Shallow Theme Park MMOs

How about these shallow theme parks games with tedious “quest” hubs? Quest my ass, these are nothing but copy/paste list of chores. It’s worst than being a temp worker doing menial jobs from a headhunter office. It feels more like players are oxen being led by the nose, doing these boring menial tasks, mindlessly being stuffed with fodder until you want to vomit.

Quests should feel epic, but these quest-based games have zero sense of epicness. “Go ten feet over there and pick vegetables from my garden.” wow epic quest. “I’m donning my legendary sword and armor…to go farming?” Quests don’t feel adventurous, meaningful any more. You just go from place to place to serve these forgettable NPCs. I did a bunch of quests in so many other MMORPGs, but I can’t tell you the how, what, or even why I did them. Because they told me to, like I’m their damn intern or servant. FFXIV even call them duties. Like it’s my duty as an adventurer to serve these useless NPCs.

This quest grind is more boring and lame than just camping. Which BTW AC2 had a very nice balance between quests and camping. Both types of gameplay are enjoyable in AC2. Really great liberty to play however you like.

Anyway, AC2 quest felt organic, had natural flow. It wasn’t all “do step one, return to me, do step two, return to me or go to next NPC.” Stupid choppy back-and-forth is disorienting, mind-numbing. No, instead, each part of AC2 quests flowed smoothly from step to step. Some steps were more involved. So devs allowed more freedom for players on how they want to pursue their goals.

Open-ended, organic, smoothly flowing, liberating, involved, mindful, purposeful–these are keywords to describe AC2 style of quests.

Suspense in Combat

I’ve tried dozens of MMOs, and still nothing comes close to capture the experience, spirit, and atmosphere of Asheron’s Call 2. Open, seamless world, dropping items onto the environment, unique races and classes, etc.

But the crucial difference for me why those other games don’t hook me: lack of suspense in combat. So many games’ combat is based on trite, mindless, repetitive action. But action by itself doesn’t connect deeply with the player.

What is missing from these games is suspense, which AC 2 somehow was able to evoke. Kind of hard to explain–it has to be experienced personally: a real sense of dread, of impending failure, of “oh so close, please don’t die!”. It’s an experience that cannot be emerged by endless action and quick reflexes. There has to be more than just action; memorable experience (in games, books, movies alike) has to bring about a sequence of strong emotions, like peril, fear, belief, celebration.

Alas, it’s apparently almost impossible to find the same feelings in other MMOs (the many that I’ve tried) as I did in AC2. An essence of human experience that is absent, forgotten; something that cannot be implemented, replicated or replaced with better technology, skill, and flash.

TablesPlus plugin

TablesPlus plugin for WordPress

Alternative ways to create tables.
See Lightweight Markup for how to format tables.
For VSV format, read Versatile Separated Values

Examples:


CSV

Name Score 1 Score 2
BEAKL 8 104 132
BEAKL 9 120 144
BEAKL 10 44 99

VSV

Name Score 1 Score 2
BEAKL 8 104 132
BEAKL 9 120 144
BEAKL 10 44 99

Name Age Gender
Hammie 20.5 F
Chow, Vivian 40 F
Amuseum 25 M
Shena’Fu 18+5/12 F
Grndr-1245 21 months
Fairy Nuff 14 K N/A

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My NBA All-Time Dream Team

Team #1

PG – Stephen Curry
SG – Michael Jordan
SF – Lebron James
PF – Tim Duncan
C – Wilt Chamberlain
Coach – Phil Jackson

All of them excel at both offense and defense. All of them are winners and team players. There is nothing this team can’t do.

Chamberlain, Jordan, Curry led their teams to record-setting wins per season. Duncan also posted several 60+ wins seasons. Amazingly, they perform even better during the playoffs, when it counts.

Offensively, this team is a beast. Combine for 19 times scoring champions: Jordan 10, Chamberlain 7, James and Curry 1 each. Jordan, James are the most efficient players in the game. In terms of PER, Jordan #1, James #2, Chamberlain #5, Duncan #13, Curry #20.

Curry is the best shooter ever. He’s a real threat at the perimeter, dropping 3s like nobody’s business. Jordan, James are decent enough at 3s; they shoot better during playoffs. With practice and adjustments, James can be a reliable 3-point shooter. Even if they miss, they can rely on Chamberlain to get the rebound; he owns the career rebound record, plus 11 rebounding titles.

Defensively this team are serious contenders. Combined All-Defensive First Team 24 times. Jordan 9, Duncan 8, James 5, Chamberlain 2. (This award only began 5 years before he retired.) Combined 4 times steals leader: Jordan 3, Curry 1. Duncan is all-time playoffs block leader by a good margin, and 5th in regular season. (Chamberlain retired before they started recording blocks, but he would’ve been up there.)

Hierarchy: A Magic Variant

Rarity Matters = ‘Hierarchy’

Consider that 60 cards is same amount as four 15-card booster packs. Then consider the rarity of the cards you’ll get from opening those fresh packs.

With four packs, you get 1 mythic, 3 rares, 12 uncommons, and the rest commons. These new rules similarly restricts deck building by following the same ratios for a minimum 60-card deck. A deck can have any amount of commons and Basic Lands.

Additional rule: no more than three (3) copies of any card except Basic Lands.

Each additional 15 cards in your deck beyond 60 cards grants another 1 rare and 3 uncommons. For each additional 60 cards of your deck size, you may include a mythic instead of a rare.

You can trade from higher rarity for same ratio of lower rarity, or vice versa. That means you can omit 1 mythic for 3 more rares or 12 uncommons. Omit 1 rare to add 3 more uncommons. In reverse, you can trade in 3 uncommons for 1 rare or 12 uncommons for 1 mythic. Likewise, trade 3 rares for 1 mythic. Fill vacancies with commons or basics.

A card’s rarity is based on its latest printing in a core, expansion, or draftable set that are legal for that format. This includes supplemental draftable products like conspiracy and masters.

These rules can be applied to official and unofficial formats. So you can have Hierarchy Standard and Hierarchy Modern, etc.

12 Jungian Archetypes

Mind Body Soul
Ego Creator Warrior Jester
Freedom Explorer Lover Rebel
Sage Caregiver Companion
Order Magician Ruler Innocent

The 12 Common Archetypes were conceived by Carl Jung to describe the common personalities and drives in all people.

This table attempts the fit them into my trinity mind/body/soul RPG system. This chart can help better define the roles and personalities of NPCs in the story.

Continue reading 12 Jungian Archetypes

Sushi Go Party Review

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Sushi Go Party Review
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Final score:
3.5 / 5
Verdict:
Chaotic party game but lacks long term addiction.

Gameplay
——–

Pros
—-

Easily accomodates up to 8 players.

The game is easy to pickup even for children at 9 years old.

Good variety of cards to promote different styles of gameplay and strategies.

Fun theme with pretty cards.

Cons
—-

There are some annoyances with the game, but ultimately it lacks an addiction factor that makes you want to keep playing.

Too much shuffling.

Poor quality of cards.

Tedious to swap and organize all the variety of cards.

Lack of crescendo from beginning to end.

Difficult to keep progress of who’s going to win.

RPG Combat — Additional Victory Conditions

RPG Combat — Additional Victory Conditions

It seems just about every RPG combat feels the same and one-dimensional. It’s all about damage, damage, damage. That also means support and non-damage abilities and roles are underplayed and unappreciated. You can see this problem in MMOs where high damage classes can level faster and solo better than support classes.

My suggestion is to provide an additional victory condition besides reducing the enemy’s HP to 0. Let’s call this willpower (WP). You can win a battle by reducing all the enemies’ HP and/or WP to 0.

WP is mainly interacted with typically “support” and non-lethal actions. One method to reduce enemy’s WP is with debuffs (e.g. sleep, stun, charm) and to raise (heal) your WP with buffs. When a character’s WP is reduced to 0, it is removed from combat.

HP and WP can coexist to provide two different paths to victory and to balance the play styles. Whether you like to hack and slash, or you prefer to demoralize and paralyze your enemies.

What do you think about non-damage win condition? Can this work? How do hybrid classes fit in all this?

Games & Design, MTG, Idols, Hacking, Ergonomics