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Removing the World from Virtual Worlds

Been reading the discussion of the WoW 3.3. patch and after being struck with alternating waves of “cool!” and “its about time!”, I was overcome with the feeling that a good portion of the “World” part of “World of Warcraft” just swirled down the drainhole.  To be fair, its been doing that by degrees for quite some time.

I’m truly torn watching these trends.  On the one hand, I greatly enjoy gaming sessions with a regular group of friends.  The socializer and achiever in me loves the efficiency that all of these travel and ancillary changes have wrought over time.  The explorer side of me, however, dies a little with each subsequent patch.
 
As our instance group has proven, even the most casual of players, playing only a scant few hours per week can progress through the game’s instanced content almost exclusively without setting foot on virtual terra firma outside of capital cities.  That of course was never our explicit intent, it was simply a reality due to the lowest common denominator time budget for our group members.
 
We wanted to run all the instances at level and the xp and gear from doing those instances was vastly superior to doing group “open world” content.  As its well known, open world group activity is penalized and seeing as we didn’t intend to play solo (nor was speed leveling the object of our efforts), solo questing wasn’t on the table.

The World Before Us
 
Most of our group had been playing together since December 2004 and had already experienced WoW 1.0 as it then lay before us– a large number of quests and zones to explore punctuated by reasonably challenging instanced content along the progression path to the level cap.  Quest chains led you to and fro across the continents chasing threads of storylines that conveniently intersected with various instances– instances that felt distant, dangerous and exotic. 

In some cases, getting to the instances felt like a bit of an adventure itself.  Scarlet Monestary beckoned well before you were able to purchase your first mount at level 40.  After running all the way from Southshore through Horde Territory, you were rewarded with a dangerous place in a hostile land, far from the nearest Alliance town.  Likewise, before Light’s Hope Chapel was made into a full Alliance quest hub, Stratholme was a dangerous place, far far from the safety and support of an Alliance town.  But to the intrepid went the rewards.  Dire Maul was on the far side of the world for Alliance.

Of course all this open world travel and adventuring took time.  Quite frankly, more time than many people enjoy or can afford.  If all a person can afford is about a two hour block of time to play and the dungeon may take close to that to run, then 45 minutes of inventory management, repairs, preparation and travel (x5 people) acts as an insurmountable gate to that content.
 
Mass Transit
 
Warlocks’ summoning spell was always a great help to get stragglers to the group.  Great if you had a warlock in your group and three members had already arrived to perform the ritual.  While convenient, it hardly shrank the world to a significant degree.  Likewise, Mage portals at best got you to the closest capital city.  Aftewards, you were on your own.

Multiflightpoint taxi travel also took the edge off of travel to far flung destinations, even though you still had to manage any boat travel connections manually.  At least you could bio and microwave your hotpocket while you AFK flew from Darnassus to Feathermoon Stronghold on your way to Dire Maul.

The ever maligned meeting stones were finally repurposed as group summoning stones. Now only two group members needed to be present to summon (though they were level restricted).

Portals in Shatrath and Dalaran (and in each capital city to the Dark Portal) eliminated the vast majority of the travel tax for most players.  Add some additional mage portal destinations and long distance taxi travel is all but eliminated.
 
Hearthstone cooldowns were reduced making them much more of a travel strategy rather than a one time “done for the night” utility.  Especially in conjuction with the city portals.

Once upon a time, you had to visit a battlemaster in a city or actually travel to Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin or Alterac Valley to join a battleground instance (Do the other BGs other than Wintergrasp even have a world presence?).  Through successive patches, all that is now required is a wee click on the pvp button to queue for a battleground and be magically whisked into the disambiguated battleground instance, promptly to be returned whence you came upon the battle’s conclusion.

Patch 3.3 is effectively accomplishing the same thing with the sweeping changes to the LFG tool and the implementation of cross server instance groups.  As Nils reported a response in the comment’s to Tobold’s recent post: “YES!  I will never have to leave Dalaran again!”  Indeed.

The Incredible Shrinking MMO
 
I’m reminded of the recent success/failure of Warhammer’s disparate approach to the same problem.  Early on, the insta queue anywhere battlegrounds were the most efficient means of gaining xp and the most reliable way to find pvp which was lacking in a pvp oriented game.  There was something of a world out there, but for many it simply didn’t exist in any meaningful way.  Log in, queue, BG pops, go done, repeat until cap.

I’m also reminded of DDO which I’ve been revisiting a bit of late.  In many ways its the ultimate session play environment.  In DDO (like Guildwars), there is essentially no massive multiplayer world outside of the instances which are spawned as needed for a solo or group players.  In DDO, all progress comes from completing these instanced challenges too, so walking the earth like Caine and grinding on what you find there is pretty much nonexistent. 

All of these “improvements” increase social interaction but at the expense of the sense of a virtual world.  Maybe that’s what most people want.  Heck, I was lobbying for our group to pick up Guildwars or DDO as a follow on to our WoW instance efforts because of these features that would allow all of us to quickly and easily get into the group content we enjoy without all these hassles.

Can the mass market support a virtual world or are we relegated to a shiny 3d chat room with a right click adventure menu?  Yes, of course, with WoW, one can always choose to run, ride, fly or even walk to experience the virtual world.  That’s not the point here.  The question is, what will future massive games hold for us?

Will Blizzard’s next gen MMO adopt most of the grouping/travel paradigms that are evolving in WoW?  I recall reading somewhere about wormhole travel for the upcoming STO and I’m cautiously pessimistic.  Likewise for SW:TOR.  Game functionality tends to evolve convergently.  Functional solutions and popular features from earlier games tend to end up represented in subsequent games of the same genre.  Part of this is meeting consumer expectations and part of it is simply addressing a gameplay need for the player base. 
 
As much fun as group content can be, I can’t help feeling we are losing the world from our virtual worlds.  The increasing focus on the “endgame” only exacerbates the problem as the virtual world is reduced to a series of repeatable instance pinatas, all of which must be run and rerun to fuel the gear progression game.

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Posted by on October 29, 2009 in World of Warcraft

 

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Looking Back on 2008

A few reflections on my gaming and blogging in 2008 with a few follow ups from last year’s post.

The Blog

On the stat line:

Total Hits: just over 100,000
Posts: 228
Comments: 825

My blogging has been a bit uneven this year which coincides with my equally unpredictable work pattern.  Feast or famine it seems, coupled with a few periods of just plain nothing much to say.

While the pace of my posting has remained about the same, its nice to see many more comments coming in.  Something I attribute largely to getting picked up on the VirginWorlds feeds and cross traffic from other friendly denizens of the blogosphere.

My top 5 referring sites were 1) VirginWorlds, 2) The Ancient Gaming Noob, 3) Tobold’s, 4) Kill Ten Rats and 5) Keen and Graev’s.  Many thanks to them and all who visit and comment.

Games in 2008

World of Warcraft. Our instance group slogged our way through The Burning Crusade to cap out at 70 just as burnout set in and before Warhammer released.  The group has been diligently pursuing its ultra casual, keep everyone together approach for more than two years at this point playing together just a few hours each week.  After diverting to WAR briefly, we are back in Azeroth with the Wrath of the Lich King where we’re having a good time.  I’m looking forward to continuing our weekly adventures with a great group of friends.

So far, Lich King has been much more of what I loved about the WoW 1.0 and much less of WoW 2.0.  Still, progress is fast and even for our group, we’ll likely cap long long before there is another WoW expansion on the horizon.

Eve Online. I’ve been mostly diligently pursuing my two box strategy with Eve having built my miner up to Hulk-capability and my hauler up to an Iteron V.  Along the way, I managed to get both pilots into Drake battlecruisers and have developed their social skills to the point where mission running and mining the mission spaces is a fun hybrid way to experience the game.

Wilhelm and Gaff and I were going great guns for a while but Gaff ran of to Norrath and then Middle Earth while Wil has caught the EQ2 bug on Guk.  So for now, I’ll continue to pursue my Eve objectives since it can be so forgiving of RL scheduling conflicts (the game you can play off line!).  Real time skill training FTW.

Everquest 2.  I was convinced to fire up EQ2 again as an alternative to WoW burnout and WAR disappointment.  Mrs. P and I followed multi boxing Gaff and Wilhelm to a new server and new guild where Jaye and Darren are resident.  Revelry and Honor is a wonderful group and they have a gorgeous guild hall.

Leveling is much accelerated since my last visit.  I was enjoying myself with this year’s offering The Shadow Odyssey until RL conflicts and the inevitable schedule chaos that are the holidays interrupted our adventures.  I’m on the fence whether to keep our EQ2 accounts going since I’m not playing very much and the horizon is a bit fuzzy in that regard.

Warhammer Online.  I had little enthusiasm for WAR until the open beta and then I fell for it.  It was certainly something quite different from WoW and EQ2 at exactly the right time for me.  Unfortunately, as the month wore on, performance issues and dubious design choices made clear that it just wasn’t going to be the next big thing.  The open world RvR, when it happened, was great, but the performance of the client and the incentives were too undeveloped or misconceived to make it a good fit for our group.

Pirates of the Burning Sea.  I beta’d PotBS and gave it a luke warm reception.  I really wanted to love this game, but it suffers/ed from a few serious design problems.  When I left the game, it was apparent that the fundamental port contention system was in desperate need of a complete overhaul.  Its a beautiful game and I intend on checking back in a bit, maybe with Station Access.  The thing that really killed it for me despite the rocky state was the the lack of a real open world feel to it.  Instanced battle rooms with questionable entry mechanics made it feel too much like a game of boxes.

Likewise, the much vaunted economy was seriously out of balance and, imho, poorly executed.  I’m still secretly hoping someone makes an MMO set in something like the 1600-1700 age of exploration/fighting age of sail era.  Eve with scurvy please.

Age of Conan.  I beta’d AoC and while parts were promising, it became clear that Funcom was rushing it out the door.  PvE underdeveloped, system requirements too high, PvP not really implemented as well as game breaking bugs meant I was going to pass before release.

LotRO.  Generally unplayed this year.  With Moria out, I’m almost convinced to hop in and join Gaff in his return to Middle Earth.  Time will be the limiting factor, but I do intend to see Moria at some point.

Games in 2009

I hate to say it, but after the disappointment of 2008, I’m not really looking forward to anything in particular.  I’m interested in what 38 Studio’s has going on.  I’m interested in what Guildwars 2 might be shaping up to be, but details on both of those have been scarce.

Likewise, I’m somewhat interested in watch the two most cursed IPs develop as well– Star Wars:  The Old Republic and Star Trek Online.  Both seem to be in capable hands, but if past is prologue, we’re doomed.

Goals for the Blog

Keep on keeping on.  The key to any kind of writing is to actually do it.  It gets easier and it (hopefully) gets better the more you do it.  I’ve been less concerned about my frequency of posting and generally pleased with quality and the type and number of comments I get.

A blog is a blog.  It doesn’t need to be a daily news feed unless you want it to be.

Goals for Gaming

I’ll completely rehash my last year’s goals because they STILL apply:

New Game #1. Find a game other than WoW in which to continue our group adventures. I love Thanksgiving, but I can’t eat turkey sandwiches everyday all year long. Some of us have a one game time budget, so it needs to be accessible and afford the opportunity to progress through the game in relatively small blocks of time– the mythical 2-hour casual gamer block maybe once or twice a week. If its that accessible, consider roping in some new blood for more fun and adventure. I’m not necessarily seeing anything on the horizon that fits the bill, but I’m willing to be surprised.

New Game #2. Find a game #2 that offers me a different experience than game #1 but that grabs me enough to cap out. I think you need to have a #2 that you can integrate into your game life in order not to burn out on game #1 or life for that matter.”

Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year!

 

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Can RvR Ever Work?

Been reading a few of the “Woe is WAR” posts floating around like Keen’s and on The Greenskin.  I’m reminded of similar discussions around Pirates of the Burning Sea (technical issues aside) as the struggle for the soul of the game evolved.

I’m left with the question in my brain of whether a primarily Realm versus Realm MMO can really have any chance of succeeding, or whether the MMO genre is really just too poorly suited to this kind of gameplay.

A persistent world with persistent characters comes with a price that may have some inherent limitations or conflicts when brought into contact with most MMO character progression models.  I didn’t play DAOC in its heyday, so forgive the lack of insight there.

I wonder what discussions roiled around the conference room tables when the Mythics and Flying Labs of the world discussed designing a faction oriented pvp game.  Without being exhaustive, I’d think they have to have pretty good answers to questions like these, and more importantly, the answers to any of them can’t conflict with answers to others.  No small task indeed.

What happens if:

  • one side is more popular than another?
  • one class is more popular than others?
  • there are not enough people to overcome PvE objectives?
  • there are not enough pople to overcome RvR objectives?
  • the population is spread across a number of regions?
  • the population is spread across a range of experience?
  • one faction dominates RvR objectives?
  • no one engages in RvR?
  • if RvR objectives are only undertaken when there are no likely defenders?
  • if there are players that don’t want to engage in RvR?
  • if a faction is “victorious”?
  • if a faction is “defeated”?
  • players only have a 2-hour block of time to play?
  • if players are unable to coordinate with each other?

and on and on.  I’m beginning to think that as soon as you replace factional progression with individual advancement, you’ve lost the RvR game.  Likewise, the opposite seems true too– as soon as you replace individual advancement with RvR progression, you lose the MMO game.

A game about “us” seems incompatible with a game about “me” and vice versa.  I’m hoping someone proves me wrong.

Just to avoid any confusion, PvP /= RvR and doesn’t suffer the same conflicts.  “Warfare” in a PvP game like Eve, for example, is an extrapolation of a one v. one conflict to a many v. many conflict.  Though complicated conflicts require specialization and coordination (just like PvE games), Eve remains an individual experience, whether or not you are part of a big corporation, whether or not you are Gallente, Caldari, Minmatar or Amarr.

Ultimately the rewards of the corporate warrior or the doughty miner inure to the individual, and any collective effort via corps and alliances, etc. are at their core still motivated by that individual advancement mechanic.  In Eve, thats mostly pecuniary.  ISK is King, and all good things come from ISK.  In PvE games, that’s levels and loot.

Self selective collaborative group effort is still built on an individual achievement model, just like PvE MMOs.  We run the instance to get the loot for ourselves and for our group mates’ “selves” but not for any conceptualized “us”.

My individual interests may have been aligned with those of Varian Wrynn from time to time, but if the King of Stormwind said “Go slay 1,000 scourge”, the first thing that comes to mind is “What’s in it for me?”  PvP and PvE allow us to keep individual score.  An RvR game has yet to crack that nut.

So can it be done or are we all doomed to me first MMOs?

 
13 Comments

Posted by on November 17, 2008 in Eve Online, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft

 

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Getting out of WAR

I’m done. Its just not doing it for me. There’s the core of a great game in there somewhere, but somewhere between the beta and release, it got lost.

The reason I went to WAR was to engage in open RvR. War is everywhere. Except its not.

Scenarios, in and of themselves, are not solely to blame. In my opinion, and its only my opinion, the game lacks the overall balance sufficient to make it compelling for a wide audience.

The open RvR, when it happens, has been some of the most fun I’ve had in an MMO to date. The main problem is it just doesn’t happen enough or perform well enough and mean enough when it does happen.

I’ll probably check back in a bit to see how things evolve, but at the moment, its just not a great fit.

 
24 Comments

Posted by on October 30, 2008 in Warhammer Online

 

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Poll: WAR Referendum

With the initial month up, how many are sticking with WAR at this point?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 24, 2008 in Warhammer Online

 

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Fixing WAR RvR Redux

As reported on the Warhammer Herald , open RvR XP is now double that of scenarios. This is after a previous boost last week of 50% which, in my excursions, still doesn’t seem to have dramatically increased open RvR (i.e. blasted people out of the scenarios). So continuing a trend of suggested improvements to open RvR, here are a few more I think would be helpful in addition to the many good ones floating around the blogosphere.

As I mentioned in my Five C’s post, and others in the commentariat have mentioned, scenarios are just so damned convenient. Queue anywhere, wait a bit, and you’re magically whisked away to the scenario and delivered back where you were when you’re done. Hard to beat. Maybe impossible.

Somewhere among the 20 or so blogs I surf almost daily, someone mentioned people still queuing for scenarios while engaged in open RvR and getting teleported out of battle into a scenario (!). Definitely a symptom…

The image of someone disappearing from a keep defense to go to a scenario struck home with me. It just seemed wrong. It seemed like it should actually be just the opposite (or at best, no worse or more inconvenient). This coupled with our own group’s frustration at looking and not finding any RvR got me procrastinating thinking… How to make open RvR as convenient as scenarios….

Queue/Teleport

This has got to be the hands down biggest hurdle. When a scenario is “ready,” players that have expressed an interest in participating are given an option to be teleported from wherever they are straight to the scenario.

Lets even the playing field. Players that want to open RvR should also be able to “queue” for open RvR. A similar queue-like mechanism could be added– call it King’s Militia, or Guard Duty, or Defense of the Realm, or Goon Squad or whatever. When some kind of bona fide* attack occurs somewhere, the King sends out a call to arms– “Help! The Bug People are huffing and puffing and blowing my keep in! Mr Watson — Come here — I want to see you” etc.

If you have “signed up” for Defense of the Realm(tm) duty, then you get an oh-so-scenario like pop up that asks you if you want to answer the King’s call and go defend keep X in zone Y. Answer yes, and you’re whisked away to the warcamp nearest the battle. To keep things in balance, only a limited number of folks would be allowed to teleport in for defense. The rest would have to hoof it like now.

Yes, this makes taking a keep more difficult, but at least it fosters actual RvR and evens the playing field with scenarios on the geographical convenience angle.

Bait

Queuing and Teleporting works great for defense, but doesn’t help so much on O. Well, the increase XP given for killing other players unfortunately doesn’t really create any incentive to do it if there is no one there to fight. Providing a defensive scramble response would help ensure that there are some punching bags to hit when you do go on O.

Decide where you want to attack (or multiple coordinated attacks? oooh stategery) and poof, XP pinatas start zoning in.

Still that might not be enough to populate the RvR lakes. One problem is that once the BOs and keeps are taken, there’s no reason for the controlling side to set foot anywhere near the place unless there are other things to do in there that don’t require the enemy to be present.

Enter, the PvE Bait Quest. Something, anything, to do inside the RvR lake that would yield significant XP/Renown (over regular PvE) to attract [unwitting] players into the zone [to be squashed like bugs]. PQs in the RvR area as well as ordinary but enhanced PvE quests would at least create some traffic that might end up getting enough people in there that the light bulb might go on “hey, there’s two whole warbands of us whacking foozles, why don’t we go take that keep back…”

Again, not perfect, but anything that raises the chance that a critical mass might be present in an RvR lake would be a good thing.

Auto Warband

Communication and coordination is still a pain across groups, zones, etc. Step into an RvR lake and you should get dumped into a default warband just like a scenario. Everyone can see everyone else, you can see where they are in the zone. Of course, that whole zone boundary down the middle of the RvR lake issue is still a bit problematic (I mean, WTF, who made that fucking crosseyed hityourself in the nutsack design decision?).

If I’m solo or a small group, but as soon as I step into an RvR lake and see there are others already there, I’m much more likely to start something or participate in something.

Who knows, probably shouting in the wind, but the WAR bathwater is starting to get lukewarm, so unless things heat up, its getting close to the time to get out.

——-

*bona fide, as in there has to be some kind of “real” attack going on. One dude plinking an NPC guard at a keep does not an attack make.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 23, 2008 in Warhammer Online

 

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A Map Makes a World

I’ve forever been mesmerized by maps. You map people out there are already nodding your heads. Its the E gene in my Bartle EASK personality.

I know I spent more time studying the maps in the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion than I ever did reveling in Tolkien’s, ahem, poetry or songs… In my table top days (modules, blech), when I was GM, the world always started with a map– a world of mystery in which to reveal adventure. Dark and wild forests, high frozen wastes, searing deserts, storm tossed seas, windswept isles and perilous journeys in between…

The geography creates half the story. Consider the Caradhras Pass and Moria.

One of the things that grabbed me on day one about EQ’s Norrath was the map. As a wee noob, I could make the death defying run from Ak-Anon to Qeynos and see first hand the wide and dangerous world. Simply, the world was a place and that place was subdivided into wonderfully diverse and mysterious zones, all interconnected (zoning or no zoning, it still had the feel of being one world).

The map created that sense of space on Day One.

One of the things I’m missing a bit from Warhammer is the same feeling of one giant world. I’m told (though I haven’t tried) you can run from the noob zone to a capital city. I’ve no doubt it can be done with a certain amount of dying. Part of that feeling comes less from the way the game is designed (3 factions with four tiers of progression, each with matched pair zones) and more from simply the way the world is presented in the map.

The Warhammer map is kind of a chopped up affair. Somewhat sensibly, the default view is your zone view. But there are three relevant viewpoints for Warhammer maps– zone, “Campaign” or “pairing” and world. Unfortunately, switching between these views is a bit clunky, only marginally useful and frankly very unworld like despite the fact that the zones are contiguous. To go from viewing the Empire starting area, you need to either select a different campaign pairing from a menu selection in the upper right or select world or pairing view from buttons below the zone map.

In a Google maps world, I would hazard a guess that most users have some expectation to be able to zoom in and zoom out by simple left and right clicking. In a post-WoW world, I’d hazard a guess that MMO players would expect to be able to left click to zoom in and right click to zoom out to shift their frame of reference. Its not trivial whats lost in the translation.

The WoW world map is made up of actual clickable zones. Even if all the landmass isn’t accessible within them, each zone butts up against all the others (and is depicted as such) or is separated by some immersion consistent barrier (i.e. the ocean). Zone, right click, continent, right click, world, left click, other continent, etc. Like nested dolls, they all fit together. Ditto for LoTRO. Ditto for EQ2.

WARs zones are depicted as merely boxes on a world map underlay or they’re circles connected by dotted lines on the pairing map. Quite frankly, I feel like I’m living in boxes despite the fact that the world is quite broad and interconnected and the main roads (mostly) “line up” between them. Even though the world is much more WoW or EQ2 like (contigous zones) the map makes it feel like Age of Conan’s world in boxes! The truth is, Norsca connects directly with Troll Lands, so why the dotted line of mystery?

When you flip perspectives, you lose the sense of interconnectedness of the zones. Within a zone map, I’d like to be able to click to go to the immediately adjacent zone without going “back out” and “back in”. This is particularly cumbersome in the RvR lakes where the lake and objectives are spread across zone boundaries (separate discussion about whether having a battleground span a zone boundary is a good idea…).

A perfect example is the Tier 2 Empire/Chaos pairing of Troll Country and Ostland. In the RvR lake there, there is a battlefield objective (Monestary of Morr) and a keep (Stone Troll Keep) in Troll Country and another battle field objective (Crypt of Weapons) and a keep (Mandred’s Hold) in the adjacent Ostland zone. Mandred, the Crypt and the Monastery and the warcamps are a very short distance from each other.

Each faction has a warcamp conveniently located nearby and battles often zerg from one objective or keep to another depending on where the attackers and defenders might be tied up. Its quite a pain to see if a battle is happening just down the road which is technically in another zone by opening your map, selecting the pairing map, selecting the next zone and then clicking into that to see if there are any RvR battles going on, ooops shanked by a Witch Elf, gurgle dead.

Question whether it would have been a better design decision to make RvR lakes an indepdent zone between each of the pairing zones… Discuss.

Then there’s the mysterious criss cross between Tier 2 and Tier 3 in Empire/Chaos. Not being Tier 3 yet, I can’t verify what’s going on, but I’m getting a real EQ/Boat on the Ocean of Tears feeling about those zones…

Another aspect of the disjointed clunkiness of the map is the loss of navigational sense. Here, I’m mostly thinking of Saylah’s post regarding the defense of Altdorf. Altdorf is, ahem, a challenging city to navigate. That’s made more difficult by the fact that the Altdorf map, even if discovered, offers no labels for major landmarks, let alone zone access points.

Case in point. I’m a noob, Destro is making their move on Altdorf, I’m in Altdorf, and even if I’m aware of the attack and that I’m supposed to go to defend the Reikwald or the Reikland, where do I go? The Altdorf map offers no clue. Had I not happened across a swirly when I was looking for the entrance to the Sewers, I wouldn’t have been aware of it. Apparently, I’m not alone.

All of the activity in Altdorf revolves around market square, the flight master, the auction house and bank, etc. Even the noob “Tour of Altdorf” quest doesn’t take you near the War Quarters which are gigantic and largely deserted. A better depiction of Altdorf and its physical placement in the world answers that basic navigational issue. Where the hell is the gate to the city?

Its an irony of an RvR game that a faction’s capital city is entirely unaccessible to the low level player EXCEPT by flying in. Just like when we fly to a city we’ve never been to, we have no real sense of geographical place in our minds. Airports, taxis, buildings, traffic, hotels, but what lies beyond?

Consider EQ2 or WoW where all noob roads eventually lead to the big city and its sense of awe and wonder. No wonder all those peasants stay inside the walls, its a dangerous world out there! Goldshire it ain’t.

So that’s my rambling directionless Friday rant on WAR maps. Anybody else get the same feeling? The maps shape my virtual world view and my worldview feels like a bunch of boxes even though I know its not the case. I’d love to see some tweaks to the map to “bring the world together” a bit and make RvR FEEL like there’s a real R there.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 17, 2008 in Everquest 2, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft

 

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