Tobold's Blog
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
Open Sunday Thread

So here it is again, your chance to suggest subjects to I could post about, and to discuss hot topics I haven't covered yet. As the past week was somewhat turbulent, I'll ask you to keep the discussion civil.
Comments:
How about a little WoW cartoon humor to lighten the mood?

http://www.crispygamer.com/comics/ding/page0001.aspx
 
How about Podcasts?

Do you listen to any and if so which ones and why?
 
What features would a game need to take players away from WoW? Not much new has come out in mmprog land that is super inventive, and I can't really think of an idea of how to create a game that doesn't have "go kill 10 boars", etc. I guess that is why I'm not a game developer...
 
I really am not a fan of audio or visual podcasts. I prefer the written format so much more it isn't even funny. I've been reading all my life and I am quite a proficient reader. I enjoy doing it, and I can read fairly quickly. Podcasts suffer from pacing set by the producer instead of the consumer, and almost assuredly that is simply too slow for me. They also have the problem that you don't always have something good to say, and conversation can have awkward breaks, whereas writing doesn't have that problem.

Audio podcasts really suck. For me, they are at that horrible line where I am not entertained enough to simply sit there and listen without doing anything else, but if I do anything else, I don't have enough ability to multitask to comprehend and read something else/play a simple game. It's awkward.

It makes me sad, because I have missed out on a lot of things like tech updates and blogs because they use the podcast format.
 
In the world of MMOs I hear a lot of talk about how in X game all there is to do is PVP, Raid, grind rep, or whatever there is to do and that it gets horribly repetitive. I agree. Almost every single person then goes on to suggest that this end-game is improved, but they never actually suggest anything to improve the end-game that wouldn't get horribly repetitive.

I suggest that maybe there isn't anything that can be done. Can you think of anything?
 
You could post about my buddy Gary. He's awesome, but he levels so freakin' slow. I'd add more detail, but that's probably enough.
 
I'm another slow leveller (per hour played, anyway). I don't think it's that unusual - it's the journey that's fun for me, rather than the destination. Learning new aspects of a class, really getting a feel for how all the power work together, is more interesting to me than grinding as fast as possible to the top.
 
What other genres/category of mmo games would people like to see? Roman era, apocalyptic mad max-style etc
 
As it's something i'm bouncing around in my head at the moment;

Micro transactions - do they have the ability/strength to become the new form of pay system within the Western MMO gaming scene, replacing that of Pay to Play schemes.
 
I'm another slow leveller (per hour played, anyway). I don't think it's that unusual - it's the journey that's fun for me, rather than the destination. Learning new aspects of a class, really getting a feel for how all the power work together, is more interesting to me than grinding as fast as possible to the top.

Having to think along these lines is a big annoyance with me in leveling games, the "Do I see all the cool stuff at low levels now, but slow down my leveling, or do I do the boring "how to level as fast as possible" playstyle for several days/weeks of real time, to get to the abilities and other cool stuff at high level."

(Plus a big part of the fun for me is trying out several different characters, so there's less room than usual to do both.)
 
Spore is charging $10 for their character creator. Bad move on their part?
 
You want your new MMO to be the WoW killer? Break the holy trinity and put in Mentoring/Sidekick systems that have NO penalties. Grouping is what makes a successful MMO, so make grouping easier.

On a side note, stop selling PvP! PvP has never been THAT popular with the MMO crowd. Old-school MMOer's in particular equate PvP with ganking, and ganking won't sell your MMO.
 
[i]What other genres/category of mmo games would people like to see? Roman era, apocalyptic mad max-style etc[/i]
I'd love to see a Glorantha based MMO. Sure, it's another fantasy setting, but one with incredibly rich lore and a very different feel to most MMOs.
 
There has to be programs that can parse through IP addresses that can determine where people who visit the blog/post live.

How about giving us a breakdown of where your readers and people who post live around the world?
 
Hi Tobold,

How do you feel about the tendency of MMORPGS to have the european servers run by different companies than the manufacturers/guys running the US servers? Do you feel the US devs listen to us? Would you prefer to have the community on the same set of servers?
 
How about giving us a breakdown of where your readers and people who post live around the world?

Over the last 30 days, 53.6% of my visitors came from the USA, 9.1% from the UK, 6.6% from Canada, 4.4% from Australia, and most of the rest from various non-English speaking European countries. I have no way of tracking who posts here, but Google Analytics has a nice map overlay showing where my visitors come from.
 
Maybe have a reader poll, questios like , do you read and post from work only, how many MMOGs have you played longer than 3 months, education level, annual salary, etc...

Sure you may get people just filling out crap, but you may get interesting stuff too.

What is the daily hit # on avg?

Why am I too lazy to register and log in to comment? lol
 
Audio podcasts really suck. For me, they are at that horrible line where I am not entertained enough to simply sit there and listen without doing anything else, but if I do anything else, I don't have enough ability to multitask to comprehend and read something else/play a simple game. It's awkward.

I agree with this, I can think of many better ways to spend my time at the PC. However I personally have about 5 - 7 hours of dead time when I'm walking to/from work and I see many others out there with earphones in there ears. I'm sure some of them are like me and not listening to music but instead listening to either audio books or podcasts. That amount of music would bore me to tears.

Filling that time with good Podcasts though is kinda hard work :p
 
Audio podcasts really suck. For me, they are at that horrible line where I am not entertained enough to simply sit there and listen without doing anything else, but if I do anything else, I don't have enough ability to multitask to comprehend and read something else/play a simple game. It's awkward.

I actually just wrote something about that on my blog, from my own experience of listening to podcasts. It's really easy and fun to listen to podcasallts while you are grinding or doing some other mindless shore like doing your laundry, sit on a bus or work at the gym.
Some podcasts are rey fun interesting, it's a shame you don't listen to any - your loss.
 
Ok, so it is no longer Sunday but I had an idea that is more like a combination of ideas. I wonder if it has any merit.

Some posts down, there was a post about some kind of achievement system implemented into Wow. For the most part I am kind of neutral about that. It could be fun, but who knows... it just sounds like another grind.

Lately, I was in some groups that were just terrible. Seems lately I get in groups with people that just never learned how to group or play their class in a group setting. It has been commented several times that it would be nice if the leveling process required you to learn these skills.

Why not combine these ideas and have class specific achievements? Exactly what they would be, I would have to think about. My first class was a mage and I remember that I used to solo AOE rock elementals 3 and 4 at a time when they were green for me. It strikes me that a quest with mobs that perhaps scale with level, could be designed for mage to test this. Maybe another which basically requires him to CC or he will surely die. Another could be designed to teach him to kite.

Whatever, we could argue about those a while. Here's they key: my achievements would need to be public. That way when LFG I can check if people have completed these tasks or not and have some confidence that a player at least knows what he is doing.

Along these lines, it might be nice to see achievements such as: Flawless instance run for "fill in the blank instance". Flawless victory might be a buff that gets applied with the first player enters the instance and is removed after so many minutes and/or on death. If the player slays the final boss with the buff on, he completes the achievement.

Again, this would let me know if players are at least proficient. It makes learning to play well in a group desireable because no one will want to group with people without the achievements.
 
Again, this would let me know if players are at least proficient. It makes learning to play well in a group desireable because no one will want to group with people without the achievements.

This is a clear illustration of what is wrong with socializing and grouping at this point in nearly every mmo out there.

People want games where they can solo anytime they want through most of the content and still advance. But when they choose not to solo and start grouping they only want to group with the people that have been grouping and know what they are doing.

Funny all these complaints weren't nearly so bad when we had to group to get to the good stuff.

Reminds me of that chinese proverb.

"Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it"
 
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