PvE-only servers don’t actually work

October 17, 2014

Would CCP be better off if they created a PvE-only server for EVE? Some carebears would argue yes, because since EVE only has a PvP server, they don’t play. On the surface that makes sense; PvP-only games are indeed locking anyone who sees PvP and runs in the opposite direction out. But lets play this out a little further shall we?

On that PvE-only EVE server, the economy would be a total joke. Ships would rarely be lost, everyone could fly around perfectly safe in all-officer fit ships, the most lucrative PvE (null, WH) could be farmed without risk, mining afk would never end negatively, and all those multi-billion-ISK-in-a-transport traders would never be ganked. So unless you also expect CCP to basically completely change the game on almost all levels, the economy part of EVE wouldn’t work on a PvE server.

Furthermore, the PvE challenge on such a server would also be a joke. Remember, everyone is flying around in all-officer fits, which makes them far more powerful than the standard PvE ship found in the game today. Beyond just that, outside of high-sec you can now use a Titan to farm all day without a single fear of a hot drop. Are the carebears expecting CCP to fix this as well? How, tune PvE to officer-fit Titans in terms of difficulty? Just accept that all PvE would quickly become faceroll in difficulty (more so than it already is in EVE)?

And now the biggest question, why the hell are you going to play EVE for years here? You are sitting in an officer-fit Titan, with a wallet full of ISK, a hanger with every ship and fitting you ever wanted, and having safely explored everything there is to see, with all content being trivial and with nothing else to do. What’s your motivation to keep playing/paying?

There is a reason EVE is the only MMO out to grow and maintain sub numbers for more than ten years, and that reason is directly tied to PvP. So while yes, certain carebears stay away, the game has proven that other carebears stay, year after (10) year, because of what PvP brings to the game (among other things, a sink that keeps the economy and basically the whole game going).

A lot of those currently playing WOULD switch to the PvE server, because most people are child-like and would eat candy until they died if you let them. They WOULD get bored and walk away from the game. That is why you don’t open a PvE-only server; because it would allow MMO children to spoil themselves into quitting, and in the long run that’s bad for business.

So help save the kids, and your MMO; don’t go PvE-only and kill yourself and everyone playing!

PS: The same applies to AA. Think about how many of that game’s core mechanics rely on PvP to balance or keep them interesting. How many seemingly PvE-only activities would lose long-term value or purpose in a completely safe world?


Who hasn’t wanted to kill someone over a balance change?

October 16, 2014

Oh Gamergate, why are you so entertainingly funny? The fact that comments aren’t enabled on that story is a crime, because the CNN comments section makes the Massively comments section look like a Mensa meeting.

I’m not going to fully dive into this little media-created bruhaha because lets be honest, it’s really a story about nothing. Someone getting death threats because they did something someone else didn’t like on the internet? Yea that’s never happened before. An entire group being labeled by another group based on a few outliers that people run with? Are talking about the perception of PvP MMOs again? This is a debate about the SNES vs Genesis, right?

I think my favorite part though is this idea that ‘core gamers’ don’t matter anymore. I mean, I guess if you pretend CoD, LoL, CoC, Battlefield, GTA, FIFA, etc don’t exist, and that Farmville is still a thing, then sure, you might have a point. It’s like when fools state that PvP-based games drive more people away than they attract. Again, if you want to create a fantasy-land and run with it, go nuts, but until the top-seller list ISN’T filled with the exact type of game you claim isn’t popular, I’ll just keep laughing at your stupidity.

Which isn’t to say that the gaming market overall hasn’t expanded, because it has, and that’s a good thing for everyone, but to suggest that people are honestly concerned that the next CoD won’t be made because Barbie Princess Time (get it?) is getting made instead? Please.

PS: Nice of the guy in the video to wait until 3 minutes to throw out the race card. Was really expecting it much sooner. Also would it have killed him to prepare for maybe a minute here? Was he trying to maintain the whole ‘gamers can’t handle public situations because lulz basement’ thing, because if so A+ work. Guy should kill himself after that performance.


The taint of your ‘peers’

October 14, 2014

If I tell you “Game X is kinda like Farmville”, you take that as a negative. Same but reverse if I say “Game Y is like Civilization”. This works on a broader view too; F2P, ‘casual’ game, WoW-clone, zombie-survival, yet-another-MOBA, etc. This can work for or against you, depending on the tag.

Two recent examples of this I want to talk about today; Clash of Clans and ArcheAge.

CoC suffers from being a mobile game, being F2P, and being labeled as a ‘casual’ or ‘timewaster’ game. Now let’s be very clear, CoC is a mobile game, it is F2P, and one could argue it can be played casually to a certain extent (this was especially true prior to Clan Wars). The difference between CoC and 99.999% of all other mobile/F2P/Casual games is CoC isn’t garbage.

From a coding perspective its wonderful; being able to get into the game in a second or two from clicking the icon is awesome, it doesn’t crash, its net code is really solid, and as far as I’ve experienced its bug-free. It runs well (granted on an iPhone 5s), looks great, has an amazing UI, great balance, depth, etc. Basically CoC is better across the board than 99% of ALL games, mobile/F2P/casual or not. Civ V vs CoC? Toss up IMO, and I’m not joking with that.

And while no one needs to shed a tear for CoC, with the game being the highest grossing iPhone app month after month, how many MORE people, especially ‘serious’ gamers, would give the game a shot if the perception of it being just another mobile/F2P/casual game didn’t exist?

Similar comment about ArcheAge, but here the stigma of F2P hangs around its neck (sadly accurate, thanks Trion), along with it being an Asian grinder MMO import (not accurate). For AA this might actually matter, as it isn’t yet a runaway success ala CoC. AA is also forced to deal with general MMO burnout; a lot of people who I know would enjoy the game aren’t even bothering because they don’t want to get started in yet another MMO that might not last.

To some extend this issue has always existed, in the SNES/Genesis era any movie-based game was assumed to be garbage when it was announced, but is it just me in feeling that today it’s far more prominent and shapes option more than ever before?


CoC: War stats vs Warlordz 10/11/2014

October 13, 2014

Edit: Stats and writeup provided by Delpez.

Supreme Cream! Vs Warlordz

Supreme Cream

Enemy

Score

124

100

Total Attacks Used

80

73

Total 3 Star Attacks

40

24

Total 3 Star %

50.00

32.9

3 Stars Against Same Level

23

10

3 Star % Against Same Level

42.6

29.4

3 Stars Against Lower Level

12

14

3 Star % Against Lower Level

75.0

36.8

TH4,5&6 3 Stars

5

8

TH4,5&6 3 Star %

26.3

47.1

TH7 3 Stars

26

2

TH7 3 Stars %

72.2

9.5

TH7 3 Stars (same level)

12

0

TH7 3 Stars % (same level)

70.6

0.0

TH8 3 Stars

5

9

TH8 3 Star %

29.4

34.6

TH8 3 Stars (same level)

4

1

TH8 3 Star % (same level)

30.8

12.5

TH8 Ave Stars / Attack (same level)

2.0

1.6

TH9&10 3 Stars

4

5

TH9&10 3 Star %

50.0

55.6

TH9&10 3 Stars (same level)

2

1

TH9&10 3 Star % (same level)

40.0

50.0

TH9&10 Ave Stars / Attack (same level)

2.00

1.50

This was still an easy win, but at least the opponents put up a fight. Their bases were better designed (especially air defences) and they were quite active. However, most of their successful attacks were against lower TH levels, and they did not achieve enough 3-star attacks.

Our lower TH level stats were skewed by a number of very new players – we had six TH4 and 5 bases, compared to only two enemy TH5 bases. Considering this I think our lower levels did quite well. Just a couple of tips for our new guys – it’s extremely difficult for a TH4 or 5 (or even a new TH6) to 3-star any base in a war, and it’s also not expected of you. We had a number of our low level guys not using their attacks, and I guess some of it was because they though they couldn’t contribute anymore. If there are no bases left for you to get stars off, just attack any base where you can score at least one star (even if that base had already been 3-starred by someone else). Firstly, this is good practice and secondly you get nice loot at the end of the war (provided we win, of course!).

At TH7 they were obliterated; we were attacking TH7&8’s with dragons and they were attacking TH6 (and lower) with everything from barbarians to giants. The Valks in the castles enjoyed that!

They scored more 3-stars at TH8 than us, but only one of those attacks was against TH8 opponents. We did much better against their TH8’s than vice versa. I’ve also included the average stars per attack for the higher TH’s, as it gets more and more difficult to 3-star bases at higher levels. In that case the average stars per attack against other high level bases become more important. We comfortably bested them in that category.

TH9&10 were quite close, but we scored more 3-star attacks against their high level bases, and also scored more stars per attack.

Pretty impressive win – we only missed five stars for a full house! It actually appeared quite close for a while; the scores were something like 95-94 with equal numbers of attacks at one point. However, our higher 3-star percentage just wore them down; they stayed close with lots of 2 stars, but eventually ran out of profitable bases to attack. For example, with the scores close we still had a number of potential 3-star bases to hit, while almost all our bases already had one or two stars against them. This meant that our future attacks had a higher potential yield, while the enemy could only score 1 or 2 stars from their attacks, we could still get 3 stars from a number of bases. Bottom line, don’t just look at the score and number of attacks left during a war, but also count the number of bases without any stars against them to determine the potential value of future attacks.

On a TH level basis, our lower levels improved a lot, scoring a number of 3-stars and also some pretty good attacks for 2-stars. Keeping in mind that it is difficult for a TH6 to smash another TH6 base, those 3 stars were quite valuable. It meant that our TH7’s could focus more on other TH7 bases and less on TH6 bases.

Our TH7 performance was very impressive and our TH8’s also outscored them for 3-stars. At the top we got some important 3-stars from their best bases, while they didn’t even attack our top guys.


Trion Being Trion: DDoS is the new ‘hacked’

October 11, 2014

Have you noticed anytime someone says something stupid on Twitter that gets them in trouble, the easy way out is to say your twitter got hacked? Saying you are experiencing a DDoS is the ‘I’ve been hacked’ of not keeping your servers up. Just Trion doing Trion things again.


Steam sales and wallet votes

October 10, 2014

Quick item: After watching Werit’s video about Endless Legend, the game has moved up from “might buy” to “kinda want it now!” status. But realistically I just don’t have the game time for it right now due to RL, ArcheAge, and the occasional LoL game, which makes it a perfect “wait for the Xmas Steam sale” candidate.

But is waiting for a Steam sale diminish the ‘wallet vote’ aspect of buying a game? It must, but by how much, and at what point is the amount enough to stop the future production of games we want made?


AA: Is ‘Trion being Trion’ going to be a daily thing?

October 10, 2014

Little behind the scenes blogging info here; sometimes you create a category thinking you are going to post about that topic enough to warrant one. Sometimes you create one as more of a joke, thinking this won’t last. ‘Trion being Trion’ was very much in that spirit; just a little ribbing over a pretty horrible launch of an otherwise great game. I certainly never expected it to become a genre staple like, say, SOE being SOE, which year after year continues to deliver.

It’s starting to look like ‘Trion being Trion’ might become a permanent fixture though. Today in “How not to run your MMO” we have Trion being unable to give paying players a 10% discount in the cash shop. Trion’s response? “It’s not us, its XLGames”. Broken record city, and we aren’t even a month in.

At least it’s Friday, so Trion can’t screw something up over the weekend and our next ‘Trion being Trion’ update won’t happen until Monday… right?


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