Face of Chaos

LerxstLerxst Phx, AZMember UncommonPosts: 636

Oh wait... I mean Mankind. No, scratch that, I DO mean Chaos.

 

I get the whole "you're on your own" trend in games, I really do. I also get the open world, PvP type of gaming experience, I really do. I also get the "overly complex-will take weeks to begin to figure out a small fraction of" in games as well.

 

What I don't get, is combining all of those into one.

 

The game starts off alright. You have a few of your standard "getting to know you" type of quest. At one point, though, the quests dry up and the game pretty much leaves you stranded in a cold, harsh world, with little-to-nothing to go on and only a vague idea of what to do.

 

This isn't too bad if the world was at least a familiar environment, you'd be able to identify things for what they are; a cave is a cave, a forest is a forest, etc. You'd have some idea of what they are and, unless you've lived under a dark rock for your entire gaming life, have some idea as to what to expect.

 

Your first venture into the unknown of FoM is going to be anything but pretty... or familiar. With a generic looking, but foreign environment compared to most games,  you'll fin yourself deciding to explore. See that guy over there? You could ask him for directions... oh wait. What's that? He's shooting at you? Well, go run back to... err... um... run back to.... *something* Never mind, looks like you're dead. At least the Cloning lab is familiar territory.

 

So much for the grand idea of roleplaying and being able to take on the role of any number of professions you would like to be!

 

Want to be a drug dealer? Why not! Might as well put that time invested in learning the skill to some use and go out on the streets and look for clients... oh looks like they just randomly killed you again. Scratch that idea off. 

 

For a game that touts itself on allowing you to do or be anything, you'll soon find that your options are extremely limited. The second you decide to break from the norm and go out on your own, you'll find yourself getting shot at and dying in, what looks like it should be a relatively safe area. Guess the rest of the players decided that "anything" they wanted to be were homicidal asshats. Then you'll end up spawning back at the original location, minus whatever you lost in dying and have to follow the generic, safe path like all of the other AFK miners are. Rinse and repeat.

 

The locations in this game require too much explaining as to what they are and why they're there. With the exception of the outside portion, they look like they've all been created form the same bland, generic "future" model and one looks just like the next once you're indoors.

 

You like being able to tell where you are and what things are by looking at them and being able to identify their purpose? You enjoy seeing that guy holding a hammer, at a hot forge with an anvil next to him and knowing, instinctively you're near a blacksmith? NOT IN THIS GAME!

 

It's nothing but trial and error, with the errors resulting in a random PK, requiring need for more trial, which results in more errors which... etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. The game thrives off of this self-perpetuating cycle while taking little time to explain any of it to you.

 

Sure, you can queue up skills to learn and advance your knowledge with, but what good are they if you have no real knowledge of what they're supposed to be used for? "Hey, that mining rig thingy the tutorial mentioned, sounds kinda neat. How do I get one and use it?" Pffft damned if I know! But, ya know, good luck finding one and all on a random planet from a random terminal while randomly getting shot in the face trying to figure out where you are!! If you DO manage to get one... good luck trying to figure out how and where to use it!

 

I've heard people in-game comment about he game "dying". Well, no-shit-sherlock! Every new player is pretty much bitch-slapped across the face by either the piss-poor "tutorials", the turn-of-the-millennium graphics, or other players who just want to kill you then complain about the lack of player base. 

 

This game deserves it's excruciatingly slow death.

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Comments

  • Solar_ProphetSolar_Prophet Columbus, OHMember RarePosts: 1,723

    That's sadly the case for a great deal of open PvP games. The people attracted to that type of game play almost inevitably scare away nearly everyone else. Hell, the only game of its type which has found some amount of success is EVE, and even then it only fared better because of the fairly large amount of 'safer' space available to play in for new people to learn the game. It's still doomed to continue to stagnate because of its unimaginative, arrogant player base full of sociopaths though.

    I'm hoping Albion Online will be a cut above sewer level in terms of player maturity and quality, but I'm not holding my breath. Like a festering wound, unrestricted or near unrestricted PvP (especially when combined with full loot) will always attract flies before too long.

    AN' DERE AIN'T NO SUCH FING AS ENUFF DAKKA, YA GROT! Enuff'z more than ya got an' less than too much an' there ain't no such fing as too much dakka. Say dere is, and me Squiggoff'z eatin' tonight!


    We are born of the blood. Made men by the blood. Undone by the blood. Our eyes are yet to open. FEAR THE OLD BLOOD. 


  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,131
    Originally posted by Lerxst
    I've heard people in-game comment about he game "dying". Well, no-shit-sherlock! Every new player is pretty much bitch-slapped across the face by either the piss-poor "tutorials", the turn-of-the-millennium graphics, or other players who just want to kill you then complain about the lack of player base. 

    and

    Originally posted by Solar_Prophet
    The people attracted to that type of game play almost inevitably scare away nearly everyone else.

    both of this.

    True, I haven't played FoM since years, but even that time it suffered from the very same problem. Actually I don't give a crap about pvp and even less about ffa open pvp, so I wouldn't care less if FoM would die off alongside with the rest of those bunch (MO, DF, CU, etc. etc, you name it).

    But here's the catch... as I wrote in the other thread too, FoM had (has? dunno, I don't follow this latest resurrection attempt) a lot of interesting ideas and mechanics back in the days, it was a promising game. It really had a potential. And it failed again and again from the very same reason of the above, mis-targeting.

    See, those few idiots who are lured into every ffa pvp game are not interested in those mechanics at all, they just want to shoot everything that moves. And with it, as the Prophet wrote above they're chasing away all those folks who would enjoy and put a good use of those mechanics.

     

    OP wrote, "This game deserves it's excruciatingly slow death." I disagree, somewhat. This game deserves/needs some ruleset changes (dunno, corporate owned planets, flagged pvp, designated war zones, anything...) and it could still be a nice little game. It really had some nice ideas.

  • LerxstLerxst Phx, AZMember UncommonPosts: 636
    Originally posted by Po_gg
    Originally posted by Lerxst
    I've heard people in-game comment about he game "dying". Well, no-shit-sherlock! Every new player is pretty much bitch-slapped across the face by either the piss-poor "tutorials", the turn-of-the-millennium graphics, or other players who just want to kill you then complain about the lack of player base. 

    and

    Originally posted by Solar_Prophet
    The people attracted to that type of game play almost inevitably scare away nearly everyone else.

    both of this.

    True, I haven't played FoM since years, but even that time it suffered from the very same problem. Actually I don't give a crap about pvp and even less about ffa open pvp, so I wouldn't care less if FoM would die off alongside with the rest of those bunch (MO, DF, CU, etc. etc, you name it).

    But here's the catch... as I wrote in the other thread too, FoM had (has? dunno, I don't follow this latest resurrection attempt) a lot of interesting ideas and mechanics back in the days, it was a promising game. It really had a potential. And it failed again and again from the very same reason of the above, mis-targeting.

    See, those few idiots who are lured into every ffa pvp game are not interested in those mechanics at all, they just want to shoot everything that moves. And with it, as the Prophet wrote above they're chasing away all those folks who would enjoy and put a good use of those mechanics.

     

    OP wrote, "This game deserves it's excruciatingly slow death." I disagree, somewhat. This game deserves/needs some ruleset changes (dunno, corporate owned planets, flagged pvp, designated war zones, anything...) and it could still be a nice little game. It really had some nice ideas.

     

    I won't disagree that this game has some potentially neat ideas. It reminded me a bit of Star Wars Galaxies meets EVE at first even. This game just has absolutely no direction and most people would sooner kill you than explain anything to you.

    I can tolerate that in a game that uses a tried-and-true approach to a classic style of game - like Darkfall, or Mortal Online have tried. EVE also wasn't too far off since people generally knew the "spaceship" genre thanks to Wing Commander and the like.

    FoM, though presents almost a completely different type of game play from the norm, dangles it like a carrot on a stick, than proceeds to rape you from behind with the lack of any real explanation or ability to see what that game play actually is before you get pulverized by people with noting better to do.

    And it's sad that I'm the one saying this since I do enjoy the classic open-world PvP system from games like UO and even DF (for a while).

  • B1mbleB1mble WalesMember CommonPosts: 148

    The problem with this type of game is that they leave the players to police themselves.  In general, that means the asshats will invariably get away with ganking the crap out of anyone weaker than themselves... repeatedly.

    Open world pvp with full loot is fine, but if a developer is going to allow this then they should also create consequences for murder and robbery.

    Why not have bounty boards for wanted players?  Why not have players taken down in policed locations if they are wanted, even if it is only by a NPC police force?  Why not have sleazy outlaw towns where wanted players can hide and murder each other to their hearts content? Why can we not be rewarded with either status or exp for taking one of these idiots down?

    You see, I like the idea of bandits and marauders as part of the player base, but I would also like to see the case made for law abiding citizens to get payback and financial reward.

    With regard to FOM, I found it tedious and directionless, with nothing to give you the enthusiasm to continue.  It sort of dumped you out there, then expected you to join other players and factions to build your own content with sod all materials or guidance.  Fine if it was the only game in the world, but in the area of entertainment and killing time, there are far better out there.

    Apparently you can put a bounty on someones head but I never persued it far enough to find out how.

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Member UncommonPosts: 1,636

    Yeah, I'm surprised some of you got as far as you did lol.  

    Look, I cheer for Indie developers. I'm all about seeing a small team of people get together and try to create something that many others would say is "impossible" - and believe me, the words "producing a MMO" are almost unanimously closely followed by the words "it's impossible without millions of dollars and a huge team". I disagree with that. It's impossible to create a MMO on that level; you'll never compete with WoW and shouldn't even be *trying* to (see the story behind Kaos Wars's creators for an example of this). But if you focus on a niche, realize you'll be catering to a small but potentially very loyal group of players... you can do well for yourself. You can even grow over time if you play your cards right (see: Eve Online's history, particularly the earlier years). 

    Here's the thing though... When you're a small team, taking on a huge project, you have to do a lot of things *right*. And one thing you have to do is make your game as approachable as possible to your target niche. Sadly, so many small indie MMOs I've tried fall into the same trap, where their developers have lots of great ideas but completely bomb on the implementation.

    One sin committed by almost every indie MMO I've ever played - FoM included - is this idea that somehow "vague and labyrinthine design" == "challenging and deep gameplay"; sometimes it's called "hardcore". 

    In my brief time trying FoM, almost right out of the gate, I was slammed in the face with astonishingly poor design choices left and right. 

    Example: You want to open up the game's menu to find the options, or the Quit button.. etc. Those standard buttons every game comes with. What do you press first? 'ESC' right? Yeah, so did I. What happened when I pressed it? Nothing. Menu button somewher, maybe? Nope.

    I opened the character window, such as it is, thinking "maybe there's something in this interface I can click on".. but there wasn't. I was only able to exit the game by using alt-F4. That brought up a "proper" "Quit Game?" dialog. I had to laugh at this. Alt-F4 is *force quit*. It's a key combination to use when a program stops responding, and all other input fails. They chose to use this as their standard quit the game function. If there are other ways of doing it, I was unable to find them. Why?! Why would you do this?

    I pressed F1, thinking maybe there's a help screen. Nothing. Again... Why?

    Folks.. the game is supposed to be a challenge to play. The Interface/UI is supposed to be intuitive and logical.

    Before logging out, I decided to do some exploring, through "Brooklyn". Remember how I said "labyrinthine" earlier? That especially applies here. What the hell is with that city layout? I knew I had to go NW per a quest I'd just taken on to find some Vortex thingamajigger... With so many ways to go, I wanted to make sure I was taking at least *somewhat* the right direction. Decided to bring a larger map up... Pressed the universal "Open Map" key... 'M'. Nothing. Ctrl-M. Nothing. Tab? Nothing. Okay. So there's either no map at all, or they decided to bury it in the same place they put the proper Quit Game button.

    So I'm meandering Northwest-ish, winding all over the place, running through rooms and buildings and tunnels that serve no clear purpose other than "to be there", or to show off the artists' texture work, maybe... or perhaps to simulate the feeling of being a mouse in a maze. Normally I don't mind feeling somewhat lost in a new world. In fact, I usually enjoy it, because the worlds are interesting to explore. Not here. The environments are sterile, uninteresting, bland. Just turn after turn of meaningless, meandering corridors. No sense of purpose. Nothing interesting to see.

    I finally find the location where I'm supposed to go, indicated by a 'V' on the map. Cool. I see a sign that says my destination is on the second floor. Cool. I go up to the second floor and... no idea how to get to the actual spot. I seem to be able to run beneath it.. or perhaps over it... but I can't get to it. Apparently, in FoM, even the direction signs don't know where they're going.

    Again.. Why?

    That's one of the questions I kept asking myself as I attempted to figure out what the hell was going on. "Why? What were they thinking? Why would they design it like this? Why would they make these choices?"

    Honestly... I have to know, did the designers of this game ever attempt to put themselves in the shoes of a brand-new player? Did they explore the first steps of the game from the mindset that someone who had no idea what the game was or what it was about would? I can't believe they did. 

    Did they run around the city, with all its pointlessly winding turns and stairs and corridors and rooms.. and think "yeah, this is perfect"? 

    You know, I read a thread recently about this game.. I think it might have been on Reddit. Anyway, someone in the discussion mentioned how the creators of FoM were big Neocron fans, and decided to create a game inspired by it, but more the way they felt it should have been. I don't know if that's true or not. But, based on the city design alone, I can believe it,because the maze-like layout of FoM's Brooklyn reminded me a lot of my first attempts to figure out where I was going in Neocron. Difference is, in Neocron, they actually provide you much more accessible means to figure that all out on your own.

     

    Despite my obvious incredulity... I applaud the effort folks.. I really do. But really... if I can impart any advice what-so-ever.. go back and revisit your new player experience. Readdress your city layout - there is no reason for there to be that many twists and turns and alleys and dead ends that serve absolutely no purpose. I like the idea. I think you could have a strong, niche game on your hands.. But man, you need to go back and seriously revisit some of your design choices...

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