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Shut Up. We're Talking.
Host: Darren and Karen
Darren and Karen present this commentary podcast covering recent topics found within the MMORPG Blogging and Podcasting community.

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Shut Up. We're Talking #55
Tue, 20 Oct 2009 02:31:00 GMT [download/play]

  • Introductions
  • Listener Mail/What we're playing
  • Character Deletes and Transfers...what do we like/li>
  • Social Goods Keep Growing
  • Blog of the Week

  • Hosts:
  • Darren -
  • Karen - Journey's with Jaye
  • Michael - DCUO
  • Adam - Epic Slant

  • Blogs of the Week:
  • Wolfshead Online
  • Tradeskill Perspectives
  • Gamers in Real Life
  • Unreal Realities

  • Login to post a comment
    Previous Episodes
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    Episode 55 Discussion Thread

    'Skill Systems and EVE' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2009-10-21 23:27:10 CST
    I agree with Adam (I think it was Adam) for the most part on skill based games, and EVE, however, while theory and practice are two different things, practice shouldn't be confused with implementation.

    In the case of EVE, CCP had some interesting ideas, but their implementation of those ideas were so horrid, that the net result is confusion and boredom on an epic scale.
    (while they are very good at tweaking them after the fact, not so bad now)

    Their skill system is like every other MMO (and most games), is meant to be a form of progression. Normally the idea is to get small, frequent rewards as a direct response to your actions. The, carrot carrot carrot system.

    But in EVE, you have no direct influence of the progression of your skills, you just turn them on, and that's your job done. And the rewards are so few and far between, it not only take forever to get anywhere, but it stone cold boring all the while.

    However, being hands off does have it's up sides. It means instead of spending vasts amounts of time and energy progression grinding, you can spend that time playing the freaken game...... too bad that's pretty boring as well, unless your good at entertaining yourself and setting your own goals rather than having them handed to you.

    I just kind of prefer a more hands on experiences, but that doesn't you can have that and be a skill based system. We just haven't seen one that works yet.
    (while Guild Wars came awfully close)

    'The Future Role of Guilds' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2009-10-21 23:42:39 CST
    I agree with Karen, as I often do, with the state of Guilds in MMO.s being no nevermind. Seeming to fill more of a social club-like role, rather than anything practical.

    I would like to see guild activities be more clearly defined within a game, along the line of a long term group activity, that requires planning and teamwork, not just rushing in and killing something.

    Like building stuff, like a Keep for example. Say in a world whey you can build stuff, and that stuff can also be destroyed by other players, and there is a real, tangible and tactical reason for building stuff. (so like the real world then)

    You and your guild could own a section of land, and in order to better fortify you position and stockpile goods, you go abouts building a keep. The task would require you to gather resources, use them to build the building piece by piece over the course of several days, or weeks (depending on how many hands you have), all the while protecting it from assault by rival groups and NPC mobs.

    And even when built, you have to continue to guard it, maintain it, or risk it being captured or destroyed. And not in a perpetual tug of war sense either.
    I mean once it's gone, it's bloody well gone. Then you would have to start over from scratch if that's the case.

    Needless to say, but I'm saying it anyway, that as a lone player, this task would be unassailable, and for a pug, it's far to long of an endevour and is not necessarily going to lead to an immediate reward at the end.

    This I think would be nice, and solve the problem somewhat.


    'One last thing' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2009-10-22 01:31:03 CST
    On the last post, with guilds and all that, with EVE Online you kind of already have this.
    But if they were to expand it, to be a kind of Command and Conquer in space (literary) , rather than that the sovereigncy setup they have now.

    That would be ideal.


    'I Feel like I'm the only one talking' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2009-10-22 07:01:56 CST
    Just posted a expanded form of my guild futures post on my blog, just for you Karen.

    Again, citing EVE, but work with what you know, right?


    'Wow!' by Jaye
    Submitted on 2009-10-23 01:40:32 CST
    Great feedback Yoh.

    I think the idea of guilds being able to leave their mark on the world is an interesting one. It's funny how MMOs have moved away from that concept. Something as simple as being able to drop a mod rod, or a corpse, into the world in EQ is no longer possible in most games. We exist in the worlds these days, but we can't really alter them that much.

    Of course, the issue that comes up with being able to destroy one another's keep is the frustration factor. If guilds spend hours and hours of manpower to construct a keep, only to see it fall the next day, will they want to stick with a game that makes them do it over from scratch? It might work if you had some sort of insurance, like Eve has. But even then, you'd also need some way to achieve parity among competitive guilds, or the same select few ends up repeatedly steamrolling over everyone else.

    Gonna go peek at the blog entry now!

    'Hey Yo,'s there already.' by Checksix
    Submitted on 2009-10-23 17:00:15 CST
    When I hear Jaye talk about the lack of "tangable" things for a guild to do I always think of Darkfall.

    One quick note, I don't play the game.

    BUT because the game is an open PvP enviornment, it offers the most compelling reason you can have for joining a guild...survival. Also, from what I understand, Darkfall has a keep system and a means to take keeps from others as you've suggested, Yoh.

    I think Eve also has a compelling reason to band together. You guys breifly talked about Eve but I think you went straight to Eve combat without touching on the fact that lowbies in Eve can still contribute resources to their guild.

    So why aren't you guys playing Darkfall? I bet it's because of the open PvP element but IMHO thats exactly whats needed to encourage people to band together.

    And another thing...why is everyone looking at TOR's story system as something new in an MMO...Heck, AoC did that with the first 20 levels of play last year. And I don't care what anyones says about it...that was the most fun in an MMO I'd had in a LONG time.

    At any rate great podcast and keep it up.

    'Not my type' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2009-10-23 21:33:37 CST
    OK, well with Darkfall, there are several reasons I don't want to play it, but it boils down to not my type of game.

    Darkfall is:

    A: PvP centric, with deep piss-in-your-cornflakes type of gameplay.
    I'm not a PvPer by in large, and ganky, asshattery doesn't interest me.

    B: From what I understand, the keeps and towns are fixed locations. While the world does apparently have a fair bit of depth, I think it would mean more if it were user generated rather than static.
    (which was more the point I wanted to make)

    C: I don't like midevil time frame based games, as they are colored in several shades of gray and brown. I like more colorful looking, less hardcore games.
    I'm a casual gamer.

    D: The graphics are fugly.

    In Darkfalls case, it's not really what I was getting at, thou it is a step in the right direction.
    It's more about user generated content, and making the world be what you want it to be, rather the utilizing what is already there.

    EVE touches on this, but just doesn't go far enough.

    Close, but no cigar.


    'On the character deletion topic' by RandomGamerX
    Submitted on 2009-10-23 22:54:25 CST
    I would post my entire coment regarding the character deletion, but i'll just link my blog post.

    Thanks for anotehr great show


    '@Yoh' by Checksix
    Submitted on 2009-10-25 01:18:29 CST
    "A: PvP centric, with deep piss-in-your-cornflakes type of gameplay."
    That was epic sir. +1 to you.

    I just wanted to make one point about your item B. That is, other games like SWG and UO both have worlds where a player can place a building in any location (almost). That didn't turn out to be very good ideas because of the massive sprawl that surrounded cities. Further, as players left the game, most of the buildings became abandond. So it created massive ghost towns. I'm not saying that problem couldn't be over come but I think the most robust solution is to limit where players can place buildings.

    'It's all about balance' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2009-10-25 05:27:11 CST
    Checks and balances I guess.

    Just being able to build stuff anywhere you want is not enough.
    You also need rules a regulations, and something to keep everything in check.

    For example, I heard about some interesting mechanics in a game called "Love", which is made by a single guy. It heavily uses procedural generation to create content.

    As such, it supposedly can have NPC driven towns pop up, and compete with each other and with players.
    This way, if players create something, then leave it, it will eventually be over ridden and reclaimed by nature.

    This isn't too far off of reality. I've heard of modern towns that we're abandoned for one reason or another, and a few years later it was unrecognizable due to nature forces.
    There is a lot of upkeep to keep towns and cities looking the way the do.

    Besides that, I don't know enough about how other mechanics or lack their of contributed to it not working in UO or SWG. But I'll look into those games.

    Most likely it was because of technique restrains.
    And just because it didn't work the first time around, doesn't mean it can't work.

    Better yet, this gives some better understanding of the pitfalls when dealing with this kind of mechanic. Simulating reality in never easy.
    But it can be done.

    (ie, look at EVE. Does a great job a social and economic simulation.
    Without thous as a basis, you can't really get fully functioning towns or cities, as you do in RL, which I suspect was the case here)


    'Building Society' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2009-10-26 06:31:21 CST
    Just finish a great, stonking post on my blog about what a society is, how they work, and how MMO's can build them, and what to look out for.

    Not exactly light reading, but interesting.
    Given that community is the corner stone of any MMO worth it's salt, it's a good idea to know how to build one.

    Feel free to comment, or argue if you think I'm mistaken.


    'Story: thought or afterthought.' by inktomi
    Submitted on 2009-11-10 08:26:58 CST
    Hello darren and jaye,
    In recent blog posts from Tobold and an MMOCRUNCH writer the subject of story has come up. My thoughts about story in any rpg would be comparable to a terrific book that the player just started reading. These are details that we must plod through as our characters get fleshed out as we level 'throug' the story.

    However, in MMORPG's I always felt as if storyline was an understatement. Or a backdrop if you will to my own set of experiences built from playing. Whether it be on a group, solo or raid level, I am interacting with others. My interpersonal experiences make much better memories than the what the game company could write for me.

    As in EVE, the backstory of the game is an afterthought. "Oh, I can't do any more caldari missions because it'll ruin my Gallente standing", would be the extent of the storyline impact on my character. If you read back some of the past announcements I spoke about on the show, you find far more interesting 'dirt' so to speak.

    One thing I might add, even though Dragon Age:Origins has a converging main storyline, it has many choices of inter-character interaction. Each one of those multiple choice questions you answer has an impact on your story. Akin to TES:Oblivion as you have a main storyline and many offshoots or side quests as we call it, much like MMORPG's. Although your choices rarely affected the fact that the Emporer would die in the first few minutes of the game, and his son at the end of the main storyline. Those sidequests were great distractions and added plenty of replayability to the game.

    Now heres a thought, what if we added that aspect to an MMORPG. Multiple choices for a common storyline, different outcomes and rewards. Add a possible PVP element and you might have more people paying attention to you choices other than "accept quest", "finish quest" and "quit". It's just a thought.

    Other than that, great shows recently and awesome guests. I watched Darren's EVE interview at GDC Austin and was impressed on the amount of information you weedled out of him. Keep up the good work.
    All the best,
    Frank from New Yawk.

    'PS: Inspired by the story.' by inktomi
    Submitted on 2009-11-10 09:15:40 CST
    So I wrote a blog about it: Cleaned up some of the spelling errors and added some cool pictures.