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HRose
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on: February 21, 2006, 03:25:18 AM

This is something I was thinking lately, it's a very simple problem but it may be more serious than how it appears.

Till now the repetition of endgame raid instances (but also the repetition in general) has been a strategy to keep a balance between the time needed to produce content and the time the players need to go through it. Since the players go a hell of a lot faster we have the grind as a workaround that allows the devs to "buy time". So the very low drop rates and faction farming.

But let's imagine a scenario where this problem doesn't exist and where the dev teams have become so competent and efficient to be able to push out content at an incredible pace, faster than how the players go through it. The production of content wouldn't be anymore a problem and there wouldn't be anymore the need to artificially "stretch" the gameplay by adding timesinks. You would be able to get your fat loot in a couple of runs, obtaining all there is to obtain without no need for boring repetition.

But wouldn't this just break the game?

The problem is that the biggest is the repetition, the more the players will be unite, since they need to do stuff together: the same stuff. If there's an "infinite" amount of content everyone would be spread on multiple levels, without being able to find "other players" who share the same situation.

How would you be able to build even a small raid group if it would be really hard to find players who share the same goals? If instead of 4-5 instances there are 30 and if you are "done" with them after the first run, how you create a "pool" of players sharing the same goals, and so being able (willingly) to group together and have fun?

If I reduce by 50% the drop rates in a set dungeon like UBRS, I also obtain the players to create 50% more occasions to find themselves together. Again sharing the same situation.

If instead I increase the drop rates by 50%, those players will go 50% less times in that dungeon since they don't need it anymore, making 50% harder to find players available to go there in a casual, improvised raid.

Is there an exit point from this? Putting completely aside the problem of the production of content, how you can create a social PvE game without also the implied grind that unifies the players? Aren't these "walls" required so that the players can find themsleves in the same shit?

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Reply #1 on: February 21, 2006, 03:30:28 AM

I find it hard to believe raids bring people together. Great, 50 people in an instance. Two of which I'll talk to and they're already my friends. The idea of "the raid" is faulty to the core.

I think that's the more important topic here, developers are hung up on bringing people together. If it can be assumed people will play together and not forced through content, will creativity increase in MMORPGs at the developmental level?
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Reply #2 on: February 21, 2006, 06:29:27 AM

Great question. I don't know if it would break the game, but it would certainly break the current heirarchy of players and rearrange things socially. I'm someone who actually likes to play MMPORPGs and I've frequently commented to people asking about "the grind" that "the grind is the game." I think a system with unlimited content would appeal to people like me (even if we'd still never see most of the content). And I think it would make the content the focus of the game rather than the items you get. What I always thought was sad was that by the time I ever got close to any endgame content, it was down to a formula. High end zones flipped from nearly mathematical problems for ubergamers to figure out a scheme to do to that scheme being something your raid leader printed out for when you "ran" the zone. Nobody ever actually enjoyed it as an immersive experience.

COH/V is a good model to an extent with no end game and no high end loot. And you can definitely see a difference in the culture and I think in the positive. However, it's an obscure genre and it's more a lack of endgame than endless endgame. Asheron's Call might be another example, but I never got even close to the higher levels to know either way.

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Reply #3 on: February 21, 2006, 06:58:10 AM

COH/V is a good model to an extent with no end game and no high end loot. And you can definitely see a difference in the culture and I think in the positive. However, it's an obscure genre and it's more a lack of endgame than endless endgame. Asheron's Call might be another example, but I never got even close to the higher levels to know either way.

CoH/CoV doesn't have loot at all. That solves lots of things in the equation. Because there is little that the players feel is mandatory for their progression. The only obtainable item that is worth something in CoH/V is a respec. So except for the respec taskforces, players are pretty relax with their play time. No need to be hardcore, less requirements for others to behave well & be disciplined. This brings up a much more satisfying experience for players who are not hardcore players of the game.

Asheron's Call has quests but they're not the way to obtain either loot or XP. Loot is theorically dropped by any mob/chest indoor or outdoor (with the sufficient loot quality rating). XP is gathered from killing mobs over & over. AC with that system managed to make quests interesting without making them mandatory for progression. Devs gave "recall" skills after some missions as meaningful rewards but those were not mandatory for progression (although arguably very interesting to have to cut down your travel time).

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Reply #4 on: February 21, 2006, 07:39:41 AM

While I liked CoH (and to a lesser extent, CoV), I feel one of the reasons the game isn't popular is because of its lack of loot. People aren't playing to hoard stuff only of course. But people do play to customize their characters. Loot gives them yet another way to do so in addition to level-unlocked abilities and ways to modify those with stat-points. So while its lack of loot does solve one problem, it introduces others.

Quote from: Hrose
But wouldn't this just break the game?
The faster players can get content, the more content they'll want. In a never-ending cycle of consumption (how  the "popular" games are built), I don't foresee a day when developers can outpace the players.

People like goals, goals involve rewards, the most tangible rewards are stuff you can hold (like, items), and that those items you can hold provide short or long term benefits makes them worth even more to the player.

What you're actually asking is how to avoid the intrinsic problems of games built on raw-consumption. To date, attempts to do this have met with some success, but never have gained the popularity they needed for true emulation. But that lack of popularity has been based on things I think can be solved. I think those can be solved:

  • Combat is the most important element if you want popularity. At least right now. Maybe someday it won't be, but anyone who's working on a game today that wants to hit the high hundred-thousands hopefully is focusing on engaging and relevant.
  • Objectives. People want stuff to do, and the majority of them do not want to stand around inventing their own game. That's what they're paying developers to do. Maybe when we all have a Holodeck the dream of player-created content will be accepted en masse. But I'm not holding my breath. Not everyone's a creator.
  • True localization: Don't think pulling a multi-zillion-temporary/forgotten-account game from another country is as easy as changing the language. It's not. Everything from style of play to style of look needs to be assessed (ie, the default EQ2 models weren't going to fly in Asia, so they made new ones that even U.S. players prefer... were we just accepting less?)
  • Low barrier of entry. None of this grind2fun crap. See previous point: it may work in some places, but it's because cultures are different. That's why there's demographics. Use them. Give people clearly defined goals, a clear path to them, and fun along the way. There's a reason why the online gaming market in the U.S. exceeds 50 million people, and that MMORPGs still, even with WoW, only account for 5% of them.
  • Quality: Developers need to know their true limits, not those dictated by ignorant higher-ups who aren't going to play the game nor read the player comments anyway (yet will always come calling, even years later, when print publications give them bad reviews). There should be enough collective wisdom on a team and in a company to somewhat predict true needs of a project, or they wouldn't be handed checks for tens of millions of dollars. Beautiful snowflake design won't sell if nobody can play it.
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Reply #5 on: February 21, 2006, 09:43:43 AM

"Being able to find other players" has nothing to do with "Being forced to associate with shit-dips for hours on end".  You can talk about grouping design or treadmill curve, but not both at the same time.  I only have so much spare brain.

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Reply #6 on: February 21, 2006, 10:10:34 AM

Your implied starting hypothesis: that the only reason raid guilds form is because people find themselves in the same raid instance over and over again, is incorrect.  People form raid guilds because they want the shiny and they can't get it in a group of pubbie motards banging random keys.  Right now you have to hit raid zone A 20 times, then raid zone B 20 times, then raid zone c 20 times, etc.  In your world you do raid zone A once, raid zone B once, raid zone C once, raid zone E once, etc.  What does that have to do with whether or not raid guilds will form?  Nothing.  If anything, it will encourage even tighter raid guilds assuming (a) that the zones represent a loot progression needed to succeed in later zones or (b) that the zones get progressively harder requiring better tactics and tighter organization/discipline/familiarity among the group to complete.

PS: add "motards" to spellcheck prz.

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Reply #7 on: February 21, 2006, 10:36:04 AM

Your implied starting hypothesis: that the only reason raid guilds form is because people find themselves in the same raid instance over and over again, is incorrect.  People form raid guilds because they want the shiny and they can't get it in a group of pubbie motards banging random keys.  Right now you have to hit raid zone A 20 times, then raid zone B 20 times, then raid zone c 20 times, etc.  In your world you do raid zone A once, raid zone B once, raid zone C once, raid zone E once, etc.  What does that have to do with whether or not raid guilds will form?  Nothing.  If anything, it will encourage even tighter raid guilds assuming (a) that the zones represent a loot progression needed to succeed in later zones or (b) that the zones get progressively harder requiring better tactics and tighter organization/discipline/familiarity among the group to complete.

PS: add "motards" to spellcheck prz.

The problem HRose is trying to point out is very valid.

It works nice on paper when no one has done Raid Zone A, so you come in, find a group of 40 people you can live with, then do Raid Zone A, everyone is happy, does Raid Zone B, everyone is happy, etc.

Then you get to Raid Zone G and 4 guys quit because they have children and can't keep up with the guild.  So you start looking for someone who is of an equivilent class to help with Raid Zone G, but you only find people who are on Raid Zone E and Raid Zone R.  So now you either have to get your entire group to go back to Raid Zone E and move from there (something you're already done with, so you all gain nothing by being there) or talk some guy into coming along for a bunch of raid zones he's already done (so in turn, he gains nothing for a long while).

In the meantime, I buy the game after it's been out for 2 years.  I level up and start trying to find a group for Raid Zone A.  But all the guilds in game now are established, and are spread out amongst Raid Zone W and Raid Zone Z.  None will bring me because without having gone through Raid Zone A through V, you can't do Raid Zone W, so the entire guild would have to move back.. thus why would they want me?

Eventually this trend continues to the point where the entire population is spread out amongst the infinite content levels, so no one can do any content at all, because it all requires multiple people to do it.

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Reply #8 on: February 21, 2006, 10:41:43 AM

You also leave off the following Cevik. You play a healer and you play the game with your RL friend who is a warrior. The guild is only looking for healers, and won't accept new warriors as they have too many already.

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Reply #9 on: February 21, 2006, 10:42:46 AM

>The problem is that the biggest is the repetition, the more the players will be unite, since they need to do stuff together: the same stuff. If there's an "infinite" amount of content everyone would be spread on multiple levels, without being able to find "other players" who share the same situation.

I see this problem in EQ2, everyone has an assload of quests in various stages of completion and getting eveyone on the same page becomes a barrier to grouping.

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Reply #10 on: February 21, 2006, 10:49:10 AM

Quote
The problem HRose is trying to point out is very valid.

It works nice on paper when no one has done Raid Zone A, so you come in, find a group of 40 people you can live with, then do Raid Zone A, everyone is happy, does Raid Zone B, everyone is happy, etc.

Then you get to Raid Zone G and 4 guys quit because they have children and can't keep up with the guild.  So you start looking for someone who is of an equivilent class to help with Raid Zone G, but you only find people who are on Raid Zone E and Raid Zone R.  So now you either have to get your entire group to go back to Raid Zone E and move from there (something you're already done with, so you all gain nothing by being there) or talk some guy into coming along for a bunch of raid zones he's already done (so in turn, he gains nothing for a long while).

In the meantime, I buy the game after it's been out for 2 years.  I level up and start trying to find a group for Raid Zone A.  But all the guilds in game now are established, and are spread out amongst Raid Zone W and Raid Zone Z.  None will bring me because without having gone through Raid Zone A through V, you can't do Raid Zone W, so the entire guild would have to move back.. thus why would they want me?

Eventually this trend continues to the point where the entire population is spread out amongst the infinite content levels, so no one can do any content at all, because it all requires multiple people to do it.
A lot of MMORPGs doesn't work like that. Take AO for example, back in the days reaching lvl 200 was hard as hell, now it's done in less than a month. Back in the days killing tarasque required a full well equiped group. Now he's soloable. This isn't because of raid progression, but because the level has been increased. New equipment, not only from raids also contributes.

What do you think will happen when the level cap gets increased in WoW? Nobody knows for sure but I wouldn't be suprised if blue level req 70 gear is comparable to epic level 60 gear. While this is one of the beauties of MMORPGs it's also partly what made me quit WoW. You always know that the stuff you're spending a truckload of time geting will become handouts later on.
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Reply #11 on: February 21, 2006, 11:35:40 AM

Blizzard has said that normal level 65 gear will be better than level 60 Epics. That was months ago, so it could have changed.

Back to the core issue: it's a problem with progressive content. You've got to keep up or be left behind, and therefore accept less access to content. This was a problem in EQ1 as well. People ended up having to join newbie guilds, then advance to intermediate raiding ones, and then jump onto the endgame uber ones.

Group cohesiveness is a better goal though, particularly if you like the people. Best thing here I've found is to ensure the guild doesn't become fixated on any one thing too exclusively. The more they do, the more at risk they are of splintering.

There's no real easy way to design around this problem without removing zone progression altogether. Would that be worth it? Maybe, but the result is a need for even more content anyway to ensure people still have stuff to do and shoot for in a level-capped game.

Quote from: tazelbain
I see this problem in EQ2, everyone has an assload of quests in various stages of completion and getting eveyone on the same page becomes a barrier to grouping.
I generally enter or form groups (outside of Guild ones) based on specific objectives. This helps right away set barriers, and introduce opportunities. If I need to kill 11 guards and someone else needs the boss beyond them, we've got good reason to group.

Forming a group for a zone though, yea, that gets tricky. Chances are that zone has 15 quests, and everyone has a different one.
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Reply #12 on: February 21, 2006, 11:52:31 AM

The mid-day beer says:

What if the "loot" was an odometer?  Hell, several odometers... dozens even.  Many existing games (not necessarily MMO) can be used as an example here.  Instead of your reward being a sword, it could be "Defeated Creature 'We Todd Did' 3 times".  Tracking stats should give adequate e-penis to the flagwavers while simultaneously having zero impact on character ability; these stats will have to be publicly viewable, both in-game and perhaps on the official web site (which would naturally be available during game downtime).  If you really want to get crazy and put in character advancement, you might look at CoH or EVE depending on how crazy you want to be.  For something truly wacky, you can hand out "badges" for accomplishments (see Ratchet & Clank Skill Point system, and others)... I'm thinking basic badges for "killed 500 orcs", notable badges for "consecutively killing 25 skeletons while wearing cloth armor or lower", achiever badges for "solo-killing fifteen Elite Gnoll Archers in Splitpaw Dungeon", and You Are A Fucking Catass badges for "Surviving More Than Eight (8) Hours in Zone: 'Worse Than Hate'".  These badges would not confer any special abilities to the playable character, rather they would be only for e-penis, both in-game and on any offical forums that are unfortunate enough to exist.  This would allow me to play the game without caring if I had the "Tigole Bitties Junior" badge if I choose, since it has no real impact on my character.

Fuck, you could make Postcount appear in-game.  I predict "hoody-hoo" over that one.

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Reply #13 on: February 21, 2006, 12:03:22 PM

Players need a way to customize their characters. Much of what you say is built into the titles one can have in EQ2, and the badges of SWG. They're ok, adding flavor to the character. But players want ability upgrades, things they can look back on months down the road and say shit like "I used to be scared of those, now I AOE them for fun!".

Kinda like visiting Crushbone in EQ1 every ten levels starting with 25 just to crush the inevitable trains and occasional Emperor for shits and giggles. It's cathartic and fun, but shows a sense of progress over time.

And more importantly, you can share this with people you know or just met.

This is one reason I think CoH got it only mostly right. There's not enough to brag about in CoH :) Seriously, on the surface, there isn't a huge difference between characters. Oh yes, the looks are different (which is why costume balls are so big). But actual abilities? Standard-faire stuff there, with the only way to upgrade based on enhancements and the occasional goodie. Not enough ways to players to personalize their ability set.

Arguably, there isn't many more ways to do it in other games either, but because those abilities are often tied to items which are often tied to quests or group-required encounters, they take longer to get, and are liked a bit more for the effort.

Maybe.
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Reply #14 on: February 21, 2006, 12:07:13 PM

This would allow me to play the game without caring if I had the "Tigole Bitties Junior" badge if I choose, since it has no real impact on my character.

That's exactly what most current raiders would think too. It's not about the epeen. It's about the power and the epeen. It's a symbiotic relationship.
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Reply #15 on: February 21, 2006, 12:26:32 PM

Well, I typed out something pretty long and then realized that opinions are just that.

Let's just say that there is more than one problem with raid content. For starters, isn't it bass-ackwards that you spend 20 days /played in a game to get to the point where you have to find 39 other people to 'advance'? Hey you spent your time making your hero just to get to a point where, by design and necessity, you need 39 other heroes just to accomplish any goal. How heroic.

Infinite content is a nice idea, but it would work better in a Diablo2-ish package. 64 players, as much as current FPS games. Editor that the players can use. A small staff of actual professionals that will keep new content coming down the pipe. Basically Guildwars done correct, without the retarded skill/combat systems. Make a nice interface on the game's website so you have a 'adventure search'. We've got 7 people, 0 people can heal, and we want to spend between 1 and 2 hours playing. SEARCH.

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Reply #16 on: February 21, 2006, 12:46:41 PM

>retarded skill/combat systems.
By retarded, you mean best ever, hands down?

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Reply #17 on: February 21, 2006, 01:38:15 PM

Hmm...

Been doing a lot of thinking about this lately.  Mainly because I am nearing my Raid Time with WOW.  I really enjoy Alterac Valley.  Would something along this line not work as a Raid zone?  Make gear dependant on faction, not some random drop.  One thing I was and to this day am disappointed with Blizzard over is the fact WOW went the EQ route of itemization instead of Diabloesque.  Itemization currently has a power curve that is equated to the power curve of the DIKU player, though in many ways the balance dance gets way out of whack with the item side.  Now if X dev builds an item to help with Class Y's balance, but is usable by Class Z in a way that further pushes the envelope on Class Z's power... blah blah blah.

I like WOW more than perhaps any MMORG, though I really like COH/V due to the solo ability.  I play games because I enjoy the mental release they provide, and the fact that I find myself working with barely brain active monkeys durring the day doesn't mean I want to spend the time away from work being forced to interact with the same brain dead monkeys.  When I group, I generally only group with people I know.  Now, going back to the Alterac Valley point above, the fact fifty monkeys are on each side with at least some similar focus does not mean those fifty have to be the cream of the crop.  Hell, that raid content is against another set of fifty monkeys.  I still don't know why Blizzard is limiting that respective pool to just one server set.  Alterac Valley could be open to any of the hosted server set without impact on the rest of those servers... at least no impact that I can see.

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Reply #18 on: February 21, 2006, 01:39:44 PM

Hmm...

Been doing a lot of thinking about this lately.  Mainly because I am nearing my Raid Time with WOW.  I really enjoy Alterac Valley.  Would something along this line not work as a Raid zone?  Make gear dependant on faction, not some random drop.

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Reply #19 on: February 21, 2006, 01:43:40 PM

>retarded skill/combat systems.
By retarded, you mean best ever, hands down?

No - he means it was a bad system. I'd be inclinded to agree it wasn't very good.

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Reply #20 on: February 21, 2006, 01:46:33 PM

I think Hrose is assuming people will keep doing the dungeon until they get every single little piece of armor or whatever. I know I won't.

Idea: If you have more content like you said, without the timesinks, you need a way to have mroe people in contact to do those instances. How about just combining more servers?

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Reply #21 on: February 21, 2006, 02:38:36 PM

Quote from: Sky
For starters, isn't it bass-ackwards that you spend 20 days /played in a game to get to the point where you have to find 39 other people to 'advance'?
What "advancement" is left in WoW once 60 is hit? Equipment? For what? The entire endgame of WoW is simply about getting better equipment. You fight for it, and then you use it to become better at fighting for it. And it needs the 39 other people or there wouldn't even be that. It's a stopgap between content updates, fun for a bunch of people, which is good, but in no way for the casual/faint-of-time.

Quote from: strazos
Idea: If you have more content like you said, without the timesinks, you need a way to have mroe people in contact to do those instances. How about just combining more servers?
We're living the hell of this right now in EQ2. Server combines work if you have good population management (EQ2's "instancing" is mostly about server load balancing... most stuff you'd think should be instanced is still public-space).

Again, people in general don't rabidly hate other people. Nobody picks up a game box that reads "Massively Multiplayer Online" and says "oh goody, a vast world in which I can be totally alone". There's a certain amount of acceptance the moment the patching is started.

People just don't want to be forced to grouping all the time or whenever the game dictates it. People need the freedom to do this themselves.

And no, these people are not crying at night about not being able to get their T3/7 crap. They're playing to have fun, advance, and eventually leave for another game or out of the genre. I find the biggest complaints to be those on the cusp of hardcore but who are fighting against the realities the real world is handing them.
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Reply #22 on: February 21, 2006, 03:01:33 PM

No - he means it was a bad system. I'd be inclined to agree it wasn't very good.
Thanks for clearing that up. rolleyes
« Last Edit: February 21, 2006, 07:16:15 PM by tazelbain »

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Reply #23 on: February 21, 2006, 07:08:02 PM

Good point.

Now in games many people can't play together much because they are at different levels. When they hit "end game" they can again because they are all at max level and all have the same basic options for activities.

Producing content forever is nto a realisitc scenario anyway. People will consume faster than produce, always.

The problems with raid content are this:

1: Some people don't like raid content.
2: For people who don't like raid content, their are either no other choices or those other choices require raiding. (IE WoW PVP)

2 is especially annoying because you can have the illusion of choice without actual choice. In WoW you can't really choose to PvP and not raid - you must do both.

I've said this before and I'll say it again - FFXI has about 7 or 8 different end-game activities that appeal to different people.

A level capped PvP with a second PvP system on the way, level capped monster fights, super hard missions/quests, aliiances (large groups), etc. If you don't like raiding (alliances) there are a bunch of other things you can do. You still have to choose, but you can choose from a bunch of distinct real options.

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Reply #24 on: February 21, 2006, 07:19:23 PM

That's why I preferred what SWG tried to do. It had RPG trappings, but you didn't have to raid if you didn't want to. You could even just do combat to support resource sales (organic, tapes, etc.)

Of course, I emphasize "tried". UO did it better for a time.
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Reply #25 on: February 21, 2006, 08:16:13 PM

COH/V is a good model to an extent with no end game and no high end loot. And you can definitely see a difference in the culture and I think in the positive. However, it's an obscure genre and it's more a lack of endgame than endless endgame. Asheron's Call might be another example, but I never got even close to the higher levels to know either way.
CoH/CoV doesn't have loot at all. That solves lots of things in the equation. Because there is little that the players feel is mandatory for their progression. The only obtainable item that is worth something in CoH/V is a respec. So except for the respec taskforces, players are pretty relax with their play time. No need to be hardcore, less requirements for others to behave well & be disciplined. This brings up a much more satisfying experience for players who are not hardcore players of the game.
CoH/CoV does have loot. CoH has Hamidon Enhancements (used to be uber-powerful Enhancements until they got smacked big time by the Nerf bat) and both games have salvage, used to build base items, though those are just random drops so it's not like you camp mobs to get them.
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Reply #26 on: February 21, 2006, 11:16:54 PM

Now in games many people can't play together much because they are at different levels. When they hit "end game" they can again because they are all at max level and all have the same basic options for activities.

Well, this isn't very true. If I started up a character now and hit 60 in WoW in 20 days I wouldn't be at the max level. I mean, I'd be 60, but there are other "level 60" people who are 5x more powerful than my new character.

I'd have to camp some fuckiing shithole for 6 months with 39 other faggots before I'd be "max level".

When I hit 60 early on in WoW, my best friend from high school started up. By the time he hit 60, a month or so later, and wanted to do UBRS and Scholo, that was the last thing that I wanted to do. Even for a person I've known for decades. Random people don't have a chance.

It takes a special person, special DURRRRRR or SPECIAL special that's got 5-6 purple items to run with a group of strangers through UBRS. Or get attuned for MC.

One guy I know through IRC (I have screenshots of me killing him in UO beta, old 'enemy' I guess) started just 3 weeks behind his clan and he tried for a week to get people to help him get attuned. These are people that he's been gaming with since UO.

He quit in frustration because everyone was busy chasing the shiny and nobody wanted to help kill dragons.

ANYWAYS, tangents. Further tangent, it'll be sad to see all the level 60 raid content go 100% wasted as soon as the expansion comes out and the shiny is pushed 10 or 15 levels further. You'll see people botting in Azshara instead of doing Stratholme.
Margalis
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Reply #27 on: February 22, 2006, 02:13:39 AM

What you say is true to some degree.

In most games grouping more than 3 or 4 levels spread doesn't work so well. Let's be generous and divide WoW into 5 level spreads. There are 12. By that I mean, people level 1-5 can group together, 6-10, etc.

At any given time while levelling you can group with 1/12th of the populating. If you say the spread is only 4 levels then that becomes 1/15, etc etc.

At end game I don't think there are 12 different raids people do. At end game you can't raid with 100% of level 60 people but 25% maybe? I don't know enough about WoW raiding to know for sure.

But your basic point that progressing through raid difficulty isn't really different from progressing through levels is a valid one.

However I do see this as a problem specific to WoW to some degree, in part because the end game is really only raiding and even PvP requires raid gear.

I already mentioned that in FFXI there are a bunch of things you can do end-game, but here is another important point: In FFXI you can buy really really good gear, it isn't bind on pickup This means that instead of raiding for great items you can farm and then buy them.

There also isn't a standard progression of easy->medium->hard difficulty or a system where you have to beat one raid to have access to the next. In FFXI the best analogy is the COP missions, where you have to do them in order and it's hard to find people doing the same mission as you. In general COP (expansion) was not popular and most people estimate that only about 10% of North American players have beaten it!

It's really a WoW problem though, not a systemic problem. It can be done right, or at least much better.

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dEOS
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Reply #28 on: February 22, 2006, 04:43:01 AM

CoH/CoV doesn't have loot at all.
CoH/CoV does have loot. CoH has Hamidon Enhancements (used to be uber-powerful Enhancements until they got smacked big time by the Nerf bat) and both games have salvage, used to build base items, though those are just random drops so it's not like you camp mobs to get them.

Correct. I should have said: CoH/CoV doesn't have loot you want to acquire.
HamiO were nerfed because they were against the vision of "no desirable loot" or basically they were overpowering and a break in the controlled combat paradigm.
Salvage could have potential to be a great dynamic enticing people to go hunt in certain zones for the special salvage obtained there -and thus potentially reviving dead zones- and start a trade economy. The sad thing is that there is not really any need today to gather salvage. Bases are a semi-failure in my view.


CoH - Freedom
WoW - EU Servers - Sargeras [French-PvP]
CadetUmfer
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Reply #29 on: February 22, 2006, 07:53:04 AM

The whole concept of loot and raids and hard-coded quests is so contrived...surely a more organic system can be effectively implemented?

I'll get back to you in 10 years.

Anthony Umfer
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HaemishM
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Reply #30 on: February 22, 2006, 10:25:54 AM

Well, this isn't very true. If I started up a character now and hit 60 in WoW in 20 days I wouldn't be at the max level. I mean, I'd be 60, but there are other "level 60" people who are 5x more powerful than my new character.

I'd have to camp some fuckiing shithole for 6 months with 39 other faggots before I'd be "max level".

I like your ideas and would be interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

Ironwood
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Reply #31 on: February 22, 2006, 10:49:06 AM


When I hit 60 early on in WoW, my best friend from high school started up. By the time he hit 60, a month or so later, and wanted to do UBRS and Scholo, that was the last thing that I wanted to do. Even for a person I've known for decades. Random people don't have a chance.

One guy I know through IRC (I have screenshots of me killing him in UO beta, old 'enemy' I guess) started just 3 weeks behind his clan and he tried for a week to get people to help him get attuned. These are people that he's been gaming with since UO.

He quit in frustration because everyone was busy chasing the shiny and nobody wanted to help kill dragons.

If I can just say in all seriousness :  You either need to look up, or get, a new definition of the word 'friend'.

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Reply #32 on: February 22, 2006, 11:56:43 AM

I understand the frustration of the early player constantly getting beat on to help lower levels. In my guild, I think I hit 60 roughly a week or so after the bulk of players. We're not huge, we're very help-oriented, and we did a good job of moving people along that were behind us. For the first year. Now I'm over a year into the game as a level 60, and we still have new people asking for the same shit I've run 50 times with zero gain other than building them up. We also have a few youngens who are a special brand of selfish that ask for the 60s to powerlevel them through everything. Not just instances, non-elite quests too. Because it's "faster". I told the last kid that asked me that to take a real hard look at what he was asking for. I said basically you are saying, hey, my time is way more valuable than your time, please get your ass out here and get me to 60 because I've got things to do, chop chop.

He didn't get it. So, I just told him to go ask his dad to hit him for me.

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Hoax
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Reply #33 on: February 22, 2006, 11:59:54 AM

Quote
If I can just say in all seriousness :  You either need to look up, or get, a new definition of the word 'friend'.

Bullshit that happens to almost everyone.

There is a reason RL friends often end up in different guilds from eachother.

In the Diku clones, different play-styles can barely interact with each other.  If one friend is playing his first MMO and catass'ing to the extreme he will leave the other guys in his dust and they will not be able to do content he can.  Meanwhile your saying he's a shitty friend if he doesn't want to go repeat content he already repeated 100 times to get where he is now?

Bullshit.

The system sucks, it stops people from playing with the people they want to play with.

Sure, f13'ers are starting to reach a level of MMO-maturity that they know how to avoid this, look at the EQ2 guys.  The people who play tons spread their playtime over 2-5 characters while those who are ultra casual just level one.  Meanwhile there is the whole sidekick/exemplar/whatever system so that they can make more efforts to play together.

In EvE, we dont have as many of these stupid problems.

a) offline training means there is no required /played to access content.
b) EvE lends itself well to solo + chat play.
c) The different playstyles fit together nicely, in WoW a crafter is off in stupid zones hitting up resource nodes and a pvper will never see him.  In EvE the crafter wants the combat characters around to cover them while they mine.  The industrial players are the ones that make the corp strong, combat characters provide BPO's (when we can afford them) for items we repeatedly need for war.

But for people who are just getting into MMO's they almost invariably will have a hard time playing with the people they originally set out to play with, just too many things that are setup to divide the population into sub-groups.  Raiding is not the only culprit but it is by far and away the worst.

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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Nija
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Reply #34 on: February 22, 2006, 12:46:58 PM

If I can just say in all seriousness :  You either need to look up, or get, a new definition of the word 'friend'.

Well, man, you can only do so much. I ran probably 20 people through Wailing Caverns to get the Crescent staff, because that's the best weapon for about 15 levels. (might be wrong now)

I helped about a dozen or so warriors do the level 39 or 40 warrior quest for the weapon as soon as they could get the quest, which is level 30. That involves killing a few dozen elementals all over the zone and some other crap, basically a few hours at minimum. Each time.

UBRS and LBRS I did so many times that I could run back to the group with my eyes closed. Dropping down at the right places, etc. I'm sure MC and Onyxia are getting just as robotic for hundreds of thousands of people these days.

I guess it takes a certain type of person to put up with it, and I'm just not that type. I might have been years ago, but no more.

And yeah, I'm playing Eve again.
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