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Reader Comments (28)

Posted: May 21st 2010 8:22AM (Unverified) said

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None, because I'm not a squealing manchild.

Nothing is "inherently" unfair, if you can't deal with stealth or crowd control in an MMO then it's your fault, not the games.

Posted: May 21st 2010 8:53AM Faryon said

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If the game does not give you ways to deal with stealth or CC then those are unfair.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 9:25AM (Unverified) said

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"Nothing is "inherently" unfair, if you can't deal with stealth or crowd control in an MMO then it's your fault, not the games."

Spoken like a true stealther.

Some games get stealth right, some don't. Take DAOC for example. In the beginning some stealthers could wander into a group of players, kill a caster and wander out without ever dropping stealth.

Same goes for CC. Some MMOs have had huge issues with this. SWG Bounty Hunters keeping your character permanently knocked down while they blasted your health away.

The fairness issue comes into play when 1 player can take on another with no fear of loss in the fight. Not because of skills but solely due to game mechanics.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 6:48PM (Unverified) said

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Of course it's not a problem for someone like you. You're the kind of person that takes advantage of those game balance issues so he can pretend he's a better player.

Sociopaths like you are the reason games never get balanced properly.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 8:53AM lizardbones said

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There are several things that I don't find "fun", but fair is a relative term. There are two things though that really grind my gears.

Stuns: This (to me) just doesn't equate to skill. If your character is stunned to death, and you have no response, then you didn't get out played, you got out mechaniced. I get no sense of accomplishment stunning someone to death either...it's just kind of lame.
Immunities with no drawbacks: Again, this does not equate to skill. If you can be immune to damage, regenerate health and do your normal level of damage you aren't skilled...the game mechanics have made you a god.

Now, to say these mechanics aren't fair without taking into account everything else in the game is wrong. There are usually responses to these mechanics in games where they exist. So they might be "fair", but that doesn't mean I like them.

Posted: May 21st 2010 10:04AM (Unverified) said

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I disagree that stuns takes no skill

Stuns are very annoying if prefer a solo-style of play because it basically shut down all damage. Stun-range is striking range, approaching a party ball by yourself is suicidal. Stuns are still is the god of status effects but it's role is no more important effective AoE or Heals. Stunner also need to be damn precise when to use it or it'll be wasted. Stun disables near the beginning, healers when someone on their side is about to die, nukers when someone on your side is about to die, otherwise stun the AoEr or healer(healers are always annoying).

In solo play other CC does the exact same thing against a limited set of character: Silence against mages, and snares against melee (this is why hunters are always the most popular)

If CC and stuns aren't present in a game PvP would be a joke, tank and healers
would hit piss weak to balence the game and it still wouldn't be fun for them unless they party up.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 9:22AM Blacknimbus said

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Life

Posted: May 21st 2010 9:18AM Daelda said

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One thing that I found "unfair", was the result of Developers just not thinking things through - and it was in EVE Online, back when EVE first launched. Back then, Jump Gates had no defense systems. This created a situation where a player would enter a Gate, and before the game data could load from the server to his computer, PC Pirates would see his ship emerge through the other side of the gate (as they only had the ship data to download from the server - while the other person had all of the other data as well). Thus, the jumping player would find themselves suddenly destroyed before they even had a chance to see who had been attacking them, much less defend themselves. The Developers saw the problem and started implementing fixes fairly quickly. I don't know the current state of the Jump Gate situation - I left EVE after the first 3 months due to bugs and the game just not fitting my playstyle. But I would imagine, given that EVE is still around and appears to be doing okay, that they have found a reasonable solution to that problem.

In my experience, most things that are "unfair" in an game are the result not of a specific mechanic per-se, but of the implementation of that mechanic. When Developers fail to test how a new mechanic will effect other systems currently in the game and the ways in which players might find to abuse the new mechanics. If they test the mechanics properly, and then watch for abuse of the mechanics and respond t any abuses as quickly as possible, most any mechanic in a game can be made fair. Of course, sometimes the Developers just don't have the time or resources (for whatever reason) to test things properly. And that's a completely different issue.

Posted: May 21st 2010 10:12AM (Unverified) said

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When you activate a jumpgate, at the other side your ship is cloaked for 30 seconds, or until you move.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 9:30AM Damn Dirty Ape said

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The old Dark Age of Camelot 'stungard' days come to mind. It has been a while, but if I remember correctly at launch, Mythic gave one of the Midgard classes (a healer) an AOE stun spell. I am fairly certain that the spell did not have diminishing returns, but I can't recall whether it was instant or not.

Either way, as soon as the AOE stun spell happened the fight was over, with one team chain stunned and killed one by one without being able to do anything about it.

Posted: May 21st 2010 11:45AM (Unverified) said

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I think you're remembering AE mezzes, not stuns, but they lasted so long and an entire group focusing fire on a single target without healing could kill it so fast it did not really matter. All factions had classes with a AE mez spell but not all groups included a member with one. When two groups of opposing factions met each other on the battlefield usually the first one that could get off an AE mez would win the skirmish.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 2:46PM Damn Dirty Ape said

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I remember AE mezzes, and they were definitely a pain (and in the game for quite a long time), but they were nothing compared to the old stungard days. Whichever team got off the first AE mez would typically win, but at least each of the three factions had access to a class with the AE mez spell.

I looked into it some more (yay google) and I was correct in that Midgard Healers could spec into an AoE stun that had no diminishing returns. A mez would at least break if any damage were done to you, but the stun (which could be cast repeatedly) would not allow you to do a thing while you were killed. To make it even worse, the midgard healer was the only class that had access to it.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 10:19AM (Unverified) said

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When it comes to PvP, players should have a fighting chance in all but the most rare situations, and if they don't have a fighting chance, they at least have an opportunity to escape. Stunlocking fails this category, no matter how difficult it is to use. You're no longer fighting the opponent, you're fighting the game timer. Your opponent is just an observer, watching you fight the game to win a kill.

Level based combat is pointless. Now you have players who "Win" fights because they killed more mobs first? No, that's silly. You might as well replace PvP with static XP checks and skip the formality of actual fighting.

Rewarding PvP gear for being good at PvP is likewise pointless. You've taken the best players, and now you've given them an advantage instead of a handicap? This is the opposite of how every sport in the world works.

If a player doesn't have reason to blame themselves for getting killed (Including failure to properly counter or flee), you designed combat poorly.

-SirNiko

Posted: May 21st 2010 10:37AM Xtofer said

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Sounds like you're not a fan of traditional MMOs, as what you describe as "pointless" is probably not going to change any time soon.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 2:06PM Macabre 13 said

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SirNiko, sounds like you should be playing more Street Fighter II and less MMORPG's.

It's easy to drop such blanket statements as "If a player doesn't have reason to blame themselves for getting killed (Including failure to properly counter or flee), you designed combat poorly." But now tell us about your perfectly contrived combat system...

I can only imagine how well-received an MMO would be if one of its features was "to be 'fair', the better you do, the more we'll gimp your character."

Better still, we'll take out all stuns, fears, snares, silences, and anything else that might prevent you from standing toe-to-toe with a foe and simply clubbing each other repeatedly until one falls (arbitrarily, of course... we wouldn't want anyone to have some "unfair" ability to succeed in a clubbing match).

I understand how you feel about utility abilities, but God forbid your notion of "fairness" ever gets into an MMORPG, as I imagine it'd be the most boring and pointless game ever.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 5:13PM (Unverified) said

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No, Street Fighter 2 is lacking in the categories of persistent world, character customization, and thousands of concurrent players anywhere you might go. That's not what I'm looking for at all. Not to mention, it lacks the variety of skills and abilities you find in even the worst MMOs.

You don't understand how I feel about utility abilities. I think they're important for creating variety in a game. If I silence you, you can use a healing item, run away, block until it wears off, use a non-magical ability, etc. That's a well-balanced utility. Stunlocking takes away any chance of the opponent making any action. They're not playing PvP anymore, they're watching you play a quicktime event that drops you to 0. That's bad design.

PvP rewards making players stronger at PvP still don't make any sense. If you can beat another player without the PvP gear, why on earth should you be rewarded with an even greater advantage? Your rewards should be cosmetic armor, titles, and things that demonstrate your badassery. You don't need to be gimped if you're successful, but getting permanently buffed for it makes no sense at all.

The only people who would find such a system boring and pointless are players who play MMOs to be gankers and nothing else.

-SirNiko
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Posted: May 21st 2010 6:10PM Macabre 13 said

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SirNiko, what you fail to understand, is that MMO's are generally designed as a "virtual world", not some e-sport deathmatch akin to a bowling league, where better players receive handicaps and the rewards involve nothing more than pins, patches, and plaques.

There certainly are some niche games that offer such an experience, if that is what you're looking for, but wouldn't it suck if all games were like that? What's wrong with choice?

To say that any game that offers *useful* PvP rewards and has mechanics that disable other players is unfair and a poor combat system is about the most close-minded opinion I've heard in a while.

You're the type that always analyzes "balance" purely in 1v1 situations, and you're a dime-a-dozen around forums and chat channels. Most of the MMO's I've played are far more about group vs. group situations than 1v1, at least regarding any meaningful encounters. I wonder if you also think Queen is broken because she can move in any direction and any number of tiles, while a stupid Pawn can generally only move forward 1-2 spaces... what an unbalanced game!
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Posted: May 21st 2010 7:27PM (Unverified) said

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@Macabre -

You're trying to compare MMO class dynamics to chess? Seriously? Who in their right mind would ever want to play as a pawn in a game of MMO chess?

MMO's classes are balanced in the traditional rock-paper-scissors style. What SirNiko is saying is that gear based games throw that balance off. It doesn't matter if your group is evenly matched in class and skill, the gear will determine who wins.

Unbalanced class mechanics can have the same affect, regardless of whether or not you're in a group. A group of stealthed rogues with stunlock builds can take out another group with little resistance. Group mechanics fail if everyone is incapacitated (sapped or stunned).
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Posted: May 21st 2010 11:17PM Macabre 13 said

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Poking fun at someone using a Chess reference isn't exactly comparing mechanics... if you think so, you have comprehension issues...
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Posted: May 22nd 2010 7:09AM (Unverified) said

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Nobody is mocking your chess reference, Neo's just pointing out that it's not relevant to your average open-world MMO. An MMO that features a pawn and queen like classes would see everyone roll queens and nobody roll pawns. Chess is a one-on-one game.

Apparently when you win a bowling tournament you expect to be allowed to use a much bigger ball than everyone else, because getting a plaque is 'boring' and 'pointless', but getting a huge advantage over everyone else is plenty exciting for everyone involved.

-SirNiko
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