Global Chat: Saying farewell to City of Steam

    
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No doubt by now you have heard that the indie steampunk City of Steam has been shuttered. And while its demise won’t change the lives of most of the people you know, it has made at least one blogger sad, as he attempted to squeeze out the remainder of the game story in those last couple of weeks.

Bhagpuss writes that he found City of Steam surprisingly populated for a title under a death warrant: “For an MMO that’s about to close for good in a week’s time it seems in unusually robust health. A deal of content’s been added since my last visit including airship missions and holiday gifts. Arkadia’s central plaza still buzzes with activity. Endless messages ping across the screen exhorting players to join in this activity or that. The chat box ticks with reports of purple and orange purchases and discoveries. For a game about to die it feels oddly alive.”

We pour out a pint of 5w30 in its memory. Read on for more takes from the MMO blogosphere, including the heartbreak of ArcheAge, level-syncing in RIFT, learning when to quit a game, and more!

GamingSF: Making grouping as easy as possible

Why can’t all MMOs get their act together and make it easy for players of varying levels to group up? Telwyn can’t understand why most of the industry seems to be dragging its feet on this while RIFT has made such an approach look downright easy.

“All in all, I was mightily impressed with how easy it has become in RIFT to play with friends regardless of level, faction or location,” he wrote. “Not all of this is new to the genre of course; mentoring for instance has been in EverQuest II for many years. But RIFT does combine all these features to great effect. I’d like to see some more thought put into this by MMO devs and less of the ‘go PUG everything’ that these games favour.”

Arwyn Sojurner: When a game breaks your heart, can you learn to love again?

Arwyn is still tending to the wounds that ArcheAge caused after having fallen in — and then out of — love with it. She vowed never to look back, but her desire for a good sandbox game has made her start to pay attention to a new digital suitor: Black Desert.

She walks us through her thought process: “This… this sounded like the sandbox game that I wanted in ArcheAge but didn’t get. This… this could be… the game that has the features that I’ve been looking for. […] If I’m already making goals for a game I don’t own… well, I guess that means I’ve almost talked myself into getting it.”

Waiting for Rez: Life without levels

Ironweakness expresses a growing appreciation for how The Secret World is able to create a game without (traditional) levels. He says it’s gotten him to see past zone levels as a measurement of progression and instead gauge progress by how many of an area’s quests he’s done.

“I’m enjoying the different style of progression that a level-less game like The Secret World provides. As a result I’ve seen far more of what the world has to offer and I don’t feel the usual rush to reach the end. As long as I keep getting the AP and SP at a rewarding rate, I’ll continue to be a happy little vampire slayer in this new life without levels.”

In an Age: Guild Wars 2 reloaded

Have you ever returned to an MMO years after you played it and felt lost and struggling to understand all of the changes that happened in the interim? Azuriel is going through this in Guild Wars 2 as he notes all of the improvements and stumbles the game has made in the past three years.

“People gripe about all the planned obsolescence in MMOs like WoW, but GW2 seems to be the ultimate offender here. Lion’s Arch got destroyed or something, right? I’ve read about it, but I don’t think there is ever a way to see it. Unless it is in the Living Story bundle, perhaps. Someone might be able to breeze through the entire Mists expansion in WoW without leaving Jade Forest these days, but at least all that content still exists. In GW2’s sake, it is straight-up gone like a fart in the breeze.”

Overly Positive: Quittin’ time for gamers

Community manager Frank has a unique perspective on game veterans and how some of them seem to endlessly bash the game that they supposedly love and have spent countless hours playing. He sees the problem as people’s inability to stop playing a title once it’s ceased to be fun.

“I feel like people need to practice and refine the idea that a game that isn’t enjoyable to them isn’t one that they should stick with. That’s not to say that there isn’t merit to doing so since development cycles are marathons and not sprints, but there has to be an identifying point, unique to every gamer, where enough is enough — where the Sisyphean task of rolling the boulder that is the game up a hill over and over isn’t worth it and quitting is the better option.”

Harbinger Zero: FFXIV — The good, the bad, and the ugly

As someone who is relatively new to Final Fantasy XIV, I can certainly related with Harb’s post here. You can feel his struggle to like this popular game even as it feels partially alien and annoying to him.

“Then there was the moment when I realized that I was drawing arcane geometric symbols to cast my spells, and that I was apparently able to do so even though I was wearing mittens. Wait, why the *@#$ am I wearing mittens?!”

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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MesaSage
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MesaSage

The problem with ‘quittin time’ is that giving up feels like admitting all that time was wasted.  I think it’s the main reason so many hang on long after the fun stops.

John Wise
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John Wise

It has potential, too bad. rip

Aywren
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Aywren

Thanks always for including one of my posts in your roundup! Unexpected choice, and for the record, I did pre-order Black Desert Online. I plan on scrutinizing it in every way while I play it. ;)

Syppi
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Syppi

Bhagpuss My bad! I’ve updated the post with a link.

Bhagpuss
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Bhagpuss

Thanks as always for the link-love Syp! Only I don’t think you actually included a link to the post in question this time :P

City of Steam dodged a couple of bullets before it finally caught one in the heart – or the oil pump – so I’m more grateful that it lasted as long as it did than heartbroken it’s gone. It had plenty of faults but at its core was a an intriguing world with well-developed lore and some above-average writing. It will be missed.

Bingin
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Bingin

Man, the irony in that GW2/WoW comment is incredible. Specifically quoting Mists as an expansion where all the content exists when it is quite the opposite. They went for a more dynamic story during the expansion, so much so that when WoD came out they had to add in a “Legacy” tab to achievements for ones that are no longer possible to get but also not really Feat of Strength worthy. Though what cracks me up is that the Vale of Eternal Blossoms was completely destroyed and 80% of the content it held went with it (including a large chunk of story content leading up to the Throne of Thunder patch), essentially making it a “fart in the breeze.” The only way to experience that content was to be playing the game before it was destroyed.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

tsw literally has traditional levels tho. as well as post level vertical power curve gear grind.

and has literally always had both of those since before launch.

number of levels is pretty arbitrary. wether the leveling content progression is chopped up into 50, 60 100 or 10 levels doesn’t change the practical effect of having those levels, and the reality of having those levels is very much at work in tsw.

the amount of exp per level needed goes up every level. the amount of exp you get from quests goes up as you progress through the zones. teh amount of currency you get goes up. the floating damage numbers of hp pools increases as you level. teh stats on your gear increase as you level.

the only difference is that process is only split into ten (technically 20, if not 40 if we don’t consider that you level 2 lines with 2 lines each, for 20 levels per skill line and 40 total on your journey to endgame) levels aka QL, which does all teh traditional work of gating gear and content and feeding the carrot on a stick mentality as much as wow or any other themepark mmo.

and being able to level the other skll lines on the same character hardly makes a game like ffxiv leveless or horizontal.

and the levels in and ofthemselves before considering the gear factor, which is also very much at work in teh game even while leveling, will trivalize older earlier content pretty quickly. by the time you finish kingsmouth around level 3 much of the zone’s content will now be trivial to you, and you will be able to quite easily mass farm mobs (as we used to do at launch, and as well in beta for funsies adn to farm certain items before moving to the next zone).

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

BritoBruno especially since bdo has the same labour points style mechanic that archeage has that everyone qqed about.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

Quincha so poor choice of words in that specific case. the intended communication still comes through effectively in the quoted paragraph.

and it’s not an uncommon complaint of both wow, in particular with cataclysm, and guild wars 2.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

“She walks us through her thought process: “This… this sounded like the sandbox game that I wanted in ArcheAge but didn’t get. This… this could be… the game that has the features that I’ve been looking for. […] If I’m already making goals for a game I don’t own… well, I guess that means I’ve almost talked myself into getting it.””
Never hype yourself like this, my dear. You’ll fall flat on your face, game being good or not.