Oct 27th 2010 7:52AM Well said... I am also an "alone together" player. I do group and find it fun, but probably adventure on my own 80% of the time. On the other hand I think it is great if games create good incentives to group, or at least make it easier.
Sep 27th 2010 1:49PM I wonder if the numbers issue hasn't been warped by WoW. This is an industry where there are several reasonably successful games, but one of them is > 20 times larger than the rest. In other industries a game like EVE Online, which has grown consistently throughout its lifetime would be the model others would follow, but again WoW just casts a shadow over it all and sucks up all the oxygen. I'm not knocking WoW or anything, Blizzard worked hard to get where they are.
As for me, if a game draws enough income to keep it going (pay for further dev/content, pay for ongoing expenses), then I think it can be called a success. Look at ATITD, it has a tiny subscription base (compared to other games) but it keeps going and the players enjoy it, how can that not be a success?!
Jul 27th 2010 9:08AM I think it would be interesting to try various experimental changes to the economy (such as it is), things like:
"no -trade" server (chars can't trade anything). None of the usual trade mules, auction mules, twinked chars, etc. The items you have are the items you found or you made.
"self-sufficient" server (can only trade between chars on your account). Similar to above but now people can only craft stuff for their various chars, no farming ad nauseum for gold since you can't buy anything from others.
If you can't guess, I'm down on the economy in certain games that are fairly well established... the economy in that unnamed game is out of control for players just starting out like myself.
As somebody who usually plays 2 or more classes, one of which is a healing class even though that isn't my favorite, I'd LOVE to see a server with the following rule:
"Healer Level Cap" - you cannot have a DPS/tank higher level than your max level healer. Share the enjoyment of playing a healer by forcing everybody to have one of a meaningful level. No more DPS boneheads without a clue of what it is like to heal.
Jul 26th 2010 7:42PM I thought Heroes were a great addition, because quite often I'd have a few others I wanted to do a mission with, and we used the Heroes to round out the group. No fuss, muss, or waiting.
I got by decently soloing with hench when needed, and they worked fine. Just having the ability to flag the AI to a spot, was a major boon for working with hench.
There was a definite feedback loop in GW. ANet introduced a lot of content via title chasing, many of which would have been unbelievably tedious to entirely PUG. Truthfully, how many grandmaster cartographers PUGed it? To a lesser extent, even vanquising and skill hunter would be very time consuming to form groups for. So a lot of content naturally favors the time optimizations from hero/hench.
Jul 13th 2010 9:53PM I used to read all your posts on EJ, if you were the same Binkenstein there. Anyway, great article - bold predictions backed up by some nice insight into the elemental tree. Looking forward to more posts.
Jun 24th 2010 2:48PM Same with me. Played RoM long enough to get an elf to level 10; realized I just spent a few hours running around talking to NPC's, picking up driftwood and mushrooms; quit the game.
Jun 10th 2010 9:40AM I'd definitely like to see the "Guild Wars model" spread, and I think it will. We have to credit WoW for redefining subscription numbers (love or hate the game, it draws the numbers) but even they've hit a plateau... so it is natural for companies to experiment and see if perhaps another pricing scheme can do better. Of course, there are other factors than payment/subscription specifics, but that is a major hurdle for some and one of the first ones you need to address before you can play!
For me, $50 every 6 months for a GW quality game is easily worth it. The equivalent monthly sub would cost a little over $8/month, and AFAIK only LOTRO came close to that with a previous $9.99/quarter sub offer.
May 5th 2010 9:23AM I'm faithful in streaks. ;) I played AC for 2 years, took a break, played GW for 2 years, cut back, played LoTRO for 2 years, cut back. Now I switch fairly evenly between WoW and LoTRO with an occasional foray back into GW.
I've been meaning to try out Fallen Earth for while - I'm really just waiting to see if they ever allow skill respecs.
There are things I like about each of the ones I play, so for now a single title doesn't have my full attention.
May 2nd 2010 9:10AM This has happened to me twice, in the same game.
First guildmate complained endlessly about not being able to afford a recent expansion. Every time they'd log in, ~30 mins or so griping about it. We started with various suggestions, such as requesting the expansion as a Christmas/birthday present, offering to do some chores in exchange for an early gift etc. (we all kinda got the impression said guildmate was a teen who didn't have their own source of discretionary spending money). After a few months of this, I politely asked them to stop griping about it as nobody could really do anything, and that escalated into a chat war. I (as an officer) just kicked them out at that point.
Another guildmate in the same game was a major emo type. He'd log into vent with a sour attitude, complain about various facets of real life, type in chat about the same topic, and annoyed a bunch of us. School, girls, a handful of topics over and over. The saving grace, literally the only thing that kept him in the guild, was the fact that this guildie was helpful - if somebody needed a person to round out a group, he'd show up and help, even if he was passive agressive about it. So we tolerated the attitude. Fortunately for us, he was enticed away to another game and quit! What happened was the GM promoted him to an officer to recognize his general helpfulness, just before he disappeared without a word to try another game for ~5 weeks. He got demoted, and was very unhappy when he returned - so much so he railed on the first game and went out in a blaze of complaints before quitting the guild and game to focus on the other one.
Bottom line is from my admittedly limited experience, I don't think you really can tolerate intolerable members. They are volatile and extending them all sorts of patience to change their ways doesn't work out. Much better to stop the problem early.
May 1st 2010 12:39PM For me it was Wow's second chance. First time around a few years ago, I had a buddy convince me to try it on his PvP realm. We rarely grouped, and I just was miserable (mostly due to ganking). So I quit... a few weeks later he stopped as well (raid burnout).
Next time around, I started a new class on a PvE realm and am having a MUCH better time. Found a nice guild and am pecking away at leveling.