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When MMOGs Ruled The Quickies

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the fear-them dept.

Role Playing (Games) 40

This summer it seems like Massive games are the only good news going, and this week has been busy. R. Spencer writes "1UP explores MMO addiction and, in true confessional style, opens the floor to heavy users and recovered junkies. It's especially interesting how much the mechanisms of MMO addiction have in common with other forms of addiction. The primary source of addiction nowadays seems to be World of Warcraft. If you're jonesing right now, you might want to check out this Guide to the Creation of the Scarlet Monastery on the official site. Additionally, Mogg writes "For new players, GamerGod has a up part one of a guide to the game World of Warcraft." This is Tobold's first writerly foray at the new site. Luck to him. For something a little different, 1up explores the world of Sociolotron...a Sex MMOG. Speaking of sex, SOE has been busy lately. The end to the Quest for Antonia search is almost here. They've put up new details on future EQ2 content, and announced a dramatic downsizing of The Matrix Online. See, when no one plays, you don't need as many servers. The new content mob is rearing his head all over with Secrets of the Syren in the works on Star Wars Galaxies, CoH Issue 5 coming up soon, and screenshots from the next Guild Wars update available. MMORPG.com continues to put out interesting editorials, with a look at the stories in Massive Games. Finally, the highly respectable Nick Yee has published a new edition of The Daedalus Project. The seminal source of MMOG statistics on the web has articles on participation in games at the level cap, introductions to the genre, and the stress of loot. As always, participation in the survey helps ensure future issues have good data.

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Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13198022)

Everyone must be trying sociolotron...

With this many links (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198078)

It'd be hard to be offtopic...

(Yes I realize it'd be funny to mod this off topic)

Now if someone could just release a /. article that would be immune to redundancy, trolling, and blatant flamebait.

Good reads and interesting stuff in there though.

I can quit anytime (1)

HyperTiger (898038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198213)

I havne't had a day of not playing since I got the game recently, but I'm sure I can quit anytime...

And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13198271)

Remember the article on class balancing in WoW [slashdot.org] back from June? Well, apparently they did listen - they made a totally pointless an ineffective nerf to WoTF, making it from totally overpowering down to extremely overpowering.

However, they still haven't addressed Shamans totally overpowering every single Alliance class. They buffed some of the Horde racials too, making the Horde even more powerful against the Alliance. Plus, Battlegrounds itself is also biased in favor of the Horde!

There is still some progress, warlocks finally got their "love" and were fixed in 1.6 (although there are still some bugs, a bunch were hotfixed, but summoning other players is still broken in some instances). Hunters and Druids should be getting some fixes in 1.7, but with all the ways they've broken Hunters in the last eight months, Hunters are going to need way more than one patch to be fixed.

Paladins, the Alliance-only class, are of course still as broken as ever, while the Horde-only class of Shamans got some buffs in the last patch (although unintentional, but they haven't been fixed yet...).

Hopefully Blizzard will stop releasing new raid content and concentrate on releasing patches that fix the issues with the game and get the Alliance up to par with the Horde. The amount of Horde-bias in recent content is staggering.

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198312)

Strange coincidence...

SOE released the combat upgrade in SWG not too long ago. All it did, however, was move the overpowering from some templates to others. Then, the game was met with a slew of content publishes, while long standing bugs got worse.

Now they pledge to release mostly bug fixes for the next few publishes.

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1)

dhakbar (783117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198487)

Many of the developers for SWG were devs on Ultima Online, and if you can remember what their patching situation was like, there was simply no end to horrible, game-breaking bugs. Every patch resulted in new, bad bugs. Balance was never achieved. SWG is exactly the same, I believe because the developers are making the exact same mistakes with it that they made with UO years ago.

SWG has one of the worst track records of any mmorpg in terms of bugs and balance. Patch days invariably upset the current balance of the game, skewing the ruleset towards a new group with every publish. The big bugs never get fixed; the little bugs are too plentiful to be noticed when fixed. The game is forsaken.

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 8 years ago | (#13214055)

Yet I still play. SOE/LA knows they have a lock with idiots like me, because it's the only Star Wars MMOG out there. I've decided to quit many times, only to pass on the notion.

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1)

AsbestosRush (111196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199015)

Considering the rumoured Alliance/Horde player imbalance (I've heard numbers from 2:1 Alliance:Horde to 5:1 Alliance:Horde) across the servers, this can almost make sense in a game balance kind of way. Horde being the Protoss to the Alliance's Zerg, to use another Blizzard metaphore.

Of course, Hunters *still* suck, no matter what side you're on, unless you're *realllly* good at kiting. :D

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (2, Interesting)

Drawkcab (550036) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199364)

Yes exactly. It can't be as biased in favor of the horde as people say if such a high ratio of people still prefer Alliance. People would switch if the advantages were stacked that heavily with the Horde. When things start evening out, which may never happen, then you can quibble about fairness.

The funny thing is that when I played on a server where Alliance was at a 3 or 4 to 1 advantage, the Horde was still more successful overall at PvP. They were organized, could control themselves in raids, knew how to play their characters, and could quickly mobilize their players to defend against incursions. As an alliance player myself it didn't take me long to figure out that my fellow players wouldn't respond to any sort of coordination in PvP, making anything resembling tactics impossible.

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199932)

My guild has noticed that the Horde tend to be much more organized players as well. Anyone have any idea why this phenomenon exists? I don't even play on a PVP server, so you can't say that the Horde players have to be craftier to survive in a PVP server overpopulated with Alliance.
Is it just because the Alliance side is swamped with many more bad players do to sheer numbers?

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13215740)

My guild has noticed that the Horde tend to be much more organized players as well. Anyone have any idea why this phenomenon exists?

On my server (Boulderfist) I actually think the ratio of alliance to horde is fairly even. However, I have noticed that the Horde tend to be much better organized as well. I believe it has to do with two things:
1) The Horde has an advantage to begin with since Shamans are very useful in BG (they have both things to slow down opponents and speed up themselves, and speed is key in BG), and Pallys (lacking any sort of speed-up or slow-down aside from a few-second stun every minute if you're lucky enough to get in melee range) are fairly useless except as a support class. This causes many Alliance team members to not worry about winning the match, and instead just try to rack up as many HK's as possible.
2) People who are just starting the game tend to flock toward the "good" side as opposed to the "evil" side (see SWG as another example). The more hard-core people are the ones who usually end up playing the "evil" side, which in this case is the Horde. Therefore, you have a lot of bad players on the Alliance, while the average quality of players on Horde is slightly higher. Lastly, with a smaller population people are more likely to play with the same people over and over again, which will result in a stronger team play. For instance, almost every time I have played in BG, it's often been against the same group of Horde (especially Keita, who ALWAYS manages to capture the flag, often flying solo).

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13215880)

Yes exactly. It can't be as biased in favor of the horde as people say if such a high ratio of people still prefer Alliance. People would switch if the advantages were stacked that heavily with the Horde.

The problem with this argument is that people have already spent a great deal of time on their characters before they begin playing BG (or in many cases before BG was even released). Initially, more people played as the Alliance because people tend to choose the "Good" races over the "evil" ones (take a look at SWG or EQ for another example of this). Now that a person has their level 60 alliance character, they are just going to throw that one away to start playing as Horde because they have the advantage? I find that rather hard to believe. I know many players who have started Horde characters on other realms, but it really is starting from scratch. If you play on a PvP server, you can't even create a horde character on the same server as your alliance character. And if you don't play on a PvP server, you can't (easily) give resources from your one character to your other.

In the child of the sister of this post (I guess that would be the niece?) I've discuessed why the Horde tends to be more organized than the Alliance. However, it is not just strategy that makes BG so unbalanced. The difference comes due to the class makeup of the teams. In general, the two best classes for BG are druids and shamans. Almost no one plays druids (because they're not that great at PvE or straight-up PvP), and only Horde can have shamans. The reason why druids and shamans are the best is because they are good flag capturers, able to increase their speed through travel form or ghost wolf form. In my BG experiences, we're lucky if we have a druid on the Alliance side, while the Horde usually have at least 5 shamans. Shamans also are doubly effective because they can slow down EVERYONE through totems, and they can also heal.

I don't know how many times I've played BG without a single healer on our team, and often if we do have a healer, it's a Palladin. Since the vast majority of Alliance are Mages and Rogues, the makeup of our group is usually something like 3 mages, 3 rogues, 2 hunters, a warrior, and a warlock (I'm the warlock). This is a terrible group for BG, but it often is what we're stuck with. As a result, I'd say we win 1/20 BG games we play. The only success I've heard for Alliance on our server has been one guild, Kaizen, who pretty much exclusively play with each other and usually have the right makeups for their groups.

Granted, good strategy on the Alliance can defeat an unorganized Horde team, but even a halfway-decent Horde team will defeat even the best Alliance teams.

Re:And WoW still hasn't fixed the classes... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13212582)

Hopefully Blizzard will stop releasing new raid content and concentrate on releasing patches that fix the issues with the game

Yeah, you keep smoking that fadeleaf, buddy...

A Different Kind of Addiction (3, Interesting)

Valarauk (670014) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198348)

So Fraiser retired his sword. "I had no idea how addicted I was. It had been such a habit to walk in the door and head straight for the computer that it took physical effort to get out of that state of mind. We tried other MMORPGs, but they paled in comparison. So piece by piece, we just got over ourselves and moved on. It disgusts me when I look back. I could've done so much more in the real world that I didn't, and I regret that badly.

This was exactly the case for my friends and I in high-school. Looking back now it is painfully clear that we were addicted to Everquest. Many of us lived for new raids, more levels, and better gear.

There is a reason however that I don't rank "MMO" addiction up with addictions to drugs or alcohol like so many in the media. This is because MMO addictions run their course and leave you largely immune to falling into your old habits with a new game. Like Frasier and his friends, noone I know still plays Everquest, also like him and his friends noone I know, after trying numerous new games to try to recapture the feel, was able to get as drawn in as we were with Everquest. It's not because EQ was that awesome a game, it's because after being so taken with a game for such a long time you aren't able to later find something which doesn't "pale in comparison".

You probably won't hear many recovering alcoholics or drug users tell you they tried their damndest to get back on the wagon and today's booze/drugs simply "pale in comparison" to what it would take to pull them back into their old ways.

Re:A Different Kind of Addiction (3, Insightful)

CarlinWithers (861335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198915)

My experience, as I've recovered from both video game and drug addictions is that the major difference lies in the chemical effect of drug/alcohol addictions.

To quit an MMO when you're addicted requires an amount of effort equivalent to that of the phsycological component of a drug addiction. This effort is mainly to destroy the habit of your addiction, the physical action of sitting in front of the computer OR the physical action of taking a hit. Also, both addictions make inroads into other areas of your life such as socializing. People quitiing MMOs have to deal with the same issues of either dropping friends, or explaining their wish to quit that drug addicts do.

The major difference comes in the chemical addiction. MMOs don't have the significant chemical addiction that hard drugs have. This is what adds difficulty to tackling a drug addiction that is above and beyond an MMo addiction. Physiological sysmptoms of withdrawal also become an issue.

For this reason MMO addiction is less serious than drug addiction. However, it is still serious.

Well, you know you're addicted to WoW (1)

Tink2000 (524407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198507)

When your room looks like this [livejournal.com] ....

I think the article about addiction downplays how addictive MUDs are in comparison; I have dreamt in text because of MUDding 8-12 hours a day.

Re:Well, you know you're addicted to WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13208873)

like what? I don't see the image there....

Re:Well, you know you're addicted to WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13209820)

Must be just you.

Wow (2)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198724)

Matrix Online has three world servers now? Down from only nine? Damn, that's horrible. How can they even afford to run the servers with that few players?

Re:Wow (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199686)

They started too many servers too fast. Guess they were encouraged by the popularity of WoW and thought they were next. What's really sad is that they didn't do a bit of advertising. They let too many people in the beta who formed an opinion of the game and never came back to see if the bugs were fixed (much like people review open source software). The world (Mega City) is just so damn big that you hardly ever ran into anyone anyway. So now with only 3 servers maybe people won't get the feeling that no-one is playing the game. There are people playing the game, lots of them, but they were spread over 9 servers and 30+ areas (not to mention 3 organisations and 24 timezones). However, just merging the servers isn't going to repair the damage. Sony needs to get their marketting team on this. Get some advertisement and promotions going.

Re:Wow (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199955)

Huh, that's funny. Matrix Online is the only MMO I've seen TV commercials for. They sure did quite a bit of advertising in gaming magazines as well.
I just think too many people got turned off on the series after the last two movies to be interested.

Re:Wow (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199983)

They did advertising during the beta, then stopped.. which is just dumb marketting. As for getting turned off by the last two movies, I guess people just don't understand symbolism anymore. Maybe they should put warnings on the box: caution, this film contains depth. Here's a good overview for Reloaded [wylfing.net] and Revolutions [wylfing.net] . Worth reading even if you think you understood the films.

Re:Wow (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13200636)

Read it. Read the source materials they pulled a lot of the philosophy from.
I'm not saying there isn't stuff there for people to enjoy, just for me personally I didn't have any interest in playing the MMO.

Re:Wow (1)

skepticult (110933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13203036)

I tried to watch the second one but was unable to get past trying to figure out where they found the cows to make all those leather jackets from and how they had time to construct the machinery and chemical processes to build those sunglasses they all seemed to wear.

I only made it about ten minutes into the movie.

There's nothing inherently wrong with symbolism but unless it's wrapped in something that's either meaningful or interesting to absorb it's pointless. A stop sign is a symbol, but I'm not going to pay money to see it.

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13205349)

I tried to watch the second one but was unable to get past trying to figure out where they found the cows to make all those leather jackets from and how they had time to construct the machinery and chemical processes to build those sunglasses they all seemed to wear.

They don't have anything like that on in the real world man. They all wear rags and other garbs that you would expect people who live in a hole in the ground. The clothes in the Matrix are all contrivances.

Re:Wow (1)

Why's_This_Fish_So_B (904222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13213655)

Where did all the cows come from? From the leftovers of all the steak Cypher and those who follow him have been eating...

I'm glad MxO is condensing. It needs some work, needs to be folded into the SOE world, and only then will a re-promotion mean anything. Right now there's no point in promoting MxO as it would only give an incentive for a bunch of new people to dismiss it.

MMOs need to hook people immediately and keep them for a few months; after that the investment of time in character and in friends keeps the player subscribed through good times and bad (which, of course, is the whole point of the root article.)

WoW is not that addictive (1)

Profcrab (903077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13198959)

I love the game, but I makes sure to always go out with friends and such. I went to Vegas last weekend, gambled, visited the AH, picked up the flight path, and then got really drunk. Got to make sure you mix up your life.

Addiction to MUDs (3, Interesting)

Soleille (897615) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199046)

As an administrator of one of the larger free MUDs, Medievia, I see many players with addiction problems. Playing our game is very addicting and has led to school, marital, and family problems, not to mention the anti-social behavior of a lot of our players. If they are at home Mudding, they are not learnng valuable social skills, or so people say.

We have realized this problem and have created a http://www.medievia.com/addiction.html [medievia.com] Medievia Addiction Page for the assistance of those players that need it.

In addition, it is not uncommon for players to realize their problems and they request to be frozen for an extended period of time or have their playerfile purged altogether. We of course don't deny their requests. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don't.

Re:Addiction to MUDs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13199487)

I like to use /. to advertise things too.

Like my cock [imageshack.us] , for example.

And it's also free!

Carry on.

Re:Addiction to MUDs (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199720)

One of the few girls who did an IT degree around the same time as me had a MUDing problem. She didn't study, missed classes, missed exams, flunked courses. We all felt so sorry for her but none of us knew what to do. Eventually people started intervening. If we found her in the unix lab we'd harrass her to stop playing MUDs. That didn't work though, she stopped coming to uni altogether when she got herself an Internet connection with no weekly connection limits (as you can tell, this was quite a few years ago). Some of the girls starting going around to her house but her parents would lie for her and say she wasn't home (even though we knew she was cause her character was online). It's really sad.

Eating Crow (1)

Exblizzardfanboi (885402) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199393)

1 WoW pve content upgrade in 7 months : BWL. 1 GW pve content upgrade in 3 months : 2 explorable areas. So where are the Blizzard Fanboy's eating their crow now that GW has come out with a content upgrade for free... not to mention in less time than WoW took?

Re:Eating Crow (1)

the Man in Black (102634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199508)

I read this twice and I still don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Ah. Exblizzardfanboi.

Never mind.

Re:Eating Crow (1)

Exblizzardfanboi (885402) | more than 8 years ago | (#13199609)

All you need to know is that WOW fanboys said for months that GW would never have any content upgrades for free. They would say things like "that is why we pay 15 bucks a month."

Re:Eating Crow (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13200016)

I play WoW, I've played Guild Wars. They aren't really the same sort of game. I like exploring the huge non-instanced zones in WoW. I missed that in GW.
I'm sure GW will have tons of content and is a great game - it's just a different style.
As for Blizzard, yeah it would be nice to have some new PVE content other than 40 man raids.

Re:Eating Crow (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13211104)

There was also Dire Maul (level-cap-ish instance for a 5-man PVE group with some very mild optional PVP attached), Mauradon (mid-high level instance), and various and sundry PVE changes to released areas (if you played Andorhal before the patch its now 1000000000000000000000000000000000 times less annoying). Oh, and the elemental invasion events (nice break in essence farming tedium), although thats more a miscellaneous item than anything.

The last change to Scholo effectively opens up another instance for 5-man groups, too, since it literally took it from an 6-8 hour instance to a 2-3 hour instance.

Addiction, not such a bad thing.... (2, Funny)

SynapseLapse (644398) | more than 8 years ago | (#13201193)

I have an insane roommate who's an argumentative, messy asshole... But ever since he got WoW for Christmas, he never leaves his room except to work and leave the occasional Pizza mess on our stove. I LOVE World of Warcraft without even playing it.

Why are we Addicted (1)

DigitalDwarf (902246) | more than 8 years ago | (#13206934)

I will admit that I am addicted to: World of Warcraft, City of Heroes and recently broke my addiction to Evercrack...Er...Everquest. I think that most people get into these games becase everone sees an Avatar not the real person. In a world where if you are not one of the "Beautiful People" you are mearly one of the "Huddled Masses" MMOG's give you the chance to BE the hero and not have to have the Wash Board Abs or be a Super Model. Your mind and your personality are what they see. And you get to play a Persona that can do things you could never do in real life. Its not suprising that in a this day and age Social Status is such a thing that many can't fit in. So they go to an Imaginary World to find there nitch. Though I do admit it sucks that most Guys play Girls just becase they want an avatar that looks Sexy.

Re:Why are we Addicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13211430)

While I agree that you do get a chance to be taken for your personality rather than looks, I would not jump to the conclusion that the majority of players are trying to escape an awful social life where they are physically unattractive and generally undesireable. There are plenty of these such people around in any MMO, but quite a few of the people that I knew while playing everquest (yes I too was addicted) were on the contrary quite attractive and normal.

Then again, I wasn't exactly the first on the server to hit 65 (I wasnt the last though!) or in a top notch guild so I can't speak for the extreme high end players, but the majority of addicts will put in a good 4-8 hours a day but are still able maintain a normal life.

Also, remember there are a few of us REAL LIFE girl gamers :) People make it out to be such a rare/unfathomable event to see a real, non obese/pimple-faced/flatchested girl that plays MMOs, but before you jump to conclusions that every player(male or female) is trying to escape some torturous social status problem IRL, I would challenge you to find the moderate addicts, who arent quitting their jobs (but are still clocking major /played time) and tell me if you still think we're all "huddled masses" ;)
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