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.

Success

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