MMORPG action combat

How many percent of players do you believe are worse at playing MMORPGs than you are? Obviously a trick question, because most people will overestimate their abilities when answering a question like that. But even if we take the mathematically median player, by definition 50% of other players are worse than him. If you ever ran a damage meter in a raid or dungeon, or saw damage meter statistics reported elsewhere, you will be aware that there is a huge range of differing damage outputs, based on a combination of gear and skill. But how does that matter for game design?

Telwyn is discussing action combat in MMOs, looking for the happy medium between too much and too little action. Everybody would like to have combat which is challenging and interesting, without becoming either frustrating or boring. The problem is that with different people playing the game differently well, there is no such thing as an optimum. If we take the above mentioned median player and design combat in a way that it is challenging for him, it will be frustrating for a good part of the 50% of players who is worse than him, and boringly trivial for a good part of the 50% of players better than him.

Now in principle role-playing games do have an answer to that problem: They can offer opponents of different levels, with different rewards. So the best players can go after higher level mobs, while the worst players stick to “green” difficulty quests. Unfortunately in practice MMORPGs never handled that well. Harder combat takes more time, and the rewards never really scaled well in any MMORPG. Thus even for a good player trying to maximize rewards per hour, “farming” mobs just under his level is better than going for a challenge.

How many percent of players do you believe are worse at playing MMORPGs than you are? Now imagine your dream game with a difficulty level tuned exactly to your liking. And all those players you believe are worse than you won’t be able to play, because combat is too hard for them. The game fails to get a sufficient number of subscribers and is closed down after a while. Obviously not an ideal situation. Which is why I think that adding action combat to a MMORPG as a feature is inherently harmful. Either it keeps people from playing, or it is tuned down enough to allow everybody to succeed, in which case even the average player considers it as a kind of boring button-mashing exercise. I have a hard time imagining a system which works for everybody.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Game of the Year for AbleGamers

[Source] With the very first accessibility award for Square-Enix, FFXIV scored 9.1 in AbleGamers accessibility review scoring system including 10 for hearing and 9.5 for visual elements. FFXIV covers almost every area of accessibility with high standards and practical application. The mobility of the game was nearly perfect except for the inability to use only the mouse [&hellip

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Fantasy Frontier – The mighty Bahamut arrives in Taiwan server

Coined as the “Doomsday Dragon God”, Bahamut was introduced to Fantasy Frontier earlier yesterday, also known as Aura Kingdom in the English market. Wielding dual swords (pretty much like the Duelist class), Bahamut is described as being the “strongest” Eidolon to be added.   Other than his human form, a dragon mode for Bahamut is [&hellip

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Free2Play vs. Subscription – The Data

There is not much more to be said about the relative advantages and disadvantages of the Free2Play business model versus the subscription business model. But one argument that pops up again and again is that of the relative health of the two business models. And often the data provided are anecdotal. So how well is Free2Play really doing in a western market versus subscription? Fortunately there are good data available on the US digital games market:

In 2013 Free2Play games in the US made $2.9 billion, up 45% from $2.0 billion in 2012. Subscription games in the same period made $1.1 billion, down 21% from $1.4 billion. The biggest market share went to mobile games, with $3.1 billion, growing 29%, while social games (Facebook etc.) are down 22% to $1.8 billion. Note that the table includes DLC sales, but not buy-to-own game sales for PC and consoles. PC DLCs made $2.1 billion in 2013, up 11%, so selling games slice by slice definitively seems to be working.

World of Warcraft alone made $213 million in microtransactions, not counting income from subscriptions, while SWTOR made $139 million. Which actually isn’t that bad for SWTOR, whatever number you believe the game cost. Of course we don’t know what the cost to run the game are, but profit margins tend to be high once you get past a certain threshold of player numbers.

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Bless – Schedule for debut test phase to be announced next week

As posted earlier, the schedule for Bless’ debut test phase in Korea will be announced next week at a 2nd media conference, where new features are expected to be revealed as well. The beta client for Bless recently obtained a M18 rating from the authorities, although this might change for the release client.   Seen [&hellip

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