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Reader Comments (30)

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 9:03AM Holgranth said

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Phasing Scripted events like the final one of the Death Knight chain can be a bit iffy BUT workable around.

Phasing things like the wrath gate or the Zul'Drak quest chain where you infiltrate the scourge and mind control huge undead berzerkers to beat a powerful boss pure undiluted WIN!

I'm sure it is here to stay in some form its just hitting the right medium.

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 9:15AM (Unverified) said

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Instances and Phasing aren't new... Instancing easily goes back to console MMO's like PSO & later PSU which were completely instanced. Phasing dates back just as far (both of those I mentioned did forms of Phasing), and on the PC end I beta tested many games which have altered everything based on which path you walk... Heck in the F2P area DOMO is phased and instanced, with 2 'factions' chosen before you start the main part of the game...

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 1:16PM Kamokazi said

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(If a double post shows up, thank the comment system...had to retype this)

It's even older than that. The first use I saw of phasing was before instancing...in EverQuest, Luclin expansion. The Hollowshade Moor war:

http://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?quest=1609

Basically three sides had their own geographical location and spawns...they could take them over with, and sometimes without player help. If one of the three ended up dominating the zone, the NPC camp just outside a playable race's city would get abandoned and populated with boss mobs from that race with good rewards...once they were ousted, the zone reset.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 2:10PM (Unverified) said

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Luclin came out in 2001, PSO was 2000... So PSO was first by a bit... But the idea of the post was more that these things have been done by MMO's of various shapes & sizes for a decade now... & yet this is somehow still 'news' when games do this...? Lineage had content that changed depending on options selected by the 'guild' in charge of a certain area and could be thought of as Phasing as well & that dates to 1998... Why aren't we used to seeing this by now....?
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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 9:48AM (Unverified) said

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I expect plenty of people to come in and bash phasing much like they bash instancing. I don't mind instancing as long as its exclusive to dungeons and set pvp matches, world instancing though is very irritating and immersion breaking. I wish pre-cu SWG had instancing, I hated waiting in line to do DWB, my time is important and I don't want to lose it because someone got there first or has more time to camp something than I do.

Now, phasing has me torn. I originally expected it to be something like the time-shift progression in Guild Wars. I actually like that, as long as its something scaled to the party size. However, if phasing ends up changing the look, feel, atmosphere of a world to one player as opposed to a player who hasn't done it/made a different choice, I'm torn.

If the game world looks different, then how are we going to describe locations based on landmarks? Sure lots of games have waypoint systems and the like, but you can't memorize a place with them. It would create problematic instances of guidance, especially for guilds that rely on each other for help rather than websites and mods.

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 9:56AM wjowski said

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Unlike what...apparently most of the MMO populace seems to think I believe instancing and phasing can go a long way towards actually adding immersion to a game.

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 10:57AM (Unverified) said

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I agree. Wrathgate was one of the most engrossing and entertaining questlines in an MMO that I can think of in recent memory...and in large part due to phasing. Getting to fight alongside Thrall and Sylvanas without some idiot 13 year old babbling and jumping around like some cracked-out easter rabbit definitely adds to the immersion.

I do rather miss seeing Varimathras, though.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 10:53AM (Unverified) said

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--
But phasing has its own problems, as Marc has shown. Sometimes you may enter a phased state only to find that the event contained within it was started by another player, or you may find your epic storyline moment ruined by an inconsiderate person.
--

Other players are so annoying. I wish someone would invent an RPG that I could play alone, without the inconvenience of other players.

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 11:05AM (Unverified) said

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Nah, not all other players. Just the ones like you...

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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 11:10AM Lethality said

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Phasing (at least as Blizzard has implemented it) is a terrible mistake. It effectively closes off the greater world from questing with your friends.

If they want to make a single player game, then make a single player game.

But instead concentrate on pervasive ways to make the world dynamic for groups, after all this is an MMO.

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 11:53AM Holgranth said

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I disagree with your sweeping generalization, with MAYBE 10% of Northrend is phased its very easy to go find quests to do with your friends in a non phased area.....So ya the "closes of the greater world" comments is pretty uneducated.

Secondly IF you know what areas are phased its very possible to do them as a group.

Thirdly a lot of the phasing is simply where you see what friendly questgiver or npc. You can see the big shiny kitty godess you just rescued standing in the camp. Your friend who hasn't done that quest yet can't.

Not perfect but oh so much better than totally static "hmm didn't I escort that dude to safety 2 minuets ago why is he lying bleeding in the snow again?"
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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 1:15PM Lethality said

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Holgar, and how to you propose to know ahead of time which quests are phased so you can make sure you don't progress too far or not far enough so you can't team up?

That in itself is an inherently bad design decision, especially if the goal is to increase the "immersion" - LFG Kill 10 Rats, Phase 3a only.

Hmmm
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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 2:05PM Holgranth said

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Wowhead+addon=information
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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 2:15PM Lethality said

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That isn't appropriate. Casual gamers do not follow fan sites or db sites religiously and they aren't (and should not) expect to have prior knowledge of the game before experiencing it in the game world.

Again... immersion. You want to go read all the spoilers and cheats for the quests you are going to do tonight? Fine. But the exact folks who want more immersion are the folks who do not read sites like WoWhead (yours truly included)


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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 2:21PM (Unverified) said

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"Holgar, and how to you propose to know ahead of time which quests are phased so you can make sure you don't progress too far or not far enough so you can't team up?

That in itself is an inherently bad design decision, especially if the goal is to increase the "immersion" - LFG Kill 10 Rats, Phase 3a only."

Blizzard isn't shotgunning phasing all over the game. As an example; fighting beside two racial leaders of the Horde to recapture a razed capital city, and defeat a major lore character is a smidge different than killing a few rats, to use your example. You have more than ample warning what is about to take place, and there are several go-to quests leading up to the main event, giving someone several potential pause points in order to let others catch up if need be.

There seem to be a fair bit of confusion about this, in the way that Blizzard implements it, from those that haven't experienced it.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2009 11:15AM (Unverified) said

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Yet you respond with broad, sweeping generalizations.

Pot, meet kettle. Don't you have someone in need of teabagging somewhere?

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 12:02PM Holgranth said

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You can call it childish and personal but it dosen't change the fact that it is right.

Most rational, reasonable people,if supplied with the vast load of evidence that can be easily acessed by clicking on your username on this blog site and looking at your previous comments, would likely not want to play a multiplayer game with you based on your personality.

In otherwords your a moron.

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 12:31PM ultimateq said

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If I wanted to play by myself, I wouldn't play an MMO. That is part of the reason I stopped playing WoW. Not the main reason, but certainly a contributing factor.

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 12:45PM (Unverified) said

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Believe it or not people of all ages play wow not just 12 year olds. Everyone in my office plays and I know one person's grandma plays even. The people that are the most outspoken of course are younger players, but that's true in real life as well. Kids are loud. If you can't handle them then don't play an mmo?

As for phasing I feel its a good way to add some more immersion to the game. I had not read anything about the wrath gate event before it happened to me and I was blown away. They did a really great job and I hope more like it shows up in mmos.

Posted: Feb 24th 2009 10:33PM (Unverified) said

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I love phasing and instancing. I remember the first time we hit a large group instance in LOTRO, I was hooked.

Phasing in LOTRO is not used nearly ENOUGH IMHO. I think MMO's shouls consist almost entirely of cleverly placed phasing.

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