Massively OP Podcast Episode 32: WildStumble

WildStar’s free-to-play launch began this past week, and Justin and Bree are in the thick of this wild and woolly mess. On today’s show, they talk about what could’ve been done differently, the upcoming demise of an MMO that nobody played, and a controversial SWTOR feature that’s coming with the expansion.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Show notes:

Other info:

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

37 Comments on "Massively OP Podcast Episode 32: WildStumble"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

Serrenity Because I know you will appreciate it:


<3

Space_Ghostal
Guest
Space_Ghostal

What guild are you playing in Justin? Winch faction are you and the massively peeps on? I am looking for a established Exile guild.

flatline4400
Guest
flatline4400

Level scaling completely defeats the point of levels, and removes a big part of immersion.  Having your ass handed to you by mobs you have no business trying to tackle is part of being in an actual game world.  Similarly, what’s the point of levelling up if the challenge factor never changes?  Where’s the sense of progression and power when you can’t go back and just squash old enemies that used to squash you, or when you could stroll through a lowbie dungeon that used to kick your ass and teach all those monsters who the real boss is?
You lose all of that.  Not to mention that it’s just a huge crutch for artifically prolonging the time people will spend playing your content.  Also, good content scales not just in terms of hit points and such, but mob abilities, tactics, placement, etc.  You can’t just throw in a few equations and hope it works, at least, not well.
I detest level scaling.  I feel no sense of progression dealing with systems like that.  I was not a fan of it in GW2, but at least it was there from the get go, and you knew what you were getting when you bought the box.  A big change like this in a now established game like SWTOR should be optional at the VERY least.

Needmoreloot
Guest
Needmoreloot

There’s plenty of reason to dislike “level sync” as a concept let alone experiencing it. Rubber banding would 100% be a nail in the coffin if I still played. Before we push me into the outlier bag I will admit recent temptation [after watching so much MJ & Larry] to go back & if the dongle still worked without calling on a phone to sort it out I probably would have by now.

Level sync is once again a failure of their content design, and more a way to penalise the acquisition of wealth. With housing (a huge money sink) requiring millions of credits to deck out your swag pads its understandable rofalstomps are needed, likewise soloable content is tough enough to crawl through, grinding for more XP (yeah I’m bad at mmo’s) let alone gold sinks. GW2 rubber banding really put me off exploring zones I’ve never visited, and pushed me to stay in my corner then push to level 80 in as linear fashion as possible.

As ever great MOPOD and glad the UO is still working out for ya bree, hopefully some games for you in the release future! o/

plynky12
Guest
plynky12

Don’t quite get the “farming money” argument for all the crying. Surely a single level 60 daily gets you much more money than farming low level shit for hours on end. Endgame dailies give out stupid amounts of money compared with piddling about on low level planets.

I think it’s just that people really, really don’t like change.

plynky12
Guest
plynky12

Apple Cider? Bleuuugh. Where I come from cider is booze. :)

Siphaed
Guest
Siphaed

Zulika_Mi_Nam 
Developers treat housing like it’s a niche thing that isn’t all too important to players; and they couldn’t be more wrong.   What was one comment from the developers of Wildstar about their game “we’d see tons of players getting to level 14 and just stopping there because they’ve unlocked their housing plot”. Ya, it was that big of a deal.       So to ask those who enjoy that kind of feature to “subsidize everyone else’s free ride”, as Bree put it, is incredibly callous and cheap at best.  

I would have gotten into Ark, but after trying it for the free weekend I found that the optimization is just not there and had to do very low settings (exact opposite of other games I have maxed out with effect and graphics mods on too).   Plus add the weight that GW2’s HoT is coming soon -with holiday events too- and there’s just no time to sink heavily into Ark.   On the positive side,  HoT’s Guild Halls are package included and don’t cost $500 each ;p.

Siphaed
Guest
Siphaed

breetoplay Siphaed 
No, thank you for casting said question to host a limelight on the things.
And yes, you can call me “Sif” (just not “Sip”).   The real pronunciation of my pseudonym is “Syfe-aid”.

Enikuo
Guest
Enikuo

BKone Enikuo As in, he quickly and seemingly unconsciously corrected to avoid the sexual inuendo, like auto-correct. Better?
Sorry, I just typed up a quick comment after enjoying the show and didn’t run it by my comment editor first.

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

Re: launch ‘woes’ 

Just a moment of perspective (a la Louis C.K.) 

You are playing a game, with virtually no delay with thousands of people all across the world simultaneously.  You are interacting with them in this space that simultaneously exists, and doesn’t exists (and if you think about the metaphysical implications of it for too long, your head starts to hurt), on a machine that has a technical prowess completely and utterly unfathomed 30 years ago.  The machines enabling all of this are handling millions of interactions, in a specific order, correcting for latency, communicating to a central machine, communicating out to other players and back to the initiating player, all without any noticeable lag. .  

The modern MMO is a mindboggling wonder of technological achievement.  

inb4 I get slammed for … reasons

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

DPandaren Hey you’re not wrong; it could definitely get ridiculous. But most of the major mods addressing it didn’t just take away lore-defying armor and replace it with stats or replace it with elite leather or fur. They nuked the whole system, suggesting they weren’t really doing it for the lore/immersion in the first place.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

Siphaed Yeah, part of why it’s so hard to answer is that Eternal Kingdoms is so nebulous to begin with. I am not a big fan of asking cosmetic-oriented players to subsidize everyone else’s free ride in any case. I wouldn’t personally give it a free pass, but it’s not “traditionally P2W” as it stands (if that makes sense).

BKone
Guest
BKone

breetoplay FeveredDreamer McGuffn cures Ironwu I don’t really remember Oblivion because I just flew thru it, it was piss easy. 
I spent way more time in Skyrim. It has level scaling too but to a certain degree. It stops at lvl40 or 50, while player character can level to 73. It’s so huge power disparity that I started to gear up my companion and I just stayed hidden while I ordered my companion around killing mobs.
I have never felt that strong in any MMO, nor up that point nor since then.

BKone
Guest
BKone

Enikuo “auto-correction”
wat?

Siphaed
Guest
Siphaed

“Fundamental unfairness” is a perfect description of the P2W housing situation in SotA, Bree.

Although for Crowfall, not enough about the Eternal Kingdoms has been found out to write it off as just cosmetic lobby and not P2W.  What if they decide that all castles come pre-equipped with specific crafting stations?  That would give a strategic advantage to owners who don’t have to build those stations.     And there’s the issue with them being on “Tax Free” land.  The issue with that is that other players have to pay money/resources to keep up their EK properties while those whales do not, thus getting to pocket more resources and coin.   We don’t know whether or not the Divine Cathedrals -something included in many higher tier packages- provide some sort of buff or bonus to your character.  

I get the whole “but it’s cosmetics!” side of things, even if I don’t agree with it.  However I think that getting a castle full up without paying resources while also getting it on tax-free land, meaning nearly nothing put into it besides $$ direct (i.e. whales) and that becomes completely ‘fishy’ for a game.   I see the P2W aspect of this on the wider view rather than the direct + power buy that most seem to insinuate it to be.

Peregrine_Falcon
Guest
Peregrine_Falcon

For the last 2 years people have screamed that SWTOR isn’t an MMO, it’s “a single-player game that allows you to team.” So BioWare is fixing that by adding zonewide level scalling, like another MMO has, which helps people to team up, and removed XP-splitting, so people aren’t penalized for teaming up. So what do people do? Scream like maniacs about that!

Geez internet people are stupid. No wonder game developers won’t listen to us.

McGuffn
Guest
McGuffn

FeveredDreamer McGuffn cures Ironwu The only reasons I can think of where it might actually be warranted is helping a friend level (usually in games that allow you to carry someone in such a way that they can leech significant xp from you) or going back to a zone to gather low level crafting mats if you’re doing a new crafting prof.

DPandaren
Guest
DPandaren

breetoplay You kind of forgot the part where the game was kind of broken immersion wise, when every Tom, Dick, and Harry street thug suddenly decides to wear Daedric and Glass amour for some reason. Even unmodded, people could just stomp on the scaled content, but items that were allegedly ‘rare’ in the TES universe was all over place like candy. 

Seriously, it was more about loot tables then anything being a challenge.

karmamule
Guest
karmamule

breetoplay FeveredDreamer McGuffn cures Ironwu I think turning off level-scaling can make subsequent run-throughs more interesting when you’re already familiar with the game’s world.  But, unless a game is *very* clever about giving you guidance it would feel arbitrary and frustrating for most people on their first play-through, so level scaling is an easier solution.

Fenryr
Guest
Fenryr

Ironwu   Now with that new system a normal humanoid (and all other categories of enemies) will have the same power lvl on all the planets. Why should a smuggler on coruscant be weaker than one on rishi? this arbitrary lvl system is that what kills immersion.
 A darth will have all the abilities and some extra edge with the gear they obtained but he is not invincible, which btw. has been proven very often ingame. ;) countless darths have been killed through my lightsaber. 

I really don’t understand the ruckus about this anyway, it’s not like you had many incentives to go back unless you really want all the kill x thousands of minions achievements, and the economy doesn’t really need low end resources so why even bother? Now you can play with your newbie buddies without outpower them by a large margin or  yet another twink.

P.S not feeling like a real hero again? not like swtor offers any sort of challenge in the leveling process, you rofl-stomp through the enemies anyway (in a very heroic fashion ofc).

strangesands
Guest
strangesands

breetoplay FeveredDreamer McGuffn cures Ironwu Rather than level-scaling though, how about just putting tougher mobs alongside the lowbies?  I don’t see how level 1 kobolds should suddenly be as tough as a level 100 paladin, but I also think there should be other creatures that are way tougher should you stroll back through an old zone.  Mixing high and low level content is harder, though, and probably why many devs just go with the quick n’ easy scaling solution.

Zulika_Mi_Nam
Guest
Zulika_Mi_Nam

As you stated in your discussion of the subject of whales sales, I am really disappointed by the selling of houses in SoTA, Crowfall, and Revival.  I looked at those 3 in particular and they already came to my mind before you mentioned them.
No one could/would answer questions about if the housing in Crowfall could lead to advantages during it’s KS phase, but it appears since the houses come with larger land space that you can rent out to other players and charge them rent via game $ or resources that it could be.  I decided not to back at all on that potential issue and I stopped paying attention to it.
Advantages to the high priced houses in the SoTA store seemed obvious to me & Revival looks to be going down the same road that SoTA is.  I was interested enough in both of those to spent some time on their sites looking through the game info and then the store really dissappointed -gonna have to start looking at stores first to save time.

These type of things are beyond my level of comfort and make me yearn for the days of subs.  That first day in Asheron’s Call, when I realized that not every character was an NPC, but an actual person…  I thought I was done with single player games for good.  Now I am looking at Steam daily for non-MMO RPG shines and I just backed my first non-MMO KS game.

ARK: Survival Evolved just went on sale for $20 -usually $30 for anyone that has been holding out and is interested.

Enikuo
Guest
Enikuo

I loved Justin’s stumble and swift auto-correction – “Drilling the whales….. drilling the well as deep as they can.” LOL!

thatchefdude
Guest
thatchefdude

mrgrimord1

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

FeveredDreamer McGuffn cures Ironwu I thought some more about this and I realized exactly where I’ve seen it before: The Elder Scrolls modding scene.
When Oblivion launched, the savvy corner of the playerbase lost its collective shit because of the level-scaling in the game. Instead of blundering into encounters that would hand you your ass or conversely be way, way too easy for your level 50 self (a la Morrowind), you leveled up and the game leveled with you. If you wanted to stay level 5 forever, the game would tailor itself — mobs, dungeons, gear, everything — to your level. Similarly, if you did everything in the game and leveled up every skill so that you had ALL the levels, the game would ramp up to challenge you so that there were no cakewalks.
But a lot of people — I’ll even say a vast majority of people — who modded their games consider Bethsoft’s level-scaling to be a crime against humanity, and hundreds of overhaul mods were created and are to this day considered absolutely essential by almost everyone.
I have never, ever understood it. I’ve always been on the side of level-scaling. I don’t enjoy being owned by uber mobs or being bored by junk loot and trash NPCs.

agemyth
Guest
agemyth

Ironwu Force users are not gods. That said, I can’t think of many MMOs where fighting mobs your own level isn’t a “stomp”, especially with the mass market mmo’s like SWTOR.
I did not enjoy my early experiences with GW2’s level scaling, but I got used to it and realized it is still ezmode going to old zones.

BlkShroud
Guest
BlkShroud

Ironwu The level scaling works quite well in GW2. It’s one of the best features about the game. I can take my level 80 character and play with friends who are just getting into the game.  And it actually makes lower level content relevant and gives people a reason to go back instead of them being barren wastelands.

I just don’t get what all of the crying is about.

mrgrimord1
Guest
mrgrimord1

I don’t think we saw the same trailer.

Syppi
Guest
Syppi

Quincha I think my old headset is finally giving up the ghost. Going to try a different headset next week. Sorry about that!

FeveredDreamer
Guest
FeveredDreamer

Quincha Ironwu Yep, I was just thinking that… like switching on god-mode due to gaining levels is really more of a lazy old RPG mechanic than anything else.  This is rarely if ever found in literature, film or other avenues of storytelling.  That being said, in SWTOR it is pretty standard to take out groups of on-level enemies anyway, being totally outleveled just made it trivial.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Mark Jacobs can get away with it because he’s transparent and honest with his players. He communicates so darn well that any missteps are taken in stride by his backers because of his communication and ethics. :) Btw great Podcast Justin and Bree.

FeveredDreamer
Guest
FeveredDreamer

McGuffn cures Ironwu Yep, this is it… frankly I’ve always found it downright puzzling.  I mean I’m not trying to hate or anything but I am amazed that anyone actually wastes their time doing this.  For me I’ve always found “outleveling” zones one of the worst things about contemporary MMOs, to the degree that its made me grow to loathe vertical progression in general.  It seems like such a waste to develop rich content in a themepark only to have it made worthless as soon as folks outlevel it.

McGuffn
Guest
McGuffn

cures Ironwu There’s a faction of the mmo playerbase that gets very upset when you can’t go to a “lower level” zone and faceroll everything there.

cures
Guest
cures

Ironwu what doesnt work with scaling in gw2? it’s one of the many systems that make that great game what it is imo.

Ironwu
Guest
Ironwu

Just in response to what the problem is with the SWTOR Level-Scaling, at least for me. . .
You will never again feel like a real hero in SWTOR again.  This is a deal breaker for me, at least.
Can you imagine a Darth not being able to stomp through lower level enemies?
In addition, it has been my experience that the Level Scaling in GW2 never really worked.  Just my observation.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Quincha Yeah the last couple Podcasts it feels like Justin’s voice is much louder like he’s too close to the mic or something and it starts distorting a bit. I’m in the middle of listening right now.

thatchefdude
Guest
thatchefdude

A small part of me thinks they kind of deserve that stumble after the god-awful launch trailer for F2P that you captioned in the header.

wpDiscuz