Massively OP Podcast Episode 140: Dubious drops in LOTRO, FFXIV, and SWTOR

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree navigate the dubious updates that dropped in several major MMOs (as well as a few other ones that seem to have gone off OK). It’s practically an all-patch, all-the-time show with the addition of a couple of interesting listener emails regarding accessibility and crafting!

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.

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10 Comments on "Massively OP Podcast Episode 140: Dubious drops in LOTRO, FFXIV, and SWTOR"

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Emma Anderson

I have sort of an unpopular opinion about housing. As a FFXIV player, yes, I want a house. I play on a less populated server and have seen a few open plots, but I’m too poor to afford it. But part of what makes it exciting is the fact that it is limited and exclusive. I love the open-world aspect because, even on a less populated server, it provides a small sense of community. I don’t like housing to be an escape from the community, and I love exploring the neighborhoods and checking out people’s homes.

I think that more plots need to be added. Perhaps this could be done in a dynamic fashion depending on the population of each server. But I don’t think that every player should have easy access towards a house. I like the sense of “prestige” that comes with it, even if it’s something that I don’t have access to myself. It’ll make it all the more rewarding when I eventually do.

amkosh
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amkosh

So… regarding open world housing. Personally, I think the house should be made in perpetuity. Why? Because every game developer must plan for players to leave and not give them a reason not to come back. I personally have no resubbed to UO since 2008. And I will never go back. Why? Because the house I spent a ton of time on disappeared around then. It died b/c I didn’t log in and it went IDOC. So I am so super demotivated from every going back. Had OSI not done this, I probably would have went back several times since then. But… no.

So many of the ideas people have about housing will either disenfranchise other players, or demotivate them to ever return.

Instanced housing is the *only* way to go. This pisses off the players that look at a house as a reason why they’re better than other players, but why is that wrong? Also the number of people in that group is small enough that the only way they get their way is by screaming louder than everyone else.

And if you say instanced housing doesn’t do community, you’re wrong. You can create a housing area that is instanced and ever growing. You may wonder why your area seems so much bigger on inside as it does in the outside, but that’s the only real negative. Also people that use “realism” are usually using that to cover another problem they have with a subject, usually one with a less friendly bent. IE, “Not having open world PvP breaks my realism”, which really means “Not having open world PvP prevents me from acting like the psychopath I am. “

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Suikoden

Loved the listener question! This has started to be an issue with me as well; stiff knees, back, etc.
The above has lead me more towards controller MMOs because it’s more comfortable; I can put my feet up on the desk, or lean back in the chair, etc.
I also get a little stiff in the hands, which a controller can be better or worse for depending on how it’s being used. Games that use a lot of trigger presses on a controller can start to really make my hands stiff, but I find FFXIV very enjoyable to play on a controller. If you set up the extra quick-crossbars, the system works pretty well.

It’s actually kind of depressing, like a musician getting arthritis or something, but it’s what we love so we make it work.

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Jack Pipsam

Being able to re-scale fonts should be a standard feature. At times even I hurt my eyes in games (PC gaming made me need glasses for long vision lol) from squinting at fonts and texts.
Considering that many monitors are going for 4K and the such, this might become even more pronounced. My graphic card wants me to super-sample with higher resolutions, but the UI is so small that I can’t bring myself to do it.

But I am almost certain that sooner or later that my posture when I use the computer is going to end up doing something real bad.

Fonts, UIs ect all should be changeable.

PS. Grats on the new phone.
PPS. Thinking of a letter to send in, been a while since I did that.

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TomTurtle

Yay! New phone for Bree. :P A good reminder why you have to be careful what you say in a recording in case part of it doesn’t get cut after all. Not that that being left in was bad, we have heard “worse” from you two with bloopers after all, haha.

If open world housing continues to be a thing, at least offer instanced housing alternatives for people like me who don’t care about a land rush. Don’t tax it either. I probably won’t bother if you do.

Sounds like SWL is coming to the point of proving itself. I hope new, good quality content comes out at a decent pace.

bereman99
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bereman99

Meant for this to be shorter, but kinda got carried away…

Instanced housing alternative that isn’t taxed?

Sounds like the apartments in FFXIV, which still haven’t filled up on most servers (the busiest they have filled for now, but the devs are supposed to raise the cap at some point though I’m not sure why they haven’t yet). I think maybe half have filled where my apartment is, and that’s a server that often gets character creation locked in the evenings.

Which I do find interesting – the game does offer player housing beyond just the exterior plots, but so many players seem to only consider the exterior plots to be player housing.

I can sorta understand that for Free Companies – the company workshop is locked to FC house ownership, though the majority of what can be made there either ties back into housing so it’s not exactly a necessity.

Specific housing exteriors, like the Moogle themed house or the new Shirogane Castle Walls, are made via the company workshop, though they’ve moved some of these – the Eatery exterior that makes it look like a restaurant for example – into retainer ventures that you don’t even need to be in an FC to do.

Airship missions are accessed via this as well and bring back various items, materials, and recipes…that you can then acquire via the Market Board (and many are actually really cheap there), or non-airship mission means, so you’re not totally locked out of those either. Of course, many of the items that are only obtainable via airship missions are either used for things like minions (which can be traded to others or sold) or, you guessed it, more housing stuff. It’s a fairly insular system to be honest…you just about don’t need the company workshop or airship missions unless you own the FC house, and beyond that it’s just one of countless ways to make money in the game.

The FC bonuses made from materials obtained from the missions are nice…but their increase is minor and I hear it’s a pain to get all the materials needed for the small increases they provide. A 5 minute duration increase on food buff here (so instead of 30 mins you get 35 mins), 5% more to experience there (Heat of Battle II gives 10%, the III version gives 15%).

Cross-breeding Gardening is the only other thing apartments can’t do (other than just place more stuff and place exterior items), and similar to the above the items that can be obtained via gardening are either cheap, obtainable elsewhere, or used for very specific purposes. The Thavnarian Onion, for example, is only used to increase the level a Chocobo can reach past level 10 by 1 per onion…and has no other use. Something nice to be able to obtain on your own, but also very much available on the Market Board, and if it’s not found through cross-breeding you can grow it in your apartment in special pots.

So really it’s a case of luxury housing (exterior plots that are limited) vs standard housing (apartments and private chambers – 512 of these per FC house – that are much more available).

TLDR – FFXIV ends up getting slammed for not providing the luxury option to everyone. I suppose my question is…is it actually a bad thing to not provide the luxury option to everyone when there is a more standard alternative that is generally much more available?

amkosh
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amkosh

Since Apartments can’t do everything a house do, yes it is a bad thing.

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TomTurtle

I was speaking to MMO housing in general. I don’t play FFXIV, and I don’t know much of the nuance of that game’s housing.

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Doug

With ladies saying they are always 29, Jack Benny always said he was 39. :)
One such joke about Jack Benny, he was 39 but had been married for 40 years.
Also Beau Hindman was into games having more accessibility for disabled players thought ablegamers.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Nice episode, the topic of interface accessibility/usability is something i’m so interested in, maybe i’m not looking in the right places, but i rarely find any content about these topics in any video game website.

So this is a request, can MOB write about it? not a column, just one well researched article about the state of accessibility/usability in MMOs, maybe a video, i know this need some hard work but it is worth it, games can’t just keep using bad interface for years while the developers know that people are complaining.

BTW … WoW have click to move option, also allow the user to change the whole interface with add-on, so if the default UI is not working you can change it, but i think all games need some kind of skins for the UI, offere high or low contrast skins, light or dark skins, change the font size and color and type, this is the minimum they should offer.

Also, testing UI should not be expansive, even small team company can test the UI, call friends and family, ask them to test the UI, take a laptop to some old people, any kind of test is better than nothing.

I’ll stop here, there is so much to say on this topic :-)

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