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Reader Comments (9)

Posted: Apr 21st 2008 5:38PM (Unverified) said

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Well, zoning in EQ was the worst of both worlds. When you zone, you appear exactly where you were, just in a new zone. It meant that between every zone, there was always some sort of U curve to block line of sight. It worked for being the first game to do this, but it was really frustrating when you tried play in that area (like camping the zone in Crushbone).

I'm in the later camp. Make the world huge and immersive. If travel is a problem, allow for teleportation or mount-based travel. If we're out in a giant wasteland, I'd love to feel that sense of desolation - as long as I knew I could warp home when I was done. I think not having large zones due to gameplay concerns is a sour excuse, even though I see the concerns. It's hard to make an area jam-packed with adventure if it's empty and widespread. But then again, exploration is a lost flavor when the continent you're on rivals a Super Mario level in size.

I was just in Thousand Needles yesterday, staring at that contrasted border. I think the WoW developers just decided to not care about those kinds of concerns, for the same reason a lot of their immersion-breaking design choices exist. WoW is just a game, not meant to be taken seriously. Which, I suppose, is an okay alternative to taking yourself seriously and failing.

Posted: Apr 21st 2008 5:38PM Ayenn said

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I’m on the fence with teleporting in a HToL world kind of ruins the whole feeling. Even if you don’t use it, you know it is there.

I grew up in Chicago. I don’t even know how long it would take to get from The Loop (roughly the middle of the city) to the most northerly point on the lake-front. We always took the elevated trains for a majority of the travel… but the trains took time also. I loved the feeling of traveling great distances by train… the transit system is as much a part of Chicago as the land the city sits upon.

A load screen is definitely not like traveling long distances. If you are going to do something like that there should be a kind of mini-zone, like a train or a boat or even sitting in a wagon in a caravan, a mini-zone that allows you to see or know where you are going and about how fast that transit is. This could also be a way to get to know other players…

I miss the days in SWG when you had to wait for the ships to go from one planet to another. It was an incidental community building experience… the spam barkers, the speeder races inside the landing pad, the standing around and chatting with complete strangers. It made the world seem populated yet with distances.

Again HToL totally promote immersion more than a loading screen. Walking/riding across vast landscapes really puts you in the “place” of a VW, hell, it DEFINES the MMORPG VW… and there is nothing like the sensation of seeing someone in the distance coming towards you. Are they friend or foe? Will they wave as you pass by? To know “that tree” is a halfway marker and have that actually MEAN something in a way it can in RL is an awesome prospect!

BTW Stonehenge is NOT right next to London and The Grand Canyon is NOT just outside of Flagstaff. If they were, they would not be as special…

Posted: Apr 25th 2008 1:53PM UnSub said

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Travelling time is great... the first time or two you make the journey.

After that point, seeing that damn tree means you've still got x minutes to go until you get to your destination and THEN you can start having fun.

Travel time isn't fun in and of itself.

CoH/V ruined me with regards to travel powers. Other MMOs I've played see me quickly bore of running everywhere at what seems a slow pace.

I do like seamless worlds at the top level and instancing underneath that, but if you are going to have a big world you need lots of ways to travel quickly between locations.

Posted: Apr 23rd 2008 5:59PM (Unverified) said

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Meh, in my honest opinion, loading between zones is horrible, and ultimately, even more immersion breaking than the feralas/thousand needles zone line. It feels like a relic of bad game design, when it is clearly possible to create a visually compelling yet seamless world.

By the by, that zone line isn't really all that unrealistic. Sometimes, there are just distinct geographical differences between adjascent regions. If you've ever visited Lake Tahoe on the California/Nevada border, you'd find that on most of the Nevada side, you're dealing with desert. On most of the California side, you're dealing with a forest. The dividing line is often stark and visible. It's kind of amazing, really.

World of Warcraft gives you a sense of place, without the sense of place overwhelming the fun you have while you're there or traveling through it. Travel time is not fun (well, it isn't fun after the first few times). It is necessary to establish geography though. Perhaps WoW is a bit too 'small' in this regard, but I've never felt resentful of the time it takes to get from place to place in that game. That's not something I can of any other MMO I've ever played. (Remember crossing the Karanas?)

I have to say that what I've seen of AoC so far fails to impress. The zoning is just another bad choice, and I can't buy the justification for it since the textures are so damn inconsistent (some amazing, some terrible) I hope that further samplings will belay that first impression, but my expectations have dropped considerably.

Posted: Apr 22nd 2008 10:21PM (Unverified) said

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One of the things you have to look at is the size of zones, sometimes zoning did bug me in wow especially because when I played zone loading was slow but because their werent any defining marks in EQ so a lot of the time you were exploring and BAM hit a zoneline (think of areas like the karanas even some dungeons that have more than one entrance such as Lguk)

On the other hand zoning in EQ made some zones massive which I liked, examples of the include most of velious and parts of luclin.


Honestly tho I dont expect WHO to do very well. They promised big things and people seem to be getting disappointed on certian aspects of the game.

One of the killers imo is going to be when all the solo players from wow get rolled over by groups.

Right now wow has struck a decent balance between PVE and PVP, some people say you can do one and if you do you cant do the other which is very untrue. High end pve'rs (people doing sunwell) are the PVE'rs spending 100% of their time on PVE, once the strategies are out you really dont need to spend much time raiding. Most places only take a few hours where in EQ things took a large portion of the day to mobilize and down bosses.

When people realize that once their bored of PVP that their really isnt anything left for them because their pve content will be lacking, thats when players will start to leave the game.


Another WHO comment I would like to point out is the number of beta subscribers, currently at 650k. Personally that doesnt seem like a lot to me, you would think everyone thats like "ZOMG im buyin dis gam immedetly!" would have entered beta, and im sure im not the only one whos entered the beta just to take a peek at the game but really doesnt have an interest in playing.

Posted: Apr 23rd 2008 4:46PM (Unverified) said

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I like automated travel such as flight-paths, boats, etc. They give me time to get up and stretch, go get a drink, go to the bathroom, etc.

Posted: Apr 23rd 2008 9:37PM (Unverified) said

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WoW DOES have some load screen action between outdoor zones:
Ride the ship from Darkshore to the Draenai island.
Walk/ride from Eastern Plaguelands to the Bloodelf homeland.

Guess what? I hate those load screens!
It's not a unique instance. Its just an arbitrary demarcation.

I'm am SO glad that (mostly) WoW avoids load screens.
The do not make the world seem bigger.
The just make the world seem disjoint.

Oh, and the argument that you can ride across a continent in an hour is specious.
That's because Blizzard chose to make travel really really fast. Not because there's so little going on between those two endpoints.
You said yourself that there were only 4 stopping points on your USAF base. How many "stopping points" are there if you cross Kalimdor from top to bottom?

So I conclude my counter-rant by stating:
Load screens do not improve the players experience.
And likewise, if AoC is using them to "make the world seem bigger" then I think they're covering for other issues.

Posted: Apr 28th 2008 5:33PM (Unverified) said

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Loading screens between zones destroy a game for me. It's one of the biggest reasons I couldn't play Guild Wars' PvE. The constant loading screens *everywhere* made the world feel horribly disjointed and broken. It didn't matter if it only took 5-10seconds- that they were there at all destroys any possibility of immersion.

WoW's boundary lines might be stark in places, but stark is a thousand times better than a loading screen, no matter how short.

I was really looking forward to AoC until I found out it had loading between zones... that's a huge, huge disapointment. I'm going to have to seriously reconsider buying the game now.
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Posted: Apr 23rd 2008 9:25PM (Unverified) said

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I don"t want to play an action game, I already have mario for that.

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I want to play a huge fantasy world with no waiting. I like to travel, to change direction, to look after details or meet people and be surprised

even for the 50th time. Wow has many way to shorten the travel and it's fine

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I like port with boats and a little waiting, it helps to rest a little, to speak with people (massive MULTIplayer online... )

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in wow, I would prefer to avoid loading screens, even for the boats, to add some random events sometimes (a storm, a big octopus monster spawing on the boat ) and seconds after the travel end.

add a message "after some days..." if you want. but the loading screen is annoying. it stops whatever I was doing and it's ugly.

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the immersion will not be possible without seamless world, even if the game is limited in scope. one day computer will be able to manage HUGE detailled world and creators will have budget to fill that world.

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