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#1 Oct 07 2012 at 5:02 PM Rating: Decent
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The release of MoP & GW2 really seemed to have put a nail in the coffin,

Daniel Erickson (Lead Designer) & Alex Freed (guy responsible for the IA storyline) have left this week. Bioware Co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk left back in Mid September. Rumbling that the "less than 1 million" pop number was more than likely less than 750k, & was being inflated by including the free trial accounts as well.

I think it is fair to say that the best that can be hoped for now is a Rift level of success, however a Warhammer level of failure if more than likely.

It is a shame, since I enjoyed the game Smiley: frown



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#2 Oct 07 2012 at 6:51 PM Rating: Good
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I can't help but feel like he may not have left so much have been given the option to leave or be removed. He still doesn't have a new position, and announced his leave on a twitter account he created specifically for his job hunt, apparently. I find it really, really odd that a lead designer would just leave if he didn't have a new role lined up, particularly when he clearly intends to stay in the same industry.

Then again, it has to be **** to be a TOR writer, especially when you're lead designer. LucasArts definitely has their fingers in all the pies. It probably got really tiresome being lead designer but having every single thing checked by another studio.

Though that also brings with it TOR's big strength--the IP. I'd definitely be willing to bet there's huge number of players interested in TOR but who aren't interested in MMOs or who were put off by the high price+sub system.

As for Muzyka and Zeschuk, they gave their six-month notices back in April, so it's doubtful this is much of a reaction to the poor performance of TOR.

I seriously doubt a Warhammer level failure is even remotely likely at this point. Just playing GW2 I've seen a sizable population of people who are just waiting for F2P to go back to TOR (why pay for it now if you get it free in a month or two?) And the F2P switch is going to be accompanied by a ton of advertising, so people not waiting for it are definitely going to be hearing about it anyway.
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#3 Oct 08 2012 at 6:22 AM Rating: Good
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For what it's worth, I'm still enjoying the game. I may not agree with some of the animation changes, and the linear game world and "generic" MMO level/talent system was sort of a letdown (was hoping for SWG2, but who wasn't?), but so far I'm enjoying the ride to 50. Got tired of my Assassin, so I dabbled a bit in the Republic classes, especially a Trooper. Really enjoy the storyline, but then I created a Bounty Hunter (female) and the voice acting is leaps and bounds ahead of any of the other voice acting, in my opinion, so I stuck with it.

Official boards are full of "1.4 ruined my AC, please fix", but I'm not having any issues. I don't plan on doing Ranked Warzones and so far I've been having a blast running random Flashpoints and Warzones. Got focused hard when I went in there, but still managed to win every match, both as ******* and Bodyguard.

It sucks a bit that the scoreboard doesn't take into account everything done to secure the win. When the enemy team focused one of our nodes, I ran to one of theirs and successfully managed to make them panic, causing half their team to rush to me and kill me. By keeping pressure on their node, their attack on our node failed and we secured the win, but I got slaughtered on the scoreboard. MVP votes went to some dude who sat on a node all game long and therefore got the highest Objective score, and some other dude who maxed out damage done.

Meh.

Flashpoints are sort of fun now that I no longer tank them. That is, I still tank them, because tanks are so horribly bad in this game that I end up taking aggro whether I'm healing or dealing damage. Had one Assassin tank who only used Force Lightning and Shock. Never, ever used any of his AOE abilities or saber attacks. Painful, but being a total boss (Smiley: tongue) allowed us to pull through. Also, some guy went total ****** and pulled an entire area in Hammer Station after I sliced the elevator and the rest of us used it to bypass some stuff. He ran to us, through all the mobs, pulling them with us, securing a wipe. Afterwards, he was like "lol, chillax, dudes!" and we kicked him. Good times.

Still, I'm seeing a drop in active players. After the consolidation, there were two or three full instances of the Imperial Fleet, but Balmorra (3rd planet Imperial side) was down to 80 peak time Sunday. Was a pain getting a group together for a random 4-man heroic. Dromund Kaas (2nd planet) had 200+ players on it. Smiley: lol

They should probably have held back the F2P announcement until they were ready to make the switch. I canceled my subscription because I've got GW2 to keep me entertained until TOR makes the jump.
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#4 Oct 08 2012 at 9:22 AM Rating: Good
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My sub had run out around finals time back in April/May, and then the F2P announcement came so I didn't resub until just recently, and that was because I was getting really irritated that I had leave off on the very last planet of my Jedi's story. So now I'm back at least for the month, and I'll be back for F2P, and if I'm lucky the two will overlap.

[EDIT]

Know what I just don't understand? This slow move away from the type of talents systems that give you a reward every level. Gaining a level in Vanilla WoW was fun, because it meant you got something new. Maybe that was just a passive power-up to your character, or to an ability they use, or maybe it made it work a different way, or maybe it was a whole new one. In any case, there were a ton of things you could pick, and because you were just leveling it was literally whatever you wanted.

TOR still has that, and I'm very happy about it.

Guild Wars 2 kinda has it. You get 5 trait trees, with 30 points in each. Every 5 points spent in one tree gets you a trait. The 5/15/25 traits are standard to the tree, and you pick from a list of 12 for the 10/20/30 traits, with restrictions on the two lower tiers.

WoW butchered their system in Cata, which is partly why I never got into it. The MoP system just looks frickin' TERRIBLE to me.

TSW's system sounds awesome, but I'm just not interested in the game.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I prefer a generic system to what WoW did. GW2 is both a step in the right direction and backwards. They gave you distinct trait trees that you can use to create any build you'd like, regardless of weapon choices, but you don't get the same thrill of the level reward. TBH, I don't even pay much attention to gaining a level in GW2, because it matters so little. Every third level, or more, I may unlock a new ability. Every 5 levels I may unlock a new trait. Otherwise, it's unimportant--just a stat boost.

The BIGGEST letdown was seeing how crappy Elder Scrolls Online looked. You take Skyrim's amazing build system and reduce it to that? C'MON!

Edited, Oct 8th 2012 11:43am by idiggory
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#5 Oct 08 2012 at 9:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Still seems pretty busy where I am, but surge that seemed to happen on our sever with consolidation has passed. Still no trouble finding people to group with Herioc2/Herioc4 stuff. Were about 50 people on Hoth last night, which seemed decent for a sunday night about midnight server time. For me that will be the thing I think. Once I can't find people to do stuff with, the game will get too single-player.

As for longevity, there seems to be a sizable group that will play this thing through to the bitter end, so I don't see it wasting away into nothingness anytime soon. Assuming of course we don't get twisted every which way in a vain effort to increase the cash flow.

Still anxiously awaiting this F2P conversion. We'll see how they handle it.

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TOR still has that, and I'm very happy about it.


I found myself saying this a lot. SWTOR has an outdated system for a lot of stuff, but there's a lot of times where that's just what I want. Playing long enough to get nostalgic already? Smiley: confused

Edited, Oct 8th 2012 8:57am by someproteinguy
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#6 Oct 08 2012 at 3:25 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I was beginning to like the new talent system in WoW, after having wrinkled my nose at it since we first heard about it, but then I started a new character and the new talent thing just emphasized how horribly many levels you have to grind through in that game.

I mean, sh*t, one talent point every 15 levels. And since you don't have to upgrade abilities/spells anymore, you only get new stuff when you get a completely new ability, which is every, what, 5-10 levels? I'm looking at the Warlock abilities right now, and between level 68 and 78, the Warlock gets one ability: Singe Magic, which is a pet ability. The ability you get at 68 is the Soulwell, which no one uses outside raids, and at 78 it's the Teleport thing, which no one uses outside of PvP.

It's insane that people have to go through that grind. I mean, I get that you can fly through it with the RAF (get it?) and all, but if you're just a new player, or an old player re-rolling, you're looking at 90 levels with up to 10 levels between new stuff. And by new stuff, I mean stuff you likely won't use - sometimes a buff. What the ****, man? I got to level 20 on my Warlock and decided that my life wasn't boring enough that I had to continue doing this. I'd killed about a million boars by then and gotten all of my core spells, which means nothing new (just buffs and novelty stuff) for the next 30 levels or so. **** no.

Edit: The new talent system is fine if you're already level 80+. I get that it makes balancing easier and all that, but I don't see how it's an improvement over the old and "boring" talent trees. I mean, sure, picking +1% damage/healing isn't the most exciting stuff in the world, but it's better than not picking anything for 15 levels, isn't it? The first 60 levels just feel like they should be compressed into 30 levels. You get all your core junk in the first 20 levels and then it's just boars and boars with the occasional talent and odd new ability every 10 levels. Ugh.

Edited, Oct 8th 2012 11:34pm by Mazra
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#7 Oct 08 2012 at 5:24 PM Rating: Good
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Even without considering the leveling implication, I still don't see why I should find the new system attractive. Why?

Because I don't PVP. There's literally no value to the system if you are a PVE player, particularly if you play DPS. A Tank DK might make a slightly interesting choice when it comes to choosing between Purgatory and AMZ. But even that is simple--go Purgatory unless that boss encounter specifically requires the other.

Tier 1- Rolling Blood, MAYBE Plague Leach if the boss has adds you can regularly steal diseases from. But PVE wants sustained DPS, and (assuming they didn't nerf diseases to ****), they're a significant source of DPS and not worth a single Death rune.

Tier 2- Are you a tank? Purgatory unless you need AMZ. DPS? AMZ unless you need Lichborn, but that's up to you because who the **** cares for 85% of content?

Tier 3- Death's Advance, no argument.

Tier 4- Are you Unholy? Death Pact. Frost? Death Siphon. Blood? Conversion. That's not even subtle.

Tier 5- SLIGHTLY interesting choice, but I'm betting it still falls into spec constraints. Each spec has a clear winner.

Tier 6- Why the **** cares? You're PVE, you don't need snares. Gorefiend's Grasp, because it's the only one with meaningful utility in a PVE environment.

I see no real choices there. None. Sure, there are plenty if you PVP, but nothing of any interest for PVE. I'd even bet the DPS falloff for breaking the spec molds is sizable enough that it's intuitive and doesn't even need TC to prove.

To be fair, that's DK. Mage is MUCH better.

Tier 1- POM, Scorch, or Icy Floes. All of these have actual PVE value. Granted, the choice is clear based on how much moving that encounter requires, but still--it's an actual tree with choices for every spec. If you are Fire Spec, you go Scorch.

Tier 2- Temporal Shield or Ice Barrier. Probably the latter--TS heals back all damage, but that doesn't matter if it kills you. And it's short. IB is a pure shield. Which wins really depends on the encounter, but IB is the overall safe choice. Save TS for when you know it'll perform better.

Tier 3- Frostjaw, next.

Tier 4- Do you need a threat drop for the content you do? Take invis. Otherwise, take Cauterize.

Tier 5- Fire? Go Living Bomb--it procs Pyromaniac on whatever you apply it to. Not Fire? Well, go Living Bomb for ST and Frost Bomb if you need an AOE capable of hitting a large number. I'm thinking Nether Tempest just isn't worth it, not if the WoWhead stats are right.

Tier 6- Are you Arcane? You take Invocation, no arguments. Otherwise, you take Rune of Power. TC might come out that Rune of Power wins for Arcane too, but I doubt it--not with their mastery still being so frickin' stupid.

Better? Sure. But not meaningfully so. Just about everything of value is concentrated down to your spec choice. The talents only become interesting when you are thinking about PVP. It's better than the DK though, because at least you have to make some choices about AoE vs. ST. Of course, that


So yeah, I think it's a dumb system that removed any value from talents for PVE players in exchange for some minimal value for PVP players and the ability to balance PVP more easily, but stifles PVP creativity even further. It's a change that hurts the players overall.
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#8 Oct 08 2012 at 8:54 PM Rating: Decent
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The new talent system let Blizz do a lot of things they have been aching to do for awhile.

****, to look at the same thing happening when it came to Itemization. Mp5 for paladins was worse than itemizing for Stamina in T7, so they created artificial gear choices, dramatically increased MP5 and tried to force paladins to gear it. They still avoided it & put on Elemental shaman gear (yay Crit + Haste). It ended with mana return from crit being removed from the game, a penalty for wearing non plate gear and finally they just threw their hands up in the air and said "f'uck it" and got rid of MP5 and put spirit on plate. That is what happened with talent trees in MoP.


How do you balance a ret paladin when they have access to self heals? Kind of a problem they have had since Vanilla. Cut out the heals in the new specialization. Flash & 1 tier with a heal dependant on HP. Viola! Get rid of the talent trees which allow people to pick and choose, lock people to specialization and then provide the illusion of choice by providing cosmetic choices that really don't matter. Also reduce glyphs to being cosmetic as well. Makes balancing easy (when they had a **** of atime in Cata).
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#9 Oct 09 2012 at 10:54 AM Rating: Good
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All the balance issues I remember were because Blizz either made dumbass choices or switched gears halfway through development and didn't do the necessary groundwork.

Dumb choices: Mage masteries and ignite munching, plus making the best dps spec even more RNG-dependent than it had ever been, despite the fact it was always a problem.

Switched gears: We're gonna implement triage healin-NVM LOL.

I don't really remember anything in particular that wasn't tied directly back to a fundamental design problem. And none of those were created by talent specs. I'm only really remembering Mage and DKs, though, so that's obviously only one small part of balance. None of those would have been solved if this system was in Cata (and for some stupid reason they've kept Arcane's mastery which is seriously awful).

Meh, I should just stop thinking about it. WoW clearly isn't a game for me anymore, and I have no intention of ever returning, so getting angry about it is just stupid. Everything went downhill after they took away AoE Unholy Blight...
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#10 Oct 09 2012 at 4:38 PM Rating: Good
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Balance issues caused by poor design, maybe a better way of phrasing it.

But Blizzard, especially since WotLK has become really bad for trying to force a playstyle rather than create something that people want. My example of Mp5 for paladins in WotLK as an example. Illumination was broken, by gear bloat in TBC and more so in wotlk until it was removed. Mp5 was killed by Divine Plea, my example above explains what happened there. There have also been times when abilities in certain talent trees were positioned in a way that skipping the 31 talent for a hybrid build was better dps/healing, which is in why in cata they forced you to go all the way in the end, basically forcing you to do one thing to stop you from doing another.

From TBC to now I could probably find 4-5 examples for each class, in Cata alone probably 1 for each on release.


As for triage healing, I was a healing officer in a Sunwell Plateau guild in TBC, more importantly than that credential i healed kara for a guilds 3rd 10 man while I was in blues. Mana was always an issue, in Cata it wasn't healing it was throughput. Small heals had their cast time increased from 1.5 seconds to 2.5., no more FOL spam to top people off when they were 75% like in TBC, now you were forced to use big heals since it is the same cast time as your small and you can't afford to recover if you get behind without burning more mana than you could afford. That 1 second change is what killed Triage healing and why it didn't get back to tbc. They managed to buff things back by Firelands and DS though so it was reasonable.

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#11 Oct 09 2012 at 5:09 PM Rating: Good
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Okay, yeah, I see what you're saying.

I know those issues were a lot worse for hybrids in general, because the core design issue behind them from vanilla were never solved. Everything would have been so much better if Blizz would have just added PVP clauses to problem skills...

That's not limited to them of course. Project is a perfect example of a dumbass change half-assed to solve a PVP issue... I'M NOT BITTER SHUT UP

GW2 has been better in this department for two reasons. 1, every class is a hybrid. 2, normal PVE play doesn't deviate wildly from PVP--both you and your enemies are moving, dodging, using statuses, etc. in both styles. So a change to reduce power in PVP is probably needed in PVE too, and vice versa. Not always, of course--skills to block projectiles are generally more useful in PVP, for instance. But still...
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#12 Oct 12 2012 at 9:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
So yeah, I think it's a dumb system that removed any value from talents for PVE players in exchange for some minimal value for PVP players and the ability to balance PVP more easily, but stifles PVP creativity even further. It's a change that hurts the players overall.


Is there any value in the new talents in PvE at all? I thought one of the thing they were promising was that PvE would be dynamic enough that you'd be re-specing on occasion switching from one useful talent to another?

Or did I just miss the trolley there? Smiley: frown

Anyway, one of these days I'm going to have to do some PvP in SWTOR, just to see what it feels like. It's been put off a bit while I've been getting my feet wet with the game. Getting eager to jump back in.
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#13 Oct 12 2012 at 4:50 PM Rating: Good
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I'm sure there is, but I'm not seeing any value in the choice aspect. EIther every option seems irrelevant to PVE, or there's a clear winner.

I mean, every single DK tank is going to take Purgatory (the second wind DK talent). Things only end up interesting if they know a specific encounter has magic damage Anti-Magic Zone can block, that can't otherwise be dodged. Then they need to make a choice between those two. But for the most part the talents are things like CC and snares. Maybe not USELESS in PVE, but not particularly useful, interesting, or meaningful either. I'm guessing they didn't decide to make bosses susceptible to stuns and chill, so a lot of what I remember from Mage and DK is obviously useless in the encounters where it matters.

To be fair, this is VERY class dependent. Druids get some decent options. There might be a clear winner in a tier, but they still get many situationally useful options. For instance, tier 1's clear winner is Feral Swiftness--passive 15% run speed. But they also have a blink that puts you into a stealthed kitty form. If 15% isn't enough to get you out of the area AoE on some fight, that could win. The last is a "fly to nearby ally" skill, so you only want to use it on fights where people are evenly spaced and you can be sure to escape the area. But in those cases they ARE useful. More useful than 15% passive run speed? I'm inclined to doubt, but it's possible.

Their last tier gives two interesting options. One skill offers a passive 6% buff to Stam/Agi/Int with a 45 second active effect (6 min CD) that buffs the skills not relevent to their roles. Most notable effect, imo, is that it lets Kitty druids cast free, buffed Rejuvs on themselves and allies, or lets them play Boomkin for periods where melee cannot get close. That aspect is definitely more PVP--the 6% is what I care about--but it's not completely irrelevant.

Their other option is a 3 min CD (30s uptime) that buffs their damage and healing by 20%, and 25% of their damage/healing is changed to healing/damage to nearby allies/mobs. That's a great skill, yeah. I'm inclined to side with the 6% passive, for it's great damage and survivability buff, but I have no doubt both will be useful depending on the fight. Bloodlust/Heroism will obviously be a big factor.

Really, overall, Druids still get to have fun with their talents. They did not get hit hard by the change.

For Rogues, on the other hand? There are two, MAYBE three, valuable PVE talents. And one(/two) of those are in the last tier. Everything else is very, VERY PVP-centric. They're all about stealth, CC, or defenses.

So it's SUPER inconsistent. For the classes I mained, they tend towards PVP to a very large margin. Other classes get some that actually will have the potential to change PVE tactics. I'm probably a lot more doom-and-gloom about it as a result, but I don't really feel bad about it. Because this isn't even a subtle difference. It's not like complaining about doing 3% less DPS. It's complaining about the fact that your performance in PVE is completely independent of your talent choices.
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#14 Oct 14 2012 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
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The awesome thing about SWTOR PvP is that you can rock face from level 1-49 and it feels good when you beat everyone in every possible score. The frustrating thing about SWTOR PvP is that despite you being a total rad boss-man, you still lose over and over again because everyone else on your team don't know north from south.

Come to think of it, I guess that's not limited to just SWTOR PvP.
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#15 Oct 14 2012 at 9:58 AM Rating: Good
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The awesome thing about SWTOR PVP is Huttball
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#16 Oct 14 2012 at 10:12 AM Rating: Good
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Huttball is cool, especially if you've got a pull of some kind. Smiley: grin

I like Void Star as well, but it's frustrating if you've got nabcakes on your team. The kind that leaves the left door entirely undefended because "[they] wanna shoot stuff omgz!!"
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#17 Oct 14 2012 at 12:20 PM Rating: Good
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I dunno if they've changed anything, but my Sage was an awesome ball carrier.
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#18 Oct 31 2012 at 2:37 AM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
For what it's worth, I'm still enjoying the game. I may not agree with some of the animation changes, and the linear game world and "generic" MMO level/talent system was sort of a letdown (was hoping for SWG2, but who wasn't?), but so far I'm enjoying the ride to 50. Got tired of my Assassin, so I dabbled a bit in the Republic classes, especially a Trooper. Really enjoy the storyline, but then I created a Bounty Hunter (female) and the voice acting is leaps and bounds ahead of any of the other voice acting, in my opinion, so I stuck with it.


Two words there Maz: Grey. Delisle.
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