Style

September 28, 2009

Why the hell can’t MMOs be like this?

Seriously, why does every MMO have to be either lameass pc-style graphics with big doofus rejects from bad frazetta prints or korean manwha?

Why can’t MMO’s reach out and have style? Why don’t they make better use of color, or music, or make combat little more than badly animated stick figures. Why can’t I look at my character in motion and see shades of Mugen, or Jinn, and see personality in the way they move, or hold a blade?

Why cant I even choose a stance or a personality for my own character? Even the games with strong character creation make your characters look like doofuses (cough *Champions Online* cough) Why can’t  not only walk, or run, but swagger?

I want you to  imagine. One day in the future, a new MMO will come out. You will get to the character creator, and you will be able to make a character bursting with vivid colors that work. You’ll be able to choose the weapon you want, and even the personality. And when you are done, you will see your character exactly in a video like this, acting, fighting, posing in ways that bring out the personality you want in them. Then the game will start, and you can learn to make your character move exactly like that.


Eh…

September 22, 2009

Man, bad night. Got my ass kicked in pvp bad to the point its disheartening. Argued with a bunch of people because of it. Got really pissed, because being a smash/crit meeleer in pvp is impossible-range and magic constantly own in it.

I mean wtf? If they are going to make pvp devolve into who has the highest rank ranged attack, why not just restrict elf/giant to people with rank 1 ranged? Its so imbalanced its not funny. I have to rank up my charge to cap and have 300 hp to survive charging a ranged attack, but my level 10 pacifist could easily camp Niafar herself using ice.

What is annoying too is that no one wants to have fun, its all “lets gather together in a firing squad of range/meelee and spam” PvP can be really fun when people hang out, but its so rare it makes me sad, and they are rarely honorable. Everyone gets mad in it after awhile because they get camped and have to /logout or hope they can be rescued.

The sad thing is that once you have done your quests, thats all there is. Mabi has no endgame, and the missions are kind of worthless, you just get a transformed form which isnt too useful beyond your normal for most things. PvP is all thats left.

I don’t know, I think i am losing faith.  In Mabinogi I actually don’t want to join a guild, because my experiences with their members in pvp are so negative. I help on occasion, but there are no players I really like or admire enough to join a guild. I’ll probably stop pvp some to level defense and charge, which is ridiculous, because both dont really work with soloing well.


Final Hit

September 18, 2009

Tonight I accomplished one of my goals. In Mabinogi there is a quested skill called Final Hit. What it does is for a short duration, you can teleport directly to an enemy and unleash a chain of combo attacks without retalliation for a good duration. It’s powerful in limited situations, mostly on dungeon Bosses.

To get it you need to sketch a couple of statues (easy, can even buy them,) clear Karu forest dungeon (fairly easy) and clear Maiz Prarie Dungeon (not easy at all, party recommended.)

I managed to do it completely solo, just me and my pets. It isn’t that hard, mostly a lot of deaths due to multi-aggro, and losing experience and weapons, but it’s hard enough that few people do it, and I did. I have no transformation and not all that much stats though, and it was very satisfying to clear it without needing a single person. The first rooms were surprising, my crits on smash one-hit a lot of the enemies, and even as I delved deeper and started losing weapons after death my pony Seylen and I teamed up and took down room after room. Some were grindingly slow, but we won, and I can claim forever now that I soloed Maiz FH.

It feels great, and even greater is the knowledge I can still get a lot stronger.


FFXIV interview

September 16, 2009

From MMORPG.com, here. Some crunchy info.

Looks like a 360 version is hoped for, but Xbox Live is holding it up. The game will have a skill set system like oblivion, but the weapons you use will develop your stats, as your armor. He mentions that its possible to wear all types on one “job.” Jobs seem to be templates for what to wear? He’s not too clear on it.

They mention that there is no auto attack, but things like active time battle bars, and two of them: one for weak accuracy/strong attack, the other for the opposite. Also, no zones it seems.

That’s going to be interesting. It sounds like a very radical departure from XI, which is what a lot of players wanted.


Nagle, Mabi, and me.

September 16, 2009

Well, I found out a secret to a mystery of PvP in Mabinogi. It was during an after PvP bull session in the streets of Dunbarton.

Here’s the setup. For a while I have been wondering how on earth ranged players in particular could somehow get up and shoot instantly when it takes me 3 to 4 seconds to do so. Not just me, but others as well, to the point where it was impossible to avoid a ranger because they could shoot and aim fast. Well it looks like they are disabling this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagle_algorithm

I’m still a neophyte, but it appears that this algorithim makes it easier on networks by combining many small information packets into a batch of them. However in a real-time system which Mabinogi’s combat is, it adds latency. So what the hardcore players do is turn it off and it lets them aim a lot faster.

The problem is that as it is, high ranked range is near impossible to beat. The only thing that can work is magic, and ranged has a long distance advantage over it. If you can cut down the distance by breaking line of sight, it’s possible with a normal ranged player to win, but with rank 1 range and nagle disabled, it’s next to impossible.

It’s somewhat of a cheat, but its not something that can be remedied.


Wolf, sheep, and fox-a dream.

September 14, 2009

So I had a weird, but vivid dream today. The thrust of it was that I was caught up in some underground bloodsport. The first part of the dream was muddled, but each detail was crisp-I was invited to watch a fight, and was worried about the audience members being caught up in the crossfire. It wound up with me being told that I could either join or pretty much die.

The second part though was the most vivid, and unsettling. There were three of us who were to be tested for this sport. We were called wolf, sheep, and fox.

Sheep looked like an anthropomorphic sheep, a cross between one and a youngish boy. When I asked what his test was, the instructor clubbed Sheep over the head with a rock. Like it was a sleeping bag, out of Sheep’s corpse another Sheep unzipped itself,a different color. The instructor said he had passed his test, and in the dream I realized his test was simply to die.

I was Fox. The instructor put a rabbit before me. He said he was going to release it into the forest and I was to kill it. I didn’t like the idea, but I figured that I could treat it as food-killing the rabbit just to feed myself. I asked him for a knife, but he said no, I need to kill it with my bare hands to get blood on them. He released it, and the dream shifted.

He never said Wolf’s test, and it was apparent in the next part his was to kill both Sheep and me. I found him torturing a Sheep and killed him, going berserk, until the watchers that surrounded us tried to make me stop beating the corpse because we were too close to a residential area. The dream ended hazily with the me going back to the instructor, throwing down Wolf’s body, and saying “That’s my rabbit.”

*

It was more fragmentary, of course. Part of what happens after dreams like that is that I construct a narrative from them to unify them. But the first thing that struck me when I woke was: “This is PVP.”

A Wolf in it kills for the sake of killing. He enjoys the fight, sometimes to the point of my Wolf in the dream, “torturing” players by griefing them. No explanation was given, and as I mulled it over I thought that it was because that is the way the Wolf is. That’s why the test for them was never spoken. Not all of them are like that, but a wolfish desire for the fight is in us all.

A Sheep struck me as confusing, until it came to me later. In the dream I was wrong. The Sheep’s test was not to die, but to come back. In PVP many of us are Sheep. Sometimes its due to our inability to fight back, or sometimes its a pleasure in trying to be beaten or in outwitting our assailants. But the test of one is in coming back again after “death.”

The Fox took more mulling over. What I got from that was two things.

1. A Fox needs to know that there is no “Fair” in killing. I think the bunny test was to try and show that human sympathy in a fight would make you fail. In a PVP sense, if you want to win you need to submerge your normal empathetic side and realize this is a fight. Like the Fox I was, killing means blood on your hands, with no rationale. For PVP it means you will make someone lose, or lose yourself.

2. However it is possible not to prey on the innocent or weak, and fight for a purpose. I killed the Wolf over the rabbit. But in both cases I tried to justify what I did with reasons that made the difference between the Wolf and I, even though I seemed to have fought savagely in it.

I think that’s the third class in PVP-people who like it, are sometimes uncomfortable with it, but always do it for a reason. A Fox kills hens to eat-a Fox PVP’s always for a purpose a little beyond just enjoying predation or battle.

I didn’t expect to find three types in a dream, especially one that hovered on the edge of nightmare like that did.


Pacifist Project end

September 10, 2009

Pacifist finally killed some more mobs, and I officially ended it. It just wasn’t fun, despite the ability to be non-violent. The game is still designed to be progressed by killing a ton of mobs, and while you can progress, its even more repetitive and grindy otherwise.

It raised some interesting thoughts for me. We really do focus an awful lot on killing things in games. Some of the korean MMOs are trying to change this with sports-themed ones, but violence really still is a central part of the genre. It’s funny, because how often in real life do we use it, or even expect it to solve anything? Yet in MMOs it is the first and often only option.

It felt fun to try, and I wonder if anyone will make an MMO that will make killing so rare and advancement through other means.