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Shut Up. We're Talking.
Host: Darren and Karen
Darren and Karen present this commentary podcast covering recent topics found within the MMORPG Blogging and Podcasting community.

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Shut Up. We're Talking #74
Sun, 21 Nov 2010 20:22:45 +0000 [download/play]



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Previous Episodes
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Episode 74 Discussion Thread

'EQ2' by Miffy
Submitted on 2010-11-21 22:08:22 CST
See I'm against instances and loading screens, anything in general that breaks up the world and your immersion. When I play an MMO, I want it to be a world that I feel like I'm living in. Star Wars Galaxies gave me this in 2003 and I felt excited every day to log in and just live inside there. I spent hours just hanging out in the cantina each day talking to people. I just loved how it felt more of a world with rules, rather than a game where it's a series of maps and instances.

For me EQ2 never had that because it was zoned to hell. However in beta there was one server and it had each zone cloned up to of 6 times because there were so many people. It was amazing because it was so crowded and everything was so group focused. I remember the forest ruins in Qeynos (I think that's the name) and it was impossible to solo. So everyone was happy to group and do it together and it was so hard that we wiped as a group often in there. That was an amazing experience for me because I've never played an MMO like that, not even EQ or SWG had that difficulty and they weren't so group focused.

I loved EQ2 for that and well WoW came along and changed what everyone thought an MMO should be. No one played EQ2 and SOE's reaction was to clone WoW and make the game easier, instead of take it it's own direct and fix the problems. Now you can solo every mob in that place at once and not feel threatened. It's just taken the enjoyment I got out of the game and games in general. We're seeing this shift to making games for everybody instead of for a genre in a way. Now an RTS has to be made so everyone can play it, not just so RTS lovers enjoy it. That's just an example but we're seeing it everywhere. Soon with MMOs they'll all have the fast paced twitch based combat and the old turn based one will be gone.


Also I didn't think taking out the starter Island was dumbed down. I just thought the new start zones are too easy, they don't ever force you to group like the old ones. So now everyone wants to solo throughout the whole game and they never get used to grouping. They'll blame the low population for no grouping, but that is a design flaw...

Why are there so many servers when they can clone zones? Why not just have one like the beta server?

Why have linear level progression? We all know the world becomes top heavy.

Why haven't SOE fixed the ugly Human character models? I remember the Human female being changed so she looks like a fat druggy, it still hasn't been fixed since beta.


+ You mention guild halls.... SWG had the worlds totally seamless with player cities and housing and the content dotted around the planets in a non linear fashion. So you had players who just joined the game doing content veterans have only just gotten around to. Everything was populated and because player cities weren't instanced the players were all in the world and you got to see everyone.

SWG Pre CU is an MMO with so many good ideas. It was ruined by LA and SOE though, so we'll never see anyone try to copy it because people think train wreck. However you look back at all the features and it made so much sense, they just didn't do a good job at managing it all.

On to the new WoW dungeon LFG tool.

When I first played that game I remember grouping with people to do the story quests leading up to the DM instance. What I loved about WoW back then is instances took up real world space and had real world entrances and exits, you weren't teleported magically to them.

Now however you don't have that experience of being in the world and finding people to group up with to do the quests to lead up to it. Blizzard have put them quests at the entrance (for Cataclysm) and the LFG tool allows you to enter then instance from anywhere. Now all I see is people not even bothering with the world and just levelling up in the instances.

The same thing happened with Battlegrounds and where originally we had to wait outside them and we met lots of people and had fun. They didn't impact world PVP too much because you had to travel to them. However came the ability to join them from anywhere and all of a sudden world PVP died and the population dropped.


Maybe I'm just sad and love my MMOs to be virtual worlds like how the old EQ felt to me. I just haven't recaptured that feeling since the original WoW launched in 2004. Every MMO for me has been dumbed down and ruined. The only one left where the developers have not dumbed it down is EVE Online. However I can't stand how the game has no fun content. I love the game to bits but the PVE is like SWG mission terminals, it becomes so repetitive.

Oh well I'll wait for SWTOR and when that disappoints me I'll probably wait for Planetside 2, though SOE will probably turn that from 300+ player battles to 16 vs 16 instances or something.

What's funny is I thought as tech got better the game worlds would become more realistic. Instead they've gone back to being games and have gotten smaller with less innovation.



'Miffy' by Token
Submitted on 2010-11-21 23:32:43 CST
PlanetSide 2 will be amazing, and it will be huge battles. Last week Darren said he believes in God, I believe in PlanetSide 2.


'RE: Great to be MMO Fan' by Teviko
Submitted on 2010-11-22 19:13:26 CST
Darren, did you pop a pessimism pill before recording? You pretty much shot, killed and buried just about every point Justin brought up. :D


'@Teviko' by darrenl
Submitted on 2010-11-22 20:41:49 CST
...lol...possibly. I guess I'm too suspicious of overly optimistic articles to begin with. I don't argue with the premise that it's good to be a gamer, but I think each of those points that Justin brought up has an equally dark side to it.

...I promise I'll be more optimistic next show. Just for you. ;)



'Thanks for proving the point' by Anjin
Submitted on 2010-11-23 19:53:22 CST
From now on every time someone complains about WoW not having player and guild housing, I'm going to point them to your podcast. I know people like their housing, in EQ2 especially, but it did empty out the world. At least in WoW people still have to cross paths in the various cities.

I'm sure someday a virtual world will be built that accomodates reasonable in-world housing, but instanced housing is a design dead-end.

Only 25 minutes into the cast, so I may be back with more comments.



'Dynamic/Random Raids' by SmakenDahed
Submitted on 2010-12-03 18:38:12 CST
I seem to remember back in the original release of EQ2 there were variant raid bosses. I vaguely remember the big King in Permafrost and a couple of the dragons you needed to kill to get at that last dragon (Darathar? original release raiding), would sometimes be Wizard class instead of some more mundane class.

I can remember raids crumbling because the King would Ice Comet the tank and there was nothing they could do to keep the tank alive. Is that still around? I'm going to guess not because Stephen and Karen are both big EQ2 raiders.

I can only assume people complained about that so they pulled it.