morrolan

Gordon Walton - are you the one who brought us Trammel?

562 posts in this topic

I would have been 100% on board with the "this game ain't for everyone" way of thinking before I played Darkfall, but I think a lot of us learned quite a bit from that game. It was, as another poster alluded to, a field of all wolves and no sheep, and the resulting community was terrible. It was like playing Call of Duty but in a persistent world. Being a "PK" was meaningless because everyone PK'd. There were no "good guys" and "bad guys," just "team A" and "team B." Of course, the players weren't the only problem - it also had a broken alignment system and really no incentive for being good.

 

Because DF is managed by a crappy company that they don't have any idea how to build a good sandbox, i'm not surprised that the original developer Razorwax leave Athene after the release of the game back in 2009.

The mistake of Razorwax was to let another avid publisher to handle the game they created and the result was unrepairable.

 

The concept behind Darkfall was brilliant, expecially at beginning where everyone was the same, everyone had tons of fun. After a while, thanks to bugs, exploits, and the absence of a skill cap (both on combat and professions), hardcore player who play 24/7 become semi-gods battlemages crafter factotums, and tons of people leave. Aventurine don't care and don't listen, after all their purpose is only fast money.

 

Unholy wars, released after lies over lies (they stated that there will be never a new game), is a watering version of Darkfall, with safe zones, classes, gear restrictions, no alignment system, less content, crappy combat system (so even bad players are able to aim), crappy 3d models all made from the same base model with different skin.

 

So, in the end, i realized this, is not full loot or FFA pvp that scare players, is how the system is created and managed. Darkfall at release had so much people, this show that these games with a good developer team and good ideas can be succesfull even without the numbers of WoW.

Sinij likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, just wow! A 15 year old question finally answered. Thanks so much Gordon for the response(s) and I think you just made a customer right there. Impressive to say the least.

 

I was the the sheep, always was and got my ass smeared on the ground the whole time I played UO. I hated pvp at it's core. But I loved being a crafter and establishing/running my business (please, please, npc vendors). It was my first mmo, but Trammel changed it and I left soon after. I still look back to those days. I played WoW for a few years after and did get some enjoyment, but to be honest I have been searching for the experience I had in UO ever since. It was a love/hate relationship and the best gaming experience I have ever had. It feels like I have been on some sort of pilgrimage or something ever since.

 

I love this thread, bz to the OP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonoma Pre-Trammel then quit until SP existed and played again.

 

My suspicions on Trammel were right it seems and I'm glad it was a commercial success. This was good for the industry as a whole and for a lot of people's careers.

 

The most exciting thing about the dev team and the stated goals is the wealth of "hard" lessons they learned from previous games. Share your vision, bring it to life, and don't compromise.

 

As a MMO PvP player for way too damn long I'm tired of compromise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

But with UO, a brief moment from years ago was enough to serve as the foundation for 15+ years of friendship with dozens of the people I encountered, both allies and enemies. Isn't that amazing?

 

THIS.  Emergent behavior leads to relationships.  

 

I believe people need social interaction, on a deep level  -- like hunger, or thirst.   That's why a marathon amusement-park PvE session always leaves me with a hollow feeling, like I eating a 10 lb. bag of popcorn.

 

I'm full, but my body knows it isn't really sustenance, and I'm left feeling empty.

 

 

But still, I'm cautious about an MMO that caters only to the "intense" playerbase. One of my RL buddies played UO for years without ever experiencing its "intensity." He was a merchant who just sat at Brit Bank all day buying and selling ****, getting rich, and building houses. He couldn't care less about PvP. But his actions still impacted both the PvE and PvP playerbase in significant ways. I hope the modern MMO era has not deluded us into thinking that sort of synergy can't exist.

 

This last point is key.  In fact -- I want to flag this particular note, so that once we've revealed more, we can revisit it.  I'd love to get your opinion on where we are headed.

 

Todd

ACE

gray, aChris07, preston and 25 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think balancing the PvE community and PvP community will be the most challenging task with this game, and biggest determinate of it's success.

 

You can't seperate the two like in UO, as it kills the spirit of the game. At the same time, you can't let 75% of new players be griefed until they just quit.

 

On another note, the correlation between home ownership and retention is very interesting...

toxophile, shadow2015 and kishijo like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great dicussion thread. I always think back to UO fondly as it was my first MMO. Back in 2007, I was writing freelance for a magazine and they asked me to do a 10yr anniversary article for UO. I reactivated my old account and fired up the character I abandoned for EverQuest long ago. I wandered around, killed a few things, checked out some of the places I used to hunt PKs with my still active guild and got lost in some memories. The game was different but was still familiar enough to me that I remembered how to play. After playing for a little while I had my story.

 

Your first MMO is like your first girlfriend. You have fond memories of all the nice things you did together, maybe even some of the naughty things, but as time goes on you forget a lot of the bad things. Until one day, many years later, you call her up and go out to lunch. After spending some time together it all comes back to you and you remember why she is your EX girlfriend.

 

Trammel didn't kill UO.

 

The bugs (remember people walking around in death robes with a smithy hammer one shotting people?)

The third party hack programs (UO Assist, UO extreme, others)

The great notoriety wipe and addition of faction warfare (the prelude to Trammel)

The deteriorating community

 

Those things were killing UO long before Trammel came about. If anything, the addition of Trammel thinned the heard of douchebags that were killing the community and created a game experience a greater percentage of players could enjoy. As a business decision, it was an idea that saved a dying game. A game that is still played today. Trammel killed UO for those who liked to prey on the less skilled players and take their stuff, then it killed it for players like me who used to kill the players who killed the less skilled players.

 

The assumption that one patch or one update can kill a game is unrealistic. In reality it's an accumulation of things that kill a game. As a community, we're looking for entertainment. We all have our criteria for picking a game to play but we're looking to become someone different for a little while. Not all of us are the hardcore "What Ho!" role players, but we are all role playing someone in a game. We're not project managers, sales people, cops, lawyers, or whatever it is you do. We're G'rthuk the orc warrior going to slay the dragon. When the gaming experience becomes less than what we expect, we start to grumble. When we grumble, others grumble and so on. Then the community fails and the game dies.

 

I don't think anyone is expecting a game to be 100% perfect for everyone and if game developer tries to make that game they will fail. What I do know is that MMO gamers want to be enterianed and in the end, be treated like paying customers. If you can come up with a game concept that will keep people entertained and challenged then you have the first part of the equation. The next part is keeping them satisfied enough to retain them. If you can create a gaming experience that there is a synergy between PVE and PVP and find a way to maintain that community you have a recipe for success.

 

I'm glad that my guildmate pointed me to this website, I will be keeping an eye on this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 
 

 

THIS.  Emergent behavior leads to relationships.  

 

I believe people need social interaction, on a deep level  -- like hunger, or thirst.   That's why a marathon amusement-park PvE session always leaves me with a hollow feeling, like I eating a 10 lb. bag of popcorn.

 

I'm full, but my body knows it isn't really sustenance, and I'm left feeling empty.

 

 

 

This last point is key.  In fact -- I want to flag this particular note, so that once we've revealed more, we can revisit it.  I'd love to get your opinion on where we are headed.

 

Todd

ACE

 

 

I mean look at games like Shadowbane, Mount and Blade, and Darkfall. All those games sare somehow still alive in one way or another, and it is mostly because social interaction, which is awesome! Whether it be in-game rivalries, hatred, friendship, or just the mutual love for the game, social interaction is what keeps games going.

 

If you look at Darkfall, and go on their forums, everyone is bashing AV (the company behind DF) for being a bad company, BUT the game is still alive, and they have paying customers. Obviously I'm not saying this is a preferable situation, but it just goes to show that social interaction can be the lifeblood of any game.

 

Shadowbane is dead, but there are two emulators, and rivalries still exist today. It's crazy that players can hold grudges for so long, and oppositely, have friendships online for so long.

 

And lastly, my all time favorite, Mount and Blade: Warband. That game has 17k players at peak times on Steam. The game came out in (I believe) 2009, and it is not an MMORPG. That is impressive!

Corpsewake likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*If, when the time comes, I start up this game and immediately get a cf.exe error window pop-up I may die laughing.

 

Oh god, the nightmares of sb.exe errors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another interesting thing to note is that the push for bigger audiences leads directly to more "accessible" experiences.  (that's code for directed experiences, that are more forgiving, less intense games which cater a broader group of players).  There are plenty of big companies out there making those types of games (and plenty of  players who want them).

 

We are specifically making our game for players who will like the kind of experience we will create, not trying to cast a wide net to get a mass market audience.  We want the folks who will appreciate an intense gaming experience with real risk, winning *and* losing.  While we want as many players who are engaged in our game as possible, we won't need millions of players to make our game work.

 

So our game won't be for everyone, and we certainly don't want people playing who aren't enjoying the experience.  This is supposed to be an activity we experience as fun after all!

 

Is it for the casual gamer who has family and job, can only hop in every few days or even weeks, then maybe play intensely for a few hours maybe even a few days - and be gone again? You know, that weird type of people with schedules that aren't running games as a priority anymore ... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 
 

 

THIS.  Emergent behavior leads to relationships.  

 

I believe people need social interaction, on a deep level  -- like hunger, or thirst.   That's why a marathon amusement-park PvE session always leaves me with a hollow feeling, like I eating a 10 lb. bag of popcorn.

 

I'm full, but my body knows it isn't really sustenance, and I'm left feeling empty.

 

 

 

This last point is key.  In fact -- I want to flag this particular note, so that once we've revealed more, we can revisit it.  I'd love to get your opinion on where we are headed.

 

Todd

ACE

 

What I would like to know is how many gaming "communities" were launched from Shadowbane and UO?  Many of these communities continue to migrate from game to game.

 

How do we recapture, foster and grow that; achieve a "balance" per se.

 

I will admit, the amount of candor, introspection and engagement I have seen so far lends me a great deal of hope.

 

Here's hoping you guys find the magic formula.

Tyrant likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I would like to know is how many gaming "communities" were launched from Shadowbane and UO?  Many of these communities continue to migrate from game to game.

 

How do we recapture, foster and grow that; achieve a "balance" per se.

 

I will admit, the amount of candor, introspection and engagement I have seen so far lends me a great deal of hope.

 

Here's hoping you guys find the magic formula.

 

It's funny you say that, the part about communities jumping from game to game. I played Darkfall for years, and every time I join a new game, I see names I remember. I guess we all like the same type of games, unsurprisingly. I got interested in Crowfall, and I see others here. I have been playing Lightrise, and other Darkfall players are there. I play cRPG (Mount and Blade), and I see names I have seen in Darkfall. 

 

Just from the looks of it so far, I feel like the Crowfall community will be a lively, and vibrant one, with lots of enthusiasm.

Tyrant and dead sparrow like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 
 

 

THIS.  Emergent behavior leads to relationships.  

 

I believe people need social interaction, on a deep level  -- like hunger, or thirst.   That's why a marathon amusement-park PvE session always leaves me with a hollow feeling, like I eating a 10 lb. bag of popcorn.

 

I'm full, but my body knows it isn't really sustenance, and I'm left feeling empty.

 

 

 

This last point is key.  In fact -- I want to flag this particular note, so that once we've revealed more, we can revisit it.  I'd love to get your opinion on where we are headed.

 

Todd

ACE

 

I know what you mean

 

I play a WoW emulator, though a successful one.

 

I have 9 of 10 toons of every imaginable class rated at 90-95% of possible gear score without a damn reason to play.

 

there has to be something more than the chase

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow ... what an awesome thread and an awesome reply.

 

Thanks Gordon Walton.

 

This is something I was particularly interested in:

 

@morrolan  Great question from ancient (but highly emotional history)!

 

Yes, I'm the person who is responsible for bringing you Trammel and the dilution the original UO.

...

 

The good:  After the change which broke the game space into PvP and PvE worlds, the player base and income nearly doubled (we went from 125k to 245k subs).  So from a fiscal responsibility standpoint it was a totally winning move.

 

The bad:  Without the "sheep to shear" the hard core PvP'ers were disenfranchised.  They didn't like preying on each other (hard targets versus soft targets), and they became a smaller minority in the overall game.  The real bad though was that the intensity and "realness" of the game for all players was diminished.  This was the major unintended consequence.

 

...

 

It always makes me chuckle when I see a new 'hardcore PvP' game appear.  Similar comments were made by Scott Jennings IIRC on his Broken Toys blog.

 

(Most) Wolves only say they like preying on other wolves - in reality it's too tough for most of them to handle.

 

 

Some interesting comments in this thread though.

 

Really looking forward to the actual game reveal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After hearing this, I'll do what Rainz did to Lord British to you.

 

I brought Rainz up in a post the other day, he is still getting that e-fame years later lol.

 

As for the answers in this thread by Gordon Walton, it it awesome hearing them from you. I have mentioned it many times over the years in various places of the interwebz, but Ultima Online is my all-time favorite game so hearing some of the inner workings is interesting!

 

For any old UO players, I was Shulginist on the Stratics forums and in game I was Exar Kun, Ulic Qel Droma and Baramos and mainly played on the Great Lakes & Atlantic Shards.

 

I played pre and post trammel from 1998-2004 and then again from 2009-2011. I loved some things about both pre and post as well.

Edited by noobzilla_youtube

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 
 

 

THIS.  Emergent behavior leads to relationships.  

 

I believe people need social interaction, on a deep level  -- like hunger, or thirst.   That's why a marathon amusement-park PvE session always leaves me with a hollow feeling, like I eating a 10 lb. bag of popcorn.

 

I'm full, but my body knows it isn't really sustenance, and I'm left feeling empty.

 

 

 

This last point is key.  In fact -- I want to flag this particular note, so that once we've revealed more, we can revisit it.  I'd love to get your opinion on where we are headed.

 

Todd

ACE

 

 

Hhhhmmmmmm, great conversation!!!! Companies gotta make $, so to what extent is the base question. I certainly don't expect that if this endeavor is successful for it to be the ONLY endeavor of the company which just raises more questions.....

 

Are they taking an approach of more segregated games, i.e. one for PvPers, one for PvEers etc? (can't say I'd be against that per say....)

 

How is this company going to measure "success" for this endeavor if the plan ahead is to make more games?

 

I mean, lets be real here, if you ever want to make sense of something, follow the $ and despite how any of us feel about a certain approach to that goal, we're still all after the same goal, it's just the means to that goal that segregate us in ways.

 

What will really show a lot to me personally is how dependent their approach is to "fast food" (which a lot of the microtransaction video games are) vs. making a quality product that will inspire long time loyalty.

 

You can either keep buying Bic lighters with with fancy new designs that rip off with little effort or spend more $ for a Zippo with a lifetime warranty which they will honor at any time. Mind you, both companies have been around for a long time with success and I imagine will still be around for quite some time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I read the Coleman quote is that the PvPers will need crafters to support / supply them?

 

I already play a browser based PvP / RvR game like that... which doesn't really work very well at the moment - but the 'designers' aren't very good (There are things they could fix but it's also being run as a social experiment... so the bad design could be partly deliberate?)

 

Will be interesting to see what this means in context.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I read the Coleman quote is that the PvPers will need crafters to support / supply them?

 

I already play a browser based PvP / RvR game like that... which doesn't really work very well at the moment - but the 'designers' aren't very good (There are things they could fix but it's also being run as a social experiment... so the bad design could be partly deliberate?)

 

Will be interesting to see what this means in context.

 

The crafter / combatant dichotomy was a critical aspect of many foundational MMOs such as UO, SWGs, to a lesser extent Everquest, to name a few and has gone sorely lacking in more recent titles, its less of an experiment than perhaps a return to a more stable MMO economy and player ecosystem, and could be compared to highly successful modern MMO economies such as EVE Online. As you said, it'll be interesting to see how CF implements it, but I wouldn't let your browser game experience create any skepticism towards that model.

Edited by flex
noobzilla_youtube likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.