Wednesday, December 9

Still playing

It has been too quiet here at Yammob. To some it might look like we have become Yammobbtd. But we can't change the URL any more since it will mess up so many people's bookmarks. So I will try make new updates. It is quite logic the updates are a bit slow lately. Lani has been very busy sorting out real life as the previous post shows. Geeky is very busy beta testing several F2P games, which would make for great updates, but I spoiled it all by telling him he is a fool beta testing free games. Sorry Geeky! Please post your findings. And I am still lost in the wastelands.

The problem with making updates on my adventures is that I am a bit at a loss what to tell. Rehashing that I think it is a swell game doesn't really do much. So maybe I will let some pictures do the talking. I have managed to lure one of my City of Villain static group members to join me. But since she is living on the US West Coast, 8 hours behind, we haven't seen each other yet.

So I have to roast my jackrabbit all by myself. But life in Fallen Earth is not all about solitude. The official forums are bustling affair of ideas, suggestions and problems. It is the first official forum I have seen where I don't run away screaming. The PvP players still have the highest word, but even they are civilized. So I find myself wasting quite a bit of my office hours reading up and posting on them. Then I feeling guilty for not having done enough work, so I work till too late, rush home to actually play, eat, sleep, and repeat.

The same good natured spirit of the forums is also in game. The majority of the talk in game happens on the help channel. Besides clan talk, the help channel is the only global channel available. And there is always a GM active on it. Since it is the only global channel some people try to derail it in futile discussions about WOW sucks, EVE rules. If it gets to weird I zone out, or a GM steps in. But most of the time it is a wonderful place to pick up handy tips, and share my growing knowledge of the game. It is just wonderful to get almost instant replies on any question you throw out there.

One of the discussions on the forums is the need for more OOC global channels. Some people are complaining that the help channel is too heavy handed. They don't want GMs to tell them they should keep help to help, and that they should be allowed say FUCK! all the time. But those are the trial key folks. Some more genuine people argue there should be a global channel for more valid questions. And that is actually an interesting conversation.

Some think added OOC channels will give them a venue to get in touch with the rest of the community. Without a global channel you are just isolated in the big world. Some other refute this. In most MMOs global channels are just rambling screens for ePeens, recruiters and gold sellers. Most people will turn it off. At the same time people will turn away from help and start asking questions on the OOC channel, making the help channel useless, and since the OOC channel is mostly ramblings, most players won't get the help. Thus the community as a whole is actually suffering, not getting better. I think is also the view of the dev team. They have some very specific ideas about their game. I hope all their dreams come true.

The proper place to talk to fellow wastelanders is /region. It is heard by everybody in team-able range. It worked wonders for me a few days back. I had reached the town of Kingman. All quests in that town are group quests. I was standing around a bit contemplating what to do when somebody in /region asked if somebody wanted to help him kill Casta, which is a boss I needed to kill as well. If he had asked that in global he would probably have wasted his time. But in region it worked wonders. Apparently about everybody in town needed to kill him. Within a minute we had a team together and we were on our way to the Kingman Prison. It was the first big scale dungeon crawl I had done. The prison was a lovely maze filled with nooks, corners and plenty of bad guys. It was brilliant! It also showed I am still a serious noob, and I still have a lot to learn before I can make it in the areas ahead.


  1. Oooh, a Wall of Text with pictures. I'll be reading that tonight at work :-) (nightshift)

  2. What a wonderful post, great to share in your fun playing Fallen Earth :)

    The game didn't drag me in, purely on aesthetic grounds, I guess my eyes need more of a fantasy setting to chill in, too close to a possible reality for me.

    My respect goes to the developers for their vision and in the way they are handling the game, NCSoft etc could all learn a lesson from Icarus in terms of support and community development, sadly the 'big boys' seem quite happy to keep their heads in the sand and keep expecting the less MMO jaded to keep up subscriptions, someone needs to tell them their demographic is getting older and wiser, while Icarus, on the other hand looks to have recognized and developed on it. Sad that seeing GM's in chat is 'OMGWTF!' rather than the expected norm.

    Sounds like the discussion around chat channels is interesting, I think gamers trying to self police channels needs an established community to work, initial GM presence is a nice luxury, I'll have to check that discussion out.

    Don't worry Phe, I know your a nice bloke, I took no offense to your post about betas and F2P, it did after all make sense :) Yes I'm a beta whore who also found himself with a lack of any social gaming (I've decided I'm a social gamer rather than an MMO player) so F2P here I come!

    My current F2P arsenal consists of Allods Online, Karos Online, DDO and I also decided to revisit Atlantica Online, it's the latter that I'm having most fun in at the moment. Expect some strange ramblings about F2P at a later date....

  3. Oh, yummy! A F2P ramblings post. I am also very curious about your definitions of a social gamer vs an MMO gamer.

  4. I am also very curious about your definitions of a social gamer vs an MMO gamer

    So am I!

  5. I'm racking my brain about the meaning of Yammobbtd and where Phè told Geek off about beta-ing F2P games. heck I can't find where Geek mentioned Beta-ing F2P games. Either it was way back when or there's some kind of hidden post?

    I am actually slightly intruiged by Allods, please tell us more ebout it when you can Geek!

    I logged back into Fallen Earth when I got a message that I paid for another month by automated payment. I had an immense struggle with the controls for some reason. Switching between control methods is always jarring for me, and between SL's quirky system and Dargon Age's more MMO-style qith a twist controls FE felt very awkward. The fact I had no idea where I was or what I was doing was a lesser hurdle. The biggest void was caused by Phè's absence, which of course had nothing to do with my weird timing of 4 AM :-)

    GM's in channels. I noticed the presence of GM's in my early days. Even made a screenshot of some lines I really appreciated on account of being 'human' rather than politically correct GM speak. Icarus can get away with this kind of presence because there's a minimum number of GM's you need to have and with one server this is a way to actually keep them busy.

    The rule of thumb for GM presence is 1 per 5000 concurrent players. It used to be 1:2000 in the good old days before Volunteer GM's sued publishers for "doing the same work as paid employees but without monetairy reward", but that's not feasible anymore now. Some corporations try to run it with 1:8000 but it's often better to off-shore to India or Malasya instead as those cost 60-70% less.

    Regardless of concurrent player numbers, you need a minimal team size to be able to provide 24x7 support. In Fallen Earth's case this results in a ratio somehwere below 1:5000 which means the GM's actually have time to be human.
    Oh, and Icarus actually does take into account the appreciation people have for it, even if it doesn't bring them any extra Dollars, which they appreciate the more themselves :-)

    OOC channels. Hmmm. I always like choice. It might be best to have an OOC Regionsay rather than a serverwide OOC channel. Unless it gets implemented in the wacky way Funcom did with Age of Conan where you could 'hear' people who couldn't hear you or you'd talk with people who'd respond to people they could hear but you couldn't.

  6. You don't know what yammobbtd stands for? I thought you were the Queen fan here. And you missed our F2P talk because you stayed clear of Aion and the folks that play(ed) it.

    I fully agree with you that Geek should just copy and paste his finding here.

    And then talk about being a social gamer :)

    Fallen Earth already has OOC Regionsay. But is not very chatty. Mostly because people use help for all their talk. It is a weird sort chicken-egg problem. I am quite happy the way it is now. Maybe faction channels (once I join one) would be nice.

    I can't really remember any problems with AOC chat. What went wrong there? AOC had no global chat either. It was all zone based, wasn't it?

  7. I am a huge Queen fan. One thing about them I always appreciated is they didn't turn their titles into ICA's (Ill Conceived Acronyms)... :-)

    I steered clear of Aion despite buying it but not, intentionally, the people who play(ed) it.

    AOC used to have nothing beyond Zone OOC chat, but then all of a sudden, without any mention thereof in patchnotes you had an OOC channel that spanned approximately two thirds of that nation. Not everyone could read everybody else's chat as a result, but people outside your own zone could. You just couldn't tell for sure which ones.

  8. I know you didn't steered away intentionally. It was not meant as an accusation or anything. Just slightly cryptic way of saying it was on the Mutants forum. I guess after being already unnecessary vague with my acronym I couldn't just be direct.

    And I can't remember anything about the OOC channel. I think I had already e-peen talk on the zone and simply never tried it.

  9. I remember the AoC chat debacle well, totaly hit and miss chat channels, they finally introduced a global chat and last I played all was working well.

    Thinking of AoC makes me wonder more about myself as a social gamer rather than an MMO player, most of the time I'm a social gamer who only gets involved in group content when it's either absolutely necessary or knowing that the group I'm in is going to be fun, in AoC I raided religiously, 3 times a week and often only logged into raid, more like the vague notions I have in my head of an MMO player rather than a social gamer, they do in fact blur into one, thinking about it I would say as a social gamer I enjoy the company of others in chat and the occasional group while I enjoy a game rather than feeling the need to continually group and explore all group content, the kind of person that gets told to 'gtfo and play a single player' in forums should I moan about the lack of solo content, it's all a bit blurry in my head....lets just say I'm happier with social gamer as a label.

    It was the Mutants forum and I didn't also want to respond with yet more Aion bashing so I just kept it to being a beta whore, I bashed that game enough which was not good considering how many Mutants still played and enjoyed it.

    I'll write something about Allods after CBT2 starts (there is no NDA that I can find), I'm currently lvl 6 and bored, CBT2 may improve things.

  10. I'm currently beta testing Allods Online, and I'd not consider it a waste. To be sure, sometimes beta testing is just about getting a sneak peek, but since I work in the game industry, it's very interesting to see a company work through the last vestiges of the dev process before release. Also, since I *do* work with art every day, I can give them good (specific and relevant) feedback on art bugs.

    So... I'm beta testing, not just being a tourist. Perhaps that's a waste inasmuch as I'm not being paid for it, but it's been fun to play, so that'll have to do. There's always the outside chance that if I can build a rappor with the devs, I might just be able to make some suggestions for making the game better. Or just network for my career.

    There *are* reasons to beta test beside just betting a free look at a subscription game. ;)

  11. Tesh, you are absolutely right that beta testing is a great tool for MMO developes. And I am greatful that a lot of people take their time to really try to help making the upcoming games better. So thank you for being one of them! I hope the networking will pay off :)

    But I am having a sort of beta burn-out after having tried a few too many games during beta periods. I am getting all excited about the game. Although I am not very useful in finding the bugs, I will be busy reading up on developments, telling my friends, posting a bit on the forums. But that is in the first month, then it goes on and on, and all the time I know I am just poking around. I don't have my real character out yet. After a few months the game finally gets out, but by that time I am already jaded. All that great first time feel is gone. New players start flooding in telling me this and that is crap, so I switch off the global channels. Soon I am stranger in my own game, and I move along, another illusion poorer. So nowadays I try to read up just enough to stay in the loop, but for the rest remain on the fence. When the game comes out I get in fresh and enjoy it all as the makes intended it. Or not if they made something that I don't like :)