Posted tagged ‘Hardcore Casual’

Two Factions, 5 Levels, Blogger Dropped

December 15, 2010

WarhammerCataclysm

As I work on finals and find time to play Cataclysm and other games that I am behind on, I’ve also been working on reading through my blog roll. There were nearly 400 posts that I had missed in my month of writing and I’ve been working slowly at it for around 14 days now. This has led to several topics that I want to cover:

The first topic is Warhammer 40k Onlines two factions. Many around the net have cried for it to be at least three factions, and many of them want even more than that. Would it be pretty cool to have three factions? Sure, it could be cool. Would it be cool to have more? Not even a little bit. The game could be amazing, but based on how the industry has been going it’s not going to see WoW numbers. The more factions you have in a game, the fewer people playing each of those factions. That means longer wait times for dungeons, pvp, less player interaction and an abandoned looking world.

Even three factions is pushing it. Sure, Dark Age of Camelot did it and by all accounts it was fun, but could that success be seen again? You might say “of course!” but look at WoW and it’s clones. Just because a game emulates the features of something that came before it and succeeded, doesn’t mean it’s going to succeed on it’s own. That’s not to say it couldn’t, but I’m personally glad that they went with two factions. I already play games that friends play but I’m unable to play with them because of two factions, or servers, or whatever. Not to mention the more I’ve played games designed for a PVP crowd the more I realize it’s the PVE that drives them, if they succeed at all. I think designing a game, a AAA game, for PVP is a folly that will only end in pain and layoffs. Smaller budgeted games can get away with it better I think. I mean, it probably cost Adventurine a few hundred thousand to design the art assets for DarkFall, and another $50 to program the actual ‘content’ like all six quests. (Of course I’m being silly here, there are plenty of good points about DarkFall, this just feeds into my next subject.)

Next I was going to comment on several on Syncaine’s posts, mainly those bashing World of Warcraft and it’s Cataclysm expansion, but honestly I don’t see the point. Here is an entire post from Syncaine:

For some, it will take longer to download an expansion than to reach it’s level cap.

That is most impressive for 25 months, hundreds of devs, and millions of dollars later.

Lowering the bar (of accessibility!) yet again.

That’s not the only post he made about Cataclysm, and most of them are as ignorant and angry as this one. It’s gotten to the point that I finally just removed him from my blog roll. While I enjoy his unique incites into DarkFall, he rants about WoW like a spoilt child, or a drunken scorned lover who’s just found his ex’s MySpace page. He spews hate for something he truly doesn’t understand just because he personally didn’t like what the game used to be, or what he assumes it is based on conjecture and what people around him tell him about it. That’s all I have to say about Syncaine at this point, I just won’t pay any attention anymore, it’s not worth it.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was Cataclysm and some of the interesting things I’ve noted so far. First of all I’d like to say that anyone looking at Cataclysm like it’s only 5 levels of content is in a sad state. That’s not to say that they are playing the game wrong, just that I feel sorry for them. I paid $40 for the expansion and so far I’ve logged around 15 hours just getting two different races to level 20. I experienced in that time moments that really made me gasp out loud, moments with plot twists that got me excited to see what would happen. I’ve done quests that I think surpass anything found in an MMO up until that point. Some of that is because I am a lore nut, and with all the changes I can’t seem to stop stumbling across massive updates that shock me. Anyway, even if I stopped here I;’m still getting far more for my dollar than those who bought Call of Duty: Black Ops for $60 and a 5 hour campaign.

I’ve got one character to level 40 so far. An Undead Hunter who is just finishing Western Plaguelands, which need a new name. One of the changes I am really happy with is the updated low level armor skins. Now you no longer look like a court jester as you level if you just use quest gear. If you count on drops and purchased AH items you’re still going to look silly I imagine.

On the other end of a spectrum I have a character who is almost level 81. The levels aren’t taking as long as I would have liked, but it’s not so fast that I feel like it’s cheap. Sadly the area I am questing in is entirely underwater, and while they’ve done a much better job of underwater levels than some other games (I hate you Ninja Turtles!) it’s still not very fun to relearn the game, having to now pay attention to a full 360 degree circle. Add onto that the fact that their spawning seems to be off, as I’ll kill a mob and immediately have it and it’s friend spawn ontop of the body. It can be really frustrating.

I’m looking forward to getting in some of the harder dungeons though. As a tank I’m excited to see CC make a resurgence, and having my wife play a healer means that if a DPS doesn’t want to CC, he’s getting the boot and we’ll instantly have another. I’m also looking forward to some level 85 PVP and getting my first set of Cataclysm gear which will probably be the introduction PVP set, assuming there is one this go round.

See you all around, whether it be in World of Warcraft or one of the twenty other MMOs I’ve been checking out.

A Quick Response to the Hardcore

May 4, 2010

Syncaine over at Hardcore Casual had this to say on people who try Sandbox games. I’ve been known on this blog to defend so called “Theme Park” players and I’m about to do it again, in a very short post.

The gist of the post is that he believes: No one who doesn’t immediately understand a Sandbox games, no matter if they have played one or not, should ever play a Sandbox game. They give nothing to the community, and there is no way in which they could learn to do so. Sure, he’s bashing Tobold the entire time, but he’s also speaking in general terms.

His argument falls apart when he starts calling anything that isn’t his definition of hardcore a kids game. I understand what he’s trying to say, that games like WoW can be played by small children just as easily as by grown men. On the opposite side of that children would probably be bored and frustrated by a game like EVE, much like if they were asked to balance a checkbook.

Lastly I’d just like to say that, if I wanted to get into the game, I would hope there were people out there who were more friendly. I wouldn’t think anything (until this) about going out to 0.0 space on the way to some secure trading station somewhere because it was quicker. I’d like to think that when I was destroyed and I asked the guy why, instead of a “LAWL L2P NOOBSAUCE!” I might get a “You see, this is my Corporations sector of space and we can’t let anyone in, because you might be a spy for the competition. If you would like access please whisper _____.” That would make me nod, give me valuable information, and I would continue playing.

If every time I went anywhere I got ganked and all I heard from anyone was the first quote…well I’d quit. There’s no reason to actively try and keep people from subbing to the game. At least not that I can see.

Blogger Interrupted

March 26, 2010

mmo-addiction

I just wanted to do a quick response to some of the blog’s I’ve been reading recently. First up is Alex Taldren who posted a clip of The Secret World gameplay and complained that it looked like Age of Conan and said that even though the combat looked like Hellgate: London or Fallen Earth, it was still better than most MMO combat.

I remember when Age of Conan first came out and we were all drooling over the graphics and how amazing they were for an MMO. I recently picked up the trial to see how things had changed and it STILL looks amazing, one of the best looking MMOs on the market. When did this become a bad thing? Do we really need to improve on the graphics with every game at the cost of stability, gameplay and fun? Can’t we stick with a nice level of graphics and just improve the game for a while?

The other point from his post I wanted to get into is the complaints I hear, not just from him but from most bloggers, about the boring MMO combat system. There are a few others but for the most part MMOs all control like World of Warcraft. Everyone seems to be complaining about this. The problem I have is that the people complaining aren’t offering up any alternatives. Of course these alternatives would have to be something that wouldn’t alienate too many people, which is the problem with adding FPS mechanics into an MMO. What other control schemes are out there? You want a Fable control scheme? It’s out there already, and it’s pretty much WoW without the action bar.

To me it seems like these same people could play a First Person Shooter and complain about the First Person Shooter combat. If it’s not your cup of tea I’m sorry but maybe it’s not for you. Maybe I’ve got all this wrong though and people have a good idea of what they want. I can’t imagine it’s the Darkfall style combat though as that basically takes the Morrowind/Oblivion combat style, which EVERYONE agreed was the worst part about those games.

The second blog post I want to comment on is Player vs. Developer’s post on Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unleashed and it’s cash shop. He argues that a poor exchange rate (unless you buy the most expensive iteration of points) is a barrier to entry. I would simply argue that he is looking at it the wrong way. The normal amount of points here is the bottom rate, $6.50 for 420 points. If you are willing to spend more you get more for your dollar as a thank you. It’s not that they are gimping your spending if you don’t spend much, they are just rewarding you if you spend more, which is exactly what a cash shop SHOULD do. Make me WANT to spend $50 at the cash shop and you know what, if I only want to spend EXACTLY enough to buy a new race or class, I can do that too.

The last blog I’d like to address is Hardcore Casual and it’s post on FFA vs. Faction based PVP. I’d have to say that while I prefer faction based PVP for the stability and security to be “safe” sometimes, I might change my tune if there was a FFA game I could try that did not have full loot rules. Maybe it’s out there and I just haven’t found it yet, but the full loot really kills a game for me. I know it shouldn’t but I haven’t been able to get into it since Ultima Online, and I could enjoy it in that game because the community policed themselves, literally you have guilds that acted as police and protection for miners or lumberjacks and wondered the woods killing any PKers. Now days everyone just wants to grief and I don’t enjoy being griefed. More power to those who do I guess.

This post turned out to be longer than I wanted it to be, but I just had to respond to a few things.