WoW’s BattleGrounds – From bad to worst

It’s been a couple of weeks since the tests server were launched. Aside all the comment and critics I wrote about the approach, the BGs have been completely unplayable because of problems both in the execution and the design that were obvious to just everyone who logged in the Test servers even for a few minutes.

The Alterac BG has been reenabled only yesterday because severely broken in a number of aspects. The CTF BG worked slightly better but was completely unplayable due to the flag vanishing.

Now they patched a new version. You’d expect to fix something?

No, they broke things even more. It’s hilarious.

Not only they didn’t fix the durability hit on the equipment and the flags vanishing and all the most glaring problems and design issue already reported and discussed ad nauseam. But they also managed to severely nerf the Contribution Points you gain from winning a CTF game.

Before this last patch you gained 1600 CPs for each victory (three flags returned). The reward was good and it encouraged the players to fight for the victory (well, if the flags didn’t vanish). This because only one faction won those points in the case of a victory.

So I’d say that between ALL the broken parts of these BGs, this definitely was one of the few that worked.

Guess what? They didn’t fix anything but they broke the only point that worked.

Now they do not reward anymore for a victory in the CTF. They reward just for each flag returned. How much? 68 CPs. No really.

That’s 166 points if you finish the BGs. LESS than a single kill.

This means that, you know, playing the CTF game is now completely USELESS. You just go there, leech kills in solo for a bit till the diminished returns are off and then jump on another instance searching for new opponents. That’s the behaviour that this system is rewarding and encouraging.

Not only. The devs have stated again that the diminished returns for the points won’t be removed.

The idea is working so well that the players are learning that going solo in a BG instead of forming groups is consistently more efficent.

A masterpiece.

I’d really congratulate myself with the dev team. I definitely didn’t expect them to be THAT clueless. That’s not anymore a matter of good or bad design. Whoever came out with this last idea is just an idiot. Nothing else. There’s no need to disturb the “game design” on this issue. That’s just pure idiocy.

By the way, it seems that the BGs are in the hands of Furor. And I really do not need to comment further.

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Sometimes, Haemish recovers

A few good considerations about what I posted here below from Haemish. (thread on F13)

But I still wonder if they replaced the old Haemish with a Shild clone.

4) RvR does not equal PvP. DAoC is not a PvP game and neither will be this game. We want people to be able to roleplay and we also want them to be able to play the game without worrying about getting ganked from the moment they enter the game by someone more powerful than them.

Yes, DAOC IS A PVP GAME. It just happens to have a significantly large and boring and grindy PVE game attached to it, making the biggest factor in PVP success being time invested in the PVE game. But make no mistake, DAOC is a PVP game. It just isn’t an OPEN PVP game.

5) The building and maintaining of community is quite important to Mythic whether it is in the game or out of it. The reason we don’t host our own forums is that we either do it well (which means full-time admins, added costs) or we would rather not do it at all. We will consider setting up our own forums for this game but most likely, they will be private to keep the noise level down. Now, if we make them private, we will of course invite all the people who have been participating in forums like these to join us. We will also have ultra-private forums for beta-testers as we do for DAoC and Imperator.

Translation: We will only listen to ourselves and our closest sycophants, just like we did with DAoC.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I think official forums are huge wastes of resources and IQ points. But don’t make that sound like it’ll be an “open community” because it won’t be. DAoC isn’t.

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PvP – Give back the world to the players

Another raving from Grimwell.

Sadly, the truth is that “It’s going to be great, glorious fun”. Those with the resources to actually realize some of these ideas are heading elsewhere and are not interested to search for some potential. And we are left to write down fancy, useless ideas in blogs and forums.

This is at odds with the concepts of PvP. PvP is about the fun fight. Why call out Player vs Player otherwise?

Yes, but you are leaving out the context here.

A discussion about the PvP has to consider the context because the context is the part that defines the genre itself. I mean the genre in its original principle (simulating a world) against the new paradigm (combat simulations).

The point isn’t just that another player “fights better”. The point is that in a complex environment you can have a deeper interaction. Have a different, more complete experience. Something that is able to involve you more deeply and directly instead of watching yet another more or less fast “shooter”.

Without a context the PvP is just another combat simulation derivative (ported) of other genres already consolidated. That’s why we have the CTF in WoW. It’s a quick way to avoid to plan something new and risky or more complex and go, instead, with a predictable model that you already know will be somewhat successful.

It’s a way to detach the genre from its premises to bring it back on a safer territory. Easier to control.

My point of view is different from yours because I’m one of those believing that the innovation doesn’t come from absurd ideas that appear all at the sudden in the mind of a genius. Instead all I do when imagining something new is to observe what’s already around and try to discover and learn what is wrong, what can be improved, possible new directions to develop and so on. So I base everything just on the observation along with with my own desires about what I’d like to see.

About the PvP my ideas develop from a simple point: give back the world to the players.

I don’t want to see PvP caged in protected zones, cities made of NPCs that you cannot affect in any way. We are supposed to simulate worlds but the players have absolutely zero power on what happens and on the place where they live. The RP is faked because the whole lore is a “pretension” or an excuse to fake and repeat an artificial model. So the basic idea is to give back the world to the players in the real sense.

Allow them to conquer those towns, to manage and give orders to the NPCs, declare war to other guilds, conquer the zones and so on. Allow the players to become the real center and subject of what is happening instead of forcing them to follow orders from improbable NPCs sending you all over the world to save it from a pretentious menace. Shadowbane already moved in this direction but with a model that is still flawed in many points and again just as a combat simulator. That was a first step of a long journey.

What I’d like to see is a world where the combat exists but just as ONE of the parts. And where the world itself comes to life as a whole. Where the players live and experience different types of interaction and not just one limited aspect.

The point is to make the world really persistent. If you fight in PvP, it won’t be to collect points to grab new loot and skills, but to FIGHT FOR A PURPOSE. Fight to take back your house from a band of orcs, fight with your guild to save a town from a pillage, fight to defend a caravan with precious resources.

All these situations are possible ONLY if the game provides a context and only if these games become something else than a simplified, fantasy combat simulator.

The key is on what Tobold writes. But REVERSED:

The very idea of a persistent world requires character development in which an old character is better than a new one.

It’s the opposite. It’s not the character development that should be the real focus. But the development of the context. Of the world where you live.

It’s the possibility of interaction with what you have around yourself instead than your own endless treadmill of power.

Players like to “win”. Yeah. But they like even more if a victory has a context, a purpose. If they have a role within a world. If their presence has a meaning.

A victory within a context is way more rewarding than just a generic, extemporary feeling.

It’s like if you open your eyes after years playing in the dark. Finally what’s around you gains a shape. It has a purpose and a depth and you aren’t anymore focused on just yourself.

Folks, this time it’s WAAAGH!


the source is here. Since it’s late I’m just pasting what he said to read it tomorrow.


First, I want to thank everyone for their kind words regarding the announcement of our first Warhammer game. Everyone at Mythic is quite excited about the possibilities that this partnership with the fine folks at Games Workshop with bring about to both companies. Secondly, as to the game that we have begun work on, it will be a game that is focused on the RvR aspects of Warhammer. We will reveal more details over the coming months but for now, I think the best way to describe the game I have envisioned is the simple phrase “This time it’s WAAAGH!” Third, I apologize in advance for what will be infrequent appearances here and other Warhammer-related sites. It’s not that I don’t love to chat (as the guys at GW can tell you, getting me to shut up is more of a problem), but I have a game design to work on after all.

To answer some brief questions that have popped up here and on other forums:

1) This is not a continuation of the Warhammer Online project. Mythic is working closely with GW to create a new vision for a Warhammer online game.

2) The development time-line for the game is a tad over 2 years but given our experience and existing code-base (Dark Age of Camelot, Imperator and others), we believe we can meet that schedule.

3) We want to pull in as much material from the Warhammer material as we can to make this a great game. I don’t care where it comes from, if it’s Warhammer (Fantasy Battles, RPG, Warmaster) and it also can be part of a great game, I want to try to fit it in this game. This game will not be DAoC2 with the name of Warhammer attached.

4) RvR does not equal PvP. DAoC is not a PvP game and neither will be this game. We want people to be able to roleplay and we also want them to be able to play the game without worrying about getting ganked from the moment they enter the game by someone more powerful than them.

5) The building and maintaining of community is quite important to Mythic whether it is in the game or out of it. The reason we don’t host our own forums is that we either do it well (which means full-time admins, added costs) or we would rather not do it at all. We will consider setting up our own forums for this game but most likely, they will be private to keep the noise level down. Now, if we make them private, we will of course invite all the people who have been participating in forums like these to join us. We will also have ultra-private forums for beta-testers as we do for DAoC and Imperator.

6) As to the question of religion in Warhammer, we expect it will play a role. Religion doesn’t in Imperator because Imperator is meant to be a pure sci-fi game. We’d be foolish to do the same here.

7) As a friend of mine at GW says in describing what we want to do with this game, Warhammer will not be happy-clappy land, we’ll leave dancing orcs, prancing elves to other guys. :)

8) I have a long-standing relationship with a number of the people at GW, and I hold them, and the IP, in the highest regard. Nothing that we are doing is in any way a sign of disrespect for what has gone before. It’s a new day, a new vision but the old world.


Mark Jacobs
Mythic Entertainment

P.S. It’s going to be a lot of fun…


A few more quick notes:

1) We are not intending to do a “purist” version of a WH-based game. Why? Well, first, there is no such thing. Warhammer is an incredibly rich environment which not only supports various games but the individual games have changed over the decades. Additionally, even if we were going to focus on one particular game (let’s say the FRPG) and even on one edition of the rules, there would still be disagreements over things like rule interpretations. I prefer to look at what we are doing in terms of our game(s) being a “true” interpretation of WH. Now, this is not to say that this is the AMAZING, LAST, FINAL and PENULTIMATE TRUE version of WH but rather simple our attempt to create a great game that feels like it belongs to the WH world. Of course, we will disagree over what is true WH or not but that’s why we will have lots of help in order to ensure we deliver on what we promise.

2) Both Mythic and GW are in agreement that we can create an RvR game that is based on the WH IP. So, for a little while longer, have some faith that we have way to allow for various sides to beat each other over the heads with really nasty weapons (and magic, don’t forget the magic) in a way that fits in with the WH IP. Remember, this world has been around for a long time and if you search the IP carefully, you will see lots and lots of opportunities for all sorts of mayhem. We will talk about how this will work in detail once we get to the next stage of the project.

3) In terms of Mythic running out of money when we are working on this game; no worries there otherwise GW would have gone running off in the opposite direction when we worked this deal out.

4) In terms of the art look, we will not be attempting to recreate WoW nor WO as neither look fits what we want to do here. One of the great things about WH is that it is an incredibly rich world (from an artistic sense) and we can draw on different looks in order to make our vision come to life. The only thing I can assure you is that some of you will disagree with whatever look we pick, that is the nature of this business. No worries though, as long as you keep the rotten fruit and vegetables coming our way along with the criticism, at least we can keep feeding our team late into the night. :)

5) To answer Linhart’s questions (can’t have you burning to death, at least not for two years), yes, this will be an advancement-based system. Even if it is RvR-based, we don’t want it to be Warhammer: Doom, this will be an RPG. As to dynamic player-influenced content, yeap, that’s part of the plan.

One last little bit before I go is that as we develop this game there will be times where we will disagree with each other. You may think that I or my company are a bunch of barely-skilled chimps who haven’t the vaguest idea of what we are doing. While I hope that isn’t the case, all I ask is that we are polite and respectful to each other. If that simple request is met, we will continue to be able to engage in discussions and information-sharing here. One of our rules is that the team will never attack any poster personally nor rudely (and if they do, it will never happen again) and I hope that the posters here follow the same rule. If so, we’ll get on just fine. Again, I am simply asking that players express themselves in a civilized, polite and professional manner and not that they simply parrot the Mythic/GW line.

It’s going to be great, glorious fun and I’m looking forward to the next two years with great anticipation.



Regarding GW’s input in the whole design process I think it is safe to say that they will quite involved with it and not just protecting their IP. It’s safe to say this because the process has already started. :) We’d be foolish not to try to use all the resources we have at had to do this project and that means talking to some of the GW guys and get their thoughts, ideas, etc. on what they would like to see in this game. While Mythic is indeed driving the design, we are doing that in close consultation with the GW guys. The initial vision for the game may have started with me but by the time it is done, GW, other Mythic personnel and maybe even people who post here and in other places may see some things they suggest in the game. FYI, I’m currently combing through hundreds of pages of documentation from guys at GW and elsewhere to see what ideas can become a part of this game.

In terms of making this game like WoW, not likely. I have the utmost respect for Blizzard and a long-time friendship with a number of people there. Their game is their game, just as this will be our game. I have no more desire to make this game like WoW than I do like EQ, WO or any other game out there. This game needs to stand on its own, apart from what has gone before.

Finally, as to skill-based vs. advancement-based, the game will be advancement-based. Now, do we want the game to feel grindy? Nope, not at all but nor do we want to make it so somebody comes in off the street and can, due to superior reflexes, hardware setup, etc. be able to kill players who have been playing the game for a while. For those gamers, Doom, Unreal, etc. are a better choice than this game will be. At its core, this game will have more in common with an RPG rather than an FPS.


Ahah, I read it. It was sort of funny.

Really, try to look around for some ballast or this guy will take off.

Now excuse me, I have game design to work on after all.

It’s going to be great, glorious fun.

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This is the industry: collecting badges

Just a (badly written) comment going on at Grimwell. The origin is EverQuest 2 but I finish to go back to an old topic (nicely titled “Fuck the industry”).

I paste it here in a reversed order. The first part is the one I care about.

EDIT- After reading Darniaq’s comment (on Grimwell) I believe the term I should have used is “accountability”. Instead of “responsibility”.

I agree. These games need a consistent Creative Visionary, someone who’s hired to both deliver the game and manage it in Live. The trouble though is that developing and maintaining are so different, the people who do either do not necessarily have the interest to do both. I would be very interested to hear from people who’ve done this stuff whether pre-launch developers have enough love to maintain a game, are so burned out they can’t wait to find a new opportunity, or are just more interested in delivering a game than mother hen’ing it in perpetuity.

Yes, but I add more to that scenario. It’s not something about just a “leader”, it’s the whole team that is included in that reasoning.

The “Lead Designer” or whatever is just the predominant figure but even all the other developers need a commitment to the same degree instead of switching between positions, games and even companies.

The fact is that noone is responsible of anything. As they start to see some serious problems they try to jump the ship before it’s too late (if they can). That’s what I mean for the lack of commitment and why I accuse the industry for lack of passion and dedication.

There are designers that keep doing glaring mistakes and instead of facing the consequences they just move somewhere else collecting more and more “references”. The same for the positions less publicly exposed.

The point isn’t to fire these devs as the problems come up and as they show some incompetencies. The point is to FORCE them to learn. FORCE them to face the consequences of what they did instead of cashing and fleeing somewhere else.

That’s why a stable team is REQUIRED. It’s the only way to force them to commit to something and take the direct responsibility of what they are doing. So that they are FORCED to not glide and ignore the problems and the complaints.

I find this situation like the speculation in the economy. Noone cares about anything because it’s all relative, with no consequences and no implications. When you are bouncing from game to game and from project to project how the hell you can develop a serious competence that isn’t a pointless list of references?

It sounds like collecting badges in Pokemon.

Scott Hartsman:
Not to be argumentative (maybe the opposite of argumentative?), but I agree with you that iterating most kinds of development is the right way to go. I disagree that it’s the exact opposite model of the one we use.

For starters, grouping all of our games into “how SOE develops” isn’t really an accurate description. Each team runs their own show. Ours is extremely heavy on the concept of prototyping and iterating.

The things in the game that have received the highest marks were the places where we were able to take the time to iterate exactly as you describe, which is our preferred method of adding to the game.

I was using the concept of “iteration” in a different context.

You think and use it as a way to develop an expansion till a final stage when it ships. And you say that if the various parts are being reiterated enough the final result will improve.

My point is slightly more philosophic. The idea is that the development of a mmorpg, as a whole, doesn’t end. So the idea of an optional expansion ot develop and ship in a final stage is ALREADY a distortion of the model.

Now, my point was specific to the PvP. Let’s take an example like DAoC and you’ll see that the PvP layer has been developed, expanded and tweaked FOR YEARS. Still, it has a number of glaring problems and a nearly infinite potential that is still waiting there.

This is the background of my critics. The point is not if you were able to fit enough iterations before the launch of the expansion. The point is to set-up a development process that keeps buiding on the basis of what was developed before.

The PvP REQUIRES this. You cannot wrap it up in “x” months and ship to then move the focus on something else. Already in the paradigm the development is simply not supposed to end. If not with the death of the game itself.

It’s surely possible and due to set various “stages” where the work can be packed up in an expansion in order to coordinate the economical aspect with the development itself. But the development itself shouldn’t be caged within a time limit and a feature list. Exactly because the strength of these games is in the possibility to build on top of what you worked before instead of just restart from zero with another, unrelated layer.

Simplifying even too much:
-It’s bad to think to the PvP and the features of an expansion in general as something to reiterate enough in order to offer a decent product to then “ship and forget”. Because the dev team will move on something else as the previous product is “done”.

-It’s good to use these expansions as a way to market and “chunk” a type of development that goes on uniformly and cohesively behind the scenes and that keeps building on top of the previous work. That keeps refining and reiterating the old parts. Without never stopping this process and using the new features only to integrate them with the rest instead of making everything independent and unrelated.

The point is that nothing is “done”. Never. A mmorpg should be always a building process that should never restart from zero but that should keep using its “age” as an advantage instead of a weight.

To achieve this result the development needs to be readjusted. The reiterations are not supposed to stop when the expansion ships.

They should never end.

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A legal form of griefing

Here’s a long attack to WoW’s Honor System that I consider completely broken on all the core elements. In particular some of the rules designed to prevent griefing and exploits are obtaining the exact opposite result and are encouraging the players to exploit the system and grief other players.

Only “Senior Lead Designers” can consider this as positive for the game.

With the diminishing returns Alterac is simply pointless.

The CTF BG allows you to heap the cumulative reward for each victory AND get a constant recycle of enemies. So the CTF already nullifies the diminished returns because you’ll jump to a session to another, meeting different players constantly.

In Alterac the gameplay becomes pointless from the reward perspective. The cumulative goal can be achieved (maybe) in an arc of hours and it’s just a TINY percent of what you can get in CTF. PLUS after 20 minutes you get no points from direct kills due to the diminished returns.

At best the players are ENCOURAGED to jump from session to session in order to refresh their kill counts and keep earn points.

Not only. If you play during the off-peaks you’ll most likely meet always the same opponents because there aren’t many players logged in. The diminished returns completely BREAK the game in this case. Whoever is able to play for long periods of times and during the peaks is severely advantaged thanks to a constant resupply of enemies.

A player shouldn’t be PUNISHED just because he is playing in a smaller server or at odd hours. This castigates again the casual players and just begs again to pack the players all in one server instead of spreading uniformly.

And let me add:

The diminished returns DO NOT solve the exploits, they ENCOURAGE AND MAXIMIZE them.

The fact that two guilds can meet and farm each other is way easier if they know exactly the “cap” of their points. In a matter of a few minutes they are able to MAXIMIZE their points and then continue to play the game and heap more points on top of those they farmed on each other.

This means that with a cap you are TRULY able to control and MAXIMIZE your honor performance. Since the diminished returns are reset *daily*, these guids can just arrange daily matches and maximize their full value in a short time span.

This means that they have a 100% safe MAXIMUM VALUE. You cannot surpass them because they capped the mathematical limit of the system.

WHENEVER you set a cap, you are setting as well a precise pattern that the exploiters can find out and maximize.

Without these diminished returns the exploiters would be forced to repeat over and over what they do since there’s no fixed cap. This means that they would be easier to spot for a GM.

Now, let’s say that:

– The first time a GM catches you arranging encountrers you get your honor points and rank reset to zero.
– The second time you are banned for a week.
– The third time your account is permanently suspended.

How many players you think will continue to arrange encounters?

This is NOT a problem of the ruleset. This is a problem of GMs and the tools they have available to monitor the situation. The “diminishing returns” are just a terribly unfun bandaid for a problem that is not even remotely addressed in this way.

Let’s see some basic math. So maybe you get the point.

Let’s say that every character is worth the same amount of points for a kill. Let’s say it’s 200.

Now, we have a group of casual players joining the Alterac BG. So 40 vs 40. And we have another group of two guilds that are going to arrange an encounter to maximize their points. And it’s again a 40 vs 40 situation.

What is the amount of points you can aspire in the two situations?

In the first example I can safely assume that, on average, every player is going to die at least four times in an arc of 30 minutes. So after this period it’s absolutely sure that noone will gain anymore points from the direct kills. To calculate the total of CP for each player we have to multiply the 200CP for each kill for 4 (the number of kills worth points) and apply at the same time the diminished returns.

100% of 200 = 200CP (first kill)
75% of 200 = 150CP (second kill)
50% of 200 = 100CP (third kill)
25% of 200 = 50CP (fouth kill)

Now we sum them. 200 + 150 + 100 + 50 = 500 CP
Then we take this total and have to divide it to the number of players in the raid. 40 in this case. 500 / 40 = 12.5 CP

12.5 is the MAXIMUM amount of honor points you’ll get from another player, for that day, in a BG scenario. If we multiply 12.5 for the total number of opponents you have (40 in this case) we obtain: 12.5 * 40 = 500 CP

500 CP is the MAXIMUM amount of points you can earn in a BG in about 20-30 minutes. After this period you’ll get zero points from direct kills. And in the case you’ll meet again one of those 40 players somewhere lese in the game or in another BG, you’ll still get zero points for the rest of the day.

Now let’s consider the other situation where two guilds can organize an exploit.

In this case it’s obvious that they won’t group in a raid in order to maximize the gain. So each character becomes a potential of 500 CP. If we multiply these 500 CP for the whole group of 40 we get a total of 20.000 CP

Now let’s compare, in half an hour, how many points the exploiters and the “fair” players can achieve.

Exploiter = 20.000 CP in 30 minutes
Fair player = 500 CP in 30 minutes

This isn’t everything. Not only there’s a HUGE gap of efficency, but the exploiters, in order to reach 20.000 CP in 30 minutes, “used up” just 40 other chatacters. A “fair player”, in order to reach the same result, would need a total of ONETHOUSANDSIXHUNDRED other players. DAILY.

Then explain me how the diminished returns are helping the situation.

So your 38 guildies organize an exploit in a BG… what happens when 2 people come in and want a real BG, not a lame tagging fest? what happens to those 38 people when those 2 report them?

Obviously a guild with the intention to exploit the system will farm the CPs OUTSIDE the BGs. That’s OBVIOUS.

You missed the point.

Lets look at it from the existing system of diminishing returns (100/75/50/25). I join a raid group (the sensible, teamwork thing to do) and I am on the front lines with 29 other people killing Private Jenkins – I will only have a POTENTIAL of 13 CP to gain from Jenkins for the entire day!!!!!

Why would I EVER want to join a raid group if this was the case?? Don’t get me wrong, I am part of a large PVP guild that wants to dominate our battlegrounds… point is, I WANT teamwork and coordination to be rewarded. Right now it is punished. The CP yields from Alterac do not equal the amount of effort that is put into them.

No, YOU are missing the point. That would still encourage exploits since you are able to maximize your performance. So it solves nothing at all and it encourages again to leave the BG as you maximized your points. The only effect that your idea will have is to make the mechanics of the game even more obfuscated to the players.

Again the only solution is to remove this idiotic mechanic altogether. Like I wrote on the previous page.

Here’s the complete list of changed to unfuck this broken PvP system:

– REMOVE the "diminished returns” on Contribution points inside the BGs.
– Boost up the goal-based rewards to a level that farming consensually CPs points outside won’t offer a benefit.
– Save the persistence of a BG, preventing it to reset even if there are no players inside.
– Add dynamic structures to slowly realign/reset the BG (like temporarily boosting the defenses of the losing faction till they are able to recapture their headquarter).
– REMOVE the points for direct kills outside the BGs.
– ADD goal-based PvP systems to the world outside the BGs like conquerable graveyards, towers, escort/assault missions.

The systel will already be exploited as it is, by guilds who have both horde players and alliance players.

They’ll create a BG with only your guild and let one side win.

That’s why this game has GMs. Having one of them checking the BGs from time to time will definitely help to identify these groups and take actions against them.

The point is that to exploit the system you HAVE to repeat the exploit over and over and over.


If an exploiter is required to repeat the exploit constantly, the GMs will have greater possibilities to identify them and take actions.

Since the Honor System is based on a continued experience along the weeks and months, the exploiters would be required to exploit constantly. And if they do this inside a BG it will be EXTREMELY EASY to spot them and cut the problem at the root.

Even though you already stated, and tried to defend the ways to avoid two groups of people farming honor. How? Changing the BG? Whats happens when they DO get into the same? 10 n00bs to Warlords in a day? I can’t think of any effective way they can keep two parties from farming each other.

By requiring them to exploit CONSTANTLY in order to be effective.

Right now a group of exploiters can heap a huge amount of points in a very short amount of time. This means that they are HARD to spot because you have to be there in that exact moment.

If, instead, you force them to join a BG of 40vs40.

– Firstly, you are forcing them to have EIGHTY players agreeing to exploit the system (which is extremely risky).
– Secondly, you are forcing them to exploit the system in a way that will be BLATANLY OBVIOUS, so easy to discover and report.

Totally agree. But incentives to kill one another (honor points) should remain because otherwise it just becomes a PVE love fest. Why would I want to stop you from accomplishing an objective? Maybe just because I feel like it and because it’s part of the game we play, but I feel a whole lot more incentive to go stop someone from attacking something if I am going to get rewarded for it. Selfish and overly pragmatic? Yes, but also realistic. I remember when there was no honor, hardly anyone would respond to World Defense messages because they couldn’t be bothered.

Your reasoning is flawed.

I want the game to stop rewarding for the free ganking outside the BGs. This because it transforms everyone in a “bag of points” and makes the action absolutely predictable.

My idea is to reward for GOALS instead of meaningless ganking players at a disadvantage. Because right now an PvP fights happen only against players without many possibilities to win, like a level 60 Vs a level 52 or three lvl 60 Vs one lvl 60.

That’s a broken PvP system. Terribly unfun because ALL the fights are between two sides where one is at an advantage and the other always at disadvantage. And the system is REWARDING this behaviour.

How’s this good? How’s this fun? How it promotes a meaningful PvP with a purpose?

This is why I want them to remove the CPs for the free ganking (outside the BGs) and start to reward for GOALS.

Rewarding for goals would mean, for example, that you can conquer a graveyard in a zone and get CPs for doing that. As you can see this ENCOURAGES to fight for a purpose. It ENCOURAGES to check the world defense because you are fighting over something with a purpose and not to kill repeatedly easy targets.

The fact is that a battle is fun when you are fighting FOR SOMETHING. Not when you transform the zone into a First Person Shooter Deathmatch.

Why would I want to stop you from accomplishing an objective?

Because you’ll be REWARDED for doing so. Not from points coming from the free ganking, but because you’ll engage into competitive missions.

Let’s do an example. There will be a PvP mission where you’ll have to escort a caravan of NPCs from point A to point B. You take the mission and your duty is to keep them safe till they reach their destination.

On the other side, the other faction will be able to join the exact same mission with a difference. Instead of defending that caravan, they need to destroy it.

You’ll gain a conspicuous amount of CPs in the case you are able to defend the caravan and make it reach the destination. Instead, if the mission fails, it will be the other faction to get those points.

THIS is how you reward for meaningful PvP. You fight OVER SOMETHING and not by ganking peoples at disadvantage.

Right now this Honor System is just A LEGAL FORM OF GRIEFING. Encouraging you to pick all the fights where you are at an advantage, engage lower level players or forming ganking groups to attack solo players doing quests. And nothing else.

Valerie “Pann” Massey – From Eve-Online to Auto Assault

Old news but new for me. From an interview at Killer Betties. Pann was the community manager for Eve-Online before being replaced by Kieron (coming from Ultima Online):

It was also through UO that I met Mike Wallis, currently the producer for Middle Earth Online. Back in 1998 when we first became acquainted, Mike was working for GTInteractive. He then went to Simon and Schuster Interactive and in 2002 began negotiations for S&SI to publish Eve Online, which was in development by CCP in Reyjkavik, Iceland. Mike liked the things I’d written for an online fansite and knew I had experience moderating message boards as well as the experience I had from my time in UO as a counselor and a seer. Mike told me that if he landed the contract, he wanted me to be his community manager, a real dream job for lots of gamers, particularly since I could work from home in Austin.

He got the contract and I got the job, staying with Eve until 2004 when I came to work at NCsoft. I am currently working with the Auto Assault crew and we’re ramping up for launch in Q3 2005.

Quick note about the animations

I’m reading the comments on the FoH boards about the video I commented below. In particular I want to save a comment:

Every race shown is the exact same body with a different head attached. They may be bigger or smaller, but the actual model/stance is exactly the same for every one.

I underline this because it’s a general trend in the industry that I already commented. It seems that the graphic is more and more trivialized as what is shown on a screenshot and nothing else.

This is an overly superficial way to consider the graphic layer of a game. The graphic is a lot more and deeply tied with many fundamental aspects of the game. It’s composition, it’s animation, it’s personality and uniqueness in what you are showing and the direct interface between you and the gameplay. The graphic IS the gameplay. It is the feedback you receive and that you’ll consider to make your choices. It’s the same about the world design. You can take and consider it just as an irrelevant background more or less pretty or you can delve deeper. Only then you’ll know that world design is directly gameplay, interaction, a narrative unit and so on.

The animations are more and more considered as “fluff”, not important, not relevant. They just need to be functional and the rest is superfluous. What is considered important is just the dimension of the textures or the number of polygons. The actual animations are trivialized, cloned and reused for every character. We have games that give you hundreds of ways to customize your character, to change the color of the eye, the style of the beard, millions of different armor types to wear completely bumpmapped. But then you’ll keep running as every other character in the world with clipping problems everywhere.

Recently Mythic redid from zero all the character models in DAoC, but they didn’t care to upgrade the animations.
Star Wars Galaxies offered since release an insane amount of customization for each character, but the animations are generic and perfectly cloned for all the races in the game.
Till now the only game with some attention and specific development on the animations has been World of Warcraft.

As if the animations were completely superfluous for the beauty of the graphic and the gameplay.

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Vanguard: worst video from the E3

I wasn’t expecting anything amazing but even Krone’s comments are better than what I saw.

The animations are awful. But really beyond what is even acceptable. Completely generic for every model. Horrible even if we compare them with games five years old or more.

The first scene really looks that lame. The character is standing like a wooden puppet in some sort of egyptian tomb with big, empty rooms and a few graffiti on the walls. Then he farts some glowy buffs (I’m not joking, he really stands there and then smokes comes out of the ass), enjoys the smell till he is able to resist and then attempts to run away. It’s obvious that noone warned him to be careful while handling a long sword, in fact while running he manages to amputate his poor leg. Repeatedly. Yeah, he runs and flings repeatedly this long sword against this leg, but at this point a big flashy caption appears on screen to instruct: “suspension of disbelief”. So I look with disbelief the character running past the corner and here the scene ends to move to another one where the character is standing in front of a giant scorpion. It’s combat!

Yeah, or maybe the characters is thinking to be somewhere else. It looks like the farts of before gave him some hallucinations. Instead of fighting the dangerous (sleeping) scorpion he… fishes. It’s true. He attempt to fish with his sword like if he’s thinking to have a pole in his hands (which would explain the carelessness of before). He tries to fish repeatedly while the scorpion keeps oscillating back and forth. Then he tries to fish again and fails, gets angry, kicks something, farts again (this while the damage numbers appear before the character even starts the action, speaking of synch). And this goes on forever at turns. The character fishes and the scorpion oscillates back. Rinse and repeat, each completely unaffected by the presence of the other.

The scene ends and a new one starts with another crazy guy running amok through a town in the country. The graphic engine tries to keep the pace but fails miserably. This guys keeps spastically running at an insane speed, amputating repeatedly his leg with a featureless axe. He runs and runs till we finally discover his urges. He was searching a tree to get some wood:

Yeah, ugliness of the model aside. look at the hands. Come on. Where was the animator looking when working on this? The left hand is completely off the handle of the axe and the movement of the arms is way too unnatural to be acceptable. You feel hurting just by watching it. Look at the movement of the shoulder on the second image. Well, assuming that there’s STILL a shoulder because that movement doesn’t look belonging to a human body…

Now I would suggest the devs to add some plasticity and dynamism to these models. There’s absolutely no sense of realism if all the limbs are rigidly set at 45 or 90 degrees and if every character just stand there like a wooden dummy. Add some variation and personality. Instead of having the axe absolutely perpendicular give it a more natural position, allow the body to relax some more and move because right now the only thing that these characters communicate is a sense of arthritis.

The rest of the video goes on and ends with another scene of combat between another farting character against some giant (and flying) beetles. Again what happens on screen doesn’t give any idea of what is going on. There are just this odd spell effect firing randomly with no animations and nothing else.

It’s vanguard of video games. World of Mummies would be a more appropriate title for all we know.

Some of the comments are precious:

Wow. Let’s hope that that video doesn’t illustrate the direction the game is heading as far as combat because it looks about as fun as when I was soloing those big cactus things, tigresses, and rhinos or whatever the fuck in the Overthere about 3 years ago.

Side note:

Is it just me, or is fighting giant bugs, bats, and spiders getting REALLY REALLY OLD? I know they’re supposed to be the staple of every nerd’s fantasy world, but come on. Oh wow, another giant spider. Another giant cockroach.

also like others mentioned, compared to WoW the art looks good in the distance but animation is poor. When the character models were in combat there is no noticeable change to a more “ready stance” like in WoW, instead they just kind of stand there and swing their weapons like a robot.

Man I am totally and utterly unimpressed with vanguard. Do we live in a world where nothing lives up to the hype? Shit, we all get to 60 in WoW and suddenly never want to play it again. Oops off topic..

It’s like they overhauled everquest with a new engine and added some realism elements that probably should of been out years ago. I can now run through realistic tall blades of grass at selos speed! wooo

What the fuck is vanguard? A training simulation for advanced pest control? I mean I understand the training necessary in case your pest spray mutates a beetle to the size of a jeep – what ARE you supposed to do?

Shit and we are back to luclin again fighting insects and small animals and everything that was probably never intended by this fantasy genre that these games violate in the rear with a large pole.

And the best one:

the world is shit. i’m going back to consoles.

Pump-up the hype!

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