Monday, August 26, 2013

Just a thought - Too many MOBAs?

Okay, so I can't be the only one that's feels this way, but is anyone starting to think this MOBA trend is starting to get a LITTLE bit out of hand? Month after month, the market is just getting flooded with more and more MOBA titles, even more than the whole World of Warcraft  and Call of Duty trends.

With the success of League of Legends, and to a slightly lesser extent, DOTA 2, so many developers and publishers are blindly trying to cash in on their success, and chances are that they will fail miserably, but that's not going to stop them from trying, of course.

I mean, just the other week, Deep Sliver announced that they'll be making a Dead Island MOBA... I mean, just who in the hell was clamoring for a MOBA title based on Dead Island, the most over-hyped zombie action title of 2011?

And if that wasn't already a terrible enough idea for a MOBA title, just recently I saw THIS while I was poking around Cinderboy's blog the other day...

A King of Fighters MOBA? They're about to take a legendary 2-D fighting game series, and turn THAT into a MOBA? I can't even wrap my head around this concept. There's even some gameplay footage available and I still can't wrap my head around it.

Just like with all the publishers and developers that followed the WoW-like MMO trend and the CoD-like Military FPS trend: Unless you're working on the real deal, you're NEVER going to reach even one-third of its success. I also usually don't believe that new video games need to reinvent the wheel in order to be fun, but in this case, it should, otherwise why bother?
  • You're never going to capture the success of World of Warcraft, because the audience you're after is too busy playing World of Warcraft.
  • You're never going to capture the success of Call of Duty, because the audience you're after is too busy playing Call of Duty.
  • You're never going to capture the success of League of Legends, because the audience you're after is too busy playing League of Legends.
  • And so on.
This should be really simple logic, but so many companies just follow these trends like sheep and it just blows my mind.

Also: In all honesty, the MOBA genre doesn't seem like a genre that could ever truly evolve, since they're already an evolution, or rather a de-evolution of the RTS genre, and a whole lot of them are pretty "same-y" in terms of core gameplay. Sure, there's some subtle differences in mechanics for some of them, but overall, they all share the same elements: Control one unit, only have up to four abilities to use, and spend the whole match running and/or fleeing from enemies with PvP confrontations only lasting for a few seconds.

This post of mine is clearly just a rant, and it's not like I have anything deep or thought provoking to say on this matter, but it's getting to a point where these trends are less of being trends more like plagues against humanity. Simply put: This shit needs to stop.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

TERA: Rising – Alliance Update Interview

Just a few days ago, En Masse Entertainment has released their biggest update for TERA: Rising yet. Known as the “Alliance” update, TERA players can now participate in faction-based PvPvE scenarios in order to gain power, fame and a new mysterious crystal energy known as “noctenium”. The new alliance system also introduces new PvP gear, new jewelry and plenty more.

While the update has been met with much praise, it has also been met with many concerns from the community. With that in mind, I felt it would be best to get some of their questions answered regarding this new update.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ballistic - Beta Impressions

Oh boy, it’s time for yet another military FPS game! Aren't you excited, kids?! I sure am, as we certainly do not have enough of these in the market today. But wait a second…

This isn't just any military FPS game. It’s a military FPS game that you can play… in your internet browser?!


Okay, so sarcasm aside, a development group named Rumble Entertainment is prompting their newest browser-based title on Facebook called “Ballistic”, and its set to make FPS action quick and accessible for anyone with a modern PC. Sounds interesting enough, but browser-based FPS shooters have already been done before, so how much is this game really bringing to the table?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just an update - 8/14/2013

So here I am, procrastinating on work, as usual! But I still have a bit of time on my hands to post an update on my current personal status and my upcoming projects for OnRPG. One thing I'd like to talk (or rant) about is the newest update for TERA: Rising which is the Alliance system.  I've been looking forward to this new system for years, as I had many different plans in mind for it, including an RP-PvP based guild. Sadly, my plans fell through the roof due to many different reasons. The most prominent reason was the lack of interest from the community overall, as I was looking for a very specific kind of player to join my guild. Sadly, I wasn't able to rope in enough qualified members, so I decided to put my plans to rest and instead just focus on enjoying the Alliance update on my own.

The update finally came out on Tuesday the 13th (yesterday). I was kind of excited to give it a go.

I gave it a try and got a big surprise: It wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

Alliance PvP is basically TERA's version of "World vs. World vs. World" mode" from Guild Wars 2, but it's nowhere near as engaging, since participating in Alliance PvE is just more of the same crap were used to: Kill the same rehashed BAMs, gather the same resource nodes, fight the same trash mobs, etc. What irks me the most about Alliance PvE is that it's the most effective way to earn contribution points. Which is silly, because I thought this was supposed to be a PvP focused update.

Oh, but there is PvP in there, no doubt. And it IS generally enjoyable when players are spread out all across the alliance maps, however, when attacking and defending alliance bases, it turns into "Fraywind Canyon 2: Electric Boogaloo" except now with twice the lag and three times the zerging. It also doesn't help that alliances are heavily unbalanced right now due to the amount of players in each faction, and there's no sign that the community will even things out, as all of the PvP tryhards have piled into Kaiator, the mass PvE guilds in Allemanthia, and everyone else in Velika (including me). Velika stands no chance against the other two alliances due to their sheer numbers, and there's absolutely no incentive for players to even think about joining a weaker faction, so Velika is going to be nothing but a punching bag for weeks or even months to come. And I'm not alone in this, either. If you check on the official forums, many people are speaking up over it, and the story is the same on almost every server, including Mount Tryanus, Ascension Valley, Tempest Reach and Celestial Hills. Here's a link to just one of the major topics on the subject of player imbalances:

All alliances not being able to have a fighting chance is going to end in disaster. As soon as either Kaiator or Allemantheia gets a foothold on the other faction, and Velika not being able to keep the other two factions on their toes, only one faction will forever stay on top. In fact: This is exactly what happened to Alliances in K-TERA, where everyone is just piled into one whole faction while the other two rot. At that point, one would simply ask: "Why bother having a faction system in the first place" if things are going to be THIS imbalanced?

'll try and stay optimistic, hoping that the community will sort things out by the end of the week, but so far, I'm doubting it.

Update: I recently got approved to do an interview with EME regarding the Alliance update. I already have a few questions prepared, but I'm trying to get a few community focused questions available, such as their concerns on the player imbalance and spawn camping. I started a thread on the official forums, with which players can leave a question and decide which questions should be answered the most.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Just a thought - EverQuest Next

Hello again, random browsers and all five of you rabid followers. Today's a new day for some talk about the MMO industry. I've been pretty giddy all of last week since Sony Online Entertainment revealed details on their upcoming sandbox MMORPG: EverQuest Next, which is set to be (pre-)released by the end of this year. First off, I was instantly taken in by the new visual style of the game, which had a much more cartoon look to it. This is excellent because in all honesty, I really can't stand the "realistic" style that almost every single western fantasy MMORPG goes with these days. With a more cartoon style, the game comes off with a more lively tone. It certainly worked for Wildstar by Carbine Studios, because along with that game, Everquest Next is the second western MMORPG I've ever been interested in play. And personally, I can't wait to play as a Kerran, a lion race that looks suspiciously like Chester Cheetah...

...Umm... yeah.

Oh, and the gameplay features sound pretty cool, too. The whole "world destruction based on voxels" thing is a bit iffy to me, however, because if the entire world can be destroyed, then what's going to keep players from leveling out the world as soon as the servers open up? Because if there's two things that a good handful of gamers love to do in an online game, it's grieving and destroying.

On the OTHER hand, however, while I was discussing EverQuest Next with a few random people, an anonymous user brought up a very interesting possibility with the game's world destruction: With the entire world decimated by the players, no longer will EverQuest Next be about exploring a vast open world, but instead the game will be about surviving in the ruins of a vast open world, which sounded pretty freaking awesome to me. But still, would SOE even allow such events to unfold in their game? I mean sure, it IS supposed to be a sandbox MMO, after all, but the developers still have a general vision in their mind for how the game world should play out, especially with all those AI features they're bringing along, which I'm not so sure would work well with messed up, player made terrain. But who knows? I don't.

As mentioned before, EverQuest Next is being pre-released by the end of the year with the upcoming Landmark creation tools, where players will be able to create their own towns, dungeons and more, just as long as they appropriately fit the environments setting, and most of everything that will get to stay in the final version will be by SOE's discretion, so sadly there will be no dick castles to service as monuments for the glorious nation of Dickstonia. One thing I'd like to mention is that there's some buzz here and there about the whole Landmark problem, where some people suggest the whole process is in place so that SOE doesn't have to waste time making the world of EverQuest Next themselves. "We're too lazy to make the world, so make it for us!" Personally, I think this is actually a grand idea. Judging by Landmark creation tool footage, it will be very similar to how creation works in Minecraft, where players can assemble their creations block by block. However, unlike Minecraft, players will be able to shape and curve out their blocks into any shape. So yes, you'll be able to make dick statues that ACTUALLY look like dicks!

Ok... So dick jokes aside, though, with the players being able to create highly detailed environments, along with the possibly of garnering the more creative bunch of the Minecraft community, mixed in with veteran EverQuest players to give players guidance on how the world of EverQuest should look, I'm certain that the world of EverQuest Next will be shaped into something that will resonate with worlds of old EverQuest 1 & 2. Plus, I'm fairly sure that SOE has their plenty of their own environments that will appear in the final game, so not everything will have to be created by the players.

Overall, EverQuest Next is looking might spiffy. I didn't feel like talking about the combat in this blog post, but it looks like it will be similar to combat in Guild Wars 2 or Wildstar. There wasn't a lot of footage of the combat for me to make a decent analysis, but I liked what I say so far.

For more info on EverQuest Next, you can check out some posts over at Cinderboy's blog: