EAt 38 Studios

Today there was a press release from 38 Studios announcing that they have made a publishing “agreement” with EA for their upcoming “epic single-player role-playing game”.  I feel like I’ve just witnessed someone announcing that they have signed a deal with the devil.  EA was once referred to as the the kiss of death to any company and/or games acquired by them.  If you’ve been around long enough you’ll remember lines like “EA kills whatever it touches” and the debates about whether or not EA is worse than Activision.  A bit extreme, but justified given their record.

Steve Danuser (Creative Director at 38 Studios) recently left a comment in one of my posts:

“Gamers need to stop thinking that press releases are written for them.

Press releases are written for reporters, investors, and executives. They are meant to grab the attention of low-attention-span suits who don’t have time to really understand anything about games besides whether or not they will make money…”

An understandable sentiment, although I have poked holes in it before.  Let’s ignore the whole side of press releases where things announced make it onto feature lists, etc. etc., and focus on another angle.  These releases which are supposedly not written for gamers, yet pasted onto every gaming news site out there and publicly available for the world to see, do carry with them influence and relevant material for the players whether or not they’re intended for our us or not.

As a player, here’s what I see:

On 38 Studios’ main page, and many subsequent pages for that matter, you’ll now find a big fat EA logo.  Note the placement of said logo.  It is at the top.  Note the size.  It is the biggest of the logos.  Am I wrong to read into this?  It seems silly to ignore history when it is reenacting itself right before my eyes.

Clearly 38 Studios needs the money and/or channels provided by EA or else the partnership would not have been made.  No one says, “Hey, I think it would be fun to partner with EA!!” — doesn’t happen.  As a prospective player I am immediately seeing warning signs that I’ve seen in other games such as Warhammer Online.  EA has a way of forcing things to release.  EA has a way of acquiring their partners.  EA has a way of influencing and directly controlling the design of the games they publish.  These are facts.

Perhaps EA will remain hands off and simply publish.  Perhaps EA won’t sneak its way into other titles from 38 Studios such as their MMO.  Perhaps hell will freeze over.  Good luck on this one guys… I’m afraid I already know how this one will end.

So, if these press releases aren’t written for gamers, then why is this one speaking to me ever so clear?

  • Meh… I’m not reading as much into it as you. While yes press releases aren’t meant for us we are going to read into them. Dev’s should post a letter to their community simultaneously as the press release, but alas they don’t.

  • Thanks to Bioware’s games I don’t worry too much about EA as the evil neighbor.

    The logo thing is icky and too big though. It reminds me of Sony taking over publishing Vanguard and within minutes, it seemed, there was a huge monster Sony logo blotting out the sun….And no, I don’t blame Sony for what transpired with Vanguard but it seemed all looming and Evil at the time.

  • Never really cared for anything 38 studios is concocting so I suppose thats the reason that I don’t read into this kind of stuff. Now if something was happening where Bioware Nom Noms Blizzard or Reverse that, well then there would be hell to pay 😛

  • EA publishes and distributes tons of games not written by the company. Take Rock Band for example. EA’s been round long enough that they have well established distribution channels that smaller companies simply don’t have the resources to establish. From the standpoint of a smaller company, it’s more cost effective to leverage existing networks than recreate your own from scratch.

    Even John Carmack was surprised by how benign EA was when it comes to publishing games. See:

    I don’t see anything to worry about here. This road is well tread and there are plenty of good games that haven’t been at all ruined by their association with EA.

  • At this point, I don’t know if any major publisher getting involved in a project is any sort of good sign.

    If it’s a straightforward publishing deal though, it probably doesn’t mean too much, especially given that it’s for their single-player game. Publishing for an MMORPG is a wee bit more involved and I’d be worrying about the bottom line of what EA considers success or failure for a project that needs longer legs than they tend to grant.

    Basically, the big publishers are just like any public corporation these days, they’re just interested in the short term returns.

  • Did EA really ruin Warhammer Online or did they just try to protect their investment into an already sinking ship? I don’t remember at what point EA came into the picture but I thought it was pretty late during development…

    From what I heard about WAR, the ship was sinking way before then and Mythic made a huge mess of WAR from the early design stages on. Early in development Mythic saw great potential for this “new” technology called instancing…they designed the entire PvP game around instances and meta games a la WOW. Only when early beta started and players were like WTF is this? Then they decides to revert back to a more traditional DAOC style which by then was messed up and contaminated with their ridiculous instancing ideas.

    I doubt you can blame EA for the WAR debacle – I think Mythic did this all on their own. I am a big fan of Mark Jacobs for what he has done in the past and for his interaction with the community but he did drop the ball on WAR.

  • Agorius is spot on.

    WO had fantastic people working on world/lore, graphics, characters. BUT on the core game of PvP is was very poorly thought out.

    There was a rotten core at the heart of the delicious apple…

  • (Many) dev studios still see decent benefits from hooking up with a publisher that knows what they’re doing. Most developers want to make games, they don’t want to do all the stuff that goes around that.

    And that said, you have to remember it is an industry. At one end you have those who have the envious position (personnel, desire, time and money) to make the game they REALLY want to make. At the other end are work for hire studios just trying to pay the bills of their staff by taking on whatever jobs they can get, and getting them out on time at the publishers request (quality often not the most important thing). But even in those cases as long as the game makes the money back – and a bit of profit – that studio can still get a decent reputation and keep the publisher coming back with more projects. A great metacritic score doesn’t matter.

    As someone who’s studio went into administration I would rather have seen our most senior management have signed a “reasonable” deal at the right time than holding out for something that ultimately never happened.

    Are EA evil? No. But I still think most studios could remind publishers just how valuable the dev teams are more often.

  • Ive never understood the EA hate some players have. Perhaps I havent been paying enough attention or perhaps Ive just been good enough at spotting good games to only ever have bought good EA releases such as Mirrors Edge and Mass Effect.

    Could it be that they are just terrible at picking good developers? They are just a publisher after all. Atleast when it comes to the MMO scene I think they where just unlucky and perhaps a little naive.

  • Danger! Run!!!

    EA = Invasiveness and excessive DRM. They treat all their customers as criminals.

  • Yeah, i don’t buy on the EA is evil anymore. WAR sunk on its own. EA pumped money into the project and no confirmed information that theu rushed WAR to release was given to the players. That game had too many problems that contributed to it’s failure.

    You could also make a distinction between buying a company, like they did with Mythic and signing a publishing agreement like they did here.

    And the games being released by Bioware didn’t saw their quality decrease because of EA. And Dead Space was also an incredibly well done game and there’s a bunch more decent quality games released by EA recently.

  • I think it’s a tough life being a games developer and they just can never get enough capital and thus are forced to make deals with the devil (so to speak). I don’t blame publishers like EA for wanting their pound of flesh because, after all, they’re in it for the money and a return on their investment. The problem is that usually creativity and gameplay have to suffer in order to meet the money drive demands of the publisher.

    However, I don’t plan on judging anything 38 Studios do until they actually release a game and then I’ll judge it’s own merits. Plus, maybe we’re being too dramatic about EA. They published Mass Effect 2, for instance, it’s an amazing game.

  • However, i really have to consider if it is really necessary to get an agreement with a publisher these days. Look at Torchlight, the single player not the MMO: they diddn’t got an agreement with anyone to release that game and it succeeded imensely.

  • At first I thought EA’s rushing WAR out the door was to blame for the game’s failure (after two delays mind you, who could blame them). In retrospect, no amount of delays could have fixed Warhammer. I mean, crap, look at the game 1.5 years later. It’s core design still totally borked.

    As for 38Studios, I have a gut feeling that they might be in trouble.

    – For a couple years now we’ve heard not but a peep about what they’re working on. Generic Fantasy MMO X is basically all we got.
    – Then we hear Kurt saying that the economic downturn was scaring away much needed investors for his project.
    – Then a week or so ago we hear that they’re taking a page from the CME/Stargate book and releasing a trimmed down version of the game first (that’s what it sounds like anyway).
    – Now they’ve signed up with EA.

    None of these things sounds very positive to me…

  • EA was really not at fault for WAR. Perhaps the $ they injected caused Mythic to overspend but thats about it really.

    WAR got fucked when whoever was designing it decide to build it around scenarios. BZZZ FAIL. Original design did not have forts.. /facepalm it was basically about sitting in scenarios, winning enough to get to capital scenario. fail.. This was BEFORE EA.

    About 1 year before release Mythic had to ban a ton of testers because the whole beta forums were filled with people telling them that scenarios and no open world = fail. They redid a lot of stuff and added forts. But not enough, zones were not designed for open world RvR at all..

    Anyway EA did not do it, thats on Mythic 100%

  • EA = where good developers/companies go to die…..

    EA has affected Bioware; Mass Effect was the last “non-EA” title and it was much better then Mass Effect 2. EA is a publically traded company, and as such is constantly looking for ways to increase shareholder value, fine, I understand that, its the American way. As such they are going to implement micro-transactions into any and all upcoming games, as well as spoon feeding DLC. When time is taken away from polishing and perfecting your game, like to create a Cerberus network, the title suffers.

    I could go on and on with how EA is the anti-Christ of gaming, I’ve beaten that horse to death.

    To predict the future look at their history; EA is not a company built by gamers for gamers. They are a bunch of ex-oil executives and paper pushers, with little to no gaming experience or knowledge. They’re not interested in making good games, they are only interested in making games that make money – and those two things are very different from each other. I am waiting for the day when EA realizes that good games make money.

  • EA used to be awful. However, they have been publishing a good number of really awesome games, Dragon Age, Battlefield(s) Masseffect, Crysis, Army of Two, Dead Space.

    All awesome games, and even more upcoming games that are showing promise. EA takes studios that would probably go under, pumps a huge amount of money into them and they come out making some pretty awesome stuff.

  • DA:O was an awesome game, it had/has some issues where people were not able to access their “content” if the EA servers were down, meaning people paid for content, or had it included, but the game didn’t acknowledge that fact unless it connected to their network. Which again, was due to shoe-horning in the DLC network. Most industry experts predicted that the game could have sold better if it hadn’t had the EA marketing team playing the game up as some sexual romp, if you recall the initial promotional videos played up the “sex” aspect of the game, then the “goriness”.

    Also remember it, initially, was to be a “PC” exclusive title, when EA bought up BW, they had them add a console release as well, which pushed put the pc launch date 6 months.

    So, yes, the core game did not suffer – but EA’s fingerprints were all over the game.

  • The Battlefield series suffered a lot of issues under the hands of EA. Remember the “opposing player red name bug” in BF2 that never got fixed? Basically what would happen is the opposing team would randomly switch colors to friendly. EA determined internally that the bug would require a massive overhaul and it went for years unfixed, it may still be. All the while they were pushing out DLC and “packs”. Even today the BC2 pc version was a massive abortion of epic fail the first week of launch due to the unpreparedness of EA on the hardware/network side ($$$$$).

  • Ask the folks at Pandemic how much money EA pumped into them? Oh that’s right, EA laid them all off. And John Riccitello (EA CEO) personally went and visited them to assure them that they wanted them too, not just Bioware, when they acquired Bioware (Pandemic and Bioware were together).

    EA paid the NFL $100 million for exclusivity to make games for the NFL, which killed competition, which kills the industry, competition breeds creativity.

    EA isn’t a risk taker, I read an article where most of their upcoming games are either sequels or movie tie-ins, you guys with rose colored glasses need to take off the blinders. EA is bad for the gaming industry.

  • It’s understandable to look at WAR right now and think about all its problems and give EA an out in the whole mess. However, think about WAR’s development before the EA buyout. It was a very different game.

    For every good game they put out, another one is destroyed. The list goes on and on but a few highlights are the Battlefield and Command and Conquer franchises which have gone way downhill since EA’s involvement.

    So yes, I have major nerdrage angst when it comes to publishers like EA, SoE, and Activision (to name a few). They ruin games. I don’t want to see 38 Studios’ games ruined because I think they have a talented team capable of making something that would be worth playing.

  • @snafzg

    “Then a week or so ago we hear that they’re taking a page from the CME/Stargate book and releasing a trimmed down version of the game first (that’s what it sounds like anyway).”

    for whatever it’s worth to your opinion, they’ve been planning a single-player game to introduce players to their new game world for quite some time. From what I’ve read, that goal was their primary motivation for acquiring big huge games, the studio that’s working on the project.

    I’m not sure if it’s a good idea or not, but I’d wager it has some strategic merit, and that one point at least should not be held against the studio.

  • @Keen The only thing that EA might have contributed to for WAR was massive spending (100 mil?) Mythic would have been much better off if they stuck to a lower budget and a smaller game I think (less unwarranted expectations as well). Other then that I really do not remember them messing anything, I was in closed beta for a long time and biggest thing was Mythic’s devs complete disbelief in people telling them that scenarios will kill the game. Also them ignoring people telling them that they want RAs or not making a decent chat system.

    DAO for consoles is not bad at all and it made a ton of cash for them. Not a bad idea at all. DLC wise I am not sure, I only have Stone prisoner which works with no connection to their servers

  • @smthin: Did the game not change drastically after EA acquired Mythic? I remember the game going one direction then a huge halt and change of direction.

  • @Keen — Pretty sure that major change in direction was due to beta tester feedback. A friend of mine was in beta in early 2007 and said almost every single tester hated the direction Mythic was taking with WAR.

  • So the change TO scenarios and shallow PvP was due to player feedback? Something isn’t right here.

    The whole Mythic/WAR ordeal doesn’t make much sense. DAOC worked. They knew it. Why then did we get WAR?

    Btw, I don’t want to turn this into a discussion about Mythic and WAR. EA/Activision/SoE ultimately become the common denominator in all things hinky when it comes to games suddenly self-destructing and that’s what I’m getting at.

  • WAR failed on a basic level under the flawed premise that “PvP-first” MMOs with crappy or non-existent PvE can be successful long-term in the mainstream space. Keen even had a recent blog entry on this very point a few days ago I believe.

    Something fishy definitely happened with the rather abrupt changes WAR’s development path took through beta-testing but I’m almost inclined to believe it was more of Mythic’s doing than EA’s.

  • Before EA got involved WAR was a different game – a worse game which beta testers apparently hated. I don’t think the change in WAR had to do with EA but with beta tester feedback.

  • Shallow PvP was what WAR was all about – it was designed to be a game that took advantage of scenarios and instancing only. There was no open RVR during early development…the big change in direction came later and they tried to salvage it but they were too dumb to realize that open RvR and scenarios can’t coexist.

  • “So the change TO scenarios and shallow PvP was due to player feedback? Something isn’t right here.

    The whole Mythic/WAR ordeal doesn’t make much sense. DAOC worked. They knew it. Why then did we get WAR?”

    God Keen look at what people wrote before you!!!
    WAR was originally intended to work mostly with instanced PvP in scenarios – the type of PvP you call shallow. The big change in direction in the game came from player feedback demanding an RvR experience closer to DAoC.

  • Am I the only person who prefers instanced PVP? It ensures some extent of balance and fairly easy to find encounters while limiting the amount of ganking/griefing/harassment that bothers PVE players so much.

    I thoroughly enjoyed WARs instances, but damn the open RVR was absolute shit. Playing tag by following around a raid of the other side, waiting to cap a castle right after they do and trading back and forth was not fun, not challenging, and not PVP

    Aion had open PVP from very early on level-wise and it essentially turned into roaming death squads showing up while you try to level, level capped players camping your teleporter, and essentially a mass PVP that managed to play horribly on many peoples computers to the point where during a fort attack half of your party would disappear. Pretty horrible when everything in such large scale PVP ended up amounting to little more than a numbers game, with little to no strategy.

    I don’t think open pvp can work anymore, populations are too high, the scale developers are trying to push is too massive, and PVE’ers get upset whenever incentives are added to PVP or a game has open PVP etc. Small scale instances keep it balanced, permit strategy, limit griefing, and lets people play the game the way they want to.
    Note: Allods kinda has something with their astral ships, its not quite an instance but at the same time you’re likely going to wind up with more 6v6 parties of similarly leveled players. Just gotta make it through the slaughter-fest we call the Holy Lands very carefully, because while astral might be the content for level 40’s its still too early for their ships to be done, and they’re bored.

    tl;dr instances>open pvp, Open pvp=/=balanced/strategic/interesting.

  • Yeah basically thats what happened. Previosuly whole pvp was scenarios and PSR (Penis Shaped Rocks, Mythic’s own term.. in open world). Around 1 year before release they banned a bunch of testers and suspended beta for I think 3 month? Thats when they put in Forts, objectives etc. But they did not redesign zones.

    Anyway, my personal theory is that Mythic just stumbled on DAOC success it was not a conscious design. 3 sided war.. open world, later on RA skills. They flushed it all down the toilet.

  • @Firit

    Well, WE (I’m a PvE only player) get upset when PvP incentives are added because most of the PvP players are just brainless bullies that likes to pick on the lower levels and on PvErs who are obviously not equipped for PvP. Plain and simple, you said it yourself, most of the PvPers just camp the teleporters (or whatever mean of transportation/spawn point) and the newbie cities/villages/whatever.
    Those attitudes RUIN the game for us who just want to level or do our quests/profession.

    I never tried WAR but this instanced PvP sounds like a way to induce some kind of fair/civilized PvP, i think i may like it.

  • 38 Studios were struggling financially, so it was a do or die situation, join EA or fold and have all the projects cancelled.

    Which would you prefer?

  • When open PvP is done right it can be really fun and create a whole new layer in a game. Look at EVE for example, it’s one of the most unforgiving PvP games out there and one of the most successfull MMOs out there.

    I think the good way to make Open PvP work well is to create areas with prohibited PvP and areas with completely open PvP but with PvE content as well. And make the PvP be something more than a gear or title run. Make it a metagame/endgame on its own like Allods has on its endgame (its a pretty neat endgame PvP mechanic ship vs ship combat) or EVE.

  • WAR was WAR before EA. WAR didn’t want to be DAOC2, and that is why they probably made the decisions they did.

    Blaming any major company misses the forest for the trees. At the end of the day the consumers are to blame.

  • @notbad: Both end in the same result. It’s a moot point.

    @Terroni: Please enlighten me how consumers are to blame for a bad game. I really want to see that one explained.

  • I wasn’t aware I had a hand in designing WAR.


    I guess it is my fault it was bad.

  • You find fault in EA, but how many EA games have you bought in the past few months? What incentive does the company have to not make games that sell in large quantities?

    If one insists on being bleeding edge and an earlier adopter, expect to be burnt.

  • Wait, so you’re trying to say that because I bought an EA title (I’ve bought one by the way for PC and one for consoles) that this justifies and allows them to make bad games?

    Make sure you’re actually reading what you say because you’re making a huge leap in logic.

  • In most cases it’s the publisher that seeks out a developer to make *their* game. This is a historically unequal business relationship where the developer ends up getting screwed either by having to go into crunch mode or to end up releasing an unfinished game because the publisher wants it out before Christmas.

    This is why there are so many crappy games being released in this industry. Does anyone really think that game devs love releasing crappy games? Of course they don’t. The problem is that they have no choice because it’s the publisher that makes the rules. Remember that old saying? He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

    Now in this case it looks like 38 Studios was seeking a publisher instead of the other way around. This may not be all that bad as other MMO companies have had to find publishers as well in the past.

    The real issue at hand is what are the terms of the relationship between EA and 38 Studios? What has 38 Studios given up to make a deal with the devil. How much of an investment is EA making in 38 Studios? Did they sell their collective souls?

    Who has the final say in this relationship? If it’s EA then given their past history I fear for this MMO. If it’s 38 Studios then it has a shot at being a good MMO.

  • @Pedro

    I totally disagree; most of the PvPers like PvP so much, they only join a game to do it 24/7, in every guild of every MMO I’ve been in there always were quite a good amount of people who just wanted to get capped to begin PvP (hence leave the guild for a PvP one) and regarded PvE as something they had, alas, to do it in order to get to the interesting part.

    Those players would concentrate on making PvP builds that used (and in some cases exploited) every possible gameplay mechanic to be more effective in PvP, even if it meant to make their (short) PvE experience worse to the point they couldn’t go on without a party.

    If any of those people met one of us PvErs it was normally able to kill us in a few seconds even if they were lower in level just because he was geared to PvP only while we were geared for PvE.

    I think that Mixed PvP / PvE areas are hell on earth and Open PvP is the devil. It’s a total turn off for us.

  • All in all I don’t think we can really say that EA makes games bad or makes bad games. They just publish. Studios which compromise their work out of fear of running out of money by making deals with them might make bad games, games which might be pretty terrible might get signed by EA just because they know they can profit from it sure.

    If a dev makes a good game, finishes it and does it right, then the publisher doesn’t really matter other than for marketing purposes. If the dev shoddily crafts a deal to release on X date in exchange for $Y, and makes this deal without being able to finish properly on time then we end up with an unpolished shitty game.

  • Wasn’t EA big thing recently about them trying to get away from their packaged good stereotype and give studios more freedom. They might of fixed their act not sure. I can you can mention warhammer, but i am pretty sure Mythic did a good job at killing that themselves without EAs help.

  • I confess, it was me, I sent my psychic thoughts to Mythic. I told them to make a really bland combat system where you should be able to faceroll the same 4 buttons. Then I told them to make really boring PVE, bring grind to a point of perfection and call it something innovative like ‘public quests’, fragment the world into instanced boxes and make really lame crafting system and limit it to 2 crafts.
    I think it’s very delusional to think EA are responsible for Core design flaws, sure EA was probably prodding them for an earlier release date, but while ‘MythBusters’ proved that you can polish shit, it doesn’t stop being shit.

  • EA was not, for certain, responsible for the core design flaws. Yet it can not be ignored that they acquired Mythic while the game was still in development. I can’t say with absolute certainty that they did, nor that they didn’t, have a hand in the game’s demise. All I can do is points to a nice long track record of obtaining studios and a common end result.

  • Just out of curiosity, I’d like to know from those that were in the WAR beta (especially early on)- what fraction of the “elder” beta testers were DAoC veterans? The impression I get is that WAR’s initial design was specifically not to be DAoC 2, and to include more PVE aspects to attract a larger customer base, as well as PvP. But it seems like they got a lot of feedback from people specifically wanting a game closer to DAoC 2, and thus attempted to redesign within the constraints they already had (e.g. zone maps that were already done). So they ended up trying to do too much with the result that nobody was pleased- beyond the buggines, the RvR to PVE incentives weren’t balanced, classes weren’t balanced, and the PVE was boring. I’m not looking to excuse a lot of their mistakes, but I wonder what would have happened if they had stuck to their guns and really polished their initial design. It obviously wouldn’t have attracted by a lot of the ex-DAoC players, but would it have found a new audience? I’d have been just as happy to play a game set in the Warhammer world with better PVE and on-demand scenarios.

  • “Wait, so you’re trying to say that because I bought an EA title (I’ve bought one by the way for PC and one for consoles) that this justifies and allows them to make bad games?”

    Actually, Terroni has a point if he is looking at it from a free-market perspective. In that perspective, buying a product justifies the product (as in this business-ethics model people only buy what is good and if it is not good it quickly stops existing). If people didn’t want horrible games they wouldn’t buy them.

    Now with that said, I am not saying that is the position I take, just that it is one way of looking at it.

  • It’s a bit painful Keen but that’s correct, you can’t call EA the devil incarnate, and that they should die, but only up until the point where you want to buy one of the games published by them.

    The only way you can affect anything is by voting with your wallet, you either boycott EA games or you don’t.

    Everyone is very keen to uphold the highest moral standards and damn EA, until the release date of the next Mass Effect, Battlefield or Dragon Age, that is. 😉

  • @WAR player

    To answer your question. Mythic had a list people who helped them test stuff for a long time (I was not in that test…) they were the first batch. Later they added people who played their games before etc. Many of those people were DAOC fans, definitely over 50%, maybe as high as 90%.

    PVE was bad from the start, they never wanted a raiding game, that was not something that beta testers changed. They had intention of cities being the big endgame raids I think.

    Crafting was something that testers pushed, Mythic original design had none (which I liked personally..)

    They were trying to build a game with no hard pve, lots of instanced pvp and zone capture campaign. I think that would have failed just as spectacularly, once new WoW expansion came. Gnight.

    WAR had to be a niche market game directed at DAOC 2 people, made at much lower cost (like 1/4). That was it’s chance.

    Basically you can not compete with WoW. You can grab a small subset of players and make $$ but trying to challenge WoW pve is a guaranteed fail.

  • WAR like that would fail anyway.
    No crafting? A game based solely on instanced scenarios and capital city sieging? That’s paper thin content and it would never work.
    IMO the testers still did a lot for the game.

  • I agree, Mythic completely forgot that to have Realm war you need people to care.. the only way to do that is to build a community. Scenarios do the opposite, instanced raids.. same thing.

    Testers tried.. for many people it return to DAOC. Attempt to relive the best game experience they ever had. WAR beta had the most dedicated community I ever seen. Problem was that original design conflicted completely with what people wanted. We got them to add forts, but could never get the zone redesign.. or limit scenarios. Other problem was the engine.. it can not handle big battle at all. They should have went with a simpler Lineage 2 style engine that can actually render decent size battle without crapping out

  • I was in the Beta for long enough to see how ugly it was. It wasn’t just Mythic’s fault, the beta testers are just as much to blame. The Beta testers were just as in love with the product as Mythic at some times.

    The focused testing was probably a major reason WAR didn’t have reliable information coming out of beta. Mythic would turn of Scenario’s and have people test Open RvR for example, so everyone thought it worked. They never tested motivation to play specific features.

  • @smthin

    I kinda agree, but why competing? RPG World is a peculiar world which is, game after game, always the same; but this is what we like. Didn’t we play campaign after campaign of the very same pen and paper RPG for years?

    The concept is the same in every RPG I witnessed: grow your char from level 1 to [level cap], kill mobs, loot them, do quests to level faster, get better equip till you beat the biggest boss around, then start again, possibly with another char/spec and maybe try doing something you didn’t the first time and so on.

    Changing this would mean changing the genre and I don’t believe that’s what gamers want, I believe that what a player want is just another “campaign”, maybe with a different setting but ultimately the same game structure with another skin.
    You can focus more on some other aspects than game X, you can enhance the crafting system of the game Y, have more or less of this and that but not very much.

    I played WoW and got bored after I hit level cap and did some raids and there are other people like me, this i know for sure as there would be people that will be playing more than one game at once but when we look around we see that the rest of the MMORPG world is so far behind that we eventually return to WoW or we quit the genre waiting.

    I don’t think that we want something BETTER than WoW, even though it would be nice for sure, but we’d be happy to find something that can match WoW because we grew tired of it, we know all starting areas, a big portion of the quests, we memorized long lists of loot tables, we know what to craft when to cap the crafting level quick etc. etc. etc.
    We want something that we don’t know yet, to begin again, to feel again the thrill of the hunt, to be happy again because we found some good equip (we didn’t expect and purposefully looked for) in the loot, to feel satisfied again with how the char turned out.

    This is what I strongly believe, and this is why many people find Allods a good product overall (with, alas, poor management), because it’s similar to WoW but we don’t know anything of it.

    Just my 2c

  • @Mich What happened with WAR is that it got many people who act like you described. Leveling through scenarios, checking out the world etc. Then Lich King over. WAR got huge box sales, that was not a problem. DAOC once it had RAs extended that leveling/developing idea far beyond normal level cap, thats one of the things that kept people there.. getting those RA abilities and not some STR +3

    @Epiny It is sort of true about beta testers. When people fought open field in beta it was actually a blast. Mainly because thats what most of us wanted to do for fun. However many people knew that it is going to be a problem. It was said many times.. I remember writing posts about keep trading and objective trading, many people knew it and said so to Mythic.

    Anyway it does not matter that game is dead, Mythic is dead. New SW bioware mmo is basically a single player game.. Allods could have been good, but being RMT and Russians involved.. I knew they goan fuck everyone

  • @smthing
    you said: “What happened with WAR is that it got many people who act like you described” sounding like it’s a bad thing; I don’t think so, i just call it insight on what people likes and understanding your players base.
    I don’t see how liking a genre as it is can be a bad thing.
    We got fed with the same things over and over for the last decade and we still like it, me too. If we wouldn’t like it anymore we’d have changed already, but we don’t.
    You developers can experiment with your games if you like but you should be aware that you’re walking on fragile ground; if your changes convince the players then you’re saved, otherwise you can change things but in the short run you are screwed anyway, if you can keep up tho you may have a chance for a comeback after the people who left your game to return to [game] grow tired of it again and know that you changed things.

    Also you said: “Allods could have been good”, well, aside from the poor management (that I won’t hide even for a second) I think that this mentality contributed to its demise just as much. You’re talking of a game still in its beta phase, how can you say that a game is already screwed??? Come on, give them the time to elaborate the player’s response and do something about it.

    The attitude:
    “DAY 1: Game’s good, it has some flaws tho
    DAY 2: Yes, definitely flaws, this need to be addressed

    Is frankly quite stupid.

    If they wouldn’t address those issues in a REASONABLE time, then we can say the game is screwed for good, not in beta phase.

  • @Mich,
    I think your missing the point about Allods, the game itself is not what people are bitching about. Of course it’s in beta, but when you think of Astrum Nival and Gpotato behind it, it’s just yet another wall for them to hide behind and respond to complaint’s with “It’s Open Beta.”

  • @Diext
    You missed my point too; I don’t care who’s behind the game nor what people are bitching about. I play the game and judge what I see. Most people are bitching about many wrong things, like all this “look at who’s behind it, it surely gonna fail”.
    Why can’t you just try out the game and see for yourself if it’s worth your time rather than whine for non-existant things like “the next patch will surely ruin things” or “when I will be 40 it will surely go downfall because blah blah blah”.

    All this “I’m not investing my time in something that is gonna fail” is total bull… for many reasons; first of all, if you’re not playing 24/7, it will take time to get there and things can change in the meantime, second it may be fun until you reach that point, third IT’S FREE, dammit, so many people tried AoC (just to make an example), that was P2P, for months before deleting their subscription and now you’re denying a FREE game a chance?

    You aren’t forced to buy anything so, should the time come you feel you can’t go on without, you can always move on to another game and/or wait and see if things change.

    If you tried and didn’t like the game, it’s fair. If you didn’t try it it’s fair too, but bitching about things that you didn’t try for yourself and/or things that don’t exist (yet) it’s kinda stupid. If that is what made you quit the game it’s your decision, not an objective fact so other people should quit too.

  • Like it or not, at the end of the day publishers like EA are a necessity for the gaming industry as it stands today. Most developers do not have the capital to fully fund their own projects and need to go to publishers to strike deals in order to have a fighting chance to get their game out on the market (this is even more true for new studios). Venture capitalists aren’t pouring money into games like the yused to. The averege development time for a commercial title is rising. You may not want to admit it, but you need EA and companies like them or you wouldn’t have any games to play between now and the next Blizzard title.

    Publishers aren’t inherently evil. They are a company and thus want to make money, yes, but I am not convinced that commercial interests cause bad quality. Personally I don’t think EA are the worst publishers out there today. They’re not the best either, but not the worst.