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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 #61
Fri, 16 Apr 2010 01:26:00 GMT [download/play]

  • Introductions
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    Previous Episodes
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    Episode 61 Discussion Thread

    'People' by Token
    Submitted on 2010-04-17 23:39:10 CST
    There hasn't been any good MMOFPS games? Are you all crazy?

    '...are we crazy?' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2010-04-18 14:02:29 CST
    The short answer to that in "yes".

    The long answer to that is "yeeeeessssssssssss"

    'Sci-Fi < Fantasy? Only in gaming.' by Checksix
    Submitted on 2010-04-18 14:18:58 CST
    I don’t think I agree with Zonk concerning Sci-Fi not being “popular” enough with the general public compared to fantasy and that being the reason we’re not seeing popular Sci-Fi mmo titles. I would agree, however, that Sci-Fi is definitely less popular among “RPG” computer players than fantasy.

    Take movies for example. If you compare the number of “popular” or “good” Sci-Fi movies with the number of popular or good fantasy movies the Sci-Fi seems more popular. Even if you remove the outliers from each category (Lord of the Rings for fantasy and Star-Wars for Sci-Fi) Sci-Fi seems more popular and seems to produce better moves.

    Among books, I know that I read more Sci-Fi than fantasy but I may be the exception there. I don’t really know which genera outsells the other. A quick scan of my local Books-A-Million seems to show an equal number of titles.

    But, Zonk, you are absolutely correct in saying that fantasy games are more popular than Sci-Fi. So…why? Why do gamers prefer fantasy?

    IMHO it’s because they don’t know any better. I’m being serious.

    Fantasy computer RPG’s have been the norm since the beginning and I think it’s because D&D was the default pen an paper game. There is something about the familiar that draws us into a new territory. As MMO’s started to become popular, the ones that had that familiar feeling were the ones that drew people in (ooo look there is an Orc…I know what an Orc is!). It’s not because Orc’s are cooler than Firefly’s Reavers (cause they aren’t). It’s because people don’t have to learn a new thing. They see “Kill 10 Orcs” they don’t have to ask why. Cause it’s Orcs that’s why! And every one knows that Orcs must die!

    So what’s going to change things? I think a “World of Starcraft” could have a shot. Simply because it’s a “World of” title it would have enough familiarity to draw in people that wouldn’t have considered it other wise.

    At any rate, it’s not a problem of Sci-Fi being less desirable among the non gaming public. It’s the gaming public that has been kind of lulled into that direction. I think the rest of the populace is fine with Sci-Fi.

    '-' by Token
    Submitted on 2010-04-18 20:11:56 CST
    PlanetSide was crippled by some bad business decisions, but its still the greatest MMO ever made, there is absoloutely nothing wrong with it...
    -It had achievements like 5 years ago,
    -Grouping with people and working as a team happens spontaneously as part of the game play, rather than being forced
    -Level 1 noobs are just as effective as max level players at most things
    -People who suck at FPS style shooters can always find another role to fill to bring utility ( no bullshit, this is true )
    -There is no filler, the gameplay is fun and you do it all the time
    -You get to pick how you want to play completely naturally by going to the place in the world that offers the conditions you're looking for. e.g a small fight, or a huge tank war, etc
    -It has critical acclaim, look at the metacritic reviews.
    -No classes, so no re-rolling
    -No stupid regional or faction restrictions

    'Story' by KirithKodachi
    Submitted on 2010-04-20 17:03:21 CST
    Story-Driven MMO to me means instance-driven MMO a la Star Trek where everyone exists in their own little instances with a couple other people. Massively Instanced Mulitplayer Online! MIMO! Anywhoo...

    I cheered when Karen brought up Eve and how the real engrossing stories that come out of the game are all player driven. Game-driven story is too predictable and scripted and can never match an emergent story whether by real people or sufficiently autonomous intelligent AI.

    Give me a game where the NPCs' behaviour is dependent on more variables (including other NPC behvaiour) than if-else logic, and then we might start to see real compelling story-driven MMOs.

    'Old people and games' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2010-04-26 01:54:49 CST
    I wanted to chime in on what you said about facebook games, farmville, vs MMO's and quote "real games".

    As you know, I'm like you as a born gamer, been doing it since I could read.
    So my tastes are wide and varied, but in general I want to be engaged and I want to be challenged. Because that is fun for me. It's my entertainment of choice.

    However, I live in an area with a lot of old people, and I usually do work on their computers, so I have some experience in dealing with them and their gaming habits.
    For one thing, computer literacy is usually a big part of it.
    Older people tend not to know the ways of the computer as well as we younger folks do, and as such they just don't spend a lot of time on them.

    When they think of social interaction, they think face to face or over the phone, rather then over the interwebs. So there is a pretty big disconnect.
    As far as computer gaming goes, they usually stick to simple, uncomplicated games, like card games and causal games, which only takes 5mins of their time.

    So computer literacy and gaming tend to go hand in hand here, but not always.
    Sometimes it's just a generational thing.

    My old man, knows probably more about computers then I do, as he repairs them for a living. But for the longest time, he's always looked down on my gaming as a 'waste of time', and that I should be working instead.
    Up until a couple of months ago that is.

    He started playing a game that spoke to his limited interests, boats.
    He plays a game called Virtual Skipper, which is a boat racing simulator, which he plays with a friend of his.
    And you want to know what the ironic part of this hypocrisy is? He plays this game almost religiously, and for a time, he played more then I did.
    Irony, so thick you can eat it with a fork.

    The thing is with him, is that he didn't have a whole lot of interests or hobbies, and just worked all the time. I guess it's part of growing up with not a whole lot of options when it comes to entertainment.
    But we are just spoiled for choice, and I think some of the older generations just don't get that, and can't really connect with it.

    But if you can get them interested, they can play games just a well as the rest of us.

    'Analogy' by Yoh
    Submitted on 2010-04-26 05:29:18 CST
    Hmmm, I'm not sure I did a very good job conveying what I was thinking with my last post.

    The way I see older people when it comes games and computers in general is like a person who has never seen a large body of water before, being confronted with the idea of the ocean.
    Forget playing in the water or engaging in the various water sports there are, they wonder why it is you don't drown.

    It's too big, too overwhelming for some people to come to grips with.
    It's easy for us who have spend most of our lives around it, so to us it's second nature.
    And so, if they are going to do it at all, it will be with small steps.

    To them, maybe the shallow water is enough. Doesn't mean it can't be fun.

    'MMO you would like to see.' by OgreDeep
    Submitted on 2010-04-26 21:59:30 CST

    I’ve always thought that Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer would be a good concept to introduce a multi-universe world to MMO and allow for a vast number of combinations of races and classes and time periods. I’ve also recently gotten into playing Heroscape and find the concepts similar, Heroscape allowing for fantasy species of creatures to be introduced..

    'Genres/Settings' by Akely
    Submitted on 2010-04-28 00:51:07 CST
    I’d love a Horror genre game. At the same time I think it will not be successful. Horror depends on suspense and much about MMO is repetitive. Repetition means you get used to things and that is a big no-no in horror.

    As for a setting I (still) think that Peter F Hamilton’s “Nights Dawn” setting would make a great MMO. It has Sci-Fi and the potential for ANY other setting within the Sci-Fi world. No really. Part of the reason for this is plot and key elements of the book so I will not spoil anything for any potential readers. OK, let’s just say it has something to do with ability to bend and shape reality.

    'Coming out of the left field with this' by AlikSteel
    Submitted on 2010-04-28 16:32:11 CST
    But I wanted to wait and make sure that I was way wrong, And I am very happy that I am. There was no podfade, For the longest time, This was my number one show on MMO's, And then the disappearing act y'all did. I really thought that was it. It's great to see that y'all are back and just as good as y'all ever was.

    Thank you both(Darren & Karen), And all your great guest.

    Note: Don't make an ass out of me by quitting now ;-)

    'MMOs are dead.' by Miffy
    Submitted on 2010-04-29 21:09:27 CST
    All the good ones have been ruined and the rest are shitty dumbed down WoW clones.

    - Everquest killed by Luclin and PoP

    - Star wars Galaxies killed by many like Jedi, never adding in any content, instead of fixing bugs they made more, the CU and the NGE.

    - Planetside ruined by CC expansion and BFRs which caused the population to go and then so did the funding.

    - EVE has done so many things over the years but all CCP have done is made it into capital ships online. They still have yet to fix the lag or the horrible UI or Factional Warfare. They still have yet to fix how one person can disband an entire alliance.

    - WoW was ruined when Blizzard killed off world PVP with battlegrounds, instead of making the battlegrounds in the world and giving them purpose like they used to be. Then they decided to dumb the game down so everyone and their mum has purples, now you can't feel special. Then they decided to turn it into Diablo with the new group finding system and so the world is dead.

    - UO died with Trammel.

    - DAOC died with TOA.

    That brings us to the end of 2004 where there hasn't been a good MMO launched since. Vanguard was a buggy generic mess where the character models are still too ugly to play after the character model update. You'd think they would make them look nice and unique but now they're all still using the same human body. Lotro was a complete let down, the character models again are retarded and the combat sucks. Theres a real lack of any good PVP too which means you might as well play WoW.

    Guild Wars isn't an MMO and nore are all the other clones of it's kind that has come along claiming they are since. Frigging Diablo and PSO aren't MMOs and they do the same thing. Frigging all they are is Counter Strike or COD but with a 3D lobby. Then you have STO, CO and APB have come along claiming they're MMOs too. I'm sorry there is no persistence, frigging next people will be calling Joint Operations an MMO because it can have 150 people on the same server, which is 50 more than these games.

    Age of Conan has too many loading screens to be taken seriously. Sick of frigging hitting a loading screen every 30 seconds, you feel alone all the time anyways so it might as well be a single player game. Warhammer Online is a poor WoW clone where it just managed to be a generic buggy mess that did nothing to draw you into the Warhammer world. I dunno how they made such a generic game using the Warhammer IP, there was no frigging story what so ever. The world just felt like one giant linear level set up for taking keeps. So fake feeling and probably one of the worst MMOs I've ever played.

    etc etc.

    Just hasn't been anything good since 2004 and everything prior has been ruined. They're dumbing the genre down and people always say it is nostalgia but no I still like games that come out today, just none of them are MMOs. The reasons are what I listed above, because developers ruin them with stupid patches or because they make sum shitty generic WoW clone.

    I miss the days when worlds felt like worlds and there wasn't all this outside cash shop Micro transaction crap which eat into that. There wasn't any short cuts or any fast travel, you had to explore the world and play the game. I miss the days when MMOs were built around grouping and being social. Where as now it's about solo grinding to 80 or whatever.