To correct some wrongs

Er.. accidently posted early, currently editing in text..

My original accusations to SOE (Sony Online Entertainment) was as a mmo ruiner; however, as things go along I realize that SOE indeed is more of a game fixer. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is a game conceived and consequently ruined by Brad Mcquad. The concept and direction of the game, while I wasn't a fan of the game even at the beginning, was ambitious and his indecisiveness with funds led the game down a bad path. The visuals of the game were outstanding-- the gameplay and world not so much.

The games launch could be considered one of the worst going as low as Turbine's/Microsoft's AC2 and Ncsoft/netdevil's auto assault, both games which as of the day this is posted do not exist in the gaming world anymore (quickly, R.I.P Auto Assault. As of august 31st you have wrongly been scrapped-- more on that later).

Originally, SOE's role for vanguard was simply to manage accounts and billing. The horrendous launch caused SOE to consume the smaller, not-so-well-known Sigil Games who had developed Vanguard. SOE, while employing 50 members of the old Sigil team, is attempting to improve the game much in the same way they improved EQ2: without changing the general gameplay, but through small improvements that make a big impact on the game.

To note that Brad had previously developed Everquest for SOE and while the game was a niche game in the whole of the gaming community (such as the previously created UO) it was a more-then-decent game.

Auto Assault: I didn't play it all too much. I did beta test it. It was a decent game. Tabula Rasa: a not-so-decent game. I didn't like it all too much when I did beta test it and refused to do anymore. What does it have to do with Auto Assault? Auto Assault was a profitable game, it had a decent sized community, but it was still scrapped to make room for the generic sci fi-shooter mmog. The problem with this is NCsoft is gambling away a game with a system that at least works decently for a game that doesn't only fail in being any sort of exciting, but has even less appeal.

Auto Assault could have stood to exist. And for that I wish it did though I do not play it.

O.K I am done rambling on about gaming. Carry on.


Nim said...

I disagree. Auto Assault died because it was mediocre as vehicular combat games go. It also failed to generate a large userbase (never more than 20,000), so it was unprofitable.

On the other hand, I agree that Tabula Rasa is generic. This is a problem the entire gaming industry faces, not just mmos. Tabula Rasa was made instead of unique mmo X for the same reasons ultrageneric Forgotten Realms is used by rpg makers instead of, say, Planescape -- it is risky for the publisher to ok anything that's not already widely established.

Demoinai said...

On the first part, doesn't that really beg the question as to why it had existed so long in the first place?

And its not that TR is generic, its that its poorly designed. AA was far more interesting in concept and design then TR was in beta.

Nim said...

AA kept on because of a poor executive decision somewhere, maybe. Or they were hoping it would grow.

As for TR -- bad design is inevitable once in awhile. Garriott & NCSoft can't win them all (although, those weasels at Blizzard seem to :/).

Demoinai said...

All things considering, only three games ncsoft put out have been really successful... Linage 2, CoH/V, and GW. As for AA, if its true that the game had a player base that could not make money, and considering ncsoft bought AA from netdevil, they were at a good loss to begin with. Considering the little success of another game with a low subscriber base, AC2 and the experience it had with recuperating from bad beginnings (mostly caused because of the experimentation done on it by microsoft -_-) attempting to recover from a failure caused by a core system does not work. I would gather that because of that the decision to not only develop content for and attempt to improve AA and the length of time the game had existed that AA had indeed been bringing in profits for ncsoft.

Blizzard only wins because they're good at polishing mediocrity. The team of blizzards that really did well left (although, there leaving didn't exactly turn them away from their tradition "zomg needs to be dark O_O" designs with Hellgate: London).

Nim said...

On the contrary, Uru is proof that it is possible to recover from failure of the core system (or, make a weak core system pofitable by producing strong content and slowly eliminating the weaknesses). This, I think, is very dependent on the adaptability and flexibility of the developers.

Yes, Blizzard sure does polish things (the brass shines like gold).

Demoinai said...

Er... Uru is a departure from typical myst gameplay, and the online version is being funded by gametap subscriptions... Since I don't know much about the myst series or the early history of uru online, I can't really say much on it.

Nim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nim said...

Uru (Myst Online, not the single player part) was/is Cyan's attempt to make a Myst MMO. Originally, it had a lot of bugs, an annoying UI, and a general lack of content. This forced Cyan to shut it down after a year.

Two years later, Cyan (with Gametap's sponsorship) was able to reopen it. Most of the bugs have now been dealt with, and they're adding content episodically, with about one episode a month.

Demoinai said...

That doesn't sound entirely as bad as AC2's problem. For example: AC2 had a broken chat system so communication was difficult. That doesn't sound like a core problem, but just a problem with development. AA never really suffered from being overly buggy, and regularly (at least, i think regularly) updated with bug fixes, and even added support for ageia physx cards.

I dunno, the only people who could possibly know why would be ncsoft.