The "Everything Zenimax has Done Wrong with ESO" digest.



  • I thought I'd move my ideas here, since, I ran into a discussion of it.

    ESO is an absolutely fantastic product with a failed premise. The premise being that an Elder Scrolls game can be an MMO. Unless the premise was to make an MMO with the Elder Scrolls franchise as material for a backdrop.

    Let's see, third party development team from a different company? Check.

    Yep, it's not Online Elder Scrolls. It's Elder Scrolls Online. An online game, from Elder Scrolls lore and franchise.

    But that aside, let's look at some components here.

    Radiant System.
    Whereas we can include some 'teleporting' NPCs that show up in different locations at different times, what we end up with more is NPCs that change locations as you progress. There's no way to implement a radiant system that makes sense from every player's point of view. And could you imagine having to track that NPC back to lower levels to turn in the quest? What happens is that you'd get less EXP for the turn in. LOL. Just kidding. But yeah, not going to happen.

    Radiant Quests.
    Um, MMOs had them first, so yeah, no big deal here.

    THE Dragonborn!
    I have absolutely no idea why the dialog is created in such a way to make you out to be THE hero. They ended up having to make all these stories SOLO dungeon based. That helps with the immersion, but I have no idea why you couldn't say.
    Hey dude, I brought my friends, SOK?
    Yah sure like! More souless THE heros make for easy time, yes?

    But no matter how they approach it, they cannot make a HERO centered story in a public world. It makes no sense. But it's something you have to accept and get past for crying out loud. It breaks immersion a little, but so does Disney movie rides at theme parks.

    You can help Aladdin!
    Which you? There's like 40 of us in this room.
    Plural you?

    Again, this is a themepark MMO with Elder Scrolls flavor. So treat it as such. Immersion takes a backseat for, "Who the hell cares, big shit to kill."

    Now, I could go on with many more subtopics, but the pattern will be the same, give or take a few sarcastic lines.

    If not, then what?

    What would have satisfied the vast majority of people who play ES games and think, oh multiplayer, almost certainly isn't an MMO.

    Now, I can get sidetracked with all the things I want to see in an ES game, coming from other games, like procedurally generated random loot. And ESO did these things well. I will be very disappointed if the next ES title does the same, "You got five levels of weapons. Material indicates damage level".

    But the scenario that makes the most sense, is exactly how the Diablo franchise handles multiplayer. You log into a session and follow the leader's progress. The leader interacts with NPCs and your quest is always synched up with theirs. Sans the tunnel vision. Synched quests doesn't mean tunnel vision. Exploration and non-linear gameplay do apply here. So, stop hyperventilating.

    So, small-team-session based gameplay is the real multiplayer game people want.

    Now, I play ESO for what it is, and not for what people wanted. It's attracted a lovely community that love the Elder Scrolls lore themed thempark that they got. I like it too, but I still recognize what most people wanted when they heard Elder Scrolls Online, and I certainly believe there's still room for that style of gameplay.

    But would people be willing to end up like Torchlight 2? Limited in your ability to mod the game in order to increase your chances of finding a match you can play in? I'm willing to bet they are. Warcraft 3 is still lurking out there.... somewhere....


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I've played a gazillion MMOs (Ultima Online, EverQuest, Phantasy Star Online, Dark Age of Camelot, EQ2, World of Warcraft, Destiny...). I've seen a lot of interesting ideas. Each one tries to fix or prevent the flaws in the one before.

    For whatever reason, EverQuest (1 & 2) are fondest to my heart, though that is probably Stockholm Syndrome because whenever I recount an experience from EQ it is invariably one of suffering and despair.



  • @xaade said:

    ESO is an absolutely fantastic product

    It's not very often I disagree with a post from the very first sentence.

    ESO was botched in many, many fundamental ways. Belonging to the Elder Scrolls brand is definitely one of them, but I wouldn't even call it the most important one-- the marketing being 100% divorced from the actual design of the game, I think, is probably the biggest issue:

    "You can play any character you want, with any combination of skills, and you'll be successful!"

    ... uh. No. You can't play as a pure archer without magic. That works in Elder Scrolls games, and in fact is wildly successful in Oblivion and Skyrim, but you literally can't complete the single-player missions in ESO with that character. Fuck you, long-term Elder Scrolls players who want to port their character forward through every game!

    That's not even to get into things like the incredible botching of their Steam release (which, I believe, is still not fixed.) You own the stand-alone version? You can't get a Steam download code for it. Fuck you. You have stand-alone, but want it on Steam so bad you paid twice? You can't share the same ESO account between the two installs, fuck you.

    Graphics were good though. I know it's probably next-to-technically-impossible, but it'd be awesome if the high-quality character models from ESO could be back-ported into Skyrim.



  • Your first two points are divorced from my post entirely.

    There's no fault in belonging tot he Elder Scrolls brand. I just don't get why there would be. Mario Kart isn't a platformer. Are we to say that it's fundamentally flawed.

    The marketing of the game doesn't change the value of the product. It changes the value of the marketing.

    "You can play any character you want, with any combination of skills, and you'll be successful!"

    Uh. No. You can't play as a pure archer without magic.

    Ignoring the fact that Skyrim and Oblivion, archer is by far the most overpowered build (a bow and arrow with similar stats does at minimum 50% more damage without any perks), you actually can play a pure archer build in ESO. You can play through the base challenges just fine. You can join and contribute to a raid, just fine. However, you will lag behind players that diversify.

    Skyrim deceives you into thinking you're playing "pure" builds
    You didn't mean a pure archer that also dabbled in smithing, alchemy for healing/poisons, and enchanting? Because that 1 million damage bow surely isn't pure archer. Unless you save hacked / imagined to let one character pass a bow to another, a pure archer build will suffer in end-game.

    And even then, pure builds can be stronger
    This also ignores the fact that your pure archer could have a pocket healer/tank companion, conjure atronarchs or undead, and be even more powerful. This also ignores the fact that your pure archer can also shout and use lesser/greater powers, use enchanted gear, and use signs and buffs from giving to the poor.

    Define successful. Does it mean equally powerful? If so, I think the above proves that no pure build is successful then
    Name me one game that's made the "build however you want" mantra successful.

    Well, first, define successful.

    If you mean equally powerful, you'll be in for disappointment every time. You absolutely cannot ignore synergy or diversification when you create a build.

    Same thing in ESO.

    Diversifying is rewarding in every game ever made
    You account for smithing, enchanting, companions, buffs, and so on with skills and magic.

    And even still, my templar bow played with only bow skills and passives and potions till level 24 without breaking a sweat. Scattershot is amazing. I only changed builds because I got bored of using scattershot. I literally took ZERO damage from standard enemies by cast-canceling and distancing from melee.

    But since you mentioned Skyrim pure builds
    And by the way, did you try a pure destruction build in Skyrim. I supposed you fixed that with mods.



  • @xaade said:

    Your first two points are divorced from my post entirely.

    I didn't read much of it. I'm at work you know.

    @xaade said:

    There's no fault in belonging tot he Elder Scrolls brand. I just don't get why there would be. Mario Kart isn't a platformer. Are we to say that it's fundamentally flawed.

    Elder Scrolls is not just a brand, it's a genre. But yes, I guess you have a point here.

    @xaade said:

    The marketing of the game doesn't change the value of the product. It changes the value of the marketing.

    Wrong; if you raise expectations you don't meet, that does change the value of the product. People feel cheated by it. I certainly feel cheated by ESO.

    @xaade said:

    Ignoring the fact that Skyrim and Oblivion, archer is by far the most overpowered build (a bow and arrow with similar stats does at minimum 50% more damage without any perks), you actually can play a pure archer build in ESO.

    You just can't complete the single-player missions with that build.

    Nobody's arguing you can't use it, I'm arguing you can't be successful using it.

    @xaade said:

    This also ignores the fact that your pure archer could have a pocket healer/tank companion, conjure atronarchs or undead, and be even more powerful.

    You can't group in the single-player story missions.

    @xaade said:

    Name me one game that's made the "build however you want" mantra successful.

    Who cares? The point is they promised something they couldn't deliver. Even if it's true that no game could deliver it, that doesn't at all change the equation here.

    Halo is widely-cited as the first game that really made wheeled vehicles move and just feel right. And the Warthog was also a big part of Halo's marketing. They made a promise, they delivered on it. That's good. People like that. Halo sold a lot of copies.

    ESO made a promise and did not deliver on it.

    @xaade said:

    And by the way, did you try a pure destruction build in Skyrim.

    Yes, and before you bitch I do believe Destruction is balanced in the game, if and only if you get the perk that staggers-on-impact. It's not fun to play, but it's as balanced as any other combat specialization. (The weakest, IMO, is two-handed. But it's kind of fun to play. Go figure.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Wrong; if you raise expectations you don't meet, that does change the value of the product. People feel cheated by it. I certainly feel cheated by ESO.

    You just can't complete the single-player missions with that build.

    Yes, and before you bitch I do believe Destruction is balanced in the game, if and only if you get the perk that staggers-on-impact. It's not fun to play, but it's as balanced as any other combat specialization. (The weakest, IMO, is two-handed. But it's kind of fun to play. Go figure.)

    You have a point in feeling cheated, but I live life differently. I set my expectations based on what I've experienced before. And I knew that "play how you want" is impossible. The more frustrating thing for me is dealing with the disparity between the templar class and the remaining classes, but I think that's going to be different in 1.6.

    I think we're past that now, and the product is a good product on its own, right now. It's just not for people expecting it to be a Skyrim MMO.

    Going on your destruction and impact example, yes you absolutely can solo the single player missions with pure archer. Again, you have to use potions, you have to play keep away, and you have to manage your resources more tightly. Poison Arrow still interrupts casting, and dodging and blocking still work.

    You can avoid the spawns with 4 targets, and the boss fights are doable.

    By your admittance, "It's not fun to play". But it can be done. I've done it.

    Even then you missed the whole point

    The whole point of this post is that you can't meet the expectations of an MMO ES game.

    And there's room for a small-team-session based Elder Scrolls game. Something that would satisfy the majority of Skyrim players.



  • @xaade said:

    I think we're past that now, and the product is a good product on its own, right now. It's just not for people expecting it to be a Skyrim MMO.

    I think they should have divorced the single-player content from the MMO portion of the game (rebalancing it so, you know, you can be successful with any character) and released it for like $20 under a name like Elder Scroll Adventures or something like that. I'd have been happy with that.

    Basically, they have a lot of potential customers all saying, "we don't want Elder Scrolls to be an MMO, but we're hungry for more Elder Scrolls content, more content, more content." They have 90% of a perfectly adequate single-player campaign, which could be divorced from the MMO with very little effort and serve as a probably successful Call of Juarez: Gunslinger or Far Cry: Blood Dragon type of stand-alone content. That's the exact type of market where you're allowed and encouraged to "play around" with the genre conventions of the game you're attached to.

    Zenimax is far too incompetent to do something like that, though.

    @xaade said:

    By your admittance, "It's not fun to play". But it can be done. I've done it.

    Not the final boss. I don't believe you.

    @xaade said:

    The whole point of this post is that you can't meet the expectations of an MMO ES game.

    They're asking me to pay money for it, and it's my expectations that are wrong? Jesus. Do you work for Zenimax or something? WTF.

    It's ESO's job to set its own expectations. They did not do that job well. They botched it.

    @xaade said:

    And there's room for a small-team-session based Elder Scrolls game. Something that would satisfy the majority of Skyrim players.

    There's also room for a $20-$30 "discount" (although I hate that term-- Gunslinger despite being a "discount" title was far better than the majority of AAA titles released that year) single-player Elder Scrolls game without the player agency of a full $60 Elder Scrolls experience. A lot of room. I bet it'd sell like hotcakes.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    They're asking me to pay money for it, and it's my expectations that are wrong? Jesus. Do you work for Zenimax or something? WTF.

    You're ability to miss the point is quite legendary around here.
    I now know why.

    But you admitted as much.

    I didn't read much of it. I'm at work you know.

    Hey, Congress has a few positions open.



  • In response to the OP, since I (inadvertently) dredged this topic up:

    The salient characteristic of the ES series to me is the design of the games as sandboxes -- there may be "You Are The Chosen One" overtones in the story, but there is no singular, railroaded plot in the game -- there are many paths to the original story goal, and the game won't stop you from going completely off-road and eschewing the story-as-the-game-designers-intended altogether in favor of a story of your own creation.

    It is this that disappears when you build a themepark MMO with an ES skin on it -- I'd be OK with a sandboxy MMO that ditched the "You Are The Chosen One" theme and the ES mechanics that simply can't be reconciled with a multiplayer environment (the radiant system, as you mentioned, certainly sounds like such a thing), but ESO's a themepark.



  • Well, technically you can avoid the main story line.
    I have a character that has yet to complete it.
    However, at some point your progress halts, because it becomes a choke point for continuing the game.

    Now, that could be said of Skyrim, but that chokepoint locks a far smaller portion of the content.

    Now, you can make a character that just does the discoverable side content, even the content devoid of any arch at all, but that's fairly boring.

    Eventually you'll be swept up in someone's agenda.

    I suppose the MMO equivalent is dungeon grinding. It's just that Skyrim has far more "dungeons" to grind, so the task isn't so repetitive. And ESO tends to lay out its dungeons the same to reduce the chances of characters getting totally unsalvagable (sans console) like what happens in Skyrim.

    I think the more bothersome thing that is becoming of its themepark, is the fact that the map is so cluttered that discovery isn't really possible. You can easily draw "districts" which encompass a set of quests, and there is no overlap or void between them. The other factor in this is the fact that there is also no overlap of NPCs given that they are quite stationary. Which lends to a world that lacks an organic feel, because almost every quest "district" can be plucked out of the world and exist as a miniature environment of its own.

    This is what lends the themepark title more than anything. As each "ride" is its own atomic unit in the park, and each quest is its own "ride".

    Eschewing the story can be done, but it can't change the inorganic feel of the game.



  • Come to think of it, the biggest thing that I mean by a sandbox when talking is that story and gameplay are no longer driven apart by an artificial wedge. This is something that EVE does to a degree, but I haven't heard of from practically any other MMO...why?



  • I don't understand "driven apart.... wedge."
    Can you clarify?



  • I think it says something that I feel compelled upon playing either ESO or Skyrim, to jump to the other.

    While playing Skryim, I miss the dynamic loot system, feeling of progress, reward system, and skill diversity of ESO.

    While playing ESO, I miss the open air, discovery, random ADHD, and immersion of Skyrim.

    One would think that having a diablo like loot based, 3d metrovania, open world, with a discoverable skill system like Guild Wars 1, but classless like the majority of skills of ESO, with action combat, and such would be the ultimate fulfillment.

    But alas, Path Of Exile feels so empty.

    Maybe it's just missing the allure and immersion of Elder Scrolls lore. Too generic maybe. I don't know.

    I guess I can't win it all. :(

    I absolutely loved the weapon combat diversity of Kingdoms of Amalur, but the progress felt like a rollercoaster, and the skills diversity felt shallow.



  • @xaade said:

    I don't understand "driven apart.... wedge."Can you clarify?

    Sure. In the classical themepark MMO model (WoW, of course, is the archetypical example), everyone is playing through the same (or at least highly similar) story arcs, none of which have any persistent effect on the world for anybody else. Dungeons are instanced and infinitely repeatable, merchants never run out of stock, and resources are both long-run infinite and support an infinite extraction rate (i.e. they do not exhaust, even temporarily). Furthermore, PvP is cabined into well-defined areas (explicit world zones, arenas/battlegrounds), and has no lasting effects on characters (people can't take your stuff from you).

    On the other hand, in a sandboxy MMO (EVE Online being the classical archetype of this, but I'd love to find out about others!), the world is a truly shared space where the actions of a single player can and do influence the world as a whole -- you can run a constellation out of the type of ammunition you use the most, subtly alter the shape of the world map singlehandedly, or rob your most hated enemy blind after infiltrating their organization. This addition of agency to the actions of players changes them from passive quest runners into active (if sometimes unwitting) story-builders and event-organizers. This, in turn, means that there is much less demand for an ever-expanding collection of predefined content, and also far more flexibility from a roleplaying standpoint. You can even say that many actively engaged EVE players "roleplay without roleplaying", assuming the role of a character in a world as opposed to a mere player of a game, yet without adopting the formalisms usually associated with roleplaying.



  • Did I lose you, @xaade? By the way -- I'm still in search of a sandboxy fantasy MMO...*growls*



  • I read you.
    I'm just on holiday.

    I really appreciate the answer. Well formed.
    I have some thoughts, but I have some chores to do. Will post later.



  • ESO removed 6 month subscription payment options. Meaning it'll probably be free-to-play in about 6 months.



  • That would mean that their next big update, which changes the following, would coincide with going F2P.

    Justice System with new skill line and guild.
    Changes VR system to Champion system, which is designed to add player retention, for multiple years for casual players. This system also rewards you for dividing your time across multiple alts.

    It seems odd that they wouldn't want to keep subscriptions going in order to recoup that cost. It also seems odd that they would change the system in a massive way in order to retain players, yet switch to a pay model that benefits from doing the opposite of retaining players. (F2P earns the most when you rotate players and have a steady stream of new players, whereas P2P earns the most when you retain the same players).

    Not to mention that, I have yet to see one MMO that switched to F2P without almost a year advance notice.

    Buy to Play seems like a more likely scenario, giving that:

    1. PS4 requires a subscription for online play, and one thing that's frustrated FFXIV players is the double sub.
    2. Console releases is expected to coincide with the 1.6 update.
    3. Diablo works fine as B2P on the PS3.


  • @xaade said:

    they're next big update

    [i]their[/i] next big update

    (Or perhaps: they're [i]a[/i] next big update...)


    This post earned the I'm a pedantic spellar/gramming nazi badge. -b


  • SockDev

    enjoy your flag! :triangular_flag_on_post:



  • @accalia said:

    enjoy your flag!

    Nah, not from me — not enough effort in their vs. they're.


  • Fake News

    Posting in a topic you weren't engaged in just to point out a mistake? That's "Spellar nazi" material.



  • @JBert said:

    Posting in a topic you weren't engaged in just to point out a mistake? That's "Spellar nazi" material.

    Yeah, you have a point there. Ok, flagged.



  • @tar said:

    [i]their[/i] next big update

    (Or perhaps: they're [i]a[/i] next big update...)


    This post earned the I'm a pedantic spellar/gramming nazi badge. -b

    <!-- b3fe22f0-a01d-11e4-bcd8-0800200c9a66 -->


  • Such a more domesticated response than.

    OMGWTFBBQ the culture is toxic.

    Off topic, Off topic, will asplode!

    Android efficiency of bloated web design!



  • *taps foot, awaits on-topic post from @xaade*



  • *offers @xaade a treat for sharing his thoughts*



  • What is it you want me to address?



  • @xaade said:

    I read you.I'm just on holiday.

    I really appreciate the answer. Well formed.I have some thoughts, but I have some chores to do. Will post later.

    @xaade said:

    What is it you want me to address?

    Did you lose your train of thought? I have been expecting a post in response to this for a while now...



  • Ah yes.

    Well, there is planetside 2, and the various Minecraft-like games.

    The only problem that I have with these games is that they are:

    1. Dependent entirely on the community.
    2. Exhibit real world problems with resources and property. And thus require a large investment to maintain position.

    I can't step away from these games without risking my entire progress.

    I can step away from ESO, and come back, and I haven't lost progress.

    I may have fallen behind in level or equipment compared to my friends.

    But I haven't lost property or value.

    That's one of the reasons I like the sandbox style of Planetside 2.

    It allows for a dynamic multi-faction war, where faction progress can be lost, but personal progress never is lost. You never lose your guns, your experience, your gear.

    It would be like if Eve Online allowed someone to have a private space with private resources where they could hide that accounted for half of their resource intake. So they wouldn't lost personal progress, even if their company lost ground.



  • Another thing I just thought of.

    These kind of games really aren't games at all.

    They are more like... sport.

    If you think about it, sport is like EVE.

    You have to build a team. You can only buy players you can afford. Another team can out-buy you. You mine fans with game tickets. The players have agency and affect the landscape.

    It's not a game anymore. It doesn't guide you on a story or a quest. Having agency doesn't mean the players create the story. There isn't a story anymore, it's reality.

    I guess, I'm really just blurting my mind out.

    But in reality, I'm trying to think of a way to merge the two. And so has every sandbox game tried to do.

    I want to be part of a fantasy story. So I need forces outside of player agency to affect the world. I need a game master. EVE doesn't intice me.

    However, I don't want a themepark. I want agency. I want to impact the world.

    That was the beauty of tabletop games, they allowed both. The results of the quest was a action-reaction story telling between the agency of the players and the game-master having a plan but also being able to improvise if the players diverge.

    Can we have something like that in an MMO?

    I don't think it can be accomplished without having engaged GMs.

    And that's the beauty of Skyrim as well.
    With its radiant system, it created scenarios the developers didn't even predict.
    A traveling merchant is attacked by a dragon. Can I defend the merchant?
    Once I was attacked by two dragons and three vampires at the same time.

    The only problem Skyrim had was that the NPCs couldn't immersively react to all these scenarios, because reactions had to be pre-recorded.

    The only thing I can think of is a game where there was real people behind the NPCs.



  • @xaade said:

    I can't step away from these games without risking my entire progress.

    I can step away from ESO, and come back, and I haven't lost progress.

    I may have fallen behind in level or equipment compared to my friends.

    But I haven't lost property or value.

    I actually would rather lose property and net-worth than capability -- "hey, where'd such-and-such go?" is annoying, but a much more controllable risk than losing your character's ability to do something to begin with. Then again, my Eve characters follow the maxim of "Don't fly anything you can't afford to lose". Atop this, the game is designed so that ultra-rare gear isn't needed to be effective -- this is something that's essential to making a game where the risk of losing equipment is real work.

    That (small-ish, in a well-run corporation -- I can count the corp theft incidents I have had to deal with on a single hand, and only lost anything in one of them) risk of losing property, by the way, is also preferable to the much larger issues that I'd run into in an experience-grind MMO of repeatedly falling behind in levels and gear simply because my schedule doesn't allow me to keep up.

    @xaade said:

    It would be like if Eve Online allowed someone to have a private space with private resources where they could hide that accounted for half of their resource intake. So they wouldn't lost personal progress, even if their company lost ground.

    Simply keep a cache of resources in a personal station hangar in high-security space as a fallback position -- that, and maintaining a liquidity reserve, will give you the ability to build back up, even in the case of a catastrophic corporate loss. (Most players will have liquidatable or in-flight assets as well; I'm one of the rare breed who keeps a large liquid ISK reserve instead of tying it to market positions.)

    Filed under: not all storage is corporate



  • @xaade said:

    It's not a game anymore. It doesn't guide you on a story or a quest. Having agency doesn't mean the players create the story. There isn't a story anymore, it's reality.

    In a sense, the story in EVE is retroactive, almost like telling a tale of what happened to you one Friday night when you were out with your buddies more than following a story someone else wrote...but you can also create events all the same, setting out to implement a plan you came up with.

    @xaade said:

    I want to be part of a fantasy story. So I need forces outside of player agency to affect the world. I need a game master. EVE doesn't intice me.

    Hrm -- can you come up with a few examples of what these forces are?

    @xaade said:

    That was the beauty of tabletop games, they allowed both. The results of the quest was a action-reaction story telling between the agency of the players and the game-master having a plan but also being able to improvise if the players diverge.

    Take a look at GMless (or even GMlight) tabletop RPGs sometime -- you'll be quite surprised at what can happen when you delegate story control to the players much more deeply than a traditional tabletop RPG like D&D does.

    @xaade said:

    Can we have something like that in an MMO?

    If you're willing to let the plans of other players substitute for what the game master had in mind, yes. Instead of thinking of that 'fantasy story' from earlier as a giant overarch over the entire world, think of it as a single thread among many, weaving together into a rich tapestry of player interaction.

    @xaade said:

    And that's the beauty of Skyrim as well. With its radiant system, it created scenarios the developers didn't even predict. A traveling merchant is attacked by a dragon. Can I defend the merchant? Once I was attacked by two dragons and three vampires at the same time.

    Basically, a story-thread-generator, in other words.



  • @tarunik said:

    Basically, a story-thread-generator, in other words.

    I've always thought it would be interesting to make a Gamebryo (Fallout 3+/Elder Scrolls/STALKER/Far Cry 2+)-type game but include no main story at all. They already all have ignorable main stories. Just plug in a thousand NPCs, all of whom have their own goals, a 3-5 factions with faction stories, and see what happens. Maybe Elder Scrolls VI will be that.



  • Ok, so what I imagine would be a PvE version of EVE like content.

    Where players get to choose where to raid, but also choose which private tasks to take on as opposed to just raiding.

    Then, have events that GM trigger, or let GMs choose a strategy arch for the enemies.

    Then have private storage, so players can indefinitely and effortlessly protect their private assets.

    I'm not much of a PvP player, and I'm far too casual for EVE.

    But something where players work together to push back an NPC enemy would be nice. Again, GMS wouldn't have to play the NPCs, but could facilitate strategy.

    The problem is that these things usually aren't immersive.

    For example, imagine there's an NPC faction of bandits. If the bandits were to occupy a town, usually the NPC town inhabitants will respond in a generic way. (Oh no, we've been captured), and then the NPC faction doesn't seem distinct.

    Give factions goals that are independent.

    Bandits may want to take a town just to own it. Ninjas may take a town just to open a path to assassinate a leader.

    Add dialog so that people in neighboring towns know a town is attacked. Add dialog so that the NPCs react to each faction distinctly.

    So, you'd have to have a cast of voice-actors on call for when ever you want to add a new scenario.



  • Elder Scrolls Online has changed their model to "pay once", like Guild Wars 2. There's no monthly subscription.

    Unfortunately:

    • Controllers still don't work (this is a game that has 1. a controller-centric design*, 2. was designed from day one to be ported to consoles)
    • Steam copies of the game still have their own login servers (WHY!!!???) so you can't move from a direct download copy to a Steam copy without making a new account
    • It now gives you 7 EULAs to click-though-- three of them on the website before you're allowed to download the game client, 4 of them in the game client itself
    • It still asks you for the security code from the full-screen game client (where it's hard to switch windows), even though to get that far you had to log in to the (nicely windowed) launcher from the SAME COMPUTER

    I haven't had time to actually play the game again yet, but I'm guessing none of my complaints there have been fixed, either. Oh, but it now has a "justice system", whatever the fuck that is.

    The level of incompetence behind Elder Scrolls Online is breathtaking. (And sadly, it actually has pretty good art and a decent story, which is why I'm reinstalling it.)

    * The controller thing is vexing. Basically they wrote a UI 100% optimized for a controller. Then didn't get around to actually implementing controllers. I mean, I know people bitched that Oblivion and Skyrim had controller-centric UIs, but here's the difference: those games actually supported controllers!



    • Meh controller? I can bind my controller to keystrokes. Sure, I don't
      get analog control of my character, but when have I needed that?
    • The Steam thing bugs me. It will always be a point against the game.
    • They haven't bothered to merge their EULA? I wouldn't know, I've only had
      to click on them as they come. Which has been like one every few
      months.
    • Security code? Log into the launcher? I don't know anything
      about this. I open the launcher, make sure PTS isn't selected, then
      hit play. It opens the game and I log in.

    Justice system basically lets you steal and pickpocket like in Skyrim and places ownership on some of the items. If you are seen while stealing, or if you are caught while pickpocketing (it has a chance to fail), then you get a bounty.

    You can either avoid guards, pay a guard, or pay a fence for the bounty.

    There are levels to the bounty, where level 1 means if you aren't in range of a guard nothing happens. Level 2 means guards will enlist help to track you down. Level 3 means kill on sight.

    You can also outright kill some of the NPCs and take their stuff, but that guarantees a bounty (unlike skyrim where the bounty clears when you kill all witnesses). Unfortunately there is zero advantage to doing this. So, I don't know why it is even an option.

    As for incompetence, I've seen much worse from some of the other similarly sized companies. I think in ESO's case, it has more to do with the fact that they stick to their decisions no matter how bad it turns out for them. If you catch them in the decision making progress, you might get them to concede, but once a decision is made they never turn back.

    So, they aren't willing to admit mistakes, or even consider that they made a mistake, publicly facing that is. I don't know what goes on behind closed doors.

    Which means that it's management down. They must have some business philosophy where admitting being wrong is worse than being wrong.

    That affects every game company to some degree.

    I don't get it. Once people think you're wrong, it's better to just admit it and work with people to fix it. Where this business philosophy comes from is confusing, and it's self sustaining, because obviously they won't admit that the philosophy is wrong, for the very same reasons.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @xaade said:

    Where this business philosophy comes from is confusing, and it's self sustaining, because obviously they won't admit that the philosophy is wrong, for the very same reasons.

    It's the kudzu of management philosophies. It's probably founded in the same sort of thinking that gives machismo as an interpersonal relations strategy…



  • @xaade said:

    Meh controller? I can bind my controller to keystrokes. Sure, I don'tget analog control of my character, but when have I needed that?

    You are the problem.

    Them not supporting controllers on a game which is going to be released on three platforms, TWO OF WHICH ONLY SUPPORT CONTROLLERS and AFTER DESIGNING A UI THAT WORKS BEST WITH CONTROLLERS, is so amazingly stupid I don't even know how to describe it. My neurons just explode when I ask them what word to use.

    @xaade said:

    The Steam thing bugs me. It will always be a point against the game.

    It's easily fixable, too. Or phrased differently, "it's a problem that only exists due to extreme incompetence."

    @xaade said:

    They haven't bothered to merge their EULA? I wouldn't know, I've only hadto click on them as they come. Which has been like one every fewmonths.

    7!

    @xaade said:

    Security code? Log into the launcher? I don't know anythingabout this.

    Then you'll just have to trust me: it's really shitty design.

    @xaade said:

    Justice system basically lets you

    Yeah, I don't care.

    @xaade said:

    As for incompetence, I've seen much worse from some of the other similarly sized companies.

    When have you seen worse from an MMO that cost $60?

    Compare Elder Scrolls Online with Guild Wars 2. GW2 launched for less money, no subscription at launch, contains more content, and so many innovative features that WOW has spent the last 4 years ripping them all off. The guys who made ESO exist in a universe where GW2 came out.

    Like I said in my brilliant post above, if they'd have chopped out the single player portion of the game, sold that as a "discount" title at, say, $20-$30 dollars, I would have bought and probably enjoyed it.

    Typing in their perfectly fine single-player concept with this idiotic MMO bullshit was a terrible, terrible idea.

    @xaade said:

    I think in ESO's case, it has more to do with the fact that they stick to their decisions no matter how bad it turns out for them.

    Except they've been promising controller support since day one, it's been months and they still don't have it. And they're making normal content updates as if they're totally oblivious to the fact that a major promised (and expected) feature is missing. I'd be overjoyed if they stuck to that decision, but apparently they have not.

    @xaade said:

    So, they aren't willing to admit mistakes, or even consider that they made a mistake, publicly facing that is. I don't know what goes on behind closed doors.

    That seems true.

    @xaade said:

    I don't get it. Once people think you're wrong, it's better to just admit it and work with people to fix it. Where this business philosophy comes from is confusing, and it's self sustaining, because obviously they won't admit that the philosophy is wrong, for the very same reasons.

    Amen.

    I think we both agree the company producing this game is utterly broken. What bothers me is that you're not upset at paying $60 for it.



  • @xaade said:

    That affects every game company to some degree.

    I don't get it. Once people think you're wrong, it's better to just admit it and work with people to fix it. Where this business philosophy comes from is confusing, and it's self sustaining, because obviously they won't admit that the philosophy is wrong, for the very same reasons.

    Interestingly enough, it seems to not afflict CCP all that much, at least in recent years -- they've been overhauling massive swathes of EVE lately. It helps that they're willing to poke fun at their own mistakes:

    CCP Internal Videos - Boot Ini – 00:21
    — CCP Games



  • @blakeyrat said:

    You are the problem.

    Them not supporting controllers on a game which is going to be released on three platforms, TWO OF WHICH ONLY SUPPORT CONTROLLERS and AFTER DESIGNING A UI THAT WORKS BEST WITH CONTROLLERS, is so amazingly stupid I don't even know how to describe it. My neurons just explode when I ask them what word to use.

    The controller can be circumvented by assigning it keystrokes, and it works.
    You want inherent controller support, when it is absolutely not necessary.

    I suppose you want to navigate the menus with the controller, then maybe you have a point.

    But seriously, I do not want to navigate those menus with controllers. I specifically installed mods in Skyrim to make the menus more PC friendly.

    So, I'm sorry, I don't get this controller argument, it is entirely DOA.

    To me, it's much worse that I spent months complaining about controller support for Diablo3, and being told by fanbois that "This IS diablo, suck it up". Knowing full well they were going to make a console port and that the console port would have to have controller support. I even went as far as to create a program that emulates analog movement in Diablo. It works, well.

    Being told that controller is fundamentally anti-Diablo, when they are making a console port, is magnitudes more frustrating, because there's absolutely no way getting around that. Control is fundamentally mouse movement, and there's no way to map that to analog movement (without my hack).

    ESO, just joy to key, done.

    @blakeyrat said:

    It's easily fixable, too. Or phrased differently, "it's a problem that only exists due to extreme incompetence."

    I don't know how easily fixable it is, but there's at least one other MMO that handed out Steam keys when they moved onto Steam. So they have no excuse. I am absolutely pissed at this, since steam gives me single sign on to all my online games.

    Even Aura Kingdom, an Aeria :wtf: game, has single sign on with Steam. I made an account once, and had to create a username password, signed in once with that, and now it skips that sign on every time. And that's a terrible game (from a production standpoint).

    So, yes, I agree with you here. Incompetence.

    @blakeyrat said:

    it's really shitty design.

    Is this what you get for the steam version?
    If so, I don't know if I dodged a bullet or not.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Yeah, I don't care.

    Sorry, you asked. I assumed you were at least curious. It's basically adding in a very basic thing that Skyrim came packaged with.
    This game is very barebones. But they are making steps in the right direction.

    @blakeyrat said:

    When have you seen worse from an MMO that cost $60?

    CO, COH, Hellgate London. Two of the three are dead now.

    @blakeyrat said:

    where GW2 came out.

    Yes,

    GW ... 2

    And WoW has several magnitudes higher capital and human capital to invest.

    I don't fault them for making a very bare MMO for a first time thing. There are more bare MMOs out there. The buy-in price should have been only $20 or $30, not $60. But they rode on the hype. I am angry with this.

    However, I'm more angry at Destiny. Many many more magnitudes angry at Destiny. Who promised a cohesive world, and gave us Halo with mini missions.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Except they've been promising controller support since day one

    Then buy the console version. Again, this doesn't affect me.

    I'm more concerned that they promised Thieves and Brotherhood guilds, and didn't deliver on those. They also painted themselves into a content corner with Veteran levels, but I think that was on purpose. They needed to buy time to come up with a system that rewards players for playing more content before they created more content, and that's what they just finished doing.

    There's an overarching plan here, and they act like they're winging it, but they've planned all this all along. And that's the problem I have... the lack of transparency.

    But they probably felt that no one would want to invest in veteran levels, if the whole system was temporary. So they lied and covered this up.

    I hate that.

    @blakeyrat said:

    I think we both agree the company producing this game is utterly broken. What bothers me is that you're not upset at paying $60 for it.

    Well, the problem of cost is already in the past.

    As for now, I actually enjoy the game. And the monthly cost is giving me the same enjoyment that I got from WoW. So, I don't have a problem with it now.

    But if they ask for another lump sum, then they're not getting it.

    Trust me.... I've been very vocal on the forums about their mistakes and the fact that they need to earn our trust.



  • Well, that's blakey's point.

    If you design the UI for control type A, then you damn well support control type A.

    Especially when that UI design is necessarily shit for the control type B, which is the only one supported.

    If you can only do control type B, then design your UI for B. It's not brain engineering.



  • I would find controller navigation of ESO difficult and time consuming. But that has more to do with the scale of items and options to navigate.

    I don't see how it's UI is inherently built for controller or mouse. Not like the Skyrim UI which was clearly for controllers.

    I think it's inherent to MMO. There's no good way to navigate the options using controller.



  • @xaade said:

    I think it's inherent to MMO. There's no good way to navigate the options using controller.

    Never mind trying to do something as simple as typing in chat...

    Filed under: putting the RP back in MMORPG



  • @xaade said:

    The controller can be circumvented by assigning it keystrokes, and it works.

    Ok?

    @xaade said:

    You want inherent controller support, when it is absolutely not necessary.

    We disagree on that point. It was a promised feature. It is required for 2/3rds of the platforms they intend to support. What part of that says to you, "not necessary"?

    @xaade said:

    But seriously, I do not want to navigate those menus with controllers. I specifically installed mods in Skyrim to make the menus more PC friendly.

    Your personal preference has absolutely NOTHING to do with what we're talking about. Regardless of how you, personally, feel about using a controller does not affect the WTF-ness of ESO one iota,

    Oh and saying "more PC friendly" is gibberish, because (get ready for a SHOCKING REVELATION): PCs can use game controllers!!!

    @xaade said:

    So, I'm sorry, I don't get this controller argument, it is entirely DOA.

    No, it's not.

    @xaade said:

    To me, it's much worse that I spent months complaining about controller support for Diablo3, and being told by fanbois that "This IS diablo, suck it up".

    Those fanbois are idiots. Frankly, there's NO reason for a modern game to NOT support game controllers. Especially since Steam has been mouthing-off about their fullscreen TV-friendly mode for literally YEARS. (And that's years BEFORE it was implemented; and it's been implemented for MORE years.)

    @xaade said:

    Being told that controller is fundamentally anti-Diablo, when they are making a console port, is magnitudes more frustrating, because there's absolutely no way getting around that.

    Gee, why does this complaint sound simila-- OH YEAH it's exactly what fucking ESO is doing RIGHT NOW THIS MOMENT. Yet somehow you're ok with Zenimax and angry at Blizzard. WHY!?

    @xaade said:

    Is this what you get for the steam version?

    I don't have the Steam version. I want the Steam version. I'm certainly not willing to pay $60 more, PLUS having to lose all my characters to obtain a Steam version.

    @xaade said:

    Sorry, you asked.

    I did? When did that happen?

    @xaade said:

    Yes,

    GW ... 2

    I don't understand what point you're trying to make there, assuming you have one.

    @xaade said:

    However, I'm more angry at Destiny. Many many more magnitudes angry at Destiny. Who promised a cohesive world, and gave us Halo with mini missions.

    ESO being awful is an entirely independent story from Destiny being awful. Maybe we should have a Destiny thread, too. I know I've complained about it on this forum before.

    @xaade said:

    Then buy the console version.

    Why are you equating "console = controller"? Again: controllers work on PCs.

    @xaade said:

    I'm more concerned that they promised Thieves and Brotherhood guilds, and didn't deliver on those.

    They also promised you can be successful with any character build, and that wasn't even remotely true at the time I stopped playing.


    The worst part of all of this is I'll probably log in and play again, just because my khajiit and argonian are SOOOO PRETTY! I still want those character models back-ported into Skyrim, damnit.



  • @xaade said:

    I think it's inherent to MMO. There's no good way to navigate the options using controller.

    @tarunik said:

    Never mind trying to do something as simple as typing in chat...

    1. You assholes aren't going to be forced at gunpoint to use a controller. In case you have trouble with reading comprehension, I never said they should remove keyboard/mouse controls. If you don't want to use a controller, fine! Don't! I want to, though, and I can't-- and that's the fucking problem here.

    2. The social features in ESO are shit, so you don't want to talk to anybody there. There's no RP in ESO, just like there's never been ANY RP in ANY MMOs ever built. Unless you count cybersex in WOW.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Yet somehow you're ok with Zenimax and angry at Blizzard. WHY!?

    Because I can map an analog stick to WASD. Yes, it's possible.
    I know that stretches the imagination, but it's possible.

    However, there is no movement scheme in Diablo for PC that can be mapped from an analog.

    Any PC can map a controller to control ESO, with the included software for the controller.

    That's the fundamental difference.


    @blakeyrat said:

    I don't have the Steam version

    Then I don't know why your login process is so much more complicated than mine.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Oh and saying "more PC friendly" is gibberish,

    More mouse friendly. There.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Again: controllers work on PCs.

    Yes, and with the default software, they can be mapped to work with ANY game. I suppose you just really want those XBOX button icons in your game so badly?


    @blakeyrat said:

    They also promised you can be successful with any character build, and that wasn't even remotely true at the time I stopped playing.

    The problem is that every game wants to claim you can build your way, but it will never come to fruition, because it's a logical impossibility.

    The only alternative is to make the decisions meaningless and trivial.

    Like, give you a bar, make you pick one defensive, one aoe, and one single target ability. Balance the defensives, and make your damage abilities all average out in DPS, with ZERO utility in the game.

    Otherwise known as Fable 3.



  • I do have a problem that translates analog movement to a mouse position near the center of the screen, and simultaneously pushes down the "move to mouse" key (not left click mind you). This gives me analog control of my Diablo character. It also tracks mouse movement, and stores an offset that is represented by a red dot window that is pinned to top and moves around the screen in relation to all mouse movements NOT done by the program.

    So essentially you can freely move your mouse and it will track that movement for you, and move a red dot on the screen, even though the analog stick is overriding the movement of the mouse.

    Then, when you let go of the analog stick, the mouse snaps back to the red dot's position, the red dot is hidden, and you can activate attacks in Diablo based on the mouse position.

    You still have to stop moving to attack, just like Blizzards want to limit you to do, and complained that this wasn't possible to implement.

    And I implemented it, in a third party application.

    However, all of that, is way more involved and required me to think through the problem, than simply mapping WASD to analog input.



  • @xaade said:

    Because I can map an analog stick to WASD. Yes, it's possible.

    Why should you have to!? It should just work!

    Why do you people come here on a site about software WTFs and basically apologize for shitty terrible software? No, the program's shitty and terrible. Stop it.

    @xaade said:

    Then I don't know why your login process is so much more complicated than mine.

    Probably just because the initial verification is only once-per-computer or perhaps once-per-MAC address. And I just built a new computer.

    @xaade said:

    Yes, and with the default software, they can be mapped to work with ANY game.

    The default Xbox driver does not allow mapping the controller to keys, as far as I am aware. That's why products like Joy2Key exist in the first place.

    In any case, WHY THE FUCK SHOULD I HAVE TO!?

    @xaade said:

    I suppose you just really want those XBOX button icons in your game so badly?

    Is this tongue-in-cheek or something? Yes obviously the shit on screen should match the controller I'm using, whether it be a keyboard, a mouse, a Xbox 360 controller, whatever. Duh.

    Are you saying I'm not "1337" enough to memorize controls, like an insult, or... why did you post this?

    @xaade said:

    It's better now, with stamina and magicka builds, because weapons provide spell power, and staff abilities scale on spell power. So all abilities scale with your weapon and resource pools.

    My go-to Elder Scrolls character does not use spells. ESO is the first game in the Elder Scrolls brand where that character cannot be successful.

    @xaade said:

    The problem is that every game wants to claim you can build your way, but it will never come to fruition, because it's a logical impossibility.

    Yes, scroll up. We discussed it. It doesn't matter whether the promise is a "logical impossibility" or not; what matters is they made a promise and they broke it.

    @xaade said:

    Otherwise known as Fable 3.

    I've never played any of the Fable games, so your clever insult is going right over my head.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    They also promised you can be successful with any character build

    It's better now, with stamina and magicka builds, because weapons provide spell power, and staff abilities scale on spell power. So all abilities scale with your weapon and resource pools. They also offered a few stamina based morphs. The problem now is that light armor doesn't offer enough to contend with its lowered survivability. I have a character that uses a mix of magicka and stamina, but is gear toward stamina. Of course my spells are weaker than my skills, but I can burst for a longer period.


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