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  • Pre-Alpha Testers Being Invited in for a Looksee at a Literally Growing Game - Pantheon: Rise of the

    Nyctelios said:
    Even that I love to see this project progress I really don't like this "feedback from payers" approach. Game testers followed procedures and were qualified for the job.. Those people just paid.
    The whole Pay-to-Test angle reminds me of an old Benny Hill bit (Americanized here).

    "I just got a job in porn at $20 a day."
    "$20 a day?  That's pretty cheap."
    "It was all I could afford."
  • So you are happy with the direction It's going?

    DMKano said:
    Maurgrim said:
    This are a question for those who started the MMOs back in late 90s and early 00s.

    What did you think back then how the future of MMOs would evolve and how much right and wrong are you today?

    I started with UO in 1998 and EQ1 in march 1999.

    Other than improving graphics I didnt have a clue how the gameplay would improve, but I thought that mmorpgs would move away from simple and antiquated "hitpool" and "damage" die roll mechanics to something that resembles real life simulation (when you punch someone or shoot somone in real life, there are no hitpoint bars or damage numbers)

    I always thought that real life physics, ecosystems and organism simulations would be what mmorpgs would be like - not anytime soon due to massive compute power that would require.

    So completely wrong.

    But I also had no idea how my lifestyle would change and how much family life with work and kiddo schedules would change how I play games.

    Never thought about that either back in 98/99 - I always assumed that I would have most of my day to devote to gaming.

    Was completely wrong too. 

    I also never considered how I would change as a person and that I would lose desire to spend 10 hours raiding which at one point back in early 2000s I thought was amazing.

    Zero desire to ever do that again today.

    So again very wrong.

    Am I happy with the direction that its going?

    Well gaming is going on all directions, so yes I am very happy. There is a larger variety of games being made by more people today than at any other point in history.

    I am having more fun gaming today than back in 98/99 due to so many different games.

    Never been a better time
    than right now.

    There's a lot that's gone off-track, in my opinion.  It's disappointing, actually.  The scope of the earlier games like UO and EQ1 were far greater in the things the developers attempted to put into the games.  Subsequent games have been steadily removing systems and functions, making the world less and less interactive.  Games have consistently adapted the same abstractions that were present in D&D in 1972, without attempting to use the computer to explore new ways to represent people in hazardous situations.

    It appears that instead of using the computer as a tool to bring new concepts to the RPG environment, it was only seen as a cash cow, a platform for more of the same.  It could be argued that there have been more advancements in how a business can make money from an MMORPG than actually how to make an MMORPG better.

    I expected more progress in the form of AI to populate these world's with more life-like NLC inhabitants.  Factions warring independent of player input, dynamically attacking, defending, and counterattacking one another.  A world alive that the player is dropped into to play a role in.

    AI is another primary area where games have failed to deliver.  Gamers seem to want games to emulate real-world eco-systems.  Why haven't we seen packs of wolves adapt to players attempts to hunt them?  Machine learning and neural networks have been important areas in computer science since the 1980s, but we've yet to see these types of technologies improving how the computerized opponents act, react, and behave.

    Players are still stuck dealing with static content, which makes for lackluster worlds.  Mrs. Johnsten always needs you to make a new scarf for her, which requires somehow getting wool.  Captain Anders will always direct a player to visit the outlands to battle the bandits disrupting trade.  Farmer Mycroft always needs someone (everyone) to kill 10 rats for him.  Events and actions within the world are scripted (occasionally badly), with predictable results.  New content is dependent on developers creating it.  Too often, this requires yet another bit of writing, once again focused on an individual, and plopped into the world via an expansion or (more infrequently) a major patch.  Dynamic generation of content is still a distant pipe-dream, while manual content creation is a restraint to the genre.

    Where are encounters that don't require dialog?  A pack of wolves roam into the woods near Farmer Mycroft and discover snacking on his hogs, then roam off once repelled?  Living things aren't always predictable and aren't slaves to a respawn timer.  There are no coincidental events in MMORPGs.  Or non-repeatable events.  Life is full of them.

    So, I was extremely wrong on where I thought MMORPGs would go.  Problem is, I still believe that it's a reasonable path to follow in the future.  Enough of rebuilding the basics, let's see new ideas and elements take advantage of the computing power in the servers and desktops to really move the genre forward.
  • New Industry 'Think Tank' to Tackle Issues Including Loot Boxes - News

    Mendel said:
    Interesting.  But once I look beyond the moralistic aspects of this type of committee, what companies are going to take actions on these findings?  How are they going to change games in response to this committee, or is this just an industry catch-all that game companies can point to and say 'they said it was okay' or 'we did not find any problems with a particular practice'.

    Maybe I'm just in an extra-cantankerous mood today, but I'm always skeptical when a group steps forward to regulate the actions and thoughts of others.
    No need to be suspicious. This is an industry think tank designed to put together solutions to the current problem... the angry mob. They will come up with best practices, and white papers that will help developers avoid this in the future. Companies don't like to be seen as the bad guy, and with proper practices, they will not be.
    I wonder what companies are waiting on the results of this committee, and which companies will incorporate these recommendations and practices into future products?  My guess is that these guidelines will be fall in line far behind 'profitability' as priorities go.  If it makes money, then they'll see about conforming with these standards and practices, but only as far as it doesn't hurt the bottom line.

    The net effect of this may simply be a complete waste of time.

  • What modern features would you like/accept in Pantheon?

    I'm not opposed to a fast travel system, like DAoC's horse routes.  I really don't want to spend hours just travelling from point A where I had fun to point B where I can have more fun.  I wouldn't mind a system of convenient portals (like the timed portals at Wizard spires in EQ1) or a series of linked portals that cost something (coin or wait time).  And what's wrong with a one-way portal or two?

    I'm not even averse to some of the other modern features that are frequently cited as 'evil' by opponents of modern game features.
    • I'd like to see a 'secondary hub', a neutral place (like EQ1's PoK) where players can gather away from the starting area.  This is likely to happen in any game, so why not design it from the start?  Put banks, vendors, crafting stations and auction merchants in places where players will congregate, convenient to places where they will operate for an extended time.
    • I like auction houses, but not any of the current implementations.  I certainly don't like making it advantageous to have a dedicated character (and possibly a dedicated account) to allow a single player to simultaneously hunt and sell.  That seems to take a pretty major decision ("hunt for XP/Loot" or "sell") out of the players' hands, at least in my mind.  (The nostalgia of East Commons tunnel pretty much incorporated that decision -- hunt or sell).
    • I'm a fan of community or world events / quests.  The idea of stumbling on some ruckus that an orc commander is stirring up appeals to me.  Just don't put these events on overly short or long timers.  These shouldn't be a primary source for XP/Coin/Loot, but shouldn't be something that only a few people experience.  A 3 day + 1-60 hour repeat cycle should be a reasonable compromise.  (Would really love to see player-made events added to this cycle too).
    These are pretty much the major 'modern' game features that I'd be happy to see in any game.
  • Pantheon vs Wow Classic

    This will be something interesting to watch.  Both are going after that same ill-defined market, the old-school gamer.  WoW could put a severe crunch on Pantheon's potential player base, or it could be as @DKLond said, that the old content of vanilla WoW will exhaust the players to the point of desertion.  Pantheon will have content that the masses haven't played before.  How much of an overlap is there between these two games?  I've got no solid information on that; I don't think anyone does.  It wouldn't surprise me for the ultimate market of these two games being those who missed out on the 'classic' WoW or EQ1 experiences.