Sunday, March 15, 2009

Darkfall PK Issues

So, I mentioned in my comments of my last post that I had gone PK, and killed another member of my own faction. The whole scenario basically played out like this: I'm killing mobs, someone else runs by with three other mobs on him. Something happens (this is where it gets fuzzy, mob aggro isn't as clear cut as it is in WoW), but the mobs end up switching over to me and I'm already low on health. I die, while the first guy stands by and watches, then proceeds to loot my corpse for all my shit. I respawn back in town, pissed, and grab some spare gear out of the bank, then come back and kill that guy. I'm now flagged as a PK (player killer), and anyone can kill me freely without any repercussions (they don't get flagged, since they're killing a 'bad guy'). That's fine, whatever. I knew when I killed the guy that this would happen, but now I'm kind of in a hole with no way to get out.

I actually didn't know the flagging would be permanent. If you 'misfire' a spell into a crowd, you get flagged for ten seconds (AoE and splash damage hits everyone, not just the bad guys, which I think is cool). If you do it twice within those ten seconds, you get flagged for 2 minutes. If you outright kill someone (as I did), it's permanent. The only way to unflag yourself is to go kill someone on the opposing faction (or perhaps another PK). You need to basically 'do a good deed' to get back in good graces. And herein lies the problem.

After I got flagged, it was all of about 3 or 4 minutes before someone came along and mowed me down. Whatever, right? Then I respawn, but not back in town. I spawn at a 'chaos stone' out in the wilderness, with nothing but my starter weapon (which I had foolishly chosen to be a wand in an effort to level up my pew pewing skills). I couldn't waltz back into town to get my money out of the bank, because the guard towers zap me with lightning bolts if I get within about 50m of the town border. It took me a long while to realize that there are banks out in the wilderness for PKs to use. Like, a long while. There should be a help window that pops up when you first go rogue that explains all of this, but whatever.

Okay, so I'm a PK now. What next?

Well, I could do a villainous laugh and just live my life this way, but I kind of want to get back to being able to go to town, at least at this point in my toon's life. Maybe later, when I'm loaded with cash and uber weapons, I can go on a killing spree and join some PK guild, but in the meantime I'm naked with a piece of shit wand and no way to change this. I need to go out in the bush and find some lowbie ork to slay, but I'm trying to do so in a pair of soiled panties with a twig in my hand.

I wander further and further north, into ork territory, and get repeatedly raped by the opposing faction that have actual weapons and armor on. There's one guy, "mr Thomas", who manages to get me 2 or 3 times in the night. He's what I fully expected the Darkfall crowd to be like, but he's still a blue (not a PK, he's just killing me because he can). He chops me down, and as I die, he emotes /air_guitar (oh jeez), /laugh (wow you got me), and runs around in circles /cheer-ing. Yeah, dude, I get it, you sure got me, zzzz. Can you do the finishing move now and let me respawn? There's like, no way I can kill one of these guys with what I have to work with. My only hope is to come over a rise and find one low on health that I can one shot with a lucky pew. That doesn't happen. I eventually just go exploring for a while, and actually found some teleporter that send me into some underground cavern. The area was really cool --albeit pretty empty, but the whole game is-- but the mobs that I did find were what I would assume are like level 30 or 40 mobs. Big black knights dual wielding 2h swords. There's no indication of levels or anything, but when I hit them it didn't hurt, and when they hit me, it hurt real bad. I respawn back at the chaos stone, and let out a heavy sigh. The wilderness bank is a good 5 or 6 minute walk away (no idea why they don't just PUT IT HERE where I'm going to rez), and I'm tired of walking there; plus there isn't any gear left in there anyway for me to wear besides. I managed to change my starting weapon to a 2h sword, though, so there's that at least.

I finally just sit down for a sec at the chaos stone while I 'rest' my HP back (spawning starts you wih like no health), and open up Firefox on my second monitor. While I'm surfing around, reading some Street Fighter article, I see someone walking up towards me. He's of the opposing faction, and looks just as naked as me! Maybe he's in the same boat, and we're both looking for a way out! I jump up, and the circle jerk begins. Run around, swing, strafe right, swing. Jump. Strafe left, swing, pull out wand, cast self heal, switch to sword, swing. Zzz. It's all rather silly, but again... we don't HAVE any real 'moves' yet. Maybe combat gets better later on, but for now it just feels like we've run out of bullets in Half-Life, and are trying to kill each other with crowbars. He wins, and I go down.

Now! Here's the big problem! I die, but where do I spawn? 3 feet away, and with like 1% health. He sees this, and runs over and one shots me. I die again, and respawn (again) 3 feet away with 1% health. He one shots me again, repeat. THIS is where I just logged out. If someone kills you at the chaos stone, you. are. totally. fucked. There is NO WAY IN HELL you can do anything, but just log out and hope he goes away. You can't switch to an alt (one character per server, and right now there's only one server), you can't even 'wait to release'. Releasing is automatic, and spawning just happens.

I don't understand why we don't rez with full HP. In WoW, you're doing a corpse run, and then 'rez' with limited health, but you can scope the area out first, make sure there are no mobs that will attack the second you rez, and you're generally safe to do so. You're still even covered from head to toe in full epics, with fully enchanted weapons in your hand. In Darkfall, you rez butt naked, with a piece of shit twig in your hand to defend yourself with, and 3 HP or so to hold you over until you can afford to 'rest' for a good two minutes to regen your health, mana, and stamina. I think the whole 'twig and soiled panties' thing should be enough of a deterrent. The laughable thing, too, is that this other guy and I were both swinging starter weapons at each other. Thank god mr Thomas wasn't at the chaos stone air guitaring and cheering like a retard each time he one shot me every 7 seconds.

Kills and deaths are recorded, and 'go on your permanent record', so this guy (don't remember his name) basically just got 4 PvP kills on me. I'm like 1 for 7 now, with that 'one' being the stupid guy I exacted my revenge on back by my faction's town.

At this point, I almost feel like rerolling is the only option left to me, unless I want to just camp the chaos stone all. day. long. hoping someone in my situation spawns with 3 HP and a pair of dirty undees, so I can cut him down and go back to town. The problem here is that sitting there waiting for god knows how many hours for some PK to die and rez at my particular chaos stone could take all night, and even then, at the end of the night, it might not happen at all.

So yeah. That's where I'm at in Darkfall right now, and it's a huge turnoff. I get the whole 'you chose this path yourself, deal with it', but there's like no way to even deal with it. What are you supposed to do in this situation? I thought being a PK was supposed to be a viable choice you could make in the world, but it just seems pretty fucked in it's current implementation. The rezzing with 3 HP if you get killed at your chaos stone is just icing on the cake. If they insist on doing that, at least make some script that realizes 'he just died 3 feet away, let's spawn him at another chaos stone 500 yards away', and put a bank at the stone, so we can at least wear shit we've saved without having to run through goblin camps to get our equipment on.



Klepsacovic said...

Somewhere over the horizon of Harcore Land is Bad Design Land.

Vads said...

Dang thats harsh... Considering also how easy it is apparently to get yourself pk flagged if others run in between as you're fighting, guess its quite easy to find yourself in your shoes just by accident too.

Good luck camping the chaos stone :P

Rich said...

it's actually not so easy to be unintentionally flagged. You get plenty of warnings that it's coming. All you have to do is stop attacking for ten seconds to ride out the debuff.

I left town after dying with the intention to go kill someone, so therefore I ended up flagged.

The issue I have with it is how much that totally fucks you over. PK-ing is supposed to be a perfectly valid choice you can make in the game, but the ridiculous downside to it makes it seem like "it's the wrong decision".

even that would be fine, but "it's the wrong decision, and from now until you delete your character you're totally fucking screwed" seems a bit steep.

Melf_Himself said...

This story kind of makes me want to get this game so I can run around leading mobs onto people and inciting them into killing me, lol.

I suppose they really, really wanted to discourage same-faction killing... it IS quite retarded to spawn you at the same spot repeatedly though. I'm sure they'll patch this after they receive enough feedback, otherwise they're just total tards (possibility: high).

Longasc said...

After playing a lot of different MMOs over years, PvP is either meaningless (nothing really annoying happens if you get killed) or people lament and cry over getting killed.

You are right that he mechanics are stupid. But PvP in MMOs only worked out once so far... in Dark Age of Camelot. There it was restricted to the border regions and it was good. The rest of the game did not have to deal with the many issues that come with PvP.

I often think someone should just create an ego shooter with swords, spells and other melee weapons. Because this is what is left if PvP becomes predominant in a MMO.

I also must say that people enjoy killing other people so much, but not having others their fun with their dead bodies that I cannot help but think about double standards.

BTW, I think Darkfall is enough of a failure that you should consider just quitting the game.

Anonymous said...

The game is one big gankfest.
The idiot who came up with the PK tag is monumentally stupid, because let's face it, the gane has only one aim - to PK everyone else.
You committed one sin, and therefore everyone else was allowed to commit the same sin against you without fear of punishment; I see no logic in that whatsoever.

Anyway, your experiences summed up exactly why this game will never be mainstream (thankfully).

Bonedead said...

You need a big group of friends, I'm just sayin.

If you had a friend who was an Ork, problem would be solved.

Anonymous said...

So tell me, does it take long to reach the level cap in this ? Hardcore could work, but not in a mmo like wow where it takes ages to get capped and ages again to gear up.

I think something closer to like lets say counter strike would be cooler, where it takes an afternoon to get capped, and the most awesome weapon of badassness takes about the same to get.

Even then I think it would just be a good side show as opposed to like a proper mmo like wow

Cap'n John said...

You're a victim of creative use of game mechanics.

It sounds like the other guy deliberately trained the Mobs onto you, so he could loot not just the Mobs but you as well.

Then you fell into the trap of going back out after him and semi-permanently flagging yourself.

The question I'd be asking the developers is where the hell is your Chaos/PK Town? And why aren't you rezzing there after death instead of at some Chaos Stone in the middle of the wilderness where you can be repeatedly killed by someone who happens to be in the right place at the right time?

If someone wants to make a living killing their own faction, and if the developers not only incorporate that into their game but use it as a marketing ploy (which it sounds like DF's Devs did), then they should also be providing in-game support for people who choose to play that way.

Even Pirates had a safe haven where they could go after a successful day of raiding, plundering, and pillaging.

Khatib said...

"as opposed to like a proper mmo like wow"




...And no, there is no such thing as a level cap in Darkfall. It's a skill based game. No levels. Which is the best kind. As opposed a shitty, boring, dull, lowest common denominator, cookie cutters abound, can't ever change your class without a reroll, need to completely regrind faction, need to completely regear your toon, shit MMO like WoW.

Bonedead said...

I believe that you're not supposed to be able to be repeatedly ganked at those stones. When you first respawn you should be immune. It is easy to lose this immunity, by unsheathing your weapon, possibly even by moving. My advice would be to stay still and let your health regain (do not rest, will probably break immunity).

As for the Chaos towns, meh. They couldn't help much considering they probably lack guard towers, etc. There aren't safe places in DF unless you don't betray your faction.

If you have a guild with a city though, you don't need to even care about faction, as you kill anyone that isn't in your guild. Your guild city becomes your safe zone.

I don't know how Keen does it without a city, but he could probably give you some more advice.

Anonymous said...

It may just be that I actually enjoy the PvP in the most carebare game ever (WoW), but that just seems way too harsh.

At least in WoW you have the option to, you know, not res for a while.

Rich said...

yeah but khatib... the thing you're kinda *deliberately* looking past is that darkfall will be JUST as cookie cutter as WoW, if not more.

The 'skill based' system means the more you use your sword, the better at swords you become. WoW has this too... WoW just ALSO has classes (and unique class abilities), which -- while having some stupid arbitrary restrictions like "rogues can't wear plate" -- actually allows to differentiate people. Even if every single rogue was the exact same spec, you'd still have 10 different classes, and coming across a DK or a Priest in the wild is a totally different experience.

The fact that EVERYONE in darkfall is leaning their toon towards learning "earth magic" right now because "it's the most powerful" means every. single. player. will eventually be running around casting earthquake.

how is that NOT cookie cutter? How does that NOT cater to the lowest common denominator?

Then you have the "you have to reroll to change", and I really don't know how to address this... in darkfall it isn't exactly different. There are caps on the amount of points you can "train". you can't be "uber in everything". People haven't figured out the exact mechanic for this, but figure it's like UO where there are 700 points you get. If you train polearms to 100, that leaves 600. say you use all your points, then decide to go and skill up knives after that... how is that handled? does it take points from polearms to xfer into knives? that's the theory, but no one has hit the cap yet (devs have confirmed that it exists, though).

regarding knives, their implementation is totally fucked. Like, broken. They hit for a flat number, and armor reduces that number by a flat number. This means if you would normally hit for 6, but your armor reduces it by 4, then you hit for 2 every swing. It sounds normal, except that both swings are penalized, and you basically get fucked by armor twice per attack cycle. A 2h sword hits much harder, and is only penalized once. so ... cookie cutter.

I get that you hate WoW. I also get that mac users "hate windows". but whether it's because the software isle at COMPUSA is 99% windows software, and their little section takes up a shoebox (hardly window's fault), or whether they feel like windows is destroying the computer industry (completely ridiculous), or whether they think microsoft doesn't innovate (yeah, they hire morons, okay, sure...) is all just out of some bitter angst thing I don't quite get.

When I was in art school, I had a mac. It was actually a Power Computing mac clone, and power computing was one of the first (and only) external companies that were allowed to license the ability to create apple hardware. They began slashing prices on hardware, trying to GET THE BRAND OUT THERE, and apple bought their license back, and shut them down. They didn't like any competition in the hardware market, and hated people seeing they could get a mac for the same price as a PC. Suddenly buying a Mac for $1000+ was ridiculous. Apple didn't like that. Bleh... complete side tangent... the point is I used to be a "mac person", then I got a job in IT, and realized being 'one or the other' was just stupid and childish. I use windows now, because I think it's better, and it ALSO has the added benefit of being what everyone else uses.

It all keeps coming back around to my friend Tragedy, who simply can't play wow any more because it makes him angry. this is where he and I diverge, because I'm able to just enjoy it as a game.

I checked out darkfall (and have even begun talking about it in the past tense, apparently). There were a few interesting things it had going, but from a technical standpoint, it's garbage. From a gameplay standpoint, it's not much better. There was the one thing it had: being afraid of dying. That's pretty much it.

I logged back into wow to check my mailbox last night after FINALLY unflagging myself (which, again, doesn't seem like it should be something i should HAVE to do in the first place), and was just like "wait... why was I even suffering through that game again? huh, whatever".

Khatib said...

Yeah, yeah. I was half stupified by the "proper MMO like WoW" comment preceding my post.

As far as how cookie cutter a game will be, that's all about how good the devs are at balancing everything that's available.

The best thing about a skill based game, is you can bounce around between two to three major archetypes a year if you REALLY want to and you play that much.

Yet you're always you. Your character name. That ONE character. Not an alt, not on another server, not another race, not the other faction. Just always YOU, and if you get bored of one thing, you can start shifting points to another thing as gradually or as quickly as you care to. And you don't have to waste a bajillion hours doing rep grinds for every single alt, because in general, you're not going to need an alt and quite possibly won't even have one unless you plan to two box.

It just ends up being a VERY different style of overall play in the end, and imo, a superior one. Much more in the way of community building when you know that -- /who Khatib -- "Oh, hey, yep, there's Khatib. He's on right now." Or... "Ooop, Khatib must be busy, he's not on right now." Instead of... "Oh shit... he had those seven alts cause he was bored of his main class... what did he name them all again? /who /who.... um....?? Did he make an alliance guy on another server? Wonder if he's on that one right now..."

You get your one character and your one rep and you live by it and die by it and people know of it. And if you want to use the excuse all the time that so and so is an OP skill... well fuck it. Get a brain and work out a counter to it, and do that with your template, or switch to it til it gets nerfed. Yeah, that might be a lot of cookie cuttering, but then again, it's all about how well the game is balanced, or how many interesting ways people can work out counters.

When I played SWG, I was always on the lead edge of the flavor of the month builds, and once they became FotM, I changed builds to something that no one else was using that would counter the FotM builds. The secret was -- I actually knew how the numbers behind them worked, so I could come up with them, and counter them, rather than just copy them like every other drone.

In a game like WoW, you can't change a main without it being an expansion reset and all new factions, or without doing an insane amount of faction grinding to get back to the point where you were to start with. And everyone is just one of maybe 2-4 major talent builds and there isn't much variation. A sword rogue is a sword rogue. A dagger rogue is a dagger rogue.

In a (good and at least kinda balanced) skill based game, if you're a good player you can mix things up in some pretty interesting ways. You can be creative. And sometimes your creative thing sucks for PvP, but it's just plain fun, and you run with a crew of friends and your the weakest link for a while, but fuck it, you're having fun. That's the other best thing about skill based games. You can bring 10 people to fight a monster, and everyone attacking it gets skillups at some rate. You can let your newbie buddy tag along with your 5 long time players just to check out a new area. Sure he won't do shit for damage, but he gets to socialize.

Try taking a lvl 10 in WoW to anything over lvl 30 with you. Half the instances you can't even get into. All the XP rates are fucked... Level based game play is just very limiting community wise as well as in a lot of other ways.

And as long as I have that "a proper MMO like WoW" thing in my head, don't even get me started on all the community limiting bullshit that are instanced dungeons and blocked communication between factions. And yet, there's always that WoW crowd, larger than ever, lurking around every corner so that when a developing company tries to be individual, tries to land a niche market, tries to think outside the box, or just go a little old school... those people who have only played WoW, or started on WoW and gave two other games a one month shot at launch and then went back to WoW... they're ready to pop out of the shadows with a

"But WoW does it thiiiiis waaaaayyyy... and since that's all I know that's the riiiiight way."

And then shit starts getting changed from pressure from out of touch investors seeing this shit in forums and market research and what could have been an awesome niche game turns into another shitty knock off of WoW that won't interest the people who wanted the niche games, and since it's so close to WoW without having 4 years of polish, it won't hold the WoW fanboys either and they'll just end up back in WoW after a one or two month run in the new game.

All because WoW is "a proper MMO."


Anonymous said...

It really saddens me that this blog has also fallen into a "I'm too hardcore for Wow" vs. "Just have fun, it's a game" bitch fest. Most of the items that you present Khatib are both non-existent in any current game and run counter to any business plan that would keep a company running long term. What do we expect of developers? There are role playing games out there that tailor to each person's desired playstyle, they are called single player games. An MMO, by definition, is designed to pull in the greatest number of players possible. They are not designed to be constructed arenas for the most capable individuals to be worshiped as heroes. Look at other recent failures in the genre to see exactly what a desire to cater to the hardcore or PvP crowd gets you (Warhammer?). While Wow is not ideal for all players, it does appeal to most, which is what it is designed to do. If you expect a development agency to design a game to have a small number of players you should also expect to get a game with a persistently low budget that will inevitably have a short life, falling under its own fiscal weight. And, much like adolescent girls, gamers of all abilities have the attention spans of caffeinated gnats and will eventually destroy the games we love by moving on to the next shiny thing as soon as it catches our eye. I say, if you don't like Wow go play Fallout. It has a hard setting and over 1000 hours of playtime, and you get to be whatever you want to be.

Khatib said...

"They are not designed to be constructed arenas for the most capable individuals to be worshiped as heroes."

I guess you missed the part in WoW about arena rankings and PvE guilds like Nihilum and EJ being known throughout the game.

Almost all multiplayer games are there for the competition. Otherwise it'd be "co-op mode" all the way with no options for direct competition. MMOs are all about an alternate world, and to get a truly vibrant alternate world, you need consequence for actions. And WoW has little of that. I don't know that it's a too leet for WoW attitude. I had fun enough with WoW for a year and a half or so out of the around three that I played. (Much of the time I played it was spent "waiting on something better" until I gave up using WoW as a carryover and just don't play an MMO regularly right now.)

I just have had other legitimate MMO experiences before WoW and during WoW that lead me to know that there are other ways of doing it out there and that I truly and genuinely prefer them. The biggest problem I have with WoW is that the shadow it has cast on the market has screwed the market up for anyone who doesn't want WoW as their game of choice.

Khatib said...

Dang. Wish there was an edit button for these. Sorry to double post, but:

"Look at other recent failures in the genre to see exactly what a desire to cater to the hardcore or PvP crowd gets you (Warhammer?)."

Warhammer's problem was not that it catered to a "hardcore" crowd certainly, because it definitely does not. There is no more death penalty to WAR than there is to WoW. It is also not that it had a PvP first menality, because it barely does.

Warhammer failed because it is so CLOSE to WoW, that if you have a developed WoW character, and friends playing WoW who didn't want to make the switch to WAR, then you might as well just keep playing WoW. It's all meaningless instanced scenarios for PvP, just like BGs and arenas in WoW. Territory control in WAR, while slightly more visible, is just as pointless as capping the towers in EPL in WoW.

It didn't fail because it went after the hardcore or PvP crowd, but because it skipped over that crowd, and went after the WoW crowd. Which is that shadow I was talking about in the last post. Every investor wants to push their game after that huge player pool, when instead they should be stealing the disenfranchised players from that pool. Not trying to land the ones who actually like it there.

But when they start looking at MMO market research feedback, and beta feedback from players who've played nothing but WoW, they think they should match WoW, and it leads to failure and disappointment for all involved.

Anonymous said...

@Khatib: Wizard101 is an MMO that is not particularly similar to WOW, and yet has been a success, if by success you mean number of accounts or some such.

Blaming the world's problems on WoW is unrealistic. A decent game will stand by its own merits.

Ok, so 90% of WoW players are noobs and will never have a clue about 'real' games, but then those 90% are not the people you need to convince that another game is worth playing, unless you are going for the mass market.

Take a look at the top 40 songs in the record charts.
I can rant forever that there is better music out there than the majority of the pap that makes it to number 1, but no-one is going to listen to me, least of all the companies raking in the cash.

Does that mean all other forms of music are going to fail, and never get heard because of all that MOR dross? Of course not.

Meh, I could go on but my lunch break is over. Peace!

Hatch said...

WoW needs some type of real competition. A product that is undeniably different.

The problem is, there have been a lot of would-be competitors, and none of them have been able to match the level of balance and polish that WoW has achieved. Sorry. I desperately wish there were another game as good as WoW that used totally different mechanics. But for now many who would rather play a totally different MMO play WoW because Darkfall or Warhammer or AoC are imbalanced or buggy or short on content, or EQ/Vanguard play like earlier iterations of WoW (before Blizz added all those player-friendly innovations and massive swaths of content).

No one thinks WoW is a perfect game. No one thinks WoW's way is the only way to do things. It's just that no competitor has been able to emerge with a level of polish that even approaches WoW's. And imo, that sucks. WoW needs competition to keep them honest. And so each of us can make them care about their mistakes by canceling our subscriptions in favor of the new game.

Maybe Darkfall's ideas aren't bad. But from what I've read here and in other places, those ideas weren't terribly well-implemented.

Warhammer suffered from a drastic reward imbalance where all people did was grind scenarios.

AoC just ran out of content after level 20.

Khatib, I agree that there are people out there who are just closed minded because all they know is WoW. But not every person who doesn't like X game and likes WoW more is just closed-minded. They might have a point, or at least a validly reasoned opinion, even if it differs from your own.

Hatch said...

I especially like the idea of a fantasy fusion of Counterstrike/Team Fortress and MMO.

Model it after Team Fortress. You select a clearly dilineated class with a unique and recognizable profile and separate abilities. You go onto a map (like a BG or scenario) in teams and work toward an objective. There is no gear, and your class has it's own selection of weapons, with extra ammo scattered around the map.

Everyone starts with identical stats. There is no outside game where you develop your character, and you don't get XP for playing the game. All you can do is develop your skills.

But set it in a fantasy setting and play from the 3rd person view, with an ability-based battle system like a simplified version of WoWs. Treat each "weapon" like a different stance or form, giving the character totally different abilites depending on stance.

For instance, the Medic in TF2 can start out picking between a melee hacksaw, a needle gun, and a healing gun.

Translate that to a priest in my imaginary game...maybe call it "Team Dungeon 2". The priest has shadow form as a stance, which translates into the needle gun: limited ammo, but decent ranged damage and some debuff abilities, but no healing or protection. Then there's holy form, which is vulnerable because it has nothing but healing abilities. Finally there is discipline form, which allows for some protective bubbling and melee "smiting" with a holy staff.

I smell my own blog post coming on!

Anonymous said...

I do indeed hate WoW, but I'm also in search of a new game. It's not so much I miss how hardcore it was (but I do), but rather, I miss what game it used to be, as compared to what it has become.

I'm seriously playing my old single player games in wait of a new RPG.

Hatch said...

Speak of the devil!

Khatib said...

@ Hatch -- I'm not saying EVERYONE who plays WoW feels that way about it. I'm just saying that with 10 million + subs in a market that had probably around 5 mil combined across all games, that leaves a very large majority of gamers giving feedback that is very much biased.

After sitting playing LotRO from Alpha on and Vanguard from very early beta on and seeing WAY too many WoW comparisons and clamor for those games to be more like WoW... and then seeing that again on public forums for WAR, AoC, PotBS, etc... Yeah. It gets old. It's like having someone join a debate on the best breakfast cereals, when they've only ever had Captain Crunch and they tried Frosted Mini Wheats once. But then they're bitching about Fruity Pebbles for all the crazy colors... and how it should be more like Captain Crunch and taste delicious but tear up your mouf roof. (Horrible metaphor, but once I thought of it I had to go with it.)

Anyways, luckily there are several games in the pipes that are slated to not be total WoW clones, like WAR turned out to be.

The problem is they're all probably 1 to 2 to 3 years out, because it took that long for studios to realize that imitating WoW isn't going to steal their subs and you need to go with something actually different to snag some market. Ala EVE, which has had a steadily increasing playerbase for years now.


MMOFPS -- Huxley

Spaceship MMO that's more flight sim than EVE, but sadly also more carebear -- Jumpgate: Evolution

Angels vs Demons MMO (lol) by NCSoft, so likely to have steep grinds and harsh PvP -- Aion (curse site)

A game that looks like PvE will play a lot like WoW (which is probably a good thing), but due to Korean devs, should have a steeper leveling curve (and yes, I like that), and will likely have real consequences for death. -- T.E.R.A.
And seriously, watch this trailer, it's GORGEOUS:

And then there's Mortal Online, which looks to be a UO clone, with many of the same features as Darkfall, but a deeper world that should attract a more varied playerbase. Oh, and it's got what appear to be competant devs, and the graphics look a TON better. -- Mortal Online

So at least there are those to look forward to. Sadly, Mortal Online is the only one with much of a real chance to launch in 2009, but I think even that might be too much optimism and they will likely see a pushback to 2010 as well. They do have a major announcement coming tomorrow morning though. That countdown timer has been up on their front page for weeks and ends tomorrow.

Rich said...

i checked mortal online after you mentioned it a few poss back, and it looks REALLY nice. The graphics are ridiculous. But it looks almost TOO good to be realistic. Those movies they have up look like the cutscenes from a final fantasy game, and that's supposed to be real time...

that's awesome, but how many people can run that, and what happens when you have 60 people standing around the mailbox, or 200 from the bank to the auctionhouse?

I think the DESIGN is going to the most important thing that sets the next big thing apart from the crowd. That's why I never really commented on darkfall's animations, but instead focused on the one real thing it had going for it: the fear of dying.

I personally really like WoW's art style, but understand there are those out there that want to see the broccoli stuck in between my teeth while I smile at them across a 3 mile battle field full of 4000 people.

Frankly, I'll play anything that looks as good as half life 1. hell i'll play anything period, but what it takes to keep me playing basically boils down to being a game that's at least as solid as WoW, and I haven't found that yet, although I continue to look.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, frustrating.

One of my big beefs with MMOs is how often you are expected to make game changing choices without having enough info to really make the choice properly.

Hatch said...

@splinks: agreed. Even a "carebear" game like wow could use a lot more in-game tutorial. For a long time I've been advocating a series of in-game audio tutorials that will explain the game to you as you grind, with a class section that is literally updated every patch. Hire one guy to do it. Hell, I'll do it, cheap.

@Khatib: Do you think some of the games you've listed will be at the level of a direct competitor to wow as far as polish and content level? Obviously, a new game will never be able to catch up with a 5-year-old game, but it will need to hold people's attention until more content can be made, and have art direction at the same level. I think any game with really clever art direction will have fighting chance, moreso than even a great game idea.

What's your take on Champions Online so far? I used to play CoH, and I'm planning to try it out and see how much they've improved (this is, for all intents and purposes, the sequel). Unless you're in the beta, there's not much info available on the actual game mechanics, even though the game is supposed to come out next month.

Robert Standefer said...

@Tragedy, have you tried EverQuest 2? I left WoW a few weeks after Lich King came out. I played WoW since launch in 11/04 and was just totally burned out. EQ2 offers a lot of the same tropes but in different ways. You should check it out.

Tragedyx said...

I tried EQ1 way back in the day and found the quest / level grind thing to be extremely bothersome. One of my buddies was huge into it and he let me play his account for a bit while I let him play my planetside account. Neither of us liked the other's game. He then drifted to SWG, and I ended up getting shipped overseas so I didn't have to worry about a new game.

I haven't looked at EQ2 at all though. I figured it was EQ1 with better graphics.

Anonymous said...

Time to get your train on, like good old Fansy the Famous Bard.
At least, that's what would probably be a good way to kill opposing faction players, just train them and deliver the finishing blow.
I loved Fansys adventures, so I'd love to hear more about you PKing in DF.
GL getting your status fixed in DF!

Anonymous said...

Everyone, please remember the #1 rule of Darkfall: If you encounter a bug or poorly designed feature: GO BACK TO WOW NOOB LOL QQ MOAR! THIS SI HARDCORES!

That being said, I'm happy AV is going for the "not everyone's mmo" idea. That's what we need on the market! or EVERY single MMO that will be released is going to be a re-skinned and re-textured version of Warcraft.

I am currently trying out LOTRO after seeing WoW turning into a pastelle colored themepark, AoC turning out to be "Glitsy demo, followed by DAOC in Warcraft wrapping", and WAR turining out to be World of Warhammercraft.

Unfortunately, the same brainbugs that infected those MMOs also seem to be in the sinews of the LOTRO devs, because FUCKING ELVES AND DWARVES SHOULD NOT HAVE COMMON STARTER ZONES!

Still having fun with the music interface in Lotro though. If i can keep myself from gagging on all the regurgitated WoW mechanics maybe i'll stay a while.

Rich said...

lol, i taught myself to play the Imperial March ( on a flute, and then my 10 day LotRO trial ran out.

Anonymous said...

Oh and also, Ixobelle: you just found out that DF has permadeath.

sort of.

Anonymous said...

"But when they start looking at MMO market research feedback, and beta feedback from players who've played nothing but WoW, they think they should match WoW, and it leads to failure and disappointment for all involved."

That! That! Aaaargh!

I've talked to several studios developing MMOs right now and they are ALL DOING THAT. They just haven't gotten to the disappointment part yet.

@ original author - you have basically described my UO experience, and why I didn't want to waste money on Darkfall, even if my best friend is playing it.

Anonymous said...

It's like these skinny little 135 lb. nerds with horn rimmed glasses going up against Mike Tyson in a boxing match and get the shit pounded out of them. "Well, we saw that Mike Tyson got rich by boxing, so we thought we should do the same".

Forget it. you CAN NOT kill WoW by BEING WoW. Sure, there are some lessons to be learned from blizzards technology, but if you're just going to release a WoW clone with pretty textures, you're going to be prison sexed in the market.