Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's all about the retention

What's the point of spending 4+ years building a large scale MMO if you can't hold onto your players? With so many MMOs to choose from these days, the most important design factor should be the retention rate. There are many things that contribute to the retention rate of an MMO, but the biggest by far would be the game play itself.

In the past different game companies have tackled retaining players with different strategies. Blizzard used an insanely long leveling system as well as a bunch of really hard end game content. Their strategy was to always give players a goal upon logging off. There would always be that slightly better item, or that incomplete challenge that would leave the gamer unsatisfied and needing return. Ever wondered why in WoW high level players were allowed to run around and gank lower level ones? It would encourage the lower level ones to level more and seek either revenge or protection from it ever happening again. Blizzard's strategy has definitely been the most successful to date, however I can't see it working particularly well in the future. Gamers are waking up to the fact that endless grinding for bare minimum reward is a waste of time.

New retention strategies will be coming into play and I think they all revolve around convenience. The ability to log on and do what ever it is you want to do in the game with bare minimum effort is the key! There are a lot of people with very little spare time, who want to get into the MMO scene but can't invest the time. One issue with making a game convenient is balance. You can't make certain aspects of the game more convenient than others, or else everyone will flock to that. WAR is a prime example of how convenience imbalance can cause major problems. The majority of people only play scenarios for the leveling convenience. I recently read a brilliant article over at NecroRogIcon explaining why convenience is the trump card on all other aspects of game design. Definitely worth a read.

Some other contributing factors to gamer retention are pricing models, rapid game patching, customer service and of course a fun game with copious amount of content. Using a subscription based pricing scheme is risky. If the game launches with a bunch of problems, players are going to cancel their subscriptions within the first month. Let's face it, which MMOs don't launch with problems? Snafzg had a great idea about extending the initial subscription period included with the purchase of the MMO to 90 days instead of 30. I thought this was a brilliant idea, as the more time a player invests into a game, the less they want to leave. I think moving forward, a non subscription based pricing model will have a better success with retention rates. It allows players to change between MMOs with minimum hassle. Very appealing to the casual gamer, just look at Guild Wars.

Rapid and responsive game patching is another key element to keeping the crowds. If a player has a problem with the game, but can see it being fixed in the near future, it will help to keep them from leaving. Good customer service also goes a long way.

The MMO game industry is still young and lessons are being learned every day. New MMOs are popping up all over the place and old ones are hanging around. With so much to choose from, the gamer needs a reason to stay and it can't be the endless grind factor anymore.

Friday, October 24, 2008

WAR contribution system idea

I'm not a huge fan of the current WAR scenario contribution system for a few reasons. Each class isn't rewarded equally for its efforts (i.e. DPS gets more renown than tanks), and there is very little incentive to carry out the objectives of the scenario (ie. defending a flag). There is also the problem of splitting renown equally throughout the group regardless of contribution, which has lead to the solo grouping issue. It's a delicate issue, as a lot of people feel that all renown gained should be split amongst the group, whereas others believe that players should only be rewarded for their individual effort. Personally I believe there needs to be a combination of both. Players should be encouraged to play as a team, as well as be recognised for individual contribution.

Instead of just talking the talk, I thought I have a go at walking the walk and actually designing how I think the WAR scenario contribution system should work:

My system design would be broken down into two sections, Individual (not split with group mates) and Group rewards.

Base Renown Gain:
There would be three possible ways to gain renown: damage dealt, damage received and healing performed. Each class would only be able to use two of the of the three renown gain methods. Unlike the current system, damage dealt would rewarded instantaneously instead of when a kill is performed (like how healing works currently). Damage received (designed for tanks) would also be rewarded instantaneously. You could not gain renown for self inflicted damage (ie. falling or backfire) or for healing yourself. The amount of renown gained would depend on the class co-efficient. Below is table showing the class co-efficient for each renown gain method:

ClassDmg DealtDmg TakenHealing
Chosen and Knight of the Blazing Sun0.55
Black Orc and Swordmaster0.500.50
Ironbreaker and Blackguard0.500.50
Squig Herder and The White Lion0.400.60
Witch Hunter and Witch Elf0.350.65
Maruader and Shadow Warrior0.450.55
Dwarven Engineer and Chaos Magus0.350.65
Bright Wizard and Sorceress0.300.70
Warrior Priest and Disciple of Khaine0.50
Goblin Shaman and High Elf Archmage0.55
Rune Priest and Zealot0.60

To calculate the renown gained you take the base figure (ie. 1000 dmg = 10 renown) and multiply it by the co-effient for that class (i.e. Bright Wizard: 10 renown * 0.3 = 3 renown). So as a Bright Wizard, you would receive 3 renown for every 1000 damage that you do. The base figures for each gain method would look something like:

MethodAmountRenown Gain
Damage dealt100010
Damage recieved100015
Healing performed100010

The idea of the co-efficient is that your class is rewarded at a higher rate for performing tasks that are more difficult. For example, the Witch Elf/Witch Hunter are rewarded at a higher rate for receiving damage, because it is riskier for them to do so. At the end of the day, all classes should receive the same renown for doing what they are good at. The co-efficient for each class would obviously be tweaked through trial and error to iron out any balance issues.

Diminishing Returns:
Each renown gain method would have diminished returns if used on or received from the same player over time. When the player dies, the diminished return is reset.

Objective Incentives:
Each scenario would provide incentives for performing or helping to perform certain objectives. For example healing a flag runner or killing an enemy flag runner. The incentives would vary depending on the scenario.

Winning the scenario:
This would work in the same fashion that it does at the moment. If your team wins the scenario, you get a renown bonus (i.e 600 RP).

This is where the bulk of your renown gain will come from. When you or a member of your group performs a kill, you and every other member of your group will receive 5 renown for each group member alive. If all six group members are alive, each member of the group will receive 30 renown. This provides an incentive to form large groups as well as staying alive and resurrecting. Only players that are alive receive renown. The amount of renown received per kill would increase with each tier.

Kill bonuses:
When an enemy performs a kill, the renown gained for killing them is the base amount plus 5 for each kill that they have performed. For example if your foe has killed 4 players before you kill them and all six of your group members are alive, you all receive 30 + (4 * 5) = 50 renown.

Kill rampages:
For each successive kill that your group makes without a single member dying the renown gain per kill increases by 5. For example (6 members): First kill = 30 renown each, second kill = 35 renown each, third = 40, etc...

Note: All values used in the above examples are arbitrary and would require actual game research to determine their proper values.

I think this kind of contribution system would reward each class equally, as well as encourage team co-operation. Bonuses would be rewarded to teams that work well together, as well as to individuals that put in extra effort.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some kind of mild awesomeness

I haven't seen any documentation on this, but I've noticed two things today that have been implemented to improve RvR. I may just be blind and they could have been in the game a while however. Anyone else seen these?

1) In some scenarios (I am assuming in others, but I only saw it in Nordenwatch), certain RvR objectives give a bonus to one side. This motivates people to go do open RvR so they can get back to grinding scenarios ;) No, there was no such feature in Tor Anroc :(

2) The "keep under attack" message visible on the minimap is now a little bit more specific... I saw an "inner sanctum breached" tonight. I hightailed it over there, and sure enough the outer door was down... no destruction in sight though. Guess the door must take a while to respawn. I'm glad they added this feature, they should complicate it a little further with maybe DEFCON levels or something :)


Last night I took a Witch Hunter for a spin and aside from the no self heal, it was a bunch of fun. Up to now I've mostly been playing hybrid healer classes in WAR (Archmage and Warrior Priest), and throwing heals around in between dropping Witch Elves (my favorite). I had no idea how much it sux when you can't heal yourself!... and it sux even more when you fall back with 5% health hoping a healer will notice you, only to be picked off 10 seconds later by a passing tank... It almost made me want to stop playing a Witch Hunter altogether :(

Instead of ranting about it, I decided to come up with a possible solution:

All classes (including the ones with healing) are given a "I NEED HEALING!" button that lights up when your character's health drops below a certain threshold (i.e. 40%). When you press the button, a big red flashing arrow appears above your head and can only be seen by players with healing skills within range. When your health is taken above the threshold, the arrow disappears.

Now before we go any further, the idea is to provide identification assistance to the healers and not be a constant pain in the ass. So to prevent players from annoying the hell out of healers, there would be a few rules:
  1. The button can only be pressed once for each drop below the threshold.
  2. Healers can turn off being able to see arrows. A small 'eye' icon next to their portrait will indicate if they have the function turned on or not.
  3. Healers gain additional renown for helping players that have activated their "I NEED HEALING!" button. This provides an incentive to respond.
I think that having a "I NEED HEALING!" button would provide an extra layer of tactic and strategy to WAR battles, as well as giving melee dps classes a chance. It would also assist in identifying low health players in other groups. I know I'd use it ;)

MMORPG's are not for you

Every time I hear somebody complain about grind in MMO's, somebody comes along and says "All MMO's have grind. If you don't like grind, you shouldn't be playing MMO's. Go and play [insert random game with no levelling] Halo."


Brainwashed much? Why do MMO's need to have grind?

Let's pretend that I'm a gaming big wig making a presentation to my board of directors, before anybody's ever heard the term MMORPG.

"Welcome gentlemen! (This is 1998, there are no women on the board of directors of a gaming company)

I've come up with this great new idea for a game! Basically, we take the good old fashioned world of an RPG, and we let heaps and heaps of people run around in it and play together! What fun! I call it an MMORPG, as you can see from this breakdown:

- Players choose a class of character, aka a 'role' to play. Hence the term 'role playing game'.
- Everyone runs around in one big world together, giving the potential to be able to play with a large group of people. Hence the term 'Massively Multiplayer Online'."

"Gee Bill, that's a great idea. Gaming has never seen such a thing. Surely there's some way we can force people to pay through the nose for this."

"What? No, I just think it would be heaps of fun."

"Seriously Bill, get with the program. We can pretend that it costs a lot of money to run the online servers, and use that to justify paying a monthly fee! No other game offers such a large scale multiplayer environment, people will *have* to pay!"

"Look, ok, I guess we could justify $5 a month..."

"Bill ffs sit down. Now the problem is that people only play RPG's for usually 2 - 3 months. How are we going to force them to play longer?"

"Seriously, you can't *force* your players to - "

*board director uses floor lever to open secret trapdoor, dropping Bill in handy waiting pool of piranhas*

"So anyway, we need to force them to stay. Let's make it take roughly 10 times as long to get to the level cap."

"Ok Steve that's great, but what about when the players find all the best items in the game? Surely they'll use those to beat it somehow?"

"That's true Dave. Let's make the items completely random drops, with a miniscule chance that the good items that you actually *need* to do the hardest content will ever drop for you! It works for casinos, and it keeps people *totally* addicted!"

"Fantastic idea Steve! We can make the items special colours, as people are easily fooled by shiny trinkets!"

"Indeed Dave. Additionally, let's make the monsters hit so hard in the toughest areas that it takes a really unrealistic number of people to be ogranized together to have a chance of beating it! That will certainly present a barrier to finishing the game."

"I like where you're going with that Steve, great work! Now, where do you see a game like this going with an expansion?"

"Dave, you should know the answer to that... we'll add more levels, and make it take just as long to get those as all the other levels before them!"

*joint maniacal laughter*

Anyway, have I got my point across yet? If you think MMO's "need" grind it's because all you've played is WoW and EQ. Take a game like Guild Wars.

It has minimal grind, especially for PvP, well defined and balanced classes, tells a great story, and still gives me the potential to play with a massive group of players. Its only downfall is that it's not a persistent world, but I hear they're introducing this in Guild Wars 2, so I have high hopes for the future of MMO's.... grind free!

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

Weird huh? Extra points if you can guess how it happened...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Catch-up mode

I read an interesting article recently about motivating players. Zoso points out that it never works out in practice to reward people based on individual performance, because it's just too hard to gauge accurately.

Did you kill 10 guys solo in Nordenwatch? Well, that's great, but maybe you're a bit of a scrub since you were actually not near any shrines and not contributing to the capture and therefore the victory. Unless those guys happened to be on their way from one shrine to the other, and you stopped them from getting there. In which case you're not a scrub, you're a total pro.

How can the game differentiate such a situation? Well, it can't. This is one advantage of handing out an identical reward to every player on the winning side (and a smaller reward to every player on the losing side). Over a large number of matches played, the best players will get rewarded the most, the worst players the least, and it will all work out brilliantly. Except, as Zoso quite rightly points out, that some games are a bit of a landslide because your team sucks very badly. You know, those games that end 500-20. If you only reward the win and not individual stats such as heals/damage, people will just give up and try to lose faster to get to the next game. That sucks.

Ever played a racing game? I was playing Need For Speed on PS2 the other day against my girlfriend. Due to the fact that I suck royally at racing games and because she doesn't, I'm not ashamed to say that I was being whooped good and proper. I spent an impressive amount of time racing the wrong way and attempting to turn around. She won the race easily, but somehow she never really got that far ahead.... thanks to my faithful co-pilot, catch-up mode.

Basically, in many racing games, players who are falling too far behind get to go *faster*. This is a neat game mechanic, since

a) It prevents you from giving up if you stack on the first corner
b) If the other person really is better than you, once you catch up they'll just pull away from you again, so it's not unfair to the leader

Catch-up mode would remove that "meh, next game" problem in scenarios, by keeping the game close and interesting. This would allow a "all winners get the same reward" system to work, which would stop individual rambo's from running around improving their personal score with no regard for the actual team.

Although of course with such a system, I'd still like to see a ladder ranking at the end like we do currently, since I like to stroke my e-peen as much as the next guy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Go back to WoW plz"

That is the forum cry of many a belligerent troll. Yet, I find myself urged to utter it after I read such things as this.

In brief, Tobold says that WAR doesn't have the same end-game raiding structure as WoW, and so after a capital city has been conquered, there is nothing left to do in the game. So players will not stick around for long.

Oh no, really?

You mean I can't spend long months on the endless MMO hamster wheel of diminishing returns trying to grind that extra 5% effectiveness out of my character, in order to fight that next series of enemies that are 5% stronger?

You mean that I don't have to perform as many mindless repetitive tasks in order to eventually play with my friends, and have a fair PvP comptetition with my enemies?

You mean that I don't have to be unemployed and/or have no social life in order to keep up?

You mean that in WAR PvP stands for Player vs Player, and not Play time spent vs Play time spent?

You mean that WAR is not an epic grind-fest like WoW? Whatever will we do with ourselves?

This game is all about RvR. The people who are drawn to play it are excited by the thrill of massive battles, of competitive play, by the joy of outmanoeuvring the competition, by the unpredictability of each encounter.

The small group who accomplished a 3am raid did so unopposed. They had none of the above PvP interaction, and so they were probably pretty left feeling pretty unfulfilled. They'll roll alts, gear up, and chill out while the rest of the player base catches up to them.

Or, they'll realise that they don't actually give a toss about PvP, that they hate having to adapt their playstyle on the fly, that they can't sleep at night without the promise of an incredibly low chance of the MMO casino drop game tossing them out a better item on the next day's raid. And then, they will...

Go back to WoW.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Randomize the Scenarios

Here's the problem, everyone is playing the same scenario map for each tier because said scenario is the 'most fun' or the 'most rewarding' or both. Mythic took a step in the right direction by allowing players to queue for all tier related scenarios in one button press. Unfortunately it still doesn't solve the problem of a particular scenario getting more attention than the others.

My solution is simple: there is one button. You click it and it enters you into the scenario queue. When enough people are in the queue on both sides, a scenario map is automatically picked at random. If you don't like the map, you are allowed to leave, but doing so gives you one 'rage point'. If you get three 'rage points' you have to wait ten minutes before you are allowed to queue for scenarios again. Rage points disappear after 30 mins or so. Kind of like Guild Wars Random Arenas.

This ensures that all scenarios get an even rotation and there isn't a huge problem with rage quitters.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Let us find each other

Anyone who has played or read anything about WAR in the last few weeks knows that the game features moments of truly epic fun separated by long periods of intense boredom / grinding.

This has been blamed on the the far greater rewards from doing scenarios compared to "open world" content such as keep sieges and PQ's, which means that people focus mainly on competing in scenarios and so hardly ever see the more innovative side of WAR.

This is true, however it's not the only reason scenarios are dominating the gameplay. The other reason is that it's just much simpler to find people to play scenarios with thanks to the handy UI/pairing feature.

Take open RvR for example. Let's say you look at your map and see that an enemy keep is under attack, so you decide to go help. You have to march to a town 2-3 minutes from the nearest flight master. Once there, you're not guaranteed of
a) any PvP at all, since it's guarded by NPC's
b) any more than one ally to help you anyway, since other people who may want to keep siege have no idea how many other people want to keep siege. Sometimes even this one ally has nicked off by the time you get there.

What a waste of time! You go off back to scenarios or something. Five minutes later, unbeknownst to you enough other people accidentally wander past and form a group, and end up taking the keep. Sucks to be you don't it?

But it doesn't have to be like this. What if, like scenarios:

Every single group based activity in the game has a simple UI feature to aid grouping with every player on the server, regardless of their location, who might be interested in that activity.

My suggestion: Expand that little scenario button next to the minimap. When people click on it, they receive the following info:

Declare your interest in one of these activities to find other players to group with!

1) Scenarios
- UI box turns into current scenario options, works as current

2) Open RvR
- Players can choose any keep/node in any tier that they have visited before. Locations never visited, and those not able to be captured (due to changing hands recently) are grayed out. Locations that would result in "chickenification" have a chicken icon.
- Players can choose to form a group that will try to claim the objective.
- Alternately, players can choose "notify me" to be automatically invited when another group forms in this way and when an open group not formed this way begins the objective. A "join now or join later" dialogue box similar to the join scenario interface is given, in case people don't want to join the group right away.
- Players selecting the "notify me" option can specify how big they want the party to be before they're notified. Eg you might want to be notified only if there's more than 10 people signed up, or you might say blow it, notify if even one other person wants to play. If nobody has volunteered to form the party but your desired number of players is reached, the game asks you to form the party.
- Players don't have to click on every single option they're interested in being notified about. There are checkboxes so that you could, for example, join all in a particular tier, or all in the dwarf/greenskin pairing, or only keep sieges in tiers 3 and 4, or only tier 2 defense nodes, etc etc.
- Hovering over each location / "choose all" checkbox will tell you how many of your allies are queued up to do the same, and how many are already in a group doing the same thing (with right-click functionality to join existing groups).
- There is a separate tab for offense and defense. For defense, you can select to be notified when zero other people are in a group, which will give you a dialogue box the moment the objective comes under attack (again, regardless of which tier you're in).

3) Dungeons

4) PQ's

5) Regular Q's

- Rinse and repeat for all these from point 2. The general focus should be no matter where you are, no matter what you're doing, you can put your name down to get involved in whatever interests you. When enough players do the same, you'll know right away.

Please Mythic, I know there are other players online wanting to do the same things that I do. Help us find each other.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WAR stuff that doesn't make sense:

There are a lot of things in WAR that don't make sense, but these can often be attributed to bugs. I've found a few things that are most likely bugs, but if not they definitely require further explanation from Mythic. Here is the list, I'll let you be the judge:

1. Archmage dodgy dealings?
When the Archmage charges their tranquility or high magic to max, tiny Gork and Mork icons appear behind the flames. Is the Archmage batting for the Greenskins, or was this a dev cut and paste error from the Shaman?

2. Healing deals damage?
Why is healing measured in DPS? Shouldn't it be HPS (Health Per Second)?

3. Everyone is right handed?
Why are all the weapons right handed, and the shields/focus items left handed? I'm sorry, but all left handed babies are shot...

4. All weapons at the same level deal the same DPS?
I think it's odd that a staff can deal the same DPS as sledge hammer or great axe in melee. I could understand if the staff shot fireballs or something but no, it's a whacking stick. I know which one I'd rather be hit with...

5. Can't thank the Auctioneer?
Why does mail from Auction House have a reply button on it that doesn't work? Why does it even have a reply button to begin with?

6. DPS math a bit odd?
All weapons have a DPS rating and a speed rating. To get the damage value of the weapon, you divide the DPS by the speed (assuming speed is measured in seconds). This of course would indicate that every weapon has a set damage. A 16 DPS, speed 2 weapon would deal 8 damage per hit.

Here's the weird thing, if you set your char on auto attack, the damage is not constant. The values that come up vary (ignoring crits). Maybe the label should read 'average DPS'?

7. No auto-attack for pistol?
Why does the Witch Hunter pistol have a DPS and speed rating if you cannot use it on auto attack? It can only ever be fired via the use of a skill. Wouldn't it make more sense for pistols to just have a damage rating?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Don't contribute, get a lollie...

As you may have guessed from my previous posts, I'm a little bewildered as to how WAR measures contribution in scenarios. This caught my eye last night while playing Mourkain Temple (click to enlarge):

A player that contributed nothing to the scenario (i.e. no damage or healing), gained more XP than myself (Bloodfire), who contributed considerably. Try working that one out???

I really hope Mythic know what they are doing, because it's these kind of bugs that invite botting. You would only need a macro that auto enters you into a scenario and another to make subtle movements on the keyboard to prevent the game from logging you out. You could go to bed and when you wake up your char would be 15 ranks higher... Mythic needs to get the devs onto this one asap, because it will really be bad for business.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

WAR Auction House a bit broken?

We all already knew WAR's Auction House had a 'few' hick-ups with the search, but how about random overpriced weird sh!t (click to enlarge):

This was an item that showed up when I searched for Archmage armor rank 14-17. Weird huh? As you can see, something is seriously wrong. The fonts are all screwy and the armor value is 15423. The usable careers include the Hammerer and the Choppa?? Lol... I would have purchased it if it wasn't 12995 gold...

Just another bug to add to the list :(

Archmages are leet

After reading a couple of articles about the Archmage class (Awesomeness of the Archmage, So you think you can Heal), I decided to give one a go for myself. I rolled a female High Elf named 'Bloodfire' (feel free to laugh at my lame name choices, Melf does), and leveled her to Tier 2 almost entirely via Scenarios. The Scenario queue time is minimal on a Saturday for people playing Order, so I leveled her extremely fast.

One thing that amazed me was how easy it is for a healer to gain renown. I was almost always at max renown rank, as you cannot take it higher than your level rank. After a while, I started to notice a bit of a pattern. DPS type classes tend to finish with a high amount of XP, while healers finish with a high amount of renown. Here is a screen shot I took after playing Mourkain Temple (click to enlarge):

Another interesting point was that I can gain 2500+ RP for less than 10 minutes work in a Scenario, so why would I want to spend over an hour doing RvR and gain less than 500 RP? I also thought it was odd that Order lost the match, yet I gained over twice the renown of the best Destruction player?? I have no idea how the contribution system works, but I think Mythic need to re-visit it and make RvR more appealing in the process.

I definately enjoyed playing the Archmage a lot more than my Warrior Priest. They can heal close to that of a Rune Priest and still deal a large amount of damage in the process. At rank 14 I was able to heal 70K+ in a Scenario and still get 2 kills to my name. The coolest part about being a healer is getting +8 RP every time a HoT triggers. All I had to do was keep Lambent Aura up constantly on all nine other team mates and then cash in on the renown. The game rewards you for playing like a robot: tab, cast, tab, cast, tab, cast... seems a bit broken in my books. For now the Archmage seems like the most efficient class for gaining renown whilst still holding their own in combat. I recommend it to all the hardcore PvPers out there, especially if you want to gain large amounts of renown for your guild.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Target calling in WAR

I've read a lot of posts and articles about suggestions to make WAR a better game, but the one suggestion I haven't seen mentioned is target calling. Target calling was an extremely popular function in Guild Wars, which allowed any party member to notify all other party members of the enemy that they are targeting. When a target is called, the mini map is pinged to the location of the target informing all other group members where to look. A line of text is added to the chat window saying: "Player x is targeting player y" and a small target icon appears next to the player that called the target allowing other players who click it and lock on. It was possibly the most used mechanic during combat in Guild Wars.

So whats so important about calling targets and why will WAR benefit from it? Target calling is essential for spiking down individual foes, as well as advertising weak or low health targets to the rest of your group. Good leaders can guide inexperienced players through priority targets, as well as direct group movements around the map. Given that WAR is heavily based on PvP, I'm amazed that Mythic didn't integrate a target calling feature into the game.

To take it one step further, it would be nice to have some smarts behind the target calls as well. Eg:
  • "Player x is targeting Player y, who is holding the flag!"
  • "Player x is targeting player y, who is below half health!"
  • "Player x is targeting player y, who is nearly dead!"
I think target calling would be extremely helpful in scenarios, where groups are often made up of randoms. It would bring some order to the chaos and provide extra depth to the tactics required to play the game.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shock horror, game devs listen to players

Mythic has continually astounded me over the last 2 weeks with their tireless reading of forums and prompt addressing of player concerns. Seriously, I'm used to bitching about things in an MMO for a good year or 2 before they end up getting changed.

Mythic has made a ton of changes, including:

- Allowing scenarios to be queued up for all racial pairings within a tier (dramatically reducing queue times)
- Altering the White Lion 'pounce' ability so that they can't unfairly beat Destro to the bauble in one of the Tier 2 scenarios
- Fixing Tab targeting
- Fixing the chat interface
- Fixing the target out of range bug
- Fixing pet AI
- Fixing the friends list
- Adding an auto loot option
- Reducing random crashes

Granted, ideally several of these things should have been in the shipped product, but big props to Mythic for listening to the fans and fixing a lot of the most outstanding issues as quickly as they can. In particular I'm a big fan of the Scenario fix, since this is what I've spent the majority of my time playing so far (actually I've spent the majority grinding for gear/levels... I should say, I've had the majority of my fun in scenarios :p).

Anyway, I've never seen such a fast turn around before, and hope it continues.