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Shadowbane Lessons


SirWilliamPD
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I keep seeing all of these fond memories of Shadowbane. While I had a decent amount of success playing on the Carnage server, I’m interested in hearing what lessons the development team learned from Shadowbane. The game was a pretty good game from a gameplay standpoint and an excellent grand strategy MMO but it was not without flaw. Anytime anything crashes on a pc I still expect to see “sb.exe”. It wasn’t just the game that had issue, the game model had issues.

 

The most glaring one I want to point out is that the siege system was flawed. Now I am saying this from the viewpoint of someone who was largely on the winning side of sieges. We burned so many cities we lost count. The Eighth Direction ruled the north of the Carnage server thoroughly and I know there are other groups on other servers who were dominant. What ended up happening to us is that we burned so many cities, people quit the game or became errant pks who were annoying at best. When people quit the game, then we had nothing to do and we quit the game.

 

I’m not suggesting there shouldn’t be sieges or consequence for losing a war. When some guild works for months to build a bunch of R7 buildings and in an hour I have it scorched and destroyed…I think there’s an issue.  You would think “well they will rebuild” but what we found on our server was they just stopped playing. When an MMO community dies, the game dies. I think an open pvp game has a place in the MMO genre but it can't be a clone of Shadowbane because it too will fail.

 

I'm anxious to see the full release on what this game will be and what lessons have been learned from previous endeavors.

Sir William

Guildmaster - Purple Dragons

www.purpledragons.net

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lmao...

 

you just don't "get" it, do you?

 

you ran the Risk of building a City to gain the Rewards of having one for your own....you take the chance of it getting burned down if you can't defend it via military might, politics, or what have you

 

the SB siege system is why a lot of us are here...

 

can it be improved on...oh hell yeah...

 

does it need to be dumbed down and consequences removed for those who crai, or are casual type Players?

 

ummmmm....no

 

could just be me...

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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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full loot people are rabid lol.

 

This will get moved into the shadowbane forum and we've re-hashed this issue over and over. So enjoy your short stay in the general discussion.

 

Should you spend 30 days building a city that can be destroyed in 30 minutes? No? Should you build a city in 36 days but it takes me 36 hours of in game to siege it? No.

 

Asset ownership isn't for everyone. If people played shadowbane thinking they deserved a city and to keep one? Wasn't  the right game for them. The game's downfall is well known by the ACE team. See ya in the subforum.

Edited by headlight
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you just don't "get" it, do you?

 

does it need to be dumbed down and consequences removed for those who crai, or are casual type Players?

 

Nothing you said addressed his point. He didn't even argue that the game should be 'dumbed' down.

 

I think he brought up a valid point.

Edited by Teekey

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If you plan to quit the game, after losing the city or being killed 2 times in a row. Dont even bother to follow this game. 

 

Everybody will die a lot, and their castles will burn even more often. 

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Nothing you said addressed his point. He didn't even argue that the game should be 'dumbed' down.

 

I think he brought up a valid point.

 

actually....i did address his point...to wit:

"’m not suggesting there shouldn’t be sieges or consequence for losing a war. When some guild works for months to build a bunch of R7 buildings and in an hour I have it scorched and destroyed…I think there’s an issue."

 

that is the point i'm disagreeing with..

 

my opinion is that the ruin of SB was lack of money....money to finish the Product before Launch, money to correct Balance issues, Money for everything from staff to Code....

 

not that "oh well, some folks couldn't take losing their pixels".....for a few, early on...yes, this could be stated as ONE of the causes....but in the case for some Guilds...like say, Combine on Treachery....they didn't leave because they lost....they left because they couldn't log in, or stay logged in to Defend

 

i know...i was there, subbed to Combine and a defender during that siege

 

over and over again....some of these issues were indeed fixed, but due to Money, far too slowly to keep some people interested...

 

so, as usual....if i think an axiomatic postulate is fallacious, it renders the entire hypothesis false

 

hence...my typing

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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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In Shadowbane it was far too easy for a single guild to take control and pretty much kill a server. I believe Ebonlore (sp) pretty much killed Fear in the early days. They took firm control of the server and then the owner of the guild decided to sell their account and the entire thing exploded. After that the server was largely a ghost town for months. Some smaller guilds popped back up but they ended up in alliances and then forming largely into a single guild and really killing the PvP game.

 

Sieges were also too large for what the game could handle. Crashing was the norm. Chugging was the norm. The best PvP experiences I had in Shadowbane related to small group PvP. Tracking and killing someone who was either farming on your land or killed your guildies. 

 

 

I'd really hope to see a strong emphasis on creating good small group PvP experiences for players and building that up as the majority of the PvP. Massive PvP battles would build up over time and could have the right resources dedicated to them when it happens (Eve Online scales their servers to properly support massive PvP).

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my opinion is that the ruin of SB was lack of money....money to finish the Product before Launch, money to correct Balance issues, Money for everything from staff to Code....

 

It's not like he's necessarily bull****ting. He's speaking about his opinions based on the experience on his server.

 

Hell, if the lack of money caused there to be balance issues that allowed one group to absolutely dominate, then those very things are what he's expressed interest in exploring.

 

so, as usual....if i think an axiomatic postulate is fallacious, it renders the entire hypothesis false

 

No, you just seem to think your anecdotal experiences outweigh someone else's. Perhaps it's possible that what harmed both of your servers were completely different issues.

Edited by Teekey

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Hell, if the lack of money caused there to be balance issues that allowed one group to absolutely dominate, then those very things are what he's expressed interest in exploring.

 

You read that wrong, it wasn't lack of in game player money it was Developer lack of money and time and the limitations of the Hardware of the time that caused the problem. What Doc means by logging in and staying logged in was that when they bane started either the server would crash or the players at the bane would lag out, die to AOE's while staring at a frozen screen and then crash. The would log back in dead and repeat the process.

 

SB PvE wasn't hard so farming for gold wasn't hard, it was just excruciatingly dull as in watch paint dry dull. So after spending a month farming and being bored to tears to make a nice city they would then lose the city not do to being outplayed but by not having as many players not lag out and crash. So a lot said: "Why should we spend another 30 days watching paint dry, just to Lag out and Crash during the central focus of the game?" Then they left. Most of the ones you see posting here stuck around and played after most of the early problems got fixed. Basically in early 2003 people were paying $15 a month to play a Beta version of Shadowbane.

 

Head to the Shadowbane Ghetto there is threads where the Devs and the players talk about the problems. Here is one:

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/378-wpsbg-dev-ppl/

 

this was posted by one of the old SB devs:

 

2. In the early days, truth be told, a lot of attention was geared much more towards stability (both client and server). Outside of that, there were the normal stuff (new races, classes, disc) but more so looking at systems that were more dynamic such as Shrines, Battlefield Alliances, etc. Personally, one of the things I wanted to do but never really was able was to only do bug fixes in production for about 6 months and just re-engineer the server and client using all the lessons learned. Unfortunately, that would of made is go "dark" for too long a time and wasn't perceived to be feasible.

 

3. The original goal (at least as far as memory serves me... and we all know how well that can go, heh) was for each server to actually have its own distinct landmass and to allow players to travel from realm to realm via the gate system. Unfortunately, that didn't pan out. So that did put us in a bit of a bind when trying to introduce new zones into existing worlds and the best way to do so was to create new land masses instead of just replacing areas in the old ones (although we did the latter, too). For me, at least, it was getting back to the original vision of having multiple worlds and allowing people (or more so guilds) to traverse them. Another idea I wanted was for a strict loreplay server where the Feature Characters were more involved in the world. One of the things I loved about the Shadowbane Community was the politics and the stories the players themselves were writing. Having a world where we could dedicate more resources to that seemed like a fun idea to me.

 There is also these threads:

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/967-what-was-bad-in-shadowbane-that-ought-to-not-be-preservedchanged/

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/858-what-was-good-about-shadowbane-that-needs-preserving-in-crowfall/

Edited by gauis
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awww...izzums still salty over the other Thread? no worries...allow me to elaborate...

 

It's not like he's necessarily bull****ting. He's speaking about his opinions based on the experience on his server.

yes, as am i on mine....both are indeed anecdotal...but here's the thing...i stayed in SB from beta to after ReBoot...he, by his own words, did not and had experience on only one server...as opposed to say, Mourning which had NONE of the issues he brings up...let's continue...

 

Hell, if the lack of money caused there to be balance issues that allowed one group to absolutely dominate, then those very things are what he's expressed interest in exploring.

that was indeed part of it, hence my bringing it up....but a lot of what he is talking about was brought on by not having enough money to change the Maps after beta and releasing too early... this allowed Beta guilds a HUGE advantage early on...they knew what was what, where everyting was and basic Mechanics...other folks did not, and those Beta guilds killed many original servers because of it...
all that could have been avoided by simply using another Map at launch...

 

No, you just seem to think your anecdotal experiences outweigh someone else's. Perhaps it's possible that what harmed both of your servers were completely different issues.

actually i think the baseline for both anecdotes starts out the same...it's as they progress where mine gets a bit more relevant....due to it coming from a larger experience to draw from as well as my sterling reasoning abilities and impeccable clothing style...

 

 

hope that helps...remember to turn in the box top to properly join the fanboi club...if you are lucky , you can rise up the ranks and become a Nurse...

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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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You read that wrong, it wasn't lack of in game player money it was Developer lack of money and time and the limitations of the Hardware of the time that caused the problem. What Doc means by logging in and staying logged in was that when they bane started either the server would crash or the players at the bane would lag out, die to AOE's while staring at a frozen screen and then crash. The would log back in dead and repeat the process.

 

I didn't read it wrong at all, because that's exactly what I meant too. If the developers not having money caused issues (Doc Gonzo specifically mentioned balance as well, not just server issues), then those are worth examining.

 

Doc Gonzo brings up valid issues, but that in no way means what sirwilliampd has said is invalid - because his points haven't been addressed.

 

If one group just flat out dominates, should there be systems to help the underdog? This doesn't mean hand holding, but creating a system that allows for shifts in power when they're earned. They address this somewhat in the Raph Koster Introduction video, when they talk about having diminishing returns on power gains.

 

 

awww...izzums still salty over the other Thread? no worries...allow me to elaborate...

 

Give me a custard break dude. You just think you can say someone is wrong without even addressing it, that your opinion is gospel.

 

This is a discussion forum. If you don't want to back up your ideas, then don't be insulted when someone calls you out on it.

 

Regardless, two separate people have brought up single guilds dominating a server to the point of killing them. So perhaps there is some merit to what the OP is suggesting.

Edited by Teekey

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While the destructive nature of the game definitely was a huge reason for some people leaving, I think it was more the combination of a terribly unstable game AND that.

 

I mean I would crash anywhere from 20-40 times a day in that first year. The fact that I still played the game as recently as a few months ago is amazing. I didn't even lose many cities early on.

 

When you're going through that and you lose your city, it isn't surprising many quit.

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God that would be epic. Wish I played a game in which I participated in such an event.

 

played both...as while there is a huge nerd appeal to EVE...all in all, i have to say i had MUCH more Fun with MANY more people in SB than i did in 3 different  forays into EVE...each lasting quite a while (total of about 4 and  a half years played from 03 to 09)

 

for SB the Game was more fun, the combat was MUCH more fun...EVE shipbuilding/loadouts was better than SB crafting....both Char systems had great depth but getting to max in 4 hours or so is MUCH more fun than NEVER being able to catch those who started before you (one of the biggest things holding the game back, imo..not conducive to new Players at all, which winds up being worse than the learning curve/cliff of DEATH, said QFT members i got to try out EVE)

 

so yeah...all in all SB > EVE  on my FUN Factor index

Edited by doc gonzo

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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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I wanted to get into Eve at various times over the years. The passive skill system where you could never catch up to legacy players has always deterred me though.

Shadowbane - Aflac 
Advocates of Evil - RIP

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Lots of semantic wrangling going on here, it seems...

 

However, I think the salient point to me is that a balance of time required to built assets and the time required to destroy them requires careful consideration.  Same as crafting when it comes to full loot.  

 

I read this thread as simply asking to be careful with that balance, and not make it too difficult to bootstrap oneself after getting smacked down.

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Lots of semantic wrangling going on here, it seems...

 

However, I think the salient point to me is that a balance of time required to built assets and the time required to destroy them requires careful consideration.  Same as crafting when it comes to full loot.  

 

I read this thread as simply asking to be careful with that balance, and not make it too difficult to bootstrap oneself after getting smacked down.

 

fair points indeed...

 

Myrkul knows i am very guilty of being picky with semantics and such...because i think definitions and accuracy are important to discussion, so as to be clear and reduce ambiguity whenever possible so folks aren't misunderstood and time wasted by those involved...

 

ok, mebbe a lil touch of verbal OCD....among other....things...

 

but what i quoted makes some very solid points in that i think we can all agree, proper Balance is never really attainable and will always be in flux...adjusting...by Players and the Devs...

 

i think it's safe to say we all want better, than everything that has gone before...as opposed to worse...

 

 

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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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