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Author Topic: MMO Dev whines about Casuals  (Read 11896 times)
Speedy Cerviche
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Reply #70 on: October 20, 2015, 01:57:32 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.


We could talk a lot about higher quality games, and sophisticated RPG/FPS/RTS hybrids, but to get actual "magic", simply put you need a game that produces epic moments. Theme park PvE content won't get anyone excited especially as walkthroughs instantly hit the net, nor will even PvP that's constricted to small arenas, and finely balanced with in an e-sports style (looking at you planetside 2). On the PvE side, you need stuff like bigass monsters spawning anywhere, city invasions, on gong-show dungeons where anything can happen (even like those trains in old EQ/UO dangeons). On the PvP side, there should also be events that draw in people far and wide for chaotic event, and give players the chance to create super weapons, like flying battleships.
Merusk
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Reply #71 on: October 20, 2015, 02:25:28 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.

Pretty much this.

Though amazing settings and well-crafted worlds always have done it for me. WoW dragged me in based on the amount of story and care I saw in my 2004 Beta trip. Everquest before that did the same.

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Draegan
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Reply #72 on: October 20, 2015, 02:31:40 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 world that reacts to you and others when your are offline. Fully. Type of gameplay can be discussed later. Not sure if we can do dynamic worlds yet like that.
Gimfain
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Reply #73 on: October 20, 2015, 02:52:09 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.
If I could bring back things from the days when I played mmorpg's and enjoyed myself, not knowing what's next, the feeling that you get better as you play the game, getting to know people inside the game, do stuff you didn't think you would enjoy, feeling like you have a place in the world and that you fight more than soulless monsters.  Far too many developers puts a lot of their energy into guiding you through the game that it no longer feels like you are the one playing it. The other problem is that far too many games has copy/paste content that only exists for you to spend time on it and get more exp.

I have no idea how to design a game for it, but a starting point would be that you have a chance of dying when playing your character in the world. Leveling up to cap where you never challenge yourself and never run the risk of dying kills my interest.

When you ask for a miracle, you have to be prepared to believe in it or you'll miss it when it comes
Threash
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Reply #74 on: October 20, 2015, 04:20:45 PM

I think the big one is going to be a world where things happen regardless of what the players are doing.  Rift started down that path and severely toned it down because players don't like their themepark disrupted, EQNext was making a lot promises in this direction before they got Romneyed.  A sandbox game with a living breathing world would bring back the magic.

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Typhon
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Reply #75 on: October 20, 2015, 04:21:26 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.

Skill based, co-op fusion of Demon's Souls and Diablo 1 with character perma death.  Each character's skill sets and items are passed on to the next character as part of your blood line (e.g. if your first character learned fireball and took it to level 9 with the shatterstorm mod, then your next character would know fireball at level 1 with the shatterstorm mod).  Leveling any individual character is fairly quick, but death is inevitable.  A fair amount of the objective is to build an ancestral home (I think what EQ Landmark was doing was interesting).  The optimum path should be trying hard to survive, but also not playing so cautious that it's tedious.  I think maybe add in an afterlife where you can revisit playing dead characters (possibly they need to do something to give access to the living).

I like leveling.  I like playing new characters. I like dicking around with building stuff.  I like challenging gameplay, but I don't want to be hyper-cautious.  I don't want to lose my characters, but I want a reason to play new ones/try skill sets that otherwise might not immediately sound appealing.
tmp
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Reply #76 on: October 20, 2015, 05:50:00 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.
Most recent game that really resonated with me was Life is Strange. And 7 Kingdoms: The Princess Problem. And from very much the opposite end of the spectrum, Rule the Waves.

I realize this is completely unhelpful why so serious?
Mandella
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Reply #77 on: October 20, 2015, 06:23:28 PM

I'm going to be the outlier here -- I am neither particularly jaded nor cynical, although I am an "older" gamer. But I still find worlds to enjoy even now.

My primary MMORPG heritage goes like this: Asheron's Call, Anarchy Online, Earth and Beyond, Guild Wars, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, The Secret World. Theme park all the way baby! Give me an interesting story, cool graphics, nice scenery, and mechanics that don't kick me in the crotch too much and I'm a subscriber. I give exactly zero rat's asses about the inclusion of PvP in my RPG. If I want that, I prefer pure combat MMOs like WWIIOnline (the idea if not the execution) or Planetside. I have never played one MMORPG that integrated PvP and PvE in a way that compelled me to spend any more than a minor fraction of my time exploring the PvP side of the game.

Sandbox MMO? Maybe if I could actually live in it I'd like such a thing, but like many here with a real life to live that takes up a surprising percentage of the day, I don't have the time to properly develop a life in a virtual world anymore. And games like Minecraft don't count, since they are mainly building games where you can drop in for an hour or so a day and work on projects. I'm talking more the Star Wars Galaxies model, where a player economy/society is part of the sandbox.

And of course, the above is just one gamer's opinion, not meant to represent much of anything beyond that. But you asked...
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 06:53:20 PM by Mandella »
Evildrider
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Reply #78 on: October 20, 2015, 06:48:14 PM

As much as I would love a new great MMO, I think the magic with it is gone.  It's like chasing the dragon looking for a new one to get addicted to.  The only one I play, and barely, is SWTOR.  Although I am back into that with the expansion, for however long that holds me.  I also don't really see anything on the horizon that is calling out to me.  I would love a new DDO type game.. with more open world type MMO elements though. 

I think the biggest thing really is someone has to make a game that has something new, but also doesn't try to cater to every group out there.  Mainly they have to be able to produce enough content fast enough to keep up with the player base.  Which is a huge task in itself.  I think SWTOR could have probably done that if they hadn't of skewed off so much onto the PvP front and wasted so much time on half ass attempts at World PvP and the constant class balancing.  I know Star Wars needs to have that fell of galactic conflict, but I think they could have just done it a little bit better.  Even just leaving it as warzones and possibly weaving that with the raids so that every raid had a warzone that went with it.
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Reply #79 on: October 20, 2015, 06:57:03 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.

Probably something that really felt social.  Like 99% of what MMO has come to mean is done better by single player games or more limited multiplayer (like Minecraft) so if an MMO wants to be interesting to me it needs to do novel things with it's large number of players.

Which, given that I'm turning in to an old recluse, is not easy.  I haven't seen an MMO that has been able to overcome my aversion to random internet people in a long time.  Most of them just say "you can't do X without a big enough group" and assume that will push me to make friends instead of push me to ignore that content and then wonder why I'm bored.  Not that I have any idea how to do better than that,  though.
Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #80 on: October 20, 2015, 07:57:39 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.

And to show how hard game design is, balancing all the calls for meaningful PvP above, I and a great many of my older and/or female gamer acquaintances want absolutely nothing to do with PvP and direct competition, but want instead something that rewards cooperation without making soloing impossible and which encourages meeting new people but gives each person the ability to absolutely block any given person from ever interacting with them in ANY way ever again. I don't want to play volleyball or soccer without referees and with bullies who do everything in their power including cheating to win, why the hell is it so incomprehensible that I don't want to play with those same bullies in my virtual games?

Honestly, I think I may be done with MMOs. Too much grind, too many assholes, too much unfun for the sake of balance or PvP, too many kill 10 rats, too much ho-hum lore, too much gating and railroading. I'm much more interested in small "m" mMOs with 4 to 10 people in the same "zone" at a time. Which is really what most "MMO"s are nowadays anyway, be they massivley instanced 5-man raiding MMOs or Diablo/Marvel Heroes or Minecraft.

I'd like a game that mashes up elements from Minecraft (for infinite procedurally generated interesting worlds which can be permanently changed by players plus the ability to build and create) crossed with Crusader Kings (for random NPC's with varying traits, motivations, behaviors, factions and ambitions, and probably most importantly, feedback on all the above) and maybe Tera for its combat systems (minus having to aim at a lancer zipping all over the room to heal him!) and a dash of Warcraft I, II and III (for the ally and opfor NPCs and world that keeps happening with or without you doing anything, only much slower) and maybe some small amount of entropy so things slowly deteriorate without maintenance.

I'd like something where each player can generate one or a dozen worldlets, hosted on their own machine or in the cloud, with the ability to link (and de-link) their worldlet to anyone else's worldlet as they wish, though maybe it would require harvested resources to create and maintain the link. 

I'd like the setting to be medieval fantasy + magic with multiple NPC factions spanning the full range from "good" to "evil", not just Bioware cartoony good guys vs bad guys and not Bethesda angsty everyone is a bad guy either. The player should be able to align and interact with the NPC factions in various ways based on their actions and with meaningful but only very rarely irreversible consequences if at all (even the most implacable enemy may become an ally, given enough time and an external threat even more dangerous than yourself).

Maybe the players are immortal demi-gods or Capital "H" Hero Planeswalkers or something, with no permadeath and having a bit more power than mere mortals but still not omnipotent. Combat loss may or may not result in death and respawning with no character progress loss and with or without gear loss, depending on if gear is mostly a commodity that's easily replaced (like Minecraft) or extremely rare and valuable and either irreplaceable or requiring days and weeks to replace (EQ 1). You live and move and fight and talk and explore in the 3D world but also have NPC followers, build armies, make trade agreements and sign treaties with NPCs and generally build a kingdom. You can hire workers, buy slaves, conquer or recruit NPC groups, and give your subjects/followers orders for harvesting and exploring and defending and building and manufacturing and farming like an RTS but on MUCH slower timescales, more like the WoW housing stuff maybe.

And the world needs to be dynamic, with NPC groups doing their thing and reacting to other NPCs as well as players appropriately. Some kind of "real" economy with non-homogeneous distribution of resources and workers and corresponding trade systems. The world(s) should have seasons, biomes, weather and geological events, and socio-political dynamics as well with new resources discovered, old ones depleted, NPCs having kids, growing old and dying, conflicts between NPC factions breaking out and being resolved, NPC factions reacting to your and your kingdom's activities, etc.

Questing would be dynamically generated by the procedurally random activities of NPC factions and other events like weather and geology and magic and new NPC spawns. Maybe work in something like the dark/light stuff Mahrin was talking about, which could be used to limit how big a given worldlet could get - one player could only expand so far before the forces of darkness became too difficult to push back any further solo, but with a friend's help could go farther and a group could get even bigger yet.

Crafting and economics and resource gathering all need to be things that you set up and then let run on their own with minimal maintenance required until you want to change something, RTS style rather than EQ2's focus intently on whack-a-mole key pressing for 3 minutes to make one item, repeat 50 times to gain a level!  That was fun for awhile, but way too grindy the 5th time you take a crafter up to max level.

As others said while I was writing this wallOtext, the world needs to keep progressing even while the player is absent, although perhaps it might immediately start to slowly slow down and eventually stop after a couple days like a spring-wound clock until it's rewound the next time they log in. But that also means that it is possible to create defenses that the NPCs can maintain and hold ground in your absence without loosing all your shit just because you were on vacation for a week or working massive overtime for the holidays or whatever. I NEVER want to deal with a stupid game texting me while I'm at work to come play right now or risk losing the last three days of progress!!!!! Opposition NPC forces should be able to create setbacks and challenges, but your friendly NPC allies should be able to rally on their own to prevent massive rollbacks provided you've built up suitable defenses. Maybe that would be easier on whatever worldlet you've designated as your home, and other satellite colony/expeditionary adventures might be more risky and require more attention to maintain or stronger defensive infrastructure and garrisons if you want to let them fend for themselves.

I'd like infrastructure to be buildable and destroyable and worth building and worth defending. Castles/keeps for defense and territorial control, farms and mines and manufactories for resource production, harbors and shipyards and ships, roads and caravans, trade and magic and combat schools, maybe even aqueducts and irrigation works.

Probably most importantly, I've got to be able to play with The Countess, each of us with our favorite character, on either of our worlds, and both of us have fun, make progress, and gain useful loot/resources/rewards no matter what our level/power/time played disparity may be. Maybe I could send workers to one of her mines to get resources that I haven't found on my world(s) yet, or she could send a garrison of troops to help me storm a particularly difficult enemy stronghold.

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Nebu
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Reply #81 on: October 20, 2015, 08:04:10 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.

DAoC without the grind, better balance, and less CC.

Oh... and a pony.

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

-  Mark Twain
EWSpider
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Reply #82 on: October 20, 2015, 08:21:06 PM

I can put it pretty simply for myself:  a medieval fantasy version of Eve.

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Sir T
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Reply #83 on: October 20, 2015, 10:55:54 PM

I'm sorry but Eve has all the crap of the worst Feudal societies with very little of the good sides. I still play it occasionally for a bit of mission running, but If it wasn't internet spaceships people wouldn't touch it. The "massive sandbox" is ignored even by the majority of the playerbase of Eve for that reason.

Personally I think integrating PVP and PVE is a losing strategy. They are too fundamentally different modes of play and trying to satisfy both is the best way to fuck up your game. PVPers are by definition whiny bitches and will engage in forum PVP to get their special snowflake made more powerful. I learned that lesson from STO and the "KLINGONS ARE UNDERPOWERED despite them winning nearly every fight and having ships with better stats" forum crying. PVEers can be whiney bitches too, especially the "the only thing that matters is MORE DAMAGE Nerf defense!" crowd. Basically if you want to be PVE, then give the PVPers an arena to beat each other over the head with rocks and ignore them. Planetside is designed around PVP and does well because of that.

My ideal is a PVE co-operative environment with a good story and atmosphere. I remember in Tabula Rasa they had Base invasions where players had to defend against swarms of NPCs. The moment when you saw all the dropships coming in and dropping all the soldiers was one of the best feelings I had in a game. And if it was an "enemy" base they would get progressively harder till it was almost impossible to defend against. But that was part of the fun, to beat them back one more time. And all the bases had NPCs you needed so there was a reason for players to fight them so the battles had an effect, you lost the base or you saved it or you could attack a base to take it back. GW2 has the massive world bosses so players naturally gather together for those fights as well. Something like that with decent atmosphere would make me happy.

I always find co-operative way more fun than PVP. I'm just too old for my epeen to matter to me anymore. I just want to have a good time.

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Teleku
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Reply #84 on: October 21, 2015, 04:56:10 AM

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.
Heh, as others have said, age may be the big thing.  I remember when UO and EQ were coming out.  I was so amazed at the concept of a shared world.  I had so many ideas about what EQ would be like when it released.  While the game was much more hardcore and time consuming than I thought, just the action of running around in a shared world where I interacted with hundreds of players kept me engrossed.  I hungrily followed development news of all the MMO's being worked on, and filled in the gaps with my own dreams of what it might actually be like to have a true virtual world.  

Then of course they fucked it up for 15 years straight, and I'm pretty much over it.  I'm not sure if any game, no matter how amazing it actually is, could impress me as much as the first time I stepped foot in a 3d virtual world (no matter how crappy EQ actually was).  You can never go home again.

But looking back, trying to answer your question..... I think the number one thing at this point would be immersion.  Iíve always been an explorer at heart, and the last game I played that I enjoyed in that regard was Vanilla WoW.  Mainly due to its innovative use of an actual fucking art direction/style, unlike every MMO before it.  The world was big and seamless, the various environments unique and obviously hand crafted.  I spent hours and hours not leveling, but just running around trying to see new things and find places from the previous games.

Most of the MMOís Iíve played in the last few years just have some very bland environmental art that gets used over and over again.  The zones feel like they are setup too specifically, each area for a specific obvious purpose (I burned out on GW2 very quickly for both of these reasons).  I think Iíd like to see a game that returned to feeling as though you were in a truly big world.  Where picking up and moving to a new city is a bit of an investment.  Iím not advocating a return to total nut kicking inconvenience.  But a world where you do need to prepare a bit for a journey, that it actually takes time to move through.  A huge world that is filled with natural terrain, that has no specific game play purpose.  A chance to go out and discover things.   Actually, making an MMO with first person view only could be a big step itself in helping create immersion.  Another thing that set EQ apart from the post-WoW world.

On top of all that, the standard things about dynamic content and trade/crafting.  A real economy, sandbox,  ect.  Basically, a world that feels alive, that Iím totally immersed in.  First big step to that though is making, IMO, a world that feels huge again.  No matter how much bigger the games might actually be, no MMO world has felt nearly as massive to me as EQís did, in large part because you had to walk your ass everywhere.  How to do that without also making the game so inconvenient that itís not fun (as EQ could be) is obviously the tricky part.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 10:39:27 AM by Teleku »

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Gimfain
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Reply #85 on: October 21, 2015, 06:36:23 AM

The sort of gameworld that SOE presented with everquest next sounded like it could be amazing. However, there is no chance in hell they can actually deliver on it.

When you ask for a miracle, you have to be prepared to believe in it or you'll miss it when it comes
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Reply #86 on: October 21, 2015, 11:48:43 AM

Ok Raph, now back at you, what do you want to play?  What do you want to make?  If they aren't the same thing, talk about why.
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Reply #87 on: October 21, 2015, 12:04:13 PM

I'd love SWG crafting in a world that had stuff to actually do. The problem was that SWG crafting was centered around combat that was pretty pointless after a while.

I do like skill based, and I do like achievements. I want to be able to contribute to the war effort while actually making gear that is distinguishable. Item decay is fine. Having crafters be the primary source of income is fine, if the materials come from raiding sources and aren't locked to people. That opens the game up to market forces dictating gear, which would be great. In addition to pvp sources of materials as well.

Combat needs to get away from the idea of target lock and press numbers. Rotations and cooldowns are rote now. If we wanted that kind of combat, here's WoW. If anything, there needs to be a better focus on mount and blade style of hand to hand combat and that actually provides some skill and feedback. Or Chivalry. Or whatever hand to hand multiplayer game you've played, but on a larger scale.

Worlds should end, and servers should have unique features. Similar to how Minecraft works now for the explorer mentality. The consistency should be in your character, not in your world. The idea of fighting against a common goal in a world is appealing, even raiding against it, but there should be ways to lose or win the world. There should be changes to the world itself. That's what people want when they say they want impact on your decisions and your environment.

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ezrast
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Reply #88 on: October 21, 2015, 12:48:55 PM

The industry's been trying to get away from "press tab, 1234" for quite a while now. So far it hasn't worked very well. I can't say whether that's due to technical challenges or just conservative design. but even something like TERA feels way closer to WoW than to an actual action game like Dark Souls or Devil May Cry.

In absence of the eminent flow and accessibility of the latter, I'd still be okay with healing my way through WoW dungeons if they could consistently provide a challenge, and if the rest of the game would get out of my way. ARPGs is where most of the good group content is at now though.
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Reply #89 on: October 21, 2015, 01:07:30 PM

How about a good Gladiator style MMO?  Combat would be small scale.  You could have character development and social aspects.

Seems to me to be worth making. 

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

-  Mark Twain
Sir T
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Reply #90 on: October 21, 2015, 02:47:28 PM

The problem with that idea (while it is quite cool) is that the best way to do it would be World of Gladiators...


Oh and obligatory

« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 05:04:17 PM by Sir T »

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tmp
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Reply #91 on: October 21, 2015, 04:44:10 PM

How about a good Gladiator style MMO?  Combat would be small scale.  You could have character development and social aspects.

Seems to me to be worth making.  
Koreans way ahead of you and already shat all over this idea.

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« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 05:06:45 PM by tmp »
Triforcer
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Reply #92 on: October 21, 2015, 04:53:05 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.

DAoC without the grind, better balance, and less CC.

Oh... and a pony.

I assume you are giving Camelot Unchained a try?  The more I read, the more intrigued I am, but churning out a new 5000 word essay every week is much easier than producing a good MMO.

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Reply #93 on: October 22, 2015, 05:27:34 AM

A Mark Jacobs game?
Fordel
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Reply #94 on: October 22, 2015, 03:55:44 PM

Unchained is going to be a enormous pile and anyone thinking otherwise is willfully lying to themselves.


Hell even if someone could make DaoC 'right' it still wouldn't work because everyone is to savvy for the sub-genre now. Virtually no one is going to put up with all the shit we put up with in DaoC in terms of RvR investment. The nearest thing in modern times is GW2 and while fun, it's no where near the same player buy in that DaoC had at the time.

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
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Reply #95 on: October 22, 2015, 04:07:20 PM

Hell even if someone could make DaoC 'right' it still wouldn't work because everyone is to savvy for the sub-genre now. Virtually no one is going to put up with all the shit we put up with in DaoC in terms of RvR investment. The nearest thing in modern times is GW2 and while fun, it's no where near the same player buy in that DaoC had at the time.

He asked "What would be magical?".   Don't shit on my wishing for a pony. 

I anjoy MMO PvP.  I liked it in DAoC, Rift, WoW, and SWToR.  I even loved Warhammer up to level 20.  I think it's possible and there's an audience out there for it.  It's just niche.

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

-  Mark Twain
Sir T
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Reply #96 on: October 22, 2015, 05:05:04 PM

Warhammer online's PVP was actually fun... up to a point. The point was when you transferred out of the first zone and suddenly you were bottom of the pecking order again.

IT was actually fun I think because everyone was pretty equal and you got to that point fast with minimum grinding. Going to the next zone felt like someone slapped me in the face with a trout.

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Reply #97 on: October 22, 2015, 05:13:24 PM

Warhammer online's PVP was actually fun... up to a point. The point was when you transferred out of the first zone and suddenly you were bottom of the pecking order again.

IT was actually fun I think because everyone was pretty equal and you got to that point fast with minimum grinding. Going to the next zone felt like someone slapped me in the face with a trout.

It had its moments even after that point.  What did it for me was when my faction kept saying to not defend any keeps we owned because the most efficient way to get loot and experience was to run around capturing other keeps and let ours get captured, then capture it back, in an endless game of Keep musical chairs.  I saw armies literally run by each other because it was better not to fight.
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Reply #98 on: October 22, 2015, 05:32:17 PM

Warhammer online's PVP was actually fun... up to a point. The point was when you transferred out of the first zone and suddenly you were bottom of the pecking order again.

IT was actually fun I think because everyone was pretty equal and you got to that point fast with minimum grinding. Going to the next zone felt like someone slapped me in the face with a trout.

It had its moments even after that point.  What did it for me was when my faction kept saying to not defend any keeps we owned because the most efficient way to get loot and experience was to run around capturing other keeps and let ours get captured, then capture it back, in an endless game of Keep musical chairs.  I saw armies literally run by each other because it was better not to fight.

Same mistake every single capture territory game makes, over and over and over again.  Rewards for capturing = no fighting.

I am the .00000001428%
Sir T
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Reply #99 on: October 23, 2015, 05:10:07 AM

Well, another reason was that the alternative was playing Doorhammer...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEedUeDJ7Us

Oh hang on you were still playing Doorhammer. My bad.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 05:14:31 AM by Sir T »

Be principled, but not too principled.
Koyasha
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Reply #100 on: November 09, 2015, 10:46:31 PM

The industry's been trying to get away from "press tab, 1234" for quite a while now. So far it hasn't worked very well. I can't say whether that's due to technical challenges or just conservative design. but even something like TERA feels way closer to WoW than to an actual action game like Dark Souls or Devil May Cry.

In absence of the eminent flow and accessibility of the latter, I'd still be okay with healing my way through WoW dungeons if they could consistently provide a challenge, and if the rest of the game would get out of my way. ARPGs is where most of the good group content is at now though.
Phantasy Star Universe actually did action combat well, but perhaps that was because of their tiny zones and such.  Also, I think a lot of the combat was offloaded onto the players' computers, I do remember some sync issues where I and a friend didn't see the monsters in the same location at the same time, and I heard a lot of rumors of cheating and such during the time I played, so...maybe good reasons why that hasn't been done on a bigger scale and such.

As for what I would want, I think Teleku nailed it as close to what I would say as anything.  Size of the world, back in both UO and EQ was a big deal.  UO is interesting there, since its mark/recall allowed for instant travel to pretty much anywhere, and yet the game still felt large.  Perhaps that's because it was simply the first, so anything would feel large?  EQ definitely felt large and stayed that way...well, up until I quit, I guess.  Even with all its teleporting later on - planes of knowledge books, guildhall portal, etc, it still felt large.  And it's not about travel time either - as a bard with all these teleports, I'm pretty sure I could be anywhere in the game faster than I can get places in WoW.  There's just something about the zone design that felt better.  Not to say WoW and other MMOs don't catch that feeling sometimes, but they've been a lot more hit-and-miss about it.

Here's something I'll point out as something subtle, but that I felt was a really important shift in EQ: I don't recall which expansion it was with, it was sometime after WoW and looked very much like a blatant copy, but they started setting it up so you have to accept a mission/quest before items for that quest would drop.  That bothered me.  Until that point in EQ, if I killed something that dropped quest items, they would drop.  Then I could see that it dropped a strange item, and find out what it was for.  Items not dropping unless I was already on the quest made it feel way more gamey and less immersive.  I can see arguments both ways: 'how would you know to cut the head off/open it up and cut out the splanch/pick up that particular token from its pouch?' but ultimately, it simply felt less satisfying and less worldy because I was required to go pick up a quest before going to kill something.

-Do you honestly think that we believe ourselves evil? My friend, we seek only good. It's just that our definitions don't quite match.-
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Xanthippe
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Reply #101 on: November 21, 2015, 05:44:57 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.

As someone else was talking about earlier in the thread, a deformable world with actual consequences to players' actions or inactions.
pants
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Reply #102 on: November 23, 2015, 05:32:22 AM

Dear God, its still got a website.  Dawn

Whilst Dawn had a lot of very mockable attributes - the concept of the blank world, with players being able to set up towns, cities, roads, mining camps, whatever sounded real interesting to me.  Older cynical me is sure it would end up being full of Cocktons and Cuntsvilles, but I still like the idea of people being able to work out where everything should be built.  Minecraft is the only similar thing I can think of, and it doesn't seem to scratch that mmorpg itch.
shiznitz
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Reply #103 on: November 23, 2015, 12:00:15 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.

As someone else was talking about earlier in the thread, a deformable world with actual consequences to players' actions or inactions.

And I want positional melee damage targeting and aiming of projectiles/ranged attacks. I hate swinging at air in these damn games. When one swings or stabs, the attack should have a defined arc of effect in which one must position the enemy to deal damage. As far as projectile targeting, I just don't understand why MMO FPS mechanics can not be somewhat adopted in fantasy MMOs.

I have never played WoW.
Trippy
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Reply #104 on: November 23, 2015, 12:07:46 PM

They have.
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