Apr 2nd 2010 4:30PM I'm reupping my subscription as soon as this change goes through.
Dec 7th 2009 11:45AM What this game needs is devs that don't think Foxbat is funny, or a good idea. The game is chock full of players trying to create toons that reflect the darker tone of modern comics and it is stuck in a bad 4 color parody. Truly a weird game to play as a result, because the tone is constantly clashing. I imagine all these tormented, trenchcoat clad vigilantes fighting a guy that shoots pingpong balls and ... it's a bit sad, really.
What this game needs even more is a Nemesis system that isn't the same missions with almost identical, partially-voiced dialogue. I can build a new Nemesis? great. They do the exact same things my old nemesis did? Lame.
Oh, and powers that actually work would be nice.
Aug 12th 2008 10:40PM Does it really make sense for a city full of mages on a war footing to allow unrestricted portaling or summoning in their city? Uh.... NO. I hope Blizz restricts this ruthlessly.
Jul 6th 2008 8:56PM The new gear will be indicative of skill when and only when the Arenas have a dressing room function that gears everyone out equally in Test Realm-level PvP epics, and Arena points are used to buy some of those epics for use outside the Arenas. Until then, all "bragging rights" are hollow at best.
Jun 30th 2008 10:08PM GGood to see Kalgan... I mean Blizz... addressing the underpowered and rez-deprived resto druid. it's about time this unplayably weak class was given a leg up . I for one welcome our new resto overlords.
May 25th 2008 7:58PM Flawed analogy: you are talking about acquiring individual skills. Sure, there are skills associated with adulthood in every culture: learning to drive, literacy, minimal math and social skills. But these are separate sets of often unrelated abilities, and people vary dramatically in their relative levels within those. Levels grossly simplify all this.
In order to look rationally at levels, you have to look at what they give you that skill- or attribute-based systems wouldn't (an easy yardstick, that's about it) and what they cost you (barriers to entry, to playing with your friends, treadmill style of play with less immersion and fun).
The use of levels as a defining element was useful to introduce large numbers of people to MMORPGs - but as the player base matures and their tastes become more sophisticated, level based systems will lose their attractiveness. The trend of the future in MMORPGS is customization - players want their avatar to be unique. This means more than just a skin or armor set, this comes down to their skills and abilities as well.
As much as AoC is touted as groundbreaking, as much as Warhammer is anticipated, they are still level-based three talent tree systems with tweaks to questing and pvp. WoW's engine under the hood of a sexy new chassis.
We gamers are still stuck on this level treadmill together and will be at least until Champions Online launches if not longer.
May 24th 2008 8:17PM I BG PvP a lot (just started Arenas) and raid casually (Kara). Improved BoM beats the alternative because of the reverse synergy with Sanctified Judgement. I spec 5/0/56, Armory me if you like under Dezrael. Every single point spent in that build has utility for PvP. Getting Precision, which I could get through gear and gems anyway, at the cost of 5 talent points in Redoubt or worse yet, extra points of armor (a diminishing returns stat) that I will rarely if ever use either in a raid or PvP, just makes no sense to me.
May 24th 2008 5:26PM I think it's impossible to look clearly at this problem without recognizing that the problem is not just the gear issue but the level issue as well. Levels are absurd and arbitrary. What should distinguish your character should be their appearance, their relationships, their skills, their attributes, their style of play. WoW, and other MMORPGs, address many of these in cursory fashion or not at all.
Every single level 70 player of a given race and class in World of Warcraft or its ilk has the exact same base attributes (barring what are usually rather minor Talent modifiers). Every single one of them who has bothered to visit a trainer, spend a few silver and whack a few dozen mobs has the exact same weapon skill (again, barring a few minor and arbitrarily restricted class and racial modifiers). Why is that? Why even have those skills at all?
If you're not the right level you can't pick up and use a given item? Think about that for a bit. Gear centric and level centric thinking based on D&D, which is really the Microsoft of RPGs (great financial success, near-monopoly conditions in the market, grotesquely flawed once you get under the hood), are what is holding this kind of game back.
May 24th 2008 3:27PM The entire concept of levels is purely there as an insultingly Pavlovian reward cycle. That there are massive flaws in any game based on them is something the designers of pen and paper RPGs realized in the 1970s. This is the negative flip side of Gary Gygax and Dungeons & Dragons' legacy: elitism, exclusivity, barriers to entry and fun, characters defined not by what they can do but by their gear (think about how retarded that is for a few minutes).
There are exceptions to this of course: EVE is skill (more accurately, flight-time)-based; Champions Online will be point-buy. I think it should be a requirement for every single MMORPG designer, aspiring or otherwise, to download Steve Jackson Games' GURPS Lite free pdf and start doing some thinking about what kind of world they are making simply with the character code.
I've read a lot of words on the subject of virtual world building that are focused on the gee-whiz window dressing, but the fact is that the single biggest factor in how your world develops and feels to play in is that same character code, the (mostly unseen) rules, and the balancing (or unbalancing) effect of your gear.
Personally, I am tired of living in virtual worlds where your gear is more important than your skills, attributes, spells and abilities. Virtual worlds need to be more like Grand Theft Auto 3 or 4 and less like Dungeons and Dragons in order to progress to the "next level".
May 19th 2008 8:03PM The fix ("locked" gear-based matchings, referred to above) is so easy, and so obvious, and Blizzard so clearly not a company composed of morons, that the only conclusion is that the devs are reluctant to get rid of such exploits because they are indulging in them themselves.