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  • oallen
  • Member Since Oct 27th, 2009

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The Soapbox: You have an hour to grab my attention {Massively}

Nov 2nd 2010 6:45PM I highly advise you watch the TED talk by Barry Schwartz about the Paradox of Choice. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html. It's absolutely fascinating and deals with the concept that when given more choices we not only have more difficulty deciding but we *feel* worse about our choice because of the idea that we could have chosen better.

He gives an example of how he choose a pair of jeans as a youth and he had one choice, so no sense complaining. Now, he went shopping recently and had dozens of options and cuts to choose from. In the process he found the best pair of jeans he ever wore. Yet, even after choosing the best pair of jeans ever, he still felt *worse* about his decision because, possibly, one of those other pairs could be even better.

Because MMOs are such a commitment (for some of the younger crowd a relationship with an MMO could be their longest relationship) both in terms of time and dedication it becomes so difficult to really give yourself to the MMO because there could be a better one and you could be wasting your time playing the wrong one. In addition because MMOs start rather bland and treadmilly (here's a character with 1 skill, go kill 100 rats and we'll give you a second skill), it's even harder to commit because basically the first 10,20,60 hours of most MMOs are just awful, but are a part of the "progression" to the parts you really enjoy.

The Tattered Notebook: Home sweet home {Massively}

Nov 1st 2010 12:43PM @raze

Everyone wants to go to the party/bar with all of the hot girls even if they fully know they will never actually interact with any of them ;).

"But I could..."

Anti-Aliased: What happened to building worlds pt. 2 {Massively}

Oct 22nd 2010 8:29PM In addition you say that PvP is only 1/10 of Sandbox design. If that is true, then what is the other 9/10's in EvE, UO and DF?

Is it player housing? But EQ2 and Lotro have that.

Is it a lack of primary focus, where there is no "singular objective"? Well what about WoW where you can do hardcore PvP in Arena or Raid both of which have their own tier of unrelated rewards. In addition there are other paths one could take to achievement hunt, mount/pet hunt, play the auction house. But such an argument is clearly baseless as we all know WoW is not a sandbox.

If someone could please enlighten me about what else there is to a sandbox besides PvP?

Anti-Aliased: What happened to building worlds pt. 2 {Massively}

Oct 22nd 2010 8:17PM The main problem with World Building in every situation is that so far it is an inherently PvP affair. If my actions affect the the world, then by their very nature they affect everyone else who happens to be in that world also. If my actions have no impact on anyone but myself, then are my actions really "changing" anything? No. World Building is often an illusion of control. So far the only method developers have been able to implement "world changing" systems into games is through various forms of semi-permanent territorial control (PvP).

Is there really another way that players can enact a permanent change on the world by their actions, when both the cause and effect have to be pre-programmed into the system by developers? Isn't it a bit self-aggrandizing to believe that in order for our every action to be "meaningful" it has to be permanent or world changing?

As a former college athlete, I still compete 3 times a week in my sport. No, I don't get paid, and I'm playing the same game, with the same rules every week. Sure I win, but my winning and dedication have no impact on anything besides my fulfillment. Tell me, how is that any different than running the Lich king bi-weekly or any other "themepark" attraction in an MMO? What makes it more meaningful if somehow me running the Lich King prevents YOU from doing the same (like contested Raid zones used to be).

In most cases the debate Sandbox (or World Building) vs Themepark is really nothing more than a disguised version of the age-old PvP vs PvE, of which neither is better, they both have their advantages and audiences.

Captain's Log: Socializing and the quiet of space in STO {Massively}

Oct 21st 2010 3:57PM Unfortunately, I think this issue really more in the hands of game developers and designers than anyone else. Games which require gamers to need other gamers *beyond a single play session* have more connected communities (FFXI, Eve, EQ).

In WoW, people talk about the community sucking and no one talking because they report activities from pugs and the DF. In both, yes you "need" other players, but you need them like you need your lunch, one and done and hopefully never seen again. You don't need them beyond today or right now, because tomorrow you can find a bunch of random people to run your dungeons/VoA/RS with. In addition, many pugging the "lesser" stuff don't care about social equity because they have the guild they *need* to do the important stuff with.

This problem is only made worse by the alt-madness of players and the ability to reach level cap in 2 weeks. If players identities went across *all* of their chraracters you would see a 100% different community.

And in addition, I find it rather funny when people point to WoW as a solo-game. At cap, you spend 90% of your time in group. Yes it's a different group everyday, but the fact is, it isn't a solo game.

Bluehole Studio's TERA westernization team interviewed {Massively}

Oct 19th 2010 8:18PM I find the concept of a "westernization team" to be very... perplexing.

We all know, or at least all MMO vets know, that they aren't going to release 2 versions of this game. The systems will be the same, the words may be different. The classes, the leveling, the gameplay will be the same in Berlin, Los Angeles, or Tokyo. Their might be different terms for things, but they aren't going to make a raiding system for the East and a separate totally different raiding system for the west. There won't be a quest system for the West and a grind system for the East (not that either part of the world would want such a particular system).

That would be making two games, managing two totally separate forks of code. It's not gonna happen. So unless this team is actually changing the development path of the *entire* game, not just the western fork, I don't see how they can be anything other than translators, despite their claims to the contrary.

Rockets and more to be boosted in EVE's Incursion expansion {Massively}

Oct 18th 2010 7:43PM My only concern is it lowers the viability of frigates in PvP and PvE. Right now, frigates are *very* viable in PvP and low-sec PvE because of their speed. In example just last night me and a friend in Rifters were able to down 1+ million isk NPC battleship.

Myself, and a lot of people I know survive in low-sec by being cheap and fast. If fast is no longer, because rockets counter them. Then people will have to start taking bigger vehicles into low-sec to be vehicle. This will make gate camping (the lamest type of PvP) even worse (because right now speed blasts right through them in low sec). One of the more "balancing" factors of Eve is that fast and cheap is viable against slow and big (assuming they are alone).

Will that still be true when a Battleship fits a big ol' rocket launcher designed specifically to splatter fast.

TERA-Europe unveils archer and sorcerer gameplay videos {Massively}

Sep 30th 2010 1:31PM First off, you can actively dodge monsters attacks... it's no longer just sit there and roll the RNG. Second, you have to actively target the mob, no tab targeting and hit a button.

Will the game be good? Who knows if it can deliver on expectations. I'm always a cynic and expect failure. But I don't see how anyone can say that there are no new selling points. Just the fact that is has an active combat system is a huge difference compared to current MMO fare. There are only a couple games out there which have active systems (Darkfall, MO, others?). From watching the video the fat mob that thrashes around and jumps to sit on you is way more advanced than any mob interaction ever took place in Darkfall.

The Daily Grind: How important are achievements to you? {Massively}

Sep 29th 2010 12:16PM I love achievements and find the very rewarding with the giant caveat that they are attached to the entire account and not a single character (like TF2). It's a lot easier to justify the "accomplishment" of dedication to earn something like Salty or the Insane if it was tied to all of my characters.

Achievements really lose their luster when do them on one character, and create an alt. As tempting as it is to mindless fish 10,000 fish again, I'll pass.

The irony is that developers don't implement cross-account achieves because they want you to do them again on each character, but I find I have less incentive to do them in the first place because I know they aren't cross character. Why waste the time when I may stop playing this character 2 months from now in favor of another?

Blizzard updates Under Development page with patch 4.0.1 details {WoW}

Sep 29th 2010 12:12AM In the Blue post it says "new PvP and PvE currency system", but in the linked 4.0.1 path notes it doesn't list the currency changes, or at least I could not find them. Will 4.0.1 bring the currency changes?

The reason I ask is that I plan on leveling a Worgen Warrior come Cata, but can't figure out if I need to reactivate my account now in order to purchase my heirloom items, or if the exchange rate will be favorable allowing me to do it when Cata releases. I have probably 200 triumphs, 100 frost and 2000 stone shards sitting on my old Main.