Falling back to get ahead?

retroA couple of the blogs I read on a regular basis have been spit-balling about what they see as the necessary course of action for the up and coming Land of the Dead zone. They are both strong advocates of a basic copy and paste of all the concepts from it’s ideological predecessor, Darkness Falls (not the old game made by Mythic, the zone from DAoC). I happen to see things slightly differently.

Let me start this off with a disclaimer. I never played DAoC (not worth mentioning anyway), and I definitely got to play in the rumored golden halls, of this PvP pinnacle experience. The way some people talk about this place, is that it was/is the best version of PvP game play ever invented, and will be impossible to match, much less beat, unless it is a strict copy. Now, I believe that yes, this place was fun, it was probably an absolute riot of mayhem-making joy, but can it be improved on? For all of our sakes, I hope so.

See, if all we have to look forward to in our games is a copy of what has been already done, we’re going to lose out as gamers. Sure, there’s a lot to be said for reiterations of concepts and ideas, but that still implies change and transformation on the base design level. A direct copy and paste is not only lazy, it’s unimaginative and detrimental to the long term health of games in general. Acceptance of rote duplication in our medium of enjoyment is admitting to our willingness to embrace the new for newness sake. I blame pop culture, but that’s a different blog.

  • Spawn camping is not fun.
  • Sitting stagnantly in one spot in a game is not fun.
  • “Breaking spawns” is somewhat fun, but the fun ends once the task (and the challenge) is complete.

The thing that I remember being fun from my old days in EQ, was hanging out with other people and just playing the game. Once again, I go back to my social needs on the KESA test. Working with a group of people to achieve a common goal, and enjoying my time while doing it. I have just as much fun working through a dungeon with friends as I do working a camp spawn. Actually, I have more fun in the dungeon crawl, because I’m not just sitting in one spot.

One of the things that I really liked about EQ2 were it’s dungeons, especially once AA was released. With a group of people, you would be running all over a dungeon, fighting your way through all the mobs, trying to get to a named mob to get the AA experience, and hopefully a master chest drop. You were basically grinding mobs, there may have been some quests involved as well, but you were there to experience the dungeon, no just kill the same pixels over and over until you hit a level or some other predetermined stopping point unrelated to the dungeon experience.

I appreciate that a lot of people like the constant worry and threat of getting jumped while you do PvE tasks for the tokens that got you the gear. Hell, I want it too. It adds another layer of interest to the game. What I’d like to see though are scripted events, and traps to lay for the enemy once you are inside. Secret passageways to WE/WH to lock-pick their way in for their warband so you can sneak behind the entrenched defenders and grind them to an unexpected pulp. This all needs to be for endgame play as well.

I don’t want to see a zone created for leveling new characters in. The instant a new leveling path is created, the old path is almost always deserted, and in a game that will be less than a year old on release, we don’t need that to happen so soon. There is still a lot of story that I have yet to actually pay attention to, and I’m sure others have content left to peruse as well.

I’m getting a bit rambly now, so I’ll try to wrap this all up in some quick points of what I want from LotD.

  • Dynamic PvE encounters
  • High level-only content
  • Strategically intriguing RvR combat/situations/maps
  • Token loot system
  • Interesting “roaming-grind”
  • Diffused focus on camp spawning

I think that about sums it up for me. What’s your list of priorities for our live expansion coming down the pipe?

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2 Responses to Falling back to get ahead?

  1. Slurm says:

    Spawn camping is not fun. (for you)
    Sitting stagnantly in one spot in a game is not fun. (to you)

    And me either, but there IS people in the game who would GLADLY take the Avalon City style of camp and AoE grind mobs for hours over “questing” i.e. running around to kill 10 of this or go get me that and come back for your exp. wash, rinse, repeat. Some of my guildies from DAoC actually marked not “having places to camp and grind” as a huge complaint and reason why they were leaving.

    Dynamic PvE encounters (yes please!)
    High level-only content (I have a hunch this is what it will be and its unfortunate. That was one of the beutiful things about DF. People at all levels cared that it was open because it served not only as a great place for loot, but for gaining XP from about level 15+. I’d love to see LotD be T2+)
    Strategically intriguing RvR combat/situations/maps (indeed!)
    Token loot system (why include this if you want high level only content?)
    Interesting “roaming-grind” (i’m pretty sure there will be PQ’s in the dungeon, and accessing them will require a dungeon crawl (i assume) but if you want something outside of this im really interested to hear ideas)
    Diffused focus on camp spawning (id love to see it! but I think PQ’s are just a new iteration of spawn camping, especially since at later levels you have to do them repeatedly to get the elite rewards)

    Myself, I hate dungeon crawling. Id rather do a quest in the open environment, but I don’t like what WoW has done for MMO’s in terms of questing. I want something that will suprise me, and maybe not do the same exact thing for me as it does for another person. It would make it worth doing again if I make an alt down the road. That being said, I did love Darkness Falls. Maybe it was because it didnt feel so cramped like the EQ dungeons did until then. Or maybe it was because there was the RvR element (which rocked).

    I don’t think Mythic will do a copy and paste as much as some people want them to. I think they are just using DF as an idea base, which could be great, or end up making the Land of the Dead a ghost town where no one goes.

  2. shadowwar says:

    Basically the token system would be an alternative to grinding influence, or waiting on a contribution system. It gives a measure of control to the player to choose how long to stockpile tokens to purchase gear. Do I want to stick at the farming of tokens until I have enough of the best set, or do I get significantly less and buy the mid-way gear?

    Got distracted with work so I lost my train of thought, at least I got some of it down. 😉

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