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Author Topic: Mythic brings back Emain  (Read 23873 times)
eldaec
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Reply #35 on: July 27, 2005, 09:15:58 AM

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

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

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

This really is heading into ever deeper space logic territory.

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

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

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

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

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Glazius
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Reply #36 on: July 27, 2005, 09:56:49 AM

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

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

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

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

--GF
HaemishM
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Reply #37 on: July 27, 2005, 10:19:39 AM

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

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

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

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

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

Lt.Dan
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Reply #38 on: July 27, 2005, 11:29:54 AM

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


Wibble?

What Haemish said.  Mythic will keep milking DAoC.  Their subscriber numbers probably took a small boost from classic servers but ultimately new shiney takes away any long-term growth.  Keep em happy, keep em subbed. 
Pococurante
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Reply #39 on: July 27, 2005, 12:40:29 PM

Franchise != implementation

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

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

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

The MOG industry thinks it is unique and has nothing to learn from how others operate.  It suffers from the "one off" mentality of the movie and music industry.  Refusing to offer a clear upgrade path is trading away the long-term cash cow for a short one.  The repeated failures of the big guys to introduce a new offering means they refuse to take control of their product lifecycles and windup wondering why events overtake them.  This lesson really should be sinking in right about now for them.
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Reply #40 on: July 27, 2005, 02:47:35 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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Reply #41 on: July 27, 2005, 05:14:21 PM

Let me derail these arguments a moment.

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

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

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

Imho, this is how you waste your resources.

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

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

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

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

After all this time.

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Reply #42 on: July 27, 2005, 05:31:21 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From my point of view a brand new DAoC launched today as a "new" product would have the exact same result of the DAoC we have now. They cannot magically produce new conditions that magically create so much better games. It's still Mythic. All they can possibly do is already here. All they can possibly do is already possible through DAoC.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2005, 05:39:59 PM by HRose »

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Margalis
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Reply #43 on: July 27, 2005, 06:58:36 PM

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

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

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

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

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Johny Cee
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Reply #44 on: July 27, 2005, 07:04:38 PM

Hrose:

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

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

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

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

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Reply #45 on: July 27, 2005, 07:22:52 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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eldaec
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Reply #46 on: July 27, 2005, 07:59:17 PM

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

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

WoW learnt from a larger number of previous games.

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

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

DAoC can never realistically be so.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2005, 08:01:59 PM by eldaec »

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Reply #47 on: July 27, 2005, 09:30:21 PM

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


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

As for Engine and art? It'd be hard to be worse than WoW. Sure it runs on 4 year old computers, but it looks like it should. And the engine, well server and clientside is an abortion. Oh and it won't have the word Blizzard attached to it.
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Reply #48 on: July 27, 2005, 10:22:37 PM

How can you say that Warhammer will be better?

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

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

There's only one limit: how much time will require to go through all DAoC content and restyle radically most of it?
Answer: surely less time and money than they would need to produce a brand new game from zero.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2005, 10:27:52 PM by HRose »

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Johny Cee
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Reply #49 on: July 27, 2005, 11:14:18 PM


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Magic Online still does noob friendliness/veteran fun better than any other game.  And it has it's flaws. 
eldaec
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Reply #50 on: July 28, 2005, 12:12:28 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reply #51 on: July 28, 2005, 12:14:17 AM

I fully admit that may experience of WoW is best described as 'cursory'.

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

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

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

That's what I thought til...well, you know.
eldaec
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Reply #52 on: July 28, 2005, 12:28:01 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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Margalis
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Reply #53 on: July 28, 2005, 01:06:44 AM

Any time you change the design, even for the better, you are going to piss people off. And from a programming perspective it's usually much easier to just create new stuff than tweak old stuff, unless you are talking about extremely minor tweaks. And simply revamping the same game over and over isn't going to bring in a lot of new customers that passed the first time around.

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

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

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Reply #54 on: July 28, 2005, 02:16:46 AM

I speak from a great deal of ignorance but isnt warhammer a strategy units based game, the one I see people playing with miniatures in the games workshop stores?  Isnt it going to be quite different in design then from Daoc or are they doing a world of warhammer setting and bastardising a war game to fit into the single char rpg?

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

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

And I really cant credit the claim that turbine cant beat thei AC numbers with DDO, I can see MEO perhaps not reaching expectations but if turbine cant make a big success out of DDO it will be one of the greatest fuckups of the industry.
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Reply #55 on: July 28, 2005, 02:30:20 AM

I speak from a great deal of ignorance but isnt warhammer a strategy units based game, the one I see people playing with miniatures in the games workshop stores?  Isnt it going to be quite different in design then from Daoc or are they doing a world of warhammer setting and bastardising a war game to fit into the single char rpg?

Warhammer was an RPG first. Think Monty Python & the Holy Grail + Medieval European History + Warcraft (actually the original Warcraft is a direct ripoff from the Warhammer world and races. Just more stupified.).
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Reply #56 on: July 28, 2005, 02:31:39 AM

Warhammer fantasy is a setting. There are many games designed in it.

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

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

(40k stuff notwithstanding)

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Reply #57 on: July 28, 2005, 02:35:36 AM

I had a little look on the mythic warhammer site but information is sparse, they are calling it a rpg so I guess its too much to hope for any sort of tactical/squad/unit based action then in this mmog...pity cos that idea attracted my attention, another rpg a lot less so.
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Reply #58 on: July 28, 2005, 02:56:07 AM

As an rpg, it was great. Even if fantasy rpg's are a bit played out, it's still the one to make (besides D&D, of course).

As an online rpg though (especially a Mythic one), it'll be complete shite. So I'm with you in that respect.
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Reply #59 on: July 28, 2005, 03:59:37 AM

I'm sure I remember thinking that it was a pity that the game design wasnt more inspired because the technical aspects impressed me.
For God's sake, I still CANNOT maximize the window so that the client takes the whole screen instead of just 80% of it. And it has still the worst memory managment I've ever seen.

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Reply #60 on: July 28, 2005, 04:25:44 AM

They could just name the game "Warhammer: Blizzard."

That might confuse huge crowds into buying it.

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Reply #61 on: July 28, 2005, 04:41:51 AM

They could just name the game "Warhammer: Blizzard."

That might confuse huge crowds into buying it.

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

It's all pretty ironic though. First there was Warhammer. Then Warcraft. Then Daoc. Then WoW, which took some ideas from Daoc. And now Mythic, partly the inspiration for some of WoW's gameplay, has the license to the game that inspired the entire Warcraft universe to begin with. And the funny thing is: They're probably asking themselves "How can we best copy World of Warcraft?"  rolleyes
« Last Edit: July 28, 2005, 05:11:05 AM by Stray »
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Reply #62 on: July 28, 2005, 10:35:24 AM

Come get your SirBrucing of the morning, bitches.

Let me derail these arguments a moment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Reply #63 on: July 28, 2005, 10:40:09 AM

Let me derail these arguments a moment.

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

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

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

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

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

EDIT: Damn Haemish and his fast typing!

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Reply #64 on: July 28, 2005, 11:13:58 AM

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

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

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Reply #65 on: July 28, 2005, 11:22:35 AM

When did Blizzard ever innovate? 

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

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Reply #66 on: July 28, 2005, 12:07:39 PM

My next MMOG will have art on the level of Morrowind Oblivion.  Or it won't be my next MMOG.

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Reply #67 on: July 28, 2005, 12:52:06 PM

Quote
That's another good business move, IMO, but for the users of the original market? It's catastrophic, as evidenced by WindupAtheist's recent parting of the ways with his revered game.

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

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Reply #68 on: July 28, 2005, 12:53:23 PM

My next MMOG will have art on the level of Morrowind Oblivion.  Or it won't be my next MMOG.

*snip*

Looks like they went to the EQ2 school of model design. But the scenery is nice.
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Reply #69 on: July 28, 2005, 01:03:17 PM

That's really what gets my attention about Oblivion.  But now I risk crossing threads which could make all life as you know it stop instantaneously and every molecule in your body explode at the speed of light.

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