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Vanguard Beta In Trouble? 176

Posted by Zonk
from the too-hardcore-for-you dept.
Heartless Gamer writes to mention a blog post exploring potential problems with the Vanguard Beta. The hardcore MMOG in development by Sigil has had some rocky times of late, and it sounds like the beta testers are right up at the top of the list of problems. From the article: "To the detriment of Vanguard, they (Vanguard's community) will protest any implementation that even remotely resembles a mechanic within World of Warcraft. Good or bad, it doesn't matter. If it's something within WoW, they want it O-U-T. Likewise, if you are from WoW, they want YOU out, too. They've already succeeded in driving out many of those testers. They're long gone and I can't say I blame them." Read on for other sites' commentary on this issue.
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Vanguard Beta In Trouble?

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  • The not wanting WoW players I mean. I have come to deeply despise WoW players myself as a pure example of the continued dumbing down of the gaming generation. Anything hard is bad, quick returns are good. And forget about any sense of rollplay.

    But quite frankly its really stupid to hate mechanics from WoW cause some of them are REALLY very good. Worse most come from Everquest it's self, which a LOT of the hardcores hold as sacred, WoW just improved on this.

    My take. Just get rid of the bad element of beta testers. Or better yet just ignore them when you know they are making a rediculous suggestion. It's their place to find the bugs, not dictate the design of the game.

    • I tend to disagree with you Falcon. There are many parts of WoW that are tedious and hard with returns that are definetly sub par. In the late 30s when you are given dozens of travel quests and are having to walk to new areas it is definetly hard to avoid getting killed by yourself by either mob or player. (IMO PvE servers shouldn't even be in this game, but to each his own) WoW definetly hit the MMO nail on the head with less swings and with far more accuracy towards what the players wanted then any other
    • "The not wanting WoW players I mean. I have come to deeply despise WoW players myself as a pure example of the continued dumbing down of the gaming generation. Anything hard is bad, quick returns are good. And forget about any sense of rollplay."

      Good, become the polar opposite to the community you hate and become twice as obnoxious as a contrarian.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25, 2006 @01:28PM (#15403109)
      The not wanting WoW players I mean. I have come to deeply despise WoW players myself as a pure example of the continued dumbing down of the gaming generation. Anything hard is bad, quick returns are good. And forget about any sense of rollplay.

      I'm gonna have to ask you to clarify that. Define "hard". Keep in mind that "takes a long time" isn't hard, it's annoying. Something that requires skill is hard. Something that just anyone can do over a long period of time isn't hard, it's boring. The reason I ask is because you're apparently an FFXI player [slashdot.org] and the standard FFXI player seems to think WoW is "too easy" because things don't take forever.

      Quick returns are good, keeping in mind that a quick return can still be a failure. FFXI has plenty of things where you get one try every day (real time) or so. They're "hard" because you have to beat out the 20 gold farmers camping the single spawn point. Succeed in getting it, and you have a 1/20 chance of getting the drop. While that does mean that it's hard to get the drop, it's not hard due to any skill requirement. It's hard because it requires a lot of luck and time.

      Compare with WoW, where you might have a 100% chance of getting something if you complete some difficult task. There are plenty of instances in WoW where you'll have to use a large set of abilities to manage to succeed. Fail, and you can try again very quickly instead of packing up and waiting until tomorrow. That's hard, but not due to a time requirement, due to a skill requirement.

      So, please. Explain your statement. The rest of your post I agree with completely, I just want to understand why you think WoW "dumbed down" gaming. If anything, WoW is harder to play than FFXI in terms of skill - although not time.
      • I'm gonna have to ask you to clarify that. Define "hard". Keep in mind that "takes a long time" isn't hard, it's annoying. Something that requires skill is hard. Something that just anyone can do over a long period of time isn't hard, it's boring.

        That is the same crap a bunch of EQ2 players think is hard. Needing to wait days or hours in realtime for something that can be killed in 30secs isn't 'hard', it is completely assinine. Hard requires some kind of skill, not how much you can ignore real life and h
      • I agree on the time thing. The only comment I have is that in WoW sometimes "Skill" and "low latency" go hand in hand, which is all wrong for a MMOG I think, but the PvP crowd of course loves it.

        In EQ, skill was more of a strategic/tactical sort of ability, and you could be quite effective with latencies as high as 1 second as long as you were playing smart. That particular aspect of EQ I miss, and I think WoW raids suffer as a result.

        Plenty of people will weigh in on real time combat versus other mechanism
      • Compare with WoW, where you might have a 100% chance of getting something if you complete some difficult task. There are plenty of instances in WoW where you'll have to use a large set of abilities to manage to succeed. Fail, and you can try again very quickly instead of packing up and waiting until tomorrow. That's hard, but not due to a time requirement, due to a skill requirement.

        I have to disagree with this and point out something here. You're saying that WoW has "do this hard task and you get an item
        • I totally agree with you about the power imbalance between epic equipped lvl 60 chracters and blue item wearers. I quit WoW with 6/8 of my tier 0 blue set and 1 epic. I'm in an odd time zone and couldn't commit to raiding (raids either happened while I'm at work or when I should be going to sleep). So my big question is how will Blizzard balance the content in Burning Crusade? Will it be geared toward the epic equipped 60s? If it isn't then it will be too easy for player who have been doing nothing but raid
      • "Compare with WoW, where you might have a 100% chance of getting something if you complete some difficult task."

        Have you played the high end game in WoW????? Try this for levels 55-60 tier 0 equipment:

        1 dungeon run = 1-3 hours (plus time to get organized and started)
        Your loot drop rate = 8%
        If there are more than one person who needs it than your odds are cut in half for the random item roll.

        I ran over 75 dungeon runs (keep in mind thats not 75 different dungeons, that's the same 5 over and over) and got onl
    • I have mixed opinions, about the dumbing-down as you call it.

      I kind of miss the old-thrill of the guild dungeon crawl in UO, when you never knew if the PKers were out. Playing in a "safe" dungeon, where you only have to worry about stategy against the monsters, while is still entertaining, it just doesn't have the same adrenaline flow. But at the same time, I don't miss the lack of griefers, and the ninja looting.

      Game design is always a trade-off. The majority has voted that they don't like perma-death.
    • Ok so roleplay has nothing to do with MMOGs. WoW, EQ, Vanguard, no. The hardcore EQ group, which I used to fraternize with has no use for it either. It may mean that you fill the functional role of your class (cleric heal, warrior tank, wizard nuke, etc.), but that's it. The setting is just for eye candy.

      The question is how hardcore you have to be to get to the top. In EQ only really good guilds made it. They gradually relaxed a bit so less hardcore guilds could stand a chance (but only that), but that was
    • Considering you can't even spell roleplay, I'm guessing you're not really as into it as your post would suggest. But no MMORPG has roleplay, and none ever will... I can guarantee it. If you want roleplay, you have to find a good MUD to provide it for you. I believe http://www.rpimuds.com/ [rpimuds.com] has a decent list of RP-enforced and RP-focused MUDs to choose from.
    • Define dumbing down.

      We're comparing PvE gameplay in MMOs right? So which implementation of a player up against a shell script with stats is "smarter"? Why?
  • by vertinox (846076) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:03PM (#15402297)
    "To the detriment of Vanguard, they (Vanguard's community) will protest any implementation that even remotely resembles a mechanic within World of Warcraft. Good or bad, it doesn't matter. If it's something within WoW, they want it O-U-T."

    Even though WoW is fun (and addicting), if I was playing another game it would be rather annoying to see WoW with just another game engine slapped over it. If you want to play WoW, then it is already there and waiting for you.

    For those who want to play something different... Well... It would be nice to have sometehing other than the old "kill things over and over to level up to kill bigger things over and over again to level up to kill bigger things over and over again" because that is pretty much the same formula of WoW, EQ 1/2, and every other MMOG known the man these days. (SWG and UO rest in peace)
    • by dc29A (636871) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:43PM (#15402712)
      Even though WoW is fun (and addicting), if I was playing another game it would be rather annoying to see WoW with just another game engine slapped over it. If you want to play WoW, then it is already there and waiting for you.

      Vanguard could use elements that work great in WoW and implement them with their own gameplay elements. For example, WoW has proved that instances are fun and needed. Not to mention instances allow very creative encounters and great rewards for players because the designers control everything (including the number of people involved in the instance). Take away instances and you have good old issues that plagued EQ: boring fights, retarded competition for mobs where by guilds/players camp mobs. It augments the number of support calls and it encourages griefing. Which avenue did Vanguard chose? No instances. Yes they are planning to put boss mob encounters "on demand", sort of semi instance but even then, they will never be able to make awesome and complex encounters like WoW endzones have (well minus MC). You can't have a complex scripted encounter if you can't control the number of people during the encounter (aka no instances) because guilds will "zerg" it. EQ has proved that.

      The more and more I look at Vanguard reminds me of EQ with all their faults. Lot of grinding, no instances, heaven for griefers and gold farmers. Most modern games have implemented ideas from other games, WoW is a perfect example of very little innovation but they cherry picked the stuff that worked in other game. Instances from Anarchy Online, fast paced combat from City of Heroes, PvP from DAoC, humor from ... well ok, Warcraft, and so on.

      Vanguard will be a huge flop. The designers who were responsible for the worse flaws EQ had didn't learn from their own mistakes, they are the ones designing Vanguard.
      • The more and more I look at Vanguard reminds me of EQ with all their faults. Lot of grinding, no instances, heaven for griefers and gold farmers.

        Ah... I was under the impression they were bashing anything "Grind-esque" and lumping WoW and EQ into the same branch of game play. WoW and EQ are pretty much the same to me except WoW is easier (and more fun) to play and has taken care of a great deal of problems EQ had.

        I was thinking they were scraping both for something new, but it appears by what everyone is sa
      • by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:10PM (#15403516)
        Exactly. Vangaurd is planning on taking everything people hated about EQ, and making it worse.

        Grinds- check. Expect a long hard grind for levels
        Farming- check. Expect to do tons of cash farming
        Camping- check. No instances, so expect either a "play nice" rule or guilds fighting for spawns
        Death penalties- check. Harsher than EQs, according to articles I've read
        Long travel times- check. No fast transport or teleports at all.

        Yup, not touching this one with a 10 foot pole.
    • Since we're obviously discussing elements of RPG's here...why is WoW even mentioned, at all?

      The article is pretty specific that the problem is with testers that want the game to be absolutely nothing like WoW in any way shape or form...but WoW is just an RPG...how can one make an RPG with absolutely ZERO elements in common with WoW? WoW presents absolutely NOTHING original to the genre, not a god damned thing.

      Sounds to me like these people don't want an RPG, but the developer is making an RPG and trying to
    • Honestly, Vanguard doesn't look to me like something for people who want "something different". It looks like it's for people who want the current things, but done slightly differently, hopefully better.

      Guild Wars was different. Vanguard looks like it's shaping up to be like WoW- nothing new, just the (good?) stuff that's tested true.

      Hell, that's even how they describe it in the FAQ.
    • For those who want to play something different... Well... It would be nice to have sometehing other than the old "kill things over and over to level up to kill bigger things over and over again to level up to kill bigger things over and over again" because that is pretty much the same formula of WoW, EQ 1/2, and every other MMOG known the man these days. (SWG and UO rest in peace)

      You should check out Puzzle Pirates, or the "just reached beta" Bang! Howdy from the same company.

      More mature players, you don't
  • reap what you sow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by michealo (813339)
    vanguard was to be the saving grace for the worst of the community that left EQ looking for "the vision". shame they realized way too late that the "vision" is still locked away in 1999 and the vast majority of MMORPG gamers to do not want that sort of carrot on a stick type of grind.
    • by nops (907179)
      Every MMORPG relies on carrot on a stick grinding, from EQ to WoW. The only exception might be things like Star Wars Galaxies, and look at how well that's doing!
      • I think Eve is very much alive and kicking and Ultima Online is shambling along it isn't mutated form. Ultima Online doesn't require massive level grinding... Perhaps casual play for 6 months and hard core for about 2-3 if you wanted to max a character out. The key feature I always liked about UO wasn't that you were constantly grinding but you could go out and do things other than level progression.
        • by Mente (219525) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:34PM (#15402626)
          Yeah, I think EVE is the best at battling the grind. There are still grinds that can be done. Grind for money. Grind for standing.

          I've played many of the larger MMORPG's out there (UO, EQ1/2, SWG, WoW, and EVE). EVE is truely unique. CCP has bucked the trend in a lot of areas and almost all of them work. 1 server. Letting you know the population (which continues to go up all the time). Skills train over time, even when offline. No way to speed up the process (except learning skills that aid in the processes).

          Roleplay is a little difficult because there really isn't an Avatar running around. You are essentially your ship. But other than that, the game has a lot to offer. I jumped in late(Jan 06), years after release. However, the way everything is layed out, you don't feel completely useless unless you grind to the top. Because there is no top. You just keep learning skills. /commercialover
          • by Alzheimers (467217) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @01:59PM (#15403408)
            Roleplay is a little difficult because there really isn't an Avatar running around.

            Actually, I'd be inclined to disagree. In Eve, roleplay takes it's form in Corporation Management. So you can't pretend to be a dancing catgirl. Instead, you take a leadership role that requires the player to act the part. Be responsible, smart, and decisive. Or you can choose to be a pirate, ruthless and coldblooded. So you just wiped out someone's work for a month in thirty seconds. He should have payed the ransom.

            Interpersonal politics make a huge part of the Eve experience. From forming alliances to elbowing out rivals, the role playing element of Eve isn't dictated by the cute and fuzzy animated cartoon, but by the results your actions bring. The hand-off approach from the creators really pays off when your corp takes over a new zone to bring it's own brand of order. You *can't* script that.
    • Welcome to Maslow's Hierarchy. You may say you don't want the grind and carrot on a stick, but most players subconsciously do. The joy of virtual self actualization.

      -Rick
      • No, most people don't. EQ didn't manage to break through to the larger market. WoW did, but look at how many 60s quit daily because of nothing but grinds at 60. There's definitely a big enough set of people who like it to make a succesful game, but its far from the majority.
        • Re:reap what you sow (Score:3, Interesting)

          by RingDev (879105)
          I should have clarified, most MMORPG players. And WoW is a perfect example of Maslow's hierchy. As soon as the player reaches the end game, they have acheived the most important step of self actualization. At that point, the game has deminishing returns on what it can offer players.

          Many upcoming (and some existing) games are getting more and more dynamic. With these more dynamic worlds, hitting the max out level is not always the primary goal. Sure, hitting the max level is great, but who really cares? Crea
          • No, the point in getting to 60 was doing PvP and killing other people :) Of course Blizzard fucked that up, and since then the game went down the tubes.

            I don't know of anyone who plays WoW because they want to hit 60. I'm sure they exist, but its a minority. They play because they like the social aspects, or the combat aspects, or the instances, or some combo of these. Self actualization has nothing to do with it.
            • Re:reap what you sow (Score:3, Interesting)

              by RingDev (879105)
              "Self actualization has nothing to do with it."

              I couldn't disagree more. If you took leveling out of the game entirely, and just put everyone at level 60, the game's population would plummet.

              -Rick
              • Not sure about that. I know I'd prefer an MMO with no leveling- hell, I'd pay double. All the ones I really liked had little leveling or extremely fast, lets get this over with type leveling. I think it would appeal to different crowds, but if you could release an MMO with enough content and no leveling/grinds it would be widely popular.
                • An MMO with out the leveling is a really slow, over sized, FPS.

                  Don't get me wrong, I prefer a player skill based, quick leveling style MMO, but if you strip out the character development, all it is, is a first person shooter (button masher, click once, or combo based depending on the specific game).

                  -Rick
  • Vanguard fails... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ChozSun (49528)
    ... because they think slow grinding and slow traveling is fun.

    Shocking, we are hearing reports of them struggling.
    • by Tipa (881911)
      I don't think grinding is fun. At all. Just wanted to say that first. Should always be a REASON for getting experience. In EQ2, getting xp and levels (for me, anyway) is just a by-product of doing quests; I haven't yet had to grind levels like in EQ1 or (to a far lesser extent, of course) WoW.

      But what is wrong with slow leveling? Fast leveling separates friends from each other. A friend in WoW I met in my 30s just blew past me to 60 and we couldn't group again for weeks. Fast leveling means you never really
    • And yet there are thousands of us wishing we had made it into the closed beta.

      Vanguard will be huge. Lots of us are just biding our time waiting for its release. Quite frankly, I say its a Good Thing that they get rid of anything WoWish. The core Dev team has its roots in EQ (989 studios / verant interactive / etc). It is expected that this game will cater to the hardcore gamer, not to the casual one.
      • "Vanguard will be huge."
        "...this game will cater to the hardcore gamer, not to the casual one."

        I don't see how this can be anything but mutually exclusive.
        WoW has a lot of content for both casual and hardcore gamers, and has become 'Huge'. (The amount of content available to each group is debatable.)

        The number of casual gamers out there far outweigh the hardcore ones.
        If a new game (Any new game) caters only to hardcore gamers, the numbers in the potential customer base will prohibit it from becoming anywhe
        • Why does everything have to have 5 million customers and be a "WoW clone" to be successful? WoW is a watered down MMO. Levels are easy, the endgame converges on 3 instances, the raiding content is sparse, there is very little to do once you are 60 ... they made a simple game, no wonder it is popular, simple minds, simple games!

          I don't care if I am close minded. There are a lot of us waiting for a game that is hardcore, that has strict rules, that doesn't hand you levels and gear on a silver platter. Remem
          • Re:And yet (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Mondoz (672060)
            "Why does everything have to have 5 million customers and be a "WoW clone" to be successful?"

            I didn't say successful. I said 'huge' - your terminology. To me, 'huge' means large number of players. I would consider WoW to be 'huge'.

            'Successful' is a much more subjective word. If their goal is to make a game and sell it, they can easily 'succeed.' If their goal is to make enough money to sustain itself, but not be a major phenomenon, then they might succeed at that as well. The latter goal isn't a rare
  • Goths? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:16PM (#15402446) Journal
    Enter the "IT SUCKS BECAUSE IT'S POPULAR" crowd. Less than a dozen comments in this thread thus far and half of them are people who hate WoW because it's "dumbed down."

    Listen up, guys, WoW has 5.5 million+ subscribers because what it's doing is good, not bad. It's not dumbed down, and if - like me - you spent hardcore-style hours raiding to get the best stuff, you'd know that.

    But no, like the guys at Vanguard, you can't get past appearance. If it's popular, it must be bad.
    • Re:Goths? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Attaturk (695988) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:41PM (#15402691) Homepage


      Listen up, guys, WoW has 5.5 million+ subscribers because what it's doing is good, not bad.

      Reality TV gets a lot of viewers - as does Fox News for that matter. McDonalds sells a lot of burgers. The Da Vinci Code book/movie/hype train is sheer nonsense yet it's taken millions already. This is not because what these ventures are doing is good per se - it's because they've been designed to reach out to the lowest common denominators in order to have a broad appeal.

      It's not dumbed down, and if - like me - you spent hardcore-style hours raiding to get the best stuff, you'd know that.

      Oh I beg your pardon - I thought you were talking about WoW but clearly I must have misunderstood.

      • Thank you, couldn't have said it better myself.

        WoW is not impressive by most veteran RPGers, by any stretch of the imagination.
        WoW is first and foremost designed as a time, and by extension via their payment model, a money sink. Period.

        There is nothing innovative, new, or interesting in WoW. It does package up everything that is tried and true in the area with a nice pink bow though in just such a way as to hit that lowest common denominator as hard as possible.

        There's simply no way those same 5.5 million l
        • Re:Goths? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sgant (178166)
          WoW is not impressive by most veteran RPGers, by any stretch of the imagination.

          Veteran RPGer here. Started playing AD&D back in 1980...then went on to Call of Cthulhu, Morrow Project, Danger International and Fantasy Hero blah blah blah. Me and my group of friends were pretty hard core about it all, but just to have a lot of fun and laugh our asses off.

          Then I got into MMORPG's, got on to EQ a few days after it's original release. I knew from the very start it was NOTHING like role playing games. No com
          • I wasn't really arguing against those like you, I know you exist and appreciate your point of view :)

            I'm arguing against those that can't make the distinctions that you do. Those that condemn WoW while stating they are RPG purists, or those that worship WoW because of it's obvious RPG goodness. Thankfully, there are some people out there that realize that WoW is simply an online game, and that there are also some people that enjoy it for what it is, never mind the crap :)

            We're on the same page, I just didn'
    • WoW is dumbed down.

      PVE: Death is basically Zero Risk.
      PVP: Death is Zero Risk.
      Skill tree: Almost zero risk change at any time for little cost.

      Overall there is little advantage to intelligent game play. EX: 2-3x exp advancement or 2-3x PVP rank advancement.

      Now let's look at EVE:

      PVE: Death = loss of ship, 70% of gear, but no loss of implants.
      PVP: Death = loss of ship, all gear, and probably all implants. Vs. Win = 30% of players gear.
      So their is risk in death.

      Overall intelligent game play makes
    • ... it attracts your average housewife gamer (like my wife) your average high school gamer (like my brother) your average college gamer who doesn't have a lot of time(like my other brother) and people who just can't stand the thought of dying and losing XP. It is a softcore MMO. They are catering to the masses, not to the MMO purists (enter me).

      Vanguard is going to be a hardcore MMO. This news article is music to my ears. The core dev team has its roots in EQ. This game will be challenging and give you a
      • '...who doesn't have a lot of time'...

        OK, we know you're on crack so we can ignor everything else you have to say.

        What's WoW's nick again? Yeah, you got it.

        Not a time sucker, my GOD have you been had...how much have they sucked out of your wallet?
        • I started the day of (end of november?), I had a level 60 by the new year. I work full time and had a pregnant wife who I spent a healthy amount of time with, I was not racing to get level 60. Sold it and never looked back. However I resurrected my EQ account, I still play the same character I started 4 years ago. Well over 100 days played on him.

          Fact of the matter is it doesn't take much time to get your levels in WoW, compared to a "hardcore" MMO like Everquest or even Everquest 2, and then you are stu
      • EQ converged. All good guilds were in the same few instances, usually fighting with one another (until wow came out, then they had to ally). If you weren't raiding you were grinding xp, usually into AA points because you weren't allowed into your guild until you were max level.

        Couldn't do many quests without raids. Couldn't do much that was useful but grind as a group, that wasn't fun. PvP in eq was horrifying, you couldn't really do that.

    • Listen up, guys, WoW has 5.5 million+ subscribers because what it's doing is good, not bad.

      McDonalds sells millions of burgers because the food their making is good, not bad. Anyone who wants something that takes longer than 3 seconds to cook in a microwave is obviously some sad nerd...
  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:23PM (#15402521) Homepage
    Let me see if I read this right. The forums for an online game have been overrun with loud-mouthed, small-eNis self-proclaimed board warriors who enjoy nothing quite so much as proclaiming their own superiority based on which game they play?

    And the same "I am Jack's Ass" crowd is full of people with an over inflated sense of self importantce who believe that being invited to join a beta test and asked for some constructive feedback makes their voices more important than those of people who have been developing the game for years, and they regularly hold public roasts of any member of the development team who still cares enough to attempt to communicate with them?

    I would be shocked and appalled if it weren't for the fact that this is exactly what has happened with every single game relased this century. The same arrogant twits infest every forum, loudly proclaiming that they now own the game and that those pinhead developers had better start doing things their way or else they're going to leave and take all six billion of their friends with them to whatever the next unreleased game is. The only thing that's surprising about this is that the writer says that Brad McQuaid is still trying to give them what they claim they want.

    People often wonder just why it is that game developers often don't participate in their fora or talk directly to the players, and why they are often secretive about what they are working on. This kind of thing is exactly why they do that. Having to deal with this kind of abuse on a daily basis will turn anybody into a recluse.

    • Very true. Developers have their own vision of what the game will be and until the game is produced, I for one don't think they should compromise that, no matter what a beta tester might say. Beta testers are to find bugs and usability problems. They are not to dictate story line or game mechanics. Obviously they can comment all they want, but in the end it's up to the designers to listen. Sometimes these comments make sense, other times it's just crazy. I think a wiser thing would be to have some kin
      • That's the problem here though, with the huge surge in popularity of MMOGs, it is simply impossible to test these games on the scale they were designed to operate without opening up testing to the very people that will, hopefully, buy your game in the end.

        There would simply be no way to get enough developers testing your game for enough time to be of any relative use at all, let alone get any real testing done...never mind that these developers are working too many hours on their own games at the same time.
      • Ideally, you'd have some kind of barrier between the programmers and those who wish to influence the design process. Maybe a person. Let's call that barrier person a "manager" for the sake of convenience. Let's formalize his responsibility to include filtering outside requests into a managable format for the developers, and maintaining a vision for the project. That'd be a pretty slick way to run things.
  • by Visceral Monkey (583103) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:29PM (#15402582)
    The articles author is dead on. Take your average rabid Apply fanboy x10 and you've got the nut balls who make up the Vanguard community. These players have been pushed from mmorpg to mmorpg as developers quickly realize the kind of game play they worship is not what 95% of players out there want. If you even attempt to suggest changes to the way the envision the game you're in for all sorts of abuse and scorn. They see this as their "last hope" and will do anything to make sure stays that way. Alas, the result is the game supposedly sucks, badly, from what i've heard from beta testers. MS dumping it back to SOE is a sure sign they are struggling. My prediction is the game will not make it to market in it's current form.
    • It's nostalgia and people tiring of the MMO model as a whole. They think going back to the roots is going to make a good game because they remember having fun back in the day.

      I rerolled on EQ1 recently just for shits and giggles after a year and a half of EQ2. It was fun and really cool taking a look back at my favorite zones -- some of them are really well designed. But on the whole I found that the zones are not as big as I remember, nor nearly as interesting. Gameplay is boring as hell. Levels take for
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:40PM (#15402683) Journal
    My only experience is with other beta's and with other MMORPG's and while I do regonize what is being claimed here I also notice that this post is totally one sided.

    There seems to be some hatred against WoW players. I can only imagine that this is the same hatred that Counterstrike players get. I was in a beta for a couple of more realistic shooters and we had good reasons to loathe CS players. They would get their beta key and instantly demand the game be turned into a CS clone.

    If you get a post like "they should do X like they it in CS" or "this game sucks because I am good at X in CS and I suck at it in this game" then there really isn't much you can do.

    So the players who like the game as it is fight the players who want to change the game. This nothing new. Just try following a debate on language reform.

    The example of a corpse run is mentioned. Corpse run is a penalty for dying. Everquest 2 for instance punishes you with an experience debt unless you go back to where you died and reassorb your ghost. Other games leave your equipment lying out in the wild forcing you to go back to get your loot.

    It makes the game more of a challenge forcing you to think about a battle. Not just wether you can handle that boss you need for a quest but wether you will make it back out again.

    Without a corspe run you run the risk of players just using dying to get back to the city to sell their loot. Ask Star Wars Galaxies with the Trials of Obi-wan expansion. For that matter it existed before where people would kill themselves to get rid of a doctor buff that was about to run out so they could get a new one.

    Kinda ruins the atmo when you got people begging to be wiped out. "Hey you want to go hunt rancors tonight" "Sure, let me just kill myself before we head out okay?" "Eh, right".

    WoW for all its success is not everyones cup of tea and it can be disappointing to see every game try to emulate it. Again, look at SWG. It tried to WoW people and is near dead because of it.

    So yes forum discusssions can become very heated BUT there is always two sides to a story. The person comments we read in the main article claim that the hardcore resisted attempts to add WoW elements to the game. Eheh, meaning he wanted to make the game into WoW. Is he basically upset because he didn't get to mold the game into his vision?

    MMORPG's are very hard games to produce and if the designer doesn't 100% believe in what he wants to do there is the risk that he could start to believe that the tiny vocal minority on the forums somehow represents the majority. On the other hand if he ignores them he risks that they are infact the majority.

    You can't please everyone but you sure as hell can upset everyone.

    • If you get a post like "they should do X like they it in CS" (...) then there really isn't much you can do.

      But what if they should do X like they do it in CS/WoW/whatever other game you hate? What if it is a really valid suggestion, even for this different game? You should judge an idea based on its merits, not on it's origin.

      • Beta testers are there to test the game, not design it ... the designers and architects had a vision, and implemented it. They employed beta testers to stress it out and make sure it worked.
        • Beta testing is not just stress testing and bugs, it's also feedback on gameplay mechanics. That's why devs invite uber guilds in and set them up to fight raids, to test the gameplay mechanics. Not just for exploits but for fine tuning. Devs often display a substantial lack of knowledge about gameplay mechanics compared to the players who play those classes for hours on end, and if a class isn't fun or powerful, or a gameplay mechanic is boring to most people, I can't help but think it's helpful to them to
      • For instance the CS design that you have to buy your weapons vs other games where you just get your equipment handed to you.

        Wich is better? Neither. It is a design choice and will determine the kind of game it is. Yes there are some things wich should be done the same in most games. The move to TCP/IP for multiplayer games was for instance a good move and every game was right for copying it.

        Introducing a system to stop cheating would also be smart to follow.

        But not every FPS needs to include a warthog ju

    • "The example of a corpse run is mentioned. Corpse run is a penalty for dying. Everquest 2 for instance punishes you with an experience debt unless you go back to where you died and reassorb your ghost."

      Not any more. No more corpse runs in EQ2. Now you get 10% equipment damage and a small amount of debt (less than 1% of level). Honestly I've never seen the debt be really a serious problem. I don't think I've ever had more than 2% debt. City of Heroes had much harsher debt penalties (I think they've reduced i
  • Maybe they should take the strategy of not listening to what the customer says, just like Nintendo (which was also suggested in the linked article). All of this "my way or the highway" from the user base is ridiculous considering it isn't their game and it isn't their work.

    The games should be made to be fun, and when it is, people will come. It seems that games nowadays are made to be a bragging grounds, fun or not. It has to be an overly difficult game that rewards time (and lots of it) to pander to the "s
  • Keep 'em out (Score:3, Informative)

    by jasonmicron (807603) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @01:02PM (#15402899)
    Vanguard has been advertised as a hardcore-only game since it's inception. I actually like hell levels, grinding and slow travel. It gives me the feel that I'm actually in the world and not just playing a game. I want immersion in an MMORPG, not another game.

    There is something to be said for having to wait for 30 minutes for a boat ride from Freeport to Butcherblock with islands to visit on the way. It keeps people more inclined to explore their current environment instead of looking for the fastest way to level up and going to the appropriate zone to do that.

    I do hope the game lives up to what it is being advertised to be.

    And I'll say it one more time: THEY HAVE BEEN ADVERTISING THAT THEY DON'T WANT THE "WOW" CROWD FOR YEARS. That alone has driven up their popularity with the hardcore MMORPG gamers because honestly, very few hardcore people even PLAY WoW to begin with.
    • Revived my EQ acct to get back in the spirit before Vanguard hits. I have high hopes and I pray I am not disappointed. I agree very strongly with you. Vanguard is catering to the hardcore gamer. That's a point everyone is missing, too many people feel "success" is dictated by having the most players. "Success" is turning a profit and having happy customers that stick around to play :)
    • "That alone has driven up their popularity with the hardcore MMORPG gamers because honestly, very few hardcore people even PLAY WoW to begin with."

      That's because there are very few (but mouthy) "hardcore" players to begin with, which is why this will fail.
      • Like the original Everquest did?
        I'm not saying that Vanguard will succeed just that I bet there are enough hardcore gamers to support a game like that.
        I tried out Eve and after my two week trial realized that it was too hardcore for me. Nonetheless it is a popular game with a dedicated (if small compared to WoW or some other MMOs) group of players.
    • There is something to be said for having to wait for 30 minutes for a boat ride from Freeport to Butcherblock with islands to visit on the way. It keeps people more inclined to explore their current environment instead of looking for the fastest way to level up and going to the appropriate zone to do that.

      Yeah, it made me say "Gee, I'm glad my wife plays a wizard and will get ports in a few levels."

      I, too, want the game world to feel big. The later editions to EQ, especially the Plane of Knowledge ports, r
      • Ah, a like-minded soul who mourns the loss of "scale" in EQ1. I'm one of those firm believers in the concept that travel should require effort. That effort can be any of the following:

        - Time: walk/run your way across the land
        - Money: pay for a port
        - Networking: get ports for free by networking with others
        - Personal Effort: Level up as a porting class

        In short, provide a variety of means for players to short-cut the distance problem. That allows players to choose their mode of travel based on their
    • I think what you're referring to is the hardcore role-players. Sure, you may claim that MMORPGs indicate role-playing, but in reality, that is just a moniker used by the marketing department or for any games that have the "level up" system. "Role-playing" and "role-playing games" aren't really synonymous anymore (although they do oftentimes overlap).

      With that, then you realize using the words "hardcore-only game" to represent "hardcore role-playing" is a little misleading. There are various types of hardc
    • Vanguard has been advertised as a hardcore-only game since it's inception. I actually like hell levels, grinding and slow travel. It gives me the feel that I'm actually in the world and not just playing a game. I want immersion in an MMORPG, not another game.

      I totally agree with the first sentence, and disagree with the rest. Which is the whole point-- different games for different niches. It's not too surprising that the Vanguard testers are WoW-phobic, since making it WoWish kills off its unique selling
    • I want immersion in an MMORPG, not another game

      That's impossible for many reasons.

      (1) Players with retarded names. As soon as you log on and see someone with Drizzzzzt DoDurddden as character name, immersion breaks. There are also superb names like Scratch MyBalls or xTerminatorx and so on.

      (2) These games have quests that everyone does. Oh wait, he killed the evil knight, wait, me too, him too, good bye immersion. Same thing with dragons that need raids to take down. That dragon will "magically" respawn in
  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @01:35PM (#15403187) Homepage
    SOE is the 10,000 ton boat anchor around their necks. I have two reasons to never trust a MMO that is associated with SOE in any way:

    Star Wars Galaxies Combat Upgrade
    Star Wars Galaxies New Game Experience

    It's so bad that mmorpg.com has posted a stickied "Official SOE hate thread" in the forum of every SOE game.
    • SOE is just doing the backend/billing/etc. They aren't doing the design work. That's Sigil. It is actually going to be a very good relationship, not only because the people know each other well but because Sony is pretty good at keeping servers up and online billing / game cards / etc (unlike that **other** mmo).

      (you have to remember there is a distinction between the design/engineering team and the people that do the hosting/admin stuff. Sigil is the former, SOE is the latter)
    • SoE has highs and lows. Everquest had a couple very lackluster expansions, but I think they've recovered recently. Everquest 2 is my favorite MMO and they've had great devs who have mostly made very good decisions and rectified many of the mistakes they made with EQ. SWG is a steaming pile of crap that they managed to revise into even worse and worse forms.

      I think the problems with SWG were (1) shitty devteam, (2) shitty management deadlines, (3) too many restrictions with LucasEtc looking over their shoul
  • I liked that article, it's too bad they won't mix WoW and EQ...as many mistakes as WoW made they did make some sizeable improvements over EQ as well.

    Corpse runs are definately something that should be left in the past.
  • There's really two issues here.

    The first is that Vanguard is not aimed at the same user base as WoW. WoW is clearly a more 'casual' game than EverQuest before it, and Vanguard looks to be designed to be a more sophisticated version of EverQuest's original vision for reward-and-punishment systems, perhaps even harsher. Is the potential playerbase for a game of Vanguard's sort as large as WoW's has proven to be? I've always thought that it wasn't by at least one order of magnitude, perhaps more, and though
  • A Response (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ozuri (977127) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:25PM (#15404201)
    We have a tremendous amount of respect for World of Warcraft, its success, the expansion of the gaming audience for MMOGs, and many of the elements that they incorporated or improved upon from those games that came before them. They've done this industry a great service by increasing awareness and setting a new bar for quality. As EverQuest did, as World of Warcraft did, as every game that has come out in this genre has done, we will iterate on the things that we feel were done correctly, fix the things we think were done incorrectly, and then innovate where we feel necessary -- this is a largely intuitive process, but one where our experience continues to lead us appropriately. Beta Testers are an extremely valuable resource for feedback, but they do not dictate the design of the game that we are building. That design came from Brad & Jeff and the team long ago (the much and oft touted Vision) and will be tuned and reevaluated by the team as feedback comes in -- but the game design is not, has never been, and will not be dictated by anyone other than the developer. Our Beta testers can be passionate about their opinions and they air them when appropriate, as has been requested of them. However, much like here, you take everything with a grain of salt, carefully evaluate, discard the opinions that are inflammatory or without merit, and then weigh the remainder carefully against your own understanding. The Beta is not in trouble, and the community is not the source of all negativity -- rather, they provide us a resource that is absolutely fundamental to ongoing evaluation of the content and systems we are implementing. And frankly, our daily interaction with the game provides us the most accurate perspective in evaluating the status of the game, its trajectory for launch, and its eventual likelihood of success. We're going to be fine. :) We welcome the conversation. Zack K. Director, Business Development Sigil Games Online
  • The problem I see with MMORPGs, is that not everyone can be the hero.

    I can't be content with being Joe Soldier in a huge army, I want to be special in the game world (Although, thinking that some celebrities play MMOs anonymously, maybe they want to be 'ordinary' for a change) I wasn't satisfied with leaving Everquest until for one thing I was the first player in the game to do it.(Actually solving a challenge when there was no online walkthrough!)

    The other side is that few people are willing to go through
  • From what I've seen it's going to be an MMO among the few that aren't for carebears or the lighthearted. Sure instances from WoW and some other games have their place, but in a true MMO world map, loot drops and such don't need instances. You should have to fight it out with others for such things. Remember when WoW was in Beta, the extent of "pvp" was walking up to someone and asking them if they would allow a fight between the two of you.

    Games such as WoW are one giant safe zone really. Not counting the

    • an MMO among the few that aren't for carebears or the lighthearted
      n a true MMO world map, loot drops and such don't need instances
      You should have to fight it out with others
      The "danger" adds a level of fun, excitment and randomness to it

      No 'I' statements here. It's a fact that WoW is for the 'lighthearted'. It's a fact that WoW isn't a 'true MMO world'. It's a fact that you should have to 'fight it out with others'.

      In my post below, where I said that the sort of players Vanguard attracts seem more dogmat
    • Also, 'carebear' is, frankly, a useless and meaningless term that people use to discredit other arguments without having to engage their positions. I find it difficult to take seriously any argument that includes that sort of content-free insults aimed at the other side. That some people feel the need to not just promote and advocate for their own preferred play style, but trash people who's tastes differ along the way is not an argument in favor of the likely social atmosphere of Vanguard.

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