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What do I mean by this? So many games just are not very impressive these days. My tastes are, I don't believe, so odd and demanding that no games can satisfy. So I am left wondering, why? Why do so many games rank so low on my standards?
What are the standards that I abide by? It’s a simple process actually and I’ll list them below.
1. Graphics – While not looking for an extravagant world where clothes dance in the wind, I can’t justify why so many games are going with a cartoony look. Games that will force a user to update their system never rank high in my list. When EverQuest, not EverQuest 2, came out, I was thrilled with the graphics. Then came World of Warcraft, I used the same video card that I had used for EQ, the venerable ATI 9600 Pro (without the Catalyst Control Center). Next, I tried EQ2…Oh man. So after swapping to the XFX 8600 GTS (a wonderful toy indeed) and its 730MHZ clock and 2.2GHZ RAM, I was able to play the game at nearly the highest settings. But EQ2 is a far cry from EQ; pardon me, I digress from my graphics topic. The point being, yes, many are graphics driven players. I played the original Final Fantasy, but, I would like to leave that behind and not play a game straight from the Saturday line up of Disney Channel. Yes, I prefer life type over life like. This means, if the character is a goblin that I am playing, I don’t need the big beady cutesy eyes. I like to see wrinkles on faces, I like to see capes, I like to see a character that looks older than an elementary school kid as a hero, or at least an option not to look like it. Give me armor that looks like armor, give me a sword that has a dragon hilt and it’s tongue is the blade. Give me an enemy that’s not a mushroom with fists and whose mouth is salivating and kilt blows in the wind as it comes into battle.
2. Character Options– Since when did it become ok to have more options in Madden football games for character creation than in an RPG? Look at the options in many games and one will see, you mostly have around 5 options, more if you are lucky. Some, you cannot select if you are male or female. Others, if you are an Assassin, you are female and a Warrior you are a male. Geez, who would have thought that there may be a male Assassin? What is a game that has good options? Oblivion, unfortunately, it is not an MMO. What is better than choice? Yet, some do not like choice, which is fine; once again, Oblivion comes with a Random button, nothing faster. We all, hopefully, like to be original. I like to know that some scar I pick for my face I likely will not see in abundance when I login for the first time. I started a game once and found that I was a group of sextuplets who all decided to start the same day. Now, I am an only son, I know that I don’t have lost brothers out there. I want to be UNIQUE! I name my characters unique and I refuse to be similar if I can help it. I want to be a “one” not “one of many”. I am a male; don’t tell me I have to create a new account to play a female character. Don’t tell me that male assassins did not exist. There were female warriors and they weren’t all called Valkiries. Enough with the “Minimalizam”.
3. Game-PlayInterface – We have all seen it before, bad interfaces and bad controls. But seriously, the ages of ClickFest should be over by now. Let’s be honest, it should have ended with the Diablo series. If you are a ClickFest fan, there is a solution; designers should implement an “If you choose” option such as World of Warcraft (aka WoW). You have the option to make the game a “click to go” if you would so like. I like the maneuvering in WoW because it makes you think and gain game immersion. You are a rogue and you stun the enemy, now, maneuver behind the mob in less than five seconds and get a good backstab in. I am a key pounding fanatic. Most games these days are WASD, W is up, A is left , S is down and D is right. Jumping is a must and auto-run is a carpel tunnel saver. Let me jump on the roofs of building and walk between posts. For the love of God, no more selling tents. Trade on a person to person basis, use an Auction House (AH). An AH is a lifesaver, nothing worse than coming in town and LAG. Don’t tell me my system is the issue, its built by my hands for gaming and soon will sport another XFX 8600 GTS in SLI. Every aspect of the system is tracked on a second screen display. Yes, I am a computer nerd big deal. Don’t talk systems until you build them for clients by hand and never have bought or thought of buying a computer system. Once again, I digress. I need to have control. Let me tell the camera what to do, let me run on a rope across buildings if I have the accuracy. Can I walk in a town without having to avoid to play “Avoid the Noid” with the tents or booths? Can I get a Guild Hall? Or a Home? I want to craft stuff and show it off or sell it. I want to craft real things not garbage that is a step down from gear that I find on a rat or skeleton. Why the heck would I craft otherwise? Let me do things that people didn’t think of, how about a horse or animal rancher? Fletching? How about being a spy? I mean, let’s make things interesting once again.
4. PVPPVE - Lets make this clear, I hate PVP. But some love it. Seems that most games are embracing it. Great, big deal, I still hate it. Being a gamer, I know many that also hate it. I was at a client’s home once and her 15 year old was running around Runescape PK-ing and laughing at people. People that have done nothing against or to his character. He just liked killing the helpless. Ok, not all PVP is like that, but to me, it’s pointless. Here is a thought, make a PVP and PVE server and, here is the kicker, on the PVE, change the scenario a bit. The factions are teamed up against a stronger and more numerous enemies than on the PVP server. Let the computer determine when to raid the factions randomly. Create massive battlefields against one common enemy. Towns created and destroyed; such things that would give the PVE world more realism that it would lack without the PVP aspect. Nothing better than a more advanced AI to battle against to unite the tribes. Now I know that PVP adds to realism, people kill things and sometimes unprovoked. This is why I agree that PVP should still be implemented for those that adore it, battlegrounds and arenas seem to be the best bet for those in PVE environments. This way, one can see who the better is without sacrificing the common goal of defeating an advanced AI.
5. Weapon Options – This is another MAJOR thing in my annoyances. How is it that many games have one or two weapons for a class and or level? No, this is not fun at all. Can I craft my weapons? Is this crafted weapon at least equal to the gear that I can find? How is my Warrior limited to swords? Why is my Mage only using a staff? Weapon Proficiencies is a great way to limit the usability of weapons. EQ had a great system, is the weapon over your level? No problem, you can use it but at a fraction of its capabilities until you get to the correct level. This way, you get a great weapon, give it to a lower level character and it give them something to use while looking forward to its full usage. But by that time, they usually find something better. Of course, don’t do this for all weapons since that would be boring. Of the many things I did not like about EQ2, I did like the crafting system. It made you think about what you were doing. I did not like the end result of many of the weapons since I felt they were lacking in creativity. We all know that inserting gems in weapons and enchanting weapons is a wonderful thing. This should be implemented as much as possible, matter of fact, how about designs on weapons? Why not have the crafting include the design of the weapon and stats that start from a base and can be tweaked? Let me explain. Say you have a Sword of Bonking. You select the material Iron for the blade. Now you decide to craft the sword and since you are crafting it, it takes your surname, “Vvlad’s IronSword of Bonking”. Iron since you used Iron instead of Crystal. The difference being that Iron has less enchanting capabilities than Crystal, but Iron was easy to find. You design the shape by selecting cutout shapes that you have learned and selecting a hilt that you have learned. Next, you select whether to keep the default stats or subtract from one to add to another, then you begin to craft the weapon. When finished and depending on how well crafted, the weapons level is shown. Let’s say that the weapon was crafted superbly. The sword would have all the intended stats and gives the creator an option to select a +1 to a stat on the blade. Now that is a crafting system I’d love to get my hands on.
6. MissionsQuest system – Grinding does get boring doesn’t it? What makes a good mission? Anarchy Online’s missions were enjoyable. WoW got old, but still, a nice system. Let’s be honest, groups can suck. Why can I not have an instance that can be solo-able and up depending on the group strength? I like random missions, I hate running through hell and high-water and forget who gave me the mission. Oh yeah, I really hate that. But less realistic, there are some games where you don’t have to turn in the mission. Well, that’s just not right. Raids? Well, I am not a fan of Raids at all, why should I get 16 people to take down one place? Tone it down, tone down the weapons, tone down the Mobs, make separate missions for solo and groups. Matter of fact, specialized class missions and character sex missions, even Race specific missions would work wonders. Why? Because the game would not be the same for all characters. The more a game can differ when you play adds a great thing called Replayability, it is essential. For endgame, make 3-4 random events that take you down 3-4 paths to 3-4 endings. Make it so they can be changed at a time in between and only one path at a time. Not all missions should be run and kill, or run and get. How about, place roses on a remote grave that leads to another mission due to the nice act? Faction Mission, wonderful things, most suck to get the faction, but in the end it is worth it, for the most part. How about speed missions? Defeat this place and get a time. That time is recorded in a Hall of Heroes that others can read and challenge for bragging rights and gold. If group A defeated an instance in 45 minutes, then group B can challenge that instance and has to beat the instance in less than 45 minutes to win. The challenger must bet a certain amount that they can beat the challenge and if they lose they lose the challenge money. The higher the challenge, the more the money. While we are at it, add a gambling system that would allow non-participants to bet on the challenge as well. The group that wins names goes in the Book of Heroes for that instance and every time a challenger loses the challenge they gain gold that the loser had put toward the challenge, and of course any money that they had gambled on. Such additions would make for a more interesting mission system.
All in all, I know I am asking for too much from the gaming industry. Such a system would have to have been in the works for years now and could never incorporate all of these ideas. To many, I am merely another gamer that is bubbling with ideas for a gaming industry. Well, to those I say where are your ideas? What do you want? Why should you not have it if you are willing to pay for it? I would like a game that I can lose myself in once again and stay up all night without getting bored. I want to anticipate the next level. I want to ogle weapons that I can’t use. I want to craft awesome Swords of Bonking and show them off in my in game home. I have ideas and dreams of my perfect game, too many to list even here. I am a gamer, what can I say, I want it all.
Jatwaa - WINNTECH