WoW and Rest States, lets have a conversation.

"Par" wrote:

Not to be a jerk or anything but this might be one reason why you got laid off.

Mkay, that was below the belt. Ulari just worked there, didn''t necessarily have much to do with design decisions, and his layoff was not performance based, hence the term ""layoff"".

Hate the game, love the gamer!

[edit]

"Par" wrote:

Not to be a jerk or anything but this might be one reason why you got laid off. Your company followed the standard MMO format to conform to the ""hardcore gamer"" and, by all accounts, are failing like most of the others (except EQ) and they had to cut the budget somewhere.

Ah, my bad, reading comprehension matters. This *sounded* like you were being an ass, but you were actually blaming the company. My appology.
[/edit]

"Ulairi" wrote:
I don''t think I would have called HORZ causual friendly though, it took 3 hours just to scratch your ass and walk across the lawn in the game, but hey to each their own.

Not sure what you mean by this. The fact that you could port ot everyt city at the start of the game and get most places very quickly. I would find that very casual player friendly.

The big anti-casual gamer thing was the lack of dropped equipment. It required people to craft and/or find crafters.

Yes you could port anywhere but it took five+ at minutes at low level to run the short distance to get to resources or mobs. Movement rate was glacial, and felt even slower then it was due to some animation choices. I found making things and collecting resources to be so slow and tedious that my teeth hurt just thinking about it. I thought the leveling curve even at low low level was pretty darn slow and badly put together (very grind centric) but you seem to feel otherwise... I guess COH is not that much faster but the difference is all in the fun level of doing it, will see where WOW lands on the scale.

"Par" wrote:
"Ulairi" wrote:
Because they paid $50 for the box and $15 a month, and they should be able to see all of the content?

The casual gamer doesn''t do sh*t for these games. The casual gamer is a small % of the new audience for these games. When you build a game to be casual gamer friendly you get Horizons.

Casual gamers are never cheated if someone plays more than them in a PVE game. The casual gamers have the chance to see all of the content just after everyone else.

I''m tired of casual gamers saying they aren''t given enough attention. They are not early adapters. They stay behind and wait until they hear enough about it or until they get it late. Casual gamers didn''t pick up EQ early, DAoC early, etc.

Not to be a jerk or anything but this might be one reason why you got laid off. Your company followed the standard MMO format to conform to the ""hardcore gamer"" and, by all accounts, are failing like most of the others (except EQ) and they had to cut the budget somewhere.

There is no doubt about it, there are WAY more casual gamers than hardcore gamers. Think about it, if you take the universe of gamers, you will find that most Hardcore gamers can easily fit in the casual gamer subset, but very few casual gamers can fit in the hardcore subset.

What Blizzard is doing is trying to successfully tap the Casual MMO market... one that has eluded every single major MMO out there that fits the Fantasy/RolePlay model. Every current MMO of this type is flooded with hardcore gamers. Ask any casual gamer if they want to compete with someone who can play 20+ hours/week. If they answer honestly (especially after 2-3 months) the majority will say no and move on.

If Blizzard can get a huge release like SWG did, and ""KEEP"" the subscriptions... they will do what no other MMO of this type has. The only real way to accomplish this is to not only make the game fun (which, from what I have read, there is no doubt) but accessable for us casual gamers and worthwhile to keep playing after 6+ months. There isnt one out there that can do this.

If you think folks who work for those companies can''t do the analysis to see where and how much money will come from each market segment, think again. They would not get venture capital to build it if they couldn''t show it. A lot of factors go into making up total success or failure of product but they are rarely wrong about he percentages of what comes from where.

Yes you could port anywhere but it took five+ at minutes at low level to run the short distance to get to resources or mobs. Movement rate was glacial, and felt even slower then it was due to some animation choices. I found making things and collecting resources to be so slow and tedious that my teeth hurt just thinking about it. I thought the leveling curve even at low low level was pretty darn slow and badly put together (very grind centric) but you seem to feel otherwise... I guess COH is not that much faster but the difference is all in the fun level of doing it, will see where WOW lands on the scale.

Well the slowness came from the game being released too early. Not that long after release they introduced the ability to move much faster on roads and a better distrobution of monsters and resources. That is another problem, releasing these games way too fast.

My problem with CoH is that it is nothing but a grind. You cannot do anything but grind and that will get old.

I''m sure it will if that remains true, but you know what, the grind is pretty fun. It''s fast and furious action with fairly fast leveling and when you do level you feel like you have increased substantially. Giving how many games fail utterly to pull any of these things off, I give them good marks. If I have as much fun for the release month as I am having in the beta then I will think it was money well spent. If it tapers off sharply after that, well that would be a shame and not entirely unexpected. Still it''s more bang then anything else in a good while. Having a truly unique looking character goes a hell of a long way too.

I definitely agree that more then one game has been still birthed by a rushed/bad release. You would think folks would learn or at least plan better, but I realize there are some serously heavy money issues tied up in the process.

"griffon" wrote:

If you think folks who work for those companies can''t do the analysis to see where and how much money will come from each market segment, think again. They would not get venture capital to build it if they couldn''t show it. A lot of factors go into making up total success or failure of product but they are rarely wrong about he percentages of what comes from where.

I said nothing to the fact that those companies dont do market research. I know very well how software products are given requirements based upon market analysis (and to be honest, sales driven requests that are dreamt up w/out thought).

But my point was the fact that there is a HUGE market for MMO''s that can fullfill the needs of the ""casual gamer"" and not a single MMO out there of this type has successfully achieved it. Some have tried by making the rewards easier for everyone (or so hard that they cannot realistically be achieved), but this just creates a large population of very similar characters (ehem... SWG) that wander about aimlessly trying to decide if they should keep playing or log out and wash the dishes.

Everyone who plays these types of games wants to be ""uber"" (if you say you dont then your lying). Even in games that just specialize in PvE, there is a certain type of competition factor when dealing with others in the game (if there wasnt whats the point of it being MMO).

The problem comes in when casual gamers are grouped together with powergamers in a system that totally rewards the amount of hours played. Dont get me wrong, if you work at it you deserve to reap the benefits of your labor, but this game structure singles out the largest part of the game market.. the Casual Gamer, because they cannot ever realistically compete with those who play ungodly amounts per week.

Blizzard has come up with a potential ""way"" to tap this market. Rewarding those who are just Casual gamers w/out totally alienating the powergamer is the ultimate achievement. I have no idea if it will work, but it is definately worth a case study

PAR

But my point was the fact that there is a HUGE market for MMO''s that can fullfill the needs of the ""casual gamer"" and not a single MMO out there of this type has successfully achieved it.

Im startin to disagree. MMO''s are all about longevity and commitment. Do they have to be? Well, inherently, I think yes. Its a side effect of a persistant world. The fact that there is always someone on means that players are naturally going to play longer. Social communities breed commitment. Longevity and commitment are not terms I''d use to describe the casual gamer. By default a casual gamer with commitment and the yearning to play longer can no longer be called ""casual"".

So inherently MMO''s will never be for casual gamers.

Coming from casual gamer with a tiny bs ego (let me clarify casual gamer as: when the bebe is sleeping time) - I think it''s a great idea and worth checking out before giving it the poo poo.

Put your average day into a game day and do you honestly think you''d be able to go non-stop without resting? Puhlease - I doubt it. It''s a MMORPG not an Unreal Tournie.

They never mentioned a penalty to any other activity except KILLING. You can still craft and explore without penalty (as the link read anyhoo). The people I know go on raids for the fun of it or the ""kewl lewt"".. not the experience.

Personally, I''m the type that has several different personalities/characters and it will be nice to be able to give each of them the chance to develop in the realm without feeling the pressure of having to keep up.

Once you hit level 60.. what do you do anyway? Powergamers level and leave to the next game. It''s nice to see a company try to retain it''s customers in a creative, non-nerf way. If you like the game, you''ll hunt your butt off regardless of the experience you get.

But what do I know.. I''m just a casual, female gamer willing to spend the same monthly fee as Joe Powergamer.

"fangblackbone" wrote:
But my point was the fact that there is a HUGE market for MMO''s that can fullfill the needs of the ""casual gamer"" and not a single MMO out there of this type has successfully achieved it.

Im startin to disagree. MMO''s are all about longevity and commitment. Do they have to be? Well, inherently, I think yes. Its a side effect of a persistant world. The fact that there is always someone on means that players are naturally going to play longer. Social communities breed commitment. Longevity and commitment are not terms I''d use to describe the casual gamer. By default a casual gamer with commitment and the yearning to play longer can no longer be called ""casual"".

So inherently MMO''s will never be for casual gamers.

You have a point but all of this depends on how we define ""Casual Gamer"" and ""Powergamer"". There is no doubt that I am a Casual Powergamer I am an achiever and I am relentless in that regard when it comes to games.

When I was younger and in college, if I wasnt studying/mountain biking or at hockey practice, I played EQ or DAOC. I never watched TV and when I did get bored with the game I read (long distance relationship with my wife see :P).

Now that I am older and out of college with
- 55+ hour/week job
- wife
- kid
- 2 huskey''s
- home owner
- Local golf course men''s club
- Tuesday night ice hockey league
- Mountain (yes, REAL mountains :P) bike 3 times/week
- and many other things that I cant think of atm

I cannot EVER be a powergamer again (unless some catestrophy not of my choosing happens). I cannot compete with those who were in my shoe''s 2 years ago with these MMO''s... but boy I want to.

I want to play WOW, and I will because I''m really looking forward to it. I will sssqqquuueeezzzeee 1-2 hours on weeknights because I really want to play it. I''ll pay $15/month just like EVERYONE else but I will never be able to compete with those who have nothing else to do but play the game.

Since I cannot play as much as a ""PowerGamer"" (and will not change my lifestyle for a game), I would classify myself as a ""Casual Gamer"" now. But since I payed the same amount of money as everyone else and have just as much desire and skill as those who can play ungodly amounts of time, why should I be at such a disadvantage... why should there be a disadvantage at all?

I know ALOT of people who play computer games but will not join an MMO due to these reasons. If there was a cool game like EQ or WOW or SWG(but must be fun) that could satisfy this description of ""casual gamer"", it would be such a huge success...

There is just something about sharing your adventures with others... Ill give a good example:

I played a crap load of EQ and got sick of the politics. As soon as Morrowind came out I jumped on it and played it till I finished it. What a great game. But as I was playing, I just couldnt shake the feeling that none of my accomplishments mattered. I couldnt share any of my adventures with others. All this cool armor I got, all the cool skills I attained, all the cool things I saw... all meant nothing when I finished the story. Yea I could continue to adventure but why? For what purpose? But with EQ, even though I dont play it anymore, I still talk with friends who I used to adventure with and remininse about all the cool things we saw and did.

THAT is the meat of an MMO.

If someone could satisfy both power and casual gamers in a persistent world... what a goldmine.

Is it even possible? I have no idea.

PAR

Once you hit level 60.. what do you do anyway? Powergamers level and leave to the next game.

Seldom ever. Usually they start a different class and play it to 60. Or failing that they get on the message boards and mercilessly ride the devs about more high level content.

I''m usually stuck in the middle of the casual vs hardcore debate. I play too many hours to qualify as casual, but I refuse to clear my schedule or organize my life around raids and guild meetings. That said, when I want to level I want to find stuff and kill it. I don''t want to bake cakes or knit mufflers or build a house. I don''t want to contend with buggy quests or hang out with the boys in the tavern.

I have never been what I would consider an elite in any of the MMOG''s I have played, but I do feel that whatever you do in these games should be earned on a reasonably level playing field. Someone who puts in the time ought to get the benefit of the time that was spent, not penalized for having more free time.

First: Its a bonus!!!! not a penalty.
No one is hurt, *sigh* but its a typical human behavior to set the maximum = normal and then complain about being punished.

Second: Rest state is not based on playtime... its based on XPing. If you play the game by doing quests (as intended), you wont even notice the rest state, because you are running around a lot. (3 Hours from Well rested to rested then afaik)
The only thing it ""stops"" is the constant camping of the same mob for hours at end because of good XP or good drops... and that is a good thing... no more EQ please.

While wher''re at it... what do you guys think of the redesign of their skillsystem?

Basically they have merged the talents into the skills and plan to create new talents.

To make up for the higher need in skillpoints, you can now ""grind"" your skillpoints... no level cap, no overall cap.
For every 600xp out of fights (not from quests) you gain 1 Skillpoint. This gain is not affected by the rest system.

They made this change, so that errors in early char-design can be worked out by grinding... also you are now able to aquire more skillpoints after reaching maxlevel, allowing you to max all skills (including all tradeskills)

That way a level 15 player doing no quests will be more powerful than a player of level 20 who leveled up by doing quests for example.

My opionion is:
Worst change in an MMO ever... ""one change to destroy them all"" ...

- Chars will end up with all skills maxed, no difference in chars anymore
- It removes any reason to do quests, since you get more skillpoints by grinding and camping. You still level faster by doing quests, but you dont have the power to fight the appropriate mobs...
- Since combat-skills and tradeskills are now being paid out of the same skillpoint-pool, no one in his right mind will do tradeskills at lower levels anymore
- But at max level, every char will have every tradeskill... no specialization, no need to trade...
- The rest-system is pointless when it only affects the levels, but the more important skills are gained by grinding without bringing playtime into affect.

Hm, what do you think?

If I had my way I would build a MMORPG with no grind, where you level very quickly and can reach the cap within weeks of regular play. The end game would be PVP and land wars. That way players create their own content. The grind isn''t fun in PVP games so...

And that''s the crux of the problem. I''m not that interested in raiding. I''m more interested in exploring and questing in an entertaining world and occasionally hooking up with a good group to take down something big.

If the content isn''t up to par (as in every other MMO I''ve tried), I''ll go back to my single-player CRPGs. However, I suspect that Blizzard is building something that I will play for a long time. They''re willing to put their rep on the line and control their universe the way they want. From what I''ve seen, SWG bowed to the power gamers shortly after release and has suffered for it.

But, hey, if Blizzard includes raiding, fill your boots. If it isn''t forced and doesn''t impinge on what I like, I may even join you once in a while... assuming you let me

This highlights problems with these games in general.

You just can not please everybody. Blizzard will have to (I am sure they already done this) determine the target auidence of the game. Once that is done they will build it to fit that target auidence.

We certainly can not make any truly informed judgements about this system till it plays out some.

This is beta and it is the time for them to test out new concepts, and tweak as needed. Who knows how rest will end up in its final state or if even will make the cut.

Unless we are testers I think getting in an uproar over some patch notes during a beta is silly at best.

In the light of full disclosure though I sort of like the idea even if it is currently flawed (not saying it is) in the current implemntation.

I guess I just don''t grasp why some of the casual gamers here feel they''re ""competing"" with power gamers in a mainly PvE game. How are you hurt by someone else dedicating their entire life to level grinding? Unless Joe Power Leveler is actively taunting you with his uber-ness, who cares what he''s doing?

"KillerTomato" wrote:

I guess I just don''t grasp why some of the casual gamers here feel they''re ""competing"" with power gamers in a mainly PvE game. How are you hurt by someone else dedicating their entire life to level grinding? Unless Joe Power Leveler is actively taunting you with his uber-ness, who cares what he''s doing?

Actually, casual gamers are competing for content. I figure that even as 1-2 (3-6 on weekends) hour a day player, that *eventually*, I should be able to experience all that the game has to offer. It may take me ten times as long (or more) as the hardcore player, but I want to get there eventually.

But the fact of the matter is, in many of these games, unless you''ve got many, many hours (and many *consecutive* hours) to devote to making yourself uber, and sitting in one spot for hours at a time, you''ll *never* see decent chunks of the game.

I played EQ for 3+ years. I''d had a 56th level monk at the end. I''d spent 2 of those years in one of the better guilds on Innoruuk. And in all of that, I''d only been to the planes (well, hostile planes, at any rate) once (Hate), only did a dragon run twice (and that was both Nagafen), and just flat didn''t get to see a ton of the content that the hardcore took for granted.

So yes. I am competing. I''m competing to see and do the things that folks that play 6+ hours a day get to do. But the field is often so stacked against me, that but for rarely, I''m never going to have the opportunity.

Id like to experiment with and mmo that you character levels up at the same clip 24/7 whether you are logged on or off. You can choose how you want to spend your time.

You character will be what youve accomplished rather than what level you are.

I think Id make it so that you can have multiple characters but only one is active (24/7 leveling) When you switch to another character the prior one becomes inactive and ceases to level.

Another way to approach this is characters dont level at all. Its an all equiptment item hunt. Materials to make equiptment can be traded but weapons and armor cannot. Stuff that you like that you cannot use (i.e. incorrect weapon type) can be morphed into something you can use for a fee of course. Oh there are classes with skill selection at creation. I guess instead of xp, it would be items that have a base value that gets recorded. Once you amass enough stuff your skills get better and you kill better monsters to get equiptment worth more. Its the ultimate item hunt treadmill extreme.

"Viking" wrote:

But the fact of the matter is, in many of these games, unless you''ve got many, many hours (and many *consecutive* hours) to devote to making yourself uber, and sitting in one spot for hours at a time, you''ll *never* see decent chunks of the game.

Very true - I played EQ for a long time and had the same problem. There is indeed competition for scarce resources in that game, though I blame that more on some poor EQ design decisions than a true Power Gamer vs. Casual Gamer issue. If WoW ends up with the same kind of rare spawn/rare drops content problems that EQ had, then the rest system might be a good way to combat it. Hopefully, though, they''ll avoid that kind of archaic silliness.

Not that I want to give away any of my idea''s, but I have always thought that a ""time-based"" or ""thing-based"" set of experience would be the way to solve all of these problems.

[SUBMITTING IDEA]
From the time a player registers an account, every X hours (or every XT(things... doesnt have to be based on time)) each player recieves a certain amount of N (xp, skill points, credits.. something). What the characters DO with N is entirely up to them.

They can spend it on whatever attributes surround the character (stats, skills, powers, etc etc) and during play they can lose/gain/trade/focus N in whatever way the game allows.

Actual gameplay will have its own benefit (items, real-estate, prestige, etc etc) but the actual character ""power"" or ""effectiveness"" comes in how long you''ve been a member of the game.

Now this gives distinct advantage to those who have played longer no doubt, but once you ""use"" your N, thats it... you have to wait until X passes to get more.

This would keep EVERYONE playing in an even field, but it would take strategy, knowing the game and logic to put N to good use.

I have idea''s on how NOT to make a newbie so far down on the food chain, but that will not be discussed here
[/SUBMITTING IDEA]

"KillerTomato" wrote:

I guess I just don''t grasp why some of the casual gamers here feel they''re ""competing"" with power gamers in a mainly PvE game. How are you hurt by someone else dedicating their entire life to level grinding? Unless Joe Power Leveler is actively taunting you with his uber-ness, who cares what he''s doing?

If the world has to be adjusted to give power-gamers more (higher-level) content, then it has to be hidden away in zones or adjusted in the existing world. Either way, casual gamers and new players (be they casual or not) suffer due to inacessible content or high difficulty and/or inflation. What happens to the players who can''t kill or purchase anything?

Ive shared plenty of ideas that I hold pretty dearly. I dont mind though. If someone thinks its good enough to use it and has a better chance of getting it on the shelves then so be it. Id love to play it.

I love to play devil''s advocate with gameplay concepts. I love to follow out other designers logic the bring forth the flaws and potential exploits.

edit: To be honest the BLizzard rest states wont effect me at all. I am the Alt King. I dabble with all kinds of race/class combinations and put them through there paces. Rather than have one level 60 char, I usually have all my slots filled with random combinations all at level 15-25 and one in the mid thirties. I have deleted a mid 30''s EQ character to test another class out up to the high teens. (yes I know thats crazy!)

I liked IoK''s leveling system...

It was very fast for levels 1-10
Still pretty fast for 11-15
Became much much slower at 16-18
and you barely budged after 18... though 20,21 were not unheard of.

So at the most you were only 1-2 levels away from anyone...and you could catch up to a reasonable level failry fast so you can adventure in the very dangerous areas with your friends.

i.e. you could level to 15 in < 1 week with serious playtime...3 weeks casual.

16-18 would take a year easy if not more.

And each level after that was very very slow...1 year maybe 2 a level.

Isnt that going to run into the same problems as Planetside''s ""leveling""?

I.E. nothing more to look forward to after 18? What kind of character/class differentiation did they have?

Well...for one skills (weapon, magic) progressed at a different rate than level.

What level bought you were raw bonuses..

Each level for a Magic Class brought you new spell(s), more MP''s, HP''s and you had better chance to resist effects and make your saving throws. Spells did more damage etc..

It wasnt that you only had levels to look forward to you..

It would be possible (but mind numbingly dull) to be a White Sash (eq. 10th Dan) Martial Artists and only be level 10. IoK didnt have level skill caps like EQ.

Of course everything back then was so much more simple.. since technology wasnt even anything close to what we have now.

I just brought it up because I liked how they removed any sort of real need to grind away...because in a short amount of time you could catch up and play with your higher level friends.

I think that a good way to curb the desirability of camping and powergaming would be to move all the experience and leveling behind the scenes. You will never know what level you are or how much experience you need to get to the next level. In fact, I would be in favor of eliminating numbers from the game entirely as they detract from immersiveness. The actions in the game should give you a good idea of where your character stands. This goes for skills as well. Instead of recieving skill points to improve skills they just improve the more you use them. You could gain new skills by finding a book about that particular skill or you could be taught by an NPC or another player who has learned it.

This kind of seamless character improvement would, in my opinion, add a ton of realism and immersion into the game world. Of course, there would definitely be complications, like not knowing how long it would be until you could wear a certain armour and such. However I think this could turn the focus away from getting your character to x level or y strength, and move it to the actual content and environment in the game. After all, these are role-playing games not number crunching math games.

"Duttybrew" wrote:

I think that a good way to curb the desirability of camping and powergaming would be to move all the experience and leveling behind the scenes. You will never know what level you are or how much experience you need to get to the next level. In fact, I would be in favor of eliminating numbers from the game entirely as they detract from immersiveness. The actions in the game should give you a good idea of where your character stands. This goes for skills as well. Instead of recieving skill points to improve skills they just improve the more you use them. You could gain new skills by finding a book about that particular skill or you could be taught by an NPC or another player who has learned it.

This kind of seamless character improvement would, in my opinion, add a ton of realism and immersion into the game world. Of course, there would definitely be complications, like not knowing how long it would be until you could wear a certain armour and such. However I think this could turn the focus away from getting your character to x level or y strength, and move it to the actual content and environment in the game. After all, these are role-playing games not number crunching math games.

This is exactly what IoK did... you never saw how far you were along in your skill level progression.. there were no numbers just titles

"TheGameguru" wrote:
"Duttybrew" wrote:

I think that a good way to curb the desirability of camping and powergaming would be to move all the experience and leveling behind the scenes. You will never know what level you are or how much experience you need to get to the next level. In fact, I would be in favor of eliminating numbers from the game entirely as they detract from immersiveness. The actions in the game should give you a good idea of where your character stands. This goes for skills as well. Instead of recieving skill points to improve skills they just improve the more you use them. You could gain new skills by finding a book about that particular skill or you could be taught by an NPC or another player who has learned it.

This kind of seamless character improvement would, in my opinion, add a ton of realism and immersion into the game world. Of course, there would definitely be complications, like not knowing how long it would be until you could wear a certain armour and such. However I think this could turn the focus away from getting your character to x level or y strength, and move it to the actual content and environment in the game. After all, these are role-playing games not number crunching math games.

This is exactly what IoK did... you never saw how far you were along in your skill level progression.. there were no numbers just titles

I remember back in the good old days of Lum the Mad, the site had an essay about this. I''m pretty sure the majority of customers want to know, which is why programs like ShowEQ were created and became prevalent. And to be blunt, for a lot of people, these are number-crunching math games, for better or for worse.

Also, Penny Arcade addresses this issue extremely well today.

To me, it seems like numbers in role-playing were developed for pen and paper games because people had to actually calculate character progression. The nice thing about computers is they can do all that work for you. For example, in FPS games you generally are not told how much damage certain guns do, or how many hitpoints your enemies have. However, it does not take long before you have a good feel for how powerful the different weapons in your arsenal are.

Pardon my ignorance, but what does IoK stand for?