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Smedley's been lurking Ryan's Blogs!


Pathfinder Online

101 to 150 of 169 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Goblin Squad Member

About WoW-Killer:
Many players want a WoW-Killer because they are fed up with WoW but can't get away from it due to the raiding mechanic and the fact that everyone they know also plays WoW.

This lead many publishers to the false assumption that they can do like WoW only "better" and be the next big thing.

But...

About SW:TOR improved upon WoW:
I beg to differ. SW:TOR improved the story telling of WoW and, indeed, it was more successful than WoW for about 3 months, the time it takes most players to play through most of the story and then be left with a game just like WoW only not so good.

This isn't what I call a fundamental improvement.

Goblin Squad Member

Another interesting article via EvE Senior Designer: Matthew Woodward: EVE Online and the meaning of 'sandbox'

Quote:

"Basically it's three things: being social, goal-driven and emergent -- making a game open, giving players control, essentially, and if you're making a multiplayer game, making it as social as possible, because that's why they're playing the game in the first place."

Woodward posits that emergence is likely the most important aspect, and it's something to concentrate on whether you're making a single-player sandbox game or a multiplayer game...

"The big enemy is rest states -- a place where players keep on doing the same things over and over again. That's the big thing that's going to drag down your open-endedness. That and obviously if a player can finish [the game], it's not open-ended," he says."

Definitely useful to hear a quick & dirty definition from the EvE designer(s).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
xDialtone wrote:
BlackUhuru wrote:

EverquestNext is going to be a sandbox and modeled after EVE. Smedley just announced it and in his interview it sound like he is quoting Ryan.

Coincidence? I think not...

Go read his interview about wanting to start small and grow like EVE did, Kronos for game time like plex, players being the content etc etc...

I think Smedley might be Blaringer!?

I'm just happy MMO's are starting to stray from the themepark type development and starting to evolve into what they always should of been~

Why do so many think that MMO's should be "one particular way"? Not everyone enjoys the cutthroat style of Eve Online. If it's your cup of tea, drink it with pleasure and let others enjoy theirs.

Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:

About SW:TOR improved upon WoW:
I beg to differ. SW:TOR improved the story telling of WoW and, indeed, it was more successful than WoW for about 3 months, the time it takes most players to play through most of the story and then be left with a game just like WoW only not so good.

This isn't what I call a fundamental improvement.

SW:TOR was never "more successful" they sold 2 million copies, had about 1.7 million active players in the first month, WoW still had 4x as many players while TOR launched.

In order to be more successful than WoW you have to bring new players into the market. People aren't very inclined to leave a game that is still being updated, after they have spent $500+ in subscriptions and expansions.

Cheliax Goblin Squad Member

I really can't dog on Smedley to much, he help make a couple of my most favorite and memorable games. But, I do have to admit my most favorite MMO of all time is Ultima Online, which is in it's 15th year as well speak/type/post.

Goblin Squad Member

Early SOE was good, then they got greedy. They were a driving force behind modern MMO's, and took the risk to help start the market. But now they probably have the largest group of gamers boycotting their products.

If quoting the CEO gets your posts edited/temp bans, your company has problems. And when your most vocal forum supporters turn against you, your game has some serious problems.

Yet another quantity over quality company, EA does the same thing, Warhammer was a flop, and now SW:TOR is falling off. When the success of your your company isn't tied to the success of your single game, there isn't a huge incentive to do more than break even.

Goblin Squad Member

Used to be, the devs getting laid off 6 months after launch was sign of a failing game...now, it just seems business as usual.

Goblin Squad Member

And there has yet to be a game that isn't 'failing' most games lose over half of their starting subscribers in 3 months, and another half of those in 3 more months, then slowly start increasing again if their game gets better with updates.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Mbando wrote:
Southraven wrote:


This is where we differ in expectations. Sociopathic and anti-social behavior has abounded in most of the games that I've played. It's the anonymity=jerk phenomenon that you see all over the internet.
Where did you get the idea that the design philosophy for PFO was anti-social?

I don't think it is. I just think that is what is going to happen.

The design philosophy for UO wasn't to allow people to grief-slaughter people as they logged in, I'm sure. But that's exactly what happened. Then there were Player Killer Killers to kill the Player Killers... and the backdrop of the game became completely unimportant to the wheel of PvP. That's my impression.

My point is still that I would like to see a sandbox game that doesn't contain PvP (and is well done). I'm glad that those who like PvP are getting that game in a fantasy model.

I like the rule of "don't be a jerk" but where does "playing my character" end and "being a jerk" begin? It's such a nebulous notion. I think "killing a guy who's hauling ore to 'protect my area' " would be jerk behavior, I'm sure other people won't think so.

----

On Wow-Killer. The only thing that's going to kill WoW is WoW.

Goblin Squad Member

Chuck Wright wrote:
My point is still that I would like to see a sandbox game that doesn't contain PvP (and is well done).

I'm not sure that's possible. The sad truth is that people who are motivated to do so will always find creative ways to grief other players. Open PvP is actually an outlet to control that, by allowing the community to impose costs for anti-social behavior.

But if you find one, let us know :)

Goblin Squad Member

Chuck Wright wrote:


I don't think it is. I just think that is what is going to happen.

The design philosophy for UO wasn't to allow people to grief-slaughter people as they logged in, I'm sure. But that's exactly what happened. Then there were Player Killer Killers to kill the Player Killers... and the backdrop of the game became completely unimportant to the wheel of PvP. That's my impression.

Do you think the design process of UO and PFO are comparable?

Goblin Squad Member

There is a non-pvp sandbox, it's called 'Second Life'.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Mbando wrote:
Chuck Wright wrote:


I don't think it is. I just think that is what is going to happen.

The design philosophy for UO wasn't to allow people to grief-slaughter people as they logged in, I'm sure. But that's exactly what happened. Then there were Player Killer Killers to kill the Player Killers... and the backdrop of the game became completely unimportant to the wheel of PvP. That's my impression.

Do you think the design process of UO and PFO are comparable?

It was an example to show intention vs. outcome. In that sense, yes, they are comparable.

Valkenr - That's... an interesting perspective of what "non-pvp" means.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

OK guys, I really just meant to explain what else people might be waiting for. I'm not really here to debate about it, I even gave an example of what I would like to see. (Horizons with better PvE elements, a good engine and a true sandbox feel... you couldn't build wherever you liked.)

I'm not interested in getting into a pedantic discussion to defend my opinion, I'm not slamming yours, I just don't agree with it.

So I'll be on my way at this point.

Goblin Squad Member

Chuck Wright wrote:
Mbando wrote:


Do you think the design process of UO and PFO are comparable?

It was an example to show intention vs. outcome. In that sense, yes, they are comparable.

What? UO and PFO had the same design intentions, and had the same outcome? Since PFO hasn't much in the way of outcomes yet, that's not possible. And clearly the intentions are absolutely different--you've got Ryan and other team members from PFO explicitly laying out a design philosophy, and we have visibility over the design process over time, through the blog and this forum. Was there a design blog and iterative feedback with the community prior to UO launch that I missed?

I get that you're pessimistic and a complainer, but I can't make sense of your rationale for the complaints.

Goblin Squad Member

There's going to be a constant flow of anti-PvP gamers, not much we can do other than let them vent here and point them to the blogs.

CEO, Goblinworks

Valkenr wrote:
And there has yet to be a game that isn't 'failing' most games lose over half of their starting subscribers in 3 months, and another half of those in 3 more months, then slowly start increasing again if their game gets better with updates.

EVE Online

RuneScape
Wizard 101

Goblin Squad Member

Chuck wrote:

My point is still that I would like to see a sandbox game that doesn't contain PvP (and is well done). I'm glad that those who like PvP are getting that game in a fantasy model.

I like the rule of "don't be a jerk" but where does "playing my character" end and "being a jerk" begin? It's such a nebulous notion. I think "killing a guy who's hauling ore to 'protect my area' " would be jerk behavior, I'm sure other people won't think so.

I think you can derive cooperation & competition from PvP which leads to interesting problems and challenges on a social side, gameplay complexity. In other stories you have the main protagonist's viewpoint plus some other characters (Game Of Thrones does a great job of expanding the core cast and not letting you get too comfortable with knowing who is the main character(s) because periodically they get despatched). Potentially a mmorpg can have many many story lines with none sure they are the main character! That could be very different to a movie or a book and the problem of griefing (effectively someone trying to tear up the story) is worth trying to deal with. Other mmorpgs make the mistake: "Everyone is The Hero", which is more suited to narrative of single-player games of fewer characters. So PvP it would be good to see different shades of characters with their own storylines.

The initial community should be a great environment in PfO and people who don't like pvp it would be cool to see groups of like-minded such ppl building the right conditions for this in game with a settlement, perhaps near an NPC settlement covering 3/4 of the approach to their settlement? If the game works as a sandbox it should be possible to carve out different experiences, not just no pvp or all pvp.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Chuck Wright wrote:
My point is still that I would like to see a sandbox game that doesn't contain PvP (and is well done).

I'm not sure that's possible. The sad truth is that people who are motivated to do so will always find creative ways to grief other players. Open PvP is actually an outlet to control that, by allowing the community to impose costs for anti-social behavior.

But if you find one, let us know :)

I believe "A Tale in the Desert" doesn't feature combat at all. So no PvP in the traditional sense there. I haven't ever tried it, but I have a freind who played and he enjoyed it.

People who truely intend to grief will grief. Personaly I believe PvP tends to attract them because it's another tool in thier tool-box of griefing methods. It can also help masquerade thier activity as legitimate play.

I'm going to have to disagree with Nihiomon here. From my experience, almost every PvP focused MMO I have played to date has had a much more anti-social community then PvE focused games. So to me claiming otherwise and saying that PvP is a usefull outlet for anti-social behavior is a bit like ignoring the 800 lbs gorilla in the corner of the room. That being said, I don't believe PvP focused games NECCESSARLY have to have horrible communities. If I did, I wouldn't be here. More to the point, I've seen the thought and effort GW has gone into to address this specific issue and I'm cautiously optimistic that PFO might avoid the worst problems that have plagued other PvP focused sandbox games. People can an do learn from past experience, whether thier own or that of others.

Goblin Squad Member

@GrumpyMel,

I wasn't trying to say that Open PvP would mitigate anti-social behavior. I meant to say that it is a necessary outlet to control it.

I think people get caught up on "anti-social" always meaning "he killed me for no reason". If you've ever had someone kill-steal or node-ninja you in WoW, you're well aware that there are many, many forms of anti-social behavior.

Goblin Squad Member

The Everquest community was great (by my recollection), and I rarely had somebody take a spot from me that I was camping.

In WoW, PvE servers people would constantly take nodes I was clearing mobs from, kill a named I was waiting for, etc. This has also been my experience in other MMOs since WoW.

On Everquest and WoW PvP servers, the same happened less. This is probably due the threat of recourse, which would at least slow down the other player's operation. When it did happen, I wasn't nearly as upset because there WAS a way for me to get back at them.

Even if they were much more powerful than me, I entered that server knowing that might happen. I am always puzzled by people that complain about that sort of behavior when they are fully aware of that PvP mechanic in the game when they start playing... I guess they just want to affect change in the game?

Even though I feel that PvP removes the 'grief' from the PvE side by giving recourse for actions, it does add other forms, such as corpse camping.

Even though corpse camping doesn't typically bother me either because I enter the game knowing that it might happen, I can empathize with player frustrations here.

I think GW has adequately addressed issues with PvP griefing. The game is still in development, so we don't know exactly how it will play out, but from what they have outlined so far and their stated aggressive stance towards controlling anti-social behavior, I think the penalties will be severe, both in-game and through actions on offending accounts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On another note, I think that from the beginning, our community here has had a terrible habit of derailing threads =P

Goblinworks Executive Founder

The railroad threads aren't much fun anyway...

Goblin Squad Member

I've always felt that the secret to making a good mmo is to put the designers at the top of the food chain. We could list dozens of bad features that I'm positive didn't start out as bad ideas but evolved (or devolved) once a marketing person got their hands on it.

I would like to see designers make the game and then tell the marketing guys "go sell this".

Instead, I think we end up with a lot of marketing departments telling designers "this is what sells, go make it".

All we really need is one of us gamers to win a $300 million Powerball so we can make a game that doesn't need to be profitable.

Goblin Squad Member

Rafkin wrote:

I've always felt that the secret to making a good mmo is to put the designers at the top of the food chain. We could list dozens of bad features that I'm positive didn't start out as bad ideas but evolved (or devolved) once a marketing person got their hands on it.

I would like to see designers make the game and then tell the marketing guys "go sell this".

Instead, I think we end up with a lot of marketing departments telling designers "this is what sells, go make it".

All we really need is one of us gamers to win a $300 million Powerball so we can make a game that doesn't need to be profitable.

Well judging by what Ryan's said, it doesn't sound like he is the typical company marketing (IE he does not fall into the same common points most marketers do when they lead games astray, IE the "X game does this and it sold well, we should copy"), not to say he doesn't take good ideas but he actually bothers to know why ideas work or fail, before determining if they are appropriate for the game).

For those who don't know, while Ryan is the CEO, his experience is largely in marketing, meaning he already knows what's going on in the marketing department and will probably be very hands on at preventing them from driving it to the same old mistakes that are being repeated. Freeing everyone up to make new mistakes.

CEO, Goblinworks

@Rafkin - I can't think of a AAA MMO that had a feature set dictated by marketing. Every MMO marketing team I'm familiar with lives on the thin edge of frustration at the lack of input they get into the development process.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
@Rafkin - I can't think of a AAA MMO that had a feature set dictated by marketing. Every MMO marketing team I'm familiar with lives on the thin edge of frustration at the lack of input they get into the development process.

Well thanks for debunking my long held conspiracy theory.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am really pulling for PFO to be successful and fun, but I have cautiously optimistic high hopes for EQNext. Norrath was my first MMO love in EQ1 and I am excited to return there with (hopefully) a solidly built game that takes the best parts from original classic EQ combined with fun sandbox elements.

The only thing I really dont like that has come about in the genre lately is the move to free to play. Its not free to play specifically, but what comes with it, namely cash shops. I really dislike cash shops, pretty much on the whole. What is offered varies from game to game, but some of them are literally pay to win, that disgusts me. I want the sense of accomplishment to come from playing the game, not for someone to be able to spend their disposable income to instantly "pimp" their character out, it feels cheap and dirty. If a developer puts out a good solid game, the masses will be more than willing to pay $15 a month to enjoy that without the use of cheap ploys like cash shops. That is my fear for EQNext, an overly pushed cash shop will ruin the game.

Goblin Squad Member

I completely concur on cash shops. They are just such an overt money grab. I miss the days when I could buy a game secure in the knowledge I had everything I needed for it.

CEO, Goblinworks

@Rafkin - the truth of the matter is that most development teams are very insular. In the early days of the MMO field it was all about creating something out of nothing. There wasn't any good data to base assumptions on so people did a lot of development based on their gut instincts. Marketing wasn't connected to developers at all - they just took what got built and tried to sell it.

Later as the field developed we started to generate better data but still most development teams decided what to do, how to do it and what the end result was going to be, then maybe they checked with marketing or market research to see if their plans matched what customers wanted. Of course the better teams were gathering information from messageboard forums so they were basing those choices to some degree on what at least the most vocal and connected members of the community were providing as feedback.

But there is still a big slice of people who feel like they are making art, and art is not informed by data. The idea they have is that they simply have a vision, or know best, what their games need, and they're going to build that vision to the best of their abilities and then be judged on the results.

At this point I think that's a very misguided approach. Not only is there a wealth of data about what players want and don't want, but there are enough real-world failures and successes that can be examined so that we aren't even really talking about mostly theory anymore. MMO development is becoming a practical discipline informed by two or three generations of games and tens of millions of players.

A marketing department today should not only have a seat at the table when discussing how to develop an MMO, it should be an equal seat with the engineers, artists, and game designers. But still, few MMO teams are organized in this fashion.

There's a civil war in videogame development between people who make games and people who sell them. There's a lot of assumptions that the other side of the house is filled with clueless idiots who shouldn't be trusted to make any key decision. Sometimes that's justified - in both directions. But it's not healthy.

Goblinworks is too small to have a "marketing department". It's just got me. :) So hopefully we won't have these kinds of problems for a long, long time, if ever.

CEO, Goblinworks

@Gambit - I will say that the actual performance in the market is that you are incorrect. There is much more money to be made from microtransactions than from subscriptions.

It's certainly true that some games with MTX allow you to pay to win. And what that means differs from person to person - it's not a binary function. There are some folks who feel that "anything but bling" is pay-to-win, and others who think that unless the best items in the game are are MTX-only it's not pay-to-win. Each developer, and each community, has to evolve their own opinion on where that line lies.

At the end of the day the publishers will do what makes the most money. Rigid "one price fits all" subscriptions do not make the most money. So don't expect to see many games that continue to operate with that model, and other than maybe World of Warcraft for legacy business reasons, none of the major games will be doing so in the long term.

By the way, the Koreans and the Chinese kind of laugh at western developers and their concerns about this issue. Pay-to-win is VASTLY more commonplace, at nearly any definition, in their markets than in the west, and they make much more revenue per player on average than the west does, if you factor in purchasing power parity.

With the two biggest non-WoW MMO games firmly rooted in MTX (League of Legends and World of Tanks) and both succeeding spectacularly, I doubt there will be anything BUT MTX games from here on out.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
Not only is there a wealth of data about what players want and don't want...

I hope the reality that different players want different things doesn't get lost in all that data. I hope there is always room for niche games that might not appeal to the largest slice of the player base, but appeal very strongly to a smaller slice.

Goblin Squad Member

Ya know. I don't get the whole attitude of MTXs are bad. Cash shops are nothing but pay to win. I don't get that.

The only MMO I play on a consistent basis is LOTRO. I have to say that I like the way their shop is integrated into the game. Now, I could do without all the little popups reminding you it's there. Heh. I love that you can buy en entire region's worth of quests with one purchase.

Now, I am a lifer in LOTRO, so there are many things that I do not have to worry about in regards to their shop. But, I remember when they introduced low level armor into the shop that had actual stats on it. This upset a great many players. Since, they had said they would never do that.

I remember Ryan once responded to me that developers should try and avoid making blanket statements like the above. It paints them into a corner they may want to move out of.

Yes, I was upset that they would introduce such items into the shop. Since, I had been playing LOTRO pretty heavily at that point, I took a little bit of a break. Taking a break is something that happens to me with every game I play.

In looking at all the games that had cash shops and the way they implemented them, I eventually drew the conclusion that LOTRO had the best one going. So, when done correctly cash shops make the game more accessible to more people. Not everyone wants to plop down $15 a month.

And as far as pay to win goes in themepark I always fall back on the question of, "Who cares?" Does it REALLY matter to you Bob bought a lvl 50 sword from the shop? Is it realistically going to affect your gameplay ANY? I realized that such transactions were not going to affect my playing in the slightest. So, why work yourself into a tizzy over it?

However, with sandbox game I do believe you will have to watch what gets put into there. Now, having never played a sandbox game before I have no idea what kinds of things you would put in there. If we are essentially skill based and not really level based does that eliminate XP boosts? Wouldn't XP Boosts push the curve forward much faster than GW has said they wanted?

Well, I've rambled enough for now. Time to go back to my hole.

Goblin Squad Member

Mogloth wrote:
... I like the way their shop is integrated into the game... I could do without all the little popups reminding you it's there.

I agree that the constant reminders of the cash shop are the biggest problem with it, since it serves to break immersion.

I wonder if it would make a difference if everything were purchasable with in-game currency, and the only thing you could buy with cash was more in-game currency...

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon - You would have to be really wary of gold sellers at that point.

By all accounts the PLEX system works pretty well in EVE. Would love to see an idea of how a similar system could work in PFO.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have conflicting opions on cash shops. I don't like them in principle, however, I use them all the time. I think its a lack of willpower.

Goblin Squad Member

Mogloth wrote:

@Nihimon - You would have to be really wary of gold sellers at that point.

By all accounts the PLEX system works pretty well in EVE. Would love to see an idea of how a similar system could work in PFO.

Indeed, the thing with plex many people who haven't played eve misinterpret when they hear of converting plex (cash item that = a subscription) and ISK (In game currency), is that plex is just an in game item, only if players want to buy the item does it have any use beyond extending your paid subscription longer.

Lets compare, say WoW added a cash for gold direct conversion, some lunatic put in 2 million dollars worth into the game, then spent all the money everywhere, flooding everyone with billions of dollars in gold. The result, many people would become ritch, things being sold to the NPCs would be worth nothing, things sold to other players prices would skyrocket as the value of a gold just hit rock bottom.

Now say someone spent the same 2 million on plex in eve. As he sold it, the value of an ISK would stay the same more or less, but as the supply of plex goes up, the price plummets rapidly, and each sale he gets less and less ISK until he practically has to give them away, or he has to space it out over a loong time to avoid flooding the market and cutting the prices down.

There's a big difference between buying an item that people will trade their currency for, and buying currency.

Goblin Squad Member

SOE (tenuous hook to the thread!) are going big on F2P (eg EQ-N). But MTX is a good idea, because you open up multiple revenue streams. I do not know, but there seem to be players out there who like buying cosmetic cr@p in buckets, so it's profitable. I think if it exists as a service eg buy some extra character slots and stuff like that, that has tangible value to the player(& cost to the company to warrant a starting price) then that's all fine with me.

Culturally it's more established and perhaps fits the mindset of Eastern culture? But in general so long as it does avoid the pitfall of eg building MTX around convenience and designing time sinks to directly make players cough up to avoid them and purchase those convenience items, that sort of sh*ty design, then I'll be fine with it. It's partly the effect on the game, but it's also not nice giving your business/leisure-time to game providers who are evidently plotting how to rip you off! So MTX does open that can of worms: Something of a never-ending arm-wrestle between customer and merchant.

Overall Paizo/GW brand seem to promote quality so none of that bothers me. I am a little concerned that F2P has a negative effect on games with PvP as a major component however. And that's also a problem SOE will have with EQ-N also.

Goblin Squad Member

There are some things which are good for an INDUSTRY but not good for a HOBBY. Cash shops and F2P are like that AFAIK. You can see a similar dynamic with money, sponsorship and college sports, particularly football. On the one hand, some can look at the amount of money being generated by college football as a good things as it means alot more revenue coming into the schools and allows paying for things that couldn't be afforded otherwise. At the same time, many others regard it as corruption of what college level sports were SUPPOSED to be about and a corrupting influence on many involved in such programs when you look at some of the things condoned or tolerated in the name of keeping up a winning program which generates revenue for a school.

I think more then a few of us gamers feel the same way about RMT. It probably is a good thing for the INDUSTRY of gaming, but we see it as a corruption of what gaming as a hobby was supposed to be about. Personaly, I'd rather pay a monthly sub of $50 a month then deal with RMT. It's not the money, it's how it effects the GAME and gameplay. YMMV.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Personally, I think that the sandbox age has actually begun quite some time ago - remember Second Life? How it grew huge practically overnight, could not cope with its unexpected success, and subsequently crashed back to relative obscurity? Remember how sandboxy Ultima Online still persists despite being multiple generations past its sell-by date?

All MMORPGs in the classical format (questing hero) actually have a sandbox core - the interaction with other players, the exploration and the inherently non-linear experience. Even in highly streamlined games like SW:ToR, you can essentially go where you wish and do what you please.

Now, one aspect of these games used to provide a starting point and "quick fix". That was themepark content. Essentially a little planned story told by the game itself rather than developing between its players.

Back in Vanilla WoW, questing got you through the leveling game. But unless you were a very dedicated player, Raiding probably was right out. Endgame consisted of PvP (more open-world than ever again), socializing and roleplaying. Even if you were raiding, you probably spend as much time, if not more, in social interactions as you spend killing enemies.

Without re-stating all of Ryan's points regarding Themepark vs Sandbox - Sandboxes never went away. They just were put into victorian ballroom costumes for a long time. I guess the corset-slashing time finally is here.

On a side note: I personally have yet to see a F2P game that wasn't littered with self-advertisement to the point of total nausea.

Its one thing to open up multiple revenue streams, embrace the penny-player and (yes!) offer an option to bring the casual player with a wallet to the higher tiers of the game, but another entirely to feel as if I was playing a home shopping channel.

If a F2P game were to offer a convincing base experience, maybe I could be swayed to look at this segment again, but as it stands now, I evacuate any game I play once it takes that plunge.

Goblin Squad Member

I vastly prefer a monthly subscription payment method. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it is an automatic deduction from my card so I never have to think about it. I am paying but without acknowledging the fact, thus freeing myself of the idea of a transaction process. Whenever I open the game I am only thinking about playing, not paying. In fact I have kept subscriptions open for many months after having more or less stopped playing the game. I have tried cash shop games, and the constant reminder to pay takes away a good deal from the play.

My other reason is I want to know how much to pay. With a monthly subscription it is all set in stone and the decision is taken away from me and I can get on with enjoying the game. With cash shops I don't know how much to spend. What is a reasonable amount to play the game? Am I spending too little or too much? Thus, my enjoyment of the game is linked to how much I am paying, which is thus a constant reminder of financial anxiety to a small degree.

I play games to escape real life, you know. I don't want to be reminded of it at every turn.

Goblin Squad Member

thenoisyrogue wrote:

I vastly prefer a monthly subscription payment method. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it is an automatic deduction from my card so I never have to think about it. I am paying but without acknowledging the fact, thus freeing myself of the idea of a transaction process. Whenever I open the game I am only thinking about playing, not paying. In fact I have kept subscriptions open for many months after having more or less stopped playing the game. I have tried cash shop games, and the constant reminder to pay takes away a good deal from the play.

My other reason is I want to know how much to pay. With a monthly subscription it is all set in stone and the decision is taken away from me and I can get on with enjoying the game. With cash shops I don't know how much to spend. What is a reasonable amount to play the game? Am I spending too little or too much? Thus, my enjoyment of the game is linked to how much I am paying, which is thus a constant reminder of financial anxiety to a small degree.

I play games to escape real life, you know. I don't want to be reminded of it at every turn.

I'm very much on the fence, I personally have no problem with say the plex equivelant system, that caters to both groups more or less, you can play for free, but then there is a set cap of how much to spend etc...

I also like appearence items, bling etc... in the cash shop. That has no negative impact on the gameplay.

I do say I have to admit to some degree of fear in the case of equipment slot protection items, and the mentioned consumables etc... IE one side being able to heal itself to full via potions between battles, while the cleric has to use up a refresh on the other side, that is a pretty drastic game changing effect, that very much could have a very negative effect on the game as a whole.

Equipment protection slots, while they don't bring wealth or resources into the game, have a high risk of keeping the most powerful items in the game far longer than they should be. Lets say in eve, there were an item that could be bought that would protect your ship on death, but lose your modules. Now when you apply that to say a ship that takes months to build like a titan... you've now drastically changed the options that a titan can be used for.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
I think more then a few of us gamers feel the same way about RMT. It probably is a good thing for the INDUSTRY of gaming, but we see it as a corruption of what gaming as a hobby was supposed to be about. Personaly, I'd rather pay a monthly sub of $50 a month then deal with RMT. It's not the money, it's how it effects the GAME and gameplay. YMMV.

Well said, agree 100%. I want the experience of a game that is classic EQ1, combined with vanilla WoW, combined with SWG (pre NGE), with some new innovations I cant even conceive thrown in, and no cash shops or any immersion breaking features of the sort. I understand I will never get the game I seek, it saddens me but such is life.

Goblin Squad Member

Oh and Mr Dancey I wasn't saying that subscriptions provide the "most" possible money a game can earn, I said if someone builds a good solid fun game, people will pay subscriptions in droves and it will be profitable.

There are always ways to eek out extra money and "max profitability", for instance mexican restaurants could start charging a flat fee on every check for the "free" chips and salsa they give you, grocery stores could charge you a small fee for every plastic bag they give you, restaurants could stop giving free soft drink refills and charge for every one (and this is actually how its done in Europe, little things like that made me really miss home). These are all cheap ploys to make extra money, that is how I feel about cash shops.

To be somewhat cliche, its about the "purity of the game"...if you build it (well), they will come (with lots of subscriptions).

Goblinworks Founder

Gambit wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
I think more then a few of us gamers feel the same way about RMT. It probably is a good thing for the INDUSTRY of gaming, but we see it as a corruption of what gaming as a hobby was supposed to be about. Personaly, I'd rather pay a monthly sub of $50 a month then deal with RMT. It's not the money, it's how it effects the GAME and gameplay. YMMV.
Well said, agree 100%. I want the experience of a game that is classic EQ1, combined with vanilla WoW, combined with SWG (pre NGE), with some new innovations I cant even conceive thrown in, and no cash shops or any immersion breaking features of the sort. I understand I will never get the game I seek, it saddens me but such is life.

How do you old school gamers feel about badge loot from a vendor vs that elusive item RNG drop from a rare boss in a dungeon?

I ask myself when I started to lose interest in MMO gaming and I feel it was around the time toward the end of WoW burning Crusade, when every MMO seemed to be coming out with a vendor for their PvE content that sold you the cool items for a badge. To me, it just ruined the whole experience of wondering what I'm going to get, and brought up some repressed childhood memory of saving up pocket money. I just can't get into PvE MMO's with these badge systems, no matter how hard I try. I miss camping rare spawns even if it meant I only had a .25% chance of the item I wanted, getting the item just made it all the more worthwhile as an adventurer.

Goblin Squad Member

Sorry my language became a little sloppy above. I was referencing mmorpg genre in general, especially the slew of P2W titles that masquerade as F2P not any particular mmorpg. Actually F2P has one massive advantage for mmorpg: Because they are eg big download, big time investment, more complex to get going with etc, any way to reduce barrier to entry/make playing have less inertia "to try" is a good thing.

The Skill-Training Plex/ISK idea seems a great system, especially if you are thinking I'd like to find a mmorpg that I can stick with, at the outset.

@Elth: I can't answer that particular question: PvE was initially cool when I saw these huge maps and quests and array of critters. But then I found the static lack of change and the xp-lvl meter of PvE as well as mobs that could not rival players in engaging combat, to find that there was no mystery or meaning to this gameplay. I really like the fact that PfO is angling to have adventure, to require groups and that the PvE environment yields resources that affect players trade, settlements, gear upgrades and crafting. And secondly that there's a continuum between civilized hex and wild hex that changes the PvE content (as well as different "zones"/critter combinations as normal).

TL;DR: What should make PvE more fun than the traditional RNG loot drop, is the RISK vs REWARD estimation: We want a particular resource/adventure but we estimate a) a sunk cost (eg gear degredation/consumables use etc b) a risk assessment (other players, monsters inflict costs etc = balancing gains/losses makes a fun context to the also skillful combat, random encounters that PvE should also throw up.

Goblin Squad Member

Elth wrote:


How do you old school gamers feel about badge loot from a vendor vs that elusive item RNG drop from a rare boss in a dungeon?

I ask myself when I started to lose interest in MMO gaming and I feel it was around the time toward the end of WoW burning Crusade, when every MMO seemed to be coming out with a vendor for their PvE content that sold you the cool items for a badge. To me, it just ruined the whole experience of wondering what I'm going to get, and brought up some repressed childhood memory of saving up pocket money. I just can't get into PvE MMO's with these badge systems, no matter how hard I try. I miss camping rare spawns even if it meant I only had a .25% chance of the item I wanted, getting the item just made it all the more worthwhile as an adventurer.

I totally agree with this sentiment.

Goblin Squad Member

Elth wrote:

How do you old school gamers feel about badge loot from a vendor vs that elusive item RNG drop from a rare boss in a dungeon?

I ask myself when I started to lose interest in MMO gaming and I feel it was around the time toward the end of WoW burning Crusade, when every MMO seemed to be coming out with a vendor for their PvE content that sold you the cool items for a badge. To me, it just ruined the whole experience of wondering what I'm going to get, and brought up some repressed childhood memory of saving up pocket money. I just can't get into PvE MMO's with these badge systems, no matter how hard I try. I miss camping rare spawns even if it meant I only had a .25% chance of the item I wanted, getting the item just made it all the more worthwhile as an adventurer.

Honestly, the 2nd half of BC was the start of the decent into darkness that WoW took. They removed all the raid attunements keys and started selling near equivalent level end game gear using the badge system, it killed much of the sense of accomplishment in the game. Also they fully embraced max level daily quests as their means for player retention.

Let me bring up another example, keeping WoW as the subject material. In vanilla WoW, you ran around on foot for the first 40 levels, it was slow going, leveling to max took a good long while, at level 40 you got your first mount (if you could afford it), then when you finally reached max level of 60 you could get an epic mount that went almost double the speed of your first mount (once again IF you could afford it). Warlocks had one of the finest (best looking) mounts available to them in the game, however getting it was a quite a challenge. It involved a long quest chain that sent you all over the world, and finally to Dire Maul, a rather tough dungeon, to overcome the hardest fight in said dungeon. When you saw a Warlock in Org or IF sitting atop his Dreadsteed it was a sight to behold, and that player felt a very real sense of accomplishment....nowadays Warlocks purchase their Dreadsteeds as a skill from the Warlock trainer at level 40 (you now get your first mount at level 20, which takes a couple hours to reach)...an epic quest chain turned into one click of a button. Things like this are what took WoW from fun and compelling down to mediocre.

Here is what I dont understand, WoW most likely reached it peak subscriber base during BC, yet halfway into BC they decided to start a radical paradigm shift in the game. WotLK and Cataclysm fully embraced this new way, the way of the casual themepark. Good news everyone, you dont have to be THIS tall to ride any of the rides anymore, everyone is a winner!

I am also going to circle around to my original points of cash shops here, while staying on the topic of mounts, Vanguard (good game, horrible launch) used to have a long quest chain to get a flying mount, it took time and had a beneficial and tangible reward at the end, now all you have to do is reach level 50 and go into the cash shop where you can buy your flying mount...another case of compelling in game play being replaced by one click of a button.

All I ask is to be presented a serious challenge while simultaneously accomplishing everything IN THE GAME, I dont think that is asking too much, but maybe it is.

Goblin Squad Member

Gambit,

To add to your great post, if one does have a rare mount or drop that was acquired by effort then this helps to promote a social aspect within the game. Other players will come over to you and ask how you got the item. Conversation will develop and perhaps the player will agree to help the other players on an expedition to see if they can find one for themselves.

Having a cash shop completely removes this multi-player interaction. You want one? Just go to the cash shop and buy it.

CEO, Goblinworks

WoW is a unique case of the disease all theme park games have. WoW just survives due to inertia of its social network.

After you reach the level cap, the end-game content that awaits is raids. What these games teach you is "solo until you hit the level cap, then for the rest of the time you play, you have to have good group to play with".

That's a discontinuity that breaks most theme park MMOs. WoW navigated it because they had such a huge number of people who started playing at roughly the same time that they all reached the end-game at the same time and were able to group with each other using a social pattern they brought with them from EQ - guilds & "dragon raids".

Before the first expansion, the content in WoW was 80% "leveling", 20% "level-cap" (i.e. raids). If you played a character to the max level, you saw 80% of the game. The percentage has been changing with each expansion. With Pandaria, it's about 50/50. In other words, the "leveling" part of the game is now just half the content.

To keep those end-game raiding guilds alive as players attrit, WoW has to keep feeding them a constant supply of newbie raiders. And to make that happen, the game has to get you through to the level cap faster and faster because the cap keeps getting higher and higher.

In the tabletop RPG business, I called this "the treadmill", and it killed a lot of game lines in the 1990s. You have to keep running faster and faster just to stay in the same place and you can't ever stop or you fall off and can't get back on.

Every theme park MMO has hit the treadmill, run on it for a few quarters, then eventually fallen off. The end-game raiding population just isn't big enough to justify putting your staff on making new content for them continuously, and you're better off fixing bugs and implementing features for everyone who is still leveling, and who you might acquire. Thus, theme park games end up as ghost towns.

WoW almost fell off the treadmill with Cataclysm. Player counts started to drop. Usually that's a one-way street. But they did a bunch of stuff to keep players coming back (or at least paying them, it's hard to tell if they're playing too). The Diablo promotion is a great example of that kind of marketing.

If player counts start to drop in the next quarter, it probably means that WoW has reached its high water mark and it will continue to decline thereafter. I think the Cataclysm fixes were all one-offs and will be very hard (if not impossible) to repeat. Still, having millions playing level-cap raids means that there's still enough incoming revenue to justify the expense of continuing to make more end-game content, so people won't suddenly get cut off from the drug drip.

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