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Reader Comments (59)

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 8:54AM mrdrum81 said

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It would be very interesting to die while accessing a new area via a load screen. I guess though, that if you were being attacked by a mob and went running to a load zone area....you could die before you computer acknowledges you were entering the new area....dunno.

Anyway, LOTRO does have load screens...but not during an major areas, just when entering an instance such as a few zones in Trollshaws, any of the RAD instances, skirmishes...etc. It WOULD be freakin' annoying though to have loading screens before each new zone or area.....enough to make me quit playing, no, but enough to make me annoyed!

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 9:00AM (Unverified) said

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It's not so much loading screens as it is artificial boundaries on action.

Some of the older MMOs had loading at the edges of zones, but they still gave the feel of being stitched together as a single world. The problem with heavily instanced creations like CO and STO is that nearly everything you do is part of an assignment.

There's literally no opportunity in STO to wander into the wrong neighborhood and find yourself facing PvE that's way over your head. Every assignment -- everything you do -- is within your reach. Which turns each task into something to get through, not something that tests you.

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 9:03AM (Unverified) said

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No they generally don't bother me but with one exception

Star Trek Online. Lord you zoned to the zone screen. There are more load screens in that game then anything I have ever seen...

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 9:38AM dudemanjac said

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My question is what was the desicion making progress that said, "Hey, lets move away from what's been working great for years now and start adding loading screens." There had to be a meeting where someone pitched the idea and someone said that's a bad idea. What happened to that guy and why isn't he in charge? Is there a hugely differnet cost involved?

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 9:46AM (Unverified) said

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Load screens are NOT acceptable in modern games. Load screens completely detsroy the immersion and realism. Games need OPEN worlds with no invisible edges or artifical boundaries.

Some games are very good at streaming levels in order to avoid load screens - e.g. Halo, Oblivion, Fallout 3.

Other games seem to be evolving backwards (or devolving)! I was very disappointed with how many loading screens there are in Dragon Age.

STO also has an insane amount of loading screens. Apparently all of the instancing and zoning reduces lag but STO is more laggy than EVE, which does not do instancing. Crazy!

When I used to play EVE, I really appreciated the fact that there were virtually no loading screens (only when docking or undocking).

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:04AM Snichy said

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I would prefer not to have them but it isnt a deal breaker and Im not that bothered if they are there as long as they arent too long (like STO). Im intelligent enough to reliase that they are there for a reason and not let it ruin my sense of immersion.

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:05AM Seare said

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It's funny you bring this up. I've been playing Mass Effect 2 since it released on Tuesday. Everyone complained about the long elevator rides in Mass Effect 1, so they replaced those with load screens in Mass Effect 2. I never minded the elevator rides and I'm wishing they had kept them in, because I hate staring at load screens. Don't get me wrong, it's still a wonderful game, but I liked the open feel ME1 had.

MMOs are getting more and more like single player games. This is good in some ways, but when it comes to load screens...not so much.

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:15AM CCon99 said

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I've been enjoying ME2, but yeah the loading screens are a complete bore. I actually enjoyed the clever little ways they masked the areas loading in the first game. Actually the entire game kinda took a step backwards IMO, it's still fun with an incredible story and brilliant voice acting, but they kinda dumbed it down by taking out all the skills and loot.

Still a great game, I just miss those little things and wonder why they made it more pew pew pew.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2010 12:00PM Seare said

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I agree. I have only played the PC version, not the Xbox. I liked everything about ME1 except the inventory system. It got annoying when my inventory would fill up, especially on the 3rd and 4th play throughs. I really miss the Macco Tank. I thought it was cool (PC). I like the new Hack and Bypass mini-games a lot more than in ME1. I think the changes were made to please the Xbox crowd.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:07AM Saylah said

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While I don't like load screens and REALLY THOUGHT we'd be playing more seamless world MMOs by now, I can tolerate them. WOW does very few of them outside of instanced dungeons. EQ2 is tolerable, especially given it's age. LOTRO was the first game that crossed the line for me. AOC was my, "What the heck is this about?" But I got over it because Tortage was so much fun. POTBS just pissed me off with them - rooms within rooms were instanced and they sent you in and out of them talking to NPCs??? Who thought that was going to be entertaining?!? Now in comes STO, that takes zoning and load screens to a whole new level of stupid.

I still might play STO but the zoning and lack of "massive player" anything - you can't even see massive numbers of players, drops it out as being MMO in my book anyway. I'm calling it MMO-lite which is more akin to a coop-play game. If you approach STO as a more cooperative MMO experience than say GW, it works to soften the blow of the ungodly way that game is segmented and instanced.

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:13AM Serious Table said

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I agree with you on the STO points, Saylah. Just the way they designed it makes it feel very... Unmassive. Let's put that back down to the level of MORPG, with the likes of Phantasy Star Online.

... except missing 90% of the pic that PSO was.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:13AM Serious Table said

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Gosh, my typo fail. *epic, not pic
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2010 6:56AM (Unverified) said

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There are a lot of things that Mythica has done very nicely in STO. I hope they keep improving it. I just started playing at the end of Open Beta. It's much better than many of the comments I've been reading led me to believe.

But maybe it should be called a(n?) LMOG- Limited Multiplayer Online Game

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Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:14AM Damn Dirty Ape said

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I don't particularly like load screens but they aren't a deal breaker.

I think the one thing that STO missed the boat on was integrating the load screen into the gameplay more seamlessly. I think a lot of the transitions could have been done in a way more reminiscent of the source material (i.e pan around your ship warping somewhere with a little 'captain's log' summary of the quest you are zoning to).

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:23AM Joshua Przygocki said

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To run without a loading screen means the map needs to be smaller and thus have less detail, I have done enough mapping for games on a few different engines to know that if you want a large world, you would first have to make it smaller. If at this point too much detail was added it would cause a lot of stress on the clients hardware and the game would run less smooth, WoW pulled it off by separating their world into the different continents and keeping most detail to a minimum except in the smaller maps like raids and instances. (Still not a major WoW fan, but damn those guys at blizz are pretty clever).

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:26AM Stormwaltz said

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I strongly prefer seamless worlds.

But "deal-breaker?" Nah.

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 10:43AM Arkanaloth said

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nahh loading screens don't bother me in the slightest. Data has to be loaded somehow.. but then again I'm an old MMO player and an even older gamer. I vividly recall when the Atari 2600 *launched* and wanted one.. the first "console" game I played was "Pong". So I've been there for the various incarnations of technology and seen more than my fair share of loading screens so it's not biggie, plus the STO loading screens are pretty fast on my system anyway.

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 11:01AM (Unverified) said

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lol, yeah I had an Atari 2600 as a kid as well.

I think us older gamers a bit more "tolerant" about things like that.

I do agree with what another poster wrote however: At this point I would have thought we would have been playing more seemless games not less...or something to that effect.
STO, I'm not even sure if that is an MMO. It's a lobby game from what I experienced in the beta.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2010 11:17AM (Unverified) said

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Loading screens dont bother me too much. So long as they arent too long as to get my short attention span (which gets worse the older i get) kicking in. Certainly not a deal breaker.

In fact i recall many times in wow (when elites were outside the the instances) that they actually saved me from dieing, as i jumped into the intance after taking a battering with next to no health, came out the otherside and survived :)

Posted: Jan 29th 2010 11:31AM (Unverified) said

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Absolutely a deal breaker for me.

Playing UO ten years ago I would have never thought MMOs could devolve from rich virtual worlds to going from room to room and doing the same damn mission over and over again, just with a different facade.

Even in a themepark, the world has to be open for me to enjoy it. The quest tunnels in AoC and instances within instances of STO completely turned me off to both games. STO has to be the worst offender, you load into the space station, then once inside you have to load into the !@#$ rooms inside the station!

I can understand the design goal of having everyone on one server, but with instancing it is done at the expense of community. At least with shards you get to know the people on your server, with instances any hope of running into the same people is completely lost and community has to be formed outside the game, defeating the purpose of an MMO.

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