Oh! I’m bitter again!

Look what I just wrote on Q23. I’m surprised (theme is whether WoW made the MMO market bigger or not. Hint: it didn’t).

By the way, those who keep saying that WoW made the MMO market broader for everyone are other devs who work for other game companies who desperately hope there is still some space even for them. Basically trying to save their asses at least on a conceptual level.

Trying to be non-belligerant and diplomatic because they know they cannot compete.

All the sweet talking you have in interviews is just pure, simple hypocrisy. Mixed with some fears.

But really, reading some interviews make you feel the need for insulin. Where the fuck is the tenacity, the desire to do better, the dare, the challenge, the fighting spirit?

There is no space for everyone, even if there is. That’s not the mindset to have. Accepting to live in the shadow of someone else is already surrendering and being a loser.

Don’t sleep or try to be friend with everyone. FIGHT!

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On ranged combat

I was reading a promotional booklet about Company of Heroes (sublime game) and it starts with this (approximate translation):

A new point of view

In Company of Heroes you have to learn to see things from a military point of view. There aren’t anymore houses, walls, city squares, towers. But refuges, covers, zones of fire, sniper spots.


When you see an opening or a crossroad you have to evaluate from where the enemy is going to approach and set your positions to intersect the zones of fire, so that it is impossible for the enemy to come near without suffering severe losses.

That pretty much summarizes why CoH feels great. Nothing in its concept makes it really stand out. It’s yet another RTS, set in the WWII.

How it can be special? Because it feels great and plays in a way absolutely unique, as that excerpt demonstrates. It is great in the measure it moves AWAY from classic RTS gamey mechanics and TOWARD an immersive experience that doesn’t delude expectations.

Not the absolute, faithful simulation. But selecting those few mechanics that “matter” more and are faithful to an immersive and yet fun experience. It is fun not because it simulates everything. But because what it simulates is a few “core” mechanics (covers, arcs of fire) that feel right and that you can approach from a “fresh” point of view (the military one, opposed to the classic RTS gamey strategies).

This pretty much summarizes again all my critics (and hundreds of posts on Grimwell) to SWG combat. Both before and after the New Genesis Evangelion.

Please notice that CoH is FAR from twitch. Which is what I tried to explain restlessly. You don’t need twitch to get ranged combat “right”. CoH is a demonstration of this.

Linking back to past comments:

The basic critics I was making is that when we “simulate” something in a game we surely cannot replicate every other element. But we should choose the elements and rules that we are going to use to “make sense” in the game world. So, even if choosing a few elements, they must be drawn from a reality. If there are going to be five basic mechanics, those five should be “life-like”. Immersive. They should tell something concrete that matches the expectations.

Meeting Stones fixed in TBC

The most stupid design idea in the whole game (beside the PvP system) is going to be replaced with something more useful:

– The meeting stones will work like stationary warlock services. You click on the stone along with someone else and you can summon to the dungeon entrance the rest of your group.

Why I’m writing about this? Because, at last, they are also introducing a LFG system:

Notice the tabs on the bottom. There isn’t just the “LFG”. But also the “LFM”.

Going back to my comments about LFG systems:

It is fundamental for a LFG system to let you search specifically for groups already formed and active (both full or LFM).

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About official forums

It looks like official boards were the prevalent discussion these days. Because of what happened on the SWG boards and Lum’s and Raph’s replies.

I’ll contribute by pointing out a post from Mark Jacobs (about having or not official forums):


No, no, no, a million times, no.

And, our excuse was not that we didn’t have the resouces (that was true pre-DAoC) but rather, our reason is that official forums quickly become ugly, hate-filled places (the most successful US-based MMO of all time, WoW has worse problems than some really bad games’ forums) with a huge signal->noise raitio after the games release. I’ve seen what happens with every MMO released and I am going to spare Mythic the headache that is associated with those type of forums.

I’ll just say that not having official boards nowadays is rather stupid.

Oblivion has official forums, Company of Heroes has official forums, Dwarf Fortress has official forums. It seems quite odd that official forums are a standard and become very useful for single-player, offline games, but they are considered as useless headaches if they are about online games that are all about community building.

And you would be very blind to not see the important role that WoW’s forums had for the community.

It’s incredible how the signal to noise ratio of a community of 2 millions of players just in NA can be low.

(btw: higher signal to noise is better, the signal is ‘cleaner’)

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Some infos on DAoC’s relic system:

the relics- basically there are 23 minotaur relics, 1 is in cathal valley the other 22 are hidden insice the labrynth which u need to find. these relics have special bonuses, weather its group or self bonuses.. examples are- more damage, encumbrence bonus, replenish arrows or something.. superstealth (yeah like we need more damn stealthers..)and other random bonuses they didnt tell us. these relics drop when you log out, ld, or die. if you die with a relic it drops and ANYONE can pick it up, even an enemy realm person. and the way u keep the relics on you is you “feed them” and when i say that i mean realm points.. if you afk for 30minutes ur relic will have decayed by then, and respawned inside the labrynth for someone else to find. if your group sucks and you keep dieing.. ur screwed as well. also if you have a relic you will be displayed on the /rw map.. like a blinking dot will be on you..

Those four parts I have underlined were unannounced and a sort of confirmation that they actually took my design as a source of inspiration, at least, as those were also described rather closely. See my rants.

The artifacts are also limited in number. The most powerful artifacts are unique and one and only one copy can exist in the PvP world at once.

If you die in a PvP battle, your artifact will be dropped on the ground and one of the players in the opposite faction can loot it and use it, acquiring the powers that were yours.

In order to keep them on your character, you need to “feed” them by killing the players on the opposite factions and have a role in the conquest, participating actively in the PvP. Exposing yourself. If you are hiding you won’t be able to fulfill the “feed” requirements and you’ll lose the artifact.

The other faction will also know that one of the artifacts was summoned and will be able to “divinate” your position on the map. They can track you down. you will be hunted.

Heh. It’s a bit discouraging.

(btw, there was also another idea that I didn’t have an occasion to write down and was about making the “feed” requirements adjusting the intensity of the power of an artifact. On my original design this also translated to a mutation of the visual aspect of a character, increasing size, turning demonic-like and so on. The idea was to make the power and visual mutation progressive instead of sudden as you pick up the artifact. You feed the artifact with souls (through realm points) and the power increases progressively, mutating your character, to decay slowly if you don’t kill other players for a certain amount of time.

I was thinking about a visual bar going from 0% to 100%. If it falls back to 0% the artifact returns to its original location(PvE) while if used (feeding souls) its power goes up till it reaches 100%. The rate of decay would be also progressive, so that it decays slowly when it is closer to 0% and very fast when it is at 100%. To simulate some sort of brief “berserk” effect when in full power. I thought it would be fun.)

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