technical isssues.
HaemishM
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Reply #51 on: October 16, 2015, 02:44:06 PM

I'm telling you, it was the goddamn goats.

MahrinSkel
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Posts: 9294

When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #52 on: October 16, 2015, 02:54:21 PM

That system sounds awesome and I really wonder what would have happened if Wish hadn't beta'ed so early.  I know people hated the click to move system but it's hard to tell if the negativity was over game mechanics as a whole or the terrible time people had during the staggered beta phase that had a lot of technical isssues.
Click-to-move wasn't great, but the way the underlying system worked it was pretty much unavoidable (decisions made before I was around). A big part of the problem was that I just couldn't articulate The Vision in a way that the server team could relate to (them being in Canada and the rest of us in Alabama didn't help). There were all these disparate parts I was having them build, and they couldn't see how they were the base level of something much more elegant and powerful.

I think there were some unrealistic expectations based on their inexperience with MMO's, as well. A month or so before the beta there was *zero* content, just a handful of spawn points set manually for in-house testing, a vendor system with no economic tracking behind it, resource gathering that always succeeded because there was no underlying resource pool, etc. In about a month the system went from 'technical demo' to 'early beta', and all the bits I had them put in just *worked*. I had deliberately reduced the complexity so that we'd have a stable base to work from (for example, all of the economic parameters for the towns were set identically, except for size and the core value of one resource in two towns). In all truth, that first beta was about 90% of the way to what AC or Horizons had at launch. But it felt awfully inadequate if you didn't realize how hard it was to reach that 'working and fun' baseline.

Goats.... Literally two days before the beta, the server guys tell me that the 'pet' code is ready, and the only NPC model we had available that seemed appropriate to using for a test case was goats (there were sheep, but I was using them for testing the herd AI stuff and didn't want them in the world). So you wound up with pet goats.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Jimbo
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Reply #53 on: October 18, 2015, 12:50:56 AM

I miss my CoX, ToonTown, and Hellgate. Then again, those were the games my son and I would play that we enjoyed playing together.

What was the comic that had the fly representing Shadowbane and one other MMORPG?

I thought the grind is what killed DAoC and Warhammer, then again I would have liked those to be more like PlanetSide 1 or 2.
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #54 on: October 18, 2015, 12:54:44 AM

What was the comic that had the fly representing Shadowbane and one other MMORPG?
This one?

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Speedy Cerviche
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Posts: 2481


Reply #55 on: October 19, 2015, 01:40:12 PM

On the subject of Darkfall (and games that kick you in the balls repeatedly in general), a bunch of guys want to licence Darkfall and run it without all the ridiculous carebear stuff that was added after the original game crashed hard on release. Apparently the lesson that they took away was the same as Mark Kern's - if you kick hard enough and aim for the taint, they will come.

Quote
General:
New Dawn is empire building and conquest oriented.
We aim at making Darkfall an heroic fantasy equivalent to Eve Online.
6 to 9 months estimated of development before final launch.
InDev server during that period with progressive changes and wiped at the end.
No change in combat systems compared to DFO.
Addition of a lot of reasons to fight.
Power gap reduction.
Positive interactions rewarded to make Darkfall more than a gankbox.
No safe zones.
No classes.

I'm sure that the draw of being chainganked the minute you spawn your freshly created character into the world will be a winner.

Quote
Box price starting at 20 for the 10 000 first customers.
Box linearly price increases up to 40 from 10 001 to 50 000th customer.
Box comes with 1 month of susbcription.
Subscription bundles:
14.50 euros for 1 month.
39 euros for 3 months.
72 euros for 6 months.
99 euros for 9 months.
No in game shop.
Some account services planned later on.
Tradeable subscription in game object. (PLEX/DUEL)

Doesn't seem like they want to make it more hardcore, just a better game.
"Power gap reduction." -Would imply less grind. A big problem in DF was the need to have a maxed out character to compete in PvP. Which could take a year straight of heavy grinding/macroing overnight. This heavy Korean style grind, was completely unnecessary, and a poor attempt at player retention (had the opposite effect), was the most "hardcore" part of the game.

The rest of the stuff is just saying better RPG systems. A second big problem of DF was that the world itself had little life, basically little content. It was just the equivalent of a huge FPS map where players could capture some some home areas with better resources & topography than others. Then a problem was players would log in looking to fight, form up combat parties and go out raiding, and often spend hours wandering around looking for fights, mostly finding smaller, unready parties - ganks. Eventually if you stuck around in an area long enough your enemies would rally and you would usually then in turn face a force much bigger and in turn get smashed. We would often just hang around our cities and have internal sparring fights because that would be guaranteed to be decent, and not a waste of time like roaming could be.

So the big problem was even if you liked the fast paced, FPS style combat of DF (and a lot of people did), there was a punishing grind to get there, and even when you did then getting quality action was too inconsistent (partially because the playerbase was too low, because of the heavy grind). Then for downtime there was very little RPG intrigue. No game driven story or economic elementals, mediocre at best PvE. The original Greek/Norwegian devs were just too slow and broke to add new content.  So why play that game when you could just load of Warband, Age of Chivalry, or Quake and be guaranteed quality action, and fairer fights? No subscription required. 

Darkfall had a fantastic physics/combat engine, by far the best I've seen in a MMORPG so there's a good base to work with. There's a very good game possible with it if you have a better character balance & content design.


 
Jimbo
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Reply #56 on: October 20, 2015, 11:36:36 AM

Thanks MahrinSkel! That is the one. Couldn't remember it, but used to read it when I would go on a web comic binge.
Raph
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WWW
Reply #57 on: October 20, 2015, 01:31:13 PM

Since all of you are about as jaded as it is possible to be...

What WOULD be magical for you, these days? I often wonder about it for myself as a player, much less as a designer.
HaemishM
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Posts: 38269

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


WWW
Reply #58 on: October 20, 2015, 01:37:10 PM

I honestly don't know anymore. MMOG-wise, anytime I start a new one I feel like I'm sucking on the crack pipe as hard as I possibly can, but that smoke just ain't doing it.

Rendakor
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Reply #59 on: October 20, 2015, 01:50:30 PM

Since all of you are about as jaded as it is possible to be...

What WOULD be magical for you, these days? I often wonder about it for myself as a player, much less as a designer.
ArcheAge was the closest for me in a while, until I hit the Korean RNG hell. A good mix of world PVP, crafting and player housing/farming.

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WayAbvPar
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Reply #60 on: October 20, 2015, 01:56:20 PM

Since all of you are about as jaded as it is possible to be...

What WOULD be magical for you, these days? I often wonder about it for myself as a player, much less as a designer.
ArcheAge was the closest for me in a while, until I hit the Korean RNG hell. A good mix of world PVP, crafting and player housing/farming.

ArcheAge was definitely a step in the right direction. I want a huge world to explore, a skill based rather than level based advancement, and goodies like crafting and housing/farming. And PvP. And a pony. And  a time machine to go back and play UO as a PK instead of being a wussy carebear like I was.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

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tazelbain
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Reply #61 on: October 20, 2015, 02:07:38 PM

So if "No Man's Sky" is procedural generation taken to it macro extreme, I want to see it at it's micro extreme. Instead of trying to dynamically fill-out an infinite number of cubic meters with content, try to dynamically fill-out a few cubic meters with an infinite amount of content.

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Reply #62 on: October 20, 2015, 02:36:52 PM

Broken record here, I know, but modded Minecraft. And to a lesser extent, Kerbal Space Program.

I long ago realised that game developers could not keep up with our ability to consume content. Having decent, engaging and flexible frameworks within which to create my own content - and modders content - is all that works for me now, 99% of the time.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Malakili
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Reply #63 on: October 20, 2015, 02:39:41 PM

So if "No Man's Sky" is procedural generation taken to it macro extreme, I want to see it at it's micro extreme. Instead of trying to dynamically fill-out an infinite number of cubic meters with content, try to dynamically fill-out a few cubic meters with an infinite amount of content.

Yeah, this is much more interesting. Filling up space with navigable geometry is no longer interesting.
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Reply #64 on: October 20, 2015, 03:05:44 PM

Since all of you are about as jaded as it is possible to be...

What WOULD be magical for you, these days? I often wonder about it for myself as a player, much less as a designer.

A time machine that would let me go back to a time when I had the free time and energy to really let myself get invested in a game? Aging has as much to do with what you're seeing from the gaming 'core' as anything in the games themselves.

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Reply #65 on: October 20, 2015, 03:12:22 PM

Since all of you are about as jaded as it is possible to be...

What WOULD be magical for you, these days? I often wonder about it for myself as a player, much less as a designer.

The magic is gone, bro.
Nija
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Reply #66 on: October 20, 2015, 03:17:48 PM

Actually I think we may be close to, or already past, a tipping point where people know what to do in pretty much any MMO game. This could kind of be put to work in a psychology experiment by relaunching a lot of UO features where you get players to intentionally ruin the fun for assholes like me.

I'm not sure if that made sense, but basically instead of the sheep/wolves problem we had with UO 20 years ago, the sheep hold all the cards and need incentive to try to fuck with the PKers as much as possible. In some meaningful way that is fun for everyone. Don't worry about the PKers (why people do that I have no idea - hint: they'll play anything with good combat)  just worry about making the rewards and gameplay meaningful for everyone else.

I've always kind of hated defined classes and defined levels and defined outfits and things like that. I LIKED wearing a chain tunic and a robe to make it look like I didn't have any armor on. No gorgets ever, etc. That mystery is long fucking gone. Like dig up that link describing TF2 development where they specifically made the characters easy to recognize based on the shapes and shadows they produced. That is the bullshit that we are dealing with now.
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Reply #67 on: October 20, 2015, 03:22:45 PM

Since all of you are about as jaded as it is possible to be...

What WOULD be magical for you, these days? I often wonder about it for myself as a player, much less as a designer.

I could write a bunch of stuff that I hope is true but in the end probably isn't realistically true or deliverable. Immersion is a big part of it but the convenience of Mumble/TS in organizing and communicating breaks immersion when your group mates start talking about porn/politics/family.

I have never played WoW.
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #68 on: October 20, 2015, 03:24:07 PM

I could write a bunch of stuff that I hope is true but in the end probably isn't realistically true or deliverable.
Tell us what you want, what would make you go 'wow'. Figuring out how to deliver it is our problem.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #69 on: October 20, 2015, 03:51:35 PM

I got a few more:

A player-controlled world were PvP- and PvP+ have equal importance and sway over the world.

When I roleplay my character, the world roleplays back.

Dynamic tech trees.

Poverty and non-combat are a valid, flushed-out strategies.

Something to fight for in PvP+ besides epeen. Moral consequences to winning and losing.


« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 03:53:09 PM by tazelbain »

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