Sunday, October 15, 2017

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

When someone asks me about the state of Cabal Online

Recently tried it out again and quit after 15 minutes because it is 99% bots 1% players. I actually don't understand this. I mean, bots (for the most part) exist to farm stuff so that the botters can sell gold/items for real money. But if there are no players that buy it then the botters usually go away too because there is no market anymore.

So I am wondering why there are so many if really no one is playing Cabal anymore.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

You should give older MMO's a try.

If you're like me, you're a younger player and didn't grow up with the classics.

However, the games you did play, the games I've played were all influenced by the classics.

So i found myself playing games paying homage to the classics, without actually experiencing said games yourself.

I just started playing Ultima Online, a game i've heard so much about in my life but never even crossed my mind to give it a try until recently.

It does everything other games try to copy and does it way better. Sure, the graphics are bad but the game is fun and deep and the community is absolutely amazing.

Give your older MMO's a try if you didn't already :)
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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Albion Online review

First of all, I'm not here to bash anyone. I do acknowledge that SBI is heading through some rocky roads with all the gold-seller + ddos issue and I understand how hard it must be to juggle between these problems and developing a good game at the same time. I honestly wish the best of luck to them.

Albion is a fun game, but it ends there. It's a game that lacks depth and options on what to do. Yes, I do know it's a sandbox game and "you should make up your own goals" and I do agree with that. The problem though is that the path you take to reach 90% of your possible made up goals are all the same.

Want to master on a specific kind of weapon?

  • Keep re-running the same dungeon xxx times until you get enough fame.

Want to craft/gather T6+ items?

  • Keep grinding the same maps for xxx hours

And that sucks. A lot of people like to compare AO to OSRS but OSRS is just years ahead (literally to be fair). If you ever get tired of training combat in OSRS, you'll be able to go questing, grind minigames, hunt bosses or choose between 20 skills to train, all of them having completely different systems to level up, while in Albion everything feels the same. Want to craft a T7 plate? Grind your way to gatherer T6+ and craft a shit ton of the same plates in order to craft a T7 one, all of this while doing the exact same thing you'd do if you wanted to craft T7 Leather, Cloth, Bows, Sword, Staff or whatever else you can think of. And even if you manage to join a BZ guild, you'll still be doing the exact same shit you'd be doing if you were solo if you want to progress, that is: endlessly killing mobs and/or gathering resources.

Also, one huge turn down for me was the skill system. You have 5~6 skills only that are tied to the gears you'll use. And the gears will have the same skills regardless of what tier you're using, so it feels you didn't progress at all. If you make a huge effort to get to t8, you'll have the exact same skills you did when you were using T2 (Yes, you'll unlock some skills during the way, but once you unlocked them they'll always be the same).

The good part about the game is the PvP. It's one of the few MMORPGs that actually has the "hardcore death" (You lose all your items when you die). So PvPing feels really exciting as you're close to make bank or lose your bank all the time. And there's the Blackzones which are awesome. Guilds controlling entire non-instanced regions of the game is something I was craving for a long time because it creates politics and drama and that's what MMORPG endgame was all about back in the "good ol' days".

Unfortunately, the PvP won't make up for the game's flaws to me so I left. Hopefully once SBI gets out of the shitstorm they're in with the gold-sellers they'll be able to push more game content and maybe add something to make your character's progression feel rewarding. They honestly should stop focusing on cool webpages like character builder/killboard and start to focus on actual in-game content. I mean, those pages were awesome but that shouldn't be that up on the priority list with the current state of the game.

tl;dr: Albion's PvP is good but it lacks game content and it feels really unrewarding.
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Friday, July 28, 2017

I miss seamless, open worlds

People frequently attribute preferring vanilla WoW with having rose tinted glasses. And whilst I can understand that argument in some cases, I can't think of another MMO that has created anything close to vanilla WoW's world.

I'm not disagreeing that some of my fondness to WoW is as a result of it being my first "real" MMO (played Guild Wars 1 for years prior), and my ignorance in not having ever been presented with a world so vast before. But to attribute it all to that ignorance would be dismissing what vanilla WoW actually did right.

What happened to seamless landscapes? A loading screen didn't take me to Orgrimmar, I fucking walked there, through the gates. I miss the journey. Never really at any point was WoW all about the journey and not the destination, it always had that late game content people craved, but when did MMO developers stop giving a shit about the journey altogether?

I miss the massive mountains surrounding each zone. They weren't just player barriers in disguise, they were physical mountains, and challenges to players like me. I knew that if I climbed it, I'd be able to drop into the zone next door. The world was more than the paths that guided you through it, it was a sandbox that enabled you to find your own paths. I feel like the illusion of size in WoW went to shit when they implemented flying mounts, and died altogether when Cataclysm came around, even Deathwing did less damage to the world than Blizzard did.

I miss the physicality and interaction too. I had to walk place to place, I had to interact with the map and my quest log to figure out where I was going, I had to work for my mount, I had to walk to the dungeons, I had to rally people in group chat to defend against gankers, etc. It wasn't convenient in any way but I enjoyed being immersed in the world so much that I never felt like I was in a rush to reach max level.

At this point I don't play WoW for a number of reasons, primarily because the game is focused solely on the end-game gameplay loop and probably aimed at people that aren't my age group, and more at players that favor convenience and seek frequent gratification. I just fucking wish another developer went back to the routes of what made WoW great, I haven't felt immersed in an MMO world in years.

Anyone else feel the same?
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

LOTRO's insane pricing for Mordor

I've been a long term supporter of Lotro - I keep up my sub even when I'm not playing, and I've rarely had anything bad to say about them. This however is appalling.

The base edition of the expansion costs $40 with no extras (except for a one off level boost, like most games). Sounds ok so far?

Here's the first ridiculous thing. It doesn't include the High Elf race. This is something they've hyped for months as being a major part of the expansion. And yet it doesn't come with the expansion.

You have to pay more. Not a bit either. Literally double.

At $80 you get a few fluff items, a pet, a mount, a title etc. The usual stuff that comes with deluxe editions of MMOs but at a pretty steep price. So they gate the new race behind an over priced 'deluxe edition'. You don't get any in game currency or any real incentives to spend this much.

It doesn't stop there. At $130 comes the ultimate edition. Now it's the same as the last one with some more fluff, an extra mount and set of exclusive cosmetics, and a month's subscription (worth $10-$15). Obviously this one is for the whales who want every exclusive item available.

What disgusts me frankly is the gating of an integral part of the expansion behind a literally doubled price bump. The base one should contain the race, and the mid range one should be around $60-$70 and include 1000-2000 LP points, then it'd actually have some value.

And to make things even worse, the expansions still don't contain any content from previous expansions, so a new player has to buy all of those on top.

Update: the livestream has been full of spin, effectively saying people just misunderstood and the high elf was never meant to be included. You can compare Moria's expansion, which included two new classes and was £30/$40. If you paid twice that for the special edition it included the base game, two months' sub, a soundtrack CD, a physical map, etc. You will be able to buy the high elf class from the in game store around six months after launch, so the only way to get it at launch is behind the $80 gate.

tl;dr: They've taken out stuff from the 'base' expansion so you need to pay $80 at double the cost to get everything. And that doesn't include any in game currency/sub time.
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Before you preorder WildWestOnline, Read this!

Yep, this is going to be very bad. If you're out of the loop, when the game first got hype, some users were voicing their complaints about the similarities to WarZ (Renamed: Infestation Survivor Stories), Shattered Skies, Last Man Standing and Romero's Aftermath. These are all games made by Sergey Titov, a man well-known for creating shitty cash-grab games.

They are using the exact same engine (Nightshade engine). You can see the horrible running animations are the same as all Sergey Titov games and it's extremely clunky. My opinion is that the clunkiness is never going to change, because it hasn't even been changed in previous games yet.

What you see in the gameplay video is heavily scripted and won't turn out like that. Please watch the first Alpha gameplay shown on WarZ, around five years ago. Back then, they made an incredibly scripted video that hyped up the game even more, and if you don't know, WarZ (Again, renamed to Infestion: Survivor Stories) turned out to be a huge cash-grab and some users even saying "scam".

Additionally, I have no doubt the game will be pay-to-win, since that's what they've done in the other games and if you take a look at the pre-purchase page, you can see the benefits are very... Pay-to-win-ish..

My recommendation is to stay as far away from this game as you can. First, they used the Rockstar forums to "leak" Red Dead Redemption 2 screenshots, which turned out to be from this game in order to cash in on RDR2 hype.... Allegedly.. A great marketing move, but still a pretty scummy one. Then, all of a sudden, they just skipped their plans for a kickstarter because they saw the hype and are now going to release a Wild West MMO in alpha, a couple of months after the reveal. They are also now in total denial mode when asked about Sergey Titov, saying he is not involved in any way. The developers know him though, since some developer or something is friends with him on Facebook, just watch this video from BigFryTV for more details on that.

I'm telling you right now, these people keep throwing shitty, clunky games with Pay-to-win into the gaming industry and they're making bank on it. Please make sure you're educated in the matter before purchasing this game from them. I can't stop you, but I'm telling you, this is the same as WarZ, Romero's Aftermath, Shattered Skies and Last Man Standing. They keep releasing the same stuff with a different "game mode" and setting.
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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Before MMOs Can Evolve, They Need to Become Social Again

Most people agree that the MMO genre is in a stalemate with itself; it wants to change but doesn't know how. I feel this completely as I love older-styled MMOs which influenced the industry that is today, but I agree; things need to evolve.

But there's a key feature/aspect that is needed for the MMO genre to become LIVELY again. Sure the MMO market is larger than ever, but these MMOs bore us, die quickly, offer nothing of note or we simply play them because there's nothing better. What is missing? Why did older MMOs such as Asherons Call, EverQuest and Vanilla WoW grab us and hold us for so many years? There are many factors such as societal timing, polish and actual content but at the end of the day, people played MMOs to connect.

Ask anyone! The biggest aspect missing from almost every single current MMO is the lack of a community or social features. MMOs have become streamlined singleplayer experiences with multiplayer tacked on. This is the exact opposite of what MMOs are about, we need to breath new life into the social interactivity which these MMOs should be providing, but just don't. Remember when you entered that raid with your buddies and even some strangers and you spent hours clearing out challenging mobs and bosses, forming bonds with you fellow players and experiencing something so unique and "important" that made you fall in love with these games? You just don't experience that anymore.

In order for MMOs to evolve into something that grabs us again, we need to fall in love again!

TL;DR Before we can evolve MMOs we need to bring back the true nature of MMOs which is social interactivity

Edit: I'm not saying there's absolutely no social interaction in MMOs anymore. I'm saying that it has gone down hill BIG TIME. Yes the hardest difficulty of raiding will make you social, but 3/4 of the experience is not social anymore.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Why you will hate Black Desert Online

I am one of the biggest fan boys of this game, played for the good portion of the last year, GM of a casual style pvp guild. I have had a lot of members come and go from this game due to a ton of various reasons. And while I DO suggest this game to anyone who wants to try it, I will list the reasons why people WILL dislike the game.

P2W arguement - BDO fans will cringe when reading this but it is a concern to many of the playerbase. Base price of the game is $10, but it should be considered an entry fee. If you truely like the game then yes, you should probably spend additional money. Keep in mind the money spent is up to what you want to do. If you want to fish, probably want inventory, if you want to life skill, probably want a processing suit, if you grind a lot, probably want pets. People put crazy price tags out there because that is what they spent. I spent a lot of money on this game because I chose to, but never felt like I needed to. Coming from games like AA and Skyfrog where you needed to pay to even keep up to players that can not be said of bdo. The biggest questionably item is Artisans Memory, which does reduce repair costs which can save you a TON of money in the long haul. Selling cash shop items on the marketplace has little or no affect on the game, and the majority of the people who do it are trying to get a friend a costume they want. So there are benefits to being a wallet warrior, but in the end the game if very very very play to win. The person who spends more time in the game will be stronger, no matter how you slice it.

Server Lag - Right now this is the BIGGEST issue with BDO. Even for top end computers servers are way too overloaded and need serious work. There are times in the game where the lag can be devastating, especially around 8pm - 10pm est. This was not always the case with the game, so we are hoping there is some relief, especially with the amount of money they made on steam.

CPU issues - I had to completely upgrade my computer for this game. Most gamers have pretty decent graphics cards but this game will require a lot of ram usage. People will complain about popping in a bunch as well, depending on your spec it will be more prevalant.

Lack of Dungeons/Raids. This game does not have dungeons or raids. There are maybe 3 grind areas currently that require a party to be efficient because they are the "dungeons." All bis gear are just drops from random mobs in grind areas.

Lack of group content. While this may change in the future, there is little reason to group up in this game. To min/max experience, groups can be good for that, but you will make less money rather then solo. Main group content is node wars and pvp. A good guild that is able to create its own content is suggested.

PvP - This game does focus on pvp on its major end game content, otherwise why spend in all the countless hours grinding and making money. Some people do not like being attacked in the open world, for little to no reason other then entering someones spot.

Gear Dependant PvP - Having decent gear is mandatory in this game for pvp. Doesn't need to be best in slot anything, but around 400-450 gear score would be considered minimum. Similar to being max level in another mmo would be important. People often hear BDO PvP being filled with one shot mechanics, and that is not very far from the truth. Two extremely geared players will be doing almost a chess match of who can hit there cc and try and one combo a player. Think of it this way, if its your first boxing match and you keep your gloves down, youll probably be knocked out in one hit. Skilled pvp does exist and good fights are fast paced and enjoyable.

Class Balance - Not all classes are great in node wars. Balance always changes in MMO's but they don't plan to nerf any classes, just buff others. This sometimes infuriates a player when they get to endgame and there class is not seen as meta. All classes are fine as long as you have gear.

The Level Grind - Ok, people hate the grind, I get that. Personally I hate being told to go kill 500 mobs for a quest, when Id rather just kill the mobs I want. But thats beside the point. Level 56 is pretty easy to obtain where you get your awakening weapon. Id say roughly 8 hours of gameplay, maybe 10-12 for new new players. After that leveling isn't crazy important. Around level 58 you get basically all of your skills. Most players hit the wall when you hit 56 then see level 57 start taking forever. Its not meant to happen in a week, even though some people do it that way.

Lack of Instant Gratification - This game is a marathon and not a sprint. I often critisize the game for being almost too play 2 win. Logging on every day is the most important thing you can do to progress your characters. People are used to normal mmos where you can hardcore for a week, get to end game and be able to be on the level of most players, just need to go grind out some dungeons, but you have your starter end game set. Not in BDO. It will take a good month for a new player, even if playing hard, to start reaching starter end game gear.

Punishing RNG - So RNG isn't as bad in BDO as it is in Archeage. It can be very very expensive to get your gear upgraded but armor and weapons do not "break." Accessories do though. 0 to +15 for weapon and armors only destroy max durability which can be repaired but can be expensive depending on the piece. Pri can not down grade, Duo can not downgrade, Going to Tri will downgrade to Pri on fail, going to Tet will downgrade to Duo on fail, going to Pen will downgrade to Tri on fail. Tri gear for armor and weapons is what people will shoot for, and the idea of your gear downgrading does hurt. Accesories will break on any fail, and you can blow billions in a day without getting any increase. You can USUSALLY buy starter upgrades, such as duo accesories (through pre-order) and tri basic armor. With the influx of new players there is a shortage. There are plenty of players who refuse to RNG at all with there gear and buy everything.

Leaving your CPU on 24/7 - Game has too many afk activities that you feel obligated to always leave your cpu on. This is a plus to people who work a lot who feel they can still progress even if not home, but can be a negative if you dont want to leave your cpu running all the time.

Lack of Direction - This game basically says to you, go make money. You can do it in a number of different ways, fishing, processing, gathering, alchemy, cooking, horse training, hunting, grinding, boss hunting, trading, farming, or just getting a ton of contribution and making a worker empire. You would need to figure out what you love to do, or dabble in a bit of everything. Game is in is basic form a money making simulator. There are not quests that are required, there is nothing that you have to do, besides one black spirit quest at 49 to unlock level 50.

Comparing your progress to others - People compare what they have done to others and get discouraged. It can take a long time to get even one upgrade and sometimes there are a few set backs in the road. You never have to be the best, and you probably won't. But making small goals certainly helps stay focused.

I understand if these are the reasons you stopped playing or didn't like BDO. The game by no means is perfect. It is certainly my favorite MMO out at the moment, as are a few people in this subreddit. After a year the majority of players have made up there mind on this game one way or another. I am just curious as to what the reason is that you hated BDO?
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Saturday, May 27, 2017

'Wild West Online' MMO could be over before it starts

So like many of you, I am extremely interested in WWO. It has given us hope that while we probably won't get Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC for a while, we can at least play the next best thing.

However the game may possibly have heavy ties with the one and only Sergey Titov. This man is a con artist and the following video shows how he may be tied to the game and sheds some light on why you should avoid his 'games'.

 Hopefully this is not the case and everything stated in the video is just a coincidence. Developers have yet to confirm or deny Sergey's involvement.

To shed some light on who Sergey Titov is, he has been the lead developer on games that have been surrounded with controversy.

To mention a few, these include War Z, Infestation Survivor Stories, Shattered Skies, and Big Rigs Racing. These games always have attractive staged screenshots and the promise of big features.

However what the games are is extremely rushed (always a short development time) to cash in on other games successes - such as DayZ, and always reusing assets+animations+code, etc. All these projects are initially announced to not be P2W, however microtransactions and horrible P2W practices are implemented before the game is quickly abandoned. The games are always abandoned shortly after release, leaving them buggy, ugly and full of hackers.

The publishers are liquidated before being brought back as a 'New' company to cover their tarnished history. Forums are a dictatorship where any negative post or thread is removed and developers (even Sergey himself) referring to the playerbase as a bunch of 'fa**ots'. For me, what is one of the most shadiest moves to date is they stopped selling WarZ on steam, removed all trace of it from the store only to bring it back as 'Infestation Survivor Stories' to get a few more bucks from unsuspecting buyers.

Then, of course, they once again abandoned this game.

So interestingly enough, the engine has now been confirmed as the same as WarZ's, Infestation, etc. however they said that Sergey is NOT involved. They said they chose this engine because it provides good anti-hacking measures (false) and out-of-the-box features for an MMO. They then deleted the thread and a bunch of posts that they considered 'not contribution'.

So I started a new thread on the forum, being respectful expressing concerns over the engine they've chosen, especially when there is indie friendly engines that are more powerful and have a less bad reputation as Unreal. You know, starting a discussion and getting opinions.

The thread was closed and all existence has now been removed. I got no message stating why this is the case, but I had about 8 posts on the thread within an hour prior to removal. I then posted on another thread that was discussing at least the topic of threads/posts being removed as to whether people thought this was appropriate. I stated it was inappropriate to remove threads if they are being respectful, as long as a discussion was being provided.

Said thread was then locked, and I was issued a warning stating that I was spreading misleading information and to stop. I clearly stated that I was providing opinions based on factual situations. This is all extremely reminiscent of how every Sergey game forum have been run. I knew something like this could happen if I was being aggressive, so I was ACTIVELY remaining respectful wherever possible and stating I that I was only posting to gain other peoples thoughts.

 I have been an active contributor of forums for over 10 years, providing both aggressive and passive opinions, and this is the second time I've been dealt with a warning/ban. The first from WarZ forums for expressing concern. To me, this does not look good, therefor I can't say I believe them on denying Sergey's involvement.
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