Tobold's Blog
Sunday, February 28, 2010
 
Open Sunday Thread

I'm not really sure if an open Sunday thread makes *more* sense or *less* sense with no comment moderation. After all, you could have suggested topics and asked questions everywhere. But thanks for doing it in this thread.
Comments:
Hey Tobold. I want to pose the opposite question of what I asked last week.

What do you think single player games (specifically single player RPGs) could learn from MMOs?

I think both single player RPGs and MMOs are great genres with a lot of cross over. There are definitely things they could learn from one another.
 
I feel like DA:O and Fallout 3 have learned alot from MMO's! So has Diablo 3, and League of Legends. *smiles gently*
 
What ways do you see to replace the aggro tanking? And what is your opinion on them?
For example
- Collision control, perhaps in combination with formations.
- All classes able to 'tank' in some way. Straight forward or via magic spells that can enhance players to be able to tank (for a while).
- ...
 
Is WOW worth playing for a beginner? It's not just the level gap, which could be dealt with, but the information gap. WOW has reached a point of information density that would make it all but impossible for a beginner not to feel confused, overwhelmed, and out of the loop, no matter how hard they tried to catch up.

Who wants to pay 15 bucks a month to always feel like the new kid in school?
 
What are your thoughts on what I like to call The MMO Leveling Conundrum? Can you think of any good solutions to this problem?
 
"Is WOW worth playing for a beginner?"
That's a very good question. Whilst WOW is probably the most beginner-friendly game out there in terms of the mechanics, the same can't be said of the community, which can be incredibly intolerant.

If I were advising a new player, I'd say:
- Uf you have friends who are already playing, join them on their server and play with them, so you can learn the ropes.
- If not, join an RP-server. The standards of behaviour are generally higher there and people are more helpful. Even if you don't RP yourself, as long as you avoid disrupting others, you'll probably settle in better there.
- Tell people you are new and don't be afraid to ask for advice.
- Start off with an easy to play class (e.g. frost mage or ret paladin). Don't leap into the game as healer or tank.
- There are some good beginner's guides out there (e.g. the mage levelling guide on critical QQ). Use them to catch up.

Give it a go!
 
This isn't exactly a topic suggestion, but I thought I would post here because this is where most people will be looking today. From WoldofRaids:

"Anyone who has an authenticator attached to their account should run a search (and probably an antivirus scan in case it's on the threat list already) immediately and ensure the file emcor.dll does not exist on your computer. This file is one reported to be allowing hackers to access World of Warcraft accounts that have authenticators attached to them. It's also possible there are other variations of these suspicious files, so if anyone has additional information please respond in the comments.

Based on this thread, the file may be found in /users/username/appdata/Temp. Since the file is fairly new (first mentions of it are only a few days ago), and the common source is unknown, I urge everyone to not log in to World of Warcraft or the account management site until you've run a scan. Confirm your computer is secure before using your authenticator, because this DLL file is allowing hackers to crack through it and access your account.

A warning sign that you're currently infected with this keylogger is that WoW will say your authentication code is incorrect, even if you know for sure you typed in the correct code. Thanks to Cameron for posting about this in our forums, too."

Original posting:

http://www.worldofraids.com/topic/15628-keylogger-warning-authenticators-now-vulnerable/?s=49c87b21966afd3f9597537ba0c44ce1
 
"Is WOW worth playing for a beginner?"

Depends what you mean by "Beginner".

Someone I work with, in his mid-20s, has played video-games all his life but he'd never played an MMO. A couple of years back he tried WoW. He got to level 17 as a Night Elf Hunter and gave up. He said he enjoyed it and could have gotten into it, but he could see what an enormous amount there was to learn and it was too big a time commitment.

On the other hand, Mrs Bhagpuss and I started WoW early last summer, five years late but ten years after we first started MMOs. We found it very easy indeed to understand and play (although slower to level than I'd been led to expect). None of the mechanisms were unfamiliar, all the detail was instantly available from the Web, and we didn't really come across any "barriers to entry".

Yet, like my friend who was overwhelmed, we also are no longer playing WoW. Once the novelty of a big, new game wore off, our problem was that we found WoW a bit dull. There isn't actually all that much to do there compared to other MMOs. And what there is has been progressively automated, removing what I would call "content" from the hands of the player.

So, whether it's "worth" playing is debatable. I'm glad we tried it, and I think we will revisit WoW on and off, but I wouldn't ever imagine it becoming the main MMO I play. There's just not enough to it. Yet conversely it probably IS too much for a genuine MMO newbie easily to come to terms with.

My advice would be, if it's your first MMO, start somewhere else. Try a new game where everyone else is also learning the ropes. If you're a long-time MMO player who still hasn't played WoW (and i know from the chat channels in MMOs I play that there are still plenty who haven't) then yes, give it a go. Just don't expect too much.
 
I'm not talking about playing and advancing or completing goals, I'm talking about the feeling of inclusion that comes from understanding the environment that you are in. At this point, wouldn't WOW feel like a second language that you'll never be fluent in, only good enough to talk to the waiter?
 
What you think that should happen in case of a mass dupping on a MMORPG? The dupe in this case could be any type of bug that lets cheaters to create the same item inifinite number of times (not only items that have the same serial).

Rollback?

Banning accounts? (what about accounts that bought the dupped items from the real duppers?)

Investigating every account (which could be millions of accounts)?

What do you think Tobold?
 
With the new dungeon finder tool, the mentality of "gogogo" is even more prevelant than before but it still existed in WotLK expansion.

I quit due to this mentality because I miss the art form of pulling and crowd control. Do you think WoW will ever get back to that? If not, do you think this gogogo mentality is the future of MMOs?
 
What you think that should happen in case of a mass dupping on a MMORPG?

I think rollback is the only sensible solution. In SWG they tried banning accounts after a mass dupe, but as in that game you could "tip" money to people without their consent, the bannings ended up hitting lots of innocent people.
 
@ Bhagpuss: Whilst I agree that there isn't all that much to do in the earlier levels, I'd heartily contest that after about level 30 there isn't a whole lot to do. Dungeons, quests, crafting, exploring and even the blight that is PvP are all there to be taken, it's simply a matter of going out and doing them. Conversely, in nearly every MMO apart from, shockingly, WAR, I've felt that there's very little to do throughout the game. Par exemple: LOTRO, you can quest, craft, spend two hours looking for a dungeon and then watch the group fall apart or, eventually if you get through the slog that is LOTRO questing, Skirmishes. To date, I haven't played an MMO that offers the variety of things to do that WoW does, and whereas other games seem to have a couple of things added to their list of things to do when you reach the level cap, WoW adds a truckload of things to do.

Furthermore, the idea that you have to read a lot to be competitive is absurd. At best, you'll be taking a glance at the EJ thinktank and a couple of other sources, and you'll be able to dps efficiently. Tanking and Healing obviously take a little bit of practice, but generally there really isn't all that reading to do if you don't have some sort of obsessive need to know everything.

I'd say that WoW, especially if you have friends playing, is by far the best MMO to get started on, and is most probably the one that will offer the most long-term enjoyment as well.
 
Maybe you could write about some chinese versions of famous MMORPGS here. For example Chinese Silkroad Online.

Or just about Silkroad. I've got a Silkroad Blog at http://www.silkroad-temptation.blogspot.com
 
WOW vs Noobs:

I think WoW is more beginner (noob) friendly than ever. I'd wager that the MAJORITY of MMO players cut their teeth in WoW and the game has only become MORE noob friendly over the years.

The online resources for this game are second to none. I've played four other MMOs over the years. None of them have a tenth of the online resources or community that WoW has. If you have a WoW question, wowhead, wowwiki, and no less than five bloggers will all have the answer for you. Is there a lot of WoW "information"? Yes. Is it easy to catch up? Easier than you would ever imagine.

Once in game, the ease of the game make things pretty straight forward too.

A noob can easily quest their way to lvl 80 without ANY trouble at all. They will be exposed to a lot of the lore but, because leveling XP requirements have been reduced so much, they will likely miss a lot of the lore too -- unless they deliberately take the game zone by zone in an effort to get the Loremaster. (Other than DKs, Who spends any time in the wretched, but lore filled, Eastern Plaguelands anymore?) A lore-seeking noob will easily be able to run all of the instance dungeons (multiple times if desired) and while leveling, nobody notices a foolish 0/0/x spec.

Noobs looking to rush to the level cap are also blessed with faster leveling than ever. Once at the level cap, gearing up is now lightning fast and a strategy for doing so can easily be found on the internet. EJ provides optimal builds and gear lists, tankspot provides how-tos for progression raiding.

These days, what ISN'T staggering accessible about WoW? Other than a small number of achievements, everything in WoW is possible for a casual player. With some work, anyone can do pretty much anything that they might want to do.
 
>He said ... it was too big a time commitment.

Except it isn't. No one ties you to the keyboard and forces you to log on.


So, TOBOLD, favorite salad toppings?
 
Tobold, what's your most anticipated MMos of 2010/2011 and why? Mine are FFXIV, and maybe TERA and Earthrise. I have a feeling FFXIV will be the best MMoRPG released since 2003.
 
So, TOBOLD, favorite salad toppings?

Roasted pine kernels
 
@Tobold
I think rollback is the only sensible solution. In SWG they tried banning accounts after a mass dupe, but as in that game you could "tip" money to people without their consent, the bannings ended up hitting lots of innocent people.

Back before the original CU, when duping was a very real and prevalent problem, rollbacks would have been disastrous for Sony and for the players. Hours and boring grinding for money and XP would have been lost and would have been a very grisly end for the game right then and there.
 
Back before the original CU, when duping was a very real and prevalent problem, rollbacks would have been disastrous for Sony and for the players. Hours and boring grinding for money and XP would have been lost and would have been a very grisly end for the game right then and there.
For me a rollback is the best solution for extreme cases like dupping. But it should be done ASAP, thing like 2 or 3 days max after the dupe was figured out.
If more time passes, it becomes a very bad sollution.

I guess the success of a rollback will depend on the time that the company takes to find out the dupe, on how it will neutralize this dupe/bug and on how players will be compensate for their time and money (from cash shop items) wasted.

Only people who will get mad are the people who bought items with real money from illegal sources and the cheaters who enjoyed the dupe.
 
Looks like there is now a way to circumvent the authenticator...

http://www.mmocrunch.com/2010/02/28/world-of-warcraft-authenticator-hacked/
 
@Zao Zao
I guess the success of a rollback will depend on the time that the company takes to find out the dupe, on how it will neutralize this dupe/bug and on how players will be compensate for their time and money (from cash shop items) wasted.

Only people who will get mad are the people who bought items with real money from illegal sources and the cheaters who enjoyed the dupe.


I may be wrong, but it sounds like you never played the original SWG?

First, it's never easy to find item duping. It took CCP years to find out that players were duping minerals from player reports. And Sony only found out that players were duping credits because of player reports. You would think that either company would have have been able to spot this activity, but such is simply not the case. It's not that it can't be done, it's just that it's hard and as it turns out you need to be looking for it --specifically-- to find it.

I asked if you had ever played the original SWG. I say I think you hadn't because your reply seems to indicate you don't understand how players had to accumulate XP or money pre-CU. When "leveling" most people did so by "buff session", which was normally in the 2-2.5 hour range. Sometimes 3 if you got a really good set of buffs. It would not be a stretch to say that people would do 2-5 of those grinding sessions a day. And they consisted of picking up 2 missions of the most inane and boring type possible... a lair/nest which spawned three waves of mobs of 2-5 mobs each. The first wave was already spawned when you got to the lair. You killed them, hit the lair until the next wave spawned, then kill them, etc. Once finished with both your missions you went back to your mission terminal to turn them in and collect your pittance and to pick up two more missions. As your buffs began to run out you'd need to run back to a cantina to get your entertainer buffs and hopefully get your med buffs too. Otherwise it would probably be a side trip to the nearest city and hope a doc was there to give you your buffs.

I assure you, if SOE had performed any roll backs of any sort the players would have strung them alive from the nearest tree.
 
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