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Reader Comments (67)

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:47PM (Unverified) said

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@KvanCetre I don't see Ren's post you replied on. It seems it got deleted. Maybe the Massively staff is learning that there's a limit to everything, even tolerance?
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 7:08PM Space Cobra said

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@Lenn

Yeah, I've seen this before. I don't even have to look up his profile.

I don't mind a different point of view and, IMO, Ren54 had some valid concerns, but he posted about things a bit too frequently when most of us have already heard and know his points.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:14PM (Unverified) said

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"Hardcore players aren't always helpful in reaching out to casuals, he said. Sometimes they grow too cliquish and elitist, pushing away the players whom developers are hoping to rope in."

THIS. This happened in RL in every guild i've ever been in on every game. The elite claimed they helped out us unwashed masses and decided they were to good for us so they left and formed their own guilds.

I've seen the same guilds split over this on more then one occasion. Makes casuals like me a little paranoid when it comes to who they invite to the guild next.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:47PM Mikx said

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@(Unverified)

Actually, what happens is that hardcore players help casuals/noobs, and they help some more, and that casuals, being what they are, don't log in often, drop the game for a time, etc... Thats perfectly understandable, its just a difference in expectations. The hardcore player is probably looking for more long term friends, not people who log in once or twice a month, etc...

So what happens is the hardcore player gets caught in helping this churn of casual players, until they just get burnt out and jaded on helping people.

No matter how many people you help there will always be 2-3 more behind them needing the exact same thing.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 1:03PM StClair said

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@Mikx
I agree, though I'll put it even more bluntly:
Adults eventually reach a saturation point of dealing with children, and decide they need some time with other adults.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:43PM ElfLove said

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@StClair

I read this:

"I agree, though I'll put it even more bluntly:
Adults eventually reach a saturation point of dealing with children, and decide they need some time with other adults."

and then I got back and re-read this:

"Hardcore players aren't always helpful in reaching out to casuals, he said. Sometimes they grow too cliquish and elitist, pushing away the players whom developers are hoping to rope in."

Damion Schubert knows exactly what he's talking about.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:54PM StClair said

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@ElfLove
And the irony is that I don't consider myself particularly hardcore, at least not when it comes to how MMOs usually define the term. I am, however, a college-educated adult of over 40 years, which means I don't always have a lot of patience for foul-mouthed, barely literate teens and twenty somethings. I'll gladly help the ones who make some effort to learn, but the sort who fill global channels with their spew as they rush to the level cap as fast as they can?
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:17PM (Unverified) said

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So, less Delta and more Gamma?

That's not a game design philosophy, that's a marketing concept.

Gamma, specifically, is making something so complex that a consumer has no choice but to devote all their time to it. A non-gaming example would be the Keurig and Tassimo single cup coffee "systems".

Basically, it's a way of insuring brand loyalty. And in a time when every MMO developer is switching to Delta, it's a pretty stupid idea.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:28PM Nef said

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@(Unverified)

It's more likely other companies would simply stop producing MMOs in general than start thinking outside the box. Thinking outside of the box is a gamble and gambling with 100+ million dollars is not something many companies are willing to do.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:34PM (Unverified) said

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He's a smart man, that's for sure. Smarter than me at least. :P

I have to wonder how much of what he says will translate to SWTOR. He is only one member of the team so it's not like his beliefs are a reflection of how the game will be; maybe more so that they're part of the flavor that make up the whole dish. If Bioware can put out a variety of content at endgame and not nerf the hardcore content then they're a creating a better step out of the gate in competition for what Blizzard is doing right now.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:34PM Marchosias said

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@(Unverified)

It wont.........How do I know?

Lets just say I do.....I have to be careful for a particular reason.....

/shrug

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:35PM TexRob said

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I think most of us are ok with hardcore content (challenging), but these days hardcore is translated as raid content. I for one am 33, have a good job that can consume a lot of my time, am married, etc. I want a game with player number restricted content for one group, two groups, etc. The Everquest model of "throw bodies at it" just doesn't work for people with limited free time. I think what SWTOR has going for it is there doesn't appear to be a lot of huge group/raid content, and the classes are versatile, so hopefully we avoid the "holy trinity".

I always use WAR as an example, which is hilarious because it's not a very PVE centric game. Tomb of the Vulture Lord was amazing though. 6 man content that was truly hard. There was no room for error, it required tons of DPS, adaptation, amazing healing, tanking, curing, etc. It was simply put, probably the best single group content I've ever done, and quite possibly the hardest content period. All devs should look to it for proof that hard doesn't have to require a large number of people.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:38PM Mikx said

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It seems to me that developers are actually trying to "future proof" their game, so they don't have to constantly redo things. This means something like gw2 and its scalable content, so the game can withstand large influxes and small dribbles of players.

I think the main difference between hardcore and casual in an mmo is time investment. How much short and long term time can you devote to a game. Are you short on time? No long term dungeons (without save points) for you! And thats where this talk seemed to miss the point. I was hoping they'd talk about hardcore versions of casual activities, and casual versions of hardcore activities. Something like hardcore gathering or softcore dungeons. I'm one of those people that are addicted to WoW-style gathering, I hate slot machines, but seeing the rare gems in the loot window is strangely fun. They should make systems deeper for those who want it. And swtor seems ripe for something like that, if the companions can do your gathering for you, or you can do it yourself and be "hardcore" in a casual activity.

Instead, this talk gives me a lot of fear for swtor. for example, he says:
"This is why we see fun "front-loaded" into MMOs" .... so how much fun is frontloaded in swtor, and when do they start torturing you? Is it going to be swtors version of AoC where the fun is frontloaded in the starter zone? I keep hearing rumors that the class specific quests sort of peter out and then you're in a gameworld that everyone shares. If thats the case, Its basically dragon age origins. Which is kind of sneaky for bioware to do, but also smart in terms of technological recycling.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:42PM Lockisezmode said

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If only every game developer were to stop and really mediate on this we would have some of the greatest games of all time. Reward those to take the time to put everything they can into a game and just people who rush to max level and then to raiding.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 1:00PM StClair said

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@Marchosias
Just so you know, part of being under an NDA is not being cute and hinting that you are. You shouldn't say anything, period.
(This goes double if you actually aren't, because then you're just trolling.)

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 3:04PM KvanCetre said

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As far as I can tell, his entire account was nuked. All posting history is gone. Check out any old TOR post and you will only see replies.

:)
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:52PM corpusc said

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you know if they'd stop focusing on how to manage pain and how to stop the pain just short of somebody quitting....

if they'd stop trying to manipulate them into staying out of a sense that they have so much "investment" to lose, and other exploitative motivators...

and actually go back to the 80s roots of videogames and just FREAKING MAKE FUN, PAIN FREE GAMES, these would not be issues.

these games are built on fundamentally crappy gameplay and exploit addictive and obsessive behaviours to make people work out of a sense of obligation and many other senses that shouldn't be involved in a GAME.

make games FUN in the moment to moment experience (screw experience POINTS) and you won't have to worry about PAIN MANAGEMENT.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:58PM Space Cobra said

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First, I GOT to get this outta the way:

"With MMOs, Schubert says that devs are often trying to double code the games for both casual and hardcore players. This is where the well-known slogan "easy to play, hard to master" originates."

No, that isn't where it originated. Maybe I am reading it wrong or he's dead-dog-tired, but I first heard it when I was introduced to "Go" and "Othello"! Nothing to do with MMOs specifically, just games in general.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:59PM heerobya said

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Very, very good read. Gives me great hope that Bioware truly does understand this genre and the players and that TOR is going to be that much greater of a game because of the contributions by men and women at this level of intelligence and logical understanding.

This article, he shows an understanding of perspective that people on either extreme of an ideological divide NEVER understand.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 3:16PM Space Cobra said

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I find many good points in what he says, as most of you do, but I can't quite help feeling that he's missing something.

I think at one point, he says casuals turn into Hardcore, and that is right, but I also know casuals that stay casuals or people with not enough time on their hands. He also sorta hints a bit at being "niche" to a degree, but I guess that depends on what we mean by the definition of "Hard Core", which I think he means one that plays alot and stands up to pain/grinding, not necessarily PvP players.

Really, I think he would agree, that one needs both systems, but I am bothered that he talks about his "game of chicken" and removing fun/simple systems from the latter game. I think it's a bit of a mistake; at least don't bar access to that for higher leveled players. Of course, my goal/vision is to see an MMO that "does it all" and not one that follows and thrives from exploiting psychological desires of human needs (pavlovian).

Also, I preface what I am about to type with this: I am pretty humble in real life and I may be wrong in this view, I can't believe I am the only one (I know I am not) but here goes:

He talks of the "pain threshold" and weighing an investment of time and/or money spent against such pain. You know, in real life, IMO, he's right. I do fall for that, sometimes when it's better to move on, but not in games/fun/pleasurable activities. I am better off than most, maybe some would say "spoiled", but if I spent my money and/or time and suddenly I am not having fun, I walk away. I could have a Lifetime sub. I could spend lots of money on the Collector's edition. I could spent time/money on a plane ticket to go to a convention and pick up a special code for something in game...Heck, I am *crazy* enough to do all that, but once there is no fun, be it friends or it gets to grindy or just something that irks me about the game, I walk away.

Sure, I may check back on it or whatever. But really, it is easier, at least for me, to just walk away and do something else (or *pine* to do something else! :P ) or play another game or whatever. That doesn't mean I am "pain-adverse" (and I got some stories of real life I could say...) and I won't stand for it, especially if I am bored, but I need to have a bit of fun thrown in and a "change of pace" within the game. But really, when the pain piles on too much and too often, I've walked away. Even in some cases of returning, this stays in my head as I reluctantly join friends in such games, but, sooner or later, mostly sooner, I log in less and less and then not at all.

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