Marietta, GA
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  • Do You Support Full Loot? a Columns at

    Full loot, open world, free-for-all PvP?  No thanks.

    Despite the argument that this 'builds community' or 'models the real world', it really does neither.  Chaos doesn't work in society, and only works in games because there are no consequences.  Kill you neighbor and take his stuff?  That's a prescription for many years in jail, where you can't log to another character or account and play another character.

    Enjoy your gankfest.
  • Crowfall: PvPers Need PvEers

    I hoping that Crowfall will offer a really revolutionary deal -- they pay me to play!  I'm a target.  I know it.  I prefer PvE over PvP.  The best way for a developer to stock their world with sheep (me) to be slaughtered at will, they're going to have to have a business model that encourages me to play.  Let's start the negotiations at $1,000 US per hour.  I am flexible.

    Other than that kind of innovative business model, I think I will not be anywhere near this one.
  • Five Things MMO Fans Need to Get Over - The List at

    Bill, I think you may wish to retract that entire editorial.  If everyone actually does as you say and drops these five topics, you might as well close the forums entirely; there would be little left to discuss.
  • Perfect World Celebrates 15M Registered Players - Neverwinter -

    There's also no way to 'unregister'.  I know I'd love for them to forget about me.
  • New Brad McQuiad Interview "I want to make Worlds. Not games."

    DMKano said:
    goboygo said:

    How does this benefit the gamer if we keep getting crap games that still survive.  It doesn't.   If the game isn't good enough to warrant an upfront cost and a sub, it should fail and go away.  The next developer will then know they have to do better or don't bother.  I'd rather have one amazing MMO every 5 to 10 years than 20 pieces of shit every year.

    You are under the mistaken assumption that anyone is looking for gamer's benefit. That's not how business works.

    Who makes the product - that's who is benefiting - in the case - the question should be - "how does this benefit the game companies" - as that's the only question the game companies are asking, "the benefit for the gamer" - that's never brought up, because it's not their concern.

    The focus is - "how do we get the consumers to spend money on our product" - that's the bottom line of any business.

    Again - you are looking at this from the gamer's perspective - why? Because gamers are not the ones that run game companies - so your wants and needs of "wanting to have most games shut down and only few survive" - why would any business do this? 

    It would be like going to  movie companies and telling them to only make a few great movies and skip 100s of mediocre movies - should the movie industry listen to an outsider who has no investment, and no direct input in making any movies?

    Get real - your needs are completely irrelevant to the industry as whole.

    Movies just like games are made to make money - that's what drives the whole industry.

    Would it be nice to only have awesome quality product - yes it would be - is this in any way shape or form realistic - nope, so why even go there?

    How come you get away with using " your " instead of " you're " ? 

    Maybe because everything else I spell is wrong ?.... Only kidding, I don't care :) 
    Possibly because his 'your' was correctly used.
  • Chronicles of Elyria - A Delayed Concern -

    CrazKanuk said:
    MaxBacon said:
    Iselin said:
    An MMORPG in 18 months...

    Nah. No one could be that naive. So I reject the overoptimism and reality bubble ideas. Not a single person in this planet who has ever even played an MMO, much less someone attempting to develop one could possibly delude themselves into thinking that this would be doable in 18 months.

    There's only one plausible explanation and that is that it always was a deliberate deception.
    That's the same vibe I got from CoE, that was why I did not back it. It was the too much, too soon and for a small amount of money.

    People should be more accepting of crowd funded projects without demanding release dates from the beginning, allowing for hype trains being driven the same way they are by the big publishers and titles that do rarely give dates before the release is close. 

    People want realistic estimates, but if they do conservative estimates that mean a long time that drives off interest pretty quickly, so if people do not benefit that then the viable strategy is continuously stretch delivery dates to be as soon as possible.
    The problem of securing funding for a long-term project is the developer's, not the consumers.  We shouldn't give them a pass just because they're asking us for money directly to fund the project; that's asking to be blindly taken advantage of.

    Totally agree! The biggest issue with KS MMORPGs is that they are nearly never completely fan-funded. Therefore, we are relying on the developers to secure additional funding to make it happen, unless you start with a literal MVP, but nobody would stick around and pay for something that isn't full of features anyway.  So the idea of funding an MMO via crowdfunding is hilariously flawed to begin with. Whether it be an industry vet or a complete noob, nobody has hit dates particularly well in this genre. Don't fool yourself into thinking that some aren't given a pass, though.

    That being said, there are also some that would have you believe that this is something that is solved with experience and fancy gantt charts. However, there are other projects with very experienced industry vets which are years off the rails as well, so I'd say that there is also a lot of over-simplification that takes place here as well. Either that, or we've got a metric fuck ton of AWESOME project managers here who are spending their time posting about their own greatness when they could be making millions by solving what appears to be an industry epidemic. For the life of me, I simply cannot figure out how someone would accept a gantt with a 12-month allowance for the inability to find talent, on top of the actual schedule for the hiring process, lol. I'm not a PM, though, so I'm sure there is a button in MS Project for that :wink:
    Wonderful bit of discussion.

    Project estimation is one of the most difficult things to do right.  Ultimately, even the most draconian COCOMO model is totally dependent on the skill and expertise of the person(s) evaluating the elements.  Entirely too many businesses, not only the game industry, sees this aspect of project management a complete waste of time.  "Paralysis by analysis" is a phrase commonly used to describe the entire project management process (and any other attempt to "define the problem before coding it").   A good model can't produce 100% accurate results, but it can provide more reasonable guidelines than just pulling a date out of the corporate hat (usually belonging to some marketing or accounting guy).

    But that gets into another thing that bothered me when I was involved in the IT industry -- companies (and managers) that manage by deadlines.  Workloads, especially for creative endeavors, don't always follow repeatable, predictable patterns.

  • Adding the ability to choose your religion in an MMO

    I'm a believer in religion in MMORPGs, if for nothing else than an alternative system to combat and crafting.  But I don't think allowing the player to create in-game religions is the way to go.

    I've always looked at religion in games as something that grows out of the lore provided by the developers.  'Religion' could function as a mega-faction, or a specialized magical healing sect, or something else entirely.  Characters could earn rewards within the religion by participating in special festivals or contests or quests.  Characters could gain status and even become leaders within the religious ranks, allowing them to influence actions and goals of the religion.

    A pantheon of gods, like the Greeks or even like EQ1, could serve as the model, with characters 'worshiping' (or not) all gods as they choose.  Much like factions in EQ1, each God had festivals and holy days and rituals and agendas.  Each had special benefits that could be enacted by the devout worshiper (in exchange for Piety, similar to mana in many MMORPGs), such as extra long personal buffs, magical transportation or a service to send items to the character's home.   I'd even restructure the magical healing system to take major medical out of player, especially resurrection.  A meddlesome pantheon of gods could also be used to interject global events into the game world.  If Pald the Ocean God decided that his followers should try to kill all earth demons, the temples and oracles favoring Pald would spread the word to higher rank followers, who could gain bonus rewards (XP, money, piety, favor, whatever) for fighting these creatures.

    Religion could be more than a role playing choice.  It could be an abstract system alongside melee, magic and crafting, and with a dose of creativity, it could help provide a means for the developers to interject periodic dynamic events into an otherwise static game world.
  • Next Pantheon Stream this Friday

    The video was nice, with a few caveats.
    • The presenting system seemed to have the local contrast and gamma set a bit too high.  This made some of the effects, like the beech tree in the sunlight wash out, and the glowing monolith seem too bright.  I can't tell if that was an issue of the presenting system (and graphics card) or something in the underlying code.  Either way, the images caused too much eye strain to play for a long duration.   My eyes are not the best, but I had to look away.
    • Stylistically, I thought that all of streaming images were exceptional.  But I don't know that the 'older' screenshots weren't more 'playable'.  VR is definitely going for a photo-realistic world, and they are coming along nicely with that.
    • The performance on the presentation screen was good, but what happens when the game is seen on a 'lesser' graphics card.  Typically, the way to improve performance on older cards is to turn features off.  I don't know that I would have been able to play with the shadows turned down.  It begs me ask if the player needs to turn down one of the graphics features for performance issues, will the game be acceptable to look at?  My gut feeling at this stage is that anyone without bleeding-edge hardware need not apply.  Minimal system performance seems to be something else on the pile of 'things to do'.
    • I liked the appearance of the water, but it seemed more incomplete than anything the video contained.  The rippling effects were very nice, but are these going to tie into the weather? Ripples and clouds should move in the same direction.  Where are the waves, both blown by wind and created by contact with solid objects (piers, plants, support posts and people)?  If VR is going for a photo-realistic world, the current water would seem very out of place, not so much with the look, but with the performance.  Weather seems to be important to Pantheon, and there's nothing that interacts with water more than the weather.  I'd love to see what they choose to do about wind and rain effects on the water.  And what about some love for moving water as opposed to a still pond?
    Visually, the game is improving to make a much more photo-realistic world than we have had at our disposal previously.  The issues I pointed out here seem very 'fixable' (as long as the developers are aware of these issues.  Fortunately, I just pointed them out).

    Now, let's work on losing the archaic models for a snake that moves as much sideways as it does forwards and the hovering, flapping bat.  Neither seems to match the goal of photo-realistic.

    Progress, yes, but a long, long way to go.  I'm guessing at least 30 man-years more work on the graphics alone.  Time to staff up even more.
  • One company to bind them all . . .

    Mendel said:
    Kyleran said:
    I still think it's doable, and if I won a major lottery any time soon I think I've found something I might try to pursue rather than try to build a better MMO.

    I'd hold out for multiple major lottery wins.  My personal lifetime goal is winning 3 non-shared mega lottery jackpots.  I'm getting close ... I'm only 3 short.
    lol ... when you get to 2 short, message me. I have a once-in-a-life-time investment opportunity that you do not want to miss :P
    I'll add you to the queue.
  • Starting Cities

    Dullahan said:
    There are drawbacks to your suggestion too, you just don't agree with them. There are different classes and races and backstory for a reason. In a role playing game, one might argue they are rather important. You're suggestion is that they offer a way of minimizing that.
    Ultimately, what it comes down to is what writers call the 'Suspension of Disbelief'.  Here, classes, races and backstory are presented as a consistent lore.  But the mechanisms of starting (character creation and pregame decisions) present a different 'lore'.  Both sides ask the audience to believe along certain lines.  In this case, the in-game lore and the pregame mechanisms are slightly out of alignment.  Neither is right; neither is wrong.

    I don't think @Kyleran is asking for anything world-shattering, just a simple mechanism added to the pregame decisions -- where does my character start?  It really doesn't break the in-game lore at all.  If anything, it could produce a more rich and vast experience by showing a non-homogeneous society.  Yes, there may be orcs living among the humans.  That isn't asking any more than a human player playing an orc or troll character.

    I think there's a bigger reason why VR *might* actually allow variable starting locations.  "Separate but equal" didn't work well in life, why try to make it work in a game?  The in-game lore that presents segregation might turn out to be an antiquated idea that a sensitive section of the gaming population doesn't agree with.  I'm sure that VR doesn't want their game to be a political volleyball that fuels social unrest.  Bad for the business image.