Τετάρτη, 19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

On online games

i'm sorry for the rambling below, it's a huge message, but it's still readable i think:

What i think should be done with games is make something that has something new to give and charge its entire premium content for 10-20 euros, put only a demo on other sites and make it playable on my site. then put ads on my site and make the removal of ads another fee - that could be subscription-like.

A very important factor would be gamers' ideas. If a gamer comes up with a huge new idea then he receives a bonus in-game.

And what do i mean when i say "has something new to give" ? I know there is a lot of competition and i know little of how much it costs to pay programmers - or what is possible to do, however there is a huge amount of stuff you can do using the internet. Almost ALL games are fantasy-based. Why the hell is that so ??? Did we really run out of ideas?? And the mmo model, oh my god ! Repetitive grinding, boring quests, useless loot, and all that for the sake of leveling to infinity with a standard + bonus to each level.

It's ALWAYS like that. Each game i play has that same model. You unlocked a new area ! Here are some quests, one for each new foe you will encounter. One for each new dungeon in that area. No man, this is fucking stupid. I've come across some interesting games however so i decided to make a blog to put them all in for gamers looking for something new:

Legend of the Green Dragon (Lotgd) : this game is, like all other games, grind-based. You gain levels, you buy items, you get gold, you go fight monsters. Once you come across the "Green Dragon" you fight it, and then you win the game ! Now there is only one option - to reset your character. You start from level 1 again, with a new title, better weapons to buy and a bonus of your choice (+1 attack / +1 defense / +100 health / +100 mana or something like that). And you basically build a char like this. When you died you could do quests for the lord of death or something, to get his "favor" to revive you.

Another one was Legacy Online: sci-fi based, similar to other games (pvp, grinding, loot etc.) with one difference. When you started the game you chose one side. It was a political thing like anarchists, fascists, and democrats or something. Now, in-game there was a map where the 3 clans were divided, and you could fight to get squares of theirs for your clan and expand your territory! Certain squares had bonuses, like the ability to make certain weapons etc. and you could also collectively build something in a square (like a turret). There were guilds of course, but still, all of the same clan were together in the fight. Once you reached level 80 you were considered an "avatar" which basically meant you were the main force for getting new squares. level 80 was the max.

3rd game, silkroad. 3d game. You took a char of a non-specific class, and you could train him either towards a certain weapon, or towards a specific sphere of magic, or both. Weapons were swords, bows, and spears, with swords and spears both divided into damage-focused or magic-focused, and magic spheres were fire (damage and dots), lightning (speed and dodge), cold (reduce speed and dodge), and chi (heals and such) All of them had passives and actives.

Now what's interesting about this game is that at level 20 you could choose a job. You could be a thief a hunter or a trader. Thieves killed hunters and robbed traders. Hunters protected traders and killed thieves. Traders bought certain items for a price and had to deliver them to the next city for a greater price using a certain transport you decided (donkey, or camel, or horse or whatever). Now imagine the wars when your guild was thieves and decided to rob a certain trader from another guild. Also, you gained xp if you successfully "did your job" which meant an increase in something vs the other jobs. I think for hunters (which was the easiest job) it was + damage vs thieves.

The only minus in that game was the huge grinding associated and the fact you could change jobs easily (and keep the xp you had gained in other jobs). I would prefer it if you had like a specific job and was stuck to that. However a big plus was the fact noone knew what your job was unless you wore the job's costume (and of course you wouldn't gain any xp towards your job unless you wore the costume). Hugely addictive game. I only stopped it cause i had fucked up my char and wanted to start again, then i got bored.

So, here are 3 games that provided something new. Both of these were browser-based and were considerably fun to play! Especially legacy, which had the political background. Or silkroad with the jobs i mentioned.

Now, of course these "interesting" games also had some premium content. Well, lotgd didn't, but legacy and silkroad sure did.

Now let's talk about dungeon blitz. Seriously, what's new? There are other freemium platformers out there. The set loot, is that really a good thing? I'd say the only good thing i came across was the training, where you gained passive bonuses like +5% against goblins. Ok, but then again, what difference will 5% make if the next goblins you encounter are much stronger? it will only seem as if you would need that bonus anyway to have a chance, right? No, i'd say make the player be able to have a more specific role, like train against the "green" realm for 5% each time. So when a dungeon starts, my team goes "shit there's goblins we need that player who has like 200% against them" or i go "shit there's skeletons, we need that other player" etc. 5% is nothing man, nothing. It means that per 100 attack you gain an additional 5. Seriously ? You need, say, 5 hits to kill an enemy with 100 attack and you still need 5 hits with 105. And you'll say "yeah but it will be a considerable bonus when you reach a level where you have 1000 attack. Yeah, you'll then have 1050 attack. so?

I think a game has to be simple, with clear bonuses that actually make a difference. The most expensive currency you're spending on a game is actually your own time. If i play for hours and the only thing i get is 5% against goblins, and then i'm asked to pay for one potion as well, then i'll go F U.

Having said the best "freemium" games out there (in my opinion) i also have to say the ONE WORST game. MU online. Seriously don't play this game. EVER. I don't know WHAT you'll play but don't play THAT.

So, Mu. You start with a warrior, mage or elf. Once you get to a specific level you can choose from another 2 guys, now there might be more. The other 2 guys is some kind of a mage-knight and some kind of a mounted warlord with a crow. Cool so far?

Now if you're a wizard you buy spells which are level associated and do damage according to your int stat. There's a variety of spells like poison or fireball, or call spirits or whatever, however you will end up only using ONE spell which will also be your most powerful one. So that's useless.

I'm not even gonna talk about ranger because there's not much to it. The ranger equips orbs and summons creatures to help you but anyway, i better get to warrior. Warrior has NO skills or spells. The ONE skill you gain is through your equipped weapon. The stuff you equip are stat-based so for example an armor would have a minimum str, or minimum str+dex or whatever.

Now, quests. When i played MU it was still in beta but when it got to official it was the same. You have 3 quests. Just 3. The first one is to find a scroll, (with no other hint) and rumors said that if you grinded in the last level of the (ONLY) dungeon in the first map, you would eventually find it. The reward was huge, of course, your character changed from a simple warrior to a blade knight which had some huge advantages and different armors to wear etc. OK that's cool. Now, i was level 29, and spent ages to get to 30. It was really difficult because you had 9 (yes 9) xp bars to fill up, and each monster gave you say an increase of 5% of one bar. IF however you died, you would lose an entire bar (or even more according to your level). Imagine the grinding you have to do, using only ONE SKILL !!!!! In my guild we had a level 105 (a-hundred-and-five) which i thought was sad because of the huge grinding he had to go through. Was he a blade knight? NO. Why ? because the last level of the (ONLY) dungeon was too much for him !!!

So you'll think, well ok, it's a shit game, but people would still not mind grinding their lives away to become blade knights. Oh but there's more. Remember i said 3 quests ? Well, once you got to level 350 (i think) and had finished the last quest, you could reset your character. Resetting your character meant you keep ALL the stats and started again from level 1. That's pretty cool, i know, but who in their right minds would keep on playing to reach 350 when i was 29 and had just 5% per monster ? Who in their right minds would keep on grinding using ONE SKILL over and fucking over again ???? My dear friend. There were plenty of people in there. They fucking loved the game.

Anyway when i played it the game only had 3 areas, now it has a dozen more, but its still the same. Now, i know all this stuff because i later played it on a private server which was like x10000000 or something so it was easy to even reset your char. But i have to say this: even like that, with the best items in the game equipped, and a resetted char, it was still difficult at times. So then i thought, how much i pity those gamers who play it on official.

And did i mention that to play in the official server you had to subscribe ? Yes, a monthly fee, like in WoW. A rage-meme would not be even close to how much i hate the game :P

Anyway i'll stop here now.  I'm sorry about the huge message, i hope you read it all, but then again, if you don't, i'll not hold it against you. I sure do hope you reply though ! :) see you around !