Listmas 2014: Times of the MMO Tourist

This was an absolutely huge year for mmo gamers. Say what you will about the games but it’s not often we have a calendar that is this packed with huge releases. I might bitch but each was great in their own ways, providing some amazing experiences and of course lots of amazing environments

So to celebrate their I thought I’d do a top three in a couple categories.

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Listmas 2014: 5 Dumbass Decisions in Mmo’s

While the year has seen some huge release within the mmo industry
Games many were looking forward to and expecting to see greater success but unfortunately disappointed for a number of reasons. Now these mmo’s could have been great but unfortunately they’re subject to some of the worst decisions in design and management possible.

So yeh, I’m calling it now. 2014: the year of Dumbass Decisions

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MMO PvP in 2014: The Recap

It seems both Tagn and Hardcore Casual have been reviewing their predictions from last year and it was interesting to see how their attempts faired so, why not have a go too. Last year I made a few cheeky predictions regarding the upcoming mmo’s and just how well their pvp experiences were going to be. A lot of stupid thoughts but mostly wrapped in a layer of truth that did have the potential to come true-ish. Well, end of year now so let’s look back a t how I did.

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Some Excellent Elements of ArcheAge

After my little “I quite,  and no you can’t have my stuffz” post I was still doing a little thinking afterwards. The failures of ArcheAge are well documented by now, here and elsewhere and are too numerous to go into detail. I think most that have followed the title for a time know about them. I don’t want to dwell on that too much any more as I’ve moved on and have more been reflecting on the elements I enjoyed instead.
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Experiments in Azeroth: Map Design

My newbie character Erifana is making levels quite nicely now. The Feral line of Druid is surprisingly easy to play with only a few buttons and a basic resource building system, puts out decent dps too which is nice so the quests get completed a bit quicker. I’m guessing I’m doing the right thing with my stats right now by going dex and stamina but who knows, just going on what I  kind of know a dps class should be. I’m just a cute but dangerous kitty…

rawr

I ended up in the second zone now, forgot the name but the one after Orgrimmar that’s like a logging camp plus an ocean area and while I am still surprised by how dated the zones feels. You can really see in these maps just how old the game is as the ground, objects, background and monsters are. rather washed out colours and textures but that really is to be expected.

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Experiments in Azeroth: Da Beginning

So I’ve been playing World or Warcraft for a couple night ago and unsurprisingly don’t hate it. It feels like I’ve played it before anyway for years and more get that comfortable feeling when playing, like wrapping myself up like some kind of doona caterpillar

It’s all very familiar to the point where I really don’t have to think at all just yet about how to play. Just keep clicking quests and following the mini map, rinse repeat. There is no break out points, interesting and new mechanics to think over and learn and everything that is kind of different is usually based on a familiar principle. I think remembering that B is for the inventory instead of I as been the hardest thing to deal with so far.

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Healing Again in Archeage

I have to say that it’s kind of nice being back in a proper healing roll once more. The games recently it’s more been some sort of damage support situation you had to be happy with. My dragon knight in ESO was focused on Shielding and control and Guild wars 2 really didn’t have any dedicated healer types. Just situational skills on cool down. Wildstar was the same, everyone does everything kind of thing and I ended up going a Warrior to smash things anyway, which was fun but just not as satisfying.

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Group Goals and Personal Progress

I might have come across a bit negative in my last post when the reality is that I’m quite happy with Archeage at the moment. When you’re just talking about all those launch week issues, and there are a lot, it tends to be overly negative but when looking at the picture as a whole I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m enjoying it enough to put up with all the issues quite happily which says a lot about the experience.
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Changing the Combat Core

One thing I’ve been thinking lately is just how much combat has become a focus of MMO’s now. It was always a big part yes but it seems that the number one point of development has become the “fun” of killing things, either other pixel creations or people to the detriment of all other mechanics within the game. Now I love killing things in-game too, I always have but I don’t think this should be the main feature of mmo’s as its something that eventually loses it’s charm.. no matter how many effects you put in it.

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HIZZZZZZZZZY and the Alpha Audience

When I originally heard about H1Z1 i wasn’t that impressed with the idea, another zombie survival murder box in a long line of discarded titles. Do we really need another? As it turns out, the more I think about it I actually think we do need another and That SOE could do really well with it.

For some reason every single one of these titles seems to sell really well. Day Z, the title to spurn on the survival genre in a way has sold over 2 million this year with it’s stand alone title alone, then I’m guessing countless sales of arma just to play the original mod. The there is rust and the recent Forest and Stomping land all doing well as well as countless other titles gaining a decent sized community around them.

Now another title coming out now would still seem to do well it seems regardless of any inherent polish… or even quality but the reason why I think Hizzy could do especially well is because it might just avoid the one major failing factor of all these titles. The curse of Early access. All of these titles aren’t finished products and in some cases not even close. The are missing core features, mechanics to make it interesting, variety in content and any sort of end-game or long term goals that might make the experience anything more than a griefing simulator.

Looking at Day Z in particular I think Hizzy would be able to surpass sales dramatically and even maintain a consistent playerbase if they fix many of the more prominent flaws. There are so many things great about the title and that create a rather enthralling experience but there is also so much that frustrates, lessens the experience and creates an environment that really isn’t conducive to gaining a larger playerbase.

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