1. #1

    Commentary on MMO gameplay.

    This is a bit of a rant. So points will be all over the place.

    Raids remind me of old NES platformers and scrolling shoot'them ups. Heavy reliance on memorizing the layout of the level and attacking patterns of the enemies. Such gameplay is frequently "unfair", with a lot of "WTF was that?1!" moments that punish players for not being psychic, where the only way to win is by trial and error.

    In contrast we have games, e.g. Mario, that do their best to gently introduce combat mechanics then slowly ramp up their use, increasing the difficulty.

    That fact that we use terms like "rotation" to describe what players do during a fight say quite a lot about the nature of MMO PVE combat.

    Does Street Fighter have a "rotation"? Combos sure, but those are more like "rules of thumb" than "gospel".

    From what I have seen, the game is more "seat of the pants" decision making, where players react to their environment/to challenges and dealing with them as they come - which also contrasts with the "memorize your way to success" gameplay of MMOs.

    PVP burst.

    "Burst must be high or players will never die."

    This is something Blizzard has said quite a few times in one way or any other.

    I think the root of the problem is,

    Heals are OPed. Heals can erase "progress".

    Solution,

    Huge HP pools relative to damage output, ensuring all players involved have a chance to throw a few punches - you know, play the game - before the whole thing is over.

    Heals must be weaker than damage, such that "in the long run" it slows the depletion of HP pools and not "reverse" the depletion - or the fight would never end.

    This is kind of the way fighting games work. Relative huge HP pools v.s. Damage throughput. No healing whatsoever.

    The alternative is to have heavy amount of CC to keep damage/heals under control to weaken them v.s. HP pools/damage throughput. Nearly the same "result" but can't say heavy CC is fun for players on the receiving end.

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  2. #2
    Pit Lord barackopala's Avatar
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    What are you talking about?

    I dont think i get your point

    Nor why you are writting like this

    But PvE depends on the mmo you're playing

    I like having rotations, but it's also nice having action put into the game, hence I like both WoW-Wildstar and GW2 with certain boss designs, maybe you need to broaden your MMO spectrum?

    Because it seems you're just talking about WoW

    And there are a lot of other mmo's there.
    Cod has a new campaign, new weapons, new multiplayer levels every year. Zelda has been recycling the same weapons, villains, and dungeons since the 80's. Zelda recycles enough to make cod blush. The same weapons, villains, dungeons, and princess in every single Zelda for the most part. It's almost as cheesy as bowser vs Mario round 35

  3. #3
    If something can be memorized, has a definite pattern and repeated infinitely, how could it be unfair?

    This doesn't make sense.

    Also, fighting games do have rotations. A combo in Street Fighter is not a rule of thumb- it is an absolute function by design.

    Your choice of words and phrasing are odd and/or incorrect.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    If something can be memorized, has a definite pattern and repeated infinitely, how could it be unfair?

    This doesn't make sense.


    http://youtu.be/gvnRBywkUZ0?t=7m49s (if lazy)

    Can it be beaten? Sure, you just have to memorize the whole thing.

    Also, fighting games do have rotations. A combo in Street Fighter is not a rule of thumb- it is an absolute function by design.
    Ya, but no one nags at you if you don't do them. Or do them slightly different.

    i.e. They are rules of thumb.

    For most part, there isn't really a fixed "rotation", you adapt to your opponent.

    You don't win by "getting down the pattern" like you do in raids or those old scrolling shoot'em ups.

    It would be more fun if WoW was more like that.
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  5. #5
    What you're describing sounds like more RNG in a game. People do raids for the cohesive challenge that comes with overcoming known timings, positions, etc. Many raids can't me 'memorized' because there are RNG mechanics in place, ie. where an attack/AoE can spawn, timings of attacks (differences in seconds matter, which can't be 100% accurate with DBM iirc (unless it's been perfectly updated)), etc.

    PvP is not meant to be like fighting games. Nor would most people want it to be I'd think, since they could just go play a fighting game.

    Also, 'rotation' has been scrapped for 'priority queue', which is also based on some RNG with procs. Whereby, your reaction timing matters, just like it does in fighting games, adapting to the changing situation. That only exists when you're not reacting to an environmental shift/attack you may be unaware of.

    While I see you said your points will be all over the place, what is your actual gripe to be sorted out? I think you're forgetting how hard it is to do all things simultaneously in a raid, especially of heroic proportions. Very, very few people clear heroic raids in the grand scheme.

    But yeah, it's kind of hard to respond when you don't really have something to go off of. xD

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by WorldofWorkcraft View Post
    Also, 'rotation' has been scrapped for 'priority queue', which is also based on some RNG with procs. Whereby, your reaction timing matters, just like it does in fighting games, adapting to the changing situation. That only exists when you're not reacting to an environmental shift/attack you may be unaware of.
    I feel it would be beneficial for WoW and MMOs in general to move to a more "fly by the seat of your pants" style of gameplay and less "trial and error until you figure out the pattern" gameplay.

    Quote Originally Posted by WorldofWorkcraft View Post

    While I see you said your points will be all over the place, what is your actual gripe to be sorted out?
    Well, there isn't one. These are just random musings that floated into my head about various things. There no real structure to them nor do they describe any specific issue.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Can it be beaten? Sure, you just have to memorize the whole thing.
    So you really mean to describe something really difficulty?

    Unfairness is a disregard of established rules, inequity and/or lack of kindliness/inconsideration. Not difficulty or trial and error.

    Trial and error has nothing to do with equity.

    Ya, but no one nags at you if you don't do them. Or do them slightly different.
    You would lose if you did them differently as they would not work.

    I am not sure what "nagging" has to do with gameplay. Again, the manner in which you are speaking about video games is objectively incorrect.

    For most part, there isn't really a fixed "rotation", you adapt to your opponent.
    This is false. Are you familiar with high level, tournament fighting games?

    The concept exists as a point of design that a sufficiently skilled and proper playing of the game assumes both players have an absolute mastery of every offense and defensive action. When tier lists are created they assume this and tournament play is define by "Mind Games".

    "Mind Games" suppose that either player can only be beaten by baiting or fooling one user into not performing the exact sequence of inputs correctly for any given scenario. Assuming no failure in play the win outcome is mathematically consistent.

    Every major EVO fighting game tournament has been decided by a superior mastery of sequencing. This past year's finals for King of Fighters is an excellent example of perfected rotation of attack and defensive sequencing.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    So you really mean to describe something really difficulty?

    Unfairness is a disregard of established rules, inequity and/or lack of kindliness/inconsideration. Not difficulty or trial and error.

    Trial and error has nothing to do with equity.
    I suppose my point is, if you throw a challenge at a player and that player has no chance of clearing it unless he has attempted it before and know what's coming, that is my definition of "unfair".

    It's like expecting a child to be a pro swimmer when he has never entered a pool of water deeper than a puddle.

    The oldest trick for NES games is to have the enemy pop up and hit you before you even have time to react. The only way to avoid certain death is to know it's coming and "not be there".

    WoW has tried to work around this "trial and error" problem with the dungeon journal ... that has got to be one of the worst ways to do it. Having to read a textbook before doing an encounter is just dumb.

    Game mechanics used by dungeons should be "gently" introduced to players before you "turn it up to 11" and whack them in the face with it.

    You would lose if you did them differently as they would not work.

    I am not sure what "nagging" has to do with gameplay. Again, the manner in which you are speaking about video games is objectively incorrect.

    This is false. Are you familiar with high level, tournament fighting games?

    The concept exists as a point of design that a sufficiently skilled and proper playing of the game assumes both players have an absolute mastery of every offense and defensive action. When tier lists are created they assume this and tournament play is define by "Mind Games".

    "Mind Games" suppose that either player can only be beaten by baiting or fooling one user into not performing the exact sequence of inputs correctly for any given scenario. Assuming no failure in play the win outcome is mathematically consistent.

    Every major EVO fighting game tournament has been decided by a superior mastery of sequencing. This past year's finals for King of Fighters is an excellent example of perfected rotation of attack and defensive sequencing.
    Again, in summary, the fact that we have "rotations" and "priority queues" just shows how "routine" the gameplay is - it can literally be done by a bot.**

    You don't get to think, "I should use this ability, but I could use that one instead.".

    ** For heaven sakes, players have even write SpellFlash type addons ...
    Last edited by SodiumChloride; 2014-09-30 at 05:04 AM.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    I suppose my point is, if you throw a challenge at a player and that player has no chance of clearing it unless he has attempted it before and know what's coming, that is my definition of "unfair".
    That isn't the definition of unfair.

    Again, in summary, the fact that we have "rotations" and "priority queues" just shows how "routine" the gameplay is - it can literally be done by a bot.**
    I don't understand your inherent objection. World of Warcraft's gameplay is based on a limited linear progression of statistical gain and advantage through repetition.

    The action of inputting commands is not actually central to World of Warcraft's gameplay. Commands are merely the system of interaction given to the process of playing World of Warcraft. Though the gameplay expression allows one to input no-commands or singular commands when a minimum threshold of statistical superiority is achieved.

    By contrast, inputting commands is the central cause of gameplay in Guild Wars for example.

    You are talking about gameplay as you wish it to be- which is fine. But your notions seem to be based on false understanding of existing gameplay. WoW isn't designed to be played in the manner you may desire by any expression of it's rules; expectation != reality.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    That isn't the definition of unfair.
    Lets use another term ... Maybe "bullshit"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    I don't understand your inherent objection. World of Warcraft's gameplay is based on a limited linear progression of statistical gain and advantage through repetition.

    The action of inputting commands is not actually central to World of Warcraft's gameplay. Commands are merely the system of interaction given to the process of playing World of Warcraft. Though the gameplay expression allows one to input no-commands or singular commands when a minimum threshold of statistical superiority is achieved.

    By contrast, inputting commands is the central cause of gameplay in Guild Wars for example.
    Partly yes. But I'm sure equally geared Arena players duking it out in the R1 bracket would disagree that "World of Warcraft's gameplay is based on a limited linear progression of statistical gain and advantage through repetition" is the only aspect of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    You are talking about gameplay as you wish it to be- which is fine. But your notions seem to be based on false understanding of existing gameplay. WoW isn't designed to be played in the manner you may desire by any expression of it's rules; expectation != reality.
    >.>

    Prove it.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Lets use another term ... Maybe "bullshit"?
    That's fair. But it is now only a value and definition you own. That is to say it is your opinion, which is fine, but not really valuable to the discussion of gameplay operation.

    Partly yes. But I'm sure equally geared Arena players duking it out in the R1 bracket would disagree that "World of Warcraft's gameplay is based on a limited linear progression of statistical gain and advantage through repetition" is the only aspect of the game.
    It is the only aspect fo the game. You can not even interact with World of Warcraft's encounters otherwise.

    There is literally no way to "fight" or engage in the modus of combat in WoW without the gameplay expression of a statistical outcome being determined by a gain of limited linear power relative to each unit.

    Even those "equally" gear players duking it out can not do so without the game rules leveraging the statistical power of each unit rendered through the game engine.

    It is not possible to play World of Warcraft's main operation of gameplay in any manner. It would not even be possible for Blizzard to code such a game.


    Prove it.
    Sure.

    Player desire: Player driven deterministic input as the sole or major expression of gameplay.
    Reality: Gameplay is expressed by relative statistical comparisons of individual units.

    No matter what action I take, including taking no direct action my victory is always ensured based on the statistical superiority of my controlling unit (the mage) relative to the inferiority of the AI unit (the boar).

    http://imgur.com/o2skwl9
    http://imgur.com/9tOBbGn
    http://imgur.com/DUnoTcy

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    snip
    That's the thing. Gear and states is only half the equation. The other half is the player playing.

    If stats are the only thing that matter, might as well just skip the fight. The outcome is predetermined anyway.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    That's the thing. Gear and states is only half the equation. The other half is the player playing.
    Acquiring the stats is the gameplay. Hence, limited linear.

    If stats are the only thing that matter, might as well just skip the fight. The outcome is predetermined anyway.
    There are many games that exist just like this in fact. They ostensibly "play themselves" (I'm playing one such right now as I type; Minute Quest) with the player only setting up a routine or route of progression they determine as the best potential statistical outcome; then the game executes the outcomes automatically showing you how close you came to mathematical perfection.

    The problem isn't what you want out of a game, SodiumChloride. What you are asking and wishing for in gameplay is valid and possible. But you may be desiring a style of gameplay that World of Warcraft and other similar 2nd era MMOs (SWTOR, Rift, EQ2, etc) are not designed for.

    World of Warcraft or Rift/Whatever, is not an Action game. They are not input deterministic games, they are strictly stat based games.
    Last edited by Fencers; 2014-09-30 at 02:48 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    Acquiring the stats is the gameplay. Hence, limited linear.

    There are many games that exist just like this in fact. They ostensibly "play themselves" (I'm playing one such right now as I type; Minute Quest) with the player only setting up a routine or route of progression they determine as the best potential statistical outcome; then the game executes the outcomes automatically showing you how close you came to mathematical perfection.

    The problem isn't what you want out of a game, SodiumChloride. What you are asking and wishing for in gameplay is valid and possible. But you may be desiring a style of gameplay that World of Warcraft and other similar 2nd era MMOs (SWTOR, Rift, EQ2, etc) are not designed for.

    World of Warcraft or Rift/Whatever, is not an Action game. They are not input deterministic games, they are strictly stat based games.
    But WoW isn't a game that plays itself!!! Far from it.

    If you fight a group of equal level mobs, whether you know what you are doing, is the difference between surviving the encounter and not.

    You claim the game is not what I want. (Lets put that aside for a moment.) But the game you are describing isn't what WoW is either.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    But WoW isn't a game that plays itself!!! Far from it.
    I did not say it was. I was just using an extreme example of stat based gameplay.

    If you fight a group of equal level mobs, whether you know what you are doing, is the difference between surviving the encounter and not.
    Limited linear.

    You do survive by having the superiority in statistical outcome- your holy nova will heal for X vs. Y damage when you input the command, Frost Nova will freeze X targets for Y seconds when you press the command, etc.

    These actions are not player determined- they are player inputted. One does not heal so much more by being good at using holy nova. The factors that govern the outcome of the action are stat based.

    It is simply a matter of scale.

    At level 1 relative to a level 10 monster, you are at a statistical disadvantage and no possible direct comparison can favor you whatsoever. At level 10 relative to a level 10 monster you have a more equal statistical comparison but no factor of input can alter the parameters of the statistical outcome of your actions. At level 100 relative to level 10 monster the player's statistical superiority requires neither input or volition by the player.

    Provided a suitable high enough acquisition of statistical gain relative to any number of units a player's victory is guaranteed.

    You claim the game is not what I want.
    You are talking about deterministic gameplay, right? If I misunderstood the gist of your posts when speaking in gameplay I apologize. And if you wish to speak more acutely on gameplay to clarify your desire for gameplay that would be fine/helpful to our mutual understanding.

    But the game you are describing isn't what WoW is either.
    It is World of Warcraft. I have worked on games like this before- it is literally the method of gameplay expression and operation that a 2nd era MMO with a bimodal endgame and limited linear unit progression behaves from a DD/T standpoint.

    World of Warcraft is very, very well made. Thus while the outcome of a Mage's projectile is literally determined by the mathematical process of a number of statistical weights World of Warcraft very effectively impresses upon the player the idea of determinism. It is an illusion if, you will.

    However, the player doesn't really "aim" their projectile or cause it do more damage by some deterministic action. It will always hit the target, it will always roll damage based on the outcome of a mathematical process the player has limited control over.
    Last edited by Fencers; 2014-09-30 at 03:20 PM.

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