Tobold's Blog
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Open Sunday Thread

This thread is for you to ask questions or suggest themes for future blog posts.
What do you think the prospects are on a Second Life type game being used as more of a pure social networking tool... ie Facebook Online or something.
I'd like to discuss an issue that occurred to me yesterday: is healing (& possibly tanking) psychologically different from DPSing?

The group I normally raid with was short of DPS and long on healers, so a few months ago I switched focus from my tree to my mage, which meant that I hadn't used the new LFD system with my healer until recently.

Still, no problem, I'm reasonably good at healing and healer queues are short, so this should be a breeze, right?

I used to love healing heroics with my druid, but now I'm running with complete strangers, it just doesn't seem fun any more. It's not that it was too easy: the constant stream of idiots you get via LFG makes it more challenging than it was before. What was missing was that sense of pride in protecting my friends (or at least people I vaguely knew from the server) from danger. I simply didn't care what happened to these faceless, silent strangers, so I got no pleasure from it.

When things went wrong in groups from my own server, my first thought was "don't worry, I'll save you". Now it's "WTF? Stop over-aggroing, you idiot!!".

By contrast, running random heroics with my mage feels very similar under LFD to how it felt before.

So, why that different reaction? Am I unique or have others encountered similar things?
Tobold, how many languages are you fluent in and how many could you hold a childlike short conversation in?
Hey Tobold, have you tried out Mass Effect 2 yet? If so what do you think? Should companies streamline the RPG aspect of the game (inventory, shops, talent trees etc) and focus on gameplay?
don't know if you ever tried final fantasy online (there's a 14 day free trial) but I'd be interested in your opinion of a game that steadfastly avoids being like WoW at a time when every other mmo maker appears to be trying and generally failing to beat WoW at its own game.

And whilst the player base has naturally diminished and the servers are decidedly top heavy there's things in that game blizzard would have done well to take note of, namely how to avoid the boom bust cycle and having to keep tinkering with the mechanics of the game.
I'd actually like to hear what your first impressions on Allods Online is. I haven't played the game since the second closed beta so from what I understand a lot has changed in there.

From everything I saw it is definitely looking like something I could play and honestly I wouldn't mind shelling out a little bit of money for it in the item shop either.
don't know if you ever tried final fantasy online (there's a 14 day free trial) but I'd be interested in your opinion

I played Final Fantasy XI back in 2003/2004, and posted my thought here and here and here. I had fun for about 5 months, before growing bored with the game. I was not a big fan of the narrow level range required for grouping (the only game I know where dinging could get you kicked from your group, because it halved the xp of the others), and the forced grouping in general. I very much liked the cut-scenes for story-telling, and still think the FFXI AH is better than the WoW one. But not having played it again for nearly 6 years, I'm not really up to date with Final Fantasy XI. Looking forward to XIV though.
Why is it that everybody copy/pastes as much as they can from Blizzards MMO, but when it comes to RMT / MT / cash shops they all think that they know better?
Question: which current MMO do you feel is best suited to RP?
Just a thought that has been on my mind about the whole tank/dps/healer setup that's used in more or less every mmorpg. It's just getting old I think. Every bossfight in the game has a different tactic, but the basics are always the same: the tank takes the hits, the dps burn things down, healers keep the bars topped. Et voila.

The way the fights differ are mosly just small variations, like perhaps a phase where different things are tanked and nuked, the location of the fires, or special debuffs. But the following base rules apply for nearly every fight in the game:

1) Tank and spank boss
2) Nuke adds first
3) Don't stand in the fire
4) Handle debuffs

There are exceptions, I can think of a few like f.e. Faction Champions, Flame Leviathan, The chess event. These are rare though.

I think it's about time that more encounters are created that break from this status quo, just so everyone can take a break from the routine. It can't be hard to think of things like that. It just requires some out of the box thinking.

Let me give some examples: take those heavy leather balls, which you can throw at eachother. That could easily be turned into an encounter mechanic. Someone in the raid picks up a big glowing orb (indiana jones style), boss wakes up and get's mad and starts following that member. He then need to throw it to another raidmember quickly, so the boss never actually reaches him. No need for tanks, and it's just much more fun than just doing the old rotations. Or to give healers another job, bring back necrotic auras, but put in healing spots (think lightwells, medpacks, twin valkyr like orbs that heal) in the game that people need to reach when they're low on HP, while healers could just be dpssing or have another job. I can go on with ideas, but the point remains: variation. Wouldn't it be nice to have more things like that for a change? It also teaches the dps a little responsibility, which sounds like win-win to me (ugh, hate that term)
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