Relentless Gamers

Gamers without Remorse

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Pretty Little Sith

Pretty Little Sith

New Blog from one of my Guild Mates in SWTOR. Give her some love. 

The Stepchild No One Wants – Raids

When doing some research about Elder Scrolls Online, I came across a bit of information that made me a sad panda. Group size will be limited to 5 people and will not have any kind of organized raid content. 

It seems like it’s the current trend of the MMO market to just not develop raid content. While I can understand that it doesn’t seem like a good source of development time to focus that many resources to developing for a very small portion of the playerbase of your game. The number I hear being thrown around WoW these days is about 5% compete in end-game raid content outside of the raid finder. Not a lot. 

Perhaps I’m biased, but I believe that the key to a successful MMO is to cater to all types of play. Which includes competitive instanced raid content that challenges both the players and the developers to new levels. End game raiders are what challenge developers to make new content that is engaging and challenging. What they learn from those challenges can translate to new content for non-raiders. 

Not only do raiders push developers to make new content, they also help developers identify balance issues. If something is over powered, you can guess that it’s either a hardcore PVP player or a hardcore PVE raider who reports it in the forums and submits a ticket. 

Raiders aren’t just a minority, they’re the top tier of players. They’re a resource to be utilized and not tossed aside. 

Too many games have launched without Raiding or have launched with Raiding as an afterthought. Many of those have gone free to play as a result or haven’t gained the mainstream traction they were hoping.

Wildstar – The Return to Epic Raids

Wildstar has been in development for some time. For some reason, I neglected to pay much attention to it. With the rush of big name MMO launches, expansions, etc it was easy to miss this gem being developed by Carbine Studios.

Lately there’s been a trend in MMOs that has had me disappointed. The elimination of raiding or the reduction of epic encounters. With games like Guild Wars 2 and Neverwinter removing raids from the MMO formula entirely and other games like WoW, Rift and SWTOR all reducing the size of group content to a portion of what it was originally, the epic days of raiding were slowly coming to an end, one game at a time.

Enter Carbine’s Wildstar. Developed by old-school MMO players who cut their teeth on games like DAoC, EQ and other games with truly Epic battles. Wildstar intends to bring back 40 man content to MMOs along side 20 man content. Also, to help avoid raider burnout, every week there will be a different boss mechanic rotated in. Allowing each successive week to be different than the weeks before.

This alone has me interested. From watching the game videos, it’s an action oriented game with dodging and timing being key to success. But unlike GW2, their Telegraph system allows the players to see an effect coming and take action. For good or bad. The Telegraph system places a colored shape on the ground indicating the type of effect and where it will affect. So good effects will have people running to it, and bad will have you moving away from it.

There’s so much more to the game. Too much for me to say here. But feel free to find videos on youtube and check out all the coverage from other sites to help form your own opinion. The beta should be starting up sometime this year, so go sign up at their site!

Why Rift doesn’t get PVP

Rift recently released their 3 faction combat Conquest. You pick your faction at the time the match starts. It lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours per. Rift, like usual as of late has really dropped the ball on this. And I’d love to hear your thought on this, but I’ll go over my problems with it.

1. Because you pick your faction before each match, players will always queue up for the faction that wins most often. This negates what makes 3 faction PVP so great. It also makes choosing a faction trivial. Personally I think that picking a faction should be meaningful in some way.

2. It uses the Stillmoor Map, largely unmodified. This means that the map isn’t balanced for large-scale PVP. There are certain points that are important to winning that are simply easier for one faction to control. This causes the problem above to get even worse.

3. Because of issues with Marksman Rogues with Vampiric Munitions (passive buff that can be spammed that provides 50% healing debuff and heals the Rogue), it’s extremely unfriendly to virtually anything but a Rogue spamming Fanout at 35 meters over and over again. All other ranged classes must get within the spamout range for 5 meters before they can do any kind of meaningful DPS. Forget being Melee, so Warriors are largely useless, having to respawn often (personally, I just stayed dead until rezzed or until force respawned soaking in Favor and Prestige).

4. The rewards favor massive farm-fests over objectives. So often, the entire match will be one zerg trying to find the other zerg at a portal (Eye of Regulos or Caer Mathos) and farming them back and forth to get a ton of prestige and favor (allowing PVP ranks and gear to grow faster).

5. No solo play. Since you can’t kill an extractor by yourself (not easily, and not worth the time), there’s not much for you to do as a solo player who wants to not follow the zerg running from location to location and capping objectives or farming.

6. Objectives are boring. You’re literally running around capping these “Extractors”  on the map, standing around for the timer to tick down until you capture it, and moving onto the next.

I like that Rift is trying something new for their game, based on player feedback, but I really think Trion has no idea how to balance PVP. It’s literally the most spammy PVP I’ve ever seen.. couple it with really high stat bloat in PVP gear and there’s no meaningful choices. Conquest only magnifies these flaws.

I really want to say that PVP has gotten better since the early days of PVP in Rift. However, I’d be lying. With passive spammable 50% healing debuffs and horrible class balance, PVP in Rift is a hot mess right now. I imagine that anything short of a complete redesign couldn’t fix it at this point. 

If only Trion would take a few queues from ArenaNet and their PVP design. Horizontal scaling, short CC durations, great use of terrain, etc. 

Less than 3 weeks. Then I’m done playing Rift. 

Guild Wars 2 Launch Date Announced!

In a surprise post after yesterday’s stress test, ArenaNet announced today that Guild Wars 2 would launch on 8-28-12.

This is sooner than I expected by about a month. The results of the last beta weekend and yesterday’s stress test must have been better than I had thought. With just one more beta weekend before launch, August is a welcome date for many of us waiting for this game. Now we’re just counting down the days until our game goes live!

New Site & Looking for Writers

I’m looking for people who want to write for the blog. As the new title implies, I want people who will give an unbiased unremorsful view on games and industry news. If you are interested, drop me a line!

SW:TOR Level Cap Increase?

It seems with 1.3 “Allies” that Bioware is adding a truckload of new content. In addition to new content, they’re increasing the level cap. While from their perspective, that sounds like a great idea, but from a player perspective, I have to disagree with them.

By raising the level cap, you’re making end-game content prior to the cap trivial. Gear you worked for, useless, etc. This only alienates your end-game player base. Something that Bioware cannot afford to do any more than they already have.

Raiding in SW:TOR has been lackluster already. There’s not much to it. The encounters aren’t innovative and much of the End Game guilds have already started looking for another game to challenge them. The guilds that remain that have been working on the new content and getting gear are now faced with having to level up again and making older content easier by virtue of levels and gear less than optimal because it doesn’t provide enough stats to scale properly.

Again, I can see what they want to do. The game is praised for it’s story and the leveling process. Why not add to it?

What do you think?

The Secret World

I haven’t played the game. I got a beta weekend invite, but after watching Bordeau and Kitkat play, it didn’t really appeal to me. The graphics looks choppy and the gameplay seemed unrefined. With only a couple of months between betas and release, can Funcom release a killer game? Or is this doomed to failure in the same way that Age of Conan died? 

I’m Curious to see what others who actually did play are thinking about the game? What do you like? What didn’t you like? 

Guns of Icarus Closed Beta

Later this month, I’ll be participating in the Steampunk PVP MMO Guns of Icarus’ 3rd closed beta test. I’m excited to see what this game has to offer. I’m a huge fan of Steampunk and think it makes for a great game setting. I hope that this game does the genre well. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes! 

D.P.S. Disgruntled Player Sanctum

DPS Episode 3.

This week, we covered:
Phantasy Star 2: Are lobby games outdated in this day and age?
Do Cash Shops have a place in Pay-to-Play games?
What is PVP and what does it mean to you? What about griefing?
Do you believe that Age Restricted Servers will help anyone? Who and why?
Does the anonymity of the internet make it a better or worse place to express yourself?
Mash up: Super Hero edition! Pick two super powers for your dream build.

Guest Stars:
Bordeau von Cinnabon: http://www.twitch.tv/bordeau85
Shakey: http://www.youtube.com/user/Pregnantville
Con
Stole: https://twitter.com/#!/StoleTarts / http://www.youtube.com/user/StoleTarts / http://www.dualshockers.com/author/megan/