Being exclusive is a good marketing tool as long as the people playing are enjoying the game. Any threats to boycott will be mostly sour grapes and empty. It's a smart strategy considering the size of their company and the nature of their game.
What happens if I don't get in the first 4500? I'll be surprised considering I've been posting here since the beginning of the year and I made a donation to the demo on kickstarter, but if that happened -- I would boycott and quit and uhmmm... I guess wait until I got an invite. =)
There's a good article on Keen and Graev's website discussing the merits of death penalties and fast travel in MMOs. Be sure to read the comments for some great discussion.
I signed up to play Age of Conan when it first launched and I remember a random player approaching me and asking if I could kill him so that he could get a hearth to the other end of the map. For me, that's poor game design. I hope that goblinworks realizes that they should avoid making another "casual" MMO - we already have enough of those. I don't have a ton of time to play, but I would rather spend it in a world that had depth than a world that allowed me to complete a series of chores conveniently. Not only does walking/riding spark interaction with the game world, it creates a sense of distance. So what if you can't immediately teleport into a dungeon with your friends? Maybe the fact that it takes some fore-thought and organization would make those times that you do a dungeon more interesting. I mean, take WoW for example - are you really having more fun in their dungeons now that you can run them 20 times a day or was it more fun when you had to gather friends or make friends, gather at the dungeon entrance and possibly encounter the other faction for some random PVP?
I understand if they want to put some sort of fast travel in, but I hope it's not an ability that can be used more than once every couple of hours. As weird as this sounds, some of my favorite times in old MMOs were waiting for boats or trekking across the world with some friends and finding trouble along the way.
1) I think it's hard to put a time scale because it's all relative to how the player plays , ie. Power-Gamer vs. Casual. I hope that there isn't "end-game" content like we've been conditioned to. I would like the same sort of activities that are interesting and available from the very beginning continue to be interesting and available throughout my game play experience: exploring, crafting, PVP, world politics, socializing, etc.
2) I played WoW off and on from release (late '04) until November '11. I took a year or two off every so often. The game changed a lot during that time period and from '09-'11 I no longer played it as an MMO. I only logged in to play arena.
3) I stopped playing this last time to try SWTOR which I played for a grand total of three days before I quit. Games like Skyrim and Mount&Blade have kept my attention enough to prevent me from re-subbing. I've tried out Tera and GW:2 betas, but neither have grabbed my attention.
4) WoW combat on a twitch-gaming/PVP level has the most depth of any MMO I've played. Anyone who was a serious arena player would agree with me - however, I don't care or even want PFO to be twitch based. If the game becomes too player skill-based, then people spend all their time complaining about balance, buffing and nerfing. Look at the table-top, there is no twitch based skill there, but it's still a lot of fun. In my head, I imagine PFO to be more like the MUDs I played in the 90s than the MMOs I played in the post-WoW era. In those MUDs combat consisted of "attack mud crab," but it was still fun as hell.
It's analogous to the Game of Thrones HBO series. People don't watch that show because of the combat being great, they watch it because the story sucks them in. That is the way I want to feel about PFO.
I don't think that e-Sports remove the thrill from PVP, but I do think it ruins immersion. Player run events are fine, but let's leave it at that for a sandbox game.
On the other hand, I hope that PVP as WAR won't devolve into zerg guilds on a constant ganking mission a la Darkfall. To me, there's nothing thrilling or skillful about dog-piling with insurmountable odds. Raiding/defending towns or caravans could be a lot of fun, but I hope the PVP doesn't drown out everything else this game will offer.
Wish List -
That PFO will have the complexity and depth that MMOs have forsaken. I'm tired of devs catering to the lowest common denominator to sell more games.
Someone mentioned this on page 1, but I want to reiterate - remember the thief character - not the high damage "thief" of the modern MMO, but the sneaky purse snatching kind. It would be ideal if they could fill roles like disarming traps, picking locked chests AND PICKING POCKETS! Maybe I can't rob them blind, but let me try and pickpocket a few gold coins off my fellow players! Let them try to cut my head off if I get caught, but bring back the thief!
That PFO actually gets released (R.I.P. Dominus).
I played a MUD in the mid 1990s called Gemstone. Coincidentally, it was made by Simutronics - the company that made the HeroEngine. At this point I was new to online gaming. To this day, I've never been in an online world that felt as real as that text based game did.
This was a different age, where computer gaming was still for gamers, but it was quickly getting more mainstream. Still, it was more common to see roleplaying than it was to see someone speaking out of character. I remember the GMs would stage special events. There might be a goblin invasion attacking an outpost town and the players had to band together to repel the attack. These attacks might start out as small encounters early in the week and then culminate to a full-on assault after several days. The whole server would be on edge worried about when the next invasion might happen. You just didn't know what to expect! Contrast this to the modern MMO and I can tell you exactly what is gonna happen, because I know the meta-game. In Gemstone, the GMs themselves would control the most powerful beings and they would interact with you. There might be RP interactions of a truce between the player base and some orc leader, for example.
And there was real danger if you died! You would drop whatever you were holding and sometimes worse, if you left your body after death any passer-by could loot your goods! I had gear that I spent one year's worth of gold on, so that was a real risk. You had to rely on your friends to rescue you and protect you. All these people worried about partial loot - bah! You don't know what a thrill it is to risk it!
If I had to pick one specific event:
One day, a ship had arrived from an unknown land requesting help. Only the Lords and Ladys (over level 20) were strong enough to answer this plea. At this point, my character was experienced enough to go, but just barely. I remember loading on board the ship with several of the well-known characters of the realm. Many showed concern that I was "too young" to be able to handle what lay ahead, but I persisted on going. I remember the ship itself had a travel time that felt like an hour to reach the island... Yep, that's my most epic time in a game - waiting for what felt like an hour full of dread and anticipation of reaching an unknown land to fight unknown foes with characters (not people) that I recognized from the world my character inhabited. I can replay it in my mind right now like a movie. Yeah, this was from a text based game.
Come anywhere close to this, Goblinworks and I will speak fondly of you too 15 years from now!
@RonarsCorruption: I never played FF XIII, but that sounds like a superior loot system. First of all, I think the best weapons should come from the crafters with highest skill or from rare bosses or epic quests, not from boars or wolves. If boars and wolves are dropping powerful weapons (or any weapons for that matter), then the crafters are irrelevant.
I agree with BlackUhuru here. I believe that MMOs have sacrificed community to cater to convenience. Take WoW as an example. When I first played the game at launch, there were no LFG tools, no cross-server ques, nor dungeon ques of any kind. The result was that I actually met players and kept a friend list. The people I met allowed me to play the game and enriched my gaming experience. I had adventures traveling to a dungeon. At one point I knew most of my server and the game world felt alive. Fast-forward to 2011 and WoW had become a chat lobby. I could find a group by pushing a button and waiting, like an elevator. Once inside, everyone kept their head down and we did whatever dungeon we had to do without any real social interaction. I know that is a tangent, but it's a slippery slope if we start making allocations for "the solo player" or "convenience."
I'm like anyone else. If I can take the easy route and do the quests, kill the monster or form a group without having to interact, then that's what I'm going to do; however, the MMOs that we all remember and love (EQ, DAoC, etc) you needed to group to play the game and that was what made it great. Recently, I played SW:TOR and despite having a 20 other players in vent with me, most of us were solo questing through the game world, leveling our toons. I hate that.
I know you're just asking for an alternate to "global chat," and allowing your request would do very little to change the social interaction in the game, but I'm so worried about what "ease of use" has done to ruin the modern MMO, that it has sent me off on an early morning tirade.
I think open PVP would provide an immense level of depth to PFO. The majority of the people who enjoy PVP, even from the side of an aggressor are not out to ruin your game experience. As long as the non-combat characters have an ability to escape an encounter (if they are careful enough), I think the threat of being attacked would add excitement and realism. Instanced or flagged PVP is a horrible compromise that detracts from immersion. Don't go middle of the road. I would rather have no PVP than mini-games or other theme park solutions.
The problem is not PVPers. The problem are the griefers. They aren't playing the game for any other reason, but to make their mark and destroy the experience for everyone else. Solutions that penalize their characters don't work. As soon as they become aware of a new PVP sandbox MMO, they are going to swarm. "Player policing" is the best policy vs. small groups, but these large organized guilds are a different matter. First of all, it would require a counter force as well organized and determined at stopping griefing as these people are at inflicting it. I don't see that happening.
The best thing I can think of is to remove bottlenecks so that the griefers can't trap in their prey. As long as you can avoid them and move somewhere else, it's not such a big deal if they take over an area for awhile. Dying a couple of times is nothing, but being killed over and over will ruin the game. I've tried to think up real solutions, but everything that comes to mind I quickly find holes in it. I think it will be impossible to eliminate, but hopefully the devs can come up with solutions to contain it.