Massively OP Podcast: Episode 4

This week on the cast we welcome Eliot, who has returned from a trip to ArenaNet where he found all sorts of secrets and reveals for Guild Wars 2. We have a lot of ground to cover, with thoughts on Leonard Nimoy, crowdfunding updates, and a new expansion to a very old MMO.

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Cali_ckn
Guest
Cali_ckn

I had the pleasure of checking out heart of thorns (GW2) at paxeast this past weekend. They gave us a generous 40 minutes of play time which was great for the gamer but bad for the line, having only 11 computers on the pve demo. The new class was super fun. I haven’t played GW2 for over a year but I’ll definitely be picking it up again this week.
Crowfall was the first game I’ve ever funded on Kickstarter. Even thought the beta isnt due to see the light of day till Dec 2016, possibly not till 2017. Right now it seems crazy for me to follow a game for 2 years. BUT I DID IT. I’ll be watching this even more now that i have a 32 dollar stake in the project.
As always, great show!

Gylnne
Guest
Gylnne

Very nice podcast, thank you.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Enikuo Nordavind I both heard you and I listened. Does not mean I have to agree, do it? Or can’t come up with suggestions on how you can counter it?

But your reply is EXACLTY what I was after, sorry if that didn’t get through. Because yes, I do keep hearing some people say “combat is bad”, but no one has ever put words to it like you and a couple of others here have. Most of the time it goes like

“Combat is bad”
“How?”
“It’s clunky and I don’t like it.”
“But why..”
“CLUNKY AND I DON’T LIKE IT!”

As for the re-roll part:
When you get to KM the first time, no matter what weapon you have chosen, you can do the missions at the beginning. If that weapon didn’t suit you, you can redo the same missions (which is what you’d do anyway when rerolling!) and use a new one. The point was, you want to start over, but when you reroll you simply waste the points you’ve already earned. Just going back to the first quest let’s you keep them.

Loyheta
Guest
Loyheta

Syppi Loyheta Figured I’d ask. Thanks for the reply :)

Syppi
Guest
Syppi

Loyheta Sorry, probably not — that’s a little too much work on top of the time it takes to prepare, record, and edit the ‘cast every week.

Enikuo
Guest
Enikuo

Nordavind Enikuo I feel like you heard me, but you didn’t listen. 
I didn’t say it should have infinite dodges – I said it doesn’t feel like dodging matters while leveling. Compare it to Guild Wars 2, Tera, and and Vindictus, which don’t have infinite dodging, but do have fun action combat.
Also, you just advise me not to use a build if it’s not fun, but I don’t have the points to buy new skills. I can’t re-allocate the points I do have. And, the game has taught me not to experiment. Compare that to Diablo 3, where you earn skills to spend, but you can freely move those points around to try new builds.
Never re-roll? At early levels, I was dying constantly and it was clear that something was terribly wrong. I’m not new to MMOs, so I read some guides and got that same advice. I tried powering through, hoping I could dig myself out. But, my character was so far gone that I reached a point where I was either going to reroll or quit. So, I rerolled.
Honestly, I don’t think that you’re not getting straight answers. I think that you don’t like the answers. 
You love the game and you don’t have a problem with the combat, so it’s easy to respond as if it’s just a learn to play issue. It’s easy to focus on the examples, instead of the problem they illustrate. But, there is a reason that you keep hearing that the combat is bad.
Hopefully, whatever changes Funcom is making will help at lower levels. Of course, I hope they don’t make changes that will upset their current players, like you, because I know a lot of folks love the game and don’t have problems with the combat.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Rebel Engie Nordavind If you’re shooting a mob 50 times before it dies, there is something wrong. Like, a lot. Not, not a lot. Everything. Even 15 times is excessive. Spending more than a few seconds on a non-boss mob appropriate to gear takes a few seconds at most.

During testing last night I took the worst DD weapon (Chaos), used QL0 gear, had no hit rating, and went to Blue Mountain. Even with just using a builder, nothing else, I took down 3 mobs in 20 seconds. I did everything I could think of wrong, and I still won.

And then there is the lore aspect. It’s not a shotgun in the normal sense. It’s a focus for your anima powers. Do you ever stop to re-laod? To you have to carry ammunition with you? No. For many of the monsters you meet, a normal shotgun would do even less damage.

Look me up on the forums or in-game (same nick as here), we can take a look at your build :)

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Enikuo Nordavind Of course I do not mind :)

Yes, the game throw the player in the deep end and things are not properly explained. The good news? There is a whole new patch coming, which will address a lot of things regarding newbies. They have even revamped the starter builds to include passives from other weapon classes. But even if the player does not understand the mechanics, that does not make for bad combat, just a bad experience (which is bad in itself, of course!).

So yes, I can see you point of rerolling, keep on dying, frustration killing the fun. But I don’t see that as a point against combat, just the difficulty. I see a lot of new people standing dead still when fighting. TSW is a action game, movement is important, opposed to other games where movement can cancels your skills. (Tangent: as you can become omnipotent, “do not reroll” is the first rule of TSW).

I do not know how far along you’ve come, but there is no “one deck” to win the game. Some come close, but you are expected to change depending on your opponents. Well, at least it was. The new newbie-friendly patch also makes a severe nerf to outdoor mobs, can kill stuff with just about anything. (Unless we players are able to change that).

And if you don’t find your build fun: STOP USING IT! :D There are a ton of viable build, I’m sure we can find something to your liking.

Dodge is an o’shit button. Most things can be walked out of. And since you should be moving just about all the time in combat, you’re most of the time already moving out of stuff. Having unlimited dodges would bee too powerful.

Ugh. Yes. Blade torrent. Most boring sound thing ever. The red is though just to indicate hate AFAIK, opposed to Grass Cutters (or was it bamboo Cutter?) white identical animation. As said before, sound can be an issue. They are revamping some sounds and animations, and we have some mods that freshens up soundFX. I do, however, not miss the lack of impact. It’s good to see people put words to what they don’t like though.

Yes, I’d wish they’d have more than one animation for the same skill. I do not look too much on my self while playing so it’s nothing that I pay attention to. But I did test out some of the new Elite skill animations on testlive. While they still stick to the same one skill/one animation, things like Shellshocker have some awesome effects now.

Anyway, thanks for putting words on it :)

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Dentari Nordavind What kind of feedback are you looking for? Fighting game style where your opponent takes a hit to the head and is knocked a bit about? Screen shakes? Motion blurs? I can’t say I’ve noticed much of this in other games.Can you reccomend some game play videos of this kind of combat?

As for audio feedback, I think the problem of TSW is that there is too MUCH sound. I think the game caps it self on the number of simultaneous sounds, and when just about every ability has one or more a sounds (really, try out stuff in the Crucible and be surprised), things drown and just the most prominent remains.

Well, 1111123 is the “proper” way to play the game. Especially if you’re a DD in a dungeon. However, doing that is a choice you make. I have several builds which use quite a lot of cool downs when I run around doing stuff on my own. I can’t care less about properly building and consuming. Builds should be viable, but they should also be fun! And making builds, that is one of the things I LOVE about TSW. I am a old TCG player. Having to prep a build and not all skills laid out over hotbars covering 1/3 of the screen is just my style.

There is not much timing in TSW, apart from group coordination. I’ll give you that. There is a revamp coming to skills soon, and at least one (much used) skill will now require timing for when to use it and not get killed.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

SwobyJ Nordavind I can see that point, I think. Like when I want to fire off 5 Anima Shots with my AR. Every shot starts on the hip, so I keep lifting and lowering the rifle between hip and head. See you point there, but that does not bug me, and nothing I spend time thinking about when running around.

Rebel Engie
Guest
Rebel Engie

Nordavind I can sum it up in a sentence:
Having to shoot every mob 50 times in the face, up close, with a shotgun.

Loyheta
Guest
Loyheta

Enjoyable to listen to as always. Do you guys think you could add timestamps to the discussion points? I listen to the podcast in its entirety but I have no short term memory. I’d like to bounce (afterwards) from discussion topic to topic so I can post messages relevant to them instead of posting as I listen. If not, it’s all good. Looking forward to next week.

bossrprouse
Guest
bossrprouse

Wow, that Lego question was just out of left field, and surprised me how deep Eliot and Bree went on it.  Thanks, Matt, it was interesting to listen to.
When I think of Lego’s, I go back to my days of playing with them, creating large houses and vehicles. When I think of Lego games, I think of the Star Wars Lego games where it was just fine selecting different characters and rerunning the levels trying to get 100% completion. Not because I’m a completionist, but because it was just fun.
I’m with Eliot, the Lego games were simple, but doesn’t mean they are easy. Getting that 100% took time and effort.
If I were to design a Lego MMO, I would set character creation letting you have a few options, then in game, you “took over” random NPC’s walking around, like in the games, and saved them to your roster, with each one unlocking more character customization. Or you can just play as one of the NPC characters you take over if you just like them.
Housing would be large instance areas where you have enough bricks to make some housing and stuff. You also have access to templates if you want something to build from. Getting more bricks means playing the game, (or using the game store because I’m sure they would make this F2P or B2P).
The game itself would be pretty lobbyish like GW where you can enter other peoples housing instances, see other people running around, or go into the game maps which will play much like the Lego games now. You repeat them to try and get 100% completion along with unlocking more bricks for your home instance.

Enikuo
Guest
Enikuo

Nordavind I hope you don’t mind if I answer. I’ve installed and uninstalled this game a dozen times, because I REALLY want to enjoy it and the combat has definitely been a roadblock for me.
First of all, I found it dead easy to make a crap build for leveling. I didn’t feel like the game explained the energy building system well and it didn’t make it obvious which abilities build resource in the UI. Icons are color-coded by weapon type and I need two weapons (apparently), so I ended up looking at tool tips a lot more than usual to just figure out what the ability does. The need to have heals for leveling also contradicted what other modern MMOs have taught me – prioritize damage because healing/mitigation just slows you down. That’s not bad, just different.
I remade my character twice before finally learning enough about the system from outside sources to kinda survive. And, now I’m just using a build I copied in an effort to get through it instead of exploring and having fun with builds myself. That killed the momentum by taking me so far out of the game to learn about combat and it ruined any fun I thought I might have from deck building. 
Now that I have a build that’s workable, I find it boring. I’m hitting the same buttons, in the same order, over and over. Normally that would be okay. But, The Secret World made me do all this extra work to get to this point, so I resent it.
My dodge is too limited to feel useful. My character doesn’t recover from the animation fast enough to attack more than once, if that. And, it takes around 10 seconds to recover enough of the resource to use it again.
Animations and sound effects don’t line up in a way that make attacks feel like they actually landed. Blade Torrent has almost the exact same swish sound, regardless of whether it hits anything or not. (There is a tiny silver ting added at the end of the swing while in combat, but I had to close my eyes and walk towards a horde of zombies to notice it.) Compare it to GW2 – my mesmer’s long sword ability has a cast sound that it makes as the attack is being launched off the blade. That sound is then followed by a series of satisfying thuds when the attack hits and damages the target.
Shooting animations are too samey and generic as well. Fire at Will looks like my character is shooting at the ground and bullets are just bouncing up everywhere. It doesn’t look purposeful. Compare it to Warframe, where the location of the bullet animation depends on where I aimed. The bullet animation lights up on the wall, the enemies head, the floor, wherever I shot (and missed). I could understand the spray and pray animation if it was at least aimed AT targets, not the ground.
The animations also don’t feel like they convey damage very well either. Blade Torrent creates this huge, red circle pattern that I think is meant to be blood, but the shape is too perfect. It obscures the more satisfying, asymmetrical blood splatters that are flying off the zombies when the blade lands.
It’s not that the combat is just so BAD, it’s just doesn’t feel very good. And, I felt like it was demanding too much attention for what it is. I feel like I have to level up combat that I don’t enjoy to get to the “real game” of deck building or that I have to suffer through combat to enjoy the “real game” of the story telling. In no way do I feel that the combat is fun itself or that its adding to the overall experience, it’s just detracting.

Dentari
Guest
Dentari

Nordavind The combat in TSW feels disconnected and floaty.  When you attack a monster, the only feedback you get is that the monster’s health drops.  There is no sense of impact when you hit a monster, or when a monster hits you.  It almost feels like what you do and what the monster does are completely disconnected.  Diablo 3 does a great job of using visual and audio feedback to make your attacks feel impactful.

In TSW, combat is basically spamming your builder attack until you have enough resources to use your spender attack, and you repeat, regardless of what the monsters are doing (your variation becomes “do I use a healing spender, a single target spender, or an aoe spender”).  Most of the thought you have to put into combat comes from making your build, less in actually fighting.  And if your build is not a good build, you’ll die miserably, no matter what you do.

In Tera, the combat felt great in part because timing was so important.  It wasn’t enough just to use your attacks, you had to time them properly in order to succeed.  Some attacks had a noticable delay after you used them which would leave you vulnerable if you used them at the wrong time, and likewise evading an attack often required very specific timing.  The monsters also had big damage attacks that left them vulnerable, which rewarded players for learning the tells and attack patterns of different monsters.

Honestly, I love the versatility of TSW builds, I just wish that the combat was as fun as making your combat build.

Bullwraith
Guest
Bullwraith

Just a bit of trivia: Shadowbane had playable female Centaurs and they were decently modeled even. Well, as well as anything in that game. Probably not a coincidence that they will be in Crowfall.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

Kanbe I have more asura than any other race in GW2. I think they are so cute. But when they go all Yoda on my sylvari in PvP….comment image

Siphaed
Guest
Siphaed

Listened to this while doing some sPvP in GW2.   I was able to do both the Ranger Daily and the Warrior Daily. :P

I kind of understand why they wanted to not show off everything in the ‘demo’ to the invited Press.   Spoiling everything when they might be releasing for 3-6 months minimum means that the anxiety for the game would wane away.   Besides they haven’t even announced a price point or a release date, so they’ve got plenty of time to work on more things before hand. 
  Do not forget that they don’t want empty, abandoned zones in their game.  So adding an expansion that just stacks in more zones that players quickly go through and then never return -something that is quite common in expansions [especially WoW]- would be counter to their design philosophy.   Dry Top and Silverwastes may seem considered “small” to some [usually from an outside perspective], but the amount of layers and content within makes them quite huge.

RagnarTheDrunk
Guest
RagnarTheDrunk

You should be sorry.
You’re one of the few sites that actually sticks to some journalistic ethics. You should be proud and market that, not insulting to your readers and listeners.
Please don’t make me regret kickstarting you. Fak, I’m irritated right now.

n4tive
Guest
n4tive

Is WHY I PLAY  making a comeback? used to enjoy the columns very much.

Kanbe
Guest
Kanbe

What I learned from this podcast.

Bree is a bloodthirsty midget killer, Justin was defeated by his own bladder, and a certain parrot needs to be captured before Eliot will spill the beans on what he really learned on his trip. All in all a good morning

SwobyJ
Guest
SwobyJ

Nordavind SwobyJ Yeah. Its stuttery while spamming. There’s a disconnect between how things look and how things work.

SwobyJ
Guest
SwobyJ

Nordavind Interesting. Personally, I have no problem with Solomon Island being easier. To me, especially at this point, it is the ‘introduction’ to the world, overall – not just Kingsmouth anymore. Might help my boyfriend with getting used to the game when he returns.
Not sure about the nightmare area change. I’d have to see the particulars. I didn’t mind having ‘T10’ areas in the first zones, in itself.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

SwobyJ Nordavind Like, how the transition between the different abilities connect?

SwobyJ
Guest
SwobyJ

Nordavind It ‘looks’ like it should be more fluid, yet its as stuttery as the more tab target mmos (WoW, etc). There’s a disconnect, compared to say, GW2 or TERA etc, which both ‘looks’ like it should be fluid, and is typically actually fluid enough to match.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

New topic, new comment 2
Thank you to for mentioning TSWDB.com. First we get “thumbs up” from the devs last week (guide authors are people too!) and now some free PR on your podcast. Many hours are put into that site, but I’m sure I don’t need to tell you people ;)

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

New topic, new comment:
Right now on the testlive-server (patch 1.11.1) Funcom has in fact made a big overhaul to difficulty and newbie introductions.

1) Mobs in the open world are easier to defeat (some of us are afraid they made it too casual, seems like you can go into the 4th zone with little trouble with starter gear)
2) When you get your weapons handed out by your faction and in the flashback (tutorial), you get explained more the importance of 2 weapons, of the builder/consumer mechanics and so on
3) All nightmare areas have been removed or relocated so that they will never clash with any of the story missions.

You said it would not happen, but it was already in the making as you spoke: story mode (made easy). No changes made to dungeons/raids/lairs. You will have to up your game if you want to play those.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Elliot: As I can’t get a straight answer when this topic comes up in forums/comments sections, I hope you can tell me what exactly it is that you don’t like about TSW combat.
From trying the game the first time I have never thought “there is something wrong about this combat”, compared to other MMOs. The word “clunky” gets thrown around and then things dwindle into other things. I’d like for someone to take screen captures of combat in the games they like and compare it to how it’s not to their liking in TSW. You could do a feature article on that!

MarkHanson1
Guest
MarkHanson1

Tuesday means Podcast day. It’s MOPtastic!

Reihen
Guest
Reihen

I look forward to this podcast every Tuesday. Keep up the great work!

Rebel Engie
Guest
Rebel Engie

Nimoy’s passing and the MMO community’s reaction made me think … our space MMOs should really give tribute to (or at least raise awareness of) the work of living, real astronauts and NASA, who are actually doing REAL work to make our fantasies a reality.
Somehow weave the efforts of these scientists and researches into the public conciousness through the games we play.

omedon666
Guest
omedon666

Podcast time is Instant Adventure time in RIFT!

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