The last two nights I've had DAoC dreams. The first night I dreamed I was in a RvR battle, and the Vikings kicked butt. Last night I dreamed that if I had only used the defend button in a battle I was in last night I would have survived against that red Trolkai. I like this game very, very much.
ps. I've never actually been in a RvR battle. Isn't that strange?
By Jim Frazer on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 11:14 am:
You know you play DAoC too much when... :)
It is a great game though. I haven't taken a character up high enough to get involved in RvR combat, but it sounds like a blast.
I'm stuck in "I want to try everything!" mode. Every time I get a character up to 10 - 14th, I start a new class/race combo on the same server or try a new realm on a new server. Pendragon (the test server) has sorta become my experiement server now since you can play all 3 realms. It lets me keep all my "lets see if this class is fun" characters in the same place.
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 01:38 pm:
You know I really like DAOC, but the more i play it the more i remember EQ and the more i like my solitude in playing solo player games... i dont know, I'd actually love a solo player game in the vein of DAoC... im just thinking mmrpg's have a long way to go. and yeah, I love DAoC, but somehow it feels transient... still havent rvr'd at all so i shouldnt be complainng. I cant be burned out on the game already... but i feel that way somehow... at least i can start on Civ 3 to take a break from DAoC... maybe playing it daily the last three weeks wasnt a good idea!
anyway, i suffer that "try many characters!" syndrome too. After hitting 20 with my Champion i dont feel like playing him anymore and over the weekend spent hours playing a few characters to arnd level 7 or 8! some on test server too!
also this game actuallly gives me high hopes for Morrowind since it uses the same graphics engine.
By Desslock on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 02:23 pm:
>this game actuallly gives me high hopes for Morrowind since it uses the same graphics engine
Only components of the same engine -- there's a lot of proprietary stuff in both engines. Morrowind looks a lot better though, so I don't think you'll be disappointed.
By Jim Frazer on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 02:33 pm:
I think the reason I (and maybe you too) keep trying new characters is because DAoC lacks one thing that EQ had: new spells and skills as you leveled. In EQ, playing my cleric, I had all kinds of neat new spells to look forward to. Celestial Healing didn't kick in until 44th (?), group buffs didn't show up until post 50, Revive was 29th, the first exp rexx was at 34th, the first undead DoT is 34th, etc...
In DAoC the spells are all just upgrades of previous spells. My Shaman has basically 6 spells right now: Light Heal, Big Heal, Str/Con buff, AF buff, DoT, and Disease. There are no new spells to look forward to. 30 levels from now I'll still be casting the same 6 spells, but they'll just be upgrades of the old spells. By skill level 7 in any skill, you already have every type of spell you'll have.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 03:24 pm:
Jim, while I see your point I disagree to a large extent. I like the fact I get a new skill or spell upgrade almost every level. I don't have to wait those 4 or 5 levels (sometimes weeks) to get a big bunch of spells where 95% of them are the same as the ones before like in EQ and the rest are mostly useless. Also, getting spells like revive at 10th in DAOC makes the game a whole lot less frustrating if you die. Again a descision made to lessen frustration and downtime. One last point, I appriciate the fact I know how my character is going to play early on. It helps to decide if that class is for you or if you want to play something else. I would rather determine this quickly rather than 20-30 levels in.
By Jim Frazer on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 04:59 pm:
I can see where you're coming from. For me, it's just an issue of a level 10 fight against a Red con should be identical to a level 40 fight against a Red con. You're casting the same spells, just upgraded versions. You're wearing the same armor (just upgrade it to yellow every 4 levels), wielding the same weapon (see armor), etc... It's lacking that feeling, for me, or "ooo, in 2 more levels I can use this new spell", or for the melee types "in 2 more levels I can upgrade from my short sword to a falchion, eee!".
Don't get me wrong, I love the game. I play nightly for at least an hour and this last Saturday I sat down for 6 hours straight just so I can see how a Hunter plays. The balance is great, the back story is a blast and much more fleshed out than any other game I've played.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 06:41 pm:
I am guessing tactics at higher levels will have to change at least somewhat. I have already noticed one instance where grove nymphs were healing each other during a fight. That ended up getting a few people killed when we didn't recognize it right away. And this is only at level 15. Oh and those tomb raider scouts that see you and run and get 3 or 4 of their closest friends to come after you. Things like this keep you on your toes.
On upgrades, I do think you get upgrades in other ways in this game like better weapons from better quests (the questing system kicks the crap out of EQs). The number of really significant spells you got at higher levels in EQ were few and far between from what I recall and some things were just abitrary like the group gate spells (at 20 you can go these 3 places but you have to be 35 to go this other place that is far more convinient).
One other thing I thought of is you probably need to have the spell lines stay fairly consistant for RvR, this way at higher levels you will know what spells do what and can use them well against your human opponents.
By Bill McClendon (Crash) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 07:38 pm:
"You're wearing the same armor (just upgrade it to yellow every 4 levels), wielding the same weapon (see armor), etc... It's lacking that feeling, for me, or "ooo, in 2 more levels I can use this new spell", or for the melee types "in 2 more levels I can upgrade from my short sword to a falchion, eee!"."
One thing you may want to consider before dinging DAoC for "lack of upgrade variety", and that's this:
The higher the quantity of variables you have in character development, the harder it is to balance PvP at the high end.
Skills- or class-based games that are purely PvM or PvE (pick your acronym) are far easier to "balance" than PvP games, simply because you can tweak the enemies accordingly. Like AC: Players with spec Life getting out of control? Hello Life-resistant mobs and "hollow" mobs with weapons that ignore Life protections.
So yes, the spell lines may be boring from a PvE perspective--but since the entire endgame is RvR/PvP, this may not be such a bad thing. Maybe DAoC will find the Holy Grail of PvP balance.
It'll be interesting to watch, anyway.
By Mark Asher on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 11:51 pm:
Mythic has said they are going to add more spells. They may have deliberately kept the game streamlined to better balance it for launch.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 12:08 am:
Okay, I'm not playing, but it's just a thought...
Seems like adding new spells from time to time could really be a good thing to keep the game alive. Why release the game with every weapon/item/spell that will ever exist? Sure, UO did, and EQ did, but...Of course, you have to have enough stuff at release for it to be interesting, but why not make stuff "discoverable" and give it to the world later, for people to find. I think, perhaps ideally, a spellbook and perhaps a weapon list would look drastically different after two years than it did upon release for an MMORPG. Call it further studies of the Wizards' Council, increased research by the blacksmiths of the lands, etc. New advances should be made. Whether or not this was Mythic's intention, it seems like a good idea to me.
By Jim Frazer on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 11:31 am:
I'm really looking forward to the new spells and items.
The best argument I've heard so far seems to be the PvP balancing. The game was meant to have all 3 realms perfectly balanaced. Having too many spells would make that damn hard to keep balanced.
Through the beta they constantly added, removed, and tweaked the spell lines. Champions, for example, had such powerful debuffs in beta that they could take an opponent from 80 str and con to 1 str and con with the casting of 1 spell. This essentially became a permanent root that made an opponent lose a ton of HPs, all his stamina, and would cause him to hit for almost nothing. In PvE the spell didn't do much, but it was godly in PvP. So, I think you have a good point, Bill.
As for item variety, I may need to backpeddle a little bit here. I started up an Albonian Paladin last week and decided to devote some time to him last night. Found a nice hunting spot that was dropping an amazing amount of armor and magic weapons. The armor was mostly just this tanned brown leather stuff that is fairly useless to a Paladin or Armswoman, but it would have been great for a thief class and was a bit better than anything you could buy from a merchant. The weapons, however, ended up being useful for both of us.
Anyway, as long as the higher levels have enough item variety like I managed to find in Albonia (Midgard and Hibernia seem nearly devoid of decent armor drops), it at least makes it feel like you're not just hunting for 4 levels to get enough money to buy yellow armor and weapons that will let you kill enough to get enough money in 4 levels to . . .
By Jim Hoffman on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 03:03 pm:
Mark, do you still have your EQ account in addition to DAoC?
Do you plan on keeping both?
What's your last month's ratio of EQ time played to DAoC time played?
I'm playing EQ right now, but thinking of getting DAoC and alternating between games (EQ to play w/ friends, DAoC to solo; or something like that)
By Mark Asher on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 03:14 pm:
I still have my EQ account but I'll probably drop it and just get a press account if I need one. I am going to play the Luclin beta though.
It just takes too long to level in EQ for me now. In EQ, everything is priced by time. DAoC is just a faster playing game.
I do wonder about the long-term viability of DAoC? It might be a fast-leveling game you burn out on much faster than EQ.
By Jim Frazer on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 03:29 pm:
I'm hoping the expansion for DAoC next Spring is a rather large expansion...10 more levels and a lot more realestate. There are already people level 40+ in the game and it's been around less than a month.
Good point on the time though, Mark. When my EQ guild was planning a raid in City of Mist (working on Shaman and SK epics), I was in Kael Drakkal in Velious. Not getting a port, that trip took me almost 2 hours to make by foot and boat. That's frigg'n ridiculous. 40 minutes on that damn island waiting for the boat to take me to The Overthere.
Anyway, that doesn't exist at all in DAoC. The long walks are mitigated by the ability to rent a horse. An 30 minute long walk goes down to 5 minutes or so for a cost of 5 silver. By the time you need to take trips like that, 5sp is 1 kill on a blue mob.
Downtime in DAoC is handled great also. A 20th level Warrior in EQ would have to sit on his butt for 20 minutes...after bandaging himself to 50% health. In DAoC, it only takes my Paladin roughly 3 minutes to go from almost dead to full health. With my Shaman, the downtime is much shorter since Power regens faster than health.
All in all, it's a very strong point for DAoC, but as you said, this leads to speed leveling which may cost the developers later.
By Mark Asher on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 04:06 pm:
"All in all, it's a very strong point for DAoC, but as you said, this leads to speed leveling which may cost the developers later."
And which has nothing to do with the quality of the game, either. Retention isn't really something players worry about.
It might be that we're entering a time for MMOGs where players will simply buy a new one every six months instead of playing them two or more years. Maybe EQ and UO aren't the real model for player retention.
By Jim Hoffman on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 04:39 pm:
I've been doing EQ off and on since early 98.
My highest level character is a 23 cleric.
Of course I just came back after 1.5 years off.
I don't have a lot of time to play, maybe 5-8 hours a week, so I can totally relate to the slow levelling thing.
I'll have to give DAoC a try.
I'm sticking with EQ until after Luclin, tho.
Too bad I just got 2 friends of mine hooked on EQ. :)
By Jim Frazer on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 04:50 pm:
"It might be that we're entering a time for MMOGs where players will simply buy a new one every six months instead of playing them two or more years. Maybe EQ and UO aren't the real model for player retention."
WIth the glut of MMOG's on the horizon, this may well be the case. Before you had 3 choices: EQ, AC, or UO. Now you may well have a dozen different Fantasy based MMOGs out there to choose from, not to mention games with other themes (AO, WWIIOL, Planetside).
With the diversity in the realms and classes and the very nice anti-twinking code, I can see DAoC keeper a subscriber longer than 6 months (unless they're pure powergamers).
The skill based system and total seperation of the realms may be what ends up keeping DAoC around with EQ-like numbers. But that's pure speculation, of course.
By nife2o4 on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 05:31 pm:
So what happens to AO with its four year story arc?
I saw that they've decided to start the story today. Are there enough people still playing it to even care??
By Bill McClendon (Crash) on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 07:50 pm:
"So what happens to AO with its four year story arc?"
If anything positive can be said about Funcom and AO, it's that they're ambitious. Realistic, no, but certainly ambitious.
"I saw that they've decided to start the story today. Are there enough people still playing it to even care??"
What I'd like to know is how they're going to pay for all the bandwidth to serve up 150mb of mpegs to anyone that wants to download them.
Three different formats, including streaming. Do they even have enough money left to do stuff like this? Guess we're gonna find out.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 12:06 am:
>also this game actuallly gives me high hopes for Morrowind since it uses the same graphics engine.
Sorta. They're both NetImmerse, but people tend to confuse that with what we normally think of as an "engine." (Quake, Unreal, LithTech) NetImmerse is a graphics framework and renderer, that takes the polygons and textures you throw at it and draws 'em. That's way oversimplified, but you get the idea. It doesn't handle how you describe or organize your world data, or your animation, or your physics, or for most developers collision detection, etc.
So NetImmerse games tend to have wild variations in their look and overall graphical quality, more so than games using the same version of Unreal/LithTech/Quake.
So Munch's Odyssee on Xbox, Freedom Force, DAOC, Morrowind, and Bridge Commander all use very similar versions of NetImmerse, but they're not recognizeably the same engine.
Anyway, I'm curious to try out DOAC. I haven't bothered yet, because I'm backlogged on other games, but I want to give it a run this weekend.
By Jason Becker on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 06:25 am:
"All in all, it's a very strong point for DAoC, but as you said, this leads to speed leveling which may cost the developers later."
I'm not sure about experince in the PvP combat of DAoC but I don't think people will be getting exp as fast when they get into that part of the game so the leveling will probably slow down some.
By xaroc on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 10:02 am:
I think at high levels the RvR is going to carry the game. I have read accounts of RvR from beta that sound awesome. I don't have the links handy but I was ready to join the battle after I read them.
By Mark Asher on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 12:12 pm:
The only worry I have about the RvR is lag. Will a battle with a couple of hundred players be lag-free? If not, that will suck for RvR because players will be warping, etc.
It's not an aiming game like Quake, but it's still a targetting game with ranges in play.
By Jim Hoffman on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 02:03 pm:
DAoC sounds like fun.
Dangit, I'm gonna have to go buy it.
That and CivIII.
At least the wife and kid are outta town this weekend.
By Doug Jones on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 02:34 pm:
Speaking of lag, I'm debating if I should buy DAOC or not, any of you guys on a dialup? If so how is the lag a problem?
By Jim Frazer on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 04:47 pm:
I'm not on dialup, but I know several people in my guild are.
Recently, things have been fine. For 2 weeks after release though, the dial-uppers were being dropped en masse. Mythic tweeked their network code to stop people from being dumped from the game so often, but this has resulted in some pretty bad ghosting.
It doesn't seem to effect all dial-uppers, but enough people are complaining about it that I would consider it an issue right now.
By Jason Becker on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 05:01 pm:
I'm on a dial-up and it works pretty well. The only slowdowns for me are in approaching towns were it chugs bad for a bit. I assume thats because of it loading all the info on extra players and NPC's etc that are around. Might just be my machine choking too.
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Thursday, November 1, 2001 - 05:07 pm:
on dial up here... runs fairly well. I'd say its on par with EQ and AC ... better than UO. Though there is lag in the cities (less apparent with last patch)... but even cable modem users see some lag in cities.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Friday, November 2, 2001 - 09:58 am:
We got booted back to dialup for a few days (our cable sucks) and my wife played a lot using it. She didn't have many complaints as I recall.
By Doug Jones on Friday, November 2, 2001 - 11:49 am:
Alright thanks for the info! I don't play much during prime time anyway so that should help. My computers requirements are a bit below the minimum but games usually run regardless so I guess I'v run out of excuses not to buy it.