Global Chat: Oculus Rift, GW2’s philosophy shift, and emulator exploration

    
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The high cost of Oculus Rift brought a lot of discussion to the MMO blogosphere recently, with writers taking sides for and against the price, the platform, and the possible future of virtual reality gaming.

“I guess for me virtual reality has been this failed promise for so long that I have doubted that it would actually really arrive,” Tales of the Aggronaut wrote. “It gets even more risky when you start thinking back to horror stories of peripherals touting new and interesting ways to play games that didn’t make it,” Overly Positive cautioned. “VR is a part of the future, not the future,” In An Age noted.

When the dust settles, will people buy? Nobody can seem to agree on this. “I am more concerned with it being the price of ‘scare away adoption’,” Sagacyte said. “The Oculus Rift goal to make VR more of a mainstream thing seems to contradict its pricing,” The Tankquisition stated. “That price, for all the loud complaints it has yielded, doesn’t seem to be hurting the popularity of the pre-orders,” The Ancient Gaming Noob observed.

Beyond virtual reality, our round-up of MMO blog posts today includes an exploration of emulators, a criticism of Guild Wars 2’s philosophy shift, and more!

Inventory Full: Vanguard and Warhammer Online emulators

Bhagpuss has been exploring the grey realms of MMO emulators, having taken a dip in both Vanguard and Warhammer Online revival shards. If you’ve ever been curious what you might find on these, read on!

“I made a Squigg Herder, one of my top five all-time favorite MMO classes,” he wrote. “I fiddled with the UI a bit and then wandered out and started plinking. The place was heaving. The server holds a thousand players and I was in the mid-900s when I logged in.”

Waiting for Rez: End game in Black Desert Online

Iron Weakness was curious what endgame activities lay in store for Black Desert players, so he did a bit of research into the matter and decided to share his findings with the world. He also penned a piece on the pros and cons of the game so far as he saw it.

One such activity? Horse breeding! “BDO has an elaborate system for catching, leveling, and breeding horses. One of the activities you can do (once you’ve leveled the taming skill by riding a donkey…) is go out into the wild, lasso a horse, and make it your own. Horses come in several ranks but the higher level ranks must be reached through breeding. Horses also have their own skills to level, there is gear and cosmetics to craft for them, and they can participate in races for prizes as well.”

Occasional Hero: Philosophy shifts in Heart of Thorns, and why they’re wrong

Chaos Constant is less than pleased with the approach that Guild Wars 2 took with its first expansion. Mostly, he sees the devs flip-flopping on design that was in place from the start — and he doesn’t think it’s helping anything.

“The one-to-cap leveling time is shorter and easier than any other game I can think of (there’s a reason why I have three 80s in Guild Wars 2 and in most games I’m lucky to even have one). Perhaps if the game hadn’t done this so well with Central Tyria it wouldn’t have felt so jarring to be presented with such a grind when we got to Heart of Thorns in the form of masteries. And it doesn’t help that many of them seem so contrived. ”

Ravalation: The day on which virtual people made me cry

Have you ever had an in-game experience that was traumatic enough that it evoked a strong emotional reaction — or even made you cry? Ravalation had in Lord of the Rings Online a while back, and she recalled this experience in which a dungeon group made her snap.

“So they wanted to do the Watcher and needed a competent lore-master for it — but then they told me I was not allowed to roll for anything, because they had promised all the loot to a fellow kinship member,” she wrote. “Much to my own surprise, I broke down in tears behind the computer at this point. Aware of the silliness of my reaction, I tried to understand what I felt.”

7 Days a Week: An unfortunate incident in the chapel

Kids can get their parents into a lot of trouble if not adequately supervised. Xannziee knows all about that, as his daughter ended up sparking a full-blown massacre in Elder Scrolls Online because of her devious pickpocketing ways.

“So she had to kill each and every one of them and became mass murderer with a huge bounty on her head before we could leave the chapel with rosy cheeks of shame. We left dead bodies laying all over the floor, but at least they were in the chapel already, blessed I’m sure.”

Healing the Masses: The call of Camelot Unchained’s PvP focus

Camelot Unchained certainly has its strong supporters who deeply respect what the game is trying to do. One of these fans is Jewel, who puts her finger on the game’s PvP focus as the primary draw.

“It looks fantastic so far,” she gushes. “A development [team] focused on creating solid foundations for PvP first and layering features on top. A game that has learnt from the past mistakes of the many MMOs before it and is putting these lessons into practice, and a game that isn’t afraid to innovate and truly create something unique.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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Ravanel Griffon
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Ravanel Griffon

bargamer /hug

Kanbe
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Kanbe

Simply switching to do expansions vs temporary content isnt the the only thing thats changed in direction and I have no issue with that change.
The game in general has shifted massivley (go check the gw2 article in global chat for some examples) and some, myself included, simply decide not to support HoT because of that. Or hell even quit the game completley.
Also, saying expectations are always higher is not only false but thats bascially a cop out. Lets go with a recent example, I think Blade & Soul is performing beyond expectations at this point. They not only had to bring out their backup servers but they actually ordered more on top of that due to demand for the game.
Always is a strong word to use.

Line with more hugs
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Line with more hugs

Kenny_ Line with more hugs
Oh, but it was in the same place.
It was shit, mind you. But it was here. You could say that you were looking for group (and it was shown on your portrait, that do not happen anymore… could be useful with a little activity tag, there’s already so much crap stuck to your character’s name anyway).

And indeed, many people did call the game on that (rightfully so, I would add). However, a lot of those people wanted the same kind of automated LFG that can you find in competitors; they just added categories and a little bubble to explain what and who you were looking for. 
Very different than a dungeon finder like the one TSW is getting.

GW2 is far from being the only MMO with a bulletin board, but it’s one of the very few where that’s all there is… and it has a social aspect, since you don’t get “dailies” from it, nor do you need a trinity group. 
It suffers from the lack of squad reaserch, however.

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

Kenny_ Line with more hugs Jesus, can you imagine trying to do Silverwastes/HoT content without the LFG tool to coordinate taxis?

Kanbe
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Kanbe

The more I read about Black Desert, the more excited i get. Funny since a month ago I wasn’t paying it any attention.

Kenny_
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Kenny_

Line with more hugs Kenny_
The LFG tool was in game day one. In the exact same unintuitive place, even. It’s just that nobody used it. Whan they added much needed categories to it, it became a staple… but stayed as a bulletin board, rather than automated group finder.

I’m not sure that’s true. I remember playing from day one, and there wasn’t any LFG tool there. it . To a degree there were smirks on both sides of the fence about this (An NCSoft/Wildstar Dev doing a video podcast on another mmo outlet and commenting something like “You must have a LFG tool in your MMO nowadays” followed by “hmm, I wonder who they might be talking about” – I’m paraphrasing there. And the huge success of the third-party LFGGW2 Website, created because it wasn’t in game – and well, there were the devs saying that they didn’t want to put an Dungeon finder tool in because it’d create a bad environment for people who want to group up for other things, so any sort of grouping tool was “not something we’re looking at”…again, until LFGGW2 was popular)
Please, do let me know if I’m wrong though!

I agree with all your other points.

melissaheather
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melissaheather

My perspective as an unabashed VR apostle is that people have have never tried it or barely tried it do an awful lot of nay-saying.  The price is unfortunate.   A lot more people will be interested in Gear VR at $99 than the Rift at $599.   And honestly, the Rift is almost certainly considerably better, but I don’t think it’s five hundred dollars better.  Not in the current state of the tech, and not until some killer app that becomes a cultural phenomenon like WoW became.  That’s what it will take.   An amazing game or experience or app that changes minds, drops jaws, and opens purses and wallets.   And it will happen.   Just probably not in 2016.
We have to remember, things like Carboard and GearVR are prologue.  What is coming in the next 18 months is going to be essentially the consumer 1.0 products.   The baby has already learned how to toddle across the room.   It’s all going to get better from here.

Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

“That price, for all the loud complaints it has yielded, doesn’t seem to be hurting the popularity of the pre-orders” (referring to Oculus Rift)

Hunh? Considering shipping dates literally jumped a quarter of a year in a matter of hours of pre-sales…I think it reveals a huge weakness in the Oculus Rift’s supply chain and ability to mass produce.

‘Thanks for ordering your Oculus Rift…you may receive it by August’…that’s literally the message people got days after it went on sale.

Line with more hugs
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Kenny_ Line with more hugs
A lot of things are more a matter of perspective from the players.
The LFG tool was in game day one. In the exact same unintuitive place, even. It’s just that nobody used it. Whan they added much needed categories to it, it became a staple… but stayed as a bulletin board, rather than automated group finder.

The biggest issue with the game has been balance, between classes, but also game modes, rewards, or just the investment required to find fun in core parts.
Healing has always been in game, but many took it as facetank everything and spam green. And no content challenged that, as control was immensely superior (which is also a clear indicator of older players, when they can say why dungeons and fractals were piss easy – because blind, reflect and multi staged attacks were bonkers, not because you could just throw 5 DPS head first into monsters).
Raids are interesting, if not for everyone, but it also pushed players to see that control and support are not to neglect. That’s a good way to expand the view of many without just gutting their builds.

Kenny_
Guest
Kenny_

Line with more hugs
It’s pretty telling. Complaints made against deicisions… when those complaints are adressed… throw your arms in the air and scream too late. You may as well not talk about anything at all.
The only thing I can probably make a resemblance to is; that one friend you have that insists that they’re right in the way they approach something. You highlight flaws, and issues in their logic, but they adamantly defend their corner. You find there’s no point in highlighting issues because it’s not going to change them, you realise they’re not the type of person you’d want to have around. Years later, you hear they’ve adopted your feedback, but…they still won’t say they were wrong, or take back pretty definitive statements, only that “On further inspection I made the choice because I wanted to”. I guess it just hits that level of irritation for some faster than others.

Where is the flip flopping with a game that has done that since day one, and took flak each time for not being instanced enough, along having seasonal or one time events…Well, Personally, I find the notion of “We’re changing our philosophy again”…in itself is flip flopping. Some of the things I can say off the top of my head for the game, were things like: Not being interested in the aspect of a dedicated healer, to only have a class set that is pretty much a dedicated healer – the LFG tool was heavily opposed…. until someone else made one, then all of a sudden it was something worth adding in game. Even the blog post “Consistently Inconsistent” highlights some things that they were getting the community worked up for, only to say later on that they’re no longer going to even glance in it’s general direction.
There are some things they’ve stuck with, but it’s obvious they’re gradually shifting their philosophy to basically match what might work for them in the short term then updating it as they go along. (IE: If we can’t to X, lets start working on Y, and just tweak the philosophy to match that we want to focus on Y more).