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Reader Comments (67)

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:22AM (Unverified) said

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@Ren54
Go away with your TOR bashing. 150 is a CE with a lot of goodies. You can't compare that to a regular box price. Just go away you damn RIFT fanboy.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:33AM (Unverified) said

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the issue with games like TOR and WoW....the PVE is mind-numbingly easy. even at the hardcore level. the reason is simple: there is no skill component. once you learn to bash your 4-5 hotkeys for the maximum efficiency dps/heal/aggro combo, thats the entire game for you! the AI is a bunch of stupid minions with different skins, and are actually just illusions of threat. if im gonna play a PVE-centric game, i sure as hell aint paying $15/month for it.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 3:03PM DarkWalker said

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@(Unverified)

The main reason is the focus on group content for anything "challenging".

Solo content can be punishingly hard without much problem; even if it requires perfect gameplay to beat, players can often keep trying and practicing as much as they want. So much that exceedingly hard single player games abound.

Group content, in order to stay feasible, needs to incorporate enough leeway to make up for differences in player skill, less than perfect communication, restrictions on playtime due to scheduling conflicts, plain old chance making some attempts impossible, etc. Developers can't, ever, approach in group content the same kind of difficulty that they can do for solo content, else it becomes so hard most groups won't ever have a chance.

Plus, group content, in order to have the same success rate as solo content, must have way lower skill requirements. And said skill requirements get smaller as the group size increases, up to a point.

Suppose you are tuning the content so a 10-man group, of a given skill level, fails roughly 50% of the time; anyone with any background in statistics will be able to tell you that the content will have to be easy enough that each player has less than one chance in ten of individually failing.

To have the same overall 50% fail chance, solo content will be tuned so the single player fails 50% of the time - over a 5x increase in how much he is supposed to fail, so a corresponding increase in the difficulty.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:34AM Lenn said

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@Ren54 You know, Ren, I generally don't downvote people if I just disagree with them. I have learned to agree to disagree. If it's something that's close to my heart, I will counter-argue. But I will not downvote because of opinions, only when someone is being an obnoxious loudmouth.

In your case, whenever I see your name, my right hand is moving the mouse pointer in the direction of the downvote button automatically. It takes real effort on my part to tell it to stop so I can at least read what you have to say. Who knows, something sensible and civil may have seeped out of your brains. It wouldn't be fair to just downvote without reading first, no matter what my right hand may be thinking.

My right hand has yet to be proven wrong.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:09PM Jwheeler said

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@Lenn

Ahem to that.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:36AM Jeromai said

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He makes a lot of good points, most of which I agree with. 'Nuff said.

"Schubert's theory of game investment -- of progressing down the path to hardcore -- is that it is vital to retaining players when they hit "pain." He defines pain as any moment that gives players cause to re-evaluate their standing with the game. If the pain is greater than the sense of investment, then there's a much higher chance the player will simply quit."

While game investment probably does help, I think another really important factor to retaining players when they hit "pain" is perceived developer/community manager responsiveness - be it just interactions on the forums, acknowledgement, or frequent fixes/updates.

Players want to perceive the company as caring about them as customers, and focused on building a high-quality game experience. If players start viewing the company or developers as tricking or ignoring them, or interested only in a up-front cash grab, the long term relationship fractures right there and trust once lost, is very hard to regain.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:41AM Nenene said

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"Hardcore players not only help subsidize the game but do a wonderful job evangelizing it as well."

Neatly summarizes Bioware's tactics in making game trilogies. Game #1 appeals to the fans and the 'hardcore' crowd. The players then tell all their friends/relatives how great the game was.

Using the influx of cash/publicity from the hardcore fans and gamers, the second and third installments are watered down to pander to the much larger so-called 'casual' demographic. Gameplay is dumbed down, story is diluted, and pretty much everything else gets consigned to 'rule of cool' or "How can we make this more like a shooter?"

Depressing.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:00PM KvanCetre said

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@Nenene
Everyone I know personally that has played both has said Mass Effect 2 is superior to the first.

I'm glad I'm past the point in my life where I thought my opinion was superior and everyone who disagreed with me is beneath me. Being an adult is cool.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 1:13PM (Unverified) said

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@KvanCetre

Pretty sure he was referring to DA 2 more than ME 2. And possibly scared that they will ruin ME 3 like they ruined DA 2.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:00PM Seldra said

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Hey...the only way ME3 can be ruined is if I don't get my Kaiden & Garrus 3some. Oh and avoid having a bishonen anime character like Fenris. Seriously devs, dark and broody is so 1990s!
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:40PM (Unverified) said

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@KvanCetre I agree. While Mas Effect was good, Mass Effect 2 was simply awesome. At least to me, they notched it up from 1 to 2, and I liked it.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:45AM Nenene said

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I doubt that will happen; not until WoW is dead. The allure of charging a sub fee AND having a cash shop is too great. People will keep trying to replicate that model, because it's the model that screws over the playerbase for the most cashola.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:50AM biggiesmooth said

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Nice article, good read. I have to agree with everything Damion said, especially pertaining to keeping casuals invested as they progress to hardcore. I call myself casual, although I could see myself becoming hardcore to a lesser degree.

For me, what keeps me invested and interested in progressing to end game are two things .... fun and interesting quests/storyline, and new and interesting places to see. If the quests, story and environments remain interesting and fun, I'm hooked. If I have to mindlessly grind through bland landscapes over and over, I'm gone.

I have extremely high hopes for SW:TOR.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:50AM OutThere said

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If I read this right, his view is that Hardcore = married to a game; Casual = flirtatious, still looking for the perfect mate.

I think on many forums hardcore equals raiders, while casuals equal everybody else. Married to a game doesn't mean you're a raider, far from it. Nor does it mean you race to level cap or end game content. Lots of people married to a game have only a few hours to play. Lots of people married to a game want to explore all the content, like really getting to know your lover, as opposed to just a quick kiss, however delightful, in the hallway.

I found this interesting, as I know many raiders who consider themselves "hardcore" but who go from game to game burning through content like molten lava through a wheat field, then get bored and move on to the next. It doesn't seem that Schubert would consider these players "hardcore" as they aren't married to any game. Whereas those who craft, decorate their houses, pal around with friends while questing, but only in one game, would be hardcore by his definition. And those who play end level content, but move on because they have no investment in the game are the casuals he speaks of.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:54AM Lenn said

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@OutThere I always felt that hardcore and casual have nothing to do with time spent in game, but how that time is allotted in the first place. To me, a hardcore player is someone who will plan his life around his gaming time, and a casual is someone who does the opposite: plan gaming time around his life. A casual can still spend dozens of hours in a game a week, whereas a hardcore player only a few hours.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:45PM (Unverified) said

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@OutThere It does seem that he equals hardcore as someone who's invested more into the game they play and have more loyalty by sticking around.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:06PM MMOaddict said

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Will be nice to see what alternatives to raiding they plan for endgame in SWTOR. Right now...I'm not seeing any.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:18PM KvanCetre said

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@MMOaddict
Finding an alternative is tricky. How do you entice a player who has hundreds of hours of gameplay in? What makes this harder is dedicating enough resources to this when the majority want to raid.
As of right now, most games are: Raid, PVP, repeatable quests, and crafting.
I haven't seen many viable alternatives offered, but I feel like its the nature of mmorpgs.
Some day, the question will be answered and the genre will evolve again... And we'll complain that is boring too ;)
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:12PM KvanCetre said

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@Ren54

The fact your posting privileges haven't been revoked by now shows the moderators have too much forgiveness in their heart. You add nothing to discussions. Your entire history is a series of inflamatory statements meant to annoy or enrage people who haven't caught on to your schtick. Your a troll, and a damn persistant one, but letting you exist here only serves to degrade the community that is Massively. The internet would be better off without you; It's unfortunate they let you wreck their site so freely.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 1:58PM Lenn said

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@KvanCetre It seems he's gone bye-bye.
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