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Author Topic: Brad McQuaid pontificates on instancing  (Read 8907 times)
Trippy
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on: November 30, 2005, 08:18:10 AM

As seen on Slashdot:

Brad McQuaid pontificates on instancing

Edit: fixed typo in title
« Last Edit: November 30, 2005, 08:28:25 AM by Trippy »
SuperPopTart
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Reply #1 on: November 30, 2005, 08:26:17 AM

I just really think he's running scared.

Not much more to say than that.

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Signe
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Reply #2 on: November 30, 2005, 10:01:41 AM

It was too long!  I was only able to read to "d" before my eyes gave out!  Did he say anything about me?

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Nebu
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Reply #3 on: November 30, 2005, 10:42:07 AM

Nothing says "virtual world" quite like zoning into your favorite dungeon and spamming "CAMP CHECK!" for an hour.

MMOG's benefit from instancing in far too many ways to focus on the negative.

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

-  Mark Twain
Margalis
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Reply #4 on: November 30, 2005, 11:18:22 AM

Is his game ever actually coming out? There seems to have been no visible progress made on it.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Alkiera
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Reply #5 on: November 30, 2005, 11:38:28 AM

Is his game ever actually coming out? There seems to have been no visible progress made on it.

I think they're still balancing different tools for debuffing trees for harvest.

Alkiera

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Welcome to the internet. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used as evidence against you in a character assassination on Slashdot.
Pococurante
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Reply #6 on: November 30, 2005, 11:59:21 AM

Ok here's what I came away with:

Quote
1) Build for retention
2) Grind is needed for retention
3) PvPrs are anti-grindy
4) WoW was an interesting business phenomenom but it's too early to say it disproves (1) and (2) and definitely not (3).  Besides I wish *I* had a $75m budget.
5) We don't like ground hog day but don't have a clue how else to address it except using this thing called instancing which just makes me all antsy inside
6) If we can't add content let's encourage Alt-oholism!! Groundhog day FTW!

I disagree on everything except that Alt-oholism is fun to me. (but I'd like content and different content paths by race/class!)  But then I'm not his targeted demographic.
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Reply #7 on: November 30, 2005, 12:31:35 PM

I refuse to take anything he says seriously.

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Merusk
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Reply #8 on: November 30, 2005, 01:00:13 PM

I can't even read the shit he spews forth anymore.  It makes me nauseous and furious at the same time, the same way sb.exe throws Haemish into a rage.  I can't even comment beyond this because I just can't fathom why people beyond the catassers and poopsockers listen to him. 

Is his game ever actually coming out? There seems to have been no visible progress made on it.

I've wondered the same thing.  I'd thought it was supposed to be out in 2006, but without even a hint of a beta, who knows. So far the only information that's updated is the website and the faq, which is just more of, "How McQuaid Says to do things, and why 3 million customers are completly wrong!"  The FAQ still says 2006 but no quarter.

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tazelbain
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Reply #9 on: November 30, 2005, 01:03:16 PM

> Brad McQuaid is the MMO Jesus!
He is the MMO P. T.  Barnum.

"Me am play gods"
Furiously
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Reply #10 on: November 30, 2005, 01:39:54 PM

I liked the part where he called Raph anal retentive.

Margalis
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Reply #11 on: November 30, 2005, 01:55:46 PM

You know how in high school you have to write essays like "Was Naploean really a great leader or was he just in the right place at the right time?" Well, we're going to find out here. My guess is that EQ1 was very mugh right place right time and will not be even close to repeatable.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
HaemishM
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Reply #12 on: November 30, 2005, 02:46:37 PM

I tried reading it but it was way too long, because I knew exactly what he was going to say. Instancing is bad, grind is good, EQ was the bombiest until Vanguard.

Hey Brad, there's a catass guild over here wanting to induct you in as an honorary member. Why don't you go do that and shut the fuck up while the grownups talk?

Soln
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Reply #13 on: November 30, 2005, 03:53:24 PM

yeah I tried reading most of that this morning.  My impressions is that for someone who's a Creative Director or Exec Producer / Visionary with an incomplete title he's got a hell of a lot of time on his hands to write that.  Focus focus....
SuperPopTart
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Reply #14 on: November 30, 2005, 05:02:25 PM

I kept having visions of Jerry McGuire and his "Mission Statement".

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Xilren's Twin
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Reply #15 on: November 30, 2005, 05:16:54 PM

Wow that was painful (much like WoW was painful to Brad /pun)

Couple of things that just leapt out at me;
1.  His writing style takes himself way too seriously, or he's trying to be funny and failing miserably..

Quote
Advantages, Disadvantages, and an Analysis and Commentary of its use to varying degrees in all the online games people like to call MMOGs
By Aradune Mithara
Let’s start at the beginning – it is, after all, usually a good place to start

/eyeroll

Quote
Now, for me, and only speaking for me, entitlement to content doesn’t equate to a sense of accomplishment and what creates pride deep within. But that’s just me

Well at least he recognizes he's alone in this; oh wait, he was being cute again.  He honestly thinks that sense of accomplishment is why most people play these games.  Fun?  Never heard of it...

Quote
5. Stickiness. Retention. By eliminating or severely reducing competition, player advancement accelerates – access to items that help you advance your player are not limited by other players seeking them as well, either legitimately or by griefing. By making items easier to get, human nature dictates that at least a lot (most?) of people will find they value these items less, that their sense of accomplishment and attachment to a virtual character or item is diminished. People tend to value things they had to work for more than things they obtained more easily, or for no real effort. Yes, even in a game that’s purpose is to entertain – that doesn’t get you out of having to deal with and acknowledge (and if possible, even harness) human nature. And you can like or dislike this aspect of human nature, but I submit it’s not going away any time soon (see Lenin, Stalin, and other’s attempts at truly changing what makes us tick – not so successful, to say the least). What you can choose, however, and with more choices every day, is which MMOG you want to play relative to how much it fights against or, on the other hand, embraces human nature

There's that damn "hard games may not be fun, but people value that pain!" mentality again.

On WoW we get this.

Quote
it’s plainly obvious that Blizzard’s focus is on box sales first, as well as many if not most of the principles above. That said, though I don’t believe truly accurate domestic retention numbers have been released, the game does appear to have more retention than initial naysayer’s (myself included) asserted it would  This is a pleasant surprise, really. Now if they get close to or match EQ’s numbers over 5+ years, many of us, myself included, will have to go back and reconsider some holy cows. But only time will tell, though I think we’ll be seeing some significant churn, and that is NO criticism of the game (although most certainly other MMOG developers should take advantage of that churn).

Wait wait wait; so if blizzard makes more gross revenue by getting 2 million+ people to sub for an average of  say 1 year as opposed to EQ1 getting ~300,000 people to sub for 5 years...WoW is the loser?  As a business which would you rather have: more money sooner, or a smaller trickle over time?

Which is somewhat beside the point anyway; does he really think the mmorpg market is looking for 3+ years average retention anymore?

Quote
I’ve seen people post that they’d rather camp in one spot for hours than do the same instance 20 times in a row. Now, this is anecdotal, to be sure, but when you think about it, it sort of does make sense and should certainly be considered.

Um, who are these insane people.  Both options suck and scream "not enough interesting content".

This section sums up his point of view nicely...
Quote
And so who are these guys? What kind of game developer wants to make this variant of online game? Well, at the risk of sounding critical, and I’m really not trying to be, they are mostly people who got into online gaming very early, in the old pay by the hour days, working on commercial games (not MUDs) and what attracts them to online isn’t necessarily what attracts the conventional or modern MMOG player. There’s not necessarily a yearning for a vast, shared, persistent virtual world, a complex economy, or any other cool or esoteric Kosterian theory or mechanic. No, that’s not necessarily what they’re looking for; rather, they just want to play with some people, a smaller group, and to have fun, likely in a more linear or scripted manner… they want to play D&D or an old school single player RPG, but with their friends. And they want it to last. (And then there are those who claim to want it all, to have their cake and eat it too – not sure what to say to that crowd). And there’s nothing wrong with all of this, outside of, IMHO, three things:

1. They keep calling themselves, marketing themselves, as Massively Multiplayer Games, which I think is misleading to the consumer.

2. They have some very serious design hurdles to overcome in order to create the amount of varied and interesting and preferably not-repeatable content I think they’re looking for.

3. And lastly, and this is a small subset of them, but it seems like the more vocal proponents of this sort of online game often times actively resent traditional MMOGs and their players – ‘catasses’ is what they call us..

Note the "us".

Quote
WoW is great but not sticky enough for me – I need more character advancement and a slower pace to really take pride in my accomplishments. But then I’m clearly in the minority too.

More advancement that 60 levels and a slower pace.  God help me if I ever even consider another one of this man's games...

At any rate, at least he's upfront with his beliefs.  Enough to help steer people to/from his games.

The major question that I would love to know, since he referred to it numerous times, is what budget he has for Vanguard and what target playerbase size he is is trying to get.

Xilren


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dusematic
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Reply #16 on: November 30, 2005, 05:26:03 PM

He said he would be happy with 500k.  I'm going to give this game a shot.  I think it has potential.  Although, realistically, Conan has a better shot at being fun.
Margalis
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Reply #17 on: November 30, 2005, 06:31:09 PM

It certainly is true that you value things more if you have to work hard for them. That's why arcade machines on free play mode or games with infinite continues that let you pick up right where you left off are lame.

But, the difference is that an arcade game on free play mode is over to fast but it's fun while you play. Grinds in MMORPG are not fun while you play. It is cool to accomplish something major that you can value, but it's also cool if the journey there was actually fun. At some point you have to ask yourself "why have I been standing in the same spot for 5 hours in a row beating on the same enemies over and over?"

The thing is, hard and fun are *not* mutually exclusive! That is the sad thing here. You can make it very difficult to achieve certain milestones, and you can make it take a long time as well - that's fine as long as the journey is enjoyable.

The problem is not that MMORPGS are too slow or take too much time - the problem is that too much of that time is wasted and too much of what you do is repetitive. You kill a couple mobs, maybe they have some interesting tactics and abilities (although probably not) but when you've figured out how to fight them you've only killed 10% of what you need to move on to more content.

It's like take any old game like say Final Fight, make each level 10 times as long by just repeating it 10 times in a row, now call it hard and rewarding. It's not hard or rewarding - it's just a silly, frustrating waste of time. In most game reviews a game getting repetitive is a negative thing - MMORPGs are all about mindless repetition.

I would be all for a game that was really hard and took a very long time to reach max level, as long as it was fun along the way. (I really don't care what level I'm at, if I'm having fun I'm having fun)

A good question to ask if, if players could skip over some stuff would they? If they could kill goblins for 1 hour instead of 10 hours to raise a level would they do that? If the answer is yes you have problems.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Trippy
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Reply #18 on: November 30, 2005, 10:17:25 PM

Is his game ever actually coming out? There seems to have been no visible progress made on it.
Here's a description of the beta combat mechanics from a beta tester.

Margalis
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Reply #19 on: November 30, 2005, 10:41:15 PM

Hmm..let me come up with a contrived, hypothetical example to see if I understand what that description was.

I am playing a game called "FFXI." I am a monk, with a special called "tackle." Tackle does low damage but can knock enemies out of attacks. If I am fighting a "Goblin", I see the Goblin pull out a "bomb" and my screen says "Goblin readies bomb" I can tackle and prevent the bomb from firing.

That sounds like an awesome, truly revolutionary system. It's amazing nobody thought of that before!

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Viin
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Reply #20 on: November 30, 2005, 10:43:00 PM

But it's the first time an MMO has done it! Because, as you know, all MMOs are designed in a vacuum!

- Viin
Margalis
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Reply #21 on: November 30, 2005, 11:40:18 PM

It's like those NBC rerun commercials: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you!"

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
shiznitz
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Reply #22 on: December 01, 2005, 10:09:40 AM

I must thatnk Xilren for his summary because there is no goddamn way I am reading that monster spewing of patting-oneself-on-the-back. Someone should do a word search for "fun" and see if it ever showed up in the piece.

I have never played WoW.
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Reply #23 on: December 01, 2005, 10:44:15 AM

In other news, it seems Lum stole Sanya's job and is getting hit for it. A lot. Also he doesn't like pain. Wuss.
HaemishM
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Reply #24 on: December 02, 2005, 01:20:38 PM

Quote
5. Stickiness. Retention. By eliminating or severely reducing competition, player advancement accelerates – access to items that help you advance your player are not limited by other players seeking them as well, either legitimately or by griefing. By making items easier to get, human nature dictates that at least a lot (most?) of people will find they value these items less, that their sense of accomplishment and attachment to a virtual character or item is diminished. People tend to value things they had to work for more than things they obtained more easily, or for no real effort. Yes, even in a game that’s purpose is to entertain – that doesn’t get you out of having to deal with and acknowledge (and if possible, even harness) human nature. And you can like or dislike this aspect of human nature, but I submit it’s not going away any time soon (see Lenin, Stalin, and other’s attempts at truly changing what makes us tick – not so successful, to say the least). What you can choose, however, and with more choices every day, is which MMOG you want to play relative to how much it fights against or, on the other hand, embraces human nature

Damn. I didn't see that part. If I had, I'd have thrown a rod.

No, Stalin didn't do anything about changing human nature, he wasn't trying to, you useless fucknut. Stalin was about exerting control. Period. And he got damn good at that. Lenin, and for that matter, communism in general, isn't the "robot machine" most people have been taught to think it is. But I guess you'd have to read a fucking book to understand that, you nutmunching twat.

Stick with making Furor's dick feel bigger, Brad. You're better at it than this whole thinking thing.

HaemishM
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Reply #25 on: December 02, 2005, 01:30:20 PM

Is his game ever actually coming out? There seems to have been no visible progress made on it.
Here's a description of the beta combat mechanics from a beta tester.



Wow, that's like nothing I've ever seen!

Except, it's like everything I've ever seen before in MMOG's, thrown together in a mishmash of bleah.

Evangolis
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Reply #26 on: December 03, 2005, 05:01:08 PM

Just in case anyone missed them, here are a couple of other views on this matter:

Raph
Jason Booth

I enjoyed reading all three, but then I had to go lie down until my brain finished digesting.  Once it had, I found I didn't have anything terribly novel to say on the topic.

Frankly, I think that we need to make a dozen of these, including some that fail not because they are insufficiently polished, but because the underlying design ideas are bad.  So far, I think every failure in the field includes a pretty large helping of broken.  Would SB's servers be less empty if the game was not profoundly buggy?  Once we have failures of something other than execution (and I can't call EQ a failure.  What is this, six years and still going?  Same for AC1.  Hell, UO still runs and if it wasn't making money, do you think EA would keep it running a week?), then maybe we can really make some statements about what works based upon something other than hand waving.

And if we make a dozen finished games, and none fail, then I think the world of entertainment will have seen a sea change.  And that is kind of where my money is, I suppose.

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Reply #27 on: December 23, 2005, 10:29:43 AM

When I look back at my enjoyment of mmorpgs and the ones thast I have played, I find they all still come second to EQ.  And that is considering all the crap that I went through dealing with people.  Haemish has a good idea of the amount involved. 

I am looking forward to this game mainly because the team that made it, made the original EQ and that at least makes me think they have a better chance of getting it right again rather than all the others missing getting it right the first time.
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Reply #28 on: December 23, 2005, 11:22:08 AM

When I look back at my enjoyment of mmorpgs and the ones thast I have played, I find they all still come second to EQ.  And that is considering all the crap that I went through dealing with people.  Haemish has a good idea of the amount involved. 

I am looking forward to this game mainly because the team that made it, made the original EQ and that at least makes me think they have a better chance of getting it right again rather than all the others missing getting it right the first time.

Don't take this the wrong way, but EQ busted your MMORPG cherry didn't it?

That is to say, it was your first.  Mine too, and the combination of the newness of the expeirence coupled with the lack of competition enabled me to play EQ for far longer than I would have otherwise.  I look back on it fondly but I also recognized the huge problems with it's design now.  Some things were nice; like the zone designs really made each area different, but most of it's was just painful.  I was just too green to know what was wrong.  Either that or you are hardcore achiever type with too much time on your hands  :-D

Xilren

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Reply #29 on: December 23, 2005, 12:18:20 PM

When I look back at my enjoyment of mmorpgs and the ones thast I have played, I find they all still come second to EQ.  And that is considering all the crap that I went through dealing with people.  Haemish has a good idea of the amount involved. 

I am looking forward to this game mainly because the team that made it, made the original EQ and that at least makes me think they have a better chance of getting it right again rather than all the others missing getting it right the first time.

Belce,

You do realize, the very same crap you dealt with in Everquest will be the very same crap you deal with in Vanguard.

I.E the same people follow us everywhere.

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
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Reply #30 on: December 23, 2005, 02:48:54 PM

I perfer not to prejudge any game, including Vanguard.  It would spoil the fun I'll have post-judging it.

"It was a difficult party" - an unexpected word combination from ex-Merry Prankster and author Robert Stone.
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #31 on: December 28, 2005, 07:49:08 PM

Belce would probably be the first to admit that a lot of what we liked in EQ was the (what we thought at the time) great group of people around us playing it with us. We had fun in spite of the game's flaws, because we had fun people to be around.

Then we found the bitter, hollow pill at the center of the Shitsie Pop, these people turned into lewt-whoring assholes, and the game didn't give us much else to do but whore lewtz.

Vanguard will be different, in that we (or I) won't have the group of people together anymore.

jpark
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Reply #32 on: December 31, 2005, 12:24:36 AM

I perfer not to prejudge any game, including Vanguard.  It would spoil the fun I'll have post-judging it.

Sig!

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
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