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Author Topic: Mythic brings back Emain  (Read 42762 times)
Xanthippe
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on: July 22, 2005, 06:22:00 PM

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Reply #1 on: July 22, 2005, 06:31:42 PM

Quote
Q: Will the Island be connected to the “regular” game?

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

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

What are they going to do about the grind?

I'll pass. Again.
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Reply #2 on: July 22, 2005, 06:40:56 PM

Emain was an acceptable solution years ago. Now it's an ephemeral illusion.

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

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

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

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

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

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Pococurante
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Reply #3 on: July 22, 2005, 07:06:22 PM

What am I missing - this thread is full of wistful pinings on better ways to get to RvR firstest with the mostest.

This does not do that?
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Reply #4 on: July 22, 2005, 07:35:33 PM

What am I missing - this thread is full of wistful pinings on better ways to get to RvR firstest with the mostest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This would recover the good points that they are implementing with the idea of "The Isle" and integrate them with the actual RvR warfare. Instead of replacing it and dumb down the unique qualities of the PvP in this game.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2005, 07:37:52 PM by HRose »

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Lt.Dan
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Reply #5 on: July 23, 2005, 12:46:46 PM

Was it so hard to find a battle in New Frontiers?  You know, with instant porting and stuff.  Emain sucks the fun out of the rest of RvR.  Try pulling a group out to take/defend a keep.  "OMG RPs here", "How do I get to Mid?"  But it's nice to have a spot to visit and get crushed by RR10 guilds I guess.  At least they did away with milefort standoffs - now you get beach/wharf camping :P  (You guys really need a crying Indian smilie)
Xanthippe
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Reply #6 on: July 23, 2005, 12:57:17 PM

They are not replacing anything with the Island.  It's an addition, not a replacement.

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

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

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

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

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Reply #7 on: July 23, 2005, 02:22:41 PM

Quote from: Xanthippe
They are not replacing anything with the Island.  It's an addition, not a replacement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(...)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Xanthippe
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Reply #8 on: July 23, 2005, 03:48:01 PM

I suppose I don't agree with the idea - if it's being raised here, anyway - that virtual worlds have any sort of permanence.  They come into being, morph, and eventually die.  Other virtual worlds replace them.  MMOGs age.  Few people want to play an old game, if only because it feels clunky compared to newer games.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reply #9 on: July 23, 2005, 10:41:25 PM

I think the problem with this idea is that most of the players in DAOC, at least in the server I was on, were RP whores.  Relics and Keep taking always seemed to take a backseat to people rp farming in Emain.  Give them that option again for a quick place to go to kill each other for rp's and I think the Frontiers will dry up.  This just seems like giving people a place to grind through realm levels.
eldaec
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Reply #10 on: July 23, 2005, 11:42:56 PM

There are already too many rvr zones.

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

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Reply #11 on: July 24, 2005, 04:38:39 AM

I suppose I don't agree with the idea - if it's being raised here, anyway - that virtual worlds have any sort of permanence.  They come into being, morph, and eventually die.  Other virtual worlds replace them.  MMOGs age.  Few people want to play an old game, if only because it feels clunky compared to newer games.

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

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Soukyan
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Reply #12 on: July 25, 2005, 07:51:02 AM

There are already too many rvr zones.

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

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

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Monika T'Sarn
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Reply #13 on: July 25, 2005, 08:34:04 AM


What are they going to do about the grind?

I'll pass. Again.

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

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Reply #14 on: July 26, 2005, 08:16:21 AM


Over and out.
HaemishM
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Reply #15 on: July 26, 2005, 12:18:59 PM

What am I missing - this thread is full of wistful pinings on better ways to get to RvR firstest with the mostest.

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

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

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

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

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Reply #16 on: July 26, 2005, 01:59:49 PM


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

If the current trend continues with nearly 50% of primetime players on 3 servers, Mythic will need to do something radical with the "Normal" ToA servers.  Merge them, further cluster them, or whatever... It's a real ghost town on most servers these days.
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Reply #17 on: July 26, 2005, 04:52:14 PM

The removal of ToA was another of those "short term good, log term bad" . That expansion needed a radical fix. Something that Mythic refused to do because they NEVER ADMITTED the failure it was:
Quote
This is aimed at many of our former customers, not our current ones. Our satisfaction is high in the polls that we take of our current customers.
And
Quote
Future expansions and patches will be primarily designed for the more typical servers.
They still REFUSE to acknowledge the problem of ToA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Short term good, long term bad. The more they keep kicking it in the nuts the more it will run faster in the short term. And the more it lose the possibility to survive in the long term. Mythic has already the new puppy in the form of Warhammer. DAoC is now a burden for them, so they are going to beat the hell out of it while all the love goes to the new puppy.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2005, 04:57:17 PM by HRose »

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HaemishM
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Reply #18 on: July 26, 2005, 05:01:06 PM

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

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

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Reply #19 on: July 26, 2005, 05:07:41 PM

Just how long do you expect an MMOG with 200k users to keep that many, especially when there are a number of new similar games available? These products have a life cycle, despite what anyone in the industry would like you believe.
Bullshit.

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Reply #20 on: July 26, 2005, 05:09:40 PM

Wow. This thread just got interesting fast.
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Reply #21 on: July 26, 2005, 05:15:11 PM

As for not acknowleding TOA's failings, I'd say opening a server that supports EVERY expansion except that one is a pretty tacit acknowledgement that the expansion was not robot jesus. 
Quote
This new server type is meant for people who would otherwise not play DAOC at this time. I don't expect that most people currently playing are going to do much more than roll on the new server out of pure curiosity.

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

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Reply #22 on: July 26, 2005, 05:18:40 PM

Just how long do you expect an MMOG with 200k users to keep that many, especially when there are a number of new similar games available? These products have a life cycle, despite what anyone in the industry would like you believe.
Bullshit.

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

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Reply #23 on: July 26, 2005, 05:20:58 PM

I've never gone back to a game I've maxed out in. Except for SW:G and that was only to look into Ebaying my shit. Games keep running on the dying hope that they'll be able to provide jobs for the people that made them. When that can't happen things like SOE buying MxO happen. UO is at what, 10% of what it was at it's peak? 5%? Maybe less? Seriously, these games have a shelf cycle. What Haemish said is absolutely correct. The problem is that there are a few ANOMALIES and that's how arguments like this happen.
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Reply #24 on: July 26, 2005, 05:26:13 PM

I was assume that Mythic knew that adding a little something into the game would retain most of the subscribers a month or two longer than normal. That would be the best way to squeeze the remaining juice out of the game...

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Reply #25 on: July 26, 2005, 05:40:05 PM

I've never gone back to a game I've maxed out in.
That just means that most of the games you played were treadmills. What I mean is that it's the design to decide if a game has a long or short future.

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

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

It isn't an absolute rule. It's what is happening as a consequence of a specific approach.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2005, 05:41:43 PM by HRose »

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Reply #26 on: July 26, 2005, 05:57:58 PM

The number of people willing to play a game when it gets ugly is probably 1% of the whole. The people who are willing to play ugly games are still playing them - The Realm, UO, M59, etc. While it may be a deliberate choice, it's a choice they are forced to make or World of Warcraft and it's ilk will EAT THEM.
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Reply #27 on: July 26, 2005, 06:16:19 PM

The number of people willing to play a game when it gets ugly is probably 1% of the whole. The people who are willing to play ugly games are still playing them - The Realm, UO, M59, etc. While it may be a deliberate choice, it's a choice they are forced to make or World of Warcraft and it's ilk will EAT THEM.
What I'm saying is that even "ugly" is a choice.

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

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

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Reply #28 on: July 26, 2005, 06:18:05 PM

Ugly isn't a choice. It takes time and money to crank out new assets for a game that could have been going into something New. Companies don't think like nostalgic gamers. It's a waste of time to support something old when you can sell a new box and possibly get new players (in most cases). In Mythics case and the complete and utter unsurprising crash and burn of Imperator, now's a pretty good time to bleed DAoC for all it's worth.
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Reply #29 on: July 26, 2005, 06:37:24 PM

It's a waste of time to support something old when you can sell a new box and possibly get new players (in most cases).
Yes, in fact EQ2 has so much more subscribers than EQ1, AC2 has so much more subscribers than AC1, Imperator was going to have so much more subscribers than DAoC.

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

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

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

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

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Reply #30 on: July 26, 2005, 06:39:33 PM

EQ2 doesn't have more subscribers because it ISN'T new. It's just more EQ. AC2 wasn't new either. In fact, it's easily argued that nothing new has come out since EQ. EQ was the new hotness when UO was around and compare what happened to those numbers. Now WoW Blizzard is the new hotness and look at the numbers.

Quite simply, what's new to developers isn't necessarily new to players. But on their end it makes sense in most cases to try and go for that next carrot. Unfortunately haflway through the development of an MMORPG it seems every developer gets a bad case of AIDS EQ.
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Reply #31 on: July 26, 2005, 11:50:28 PM

Jesus....

Nearly every <product> has a lifecycle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And don't quote me some exception that proves the rule.
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Error 404: Title not found.


Reply #32 on: July 27, 2005, 12:13:35 AM

I understood a couple of parts there:

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

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

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Reply #33 on: July 27, 2005, 03:10:17 AM

Nearly every <product> has a lifecycle.
No, capitalism has a lifecycle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fact is that DESPITE these companies are cutting development costs and resources to those "old" products, those products still outperform by a good margin all the new shinies they push out. Now lets only IMAGINE (because we cannot do anything else) what could have happened if those resources weren't wasted on products doomed to fail miserably.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2005, 03:16:18 AM by HRose »

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Reply #34 on: July 27, 2005, 07:09:36 AM

I refuse to consider Virtual Worlds as garbage you eat and throw away.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[edit]
The fact of the matter is that "Virtual Worlds" as they exist right now are consumables and can be eaten and thrown away. When we develop true virtual worlds, well, then I guess we'll be seeing each other there.
[/edit]
« Last Edit: July 27, 2005, 07:11:44 AM by Soukyan »

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