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  1. #621
    The Lightbringer Karizee's Avatar
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    I still enjoy going to Queensdale and visiting the Champion Troll - he can totally kick my arse if I'm not careful!

    As an aside, I do miss the days of seeing him rampage all over the fields and farms of Shaemoor slinging cattle around like so much dirty laundry. Too many people these days, he always goes down. /le sigh
    Who knows more of gods than I? Horse gods and fire gods, gods made of gold with gemstone eyes, gods carved of cedar wood, gods chiseled into mountains, gods of empty air... I know them all.
    ~Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy

  2. #622
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorelei View Post
    That's like saying that the first Harry Potter book was a waste of resources if people didn't go back and read it again once the other 6 books came out -- or more to the topic, that tutorial/intro levels in games are a waste of resources because no one replays those. Replayability is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It's a waste of resources if you want players to keep replaying content because of your business model and they don't, but having content that hooks them into the world such that they want to go play other content you make is just as valid. It's simple return on investment, from a business perspective.
    The problem is that it's far more expensive (and time-consuming) to create new MMO content than to write a new book. If you do it, you're making a very small percentage of players happy at the cost of making those unhappy who enjoy downleveling plus planned obsolescence. Not only is the benefit/cost ratio low, it's not even clear that the benefit/cost ratio isn't negative.

  3. #623
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvanie View Post
    Not only is the benefit/cost ratio low, it's not even clear that the benefit/cost ratio isn't negative.
    Actually it's not clear either way because we have no information on that. Despite vocal opinions, most people enjoy leveling content. For so many years now it is all casual players had. And even in downleveling you have content that doesn't get used as often. Creating content that is 100% viable always would require a unique system and nightmare balancing that would require more resources to set up.

    Think about it. GW2 has it and it works fairly well, but the major complaint is that the rewards aren't on par with the high level zones. Whether it's because the loot that drops normally doesn't scale well or the fact that gathering nodes are outdated, you still have a system where it's not very advantageous to play 'lower' content.

    In order to have the system truly work, the resources from all zones would have to be required at any crafting level, or crafting would have to be sideways instead of vertical progression, or there would have to be vertical progression that just uses 'wood' instead of x wood, y wood, z wood, etc. This would either have to be balanced or would be a boring, subpar system.

    That's just one issue that is brought to the forefront when you go full on with content viability. There are several others. So realistically I think the way it has been done, including how it works in GW2 since it's not 'true' downleveling, is the most efficient way to develop content.
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  4. #624
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    Actually it's not clear either way because we have no information on that. Despite vocal opinions, most people enjoy leveling content.
    This is a different question. GW2 has leveling content; I'm not arguing for a game without levels or one where level is largely cosmetic and all content is equal in importance; GW2 simply isn't such a game. Now check how many level 90 players there are in leveling zones in WoW compared to how many are doing level 90 stuff. This will give you an upper bound on how many players find that killing wolves in Elwynn Forest at level 90 is an important part of the game.

    Think about it. GW2 has it and it works fairly well, but the major complaint is that the rewards aren't on par with the high level zones. Whether it's because the loot that drops normally doesn't scale well or the fact that gathering nodes are outdated, you still have a system where it's not very advantageous to play 'lower' content.
    "Endgame" is a totally different question from whether downleveling is sensible. If you were to add downleveling to WoW today (whether GW2 or Rift style, i.e. mandatory or optional), the endgame wouldn't change one iota, but, depending on the rewards (e.g., valor for old heroics), additional players would play low-level content (case in point: after Rift introduced mentoring, you saw quite a few level 50 players in leveling dungeons, even though the rewards were inferior).

  5. #625
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvanie View Post
    If you were to add downleveling to WoW today (whether GW2 or Rift style, i.e. mandatory or optional), the endgame wouldn't change one iota, but, depending on the rewards (e.g., valor for old heroics), additional players would play low-level content (case in point: after Rift introduced mentoring, you saw quite a few level 50 players in leveling dungeons, even though the rewards were inferior).
    This is true. I've actually been thinking WoW is going to add the feature pretty soon. There have been some rumors that old raids are going to be added to LFR with downscaling, which is at least a good move to utilizing old assets. I don't see any problems with it other than immersion. It's a good system for giving activities to players, but it definitely doesn't jive with the world in the game at all. Even giving a half hearted story of needing to use time travel to stop the enemies again because of *retcon reason #3* would feel odd, but still be fun.

    The problem is that too many features like this and the game becomes one big pool of systems instead of a game. I never realized this until someone made that specific criticism about WoW. Instead of feeling like an immersive game anymore, it just feels like a bunch of systems to progress your character. But anyways, us talking about this leads me into a really good discussion but it's going to veer way off topic so I'll reign it in.

    I'm completely pro choice for downleveling. I think it's a great way to keep content always fresh, while allowing everyone the experience they want. I think rewards should scale to your real level, but like I mentioned before it is complicated to balance. In regards to there being specifically leveling content, you can't calculate the overall value of producing it or what is gained from it for many reasons outside of not having numbers. Leveling content is what introduces new players to the game in a fundamental way, allows character progression from day 1, and is a much friendlier system to get used to when jumping between MMOs....though with the caveat that it's a barrier to end game which some people can't stand.
    BAD WOLF

  6. #626
    Illogical.

    Immersion is not gameplay.

    Video games are definitive and practically a system of rules. Specifically in the case of World of Warcraft a persistent, progression based gameplay model.

    If a game "feels" [dubious word choice] like a distinct set of play systems than that would be a description of a video game functioning at the highest level of design and execution. By logic, a quintessential example of the form and medium if true.

    Where there is immersion in a video game it is in the service of gameplay or the game(play) is faulty. It couldn't be otherwise because that would be a contradiction of the form.

  7. #627
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    Illogical.

    Immersion is not gameplay.
    You like to jump on this a lot, except I never stated anything remotely close to what you responded with. Sorry, this thing you like to repeat, which I agree with just fine, doesn't apply here. Especially since the 'feels' were what someone else wrote and I was expressing I understood what they meant...

    Unless you are trying to completely dismiss the idea of immersion as an intrinsic value that makes some games more enjoyable, which would also be wrong and not what I was talking about at all. It wouldn't matter whether it services the gameplay, as immersive experiences have inherent value. Maybe if we stepped out of the video game sphere and analyzed immersion with other techniques you would understand that better, for example literature or even physical locations. So even if the gameplay remained unchanged, but the qualities that are attributed to immersion are removed, the overall game and an individual's perception of that game could suffer. Which was really the entire point. (of that one specific bit of text and not the whole post in general)

    So I guess I'm left with asking what your point was, other than to rush to call falsely call someone's writing illogical? I respect you and honestly don't mean offense, but this gameplay routine you like to do often seems very robotic and not applicable to some things these days.
    BAD WOLF

  8. #628
    I didn't play Guild Wars 2 for long. It just didn't hold my interest all that well, though I liked some of what I saw and didn't like other things. Based on my admittedly limited experience, I'll chime in.

    First, though, I'll make it clear that I'm a fan of the old school MMORPGs like EverQuest and then Classic WoW and TBC in more recent era. I don't cling to them as the holy grail of MMO history because they had a lot of flaws, but I feel they were a better foundation for a good MMORPG and the market, including WoW, has drifted extremely far from what they should be at their core; an adventure living in a fantasy (or other genre) world. With that disclaimer in place....


    Quote Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
    Dynamic Events
    I found them okay, but also annoying and sometimes pulled me out of the immersion more than pulled me in. Seeing the same "dynamic" event every time I ran by somewhere didn't make it feel like the world was alive and things were happening. Instead it just felt like there was a script on loop in that location and the same thing would happen repeatedly. I also found GW2's implementation a bit jarring when I'd walk along the edge of a forest and somehow I knew that a garrison needed help on the opposite end of the forest.

    I think the dynamic event is a good idea, but lacked polish in the start of GW2. I'd rather see future MMOs incorporate a blend of traditional quest givers and dynamic events so it's logical as to how things are discovered.

    Holy Trinity
    Similarly to dynamic events, I like the idea, but don't feel it was incorporated quite as well as it could be. I'd rather see future MMOs explore a balance of the holy trinity but with a wider range of application. For example, say a rogue, priest, and ranger were in a party. I wouldn't want to see a priest class capable of tanking nor a rogue class capable of healing. To me it just doesn't really make sense for everyone to be able to do "something" that just magically restores their health. I'd rather see an MMO developed that says "yeah, a rogue is a damage dealer, but they can tank." I'd equate it to developing classes similar to warriors in WoW having stances. A rogue could, with the push of a button, switch to an evasive combat style that allows them to tank at the expense of doing much damage and evading/dodging/parrying attacks to avoid damage.

    I guess I fall in the "keep the holy trinity but expand on what classes make up the concept of holy trinity" in a sense.

    Dodging
    Love it, though I'd like a little more "realism" to it in future MMOs rather than rolling back about 20 yards or way off to the side, etc. The basic idea, though? Absolutely solid. Keep it, polish it, develop it, use it.

    Downleveling
    I liked it to an extent. My only downside was that sometimes it IS nice to go back to older areas and be able to just crush the weak enemies.
    I think EverQuest's system that allowed players to down level to mentor lower level players was a good in between (surprise, GW2 wasn't ground breaking in this department). Allowing players to down level when they wanted to was an interesting medium. However, I also do like the feel that the world, regardless of your experience and awesomeness, can still be dangerous.
    Pros outweight the cons for me; I'd probably prefer down leveling in my dream MMO over not having it and even over the optional version.

    skill system
    Wouldn't mind the weapon based skill system, but I didn't care for the implementation in GW2. I like the idea of different skills and combat styles based on weaponry, though.

    Combo fields
    Didn't really experience them much.

    Downed State
    Love the downed state and would even like to see it as an option in a game that employs the holy trinity. I'd particularly like seeing a downed state being essentially dazed, wounded, injured and any other players can get you up, but only a healer can heal you fully or rez you if you take too much damage while down.

    Multi-Guilds
    Didn't really like it in Final Fantasy XI, not really a fan in GW2. Not a fan of the concept in general. It removes the idea of belonging to a group in my opinion.

    World vs. World
    Not a fan of PvP, didn't explore it too much.
    "There is good and evil in this world; we must find the black and white in the gray."

  9. #629
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    Very good explanation of the distinction. I will add that having areas where you are a heroic conqueror not only makes you feel like you have 'arrived' as you said, but it actually magnifies the perceived challenge of current content.

    If there are areas you can now dominate because of your increased power as a hero, the new areas that are difficult, the new raid content, all of that seems vastly greater than what you can faceroll. When all of the game is almost equally as hard, nothing seems magnificently difficult. It's just all difficult and you feel like a chump sometimes.

    I like the feeling in GW2 just fine, but would not want it forced in any other game. I think it ties into their philosophy of the entire game being end game and overall just fits for their design, but that's because of many other factors than just the existence of downleveling.
    I see yours and Lorelei's point but also to be honest I feel the lowest and starting zones are complete faceroll for a well equipped high level toon there is absolutely nothing of danger in them and you can mostly oneshot everything.
    When in doubt, mumble...

  10. #630
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    You like to jump on this a lot, except I never stated anything remotely close to what you responded with. Sorry, this thing you like to repeat, which I agree with just fine, doesn't apply here. Especially since the 'feels' were what someone else wrote and I was expressing I understood what they meant...
    I didn't quote you because I wasn't addressing you alone directly. I was addressing the discussion preceding my post above, in addition to some of the points you brought up here.

    It is always incorrect when gameplay is not the core of game playing. This is always the case.

    Scare quotes around "feels" because WoW is a collection of systems. There are no feels in it, as the game is that expressly. You can not play World of Warcraft without entering into one of these systems. Even the act of chatting is a system of play inherent to the game as a whole. A very tightly designed game.

    In relation to GW2 and the ongoing discussion about downleveling- that is a very defined set of systems. As Rhandric pointed out, here. Which is fairly accurate.

    The point is the systems in GW2 are in service to how the game plays out. Even if helping out the farm in QD @ L80 stretches the bounds of credulity [immersion].

    Why is that okay/important? Because games are about gameplay. Not immersion, story, believability, et cetera.
    Last edited by Fencers; 2013-04-26 at 03:38 AM.

  11. #631
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    First off for PvP will not comment, still way below any deadicated PvP game and it been an mmo is no excuse for me.

    Leveling/Events. The whole leveling and event system for me was brilliantly done. The leveling in this game was possibly the most fun I had in any mmo out side of 10 man Uldar hard modes with friends. Some zones however felt a bit bare and I think that either more accessibility to other zones early on or just more content is was needed.

    Down state: Take it out. I am perfectly fine with team mates ressing you (actually that would have been perfect in my honest opinion). But the down state was idiotic down to its very last mechanics. Been able to move when affectingly dead, been able to use actually useful abilities and ressing when any random mob you aoe'd die. All of these rub me the wrong way. If it was simply , when you die an ally can res you to get you back in the fight that would have been a very good mechanics that would add team work.

    Lack of trinity:One of the must fun mechanics in gaming, but the bosses felt like they were designed around the idea of having a trinity. What can I say great idea executed well and then not even used properly. The 2 or 3 fights that I felt was designed with this in mind however were on par with Uldar level fights Imo

    Final Verdict. Can't wait for an expo just to level again to be honest. The dungeons could keep me entertained if designed with the game combat system in mind. The game as a whole was worth the money but in no means fulfilled on its positional.

  12. #632
    Warchief Maarius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiif View Post
    Lack of trinity:One of the must fun mechanics in gaming, but the bosses felt like they were designed around the idea of having a trinity. What can I say great idea executed well and then not even used properly. The 2 or 3 fights that I felt was designed with this in mind however were on par with Uldar level fights Imo
    can you give me 2-3 examples? I don't quite get you.

  13. #633
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    I didn't quote you because I wasn't addressing you alone directly. I was addressing the discussion preceding my post above, in addition to some of the points you brought up here.
    Ok fair enough, but without a quote it was very confusing as a following post. I guess I took it out of context as a direct response to what I wrote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    Why is that okay/important? Because games are about gameplay. Not immersion, story, believability, et cetera.
    Ehh...kinda not true since many of those concepts bleed into gameplay. Additionally you are of a very particular theory of lit/game criticism, so saying that another style of thinking is just not acceptable b/c of x,y,z isn't really possible. You may be unfamiliar with why, since it is mostly philosophies that were developed for literary criticism, but it really applies to any medium.

    While I completely agree with the major point of your belief, that gameplay is above everything else, I think we have fundamental disagreement on the micro level of what that means. Obviously the gameplay is what a game is, because without it it becomes something else...ie, not a game. That much is 100% true and I don't disagree. Where we diverge is the distinctions and coexistence of those other things like story, immersion, etc.

    I believe there are some games where they are not separate at all, which means that talking about them in the same macro view as gameplay is correct and equally important.


    Redit:
    I agree with you, but disagree with you fundamentally in some ways. Overall, yes, gameplay is the thing. Regardless of what other factors are present.
    BAD WOLF

  14. #634
    Ehh...kinda not true since many of those concepts bleed into gameplay.
    Actually what you are hitting at is the difference between poor and excellent execution of systems.

    Most players [hopefully] are aware that video games are basically a collection of lines of code. That there is a programmer(s) at work in all the play systems possible within the game. Usually we all get this, so to speak.

    When things like immersion or narrative "work" they are in service of the gameplay. The distinction between the two can sometimes be hard to spot actually! Like Mario rescuing the princess-- that is a narrative device and within the rule set of Mario Bros. there is an internal logic to that crisis. There is immersion via gameplay; the "zone" players often speak of where it is that perfect moment of you are the controller.

    Which we see in games as diverse as Missile Command, Robotron, Defender, Symphony of the Night, The Legend of Zelda, Morrowind, Guild Wars 1 and Geometry Wars.

    There is a kind of immersion as a result of gameplay. But immersion itself isn't gameplay even in something like Dear Esther.

  15. #635
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    There is a kind of immersion as a result of gameplay. But immersion itself isn't gameplay even in something like Dear Esther.
    Correct, but I don't think games are only 'about gameplay', as you stated. There are many factors that point out why this isn't so, many of them being the planning stages of an IP, how the writers and artists affect the design process, and then how we develop a culture around these IPs. This is where our philosophies diverge, unless you meant the statement as a general conceit and not as a concrete truth of real world applications.

    But anyways, we've derailed for too long, though I'm not really sure how this thread is still alive because it seems to be mostly circular arguments or updates to arguments we've been having since the first page.
    BAD WOLF

  16. #636
    We don't close threads unless they become hostile or majorly irrelevant to the premise.

    How the gameplay system of downleveling and the psychology behind character progression function is very relevant to GW2's innovations.

  17. #637
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    We don't close threads unless they become hostile or majorly irrelevant to the premise.

    How the gameplay system of downleveling and the psychology behind character progression function is very relevant to GW2's innovations.
    Oh I wasn't saying to close the thread, just commenting on the circular nature of most of the subject matter the last few pages...ie, we've beaten a lot of horse corpses since the thread was created.
    BAD WOLF

  18. #638
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    Oh I wasn't saying to close the thread, just commenting on the circular nature of most of the subject matter the last few pages...ie, we've beaten a lot of horse corpses since the thread was created.
    That's the nature of forums. When someone creates a thread topic, it exists forever as long as people want to post stuff.

    This is also how good thread topics are created. Good topics typically envelope a wider concept or broader range of discussion than say "what race you'd like to see in the future?" The latter would be poor message boarding.


    Now. GW2. Gameplay. Innovations. This topic. Stay on it.


  19. #639
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    Think about it. GW2 has it and it works fairly well, but the major complaint is that the rewards aren't on par with the high level zones. Whether it's because the loot that drops normally doesn't scale well or the fact that gathering nodes are outdated, you still have a system where it's not very advantageous to play 'lower' content.
    I don't agree that the drops are not on a par. The only problem I have is that gathering is not worth while. The drops are almost always pretty good. I get about 50% of the drops as low level stuff but the rest is pretty good and it's much easier to run around in Queensdale than it is in Orr. Today I got an exotic from a veteran in Wayferer Foothills and a rare from trash. I was only there for about 15 minutes too waiting for Maw.

  20. #640
    The fine material drops are certainly not on par though. You won't ever get T5-T6 mats or bags containing them doing low level content.

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