Conglomoblog: One risk taker, one risk averse

Bit of a late night post tonight.  We’re in the middle of transitioning our hosting to something that can accommodate our traffic.  Shared hosting doesn’t cut it anymore.  The whole process has been extremely taxing as I try to ensure we can afford the new solution, and make sure we provide our readers with the best experience possible.  I find myself wondering where the last three days went.  Honestly, I have no clue.

Tonight before bed I just want to write out a few thoughts I had on random subjects.

Rayman Legends Delayed

This is quite a massive hit to the Wii U.  I’m not sure whether or not I fully buy into the reason they give for postponing launch to have multi-platform support.  I don’t think the fans have as much to do with it as the Wii U does.  I see this as a vote of no confidence in the Wii U’s ability to sell units.  Releasing on the Wii U would certainly mean less sales, and less enthusiasm to buy a product already released for one system.  They’re delaying with the hope of hitting the market all at once and seeing larger sales.  Graev and I really loved the Rayman Legends demo.

Camelot Unchained – Risk Taking

Mark Jacobs has launched a media blitz with his first of many “Foundational Principles.”:  The first deals with being willing to take risks.  As I already mentioned in my post detailing my conversation with Mark, he’s not in this to make a game for everyone.  Mark lists a few things, however, that I don’t consider risks or even far out there at all: real day/night cycles, no fast-travel, no gear grind, etc. Maybe it’s the old guard in me that finds these less risky; we see game after game being exactly the same, and failing much the same as the games before it.  Being different feels less risky to me, given the current landscape.

  • As much as I like Mark Jacobs enthusiasm the games he’s been behind in the past have let me down and have had little to no innovation. So until I see some concrete details it’s hard to get excited at all about what this guy has to say.

  • Well.. I do consider no fast-travel a risk in this day and age.
    People expect some sort of gateway to fast-travel.

    What somewhat popular mmorpg started the whole fast-travel thing? I know UO had a spell to bind areas to stones and teleport to them. Even gate people to that destination. (it took time to learn and resources)

    Wow made it easier with a teleport stone and a druid class had a teleport skill.

    Rift introduced Gateways… GW2 let you teleport pretty much to any part of the map you explored before.

    I agree that without teleportation mmorpg would be better, since they have to be created with this in mind.

  • I think by no fast travel they probably mean no flight paths like in WoW, or no gateways like in Rift or like in GW 2.

    I don’t think I would count player based fast travel through skills that you have to learn fast travel, or something that should be taken out. Back in EQ I believe it was wizards were the only way to really fast travel to cities, but iirc getting the teleport spells wasn’t necessarily easy. Which is how it should be. Players need to either play that class or pay for transport services to other players, which paying for something like this outside of an AH setting, I feel is a better way to have a stable in game economy as well.

  • Also he has to do this pure, honestly, and real old school. There are many games coming out which are trying to be old school but really are just thin skinned old school corporate grabs. Unchained could really benefit from the backlashes these games are sure to create if they play their cards right.

    (Sorry i do not see archeage, EQnext and especially elder scrollsreaching making the hard choices that need to be implemented for an old school game.)

  • Have to say, MJ has an interesting take on risk in that article. Day/night cycle.. Never paid attention to that in games that have them, with a couple of “it comes out at night” exceptions.

    I’m not sure why Keen reads “no PvE gear grind” as “no gear grind”. Going purely on what little has come out, I’m inclined to think that “no PvE gear grind” actually means “crafting grind”. Either way, risk..where??

    Fast travel is tougher, since one needs to draw a line and say “this is slow, that is fast”. The location of the line becomes a matter of opinion, and I am absolutely certain that no matter where CU draws that line it will get lambasted for having too much fast travel AND not having enough fast travel — at the same time. Flame wars and lynch mobs on this topic are 100% guaranteed. Which actually means zero risk 😉

    If there is one risk I would suggest MJ takes, it would be “NO AUCTION HOUSE”. No, not even a disguised one under a different name. No, not even the weasely work around that you the reader of this (yes you) are thinking of, not even that.

    Hows that for risk?

  • true day/night cycle –

    Not a problem. It should be interesting.

    slower and different leveling systems –

    I have been unsuccessfully arguing this for years on gaming forums. A week to cap is too rapid. Take away the impetus for power-leveling and perhaps people will actually stop to read the NPC story lines.

    extremely limited fast travel –

    Potentially a problem. During long travel times I usually leave the computer for a bio, which is not exactly am immersive experience (I think there is a joke in that, which ends “…and it is cold too!”). If the experience doesn’t further game play then it might just be fat that needs to be cut away.

    no PvE leveling/gear grind –

    More to the point, no PvE. This shouldn’t be a problem in a RvR-focused game.

  • Well, yeah.. Where to draw the line between fast and not-fast travel?

    Just as an example that a lot of people should be able to relate to. Consider the boat that shuttles between Ratchet and Booty Bay (those are 2 pirate-y towns on different continents in WoW for those that don’t know). Now imagine for a minute that the boat does not exist and the only way across is to dog paddle across the ocean.

    How long should that dog paddle exercise take? 1 minute? 10? Two and a half hours given the actual scale of the world?

  • NP, all you missed was a snippet regarding a failed attempt at long travel approximation in a high school D&D dungeon of my design. 🙂

    Spoiler alert: It was boring and not a substitute for actual story-based content.

  • If mj focuses on making a pvp only game. It could be done on a cheaper budget (less areas, quests, dungeons, gear, encounters to program). And adhere to the principles layed out. If he is forced to mix in pve, the budget blows out and its impossible to adhere to his principles.