Prime Stream #5 Summary and a little taste of Base info

DAoC Kill Spam. See PvP section for comments.

I pushed hard this week, and was glad to see others pushing as well, to get an answer about bases and how they will play into server politics.  My main question(s) has been who owns them, who gets to benefit from them, and how all of that will play out.  Obviously the worry here is that one guild will get to claim a base and have complete control over its benefits, thus locking out the smaller guilds or less “hardcore” from being able to benefit from a fairly substantial end-all-be-all part of the game.  Veterans of MMO’s like this will know how it feels when a zerg guild can just claim everything and spam mass recruitment messages all the while getting to experience the game to its fullest and everyone else being left out in the cold to just watch.  This leads to in-fighting amongst the realm (Faction *wink*) and people saying “well I’m not going to help that guild defend their keep”.

Obviously this question is almost pointed in such a way that the devs want to avoid it and Sanya cringes just seeing it, but it’s important enough that they at least gave me and the other viewers a nod… sorta.  I’ll lead with the answers they gave to the base stuff followed by the rest of my notes and comments to myself while I watched.  Once a youtube video is up, I’ll add that in the ‘more’ section of the post.

– Guilds can claim 1 base.  This is fine by me.  It establishes guild pride which inflates faction pride.
– Benefits of owning a base are sorta/kind/mostly faction-wide but for now we’ll have to be satisfied with “more info forthcoming”.  It’s huge and I think or hope they know how it made a difference in Warhammer Online’s feel vs. Dark Age of Camelot (or “that other 3 faction game”).  I phrased the question like six different ways to them during the stream and got an answer when I added a “‘not ready to answer that‘ is an acceptable answer”.   Took some coaxing and I’m satisfied with the info for now.

Beta Testing
– Still testing combat.  Not ready to be shown in video. Major bummer, but it is what it is and hopefully the beta testers that they are selecting, despite being avid forum-goers, are versed in the open-world faction vs faction vs faction (3 factions) pvp combat.  I’ll have to set my worries aside for now and just trust that a small group gets the job done.

– Learned schematics can be stolen off of players.  This would make well-skilled crafters huge targets.  I like this idea.  Time to go crafter hunting (or in my case hide since I’ll be crafting a great deal.)
– Kill spam is in.  Warren, Kill Spam from “That other 3 faction game” (COUGH DAOC COUGH) was a message to the zone saying “Keen killed Warren in Base X” so that you would know who you were interacting with on the other side.  DAoC had no names above player heads in the frontier.  It said “Albion Invader” when you were from Albion in say the Hibernian lands.  It helped create a sense of server-wide community.  It also let you know where people were being killed at so that you could find the action.

– Healing shouldn’t make people unkillable.  This is a huge, huge problem in games like “that one with arenas and battlegrounds” (see what I did there?).
– To keep up with combat responsiveness, healing will be equally responsive.  Obviously there’s only conjecture at this point, but a faster pace healing mechanic would be neater than having it be ‘sit back and cast’ mechanic.

A shorter stream this week but I get the feeling they’re finally settling into the thick of testing.  Doesn’t bother me at all and I hope they get lots of feedback from those testers.

  • Foaming at the mouth to see some gameplay or screenshots.

    Something to be said for keeping it low key until you’re truly ready to show the world though. Might as well make it the first big showing of things 100%.

    It’s hard not to get impatient when it seems like they’re bringing together all the great, old ideas that have been abandoned by mainstream AAA studios.

  • Yeah, I can’t really blame them on not wanting to show combat vids yet. They have made it very clear that is the main focus of their testing right now. I wouldn’t want to be showing something that is most in need of testing. It seems they are on track for phase 2 next week though, so I am sure after that we will see some combat videos.

  • It’ll be competing for my attention next week with the big DotA 2 tournament around.

    I have a feeling i’ll be glued to that something fierce.

  • “healing shouldn’t make people unkillable” I disagree with this statement. Are you saying 1 healer shouldn’t be able to offset damage from even just one source? The healing class in DAoC was crucial in PvP and I loved it. The stronger healing is the longer and more intense the fights go. When healing is weak fights are quick and become largely dependent on reaction time and who got the initiative. To me, I don’t mind healing being powerful, I just think that you need to make sure that powerful healing and damage aren’t paired together on the same class. A powerful healing class is a druid in DAoC or a healer in DAoC, by themselves insignificant, in a group, indispensible. If you pair healing with damage, even mediocre healing and damage you get priests of Mitra from Conan, any healer class in Rift.

    IMO there’s 2 choices, the right way – powerful healing paired with defensive CC and little to no damage or the wrong way – mediocre healing paired with damage which will promote no group interaction and foster the Alterac Valley PvP setting.

  • @ iLkRehp

    Yes, 1 DPS should be able to kill 1 healer. Healers should not be able to keep themselves up nearly indefinitely against 1 DPS class. I’m not saying it shouldn’t some time, but I think a balance needs to be struck for times to kill.

    DAoC was a bit too fast for me actually. I like that fights take a bit longer in WoW. More time for strategic choices.

    However, healers are out of control in WoW right now. I’ve seen healers stay up for ridiculously long amounts of time against 4 or 5 DPS in battlegrounds. In the arenas, the 2v2 brackets are broken now because if you are running a healer/DPS combo and run into another of the same the fights can be ridiculously long since it is so difficult for 1 DPS to kill 1 healer. A couple of weeks ago I was in a 2v2 match that took nearly 40 minutes for this very reason. Not fun.

  • I am not advocating 1 healer being able to heal thru 5 dpsers, if any mmos have that happen in game then it’s terrible game design. I do think that 1 healer should be able to heal thru 1 dpser rather easily, probably 2 if I was designing the game, but I wouldn’t have said healer doing any damage while he/she was healing thru them.

    If I was designing a game I don’t like all encompassing classes. . .jack of all trades is master of none. 1healer 1dpser should beat 2dpsers 9 times out of 10 IMO.

    On a side note, I only played Vanilla but from what I remember a good DAoC 8v8 took way longer then a WoW 5v5.

  • I think the point has been taken a little too literally. 1 DPS’er vs 1 healer and 1 dps is fine. It’s the 2..3..4..5 people on 1 with 1 healer making that 1 unkillable. In WoW I can keep 1 person alive with 3-4 on them easily. Heck, I can heal myself through 3 DPS on me. It’s stupid.

  • Hopefully this will not end like another ugly looking, badly animated and crappy programmed “sandbox turned into pvp gankfest” attempt.

  • Keen are you playing any mmo full time right now? Just curious haven’t read any Happy Fun Guys updates in a while.

  • HFG was playing WoW full time but things have slowed down right now. Classic summer slump combined with the impending release of a dozen great games and people have just lost interest in the WoW gear grind.

  • A little quote from George Zeller (Bioware) about PvP:

    * Player versus Player restrictions. The launch of Ultima Online taught the entire industry why completely unrestricted player versus player content will cost you most of your customers. Sure, there’s people who think this is the best thing ever – but they are a vocal, tiny minority.

    Spot on. Exactly my thoughts. And proved by facts.