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Reader Comments (20)

Posted: Apr 4th 2010 11:04AM TheJackman said

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I check the info and I see lots of things in it, that make it look like the next grinder! Noting really Next Gen about it.... Wonder how long you have to sit next to a camp fire to restore your toon if you do not have the gold....?!

Posted: Apr 4th 2010 11:16AM Pingles said

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Well, it's another game that I will give a shot. If I have fun I'll keep playing it. No real reason to be hating on it before you get in-game.
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Posted: Apr 4th 2010 11:23AM Pitt said

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I was looking forward to this when i heard about it last year, but after aion, and countless other mediocre mmo's released in the last 2 years, all i can say is meh...

I'm a jaded MMO player, and it's going to take something of the calibre as biowares SWTOR to get me as enthusiastic towards the mmo scene again.

i still like to read about them though, so thankyou for the updates :)

Posted: Apr 4th 2010 7:35PM (Unverified) said

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SWTOR looks like crap because its just WoW combat "tab-target + attack sequence" with lasers in space. Its only redeeming feature is Wookies and the endless RP opportunities they'll afford. ouurrgghghaaa. Oh, and they blew half their budget on full voice, stupid. TERA is actually offering something different, the combat looks fresh and thankfully free of the 30 button action bar keybinding hell that is MMO best practice right now. Remains to be seen if they screw the Western pooch by leaving in too much Korean grindage like pathetic old Aion. Lets leave the grindage to drunken faux sexual displays on the dance floor.
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Posted: Apr 4th 2010 11:41AM DotCom said

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Hope its worthy of some playing. Looks good, but looks don't mean a thing.

Posted: Apr 4th 2010 1:56PM Birk said

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How could this game fail, with swords that big?!

/eyeroll

Posted: Apr 4th 2010 8:00PM spamero said

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armed squirrels will spell doom on this game!

other then that I like it

Posted: Apr 4th 2010 8:04PM spamero said

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armed squirrels will spell doom on this game!

other then that I like it

Posted: Apr 4th 2010 11:23PM Atnor said

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Anyone else get that "ugh" cringe feeling whenever you read that there's a need for "Westernization"....

I'm starting to see that phrase as a big turnoff when I check out possible new upcoming games.

Posted: Apr 5th 2010 11:46AM Tom in VA said

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I couldn't agree with you more, Atnor.

The last "westernized" game I encountered was Aion, and I'm beginning to think "westernized" just means "shallow and grindy". No thanks.
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Posted: Apr 5th 2010 12:53AM (Unverified) said

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My experience with ncsoft tells me that "WESTERNIZATION" = delay the game for 6 months, delay updates by 4 months, and drop all support/events entirely. FUCK westernization.

Posted: Apr 5th 2010 1:03AM (Unverified) said

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"Westernization" also means that the local dev teams are merely a secondary/middle-man unimportant layer in the eyes of the Korean (generally) devs, and ultimately have little-to-zero impact on the development of the game.

ie: any player feedback will take ten times longer to reach a dev's ears, and even then they likely won't care. The requests and demands coming from the West will be completely opposite from the values of the gameplay that the devs originally designed (for their eastern audience).

Westernization is purely and simply an exercise in frustration for all concerned.
Trying to change a game's core roots with a top-down approach will never work.

So, yes I agree; if a game is being westernized, then it wasn't designed for me, and I treat it as a huge red flag.

Posted: Apr 5th 2010 5:06AM Synthetic said

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You've done a great job expressing similar sentiments to my own and, unsurprisingly, I am also somewhat jaded to the relatively new 'westernized' sales pitch.

I've tried many eastern MMOs and most of those from NCsoft. They've gotten a lot better recently compared to when I first ventured into one; the quests (where available) were empty chat boxes with a few ASCII characters sparsed throughout and two unlabeled buttons.

So westernization or localization has made significant improvements. However, I think it's important to point out that it's not true westernization in the sense that the games are receiving better translations to the point where it's not just text but contexts that are being westernized, but the actual gameplay mechanisms aren't seeing too great of a change from overseas. Granted, I've rarely spent time playing today's east-to-west MMOs in their original form so it could very well be that there's a night and day difference - if anyone would care to share on this, it'd be appreciated.

Going back to NCsoft, I cannot overlook that Bluehole Studio was founded by former NCsoft employees among which are "the former producer, lead game designer, lead programmer, and art director of Lineage II."

Lineage II was notorious for ignoring feedback. At least from the west.

The type of westernization that I'm keen to see En Masse take is the kind where the local developers use the existing IP and assets as a template or guide and sort of rework more than just retune a game. The feature sets should remain as should the distinctive art styles giving it that eastern MMO flavor, the rest is fair game: chop up the combat, add/remove stats, take a stroll through the game world and remodel a bit. Pick up a sledge hammer, guys.

In short, they should develope the game for the western audience - own what you're doing.

I don't see that happening as much as translating it for the western audience.


Of course, it's easy to say all that but I'm certain it's much more complex than I believe it to be. So it's with great skepticism and trepidation that my eye is kept on this beautiful MMO. By this point the alluring beauty of MMOs from lands far off is starting to wane, however.
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Posted: Apr 5th 2010 5:32AM (Unverified) said

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Nicely said, Syntax.

On a similar theme, I just read the Eurogamer review for Allods Online (which, in my opinion, also suffers from this 'westernization' issue despite seeming relatively un-eastern at first glance).

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/allods-online-review?page=1

I agree with the review, and it's score, and I really do believe that at the heart of the matter is the fact the game simply wasn't designed for the typical US/AU/UK audience.
That, and developers or management just seem to make god-awful design decisions from the outset for some bizarre reason.
Both of which are what the issues with Tera will be also (I'm betting).
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Posted: Apr 6th 2010 7:16PM Synthetic said

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I'm not so sure that Allod suffers from poor importing of the game but rather simply from poor design.

Standard eastern MMOs are designed well for their target audience and/or domestic markets. As you've stated, those games weren't developed with us in mind and we shouldn't consider the western publishers attempts at changing that the same thing as the games actual creators making a bad game.

Overall, I agreed with what you said about it. I'm just making a distinction.
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Posted: Apr 5th 2010 2:09AM Valdur said

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The only thing that will determine if TERA will fail or not will be "How much grind players will have to endure".Besides that all I see is a game which has all it needs to be successful...only time will tell.

Posted: Apr 6th 2010 5:53AM Audacious said

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Is the whole of the backstory being rewritten, or translated? I can't seem to find anything suggesting one scenario or another.

If it's the former, is the original story so horrible or indigestible to western players that they had to scrap it? Was there no real original story at all (think Maple Story, another Korean MMO. The "Story" half of its title is a misnomer in the extreme).

A problem with the former is that it's likely the developers will run into trouble come things like expansion packs: will the western version have to be heavily edited to perfectly fit any lore developments? Or will we see retcons and ridiculous plot twists that would make the World of Warcraft writers scratch their heads?

Posted: Apr 6th 2010 7:04PM Synthetic said

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From En Masse: http://www.tera-online.com/forums/showthread.php?p=60189#post60189

"We’ve talked a lot about the Westernization process and how the Focus Group Tests fit into our work at En Masse, but we wanted to discuss a few specifics of exactly how this works. Focus Group Tests are not Beta tests, which are designed to look for bugs, hardware issues, and gameplay problems. Focus Group Tests are (like their name implies) more about testing audience reaction to specific things in the game—in our case, the lore, plot, and story we’ve worked on as part of our work at En Masse, and its overall effect on the world. There will be issues with the game, and things we know aren’t great or are in need improvement—that’s why we’re looking for feedback, after all!

...


This Focus Group Test will again look at several specific game mechanics, the overall lore and fiction, and additional questions on an ad-hoc basis."


From the snippet above, I'd hazard that they're rewriting the story. Though as you've mentioned it doesn't explicitly state whether it's a brand new story or just a lingual and cultural translation.
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Posted: Apr 6th 2010 7:11PM Synthetic said

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I'm not so sure that Allod suffers from poor importing of the game but rather simply from poor design.

Standard eastern MMOs are designed well for their target audience and/or domestic markets. As you've stated, those games weren't developed with us in mind and we shouldn't consider the western publishers attempts at changing that the same thing as the games actual creators making a bad game.

Overall, I agreed with what you said about it. I'm just making a distinction.

Posted: Apr 6th 2010 7:14PM Synthetic said

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Oops. Meant this as a reply to response 14.
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