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E3 Impressions - Huxley and Mass Effect

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the zomg-good-games dept.

26

The 360 is playing host to some non-traditional titles in the near future. Huxley is an MMO, one of the first on the console, and combines MMORPG elements with FPS shooting. From Gamespot's Huxley hands-on: "We saw a residential area that has room for 5,000 players, and told that you'll be able to purchase your own housing in the game." Meanwhile, Mass Effect is Bioware's next great opus, an RPG with energy weapons. From 1up's Mass Effect hands-on: "Everything for the E3 demo was in-engine, and the graphics are impressive. The dialogue scenes revealed characters with lifelike eye movements that conveyed real emotion. Excellent voice acting, distinctive music, and a beautifully formed world with rich, detailed environments show real promise."

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Speaking of Bioware... (2, Interesting)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320658)

what about Dragonage? I've been pumped for a while now and it won awards at E3 '04. Anything from them on that or is it still hush-hush?

Re:Speaking of Bioware... (0, Offtopic)

MyOtherUIDis3digits (926429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320792)

Unfortunately the

website [bioware.com] is still pretty mum. This is one I am waiting for also.

Re:Speaking of Bioware... (1)

Senobyzal (826207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15322291)

Bioware's philosophy has always been, "It's done when it's done." Actually refreshing compared to some dev/publisher combos, which will force things out the door half-finished (looking at you, TOEE and KotOR2).

Re:Speaking of Bioware... (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15327908)

My only grief with that mantra is that it doesn't mean that they can't post some things to the site. A simple "Hey! We're pushing through." with a couple of preliminary screens or game-related info would be nice.

Bioware continues to deliver and maintains such a reputation. Since Jade Empire is coming to PC (woo!!!), perhaps I've found something else to tide me over. Unless, Dragonage becomes Bioware's DNF.

So many games... (2, Funny)

9mm Censor (705379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320831)

So little time. Stupid work takes up too much time.

Not Impressed with Huxley (2, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320885)

I've been reading all the hype about Huxley, and frankly I'm not impressed.

Now, don't get me wrong. The graphics are very impressive. The Unreal Engine pretty much assures this. It's the whole concept that doesn't impress me.

This is a game that's not sure what it wants to be.

It wants to be an RPG, so it has NPC vendors, and "living quarters" for your character, and Classes.

It wants to be an FPS, so it has First Person style battles that require FPS Twitch skills to win with.

But it doesn't seem to want to be fully either one. For example, it still fails at one of the major stumbling blocks with all RPG games. Level Grinding. In order to keep high level players from stomping the newbies, they aren't going to let the newbies and high-levels fight one-another. How are they going to manage that? Instanced combat. Basically fighting in a box. If I wanted fighting in a box, I could go play UT or CS, or any other arena-based FPS game.

An MMOFPS is supposed to be LARGE SCALE. Fighting that takes place over an entire Continent or Planet. Not fighting in some goofy instanced arena that others can't enter. An MMOFPS should allow a complete newbie to kit up with his weapons of choice, go out on the field, and if he's skilled enough, take out the highest level player in the game. An MMOFPS should NEVER restrict the players ability to fight anyone, anywhere, with anything he chooses.

RPG's on the other hand, are all about Levels, Classes, grinding up the scale until you have your "Uber-sword of l33tness +15" that lets you go out and defeat anything you come up against. Huxley, from everything I read, is all about this. You can level grind up to level 50, gain your Uber armor with a gagillion expansion slots in it, get the noobpwner cannon of d00m, and go out and then fight in an instanced box against a predetermined number of opponents. (SNORE!)

So all Huxley gives you is a goofy taped together "mostly-RPG-with-FPS-elements" combo game, that looks pretty, but doesn't do RPG and especially not FPS really well.

No thanks, I'll stick with the first and only MMOFPS in existence, Planetside.

www.planetside.com

Re:Not Impressed with Huxley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321172)

What you're saying seems to be on the money, until the end there. Planetside certainly isn't the ideal MMOFPS to aim for.

You're right that if I want to deathmatch in an arena I'll play UT. So an MMOFPS should be primarily PVE, because once you get past 50 players all that matters is player density rather than number, i.e. an MMOFPS doesn't offer anything more combat-wise than 50 player DM, which we already have (for free). Lots of co-op PVE stuff with enemies that stay dead (until a ~monthly campaign reset) would be great.

Re:Not Impressed with Huxley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321597)

I guess when you're a fan of a game that tortures its paying users with in-game advertising [secretlair.com] , shilling for said game comes second nature.

Re:Not Impressed with Huxley (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321611)

I have to wonder if the level grinding problem couldn't be solved by a karma like system? You beat the tar out of a player much lower in level than yourself and you actually loose experience, stuff, or really bad things happen to you.

Re:Not Impressed with Huxley (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 8 years ago | (#15323381)

that would make the bigger players look like a dangerous pile of gold leading to noob rushes on higher level players... killing a few of them is no problem for the higher level, but it would get both tiring and pointless for the high level to keep killing them... the highlevel would slowly lose strength, interest, and with karma, would lose levels trying to defend himself from the n00bs... the only solution to that that I can see would be to allow the high levels to decline to fight... or track who started the fight, and not remove karma from the high players if they are the victim... however that doesn't resolve the boredom effect

Re:Not Impressed with Huxley (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15324831)

In most MMO rules a sufficiently low level noob wouldn't even make a scratch in a high-level character's armor. As long as the weaker characters can seriously hurt the character there shouldn't be a penalty and above that the high-level char should be able to just shrug the attack off.

Re:Not Impressed with Huxley (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15324502)

Planetside's FPS skill-set is pretty much limited in utility to Planetside--no locational damage, little (or no) randomization of shot damage, very well-defined shot cones, incredibly short-range and cramped inside engagements, very slow-moving players, limited weapon choice. Other FPS rely pretty heavily on very quick kills and/or acrobatic (i.e. skilled at quick movement) players--look at The Specialists, CS, or even simple HL2DM. Planetside would've been a nice FPS if it played a bit more like one (and, frankly, if the devs could get things balanced--or at least to the point where people stopped crying constantly about imbalance).

In an RPG/FPS hybrid (such as Oblivion), the RPG elements have to do _something_ or else they may as well not be present. That means that a level 50 player is assumed to have some natural advantage that makes her superior to a level 1 player, meaning that the former more or less will always beat the latter. The level system is supposed to represent character skill, whereas in an FPS what's most important is player skill. Perhaps it's not a natural combination to try to have a level system in an FPS at all. But it's a pretty narrow definition to say that RPGs are about grinding. MMORPG, yes, because there's a monetary incentive to giving players very slow level processes.

RPGs are supposed to be about story more than anything else. You PLAY a ROLE in the GAME. Although RPGs are traditionally associated with classes and levels, that's just a way to model the characters and their growth--the game part requires that the development of the characters be somehow modeled; classes and levels are the way in which RPGs traditionally do this. This is why Huxley and the new Shadowrun are so disappointing. There's no story to really be found in those walls. Sure, you have magic (in Shadowrun at least) and experience points, but who really cares about earning experience points for the sake of experience points (MMORPG players aside)? I played Phantasy Star and Final Fantasy (the older ones) for the plot, to see what interesting new places and monsters and characters I'd come across. It's sad to see what this generation of gamers thinks an RPG should be.

WTF (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320913)

The big question is, how do you avoid the problem of a level 50 player absolutely destroying a level 1 newcomer? Kang had an answer. Basically, the idea is that the levels are divided by class. The first 10 levels are the basic class, while the highest 10 levels (41-50) are the elite class. Level 50 characters will have more socket skills at their disposal, as well as more weapons and armor, and they'll usually battle other players that fall into their class. Meanwhile, lower-ranked players will battle in their class, so the disparity isn't so great.

So the answer, Kang, is...nothing. Perhaps it's something we were not told, but that's beside the problem. What a shitty journalist AND editor. Simply write the lies and misdirection that the mindless journalist is presented, then present them to us as facts. Well done.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321573)

Um.. the answer makes sense to me. The major disparities between levels only happen at markers of every 10 levels. This naturally divides players into 5 groups, so that levels 1-10 fight together, levels 41-50 fight together, instead of treating everybody as equal. The answer is that, yes a level 50 would own a level 1, but they have no need to ever fight each other because there is a whole class of people at the proper difficulty.

Re:WTF (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321952)

MMORPGs are FILLED with power hungry individuals who love to grief, both allies and foes. Saying that the nature of the average gamer will magically change in Huxley, so that players will seek out the challenge (of someone who can possibly defeat them) instead of killing defenseless players, for the standard reward of their cries and vows to quit the game...is completely naiive. You sir, are a moron.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15322005)

I am Jack9.
Everyone knows me.

This can't possibly be right. From what I've seen, the vast majority of people out there don't know Jack!

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15322927)

You're the moron. I was only claiming that the man did indeed address the question

Re:WTF (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15323595)

If I ask someone, where are your testicles located? and the answer is not, "I am a woman, you dolt." or "Between my legs, you dolt." or "In a box, I had them removed you insensitive clod!", but instead is "Clowns are TYPICALLY brown."...they have not addressed the question. It's really sad that OP is the typical game rag reader.

Re:WTF (1)

Hawkxor (693408) | more than 8 years ago | (#15323999)

dude, I don't think you know what you're talking about. Huxley will be fine for lev 50 vs lev 1, the reason was given tangentially: the only main differences between levels are item slots... since its a FPS style, the skills will win out in the end. Fundamentally its an FPS with a few relatively minor RPG elements.

Re:WTF (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15324351)

Dude,

I don't think you RTFA, OR read my post. THE HUXLEY DEVS said that higher levels player WILL be UNABLE to fight lower level players. THEY are putting the restrictions in.

Ironically, they already have an excellent model to build off of, if they would pay attention. In Planetside, a complete newbie can go out and kill a maxed out character. Not only can they, but IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY in Planetside.

Why? Because levels only give you certification points that you can spend on abilities. There are a finite number of points available for any character, and none of the abilities are out of reach of even a first-day player. More points just means more flexibility. So a First day player can go certify in Heavy Assault, jump a transport to a battle, bail out of the transport on a High-level player and defeat him handily.

Huxley will NOT be employing a system anything like this. They will be using the outdated RPG style of leveling, where your power levels and weapons availability go up as you level up. Making fights between newbies and high-level players inherently unbalanced.

This is why Huxley is going to fail. RPG players won't like it because they have to use twitch skills to win evenly matched battles. This is a skill they generally haven't worked on developing, so they won't enjoy the fights.

FPS player won't like it because they can't just kit up and go fight like they are used to in traditional arena-style FPSes. The level grinding just to fight will bore them to tears.

I understand Huxley completely. Which is why I'm sticking with Planetside.

www.planetside.com

Re:WTF (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15325380)

I dont know how many games you play, but I play a fuckton. I do know exactly what I'm talking about, within the context of article. In CS, the difference between someone wearing armor+helmet with extra ammo and a nades versus some noob without, isn't theoretically enough to matter, since 1 bullet can kill for both players. On the other hand, the "experienced" player with the items is probably going to see 20-80 kill streaks versus the noob on cs_cock because it is an overwhelming advantage (+ the experience garnered to reach the level of a person with a buy script and practiced on cs_cock). Theory is fine and dandy. I'm sure they have even tested it extensively with, now seasoned, testers. In practice, all things are not equal and it will be a massive problem.

This isn't a game-killing problem, they will just have to change the gameplay. The big worry is that this gorgeous game has a designer who doesn't recognize basic consequences of releasing a game to the public, where you pit players with huge advantages versus new players. GG

Re:WTF (1)

Hawkxor (693408) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328891)

Are you saying that you think noobs should defeat experienced players? Get over yourself. Fact is, it was a stupid question with, so it begat a half answer. If levelling didn't make you more powerful, there would be no incentive to do it. Take it or leave it, this is the reason that there haven't been MMORPG FPS crossovers in the past. In summary, it's a known risk, mitigated by a few factors. Get over youself, seriously...

Re:WTF (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15332442)

Are you saying that you think noobs should defeat experienced players? Get over yourself. Fact is, it was a stupid question with, so it begat a half answer.


I'm saying that experienced players will farm lower level players. There's nothing to prevent it. The question is (paraphrased), what do you have in place to prevent griefing? Answer was, LOOK OVER HERE LOOK OVER HERE! Which is, nothing.

Re:WTF (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15333757)

Jack9,

My apologies, I wasn't responding to you. I was responding to the poster immediately above me. Sorry, I should have been more specific.

Gunz (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15324437)

Huxley reminds me of Gunz (a Korean-made Third-person shooter), what with its "tier" based system of levels x to y fighting in their tier. Of course, the acrobatics aren't there, and neither are the sword and dagger. Still, you don't see much in the way of FPS (or TPS, either) with character levels (Planetside, really).

But will there be lesbian princesses? (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15325140)

This completely skirts the important issue regarding Mass Effect. Specifically, will there be lesbians? While Jade Empire had a pretty good storyline, a far more compelling reason to replay it was to have your female NPC seduce and ultimately shack up with the lesbian daughter of the Empress. If this had been mentioned on the back of the box and in the advertising, the game would have shifted six times as many copies.
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