DF:UW – Those who don’t learn from history

The big announcement recently from AV about DF:UW is that they are doing away with the class system and going back to a more free-form character skill system.

The perception on Forumfall was that due to classes, balance was poor. The reality in-game was that basically all roles were used, and really only Fire and Brawler were not considered viable primary choices. Everything else you saw in-game, at almost all levels of play (including the most recent tournament), which should tell you all you need to know about balance and viability.

The other bit that is clouding judgment right now is the revisionist history of what DF1 really was. It has somehow gone from a game that was always dominated by FOTM builds to one where people all had their own ‘style’, and focused on what they were best at, which is not only a lie but a total joke.

In short, I think this direction change by AV is a mistake and moves the game back towards the problem areas of DF1, but I’ll wait for the details before going any further than that. MMO history, and their own, is against AV here however.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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9 Responses to DF:UW – Those who don’t learn from history

  1. sid6.7 says:

    Agree with that — it is a mistake. But that’s what comes from inviting a bunch of MVPs who all played a different game and never liked your new game. :)

    • SynCaine says:

      Without going into crazy detail here, the MVP forum has gone from a well-selected group offering different views in a constructive manner to a highschool echo chamber.

      • sid6.7 says:

        From my perspective, it was never a well-selected group. From the beginning, there were a lot of voices there that didn’t even play the game or never gave it a chance because it wasn’t DF1. I made it pretty obvious that I was hyper-critical of your input for that very reason. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this group pushes the direction of the game in a significant way away from status quo.

        Honestly, this is my single biggest complain about AV as a the developer. They rarely make iterative changes — they toss the baby out with the bathwater and start over. Sometimes the nugget of the idea is good and it just needs refinement.

        The group I’m talking about doesn’t want refinement, they want radical change. And unfortunately, AV has a habit of listening to the people who don’t play because they can’t figure out that the problems are often not the “ideas” but the execution of those ideas.

        IMO, the MVP forums were always a tactical mistake. The suggestion forum, had AV read it, was already the appropriate forum and yet they never posted to it.

      • Rammstein says:

        I’m not really understanding your main point here Sid, you’re attacking a certain group of people for being anti “status quo”, but from the perspective of that group of people, they’re defending the status quo against radical changes, are they not? They just picked their status quo at an earlier time than you did. Iteration versus radical change suffers from a similar problem of indefinacy, one man’s iteration is another’s revolution. If everyone agrees on the details, in this case that this change is a mistake, why try so hard to create disagreement at a less concrete level of abstraction? Let’s start from where we agree and see how far we can expand that agreement, at a detailed level, instead. Eventually that will end, and an area of detailed disagreement will be found; this detail will probably be much more interesting than this current vague difference.

        • sid6.7 says:

          I agree that opinion is largely about perspective, which is why I understand why you don’t get my first comment.

          But let’s set aside my comments about the MVP group and focus on my claim that AV doesn’t do iteration, they only do radical change and why that’s a problem.

          You could argue that such radical change is the exact reason the DF1 vets are upset. In creating DFUW, they tossed out the jack-of-all-trades skill system in favor of a role-based system.

          And now? Let’s toss out the new system and come up with something new that’s not exactly like either system (old or new).

          These aren’t iterative changes at any level and it’s consistent how AV approaches development far too often. In the last year, the village system went through no less than 4 or 5 major changes to how it functionally worked. No iterative changes, just a bunch of experiments until they landed on something that seems to work.

          I hate to toss out the NGE-cliche, but my issue here is the age old problem of do you develop a game for your current population or for the population you want to play your game and currently does not.

          Regardless of your individual perspective, AV catering to the people who don’t play the game is something they have a long-history of doing over and over. Whether you are a DF1 player lamenting the old days or a current DFUW player saying “WTF?” — this statement is still true for both parties.

        • SynCaine says:

          Agree on all accounts.

          Now maybe this version of the character system will be like the current version of the village req system; a massive improvement over the old system.

          Or maybe it will end up like far too many of the changes they make; a buggy, hard-to-fix mess that does more harm than good.

          Or, worst (and IMO most likely) case, the take the bullet out of DF1’s corpse and put it in DF:UW’s head.

  2. Rammstein says:

    “But let’s set aside my comments about the MVP group and focus on my claim that AV doesn’t do iteration, they only do radical change and why that’s a problem.”

    Think about the top 3 things DF does right. I’m an EVE player, not a DF player, so this is an outsiders perspective, but I’ve looked at the DF patch notes and my impression is that they are incrementally improving the things that they got mostly right from the get-go. the basic combat system and class balance, for example. Would you agree with that?

    If you agree that there are some exceptions to the rule in that vein, then your criticism becomes: AV doesn’t see any shades of gray, instead of ‘things we do right that can use some minor tinkering’, ‘things with moderate problems that need more involved and repeated iteration’, and ‘totally broken things we need to completely revamp’, AV only has the first and last of these categories in use. This isn’t that different from your initial criticism, but it is a much more common flaw in organizations, in my experience, reflecting a common human trait of simplifying things down to black and white.

    • sid6.7 says:

      AV only has the first and last of these categories in use. This isn’t that different from your initial criticism, but it is a much more common flaw in organizations

      I can agree with that assessment, but whether or not it’s common doesn’t make the criticism any less valid. I would also argue that AV commits the sin in much more egregious ways than the norm. For example, humans lie to each other all the time as well but some lies are far worse than others.

      After all, who is defining the “totally broken things” is part of the larger issue. Agreement is hardly universal and the people who DO NOT play the game often have as much say as those that do play the game. The MMO graveyard is littered with games that have made this same fatal mistake.

  3. Aikar says:

    You turning dumber every year. I started coming here from time to time because you used to have interesting opinions towards particular MMORPGS and the overall direction and tendency of the indurstry.

    Then you started going off rails and picking on to concepts that are irrelevant to the core issue of the games you trying to critizise, and giving pointless subjective opinions at best.

    Noteworty is also that your fanboyism with DF exponentially increased over the years despite the game going completely wrong in almost every direction since launch and mimicking your tipical garbage themepark trash with content coveted up as “sandbox” such as sea towers, resource monolyths, classes, safe zones, dungeons and the like.

    Now that AV seem to be FINALLY realizing that they were never fullfilling the real potential beneath their game and start to make much better decisions (even if still far from perfect) even if they are more complex but much more sandbox (player tools + gameplay realism) you point fingers?

    How can you turn 360º taste on MMORPG?

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