Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    2,367

    MMORPG discussion!

    Seems like we have no thread about MOREPIGS, and I feel we should. I hadn't played any for a while but have played all the big three "Buy 2 Play" ones lately - Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online, and Black Desert Online. It's pretty interesting to see how they're both divergent and very similar to each other.

    Elder Scrolls Online - I played the 4-day free weekend thing, and it was vastly more fun than I remembered, actually feeling like kind of a decent game, with a strong sense of freedom (I think thanks to the auto-scaling and so on). I also noted that the chat on the EU server, was generally quite pleasant. People weren't being horribly rude, an LGBTQA guild was advertising without any untoward comments, and so on.

    But some things were just weird - no auction house? Nothing that's even vaguely equivalent, apart this mythical "guild merchant" (I was in a 460-person guild and they didn't seem to sell anything!), who supposedly serves that function. The bag space limits were fairly painful, and there were just quite a lot of things which seemed a bit clunky.

    So then I tried...

    Black Desert Online - I was idly watching videos late at night (YES NOW I WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEOS TOO!) and found one which promised to explain Black Desert Online to me, so I watched it, and it actually sounded both nuts, and pretty fun. So I did the 7-day trial for that.

    It was indeed, both nuts, and quite fun. Also staggeringly pretty, and yes, it really does have by far the best character creator. I was able to create someone who both looked distinctive and cool, and then put their face up in some sort of online gallery and people proceeded to download it for their characters!

    But re: nuts, it really is - one of the major things is going around talking to NPCs and playing a largely unexplained minigame to butter them up. The quests generally don't give actual leveling XP, they either increase your skill points or your "contribution points", which as this guide thing said, would be better called "Investment Points", because you use them to set a sort of network of locations (farms, quarries, trading posts, etc.) and hire and house workers to work at those locations! And fighting monsters tends to be one-sided slaughter, more about how fast you can kill than whether you are going to get killed - but it's strangely rewarding-feeling? Perhaps because of the rather lovely and elaborate animation.

    Your horse is also vital, and levels up separately from you, and there's a horse-breeding minigame. Also you have to feed him carrots when he runs out of petrol. And he will, because there's no fast travel - you just run or ride around everywhere (initially on a donkey!).

    Oh and a major feature is you can click a location or person on the map, or even just pick and NPC type from a menu, or click on a quest, and your character will auto-run there. Pretty intelligently (they can get stuck on things but surprisingly rarely do). This has allowed the designers to make the towns and maps much more... "authentic", I guess? To medieval cities and the like - lots of tiny roads and backroutes and narrow alleys and stuff, and in another game you'd be either lost and angry or leaping on a flying mount whilst going "FUCK THIS!", but here you just hit and check your inventory or chat or whatever whilst you go to the right place.

    The AH-equivalent is bizarre - it's a controlled economy, with each item with a fixed price range it's not allowed to be priced outside, and you are mechanically forced to buy the cheapest example of any given item.

    But yeah chat and there's the rub. There are a lot of wankers playing BDO. Not everyone, for sure, but a lot. The "Roleplay" channel is basically wall-to-wall wankers and trolls (and literally one folorn RPer trying to convince people to RP). All the guilds sounded a bit... serious as well.

    So I'm not sure if I'll play much more of that. We'll see. It is strangely fun and the auto-riding everywhere is amazingly relaxing. Also it runs really well on my 1060 and is the best-behaved windowed-mode MMO I've ever played.

    Guild Wars 2 - My wife wanted to play an MMO and WoW sounded like too much re-learning and updating and so on, so we went back to thing. Trouble is, we don't have the expansion, and I'm not sure if it's worth getting (the lowest I can get it for is 26.99). The new class and subclasses sound cool, but GW2 can be a lot of work and I'm still a bit peeved at how much of the content is paywalled - they want you to buy every episode of the Living Story you didn't log in for, the were had been no new weapon/armour skins which weren't for-pay for a long time when I last played (though I presume Heart of Thorns adds some), and on top of that it sounds like the community is as ultra-elitist as ever (always a bizarre problem in such a fundamentally noob-friendly game). Interested to hear any opinions on that.

    Anything anyone else wants to say re: MMOs?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus EPICTHEFAIL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    4,078
    Electric Shite Orchestra - I absolutely loathed it. I posted a rant about it back when the free weekend was on, but I can't be arsed to find it so, to recap - it's like all of the worst parts of an Elder Scrolls game with none of the good. It's got shitty combat and MMO-standard incomprehensible UI, but no emergent gameplay, because it uses MMO-standard static mob spawns instead of a more dynamic spawning system, no scope for outside-the-box solutions to difficult encounters (what I saw of ESO would never let you hot-drop an undead dragon into the middle of a dungeon to deal with a dragon priest), and most importantly, very little in the way of those little simulationist elements that make the world feel alive. Quests were fucking awful too.

    Guild Wars 2 - I used to play it quite a lot, but got bored of it and quite before the expansion came out simply because it gets incredibly fucking boring once you've got a character levelled up. Even with the (admittedly cool) dynamic events system, the world was still hopelessly static, the combat was monotonous, the writing was appalling and it suffered from the problem all traditional MMOs have. Namely, that the moment your character hits level 80 you're expected to hop on the end-game gear treadmill and grind the same dungeon and raid content over and over again ad infinitum, and that's just wrong, on a conceptual level. Graduating from exploring a huge and varied (at least the first time through) open world to running through the same handful of linear dungeons felt like a massive slap in the face after the game's initial promise to not be a generic MMO built on arse-backwards logic, which it seemed to be fulfilling up to a point. The World vs World mass PvP mode was a lot better with regards to dynamism, but I never really got to experience it properly due to how badly it chugged in the mass fights where the mode really excelled, even if I did enjoy the gameplay a lot more as it actually felt dynamic and lively. The later Living World areas did kind of transplant some of that magic on to the PvE portion of the game, but since they just cycled endlessly and could mostly be ignored unless you were actively grinding one of the 15 million alternative currencies, there wasn't a whole lot of point to engaging with them. The biggest reason I stuck with it as long as I did was the RPS guild, and they really are a great lot (the various guild-wide events we held were always a blast), but eventually I just kind of drifted away.
    Also known as ATrifleMiffed

  3. #3
    I've never been into MMOs, I was hoping as a big elder scrolls fan ESO would hook me, I couldn't get into it though.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    3,149
    Quote Originally Posted by EPICTHEFAIL View Post
    Guild Wars 2 - I used to play it quite a lot, but got bored of it and quite before the expansion came out simply because it gets incredibly fucking boring once you've got a character levelled up. Even with the (admittedly cool) dynamic events system, the world was still hopelessly static, the combat was monotonous, the writing was appalling and it suffered from the problem all traditional MMOs have. Namely, that the moment your character hits level 80 you're expected to hop on the end-game gear treadmill and grind the same dungeon and raid content over and over again ad infinitum, and that's just wrong, on a conceptual level. Graduating from exploring a huge and varied (at least the first time through) open world to running through the same handful of linear dungeons felt like a massive slap in the face after the game's initial promise to not be a generic MMO built on arse-backwards logic, which it seemed to be fulfilling up to a point. The World vs World mass PvP mode was a lot better with regards to dynamism, but I never really got to experience it properly due to how badly it chugged in the mass fights where the mode really excelled, even if I did enjoy the gameplay a lot more as it actually felt dynamic and lively. The later Living World areas did kind of transplant some of that magic on to the PvE portion of the game, but since they just cycled endlessly and could mostly be ignored unless you were actively grinding one of the 15 million alternative currencies, there wasn't a whole lot of point to engaging with them. The biggest reason I stuck with it as long as I did was the RPS guild, and they really are a great lot (the various guild-wide events we held were always a blast), but eventually I just kind of drifted away.
    My feelings exactly. I have played GW2 more than any other MMO I've ever tried (I'm not a big MMO player), and enjoyed my few hundred hours with it, mainly due to the RPS guild, but I drifted away from it around the launch of the expansion. I thought the expansion was underwhelming and overly expensive when it was released, and I still do. If the expansion had been ~20 euros or so, I would definitely have bought it and would probably still be actively playing it, because I enjoy being in the world and because it supports solo play quite well, for the most part. I still play it every few months with some RL friends, just to have a co-op game that works with five players and one playing on a Macbook, but I almost never play it alone anymore.

    I second EPICTHEFAILS comments about the gear treadmill when you hit level 80 and the endless amounts of currencies - it can get very annoying. My main gripe with the game though is that it is of two minds when it comes to levelling alts. On one hand, it is incredibly easy to get a new character leveled and geared up due to all the easily obtainable items you can use to boost other characters. On the other hand, you have to explore the world all over again on a new character. You can't teleport to waypoints you've already discovered on another character, for example, so if I want to join some friends on a new character, they all have to wait for me to cover the distance on foot. Incredibly annoying.
    Last edited by L_No; 24-04-2017 at 08:36 PM.
    Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. G3rt

    Guild Wars 2 characters: Norgothus (Norn Necromancer), Maggrivo (Charr Warrior)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    Never go full Wulf.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    2,367
    Quote Originally Posted by EPICTHEFAIL View Post
    Electric Shite Orchestra - I absolutely loathed it. I posted a rant about it back when the free weekend was on, but I can't be arsed to find it so, to recap - it's like all of the worst parts of an Elder Scrolls game with none of the good. It's got shitty combat and MMO-standard incomprehensible UI, but no emergent gameplay, because it uses MMO-standard static mob spawns instead of a more dynamic spawning system, no scope for outside-the-box solutions to difficult encounters (what I saw of ESO would never let you hot-drop an undead dragon into the middle of a dungeon to deal with a dragon priest), and most importantly, very little in the way of those little simulationist elements that make the world feel alive. Quests were fucking awful too.
    Was that the free weekend a year or two ago? If so I felt the same way at that time. Like, really, really similar.

    This time, well, they'd changed a lot - definitely different start area stuff, and the auto-scaling meant I felt like I could decide what I was doing more - so I felt more positively. The combat also felt better than it did last time I tried it - faster-paced and less awful, I dunno what they changed there though, if anything.

    However, I don't think any of your criticisms are invalid, in fact, I can see all of them as totally valid. I just liked it a bit better. For me the real "Yeah... no..." was the complete inability to engage with the economy. I mean, I literally felt like it was worse than EVERQUEST in 1999 in that regard. Fucking EverQuest man. It's like, you're giving me all these items - clearly someone who isn't me wants them, and I want money or other items, but the only way to exchange them is to use an apparently non-functional "guild merchant"? Man what?

    Quote Originally Posted by L_No View Post
    I second EPICTHEFAILS comments about the gear treadmill when you hit level 80 and the endless amounts of currencies - it can get very annoying. My main gripe with the game though is that it is of two minds when it comes to levelling alts. On one hand, it is incredibly easy to get a new character leveled and geared up due to all the easily obtainable items you can use to boost other characters. On the other hand, you have to explore the world all over again on a new character. You can't teleport to waypoints you've already discovered on another character, for example, so if I want to join some friends on a new character, they all have to wait for me to cover the distance on foot. Incredibly annoying.
    I felt like the problem was more of a gear stasis/gear-grind at 80. Treadmill is WoW, where you continually get minor upgrade after minor upgrade after minor upgrade and are expected to keep getting them. Whereas GW2 largely lacks that. Instead of getting upgrades you're mostly going after looks - but it's huge goddamn grind to get them - you have to run the same dungeon, what, dozens of times to get all the currency for a single look? And that currency is specific to that dungeon!

    I dunno if they've changed or updated that - it was a frequent complaint I found.

    The big turn-off for me was the elitism, though - particularly shown through dungeon groups wanting everyone in full-zerker, to have cleared the dungeon countless times, and to be the most optimal possible spec. I blame that more on Arenanet than the players, because the griiiiiiiiind nature of dungeons at endgame really encourages that. Arenanet designed the dungeons so you COULD play them with lower-level characters or bad gear or whatever, which is nice, but then they made people facegrind them so hard they lost their damn collective minds.

    Anyway my wife convinced me to get Heart of Thorns with her, and so we're going to give that a go and see how it is. Right now we started new characters a L1 just so we could re-learn the game. Sure, we have these "BE LEVEL 80!" tokens, but it's like "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING!!!" way worse than WoW or other games, especially as WoW will grab you by the nose and lead you to whatever you are supposed to be up to (and elegantly so in Legion, too, probably WoW's greatest expansion, certainly since WotLK). Will have to have a look if the RPS guild is still going, because my old guild, whilst massive, has almost no-one online and most people haven't been on for months (which is sad, because it used to be pretty busy).

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus EPICTHEFAIL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    4,078
    I hadn't encountered too much elitism when it comes to dungeons in GW2, but that's mostly down to playing with the RPS crew, who are generally quite laid-back and relaxed about that sort of thing. I'd imagine LFG dungeons are utter hell though. And the grind at end-game was something else - I am normally quite tolerant of it, but the sheer amount of times you had to run dungeons (and their completely static nature) just sapped my will to keep playing. And yeah, you could acquire end-game gear by other means (auction house trading or crafting), but those were if anything even more of a tedious grind. The people over in the Elite thread complaining about that game's grind have clearly never had to grind materials and gold for a full set of Warrior Ravager and Berserker gear + runes + sigils (I was using longbow DoT and physical damage greatsword specs on it, switching between them as needed), that's a fucking perspective shift right there.

    And the worst part is, all of the end-game grind and the idiotic design that makes levelling alts such a chore (WHY DO I HAVE TO EXPLORE EVERYTHING AGAIN?) just took the focus away from the game's strengths, the pretty good (for an MMO) combat, especially when the action camera mod came out, the event systems that actually made the world feel much livelier than, well, every other fantasy MMO (it actually managed to create that Skyrim-esque "ooh, what's going on over there, let's check if out" effect on my first character, which is always a pleasant surprise), and how damned pretty everything was, not so much graphically but aesthetically. Maybe once I've finally got a decent rig again I'll roll up a fresh character and just level them up, ignoring the PvE end-game and diving into WvW instead, which is where the real fun is, inaccessible as it was thanks to the dodgy performance whenever too many players are on screen. And get HoT, obviously, shitty as the game's writing is I do hear the new zones are pretty decent.
    Also known as ATrifleMiffed

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    3,149
    The elitism in random groups is pretty bad. I mostly played with either the RPS guild or some RL friends, but the few times I tried to run a dungeon with random players were terrible. Groups advertise themselves with cryptic acronyms (usually indicating they only want people who memorized the entire wiki beforehand) and start flaming you immediately when you take a wrong turn.

    I'd agree that the dungeon currency grind is not a very good idea. Arenanet obviously changed their mind regarding the dungeons several times. First they were about the only way to obtain gear and gold, then they were almost ignored for years, and now they've increased the benefits of doing dungeons again.
    Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. G3rt

    Guild Wars 2 characters: Norgothus (Norn Necromancer), Maggrivo (Charr Warrior)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    Never go full Wulf.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    2,367
    Quote Originally Posted by L_No View Post
    The elitism in random groups is pretty bad. I mostly played with either the RPS guild or some RL friends, but the few times I tried to run a dungeon with random players were terrible. Groups advertise themselves with cryptic acronyms (usually indicating they only want people who memorized the entire wiki beforehand) and start flaming you immediately when you take a wrong turn.
    Yeah, it was pretty nuts with randoms - precisely my experience too. I did manage to find reasonable groups, but I had to either build them myself as "learning groups", or very carefully select them.

    It was always super-weird because otherwise GW2 genuinely is more friendly than almost any MMO I've ever played, even CoH, in chat and so on. It's like all the niceness caused an imbalance in the force or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by L_No View Post
    I'd agree that the dungeon currency grind is not a very good idea. Arenanet obviously changed their mind regarding the dungeons several times. First they were about the only way to obtain gear and gold, then they were almost ignored for years, and now they've increased the benefits of doing dungeons again.
    Looking it up I can see what they've done. There were indeed three periods:

    1) Early on they were the only way to get certain kinds of gear, and gave tons more gold than any other gameplay.

    2) Over time, loads of other ways to get gear were added, many of them better than dungeons, so people stopped running dungeons for tokens. However, what people worked out was that REALLY FAST dungeon runs were still by far the most efficient straight gold-gaining method in the game. THIS right is where the elitism kicked in.

    2a) Arenanet tried to make people move to Fractals, which they thought were like dungeons but cooler (kinda true, kinda not) by benignly neglecting dungeons (though they did add a couple of event-related ones temporarily*). What they failed to do, though, was reduce the gold rewards, so the same psycho-elitist crowd still rushed through them.

    3) With HoT coming up, Arenanet announced there would be no dungeons in HoT (this was true), and fiiiiinally lowered the gold reward to the point where it's not great to speed-run dungeons (they also put in endgame open-world stuff which gave better gold), and they upped the amount of tokens/run so you don't have to facegrind them to get gear, just sort of run them.

    So I suspect they are less elitist now, but also probably less popular - likely the elitism has just moved to the actual raids they added in HoT/events. We shall see.

    * = I have never seen a company as casually wasteful with high-development-effort content as Arenanet. This is a company who developed THREE entire custom-designed dungeons - albeit one was really small - with special art, unique NPCs, voice-acting and so on, and only kept each one open for like TWO WEEKS in 2013. I mean fuck's sake guys. They must have been rolling in development budget but jesus...

    Compare this to WoW which makes WAY more money (though GW2 does make a decent amount), and yet where the devs are pained and worried if less than 40% of the playerbase sees/does something.

    Quote Originally Posted by EPICTHEFAIL View Post
    And yeah, you could acquire end-game gear by other means (auction house trading or crafting), but those were if anything even more of a tedious grind. The people over in the Elite thread complaining about that game's grind have clearly never had to grind materials and gold for a full set of Warrior Ravager and Berserker gear + runes + sigils (I was using longbow DoT and physical damage greatsword specs on it, switching between them as needed), that's a fucking perspective shift right there.
    Do you mean Exotic or Ascended armour? Because if you're claiming that for Exotic, you be talking some massive smack, brother. Elite's grind to get upgraded ships, in terms of time/effort/tedium is a great deal higher than to get enough gold/mats to make one suit of armour and weapons and buy the runes/sigils - and if you're demanding two entire sets + top-flight runes/sigils for them, well, that's kind of extreme, and more than is needed - but it's still nowhere near as severe as a lot of MMO grinds, and pretty much maxes you out power-wise, so it's comparable to having the best ship/weapons/etc. possible in Elite (yet I suspect takes a lot less time).

    Ascended though holy shit ahahahahahaha yep. Ascended armour/weapons (which didn't drop anywhere pre-HoT, AFAICT, and you HAVE to craft YOURSELF if you want - it's account-bound), was a grind worthy of the days of yore - EverQuest-level grinding. That yes, is worse than Elite for real.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus EPICTHEFAIL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    4,078
    Hell, even exotics were pretty fucking irritating to get - grinding mats, then grinding the required crafting skills, then actually building the shit you needed, which is why I barely ever bothered (mostly just spent my dungeon money on bits of high-end gear mixed with dungeon funbucks equipment). But Ascended gear and Legendary weapons were something else, man.

    Also, the absolute worst RNG grind in any game ever: spoons. Because if you want all of the achievement points (which for some ungodly reason weren't just a bragging rights thing but had actual rewards tied to them), you'd better get all of the fucking spoons. Ask Tweetity about them over in our GW2 subforum, and stand well back.
    Also known as ATrifleMiffed

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    3,149
    Quote Originally Posted by LexW View Post
    Yeah, it was pretty nuts with randoms - precisely my experience too. I did manage to find reasonable groups, but I had to either build them myself as "learning groups", or very carefully select them.

    It was always super-weird because otherwise GW2 genuinely is more friendly than almost any MMO I've ever played, even CoH, in chat and so on. It's like all the niceness caused an imbalance in the force or something.


    So true. Incredible how that super small subsection of a huge game can be so toxic. It's probably because of the need to run dungeons in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

    And yes, the grind for ascended items is absolute bullshit. Time-gated crafting, account bound no less? Couldn't be bothered.
    Last edited by L_No; 26-04-2017 at 10:22 PM.
    Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. G3rt

    Guild Wars 2 characters: Norgothus (Norn Necromancer), Maggrivo (Charr Warrior)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    Never go full Wulf.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    2,367
    Quote Originally Posted by EPICTHEFAIL View Post
    Hell, even exotics were pretty fucking irritating to get - grinding mats, then grinding the required crafting skills, then actually building the shit you needed, which is why I barely ever bothered (mostly just spent my dungeon money on bits of high-end gear mixed with dungeon funbucks equipment). But Ascended gear and Legendary weapons were something else, man.
    Leveling the crafting skills after getting the mats takes like, an hour and a half, if that. Seriously. I have 400 crafting in some skill (or two) on pretty much all my PCs because it costs a trivial amount of time/money, and gives you tons of XP (about 10 levels per crafting skill? If you're a real Bigbucks Nutjob you can do 1-80 on crafting skills alone)

    I also learned that it's totally perverse to grind the mats if you can grind cash or just do stuff that earns cash/mats as you go along. Some of them (like Mithril) are virtually worthless on the AH so should always just be bought. But you do have to stop and think about what you're doing, then maybe do the math, to make that decision.

    Plus there are other good ways to get exotics - Karma in the olden days (less of a good idea now, as Karma is way harder to get and can be used in more beneficial ways), and well, just straight-up buying them.

    Ascended Weapons are only really bad because of the time-gating bullshit being annoying, but the Ascended armour is just like, no, fuck YOU, Arenanet, because of the vast material requirements together with time-gating.

    Quote Originally Posted by EPICTHEFAIL View Post
    Also, the absolute worst RNG grind in any game ever: spoons. Because if you want all of the achievement points (which for some ungodly reason weren't just a bragging rights thing but had actual rewards tied to them), you'd better get all of the fucking spoons. Ask Tweetity about them over in our GW2 subforum, and stand well back.
    Given there are an infinite (or near-infinite) number of achievement points possible in GW2, and thus there is no "all of the achievement points", I can't help but feel grinding the spoons and then complaining about it says a hell of a lot more about the player (achievement-oriented to the point of self-harm) than the game. WoW has some similarly "kill yourself"-type achievements, and I knew people who got them, and complained endlessly, and it's like "Why? Why do that do yourself?". It's worth 3, count 'em, 3 achievement points. Doing the Dailies is 10 points EVERY DAY. So don't pretend this has anything to do with "all the achievement points". C'mon.

    Plus most of them you just buy from NPCs. There are three that are a pain to get, and which require grinding WvW, Fractals and Tequatl respectively. The latter is by far the worst as it's a real pain to find people who can consistently kill him, and he's on a shitty timer.

    Is it the worst grind in MMOs? Nah, not by a long shot. Is it bad? Fuck yeah. Top ten, but probably in the 5-10 range, not 1-5.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •