Just not sure what to say anymore.

So it has been a while since I last published a blog post.  In the meantime several things have occurred.

Warlords of Draenor has technically launched.

I say technically here because as far a Blizzard is concerned the initial set of content was included at launch.  However IMO it is not a complete launch as all of the world map that is visible is not accessible.  Additionally all of the raid content that was promised in the first tier of raiding did not even become available until just recently.  BRF should have just been a completely new tier rather than a 1/2 tier higher and available 2.5+ months after launch.

The biggest complaint I have is the same one I had about WoD during all of its development and a major gripe about MoP.  It was the paradigm they decided upon for flight.  You know that one feature all of the development team can’t seem to design with it included and therefor hate the feature.  It was also one of the few discernible differences between World of Warcraft and many of its competitors over the years.

Many or all of the MMOs since WoW have had questing in one form or another with varying degrees of success.  Everyone has dungeons, many have some sort of Cosmetic feature for showing off gear.  Many now are implementing a place to call your own for either yourself or your guild, sometimes both.  Something that WoW lacks.  But with a few minor exceptions the one feature WoW had over all the others was flight and not only at level cap like in MoP.

MoP and WoD with all of the other improvements in many other facets of the game has been a major step backwards for Blizzard, unfortunately too many of WoW devs and or staff seem to be looking at the game through the eyes of 2004 (Vanilla) and not through the eyes of someone looking at the current market.

I remember at Blizzcon 2014, when I accompanied my Wife on a tour of Blizzard HQ, hearing about the really fun “Hang Gliding” quest/activity in Nagrand.  The designer of it was excitedly telling us about it.  I feel bad for them as I have not done a single one of them.  After looking at how to start and how to get to the gliders and the minor rewards/items obtainable from it, the ROI of my time was just not worth it.  I loved Nagrand from tBC it was my favorite zone followed by Netherstorm.  The Nagrand in WoD I despise.  I hate the layout, I hate the paths through the zone, I hate everything about it due to it being a pain in the ass to get anywhere without having a flying mount.

I recently let my second account lapse after reactivating it for a WoD launch and I was distracted with Garrison farming on both accounts but after doing daily cool-downs in the Garrison for 16 characters every day for 2.5 months I can’t stand them anymore.  Being stuck in World of Queuecraft and only able to reliably preform Garrison actions while waiting for the all important Queue to pop.  I am completely bored with this expansion.  I don’t enjoy jumping puzzles as the frustration for useless gear is not worth it.  I hate exploring when I have to go halfway across a zone just to get a path to go around the mountain at the start of it, i.e. where I enter the zone.

So as I was saying that I do not know what to say anymore is essentially for 2 reasons.  First in many ways WoD has improved WoW greatly in many aspects of the game so other than minor complaints there is not much to say.  Secondly the one major complaint I have with WoD, I know will fall on deaf ears as the Devs have major blinders on when it comes to flight.  The key concept that they just don’t get is flight like player housing and other things along both of these lines are about player choice and the ability to play the game in what ever way we the players feel like.

Now this rant on WoW, which I have said will fall on deaf ears was necessary because it leads to the second thing for me that has occurred since last posting.

 

Heavensward Trailer for FFXIV – 3.0

I saw the Heavensward trailer and have since reactivated my FFXIV account to start gathering resources and get back in the flow for the expansion.  It is strange after World of Warcraft the next set of games that I have spent the most time playing are all of the Final Fantasy games.  It was strange in that when I re-installed and starting playing again and logging in with the music it felt like returning home after a long time away.  Now it was like returning to my hometown as like with my IRL home town it has rapidly become a nice place to visit but remember all of the reasons I left in the first place.

So why am I going to through all of this pain with FFXIV when most of the other systems are better in WoW:WoD?  Simple 3.0 will be adding several very large new zones where flying will be available to players.  With content and zones designed with Flight in mind.  Something that WoW and Blizzard has not been able to do for over 8 years.  Having the freedom fly around a zone is an important feature to me as a player as it shows that while quest design may railroad me into a set path, how I follow that path in the map will be completely up to me once flight is unlocked.   Oh and by the way it looks like the quest to unlock flight will be something incorporated into questing in the new zones so should be a feature that is not for Level Cap only.

So FFXIV has Guild Housing, Player Housing, and soon flight.  Will I play long in the new expansion, who knows.  I find myself getting bored with games faster and faster anymore as they are all clones of the Same old Shit without iterating much on making them fun or interesting.  And as Wildstar found out, difficult/challenging leveling experience only appeals to a small percentage of the MMO Market and is not something you should aim a AAA MMO at.

Well this is enough grumping for now.  I will post more much sooner next time I hope.

Posted in FFXIV, World of Warcraft

Warcraft Flight Survey

Following Lissanna’s lead on Druid Travel Forms and the new Combo button, I decided to make one about one of my pet issues in Warcraft and MMOs.  That topic is of course Flight, and when you should get it on your first character and alts.

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Posted in World of Warcraft

A Next Gen MMO Revisited

A “Next Gen” MMO like Blizzard “Titan” is a Duke Nukem Forever.  There are many empty promises for years and then those evaporate and when the game or product is finally released it can not stand up to the Hype that occurred about it over the years.

So now with that understood lets look at what promises and hopefully implemented features will be needed  or at least the hooks/stubs for them at launch.

1 – Sand-Park Play

What this means is some middle ground between the sandbox nature of EVE, Minecraft and Landmark and the highly controlled and IMO railroaded play that we have become use to in WoW, SWToR, Wildstar.  I guess that ESO may come close to this but has many other system issues and I can’t stand the play perspective in Bethesda games anymore so have not given the game any time.

2 – Infinite Replay-ability

This is a new one for me but I have come to see that I much prefer the infinite grind-ability of Diablo 3 and Borderlands than the process in most MMOs.  ArcheAge had an item upgrade system that at my basic understanding of how it works could also work better than the current gear and loot systems we find in most EQ/WoW clones.

3 – Player Driven Market and Crafting

This is one side of games that outside of ESO, ArcheAge and EVE is almost completely absent.  WoW use to have a more vibrant market but that was killed over 2 expansions where the Gear and BoE items were a joke.  Not to mention crafting locked behind the requirements of both leveling to near cap or cap and reputation grind fests.  Crafting Alts are a legitimate form of play for those that like to craft to get gear than play DDR with a Raid Boss.

4 – Many Factions for Players to Belong to and Participate In

WoW has 2 factions, and almost every other clone thereof has 2.  EVE starts with 4 but approaches infinity based upon Corporation and Alliance System.  I would say 3 as the minimum odd number required but I think 5 or 7 PVE factions to start with for the basic leveling process would be a good place to start.  Then in end game systems a Guild/Corp system with Alliances in certain Areas/Continents/Planets/Dimensions could greatly increase this area of the game’s complexity while also providing an initially safe leveling/learning area.

5 – Guild/Corporation Housing/Land and Eventually Player (Character/Account) Housing

More games are finally starting to get a hint and hopefully look as some of the research that has slowing come out about gaming and other social circles.  While graphics, features, ability to lord over other players may initially bring players to your game, the key to retaining those players is getting them involved in some social group.  The more stable that group the longer the members of said group will continue to play together and the game in a larger context.  Having some visible, virtually tangible goal to work toward as in Guild Housing is one of the greatest ways to do such.  Especially if guild/group achievements in other aspects of the game can be represented in the shared space.

6 – More on Markets, the Markets must be able to support both Buy and Sell orders.

I cannot stress enough how important this one is to goal 3 being viable.  Gathers current in many games must guess what is needed now, a week from now and next patch.  The demand and to what volume is a crap shoot but past predictors can be used to get a good guess.  However with both Buy and Sell orders all you have to do is look at the Buy orders do your farming run and sell those focused targets.  It is a win-win scenario while now it is a win-unknown scenario.

Other Comments

At this point in time I think the general MMO market has a reasonably good grasp on PvE and PvP needs in general.  The only thing I will say is that exclusive rewards to a particular form and make up of said content should be cosmetic only.  There should always be multiple ways to similar levels of power in gear even if it looks different.

 

Posted in MMOs

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