You call THAT content?

Now this might be a first; Tobold starting Friday Blog Wars? Who is this guy, and where has the real Tobold/Gevlon gone?

The funny thing about all of this is we are going by ‘numerical’ measure of content, as if there is a science to MMO content or an official scoring system. It’s going to come down to “I don’t view that as content”, “Well I do”, but since this is Friday, and one can never back down from a Blog War, here goes (Plus if you visit Tobold’s site and increase his page views, Blizzard is more likely to invite him to Bliz Con and give him other ‘free’ stuff, just for promoting their game. Shameless these bloggers, just shameless!).

Tobold left out his biggest weapon in this argument sadly, as he should have said that because DarkFall is a sandbox, it by default has more content than a themepark. He failed to mention that, so I guess its fair game. The amount of content in a WoW starting zone is worth about 10 hours (probably less now with speed leveling), because once you level out of that content, its gone. You can re-roll an alt, but the entire zone is identical, so unless we are counting seeing the EXACT same thing as new content, each zone in WoW aside from the current ‘cap’ zone is very limited. Once you leave you never return, and the space and everything in it only has value for that short time (in MMO terms) you spend focused on it.

That the next zone is just a rehash of the same ‘kill ten rats’ quests you just did is another matter, but lets pretend the lore of WoW matters (hi space goats) and that the quests are in fact different. I think by Tobold’s scientific method, if farmer A tells me to kill wolves because he needs wool, and farmer B tells me to kill bears because he needs meat, that’s two very different sets of content. We are going to ignore that killing wolves/bears requires 1-2-3-2-1 for both, for now at least.

In DarkFall any area has value to a veteran and a new player, and it will never become obsolete because the level cap has been raised or a new instance with higher item levels has been added. It can always be used as a trade hub, staging points for an attack, or simply an area to pass through on your way to some PvP/PvE (and since travel time and location have value in DF, this can’t be discounted). The value of any mining node never decreases, unlike in WoW, and the goblins that you fought to learn the combat system can still be killed for ‘easy’ skill gains or some easy gold, not to mention whatever PvP may occur in the area.

Tobold is also funny in bringing up mob variety as a comparison, stating that in DarkFall you might only see a goblin in your first 20 hours, but in WoW you get to experience a wide variety of mobs. Now if we are speaking only in terms of graphic models (bonus points if you think pallet swaps count as content too), and we also assume the 20 hours of only goblins is true for DarkFall (it’s not, but lets pretend), Tobold is right, you will see more monster graphics in WoW than you will in DF on your way to level 80. Now once you hit 80 the amount of mobs you will fight is a fraction of the ones any player will fight at any time in DF, but that’s just a small detail we need to ignore.

But as graphics only go so far, what about combat? In those first 20 hours of gameplay, those very same goblins in DarkFall (scouts, warriors and shamans, since they all act differently) will do far more in combat than any mob you will experience in your first 20 hours of WoW. Actually they will do more in combat than ANY mob in WoW in terms of AI (not a set script). And that’s just goblins, which fight differently than say Deathless Mages, Menehirs, or any of the dragons.

Now for me gameplay is content, so while I’ll learn how to beat every mob without a script in WoW within 5 minutes (and even if I don’t learn, I’ll still kill all of them and collect ‘epics’), each mob in DF requires a more measured approach. If you just run in without a care, it’s very likely the mob will drop you, and since death in DF matters (in comparison to WoW anyway), you will quickly learn to play smarter or you won’t progress. In WoW, even IF a regular mob could kill you, the only thing you would need to learn is to come back after you ding or buy some no-risk gear on the auction house. Plus there is that little detail of terrain, where in WoW it has zero impact on combat, while fighting those same goblins in DF is night and day depending on WHERE you are fighting them. Add in that what a goblin drops is ALWAYS useful to any DF player, while once you ding gray mobs are POINTLESS in WoW, and the amount of PvE content available to any player in both games is starting to look very lopsided.

Factor in that at any given time, the total number of useful mobs, group options, and the amount of usable loot is greater in DF than it is in WoW, and well, I’m having a tough time seeing all this content Tobold thinks he has access to.

The comedy of course is that one game is basically PvE only (unless you find a challenge in playing the kiddie-pool economy with a gold cap, or you find zero skill cookie PvP fun). Because if we want to talk about the amount of content WoW provides in terms of PvP, and stack it up against DF, we are in for a really good laugh.

Let’s pretend the siege engines in DarkFall (the numerous ships, warhulks, and cannons, all with different costs, values, and power) are on par with the siege engines in WoW’s world PvP… hmmm wait that’s not possible, as Blizzard has come to the conclusion that world PvP is technically impossible in an MMO. Fine fine, lets compare the mass failure of WoW’s Wintergrasp’s world (err, instanced) PvP to a DF city siege. Which city out of the dozens you ask (and shhh about hamlets, Sea Fortresses and villages!), eh lets just pick one, even though every city requires a different approach and strategy, can be in a different state of completion, and owned by different clans with different alliance affiliations.

We want to keep this from being a slaughter, so let’s just pretend DF has only one city to siege. Lets also pretend we always bring the exact same number of combatants to that DF city siege, we all instantly travel to the siege location, and that everyone is hard-locked into one of two sides, with characters all basically equal in level, with zero-risk gear that does more to determine who wins than any actual player skill. Wait, what are we comparing again…?

If I’ve been to a single WG ‘match’, how much of that content have I seen? How different is one WG match from another? How different is the result, how does it alter the game going forward, and what politics and strategy factored into the match beforehand? Oh, there is no politics or strategy beforehand, and everyone just joins at random, with everyone getting a reward win or lose? Eh, let’s not count that either then. I mean politics don’t have a graphic model, so they don’t really count, and solo play in an MMO is basically the same thing as playing with a guild or the whole server, more or less. Plus the result actually mattering is a relic of MMO history, everyone knows the superior solution is to reward success AND failure, otherwise you might upset someone, and we can’t have that.

Ok whatever, PvP is stupid and it does not count as content, plus DF is negative sum PvP and failure-to-launch Lum says that model is doomed to fail, so clearly DF is not growing and gaining players almost a year after release, and will soon die because of that negative sum impact PvP. Plus player skill factoring into combat is dumb, I mean who wants to get rewarded for actual getting better at a game! I should win because my character has a higher item level than you damnit, not because you outplayed me!

Moving on, let’s finally compare the real strength of WoW, the economy! You know, that awesome game-within-a-game that some are so focused on. WoW offers just a ton of content here, as you can literally spend hours and hours every day running your favorite UI mod and opening your mailbox. Plus once you have achieved UI mod mastery, you can in turn use those hard-fought gains to buy awesome, game-changing stuff like… another ‘epic’ mount? I guess you could save up to buy a player house, and then use your player vendor at that house to sell a wide variety of player crafted gear that you either made yourself or ask others for, which in turn you could use THAT gold to hire mercenary guilds to protect you from your enemies. No wait, you can’t do any of that in WoW… but you CAN buy another epic flyer! And once you buy like 20 of them (that’s 20 examples of content, they have different graphic models people!) you get MORE content because an achievement pops up. It’s like a content rollercoaster that just never ends.

But this all comes back to Tobold being a little confused overall on what content really is in an MMO. I mean let’s look at this:

A repetitive part, for which the base rules are always the same, for example combat… (is not content)

I think everyone can see the problem here. In WoW combat is indeed extremely repetitive, to the point where you could spend a minute with your G15 keyboard and teach it to beat every non-scripted mob in the game, at any level, in any zone (for the scripted mobs you need to watch Youtube, or just have someone who out-gears the content carry you through it). It’s easy to see how combat is not actually considered content in WoW beyond the first five minutes, but that might be saying more about your game than anything else. Oh and good luck with that G15 script in DarkFall against those goblins.

The funny part is every class in WoW has dozens of skills and abilities to fill your hotbars with, and yet the combat is far simpler than the ‘click-fest’ combat in DarkFall. Cataclysm is sure to add new abilities, yet it won’t make combat any more skill-based, you will just have different icons in your 1-2-1-3 rotation. The next free expansion to DF (which won’t take 6 months to arrive) is going to add further specialization, and like the two before it, will require a fair amount of adaptation, strategy, and actual consideration.

Let’s conclude with this:

What’s next, “Darkfall has more players than WoW”?

My DF server has more players than your WoW server Tobold, and the thousands on my server impact my game to a far greater extent every day than they do on yours. But hey, I’m sure the hundreds of other WoW servers with millions of players add a ton of content to your game, at least by your scoring method.

(DarkFall-related post disclaimer/reminder. If you click the image link near the top-right of this page and buy a DarkFall account, I get paid 20% of the client cost. If you believe this taints my views and reporting on DarkFall, your opinion is wrong.)

66 Responses to You call THAT content?

  1. sid67 says:

    I have to give this round to Tobold. He does a good job of stating your position (in far less words) on his blog and you really don’t have a counter to his argument.

    In fact, in that huge wall of text you never even addressed his main point: There is less ‘developer created’ content in Darkfall than in WoW.

    There may be lots of ‘player generated’ content in DF, but that’s not content in the respect that most people think of content. That’s just player interaction or the actual playing of the game.

    How do you even measure or quantify ‘player generated’ content? You can’t really. Nor can you easily compare it to other games.

    And so your statement that DF has more content in one year than WoW has in 5 is impossible to back up.

    • Damage Inc says:

      I think that’s one of the reasons I don’t like WoW anymore. Because the developer created content, although there is a ton of it, is pretty much all the same.

      It’s one of the reasons I really enjoyed many of the older MMORPG’s like UO, AC and EQ. Mobs weren’t just reskinned, they were actually different, attacked you differently etc… That sense of differentiation between mobs has been lost in many of the new MMORPG’s like WoW.

      Also I think this shows one of the major differences and why many of us view WoW as a themepark and DFO as more of a living world. WoW, the Themepark, provides many similar rides leading you around the park. DFO on the other hand, provides plenty of PvE content but like many of the older MMORPG’s lets you explore it as you see fit.

      I just resubbed to DFO NA-1 and I really enjoy the fact that I’m not lead by the nose around my game. DFO isn’t for everyone, but it certainly does have plenty of content to keep anyone busy for a very long period of time. You can argue which MMO has more content to you both turn blue but for me it’s more what type of content I prefer than which has more.

      • sid67 says:

        Content does not equal fun or enjoyment.

        More crap that sucks is still crap that sucks.

        This discussion isn’t about how much fun DF is in comparison to WoW. It’s about Syn’s claim that DF has more content.

        The context of that claim is that this is one of the reasons DF is better than WoW.

        That does an injustice to DF since it’s the sandbox nature of the game (rather than the sand itself) that makes the game more fun.

        • sid67 says:

          Or put another way, you’ll never win the DF has more content argument because it’s not true and any reasonable person can see through that lie.

          Which makes that claim counterproductive to the real reasons that people enjoy the game more — the complexity and depth.

        • evizaer says:

          Content and depth are somewhat interdependent, though. A game that has more depth has a higher chance of having more content, because the game has to have the content to engage that level of depth and keep the player playing.

          Content is usually “things to do that I feel like doing”.

        • Damage Inc says:

          Content to me is about what is there to do in game and what keeps me in game. I actually believe Syncaine is correct. WoW’s content is static, yes there is a TON of static content out there but as he said, once you’re done with it, you’re done with it. That’s why people get bored with WoW, leave and then come back when a new patch or expansion introduces things.

          On the other hand, Darkfall’s content is much more fluid, much more akin to UO’s or AC’s. As one gains skill mobs like goblins and trolls become very easy yet they don’t stop being useful. They are a quick and easy source for a bit of cash if needed as well as easy skill ups and stat increases.

          Does Darkfall have more NPC mobs types than WoW, hardly. If you want to go by how man NPC mobs there are and how many quests there are, then yes WoW has more of this content. It has to, because going around on the Merry-Go-Round is only fun for so long. You move on then to the Bumper Cars and then the Water Slide, the Wooden Rollercoaster and then finally the epic super scary giant roller coaster. The problem is, once you’ve done that a number of times, you eventually get tired of it. Or at least I did.

          Darkfall on the other hand has content that helps you just as much from Day 1 as it does at Day 100. The only difference is that at Day 100, you’ll find the content much easier, but each swing of your melee weapon or each spell cast still gives the same skill and stat increases.

          It’s just another way of looking at content. But then that’s just PvE content. Where DFO really shines is in player generated content via Villas, Hamlets and Cities. The content is waiting there for the players to add it to the game and the content that is generated by it’s addition is huge. As Syncaine said, each city is different and each fight is different. Did the guild who controls the city your sieging hire hire other guilds to come defend? Is the city next to water so we can bring our boats?

          In DFO, you don’t run out of things to do. Hell, we have members of our guild that have been playing since a few weeks into EU-1 and they’re still progressing their characters. Not their gear, like WoW, but their characters. That’s what I want in a video game and that’s why I’m playing DFO.

    • SynCaine says:

      So if a dev adds a new city to a game, does that city count as equal content regardless of what game its added to, because the only thing we are counting is the number of ground textures and NPC models found inside?

      • sid67 says:

        I think it’s fair to call AI and other things that the devs have to implement in order to make it feel like a city w/ guards and such is content.

        Me running in with a bunch of mates and claiming the city and the ensuing battle that develops to gain control is not content.

        That’s not to say it doesn’t have value or meaning, but it’s not content the DEVELOPER is creating.

        Don’t get sidetracked. You wrote that Aventurine added more content in a year than WoW has in 5. That implies DEVELOPER created content, not PLAYER generated activity.

        Your premise is fine, you are just not going to win this discussion if you call it content. Call it depth or complexity and I think you’ll find it hard for people to argue that DF is more meaningful than WoW.

        • SynCaine says:

          “Me running in with a bunch of mates and claiming the city and the ensuing battle that develops to gain control is not content.”

          Yea, we disagree, strongly.

          I view the above as far more content added to a game like DF, where that city will not only become a source of countless battles, but also has a dramatic effect on every other holding around it, than that same city in WoW being a hub for another collection of ‘kill ten rats’ quests, one that gets passed over once and left behind (or made obsolete once an ‘expansion’ hits) once you ‘ding’ past it.

  2. Werit says:

    To me, content is what you do in the game, or as Syn said, gameplay. Most of WoW’s content is identical and could be made with a simple script. Create Monster, Change model color, Add adjective to name, give some gold. Repeat.

    I think Cataclysm will add some new content, but most of it will be the same thing we did at level 1.

    I wouldn’t consider WAR adding a new RvR area, which is exactly the same as the old to be new content either.

    Content must be new and different, if that makes any sense.

    • sid67 says:

      Rules, structure and player interaction is not content. As Baktru wrote on Tobold’s blog: Complexity or depth is not content.

      A sandbox is filled with what? Sand.

      A thempark is filled with what? Expensive, exciting rides.

      If a themepark has 30 rides, once you go on every ride once, you’ve experienced all the rides or content in that themepark.

      However, I don’t think any sane person would argue that because I can make an infinite number and variety of sandcastles that the sandbox provides more content.

      • Ragnarok says:

        With each expansion, DarkFall is less and less a pointless Sandbox. For the first few months, sure, there was little else to do but run around and kill things.

        However, the Devs have been working hard to create “content” that has purpose, as Syn said. Player housing is attainable through grind just as much as an “epic mount” is, but a Player Owned House has a much deeper purpose, one that will never expire. With villages, trade routes, and sea fortresses in the game now, there are many many “content” based objectives in the Sandbox now. The players can now use the tools they have been using from the beginning in the Sandbox to work towards these overarching objectives.

      • adam says:

        “Rules, structure and player interaction is not content.”

        Why not? Because you say so? I flatly reject your definition. Content is whatever keeps you playing the game. It’s the subjective experience that causes you to come back and play it, no matter what form that takes and whether or not the developers intentionally MEANT for it to fill that role. Content most DEFINITELY doesn’t apply strictly to “developer created” modules like you and Tobold seem to think.

        If you, as a developer, give your players the tools and abilities and means to keep themselves and others playing, then that is content. Period. By that measure, WoW wins out in terms of longevity (having been out longer), player base (having broad mass appeal to the lowest common denominator), and developer-created scenarios/modules (it is a theme park, after all).

        In terms of potential, in terms of other players having an effect on the world and other forms of EMERGENT content, Darkfall wins in a landslide.

        So let’s call it what it is. WoW is popular because it appeals to the lazy, the casual, the something for nothing players (those are 3 separate classes of players) all the way through to the challenge seekers, the hardcore, etc. Darkfall appeals staunchly to the latter group, those after a challenge, and those not afraid to be set back, as well as those who like spending countless hours in-game, and all groups related to those. Being that this is ENTERTAINMENT, those latter classes of players will always number fewer than those interested in a quick, easy fix.

        I’d like to mention I played WoW for years. I have never played Darkfall. I’m just calling it like I see it.

  3. Ravious says:

    You guys do strike me as The Odd Couple of the MMO blogosphere.

  4. Ragnarok says:

    “Even if Aventurine only provides a much smaller number of soccer fields than Blizzard, or procedurally generates random landscapes which are mostly empty or contain only goblins.”

    From Tobold’s post. Where does he get these ridiculous ideas? Has he really not looked into DarkFall enough to know that its world is huge, and that PvP can happen anywhere?

    Better yet, I think trying to quantify DarkFall in terms of Soccer Fields is hilariously telling of Toboldd’s mentality. How else can a hopeless WoW fanatic quantify anything without scaling it down to an “instanceable” scale. If WoW is a series of Soccer Fields laid out in a world with loading screens connecting them, then DarkFall is just… a world.

  5. […] theory continues to gain support: that Syncaine and Tobold are actually a married couple using the internet for […]

  6. keystone says:

    Tobold may not consider combat or gameplay as “content”, but then what does he experience in WoW after he’s ridden all the rides? I guess that means after his description of content, then WoW would have none left after you’ve ridden all the rides? Hrmm…

    I’m more concerned with the time I spent to get there; with WoW, when your “content” is over, then there’s nothing left, and then character progression feels wasted and useless. “You mean I spent all this time gearing out my character to stand around a mailbox”?

    At least with a sandbox after I’ve played my time with the “content”, then there’s a plethora of player interactions that are completely void in WoW.

  7. Irenor says:

    Player-Generated Content does count towards “Content”. People still comapre DarkFall which is a sandbox, to WoW which is a ThemePark and will claim that player-generated content does not equal content (at least not content like in a ThemePark).

    I guess it’s true….it definitively doesn’t count as content that you will find in a ThemePark….I mean….what is content in a ThemePark? Boss that you have to watch on Youtube to see how they work otherwise you are kicked out of party for being ” a noob”? Epic-Gear that, should you have not managed to grind long enough, will restrict you from moving forward in the game? Monsters that will stand in front of you and swing his mace while you “skillfully” jump around him while you hit 1-2-3-4-2-1″? Raids that involves camping a starter city until you get bored?

    WoW’s content is a joke. A copy-paste of the same thing with loot tables adjusted.

    In all seriousness, if that’s what Content is, then I don’t want content. I want something else, something like DarkFall has to offer. Monsters who can actually kill you, a player-skill based approach, the ability to discover the world when I want, go where I want, fight who I want, join clans, access to housing, affect the market, sleep under a tree, join sieges, naval combat with actual cannons, the never-ending story on the server as alliances faces each others for the sole purpose of conquering Agon….

    If that’s not content, then I don’t want what you call content.

  8. Bob says:

    If the argument is that player generated content (i.e. pvp) is larger in DF simply because you can PVP anywhere then I ask you what about the WoW PVP servers…

    Frankly I find the argument that because you have a world full of mobs and open pvp with no quests or ways to learn the story of the world to be seriously flawed argument.

    You can play any game as “Sandbox”, just ignore the “rails”. You cannot however get on the ride if they don’t have rails.

    • evizaer says:

      You can play DFO on rails. Just do all the quests (or whatever they’re called), join a guild, then do whatever they tell you. You’d just be substituting human players for NPCs in the latter stages of the game.

      • SynCaine says:

        The definition of rails is that they lead you along a known set path. A rollercoasters rails don’t adjust to the number of riders, or the time of day, or the number of times you have been on the ride.

        When you join a guild, do you know the set path? And even if that guild DOES have a month-long plan in place and everyone agrees to follow it, if the next day my guild comes by and bombs your city, I just changed your plans.

        • evizaer says:

          You can still choose to give up your destiny and will to the whims of others, though, and let them guide you through the game. It takes more effort than going to a quest-giver, but the option is there.

          It’s no “on-rails” as much as WoW, but you can still give up your agency willingly instead of being FORCED to and the affect is similar.

  9. evizaer says:

    I take a more systematic approach to debunking Tobold’s self-contradicting and useless definition of content. Syncaine and I are in some form of agreement, though he’s trying to defend DF whereas I’m trying to simply show that Tob’s definition should be disregarded.

    • Draglem says:

      “Tobold assumes that all repetitive action in MMOs is combat, which is patently untrue.”

      I got to here. If you are going to make the same caliber inference as he does for SynCaine’s prior post where he blatantly overlooks “released” and (paraphrases?) omits immediately following such a quote, then I have already read this post, but thank you for shamelessly self-referencing on Syn’s page.

      • evizaer says:

        What are you talking about? You’re not communicating coherently.

        I wrote a reasoned response to Tobold’s post and it’s clearly relevant to this conversation.

        • Draglem says:

          I sir, am drunk, sir.

        • Draglem says:

          Seriously though, you took a statement that compared and example made and for some reason in your mind that translated to Universal Truth. Are you to suggest that he accidentally typed “For example” and forgot about it immediately after?

          In the same caliber, namely, the double aught, wrong caliber, wrong assumption because this is exactly the same thing HE did when quoting Syn (please see subsequent post by Sellout King).

          What am I talking about by “I already read this post” I am not up for back to back readings of argument based on false perception of footing.

          I am sure the remaining *checks length* quip goes on to peruse infallibly sound ideas, but I just couldn’t take that leap of faith.

          Oh, and thank you for commenting again on a post you made externally for what I can only deduce is to adorn your soapbox with wicked street credibility.

          (Disclaimer, I did not read your post and I do not care.)

        • evizaer says:

          I fixed this a few days ago. Sorry it got you so angry. Maybe you should get your anger problems investigated before you start your own blog.

  10. Yeebo says:

    It seems like a pretty fruitless discussion if you choose different definitions of what constitutes content. You are both of course right if someone accepts your definition, and wrong if they don’t.

    • evizaer says:

      It’s not about my word against his, it’s about the utility of his definition (which is nil). It’s also about the fact that his definition contradicts itself and is based on flawed assumptions. The discussion isn’t fruitless–so many people will assume Tobold is right and go about with a ludicrously broken and useless definition of Content in their. I’d prefer we kept the old tacit understanding of content instead of redefining it in a broken way.

    • Yeebo says:

      Hit the submit button a little too soon on that.

      As Tobold’s definition is a bit closer to what most players consider “content” I think he “wins” this round. However, I though that the point you were trying to make in the first place was that DF is adding free content much more quickly than WoW ever has…not that Adventurine has somehow managed to add more content than WoW currently contains over the course of five years and multiple paid expansions. Thus making his original post a bit of a straw man.

      • Yeebo says:

        Oh yeah, and my post was directed at Syncaine, not you E. haven’t read your post yet :-)

      • SynCaine says:

        Yea the quote he uses is out of context, I was not talking about all of WoW vs all of DF, but rather what AV has ADDED this year vs what Blizzard has ADDED since WoW’s release. But like I wrote about, details are apparently not that important, and the debate now is more about what content actually is.

        I call gameplay content, Tobold calls graphic files content.

    • Diametrix says:

      Yeebo, I agree with you.

      This reminds me of how my perspective towards TV has changed since I started playing MMOs. I have such a difficult time now sitting and watching televsion. I’m not ‘DOING’ anything.

      I’ve played most MMOs including WoW. I focus all of my MMO time currently between EVE and Darkfall.

      When I have occasionally tried to play WoW or even Warhammer…it feels more like I’m watching TV. There is not spark, no interaction or meaning to what I’m doing.

      Some people may never appreciate what alot of us see as the true value of a sandbox MMO compared to a themepark MMO. People are different.

      But for me, TV has paled, Themeparks feel sparse and good sandbox mmo’s are what draw my attention.

    • sid67 says:

      Syn specifically said that Aventurine created more content. Which can only be interpreted as developer created content. It’s only in this post that he is redefining what he meant by ‘content’ to include player generated activities.

      His basic argument being that if Aventurine creates the sandbox then all the ensuing activity that happens in that sandbox is Aventurine content. Setting aside that flawed logic for a moment, how do you even measure activity as content? In player hours? And how do you compare such activity between games?

      Point being, that if you can’t quantify it, how do you make the argument that there is more of something? At best, that’s a subjective opinion.

      And all that assumes you buy into the idea that player activity is content in the first place.

      As I wrote above, it’s depth and complexity — not new content.

      • SynCaine says:

        “Syn specifically said that Aventurine created more content. Which can only be interpreted as developer created content. ”

        Notice only you are interpreting it that way/ That might be a hint as to why you are missing the whole point here.

        “His basic argument being that if Aventurine creates the sandbox then all the ensuing activity that happens in that sandbox is Aventurine content. Setting aside that flawed logic for a moment”

        Let me get this straight, AV creates something, and then that something is used over and over, but that does not count as content because…?

        “And all that assumes you buy into the idea that player activity is content in the first place.”

        Which would be a crazy assumption in the MMO genre, so lets move right past that.

  11. mbp says:

    Ok now I get it. Tobold = Gevlon = Syncaine.

    Joke over. You are busted.

  12. […] who has it? I’m going to edge in on a Friday blog fight to artificially inflate my […]

  13. Diametrix says:

    Bah, I guess I hit submit too early as well as I completely side with Syncaine’s argument that CONTENT is more than graphics files.

    Content, in my humble opinion, is that from which a player draws ‘value’ from a game. It is not restricted to quests, or mechanics, or pictures, etc. It can be and is EVERYTHING that adds value to the game.

    If a game offers content through player interaction (strategy, politics, metagaming) and players enjoy that – it’s content.

    I concur with Syncaine’s arguement that Darkfall provides more content than World of Warcraft

  14. James says:

    Darkfall’s content is more complex than WoW’s content, and playing Darkfall requires more thought than playing WoW. These are not debatable facts. These are also not what Tobold was debating.

    You said that Aventurine has added more content than WoW has since the two games launched. You had to see that as a lightning rod for discussion when you wrote it.

    Personally, I disagree that Aventurine has added more content. You can catalogue all of the additions that Aventurine has made to the game, and it honestly is an impressive list. But you seem to be going at WoW with hate fueled blinders on, disregarding/downplaying everything that Blizzard has added to the game since it’s launch.

    Take a restaurant like Buffalo Wild Wings/BW3’s for example. They have a large number of different sauces for their chicken wings, some of them extremely similar with only a slight variation. Does the fact that a lot of their sauces are similar take away from the fact that they do in fact have a large number of sauces? No. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s no difference between a black hued Orc in Redridge mountains and a Red hued “Fel” orc in Hellfire Peninsula by merit of one being black and one being red. But the fact that there is more to it each of them than their hue (abilities used, setting in which encountered, story attached to them) gives Blizzard the right to call it different content.

    You mention the quest/lore content not mattering beyond the quest objectives. That’s extremely simplistic, and ultimately relative to the person playing the game. If a player only reads the quest objective: Kill 10 Rats. Deliver X to Y for Z reward. Then yes, it will appear identical. But, there is more to the quest than those simple statements. Blizzard generated stories. If a player chooses to ignore those stories, that’s fine. But it doesn’t mean the stories do not exist. Put it in the context of movies. You can easily group movies into hierarchies based on the overall plot premise. Sometimes even the same exact story being retold. Does that devalue the individual movies, or mean that they are all the same? No. If you were to look at the plot points on paper without watching the movie, they would be identitical. Does that mean they should not count as separate movies? No.

    You seem to be arguing over the value you attach to the content that Blizzard has added to WoW in comparison to the value you attach to the content that Aventurine has added to Darkfall. Anyone who reads your blog knows where you stand on this, as do Blizzard and Aventurine by where your subscription dollars go each month. But the fact that you like one thing does not mean all other things don’t count.

    I’m a fairly long time reader of your blog. Your blog is a large part of the reason that I bought Darkfall (twice, both prior to your paid advertising – Sorry!). But you seem to foam at the mouth and ignore the thought that Blizzard/WoW could possibly do something right.

    • Damage Inc says:

      As Syncaine has stated, he calls anything done to increase gameplay in an MMORPG content where as Tobold and yourself apparently call graphics files in an MMORPG content.

      • James says:

        Content isn’t something nebulous that can’t be defined, or something with a definition that is up in the air.

        The value each person attaches to each piece of content is different. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it exists, and that is what was stated. Aventurine has added more content than Blizzard. Not higher quality content, not better content, but content.

        A person, or group of people, created those art files, story lines, quest text, sound files, etc.

        The fact that the content exists now and didn’t at launch is not debatable. Prior to TBC there was no such thing in WoW as a Fel Orc. There was no such place as The Exodar. Prior to WotLK there was no such thing in WoW as a Vrykul. All of the storylines associated with these things exist now, and they did not at launch.

        This is not an argument. It is a statement of fact.

  15. Draglem says:

    Well, now I know it is impossible for DFO to have anywhere near the content as WOW if all they have to do is recolor sprites in different region and write some back-story. Clothes make the quest after all.

    • James says:

      If not story, what would make a quest in a game? Can you imagine how boring Baldur’s Gate would have been if it was reduced to the sum of all the objectives you completed? Kill this NPC. Kill that NPC. Find this NPC. Interact with this object.

      The game was epic because of the story associated with killing this or that NPC, the value associated with finding that next NPC was based on the story you had been told/taken a part in by killing the first two NPC’s.

      Yes, clothes do indeed make the quest.

  16. SynCaine says:

    “But the fact that there is more to it each of them than their hue (abilities used, setting in which encountered, story attached to them) gives Blizzard the right to call it different content.”

    That’s where we part. Given that both orcs die to the exact same 1-2-1-3 combo, are the save level of challenge (none), and have value for the same length of time (1-2 levels), in my mind does not make the Fel orcs ‘new’ content. It makes them a different skin of the same thing, and if I’m bored with killing Redridge orcs, Fel orcs sure won’t change that one bit. If you are someone who is happy to kill more Redridge orcs, the Fel version seems like a nice addition.

    • James says:

      I’m not questioning whether you enjoy the fact that there are different types of NPC’s in the game. I’m stating that there are different types of NPC’s in the game. Those different types of NPC’s have story attached to them. Those different types of NPC’s have abilities associated with them.

      You attach the same value to one NPC as the other because they can be defeated in the same manner. There’s nothing wrong with that – take the game how you want to take it. But saying that’s all there is to it? Come on now.

  17. rulez says:

    The term content is pretty well defined in the field of computer software in the various industries (entertainment, research, technology, etc.). So trying to make up new definitions is a bit weird to say the least.

  18. Draglem says:

    Which reminds me why I never go to Halloween parties. It is the same drunken assholes you normally party with only this time they are wearing a stupid devil mask.

  19. Chuck says:

    Urge to buy Darkfall growing…

    My 2c is that new “content” in Wow is irrelevant once the game becomes stale to someone. In other words, I stopped playing Wow about 6 months ago. The only thing that kept me playing was the group of people I was playing with. However the repeated runs doing the same handful of keystrokes over and over really does get boring (being ranged DPS made this even more pronounced). I didn’t care how many dungeons they added, the content all felt pretty much the same.

    I love the *idea* of Darkfall. I also loved the idea of Eve but it never grabbed me when I actually played it. I’ve come close to buying Darkfall a couple times in the last week. I even have the client downloaded and installed…just need to pull the trigger.

    On a side note, how much does racial choice matter in Darkfall? In other words, does my race lock me into certain parts of the world or certain clan possibilities?

    • Draglem says:

      And now back to “Everybody loves Hipnotoad”

    • SynCaine says:

      Race choice is more ‘for the look’ than anything else. They each have different starting areas, but how long you wish to remain in those areas is totally up to you. They also have minor (for now at least) racial abilities, but none of them really shape who you are, they are just tiny bonus perks (humans get an extended benefit from food, which while nice, just means they don’t need to eat food as often in combat, which has little value given how cheap food is overall).

      If you play, pick what race looks best to you, and at worst re-roll shortly after if you don’t like what you picked. In the long run though, every race can play in every style.

  20. Draglem says:

    I am going to make a game where you are granted a quest to go in a room and kill a guy and take his wallet, but the quest keeps resetting when turned in and you have to keep going back in the same small room with the same guy, but with a different name and different reason and different color shirt and different contents of said wallet; and black jack… and hookers! In fact, forget the game and the black jack…. awh, forget the whole thing.

  21. Tobold says:

    If you define gameplay, and everything players does as “content”, then how would you measure it? You could, for example, count every hour of player activity as one hour of “content”. But with WoW having so many more players, and having been around for so much longer, you’d again end up with the conclusion that WoW has more content than Darkfall.

    Only by an extremely twisted definition in which everything players do in WoW doesn’t count, and everything players do in DF does count can you arrive at DF having more content than WoW.

    • SynCaine says:

      Why would I count what OTHER players in WoW have done as my content, when WoW is so heavily solo-based and I was not involved or effected by ANY of that? How is a starting zone more than 10 hours of content for me? How does the fact that 11m other player completed the exact same quests as I have factor into that? The AQ40 gate event was ‘content’ because it was a server-wide effort that once completed, opened up new stuff for everyone, but that and completing the first starter quest are apples and oranges here.

      How twisted is “WoW has more hours played, so it has more content”? That’s just very, very weak.

    • Anti-Stupidity League says:

      So your argument boils down to the fact that WoW must be better and it must have a lot more content because it has more players? All those millions of Chinese players keep adding content to the game that you play. Without those millions of Chinese players your personal experience with WoW and its content would be oh-so-much poorer. Really? Wow…

      So, hot damn, then based on the Great Tobold’s logic, I’m sure that your favorite artist is Britney Spears (or whoever is selling the most records at the moment), your favorite TV show must be the American Idol (or whatever the show that millions of other people have decided to watch the most) and your favorite restaurant is McDonald’s (or whatever crap most of the people around your area have decided to stuff themselves with).

      Some of us want to decide what game we like by ourselves and whether millions of Chinese like the same thing or not does not really add any value or content to the game that we like.

  22. Bhagpuss says:

    I refer you to my comment on Tobold’s blog.

    Look, the content is IN YOUR HEAD. The limit to the content in any MMO is how much imagination you have. The stuff they put in the game is just a catalyst for your own content.

    For my subscription money, the content I care about as much as the stuff you are listing is the architecture of the buildings, the layout of the rooms, the patterns on the carpeting, the way the tables have been laid. I could write you a 10,000 word essay on MMO content I have enjoyed and not mention a single fight or quest. Like anyone would care!

    Just play the flippin’ games and enjoy them. It’s not a flippin’ competition.

    • Draglem says:

      And the mo(i)st delicious part is without WOW there would be no DFO.

      Either niche sandbox would be overflowing with cat poop or beachfront roller-coaster would have no competition for differential product, nor would burnout jaded MMO’ers flock to a more individually meaningful game.

      Who said this was over?

  23. […] I REALLY meant to say regarding content. It’s funny that in the wall of text below, I never actually got to what I originally meant with my line of “DF has had more content added […]

  24. Draynore says:

    I see both sides of the argument, but I disagree that Aventurine has added more in 1 year than Blizzard has in 5, which is what you stated. Aventurine has added things, like naval warfare and sea based sieges. They have changed up the way the PvE monsters respond to you, by making them more difficult etc. They have done an admirable job of adding some excellent content, but in shear quantity, Blizzard has them beat.

    The things added to WoW since launch, is staggering, and while the content may not be fun, and may be repetitive, it is new content. And to be honest, on a PVP server in WoW, the only things that you can’t do, is build your own city or have naval battles. I can technically siege any city with my guild if I so desire, kill both the players in it, as well as the NPC’s. If I do so, it takes strategy, coordination, and can be quite difficult, just like in Darkfall. Does that mean that Blizzard added that content when we sieged outposts and cities in WoW? If so, is it less added content from Blizzard itself just because it happened less often?

    I haven’t played since before Burning Crusade, but my guild used to make our own content constantly, start a new character on a PvP server and race (including corpse runs) to a certain location. Everyone would buy in with 10 – 15 gold, and the winner took the pot. We would have leveling competitions, start characters of the same class in the same area and race to 10, or race to 1gold.

    Just because players are encouraged to have more freedom in Darkfall and can do more with what they are given based on the original template of the game, doesn’t mean that a single addition in darfall = infinity content as opposed to a single addition in WoW = 1.

    Also, the difficulty of implementing the content doesn’t increase the actual amount. Easy to add content is still content, and while Darkfall has had some GREAT additions, each addition is only one addition.

    My personal opinion is Darkfall is a more fun game, and you have more freedom to do with the content as you please, but to say that Adventurine’s added content SINCE LAUNCH is more than WoW has added SINCE LAUNCH is a ludicrous statement.

  25. supplanter says:

    I think what SynCaine is trying to show is that when wow add content they are not really adding content but they are replacing existing content with improved versions with new models and what not. Since we are using the theme park analogy; wow have the ride extreme roller coaster x and when they have an expansion the make a new ride – super extreme roller coaster x which is the same ride with a different paint job and extra loop. Taken at face value wow has then added a whole new ride. But effectively they have just replaced the ride making the previous extreme roller coaster x redundant, sure you can still go ride on it but no-one ever does because the super roller coaster x is the same thing but newer.

    On the other hand darkfalls new content is actually new not just an improved replacement.

    • evizaer says:

      Everything is the same if you break it down far enough. Everyone’s just rearranging color values of pixels on a screen. So there is no such thing content. DONE.

      Now Syncaine can go back to WoW and Tobold can finally enjoy counterstrike-wannabe combat!

  26. ermmm says:

    Wall of text crits you for 1343032423456075 damage.

    “DarkFall-related post disclaimer/reminder. If you click the image link near the top-right of this page and buy a DarkFall account, I get paid 20% of the client cost. If you believe this taints my views and reporting on DarkFall, your opinion is wrong.”

    Yeah, right!

    Oh wait…

  27. […] use of the word “content” (something else people have argued about… this is not SynCaine’s usage… or maybe it is), it is a decent, if short, article that briefly examines why two games were […]

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