E3 Killjoy 2010

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rsvp42:

Therumancer:
We'll see what winds up happening, but right now it seems like this needs some really, really serious work.

Perhaps, but only in the areas of promotional content. It looks like the game itself is shaping up really nicely. We've still got a year until the anticipated release and that's plenty of time for a Light Side media blitz. Looking at the video lineup on their site, I'm guessing the dark side just has the most development so far. That, or they have a specific plan for releasing content and some dark side stuff has just happened to come first.

I don't have any intention of changing your mind or anything, I'm just calling it like I see it, same as you. If you're basing this on the cinematic trailers, both of them just make me want to play the light side more, which is strangely the opposite of how I am with WoW; I'm a diehard Horde fan. I'm hoping that I'm not the only one who feels that way and that these two factions won't be copies of WoW's factions in terms of player make-up. If your concern is based on the other content that has been released, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Sith Warrior is the only class with an official preview video right now, save for that Bounty Hunter armor progression. And we've seen Smuggler and Trooper gameplay in one of the preview videos. It's not like they won't release any official Jedi info before the game comes out. And when they do, it'll probably look better because the game will be further developed. Or it'll happen next week, who knows?

Again, I think it's just too early to make any calls. I think your concerns are valid though, don't get me wrong. Player balance will be tough when the two sides are basically good vs. bad. There will be a lot of players who will automatically choose Sith because they're "evil and awesome," but that can't be helped. There's probably a large pool of players ready to whip out some green and blue light sabers. Lets hope that when we see the Jedi dishing out justice, people will get psyched about that too.

Another thing though, when it comes to gameplay, do we know much about how pvp will be set up? Faction balance is only really important if the pvp makes it so (or if there's competition in PvE). For instance, if "battlegrounds" consist of instanced, skill-based matchups, then imbalances on any given server are less noticeable. If it's open-world combat zones, then a less-populated or weaker faction could be a major problem.

So I'm saying you're right to be concerned, but you're probably concerned too early :P

EDIT: I'm actually reminded of how Blizzard handled the Starcraft 2 information. For the longest time, we didn't see much in the way of Zerg content, but there was never any risk of the Zerg getting jilted. Sometimes developers just have quirky ways of updating the fans.

Well, with the time it takes to develop content and such I think six months or so is the right time to be concerned, if you expect there to be any changes. I mean if you notice the problem a month before release... well there is nothing that can be done at that point.

As far as overall competition goes, well if the game has any kind of open-world PVP... not "PVP anywhere" but specific objectives people can flag for in order to fight periodically and gain some kind of global advantage... overall balance issues become a factor. One of the big problems with "Warhammer" was that while it had instanced PVP, it also had castles and such out in the world that were fought over periodically on all servers. "Warcraft" has had control points on almost all the zone maps since Burning Crusade as well.

Controlling spirit towers in Burning Crusade for example allowed your faction (and only your faction) to collect spirit shards from PVE instance bosses as long as you held it. Those shards being tradable for gear (which was very nice when BC first went up). There have also been things like global damage boosts, rep rewards, etc...

Not to mention the simple competition to complete content and the like... as well as the fact that a faction that does well PVE also tends to do well in PVP due to better gear. If your side is stronger and is clearing instances quickly and more efficiently it means that when the PVPers from your side head into battle, even if there is no inherant character imblance within the PVP mechanics there is going to be a gear imbalance which will acheive the same thing.

Therumancer:
As far as overall competition goes, well if the game has any kind of open-world PVP... not "PVP anywhere" but specific objectives people can flag for in order to fight periodically and gain some kind of global advantage... overall balance issues become a factor. One of the big problems with "Warhammer" was that while it had instanced PVP, it also had castles and such out in the world that were fought over periodically on all servers. "Warcraft" has had control points on almost all the zone maps since Burning Crusade as well.

Meh. DAoC did PvP that turned into Zerg v Zerg often, and did it pretty well. It wasn't ALWAYS ZvZ, and even if there was an insurmountably large zerg there were options to deal with it besides direct confrontation.. talkin New Frontiers, supply chain teleporting and stuff, if you cut out a key keep their reinforcements from respawns would be delayed an extra 5-10 minutes.
It wouldn't really work in WoW though, since all their zones are basically leveling zones. If you're going to do something like that it pretty much has to be a separate area, only for PvP/RvR.

Not to mention the simple competition to complete content and the like... as well as the fact that a faction that does well PVE also tends to do well in PVP due to better gear. If your side is stronger and is clearing instances quickly and more efficiently it means that when the PVPers from your side head into battle, even if there is no inherant character imblance within the PVP mechanics there is going to be a gear imbalance which will acheive the same thing.

Well that's less a problem with MMOs and more a problem with the current MMO paradigm. Sure.. it works, I guess. I don't find it any fun. The whole PvE-endgame thing forces certain design decisions to be made that I don't care for -- if you have PvE-raiding or questing as or even PART of your end-game content, well, that only works if you have to re-run instances or replay content in some way. It takes time to design that stuff, and so they have to keep you there long enough for them to design more content. If there was no reward -- gear. -- there's no draw for PvE content, and so any time spent creating it becomes a complete waste as it's totally optional. No one's gonna pay a bunch of people a bunch of money to sit around making stuff that maybe people will do just for kicks but for no other reason.

So now you've got PvE timesinks that prevent you from quickly 'finishing' your character, and creating a barrier of entry before you're able to PvP. And you've got a system where new PvE content supercedes old PvE content -- a gear escalator and mudflation.

All of that leads to PvP that just isn't very fun, because your gear will wind up being a large determining factor in how well you do. At least, that's no fun for *me*.. some people will tolerate getting smashed in the face with a hammer for three months so they can get a cookie on their birthday. Some people are insane.

There's no law saying all MMOs have to do any of that, but they all do. Drives me up the wall. I'm not saying they're bad games, you're free to love them, WoW is a really well made game but it's not for me. And if you're really in to PvP you shouldn't take for granted that an MMO has to have a WoW-like PvE endgame.

I'm ranting because that kind of thinking was held by the dudes from Mythic, and it absolutely killed Warhammer. D: That game was a lot of fun from 1-20, and honestly the classes were really well-designed at least so far as fun. I had a lot of fun playing every class. Everyone I knew who played did. But they thought endgame had to be PvE or nobody would like it, because that's all that's really on the market, and ruined the endgame. And the only reason that's all that's on the market is because as far as I've been able to find nobody's released any MMO that has taken a chance and NOT copied the dominant model. Cowards, all of them. >:|

Yeah I'm on the bandwagon of couldn't care less about motion controls, I don't care who the company is, when you force motion controls into my games and I have no option to turn it off your game does not get bought by me.

In The New Super Mario Brothers they make you shake the controller, which makes me angry for lack of a classic controller option or perhaps a gamecube controller. While Ratchet and Clank KNEW the motion control would grate on peoples nerves and made it OPTIONAL.

Some developers do it smart, and give you options. Others just shove it in your face and say "suck it", and often said developers have fanboys that stand behind them glaring and say "And like it!!".

To be fair Old Republic did have a half hour of gameplay footage shown at E3 (it was on G4) and Bioware has released a number of gameplay videos on the Old Republic website...some to them date back months sooooo yyyeaaah.

Anyways the pessimistic side of me firmly agrees with this article. Everything is so much hype nowadays that I try to not get too worked up about a game until I see gameplay myself or multiple reviews.

RobfromtheGulag:
snip

You're missing out on some gems man! KotOR 1 is one of Bioware's best games, so if you like RPGs you should definitely pick that up. A number of the Rogue Squadron titles were very good if you still have a gamecube/N64...(coughemulatorcough) Then you have the Force Unleashed which is another excellent Star Wars game. Theres also Star Wars Empire at War if you like turn based strategy games. I'm probably forgetting a number of titles as well...oh and Star Wars Galaxy has nothing to do with the Old Republic. That was another game made by another company.

I'm not sure I get what your gripe is about DAO Origins either. It's an expansion pak not a sequel..It's meant to just add to your existing game, not totally reinvent it. Oh and BTW get Mass Effect 1 and 2, or at the very least rent them and decide if you want to buy them later. You're missing out on two wonderful games/stories by not giving the series a chance.

Sorry (Shamus) but you would have been a much more reliable source if you had watched E3 live. From what you say about not seeing any demonstration of the Kinect or Move I assume you didn't watch it.

Is wikipedia your primary source these days or something?

I still think force feedback is a dumb gimmick.

Hey Shamus Young guy.
Nintendo doesn't make shovelware. At worst they allow it to exist.
Nintendo's products are usually pretty decent for their targeted age range at worst, and Mario galaxy 2 and ssbb epicness at best.
And making money off the shovel ware helped them a little bit to become financially successful and make the 3ds, the only thing from e3 I will actually preorder. As much we all hate it, no one makes us buy it, and some of the funds go towards awesome stuff.

Well shamus although you said they showed very little if any game play footage at e3 here is some year old footage from pax. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7WHHQokRGs

Remember this is a year old so things have changed but it's a cool 20 minutes.

Chipperz:
Are you kidding Shamus? Really? You seem to know at least something about this industry, and you're jumping on the "Motion Controls=Shovelware" bandwagon? Motion Controls don't equal shovelware, being the highest selling console does. The Wii is the highest-selling console, and it has tons of shit for it. Last generation, it was the PS2 that had piles of shit... And no motion controls! It was shovelware for the (utterly devoid of motion control, although they DID try to make a controller that worked via telepathy) Atari 2600 that caused the first Video Games crash!

Honestly, I expect this kind of crap from the leet kiddies that populate this site (and seem to have replaced the "I hate humanity" crowd...), but I thought you would have known better...

I'm glad someone finally said this: All systems. ALL. SYSTEMS. Have shovelware.
From the Atari to the PS3 to the PC. All of them.

That been said...

The Wii however, is unique.
It capitalizes on its shovelware; often doing as little as possible to actually innovate or make use of its own unique features. I've played a whopping TWO TITLES on the Wii that was original, fun, and had even a fraction of effort put into them.

All the Wii is, all it functionally can be, is the Gamecube 2.0. That waggling nonsense are literally button remaps of the Gamecube controller; the only practical difference system offers is pointing at the screen.
Yes, the zapper that came with Duck Hunt has more to do with gameplay innovation than flailing the controls around to press X and Y.

well to be honest i agre with all that you've pointed out. x-com -_-, TOR ya sweet...but..., Kenect or whatever 150$ not happing, motion control silly.

But... the Nintendo press conference, was a dream come true, since it was all core all the time. Only two many three casual games where shown the rest was what Nintendo was missing the last 2 years.
I'm sceptical about the 3DS and don't how well Zelda is going to work with the motions. But come ON Donkey Kong Country. can wait to see more.

Shamus Young:
multiplayer KOTOR

*faints*

Xcom is an old franchise that could work today only as a faithful remake. It is too structured and introverted to work as anything else, because it is no longer Xcom. Yet developers keep taking shots at it, all of which have been embarrassing failures so far. It's like making Crusader: Deadly Racing and expecting it to somehow work. It won't. Realise it, and either rebuild Apocalypse from the ground up while staying true to its gameplay formula or make a different game with a different title.

Kinect is going to fail. We all know it, the same way we all know that the 3DS will be a success. Some of us have been gamers longer than many of today's developers. We can smell failures a mile away. It might sound arrogant, but it is true. Kinect costs 150$. It does not function well when you are seated. They are building racing sims based on the assumption that gamers will be standing up for 3 hours as if they are attending a funeral, pretending to be holding a steering wheel. It's a travesty.

As for Move, it is cheap enough to possibly qualify as a whim-purchase, so, while it does nothing new, I can see it being moderately successful.

Well everything in this article was... boring. I haven't hear anything out of E3 that interests me. Maybe my tempered spirit has played games long enough to suppress my excitement at new things or maybe my hype gland overexerted itself and died a while ago. Either way, it's nice to not be hyped because then if something is bad there is far less disappointment.

I really am loving the irony of how gamers everywhere called the Wii dumb and for casuals but seem to have positive things to say about the Microsoft and Sony knock-offs. It's going to be fun watching the shovel-wear pour in and the influx of casuals. Oh the fear in the eyes of every gamer that condemns casuals makes me smile. Fear that drivers there anger. You got motion control now, and casual gamers. Zippity doo dah, motherfuckers.

i have seen quite a few videos of TOR in action, your statement that there is no gameplay is wrong,

The guy in the playstation move picture bears an uncanny resemblance to David Straithairn.

image

Maybe I'm just spoiled, but I enjoyed the RPS coverage of XCOM much more - they really went all-out on a balanced view:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/06/16/xgood/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/06/16/xbad/

That pretty much sums up my view, with the coda that I find the actual premise of the game interesting even if it doesn't do "justice" to an already squandered franchise.

There does seem to be a general jerking of knees in this article which is way below the normal Shamus Young standard of nit-picking. It's more of a "if all of my worst fears, some of which are already disproven, prove true, then these games will be bad."

Carnagath:
Some of us have been gamers longer than many of today's developers. We can smell failures a mile away.

Conversely, a massive market has been gamers since shortly after the wii (which we collectively predicted would be a niche toy) was released.

Wow, that didn't mention either of the two things I got excited about at all (Vanquish and the next handheld SRW being on the 3DS).

Caliostro:

Maybe it's just me, but has there EVER been a good star wars video game?

Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Knight series.

+ Star Wars battle front 1 & 2 and Star Wars empire at war.

Oh and also Shamus, I'd suggest you go check out ToR website. There is loads of ingame footage there.

Firetaffer:

Epic first post! Love that picture!

Haha, thanks for that and the welcome.

I can't take credit for this gif, but I thought it fit this discussion quite nicely.

image xD

They are making a new X-Com? I loved that game, and TFTD (suck it lobster men), but apocalypse kinda sucked (frankly though, i havent played that since i was a little chidler, and now i can't find a good dos emulator for it and it runs too fast. looking back at it though, I bet it was pretty awesome) [reads rest of article] and its going to suck. great.

I just thought of something, why don't they ever take old games and overhaul them with new gen graphics and maybe some other cool stuff ( I don't mean remake mario with different levels and shit, I mean give me the exact same game but looking way prettier. maybe add some side quests.) I would totally buy X-com again. and deus Ex. and starcraft. and other stuff

Ok...TOR, lets talk about just that.

Ignoring the fact that constant mocking in my youth has drained all interest I have in the Star Wars property, I think there is one massive hurdle for this game to jump right out of the gate: the Star Wars property itself.

Ignore the fact that people who are into it can be really REALLY into it and that hyper drives the expectations for treatments of it straight into a galaxy far far away. The real problem is that the most appealing thing from the movies that started all this (i.e. 4-6) whether you picked up on it or not, is that the characters and stories were chock full of archetypes put together in such a way that pretty much guaranteed greatness because that's how archetypes work. A similar combination has never been created with anything bearing the Star Wars label. What success enjoyed by those later uses of the Star Wars property was helped moderately to greatly by the death-star-exploding power of nostalgia from enjoyment that the originals so endeared to people. The same can be argued with this game; proven by asking yourself if you would be as excited about it by just the game design (and answering honestly, of course). The fact that the MMORPG is almost antithetical to the proper assembly of archetypes does not bode well for TOR.

And it's the identical dialogue tree interface from Mass Effect. Hoo-bleeding-ray, says I.

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