September 11 2020

MMO’s When You’re Strange

Too Weird to Play?

I do have some issues with games that keep me out of them sometimes. Tonight is no exception since I’ve been pushing myself this week to get stuff done. Now that it’s the weekend I’m not just exhausted from work but also looking at everything in life that’s piled up in the meantime.

Since I’ve been working in the evenings I haven’t even joined my friends in Warframe and haven’t logged into anything else.

Everyone has weeks like this though, you know when you’ve got a heavy project or there’s been a lot of work over the week. A lot of times for me thought it’s like this whenever I have work as I usually have to put a lot of effort into concentrating. When I do I get great results, but it can be pretty taxing.

Folks who’ve hung out with me for any length of time eventually figure out that I’m really good at pretending to be normal, but under the facade I put on to make other people feel more comfortable I’m actually pretty weird.

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Category: ESO, Final Fantasy 14, Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMO, MMORPG, New World, Warframe | Comments Off on MMO’s When You’re Strange
September 8 2020

MMO Baggage: Encumbrance Vs Inventory

Piles of Loot

Inventory managment has always been an issue for me and I despise it in every game except for Warframe. For some reason this is the only game I’m playing at the moment that just has one big pot for all of the craftables and ‘stuff’.

Warframe does charge for arsenal unlocks, but to be fair, that’s a pittance in comparison to the sheer amount of different types of blueprints, crafting materials, pet growing materials, lootables, and other random junk a Tenno collects as we murder hobo their way through the universe.

So today I want to ask the following:

Why don’t we see too many other games taking on Warframe’s inventory model?

Why aren’t more games looking at ESO’s near bottomless crafting bag?

And/or why not Encumbrance over slots?

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Category: Fallen Earth, Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMO, Neocron, New World | Comments Off on MMO Baggage: Encumbrance Vs Inventory
September 3 2020

New World Town Control and Faction Suggestions for New Player Retention

How’s This For A New Player Experience?

Let me start out by saying that I really love New World and have enjoyed the preview quite a bit. I wouldn’t bother posting this if I didn’t want to see the game succeed, not only at launch but also well into the future.

The picture above is an empty job board. Job boards are great ways for players to pick up fetch quests that give them experience and bit of gold.

As you can imagine this is pretty helpful when you’re just starting out as even crafting requires an investment in New World.

The problem is this really doesn’t bode well for the future. While this was taken near the end of the preview, keep in mind that this isn’t a bad representation of what happens as players progress in a game.

Why you might ask?

Well let’s look about a month after launch of the game. By this point most of the people who bought the early adopters will have powered through to the end game. As is what happens in MMO’s. The friends they’ve convinced to join them will have probably also powered through.

So what you likely have at this point, sans any other rise in population due to marketing, would be the steady trickle of people flowing into the game.

Now imagine those players who already see a low to no population starter town.

At this point high level players have no reason to come back to the town. Even the guild that captured the town most likely doesn’t have leveling players and are probably working to undermine towns in higher level areas.

Since these towns aren’t going to keep players in them for very long, and the players who will be there likely won’t buy much, these towns probably wouldn’t be a great investment for a high level guild either.

While yes veteran players will come back to these low level towns either to take them or to contest them for conquest. Will veteran players who hold the town actually bother investing in them?

As what would be most likely the case, veteran players will have moved on to higher level territories. Since fast travel is limited, why would a person bother travelling to another end of the map just to craft if they can simply walk over to the closest town.

If veteran players can just simply use other towns with content closer to their level, why bother investing in a low level town so far away?

By investing, I mean putting coin into leveling the settlement equipment and or the settlement.

By not investing in at the very least, the equipment of the town, the job board stays empty. There’s no reason to stay in the town if you can only craft tier one maybe tier two goods at that town.

This won’t give new players a good impression as it can look like the game has already been abandoned by the player base.

Games that run on Steam have a 2 hour window to grab players attention before they’re able to request a refund and uninstall the game. That’s 2 precious hours that any game on steam has to try to make the best impression it can on anyone fresh into that game.

While sure your veteran players are important to the lively hood of your game, every game has player turn over. It’s always a good idea to try to keep rotating in new players all the time.

Therefore, keeping the new player towns active and thiriving makes your game appear to be lively. If there’s less people as you move on in the game only gives it MORE of that new worldish exploratory feel.

That is a far stretch from the usual MMO where all content is strictly focused on the end game areas and the beginning areas are completely devoid of life.

SO! My suggestion here would be to give all players an incentive to come back to these towns even if it’s only upon occasion. The best suggestion would be to turn the new player settlements into thriving neutral hubs of activity.

These stable NPC towns could also buoy the player driven economy when there’s little to no PvP activity or between patches when PvE players will inevitably play other games until new content arrives.

How will this work you ask? Well my suggestion would actually be that of a 4th NPC faction that would operate as a neutral faction. One that could not go to war with the other 3 factions and would only retain control over those low level area towns.

Then I would suggest that those towns are controlled by NPCs that accept donations for the upgrades players want to see made to those towns.

These towns could have a middling rate for taxation. That would make them less expensive than a friendly faction town, but more expensive than an enemy faction town.

This gives players an incentive to drop in if they’re surrounded by enemy towns to get some crafting in, BUT wouldn’t detract from people to go to friendly faction towns to get cheaper crafting rates.

New players can start out as members of this 4th NPC faction and have the options of leaving it either permanently or temporarily to join any of the other factions. This 4th faction can also not allow for the formation of guilds within the faction, which would be similar to the EvE online new player corporations.

This actually gives more weight for PvP’rs to conquer territory since it would help their wallets. It also gives them an interest in undermining territories since in the end it would also hurt their wallets until they flipped the town. Finally for players that want to guild up, they’d have to leave the neutral faction in order to do so.

How does the 4th faction keep the economy stable?

Well say that the faction that holds a town has a guild leader hiatus or that guild simply can’t afford upgrades. Well until the town is undermined, people can take their business to the NPC New Player towns to continue operating until friendlier factions took control.

This would mean that New Players would see people milling about the new player towns. It also could make great recruiting opportunities for guilds as they’re milling about and crafting anyway.

My final suggestion for keeping New Player Areas fresh, would be to add a conflict to those areas that draw high level characters. What if these towns could be thrown into NPC conflict by having them attacked by corruption or the like.

This could be something that rewards high level players with either level appropriate loot or even faction currency. This way they have a reason to come back to the New Player settlements and participate.

This could be done in a well marked area so it would be obvious what was happening. If there are crates nearby the area with only one or two ranged or support weapon types, the low level players could help support the high level players.

This gives veteran and new players a chance to mingle. It gives established guilds a chance to recruit new blood. It also gives new players a chance to get to know folks invested in the game which will hopefully give them incentive to play past that 2 hour mark.

Granted there’s probably a bunch of other methods that could work here, hopefully this will at least get the ball rolling. I know it is weird to start looking at what the new player experience might be like well after the game launches before it even does.

However, keep in mind that anything that’s done before the game launches to help keep new players coming in is just going to help make for a steady revenue stream. It will also save future development that will be inevitably be required since a lot of games have had similar problems with their new player experience issues.

Until next time I’ll be getting lost in the woods! Stay safe, stay healthy, and have fun out there!

August 31 2020

New World Travels

That does not look good… part two

So Day three (for me) has wound to an end. I logged in, I saw, I kicked butt with a healing staff. Life is good.

My main goal for today actually was leveling up gathering enough to harvest some pretty looking (and huge) flowers called Lifebloom.


These things give you life motes that you can use in making better Life Magic staves. I didn’t know it at the time really, I just wanted to be able to harvest them. Since I was close enough to being able to do that I just snagged them.

It took me a good bit of running around and harvesting nodes before I unlocked level 30 gathering. So in the meantime I just pulled a job for killing wolves off of the job board for town to give me a reason to off wolves as I roamed the landscape looking for more stuff to harvest.

Then I had to do other stuff for the day that being an adult requires.

This evening I unlocked the factions after doing all of their busy work. I won’t spoil but it was a thing. I also did a butt load of harvesting along the way. I was also able to harvest the fire magic equivalent of the life magic stuff from a Dragonblossom plant.

Safe to say I was picking a lot of posies.

I barely managed to get I think it’s Alchemy? Leveled up high enough that I could actually craft a new life staff after crafting a bunch of fire staves. I think I need to work on fire a bit.

Thing is I can’t say that magic does as much damage as the bow, but personally I find it gratifying to use. That and I don’t have to carry ammo so honestly I think it’s a bit of a give and take.

I left off tonight at a bit of an impass. Apparently the next quest I need to do is a bit above my level so it’s grinding to get high enough to do the quest. Not that I mind at all I can just work on killing stuff to level. It’s hilarious that my gathering and skinning are higher than my actual charactar level in spades. Honestly I think it’s great, that just shows how much I’m enjoying the crafting and gathering part of the game, which is really what I’m there for anyway.

I doubt I’ll get a lot of time to play tomorrow since that’s actually going to be D&D with the boyz.

It’s about like this.

Hopefully when I do get back in again I figure out what gear I can craft and or grind up some craftings and possibly just level things up by doing quests.

Until next time have fun out there, stay well and stay safe!

Category: New World | Comments Off on New World Travels
December 6 2018

Warframe Leveling Inaros


I finally have this mummy themed warframe out of the cooker and he’s pretty fun so far. To get more out of him I guess I need to work on getting a one handed dagger so that I can use Covert Lethality. Though that’ll be grand for Ivara too so no sense in NOT having that. Apparently it’s only works in single daggers, of which I currently have none and of course have to build. 

As if building things is a problem for a crafting nut like me! 

I’ll probably have him done soon and I’ll probably play him here and there as he has some pretty fun skills that I actually like so far. I also need to finish leveling Zephyr Prime and hopefully Titania will be out of the foundry before the weekend.

I may or may not have a small problem collecting Warframes. 

Well really the problem is that they’re all so fun to play. It’s hard to choose which one I like the best, though I will openly admit that I enjoy some of them a LOT more than others. I also like that Warframe doesn’t punish me for leveling up new frames and since I gain mastery by leveling up new warframes and weapons, trying out new things is actually a bonus. 

That and I really enjoy trying out new weapons since they have some REALLY unique weapons in Warframe. While at first it can be a bit of a draw back that Warframe is just so different from most MMO’s out there that it can really throw you off. If you stick with it though, it really is worth the time it takes to step outside the norm and wade into Warframe. 

I’ve enjoyed this play through since I’ve taken my time. Experimented with weapons, and I’ve done a LOT of reading on the wiki. Which can help quite a bit.

Not that I would have imagined myself saying that about a year ago I can tell you that much. When I first tried it I had no idea what was going on, what did what, what I even WAS in the game! But then I learned how to fish, and from there the rest is history.

Hey any game that gives me a good reason to fish as a great game in my book. 

Though I’m not all crazy fisher in the game since I still need to farm for some of the awesome mods I want and wait for Baro to actually sell the really awesome mods I want. In the meantime though, it’s back to missions. It can be a bit repetitive, but when you’re using new warframes all the time it doesn’t really get old.

Though what is getting old is that after a patch landed yesterday my Battacor keeps firing on other people’s screen for some weird reason. That’s pretty annoying. I’ll have to figure out jut how I bugged my Battacor later. 

I actually still have quite a bit to do in Warframe since I have a few years worth of content to catch up on. I have bits of story to do, a lot of warframes to farm, and a bunch of upgrading to do. While it can be pretty grindy I feel like I’m moving at a pretty solid pace which is odd for an MMO especially a grindy one.

Though these days to me it feels like the quest oriented theme park games are almost more grindy than the just go out and kill stuff games. Possibly because of all the waiting and time spent running around. 

Even though I am oddly obsessed with Warframe, as I tend to do when I find a shiny, it is a game that has enough depth to it and enough content variety to keep me busy. Something that it’s taken Warframe a few years to build up and something that a lot of MMO’s never figured out how to master even over time.

I’m also a lot more willing to log in since Warframe doesn’t charge a monthly fee or have any premium subscription packages. I can access all of my stuff whenever I want and honestly I feel more generous to games that let me spend when and how I want as opposed to holding things over my head like inventory space, access to my own characters and level limitations.

I’m glad that GW2 proved that MMO’s could make money using their current free to play model and hopefully they’ll continue on that trend now that they’ve added the Nintendo Switch to the number of ways you can access and play Warframe. The use of a tradeable cash shop currency probably has a lot to do with how they’re able to have an in game credit system used for in game stuff.

I could probably write a series on how virtual currencies actually give people more incentive to play games than less, but that’d be for another day. Until next time, remember your F-budget and don’t forget to have some fun out there.

Category: Gaming, MMO, MMORPG, Warframe | Comments Off on Warframe Leveling Inaros
December 15 2016

Date Night in Neocron

Wish You Were Here!
Wish You Were Here!

Last night I actually had a lot of fun with CrankyB. We went for a walk through the Neocron Zoo which is one of my favorite places to visit in Neocron.

After that we went hunting for Warbots and Firemobs. Though I did forget my fire resist belt like a moron and ended up getting offed once.

On the bonus side, being a PPU I was able to buff against the fire mobs which helped quite a bit. Though it is about time for an upgrade since I can use the rare PPU items now. We have to build or buy them first. We don’t have them yet. I do at least have holy items so that is helping us quite a bit for now.

We have the parts for two of the rare PPU spells, the rest of them we’ll probably be able to get over time or we’ll just trade for them. That is the one nice thing about Neocron, if you don’t have what you need chances are someone does and it’s just a matter of trading or bartering.

In the meantime I’m doing a lot of Construction missions on the Clan constructor. She’s sitting at 243 Construction which isn’t bad.

I’ve also been doing some Research missions with the Clan resser, she’s sitting at a modest 196 research. I need to work on it some, but she has a high success rate with rares so it’s not all bad.

I mostly want to do the missions so I can save up credits for a nice apartement in Via Rosso for my PPU. She just has a couple of crap-tacular apartments in Pepper Park at the moment.

Yes, multiplayer vehicles have been a thing for a while

Construction wise we have a few rares to build for the Clan. After that we may end up working on vehicles. The funniest part is that I have two characters with vehicle skill, I’ve built them, but I don’t have a single vehicle!

Next up I want to write about how to be a strait up pacifist in Neocron and actually still enjoy the game. Until then, happy hunting!

Category: MMO, Neocron | Comments Off on Date Night in Neocron
December 15 2012

Quick Look at the Hero Engine 2

The Repopulation on Hero Engine 2
The Repopulation on Hero Engine 2

So here we see The Repopulation on the Hero Engine 2. The big deal about the Hero Engine 2 is a large update to the graphics engine.

The Repopulation looked good under Hero Engine 1 as far as I was concerned. The pre-alpha videos displayed graphics that were similar to those found in Fallen Earth, a game I played and enjoyed for some long time.

Other additions to the Hero Engine with Hero Engine 2 include a new middleware called Awesomium® which is a web UI browser framework.

From a player perspective it’s an interesting addition since it allows players to see web hosted content in game. Developers could post in game news, or post upcoming in game events to a web host such as the game website. Then the content would be visible to players both in and out of the game (without using the alt+tab option). I’m not 100% sure about how it’s implemented, but it still sounds like a fun addition. I know I wanted to use something like this when working with the OpenSim project for web driven story lines.

From a developer perspective though Hero Engine states that the integration assists with micro transactions and subscriptions. Hey, games have to make money or they don’t stay live.

Another middleware addition is SpeedTree® for Games 6. This middlware addition makes it quicker and easier for developers to add animated trees and foliage to a game. From a player standpoint, it’s not a huge deal, though it is nice seeing wavy grass in game. From a Developer standpoint though, something like SpeedTree® would cut down the back end work of adding custom animations to trees and foliage. Kind of a bonus in my book.

Despite some random MMO forum rumblings, it looks like the Hero Engine 2 is solid. It offers some very interesting features for building games, monetizing games, and giving games the ‘polished’ look that MMO gamers demand. It will be interesting to see what happens with games created on the Hero Engine platform.

Personally, I’m just looking forward to playing The Repopulation.

Resources used for this Post:

Category: Game Biz, Game Building, Gaming, MMO, MMORPG | Comments Off on Quick Look at the Hero Engine 2
November 20 2012

Sandbox Game or Emergent Gameplay

The Repopulation Gallery Screenshot

If you look at the MMORPG forums, SANDBOX is all the buzz.

Whether you love them or loath them, Developers are turning their eyes toward Sandbox game development.

Why? Because it’s much more cost effective than trying to cycle through content that players will plow through in a matter of hours.

Instead of looking to World of Warcraft and trying to emulate that design, it looks like more and more Developers/Producers are looking at EVE online and yes, even Mine Craft.

Mine Craft is no MMORPG, but in multi-player mode it is an MMO. Massively Multiplayer and Online. It sucks people in and doesn’t let them go.

Now why do people go back to playing Mine Craft instead of enjoying the shiny gems that are the current Themepark MMO’s?

Mine Craft gives you the ability to build your own structures. It even lets you build your own dungeons. I mean come on, how cool is that?

Even if you don’t have the patience to build you can explore, mine, then find other people and trade for anything else. There is even an economy in Mine Craft with respect to Emeralds. They’re only useful as currency (and very American, it’s green).

There are no levels in Mine Craft (there is experience, but that is only used for enchanting goods). You don’t find armor or weapons lying around. If you want to equip yourself, you’re going to have to build it yourself.

The thing is that even Developers/Producers are catching onto the fact that while players do love the super fancy roller coasters in Theme park games, you can only ride that so many times before you get sick of it, or from it.

In a Sandbox, you build yourself a castle. Yeah that by it’s self can be boring.

  • What if a creeper walks up, freaks out, and blows it away. Now you have to repair your castle.
  • Say some guy comes up and starts hacking away at it. You have to kill him, and repair your castle.
  • Now your gear is worn down, you have to make new tools and armor. TO THE MINES!!!

There’s just SO MUCH to do, and it doesn’t end unless you walk away.

Game companies have listened to the folks who play single player games for some time now. These people expect that every game they walk into will be like Diablo, Dragon Age, Skyrm.

You start out as the wandering hero to be, you gain strength and fight monsters for the best gear you can get your hands on. Then you get to the level cap and you go off to defeat the evil masters.

This is great and all, don’t get me wrong. I’ve played through Torchlight II and Diablo 3. It’s fun building the character and getting the loot. Thing is though, after the first couple play throughs  random dungeons or not, it starts to get a little old.

When you are producing new single player games, say one project at a time. It’s cost effective. You produce the game, you sell the title. You offer DLC for the previous title while working on the next.

MMO’s don’t work that way. If you want a steady revenue stream, you need a game that will get people interested and KEEP people interested.

In a recent article it looks like even SOE is getting into the act by building a new  MMO with more sandbox elements. Thing is though, I’m going to keep an eye on the independent developers. I have a strong feeling that the success of the independent developer projects will set the tone for how many of the big names pick up the idea and run with it.

The Repopulation is my main focus. It looks a lot more like the kind of game I’ve been waiting for. And yes, still no more elves.

Now fun reads for the day :

Wired (Thanks to Trixie in The Repopulation forums) – The Future of MMO Games

MMORPG Forums – We want worlds not games

Category: Game Biz, Game Building, Gaming, MMO, The Repopulation | Comments Off on Sandbox Game or Emergent Gameplay
November 15 2011

Fallen Earth: Public Test Server Going Live

Under a rubble heap in LA

Yeah buddy, the Fallen Earth PTS (Public Test Server) is coming back.

I’m kind of excited about this since it means testing out the new faction control areas and the world events.

Hopefully I’ll have some time to jump into it.

It’s due to go live Wednesday (11/15). Check out the G1 webby here to find out how to set it up.

Category: Fallen Earth | Comments Off on Fallen Earth: Public Test Server Going Live
November 7 2011

Fallen Earth: Patch 2.1 Live and the PTS Returns

Stopping at the Stairway

OK if you want you can check out the patch notes for 2.1 here. 2.1 is mostly bug and bonus fixing with a couple of coolness features here and there.

3 BIG items
Progress towns won’t lose buildings via server restart.
Geology and Nature kits are no longer required (that clears up some room in the pack).
And all crafting facilities are now universal.

Now the really big news is the PTS (Public Test Server). According to the news on the FE website the PTS is due to return this month. No time set yet.

It will however have the World Events and Faction Territory Control. Evidently Faction Territory Control will actually have a new zone all to it’s self.

The details for both the World Events and Faction Territory Control sound pretty wicked.

Successful World Events will reward PVE players after they fight off waves of whatever or some giant monster. It does look like it’ll be a different mechanic than Progress Towns so that should be interesting.

Faction Territory Control will actually let a faction take over a town and set up in a keep within that town. While at first they sound like your normal progress towns, they really aren’t. Each one of these areas are going to have 13 points to capture with 7 inside a keep the players can defend, with the other 6 standing out in the open making them harder to defend.

There’s a lot more to it, but until it’s live I’m not going to worry about the details. You can check out the screenies and more over at the Fallen Earth Dev Blog.

Until next time, I’m gonna go get lost in the wastes.


Category: Fallen Earth, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fallen Earth: Patch 2.1 Live and the PTS Returns