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Author Topic: DAOC - Darkness Rising Expansion  (Read 75995 times)
Typhon
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Reply #140 on: November 01, 2005, 05:12:55 AM

If WoW's PvP had an impact on... something, anything, in-game (i.e. a point) I would have been able to stay interested.  Hell, if WoW PvP resulted in my char developing in any permanent way I'd have been able to stay interested.

That it was decently balanced is the best (and not inconsiderable) thing I can say about it, but it was so not-interesting to me that I actually cared about the $15 enough to quit  very quickly after getting my druid to 60 (and not wait and hope it would get better).  If I wanted FPS-style "bragging rights" type PvP I'd play a FPS game.

So I guess I'm a data point at the far end of the WoW PvP spectrum.
Jimbo
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Reply #141 on: November 01, 2005, 08:38:38 AM

Okay, I still don't get it, but why the hell can't they just let us level up real fucking quick and let us RvR?  I can't stand the bloody long assed grind!

Here, want to solve it?  Make a command, after one hour of time played you type /level and bam your the next level.  50 hours to reach level 50 is the max it should take.  And make it if your in a group you can do it quicker.  Then I can go and freaking crack some skulls on the battlefield and not worry about playing wak-a-mole!

HaemishM
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Reply #142 on: November 01, 2005, 10:08:20 AM

Let me clarify, because obviously I speak in motherfucking riddles. And since it's Tuesday, I'll put the RAGE filter on.

DAoC's PVP is fun. WoW's PVP is fun. Neither is damaging to my soul, because frankly, I give two shits about GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING SHITSUCKING COCKGRINDING HONOR OR REALM POINTS. I'd actually put WoW's PVP above DAoC's because of a number of reasons:

1) DAoC's realm points are required for PVP because of the uber super abilities that are granted at regular intervals. WoW's Honor points are not required because you can get similar rewards from PVE, with similar amounts of time dedication (which is indeed the arbiter of all things MMOG related). Unless you absolutely have to the UBAR BESTEST PVPER EVAR, you can choose to indulge in WoW's PVP at your leisure, whether that be gankfests in Hillsbrad or battlegrounds or PVE switching.
2) WoW's PVP crowd control is much better balanced than DAoC's ever was. Warriors and melee classes actually have options in fights, as opposed to either being stunned the entire fight or pounding on a door for 8 hours.
3) On a PVP server, WoW's PVP doesn't feel artificial (i.e. restricted to specific zones), and yet most of the time I don't feel like I'm going to get ganked at any moment.
4) The PVE grind in WoW is much shorter, full of quests (some of which are actually interesting), and its PVE combat isn't dirt boring.

With all that said, Shadowbane still WTFPWNBBQ's both of their PVP games, and it's not because SB had no restrictions on PVP. It's because the class/level/powers system was much more interesting, with more options, and the level differences didn't have nearly as much sway over PVP victory than skill. Of all the things SB did wrong, its classes, races and powers was not one of them.

The difference is that SB's PVP crushes your soul, in both a good and a bad way. It pulls no punches and revels in kicking you in the junk. It's the type of system of losing and winning that has to be, moreso than any other goddamn system, it HAS TO BE FUCKING AIRTIGHT. It can't be buggy, it can't be wildly unbalanced and you can't have performance issues.

But it did, and that's why I'm not playing it.

As for Wish, sure it could have been a lot of things. It would have been nice if it had actually been a fucking game once they got to Alpha 6/Beta, because it wasn't. There was no combat interaction that made a damn bit of difference, and it had a long way to go to realize a good game. Dave Rickey was, IMO, the real heart of that game, and was the only guy who was going to make it playable. When they started shitcanning his ideas, or rushing to put something out without even realizing the gameplay implementations, I knew it was a dead duck. It was well on its way to having a world, but no game to put in that world.

As for the question of the person WoW's PVP is fun for? Me. And that's all I give a shit about. I really don't give two flying rat's testicles whether some catass overachiever can get his uber +2 pixels from grinding honor until his nutsack shrivels up like rotten peanuts.

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Hoax
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Reply #143 on: November 01, 2005, 11:10:30 AM

The group I play with in every one of these games REALLY loves PVP but hates the hell out of FPS games and really disliked Shadowbane.  Of course, that's kind of a bad yet relevant example as now they're playing nothing (quit WoW pre-battlegrounds). I think they would have loved the battlegrounds (it's right up their alley) but instead they went back to DAoC to give the new classic servers a try and ended up leaving more bitter than ever.

Its not just fps games though, if your only going to play BG's you might as well play GuildWars, with everything being pvp unlockable, a short (but quite lame) pve mission grind and even better balance and skill > time played once you've fully unlocked.  Or play RTS, or turn based, whatever.  The only logical reason I can give for why I am constantly trying MMO's despite the $15/mo, stupid grinds, and underemphasis on skill versus time played is the fact that I keep hoping that pvp would act as content for the gameworld.  But when you have infinate gaurd spawns, no ability to capture and hold anything in so-called contested zones, and your pvp focus on resetting instanced scenarios that sure as hell is not happening.

The history of every SB server revolved entirely around certain guilds and alliances, key player figures, sieges and alliances.  Nothing will ever be accomplished through pvp on a WoW server, because there is even less world influence then DAOC or Planetside's musical chairs with keeps/bases.

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
HaemishM
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Reply #144 on: November 01, 2005, 01:03:39 PM

What are you hoping to accomplish?

And what happens when 10 minutes after you accomplish the 9th wonder of the world, a stronger group comes along and shapes it into a giant penis?

Hoax
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Reply #145 on: November 01, 2005, 01:11:28 PM

But its been shown, that even trivial accomplishments will retain players (Pside/DAOC) I dont see how you can feel satisfied as a MMO dev if your player conflict has less meaning and weight then most FPS games (where servers keep stats and top tier players/clans are involved in very competative league matches).  Its a fucking virtual world, or should be.

But I digress, for fear of hearing one of your anti-innovation rants.

I do truly believe however, that WoW will loose ALL players who are not achiever types well before their expansion hits shelves.  One day you'll be doing AB, or whatever and look up and realize what a stupid joke it is to be paying $15 a month to fight meaningless instanced battles that have gear (aka /played) as a major factor in who wins.

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
HaemishM
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Reply #146 on: November 01, 2005, 01:24:29 PM

Its a fucking virtual world, or should be.

No, it isn't, and can't be.

I have no problem with innovation that works. But don't expect me to pay for some limp-wristed hippies college thesis on the dynamics of virtual herd behaviour.

Hoax
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Reply #147 on: November 01, 2005, 03:44:05 PM

You hate innovation, admit it!

Yeah I finally sat down and read the whole article and thread, I tried to respond but ran out of time before I really fleshed out my thoughts.  My feelings toward the whole VW vrs Game thing is, why make MMO's that are just games?  They play worse then every other genre and then fail to take advantage of any of theoretical advantages MMO's can have (in my mind they are mostly tied closely to VW's).  The only thing that really seperates GW from WoW at the moment is the fact that WoW caters more to PvE achiever EQ types, while GW is too different and someone who has played fives times as much as me still isn't gaurenteed a win.  Not that I'm saying WoW sucks (it is a great EQ clone) or GW is awesome (it isn't at this time in the slightest) but wtf is WoW other then GW with even more timesinks, +shiney and raid dungeon foozlefests?  I'm talking strictly endgame here.

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
HRose
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Reply #148 on: November 01, 2005, 06:11:08 PM

DAoC's PVP is fun. WoW's PVP is fun. Neither is damaging to my soul, because frankly, I give two shits about GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING SHITSUCKING COCKGRINDING HONOR OR REALM POINTS. I'd actually put WoW's PVP above DAoC's because of a number of reasons:

And finally I was expecting this.

So let me say that while you can be right about these arguments, you are wrong in the discussion. And we were discussing in a context.

The context was the *structure* of PvP. We were discussing the division in realms, the use of keeps, the Realm Points, the involvement with the guilds and so on. All these elements are about the RvR but not about the direct fighting mechanics.

Noone will ever argue with you that DAoC combat mechanics are superior to WoW. Because they aren't. WoW is way more carefully elaborated and designed and it's way more direct, intuitive and smooth. Despite I like the slower pace of DAoC where I can see clearly what is happening instead of the messy chaos in a fight in WoW, the second is head and shoulders above the first. That's undeniable.

But that great combat system is the supported in a structure that SUCKS FROM EVERY POINT OF VIEW. Where nothing at all is salvageable. The Honor system is fucked up, the instanced BattleGround with no persistence are fucked up, the repetitive and dull type of play is fucked up. This type of PvP, BESIDE the combat mechanics, is the most dull and pointless ever imagined. After half an hour fighting in Alterac, Arathi or Warsong I'm bored to tears and I go log in DAoC. Those who stay in there are doing it because they have to catass the reputation, or catass the honor points. And most of the tactical gameplay is about exploiting it or going afk while running against a zone wall.

And if you give it a slightly deeper glance, you'll even see that even the mechanics are dull. In WoW every fight is the same, absolutely predictable. 95% of the encounters are just messy zerg fights that can be fun just for a couple of times. I'm sure everyone noticed: in WoW there's ABSOLUTELY ZERO group synergy. Everyone throws mindlessly in the battle, die, respawn and repeat. In most of the cases the only reason to group is just to share a chat and the honor points farming from kills. And this doesn't happen just because the players are stupid, but because the classes have no definite PvP roles and everyone just goes down to kill the other. With no real support classes, crowd control and all the rest that is criticized in DAoC. In DAoC the classes HAVE TO rely on each other to be effective. This is both a huge flaw AND a strength.

From this point of view both the different environments and situations where you fight (the keeps and towers, water, night, rain) and the stronger reliance on group tactics and synergy of the classes make DAoC deeper EVEN if we consider the combat mechanics.

Quote
1) DAoC's realm points are required for PVP because of the uber super abilities that are granted at regular intervals. WoW's Honor points are not required because you can get similar rewards from PVE, with similar amounts of time dedication (which is indeed the arbiter of all things MMOG related). Unless you absolutely have to the UBAR BESTEST PVPER EVAR, you can choose to indulge in WoW's PVP at your leisure, whether that be gankfests in Hillsbrad or battlegrounds or PVE switching.
The power treadmill of the PvP in both games is similar. You just have no chance against an uber player. But in DAoC this happens on a persistent level. You can organize and react, you can avoid. The more powerful elite group ganking everyone becomes like the "lore" of a server. It's a reality that you can face.

In WoW people avoid these fights. If they see that there's a uber guild in the other faction the BG will be deserted in two minutes. Noone cares about what happens in the BG itself because the purpose of the war is NON EXISTENT.

That's what PvP should be. A war with a reason. Because we are supposed to play in a self-consistent world where you should have an actual justified goal that isn't sitrictly about the size of your e-peen. I wish to be involved into something slightly more consistent and motivating.

But WoW's BGs are nulls. They do not exist, being instanced. And if you see a more powerful player out there you don't go and try, you just go out and enter a new BG. Because it's not convenient for you. And it has no purpose.

Quote
2) WoW's PVP crowd control is much better balanced than DAoC's ever was. Warriors and melee classes actually have options in fights, as opposed to either being stunned the entire fight or pounding on a door for 8 hours.
I agree here, in particular about the warrior. In fact this is a part where DAoC has always needed more work to be more fun.

On the other side DAoC's CC undeniably add more strategy in the group fights. And I'd actually replace WoW's fear with a simple mezz since the fights are chaotic enough without the need to send people running all over the place.

The "charge" ability of the warrior is probably one of the best ideas ever added.

Quote
3) On a PVP server, WoW's PVP doesn't feel artificial (i.e. restricted to specific zones), and yet most of the time I don't feel like I'm going to get ganked at any moment.

And in fact I loved the PvP servers. They were the dream game I wanted to play and that DAoC never accomplished. Sharing the same world is already a great and solid reason for conflict and it's one of those elements that make the game move away from a simple arcade, to a "world". But then the Honor system wrecked most of the "good" that was in these types of servers. The BGs did the rest.

Quote
4) The PVE grind in WoW is much shorter, full of quests (some of which are actually interesting), and its PVE combat isn't dirt boring.
Not shorter but at least justified. Not much to argue here.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #149 on: November 01, 2005, 06:22:07 PM

P.S.

One interesting bit about BlizzCon was the revelation that the BGs were originally supposed to be persistent. In fact the PvE quests were added to give the players something to do while noone was around.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Typhon
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Reply #150 on: November 02, 2005, 05:27:48 AM

And what happens when 10 minutes after you accomplish the 9th wonder of the world, a stronger group comes along and shapes it into a giant penis?

I get a group together and change it back into a vagina... or not, based on what is compelling/interesting to me.

That WoW has no wonders at all is what turns me off.  It obviously doesn't turn you off, which is fine.  I don't want to get in the way of you yelling at the Italian, but I would like to point out that neither one of you are "correct", you are both just stating preference.
HaemishM
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Reply #151 on: November 02, 2005, 10:18:18 AM

But that great combat system is the supported in a structure that SUCKS FROM EVERY POINT OF VIEW. Where nothing at all is salvageable. The Honor system is fucked up, the instanced BattleGround with no persistence are fucked up, the repetitive and dull type of play is fucked up. This type of PvP, BESIDE the combat mechanics, is the most dull and pointless ever imagined. After half an hour fighting in Alterac, Arathi or Warsong I'm bored to tears and I go log in DAoC. Those who stay in there are doing it because they have to catass the reputation, or catass the honor points. And most of the tactical gameplay is about exploiting it or going afk while running against a zone wall.

Or, those who stay might actually be enjoying it. Perish the motherfucking thought.

Quote
And if you give it a slightly deeper glance, you'll even see that even the mechanics are dull. In WoW every fight is the same, absolutely predictable. 95% of the encounters are just messy zerg fights that can be fun just for a couple of times. I'm sure everyone noticed: in WoW there's ABSOLUTELY ZERO group synergy. Everyone throws mindlessly in the battle, die, respawn and repeat. In most of the cases the only reason to group is just to share a chat and the honor points farming from kills. And this doesn't happen just because the players are stupid, but because the classes have no definite PvP roles and everyone just goes down to kill the other. With no real support classes, crowd control and all the rest that is criticized in DAoC. In DAoC the classes HAVE TO rely on each other to be effective. This is both a huge flaw AND a strength.

I'm just going to have to fall back on the old "I disagree with what you said." And call you a twat for good measure.

I don't think either DAoC or WoW's gameplay mechanics are necessarily superior to the other. They both have their good bits and their flaws. I think you are out of your fucking mind saying that every fight is the same in WoW, or that every fight is a huge zerg and that's it. I found that to be more the case in the DAoC RVR battles, especially around castles. Run up, get mezzed, get arrowed or backstabbed to death by a stealther, then watch the rest of your crew get mowed down until it was your turn. The battleground fights I saw were great in the level 20-24 zone. I will say that DAoC does sieges quite well. But I think both PVP gameplay mechanics have merit, I just happen to like WoW's better because I don't have to grind so long on uninteresting content to get to them.

Quote
From this point of view both the different environments and situations where you fight (the keeps and towers, water, night, rain) and the stronger reliance on group tactics and synergy of the classes make DAoC deeper EVEN if we consider the combat mechanics.

The only way they are deeper is that they have the legacy of 4 years worth of realm abilities, artifcats and other shit hanging on. Not only is that daunting for a newbie, it's often entirely unbalancing, creating a mudflation gate to get into meaningful PVP. And in the end, DAoC's PVP is just as transitory as WoW's because of the trivial nature of retaking lost keeps.
Quote
In WoW people avoid these fights. If they see that there's a uber guild in the other faction the BG will be deserted in two minutes. Noone cares about what happens in the BG itself because the purpose of the war is NON EXISTENT.

Some people avoid these fights. Pussy-ass coward honor farming catass twats do not decide for me whether or not I enjoy the PVP.

Quote
That's what PvP should be. A war with a reason. Because we are supposed to play in a self-consistent world where you should have an actual justified goal that isn't sitrictly about the size of your e-peen. I wish to be involved into something slightly more consistent and motivating.

You want war with a "reason," go play Shadowbane. That's the only world that's persistent and self-consistent. DAoC's RVR goals are just as ephemeral as WoW's. You just don't happen to like WoW. I will also say that SB's character system is deeper and better balanced than either of them.

Quote
But then the Honor system wrecked most of the "good" that was in these types of servers. The BGs did the rest.

You are too worried about rankings. But then since it's obvious you didn't enjoy the gameplay, the rewards seem all that much worse.

The Honor System in WoW IS SHIT. Which is why I don't give a fuck about it. The same would go for DAoC except I NEED realm points in order to compete. I don't need honor points.

Hoax
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Reply #152 on: November 02, 2005, 01:00:50 PM

Quote
You want war with a "reason," go play Shadowbane. That's the only world that's persistent and self-consistent. DAoC's RVR goals are just as ephemeral as WoW's. You just don't happen to like WoW. I will also say that SB's character system is deeper and better balanced than either of them.

Exactly!

The mechanics of the combat and which is better are irrelevent because in the end both are devoid of any meaning in the context of the gameworld.


A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
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Reply #153 on: November 02, 2005, 03:35:53 PM

Not to put too fine a point on it, but these are games. You're not going to find a PVP experience that lets you delete characters or burn down an opponent's house in real life or something. For PvP to be fun for both parties you can't have TOTAL CARNAGE DOMINATION VICTORY OMGOMG. Games which do give you a significant ability to make the lives of others hell (Eve, Shadowbane) tend to be niche-oriented since many people, well, don't like having their lives made hell and 90% of everyone playing a PvP game will lose at some point.

DAOC's relic system allows you to gain a 20% boost to damage output for melee, magic or both (30% on the PvP server) for everyone in your realm. I don't think people quite understand how much of an overpowering boost this is. It dwarfs every possible magic item bonus in the game. To say that making everyone on your side 1/3 more powerful isn't meaningful enough makes me wonder what you would consider meaningful short of pitching a planet into the sun.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2005, 03:38:08 PM by Lum »
HaemishM
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Reply #154 on: November 02, 2005, 03:37:15 PM

TOTAL CARNAGE DOMINIATION VICTORY WTFPWNBBQ, of course.

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Reply #155 on: November 02, 2005, 03:39:25 PM

pitching a planet into the sun

Had this been a part of Imperator, I don't think people would've complained about it so much on here.
Hoax
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Reply #156 on: November 02, 2005, 04:12:34 PM

Not to put too fine a point on it, but these are games. You're not going to find a PVP experience that lets you delete characters or burn down an opponent's house in real life or something. For PvP to be fun for both parties you can't have TOTAL CARNAGE DOMINATION VICTORY OMGOMG. Games which do give you a significant ability to make the lives of others hell (Eve, Shadowbane) tend to be niche-oriented since many people, well, don't like having their lives made hell and 90% of everyone playing a PvP game will lose at some point.

DAOC's relic system allows you to gain a 20% boost to damage output for melee, magic or both (30% on the PvP server) for everyone in your realm. I don't think people quite understand how much of an overpowering boost this is. It dwarfs every possible magic item bonus in the game. To say that making everyone on your side 1/3 more powerful isn't meaningful enough makes me wonder what you would consider meaningful short of pitching a planet into the sun.

I'm not bashing DAOC or WoW's systems I save that for relevant threads like the most recent one related to Haem's game to world article when I pine for a "wild west" (new interweb jargon!) "virtual world" where I can burn pillage rape and salt the earth of my enemy.  But in all seriousness, yeah relics are a big deal blahblah but it is just CTF where nobody keeps score.  Also try not to be so defensive as to act like your too stupid to realize that making a game where player conflict influences the gameworld doesn't have to mean PLAY TO CRUSH.

Afterall you guys are supposed to be making a Warhammer game, jesus if you think that just making a planetside/daoc base capture-recapture scoreless CTF fest with elves and orcs is going to cut it I'm looking forward to the spinfest when GW steps in and yanks the plug.

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
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Reply #157 on: November 02, 2005, 05:51:58 PM

Games which do give you a significant ability to make the lives of others hell (Eve, Shadowbane) tend to be niche-oriented since many people, well, don't like having their lives made hell and 90% of everyone playing a PvP game will lose at some point.

While I agree with everything, I'd argue on this point about the possibility of success. Both Eve and Shadowbane are niche for reasons beside and before the PvP ruleset.

It would be interesting to see a niche PvP game made by an high-profile company, with a very high production value, graphic quality, impressive engine etc...

That's a model that surely needs refinement and more reiterations to be accessible and reach its goals. But I would be careful to claim it cannot be truly successful. In fact I believe that SB could quintuplicate its subscription base if it offered an high-production value, sleek engine, smooth controls and fancy graphic.

Quote
DAOC's relic system allows you to gain a 20% boost to damage output for melee, magic or both (30% on the PvP server) for everyone in your realm. I don't think people quite understand how much of an overpowering boost this is. It dwarfs every possible magic item bonus in the game. To say that making everyone on your side 1/3 more powerful isn't meaningful enough makes me wonder what you would consider meaningful short of pitching a planet into the sun.
But you would be wrong believing that those buffs are what makes DAoC different compared to WoW. This is in fact the common misconception that shifts the discussions to the wrong points.

It's totally not the point of just adding an overall buff or debuff on every player. This is fluff that you do not play. I can put my hand on the fire about this. It's not because of the reilc buffs that people like DAoC's PvP model. That's also not the actual strength of its persistence. The persistence is not about those buffs. (by the way WoW is going to add general buffs as well with the upcoming patches. Guess what? It won't change absolutely anything and it will continue to suck)

What makes this game persistent and fun about this persistence, is the conflict over the conquest. There's some land, the space is finite. And shared. This space is YOUR OWN, and it doesn't belong to just some NPCs while you glide on the background unable to affect anything. In fact what drives the game is the strong guild involvement. You can go conquer those towers and keeps, you upgrade them, you raze them, you plan tactics and deploy your sources. You play a wargame above the direct action.

And are these persistent elements to make it a "world". The relics are persistent not because of their buffs. But because they are solid objects kept in a relic keep. And to have access to it you need to conquer keeps and open the milegates. The defenders can decide their tactics, camp the relic or milegate, send out stealthers to control an area, counterattack to break ports, deploy siege to be ready for the last battle.

The persistence matters when it is *gameplay*. Not an intangible buff that can be coded in a couple of minutes. That buff is just an excuse so we can have fun. But it is not the source of that fun.

The persistence is also the possibility to raze a tower, deploy siege engine, upgrade the keeps, buy guards on hookpoints, fight through the loopholes, break a door or opening an hole into a keep, the guild banners, the boiling oil, the ladders and so on. This is what creates an involving environment instead of a repetitive and dull skirmish that goes nowhere. Thanks to all these different possibilities and tactics available, the gameplay is enriching. And not a simple deathmatch in a featureless room.

The fun isn't about preventing the grass to rise forever or kill a player in RL. The fun is about the gameplay within a world where you can play with a bunch of tools and toys that make you at the center of that world. It's all about *the gameplay*. That gameplay that you have the instant you play and not on the effects that you'll have on the gameworld in the years ahead. Who cares if that wall or door will be repaired? Of course it will, but the game is supposed to be fun as you play, not after you are done with it. The fun and the persistence is about all those elements that have a role and a purpose, that are self-consistent with the world and make the gameplay more rich and involving.

This is why the persistence is nowhere tied to that "TOTAL CARNAGE DOMINATION VICTORY", that's a terrible and common misconception and the bigger mistake you can make.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #158 on: November 02, 2005, 05:56:34 PM

But in all seriousness, yeah relics are a big deal blahblah but it is just CTF where nobody keeps score.

Um. Do you think relics reset automatically? (Honestly curious) I'd think they qualify as "keeping score" (as do realm ranks, and any number of other of ways we, uh, keep score) but that may be just my crack talking.

You say you want "player conflict that influences the gameworld." So, player conflict making your entire side 1/3 more powerful isn't good enough for you. What is? Again, honestly curious. I mean, most of the things I've seen bandied about really just wouldn't work in practice. "Make it so we can have deformable landscape and effect the terrain when we fight!" (2 weeks later when the entire game world is a barren moonscape) "uh can we have it back plz"
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Reply #159 on: November 02, 2005, 05:58:46 PM

While I agree with everything, I'd argue on this point about the possibility of success. Both Eve and Shadowbane are niche for reasons beside and before the PvP ruleset.

It would be interesting to see a niche PvP game made by an high-profile company, with a very high production value, graphic quality, impressive engine etc...

PvP servers traditionally have far fewer users. WoW breaks this mold, and I'm not sure anyone (especially including me) really understands why at this point.
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Reply #160 on: November 02, 2005, 06:01:37 PM

What makes this game persistent and fun about this persistence, is the conflict over the conquest. There's some land, the space is finite. And shared. This space is YOUR OWN, and it doesn't belong to just some NPCs while you glide on the background unable to affect anything. In fact what drives the game is the strong guild involvement. You can go conquer those towers and keeps, you upgrade them, you raze them, you plan tactics and deploy your sources. You play a wargame above the direct action.

I agree with all of this, but many (including Hoax I suspect) demand a reason for going out and bashing people over the head with sticks. Relics serve to give that reason. The gameplay itself is what delivers the 'fun", the relics are the reason for the battle that you fight. Generally people like their gameplay to have purpose (or a well crafted illusion thereof)
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Reply #161 on: November 02, 2005, 06:17:16 PM

I really do think that, in a game with a community like DAoC's, just adding some "trophies" to be fought over would motivate people to take them.

If you put Excalibur in a giant tower and tell one faction, "This is yours.  It is a symbol of your pride." all the other factions will try to take it, just to prove they can, and the other faction will try to take it back, just to prove it's theirs.  Whether it does anything or not is just a side bonus.

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Reply #162 on: November 02, 2005, 06:24:38 PM

You've exposed a weakness in my conviction I haven't played DAOC since 3 months into launch, at that time the RvR had all the depth of Planetside, and HRose does make it sound much more involved.  So I will defer to the rabid fanboi when it comes to DAOC factoids from now on.

Abstractly speaking though, relics that are captured from static keeps just dont cut it for me.  They might make for a fun game, I loved MPBT3050 very much and it was nothing more then static, unchanging, systems that were captured and recaptured.  But I expect more from MMO's then the simple things that make for fun games.  ShadowBane is the ONLY game I've ever seen where every server had a very player-centric history that was quite important to people, and most SB players can relate their guilds role in said history.

But static keeps designed to be fought over, lost, retaken then lost again are just the tip of the iceberg with this medium/genre/whatever.  I'm looking forward to the day when somebody tries something a little more daring then that, because I think it'll be a ton of fun.


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Reply #163 on: November 02, 2005, 06:42:01 PM

So the next logical step would be bases that can be razed to the ground, then it's left to the players of the defeated faction to rebuild it- potentially in a new location.  That could be fun, if the developers are sure to design the eligible areas with base building in mind, offering a myriad of potential strategic choices (maybe there's a plateau that forces enemies up a few stready narrow paths, or a steep hill with a flat top that forces them to take painful volleys before reaching the base, or an island that requires enemies either swim or boat over, or a valley that only leaves one side of the base exposed to attack, etc, etc).

Then, of course, you need the ability to personalize these bases so there's real investment.

But this is all very "next logical step", what would be after that?

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Reply #164 on: November 02, 2005, 06:45:18 PM

PvP servers traditionally have far fewer users. WoW breaks this mold, and I'm not sure anyone (especially including me) really understands why at this point.

I think it is because WoW pve servers were boring in that there was not enough conflict between the realms.  Certainly this is true prior to the implementation of battlegrounds, anyway.

Losing in WoW pvp doesn't mean much.  No xp loss, no monetary loss, not much of a run back to get to where you were.

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Reply #165 on: November 02, 2005, 06:47:10 PM

But this is all very "next logical step", what would be after that?

Politics, espionage, diplomacy.
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Reply #166 on: November 02, 2005, 06:52:33 PM

But even the "next logical step" sounds so much better right?  Thats really my point, I have never felt that any of the EQ clones were trying very hard to do anything other then:

1. long grind
2. something to keep people occupied while we design new grind elements <slap on half baked simplistic pvp elements here>
3. power creep to force players who want to compete to be involved in new grind elements
4. repeat

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Reply #167 on: November 02, 2005, 07:00:35 PM

PvP servers traditionally have far fewer users. WoW breaks this mold, and I'm not sure anyone (especially including me) really understands why at this point.
This is like the Principle of Induction. Something can probably be successful because it has been successful "x" times in the past. It makes sense but we miss the reasons. Copying trends is the very first reason why new ones cannot rise. And why the first who will do that will have at least a momentary money hat and set new rules (commonplaces) that will be broken again in the future.

I could make the example of Squaresoft games. Their "lesser" titles are often used to test new ideas and system that then they port to the main ones. Most of these ideas don't seem so great and you would expect them to be dropped. Instead it happens the opposite. They keep indefinitely refining them, fixing what didn't work, and when you finally have their main title you find again that awful mechanic that is now really good instead of bad. And it's a surprise. Actually I'm starting to believe (but not yet) that there aren't "good" ideas. There is just more or less polish, more or less refinement, more or less reiterations. At the end you could turn everything into something good with enough of those.

The mmorpgs in particular should take advantage of this process, because it's something directly available to them. It's about the possibility to reiterate. Try something, see the result and refine. Incorporating in the proccess al the feedback you received.

In the case of WoW something similar happened. With the difference that in this case they didn't reiterate from their own experience, but from the experience drawn from other titles. And they are great at doing that.

There are a bunch of reasons about why WoW is an exception. The first is rather silly. When they launched they had an equal number of PvE and PvP servers and this already tells the players that the PvP isn't just going to be a niche option. It's instead something on which the developers have faith and support. It sets their mind-set. And their mind-set affects then the development.

Then there's the polish, accessibility and reiterations. The game world is defined in "friendly", "contested" and "enemy" territories and structured so that the transition is gradual and painless. The faction identity is retained so you know what is dangerous and what is not, the game puts you in a group, not alone in a forest waiting to be assraped by a "red" and left weith just a white cloak. The death penalty is trivial and, as I wrote in the past, At worst the PvP is a timesink, an annoyance, at best it's a whole new stack of fun possibilities and situations.

Before the honor system fucked up things, the PvP servers where coherent and fun. And I believe that if DAoC launched retaining the faction identity and consolidated them in one, shared territory, the PvP servers could have been popular in the exact same way. It's not an exclusive of the brand. It's an exclusive of a ruleset (and I was truly deluded when DAoC's PvP servers revealed to be a superficial "free for all" instead of retaining the factions).

I agree with all of this, but many (including Hoax I suspect) demand a reason for going out and bashing people over the head with sticks. Relics serve to give that reason. The gameplay itself is what delivers the 'fun", the relics are the reason for the battle that you fight. Generally people like their gameplay to have purpose (or a well crafted illusion thereof)

Yeah, I'm just saying that the well-crafted illusion is the least relevant element in the discussion, even if the most apparent.

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Reply #168 on: November 02, 2005, 10:27:46 PM

"Make it so we can have deformable landscape and effect the terrain when we fight!" (2 weeks later when the entire game world is a barren moonscape) "uh can we have it back plz"

This, in my opinion, is why a game like Shadowbane fails.  Having permanent, powerful, lasting effects on the game world tends to suck for both the winner and the loser.  In the end, the winner finds himself alone and at peace (OMG NO, NOT PEACE AND HAPPINESS) and searching for people to squash while the loser gets to sit in their brand new parking lot and wonder what the hell they're supposed to do.   Everyone loves the war when it's going on; it's when the final blow has been struck, that you're left with the consequences.

I've heard there's a server now with periodic resets, but then after a while I'd imagine the game world would start to feel like Groundhog Day.

Edit: Of course, the big thing was that a destroyed nation couldn't easily get back on it's feet, since the conquerors usually squashed any insurrections out of boredom and the build times were prohibitively slow.  Where in Dark Age, relics can be retaken and often were (according to my friends who played a lot more than myself).
« Last Edit: November 02, 2005, 10:34:09 PM by Rasix »

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Reply #169 on: November 03, 2005, 01:08:59 AM

Ah, that's something I was going to comment about the AGC and that I was forgetting: "Unbalance is fun." (that's written in the report that Shild wrote, near the end)

In this context, the momentum when a side temporarily wins and the other has to organize to counterattack in a nearly hopeless situation is potentially the MOST FUN. This sounds like an heresy but it is fundamentally true.

The movies with really cool heroes and exciting action and battles aren't those where the protagonist has the huger faction with more resources than everyone else. That's not really all that involving and you have to recognize that the other situation is way more exciting. This is a core point. Being the underdog can be potentially more fun.

Now there's the point of a PvP environment because we all know too well that without an equal chance to win, the game isn't all that fun. So where's the problem? How it could be possible to simulate these situations so that they can be a strength and a source of fun instead of just frustrating the player?

My point of view is about the goals and patterns. In these games being the underdog isn't fun because the goals are all set. EVERY player has the same goals and competes over the same functional gameplay. It's the game itself to set how you should behave. Now the heart of the problem, from my point of view, is that these systems just don't expect an unbalance. The system itself is coded in a given, hypothetic, abstact environment where the factions are always perfectly even. But this environment DOESN'T EXIST.

As Raph wrote, the players "see past fiction" and they can clearly see that the game wants them to compete in an unfair condition. These unfair conditions are not those of the character. They are those of the *players*. Because we fight over the power-up, not over the roleplayed immersion. The players see that the game is basically cheating and that the goals that they are supposed to fight for are definitely not fair compared to those of the *players* on the other, stronger side. You, as a player, see the other player having a direct advantage over you. And this comprehensibly pisses off everyone, like it happens with the unbalance between the classes.

Now the point is that there's a line here. There's the *player* and his perception and there's the *game* and the situation it offers. If the unbalance is the one of the player, noone is going to have fun. But if the unbalance is the one of the *game* and the player has the role to play WITH it, this can be a HUGE source of fun, imho. In Doom noone complains that you are just one marine against a zillion of aliens. That's the fun, in fact. I even remember a mod for a FPS where one player was the "hunter" with special powers while all the other players where against him. 1 vs 10. And it was hell of fun again.

What I believe is that we cannot anymore pretend to design games thinking to abstract, theoretic environments that just won't happen in the reality. We must stop to design games assuming that there is going to be a matematically perfect balance. The reality is different and in the reality of the game a fight will be *always unbalanced* for a reason or another. It's absolutely impossible to have two groups fighting with even numbers, same classes, skills equipment and so on. And, despite this, the game is still balanced after an ideal situation and model that is nowhere what will actually happen in the game. This is why you can balance something mathematically perfect over some spreadsheets but still risk to fuck everything when that system actually enters the real game.

Now the point is, noone likes a game where everyone has one hit point, uses the same weapon and moves in a featureless room. The perfect balance is an illusion, it just brings to the most dull gameplay ever. What is important is to start to design a game so that it is AWARE that there is going to be an unbalance. It's the system itself that must anticipate that one faction WILL BE stronger than the other because at this point it is retarded to assume that everything will be fair and even always. We must design games after the reality, not after the imaginary ideal situation that a dev is thinking and that will never actually happen.

When the mechanics will be "aware" that there is going to be an unbalance, the goals can finally change. Because this is the most important point. The underdog realm CANNOT share the same goals of the bigger one. That's what is unfair and makes the game frustrating. The goals of the *players* must be balanced. This is why the goals of a player playing the underdog MUST DIFFER from the goals of the other player in the bigger faction. This is how we retain a balance between the *players* while we use the unbalance *in the game* as a strength to create new gameplay. This is why in the example above about the 1vs10 the fun was coming from a disparity of goals, not just a disparity of powers or numbers.

Now, concretely, I have my own ideas about how it could be possible to achieve this. But I think we can agree on the fact that:
1- The unbalance can be a source of fun and a strength instead of a terrible plague.
2- The game must be aware of this unbalance and it should be designed after it. So that the underdog has specific patterns to counterattack and its own specific goals to achieve.

Back than (this is a very old idea) I wrote a rather complex idea on the Herald feedback that now I cannot find anymore. But basically it was based on a fixed pool of points that cannot be increased in any way. Nor decreased. These points must be distributed among the keeps owned by the realm so that each point corresponds to one level (the keeps in DAoC can be upgraded till level 10). It's obvious that, since the pool is fixed, if you own many keeps you'll have to spread those points, while if you own only a couple you could consolidate them, making the keep stronger.

The goal here was to exploit the weaknesses of the bigger realm (chatoic zergs, confusion, lack of organization, visibility) so that the smaller realm could consolidate the defence through the points and keep upgrades, while setting a small task forces to infiltrate in the enemy realm to quickly take the weaker keeps (since the bigger realm will have to spread the points among all of them, so keeping the keeps at a very low level and making them easy to conquer. Bigger realm = more vulnerable spots).

Now it's not important to go in the details of the idea or argue about the implementation. The idea itself needs a lot of refinements but what is important is the main goal: set patterns that can be accessible and fun in those occasions when there's the unbalance. Instead of just closing possibilities and force the player to stand there knowing that he is going to lose, the design should OPEN UP possibilities and tactics that can be fun and involving in those situations.

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Reply #170 on: November 03, 2005, 01:15:23 AM

Oh, I found the original idea hidden on a text file. Just to explain better from where the idea was coming and give some concrete substance to what I wrote:

--
This is an idea I proposed more than one year ago when NF was in testing, maybe you could give it a second consideration. The purpose is to improve, some more, the problem of the population unbalance in the RvR.

My heretical idea is that unbalance can be "fun" if it is included as a mechanic. Till today you always tried to remove the unbalance from the RvR. My idea doesn't touch the difference in population between the realms, it doesn't help to make the numbers even. Instead it tries to give this unbalance a role in the gameplay, so that the game itself is "aware" that there's an unbalance and so offer specific rules to provide fun gameplay in those situations.

I believe that being the underdog can be fun. It can be a more rewarding experience than always be on the winning side. My idea is only a way to express these qualities that in this game are choked since the game was planned and designed with the idea that all the three realms are always even.

Today we know that the realms aren't even. So I suggest this idea for a minimal, possible change that would make the gameplay more fun and dynamic for everyone (from my point of view):

--
More than a year ago I also suggested a way to partially solve the unbalance of the population. It was about giving each realm a fixed pool of points that could then be "allocated" in each keep to set a cap to its upgrade level. For example if the fixed pool is set at ten points and you have two keeps, you could decide to put nine points on one keep and just one point to the other. The first keep could then be upgraded to level 9, while the second only to level 1. Or allocate the points uniformly, so five for keeps, and have both at level 5.

This mechanic could help a lot the underdog realm because the stronger realm owning many keeps will be forced to distribute the points between all the keeps, so exposing many weak points (more keeps = less points for each = lower cap for the upgrade). At the same time the underdog realm would have less keep under its control and could focus all its points to just a few keeps to make them stronger and resist the assault.

The basic idea is: the more you expand, the more you expose weak points to the enemy realms, the more you retreat the more you can consolidate your defences and resist the assault.

The system is supposed to balance itself dynamically no matter of the situation and give the underdog realm always a possibility to counterattack (considering the weaker points of the stronger realm).

--
The implementation could be varied. For example you could set the fixed pool at 50 points. So that each realm can have its own standard keeps all at the level 10 cap as it is right now and require to distribute the points only when the realm expands beyond its territory.

Or you could set the pool to an even lower value to add more tactics and dynamism in the distribution of the points.

That's just the formal idea, it could then be integrated and expanded with other mechanics once it has been tested and it seems to have a positive and worthwhile effect. For example these fixed points could become solid objects that the players need to "physically" transport from keep to keep. Joining the mechanic with the caravans that I believe were implemented along the RvR missions.

At some point you could also change the mechanic of the "lord" in a way resembling "The Settlers" game. The lord could spawn at one of the keeps already under the control of a realm and then requiring to be escorted through the zone till the enemy keep before being able to get it under his control. Adding more dynamic situations to the conquest and the sieges.

There are many possibilities. The limit is just about what you can imagine.

Please notice that my formal idea doesn't overlap, contradict or replace any of the rules already in the game. It just sets a dynamic cap to the maximum level of the upgrade on a keep. Requiring the players to distribuite those points between the keeps and decide which should be privileged and which shouldn't. Making strategic choices and opening up possibilities for the underdog.

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Reply #171 on: November 03, 2005, 01:22:51 AM

I've heard there's a server now with periodic resets, but then after a while I'd imagine the game world would start to feel like Groundhog Day.

Explaining. I got lost in the stream of thoughts and forgot to write the context of my idea above about the "unbalance is fun".

My point was that these worlds should *never* reset and restart. The reason is that the reset itself can be the most fun moment. When the losing side tries to counterattack to regain what it lost. Cutting this possible gameplay out and just making the server reset automatically is like wasting what could be the very first source of fun. An automatic reset cuts out the fun instead of adding it. The best of the game just goes away.

This is why I went on with my ideas on the unbalance. Highly unbalanced situations where you are losing everything are the very natural potential of a PvP environment, imho.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2005, 01:24:22 AM by HRose »

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Reply #172 on: November 03, 2005, 01:30:52 AM

While I absolutely agree that it's a blast when the underdog rises up and destroys the existing reign (Hib/Nimue of '02 I believe, we had just lost our last relic to Midgard, held a meeting of the major guilds, and we all agreed "We have nothing to lose anymore, let's just pound on them non-stop for as long as we can", two-three weeks of nonstop attacks later, Midgard was destroyed) more often it ends in so many defeats for the underdog that people on that side just stop wanting to try.

The game can only do so much to help out the underdog before player actions lose their influence.

So yeah, being the underdog is fun- when you can do something about it.  When you're going out every night with 1/3 to 1/4 the size of an army that your enemies are mustering, though, it's only so long before even the most hardcore start asking "Why am I even going out and giving them free points?"  Those times are most definitely not fun.

So.  How do fix plz?

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Reply #173 on: November 03, 2005, 02:02:22 AM

While I absolutely agree that it's a blast when the underdog rises up and destroys the existing reign (Hib/Nimue of '02 I believe, we had just lost our last relic to Midgard, held a meeting of the major guilds, and we all agreed "We have nothing to lose anymore, let's just pound on them non-stop for as long as we can", two-three weeks of nonstop attacks later, Midgard was destroyed) more often it ends in so many defeats for the underdog that people on that side just stop wanting to try.

The game can only do so much to help out the underdog before player actions lose their influence.

So yeah, being the underdog is fun- when you can do something about it.  When you're going out every night with 1/3 to 1/4 the size of an army that your enemies are mustering, though, it's only so long before even the most hardcore start asking "Why am I even going out and giving them free points?"  Those times are most definitely not fun.
I never said that being the underdog is fun *right now*. Because it isn't. What I said is that it *could* be fun if the design adapts to a different model and offers gameplay in those situations instead of just frustrating the players and destinate them to be farmed over and over and over in a hopeless situation.

Here you simply say: right now being the underdog isn't fun because you cannot do something about it. And that's the point in fact. It isn't fun as a result of the rules.

This is why I proposed a change. The change itself isn't important. What is important is to recognize that potential and that goal. Then the possible implementations to achieve those goals may vary. We can discuss those once we agree on the premises and I'm sure there are many better ideas than the one I suggested above about DAoC.

The fundamental point is in what you wrote: "So yeah, being the underdog is fun- when you can do something about it."

1- Being the underdog can be a source of fun instead of a problem to eradicate
2- We need to find ways so that "you can do something about it". Which translates to: offer specific, fun gameplay in those situations.

I think this would be a huge leap forward if we can agree on those points. Because right now all the work has been put trying to *eliminate* the unbalance instead of turning it into a source of gameplay. Or not?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2005, 02:07:46 AM by HRose »

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Reply #174 on: November 03, 2005, 07:30:34 AM

A few brief points...

1.  Lum is correct that artifacts in DAOC offer a substantial bonus for any realm holding all of them.  However players do not seem excited by these bonuses, and top-end battles are more determined by organization than by such bonuses (trained 8v8 gank group will beat random pickup groups 100% of the time, whether or not the pickup people have a 20% bonus)
2.  The new "Title" system seems popular, giving a meaningless prestige boost for those who thrive in RvR.  Seems to be a hit, and has no impact on RvR balance.  More such prestige options would be nice.  Let me make a trophy of the head of any RR11 player I kill :P
3.  DAOC needs more reasons for players to visit Frontier zones.  Why not make certain rare crafting resources only available in these zones, and implement a limited economic warfare system for controlling these resources?  How about a wandering dragon that drops incredible loot, and can be killed by all 3 realms?
4.  Many have mentioned that DAOC suffers from problems with population imbalance, with some realms massively overpopulated.  Why not take a SimCity approach, and have disasters befall the overpop realms?  Earthquakes, monster invasions, whatever...  This would also help cultivate realm spirit, as people would have to work together to overcome their peril.  And it would distract some of the zerg from RvR, evening out the numbers a bit in Emain.
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