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Reader Comments (59)

Posted: Mar 27th 2012 6:23PM (Unverified) said

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Again I look to the development of bigger and better sandparks. You get the leveling that so many players enjoy while also providing world-building features to mix things up. I also have to agree with the sentiment of focusing on cooperative play, such as what Glitch does and what Guild Wars 2 is aiming to do.

Developers just need to expand on the world of their MMO's while refining the standard features to more modern, user-friendly designs.

Posted: Mar 27th 2012 6:33PM dudemanjac said

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How about this? A game where being a higher lvl ony gets you access to more skills not necessarily stronger skills. The and the pve nasties instead of just getting more and more hit points, they play a little smarter and have a wider array of abilities. For instance, lvl 10 wizard has a fireball. Lvl 20 wizard's firball is just as strong but now he also has a flame throwerish cone attack (yes i'm being generic on purpose). SO when you start off you can fireball the crap out of a higher lvl player, but he may have more tools to help fend out off, say an ice slick that reduces your aim ore something. Then it all becomes about how good you play.

Posted: Mar 28th 2012 12:11AM corpusc said

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@dudemanjac

this is exactly how my weapon system will work.

all spells do basically x amount damage over x seconds, but as you collect more runes that help you funnel the energy differently, it will be distributed differently.

like you might do 70 damage with a beam spell (similar to a railgun), and it has a 1.5 refire delay. but if you change the setting of a particular rune, instead over that 1.4 seconds you might fire 7 beams, with each hit doing 10 damage. this way, no matter how many spells you get, they are all balanced against each other so that the only advantage a vet would have over a noob would be that they have more choices in how to deal their damage. the noob could still kill them in say 3-10 seconds (dunno what i'll choose in the end) with just that one starter weapon if he's a good aim.
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Posted: Mar 28th 2012 12:16AM corpusc said

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@corpusc

*weapon/spell


the key in getting past all the things i hate about MMOs is getting rid of virtually all vertical progression. horizontal progression is good, and vertical also might be fine for PVE if they'd make PVP ignore level differences.
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Posted: Mar 28th 2012 9:01AM AltarofScience said

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@corpusc
So you want to play an MMO FPS with no alternate weapons or machines? It certainly sounds like you don't want to play an MMORPG since you want to remove all RPG mechanics.
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Posted: Mar 28th 2012 2:39PM corpusc said

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@AltarofScience

i don't know what you mean by "alternate weapons", but the other part is correct. i detest RPGs. i do not want to make or play an MMORPG. i want to make/play an MMO.
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Posted: Mar 27th 2012 6:38PM Graill440 said

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Beau, Listen to Abrahams Daughter by Arcade fire. Nice and haunting, and a twist on another fantasy story.

Posted: Mar 27th 2012 8:33PM Deliverator said

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"Where are the skills for crafting nothing but fluff items?"

in the cash shops

Posted: Mar 27th 2012 8:41PM Deliverator said

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@Deliverator
What I mean is that by setting the 'do not cross' line for cash shops at an item not being gameplay affecting, what we're really saying is that the only gameplay is combat. The community repeats that loud and clear so we get gameplay that focuses on combat and everything else - especially 'fluff' item crafting - loses status in the games. There's no market for the crafters because they sell with in-game currency that is much more time intensive then pulling out your wallet and hitting "I Want Now!"
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Posted: Mar 27th 2012 9:17PM Borick said

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@Deliverator Very well said.

Frankly, I'd love to log in for an hour or two per night to work on my moisture farm. Uncle Owen -was- a hero.

We need non-combat systems with teeth.
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Posted: Mar 28th 2012 7:24AM JuliusSeizure said

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Thanks Beau! You inspired me to just start writing my thoughts on MMO odds and ends on my never-before-used Tumblr. It'll be nice to have a collection so my future self can review how stupid I was at various points. :D

Anyway, yeah. Here's my response to something you said here, which is what I mean: http://nonsensicles.tumblr.com/post/20058522300/yes-beau-mmos-are-like-politics

Posted: Mar 28th 2012 11:31AM ChrisDin said

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\m/ Fucking SLAYER!!!!!

Posted: Mar 28th 2012 2:45PM corpusc said

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8 rune lines. each with 8.... lets say "inflfuence levels".

so 64 runes. spells/weapons are made by the combination of runes you use. each spell uses 8 runes.

8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 == 16.7 million different spells/"weapons"

Posted: Mar 28th 2012 2:47PM corpusc said

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8 rune lines. each with 8.... lets say "inflfuence levels".

so 64 runes. spells/weapons are made by the combination of runes you use. each spell uses 8 runes.

8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 == 16.7 million different spells/"weapons"

Posted: Mar 28th 2012 2:48PM corpusc said

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8 rune lines. each with 8.... lets say "inflfuence levels".

so 64 runes. spells/weapons are made by the combination of runes you use. each spell uses 8 runes.

8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 == 16.7 million different spells/"weapons"

Posted: Mar 28th 2012 3:11PM corpusc said

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wish i could delete those dupes. *sigh*

hate when messages don't show up right away.

Posted: Mar 28th 2012 3:35PM ntellect said

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Im new to MMOs. Started with SWTOR because I got completely bored with consoles, which Ive been on since 1975. I wanted mature stories, and longer (RPG related) gameplay. Consoles just to make the old school stat-based RPGs anymore, and the ones they do make dont have a combat mechanic I can really dig into.

Got bored with SWTOR in what? 2 months, and thats where I realized what I look for in an MMO. Story. It doesnt have to revovle around me but I need LORE to set the context of what Im doing. It gives the game a unique feeling. Which gives me IMMERSION. I really do want a living breathing world where I can play with other players. And finally COMBAT is critical. If Im going to be fighting 90% of the time (because I like to fight things) the combat mechanic has to be simple, but have depth and fun. All at the same time. Ive even realized I like the tab/hotkey combat if it moves fast enough adding a pinch of skill to the victory.

I happen to like leveling, but on a curve. Level me fast at first but then flatten the curve as I get higher. But this type of leveling has to be coupled with content to support the XP. What I find in MMOs today is you level nicely to about the mid 30s... and even with quests, and other xp-grabbing mechanics, it becomes stale. There isnt enough variety nor enough quality in actions outside of combat. Then even though I like to grind, it begins to feel like one taking the fun out of it and making it more a chore.

EXPLORATION. Im an explorer. Give me a map with nooks and crannies and I want to search through them. The best ones give you XP for discovering new areas, or give you that 'hidden' quest which is great. This is how I wish questing was like. more natural, let me come across it. But Ive played MMOs where exploration meant HUGE flat, abandoned, boring landscapes that you have to run....... for minutes at a time to cross... and cross you will ... to finish the quest and then to turn it back in. I wouldnt hate the run back so much if there was interesting stuff to see/do (maybe fishing, crafting, stopping at ale house along the way or there were multiple ways back allowing to perhaps find a shortcut or another quest.

The more options you give me to do, the longer I will stay in the game.

Posted: Mar 28th 2012 4:03PM Djinn said

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I enjoy MMOs that give you xp for doing something other than killing mobs or turning in quests. Like crafting, exploring, etc. I have sometimes gained entire levels without doing any killing or quests. I wish more MMOs would do this.

Posted: Mar 29th 2012 10:54PM (Unverified) said

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I think that saying it's the community that directs the industry is leaving out a very important aspect. A lot of the MMO veteran players are baffled by the samey stuff that's released, and blame it on their straw-man vision of casuals who want an easy level grind. A lot of casual players like some of the more interesting sandbox-y options like player housing and interesting crafting, and blame the samey raid-or-die stuff on their straw-man vision of hardcore players.

I don't think it's just one or the other, though. If every WoW clone, every carbon-copy browser-based MMORTS continues to succeed, it means a majority of the community still wants it, or at least still enjoys it enough to throw money at it. To claim that it's one side of the fence or the other is ignoring that it's a much larger part of the community that controls that sway. And I don't think that has anything to do with casual or hardcore preferences. I think it's a matter of time.

I'm not exactly a veteran, but I've played MMOs longer than what people might label a casual player. It stands to reason that I would be a little impatient with the industry for not trying new things. That doesn't change the fact, however, that MMOs only really exploded a few years after WoW launched in 2004. That means we've only really had a little more than half a decade to watch a community grow.

From tens of thousands of players in the early 2000s to tens of millions today, there are new players getting sucked into these virtual worlds every day. And these people have never seen an MMO before. There's nothing stagnant or frustrating about the gameplay; it's fresh and new to them. I feel that we have to come to terms with a slower pace of evolution in the industry, due to the sheer fact that there are thousands of newbies jumping in and enjoying old game mechanics and conventions for the first time. Until it stabilizes, which could take a while, making major changes to the formula is not only seen as a big risk, but highly unnecessary to the industry big-wigs.

So don't feel like the community needs to look at itself, and be concerned with where they're putting their money, where they're "voting with their wallet" as it were. There are still too many potential MMO gamers out there who haven't even been assimilated yet, so looking at the current community only views a fraction of where it will be within another year. We're getting closer to "capping out", you might call it, and there's going to probably be a breaking point when the community gets big enough. "MMO" will get split into communities beyond "casual" and "hardcore" (which is already happening), and then the industry can get a better handle on what people want, what features to add to which types of games. It'll be kind of like the console game industry, the way it eventually distilled the various playstyle genres based on what each specific playerbase wanted. They might miss the mark pretty often, but it's still easier to figure out what a great number of competitive FPS player would like in their game, versus what a great number of casual players would enjoy. The factions are just too big right now. There's probably a joke or an insightful comment in there about how tired two-faction PVP is, but I'm not creative enough to make it right now.

I guess all I'm saying is, keep voting with your dollars, but don't feel too terrible if you get drawn back into a samey WoW-clone out of a desire for nostalgia or comfort. Eventually, enough people will get tired of what's being offered, and the trends will shift and break down. It technically -could- happen overnight (anything's possible), but that's as likely as the claims of "WoW-killer" ringing true. Sure, it could happen, but a gradual shift is just more likely.

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