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Default Elder Scrolls Online - Coldharbour and Molag Bal

May 4th, 2013, 21:57
The final mission in the personal story is actually some of the most riveting gameplay I've ever partaken of, MMO or otherwise. Speaking of GW2.
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May 4th, 2013, 23:18
Originally Posted by Elwro View Post
How does this plot even begin to make sense? Every single one of the zillions of players is "The special one"?
Yes, that's the main problem with MMO games in general. Imagine Middle Earth populated by hordes of Gandalfs, killing Sauron again and again for loot. Makes no sense. But I sense some sort of irony when I consider hordes of soulless players…
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May 5th, 2013, 00:08
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Everquest 1 and 2 are both alive and doing well. I've played a few online games, and none do it quite as well as these two have. I still raid in EQ2, Sony briefly dabbled with the toilet that is social bullcrap but they quickly backed off a few years ago, and the game has improved for it. Warcraft held my interest for 5 days, EQ has had me since 1998.



-Carn
I just started playing EQ2 and so far I'm very impressed. It's really done well. However, I'm not sure if I would subscribe because I'm a LOTRO VIP, and the 2 games are extremely similar. I will definitely play it more though and see how it goes. So far so good.

As for MMO stories, it's easy to do a personal story for your character. Why would you assume that every player in the game world is soulless, or the "chosen one"? Of course, technically they are, but the stories are crafted in a way that shows YOU are the only chosen one. You'll never see an NPC tell you there's hundreds of Gandalfs running around or anything. You might see other players killing some wolves, but there's never any conflict in the personal story and that of the story of others. So it's pretty simple to suspend your disbelief and enjoy a personal story as if it were a single player game, really.
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May 5th, 2013, 00:10
This is why MMO shouldn't have stories based around the player. It just stupid and break immersion. Note that I din't say MMO shouldn't have lore. In fact it should have lot of lore for the player to explore…

Everquest and Everquest 2 have LOTs of lore but I am not big fan of *all* of it. The tone of the lore is similar to D&D i.e. it can be very cheesy at times.

EQ2 is very old now but it has very strong community of players who still plays it. "Vanilla" EQ2 (first 2/3 years of release back in 2004) was one of the best PvE MMO ever however its pretty similar to WoW now, solo levelling, easy group content and soso raids…
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May 5th, 2013, 00:13
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
This is why MMO shouldn't have stories based around the player. It just stupid and break immersion.
How does it break immersion? Read my previous post. Nothing at all in MMO stories breaks immersion because you usually never know what the other players are doing. Just because you see other adventurers in the game world doesn't mean they are all soulless, or all the chosen one destined to save the world. Use your imagination a little.
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May 5th, 2013, 00:15
Story was never really meant to be the primary aspect of the genre. I'm surprised how much attention this feature is getting, considering how weak most of the MMO designs are in the important ways.
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May 5th, 2013, 00:17
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
How does it break immersion? Read my previous post. Nothing at all in MMO stories breaks immersion because you usually never know what the other players are doing. Just because you see other adventurers in the game world doesn't mean they are all soulless, or all the chosen one destined to save the world. Use your imagination a little.
Don't you mean it doesn't break immersion for YOU?

You know that players are running around doing exactly the same world-changing events as you are - and you can often SEE them doing it. Dozens of people running along the exact same path as you - killing the exact same mobs for the exact same reason.

I've gotten used to it, partially, but it's still an immersion-breaker from time to time.

It's key to appreciate that other people respond differently to these things without them being wrong about it.
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May 5th, 2013, 00:19
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
How does it break immersion? Read my previous post. Nothing at all in MMO stories breaks immersion because you usually never know what the other players are doing. Just because you see other adventurers in the game world doesn't mean they are all soulless, or all the chosen one destined to save the world. Use your imagination a little.
Does anything break your immersion? Or you use your imagination all the time and nothing break your immersion?
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May 5th, 2013, 00:23
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Story was never really meant to be the primary aspect of the genre. I'm surprised how much attention this feature is getting, considering how weak most of the MMO designs are in the important ways.
This is my main issue with personal stories in MMOs. Since Star wars, everybody seems to give them far more importance than they deserver in an MMO. And look what personal stores did to Star wars…

I am fine with persoanl stories and the like as side show for a MMO but they are not the main feature of the genre.
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May 5th, 2013, 00:31
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Don't you mean it doesn't break immersion for YOU?

You know that players are running around doing exactly the same world-changing events as you are - and you can often SEE them doing it. Dozens of people running along the exact same path as you - killing the exact same mobs for the exact same reason.

I've gotten used to it, partially, but it's still an immersion-breaker from time to time.

It's key to appreciate that other people respond differently to these things without them being wrong about it.
Yes, I meant it doesn't break immersion for me, but I thought that was implied. Anywho…

Yes, they are technically doing the same things you are, but how do you know that? Yes, you occasionally see people around, talking to the same NPCs as you, killing the same enemies, exploring the same locations, but you don't know WHY they are doing those things. They could be freelance mercenaries working for some new employer. They could be harvesting hides. Maybe they're talking to that NPC about something completely different. You just have to use your imagination a little .

I feel LOTRO is one of the most immersive experiences I've had in gaming, yet there's hundreds of other people running around. Maybe I'm just able to use my imagination well, but that's how it works for me.

A more direct example. I'm currently in the Mines of Moria in LOTRO. I see other players on their goats riding around all the time. So what? The dwarves have simply hired some people to help them retake the mines. Very simple to get past and not breaking immersion at all.
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May 5th, 2013, 00:48
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
The final mission in the personal story is actually some of the most riveting gameplay I've ever partaken of, MMO or otherwise. Speaking of GW2.
Huh.

I like GW2 a lot, and the final dungeon is, in terms of area design, pretty cool. But the gameplay of the final dragon fight and what leads up to it was painfully clunky to me. The bits with the gunship where it barely matters what you do? Why are those there?
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May 5th, 2013, 01:10
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Yes, I meant it doesn't break immersion for me, but I thought that was implied. Anywho…
Fair enough.

Yes, they are technically doing the same things you are, but how do you know that? Yes, you occasionally see people around, talking to the same NPCs as you, killing the same enemies, exploring the same locations, but you don't know WHY they are doing those things. They could be freelance mercenaries working for some new employer. They could be harvesting hides. Maybe they're talking to that NPC about something completely different. You just have to use your imagination a little .
So, when you go kill that super dangerous named spider - and it respawns a few minutes later and you see people killing the very same named spider all over again, you're imagining that they're freelance mercenaries?

I'm sorry, but that doesn't work for me. If the spider is named - it's unique and that means it can only be killed once.

I'm playing computer games because I like not having to use my imagination. Otherwise, I'd read books or go play outside like when I was a child.

Unfortunately, I'm no longer a child - and I can't pretend as well as I used to. So that's not an option for me. I'm counting on developers to make me suspend my disbelief and enable my immersion. I don't want to have to do the job myself.

Note that I'm not implying that you have to be a child to set aside these things - just that I haven't been very good at it since I was very young.

I feel LOTRO is one of the most immersive experiences I've had in gaming, yet there's hundreds of other people running around. Maybe I'm just able to use my imagination well, but that's how it works for me.
Maybe you have a stronger imagination than I do, I have no idea.

Somehow, I don't think that's really the difference between us - but that's hardly relevant here.

A more direct example. I'm currently in the Mines of Moria in LOTRO. I see other players on their goats riding around all the time. So what? The dwarves have simply hired some people to help them retake the mines. Very simple to get past and not breaking immersion at all.
As I said, that doesn't work for me.

Then again, I'm very different from you altogether - based on your positive opinions about pretty much everything except low-budget games

I'm a much more demanding gamer, obviously.
Last edited by DArtagnan; May 5th, 2013 at 01:21.
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May 5th, 2013, 01:24
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Fair enough.



So, when you go kill that super dangerous named spider - and it respawns a few minutes later and you see people killing the very same named spider all over again, you're imagining that they're freelance mercenaries?

I'm sorry, but that doesn't work for me. If the spider is named - it's unique and that means it can only be killed once.

I'm playing computer games because I like not having to use my imagination. Otherwise, I'd read books or go play outside like when I was a child.

Unfortunately, I'm no longer a child - and I can't pretend as well as I used to. So that's not an option for me. I'm counting on developers to make me suspend my disbelief and enable my immersion. I don't want to have to do the job myself.

I feel LOTRO is one of the most immersive experiences I've had in gaming, yet there's hundreds of other people running around. Maybe I'm just able to use my imagination well, but that's how it works for me.



As I said, that doesn't work for me.

Then again, I'm very different from you altogether - based on your exceedingly positive opinion about pretty much everything except low-budget games
Why would you be sticking around to watch others kill the named spider, though? Wouldn't you be running back to the quest giver at that point? Usually the game gives you enough time to get out of there before things respawn that you wouldn't notice something like this.

Seeing people kill the named spider I just killed could potentially bother me, but I haven't experienced that yet in my time with LOTRO.

I have seen some funny things since playing LOTRO, and I'll admit I've ignored and looked past them, pretty much.

An example of something funny. I did a quest to rescue someone's pet raven. I did the quest and saved the raven. A few minutes letter I went back to that location in order to grind some reputation items, and the raven was back in the spot I had just saved it from.

You run across stuff like that a lot in the game, I'll admit. If that bothers you then I could see where you're coming from.

Like I said, I've still been impressed by the immersion level I've experienced with LOTRO. Let's say this, the developers have done a pretty good job of hiding the inconsistencies. And what they couldn't fully hide usually just doesn't bother me much. Your mileage may vary, of course.
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May 5th, 2013, 01:33
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Why would you be sticking around to watch others kill the named spider, though? Wouldn't you be running back to the quest giver at that point? Usually the game gives you enough time to get out of there before things respawn that you wouldn't notice something like this.
I'm not sticking around watching others - it's just the kind of thing that will happen.

I don't go turning in each quest as I complete it, I tend to complete all quests at once and THEN return. Which means this kind of thing happens quite often.

Seeing people kill the named spider I just killed could potentially bother me, but I haven't experienced that yet in my time with LOTRO.
You're probably pretty good at not seeing these things in general. I have that feeling about you

An example of something funny. I did a quest to rescue someone's pet raven. I did the quest and saved the raven. A few minutes letter I went back to that location in order to grind some reputation items, and the raven was back in the spot I had just saved it from.

You run across stuff like that a lot in the game, I'll admit. If that bothers you then I could see where you're coming from.
Nah, it's not that big of a deal. You must understand, I've played MMOs for at least 15 years - and I've seen the genre evolve and devolve.

I consider this kind of thing a relatively minor issue - and I think the people most bothered by it are the people with the least experience playing MMOs. The same kind of people who resist playing because it used to be subscription only - and who suck so bad at math they think it's a bad deal even if you enjoy the game

You get used to these things - but they don't go away entirely. Not for me, anyway.

The more emphasis they put on the player as the key in the story - the worse it gets. Some games solve it by putting everything story-related in instances where no other player can participate - like they did in SWtOR, but it still doesn't quite work.

Like I said, I've still been impressed by the immersion level I've experienced with LOTRO. Let's say this, the developers have done a pretty good job of hiding the inconsistencies. And what they couldn't fully hide usually just doesn't bother me much. Your mileage may vary, of course.
LOTRO is one of the better MMOs - even despite the many flaws.

I have many issues with the game, but I won't dwell on them. No reason to drag it down when you're enjoying it so much
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May 5th, 2013, 01:41
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not sticking around watching others - it's just the kind of thing that will happen.

I don't go turning in each quest as I complete it, I tend to complete all quests at once and THEN return. Which means this kind of thing happens quite often.

True.

You're probably pretty good at not seeing these things in general. I have that feeling about you

I guess that depends on how much I'm enjoying something. If I like what I'm playing I'm more forgiving of it's faults, I guess.

Nah, it's not that big of a deal. You must understand, I've played MMOs for at least 15 years - and I've seen the genre evolve and devolve.

I consider this kind of thing a relatively minor issue - and I think the people most bothered by it are the people with the least experience playing MMOs. The same kind of people who resist playing because it used to be subscription only - and who suck so bad at math they think it's a bad deal even if you enjoy the game

You get used to these things - but they don't go away entirely. Not for me, anyway.

Yeah, I'm pretty used to it in LOTRO, so it doesn't bother me much.

The more emphasis they put on the player as the key in the story - the worse it gets. Some games solve it by putting everything story-related in instances where no other player can participate - like they did in SWtOR, but it still doesn't quite work.

Hmm, I haven't really experienced this. Again, I can only speak for LOTRO, but I feel the story is executed well in that game, and there is a large emphasis on you being the hero who is doing everything, etc. I guess that means they've done a good job with LOTRO in this regard. If they'd have done a poor job crafting the story, then I would probably understand more where you're coming from here.

I honestly feel the story aspect of LOTRO is just as strong as any single-player RPG I've ever played. I don't feel any sacrifice in story quality playing LOTRO, but I do feel a huge increase in quantity, which is an added bonus, really.


LOTRO is one of the better MMOs - even despite the many flaws.

I have many issues with the game, but I won't dwell on them. No reason to drag it down when you're enjoying it so much

Eh, it won't really bother me. I would be curious to read your thoughts on LOTRO, though. If you feel like posting them then go for it
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May 5th, 2013, 07:23
Originally Posted by DArtagnan
I consider this kind of thing [respawns] a relatively minor issue - and I think the people most bothered by it are the people with the least experience playing MMOs. The same kind of people who resist playing because it used to be subscription only - and who suck so bad at math they think it's a bad deal even if you enjoy the game.
Meh… well, I've been playing MMOs since 2001 and I personally loathe the shift to the F2P standard. Personally, I don't find it a coincidence that every new MMO in the past five years has been a shallow forgettable experience. Compartmentalized, DLC-like F2P content breeds mediocrity and stagnation.
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May 5th, 2013, 08:52
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Meh… well, I've been playing MMOs since 2001 and I personally loathe the shift to the F2P standard. Personally, I don't find it a coincidence that every new MMO in the past five years has been a shallow forgettable experience. Compartmentalized, DLC-like F2P content breeds mediocrity and stagnation.
Oh, I agree 100%

I hate what the "F2P" plague has done to gaming in general, and MMOs in particular.

That's why I was a bit hard on the people who refused to play MMOs because of the subscription. They're largely the reason why F2P is so much more successful.

Personally, I think 15$ a month for a quality MMO that you enjoy playing is a ridiculously good deal. So, I never understood the logic behind not paying.
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May 5th, 2013, 10:25
Eh, it won't really bother me. I would be curious to read your thoughts on LOTRO, though. If you feel like posting them then go for it
Well, I'm not sure they'd be of much use to you.

I don't think I have the stamina to go in-depth about it right now.

Suffice it to say that I think LOTRO has a fantastically realised world - perhaps the best world in the MMO space. It has a quality narrative - and it's reasonably loyal to Tolkien, which is quite a feat when you consider the quality of the source material.

I'm a HUGE Tolkien fan - so it's no surprise that I appreciate such things.

I think the game is among the very best MMOs for true roleplaying as well. It has some very strong features in that area, including the ability to play your own music and a pretty good housing system. I love housing and I think LOTRO is one of the best compromises between not taking up space in the actual world (a big problem in many games that don't use instances for housing) and yet still giving you the sensation of owning an actual house in a unique location. It's quite clever, actually.

I really like the design of the classes and I think they've done a good job giving each class a good set of both strengths and weaknesses.

I love the concept of the legendary weapons.

I adore the UI art. Probably a strange thing to most people - but I just love how it looks and it's very flexible as well.

For the bad parts:

The avatar animations are poor and stilted. You seem to glide over the terrain when you move around.

Combat is too static - and particularly the sound effects are very weak. It wasn't such a big problem upon release - but it's getting worse when you compare it to modern MMOs with good combat. In fact, I think it's dreadfully dull - and given how much time you spend fighting - that's a major complaint.

I don't like the PvP implementation. It's very understandable given the setting - but it's no less of an issue because of it. PvP is a big deal to me - and it's a major negative when a game doesn't provide a satisfying implementation.

Because it's Tolkien and Middle-Earth, there's an obvious limitation in terms of enemy variety - but it's a big problem nonetheless. It's as if you're figthing the same boars, goblins, orcs, spiders throughout the game. It doesn't help that the combat is so stale and boring on top of that.

I absolutely despise what F2P has done to the game, but it's not really fair to single LOTRO out in this way. Except that it was one of the first games to change its model from P2P to F2P - along with DDO. It's clearly about personal preference - but I think it's particularly bad for LOTRO, because it's otherwise such a strong game for immersion. Nothing takes me out of Middle-Earth more than a big gold coin symbol in my face - asking me to buy an in-game advantage and have it magically appear in my inventory. Some MMOs are so blatantly "gamey" - that it's not as big a problem. But LOTRO is a "serious" MMO - and I really, really don't like what the cash-shop has done to my immersion.

The crafting system suffers the very same problem I talked about in the GW2 thread. So I won't retread the same issue here. Like most MMOs, it doesn't let the player stand out and it doesn't let the player create truly desirable items that you can't get from a thousand other players. I'm a big fan of quality crafting - so it's always a negative when an MMO doesn't have it. That said, it IS one of the better crafting systems in the established themepark MMO space.

There are other things - but I think that's enough to give you some idea of my position when it comes to LOTRO.
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May 5th, 2013, 10:54
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm playing computer games because I like not having to use my imagination. Otherwise, I'd read books or go play outside like when I was a child.
So, are you actually playing any sort of CRPG DArt? Because (as Roq pointed out) even if you play single player game you know (or should know) that there are thousands (if not millions) of other people doing exactly the same things that you are doing. If this awareness doesn't break your immersion in SPG why should it do so in MMO?

I mean it as an observation and not a criticism but I think that you "overintelectualize" something which, when taken apart too thoroughly, looses its power to entertain. In short, you don't see a forest for the trees…
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May 5th, 2013, 10:58
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
So, are you actually playing any sort of CRPG DArt? Because (as Roq pointed out) even if you play single player game you know (or should know) that there are thousands (if not millions) of other people doing exactly the same things that you are doing. If this awareness doesn't break your immersion in SPG why should it do so in MMO?

I mean it as an observation and not a criticism but I think that you "overintelectualize" something which, when taken apart too thoroughly, looses its power to entertain. In short, you don't see a forest for the trees…
Because I don't actually see other people doing these things in a singleplayer RPG.

I would have thought that was a pretty obvious difference

It's like eating meat with great pleasure in your own home versus entering a slaughter house and watching innocent animals get murdered and being handed a burger. Appreciate the distinction?

Anyway, I said it was a minor issue overall.

As for over-thinking things - that's definitely a problem for me. But, if you know anything about human nature, there's only so much you can do about your own.
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