DAoC content... Kinda lacking?

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Nightgaunt on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 12:42 pm:

I'm curious to hear others' opinions on this, especially those who are higher level than I am (12).

I'm very impressed with the stability and organization of DAoC. I think it's mainly these things that make it excel so much over EQ.

However, there seems to be a trade-off for this. Up to this point I've seen very, very few unique creatures models; the spells, with their redundancy at higher levels, are extremely limited in comparison to a game like EQ; the landscape is adequate, but there are very few *interesting* features on it. Do others agree with this, and are there any thoughts as to how this will impact the longevity of the game? I've seen very few reviews really touch on this, so I'm curious if it's just me...

Don't get me wrong. I assume Mythic made a choice, sacrificing diverse content for a stable and accessible product. I absolutely think they made the right choice. They have already begun adding new creatures in the areas I've had access to. However, spells are specifically a place I worry about. Can they add new ones without drastically mucking with their balance? And if not, isn't it disappointing to know that once you hit about 10th level you're not really going to be doing anything new and different in the future than what you're doing right now?

Thoughts?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 01:24 pm:

I agree with you Nightgaunt. The game is thin on content. The spell selections are disappointing, with casters typically only getting a few basic spells that continually get upgraded.

Quests are another area that I wish were done better. There are a few low level ones that are really interesting, but most are fedex tasks or go and kill something quests, with complexity added by simply making them multi-part fedex or kill quests. It smacks of the game being rushed instead of polished.

As far as adding spells and abilities and not unbalancing the game, I'm dubious since they not only have to balance anything for PvE but for PvP. It's like archers -- they were never really overpowered against monsters, because as soon as they hit the monster it knows where the archers are. Against other players, though, the stealth ability coupled with the long-range critical strike was unbalancing. They could hide again while the arrow was in flight. So Mythic had to nerf them a bit.

I guess that's why Mythic nerfed enchanters too. Previously enchanters could solo oranges with the help of a pet, and that was ok because the XP gets split, so it's like soloing a yellow for level advancement purposes. I guess in PvP though that makes the enchanters tougher than their actual level, so it's unbalancing. Hence, enchanters are nerfed and can now only solo yellows, from what enchanters have told me in-game.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bub (Bub) on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 01:58 pm:

Hmmm, where was Nightgaunt during the Lovecraft arguments of late?

-Andrew


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jim Frazer on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 02:14 pm:

My biggest complaint has been the lack of Mob models. I play in all three realms (mainly in Albion these days though) and I see the same models in all three realms, only a little bigger or with a slightly different texture applied.

Hobgoblins in Midgard are identical to Feccans in Hybernia which are identical to Goblins in Albion. I really expected the three realms to be unique in Mob selection. Since each realm is completely independant, they didn't have to worry about flooding the video card buffer with all the models from all the realms, which should have given them the freedom to make a ton of unique looking mobs. Instead it's all cookie cutter.

In Albion, I've been impressed with the quests so far. Mainly because, being a 20th level Paladin, most of the quests have given me extremely useful items. Most of the quests have a great backstory to them that is fun to read about. Hybernia is a quest black hole though. The few quests that do exist are usually nothing more than glorified Fed-Ex tasks that give you a few silver for a reward.

Spells are just as cookie cutter as the Mobs, except for the AF buffs. Those AF buffs are just damn spiffy looking.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 02:57 pm:

The wizard has the coolest spell effects in the game. The Hibernia counterpart, the eldritch, has the same spells but with different, wimpier effects. I haven't seen the runemaster in action in Midgard.

I agree about the cookie cutter mobs. It's a bit disappointing.

Albion seems to be the most interesting of the realms, too. I think it was done first and Hibernia last, which probably explains the difference in quality. I do like the way Hibernia is laid out, though. It's easy to navigate.

For all my nitpicking, I'm still having a lot of fun playing it. We just need for Mythic to get busy and add content.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Ron Dulin on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 03:23 pm:

There's a somwehat interesting news item about new content at Camelot Vault. This link will not work, so just cut and paste the whole thing:

http://camelotvault.ign.com/index.shtml,http://camelotvault.ign.com/index.shtml#newsitem1006308745,49004,

-Ron


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Doug Jones on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 03:24 pm:

One thing I do take issue with is the notion that you have to have a simple combat system with few options in order to have any hope for balance. For example one mud I used to play had something like 22 classes and nearly five hundred skills/spells. Every class had so many skills that each in ther own way were overpowered and thus balanced. I still havn't played many stratagy games that compare to the tactical challenge of that mud.

So I no doubt like most others who read my post, am not entirely sure what my point was. Though it may have been that more can actually be better. And that combat in these sort of games can be alot more indepth and fun then just trying to have better stats then your enemy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 05:57 pm:

Yeh, the game is short on content once you hit arnd the mid 20's it seems, at least in Hibernia. Alot of the later dungeons arent itemized, the monsters are rehashes of earllier models and the spells are just upgrades... but even then the game suprisingly still plays well and is addictive.

There are some issues with balance... ie I've already got a Druid up to level 17 and of all the classes I've played this class is friggin UBER (at least PvE). Can solo high blues as a healing class with ease (WITHOUT A PET), and with pets can take oranges no problemo. In fact, my Warden when arnd this level has more trouble soloing blues as a melee then my new druid (and the druid isn't SUPPOSED to melee much).

Also, I have done a few RvR and it is fun so far. Balances are more apparent then in PvE. I've seen higher level enchanters (or pet classes) get butt kicked because casters in general have low hps. And healers who can ressurect are a neccesity. one good thing about hibernia we get THREE rezz classea ALL at level 10 regardless, the Warden, Bard and Druid. Other realms dont have it as good in terms of getting back to battle!

Also, chain casting Thanes in a group with AoE spell in RvR, total mayhem. My whole group was wiped out from about four thanes (all about red and purple though).

And Albion Wizards? pshaw yeah the spells look friggin awesome. Its almost like another game (graphically) when playin in ALbion. But I've learned to like Hibernia because of its nice balance of class types.

oh yeah, anyway, more content is needed. But even then like Mark said, still having fun playing it.

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Nightgaunt on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 06:14 pm:

Bub -- "Lovecraft arguments"? How'd I miss those? Dang. Guess I need to read the Books board, huh?

Everyone else -- To reiterate, I am having fun in DAoC also and I would much rather play a clean game with limited content like DAoC than a scatter-shot content-rich one like EQ. Still, I was amazed at both the spell redundancy and the lack of creature models and wondering if that might compromise the long-term interest in the game.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 07:10 pm:

What DAoC needs is for long-term interest is some high level, guild-raid worthy stuff besides the RvR.

And more dungeons. There just aren't enough.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 12:01 am:

I haven't played, so take this with a grain of salt: I've been under the impression that Mythic plans to add content as the game ages. Don't know details on that or anything, but it sounds like the way to go. I've said it before: The ideal MMORPG won't start out with everything, but rather have items and spells added as the game progresses, to show the evolution of the universe.

That's my biggest complaint with MMORPGs, though I didn't know it 'til recently.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 02:13 am:

I poked around in a Hibernian dungeon tonight and was surprised to find that the layout and look seemed to be a carbon copy of an Albion dungeon. The only difference seems to be in the monster selection.

That Mythic has reused so much material is starting to annoy me a bit. There aren't enough dungeons as is, and now I find that they're copied from realm to realm? C'mon.

I know some people have a hate for EQ, and I'm certainly tired of it, but it shipped with a lot more content and variety than DAoC has.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 04:28 am:

Imo, DAoC has about as much content as EQ did in release BUT its spread out over three realms. I agree though, some parts of Hibernia feel very ... rushed. Like they borrowed a few creature models from some lower level creatures, made them bigger, and added some levels to them. The cities in Hibernia are small... except for Tir na Nog of course.

My worry about the game is that they wont add much TRUE content (ala creatures, areas, cities, dungeons) until the expansion. I prepaid for six months... as much as i like the game, i dont feel each realm for a semi hardcore/casual player warrants more than a couple months of gameplay (at least pve wise) whereas EQ had about a half a year of gameplay (though the slowww gameplay added LOTS to make it seem bug imo).

BTW Mark, what dungeon were you in? Muire Tomb?Its a pitifully small dungeon.. but it does have nice content ! er drops that is! The Spraggon Den has NICE drops and its as big as something like Runnyeye in EQ.

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 10:54 am:

>What DAoC needs is for long-term interest is some high level, guild-raid worthy stuff besides the RvR

Actually, what I'd probably like most is at least a token attempt at a storyline, even one that recognizes the limitations of the genre. Something like what Asheron's Call does, with its monthly "events", or what Anarchy Online (if it still exists) intends to do over the next couple of years.

I like Camelot far better than either of those games, but the static world isn't as interesting. Being able to capture forts in the frontier areas was a good addition, but that opportunity is really only open to (or enjoyed by) pretty hardcore players.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 11:37 am:

"Imo, DAoC has about as much content as EQ did in release BUT its spread out over three realms."

Well, there's nothing I've seen that compares to Crushbone, for example. Or Mistmoor. Or Blackburrow. Or the named NPCs that everyone fears, like Corflunk in Butcherblock or that named Dark Elf in the desert of Ro. EQ shipped with many more large cities, many more dungeons, much greater variety in the look of the terrain, more monsters, more spell variety, etc.

DAoC is clearly a superior game in several ways, but content-wise I don't think it compares favorably with EQ as that game when it shipped, and of course now with all the new content from expansions and years of patches EQ is a much fuller world.

As to a storyline, I'd like that in DAoC, but first I want more dungeons, more monsters, more spells, etc.

I just get the feeling that Mythic is leaning really hard on the RvR as their answer to providing long-term interest for players.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 03:13 pm:

>but first I want more dungeons, more monsters, more spells, etc.

I agree with the comments that have been made regarding number of monster types and spell redundancies, but don't think they're significant flaws. There's still about 50 monster model types, and about 10 spells per class for caster character, and a handful for several other characters -- even taking into account redundancies, there's probably 70+ spells, and a dozen or so dungeons -- those are pretty standard (or better than average) ranges, even if they're lower than EQ's initial sets.

Not itemizing some of the dungeons was a pretty bad flaw, however. That definitely gives the game an unfinished feel.

Heh, noticed that "housing" is now a feature of Asheron's Call, courtesy of the expansion pack, and it's also planned for Camelot. I dislike that feature -- hate the idea of cluttering up the landscape, or even just the big cities, with a bunch of useless buildings that are only available to hardcore players.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Ron Dulin on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 04:16 pm:

Murphy: "I've been under the impression that Mythic plans to add content as the game ages...it sounds like the way to go"

Sure, but the content Mythic is adding isn't new lands or new dungeons - it's skills and items they couldn't get in for release. Spellcraft, etc. My problem with this is that once you hit your mid 20s, equipment becomes a problem because there aren't reliable places like dungeons to find loot. The two mid level dungeons in Albion still haven't been itemized, and money is pretty worthless if there aren't quality mid-level goods to sell.

Adding content is fine - but much of the content that will be added over the next few weeks really should have been there from the beginning. Especially now that there's a good portion of players in the middle levels who have trouble finding weapons and armor with significant bonuses.

Desslock: "hate the idea of cluttering up the landscape, or even just the big cities, with a bunch of useless buildings"

I don't know how DAOC or AC are dealing with this, but AO had a pretty elegant way of dealing with housing. No clutter, no taking up the landscape. I imagine both of these games will attempt something similar, because UO just became a suburb after awhile.

Asher: "I just get the feeling that Mythic is leaning really hard on the RvR as their answer to providing long-term interest for players. "

Yes, but orienting the higher levels toward RvR has been Mythic's gameplan all along. This was a prominent mechanic in Darkness Falls, one of Mythic's MUDs, and much of DAOC seems like an updated version of Darkness Falls. The RvR seems to be well-tested, from my limited experience.

But there are high-level hunting grounds. They are just risky because you might get ganked by opposing players. I like this element - as your character becomes more powerful, the game becomes more dangerous.

-Ron


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Sharpe on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 06:44 pm:

I agree with most of the concerns raised re: content and it does get worse as you progress. I have a level 36 Cleric in Albion (Morgan Le Fay). Post 30 the content is just abysmally thin. Basically it seems that Albion is finished to level 30, and only slightly finished post 30. The other 2 realms are similar but probably less finished overall.

They shipped the game with a solid engine, good network code, and enough server hardware to avoid all the hellish junk of other recent MMOG releases. But the game is nowhere near done: there is not only very little post 30 PvMonster content but the RvR is woefully unfinished. Realm titles dont work (I have 350 realm points and I still have the same title I started with, people in my guild have over 1000 with no change). The realm rewards are not in. And worst of all, its my understanding that the relic combat is not finished: you cannot actually capture enemy relics even though thats a promised feature on the box.

All that said, I'm enjoying the game greatly and consider it a fine game. But Mythic really needs to get going and complete the core PvM and RvR content for all three realms ASAP. Frankly I think with the looming shipdate of Luclin they need to get a LOT of content in very damn fast :).

Sharpe (aka Danthus, level 36 Highlander Cleric, The Elders, MLF)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 10:25 pm:

"Frankly I think with the looming shipdate of Luclin they need to get a LOT of content in very damn fast :)."

I think so too. I just don't have as much patience with these games as I did when EQ was a fresh experience for me and aspects of DAoC are starting to wear a bit thin. OTOH, I could have months of fun playing a dozen different character types up to level 25. It's not like DAoC has to last me forever.

Shadowbane is another game that might take a bite out of DAoC. If you really like PvP, Shadowbane may be the game you gravitate to.

And of course we *may* see Galaxies and perhaps even Worlds of Warcraft next year. Mythic can't rest on their laurels for too long.

"Yes, but orienting the higher levels toward RvR has been Mythic's gameplan all along."

Yeah, but it's just such an abrupt shift from playing PvE for the first part of the game that it's jarring. It's also irritating to have a character class nerfed because of RvR, namely archers. Now archers are having problems hitting purples with critical strikes, which means they don't have much use in groups. Without the RvR, archers could just have been adjusted to lower their damage rates a bit.

As an aside, I've noticed that it's harder and harder to find groups now in DAoC. Not sure why. Last night was the first time my cleric couldn't find a group -- four groups in a row said no to me. I don't even bother with my wizard. No one really wants a wizard if they can get a tank or healer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 02:26 am:

"I just don't have as much patience with these games as I did when EQ was a fresh experience for me and aspects of DAoC are starting to wear
a bit thin."

I'm feeling the exact same way with the game... but i think its also due to the influx of other xmas games as well. I trust they will add content, but the last thing i read from Mythic was they werent really adding any new dungeons or areas... they are "finecombing" thru some underdeveloped areas of the gameworld for the next couple months.. which is good, but cmon give us some real new stuff. Two more months of the same monsters and areas is not enlightening. The only thing to do is start another character. RvR still hasnt been too much fun for me, so it hasnt been much of an option for me. People ive talked to online recently feel the same way, mostly players of other mmrpgs. Complete mmrpg newbies havent had the same feeling though.

Also, it does seem hard to find groups now (not that im looking much anymore since i solo or play with friends). and one thing i noticed is that the game is not completely group friendly with the BAF (bring a friend) enemy AI. Anything more than 3 players in a group can be deadly sometimes, which might be the reasoning for less people looking for groups. ALthough i have popped in at prime time and there still is a hefty list of players looking, just not as much as when the game released. IMO, the best groups consist of 2 or 3 players taking on 1 or 2 creatures at most.

anyway, i still enjoy the game, but i play MUCH less than a month ago.

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 02:34 am:

I could've sworn I read a press release stating that Mythic planned on introducing new dungeons soon...Or was that with the planned expansion? I can't really remember.

Interesting that it's losing steam so quickly, though. I know you guys were REALLY sold when it hit, and if that's fading already -- bad news for Mythic. They'd better do something, and fast.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 03:13 am:

Oh dont get me wrong, I still like the game alot. Its still enjoyable even without as much content as i would like. Eventually they will add lots more content... its inevitable since they already have a subscriber base over 100k... they would be PLAIN DUMB to just let it be as is.

The important thing is that they remain competitive since Luclin is coming out, and just add more stuff to the game, like TA style, new monster here, new dungeon there ... etc.

I think its that becuase a large majority of Camelot players have played EQ, AC and Uo the expectation is of at least having as much content as them. One way they can alleviate the "been there done that" syndrome is make a couple servers that are non RvR and open to all realms. Though that might be iffy since it would compromise the game to the EQ carebear server mentality... but 1 or 2 servers that are non RvR and open to all realms would help keep some of the customers dying to explore new areas happy and at the same time not needing to develop completely new stuff. something new should be added at least monthly. Not much has been added in since release except a few tweaks here and there and new spell icons (which i think suck!).

But again, im still playing the game almost daily, and loving it ... mmrpgs seem to have more demands and complaints from its players then any other type of pc games ... so this complaint for content isnt really anything new. I think its a good thing since it keeps the developers on their toes. Players are hard to please i suppose .....

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Sharpe on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 10:49 am:

Mark Asher said

"As an aside, I've noticed that it's harder and harder to find groups now in DAoC. Not sure why. Last night was the first time my cleric couldn't find a group -- four groups in a row said no to me."

This is the first really serious blunder they've made. In the recent patch they added in "challenge to the group" code which means that the con (color) of the monster to the *highest level* player in the group determines which color cap applies to the whole group. Therefore if a group is level 30 fighting reds and a level 35 joins to whom the monsters are yellow, experience drops for the whole group. Its a bad mistake on their part b/c it is VERY group-unfriendly. People are actively rejecting group members now.

They do need to address this. They wanted to stop the powerlevelling but they went way overboard. This seems a classic mistake of most MMOG designers: they have an ego driven desire to hold the power gamers down but they end up crushing the casual players (b/c if you fall behind your group now, this new code makes it much harder to catch up). Frankly I'd prefer all MMOGs to let power gamers rip through the game, burn out and leave. They'd retain 90% of their player base who would be much happier. Just IMO.

Danthus (L36 Cleric, The Elders, Morgan Le Fay)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jim Frazer on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 11:34 am:

We discovered that the most efficient team for exp is 2 people working together within 3 levels of eachother taking on oranges or 3 people within 2 levels of eachother taking on Reds. Sad thing is, best 3 person group we found was 1 Armsman and 2 Paladins with at least a 2/3's spec in Chant. At 17th level we were healing 34 points every 8 seconds so we were finishing every Orange battle and most of the reds at full health. Only downtime was waiting for endurance to charge back up. It really shouldn't be that way.

There is NO incentive to get an 8 person group together to wade through purples. You get less exp and loot per hour. And if you happen to get one of those nice armor drops from a purple, you can't wear it for several levels (unless you want to watch it fall apart after a few fights).

So even though I'm in a really fun guild right now, we mainly are only together for the conversation and the grouping of the crafting skills. There is absolutely no incentive to group for hunting anymore.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 12:39 pm:

Yeah, I'm seeing that with groups too. The best groups seem to be 2-3 people, with some kind of tank/healer combination. I'm really starting to think that the casters are marginalized in this game; most of the time you're better off with a tank taking the place of a caster.

The archers especially are getting to be worthless in big groups since they can't hit purples with any consistency with their critical strike shot. Wizards have the same problem as their spells get resisted by purples too often (and when they don't, they draw aggro and die if they're not careful).

The BAF code for large groups is a bit of a pain too since the group is already targetting a purple most of the time. Having unexpected "adds" means someone dies and loses XP. It's frustrating. It's fun having a situation get unexpectedly dicey, but when it's happening every third battle, it's too much.

"One way they can alleviate the "been there done that" syndrome is make a couple servers that are non RvR and open to all realms."

I had the same idea and I would like this. One of the things that might worry Mythic about doing it is if these servers became the most popular -- then what happens to the RvR? When Origin added the non-PvP areas to UO, those areas quickly became the most popular ones in the game.

I too have not had a fun experience with the RvR. It takes me 15-20 minutes to get there and every time I've seen purple enemies I didn't dare go near. My level 26 cleric is just too weak, and by the time I'd get him to level 35, the enemies will be level 45. I suspect I won't be able to RvR with any degree of success until I hit level 40, and I just don't know if I want to climb that hill.

"They wanted to stop the powerlevelling but they went way overboard."

I wish they'd just let people powerlevel. There are still ways to do it -- buff a low level, etc. It's funny that they're seeing the same kind of player behavior that EQ players exhibited and Mythic is reacting the same as did Sony.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 01:17 pm:

>[Ron] I don't know how DAOC or AC are dealing with this, but AO had a pretty elegant way of dealing with housing. No clutter, no taking up the landscape.

...o.k., that sounds much better than I expected (I was definitely recalling UO). How does it work in AO? Given the way everything else has worked in the game, I'd be surprised if the developers of Camelot didn't coopt the best method demonstrated to date.

>[Mark/Mtkafka] aspects of DAoC are starting to wear
a bit thin." I'm feeling the exact same way with the game

I dunno -- according to the /played command, I've played for almost a total of three days, between my three characters - 77 hours. That may be a lot less than some of you (my three characters are only 11th/9th/7th level), but I've seen about two-thirds of Albion, maybe 40% of Midgard, and only about 20% of Hibernia, only a couple of dungeons, none of the frontier areas, haven't played any PvP (obviously) -- since exploring the huge worlds is what I enjoy most, I could put in another 77 hours, or more, and still not see everything -- not bad for $30 (and probably an additional month for $10). That's a lot of entertainment for the price. Great value.

>When Origin added the non-PvP areas to UO, those areas quickly became the most popular ones in the game

Not just the "most popular" -- they completely marginalized the original game. 90% of players preferred non-PvP to the game the developers initially said they'd never change.

I also completely agree on the power-leveling point. It's easy for a high level cleric to just buff up lower level characters and let them independently kill creatures, and get experience, they wouldn't otherwise get, without grouping. There's nothing they can do to prevent all power-leveling, or stop the power gamers from advancing quickly (all relative, in any event), and the changes that they're making seem punitive to casual players.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 03:22 pm:

Sony tried to prevent powerleveling and never could. When Kunark was released someone had a level 50 Iksar within a week. In some ways it easier in EQ. A high level mage can put a lava shield on a new character and the character can walk around and have every monster who touches him die.

In unrelated stuff, I was running my cleric through Albion last night and I saw a group of skeletons that were gray to me. Just for fun I got in the middle of them and cast a repel evil spell. They all died. It was kind of cool. I felt so uber.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 06:18 pm:

>and I saw a group of skeletons that were gray to me

I guess I understand why these games don't give experience points to lower level creature kills (to prevent high level characters from wiping them all out instead of leaving them for lower level characters), but I'm not sure it's necessary. It's a lot less interesting to be more powerful than creatures, when you get no benefit from flaunting that over them -- even if the xp were so minimal that it wasn't worth your time (which is what almost every RPG does), at least you'd get some sense of achievement.

It's disappointing that there's such a lack of "area of effect" spells generally, to take out groups of monsters. The game really seems to come down to (other than PvP) a handful of people against one or two monsters. Usually groups of monsters are too dangerous to face.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 09:31 pm:

'Usually groups of monsters are too dangerous to face.'

Annoyingly, all MMORPGs do this. There just isn't any incentive to take down enormous piles of enemies in epic battles, so everyone plays "guess the vision radius" and drags them off individually to be killed. Alternatively, there's the old "break the respawn" thing.

There needs to be a serious xp/loot incentive for large battles. Patrols might be carrying an artillery piece in addition to their regular [email protected] l00t. ;0


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 09:10 pm:

'Frankly I'd prefer all MMOGs to let power gamers rip through the game, burn out and leave. They'd retain 90% of their player base who would be much happier. Just IMO.'

I'm not sure if they would leave. Just on my personal experience, they tend to hang around and dream up ways to make gaming life a living hell for the Untermensch, like, oh, luring Level Bazillion monsters into the Bank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By adamc on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 11:01 pm:

Huh, I already burned out on DAOC, it was too much like Everquest. I'm just tired of killing bats over and over again until I move up to the next mob. (OK, it wasn't bats, but you get my point.)

EQ did have more variety. It was also the first time I'd ever played one of these games. Two and a half years later, I find I don't have nearly as much patience for the tedium.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 01:28 am:

The true beauty of Everquest is that it brought the universal experience of MUD obsession and burnout to the masses. It's not just for freshman-year engineering students anymore!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Robert Mayer on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 12:40 pm:

The reasoning behind the lack of area of effect spells, and the broader lack of epic battles, has a lot to do with the primitive structure of these games. All of them, essentially, use a similar model of MOB AI--it's based on "aggro," or the aggression of the monster towards specific players, namely, those that deal the most damage or (in the case of healers) heal the most damage. So, a monster that is hit by a spell aggros on the the caster, until someone else (the tank, presumably) whacks it enough times to shift the aggro, etc.

If you take a nuke spell and make it affect bunches of monsters, all you do is pull a bunch of monsters onto the caster--and there's no way a party has enough tanks moving fast enough or hitting hard enough to stop the caster from becoming sushi real quick, I'm thinking. Same basic thing holds true for most epic battles against the AI--the monsters aren't really thinking tactically, they're reacting t the aggro levels, and the disparity between the power of individual high-level monsters and individual high-level characters (built in to keep things "challenging") means that you absolutely cannot let high level MOBs go one on one with most characters--even tanks will need beaucoup healing, which in turn requires the party structure to protect the cleric from gaining aggro, etc.

The whole damn system is thus built to require a certain style of play--a group of characters taking on high-level MOBs one at a time, essentially. And yes, it's boring. It's most apparent in EQ and DAoC, though I think AC has a lot of this in it too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 04:19 pm:

>The whole damn system is thus built to require a certain style of play--a group of characters taking on high-level MOBs one at a time, essentially.

Good points -- you're right, the manner in which the AI is set up really limits those sorts of battles. Still, you'd still have the option of running, if a bunch of creatures charged after casting an area of effect spell, and presumably you could get a couple off before they reached you.

I suspect the other main reason that they don't have big damage, big area of effect spells is because it'd make casters too powerful relative to fighters.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Robert Mayer on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 04:57 pm:

True, Stefan, character balance issues ("You nerfed my fighter!") are always part of the equation. As for running, that could work, depending on the game. Most of the time ranges are too short for safety--when you pull, you had better be ready to fight. And most characters can't outrun a MOB. If you could, if running was really an option, that would open up things a bit--or maybe just lead to massive kiting.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 11:31 pm:

"kiting"? This MMORPG talk has reached a new level of unintelligibility. I fully expect, a few years from now, that you guys will be talking in utter gibberish on these threads. Olde English or something. You'll be spending your wages in ha'pennies.

Record Producer: That's not an MP, that's a YP, your problem. Come up with the money, or forget it.

Reed Rothchild: Okay, now you're talking above my head. I don't know all of this industry jargon, YP, MP. All I know is that I can't get a record contract, we cannot get a record contract unless we take those tapes to the record company. And granted, the tapes themselves are a uh um oh, you own them, alright, but the magic that is on those tapes. That fucking heart and soul that we put onto those tapes, that is ours and you don't own that! Now I need to take that magic and get it over the record company. And they're waiting for us, we were supposed to be there a half hour ago. We look like assholes, man!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Greg Kasavin on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 11:41 pm:

MMORPG lingo is fascinating to me. There's like an entire sociology/anthropology surrounding the genre by now. Wumpus, the expression "kiting" actually has a very clever origin in my opinion--it refers to the act of casting a damage-over-time spell on an enemy, then running away from it, waiting until it dies. Since MMORPG enemies (i.e., those in EverQuest, where the term came from) tend to move at the same exact rate as player characters, the sight of a player using this tactic against a monster evokes the sight of someone flying a kite. The monster stays the same exact distance from the player, no matter where he goes.

EQ's lingo gets pretty ridiculous. Everything in that game is an acronym. Some guy will broadcast, "WTS FBSS, Yk, GWC! Asking donations for Crack!" You'll ask him, "What's an FBSS?" Reponse comes, "LOL! Newb!"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Saturday, December 1, 2001 - 12:06 am:

What's an FBSS?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Saturday, December 1, 2001 - 06:53 am:

Since 90% of the gametime on Eq is played by 10% of the players, there's basically an underground group of overlords who know all those ridiculous acronyms.

The thing I can't finger out is why Spirit of Wolf is shortened to "SoW," universally. Is the alternate capitalization somehow a superior form of information transfer?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Saturday, December 1, 2001 - 01:44 pm:

Tell me that team based FPS games don't have there own lingo.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Saturday, December 1, 2001 - 04:01 pm:

>most characters can't outrun a MOB. If you could, if running was really an option..

In DaOC you can always run away by sprinting, which actually gives an advantage to casters, since they don't use their endurance in combat and therefore can always sprint away (unless they let their hit points get too low, or are encumbered). Or an enemy has a root spell.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Saturday, December 1, 2001 - 04:45 pm:

Woot!

BAH what the hell does that mean. I hate EQ terminology.

"Sow me plz"
"Sow me plz"
"Sow me plz"
"Sow me plz"

ENOUGH!

I hate EQ.

I hate you.

Forgive me!

BAH~


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce_Geryk (Bruce) on Sunday, December 2, 2001 - 02:23 pm:

> In DaOC you can always run away by sprinting

Most of the time this is true, but there are some monsters (like the wind mephit) that have a base speed that is faster than a sprinting character.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Sunday, December 2, 2001 - 05:03 pm:

>Most of the time this is true, but there are some monsters (like the wind mephit) that have a base speed that is faster than a sprinting character.

That's true. I think the drakelings in Midgard are also too fast to sprint away from. The speed of characters depends upon their dexterity, no? One of my characters has a really high dex.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bill McClendon (Crash) on Sunday, December 2, 2001 - 06:47 pm:

To clear up some misunderstandings about AC from, well, up to the beginning of the thread (and it looks like I'm one of the few that actually plays this...):

* Housing is done with placed commmunities and single dwellings. There are approximately 1200 dwellings in-game right now in AC, with the bulk of them being cottages. (It's about 85% cottages, 12% villas, and 3% mansions, at a rough guess.) Sounds like a lot, but since the island is so large, you'll be hard-pressed to run across houses unless you stick to the roads and run far out of town. Unlike UO, AC players "rent" the houses that exist rather than place them willy-nilly all over the landscape. There's a nice map of locations here (http://cod.xrgaming.net/atlas/housing.php) to give you some idea of how it works and where the houses are. I'm actually fairly impressed with how the placement has been done, though I'm very unimpressed with the process to acquire a house.

* AO handles housing with "apartments" in the major cities' "backyards". Each major city has around 15 "backyards" where newbs spawn, and in these backyards are four "apartment" doors. The first time you enter any apartment, you receive a key that creates an area that's yours linked to that door--much like their mission areas work. It's amazingly generic, and (much like the rest of AO) erratically functional. But it's "housing", after a fashion.

* AC does not have "con" colors. You can kill any beast at any time and receive xp for it. You'll receive less xp for a monster (can't call 'em mobs in AC because they don't move around) as the gap between its level and yours increases to a certain minimum. This means that I'll always receive 5 xp for a bunny even if I'm 80th level, and it also means that I'll get around 5k for an Olthoi Solider (65) if I'm 30.

* AC is the only game I know where "mass combat" is both viable and fun. Right now my UA fighter is 54, and I can and do tank up to 15 Olthoi Soldiers (65) at a time. As long as I don't run out of stamina, or lag, I've got decent enough gear and protections, and a high enough healing skill, that I could do that all day long without dying. Got screenshots of some pretty amazing fights. In most con-based systems, Soldiers would be high orange to red to me. Solo-human mass-based combat is one of the things I like a lot about AC... and if I had a bad day and want to wreak destruction on a ton of low-level monsters, I whip out the flaming weapon and go visit Murk Warrens--scads and scads of 12-15th level Mosswarts on a 2-minute spawn. :)

* AC does have "uber" mobs that require groups of specialized folks to defeat--the Aerfalle quest and the Olthoi Queen are two that immediately spring to mind--but these tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

Regarding AE spells: The larger the area of effect, the more brutal it will be for 56k users, since the amount of data required to be sent increases geometrically. This, imho, is a signficant factor in why AE spells tend to have small radii.

As to getting bored with DAoC and lack of content. You have a choice:

1. A game with tons of features that's really pretty that doesn't work and you can't play.

2. A game with a solid foundation, enough content to keep people busy to level 20, that's really pretty and that works and that you can play.

Pick one. Yes, I know this is not optimal. It is simply the way things are.

Re: Shadowbane. Non-consensual PvP is historically attractive to 10-15% of the gaming public. This is not an opinion--this is a fact. DAoC will be no different in this regard, I don't think. You'll find a dedicated group of people that want to play King Arthur Team Fortress at the post-50 end in DAoC, but I'd wager that 85-90% of the subscriber base will be pleased enough to level to 40 and start a new character on a new server, or try a new class, or race, or whatever.

With that said, Shadowbane has a long row to hoe. I'll be interested to see how it does. I personally don't think it's a viable model for this genre, however. I'll be glad to be proven wrong, but I don't think I will.

Nobody wants to pay ten bucks a month to get ganked. Nobody.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Sunday, December 2, 2001 - 09:34 pm:

"Nobody wants to pay ten bucks a month to get ganked. Nobody."

The problem with DAoC is that there isn't much to do at the higher levels besides the RvR. It should get better as they add content, but the game shipped with so much content missing that they'll be hard pressed to catch up, especially since a good portion of their time will be spent trying to get the RvR to work right.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 11:00 am:

Ok lots of stuff to cover here:

EQ damage shields on lowbies. Doesn't work. I remember trying this on someone who was low level and they never got any exp when the shield did more than half damage to the monster (pretty much always).

Casters against purples. We played with a 31rst level wizard full fire spec who was hitting purple mobs to me (33rd level at the time) for 250-300 a pop. Said his area effect does about 250 to even cons. Also in DAOC the area effect doesn't throw all aggro to the caster it is spread among the group to an extent especially if the tanks have protect set on the caster.

Powerleveling. We frequently group people half our level and can get them max xp for their level for every kill we make. So you can power people easily if you have a group that can take reds and purples. It really helps to keep people with less playing time near the same level as the people with no lives like me. :)

Group experience bonuses are in DAOC. We were fighting lizards down in the Barrows 1, 2, and 3 at a time. With 1 we were getting 1.7 million a kill when we pulled 3 we were getting 3 million a kill. So the incentives are there.

On kiting and mmorpg parlance, wumpus stfu. ;) Seriously there is a certain slang that goes with the games. It is the same as anything else you boob. NIC, WAN, LAN, IP, DDR, etc. etc. no more or less intelligible than those. From now on unless you are fully prepared to never use another acronym ever again you should just shut it.

On running away in DAOC. Yeah there are some mobs (just for you wumpus) that are very very fast. Those lizards we were fighting were lightning fast. If the fight went bad against them we were all probably going to die before moving 10 feet.

On content in DAOC. I am trying to be patient waiting for them to itemize the Barrows with decent gear for my level. I am wearing armor that is a mix of grey to yellow con and am in desperate need of an upgrade. As an armsman I rely almost completely on my gear to make me effective whereas casters and cleircs can afford to let their stuff blue and green out a bit more.

On RvR and relams, it can be great. I was part of a 70-80 person group that reclaimed three of our keeps Saturday afternoon. Granted we didn't face any PCs on these takebacks so it wasn't true RvR but it was great using siege weapons to open the doors and helping swarm under the guards and finally the head bosses.

I will say RvR does need balanced though. That group of 70-80 which included 3/4 of the 40+ people on our server decided to head out into the hibernian frontier to beat up on whoever we found there. Well word of our keep recoveries must have spread fast because we ran into a large group of midguards (same size as ours as far as I could tell) not far into hibernia. The battle took all of about 30 seconds to a minute and our group of basically the most powerful people we could round up was all dead or routed with basically no midguard casualties. They group stunned/mesed repeatedly and their tank types beat us down. From what I hear this is a problem on every server and they are going to bring out ye olde nerf stick on the mids. I am sure they will get it balanced because what should have been a pitched battle was ruined by a few spells being too powerful.

Sorry for the length just got to reading the thread on a boring monday here at the office.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 12:01 pm:

>The problem with DAoC is that there isn't much to do at the higher levels besides the RvR. It should get better as they add content, but the game shipped with so much content missing ...

That's a bit harsh. I think the design for Camelot has always contemplated that the higher levels will be dominated by RvR. If you're only interested in monster hunting, there's plenty to do, but your maximum available level is a lot lower. The lack of itemizing of some dungeons is a pretty notable omission, which Mythic is gradually addressing (I noticed a lot of "one drop quests" from named monsters that gave magic items this weekend as well, which seemed new). If you're interested in just fighting monsters (which is probably all I'm interested in, frankly) - you can still get hundreds of hours out of the game. I'll probably be "finished" with the game after a couple of months, and raising a character on each realm up to level 20-30, but that's a pretty great deal for $30 +$10 for one month.

Especially compared to all the 8-12 hour shooters, like Max Payne, Elite Force, Blue Shift/Opposing Force, Wolfenstein (apparently), Aliens vs Predator 2. Some of those you can get extended value out of from multiplayer, but if that's what you're interested in, I'd still rather play Counterstrike or UT.

Completely agree with Bill's comments on Shadowbane -- I think a pure PvP game will have only niche appeal. How will it be enjoyable for newbies, by the way? It's like playing counterstrike, but you're stuck using a slingshot against guys with rocket launchers because you haven't put in several hundred hours of being pummeled yet.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 12:32 pm:

"That's a bit harsh. I think the design for Camelot has always contemplated that the higher levels will be dominated by RvR."

Even the RvR isn't finished though. Realm points are meaningless, the relics aren't workable yet from what I've heard, RvR combat is inbalanced, classes have been nerfed in the name of RvR (and also nerfed for PvE as a result), players fighting monsters in the frontier will lose XP if they get ganked by enemy players and the monster kills them, the level imbalance in RvR is so steep that it's pointless for low levels to even try RvR, etc.

RvR is probably only 60% finished too. It's fine for Mythic to say that the RvR is the high level content, but they shipped the game with RvR in something of a mess.

"I think a pure PvP game will have only niche appeal. How will it be enjoyable for newbies, by the way? It's like playing counterstrike, but you're stuck using a slingshot against guys with rocket launchers because you haven't put in several hundred hours of being pummeled yet."

You might as well say this about DAoC too. It's the same issue with the RvR. Believe me, a level 25 will get insta-killed in RvR unless he's very, very lucky and happens to run into another low level.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 12:38 pm:

Right now you probably need to be level 35 to do well in RvR in DAoC. Another two weeks it will probably be level 40. A few months from now it will probably be level 45+.

It's a real issue when the high level game is RvR yet it will take you hundreds of hours of PvE time to get to the RvR, especially with the PvE content dwindling dramatically after level 25. It really does get to be a level grind after 25 -- especially if you don't want to adventure in the frontier lands for fear of being killed by other players (and possibly losing XP if they attack while you're battling a monster). If this is the case, there aren't a whole lot of non-PvP high level areas to adventure in.

Mythic really should have spent another couple of months developing the game and adding content.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 01:40 pm:

Mark, I noticed once you hit 30 you can do ok in RvR combat as long as the numbers are on your side. I helped take down purples at 30 as a part of a larger group. Also the levels of 40-50 take a long time, probably 48 hours of play each, so once you hit 40 you will probably not be fighting more than maybe oranges or the occasional red.

As for high level places to hunt that aren't in the frontier there are plenty in Albion. Cornwall, Lyoness, and the Barrows are all appropriate for levels 40+. And these are big zones/dungeons capable of supporting a ton of players with no problems.

Check out Illia's Camelot Bestiary it will give you levels for monsters in the various zones. There are at least 3 to 4 complete zones at any level where you can gain xp. Some like Llyn Barfog are very under populated by players and are great places to explore and hunt.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 01:41 pm:

>RvR is probably only 60% finished too. It's fine for Mythic to say that the RvR is the high level content, but they shipped the game with RvR in something of a mess.

Those are all fair points. I can't comment on the balancing, although looking at the realm status displays it seems as though every realm has proven capable of taking keeps from each of the other realm, but the realm points/relics are finally going to be addressed in the next patch.

>[PvP for high level...]You might as well say this about DAoC too.

I was, which is why it doesn't appeal to me. But unlike other games that are going to focus solely on PvP, Camelot has hundreds of hours of monster hunting and exploring to do.

>It really does get to be a level grind after 25...Mythic really should have spent another couple of months developing the game and adding content

Again, I don't doubt that the first point is true, but don't see how it causes the conclusion in your second point. It's taken me about 48 hours of playing time to develop a couple of characters up to 11-13th level. It'll probably take at least that amount of time to double those levels, and I have a third character on another realm.

It seems crazy to conclude that Mythic should have spent more time developing the game and adding content when there's already hundreds of hours of gameplay included (completely aside from pvp), in just taking a character on each realm up to 20-25th level. Compared to the value offered by other games, Camelot offers an incredible amount of value and content.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 02:21 pm:

"It seems crazy to conclude that Mythic should have spent more time developing the game and adding content when there's already hundreds of hours of gameplay included (completely aside from pvp), in just taking a character on each realm up to 20-25th level. Compared to the value offered by other games, Camelot offers an incredible amount of value and content."

Well yes and no. You can play a game like Warcraft 2 just as long for free.

I'm not arguing about the value anyway. These games are different from other games. Players expect to play them for months and months. That's why the high end game is important.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 02:49 pm:

"so much content missing ... " is a little overboard. I think, like Verant, they underestimated the amount of people who would make level 40 (I already have a level 37 and thats just "casual" mmrpg playing). 2 months from release the game is still has enough to be playable for most...I've already started doing tradeskills and find it a game in itself (skill "leveling" but without the figthing). RvR though somewhat bugged (midgard AoE stun anyone) still is a lot of fun if you have a good group to play with. The higher end areas in Hibernia have been itemized a little more in the last patch.

also, ive been in rvr groups with mid 20's that did relatively well as support and were able to gain rp's (in the hundreds) even while dying alot. You dont need to make the kill to earn points.

anyway, as much as I'll whine about there being not as much content (and balance) as i would like... i still play the damn game everyday and still enjoy it.

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 05:04 pm:

>Compared to the value offered by other games, Camelot offers an incredible amount of value and content."
>Well yes and no. You can play a game like Warcraft 2 just as long for free.

Not while seeing new content. To play through a game like WarCraft takes about 25-30 hours, and you've pretty much seen everything there is to see after doing so and playing a few multiplayer games. The game may still be fun (obviously), but you don't get the same hundreds of hours of content to sample that you do in Camelot. And WarCraft 2 and comparable games are actually more expensive than Camelot and a month of additional playing.

>These games are different from other games. Players expect to play them for months and months. That's why the high end game is important.

Completely agree, and if Mythic wants people to continue to renew their subscriptions, that's absolutely something they should address. I was just disagreeing with your statements that the game should have had more content before it shipped -- aside from there already being enough content for hundreds of hours of non-PvP gameplay, I'd prefer if developers took the approach Mythic took, and ensured that they had a smoothly running, stable game first, prior to adding a lot of ambitious features.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bill McClendon (Crash) on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 05:10 pm:

This latest turn brings up an interesting point: Why do so many people treat MMOGs like regular games? Case in point: the mythical, magical "endgame" that so many people seem to focus on. For DAoC it's RvR, for EQ it's "Level 60" (DING!!1!1!!), for AC it's, well, I guess it'd be level 126, for UO it's 7x GM or a house or whatever.

This is kind of a vague feeling, so if I don't explain it properly, just go with the flow... but man, what's the rush? Most people bitch about how games don't offer enough play, but MMOGs offer a nearly infinite amount--and as Desslock pointed out, look at the value alone for the first month: You can spend 40, 50 bucks on an MMOG and get the first month of access in the box. Let's say you play two hours a day. That's sixty hours of gameplay, and in most MMOGs, you won't even have scratched the surface of what's possible or available.

When's the last time any non-RPG gave you sixty hours of varied play? And in that sixty hours, how many games--even RPGs--did you not complete?

On that scale, the amount of play in any MMOG is, frankly, staggering, especially if you look at it on a cost::time basis. I've played AC, for instance, for two and a half years now, and I still haven't seen all of it--and they keep adding stuff every month! And for this, I've paid, what, 50 bucks on the initial box, 20 bucks on the expansion, and 10 bucks a month times 22... 290 dollars, minus the 220 I got for selling my first account ;) and we're talking I've paid three bucks a month for gaming. Or, if you factor in how often I play, about a nickel an hour.

With that type of ratio for fun::money, why in the world would anyone want to "beat" the game? Or race to the end? It'd be like using god mode in every game you ever played just to "beat" it, and then bitching about how the game was too short and too easy. Well, duh.

So, related to the topic here, we've got "Blah, DAoC's got sucky content." Oh, so you've seen it all already, then? You've leveled every major class on every server to, say, 30 already and know how they all play and what the combat dynamics are on each one? And seen everything there is to see?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that MMOGs are diametrically opposed to "normal" games. In "normal" games, it's generally all about the destination... but in MMOGs, it's all about the journey.

I guess I'm just not understanding the complaints, is all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Dave Long on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 05:33 pm:


Quote:

I guess I'm just not understanding the complaints, is all.


That's because you're one of a dying breed, Bill. The people who play games for the sheer thrills of the mechanics. The ones who see the game underneath the goal and want to enjoy the mechanics of play and not just some kind of success status symbol.

I've said this before here, so for those that have seen it before countless times, enjoy it again! Many gamers want a ride that they can quickly complete. The destination is why they play, not the journey. They really could care less how they get there as long as it's mildly amusing along the way. Then they bitch and moan that the game is too short or the story sucked and move on to another game to trash.

It's so common now, I've given up trying to understand it. I know I'm still enjoying the game mechanics themselves and look forward to new ways to play and new things to do even in an old game. Chick reviews Rails Across America in the latest CGM. He notes that many people won't know what to do with the game or will ignore it because it doesn't fit neatly into descriptions and that's absolutely right. I'd also wager that most won't understand its appeal for that same reason and when they finish a game in one night will wonder why anyone would make such a thing?

It's a perception problem and it'll probably get worse as we get older and new gamers grow into gaming. They won't have spent a lot of time with board games (probably zero with wargames/bookshelf style games) so they won't necessarily think that's a game. They'll want story and narrative and linear play where there's an utlimate way to "win". By that time, I'll probably be old enough not to care too much.

--Dave
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 05:39 pm:

"With that type of ratio for fun::money, why in the world would anyone want to "beat" the game? Or race to the end? It'd be like using god mode in every game you ever played just to "beat" it, and then bitching about how the game was too short and too easy. Well, duh."

It's not a question of "beating" it with DAoC. It's simply wanting it to be as much fun at level 27 as it was at level 8. It's not because there isn't as much to do and what there is to do, you've already done before at lower levels. There are hardly any new monsters at the higher levels, just harder versions of the old monsters.

Plus, you really don't get any new skills or spells after level 10-12.

Finally, there aren't many quests beyond level 25, and practically none past level 35.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 05:44 pm:

"It's not because there isn't as much to do"

That should read, It's *because* there isn't as much to do.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bill McClendon (Crash) on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 08:34 pm:

Dave Long:
"Many gamers want a ride that they can quickly complete. The destination is why they play, not the journey. They really could care less how they get there as long as it's mildly amusing along the way. Then they bitch and moan that the game is too short or the story sucked and move on to another game to trash."

What's kind of odd to me, I suppose, is that this is really a new phenomenon, relatively speaking--look at the Quake community, for instance. How long did mod authors and level designers and players enjoy Quake? Hm. Maybe there's some sort of meta-statement about the flood of games, and the expansion of the market, being a negative thing towards the enjoyment of games... Since there are so many games out, and so many things to be distracted by, nobody wants to concentrate on a single one any more because they're afraid, oh, I don't know, that they might miss something?

Constant overstimulation numbs me. So to speak.

Man. Sure wish I still worked for Gamecenter. That might make a fun column/editorial. Or, well, a depressing one.

Mark Asher:
"It's simply wanting it to be as much fun at level 27 as it was at level 8. It's because there isn't as much to do and what there is to do, you've already done before at lower levels. There are hardly any new monsters at the higher levels, just harder versions of the old monsters."

So... throw me a bone here. It has to constantly present you with new things to do forever? I'm simply not grasping the concept out of "running out of fun things to do" when the game allows so much flexibility in creation, development, and execution.

I mean, well. Let's put it another way, and maybe my confusion will make sense--and you can explain it to me in ways I can understand. :) Lots of folks have slammed AC for being content-free and boring and the same old level treadmill and blah blah blah. Okay, a fair enough contention. Why haven't I run out of things to do yet, then? It's been two and a half years, after all; you'd think I'd have run out of stuff to do a long time ago.

Is it perhaps that my Amused Quotient may be lower than most? I make mini-quests for myself all the time; some I can do in an hour or two, some take days, and others take weeks--and few, if any, are coded into the game engine. Thinking about it, maybe I am easily amused.

"Plus, you really don't get any new skills or spells after level 10-12."

You don't in Diablo 2, either. :)

"Finally, there aren't many quests beyond level 25, and practically none past level 35."

So the quests are what make it fun, then? What's wrong with making up some of your own and doing 'em just for the hell of it? Or will this become a, "Dammit I pay money to BE entertained, not to entertain MYSELF!" tangent?

In which case, it's a question of consumption rather than distraction. And in that case, no MMOG will ever be able to provide.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 09:23 pm:

"Man. Sure wish I still worked for Gamecenter. That might make a fun column/editorial. Or, well, a depressing one."

Yeah, but consider the plight of poor GamerX. He doesn't have a job with GameCenter any more, but he still has to wear that ridiculous costume, cape, and monocle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 09:31 pm:

In Diablo II you do get new skills beyond level 12. You don't get many of them until you hit level 25 or more.

Also, in Diablo II you're constantly getting new magic items. That is really fun.

Finally, DII becomes a level grind as well. I was driven to complete the game on all three difficulty levels; after that I stopped playing.

The problem with DAoC is that after about level 10-12 you really do have all the skills and spells and you'll simply get more powerful versions of same as you continue to level.

I really don't play my level 27 cleric that much anymore. Instead I've been starting new characters. It's more fun because I get to use new skills and spells and I get new quests, something that doesn't really happen with my cleric anymore. A new level doesn't really unlock much. I can kill something I couldn't kill before. That's about it.

I'd love to try RvR more, but the four times I've tried it haven't been any fun, and I fear that my cleric is falling further behind the RvRers in levels. Thing is, I don't really want to grind out levels just to be more competitive in RvR.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bill McClendon (Crash) on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 09:35 pm:

GamerX lost the cape around the middle of 2000 when he got his new look, Wumpus.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 12:45 am:

I still have nightmares about GamerX.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Grognard on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 12:50 am:

Dave Long wrote

"That's because you're one of a dying breed, Bill. The people who play games for the sheer thrills of the mechanics. The ones who see the game underneath the goal and want to enjoy the mechanics of play and not just some kind of success status symbol."

I disagree with that statement. I am a long time board/hex gamer from way....back.I playtested for SPI and our old group still gets together for the first week of June to play a 72 hour marathon of Atlantic Wall. To me games no longer take chances or try to innovate. I buy a game now, very infrequently, and I find my self rushing through to try and find something new. Where is the innovation? Last "mainstream" games I bought that really sparked any interest were HL, Thief, SS2, and Kohan.Usually I end up shelving the thing and going back to old favorites. Multiplay sucks because it does'nt have the immediacy and comradery of face-to-face play. I travel hundreds of miles a year and spend ungodly amounts of time for lan games and face-to-face boardgames with friends. Would'nt spend 2 minutes or the energy to click the "connect" button to play online with random gamers. MMOG's? No strategy there. Just graphical interfaces to IRC that attract people with common interests so they stay fairly on topic. I'd rather get a good D&D campaign going over IRC with friends then waste a minute with MMOG's. Hell Zork had more personality, story and intrigue then most current MMOG's.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce_Geryk (Bruce) on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 02:13 pm:

Sorry to be dense, but was this an anyonymous joke post? How is Atlantic Wall innovative? It came out in 1978.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason Levine on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 02:39 pm:

I think it was innovative in the sense that it was one of the few WWII games in which playing the Germans was no damn fun.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 02:52 pm:

>The problem with DAoC is that after about level 10-12 you really do have all the skills and spells and you'll simply get more powerful versions of same as you continue to level.

I don't think that's true, at least for all classes. I know the Thane gets access to a completely new area of effect spell in the 20s, and the Sorcerer gets a few new area of effect spells well into the 20s. Those are the only two classes I'm playing in any depth.

I think Camelot's character development system is really similar to Diablo 2's - probably deliberately so.

Higher level quests and more higher level vs monster stuff (away from frontiers) would be great -- naturally EQ has more of that because that's all EQ has for higher level characters.
But one of the reasons I wasn't initially even going to try Camelot was because I was concerned that it was too oriented towards player vs. player (which I don't think can ever work well, other than for fanatics), but I've been really pleasantly surprised at how much fun it is -- and how much there is to do -- just killing monsters either solo or in groups.

I've put in over 100 hours now, according to the /played button (I really wish all games kept track of that), and have only seen about 60% of two realms, less than 30% of the third, and no frontier areas. And over a month after I started playing the game, I'm still playing it almost nightly to 3 a.m. -- I haven't been that addicted to a game in a long while.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 04:04 pm:

"I don't think that's true, at least for all classes. I know the Thane gets access to a completely new area of effect spell in the 20s, and the Sorcerer gets a few new area of effect spells well into the 20s. Those are the only two classes I'm playing in any depth."

There could be a few, I guess. It's just that they're still just variants on abilities you already have.

What would be interesting is if the sorcerer got something fun at level 25 that was unique, like the ability to create a mirror image of himself for 30 seconds to confuse enemies in battle.

Then you'd have a reward for reaching level 25.

Rangers could get tracking at 25.

Wizards could get the ability to create a flaming sword they could use in battle instead of their staff.

It would be cool if every 5 levels you got a really interesting spell or skill that was unique. Heck, they could even make you go on a quest to get it.

EverQuest did a much better job of dangling carrots in front of the player. You would get new unique abilities throughout the life of your character. (Other carrots include the high-level guild raid stuff and just the many varied zones that you needed to be high level to wander about in. In DAoC Llyn Barfog isn't much different than Camelot Hills. In EQ the Oasis of Marr is vastly different from Greater Faydark.)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 05:02 pm:

From Mark's description-- it sounds like DAOC's system isn't enough like Diablo II, after all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 05:59 pm:

>DAoC Llyn Barfog isn't much different than Camelot Hills. In EQ the Oasis of Marr is vastly different from Greater Faydark

There's some pretty crazy different realms -- Muspelheim, in Midgard, is a volcanic area with Fire Giants that's pretty radically different from the rest of the realm. I haven't seen any of the other high level areas in the realms.

You're right that Mythic didn't, at least yet, provide the same sort of development incentives that games like Diablo2 do at higher levels -- some are intended, but just haven't been incorporated yet, like the Beserker's ability to turn into a bear, and the ability of some of the rogue-type classes to climb walls. If the precedent set by the other online games is followed, there'll be a great deal of high level stuff (areas, abilities) added as the game evolves.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 06:36 pm:

How much high-level content did EQ have two months after release, anyway?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 - 07:05 pm:

"How much high-level content did EQ have two months after release, anyway?"

Well, they had Lady Vox and other high level stuff in from the start. I'm sure they added stuff too, but some of it was there when the game shipped.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Wednesday, December 5, 2001 - 10:19 am:

Mark wrote:


Quote:

EverQuest did a much better job of dangling carrots in front of the player. You would get new unique abilities throughout the life of your character. (Other carrots include the high-level guild raid stuff and just the many varied zones that you needed to be high level to wander about in. In DAoC Llyn Barfog isn't much different than Camelot Hills. In EQ the Oasis of Marr is vastly different from Greater Faydark.)




In DAOC you get new spells/quests/skills almost every level so there are smaller but more consistant rewards over the life of your character. It isn't like in EQ where you hit 35 then have to wait 4 or 5 levels to get 99% cookie cutter spells. Also I found EQ extremely arbitrary in giving you spells. Like the Gate and Group gate. It was completely arbitrary how you got them. They annoyingly left off the best locations to gate to like North Ro until you were idiotically high level.

Guild raids or why EQ sucks. Nothing like having to get on a list to be involved and then have it take 12 hours. And if you aren't in an uber guild? You can't be involved. Keep raids in DAOC take maybe an hour or two, are quickly organized, and you can't be left out. Even if you have 8 people in your guild you can go and be a part of the raid and no one can stop you. And there are no lists to get on!

Zones. Camp forest is vastly different than Camelot Hills which is vastly different from Snowdonia. Oh and try going to Lyoness (a very high level zone) sometime that place is freaky and different than any zone I ever saw in EQ (great mace quest for any class there at 33 BTW did it last night very involved and a lot of fun).
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Wednesday, December 5, 2001 - 10:45 am:

"Camp forest is vastly different than Camelot Hills which is vastly different from Snowdonia."

The basic look isn't all that different, though. There's a lot more variety in the look of the zones in EQ. Albion is either more or fewer hills, more or fewer trees. In EQ you can go from Greater Faydark to Butcherblock and get something that looks quite a bit different.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jim Hoffman on Wednesday, December 5, 2001 - 01:15 pm:

So Mark, do you think you might stick with EQ a little longer?
P.S. I enjoyed your preview of Luclin a month or two ago in CGW.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Wednesday, December 5, 2001 - 03:32 pm:

I'm playing the heck out of DAoC. I'm going to play the Luclin expansion though.

I really like DAoC. I just don't see it having the legs that EQ has unless Mythic adds a lot of content, which they say they will do. I'm hopeful. It's a terrific game in most ways. I wish Sony would adopt some DAoC ideas, like less downtime, etc.

And thanks. I flew out to Sony for that Luclin preview and flew back in on the morning of September 11th. That was kind of freaky. I called my wife to tell her to pick me up at the Metrolink station and she told me planes had hit the WTC. That was 8:15 AM CST. I was standing there watching people waiting for a bus and was torn about talking to them. I could tell that none of them knew yet. I wanted to talk to someone while I was waiting, but I didn't really want to be the herald of tragic news.

It was hard to write that piece, not because it seemed trivial -- writing about games has always seemed trivial (but fun!) -- but because I was just so mentally agitated all week long. It was hard to focus. Like everyone else, all I could think about was the attacks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jim Hoffman on Wednesday, December 5, 2001 - 04:59 pm:

Yes, I'm definitely going to play Luclin, but I'll wait at least a month to let things cool off a little.
I'm no longer an early adopter of computer games, since they all start out so buggy these days.
And I've just decided I'm going to try DAoC as well. I'm playing EQ and AO already, so what's one more? (I'm actually playing AO more than EQ these days.)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Thursday, December 6, 2001 - 04:35 pm:

I'd love to try Luclin, Everquest still has a ton of content I've yet to see (mostly level 45+ content). But remembering how slow it was and ubercentric (much more so than DAOC) gives me an ill feeling. Plus in DAOC you CAN solo as amelee easily. Its not possible to solo in EQ unless you play a pet class or druid.

Too bad Verant didnt make a sequel instead... would have had my money.

Plus reading on some boards... Luclin is riddled with bugs ... pretty drastic for a 2+ year old game

"I just wanted to inform you of some of the items that we are aware of and are working to fix. We will be patching as many fixes as we can tonight.

Bard Songs Bard songs are broken. Bards are having trouble getting songs to start or to take hold.

Group Buffs there is a problem that seems to be preventing anyone from casting group buffs.

Crashing when Zoning some zones are causing some folks to crash and not be able to get back to play with those characters.

Bolt Spells some spells are not displaying their effects.

Mouse pointers something is up with mouse pointers. For some they get an extra, others get none.
- NOTE: Changing resolutions seems to fix this problem for some people.

Intel 810 and ATI Rage cards and possibly others, are displaying 'black boxes', often where a texture should be transparent. "

These are BIG bugs not minor bugs... kinda makes me wonder why Brad left Verant.

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Thursday, December 6, 2001 - 04:37 pm:

Also, if any of you Albion/Midgard doods want a crack at Hibernia I've decided to stick with Pellinor... if you need armor i can make you some! (up to af 40 / 455 armorsmith skill as of now). Come join the Hibernian side! names Kafkana/Azhor/Leneya/Septerra.

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jim Hoffman on Thursday, December 6, 2001 - 06:01 pm:

Mtkafka, I know what you mean about levelling in EQ. I don't even play any more unless it's with some friends.
My highest level char. in EQ is a lvl 23 cleric, and I started in 98! I keep thinking I should log on and level that guy, but I kinda dread it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 01:23 am:

The leveling slow down in EQ doesnt bother me, even DAOC is slow to level after about level 30. Its that battles are few and far between in EQ right at about level 10. Right at the get go you get used to the immense downtime for ANYTHING to happen in EQ. Sometimes the long downtime makes for some heated battles with higher anticipation. But in the long run its so tiresome. I'm surprised I had an EQ account for almost 2 years! Let alone played one character for almost 30 days!

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 09:49 am:

The downtime in EQ is a bit much, though if you're in the right group at the right spot it can be quite minimal.

It's a small thing, but along with the downtime, the shouts and OOCs in EQ make it a much more social game than DAoC. When you have to sit for a minute or two and you can hear chatter from across the zone, you get a greater sense of player community.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 10:51 am:

>and OOCs in EQ

What dat?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jim Hoffman on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 12:40 pm:

OOC = "Out Of Character"
It's like a shout, but you're supposed to use it for "non-roleplaying" stuff. People end up using it for auctions (even tho there's an auction channel), talking smack, etc.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 01:12 pm:

"The downtime in EQ is a bit much, though if you're in the right group at the right spot it can be quite minimal. "

But finding and getting a group together could take hours! Literally! Even if you had a guild and a regular group to group with!

"When you have to sit for a minute or two and you can hear chatter from across the zone, you get a greater sense of player community."

Well most of the last few EQ groups i was in was all about phat lewt and talking how somebody uber camped a ten hour spawn and got x phat lewt for the Barbie Nubile Female Druid Wood Elfand the occasional, "oom , heal me, sow me, buff plz and/or DING! or WOOT!" ... not really much of a community feeling for me. But yeah i know what you're saying, more downtime does allow for a breather... and mindless chit chat... FUN! though DAOC isnt much different, most of the time, at least its a new experience mostly?

Bah i just cant take EQ anymore, good as it was its just stale and old.

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 02:01 pm:


Quote:

But finding and getting a group together could take hours! Literally! Even if you had a guild and a regular group to group with!




Luckily DAOC eliminates the need to have to be in a group. Only have an hour? Go solo for a while it is not a problem.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 03:23 pm:

Yeah, DAoC is much better for soloing, though I'm disappointed in some of the recent nerfs done in the name of RvR that affect the PvE game. I have a feeble level 8 ranger and now his critical strikes were nerfed and don't hit as often and I have to run more when soloing. I also have a level 11 theurgist and they nerfed stuns, which affects my air pets. I spec'd in air elementals, which use stun, and now I'm having trouble soloing oranges, which I used to do routinely.

And of course they are adding falling damage to the game because archers were jumping off castle walls in the RvR game and not taking damage (and they also want to give some of the stealth classes a safe fall skill). So now we may not be able to run down steep hills without taking damage. On the test server someone died while riding a horse from taking falling damage.

I wish they'd focus more on adding content then on nerfing to balance the RvR game.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce_Geryk (Bruce) on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 04:20 pm:

"Yeah, DAoC is much better for soloing, though I'm disappointed in some of the recent nerfs done in the name of RvR that affect the PvE game."

I really, really don't understand why the PvP nerfs have to affect PvE. Archers too powerful against other players? Nerf them against other players and leave their effect against monsters alone. I'm baffled.

Btw, best game of 2001? DAOC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 04:40 pm:

Mark, they are going to fix the falling damage in a new patch. As for Nerfing for RvR some of them have to be done, the AE stuns were so over powered before the patch. As for not being able to solo oranges considering the target con Mythic was aiming for people to solo was blue you are still in pretty good shape as I am sure yellows are still no problem. On last note Archers of all realms have problems around 7-11 with soloing so that particular nerf hurt you worst than most but I can say from first hand experience archers are still damned effective in RvR our one mage died 4 times to a high level Ranger last night.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 05:12 pm:

>Btw, best game of 2001? DAOC

I agree.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason Levine on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 05:17 pm:

"Btw, best game of 2001? DAOC."

Am I seeing things, or did Bruce just name a game with Elves in it GOTY? What's that cold vapor rising out of the ground?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 06:31 pm:

"As for Nerfing for RvR some of them have to be done, the AE stuns were so over powered before the patch."

I don't doubt that for RvR, but for PvE what does it matter? I just wish they could figure out a way to adjust the RvR game without affecting the PvE game. Further, doesn't just one class have an AOE stun? Anyway, the thing is that in nerfings stuns because of the AOE stun (understandable), my little munchkin elementals are no longer as effective.

"As for not being able to solo oranges considering the target con Mythic was aiming for people to solo was blue you are still in pretty good shape as I am sure yellows are still no problem."

I assumed soloing yellows was the ideal, assuming the player initiates the combat. That would make sense since yellows are equal. Theurgists get a boost though because they split XP with the elementals, so they have to solo oranges to get the XP equivalent of a yellow. Or something like that.

Anyway, for PvE it doesn't really matter if one class is a bit overpowered. There might be a bit of class envy, but it's not a big deal. It's far worse IMO to be playing a class and suddenly have it be less effective in PvE. That's really frustrating.

"On last note Archers of all realms have problems around 7-11 with soloing so that particular nerf hurt you worst than most but I can say from first hand experience archers are still damned effective in RvR our one mage died 4 times to a high level Ranger last night."

Did he have blade turn on?

I dunno about levels 7-11 for archers. I just know that after the nerf I really didn't want to play that character anymore. Soloing's just too much of a pain.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 08:00 pm:

"Btw, best game of 2001? DAOC."

Best MMORPG, perhaps. I have difficulty lumping this class of games with everything else.

When, if ever, is there going to be a better physical representation of combat in these types of online RPG games? I find the statistics and stat-building aspects of the game so uninvolving. The sense of immersion is nil compared to, say, a racing game where you turn the wheel and drive. Or a FPS game where you aim a weapon and shoot. Those are fairly close analogs to the real world mechanics of driving and shooting.

I'm guessing an archer in DAOC just selects the "shoot arrow" command, clicks on the target he wants to shoot, then there's a virtual die roll based on his stats, the AC of the enemy, his arrow type, etcetera. Blah.

It's not like I'm down on the traditional RPG concept; my first computer game ever was Wizardry on the Apple //c. I just wish we could come up with more immersive ways of representing combat. It's the same thing with 2D scrollers. I expect more from games today. MMORPGs seem like a quantum leap backwards when it comes to the play mechanics.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 08:26 pm:

Yeah, I agree most online rpgs are a little mechanical when it comes to combat... but i think it would be impossible to replicate an fps experience when you have 1000's on one game server... the lag would be too much. Online rpgs are probably the only games i play online, since being on dial up isnt much of a hinderance.... unless the game is UO though.

BTW, archers are still uber (imo) ... i have no idea why people think they are nerfed... i play one (lvl 13 ranger) and they are not completely nerfed... they can still make crit shots, just cant use rough or -crap- arrows anymore. Its true the hit ratios are less, but they are not completely fubar. In RvR it seems they generallly have the most realm points ...

Alot of the complaining in DAoC has to do mostly with ex-EQ players... I swear it has to be the Verant effect! Me included!

Still a great game.

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Friday, December 7, 2001 - 09:43 pm:

"When, if ever, is there going to be a better physical representation of combat in these types of online RPG games? I find the statistics and stat-building aspects of the game so uninvolving."

Maybe when an Internet game can support hundreds of players at once without lag. Otherwise, you get the LPB effect magnified.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 12:30 am:

Is it just me, or did Archon have a more interactive combat model than any current MMORPG I can think of?

Speaking of Archon. I still think there's a lot of untapped potential in a larger-scale strategic battle that is resolved in smaller 16x16 battles. Think of the chess board in Star Wars, writ large.

Hell, maybe that'll be Team Fortress 2. Who knows? But the nail-biting statistics battle that is current MMORPG games just doesn't do it for me.

And then there's the seemingly insurmountable "nobody has ever represented first-person melee combat worth a damn on the computer" problem, which is like the friggin' holy grail.

And before the litany of complaints starts, no, I don't consider Die By the Sword a successful attempt. Interesting, absolutely, easy to grasp by the average gamer, no. The near-vertical learning curve was a wee bit of a problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 12:47 am:

"Is it just me, or did Archon have a more interactive combat model than any current MMORPG I can think of?"

I don't know what you mean by "more interactive." in DAoC you select a target and usually have several options -- a variety of spells or melee attacks. During combat you can continue to select new spells or melee options. The combat is actually quite tactical at times, with different members in the group playing different roles.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 12:56 am:

If your brand new MMORPG game has combat that can be modelled with scrolling text on a greenscreen (think MUD).. it's not very interactive.

A) swing sword!
B) thrust sword!
C) parry sword!

Not my idea of a good time. Maybe in 1985, yes, but not now.

Also, if more than half the vehicles you own are pickups.. you may be the ebola virus.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Alan Au (Itsatrap) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 01:47 am:

"Is it just me, or did Archon have a more interactive combat model than any current MMORPG I can think of?"

Archon's combat model was essentially arcade combat with steep strategic modifiers. Suffice to say, player skill mattered in Archon and doesn't in any current MMORPG. Part of the problem is lag, which throws a wrench in twitch-based combat.

As for large battles resolved in smaller engagements, I still think fondly of the Myth team multiplayer mode where a captain assigned units out to lieutenants and sent them around the map.

- Alan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 02:00 am:

"A) swing sword!
B) thrust sword!
C) parry sword!

Not my idea of a good time. Maybe in 1985, yes, but not now."

I doubt I want to know your definition of a good time, though it sounds like you don't want an RPG. You seem to want combat that isn't abstracted in any way that's in real time and lets you simulate actual swordplay. RPGs typically don't do that -- you don't like RPGs though, do you?

Having the combat abstracted a bit doesn't mean the combat isn't interactive. You still interact quite a bit. You're just not playing a swordfighting sim.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 02:04 am:

He also didn't like Die by the Sword, which, I'd guess, is as close to what he's looking for as anything.

Hmmm...Well, we know he's an FPS fan...That must be it.

And strategy games. Anything else, Wumpus?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 02:43 am:

"I doubt I want to know your definition of a good time, though it sounds like you don't want an RPG. You seem to want combat that isn't abstracted in any way that's in real time and lets you simulate actual swordplay. RPGs typically don't do that -- you don't like RPGs though, do you?"

I don't want any particular thing. I'm just saying-- by now, we should be able to think up more sophisticated RPG combat models, something that cannot be duplicated with an all-text interface. If you can duplicate your combat model using a text screen, it can hardly be called interactive in any modern sense of the word!

I guess this is fresh on my mind because of my recent attempt to play Wizardry 8 and not finding it one heck of a lot different than Dungeon Master circa 1989. In some ways worse, actually.

What I like about many newer FPS games is that they incorporate both statistics and reflexes (with gun accuracy). Wolfenstein does this, as does AVP2 and NOLF. That's one of the great hidden innovations of counter-strike that nobody talks about: it's not just having good aim (ala Quake), it's knowing how to fire the gun when your aim is steady-- so statistically, your shots have a high chance of going where you are aiming. It's sort of an equalizer, if you will. That's why people with really high pings can play well, and a large reason the game is so popular. It's not just about the guy with the best reflexes winning every time. Add the team objectives, the different weapon tradeoffs, and you have a fairly deep overarching layer of strategy.

The ideal game is a blend of statistics, reflexes, and strategy. I don't know why RPG games completely remove reflexes from the equation, but as I said: it hurts the immersion terribly. I don't FEEL like a wizard when I select a menu item to cast a spell, or fire an arrow; contrast that with aiming and firing a gun in operation flashpoint.. or driving an off-road vehicle in Screamer 4x4.. sneaking around and firing a bow in Thief.. or piloting a mech in Mech4. Where is the immersion?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 02:47 am:

It's immersive to me. Even with the isometric viewpoint, I get as "lost" in BGII as I do in NOLF.

And I don't think that everything in an RPG can be duplicated in text-only format -- though I'll acknowledge that large parts of it can. And, besides, say what you want -- there's something to be said for looking pretty, and Baldur's Gate II (which is as close to my "ideal RPG" as anything is) does that pretty well, too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 04:20 am:

"The ideal game is a blend of statistics, reflexes, and strategy."

The reflexes part is hard to do in a massive Internet game. The best reflexes in the world can't overcome a lot of packet loss.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce_Geryk (Bruce) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 05:15 am:

"The ideal game is a blend of statistics, reflexes, and strategy. I don't know why RPG games completely remove reflexes from the equation, but as I said: it hurts the immersion terribly."

In solo DAOC this may be applicable, but when playing in a large, balanced group in a dungeon I assure you it's not. Playing something like that well involves exactly what you're talking about: statistics, reflexes, and strategy. If you're a healer, you have to watch the group window, the chat window, and the battle itself, all the while deciding whom to heal, how powerful a spell to cast (so as not to draw aggro), how to pace your heals due to mana restrictions, as well as watching for adds. If you're a fighter, you need to keep an eye on the healers and be ready to pull monsters off of them, you have to use your styles effectively, and you have to manage your own aggro. If there are mages in your group that introduces a whole new set of problems. And this is in real time and requires decent reflexes. The difference between players who know what they're doing and those who just click and cast/hit is obvious. It's an RTS with incremental resolution. It may not be the perfect reflex/strategy/statistical game, but at times it comes pretty close.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 02:05 pm:

What Bruce said. Dumb players get your group killed while smart players allow you to take on mobs you might otherwise not handle.

As to it being immersive, in group battles there's so much going on that I don't see how anyone can be involved and not be immersed to some degree.

Soloing safe (blue or green) creatures can be a bit dull at times, especially for fighters. Then it can be as simple as initiating the attack and just watching, although most players will still want to perform a few special attacks to kill the mob quicker.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 05:26 pm:

Again, nothing there that couldn't be reproduced with a scrolling text window. It's just the A) B) C) menu I listed above, with a time limit and the unpredictability of other players. That's an awfully limited gameplay mechanic.

Not that it's not fun or anything, I just don't think that type of gameplay is directly comparable to the examples listed I gave above (Screamer 4x4, Thief, OF, etc).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce_Geryk (Bruce) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 06:47 pm:

"Again, nothing there that couldn't be reproduced with a scrolling text window."

First, considering the fact that you have to move your character using the WASD keys, you're clearly wrong there.

Second, I missed this the first time around since I was just skimming the thread, but I noticed it just now:

"I don't FEEL like a wizard when I select a menu item to cast a spell, or fire an arrow; contrast that with aiming and firing a gun in operation flashpoint.. or driving an off-road vehicle in Screamer 4x4.. sneaking around and firing a bow in Thief.. or piloting a mech in Mech4. Where is the immersion?"

Yeah, let's contrast it. What you're saying is that you feel like a soldier when you play Op Flashpoint? Or like a 'mech pilot' when playing MW4? That's really scary. You should get that checked out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 07:23 pm:

"Yeah, let's contrast it. What you're saying is that you feel like a soldier when you play Op Flashpoint? Or like a 'mech pilot' when playing MW4? That's really scary. You should get that checked out."

Actually that's not what I'm saying. The physical action of: moving a mouse and aiming a virtual gun, moving a steering wheel and turning a car, moving a joystick and piloting a plane-- these are all reasonable analogs of real world mechanics. Enough to give a pretty good sense of direct control, and therefore immersion. It also involves reflexes in the game in a rather complex, yet intuitive way.

A text menu, on the other hand, isn't immersive. Even one that has a timer attached to it. As far as reflexes goes, this mechanic has less depth than a game of Simon.

As I said. I'm just a little nonplussed that the nuts and bolts of RPG combat mechanics haven't evolved beyond Wizardry on the Apple //c. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I was hoping for more by this point.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 07:57 pm:

"As I said. I'm just a little nonplussed that the nuts and bolts of RPG combat mechanics haven't evolved beyond Wizardry on the Apple //c. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I was hoping for more by this point."

When you use a knife or crowbar in a shooter, don't you just select your target and click? That's the same kind of combat you get in DAoC.

Sounds like you're nonplussed about all games that have melee combat. Why don't you give us an example of what you think an RPG should be doing with combat that other games have done.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce_Geryk (Bruce) on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 11:37 pm:


Quote:

The physical action of: moving a mouse and aiming a virtual gun, moving a steering wheel and turning a car, moving a joystick and piloting a plane-- these are all reasonable analogs of real world mechanics.



In a first-person shooter, you use the WASD keys to move your character, you choose your weapon with the keyboard, and you select your target with the mouse, all in real-time.

In DAOC, you use the WASD keys to move your character, you choose your weapon with the keyboard, and you select your target with the mouse, all in real-time.

So that pretty much settles that, unless your argument is that "feeling like a wizard" requires some kind of magical control system. Because yeah, I mean, that goes without saying.

Quote:

A text menu, on the other hand, isn't immersive. Even one that has a timer attached to it. As far as reflexes goes, this mechanic has less depth than a game of Simon.



What text menu? There are no text menus in DAOC. Have you confused the game with the operating system? I hear you're a big fan of those.

It's fun to speculate what a game might be like from hearing other people talk about it, but unfortunately it sort of precludes a coherent argument, especially when you mistakenly get it into your head that a game is controlled by text menus. If you want to actually play the game for a while so you can form some non-speculative opinions, we can pick up this discussion later. Just don't expect me to debate Counterstrike with you, because I hate games that are controlled solely by rudder pedals.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 01:46 am:

"In DAOC, you use the WASD keys to move your character, you choose your weapon with the keyboard, and you select your target with the mouse, all in real-time."

Are you just returning from a vacation in the Land of the Intentionally Obtuse? There's no *aiming* in DOAC. In fact, there's no physics at all! If an enemy is moving very quickly, do you have to lead your target? Can an enemy dodge behind a wall or object to avoid being hit by your spell? Combat is resolved by a die roll, like every RPG I've ever known. You have a certain percentage chance to hit (based on a bazillion modifiers), and that's it. Combat is pure statistics!

Which also kinda-sorta summarizes the difference between combat in Starcraft and combat in Total Annihilation, but I digress.

"It's fun to speculate what a game might be like from hearing other people talk about it, but unfortunately it sort of precludes a coherent argument, especially when you mistakenly get it into your head that a game is controlled by text menus."

That's hilarious, except for one small thing: I didn't say that. What I did say was this: the entire DAOC combat system COULD BE DUPLICATED USING TEXT MENUS. Can you say that about many other games? If not, why not? Discuss.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce_Geryk (Bruce) on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 02:31 am:


Quote:

As far as reflexes goes, this mechanic has less depth than a game of Simon.

<subsequent post>

There's no *aiming* in DOAC.



I'm just going to keep collecting these quotes, and you can tell me when to stop.

Let's say there is some guy. He could be a dwarf, or in that realm with the weird mushrooms, he could be an elf. Or let's just say he's a mighty Highlander, off in search of some adventures. But you're a Troll, and for reasons that like everything else all boil down to hate crimes, you're trying to kill him. Let's additionally say he's running by you really fast. Maybe he's even got a Fast Running spell on him. So there's that whole problem. If you want to cast a spell at him, what are you going to do? I suppose you could select the "attack some guy" option in the text menu, but since there are no text menus that might not work. You could instead, perhaps, fire up your Apple whatever from 1959 and type some command into it, like "]bload kill guy now," but again, chances of success are low. So you may be forced to use the mouse, which is good at simulating aiming a gun but is not so good at making magic happen, because of real life analogs and such. You aim the mouse at the guy, and you click it. Maybe you have to lead a little bit to account for the fact that (some) fast-moving guy is under the influence of magic. And you've just used your reflexes and aimed the mouse. Please see your above quotes.


Quote:

the entire DAOC combat system COULD BE DUPLICATED USING TEXT MENUS. Can you say that about many other games?



Well, sure. Depends on what kind of menus you're talking about. I suppose I could select "Run Around" and then "Kill Nazi" from some menu, and I've got Return to Castle Wolfenstein. I mean, I've never actually PLAYED Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but I'm pretty confident when I say that the entire game COULD BE DUPLICATED USING TEXT MENUS.

There are plenty of situations in group combat that could not be duplicated with menus because they require far too much manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination skills.

Really, it's a lost cause, captain. Yours is a half-argument that only applies to a certain limited set of situations in the game, and they're by no means representative of the game as a whole. You're a lot better at arguing when you actually have a basis for your argument. Here you're just flailing. Play the game, hate it, and come back and kick my ass with your revised Text Menu Theory. It'll be great.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 03:51 am:

"You aim the mouse at the guy, and you click it. Maybe you have to lead a little bit to account for the fact that (some) fast-moving guy is under the influence of magic. And you've just used your reflexes and aimed the mouse. Please see your above quotes."

Then lag is a factor in the game? According to Mark, it isn't. Also, maybe I wasn't clear. Using your mouse to select a text menu doesn't count. Unless it's moving, I guess. Or do you go for headshots? I don't know, I'm just asking.

"There are plenty of situations in group combat that could not be duplicated with menus because they require far too much manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination skills."

This seems more of a function of the people and not the gameplay mechanic. Which was my whole point, but anyway. I'm sure the pending MMORPG version of Simon will be far deeper than the single player version. The rich, complex interactions of five people playing Simon.. AT THE SAME TIME.. well, the mind boggles. And rightly so!

"I suppose I could select "Run Around" and then "Kill Nazi" from some menu, and I've got Return to Castle Wolfenstein."

Actually that would be more fun than Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Maybe in the sequel.

"I mean, I've never actually PLAYED Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but I'm pretty confident when I say that the entire game COULD BE DUPLICATED USING TEXT MENUS."

Fine. You're right, I haven't played DAOC. But even though you haven't played RTCW, don't you think you might have a fairly reasonable idea of how the game *works*? It is a FPS game, after all. It's not some radical reinvention of gaming as we know it. I get that same impression about DOAC and MMORPGs. So sue me.

"Yours is a half-argument that only applies to a certain limited set of situations in the game, and they're by no means representative of the game as a whole. You're a lot better at arguing when you actually have a basis for your argument. Here you're just flailing. Play the game, hate it, and come back and kick my ass with your revised Text Menu Theory. It'll be great."

It's not my job to hate DOAC. And in fact I don't. I'm merely pointing out that MMORPG dice rolling is not all that different than plain old classic RPG dice rolling. Except in MMORPG it's a.. like.. two-billion sided die.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 04:13 am:

http://pub76.ezboard.com/fsacredomenfrm27.showMessage?topicID=36.topic

"Ashek have you played a melee up to higher levels? The twitch factor is way higher than eq... you have combos that can be activated, but only if you use abilities in certain time with other abilities.. such as.. Your character auto parry's, so you have to mash your attack before you attack to use it, then if that attack lands you mash another attack and you get increased damage output...kinda neat.."

Wow, that doesn't sound like Simon at all, Bruce.

Of course I haven't played the game. But this guy has. I think. Maybe you should e-mail him and find out for sure.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By deanco on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 07:31 am:

Bruce, hilarious. You made my morning, and put a smile on my face. Thanks for posting that.

DeanCo--


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Alan Au (Itsatrap) on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 01:31 pm:

Implementing a game as menu-based combat is one thing. Whether or not it's interesting is another matter. I don't care much for auto-attack combat, but I guess it gives you more time to type cryptic acronyms to your party members. *heh*

- Alan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 02:25 pm:

"The rich, complex interactions of five people playing Simon.. AT THE SAME TIME.. well, the mind boggles."

I'm sorry, there is a typo in my previous message. This should read:

"The rich, complex interactions of a dwarf, an elf, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric playing Simon.. AT THE SAME TIME.."

Also, last night I had a dream that I was driving around in a car with Suge Knight. We eventually drove to a grocery store and Suge asked me to shake down the owner owner because he owed Suge a big gambling debt. On my way in, he yelled "Get me a Kit-Kat bar while you're in there." I remember being mortally afraid that I would accidentally get the wrong candy bar and Suge would beat the crap out of me for no reason, GoodFellas style.

I'm totally serious. That was my dream. I am not making any of that up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 10:17 pm:

Why do you people continually argue with a man who believes the pinnacle of gaming is the first person shooter?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 10:39 pm:

Shrug.

Like I said about two dozen posts ago. We've seen plenty of evolution in gameplay mechanics in other genres.. Super Mario World to Mario 64. Castle Wolfenstein (Apple) to Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Sega's Turbo to Project Gotham. The common thread here is that the move from 2D to 3D wasn't just cosmetic, it actually changed the gameplay mechanics, largely by adding real world stuff like physics. As a direct result, the games got a lot deeper and more interesting.

It's just disappointing to me, personally, that the RPG is going from 2D to 3D but the changes ARE almost entirely cosmetic. The mechanics are fundamentally unchanged.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 01:44 am:

How would the mechanics of RPGs be improved by realistic 3d physics? Platformers were made more "fun" by 3d because they're all physics/reflex simulators at heart.

Most RPGs, at the core, are just statistical combat simulators. Well, assuming the existence of magic and tweaks for fun, but still. Fallout was just a bag of dialogue wrapped around an insanely fun system for simulating gun combat; MM and Wizardry are the same thing for melee and magic. The MMORPGS out there are the same, except there's the whole Diabloesque acquisitiveness element added to it.

If your model is focused on simulating outcomes based on tactical level choices (who wins a set piece battle given starting loadouts, abilities, and choices in combat of), instead of the process of individual actors generating the outcome (jumping around, leading the target with the gun, dodging, screwing up ammunition reloads, whatever), RPG mechanics are just fine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 03:00 am:

"It's just disappointing to me, personally, that the RPG is going from 2D to 3D but the changes ARE almost entirely cosmetic. The mechanics are fundamentally unchanged."

You could say the same thing about shooters. They're fundamentally the same since Wolf 3D -- use your mouse to aim and fire while you run around in a 3D environment.

What would you like to see in RPGs? I don't want my character's success to be tied to closely to my skill with the mouse. I have shooters for that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 11:47 am:

What *I'd* like to see in RPG's is more of the "holistic world simulation" stuff that Ultimas V-VII were toying with. This is more single player RPG's than MMORPG, mind you... but I'd like to see more NPC scheduling, day/night schedules, and living/dynamic systems -- economy, NPC AI, fluctuating political systems, weather, etc. The ultimate goal, it seems to me, is to create a virtual-world engine so robust that you can have a great gameplay experience without even bothering to follow a pre-scripted plot. And I actually think RPG's could learn something from classic non-linear, non-RPG games like Elite and Pirates! in this endeavor.

I am so tired of walking into an Elvish town, finding a bunch of NPC's -- whose sole purpose is to stand around in a bar all day and tell you about the Holy Sword of Yargroth -- and realize I have to go talk to all of them so they can tell me where I need to go to hack up some beasties and get a Cool Item to return to them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Brian Rucker on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 11:58 am:

Actually, I tend to think of two common models of combat resolution for CRPGs. One is the party based tactical system (most of them). The other is the first person combat game (Daggerfall and now Morrowind but you could make cases for a few action games that also have roleplaying elements).

I really don't have any preferences as I enjoy some titles in each group but in most cases the tactical combat isn't really as interesting as it could be - perhaps because of the reliance on items, levels and powerups makes nuanced options irrelevant. I'd like to see some games with less power inflation and more interesting tactical variations. That means realism (terrain, wounding, maneuver, morale, fog of war, etc.) for the most part in party based systems and more eye-hand options in first person games (Die By The Sword might be an extreme example but something along those lines would keep battles from stagnating so quickly into repetativeness).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By BobM on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 01:33 pm:

"What *I'd* like to see in RPG's is more of the "holistic world simulation" stuff that Ultimas V-VII were toying with."

Yes! We need more dynamic worlds. Especially in MMORPGs.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 02:33 pm:

>It's just disappointing to me, personally, that the RPG is going from 2D to 3D but the changes ARE almost entirely cosmetic.

Jeff, it seems like you're arriving at that conclusion solely because you don't "aim" in combat. Twitch dexterity isn't a prerequisite in most RPGs, which isn't the bad, or "backwards" thing, you seem to suggest it is.

Combat is pretty tactical in DAOC -- aside from movement/positioning considerations, there's a lot of options for most characters. For example, for my sorcerer character -- I can either attack directly with damage spells, or try to mesmerize or confuse my enemies, make them halt their attack by causing them to forget about me or just freezing their progress, charm NPCs to assist me, and then assist them by casting weakening spells on opponents -- but not doing too much damage directly to avoid being drawn into melee, or luring other creatures into the fray -- all in real-time, with no chance to save/reload. Battles can be pretty exciting and involving.

>I'd like to see more NPC scheduling, day/night schedules, and living/dynamic systems -- economy, NPC AI, fluctuating political systems, weather, etc. The ultimate goal, it seems to me, is to create a virtual-world engine so robust that you can have a great gameplay experience without even bothering to follow a pre-scripted plot

I couldn't agree more -- that's exactly the sort of game I'm looking for, and which I hoped RPGs would evolve into. Really, the genre (online or otherwise) hasn't progressed in 10 years with respect to these aspects. Ultima 6/7 are really still the highwater mark. Nothing released since even comes close.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 03:26 pm:


Quote:

As for not being able to solo oranges considering the target con Mythic was aiming for people to solo was blue you are still in pretty good shape as I am sure yellows are still no problem.



I assumed soloing yellows was the ideal, assuming the player initiates the combat. That would make sense since yellows are equal. Theurgists get a boost though because they split XP with the elementals, so they have to solo oranges to get the XP equivalent of a yellow. Or something like that.

Actually the ideal is blue according to Mythic so even splitting some exp with the elementals on a yellow you should still get the same exp. And I get your frustration with any nerf. Luckily I haven't had to deal with it for my armsman yet.


Quote:

Did he have blade turn on?




Yes for the initial shot but there is only a percentage chance to stop shots and this guy was higher than our mage. Plus he kept getting to him before he could regen mana enough to get it back on.


Quote:

I dunno about levels 7-11 for archers. I just know that after the nerf I really didn't want to play that character anymore. Soloing's just too much of a pain.




I hear you but archers really do well in RvR so the payoff is there if you put in the time.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 04:00 pm:

I am a day late to the party but I see Wumpus is spouting more nonsense.

Hitting based on statistics in DAOC/EQ/etc.. Well DUH it is an RPG not an FPS. What would be the point of levels otherwise?

Combat being simplistic. You should actually try playing the game before casting any judgements. At it's base level you swing on a timed basis. But in DAOC they introduce styles. Styles do more damage and take up endurance. Some have to be chained off of the previous one or off of a specific action like parrying or blocking. The timing in this is similar to a fighting game combo. Finally some styles can only be done from different positions like side or behind.

Also the fights against players are far different than fights against mobs. Styles I never use against mobs are great in RvR. I have used my behind shield style to stun enemies who try to run then my companions smack them down.

[sarcasm]But hey there are no tactics in this game. It could be replaced by a text window right?[/sarcasm] Try playing the game before sticking your foot any further into your mouth.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 05:38 pm:

">I'd like to see more NPC scheduling, day/night schedules, and living/dynamic systems -- economy, NPC AI, fluctuating political systems, weather, etc. The ultimate goal, it seems to me, is to create a virtual-world engine so robust that you can have a great gameplay experience without even bothering to follow a pre-scripted plot"

This is more or less what I was getting at, but I'm coming at it from the physics angle. I'll tell you guys up front: I am a whore for physics in gaming.

With physics, you're not setting arbitrary rules-- you create a world and let the player try to see what works. That is a much richer gameplay experience, because you have an almost infinite amount of choice.

Also, let me be clear: I am not arguing that all games should be reflex oriented. That would be.. nasty, brutish, and short.

I am arguing that the ideal balance of gameplay includes reflexes, statistics, and strategy in equal measure. RPGs are great at two of the three, but the whole reflexes thing is a nonentity, despite Bruce's florid protests to the contrary. It's just point and click number crunching.

Let me give you a real world example of how physics make gameplay more interesting. In Starcraft, certain units couldn't "hit" other units.. just because. Because Blizzard made that an arbitrary rock-paper-scissors rule. But in Total Annihilation, ground cannon units that had no business shooting at airplanes.. would! Or vice versa. Your missile units would fire on ground units if no air targets were available. This led to some interesting strategies vis-a-vis missile units, because as they have a very large range. A group of 20 missile units was a formidable opponent for even ground tanks, if you could keep your distance.

That's the sort of emergent behavior you get from creating coherent game world, rather than hard-coding everything. I view all gaming evolution as steps on this continuum.. and I think RPGs are currently one of the slowest evolving of the genres by this yardstick. So basically I agree with Desslock, but for different reasons.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 05:59 pm:

'This is more or less what I was getting at, but I'm coming at it from the physics angle. I'll tell you guys up front: I am a whore for physics in gaming.'

Perhaps you should look into this game I've heard some things about. I think it's called Trespasser; objects float based on their mass!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 06:45 pm:

Trespasser is an interesting case study. The physics engine wasn't really the issue; what made it bad was that whole parts of the game were just not there.. like the AI.

Read the postmortem on GamaSutra. I think it's the best one of the entire crop. Probably because he's harvesting such fertile ground, and because the game is such a trainwreck. You can't help but look!

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/19990514/trespasser_01.htm

(free registration required, but it's worth it)

And in the interests of full disclosure, I did like Trespasser. But in the same way I would like my imaginary retarded friend: I recognize that he has a lot of limitations.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 07:01 pm:

There's a difference between liking him and hiring him to do engineering work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 07:04 pm:

"I am arguing that the ideal balance of gameplay includes reflexes, statistics, and strategy in equal measure. RPGs are great at two of the three, but the whole reflexes thing is a nonentity, despite Bruce's florid protests to the contrary. It's just point and click number crunching."

How so? In Quake you point and click and the numbers are crunched -- how many points of damage was done with the chain gun, how many points of armor or health does the target have, etc. How is that any different then pointing and clicking to cast a fireball at an orc in an RPG? Same kind of numbers are crunched. The only difference is that in quake the hit or miss is determined more by reflexes and in the RPG it's determined by formulas.

So it's really reflexes vs. formulas, with the understanding that the targetting is reflex-based in both.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 07:23 pm:

This is actually quite interesting... my initial response to Wumpus is to say "RPG's have tactical combat, dammit! If you don't like it go play Quake!"

But on further reflection, I dunno. My brother insists that of all the games he has ever played, the one that made him feel closest to being *inside* a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, was Thief. Because it was totally immersive, he felt he was *there*, and he was drawn in utterly.

Why did RPG's start having tactical combat anyway? Why do they generally (not always) include mini-wargames to resolve battles? Well I would imagine part of it has to do with D&D's roots in pre-computer wargaming -- Chainmail and all that. And traditionally the whole basis of roleplaying -- at least that aspect of it which can be translated to computer -- is numbers. Statistics. Your character is expressed by certain statistics, and these statistics in turn must somehow effect his performance in the gameworld. If it all comes down to your own personal reflexes, then the statistics are worthless. A master Quake player isn't a master Quake player because his avatar has a high dexterity. He's a master Quake player because *he*, *personally,* has a high dexterity.

I'm of two minds on the issue. On the one hand, I think tactical combat can be wonderful, and I have dug the detailed combat modes of CRPG's from Ultima III through Magic Candle and Mars Saga up to Fallout and Baldur's Gate II. Yet on the other hand, it must be acknowledged that this type of combat does remove the "you-are-there" immersion. As RPG's become increasingly 3D, increasingly first-person (though of course there have been 1st Person RPG's since the beginning, i.e. Wizardry, Might & Magic, etc.), perhaps more dissonance will become evident. Perhaps if you're running around in a beautifully sculpted 3D fantasy world, it just won't *do* any longer to have everything stop and go into a tactical mode when you run into an Orc. One thing you can say about Unreal or Half-Life, is that it's seamless: you deal with situations in a real-time basis and the suspension of disbelief is thus not jeopardized. You aren't taken out of the game by shifting points of view and whatnot.

Some might decry this as the tyranny of the FPS foisting itself upon other genres. Others might argue that the very *essence* of the CRPG -- which involves the strategic use of statistics to represent your avatar in the gameworld -- will be lost if this happens. After all, should Yorgar the Barbarian's ability to chop off heads be limited by the player's own reflexes? I, for one, enjoy both action games and CRPG's, but I play them for different reasons. And I am generally not too crazy about action/CRPG hybrids. To take an old example, look at Chris Roberts' 1988 game Times of Lore. A brilliant engine and seamless world, marred by lame Gauntlet-esque hack-and-slash action. The combat in that was infinitely more tedious than the average tactical-combat-mode in a contemporaneous CRPG like Mars Saga. But perhaps that was just because the execution of the action-game dimension was inadequate...

What we might see is some RPG's going more the Dungeon Siege route -- maintaining an overhead, RTS-esque interface within a 3D graphics context. Others, going the Morrowind route, may continue to be more immersive action/reflex-based (and, in single-player anyway, this direction would make it harder to have a party, because controlling all of them would necessitate interface aspects that would break suspension of disbelief -- though you could of course have them with their own AI, following you around). God's-eye versus man's-eye, with gaming styles breaking down one way or the other. I wonder where it will all go. As for the classic turn-based CRPG, well, we'll always have Jeff Vogel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:36 pm:

I think FPS games have a lot to learn from RPG games.

"In Quake you point and click and the numbers are crunched -- how many points of damage was done with the chain gun, how many points of armor or health does the target have, etc."

Case in point. That was absolutely true in Quake, which is probably the worst offender of the reflexes-only concept. We've evolved beyond that now. It starts with firing your weapon accurately, and then the accuracy modifiers are taken into account. Eg, statistics. And then in class-based gameplay like in RTW or Tribes2, armor and abilities are taken into account. I expect this crossover pollination to get more and more complicated, and I welcome the additional depth. I don't want to play so-called "classic" Quake all over again.

Here's one for you guys. I can think of another game where reflexes don't matter, but strategy and statistics do. Gambling. It bores me to tears, personally, but honestly: what is the fundamental difference between resolving 10 rounds of classic RPG combat, and getting dealt 10 hands of poker? You're just playing the odds in both cases, and making some strategic decisions to better affect the random outcome..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:47 pm:

"So it's really reflexes vs. formulas, with the understanding that the targetting is reflex-based in both."

Just to clarify. You can't really be arguing that ALL the weapons in FPS games are just point and click, like selecting a menu. You might be firing a plasma gun with slow projectiles. Or you could have a gun that has multiple functions like the gauss gun in Half-Life: it can launch you, it can fire through walls, it can ricochet. And even the classic rocket launcher.. the additional vector physics of timing your rocket's arrival with your opponent's, and dealing with the splash damage and residual physics of the explosion. Not to mention the arc of the lowly grenade, which can be bounced off walls.

I look forward to the day when weapons can completely destroy the level geometry. I could then use my gun to destroy a wall near you and have it fall on you, killing you without me lifting a virtual finger.

Such is the power of physics.

This same kind of depth COULD apply to RPGs. What happens when you hit someone with the side of your sword instead of the edge? What if I throw my sword at someone? Can I disable an enemy by jamming my sword into his foot? With the right physics engine, you have so many more choices-- even with a single weapon.

Of course, I'm oversimpifying. Melee combat is an order of magnitude more difficult to implement, control-wise, than projectiles are.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 12:26 am:

I'd love to have those options in a game with a simple sword that you just mentioned. Maybe one day, we will. But, geez, man, that's really asking a lot!

And, to be really honest with you, *why* would you do any of those? If you've got five guys charging you, and you throw your sword -- now, you have no sword. And he's got a shield, so -- fat lot of good THAT did you.

Cool ideas, and I wouldn't mind having those options, either. Simply for the sake of having them. But I don't view them as essential.

Baldur's Gate II is one of my favorite games ever, so they obviously did something right. I don't want my ability in a game to be too closely related to my personal abilities. If I want that, I'll go buy a console...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 12:40 am:

'Here's one for you guys. I can think of another game where reflexes don't matter, but strategy and statistics do. Gambling. It bores me to tears, personally, but honestly: what is the fundamental difference between resolving 10 rounds of classic RPG combat, and getting dealt 10 hands of poker? You're just playing the odds in both cases, and making some strategic decisions to better affect the random outcome.'

You're statistically guarenteed to lose 7% of your money to the house in gambling, for one.

Gambling isn't a good comparision anyway; I gather from afficiandos that most of the fun is the Liar's Poker aspect of calling bluffs, reading your opponents, looking cool in the casino, etc.

That's for games vs. people, at least. I have no clue why people play the slots.

'This same kind of depth COULD apply to RPGs. What happens when you hit someone with the side of your sword instead of the edge? What if I throw my sword at someone? Can I disable an enemy by jamming my sword into his foot? With the right physics engine, you have so many more choices-- even with a single weapon.'

This goes entirely against the grain of RPG play. It's kind of like making sure your characters need to eat: some things are better abstracted out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 01:05 am:

And, hey, in the countless months I've spent playing BG and BGII and the expansions, my poor character has *never* gone to the bathroom.

Man, he must be so unfomfortable!!

Yeah, it's just not practical. Well, not *useful* -- other than as a potentially cool gimmick.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 03:22 am:

Wumpus, Morrowind will have more of that "throw your sword at the enemies foot" type feel to it than your average crpg. Like Daggerfall, how you "swing" the mouse (DBTS style) affects damage, to-hit and all other statistical stuff in MW.

Anyway, more crpgs are taking the "IN YOUR FACE" fps route.... recent examples are Gothic, Drakkan and Ultima IX, though they arent near as real as you would like them, they are being done.

BTW, i'd rather have my crpgs be "old school turn based tactical" in control ... twitch based fps action crpgs are not "true" crpgs imo, though they can come close (SS/Thief).

Also, you could just say, "I don't like rpgs."

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 03:28 am:

Also, just thought, FPS games are really just souped up versions of Space Invaders... i mean really... all you do is shoot things... cant there be more to it than that? oh yes the AI is just a tad bit better and its in 3d... but its really the same thing... just like rpgs are all like gambling... whatever!

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 10:27 am:

Wumpus said:


Quote:

I am arguing that the ideal balance of gameplay includes reflexes, statistics, and strategy in equal measure. RPGs are great at two of the three, but the whole reflexes thing is a nonentity, despite Bruce's florid protests to the contrary. It's just point and click number crunching.




DAOC does take reflexes especially in RvR. How do I attack someone in RvR? Just press a button? Maybe once I get to them. You have to navigate in the midst of a throng of people to find the person you want to target then move to a point where you can actually attack them. And even then what is the person doing? Are they going head to head with you? Are they running? Depending on these situations you will need to react quickly and use the proper style and or weapon to maximize your chance of winning the fight.

That is a simple case. What if an archer is shooting you? What do you do then? You have to face the enemy turn on engage (to block their arrows) then attempt to chase them down. These things take reflexes.

There are probably dozens of other scenarios I could come up with including several from PvE play where quick reflexes make the difference between life and death for a party member or myself.

But hey I only actually play the game what do I know?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 01:22 pm:

I don't know how you reconcile that argument with the earlier statements that "Lag doesn't matter in DAOC". Either it does or it doesn't. And if it doesn't, then reflexes cannot play a significant part of the game by definition.

What you describe is more or less strategy with timed moves. I don't consider being able to click on one person out of a group of 20 a particularly "reflexive" action. Hell, any Windows user can click on an icon. Doesn't make it a game.

"Also, you could just say, "I don't like rpgs.""

I like RPGs. The cross pollination of the RPG has produced interesting results-- Gran Turismo for one. Or Team Fortress. Role playing elements are definitely welcome in my games. I just wish RPGs themselves were evolving...

"This goes entirely against the grain of RPG play. It's kind of like making sure your characters need to eat: some things are better abstracted out."

Combat should be abstracted out? Yeah, let's take the most enjoyable part of the game and completely emasculate it into a die roll. I agree that it should be PARTIALLY abstracted, and influenced by statistics.. but there's a world of difference between these two models.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 01:26 pm:

"Cool ideas, and I wouldn't mind having those options, either. Simply for the sake of having them. But I don't view them as essential."

Having "options just for the sake of having them" pretty much describes the entire design ethic behind Grand Theft Auto 3, and people seem to have orgasms playing that.

Again, it's about creating a world and letting the user do whatever they want. Physics is one of the most powerful and effective mechanisms to realize that goal. Example-- Super Mario 64 compared to previous Super Mario World titles.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Desslock on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 03:23 pm:

>, it's about creating a world and letting the user do whatever they want. Physics is one of the most powerful and effective mechanisms to realize that goal.

I agree, which is one of the reasons I like the Myth games so much. The physics' engine provides you with additional gameplay opportunities -- it just makes the gaming world seem more "real", which is generally a good thing.

There are bad games that feature decent physics engines (Trespasser), but a good physics engine always makes a game better, in my opinion.

Stefan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 03:52 pm:

'Combat should be abstracted out? Yeah, let's take the most enjoyable part of the game and completely emasculate it into a die roll. I agree that it should be PARTIALLY abstracted, and influenced by statistics.. but there's a world of difference between these two models.'

So, abstract gaming threatens your sexuality?

'Having "options just for the sake of having them" pretty much describes the entire design ethic behind Grand Theft Auto 3, and people seem to have orgasms playing that.'

They're fun, useful, and amusing options, that's why. There's also a difference between features you can do on a lark and extra options you're required to do.

'I like RPGs. The cross pollination of the RPG has produced interesting results-- Gran Turismo for one. Or Team Fortress. Role playing elements are definitely welcome in my games. I just wish RPGs themselves were evolving...'

.....into hybrid RPGs like Deus Ex, apparently, that are more of action simulators with character development.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 03:57 pm:


Quote:

What you describe is more or less strategy with timed moves. I don't consider being able to click on one person out of a group of 20 a particularly "reflexive" action. Hell, any Windows user can click on an icon. Doesn't make it a game.




Do your windows icons move freely in various directions? Are there spell effects limiting your vision when you try to click on your Word icon? RvR combat is chaos and you need to have good reflexes to do well. I personally think you need to play the game before you can make any informed comments on it beyond what genre it is in.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 04:01 pm:

"So, abstract gaming threatens your sexuality?"

It doesn't engage my sexuality, that's for sure. Look, I'm not knocking the classic RPG paradigm. Levelling up is fun. Stacking the odds in your favor and then risking it against powerful monsters is fun.

But then again, so is gambling.

".....into hybrid RPGs like Deus Ex, apparently, that are more of action simulators with character development."

This conversation has tendrils into so many other discussions we've had here. You are correct: that is what I like about Deus Ex, and why so many people responded to it. It took the FPS in the direction of the RPG. Not always successfully, but he did a a heck of a job trying.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 04:02 pm:

"RvR combat is chaos and you need to have good reflexes to do well. I personally think you need to play the game before you can make any informed comments on it beyond what genre it is in."

Point taken. But you ignored my question. Is lag a factor in the game, or not?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 04:23 pm:

Lag can be a factor at range with many enemies on screen. They can seem to be moving forward but then pop back to where they actually stopped.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Alan Au (Itsatrap) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 08:34 pm:


Quote:

Baldur's Gate II is one of my favorite games ever, so they obviously did something right. I don't want my ability in a game to be too closely related to my personal abilities.


Yes and no. BG2 gives you control over your entire party, so in many ways the combat outcome depends on your skill. Contrast this with Fallout, where your party members had a bad habit of shooting you in the back. Fallout 2 did a better job by letting you influence your follower behavior, but that's still not as good as having direct control.

Comparing BG2 combat to MMORPG combat, BG2 makes significant use of tactical position. Once you're engaged, it's still just dice rolling. However, there is added strategy in maneuvering around to physically shield your vulnerable party members. This is missing fom console RPG combat, and I haven't seen an MMORPG which takes advantage of position either. It would be akin to having your fighter physically stand in the doorway. The aggro thing is supposed to be a substitute of sorts, but it interferes with my spatial sense.

Even if the individual sword strikes are handled statistically, I would love to see a game incorporate some strategy concepts like flanking or elevation. As it is, it's a bit *too* abstract for my tastes.

- Alan
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jason McCullough on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 08:39 pm:

So would I, but that's not what Jeff was wanting, as I gather.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce_Geryk (Bruce) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 09:03 pm:

"I haven't seen an MMORPG which takes advantage of position either."

Many melee styles in DAOC (which confer bonuses to hit, damage, and other special effects like stun or bleed) can only be done from either the flank or rear. Also, you can't block an enemy blow with your shield if the enemy is behind you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 10:04 pm:

"Gambling isn't a good comparision anyway; I gather from afficiandos that most of the fun is the Liar's Poker aspect of calling bluffs, reading your opponents, looking cool in the casino, etc. That's for games vs. people, at least. I have no clue why people play the slots."

Isn't that what Bruce and Rob are saying about DAOC? That playing against other people gives the game a depth it would otherwise not have?

Also. People play the slots because statistics and gambling are fundamentally exciting. The risk of losing, the thrill of winning. There's always some way to skew the odds slightly in your favor, whether it's donning some new chainmail, or moving to the most visible slots which are typically "looser" to attract crowds.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Bruce Geryk on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 10:48 pm:

"Isn't that what Bruce and Rob are saying about DAOC?"

Not as far as I know. I was talking about Proust. I have no idea what anyone else is saying.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 11:46 pm:

Damn that Proust.

In all seriousness, I recommended DAOC to a friend of mine who is a complete Diablo II-holic. He's never played EQ. I think he may never leave the house again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 11:57 pm:

One Diabloesque trait I wish DAoC had is more magic item drops. I could solo for hours on end if monsters kept dropping random magic items.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 12:57 am:

Asherons Call almost is as good with magic drops as Diablo. I remember having two mules filled with "junk" magic items anywhere from level 2 - 5. I too wish DAoC had a higher degree of rangom magic items... all mmrpgs should have as much random "kewl" loot as a game like Diablo or Might and Magic.

Also, I hope Mythic adds maybe an extra character per server per realm (at least 5 total would be good) ... I'm already debating if i should delete my ranger for a nighshade... or maybe i should just take a break from the damn game!

etc


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 01:59 am:

Why would you trade a ranger for a gimped class like the nightshade? I'd wait a month or two to see what Mythic does with the assassin classes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jim Frazer on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 10:32 am:

I was asked last night to start an Infiltrator because some big new rogue changes are going in. No idea what they're going to be, but I made the guy and got him to 5th. There are already plenty of high level rogue types out there, so they were asking folks to make some low level ones. It's encouraging, but I'm not holding my breath.

As for random magic items, I'd love to see more drop. Replace all thsoe "old silver lined belt"s with "Silvered Belt"s. Make it a +1 strength item, level 3. It's crap, but sometimes getting a magic drop it all it takes to make ya happy. Hell, I was still happy in EQ when I was getting rare Froglok Crushers, even though they are worse than 90% of the clubs out there.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 12:16 pm:

"It's crap, but sometimes getting a magic drop it all it takes to make ya happy."

Yes, it does. It would make slow leveling more enjoyable.

Rare sets would be fun too, like they have in Diablo.

Thing about EQ was that you really had to have a lot of magic items for it to make much difference in combat. Just a couple of items wouldn't really let you beat something you normally couldn't.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Jim Frazer on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 02:04 pm:

The problem I'm having with DAoC's magic system right now is: what's the point?

They say that +str adds to your damage, but at what rate? Do I need +40 strength for it to make a difference? Does my new +3 strength belt really matter beyond me carrying 3 extra pounds in weight?

You can see the +resistance items at work. The first time you resist a poison DoT from a red con Troll you realize that your +8% disease resist helm is a great thing. But it's just really hard to tell with the more subtle things, like +str, +dex and +quickness. We know, in theory, what they do, but seeing the effect is difficult.

This mainly comes up when we're comparing armor. In Keltoi you get Vindicator armor (plate based). Lets say I'm wearing yellow con fine alloy boots with an AF of 42, absorb of 34%, and quality of 98%. This gives me an "effective" AF of 41. Now I get Vindicator boots with the same AF and absorb, but a quality of 89% (effective AF of 37). However, the Vindi has +7 dex. We know Dex improves your chance to parry and block, but by how much? Is it worth giving up 4 AF for that +7 dex? No idea. How about a full set of Vindi where you give up 24 AF but get +11 to str, con, dex, and quick.

Someday we'll know, hopefully.

I would LOVE to see the set armor bonus from Diablo put into other games. It's such a great idea, I'm surprised MMOGs aren't jumping on it. It gives incentive to staying with a type of armor instead of creating min/max sets. You get into choices like "Ok, I have this green con helm. Do I break up the set to get this orange con one that just dropped? I'll gain some AF but lose some resists and skills". Those decisions would make for more unique characters instead of the "This armor until 12th, then this until 17th, then this until 22nd" that is starting to happen now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Mark Asher on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 02:23 pm:

DAoC has copied EQ's page of handing out magic items with small bonuses. I suppose it's easier to balance knowing that a level 40 character with standard items and one with magic items really aren't that far apart in ability, but it sure would be fun to have some really cool stuff.

But hey, if they add graphic effects for flaming swords, I'll be happy with a fire sword that doesn't do that much but looks cool.

And yeah, I wish they'd let us know how all the modifiers work. I just like to make intelligent decisions.


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