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03/07/14, 05:30 PM   #1
skyraker
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ESO vs WoW

First off, I was a beta player for WoW and played the game for a long time after release. Considering that I started playing MMOs when Everquest first came out, it should not be a surprise that I've at least sampled many of the MMOs since.

WoW was essentially the 'Everquest killer', and since then everything has been looked at to that standard. At first I thought it would be a feature that would push a game to those heights. Vanguard, at its original concept and scope, may have been that game. Rift probably should have been that game. ESO may also be that game. But, that is from a feature standpoint, and I am beginning to feel that there are not many more 'features' that can make a game stand out enough on its own to make it the 'WoW killer'. Most MMOs these days seem to do one-up WoW in one aspect (many of those were how they handled instances) but aren't revolutionary in their own right.

So I got to thinking about what made WoW stick out from most other MMOs since, and realize that interface modding was that reason. WoW had that deep modding community that worked together rather nicely. Most MMOs since have shunned giving players that much control over the information they are able to access, or did so at least long enough to push people away. Vanguard, at least in my experience, had come the closest to having that same community of modders, along with developers who actually listened and responded to us.

I do believe ESO can be that game.

Now, I'm not saying it is the mythical 'WoW killer'. I honestly do not believe WoW has to be topped for a MMO to be extremely successful anymore. But for it to not become the next Vanguard/Conan/Warhammer/etc will require those of us here to have the same sort of spirit that those who worked tirelessly modding WoW had.

Sorry for rambling.
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03/08/14, 05:27 AM   #2
Myrroddin
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Rambling can be good.

The debate about MMOx vs MMOy will rage until these types of games die off, if ever they do. I look at where WoW is now, with an eye towards Warlords of Draenor. Here are a few things that make WoW so strong, which is also where several other MMOs have failed:

The modding community. You are absolutely correct that being able to change UI elements and present information in new and different ways is essential in MMOs. "Rift probably should have been that game" nicely explains the main issue with Rift. It was, because UI APIs were an afterthought, doomed to fail. I tried writing AddOns for Rift, and where there are some very successful AddOns in Rift, there was enormous gaps in what you could do, or can do today. Want to write a full UI replacement? Can't be done. Can't add resource pins to the map. Customizing the world and mini maps is out. You can add replacement unit frames but you cannot programatically hide the default frames. Creating viewports is not possible. The list continues, on and on and on from those starting points. In fact, it is easier to list what cannot be done rather than list what can be done.

Rift was and is a far superior game to WoW, in almost every facet, but that alone doomed the game. But wait, there's more!

Warcraft has strong single player content along with huge group content. With WoD on the horizon, hardly anyone does scenarios or dungeons except for achievements or minor goals. However, that is a symptom of progression. With raid gear, why do content that earns no upgrades? That is looking at it backwards, or at the least forgetting that that earlier content is what helped people get into raids. People still queue up for earlier raids, scenarios, and dungeons because they are fast and easy, especially now. They might not be doing that content regularly, but there is enough of the player base that does that makes them still valid.

Speaking of single player content, WoW has players aged pre-teen to retirement age. Some people decry about how easy the game is, and with Warlords coming, it will get even easier. No Hit, Expertise, Parry, Dodge, reforging, reduced gem slots, elimination of some enchantments? Where is the challenge? Do I no longer need to fine tune my character? Well, no. Blizzard has learned over the years, and is still learning, that to be successful and keep longevity, the game must appeal to a wide range of people, of all ages and skill. Everquest, Vanguard, Rift, Conan, etc were not designed with a wide player base in mind. These games are designed for advanced players, of which there are far fewer.

As Lore once said about the Soul and Talent trees in Rift: "More choices only means there are more options to get it wrong". Blizzard is trimming out things that don't work, or cause too much micromanaging of your character. That is a good thing.

So where does TESO lie in all this? I haven't played in the beta weekends yet, so I only know what I have read online, or seen in videos, or can see in AddOn lists and APIs. This is what I have learned:

There is an API, which is good. That said, with the game launching next month, the API is woefully incomplete. Players will ask for things that can't be done, and be angry when they can't get what have become defacto standards in other games. Further, the API is not publicly documented. At least Trion got that part correct. Every publisher should have a full, complete, and documented API at or before game launch. At this point, it is a disservice to do otherwise.

TESO is not having a true public open beta. They are having weekend excursions that are limited in what players can do. Beta should have been running non-stop since Christmas, with the only downtimes for patches and maintenance.

TESO is locking things behind a pay wall that should never, ever, under any circumstances be behind a pay wall. That just makes players livid with rage, and it will bite the publisher in a bad way. A race, being able to play on any faction? It is making me mad just typing it.

Based on videos posted after the NDA was lifted, TESO won't be ready next month. There are far, far, far too many glitches and graphic problems. The most alarming was the human rogue whose head and neck animations look like a stretched chicken. His whole body is warped. Yes, some of these will be fixed in a month, but those problems should have been found and fixed months ago.

In summary, the question is whether TESO will make a permanent dent in Warcraft's reign? Laughably, no chance whatsoever. It most likely will score a big chunk initially, but I think TESO's main player base will come from Oblivion and Skyrim, and other places. And when those players realize that TESO needs another six months to a year of development (see Vanguard), the game will lose those players, and rapidly. Worse, it will never regain them.
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03/08/14, 06:25 PM   #3
skyraker
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Originally Posted by Myrroddin View Post
Based on videos posted after the NDA was lifted, TESO won't be ready next month. There are far, far, far too many glitches and graphic problems. The most alarming was the human rogue whose head and neck animations look like a stretched chicken. His whole body is warped. Yes, some of these will be fixed in a month, but those problems should have been found and fixed months ago.

Agree with everything you talked about. Only had one comment on this part. The last beta used the same client that the previous beta had, so some issues that may have been corrected internally were not present in that client. The most recent patch notes were posted somewhere else on this forum, and the thought is that the beta next weekend (should it actually happen) will be the more complete client.

Yes, they should have had a more open beta. I do not believe it necessarily needed to be constant, but they should have set one beta period for at least a weeks play time.
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03/13/14, 01:57 AM   #4
vasdrakken
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Yes UI addons helped WOW but they also had a lot of issues. When an addon becomes required for play their is either an issue with the game, ie it is feature that should already be there, or the addon unbalances the game so bad if you don't have it you are at a major disadvantage. No addon in the later should ever be allowed in the game. That is way to ruin the game. The addon that let you see enemy stats would fall into this. The ability to see the details of what my stats or allie does is great, it is just when you cross that line that you are seeing something the developers never intended to players to have for balance reasons, that is the issue. This is from some one who creates addons and has used them since first time I came across very early addons.

Up until gear score came out I did not realize there could be a bad addon that was not enabling cheating. When it came out it was like this great we can figure out what is needed to beat bosses. Only that is not how it ended up getting used. People ended up using to decide raids ignoring player skill is far more important once you can hit the boss. If should have been a gear check and it would have been great instead people twinked themselves and would get chosen to raid based on that ignoring players who had lower numbers but higher results. I never was on the bad end because I allows killed myself to get new gear when it dropped, so my gear score was always high but I watched pugs pick on someone with a lower gearscore who was doing what they were supposed to be doing. I dropped group but for me that was the point when wow stopped being friendly at the higher levels and barrens came to join us. The funny thing is people trusted the numbers when some of the better gear did not have the highest numbers.

We should be glad the devs are stepping down on people who's mods break the game balance. It's not like they banded the authors they just pulled the tie ins until they can make sure they can not be accessed since if it is exposed in the lua it is exposed to the client.
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03/13/14, 05:27 AM   #5
Vuelhering
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Originally Posted by vasdrakken View Post
Up until gear score came out I did not realize there could be a bad addon that was not enabling cheating. When it came out it was like this great we can figure out what is needed to beat bosses. Only that is not how it ended up getting used. People ended up using to decide raids ignoring player skill is far more important once you can hit the boss.
The key word is in that last sentence when you say "People ended up using [it] to decide..."

This has nothing to do with the addon. Most people were just too lazy to examine everyone. When I used to run raids far before gearscore existed, I'd get lots of folks complaining about other people's gear. If they did their job, there was no issue. Nothing has changed, and you can't blame an addon for people being people, especially when gearscore can easily be computed manually anyway.

Gearscore is just a calculator, but if you substitute the word "calculator" in for "addon" you get something like "I didn't think a calculator could be bad until this one gear calculator made it easy for everyone to get correct numbers."

But you got jaded after gearscore was used in a PUG. I hope you seriously do not think you'll find a great group of thinking people in a pug who would never misuse data. As George Carlin would say, are you of average intelligence? Guess what, that means half the people you meet are stupider than you.

But somehow it's the bad addon's fault. That's like blaming the getaway car for the bank robbery.

That's going to be my new signature.
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03/13/14, 06:32 PM   #6
Myrroddin
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Congratulations on derailing the thread from what makes a good MMO to a debate about AddOns.

Originally Posted by vasdrakken View Post
Yes UI addons helped WOW but they also had a lot of issues. When an addon becomes required for play
There is no such thing as a required AddOn, not in WoW, not in TESO, not in Rift, not in any other game. If you believe that, I have some great swampland I'd love to sell you. If some guilds prefer their members to use an AddOn to make their lives easier, that's one thing, but nobody can force you to install an AddOn. I don't recall reading in the news about guild leaders going to people's houses and requiring you to install AddOnX via threat of violence. I'm sure I would have heard about such news if it existed.

Originally Posted by vasdrakken View Post
their is either an issue with the game, ie it is feature that should already be there
There has been several AddOns that were so good they became part of the game.
  • Raid frames. Yep, when WoW launched, and EQ before that, you got party frames, but not raid frames. Those came from AddOns.
  • The RAID_WARNING chat channel originated in AddOns.
  • If you are an AddOn author, be thankful that Iriel's debug AddOn tools got rolled into the game.
  • Filtering buffs on targets and debuffs on players to indicate what you could dispel. Guess where that idea came from?
  • WoW now has simple boss mechanic warnings and the Encounter Journal has tactics. Neither can help you if you do not pay attention and stand in the fire or don't switch to kill adds. But originally, there was Deadly Boss Mods and BigWigs, and a few tactics AddOns.
  • Threat and damage meters. There was a lot of guesswork before Blizzard revealed how to get exact numbers, but amazingly, your game client knew perfectly well what the numbers were even it did not display them. Now it does.
There are several others I am not mentioning.

Originally Posted by vasdrakken View Post
or the addon unbalances the game so bad if you don't have it you are at a major disadvantage.
There have been exactly two, TWO such AddOns in Warcraft's history. Decursive in its original form, and Augmented Virtual Reality (AVR).

The original code for Decursive allowed you to press one key, and without knowing what debuff was on which player, automatically cleared it. Molten Core became trivial for some boss fights, so Blizzard changed things. Now you have to know if your class can clear a debuff (remember the game has filtering, see above), and use a hardware interaction (mouse or keyboard click) and actively click on the correct unit frame. Far cry from being mindless. Original version killed in or around patch 1.10, while the rewrite that follows the rules exists to this day.

AVR allowed people to quite literally draw shapes on the game world view, and enterprising players coded up modules that told you where to stand and when using a 3D map of the encounter. The AddOn community could see the problem, and AVR was more of a proof-of-concept. Blizzard agreed with the community and outright killed being able to draw on the game world in patch 3.3.5.

Originally Posted by vasdrakken View Post
The addon that let you see enemy stats would fall into this.
Are you for real? Granted, displaying a boss' level was an idea born from AddOns, but it wasn't hard to figure out. You are in a level 55 dungeon, and you know that elites are equal to the difficulty +3 while a boss was difficulty +5. Even Blizzard told us that, even if all we saw was skulls instead of numbers. Today, In order to adjust for Hit and Expertise, Elite and Boss levels are YOUR level plus 3 or 5.

Enemy health and energy levels were also in the game, again, not visible. How else would your client know how to display the decreasing size of the bars? Somewhere along the way, the game allowed a setting to display the numbers if you want to see them.

Same goes with enemy cast bars. The player needs to know if a spell can or should be interrupted.

Originally Posted by vasdrakken View Post
developers never intended to players to have
See above. The developers obviously do not agree with you; they simply did not know or realize how or when we want information displayed.

I am not going to address Gearscore to the level that Vuelhering has answered, since that answer is perfect. Just three fast things to recap:
  • The idea of Gearscore can now be found in WoW's average item level (iLevel) score, and when used properly, is a great indicator of gear confidence whether or not you are capable of accomplishing certain dungeons or raids. iLevel came in Cataclysm, but Gearscore is older. Duh.
  • Players are human, and make human judgments. When my character's iLevel says I can go into raidX but PUG groups want a much higher iLevel, it is a conceit. They don't know you, don't know if you are a good or bad player, and err on the side of bigger gear. That makes complete sense. Friends and guilds are far more lenient, as they should be.
  • iLevel is not going away in Warlords of Draenor, but there will be a new qualifier. A skill check, enforced by Blizzard. You must be able to beat the Proving Grounds with every class and spec you want to raid with, if you want to raid with those classes and specs. Most likely, that qualifier will not apply to friends and guilds, but you never know.
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04/06/14, 12:02 AM   #7
awesomebilly
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Eso API

Hello,

I only read your post, none of the replies (sorry).

ESO has a decent API but is more definitely restricting quite a few features. I believe this is to prevent gold sellers? / unsure.
-- for example, we cannot make this: http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/wim-3


We have a pretty awesome API community and we all chat in mIRC. We also have an in game guild.
Quite a few of us (Including myself) are new to LUA( the programming language for addons ) but experiences in other languages (Java/Android API, C, ruby etc. etc)


I agree with you and can 1up it.

I believe minecraft became so popular since bukkit, bukkit took that game by storm, encouraged kid programming and experienced java programmers to develop for it and people LOVEEEE IT.

If ESO can create an even better API and get more modders into the community it was florish. I myself would love to see a niche created for ESO modding, its the way for gaming future for all games to become popular.


For more UI features, I think we need more API freedom, a few awesome programmers have create a few addon apis we can connect into, but I'd love to see a few UI elements standardized between addons. -- maybe an API which image/textures to quickly do this. This may already be available I need to check.


I'm new to this community, but it is growing thanks to pills, Carienn, Pawkette and more.

-Will
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04/08/14, 10:28 AM   #8
Sideshow
 
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To me, this game has quite a limiting feel to it.
Social wise, it just does not feel right to me, and the API/mod support is just lacking.
I would say these are keeping the game from becoming huge.
Sure, people are having fun with the (single player) quests now, but I have my doubts about the future.
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