Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zero Punctuation: Age of Conan


_J_ said...

Nothing? Really?

I appreciated his point about the "Chosen One" component to MMOs and how ridiculous it is.

Also, it is unrealistic to expect a MMO to be "ready to review" until at least a year after release. One cannot in good judgement say that constantly patching AoC is a detrimental to AoC.

kylebrown said...

He is saying that an MMO is never a finished project until at least a year into it's life cycle. WoW 1.0 was a completely different animal compared to 1.8 as an example.

Roscoe said...

.. yeah.. Kyle's right on that.

and the Chosen One component is really part of a bigger complaint about the Single Player / Plot component of AOC, and really, any Mum-Mor-Per-Ger.

If you go back and watch.. there's a somewhat subtle reference to Plot Driven, Singluar Character focus rpgs being good, but driven out.

Neverwinter, other Modern rpgs chasing out Baldur's etc.

It's not so much ridiculous, as it is misunderstanding what kind of game MMORPGs are, that their demands or niches can't really be quite the same as single player ones.

_J_ said...

I don't know how a MMO would work that focused on the "Part of a team" model moreso than a "Chosen One" concept.

That's the fundamental question of Single Player / Multiplayer design, as Ros said.

Warhammer kind of sort of maybe sounds like it will be more "multiplayer" focused. But, Warhammer keeps changing.

Multiplayer, I think, would be fundamentally different than WoW. I'm talking about a full-scale appreciation of acknowledging the environment to the degree that a boss like Illidan can only be killed once, because there is only one Illidan. And gear is acknowledged to be mass produced so no two players could have, say, "Illidan's Sword of smashing" because, again, Illidan only has one sword.

As I think about it that game would almost have to be PVP driven moreso than PVE,

Mike Lewis said...

ive been playing lost odyssey for the last few days. I picked it up used for 25$ at the local used game store.

It is very much in the vain of Final Fantasy.

I hate save points. but otherwise the game is fun.

_J_ said...

Do you have save points or the absense of save points?

Roscoe said...

.. not if you do a very tightly focused group-matching...

somewhat similar to D&D Online.

There, it's actually focused on group roles, with instanced dungeon-adventures instead of an open MMO world, with traps, and DM-esque scripted events (kinda like doing various tasks in instances [Wailing Caverns' giant murloc thing comes to mind]).

But.. then you get the gleeful task of developing a reasonable solo experience, and balancing that to some level, with your Multiplay focus.

We tried that once in FF11, with Kyle, Eric and I. Didn't work so much. too much of a draw to play extra and outlevel, totally screw things up.

kylebrown said...

Many a company has tried to create MMOs that makes an effort to create what you described. A constantly changing world, that reacts to the actions of the players. More often than not the world is a barren landscape in which players literally build their own cities, and try to subdue the world. Each, unfortunately, has ended in utter failure.

It makes me sad because the concept sounds ridiculously cool, as long as there are new worlds being started on a relatively regular basis, to allow a player to get in at the beginning.

_J_ said...

"It makes me sad because the concept sounds ridiculously cool"

It certainly does sound cool.

The problem is that the game has to place focus on both being part of a team and being an individual.

Doing that, though...

It's kind of a tiny example of why communism doesn't really work. If there is no insentive to individuals then they don't do anything. If there is too much focus on individuals then they become selfish.

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