10/30/2013

The Guild Attacks - 5

The guild must attack such that their advantage is lasting; do not attack with retreat in the forefront of the mind.

10/28/2013

The Guild Attacks - 4

When the guild attacks, they must be prepared for five developments: (1) when the attack comes from within the enemy’s stronghold, players must also attack from without; (2) when attacking there is no enemy response, the attackers must wait and not attack further; (3) after the initial attack allows for continued movement through the enemy, continue to attack; if not hold position; (4) when attacking from without, do so at the most favorable time and position; (5) when attacking do so from a position that requires a continued movement forward.

10/25/2013

The Guild Attacks - 3

Guilds must attack as if by fire, so the fire spreads and burns through the enemy force.

Players: The spreading of fire causes not only damage as it consumes, but a psychological impact because of the inability to fight if it spreads too quickly. Overwhelming causing this psychological damage are of great advantage.

10/21/2013

The Guild Attacks - 2

In order to attack the enemy, players must always have their supplies at hand and ready to be used.

Players: In the case of an MMO, supplies can mean a multitude of things, including but not limited to character level, abilities, skills, traits, weapons, armor, consumable products, ammunition for both personal and group use, and protective magic and mechanics. Each player must strive to have the best of all things to be sincerely at the ready.

10/18/2013

The Guild Attacks - 1

There are four ways of attacking enemy players: attack them in their starting position; attack their supplies; attack their strongholds; and attack them on the open field.

Players: The enemy is weakest at its starting position, equal at their supply depots, strongest at their strongholds, and most dangerous on the open field.

10/12/2013

Thoughts on Gates and Sandboxes

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was fun, for about a month. Unfortunately, it fell into the same formula that developers have become so accustomed to using, sometimes referred to as gating.

Gating is when an obstacle is placed in front of a player that requires them to go through the gate to be able to move to higher content. While gating in its simplest form is done by having level requirements for content, developers have fallen into a formulaic trap, of level (L) plus gear (G) equals the ability to overcome the gate (Ag) or in solo play:

L + G = Ag

The problem then becomes much more complicated through party play. Each member of the party (P) must fit the formula to allow progression, but add on ability of the player (Ap) and the formula becomes more complicated, in the realm of:

(n * P)(L + G + Ap) = Ag 

Since the dawn of MMO party content, the above formula has plagued players. For example, any player who does not meet the gear or level requirements will not allow the entire party to go through the gate. The more strict a developer makes this formula, the more unlikely a group of players will progress without having spent the time and effort to meet the requirements to progress.

FFXIV:ARR takes a more strict approach, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for those who enjoy the above stated progression formula. The problem is many players rushed to end game, while others took their time. Players in the second wave were less likely to be helped by those who went farther on, and players who had already finished content were not pleased to help others complete it (a common occurrence in MMOs). This creates two groups of players due to the current lack of end game. Being part of both of the first and second wave, and seeing very little of a new formula in the game itself, the author decided to jump ship early.

There is a formula the author is not as accustomed to that removes quite a bit (though not all) of the gating in an MMO. This is commonly known as a sandbox MMO, and these have met in the past with less success.

Sandbox games allow a more open approach, and while they may also include gear and level requirements, they are secondary to the player being in charge of the progression of their character rather than the developer of the before-mentioned formulaic approach. Often times players become more powerful through discovery in the game, than they do by upgrading gear, or obtaining levels.

It may be high time for MMO developers to move back towards a balance that includes much more of the sandbox approach to gaming. Everquest Next and Star Citizen are both games looking to lead in this movement. At least I am retired from formulaic progression MMOs for good.

10/04/2013

The Game Environmenet - 66

Appear as if all is lost and forces are weak, then move like lightning and make sounds like thunder.

10/02/2013

The Game Environment - 65

An excellent leader will conform to the enemy’s plan until such time they can strike decisively.

Players: Leaders who are quick to engage the enemy, and show their plans for attack or defense immediately, will find the enemy changing to meet them. Those who appear to lose, then suddenly attack or defend with ferocity not before seen by the enemy, will strike fear into the heart of the enemy such that victory is already obtained. Subterfuge and confusion are key tools of excellent leaders.