Author Topic: Is it OUR fault?  (Read 53207 times)

Offline Lorathir

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Is it OUR fault?
« on: May 30, 2004, 11:49:42 pm »
With the recent news of Oow being delayed and all the fuss it's caused, is the flak Sony is recieving fair?

End game guilds are constantly 'pushing the envelope' when it comes to content. As time (ahem) goes on, content is being chewed through with ever increasing speed. Obvious timesinks such as flagging and trials have been implemented and done little to slow people down.

Sony WANT you to keep playing. If end game content is being finished with ahead of it's intent, what do you expect Sony to do? Sit around hoping Time and GoD enabled guilds will log in and tradeskill, when all they really want to do is explore new zones/kill new targets? Or do you think they'll panic and rush out an expansion in the hopes of keeping said guilds interested? Could you blame them for doing the latter?

I do think expansions are being released way too often - but I also think Sony are just trying to please everyone. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. This isn't a rant really, more like a musing. What do you think?

Offline Mindlet

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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2004, 12:06:50 am »
I actually think that EQ is reaching the end of its life. There are a myriad of new MMORPG out there now or nearing completion. I think, and this is just a guess, that people like Afterlife and FoH feel that they have done everything that they wanted to and anything new is really pretty pointless. I myself have stopped playing and started FFXI and have rediscovered the fun that was missing from EQ.

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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2004, 04:20:30 am »

Offline Urim

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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2004, 07:08:29 am »
Naw, he doesn't sum it up nicely, ill give him that he has some points in there. More GMs and events would be good and more communication would be great, but does he seriously think EQ would have lived as long as it has if it had stuck to the one group events he so dreams it had stuck to. EQ would have died 3 or more years ago if it did because frankly there isnt much changing to 1 group events.

It's the big 'uberguilds' (as he puts it) that have helped keep EQ going for so long in my opinion. Adding aspects to the game to challenge people is what keeps a lot going, seeing new mobs and facing new and interesting encounters that frankly wouldn't be as challenging if everything was for single groups. Also, the 'uberguild' gave a lot of people something to strive for, people thinking i want that many hp, or that much atk or be able to do that much dps. If there wasn't something to strive for a lot of people wouldn't play, because this game is basically the same thing over and over and over again and without something driving you to be better then the next guy then their is no real reason to keep going.

This is a biased opinion though, because i play for raiding. I can't stand exping if i dont have to. Exping is just way too damn boring for me and if it was the only thing to do then i would have stopped playing 2+ years ago.
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2004, 08:11:23 am »
I have to agree with Urim here. Without raiding i would have quit around 1.5 to 2 years ago.


He has indeed some points, but he forgets (so that he dont destroy his own reasoning) that keys and large raid events are there at least since kunark. And Velious was the best ever? Sure, it had a nice faction system, but factions dont matter really since you can work on them and change who is your ally, not to mention lots of raid events in that expansion as well.

Offline Mindlet

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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2004, 08:19:12 am »
Keys in Kunark are a joke compared to the major pain that pop flagging is. Trakanon idol can be got in about 10 mins with 1 character. HS key takes a bit longer but still is as easy. VP key is a pain but still 90% of it is solo or duoable.

I think if soe had actually bothered to find out what players felt with the flagging thing there is no way it would have been in GoD. They are completely out of touch.

Offline Lorathir

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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2004, 12:10:27 pm »
Quote from: Urim
Also, the 'uberguild' gave a lot of people something to strive for, people thinking i want that many hp, or that much atk or be able to do that much dps. If there wasn't something to strive for a lot of people wouldn't play, because this game is basically the same thing over and over and over again and without something driving you to be better then the next guy then their is no real reason to keep going.

Would you, or any other who raids, want a different focus?

For example - a quest systems that you glean exp and items from? Not the traditional go there, kill that - but something that encompasses say, tradeskills, mini events with questing as the games primary focus - one group encounters? IF a game focused on those things, would the Afterlife style guilds lose interest?

What I'm getting at is this - I've always liked one and two grouping. Has EQ satisfied a need in people to have large scale encounters. Do raiders LIKE the 72 man encounters? I understand that WoW and EQ2 will be centred around two group encounters, something I'm looking forward to - but if the player base wants those large scale events then the dev's of said titles will no doubt end up making PoP style expansions once the games mature.

I actually agree with most of Wolfshead's post - I think the comparison of Morden Rasp to a salesman is particularly funny. Verant didn't intend the game to pan out this way - hell, they didn't expect it to last more than a year. It's morphed into a monster and took us all by surprise.

Offline Aneya

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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2004, 03:47:08 pm »
In a way I have to agree with you Lorathir that Sony is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The top end game guilds are very competative. They want to be first serverwide to finish an expansion. In this kind of race, Sony can not possibly put out content fast enougth. Thott from Afterlife wrote an article about this once.

From a business perspective, these avant-garde guilds represent a small but unfortunately high profile segment of the population. I say this because there can only be 1 or 2 avant-garde guilds on any server and if we consider 72 players per guild thats only 7488 players max, but the actual numbers are probably even smaller say 5000 or less. (72players * 2 * 52 servers is 7488) In a way, Sony should push these people out of the game because they play a completely different game from the rest of us.

This is why I don't feel bad that Afterlife and FoH left. Let WoW deal with the headache.

Behind the avant-garde guilds are other less ambitious raiding guilds. These guilds are content at letting the avant-garde banging their heads against all the walls and fix all the bugs or simply aren't fast enougth to enjoy banging their heads against all the road blocks. There are probably 5-10 such raiding guilds on each server.  This would represent 12500-40000 players.

The rest of the eq players would be in more social guilds. I would estimate the number of social players to be around 100000.

These numbers may seem odd since they only account for 150000 players but we have to remember that many people play with more then 1 account. So when Sony claims 450000 accounts I figure there may actualy be 300000 or 150000 players.

Sony has probably done some real demographic research and I wouldn't be surprised if they came to a similar conclusion. If so they know that they have to concentrate on the majority of the player base. GoD was an attempt to do that by making it possible for small groups to progress through GoD in parallel to uber guild raids. However the pay off of such a move won't be evident for months. Unfortunately, GoD also seems to be a major PR disaster but thats a different story.

Consider this, the avant-garde guilds will finish GoD within 6 months of release. The rest of the raiding guilds will finish GoD within a year or 2. How far will the Social guilds get? Who knows, but atleast they have a chance to see most of GoD if they work at it. Which can not be said for PoP in its original form.
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Offline Bryc

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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2004, 02:12:35 pm »
It's not raiding per se that's the problem. Raids have always been a big part of EQ, it's where the epic feel comes from.

The problem was raid itemization. The raid gear you got from completing an expansion was so good that challenging you in the NEXT expansion required much tougher encounters. Which dropped gear that was too good, etc.

As I recall, it started in VP, the designers basically dared the players to breach the zone. If you DID get in they promised "GM-quality gear". That should have set off alarm bells right away, getting GM-quality gear is something that should never be under player control.

It became a vicious cycle, and now it's at the point where the designers have to cockblock the top guilds to slow them down at all. What reasonable challenge can you throw at a well-honed, well-geared machine like Afterlife? If you remember, once Rathe was "retuned", 5 guilds beat it in the span of a week.

The other problem with the gearflation is that there's really not that much difference between the top guilds, skill differences have been dwarfed by gear similarities. There's no way 20 guilds should have been in Time BEFORE the next expansion.

Where this affects casuals is that top-end players are accelerating through content so fast, the gap between casual and uber has been increasing. EQ is splitting into two distinct games, and designing for both is going to be difficult. This even effects class balance, I can't count how many times someone as told me I should be soloing in BoT, because they have seen other BSTs tanking the giants NP.

This, of course, ignores the fact that these other BSTs may be Time or GoD-geared. Yet if someone decides that "Beastlords tank too well", no doubt I will get the smackdown also. It's happened before, my wife's 30 Enchanter got nerfed because of what chanters were doing in PoP.
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Offline feralize

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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2004, 04:42:39 pm »
Aneya,

This is just my own personal opinion but I think there are far more casual, single account players than you give credit for.

It's easy to think by reading class message boards every day which attract the more hardcore, informed player that two-boxing is the norm, but most people don't frequent such boards, and probably have never even heard of them.

I think Sony, and Blizzard for that matter, know this which is why the emphasis on casual play is being heavily publicized.
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Offline Oneiromancer

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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2004, 04:52:43 pm »
Quote from: Bryc
I can't count how many times someone as told me I should be soloing in BoT, because they have seen other BSTs tanking the giants NP.

This, of course, ignores the fact that these other BSTs may be Time or GoD-geared. Yet if someone decides that "Beastlords tank too well", no doubt I will get the smackdown also.

I am very far from EP/Time/GoD geared.  My defensive AAs are CA3, CS1, ND1, and PE.  I only just last night broke 1000 unbuffed AC.  I can tank BoT trash no problem, and have done so with cleric, druid, or shaman healing.  I can't tank krigers or nameds, but I have tanked the stormwatchers (the gargoyles up in the stormriders camp).

I have tried to solo in BoT also, on the stormriders.  It's slow going, I have to back out to heal myself, heal the pet, and then come back in again and fight some more.  I have to run the healer's mana to zero before they die.  You get 5-6% AAxp per, but I wouldn't say it's worth it...here is where the Time geared people can do it efficiently, I'm sure.

I think we Beastlords are good tanks...because tanking isn't just about being able to take the damage, it's about being able to keep the aggro.  I think our damage mitigation is the lowest of all melees, and we also are tied with monks for the worst armor.  But we have the aggro generating spells...no taunt, but we can make do without it.

So next time you're in a BoT group and they can't find a tank...volunteer yourself.  Memorize Tainted Breath and you're pretty much good to go, as long as you can get that slow to land...

Game on,
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Offline Aneya

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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2004, 07:59:01 pm »
Quote from: feralize
Aneya,

This is just my own personal opinion but I think there are far more casual, single account players than you give credit for.

I was trying to illustrate the fact that the hardcore raiding types that push the envelope account for a small fraction of the player base. 5000 vs 100000 or if you prefer 5000 vs 300000.  For the social players my numbers might be way off but the fact remains that the avant-garde are out numbered in terms of accounts but they are a vocal minority.

It is hard to figure out true demographics for a number of reason. All Sony tells you is the number of active accounts. I assume this means people still paying the bills. However, some of these might be mule acounts and some might be inactive players that still pay the bills because you never know when you'll go back to playing eq.  Then there are some of my friends who have inherited 5 or 6 accounts and still pay for them. I chose 100000 as a pesimistic estimate of the number of casual players (assuming each player had 3 accounts). 300000 is more reasonable (assuming casual players only had 1 account) and its probably closer to 350000.

Perhaps we can see the situation as follows. The avant-garde is like a special interest group and they can squawk all they want and SoE won't do much unless they managed to convince casual player about their propoganda. This debate is unfortunately very lop sided because there are very few who fight in defence of SoE and the true interest of casual players. SoE intervened because this was quickly spiraling into a PR disaster.

As for soloing BoT, while I might be able to do it, I wouldn't because its not my idea of fun. So feel free to ignore idiots that tell you to solo BoT and do what is fun for you. :P  However, I doubt they would nerf us for soloing BoT unless they nerfed wizards and necros too for soloing REDS in PoF.
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Offline Toln

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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2004, 08:09:28 am »
I would /agree with the guesstimate that there are a lot more casual players than 'hardcore' players.. but another thing to consider is the devotion to the game that these people have.

I'd dare say that the hardcore players are much more likely to play the game for a long time to come than a casual player might, and they are also much more likely to purchase upcoming expansions and even additional accounts... so this is probably where SOE's interest lies when trying to appeal to their cash cow portion of the player base.

Everquest will never end for the truly casual player. They will always have new zones that they can explore. It is the hardcore player who burns through content in months after its release, and if they run out of things to do, they will likely quit.
That is the reason that most of the latest expansions were more oriented towards the hardcore players than the casual ones in my opinion.

Offline Xilbeast

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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2004, 02:32:37 pm »
Quote
More GMs and events would be good and more communication would be great

On Torvo last week the GM's suddenly announced around 1 est that inny and Tunare had stolen 2 rings and that a GM wanted them back.  I got a good laugh outta this event but was stunned stupid when they announced around 5 est that there was only an hour left to retrieve the rings before they faded.  

What gets me about this event, and this isnt the first time ive seen them do this, is that only maybe 20-30% of our servers population is on during that time of the day.  The other 70-80% starts to log in around then.

Offline Rakarr

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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2004, 03:33:17 pm »
Things to consider in my opinion, when looking at the focus re casual and raid focussed players from SOEs point of view might be this.

If you focus on high end raid content as a priority you get to keep your raiders longer - maintenance. But of course people will still leave over time and you are focusing here on what I would guestimate at being the minority. The best you can do is lose these players more slowly.

If you put more of a focus on the low end game and non raid type / social / meaningful play and general work on the game that affects everyone. you get a much better chance of getting -new- players.  Sure they might migrate to the raid type play eventually and get to experience that content too, but by not putting enough focus here your new player base is likely to dry up and the game steadily stagnates. Putting more low level zones in is not something which greatly helps this at all in my opinion ( in fact it may even hurt it ), there's a huge difference between more zones and more content or fun factor. Also I'd say a large number of current players can also be -retained- by focusing on this content ( the non raiding types )

People will always leave EQ for one reason or another. I think the situation should be a balance between retaining players and attracting new players, and I don't think the focus is enough on the latter as it stands. Surprisingly I see a number of time enabled people on usenet saying what amounts to "So they're fixing this stuff that affects me, big deal, I think they should be focusing on the rest of the game"

Just my 2c
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