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Non-Traveller Gaming A forum specifically for discussing those other games we like to play.

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  #31  
Old August 5th, 2019, 04:44 PM
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I have mostly stopped playing Everquest, and moved over to Everquest 2.

People in the forums are friendlier, and I have more fun leveling my characters.

Still making maps for Traveller, Tunnels and Trolls, ad&d 1e, and others.
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  #32  
Old August 7th, 2019, 07:12 AM
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I tried Everquest for a few months back after it was first released. It was an interesting concept, but I rarely saw anyone trying to "role play" anything. In fact when I was first logged on, and spent my hard earned money to buy a backpack, I accidentally dropped it and some high level punk took it, then said he'd fight me for it. Yeah, that's fantasy roleplaying simulating living in a high crime district in any city USA.

Seriously, I did not like it.
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  #33  
Old August 7th, 2019, 10:47 AM
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Sounds like one of the player versus player servers. I avoid those. Now if you drop something, the game asks 'Destroy or Cancel ?'.

Click cancel, or the escape key, and it goes back into your backpack. You have to hand something from character to character for another player to get something.

The one thing I find silly about most MMOs is my character can carry backpacks, or tooldboxes, with slots up to 46 items. And some items stack from 20 to 1,000 items.

So I have 6 or 8 backpacks on each character. Kinda funny actually.
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  #34  
Old August 7th, 2019, 11:12 PM
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Well, it wasn't a PVP arena. It was Freeport, and I had just killed a bunch of beetles to buy a backpack, but didn't know how to equip it. So I wound up dropping it, and this kid comes and takes it. I tried to explain that I was new, but he was just being a punk.

After a few months of that, over crowded servers, people literally waiting in line to kill some monster … talk about population bombs. Ideally you're the adventurer who goes around saving the good people of Norrath, but everyone was a "hero". No farmers, no trades people, no regular NPCs, or very few. It was like going to Six-Flags where pre-teens could run amok without parental supervision, even though the EULA flatly stated you needed to be 18+ or older to open an account and "play". I never did an MMORPG after that.

And to be clear, it was not a game. It was a giant on line theme park that pretended to be a game. But there was no puzzle solving, the quests were dim witted and lame, and with 2700 heros running around the same patch of virtual real estate …. I just couldn't take it anymore, and permanently closed my account.

Other game I played had instances of hacking, rude behavior and the like, but it was sporadic, and you could deal with those people. But SONY really bilked the customers for that experience. An interesting concept, but either the developers didn't know what an RPG was, or they deliberately made it vapid so people would keep spending a monthly fee to stay online. I never got a sense that I was on an important quest, and the juvenile behavior was also among older well educated adults who wanted an "adult" fantasy land, so to speak. So.

I'm not sure what else to say about it, other than I'll stick with shooters and RTSes for the time being.

p.s. it truly was the absolute worst online gaming experience I've ever had, and this comes from a man who played the original Star Trek game coded for University Computers back in the early 70s. From Calico to Atari to Insurgency Sandstorm, and everything between 1970 up to a few minutes ago, Everquest was, by virtue of the company you found online, was the worst I have ever interacted with.
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  #35  
Old August 8th, 2019, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
And to be clear, it was not a game. It was a giant on line theme park that pretended to be a game. But there was no puzzle solving, the quests were dim witted and lame, and with 2700 heros running around the same patch of virtual real estate . I just couldn't take it anymore, and permanently closed my account.
Oh, it absolutely is a game. You just didn't get to the level of the actual "gaming" part, the theme park/social environment took over.

Well, that's not quite true either. You just didn't get to that deep end of the gaming part.

Clicking on the attack button or whatever other abilities you used to kill the beetles is the game, you just don't have to play it very well to be successful. Later, the attribute choices you make, the abilities you choose to use all combined the awareness and hand eye coordination of positioning your character, timing their attacks, along with everyone else in the party. That's the game at the high level.

And, yes, you're in a theme park world with a bunch of adolescents running around with no supervision and without the rule structures of something like an on line shooter. (where you're still being beaten by a 14 year old, but in this case you expect to instead of them stealing your backpack.)
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  #36  
Old August 8th, 2019, 02:11 PM
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Games That I Flat-Out Love!

Classic Traveller - Recently rediscovered. Free pdf @ DriveThruRPG was my gateway drug, now I own a lot of LBBs courtesy of eBay.

Star Frontiers - This was my go-to game since 1983. No ship rules initially (those came out in 84) so I house ruled said rules based of the one LBB I bought back in the day: Supplement 7 Traders & Gunboats. Hindsight says books 2 & 5 might have been a better source, but I was able to get by with "reverse-engineering" of those S-7 deck plans until the official rules debuted a year later.

B/X D&D (Moldvay Basic & Cook Expert) - Moldvay Basic was my first exposure to RPGs back in merry old 1981 and I still play it to this day.



Games That I Might Love IF I Played Them More...

Mentzer BECMI D&D - I own BEC & M. Not terribly different from B/X when you get right down to it, just a few more books to source.

Holmes D&D - I own this gem too, very limited and it practically forced you into AD&D



Games That Have Intrigued Me, But I Never Jumped In...

Gamma World - Looking back I wish I'd picked this up when it was available.

James Bond 007 - I picked up Q Manual to compliment Top Secret

WEG Star Wars - Sadly I never knew this even existed until it was out of publication.

Dawn Patrol/Battle in the Skies This just looked fun. I acquired a free pdf recently so I might test that theory...



Games That I Used To Love...

AD&D - I still own a lot of the core stuff: DMG, PH, MM, Deities & Demigods, A/G/D/Q series and a few S & other staple modules. I just preferred the "rules light" versions of D&D and Star Frontiers over 600 pages of hardbound rule books.

Top Secret The combat resolution system took far longer than it needed to. In the end we avoided combat not because it was deadly, but because it took forever to resolve.

Which is why I never got into later editions of AD&D.
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  #37  
Old August 8th, 2019, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
Oh, it absolutely is a game. You just didn't get to the level of the actual "gaming" part, the theme park/social environment took over.

Well, that's not quite true either. You just didn't get to that deep end of the gaming part.

Clicking on the attack button or whatever other abilities you used to kill the beetles is the game, you just don't have to play it very well to be successful. Later, the attribute choices you make, the abilities you choose to use all combined the awareness and hand eye coordination of positioning your character, timing their attacks, along with everyone else in the party. That's the game at the high level.

And, yes, you're in a theme park world with a bunch of adolescents running around with no supervision and without the rule structures of something like an on line shooter. (where you're still being beaten by a 14 year old, but in this case you expect to instead of them stealing your backpack.)
No, not at all. I sometimes spent entire weekends "levelling up" so I could game with my buds for a real RPG experience. But it's like once I was level compatible with them, all we did was go into some "zone" and wait for our turn to kill AI. That's not gaming. That's waiting in line for a ride at the amusement park.

I mean you had to buy sleeves and wrist bands? The whole thing was keeping up with the Jones's in a very stylized alleged "fantasy" setting.

I'll bet the way the zones were conceived would be that maybe two or three parties, at best, would be in a cave, or on those stinking islands, or that mechanical place with all the gnomes. And they would game for a few hours or until they needed to do stuff in the real world, and by that time a new group would have entered.

The reality was that the servers were designed to accommodate maybe 1800 to 2000 players, at best. But the regional servers would up hosting 2500 to 2700, and the servers crashed regularly. The big joke was to call the game "Neverquest".

It wasn't just that there was no "hand eye coordination", it was essentially what I gripe about when I talk about coders trying to port any RPG, notably a D&D-like game, to so-called "digital format". And that is part of the fun of RPing or warsims is that you can sit back and take your time to think about your tactics and strategy, and even decide what kind of attack or specific action you'd like to perform. You then ask the DM or Ref if that's okay, modify or clarify what you want to do accordingly, and then roll the dice.

But software like EQ didn't, doesn't, and never will let you do that. It's not the pinball or DOOM factor that's involved, is actually playing your character as you should. It's about actually playing a game, and not running around clicking on "attack" with your mouse and letting "the computer" do it all for you.

It's funny you responded to my post, because current video game, not PC-games, but platform gaming with characters that do all kinds of fancy moves and junk, is to make the player, specifically a male pre-teen or teenager, feel powerful. All those special moves at the arcade that required you to press a special combination of buttons are now automatic. And that's exactly what Everquest is, only you don't even get the benefit of the unique move animation. 989 or whoever designed Everquest had that exact market model in mind in retrospect.

Those aren't games. They're CGI "experiences" made to look like you're doing something. But you're not doing anything. You might as well be browsing the net, or be a lab animal hitting the button that gives you the treat and hope you don't get a mild electric shot for hitting the wrong button.

Anyway, I think I've said all I had on it.
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  #38  
Old August 9th, 2019, 10:47 AM
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No, they're games all right. Just not games you enjoy. Or games that meet your expectations (and thus don't enjoy). But they're still games.

I never understood how people could conflate a pen and paper role playing experience with a computer based one, as they're entirely different.

Sure, the underlying mechanics are the same. Baldur's Gate IS D&D as I'm to understand it.

But it's not ROLE playing. It's simply a mechanical game. Like Canasta. Take Fighter Guy, get Big Sword, beat on Monster until it dies. Upon conquering Monster, you get XP, treasure, etc. in order to empower Fighter Guy to hit harder, or get a bigger sword, or last longer. In order to take on bigger Monsters.

Rinse and repeat. Cycle of life.

Most of my P&P experiences are people arguing over things, BSing about unrelated stuff, and other social elements completely unrelated to rolling dice and clobbering monsters.

Computer based games are all about dice rolling.

The GAME element is the path to empowering your character, doing it efficiently, selecting the correct pieces of equipment, ideally looking for something that gives inordinate power for the effort involved (most players call that part "fun").

There's some storytelling, for sure, which some people enjoy, and others don't. Most folks just like the visceral process of beating up monsters. Ideally beating up a lot of monsters all at once. Having your character entombed in a flurry of swinging axes, flying arrows, breathing fire, and force balls exploding until you're surrounded by corpses (vs becoming one yourself). You then loot them and move on to the next group.

But in the end, the goal is to kill the guy on the box and say "I have conquered."

If you liked the experience, you might go back and do it again with Magic Guy instead of Fighter Guy.

It's been this way since Rogue.

(Note, I have never beaten Rogue, Net Hack, or any of the Moria style games...)
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  #39  
Old August 9th, 2019, 01:05 PM
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Sony sold off EQ, EQ II ,and a couple of other games years ago. Now belongs to Daybreak Games. The developers, etc. own it. Well, so to speak, they have creditors and investors to deal with but so did Sony.

I know its not role playing, and the computer rolls the dice. But I have fun with it.

My first computer game was in the late 1980s on my Amiga computer. A 2D game, movement by arrow keys. Wasn't much to it, but I enjoyed it.

Most of the problem people left when World of Warcraft started up. Big drop in gamer population then. Player population is way down in both versions of Everquest.

I saw a video, well part of it, on Facebook extolling DMs/GMs who get paid to run games. Don't care for that myself. I run games for the joy of it, just like why I read books. For the joy of it.
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  #40  
Old August 9th, 2019, 01:28 PM
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whartung, I'm not going to debate it. I stand by everything I wrote, so we'll have to part company there.

Having said that, the marketing strategy for modern platform games is about making pre-teen males feel more powerful. I don't think, or rather I don't believe, Gygax had a marketing strategy based on psychological analysis of age groups based on sex when he came up with his level mechanic. But, hey, I could be wrong, and stranger things have happened. However, as per other threads on experience and levelling, I do think that the D&D borne level mechanic was born out of a desire to create something that allowed medieval Joe-Nobody to increase his knowledge and combat prowess. Ergo the more HPs you get through EXP and levelling up, reflects your increased skill with a sword or whatever, and your knowledge of the world around you. Marketers and designers now abuse that to sell platform games.
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