Massively OP Podcast: Episode 15

Is the world ending? Is hell freezing over? It must be because Blade & Soul is actually coming to the west! On this week’s podcast, the hosts talk about this incredible development as well as progression servers, launch dates, and flying in Draenor. Get out your Bree Topic Bingo cards, as you’re guaranteed to be a big winner!

Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!

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36 Comments on "Massively OP Podcast: Episode 15"

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milosanx
Guest
milosanx

breetoplay Nreff It was a great rant, loved it. Bree, you are pretty spot on with a lot of stuff and thats why I listen you the podcast.

Love it when you fire up!

TomTurtle
Guest
TomTurtle

Bree, in the past you’ve criticized those waxing nostalgically about classic WoW who call the current iteration total crap. In this episode of the podcast you criticize those who criticize the nostalgia factor who say it wasn’t actually any good. I’m guessing you fall into the middle ground away from the extremes where you recognize that for some people classic WoW is genuinely fun but for others they really are relying on nostalgia. Is that about right or did I mess that up?

In regards to flying in WoW, even as someone who prefers grounded world exploration in comparison to the flying mechanics in WoW and the lacking in good design thereof, even I still think Blizzard should allow flying once more. You don’t give players a prime feature like that and then take it away. You’ve already opened pandora’s box Blizzard.
As for why they’re doing it, I wouldn’t put it past them if it came down to money. I find it hard to believe that Blizzard has all of the sudden gotten a crystal clear vision of what the game should be and now’s the time to buckle down on that vision. It’s probably to save money. We’ve already seen the effects the shrinking population has had on the game. It’s kind of sad to see the juggernaut slowly, very slowly, wither down like this. Blizzard’s always been gradual with how they handle WoW so much so that many players are expertly eased into it that they don’t notice or don’t care enough to make a huge fuss.

In response to the end podcast question, science fiction MMOs repel me in general. Even with my foray into WildStar I’m having difficulty with attaching to the setting and that’s got a mix of sci-fi and fantasy.

Xvim
Guest
Xvim

SoMuchMass blast tyrant
That’s one thing that does make the world feel quite small is the speed of the flying mounts. Again, it is a problem they created, but there is no reason to use a land mount over a flying mount because you move so much faster even hovering just off of the ground. Sure, they could make the area even bigger…and fill it with more skippable stuff. Or slow down flying mounts and enrage everyone again. 
Personally I am of mixed feeling on the whole flying issue. I kind of like that it isn’t there, however they did focus their cash shop around it. The fact that they have a cash shop in a game with a sub is another issue.

The world does feel empty because of garrisons and queue based content, as the others stated, but flying doesn’t necessarily make it feel any less empty. At that point anyone still running places is now off of the ground and out of sight.
What draws my attention most of the issue are the people saying “they lost 3 million subs and there is no flying means, so 3 million people quit because of flying.” A logical fallacy….it is the same as me saying “they lost 3 million subs and there are garrisons, so 3 million people quit because of garrisons”.

In the end, there are a number of issues that people can take. Personally I was dismayed that their “stat crunch” they talked up was a complete joke and they had a 100% stat increase at level 90 *before* the expansion. Then they made various professions useless (gathering in particular), took out a main city and focused on garrisons to make the world feel empty, etc. 
In short, flying isn’t THE reason people quit…it is a reason people quit. If people find that lack of flight is the only issue with this expansion as comments over the past few days would lead one to believe, I would be amazed.

blast tyrant
Guest
blast tyrant

SoMuchMass blast tyrant Flight based content would be a good thing, but ‘the world feels empty’ type of argument is only a little bit less silly than the ‘it trivializes the content’ argument.  Does it really matter whether or not you see random dude running around near you vs dropping in and out of the sky?  The playerbase is mostly hanging out in the faction capitols or garrisons waiting for LFG/LFR to pop anyway. If the concern is really about the world ‘feeling empty’ than why not be concerned about things that contribute more substantially to that particular gripe, e,g, group finder, the ‘end game’ mentality, and the garrison system rather than flight?  

Sorry, I don’t buy that either these arguments are genuine.  I think the real reason anyone is concerned that someone else is flying is the same whiny ‘muh hardcore’ nonsense  you always see from MMO players.  Yeah, I get it, things used to be harder and more social and everything was just totes amazing in 2003.  All these people whinging on “meh meh I want to fight through the mobs but if I can fly I can’t stop myself meh” is just one more edition of the MMO Whiner’s Guide to Stop Other People from Having the Wrong Kind of Fun.  I’m sick of it.

Sorry SMM, my rant isn’t super responsive to the solid and rather cogent second part of your argument.  You are 100% right that the content should be adapted to engage the z axis.  It would open up the game tremendously.  The reason I’m salty about it is that I suspect Blizz is just using the Stop Having Fun Guys agrument to justify the fact that they don’t want to take the time and resources to develop the game in the way you described.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

On the whole WoW thing. I’m pretty much in agreement with Justin on it. Oh and one of the consistent things about Blizzard is that they feel its always a good thing to just shake things up and do 180s. Its one of those very very annoying things about Blizzard that have had times drove me off a while. It isn’t about whether it’s good or bad for the game, it just comes off as “Change for change”. I’ve been complaining about that in regards to Blizzard for damn near the whole run of the game. As time has gone on they’ve double downed on this and do it even more often. Ugh.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

You know on the SSD thing, I’ve held off on that  but I plan on finally snagging one soon. I wanted the tech to mature a bit more and it has.  The last system I had built is now over two years old and I’m running a hard drive that flies. Its the 1 Tb Western Digital VelociRaptor SATA 6G 10,000rpm 64MB Cache etc. Watching some of the kids systems with SSDs in them I’ve not seen them running really any faster than  that hard drive. 

 That said, I’ve read quite a few very good breakdowns and reviews on SSD’s and the improvements on them in the last two years, via Anand Tech and other tech sites. So much so that I’m looking hard a one of the Samsung SSDs to make the primary drive and moving the VelociRaptor to being the storage drive. Anyhow good luck on the build Justin. :)

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

BalsBigBrother Pandalulz  My wife loves the damn things, they’re disgusting in my opinion.

SoMuchMass
Guest
SoMuchMass

blast tyrant The world feels empty when everyone is flying.  I think flying is fine, but the game needs to be designed around flying.  There needs to be cities in the sky and NPCs in the sky.  It shouldn’t just be a shortcut or a travel route.  Even with stealth you have to watch where you are going and can’t go into robot mode and not have any consequences.

blast tyrant
Guest
blast tyrant

I don’t understand the ‘but it trivializes the content’ argument.  So can stealth.  So can being over leveled or over geared, or rolling in a group larger than what the content is designed to challenge.  Heck, all taking flight out does it make me spend an extra 30 seconds trying to find away to avoid wasting time curb stomping trash mobs.  Why is making me take an extra 5 minutes an hour finding the path of least resistance through a camp of trash worth removing an entire movement mechanic.  It’s like users were jumping over a river instead of fighting for a bridge and Blizz decided to remove jumping.

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

Honestly despite having recently reached the cap I don’t really have a lot of investment one way or the other about flying. I do think they need to rethink mounts though if they are going to keep flying off the table. Some were obviously intended to be flying mounts, and look kind of silly on the ground.
I think the other problem is, much as you guys said, they designed the expansion with the intent of no flying mounts. Instead they should have designed it around the idea of flying mounts, the world doesn’t need to be a flat plane for the most part, and in a setting like wow floating islands and flying threats are not beyond reason. They could have introduced aerial combat, Nagrand already has mounted combat on that zones wolf perk; though admittedly getting 3d ai working might be a much tougher dilemma than I would anticipate. Hey, if they want to see flying exploration in practice Skies of Arcadia made it work fairly well with all of its hidden stuff throughout the world, and made upgrading your ability to fly in different conditions a major plot point.

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

dorn2 Midgetsnowman Caerulei Exceot that still ruins the zone. What makes spires of arrak so lovely was the constant feel of the skies being oppressive and dangerous, and the dense treeline being your only safety net.

Besides, with flight you can utterly cheese not just quests, but the hidden treasures all over dreanor.

SoMuchMass
Guest
SoMuchMass

I think the reason they waited on B&S is that they expected WildStar to be a hit in the West.  Since WildStar didn’t pan out as planned, they decided to run with B&S.  If WildStar was successful we probably wouldn’t have seen B&S.

Luxxicon
Guest
Luxxicon

Great podcast!  Very interesting conversations… and thank you Justin for taunting the Gods of Fate about Blade and Soul.  I will absolutely give that a go when it comes out (although I think I would prefer a B2P over F2P, but that is a whole other can o’ worms.

In regards to your question about IP’s and MMO’s, for me an MMO that I would not be interested in strictly due to IP (other than a Twilight MMO <shudder>) would be Harry Potter.  I watched the movies and my wife has enjoyed the books, but I don’t really “like” that world.  I assume it would have a massive following due to the popularity of the books, but that one I would happily give a miss.

Luxxicon
Guest
Luxxicon

BalsBigBrother Pandalulz

The first I ever heard of them was in the webcomic Erfworld…  and I live in NA!

BalsBigBrother
Guest
BalsBigBrother

Edany (AmberACurtis) Pandalulz Slightly disappointed its not some secret cannibal thing but thank you both for the information.  Having looked at the website I think I am glad that they seem to be just an American thing after all, hehe :p

Edany (AmberACurtis)
Guest
Edany (AmberACurtis)

BalsBigBrother Pandalulz They are America’s nastiest Easter candy – unusually hard and tacky marshmallows (sugar) coated in various colored crunchy…. sugar. Nasty little things, but for some reason, people seem to love them.

Pandalulz
Guest
Pandalulz

BalsBigBrother Pandalulz Seeing as it’s a sugary marshmallow covered in more sugar… yeah, it probably is.  http://www.marshmallowpeeps.com/
I myself don’t really like them, as they are sugary to the point where I think they taste like plastic.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Another Wednesday, another MOPcast at work! Thank you! :D

dorn2
Guest
dorn2

Midgetsnowman Caerulei 
Killing monsters is intensely unrewarding in WoW.  That’s the real reason people want to “cheese”.  Plus your argument is 100% invalid.  Restricting flight while leveling and turning it off in certain area’s is fine.  There’s no need to “ruin” the zone just because you can fly there at max level.

BalsBigBrother
Guest
BalsBigBrother

Pandalulz this must be an American thing because I have no idea what a peep is beyond is being a shortened slang for people and I am pretty sure you are not all cannibals who prefer their bodies a little stale. :-)

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

Birini Damonvile  oh I see…you AND your friends hated it. Clearly you’ve done your research here.

Celestia
Guest
Celestia

Bree you points about Ultima Online were SPOT ON, and Justin was exactly correct about CoH travel powers being incorporated in the original design phase rather than tacked on at a later date.

Great episode!

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

Birini Damonvile it sold 15 million copies while anyone was still counting. It takes a special kind of hater to try and spin that as not doing well.

I guess this year at blizzcon you’ll have your fingers crossed that no one remembers this post.

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

Birini  MH got terrible reviews and was a pretty boring game when it launched. D3 had tons of issues and people were disappointed.
Both games have done a great job of improving on their mistakes, and both are very popular games now….the only difference seems to be you acknowledge marvels work on their game and judge D3 as it launched. Not exactly a fair opinion.

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

Caerulei Midgetsnowman I understand that but..How? Short of just plain killing me if I try to cheese an oibjective, I cant think of any situation where I’d have more fun playing through a wow quest than ninjaing the objective and leaving.

Neo_Wolf
Guest
Neo_Wolf

Caerulei Midgetsnowman With regard to your closing sentence Its a no win situation.  You simply could not include content that appeals to everyone because everyones tastes are different there IS no content that appeals to everyone equally.  The best you can hope for is content that appeals to a majority of a certain play style.

Like they say You can please some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time but you can’t please ALL of the people ALL of the time.  It just can’t be done.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

Nreff breetoplay Goodness, someone get that ranter an editor! Oh wait it’s me! Man, this is why I am a writer and not an impromptu speaker. :P

chosenxeno
Guest
chosenxeno

Cartap I think WoW killed flight to slow down content consumption rates. The people can see it for what it is. I haven’t been in WoW Hardcore since 2012. As an outsider looking in it would seem that not having Flying once you’ve hit the cap is silly. There’s no excuse for it(Sounds like I’m pro flight but in actuality I am neither Pro or anti). The second part is if they are going to abandon flight traveling needs to be A LOT more convenient. Flightpaths are not going to cut it.The third part is the reason for it needs to be logical and right now there simply isn’t one. It’s just the Devs folding their arms with their noses raised and their backs turned to the Playerbase. They can try to play the community and immersion cards but that’s all poppyc*ck partially thanks to Rift:) (A lot Wow kids cheat on WoW with Rift! hahaha)

Rift is the perfect “No Flight” Game. There are teleports every where, Land Mounts are incredibly fast and the most importantly the lack of flight is LOGICAL. There are many kinds of Dynamic Content: Zone Events, Hunting Rift Groups, Strongholds and Instant Adventures. People realize that these things would be trivialized by Air Mounts. There’s the very rare Flying Mount thread that appears on the forums every now and then but they don’t get heated because the lack of flying is: JUSTIFIED THROUGH GAMEPLAY.

That^ is what’s wrong with no flight in WoW at the moment. Until Blizz fixes that it’s going to be an issue that persists throughout WOD and future content.

bambocheur
Guest
bambocheur

So I heard Bree mentioned an arcade with Pac-Man, etc.  Pocket fulls of quarters were mispent in my youth in the town arcade and here’s a story I found a while back on what actually happened to the arcade sector in the 80s.  Warning lotta nostalgia after the link: http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/16/3740422/the-life-and-death-of-the-american-arcade-for-amusement-only

Caerulei
Guest
Caerulei

Another way to discourage flight is scifi settings is flight requires fuel, which costs money.
In fantasy, flight could cost fatigue on the mount, and there would be potions to reduce fatique, but these could also cost money.
It’s realistic, it makes sense, and it does not stop players from experiencing overland content.
2nd time listening to this podcast.  y’all rock.

Cartap
Guest
Cartap

This flying drama in WoW has been super fun to follow. Having quit the game couple months ago I can now look at it mostly without emotion. Not objectively of course, but more analytically.
To me the real reason behind it is written in their finances. WoW has been losing subscribers steadily for years now and there is no end in sight for that trend. The people at the top are very much aware of this. So how do you keep your stock value when a major generator of profits is slowly losing steam. You reduce costs to compensate and diversify your portfolio.
Flying costs money. It prevents taking shortcuts in development. Remember the original vanilla map? It broke down if you enabled flight on it because areas that were normally impossible to see had not been worked on at all. It’s also easier to develop engaging content for ground based gameplay. All of that means that without flying Blizzard can do more with less.
WoD was their testing platform. Draenor supports flying, as in it doesn’t become a glitchy mess if you jump too high, but it’s not designed with flying in mind. This was to ensure that if they had to they could back down on the plan and re-enable flying. The next expansion is already being worked on and more than likely the maps are being made with even less support for the z-axis. It wouldn’t surprise me if they planned to return to the vanilla way of doing things, which takes away things like Aviana’s Feather too.
They probably expected to lose some subs over this but projected it to be tolerable. Based on the reactions I’d guess that they were wrong about that. When WoW was at the height of its success there was flying. During the period of most rapid customer loss in the games history there was not. So clearly the opponents of flying did not quit the game over it. But the proponents of flying have shown to do so. And really it makes sense since the feeling of misery when something is being taken away from you is very strong in humans.

Caerulei
Guest
Caerulei

Midgetsnowman Her point was not skipping objectives, it was designing overworld content so it was actually fun enough to do objectives.  WoW has some of the most boring PvE open world environment every made.  There are gems!  There are moments I enjoyed!  And I’m glad that every map has a continual story if you pay attention.  But the PvE world is so empty and questing is formulaic..  And it saddens me a lot when there are such paragons of quest design like Runescape, TSW, ESO, UO, Everquest, Project Gorgon, GW2, and FFXIV.
If players at all desire to fly by and skip your PvE content, then your PvE content is clearly unrewarding, poorly designed, and a waste of time, and it should not be.

Caerulei
Guest
Caerulei

The passion in the episode was real!  I loved it.  Also, been getting back to Marvel Heroes.  Never gave it enough of a chance before, and it’s amazing.  Gotta level ALL the characters.

Reht
Guest
Reht

Midgetsnowman
Exactly

Midgetsnowman
Guest
Midgetsnowman

Not to argue. But theres no way people would have ever stopped cheesing objectives with flying. Sorry Bree, I love ya, but I skippped everything not because it wa sboring, but because fuck it. why bother doing anything but grab the objective and leave?

Pandalulz
Guest
Pandalulz

My wife is all about the super stale peep thing too.

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