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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Apr 28th 2009 5:00PM Graill440 said

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I have to laugh at the nub that wrote this article. Truly pathetic. Take your Lord of the flies play and leave the building. I cannot believe the thought process of some of you article writers. People like you are a cancer in MMO's, coupled with sorry devs you folks bring out the worst in MMO"S and belittle the community.

Instead of taking your energy and proffessing your love of you getting "high" from destroying another persons game play experience, why dont you address dev corruption and weakness in the MMO industry and get MMO's where they should be?

Nah, that would be to uncool and the hardcore PIPS might turn on you.

Posted: Apr 28th 2009 6:07PM brookep said

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I didn't realize that killing people as efficiently and with as much style as possible was considered being a 'cancer' or 'destroying another person's game play experience' when you're playing a PVP/RvR game... ;-)

Posted: Apr 28th 2009 5:27PM Celestian said

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I played DAoC for about 4 years. I know exactly what "gank groups" are.

I am sorry but the problem is not a problem for those that LIKE large scale organized RVR. If you don't like it I'd suggest scenarios.

You can make snide comments about it being large group taking PVE objectives all you want but those same large groups defend and attack. I could just as easily proclaim all gank groups as cowards because they run away when they encounter them. Just because it happens doesn't mean that's all that happens.

I find it comforting that the "gank groups" now are the ganked.

Posted: Apr 28th 2009 7:17PM (Unverified) said

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I think this article has demonstrated that when a niche game, that probably 95% of MMO'ers never played, uses terminology differently to every other game, even if you clearly explain it in paragraph one, most commenters won't understand.

Probably should have just referred to them as "8-mans" or something rather than "gank groups".

Posted: Apr 28th 2009 10:23PM (Unverified) said

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You make a couple of errors in your reply.

1) "Yes, buffed people had an advantage, but EVERYONE was buffed. "
a) While this is true, it is misleading. People who simply chose a character class and decided to come out to RVR with a group of friends are not flawlessly buffed like a proper 8 man.
b) 8 man (say 2 healers, 2 DPS, 2 Tanks, 2 CC) vs. improperly configured 8 man (say, 3 stealth classes, 3 tanks, 2 casters), there's no contest. You can't even begin to claim that there is some kind of "balance" when one group has CC or PBT, and the other does not.

2) "When people are talking about the "skill" involved, it's a fact."
a) Obviously you misinterpret. Of course there is some skill involved, but, it's far more binary than you're letting on. The scenario you describe thereafter is simply one where everyone is used to fighting in your custom group. It's not "really" skill... no more than learning the rules of a new card game and applying them. Simplistic.
b) You can't honestly expect me to believe that your bunker of faith, CC heavy, perfectly tuned group requires "skill" in the vast majority of the conflicts it encounters in the game. Skill would only be an issue when fighting someone who had a chance of winning. Maximum RP per hour is obtained in DAOC by more quickly locating those whom you can dispatch the most quickly with the least risk of being killed and reset, and thus losing time.

3) "Most RP's came from 8v8 fights or 8vZerg, where if you triumphed, it was absolutely noteworthy and required skill."
a) What's laughable is that you believe there's some modicum of skill involved in killing non cookie-cutter groups of any size, against your perfectly tuned group.
b) Also, what's funny is you think it's "noteworthy" for a tuned 8man to shut down a random zerg. This indicates that you really don't understand how the interplay of buffs work. The ONLY reason it was "noteworthy" was because of all the egotistical posts that would be spammed all over the boards touting the triumphs of some 8man that trounced a zerg somewhere. 8 RR5+ guys communicating on teamspeak/ventrilo, with perfectly tuned characters vs. 25 guys who are completely disorganized, without even having the same tools as those 8 guys, having a bunch of sub-optimal toons and some level 48 and lvl 50 RR1 guys, in a universe where a buffed speeding guy can 2 shot sub-optimal classes... really? Skill? Okay, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

One of the main reasons the game failed was ridiculous class balance issues. At any given time in DAOC, if your class was not 1 of a select say, 14 of the 40+ classes in the game, you had NO PLACE in a ... pay close attention ... GOOD 8 man. You and your 7 buddies who just made characters they liked the playstyle of is NOT a good 8 man. You'll win a couple times because there are other 8 mans that are like this. You and your 7 buddies who all convened in guild chat, decided what to run, and leveled up the appropriate characters and learned to work them properly in 8v8 is absolutely unbeatable, except by similar, in DAOC.

This is NOT optimal gameplay, because it's highly rewarding to hacking the meta.

"Oh, ability X + ability Y is nigh impossible to counter on someone who has a lot of HP or ability Z (Pulsing blade turn) turned on. Let's NEVER LEAVE CAMELOT until we have that, and at least Ability M (Bunker of Faith) and speed 5. I really like the idea of Class B, but, they aren't useful in this kind of group so, I can't really play them because I'd be letting down the other 7 guys here."

This mentality is lame and game crushing. It stems from "I want to be superior to others at all times" when the proper mentality for a good, healthy game is "I want the field to remain competitive and provide challenging interplay at all times." Huge ego does not help games. Any game decision that makes a character insurmountable to another character, no matter how the two are played against each other, be it buffs, gear, or otherwise, adds negatively to the game's credibility against real-world proximity.

Now, why should the game NOT be designed that way?
1) For the reason I described 1 paragraph up.
2) Because if games are made such that 7 players lose a whole lot of viability when 1 player quits, eventually lose all their players. *gasp* like DAOC did.
3) Once people realize that 8man is the way to go, most people will be 8man, leaving all other playstyles worthless.

Why didn't Warhammer do this?
1) Because it's impossible, impossible, impossible to balance amongst classes once you allow that level of buffing.
2) Because when a single person is useless unless paired with specific person X and Y, and another person is never useless, the game is more player for the other person, thus giving people incentive to quit.
3) They recognized buffing like this as a problem. Go read the VNBoards about DAOC. 9 times out of 10 when someone felt they were underpowered, it was the result of fighting someone buffed. You simply cannot allow synergies to be as powerful as they are in Dark Age, and expect them not to be borderline exploited.

It boils down simplistically:
If A + B is better than C + D, then NEVER MAKE C OR D. DAOC had about 25 classes that you should NEVER make if you wanted to be optimal. It's arguable that a game will fail with only 1 or 2 terrible, underpowered classes, as it's horrid to spend that many hours leveling up only to be trounced repeatedly and told "re-roll class X and you will enjoy the game". To me, when I hear that, I hear "re-roll Game X, where you don't have to worry about classes so much and more people are viable..." AKA, something that doesn't exist in the world of MMOs... AKA, Battlefield 2. AKA -$15 * 24 months that Mythic could have scraped up from me but failed to do so, and $50 that EA gladly took (and solidly earned) in its place.

But yeah, keep arguing for 8mans to be awesome, because what you're doing is arguing for the game where that happens to suddenly start a downhill slide for about 10 months, servers to start merging, and then the game to eventually disappear from the vocabulary of the modern game player, just like ol' DAOC (which I honestly consider the best MMO of all time, in its prime, had they listened to people screaming about buffing problems and class balance issues for 3+ years instead of trying to sell people those extra buffbot accounts)


tl;dr version:
You're wrong because elitism and ego can ruin any game, and 8mans pander to said crowd.

Posted: May 3rd 2009 10:09AM MikeBIndy said

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I am having a discussion with my Corp. in EVE about ganking. Half my people want to roam around in groups firing on "targets of opportunity" (read: "easy kills"), and half want to concentrate on building an Empire.

It kinda reminds me of how fascinated I was with the game mechanics in GTA:III and told all my buddies the week it came out - only to have them come sit on my couch and shoot virtual cops in the head non-stop for hours.

I realize that there is a visceral "thrill" in PvP combat. But it seems like there are a lot of people who want this thrill with no regard to a higher purpose in the game. If that's the case, why even bother with a persistent world and large-scale group dynamics? MMO devs are constantly hammered with demands to create more content, but gankers apparently see only targets. Would they be happy with a blue vs. red world of amorphous blobs, so long as their blue 'gank-mob' can find little weak clumps of red mobs?

Yes, I know, the author has tried to create a personal definition of 'ganking', tied to a specific game. Just like the Crips and Bloods have re-defined "Main Street commerce" and sexting has replaced the corsage.

Saying that you "employ smarter tactics" is like congratulating a mugger on remembering to bring a pistol when he mugs old ladies. Combat, whether in real life or a game, only makes sense and, in my opinion, provides fulfillment when there is an overwhelming foe or obstacle, territory to defend or a cause to further. Everything else is just mouse-ball masturbation.

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