It has been a full two months since I picked up Asheron’s Call 2 for a second time, so I thought I would make a post rounding up what I am up to and what I continue to think about this game. Overall, I’m still loving it and still fairly addicted to it. I go home every night after work, log in and look for a group. Every morning before work I try to go kill a few simple tasks that I need to get done. It is a good MMO. A lot of the early issues have been fixed. The servers are stable. You can get past level 50. The whole nine yards. Continue reading
I really wanted to be able to go and put the old AC2 disks into my computer and do a fresh install of the game. I don’t know why. Maybe just some sort of justification for why I kept those disks for a decade. Maybe just to get that special feeling that i had 10 years ago when Asheron’s Call 2 first launched… that initial excitement. I openly admit for that to be too much to ask for though as much has changed from those days and thus I found myself downloading a 2+ gigabyte file from Turbine for 20 minutes. Continue reading
Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to think of something decent to write about in my usual beginning of weekend blog entry. I had a couple of ideas, but then Thursday, Turbine decided to blow up the MMO world and announce that they are returning AC2 back into action. Wha-What? This makes Asheron’s Call 2 only the second MMORPG to return from the grave, the first being Meridian 59 obviously. How could I not make a post about this game!!! Continue reading
I was playing a little bit of Ultima Online over the past few weeks. I downloaded and started playing on a free shard that tried to stick to the olden days of UO, meaning they had a lot of PvP. I was playing well by myself and I went into the Blood dungeon several times, when one day it seemed very busy. At first people were helping me out, but eventually the inevitable happened… someone PK’d me. And this got me to thinking about PvP.
This experience exemplified the continued issue with PvP. The guy didn’t even actually kill me, he demanded some trinket off me (my robe) and then let me go. That’s it, but it still did what he needed it to. It ruined my otherwise fine day, and actually I haven’t even returned since then.
You may think me as a carebear or what not, and I guess to a certain degree I am. However, I have played many PvP games in the past. I played Shadowbane, Dark Age of Camelot, and when AC2 came out I went to the RvR server. Truth be told, I really do enjoy PvP every now and then and think it offers and extremely fun dynamic to a game that the developers just cannot design if they wanted to.
So I want PvP around. But doing an all out PvP game, like Ultima Online, is just too off-putting to too many people. And so far there have been few games to implement the RvR system well. The best has been DAoC and everyone else seems to be a “meh” experience.
PvP needs to mean something first and foremost. Developers can’t just throw it in and hope it works. Or even throw it in with a couple minor prizes for those who partake. There needs to be real purpose in it. To me, the best PvP game thus far that I have played was Shadowbane and this was largely because it involved warfare and city building. When you fought someone, it was usually under the context of war with that country, honestly I don’t remember too many instances in that game where I was actually killed just to be killed. It always in the context of nation vs nation instead.
You need to give the player something to fight for. In my mind, I think that the best idea is to make the PvP aspect incorporate both city building and resource control. City building helps cover a secondary thing that players have wanted in an MMO since the inception of the genre, and resource control just makes sense.
People need to be able to have the control to build their own cities, and then turn around take control of other people’s cities via war. It shouldn’t be an easy thing or even something that every player and/or guild should be allowed to do. It should take great effort to build a new city, and then even more effort to turn that city into a nation of cities. This needs to be something that does’t happen often, and because of this might be something that works as an expansion as great wealth would be need to do it.
Once cities and nations are built, armies and guards are needed to defend it. This is where PvP comes in. Players should be able to choose to join these armies and guard units. The rulers of the nations would have the ability to reward these troops as they see fit, be it from salaries, lower dues, bonuses that the nation can buy into, or access to special smiths that can help the troops improve themselves.
Now the troops could only attack other nations armies they are at war with. So this isn’t full out PvP. Not only do you have to choose to be PvP orientated, but there is another level of control that says you have to choose to be at war. War doesn’t need to be consensual, there should always be the danger that you are going to be attacked if you are a nation, but I don’t think it is in the best interest of the game to let anyone declare war, I think just leaders should have that capability.
Of course there needs to be a prize still besides just building the city for countries and pvp to exist, and that is the resource control. The country would have control over various mines in its sphere of influence. They can do with those mines as they want, leave them open and free, charge a levy for any who enter, or shut them down to a select few people. Perhaps other countries might raid the mines promoting a need for a guard or two at the entrance, but by and large the leaders would have control over it. If resources are done right in the first place, this in itself is a big enough prize without the need to throw up arbitrary prizes to the player like a special suit of armor for any who PvPs enough…
Would this system even work? I don’t know. It isn’t perfect, far from it. For all its trying to leave non-pvp’ers alone while having a strong pvp end game, it still begs the question… If one nation takes over a lowly crafter’s nation over, and doesn’t want lowly crafter in that nation… How is that not affecting the crafter who wants nothing to do with PvP?
I’ve been playing Champions Online a bit lately, partly because I’ve felt a bigger need to get my MMO fix and partly because I have a Lifetime subscription. One of the things that I find particularly about the game is how they do instanced zones. Continue reading
I’ve played a lot of Travian over the last few years and perhaps one of the first things you learn as a Travian player is that one player on an account is not enough to be competitive. In my recent mini-return to Everquest 2, this has got me thinking of how this would work in an MMORPG. Granted, MMOs don’t have quite the time constraint as a 24/7 strategy war game would, but they do still consume an awful lot of time if you want to be a hardcore raider.
This week I got an email from Sony Online Entertainment announcing to me that they are launching EverQuest 2 Extended. What this is, is a free-to-play edition of EQ2. They aren’t doing it quite like normal, they are splitting it up into tiers. So there will be free to play, an extended version with a one time fee, their normal monthly fee, and then a new extended pay structure that gives you more access. Continue reading
I have been thinking a lot of MMORPG design of late. A lot of this design thought has really made me thinking of the gaminess of online games. I personally have always been a fan of realism in my MMOs over gaminess. So personally, from a systems point of view, I prefer Ultima Online over World of Warcraft. Continue reading
Toward the end of my time blogging about Asheron’s Call I came up with the idea of top 10 lists within the game. The idea was to do a top 10 list each month, showcasing best xp, best quest, under-rated dungeons, site-seeing locations, etc. Unfortunately, I only got this one out the door before I really gave up on the blog as a whole (this may have been a last ditch effort to keep up interesting posts as the game was starting to become boring to me). Still, I think that this was a high quality list and I still enjoy reading it. I thought it would be fun to include updates on how things have changed in the last 9 years, if they have at all. Keep in mind that my updates may not be the greatest as I don’t even have a character above level 100 which much of the content these days is 150+.
As you can see, not a whole lot has happened since my last journal. I did manage to reach level 46 killing the native bugs and have been concentrating a little more on health, and soon stamina. I have been hunting predominately in the OHN with a little LoD thrown in for flavor. I hope to have a future journal detailing my strategy in the nest, but here’s a hint, go right.