The MMO Separation of Church and State

It’s been awhile, loyal readers. Yes, I know I’ve been away from awhile and even though some may not care, I am here. I will allow you a moment to shuffle towards your nearest box of tissues to clean up the mess your mayonnaise blaster just shot off.

Ready now? Good.

With that embarrassing mishap behind us, let me indulge with you a story of days past. Yes, the story will again involve MMORPGs as the major focus point but do not worry; I will stray from this tired path in the future.

Years ago, back in 2006 when some of our readers were still teething and dropping goat pebbles in their diapers, there was an archaic game known as World of Warcraft. I’m not sure if many of you have heard of it. The game is incredibly underground with a miniscule population.

In those golden days, PvP wasn’t about fighting another player for hours. It wasn’t about outlasting foes. It was like how PvP was in almost every other game in existence, including FPS. Fights were quick and fast paced. It wasn’t about every player being Batman and trying to pull off as much bullshit as possible. It was about an Enhancement Shaman with Windfury WTF raping their way to victory. It was about the Mage hiding in the back charging up a Pyroblast combo. It was about a rogue hiding and doing what rogues do best, assassinate.

For some reason or another, they decided that fights shouldn’t be so quick and involve such a maelstrom of destruction. Thus, resilence was born; a stat aside from PvE defenses where player damage could be mitigated. What were the reasons for this? Was it the ocean of tears from people that were getting taken out by one person? Could it have been the advantages a raid gear character had against hardcore PvPers? Was it so that Arenas weren’t filled with full DPS team ready to leave craters in the wake of their wrath?

All of those reasons are sound and legit. The one that I felt holds the most truth is the fact that raid geared PvE’ers were capable of casually going to PvP and whirlwinding their way to victory. It is for this reason alone that I believe there was a separation between PvE and PvP.

What is the purpose of this division? Why is that PvP’ers and PvE’ers must separate from one another? Why couldn’t there be one stat system that to keep things united?

I understand that PvE’ers are able to acquire gear through a lot of coordination and time and I also understand that PvP matches tend be much shorter than a raid encounter. It wouldn’t be just in rewarding them with equal gear as that would anger the carebear community.

Resilence only seemed to make sense for Arenas since you generally wanted to last longer in that kind of scenario and it is because of that where I believe Arena gear is the only stat difference that should be available. Mass PvP shouldn’t have this kind of separation.

Raiders can still raid to get their gear but there could’ve been a more inventive way to reward PvP players. Battlegrounds could have been divided by tiers of difficulty and/or objectives rather than how they are now. The first tier battleground could be the PvP mirror of a heroic where during the battle, mediocre gear drops off of fallen enemy players and whenever a tower was taken down or whichever of the multiple objectives in that match is achieved, a loot roll comes up for players with random loot and of course whenever each objective is completed they are rewarded tokens to use as currency to purchase gear as well. Essentially, it the same mechanic as a heroic instead it is applied to a PvP scenario.

The next tier could have a much more difficult objective to complete which would take a bit more coordination on the player’s part and so on. This style of loot progression would allow both PvE and PvP gear to be interchangeable. How come dungeons with new mechanics and situations are constantly added but battlegrounds have remained the same?

What’s sad about this situation is that since World of Warcraft is the staple of a success in the MMO genre, every game is coinciding with this stat system in their games even when it doesn’t make sense. Resilence always appeared to be an arena stat but was quickly pushed into every PvP scenario. Now games like DCUO have toughness instead of defense and Rift has whatever the hell they use. I think it’s toughness versus defense as well but I don’t give a shit. Games where these mechanics are applied don’t even make sense yet they seem to be adopting the format regardless. It causes the PvP experience to force someone in the PvE realm to start from the beginning again and vice versa.

Don’t these companies think player’s have already enough of this whole “starting over” situation every time a new expansion comes out and they have to grind new factions and gear? This shit isn’t needed. Stop pitting people into these situations and allow PvP and PvE to be interchangeable and not some form of morbid segregation.

That’s end of that rant but…

A quick note to other MMORPG companies out there,

Stop copying World of Warcraft and start being creative. This genre is becoming like the FPS genre where 90% of the games out there want to be Call of Duty and all we get are the same fucking things over and over again. Stop sticking to this format and start getting a creative team together. One day, Blizzard is going to become like Apple and sue you for copying their shit over and over again.

And before one of you asshole readers say, “WoW isn’t original. It copied EQ, and EQ copied UO, and UO copied Meridian, and Meridian copied—“ Just shut the fuck up. I don’t give a fuck who copied who. Each of those games was vastly different from one another and even the mechanics that were taken from either of those games have evolved from each generation and iteration. Fuck!

What video game(s) do you wish would be made but were not?

Lost highway fog
Lost highway fog

As gamers we always want more, even when we claim a game was a masterpiece and should never be redone secretly most of us hope a great follow-up will be done so we can enjoy it all over again. This goes for remakes as well. Many may rally against the idea, but if done well can easily become yet another classic hit.

Then there are those games that everyone was waiting for. It was a given that a sequel would be made and gamers were chomping at the bit eagerly waiting for its release. Unfortunately, some of those games never made it to light and worse yet, in some cases the fans would never know what happened unless they dug for information in the few gaming magazines there were at the time. So what happened to these games that were to be released only to disappear?

In many cases the games were remade for the next generation of consoles. The problem with this was many fans never knew their new favorite game was the old game they were waiting for. The reason for this was normally because the name was changed and the game slightly tweeked to take advantage of the more powerfully system. In other cases licensing expired or there were behind the scene troubles that prevented the original title from being used.

Sometimes the game was just scrapped and never came to light. There were many reasons for this from money to contract disputes to the creator just walking away. It happened more often in the PC gaming market, but was certainly there in the console gaming market as well.

Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy 4 NES
Final Fantasy 4 NES

Now we all know that FF4 was released, but originally it was to be released for the Famicom (Japanese name of the NES). In this case it was decided to make FF4 for the Super Famicom (SNES) instead. Originally FF5 was going to be the SNES title with FF4 being the last Square (Now Square Enix) title of that series on the NES.

Sonic Crackers

Sonic Crackers
Sonic Crackers

You can actually find this as a ROM file under the name Sonic Stadium. Now there is a lot of information on Sonic Crackers and a lot of missing information as well. What we do know is supposedly SC was to be released as the last Sonic game on the 16-bit platform. Reports indicate the game was in the development stage with a few zones and sprites. In the end the game was redone and became Knuckles Chaotix on the 32X Sega Console. Though Chaotix looked and played different it is believed that was what became of Sonic Crackers, to bad most did not like the game or the 32X for that matter.

Star Fox 2

Star Fox 2
Star Fox 2

This was another great game that was to receive a direct follow-up. Star Fox was a hit on the SNES and fans everywhere held their breaths waiting for SF2. In the end the game was remade into Star Fox 64 and it was the N64 pending release that was the reason for Star Fox 2 being put on the shelf. The game was highly covered at the time and according to Star Fox 2 lead programmer Dylan Cuthbert the game was fully completed and ready to go.

This is just a taste of many games that were to be made, but never saw the light of day. Over the next few months Obsolete Gamer will be taking a look at more of these “lost” games and bring you a report on them. For now we asked our panel of insiders:

What video game(s) did you wish would be made but were not?

Grace Snoke from EOGamer wrote:

There are a couple of games high on my list that were in development, but never made it live or were just killed in the production stages.  Sadly, all of these games were being made, but didn’t make it to the end.

Stargate Worlds is at the top of my list. While I’ve heard rumors it is still “in production” I don’t have a lot of belief in that with the side projects the same company is working on.  I just don’t think they have the funding to make the game what they promised us it would be in the past.

Ultima Online: 2 I think that’s what they were calling it.  Either way, it was supposed to basically be an Ultima Online sequel, but with huge improvements on the current Ultima Online Game.  The game never had a chance, despite a lot of the community standing behind the game for it.

Wish Online:  For those of us that played in the beta, the game was simply amazing. The game engine created a wonderful playing environment.  It was lush, in-depth, had a great crafting and fighting system, but unfortunately was not meant to be.  Unfortunately it was a problem of money available verses development time and money ran out.  I know a group of us had looked into purchasing the game engine, but we couldn’t afford the price of it.

Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote:

If I answered that about the current market, I would be giving away my secrets! I always wanted there to be a massively-multiplayer version of Star Control, and that’s why I made Starport! (www.starportgame.com)

What about you, what game do you wish would have been made?

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

PVP vs non-pvp PVE
PVP vs non-pvp PVE

Player versus Player and Player versus Environment was the topic for this week’s show. We were happy to have our good friend Edwin in the studio with us and had a great conversation via Skype with longtime Obsolete Gamer fan, Liz Poisonkiss.

We started off with a recap of last week’s show which featured MMO’s and then moved into our Facebook fanpage question of the week which asked which our fans preferred to play PVE or PVP type games. From there we talked about our Insider Discussion question of the week which asked our panel which had a bigger impact on PC gaming RTS or FPS games.

From there we dove right into the main topic discussing the differences between a FPS mindset playing games such as Quake 2 and the strategy side of RTS games such as the original Warcraft game. Edwin also talked about his online Street Fighter games and said that he preferred to play again a human which we all agreed.

We premiered a new feature on OGS called Skype with a fan where we talk with people who have participated on our Facebook page and Forums and our first guest was longtime fan Liz. Who shared her thoughts on being a gamer girl, fps versus rts and pvp versus pve.

In our final segment Ignacio, Edwin and I discussed our various experiences in PVP from MMO’s to X-box live to arcades. Overall we had a good discussion about an important subject in the world of gaming. So give us a listen and we will be back next week with a brand new show.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7