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Old 2014-10-01, 05:59 AM   [Ignore Me] #103
Mordelicius's Avatar
Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)

Originally Posted by Rivenshield View Post
Whoah. Time out.

/waves hands

Tech pubs/process analyst guy here. I've worked on plenty of major enterprise software development projects for customers ranging from HP to the state of California, and while you can have plenty of conflicting opinions on design and implementation -- and plenty of small-town style bitching and my-clique-is-cooler-than-yours-ing, because every dev team is a tiny community unto itself -- you better believe the development manager is the czar and master of everything that actually gets implemented.

Which in our case is Higby. He is a two-fisted pro-social high energy good guy and I'd probably enjoy working for him. But he is enamored of the high-speed eSports model, and we've all known that since day one. Good defense leads to chokepoints and stalemates and all those other things that are detrimental to High Speed Fluid Dynamic Gameplay. The real world fallout (to point out one example) is that he'd rather have these cockamamie No Deployment Zones than what almost any PS1 vet would regard as decent base design.

We know that because that's what we're stuck with. We're stuck with his prejudices as to what constitutes Fun, most of which are antithetical to those in the bittervet community. In all honesty, *he's* stuck with genuine constraints on man hours and money, and sometimes at a certain point you shrug and say, hey, fuckit, we coulda-shoulda done that better but it's time to move on instead of staying locked in analysis paralysis. I can't even fathom what an alarming chunk of time and resources it took to backtrack and go, uh, yeah, we need that lattice thing... and to his credit he rolled with the punch. We know that too.

(Which makes the ongoing base design tweakage all the more irritating. Why bust up good bases that make memorable fights and not redesign a few to get rid of the gayass arbitrary red circle that robs me of the high art and adventure of trying to park my AMS in the most creative way possible? Why not put actual defensible WALLS instead of gigantic fences on a lot of those bases in Esamir? And so on and so forth, which seems to be your main beef. Me, I'm jaundiced at this point. If the landscape magically changes I just shrug and fight over it any more. What I lust for is a good strategic metagame like we had out of the box 11 years ago, along with engie tools that actually let you shape the battlefield instead of merely placing random booby traps. Give me back my high-density minefields and Spitfire turrets, God damn it).

Now. About those money constraints. Sitting over him and controlling the purse strings is Smed. A good middle manager has a holistic grasp of how to deliver to the customers, ride side-saddle with the code jockeys that are doing the actual work, balance his budget, and placate his corporate masters. A rotten one makes a lot of noise about the first three ('customer value', 'bottom line' and so forth) and only thinks of the latter. You know Smed is a pure political animal when he didn't get shitcanned after the hash he made of Star Wars Galaxies. Nobody could have pulled that kind of boober in the regular business world and destroyed an entire customer base and created that kind of bad word of mouth and *not* lost his job unless he has Jedi-like bullshit artist skills. So there's that.

Fact: Higby makes all the decisions. And everything he does gets filtered for cost-effectiveness/how brightly it makes him shine to *his* superiors by Smed. We are not talking about a fucking democracy here. We're not talking about a community like PSU, except with uber game design skills. We are talking about Big Business. We have a great software lead with whom we profoundly disagree on a good many issues and a middle manager who's a hybrid clone of Barack Obama and the pointy-haired manager from the Dilbert cartoons. This is their game. It's their baby.

And if Malorn (the bittervet Steve Jobs) and his Old School Is Best School faction -- and that's what I intuit we're talking about here -- manage to shove their concepts through the double-barreled corporate bullshit filter that comprises ANY software development environment and score the odd recognizable victory, then we should be grateful.

Take all of this however you please.
I do not believe the Devs (or the specific Dev you noted) is as 100% rigid design-wise as you make them to be. While I can't reference PS1, they've changed many of design aspects of the game, such as defensibility. Many of our old good ideas such a the XP gain cooldown on death is about to be implemented. Our ideas not to reward spawn campers and reward objective gameplay are being taken to heart.

However, there are still many things that are demonstrably bad that they still haphazardly continue to implement ( such as the NDZ, and the far-spaced cap point).

And that is why the flaws are pointed in detail so they can look at it themselves. A couple of months a go, one of the Devs has said that my NDZ alternative (Sunderer Jammer) is interesting. It's a bit late -I floated that idea as counter to BuzzcutPsycho's NDZ idea 5 months before it was implemented - but it's better than nothing.

The Meta gameplay is forthcoming. They talked about Resource 2.0 with logistics. Also, did you see the Battle island city they are prototyping? It has some nice looking city grids. Lastly, they've also talked about different types of new alerts. That's exactly got me to thinking of a new continent that is vehicle-only.

Imo, the Devs and their design philosophy can change. One of their biggest flaw atm, is their method of relying on Graphs/Heat Maps/Charts to divine gameplay. I believe Gourney Dam is the latest victim of this. If any of the Devs participated in any of the epic fights there, they wouldn't lay a hand on it.

Another flaw is their philosophy of gameplay interference. PvP MMO Gameplay is created through player vs player interaction. A No-Deploy Zone is a player vs developer interaction (that a player can't win or circumvent). It's not gameplay. I'm going to drive-in a Sunderer in with 5-8% probability of sticking to break a stalemate, only to be greeted with a bzzzt, you can't park prompt. Also, before the NDZ, there are so many ways to attack base, from all sides. At the very least add a generator so it becomes gameplay.

Lastly, you're missing out one aspect from their pov: The PS4. They know that DCUO is quite popular PS3/PS4 title having 66-70% player base with the rest being PC. They are positioning this to be a gateway title for newbie console players. If these next generation of gamers get hooked on PS2, they essentially win, because these new gamers will be too jaded to settle for anything less than massive fights.

Despite that, I believe PS2 doesn't necessarily have be E-Sports-esque. They know that it didnt' click. They are just leaving room for possibility that it can click in the future. That's why many of the bases are 'measured' and ready for competitive/skirmish fights.
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