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Shadowbane Releases New Asian-Specific MMO Fork

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the different-strokes-for-different-folks dept.

PC Games (Games) 16

Thanks to for its messageboard thread pointing to major new Asian-specific features for UbiSoft's PC MMO title Shadowbane, following Asian publisher En-Tranz's decision to create a separate version of the game to better meet "the needs of the Asia-Pacific players." This unique split, with 2 development teams working on different version of the same MMO, has led to Asian-specific changes such as "a 'WASD' control scheme (no more mouse clicking movement)", a new experience curve ("players can now reach level 20 much more easily but as players reach the higher levels, it gets much more difficult"), and a general "newbie experience overhaul." Update: 03/01 19:07 GMT by S : In related news, UbiSoft has just announced the purchase of Wolfpack Studios, creators of ShadowBane.

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After reading the article (4, Interesting)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427651)

You really have to wonder what specifically is for the asian market? Maybe it's just that asians are more accepting of MMO's than the general public, so they can slim down the newbie station? Or is it that they tend to have greater tolerance for random monsters so they jack up the monster count. Or they love very cartoony looks so they overhaul some of the outfits? Or is it that they love collecting very rare items so the price skyrockets? A lot of it sounds like catering to hardcore gamers versus the hobbyist public than anything specifically asian, but maybe thats just my take on it.
Maybe someone more familiar with the asian gaming market can tell me what cultural aspects make this stuff more appealing. I guess as a regular dumb American I just see a lot of these features as a way to take up more time that could be spent doing something else, like FPing on /.

Re:After reading the article (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427737)

Or maybe the asian market is just more accepting of really shitty MMOs. I gave SB a long time to "get working" and it never did. After many months, I just gave up even though I'd already paid for a year long subscription at $120. The ideas were interesting but it was just so technicall inferior and needed a lot of work. And the gameplay got EXTREMELY boring.

changing because they failed (5, Interesting)

Filiks (578065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427683)

Shadowbane was supposed to have been user created warfare against other humans. I haven't played since summer, but the game hadn't yet accomplished that.

The changes sound as though they're making the higher levels difficult to reach so the game becomes more like Everquest. Since the warfare didn't work like it was supposed to, change the focus to player vs. monsters. If the PVP had worked, leveling quickly would still be appreciated as the real fun I had was against other humans. Getting most players to similar levels makes for a more even battlefield.

Failed on alot of aspects. (3, Informative)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8428481)

They had a great concept but the game was plagued with many problems.

Stability during large scale PvP conflicts, I remember one incident quite well that took place on treachery, a large force of Shadowclan, KGB and other clans was heading to attack a Covenant of Swords town, COS caught wind of the attack (not that hard considering there is only one portal you can jump from continent to continent from) so they intercepted the attacking force. As the armies approched the game turned into a horrid slideshow where a majority of the combatants got Sb.exe errors or lagged out completely. Those remaining where subjected to a joke of a battle. This happend pretty much every time a large force of players met up, and considering that is a huge part of Shadowbane the game failed there. (I understand that things have become more stable but that might just be because alot of people stopped playing the game)

Leveling up failed pretty bad as well. (Which I heard has changed but lets look back a bit) There was very few good leveling spots in the game, on the one continent there was one, and that was crap when you got into your 40's.

Game Economics wasn't that great either, It took a long time to get your city built up costing alot of time farming money (which goes back to the 2nd issue of crappy places to get cash)and it takes very little time to take down everything that you worked for, especially once your Tree of Life is camped by the enemy forces, You can't spawn in your town at that time.

Lastly the fact that there was only one spot to get the commander rune, which was an essential rune for sieging. So for the longest time that rune was monopolized by whoever was in beta and knew where it was.

Re:Failed on alot of aspects. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8429677)

I salute you. I wouldnt of been able to stomache it for that long just to tell people how much it really truly sucks. I would have been gone much much sooner.

We Love Asia (0, Troll)

cL0h (624108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427706)

Given the link between gamers and the penchant for all things Asian, (anime, consoles etc.) an 'Asian Version' would be much sought after in the west.
Interesting that this is an English press release. I think this is good hype for the company who can also release this edition in other markets to be bought by hardcore fans who already own the standard version.

Re:We Love Asia (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8427740)

How did this get a +2 insightful?! This is the dumbest post I've ever read. "An asian version of the game would be good because hard core gamers would buy an asian version of the game"??? Whatever! It's an ASIAN SERVER dude. That's it.

Re:We Love Asia (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427981)

Funnily enough, I concur completely with your assessment of the post. It's not often you're right, AC, but this time you're bang on.

I can only blame the heady rush to karma someone up in a new thread. For shame on you hairtrigger moderators...

It's not that Asia Specific... (3, Insightful)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#8427971)

"This unique split, with 2 development teams working on different version of the same MMO, has led to Asian-specific changes such as "a 'WASD' control scheme (no more mouse clicking movement)", a new experience curve ("players can now reach level 20 much more easily but as players reach the higher levels, it gets much more difficult"), and a general "newbie experience overhaul.""

Er...this is something that most of the MMO games are doing, because keeping the newbies playing increases the chances of subscriptions being paid...not to mention the homogenisation of difficulty ('levels').

I did notice that they centralised the 'newbie' area...I wish them luck with the more painful aspects of t'internet, such as massive latency on the newbie servers; if anything, they should be looking at decentralisation and wiping out this idea of a level playing field; you'll never achieve that given the wide variability in play-time investment from player to player.

Why do I get the impression that the designers of MMO don't really model their assumptions and just copy from other MMOs?

Just what it needs (3, Insightful)

gamerdave (757845) | more than 10 years ago | (#8428175)

>>Asian-specific changes such as "a 'WASD' control scheme (no more mouse clicking movement)", a new experience curve ("players can now reach level 20 much more easily but as players reach the higher levels, it gets much more difficult"), and a general "newbie experience overhaul." Sounds to me like just what the non-Asian version of the game needs. I mean, no WASD - what were they thinking? They should also make it cheaper and easier to build a city, so people don't get frustrated and quit when it gets burnt down. Dave

Re:Just what it needs (3, Interesting)

L7_ (645377) | more than 10 years ago | (#8430876)

I think thats what the North America/UbiSoft fork is doing.

If you read the first news story on the Watershead site it is an interview with Ubiq who seems to be some sort of lead SB Ubi admin. In the article, ml he talks about whats needed in shadowbane.

I think he has a pretty good grip on it, but i guess like everything, the devil is in the details (and implementation!).

His list:

1) Increase overall client stability, and performance of both the client and the server.
2) Make it easier to rebuild after a lost war.
3) Ensure that a siege event is about the right duration.
4) Make trebuchets and other siege equipment more important to sieging.
5) Make walls more effective and cooler.
6) Reduce tree camping.
7) Spread people out.
8) Improve guards.
9) Improve accountability.
10) Get rid of Player Stacking.
11) Improve city management.
12) Improve the siege atmosphere.

Should have been in at the start. (4, Insightful)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8428772)

So I actually just read the article and it definately looks like the Asia team is willing to impliment alot that (imo) should have been in the game in the first place.

Biggest problem was the point and click movement which was something that tons of people bitched about and what alot of people never got use to. There should have been at least the option to Go WASD , wolfpack stated that the keyboard commands would cause too much lag so they went with the single click movement instead.
(Not sure if that was all just bullshit or not)

The user interface was always fairly customizable you could pretty much drag buttons anywhere on the screen , if they make it even more friendly to use thats a plus.

Redesigns of Islands is a great idea and honestly should have happend right after beta. As well having more monsters out in the farther areas is an idea that should have been implimented from the get go, you can seriously run around for hours and not see a monster at all in some areas.

Looks like they want to add more focus to PVE into the game, or at least making it a bit more enjoyable, since as much as the game might want to deny it, you have to PvE alot to farm gold for your towns. Why not make it a bit more fun while doing it.

Re:Should have been in at the start. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8430593)

Don't normally post but...

You see the game in 3rd person. What good is WASD?

Besides, the newbie zones were redesigned already for the US version.

I'm all for cheaper cities.

Re:Should have been in at the start. (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8430861)

Personally, every MMORPG I have played save Shadowbane has had WASD movement or at least had options to change to WASD, with mouse used for turning/looking around, whether you played in First Person or Third Person. The point and click method was messy, especially when you got in really hairy fights with lots of guys around.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

JonBovi (599577) | more than 10 years ago | (#8429126)

...MMO forks YOU!

Keyboard Movement Needed in US Version (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8430594)

It's one of the main reasons I quit the game in the first place. I refuse to play any mouse click to move games.. ala WISH, Shadowbane, and others
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