I wish they had …

I acknowledge that I am not working for the company that is making the MMO industry scratch its head and drool at the thought of how much cake that many users might buy. This is me throwing stones at glass houses, glass houses armed with anti-matter cannons. And I have a hunch that my “glass” house is actually balsa wood and Glad Press&Seal. (Read: Any comments refering to WWII will be deleted =P)

I wish <game> had …

SWG:

  • Understood what players mean’t by “more content”… You fired off our imaginations: We came to commune in our Star Wars Galaxy, and promise shewed itself in your art. But persuing that promise turned out to be folly. We could be a smuggler, but we couldn’t smuggle. The profession “lacked content” – i.e depth.
  • Understood what players mean’t by “more content”… Rather than pointing us to the N other class/combinations we could try. The breadth-exploration was a good experiment – for a non-franchised game. Franchise. “Franchise”. People were coming to SWG with the character they’d imagined being since 1979.
  • Let us have more than one character per server. That was a solution for another games’ problem. People who might have explored “alternative content” were disinclined to because it buggered social networks. I can’t play my wookiee banjo player AND play with my group tonight?
  • Not taken away the ATSTs that were the bane and delight of my existence as a Rebel. I wish you’d just made it onefer – think PlanetSide multicrew. If 8 imperial troops group up, the leader can summon up an ATST as long as they are together/in-range.
  • Would go back to the release code branch, add NGE combat and quest depth/lines, and start over from there.

Matrix Online:

  • Timers to show you how long to the next combat turn. Watching your character and the opponent standing there idle animating while you frantically press the special move keys is a bewildering barrier to most MMO players. I have a number of moves my character can never use, because the time between requesting them and the turn coming up is always significantly longer than the window of opportunity.
  • Player housing. I want my own non-social space. If it exists (constructs?) you keep it too secret.
  • A bank?
  • Streets inhabited by mobs that aren’t “out of range”.
  • Not done bad things to combat-enactment in recent months (only seemed to get one tune, combat animations are less in sync than when I last played, you stick around in combat mode for a good 30-90s after the fight is over, transitions between fights are all painfully slow, while NPCs cruise along like agents)

EQ2:

  • Discovered how abjectly frustrating combat is. Oh, the fighting is fine. But I never know when I’m fighting!(*) I understand why it’s like this; but wouldn’t it be better to make auto-attack work right and add a “single target attack” key/tab/command for special case use instead?
  • Used the paper doll for shopping (clothing, furniture etc). You’ll recall (those few of you reading the original blog) I first suggested this long before WoW had it. Blizzard listened! Sony?
  • Let me share a quest with my buddy. He isn’t going to read the dialog after embarrasing himself by making the whole group wait or run across the zone to exchange two lines of dialog with the Angry Augur you’ve hidden in the tent so well that nobody ever notices his/her feather. At least give us some degree of quest sharing ability.
  • Let me attach chat or emote macros to spells/abilities. Aren’t 99% of all EQ2 macros “/g verbING %t ; /useability mesmerize”? In return for which you get some other icon, and no timers.
  • A hotkey for cycling between quests in the current zone.

(*Going into combat automatically makes your character change into the combat animation sequence. There’s a slight red-pulsation around your character name in the top left, but you have to realize you aren’t in combat and think to look to see if you are. There is actually a newbie tooltip that tries to explain how you are in-combat but not fighting.)

26 Comments

I wish any of those games would throw you in a guild. I’ve forgotten quite a bit since I last played EQ, now with me in EQ2, I’m still lost at 23. Working on it though.

Hit the ‘u’ key – guild recruitment is fairly solid. You can spend forever mousing over all the little icons telling you the guild’s nuances :)

In EQ2 I want to be able to hire a squire (10g)to follow me around (like a pet) and give me input on quest points that I’m near. He’d have to “see” farther than the distance that the orange dots show up on the map, though. And if I died, he died, too, and I’d have to hire a new one.

Squire: “There is A Tallon Grunt north of here. You need to kill 7 more for quest: Scattered Notes”

With settings such as:
Do not mention any quest more than once per X minutes.
Do not mention target more than once per X minutes.

Gnasche: http://www.eq2interface.com, EQ2map. All the quest/interest/npc points you can shake a stick at. A very slick UI add-on.

Kayfers, er, I’m totally confused with your combat malarkey. Drag the auto-attack button from your skills window into your hotkey bar. If it shows as “pressed”, you’re fighting.

Hope this helps.

You still have to *look* to tell :). My Fury doesn’t have spare hotkeys for attack either :) Four active hotkey bars and I regularly have to swap to sets 5 and 6. Bleah :)

I think Gnasche is talking about something to draw your attention to quests rather than monsters. Perhaps less of a “mobdar” and more of a “don’t let yet” indicator might work; I think the problem he’s trying to solve is the one where you fight a bunch of mobs, finish 4 quests, leave and three zones later realize that the rats standing behind them were for a quest you had too. Or there’s that one quest you didn’t notice filed under a different category.

You could easily tone it down to make it so that the squire behaves a little differently or something fades in if you are in LOS of mobs you have quests for so you can tell ‘still stuff to kill’. I don’t think he should tell you exactly what, you still oughta have to look it up.

I like Gnashe’s idea. That would be a way to help with quest discovery, not spoilers.

I definitely think EQ2 should have a previewer for items…jeeesh..nothing worse then spending 20g on a piece of equipment that makes you look fat!

BTW amigo, can you update the link to my “blog”. I switched hosts, and ever since, I have received no traffic. Maybe it’s because no one reads it I dunno…I am feeling rejected. :)

TOTO byatch, I left a comment and it’s probably still waiting to be moderated.

Likewise, comments posted but not approved.

Yeah, I just want to make traveling around more efficient. I spend time in each area of a zone looking at my quest list trying to figure out if I can do anything else. Then I spend even more time when I overlook something and have to make additional trips. It’s not “fun” time, and I’d pay extra to not have to do that.

Oh, and of course new quests in my level, as well. I realize some are hidden (like you have to click on a rock or something to get a new quest), and that’s fine. Either have those ignored or some other money sink like paying your squire an extra gp to do a search for hidden quests in the zone.

same TOTO. Posted on Chamfering and no approval. Assumed you didn’t read *me*. Fix dat.

Oops sorry guys..I’ll check right now. Hosting it myself is new to me, and I am not as “proficient” as ol’ kfsone here.

Gnasche – I keep suggesting, to various games, the idea of “guide” npcs. It fits into the EQ2 model and philosophy, IMHO. Not so different than writs or something. But instead of just faction, tell me about the HQ that would be useful to me. Hint at visiting such-an-area. Drop an NPC name. Make the “guide sales pitch” preamble part of the quest lore. *Maybe* give me a hint on a quest I have in “unknown”.

I don’t doubt its quite a lot of work, all told, but maybe we’re niche players who would rather get our game from in-game rather than allakhazam :)

Kayf, could you explain how you envisage being able to perceive you’re in/out of combat without *looking*? There’re only four senses left not counting any form of ESP or proprioception.

From early on the people at EQ2 have said that they wanted to make the experience for each character a different one, IMHO discovery is a principle engine towards diverse paths being taken by two potentially similar characters in this game.

If you’ve overlooked something, that’s your fault. If you can’t be bothered to discover, that’s your fault too! By the way, EQ2maps offers quest points too. Take a breath, sit back, enjoy the content! I appreciate that not to everyone’s suiting though. :)

In any case, there is something to be said for an NPC you can sidle up to and cross their palm, for them to check your quest list and say something like “I heard that there’s a rock in xyz under which someone buried the key to the most amazing treasure imaginable” or for them to offer randomly “So you’re looking for the Pxyztr of Yljwhb? Did you hear about the Trdy Rqgv culling Blue Jaguars nearby?” Sounds good to me.

Oh and, by the way, I have all 10 active hotbars on screen, so “ner” :P

Get rid of your /g Check me out; /flirt macro, you’ll find room. :D

On combat – I really don’t know; all the current cues are just too subtle. Like I say, maybe the solution is just to make the default ‘auto attack’ exactly that, and have a separate “only attack one mob” key that does what we currently have, for when you’re in a crowd-controlled fight. It just seems to me that the current system is “iffy” because they tried to make it enchanter friendly.

Maybe being ‘engaged’ only needs the music to play and the little ‘X’ icon under your name, more like EQ1. You have to actually start combat for your character to go into the fighting posture. In EQ1, you knew unequivocally when you were fighting back.

I get that the information is there on screen, or I wouldn’t know that I don’t know :) But its something you have to query. By looking at your character, all obvious indicators say that you are fighting. Weapon is out, shield is raised, balance is being worked, music is playing…

Or maybe change the color of the target icon when I am attacking my target. Make that blink. I just think it would be nice if it was something right in my LOS, where I’m already looking.

WoW solves the “in combat” problem in many ways. The simplest is to turn on “scrolling combat text” .. the thing that makes little numbers of damage & healing & such go floating over your head as they occur. You can also ask it to put “” and “” as floating text. Simple, visual, obvious, and in the game field, so you never have to look. There’s a whole lot of other indicators .. a crossed sword icon near your character portrait, pulsing red portrait, and all your “out of combat” abilities (such as your mount) grey out. You only enter the fighting posture if you turn on auto-attack, all of this other stuff happens only when there’s something attacking you. So you could be in a combat pose, but not actually in combat, because you hit the autoattack button. Anyways, the floating text is rather invaluable when you’re zipping along through a field of mobs trying to get to that mining node “over there” .. helps you realize that you got just a little too close to that Demonic Engineer who’s now chasing you, even though you can’t see it because he’s behind you.

As for quests .. EQ2 has too many (there’s no way a human can track .. what is is .. 50? at once), and they’re too unclear. WoW has fewer quests you can take at a time, but correspondingly, they’re richer and more detailed. Sure, in the end, they may boil down to the same thing .. “Go kill 8 xyxxzyzzys” .. but the WoW quest texts, simply put, tell you what you need to know. “Hey, there’s a bunch of marauding xyxxzyzzys killing my sheep coming from the west, can you look into it and kill some of the buggers!”. You can always review the full quest text at any time. Add in the .. once again, in the game field visible .. golden ! over the quest giver npcs .. and the golden ? for completed quest, as well as the dot on the minimap .. and you have a quest system that is easy to play with, and doesn’t get in your way.

The quests are to *constrain* you in an otherwise open world. It is a form of “walls” and “doors” that shooter games use to limit your world.

if you have a ton of quests – you have no purpose other than to wander where you think you can accomplish the “most” for the greatest number of quest points.

I wish they would make a game that allowed you to roam and accomplish good things and accumulate points based upon the benefits to the world at large. A true Quest for the Holy Grail, being the over-arching quest, but being “chaste” and “believing” and “generally good” (insert your favored qualities here) is rewarded. On the Other Team (Team Evil) they go about with the opposite qualites and teh The Quest to Forever Hide the Holy Grail Thereby Keeping Evil on Top! Their spreading of evil would be like BLACK & WHITE. This causes the game to develop persistently without having to specify what is required.

You kill X-Wogs because someone “evil” is breeding them, and they go about ruining the countryside and lives of the NPC townsfolk…who quit believing in miracles and become evil if not protected for too long…thereby making you over-arching quest ever farther away.

Then, combat is easy because you and evil will attack, with number of kills being rewarded to you in “Holy” points of Something, and the ability to recieve key items from friendly NPC’s or ‘builders’.

Build a city – make it evil from first, or have it conquered evil. Its still gonna need saving. Someday, you clear a space for good and an entrance to do “great good” is there. Guild Wars used this part of the game to good effect.

So – you know dragons are out there. You don’t know where exactly but generally in evil areas, but they do maraude the good townsfolk.

Patterns repeat in-game, just like WWIIOL – but not the need for “quests” with specific rewards and the inflation and changes in pricing needed.

As far as combat Oli, I just remembered that EQ2 does put a crossed sword icon next to your name if you are “in combat”. Pretty subtle, but it is there.

Quests..man the wave of the future has to be dynamic quests. I encountered one in EQ2 where a GM (I assume) dressed as an orc, gave me a quest to go kill some priests…in a storyline format of course….and I had a blast interacting with the fool.

If a game could provide GMs a tool or set of tools to create story driven quests on the fly, you could have a much more interactive world.

Roca: The ‘x’ is to indicate you have agro, it doesn’t mean you are fighting, I think.

Thunder: I think its swings and roundabouts. EQ2 gives you 100 to track, but also divides them into categories. A lot of them are pure fluff – absolutely – such as writs. But they add up to direction, which you can kinda supervise with your higher-category quests (heritage, hallmark, etc). When I first went to WoW, I liked the ability to use quests to plan out activities and – if there was a reason you couldn’t do that, you could quickly rustle up another plan. I think eq2 has the advantage there now. But that just makes the lack of shareable quests (which I think they’ll never add) advantage WoW :) And with so many levels of quest in EQ2, the absence of some guide of guiding oversight – like the old EQ1 guild master – advantage WoW too. (As you’re saying, too many quests = what now?)

I think part of EQ2s risk is the same thing I experienced going back to EQ1 briefly. EQ1 has a bazillion ways you can get a system-blessed activity. But if you don’t know they exist, you won’t think to pick them up. I found a few types that I had no idea what they were or how to begin the process of gaining access to them.

At the very least, I think a “contact” for players is essential, so that returning players can go there and catch up when the game develops.

edit: sorry mangy, but this is a non-wwii topic

Yeah, the red X is just informing that something is attacking you, not the other way around. My UI doesn’t even have it.
The only way you know that you are attacking is watching the attach button, which remains pressed while in combat, and even then you could be too far from target and not hitting it.

Kfsone: With the EQ2 combat issue I think you’re just looking at it the wrong way. Auto-attack is pretty meaningless in EQ2. It’s a little bonus damage with some character animations to make you look like you’re fighting while you wait for your skills/spells to recycle. Especially if you’re a caster type. If you’re a melee type you should be picking your next target and using a combat art on it, which turns your auto-attack on. You should be able to play EQ2 as a melee char and rarely if ever hit the auto-attack key.

I’ve played a monk, brigand, and paladin so far as melee types into the 30’s and 40’s (back when 50 was max). It’s just simply a non-issue for melee types. I do notice it with my coercer I’m playing currently but really who cares if my coercer has auto-attack on or not. It’s not really doing anything if I poke the mobs with my stick. It was pretty much the same with my inquisitor and I’d guess it’s the same with your fury.

As to the WoW vs. EQ2 quest and combat systems from what I’ve seen having played both any advantage WoW had out of the gate has pretty much been “borrowed” by EQ2 now. Scrolling combat text, yep EQ2 has it. Floating question marks and exclamation points over quest givers, same. Dots on the map and full quest text available in quest journal check. The only real choice to make between the two these days is which art style you like better as otherwise they’re pretty similar.

I’ve rarely felt a game had too many quests, but then I’ve never been one of those driven to complete every quest in my log regardless of how old it is. Shareable quest is still one area where WoW wins out though without a doubt.

Heh, Granik – this post was what inspired that conversation at the BBQ place the other day ;) True, I had forgotten that combat arts kick it in. It hasn’t mattered so far because we keep winding up just behind the curve and so fighting blue and below mobs :)

When it gets me is when we’re fighting that just-so-slightly tougher mob. If the mob is going to take us 50 seconds to kill instead of the usual 15, then every little counts – especially if you can get behind the mob (so he doesn’t riposte you) and the mob isn’t like those Krulkiel Carvers with an aoe/encounter world-of-hurt.

It’s really when I die and the mob has under 200 hps left, and I realize that if I’d had auto-attack on, I/we woulda won :) Whether I’m soloing or in a group fighting a pack of mobs that had run us out of power, and the 2-3000 points of mele damage I *might* have done across the fight would have made a difference.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Macros! « kfsone’s pittanceApril 3, 2007 at 5:11 pm

[…] by kfsone on April 3rd, 2007 Finally! It’s a tiny thing but I really like the way EQ2 implemented the new macro system. What I […]

Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

%d bloggers like this: