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  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    I had been playing through Lone Wolf stuff right before I discovered real PnP RPGing, the abrupt shift in possibilities and freedom was frankly revelatory.
    me too, and agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    You just can't get that in a PC game, especially not without gumming it up with other people (I'd never PnP with people that weren't already friends, the same goes for online RPG's).
    i find that rpg's, both tabletop and sandbox mmo's, are actually great ways to make friends.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    Was going to say I'm not sure I'd call Darkfall recent - but apparently it's "only" 5 years old, which is fairly recent in MMO terms I guess.
    unholy wars has been out for less than 2 yrs.

  2. #62
    Lesser Hivemind Node Krathor's Avatar
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    So is anyone playing ArcheAge? It seems pretty emergenty and sandboxy.
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

    My GW2 blog that you can follow on Twitter.

  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    just like mastering chess: another game meant to be explored over half a lifetime; as opposed to the casual entertainment found in checkers. there is plenty of viability for both types of games. a lot of people appreciate a challenging level of depth and opportunity for personal growth. not all games need to be easy. the ones we are currently discussing are not checkers.. most of the people who enjoy them fell in love with them back in uo, or asherons call, or shadowbane: each basically an updated version of the competitive sandbox, where decisions can have dire consequences and lasting effects; and they have been playing them for years... they are chess.

    however it seems like you also havent checked out darkfall in quite some time, from what ive heard the barrier to entry has been drastically reduced.
    Part of my problem with Darkfall was the twitch combat - obviously personal preference rather than a fault with the game. Pre-release I'd imagined something slower and more 'realistic', where ambushing an unsuspecting player would be a big advantage, and experience points were more about your range of abilities than how many hp of damage your sword does. Maybe to some extent that's true, but I found when I played that sneaking up on and hitting someone would do a tiny sliver of damage and result in them bunny hopping around chucking spells at you.

    Obviously there was a big player skill gap there as well as experience points, and it's difficult to gauge the effect of each. I don't mind a game taking time to learn, but when it basically forces me into virtual serfdom to achieve my goals I don't see the point.

    My idea was to go explore the seas, find remote islands, maybe live on one like a hermit. When the game got over its initial release problems, high pricing and struggling to convince people it wasn't a giant scam, I picked it up to try out. Probably a year or so after release, so I'm sure it's changed a lot since then - though making a replacement 'sequel' and forcing people to buy it to keep playing seemed like a bit of a dick move to me.

    Anyway, what I found was that firstly, houses were fixed locations and difficult to obtain. Not exactly unexpected, but disappointing, and it meant no dilapidated shack on a desert island. Secondly, building any kind of boat takes considerable investment and for anything other than a raft, the backing of a clan to use their town facilities. Obviously a proper boat should be a fairly big undertaking, but why nothing like a one man fishing boat, given the draw of exploration? Even a raft wasn't easy to make, and attempting to do so introduced me to the massive grind involved in the game.

    Before I could learn to make rafts, I had to learn to chop down trees. This involved standing in front of trees for hours, generating far more wood than I'd actually need for a raft. There was no real player involvement in this process, it's like Eve's mining except it was a requirement for skill progression, and there was no option to skip it, gain money by other means and buy what I needed.

    I think it's not just the grind itself that bothers me, but for a game that promised to be so revolutionary - and I'm sure in many ways it was if you get past the early stages - it fell into some of the worst habits of MMOs. A world that doesn't make sense, where tedious exercises in making numbers go up were an essential part of the new player experience, where you have to pick a thousand useless plants to find the one magic plant that will summon a horse, where you have to sell random crap to NPCs to buy new abilities. I was there precisely because I wasn't happy with other MMOs, yet my experience of it wasn't much different from the various free to play Korean MMOs I tried.

    Darkfall also suffered from some really bad PR around release - hard to say how much basis there was for the accusations flying around, but the developers certainly didn't come across as the most trustworthy or reliable bunch. There also seems to be an unhealthy sense of elitism among both the developers and the community - most noticeable in the lack of a free trial and the high subscription cost. I guess it's easier for them to manage as a gated community, and they may have legitimate concerns about abuse of trial accounts, but it certainly doesn't entice me to go back when free to play is becoming the standard and even Eve dropped its sub prices.

    shadowbane is another story, one that i have played much more recently, but given the time period in which it was in its heyday, the only complaint i could possibly imagine would be some minor engine inadequacies; which the advances in server technology between then and the emulator now have solved.
    that thousands of players can design, build, and demolish over a hundred of each others cities in one giant rpg world is amazing.
    hell, the sheer variety permitted in shadowbane, and yet how balanced it is, is an astonishing feat of design.
    i would be extremely curious to hear your faults with this one.
    My primary issue with Shadowbane was that the PvE was both essential to progress and awful. A new player needs to level up, you do so by hitting monsters, but hitting monsters was not fun. You'd have a few cliched environments, where monsters stood in clumps and waited for players to come along and kill them. That seemed like all there was to it. I think Eve, MO and to some extent Darkfall (despite the progression pace) understand the importance of making PvE engaging. If you're going to make it an important part of your game, whether that's to allow people to level up or for crafting and exploration, it needs to be an enjoyable activity.

    Shadowbane's PvP was fun, on the rare occasions I got to fight someone of a similar level. It worked well, it had a nice pace and a nice variety in character progression and skills. Maybe I would have stuck around and persevered through the PvE if I'd joined at a time when it was a growing game, but when I played the majority of players were max level and it simply wasn't possible to join in with their fun as a newbie. Encounters with high level players outside of town were rare, as they presumably gravitated towards higher level zones, but the ones I did have were entirely one-sided - what are you supposed to do against someone who can kill or disable you in a single hit, and moves faster too?

  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cardinaldirection View Post
    i find that rpg's, both tabletop and sandbox mmo's, are actually great ways to make friends.
    Absolutely! I would say you have to be on the same page for the game to work well, and that's easier with friends. But with a little bit of work ahead of time, you can get close enough to being on the same page that the game gets going just fine and, well, clearly you share interests since you're both here to play the same game and you managed to get onto the same page about how the game ought to proceed.

    It always makes me sad when I hear bout people playing with friends who AREN'T on the same page instead of finding strangers or non-gamers to pull in; people who talk about that ONE player who always has this way of playing that bothers everyone else. I think part of it is the accessibility of games like DnD. They're complexity is superficial; once you have a character sheet and a GM who knows the rules, it's very straightforward for everyone else to move along and play. One nice side effect of more narrative-driven tabletop systems is that they put the whole one-the-same-page-ness of playing the game front and center and keep players from moving too far into the game without realizing that they sort of all need to actually want to play the game together.

    No system is going to do that perfectly for everyone, but games like DnD allow you to, at least temporarily and especially with inexperienced GMs, bury yourself in the numbers and forget about the rest of it until it's already a problem.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  5. #65
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cardinaldirection View Post
    i find that rpg's, both tabletop and sandbox mmo's, are actually great ways to make friends.
    Good for you, but this is a profoundly alien sentiment IMO.

    I wonder sometimes whether folks that say things like this have just had completely different experiences than I have (possibly because their standards are completely different, possibly luck, possibly some of each), or whether it's just that their tolerance for bad experiences is much, much higher. Either way, I've found life's too short to put up with the staggering volume of obnoxiousness one has to sort through to hit the occasional good experience out of playing with strangers.

  6. #66
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    MMO's are not about making friends, you are hiring employees.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    MMO's are not about making friends, you are hiring employees.
    Good help is hard to find. :)

  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Good for you, but this is a profoundly alien sentiment IMO.

    I wonder sometimes whether folks that say things like this have just had completely different experiences than I have (possibly because their standards are completely different, possibly luck, possibly some of each), or whether it's just that their tolerance for bad experiences is much, much higher. Either way, I've found life's too short to put up with the staggering volume of obnoxiousness one has to sort through to hit the occasional good experience out of playing with strangers.
    Hmm. I find playing with strangers is the best way to play games at all ... but I don't play with people who I can tell I won't enjoy playing the game with. I have my ideal play experience, I have a series of compromises I'll accept, and that's that.

    As mentioned above, sometimes my gaming buddies just want something entirely different out of the game. No amount of liking them is going to make me like what we're playing and/or get me what I want out of the game. So I could pack up and go home or I could try and find people willing to play games in a way that I like better or at least in a way I can comfortably meet in the middle.

    The best way I've found to meet people I specifically like playing games with is to a) try playing games with all of my friends and b) try making friends with people who already play games and finally c) try getting acquaintances into games to see if they're good gaming buddies, friends, or both.

    I don't see how the concept of meeting people who you like to play games with by, well, trying to play games with them could be a profoundly alien concept to you. Of course it goes wrong sometimes. When that happens, you stop playing.

    There are so many people I like and even like playing games with that I could never play DnD with and that holds the other way round, too. There are people I enjoy hanging out with but wouldn't want to live with, people I like talking to but wouldn't want to watch movies with, and so on and so forth. I have very few all-purpose friends with whom I can do anything and say anything--I had thought that was quite normal to have few such friends and as such that it was normal for gamers to need to look a little afield to find gaming company.

    There are so many ways to filter strangers, too! Friend-of-friend references, having a conversation with them, playing a short game first ... I don't really see that as a "staggering amount of obnoxiousness." How the hell else do you end up with friends in the first place? Did they just spring out of holes in the ground? :P
    Last edited by gwathdring; 03-08-2014 at 12:09 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Extroverts are weird. :)

    I have a few "all purpose friends" as you'd call it, and spend my very limited gaming time playing stuff with them because I enjoy their company. Why on Earth would I seek out people to play games with that I didn't want to hang out with? For me, half the point of playing a multiplayer game is hanging out with people whose company you enjoy.

  10. #70
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Extroverts are weird. :)

    I have a few "all purpose friends" as you'd call it, and spend my very limited gaming time playing stuff with them because I enjoy their company. Why on Earth would I seek out people to play games with that I didn't want to hang out with? For me, half the point of playing a multiplayer game is hanging out with people whose company you enjoy.
    You're taking me a bit too literally there. Obviously if I actively dislike hanging out with someone, sub-classes of hanging-out such as hanging-out-while-doing-activity-x are off the table. It's more that there people with whom I do not enjoy the specific intimacy of nothing but hanging out with no additional friends or activities other than conversation let alone mere presence.

    There are people I like to have in depth arguments and discussions with and people I like to "shoot the breeze" with and so forth. As with conversations so with other things--there are people with whom I can enjoy playing games; they aren't necessarily my favorite people. Different social situations bring out different aspects of people. Do do something specific with you, I only have to like the side you present while doing that thing. I can't imagine how I would ever find people who enjoy doing everything I want to do with other people; I've only stumbled across them very rarely and it's easy to stumble away from them as life carries us separate ways.

    To each their own. For my part I wouldn't ever get to play games if I didn't actively seek people with whom to play them. Not all of my friends want to play games but there are an awful lot of people out there who would play games with me to our mutual pleasure if I could only find them. So I look for them. One way to think of it is less that I have a higher tolerance for unpleasant interactions and more that I have a stronger drive to enjoy the games; they're both equally possible, two sides of the same thing--I'm not going to let a dearth of friends who will play these games with me stop me from getting them to the table. I care a lot about experiencing the games in particular; if I just want to hang out with cool people who are dear to me, I'll just hang out with cool people who are dear to me; I can get that urge satisfied without playing games.

    P.S. Complete tangent. Extrovert/introvert is an utterly useless descriptor in my experience. Most of the people I know have such a mix of traits from both sides of that paradigm that it doesn't even really work as an axis. I have a great deal of social anxiety, and a great need to be around people. I'm quite happy doing my own thing, and while I'm happiest in the right crowd of people I'm saddest in the wrong crowd of people and my decision making process always leans toward the solitary even if, in hindsight, it would have been better to make the other decision. I have a very hard time reaching out to other people, starting conversations, and so forth but my desires to play games or share ideas or learn things or what-have-you boils over and pushes me past that when I get too starved. My social discomforts are largely generalized and internal, though, so compared to some of my friends, I find dealing with strangers less dramatically different from dealing with people and with a couple of my friends who are disposed just so, this leaves me better at dealing with strangers than them despite being overall less comfortable with other people.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 03-08-2014 at 02:07 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    To each their own. For my part I wouldn't ever get to play games if I didn't actively seek people with whom to play them.
    Like I said, extroverts are weird. :)

    I care a lot about experiencing the games in particular; if I just want to hang out with cool people who are dear to me, I'll just hang out with cool people who are dear to me; I can get that urge satisfied without playing games.
    This is an age thing, I suspect. Most of my friends are no longer local, online gaming is a good way to keep in touch.

  12. #72
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post

    This is an age thing, I suspect. Most of my friends are no longer local, online gaming is a good way to keep in touch.
    Fair enough. :)
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  13. #73
    just a note that im not ignoring you Kelron; thank you for the in-depth response. i am just very busy at the moment, and only seem to be able to find time for gaming/forums in extremely short spurts. ive started writing you a more meaty reply, but every time i sit down to finish it something "more important" pulls me away. also, re: darkfall, i recognized that i am debating on behalf of a game that i havent played in years, so i asked a couple friends who are still playing to chime in, and we all agree that unfortunately when you chose to jump in was probably when the game was at its worst; and according to them it has changed DRASTICALLY. so i have a new computer in the mail that will actually be able to do the game justice, and after i check out the new and improved unholy wars youll hear back from me. mebe sooner re: shadowbane.

    good conversation: how to do a sandbox game right is a fascinating and deserving topic. thanks again.

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