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Explain this to me

LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in MMO Extravaganza
When first heard the term "Massively Multiplayer Online RPG" I thought, "sweet that would totally be worth the money if it were a persistent fantasy world that you could actually change in ways that other people can see through your own actions!"

Instead we got Everquest and WoW* which may as well be Diablo with a boosted multiplayer aspect, and the only example of my dream game is EVE online which I like well-enough to subscribe to off and on but in some ways it is a horribly painful game only made fun by the people I play it with.

As a college student $15 a month is actually a really tough sell for me, I just can't justify it for a game that doesn't seem to offer anything "special" that I can't get from a lower price bracket product, like Diablo, that is also more fun due to not having press-skill-and-wait combat to compensate for lag.

What happened?

*I hear WoW hits its stride after level 20, but I always found the pre-20 gameplay to be suicidally terrible and never got to 20 in a 10-day trial. In fact, you might even say, quite accurately, that I quit two WoW trials before they expired. Sometimes I would just look around at everyone doing the exact same quest I was and think "what the fuck immersion, what the fuck."

LoneIgadzra on
«13

Posts

  • Dr. FaceDr. Face King of Pants Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Its a secret.

    Dr. Face on
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  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited November 2008
    Ultima Online.

    Unknown User on
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    robothero wrote: »
    Ultima Online.

    Every time I hear anyone talk about its heyday it sounds pretty fucking sweet to me.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    UO is the only mmo I can think of that is as close to a MUD as a game can be without being a MUD. now MUDs, those were true mmo's

    Wren on
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    TF2 - Wren BF3: Wren-fu
  • s3rial ones3rial one Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    UO is the only mmo I can think of that is as close to a MUD as a game can be without being a MUD. now MUDs, those were true mmo's

    Well, you know, except for the whole "massive" part. Your typical MUD had a population on par with a large FPS server.
    What happened?
    Developing a game that gives people large amounts of freedom without allowing the griefing douchebags to ruin it for everyone else is neigh impossible. Developing a hi-tech hamster wheel with a virtual carrot & stick is, comparatively, much more doable.

    s3rial one on
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited November 2008
    robothero wrote: »
    Ultima Online.

    Every time I hear anyone talk about its heyday it sounds pretty fucking sweet to me.

    It was. It really was.

    Unknown User on
  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Warhammer comes pretty close to a persistant, changing world based on player actions; but it's based around massive player versus player combat and castle/area control.

    tehmarken on
  • hazywaterhazywater Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    WAR is a lot like Planetside, a game some people are familiar with, in that while you can change the world, tomorrow morning everything will be different yet the same.

    There was this free to play MMO that had a thread in G&T, "Wurm", I think, that you may like. I never looked into it too much, but in this game you basically do whatever you want. You can build towns, chop down a forest, build a tower, dig a nice ditch, start a farm, become the world's best angler, etc. I never tried it, but it looked like it had nice concepts, but its not main stream at all.

    Also, there are some nice persistent world mods for neverwinter nights 1/2.

    There are probably other independent MMOs that might have what you're looking for.

    hazywater on
    Hrin - Eve Online
  • citizen059citizen059 hello my name is citizen I'm from the InternetRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Asheron's Call has a changing-world storyline. While a lot of the original content is still there for people to revisit, the main "story" quests are one-and-done in terms of the plot. Some of them you can go back and do just for the fun of it, but the "first" people to do them got special rewards most times, and the storyline advanced when they were completed.

    And, really, some of it was just epic and hasn't been matched anywhere else.

    Case in point: The Defense of the Shard of the Herald.

    From http://www.ethblue.com/acpaper/page2.htm (long, but interesting read)
    As the primary example of this sort of multicursal event in Asheron's Call, most players would refer to the “classic” pair of events occurring between November and December, 2000, entitled “Should the Stars Fall” and “The Child of Daralet.” While the events were noteworthy primarily for their initial appearances of the title character, Asheron (a sort of benevolent, if ill-fated, demigod within the game's lore) and the legendary and infamous demon, Bael'Zharon (referred to by most as “the Hopeslayer”), the events taking place between these months were all particularly decisive moments in the contemporary history of the world of Dereth.

    Since the first month of the game's story, players had been taunted by the presence of mysterious Crystal Shards, the destruction of which had introduced new and powerful artifacts into the world – new weapons, armor-crafting materials, etc. Though players blithely destroyed these crystals as the monthly events came (the difficulty of doing so being motivation enough, for most), the in-game lorebooks, to those who were interested, continually hinted that their presence was linked to an event in the ancient past, wherein a malevolent demon had been bound outside the world through the use of these “Soul Stones.” Finally, by the time of the November 2000 events, all six of the known Crystal Shards had been destroyed, leaving many to wonder what would come of their world.

    At last their answers came as quest leaders led their assaults on the newly-discovered (newly-implemented) “Empyrean Cathedral,” where an ancient undead king, sworn for 3000 years to protect the final, hidden Shard, implored his destroyers (the players) to take up his task and defend the final shard, which he referred to as “The Shard of the Herald.” This single bit of information sufficiently divided the playerbase in half – those who were eager for the ever more powerful treasures and fame to be sought in the destruction of the Shard, and those who sought to keep the now-legendary demon imprisoned.

    Thus, the developers devised a system whereby the decision was left to the players – the path to the Shard of the Herald was restricted to only those who had “sworn allegiance to Bael'Zharon” (in game terms, to those who had converted to the status of “Player Killer” – PK – whereby they may attack or be attacked by any other Player Killer). The intention, in terms of the story, was that only Bael'Zharon's loyal followers could enter, such that they might free him from his long captivity. But those most daring monarchs (leaders of player-organized guilds) accepted the risks of swearing to the demon (or, in game game, “went PK” or “went Red,” as per the color of a PK's in-game compass blip), organizing globally to thwart the efforts of those other monarchies known to be planning attacks. Thus, monarchs with sufficient manpower would organize strikes upon the towns or strongholds known to house the enemy allegiances (which, in a time before the implementation of formal in-game housing, was a much more difficult task), weakening and distracting the enemy from their goals of the Shard's destruction.

    At the shard itself, the real heroism took place as round-the-clock “Shard Vigils” (as the reflective lore would dub them) were held, where monarchs and vassals alike would dedicate hours of their time to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their comrades, forming an impenetrable wall of players, where the only way through was to fight. The dungeon beyond their ranks held monsters and the Shard itself, animated by the original mages those thousands of years ago to attack would-be assailants. Thus, even those assailants able to break through the initial vigil had little chance of accomplishing the task on their own, in their weakened state. So it was that the now-legendary “Shard Vigils” began, preparing to defend the Cathedral for the entire month, if need be.

    But the task itself was not as easy as it sounds, nor were the assailants easily deterred, knowing the kind of rewards that surely awaited them for the accomplishing of these tasks. So yet another first occurred within the game – the interference by developer-controlled NPC's (non-player characters), taking the helm such characters as the disembodied voice of Bael'Zharon himself. Through the game's chat interface, Bael'Zharon would hold private conversations with the most capable monarchs of the gameworlds, promising them fame and rewards for their freeing him. These few monarchs that passed his tests of worth were given powerful items for their service and dubbed Bael'Zharon's “Dark Masters.” Those servers that had been weakening in their attacks now redoubled their efforts, attacking with a sort of crazed fervor, not only at the promise of rewards, but in the sheer excitement of having been personally involved in such momentous occurrences within the game's story. Thus, one by one, the defenses of the Shard of the Herald fell, and eventually those monarchs now allied with Bael'Zharon overcame the defenses.

    It was at this stage of the story that an interesting and wholly unique occurrence within Asheron's Call took place, wherein the game's seven separate servers were made asymmetrical for the first time. On the “Thistledown” server alone, the Shard Vigil remained unbroken, forcing the unique countermeasure wherein the “Dark Master,” Vidorian (a player), was joined by several mythological followers of Bael'Zharon to finally break the defense and destroy the crystal. Given that the odds were intentionally stacked against the Thistledown Shard Vigil, their efforts were deemed successful nonetheless, and in the coming months, the NPC's of Dereth erected a statue to commemorate those who stood against Bael'Zharon's dark followers, bearing an inscription dedicated to the leaders, listing them each by name (Loresraat, “The Vigilant” http://www.loresraat.com/contentid-33.html). Thus, the meta-game decision of the developers – to force the same outcome for the one disparate server as the other six – had been acknowledged by all, somewhat intentionally breaking down the illusion of inter-server cohesiveness to reward those people who had actually brought about the favorable outcome for their server. In an article posted to the website of developer Turbine Entertainment, the developers and producers gave their insights on the event:

    People wanted the chance to defend the crystal, to keep BZ imprisoned. We thought that this would make for fantastic role-playing, and tried to come up with a system that would allow people to take a more active part in the event. Thus the PK-only dungeon for the final Shard was created. We wanted to give the players a choice -- to defend the Shard, or to destroy it.

    What followed became, half by design, half by fortune, what was probably the most dramatic event in any ORPG to date. While most worlds broke the crystal in rather short order, Thistledown mounted a defense. And what a defense it was! The Shard was monitored around the clock in well-organized shifts. Needless to say, this exceeded our expectations by a long shot!

    (Davidson, AC Producer, available through Jackcat )


    Clearly, even with multicursality at the heart of the event's design, the methods by which people aimed to bring about their goals shocked even the developers in terms of its organization, complexity, and dedication. Players were genuinely invested in their worlds, even at the expense of their real schedules and lives.

    In this way, the game functions also as a kind of collective or cultural tradition, wherein players of Asheron's Call must live with the decisions of all other players of Asheron's Call, not just exclusively those of their own specific game world. Thus, though the Vigil defenders of Thistledown held their defense bravely, they were forced to live with the actions of people such as the infamous Khao of Solclaim (my former “home” server), who was one of the monarchs helping to defend the Cathedral until he and his followers so famously turned on their comrades, attacking and killing them off-guard and continuing on into the dungeon, in large numbers, to successfully shatter the Crystal. There is something to be said for the fact that, to this day, those residents of Solclaim – though they may have no statue to commemorate their success – still have a lasting hatred for “Khao,” despite his having long-since left the game.

    Though the successful containing of Bael'Zharon may have been nearly impossible to achieve, the fact that one server did manage the task proves the multicursality of the game's storyline. Many speculated (and rather wistfully, at that) about what the world may have been like had the Shard Vigils held. Their pensive hypotheses were hardly difficult to understand, given that the next month found them with rivers and seas turned to blood, skies burning with falling stars, and frequent raids on their beloved hometowns by the demon himself, and his followers. Though no one may ever say for sure how the story might have otherwise progressed, it is certain that the history of Dereth could most certainly have been radically different. And indeed, many were glad for the unfavorable outcome, as they, at the very least, had the chance to experience such awesome events, such devastation, and the chance to participate in its undoing. An alternative storyline may indeed have lacked the sort of emerging heroism of the following month.

    If only for the resulting literature and the appearance of Asheron himself, many of the characters interested in the literary story of the game (“Lorebies”, as other players affectionately or perhaps condescendingly call refer to them – the likeness to “newbies” indeed seems troubling) were glad for the turn of events, in retrospect. As the following month played out, Asheron himself (having participated in the demon's original binding) revealed the methods by which the Hopeslayer might be stopped – a process which involved learning much about the man the demon had once been, a sort of valiant antihero once named Ilservian Palacost. The easily sympathetic history of the man led many to take his side, while still others, the monarchs of the servers, openly swore their allegiance to the demon (a formal in-game system, not merely a statement of intent). As the event concluded, with Bael'Zharon once again defeated, Asheron published his reflections on Palacost, imploring the world to forgive the man for what he had become, blaming the dark history of Asheron's own people for Palacost's malevolent insanity. This text itself was not introduced in-game, but rather as a link offered upon the main login page of the game itself – featured out of context perhaps to stress its importance or perhaps also to call attention to the significance of Dereth's collective and interactive history itself.

    Video of the event is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnemGvYLOZQ

    citizen059 on
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  • SeñorAmorSeñorAmor !!! Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    robothero wrote: »
    robothero wrote: »
    Ultima Online.

    Every time I hear anyone talk about its heyday it sounds pretty fucking sweet to me.

    It was. It really was.

    You have no idea.

    A few of the free shards are nice, but can't compare to UO in its prime.

    Such a great game. :(

    SeñorAmor on
  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The problem has been described here already. More freedom = More griefing. Too much griefing = Loss in sales and interest from people.

    Djiem on
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    AC sounds kind of cool, but not quite my ideal of a single-sharded game where you have to bump elbows with people you don't like, and the game mechanics gives you the tools to do that and create your own story in the universe.

    TBH I would pay to play a game with enough freedom that I was constantly being griefed in hilarious ways. A PvE MMO does not appeal to me at all, otherwise I may as well just play a non-MMO PvE game because the specialness of the $15/month experience basically becomes being able to show off your glowing shit in town, and the downsides are gameplay based entirely around high lag, the "brain-dead copy-past mob" school of environment design, etc.

    I suppose in the fantasy setting it's a lot harder to create game mechanics where you can avoid being killed as a low-level player by being good at the game, and that's something EVE got right by creating a lot of situations where you can be safe, at least temporarily, and starting newbies in some of the faster ships.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • citizen059citizen059 hello my name is citizen I'm from the InternetRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    AC sounds kind of cool, but not quite my ideal of a single-sharded game where you have to bump elbows with people you don't like, and the game mechanics gives you the tools to do that and create your own story in the universe.

    TBH I would pay to play a game with enough freedom that I was constantly being griefed in hilarious ways. A PvE MMO does not appeal to me at all, otherwise I may as well just play a non-MMO PvE game because the specialness of the $15/month experience basically becomes being able to show off your glowing shit in town, and the downsides are gameplay based entirely around high lag, the "brain-dead copy-past mob" school of environment design, etc.

    I suppose in the fantasy setting it's a lot harder to create game mechanics where you can avoid being killed as a low-level player by being good at the game, and that's something EVE got right by creating a lot of situations where you can be safe, at least temporarily, and starting newbies in some of the faster ships.

    AC had the Darktide server for that, and IIRC it's currently the most populated server.

    Darktide = PvP all the time, everywhere. (Exception: After dying in PvP you are flagged as non-PvP for 5 minutes and can't be attacked by other players. You can be attacked by AI monsters.)

    You can be attacked by anyone, anywhere, anytime. And, it includes all the PvE content that the other servers had.

    Having a full PvP world created its own plot in terms of alliances and who controlled what, as seen in EVE. For the PvP'ers, the PvE storyline was secondary to their own conflicts, and while their actions didn't affect the game world, it did affect who could get into an area. If one group "owned" a town you weren't very likely to get into it if they had a decent number of people online.

    For those unaware, the penalty for death in AC was a loss of a % of your skills (each death added more but you could regain them by earning XP to eliminate the penalty) and the loss of some items from your inventory.

    Generally the items were the highest-value items of a particular category (highest value weapon, armor, etc etc) up to a certain number of items with a formula based on your level.

    You also lost 50% of your cash, but since most people traded their cash for trade notes, that wasn't such a big deal.

    If you died in PvP, your killer could loot dropped items off your body. Thus, Looters vs. Non-Looters was a huge factional war within itself, and death in PvP always carried some sort of risk.

    citizen059 on
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  • AccualtAccualt Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think the reason things don't change much in MMOs, and never permanently change, has to do with resources and new players. It takes a lot of resources to make content, especially if new art or code is needed. That costs money. When it is introduced and then removed/changed any new players (or even old players who just missed it) miss out on the chance to see that and it essentially reduces the amount of content available in the game. If the content was removed there isn't a way for someone to go back and play it like you can with sequels. So from a developer's point of view it makes sense to leave it all in. I'm sure you could entirely build a game around the idea, something where users can also generate their own content, but I don't think you can shoe horn it into current MMOs. I wouldn't want it in there. I don't want to miss out on killing the black dragon just because a guild full of unemployeed nerds power gamed it on day one.

    City of Heroes is introducing a system next year that lets players write their own missions and story arcs that includes creating their own villains using the character creation system. They are basically giving the players access to the developer's mission creation system and then letting them post the missions into the game. I think you can even choose which contacts hand out your missions.

    The Star Trek MMO is letting players create their own races and then assigns a new planet for that species to inhabit so there can, theoretically and with enough player involvement, always be new planets and species to discover. There hasn't been much detail about this yet so we don't know if you get to design the planet or pick the galaxy or whatever yet.

    Accualt on
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'm definitely not proposing using the AC system so content would be missed by late-joiners, just bitching that every motherfucking MMORPG is a WoW clone when there is so much more potential for creating living virtual worlds than "hurr diablo with more players" to the genre.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • KrunkMcGrunkKrunkMcGrunk Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think WoW is starting to get it right with the new phasing technology they introduced. Wherein certain zones will progress and change as you finish quests. But it only changes for your character and other characters that have gotten up to a certain point. So, people who don't play as much can still have the same experience.

    But yeah, I can understand how WoW wouldn't be someone's cup of tea. Outside of itself, anything you do in the game is pretty damn hollow. And the game asks for a lot of your time.

    KrunkMcGrunk on
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  • citizen059citizen059 hello my name is citizen I'm from the InternetRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'm probably biased because of my time in AC, but I think having epic one-time-only content serves to enrich an MMO rather than ruin it for people who joined too late to see it.

    Events such as the sudden winter brought on by the Gelidites and their "Great Work", the rise of Bael'Zharon the Hopeslayer and his subsequent attacks (controlled by the dev team) on player settlements, stopped only by the intervention of Asheron himself (also dev-controlled), the resurgence of the Olthoi under a new queen...even though they're long since past and you can only read about them...are infinitely more interesting than being the first or even the 427th group to beat whatever new raid boss is currently the "toughest" in some other MMO.

    Why? Because it only happened one time, it had meaning. It had substance beyond just the epic loot drops that you pick up on your 24th run through the raid.

    It gives the world you're in some history, and even if you weren't part of it, something may be just around the corner that will put your name in the books.

    Turbine has made an effort, since the game was released, to keep the story driving forward so that no matter when you joined, you experienced world-changing events. While the original goal of monthly updates for new content and bugfixes hasn't always been met, they've pushed out over 100 updates since the start of the game.

    It's an MMO where the world has changed, for better or worse. Yes, it's all shaped and driven by the development team, but the world of AC isn't the same world that appeared when the servers went live in 1999.

    The game is long past its prime, but of all the MMO's I've played, AC still stands out to me as the best example of an immersive, changing, living world. The four years I spent there ruined me for any other MMO, nothing else has been able to capture my attention the same way.

    citizen059 on
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  • magikmushrmmagikmushrm Registered User
    edited November 2008
    UO was the best MMO I've ever played.
    I've played them all
    I was on UO in the beta and right after for about a year and a half

    No other MMO has had such a persistent world system. Housing, item decay rates (not just you drop it on the ground its gone) and god, combat was a blast. an open PK/PKK system and bad ass titles

    That game had everything going for it, then they patched it and patched it and it went all to hell

    graphical and game play updates ruined it for people who liked the simplicity of the game play.

    I tried to go back right around the release of the eight age.

    It's just not the same game anymore.


    oh yeah good luck finding a fucking spot to put your basic 1 room house ....


    /had castles
    //had an island full of fucking castles

    magikmushrm on
  • risumonrisumon Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Did Shadowbane ever get a decent following? I lost interest before it got out of beta, never actually played it, but it was supposed to allow you to own cities and leave your mark on the world, etc, etc.

    risumon on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited November 2008
    Shadowbane was fantastic, although technically it was much too resource (i.e. gold, materials) intensive to survive long term. Losing your capital city was devastating and usually made people quit the game.

    It only lasted as long as it did because of the dupes upon dupes upon dupes.

    Unknown User on
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited November 2008
    I have to disagree because the server I played on was pretty well diversified. We were the top dog in that every major battle ended up being us vs. someone else (usually multiple someones) and we never lost a city, but at the same time there was plenty of other conflict, building and rebuilding going on.


    Although that was the unofficial RP server, so take it with a grain of salt

    Unknown User on
  • SeñorAmorSeñorAmor !!! Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    UO was the best MMO I've ever played.
    I've played them all
    I was on UO in the beta and right after for about a year and a half

    No other MMO has had such a persistent world system. Housing, item decay rates (not just you drop it on the ground its gone) and god, combat was a blast. an open PK/PKK system and bad ass titles

    That game had everything going for it, then they patched it and patched it and it went all to hell

    graphical and game play updates ruined it for people who liked the simplicity of the game play.

    I tried to go back right around the release of the eight age.

    It's just not the same game anymore.


    oh yeah good luck finding a fucking spot to put your basic 1 room house ....


    /had castles
    //had an island full of fucking castles

    T2A was fantastic, but it was downhill after that. Of all the RPGs I've played, none compare to the awesomeness that was old-school UO.

    SeñorAmor on
  • RubberACRubberAC Sidney BC!Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Original UO was good because there were no 'quests'
    It was as realistic as a fantasy game could get. It was really made for roleplayers too. Events would all be hosted and run by the server GMs, who would usually play the bosses/Lord British/ important figures themselves. There was no leveling up, there was personal housing, and there was stealing. STEALING. You lost everything you had on you when you died.
    Why why [why/I] can no new mmo's pick up on this?

    RubberAC on
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  • ZanteZante Registered User
    edited November 2008
    RubberAC wrote: »
    Original UO was good because there were no 'quests'
    It was as realistic as a fantasy game could get. It was really made for roleplayers too. Events would all be hosted and run by the server GMs, who would usually play the bosses/Lord British/ important figures themselves. There was no leveling up, there was personal housing, and there was stealing. STEALING. You lost everything you had on you when you died.
    Why why [why/I] can no new mmo's pick up on this?

    Most people don't want to lose all their gear every time they die, just a guess.

    Zante on
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited November 2008
    Gear was pretty unimportant in the long run though. While there were magic loots, they were all easily replaceable. Unless you carried your life with you in your pack, dying and losing all your stuff was nothing more than a moderate setback.

    Unknown User on
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    robothero wrote: »
    Gear was pretty unimportant in the long run though. While there were magic loots, they were all easily replaceable. Unless you carried your life with you in your pack, dying and losing all your stuff was nothing more than a moderate setback.

    This is how to do it in a nutshell. Commodify items so they are less valuable and you are not looking for epic 0.001% chance to drop unique (except for everyone else who has one) items and it doesn't suck so much to lose them, and result is the game becomes more strategic.

    I may be unique in this, but I prefer "low" fantasy games where just having a single bonus on something is a big deal over the screen full of blue syndrome seen so often these days. I enjoy a game where items are simply replaceable tools and it's all about bringing the right ones for the job (where the "job" includes pvp and altering the game world) over one where it's all about getting the max glowing shit really isn't actually good for anything except killing tougher monsters.

    I mean I like the glowing shit well enough, but it really seems besides the point in a medium where bigger ideas are possible through ditching that paradigm.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited November 2008
    Man if you ended up getting a Halberd of Vanquishing you'd hit like a fucking truck. The top of the line magic items were fucking badass, however there was a really good chance you'd end up losing it anyways so the options were to keep it in your bank/house forever (or at server down wars) or just say fuck it and have fun for a few hours.

    Unknown User on
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The software product that goes farthest into the territory you're talking about, where you can make changes to the world that everyone else sees and can interact with, is Second Life.

    I am not going to go to great lengths to defend it but at the same time I don't think it's as bad as everyone says. More than anything else, I guess I like the concept of it and the few good things that result from it. Everyone's a god and can create whatever they want, with a built in rudimentary 3D modeler/texturer, add sound and particle effects, everything. As a result there are a lot of griefers running around leaving junk all over the place, lots of politics and religeon, and lots of bizarre sexual fetish stuff. However the creative extent that some people have gone to is amazing.

    The gardens of Apollo is a giant garden paradise to just explore. There's a big pirate themed area somebody made. There are places built with detailed tutorials on how to make your own cool stuff, and some friends of mine made a Metroid-themed area, and a full scale Firefly ship with working parts, and the beginnings of Rapture from Bioshock. Just random cool junk that you can visit and possibly add to.

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  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The software product that goes farthest into the territory you're talking about, where you can make changes to the world that everyone else sees and can interact with, is Second Life.

    I am not going to go to great lengths to defend it but at the same time I don't think it's as bad as everyone says. More than anything else, I guess I like the concept of it and the few good things that result from it. Everyone's a god and can create whatever they want, with a built in rudimentary 3D modeler/texturer, add sound and particle effects, everything. As a result there are a lot of griefers running around leaving junk all over the place, lots of politics and religeon, and lots of bizarre sexual fetish stuff. However the creative extent that some people have gone to is amazing.

    The gardens of Apollo is a giant garden paradise to just explore. There's a big pirate themed area somebody made. There are places built with detailed tutorials on how to make your own cool stuff, and some friends of mine made a Metroid-themed area, and a full scale Firefly ship with working parts, and the beginnings of Rapture from Bioshock. Just random cool junk that you can visit and possibly add to.

    Wouldnt mind seeing that firefly ship. Second life sounds cool, but every time I try it I think I miss the point.

    MoSiAc on
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  • SpongeCakeSpongeCake Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think Second Life misses the point of Second Life.

    SpongeCake on
  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    What does a sandbox game hold over a more restricted competitive game like Halo?

    Morskittar on
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  • AphostileAphostile Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    AC1 and EQ1 were the most fun I've ever had in MMoRPGs.

    I'm looking through rose colored glasses of course, but the sheer fun of those and the memories I have of those games ruins games for me these days. Especially with the current WoW-ification of everything.

    Aphostile on
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  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Morskittar wrote: »
    What does a sandbox game hold over a more restricted competitive game like Halo?

    Apples to oranges. I'm a pretty big Halo fan tbh.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • citizen059citizen059 hello my name is citizen I'm from the InternetRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Morskittar wrote: »
    What does a sandbox game hold over a more restricted competitive game like Halo?

    Apples to oranges. I'm a pretty big Halo fan tbh.

    A more restricted game does only one thing, but (hopefully) does it very well.

    A sandbox environment can do many more things, but can't do each one as well as a more specialized game.


    Thus, a sandbox usually provides a more casual/relaxed experience because it can't reach the level of detail that the specialized game does.

    citizen059 on
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  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Morskittar wrote: »
    What does a sandbox game hold over a more restricted competitive game like Halo?

    Apples to oranges. I'm a pretty big Halo fan tbh.

    I didn't ask that well. Objectively, without judgement, what is quantifiably different between competitive multiplayer games versus cooporative multiplayer games? If one ignores mechanics (RPG, FPS) I think the methods of player interaction and goals bring some MMORPGs more in line with something like Halo than the traditional EQ or UO model.

    Morskittar on
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  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    citizen059 wrote: »
    Morskittar wrote: »
    What does a sandbox game hold over a more restricted competitive game like Halo?

    Apples to oranges. I'm a pretty big Halo fan tbh.

    A more restricted game does only one thing, but (hopefully) does it very well.

    A sandbox environment can do many more things, but can't do each one as well as a more specialized game.


    Thus, a sandbox usually provides a more casual/relaxed experience because it can't reach the level of detail that the specialized game does.

    I wouldn't say "can't," so much as "generally isn't." We have sandbox games like the Sims that arguably do what they do broadly better than an older "restrictive" game, but maybe not as well as a quality modern one. Or not, depending on the type of game and all that.

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  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MMOs now are very different from MMOs of the past. I remember reading about the death of Lord British in the Ultima Online beta and thinking that was a really cool thing. Someone changed the games world. Sadly I missed most of the early MMO stuff since I wasn't into those types of games at that age, instead I went back to my Command and Conquer/ Starcraft games.

    I think MMOs like Eve, AC and UO are the exceptions. They put the idea of a change persitant world that is player driven world as their main points. Sadly most people though stating they want and love this quickly get bored with the percieved lack of leveling, items, or just don't like the system. The one that really changed the face of the MMO system to its current incantation was EQ.

    Now I know a lot of people sit and scream everything is a WoW clone. In some extent a lot of the current ones are. But WoW is really an EQ clone. Level, get better gear, and then raid with a group of people to get even better gear. Do this till the expansion and then repeat. It is structured enough that you can play without thinking to much but sandbox enough people can do a lot of different things or at least act like they are. In general it is fun otherwise it wouldn't make so much money.

    A lot of the other games have just taken this idea and sqewed it one way or another. Warhammer/DAoC went to mass group PvP while Vanguard went pure PvE.

    Now their are the few exceptions out there that I haven't tried but what I gather from reading. The current Richard Garriot(sp?) game which I forgot the name at the moment is one. Supposedly they are trying to do something that feels immersive. Second Life is another one though I have had no interest in it. Shadowbane was another, that I betad and just felt it wasn't for me but I saw the interest.

    In general I think we are finally moving to the more world changing event able MMO. WoW's phasing is just a start. I think at some point someone will make one that combines the good parts of UO, AC and WoW/EQ. World changing events, sandbox world and a progress ladder that is fun and makes you feel like you are accomplishing things.

    Wow, ok I am done ranting.

    Mazzyx on
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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    SpongeCake wrote: »
    I think Second Life misses the point of Second Life.

    Massive user created worlds full of furry yiff parties?

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • Anon the FelonAnon the Felon In bat country.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    You know, I played UO since release day, for about 9 years...UO was the greatest iteration of the MMO design concept to date.

    Thats not just as a fan-boy, prior to UO:Renaissance it had open pvp, and took quite a long time to reach max "level" in any one skill (first GM mage took I think 14 months, I [brag brag] followed shortly there after). The items everyone wore where crafted by the people, magic items where rare, and the currency was just as. The best weapons where "of Vanquishing" and sold for 10k, 10k was a kings ransom....

    Then came Trammel which was a no-pvp zone, care bear heaven, I infact moved there over time and stopped pvping so much myself, as did THOUSANDS of other players.

    The game was based upon you doing anything you wanted, building any kind of character you wanted, and having fun. Crafters where a plenty, smiths stood at forges and repaired your gear or made you new stuff. People banded together to chit chat, or go protect miners, or delve deep into the dungeons. I remember spending hours just standing around in Wind (the mage only city, you had to have a certain level of magery to even enter the area) with some friends taking turns killing demons and telling stories/chatting. The game promoted idle chit chat, and making friends for no other reason then...to have friends. Publish 16 and Age of Shadows have since destroyed UO, its still tons of fun, but much, much less then it used to be.

    Asheron's Call had the same deal with character freedom, no feeling of forced progression, "epic" items where very rare, but "above average" was easy enough to get that you didn't constantly feel behind the curve. It had a huge world, and without being forced from quest to quest you went out and explored it...I remember one time I found a dungeon in the middle of no where, that I tied to (spell to instantly teleport there later) and farmed it for items/money/rare trophy drops...in a MONTH of using that dungeon I never saw another soul enter it. Not because it was a bad dungeon, but because it was a hidden gem.

    Now...it (the genera) been twisted the feeling that your not really playing the game till your max level, forced progression, the constant item grind. I have played WoW, and EQ2, and pretty much everything out there. I have never felt the freedom I did in UO and AC, I always feel rushed to get that next level, or that better item. Always under the heal of some one else and put down when chatting with nearly everyone just for being civil. These things never happened to me in the old days of the MMO genera. Honestly, I don't know what caused it, and blame can not be placed directly on WoW but certainly it has a fair share in "retarding" the genera.

    As I look on the horizon and see the games coming out in the future? none of them promise freedom, promote building a open society (outside guilds, just talking to everyone like they are people, a general respect for people in the game world with you), and creating an environment where crafters work in conjunction with adventurers.

    I did not mention Eve Online because, while I have quite a bit of experience in the game (about 3 years), its basis on real-time progression...while unique IS a form of forced progression, plus I have constantly found myself disagreeing with CCP's nerf/boost tactics, constantly. Eve is a good game if you don't mind logging in playing for a few hours and having nothing to show for it in the terms of character progression...which I like to do. Never did I get to go "Whooo! killing that <NPC type> got me to Grandmaster/new level/earned progression!" it was always "yay.....more isk...." or in my later days "yay....a new kill....".

    Sorry for the giant post, but I have very recently found myself wanderlust between MMO's constantly longing for the experiences I had in UO and AC back in the day.

    Anon the Felon on
  • Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    citizen059 wrote: »
    I'm probably biased because of my time in AC, but I think having epic one-time-only content serves to enrich an MMO rather than ruin it for people who joined too late to see it.

    Events such as the sudden winter brought on by the Gelidites and their "Great Work", the rise of Bael'Zharon the Hopeslayer and his subsequent attacks (controlled by the dev team) on player settlements, stopped only by the intervention of Asheron himself (also dev-controlled), the resurgence of the Olthoi under a new queen...even though they're long since past and you can only read about them...are infinitely more interesting than being the first or even the 427th group to beat whatever new raid boss is currently the "toughest" in some other MMO.

    Why? Because it only happened one time, it had meaning. It had substance beyond just the epic loot drops that you pick up on your 24th run through the raid.

    It gives the world you're in some history, and even if you weren't part of it, something may be just around the corner that will put your name in the books.

    Turbine has made an effort, since the game was released, to keep the story driving forward so that no matter when you joined, you experienced world-changing events. While the original goal of monthly updates for new content and bugfixes hasn't always been met, they've pushed out over 100 updates since the start of the game.

    It's an MMO where the world has changed, for better or worse. Yes, it's all shaped and driven by the development team, but the world of AC isn't the same world that appeared when the servers went live in 1999.

    The game is long past its prime, but of all the MMO's I've played, AC still stands out to me as the best example of an immersive, changing, living world. The four years I spent there ruined me for any other MMO, nothing else has been able to capture my attention the same way.

    God I miss old school AC. I played this fucker for 8 years. It's pretty dead now :( If more people played I would still be as good as ever. But it's probably aged too much, and the land scape has changed. Turbine will never make a hit like this again which is sad.

    Bendery It Like Beckham on
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