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Entropia Universe - Ubers only?

Discussion in 'Entropia News' started by NotAdmin, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    Originally Posted by Kim|MindArk on EF this morning:

    Never one to back down from a challenge, this article is meant to challenge Kim or MindArk's train of thought. In the article, we will address MindArk, seeing that is Kim's employer, and probably the theory presented above are not Kim's personal thoughts, but the ones advocated by MindArk.

    First of all, if MindArk wants to bring up neglection, they could start by addressing the serious lack of gameplay. That is the single most neglected aspect of the MMO MindArk is running. There is no gameplay; just endless repetitive clicking. Almost any other MMO out there offers great varieties of ways to kill a monster. (I'm using hunting as an example, as that still seems to be the main profession for colonists).

    You could for instance use a skill to slow the monster down, apply some buffs to you and your team mates, drink some potions or eat some food to temporarily boost some specific skills, hit the monster with DOT skills, and have a team of mixed skills, each complimenting one another, and every team member fullfilling a very specific but required goal to kill a monster.

    In Entropia Universe, you will pick a weapon, and that's about it. No buffs, no DOT. No strategy required. Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, loot, next mob. Want to hunt a bigger mob? No problem, get a group of friends, or bigger weapons/armour/FAP, and simply click away.

    There is no real AI involved on the MOBs part. In fact, I dare state that this is a key part of the lack of gameplay in EU. In any other game, the MOBs purpose is to present a challenge to the player. In EU, the purpose of a MOB is/seems to be to maximize decay.

    Secondly, there is the small matter that the statement above seems to indicate that MindArk is worried about their ubers, and Star is used as an example. That is terrific, as it shows that MindArk does in fact consider their clientbase, but at the same time, there's a big elephant in the room that nobody at MindArk seems to notice.

    Star, and those with similar skills/gear as him represent about 0.05% or less of the active playerbase. The great majority of the players in EU are mid-level people. Star, and those with similar gear and skills are able to withdraw money FROM the game. The great majority of players are just bleeding cash INTO the game. And for what?

    Will the mid-level player ever be able to get to Star's level? Unless one is willing to spend an insame amount of money or an even more insane amount of time, due to the tweaking of the skill-system done in the past (it used to be linear before, now the first skills are easily obtained, but as one progresses, less and less skillgains will occur, with any skill above a level of several thousand seeming to come to a grinding halt), a mid-level play will never get to the same level as Star or those like Star. The early birds caught the worms, and MindArk pretty much ensured that those who missed out on the initial round never get a chance to level the playing field. Ever.

    So while MindArk is apparently worried about a very reserved fraction of their customers, they totally ignore the great bulk of the players. The mid-level players, who make up the majority of the ones paying the MindArk salaries, but also the newbies, the great majority of whom, once drawn in by (expensive) advertising, leave very quickly when they discover that their deposits will not last very long, and who soon do realize that once the initial thrill wears off, they will be in for a grind that is unrivaled in the world of MMOs.

    Already mentioned, but related and probably another major factor, there's the matter of the game just being too expensive. Those who are willing to accept a lack of gameplay in exchange for the unique selling point of EU (that would be the real cash economy), and those that suck up the lack of love shown to them by the developer, probably end up in a situation where the game becomes simply too expensive to play.

    Let me use myself as an example. I'm currently a player whose primary focus is hunting. I've picked laser handguns as my weapon of choice, and currently am a level 63 laser pistoleer. I play eco, in order to keep the costs managable, and I have been in the game for 6 years or so now. I have not logged in a lot recently, mainly because I end up getting bored with the game very very quickly whenever I do login, combined with the fact that my PEDs just do not last long, despite of sticking to amped eco guns, mobs well within my level, and wearing armour that does not have overly high decay costs.

    For a while, my goal in-game was unlocking Commando, but what the heck will unlocking Commando change for me, really? Probably absolutely nothing. So MindArk, what do I have to aim for, exactly? What weapon should I skill for, without having to remortgage my house to obtain that weapon, and what MOB should I strive to kill, when I know very well that even if I manage to kill said MOB, the most likely outcome is that I will just go broke doing so, due to the complete inbalance in the universe, which ensures most MOBs drop useless and worthless materials and oils?

    Is it really true that MindArk openly worries more about a fraction of their playerbase, the fraction that most likely doesn't even need to deposit in order to be able to play, while ignoring the great majority of the players, or addresses the issue that prevents the universe from really expanding?

    We got new planets, run by very capable people (well, most of them anyway), but despite all their best marketing efforts, the amount of active Entropia Universe participants does not seem to increase, nor does the amount of time most newcomers stay in the universe. The great majority of people dragged in still end up quitting. Would it not make much more sense to try and get people to stay in the universe, rather than worrying about a handful of ubers?

    I doubt that my opinion matters, anyway. It's not as if anything I wrote here has not been endlessly repeated on the forums. MindArk never listened, as the statement made by Kim shows. MindArk obviously has different concerns.

    Your opinions and comments are, as always, welcome :)
    • Like Like x 1
  2. narfi

    narfi Lost

    Here is what Kim said later in the thread.
    Then again later in the thread. (very interesting)
    I have been messing around on another forum (mmorpg.com) in an attempt to broaden my narrow knowledge of gaming. (EU is the only game I have ever played, and eu related forums the only ones I have ever participated in)

    Here is a question I asked there.
    How long do you play an MMORPG?
    and then a follow up question,
    What makes the Grass Greener on the other side?

    The truth is that people are fickle and have short attention spans. A majority of players will only play a game for a few weeks or months before moving on to the next.

    A recurring theme it seemed was the complaining about the lack of depth of end-game content.
    Sure there aren't many players at that point in EU so maybe doesn't need to be the primary focus, but it is still important. The game needs legends such as Star for us all to look up to and dream about the 'what ifs'

    Here are two good quotes I got in response to my second question.
    and then in response to that answer,
    I think that the universe is expanding rapidly, and that even Calypso is getting new and interesting stuff. (I esp. like the idea of a rare and roaming spawn, it is something I have wanted for a long time)

    You might also want to explore and play a little more, there have been elements added to the game that you don't seem to be aware of.

    I participated in a few team hunts where these chips were used quite effectively for hunting 'uber' mobs.
    The Hendrix Dragon Stalker has over 10k hp and does over 300dmg per hit. A team of mid level players can take them out quickly enough with a mindforce user helping with the metabolic chips.

    This is just one example of stuff that seems to be being added all the time that doesn't get the credit it deserves.

    In summary,
    He said they are working to add content for ALL levels of play, and I believe that is true.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Peter though you make a lot of valid points you are missing the point of what Kim was talking about (in my opinion).

    The funny thing is with the question about Commando you are displaying that Kim is in fact more right with his statement than you give him credit for.
    If there would be content you would need to be skilled enough for to be able to enjoy it then THAT exactly would be the reason you would need/want Commando.

    But I will toot the same horn as you, Kim asks if there are good reasons to deprioritize content for ubers and maybe concentrate on content for other skill ranges.

    My reply to that is, forget content completely - do not work on content for any range for the next year.
    Because what you need to work on is systems!
    There are still systems missing we had and even the systems we have can use a complete overhaul in regards to usability and presentation!
    And think about that: for example the wave mission system allows planet partners to design more challenging content already, without MA having to do much work (well if you implemented it smartly).

    The teams system does not even come near to useful in regards to the space systems, you need chains of commands in teams and ranks and so on!
    The friendlist is so unhelpful in regards to this wanting to be a proper MMO, this really needs to be worked on.

    I could go on but I assume you get the gist.

    We have enough content, stop worrying about content, start worrying about the game presentation and usability!
    After all if you quench the desire to play by making it too difficult to play, what good is any content then?
    • Like Like x 1
  4. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    Interesting, narfi. I was indeed unaware of these chips.I'll have to go give those a test at some point. I just wonder if they actually somehow manage to increase the fun factor. I do think the RCE element does make up for a bit of the lack of fun, but as long as it costs me what it currently costs me to play, I still will not be doing too much login time.

    Interestingly enough, your quoted post refers to LOTRO. I played that when it was subscription based, and did not spend enough time in it to warrant 20 USD per month. Since they went FTP, I recently have been putting in a lot more time in it, and I actually am enjoying my experience. I have not spent a single dime on it, and yet put in quite a few hours.

    I also bought Just Cause 2 somewhere late last year or so. For about 15 USD. That games has managed to amuse me for well over 100 hours, and I'm not done with it yet. Crysis 2 cost me 50 or so USD, and that kept me going for hours as well, and while I am done doing the campaign on easy mode, I have yet to try the higher difficulty levels or the multiplayer mode.

    In EU, even playing eco, that same 50 bucks might last me a few hours, if I get lucky, and due to the factor of having to constantly surpress the urge to use a higher DPS weapon than eco demands, as well as ensuring I am constantly making sure I do not accidently loose out on some of the eco parts, it certainly does not make it feel like entertainment to me.

    It's more a job than a game, and a job I have to pay to participate in.
  5. Thorn

    Thorn Proud CND Baby

    There is a key factor right there. I`ve been in EU for almost 6 years too. Used to play a lot. Now log in once in a while for an hour or so to look at my low ped balance and maybe milk a couple small hunts from it. But for what seems like years now no matter how you play you can constantly make runs losing anywhere from 5 to 60 percent. Yet maybe one run in 10 or a dozen you come back plus 10 or 20 percent. That`s just not fun or sustainable unless you don`t mind constantly dumping money in.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Tass

    Tass Administrator

    Righty-right! EU lacks gameplay! More than 10 years of development and EU is still an overexpensive click-fest, still no Mob AI, still no story-telling above the level of "space is immanent" (epic, guys), still no challenges besides making the next deposit and click it away.

    MA decided to market the "make a living by playing a game" thing and meanwhile everyone who could get attracted by that should have heard of EU. Retention rates seem to be beneath contempt.
    There are basically 2 ways to change for the better:

    - either give people what you promise aka "make a living by playing a game", I guess we can rule out that option

    - or give them something else that makes them stay aka elaborated stories, state-of-the-art visual (consider that done), innovative gameplay, in depth teamplay (it's multiplayer, guys), a diverse but yet consistent game world, integrated systems (EU is basically a patchwork of more or less integrated systems designed sucessively over a period of more 10 years)

    EU in it's (RCE) core is a great idea but nowadays it is a mess as result of too many wrong decisions. Game design wise RCE should have turned out being more of a burden than a blessing meanwhile. And really, some people notoriously seem to devastatingly underestimate how long development of feature X would take.

    Ok, back to topic: I'm all for de-ubering the ubers. Seriously, get rid of them! Or the other way round: make the challenge to become an uber a challenge that even tomorrow's starters can meet one day. Easy to learn, hard to master, you know the principle. Seperate in-game uberness from the fact of early registration and from the uberness of the RL bank account.

    And again: give us challenges! Scenarios that force us to adopt, to develop new strategies, to cultivate a more elaborated teamwork, not just to make the next deposit and click it away.

    "3D Internet" has been a mistaken belief ever since, now make it a great game instead.
  7. RAZER

    RAZER Custom title ... uh ...

    I think it is funny that Meg takes Star as an example, because he is probably one of the few players they are actually loosing money on.

    I to play less and less and when I come online I just talk with some people, shoot some low level mobs and get info for the wiki. I have no desire to get more skills, because more skills will just mean the game will cost me more money (if I decide to use the skills to hunt bigger mobs). What I want is stuff that's fun and do not cost me 50% of my money every time I try it. I realize that MA needs to make money, but I still think that getting a little ped from a lot of people is better then to get a larger amount of ped from 1 or 2 people.

    I also agree with Pirx that MA should stop creating content and start developing the systems. Next to the stuff he said I think they REALLY need to hurry up with instances and expand the mission system with more interesting options other then just kill 10000 mobs or go talk to person X
    • Like Like x 1
  8. not sure about the missions. in effect i don t enjoy them. I guess bottom line is that each one of us want play more vs money deposited. I mean i don t plan to became rich in entropia (for this exist some named work) but when after a run i came back with a shitty loot this will not help me to decide to deposit more. Actually happen just the contrary. 90% (tt+mv) return would be more than welcome, the other 10% should be divided in maintenece and developping + bigger loot (few). At today i have a tt return around 50%, after many years and tons of skills i never get an global bigger than few hundred ped, and continue to see little mobs give away my money to unknow people (this without considering the huge hofs for people that join the game just 3 day at year...the usual ones.)
    But MA knows what it is doing. It knows this so well that don t even waste time to start an open discussion with the player base.
    my bad, sometimes kim reply in EF....but not to my questions in any case.
  9. it really reallly really really all comes down to loot. call it gameplay call it mechanics but it all comes down to loot and the way it's distributed. As far as i'm conernered planet partners are taking care of keeping the mix and creating new content for all types of players from what i've seen.

    The problem is. I can't stay a mid level player forever without getting penilized in loot it seems. I honestly could be happy killing small creatures with a small gun, but my returns are usually like between 10-50% if i go hunt snables with an opalo. Not saying i want to be able to make money doing that. But just have the same kinda average returns no matter what mob i hunt.

    And then there is the stupid insane amount of different items we loot in materials. WE HAVE WAY TO MANY AND MORE AND MORE ADDED WITH EVERY VU. We need less materials otherwise pretty soon all materials are going to be TT food except for the super rare ones. It also makes the game so complicated, that it doesnt need to be. It also sucks the fun out. Ppl dont hunt to get a specific material they hunt for a hof. Back in the old days we hunted creatures to try and get a lot of one material like we hunted Molisk for molisk tooth.

    That is what we need back. Balanced loot across the board no matter what level you are and what you hunt your average should not change so drastically when you scale back or dont stay in your "sweet spot". Mobs need to loot less variety. We have enough mobs make it so only ONE mob loots a certain item i.e Molisk => molisk tooth. Moslisk skin. not oh you loot muscle oil from 50 different mobs.

    Also just semi standard loot from "boss" mobs would be great too just L stuff with the ocasional non L maybe.

    but i've been telling this to every MA and PP person i can talk to or PM or email. and look every Vu more items
  10. dear rex, my old entropia friend (one of the few one i meet in real life) you so right. I still remember our excitation to explain entropia to people like entropia ambassadors. How we arrived at this point???????
    I was hoping PP could in some way have the possibility to deal with loot . Like: I, planet partner owner , gained 100$ net today , i decide that i want to transfer part of them in the loot pool. And instead no. They can make lakes, missions, mob shape, apartments, shops..... but still loot is controlled by MA.
    MA , IMO, made the base player very un happy with the loot distrubuition. An in a RCE loot is all. Now you can talk me about whatever, but if you want be well dressed, have a nice virtual apartment, drive a super spacecraft and blablabla there are plenty of other MMOG that can offer all this in a incredible better way, probably spending less money than in entropia. IMO, before you fix the loot and after you create contents and not the contrary.
    Like it s now, it s pointless hunt, mining, craft on calypso like it s in arkadia, next island or whatevr other planet they will add.
  11. Lykke TheNun

    Lykke TheNun Lootius bless you all!

    oh wow .. and now Meg is Kim? those bastards :mad:

    • Like Like x 1
  12. Hi,

    got my 4K skills in long blades (main skill) ages ago (3 years ago?). Not much improvement since, 5K+ now maybe. With major whacking, and a lot of money burned. Agree, I'm not the ultimate grinder.

    But this is just sick. We who came after CND have been nerfed into oblivion, and anybody who thought to once become a "Star" has been reduced to the question: "Do you have the big money to buy the skills, and the stomach to swallow them?"

    When not spending insane time/ money you're not coming further. And this is IMHO a major problem. I agree that there's a need to have high skilled role models.
    But they should be reachable within certain limits! No need to feed us with a silver spoon, just a straight line, a possible way, to reach those "Uber levels"!

    Not the "you missed the time, sorry" that we have today. Not the "you came too late, all of the good stuff has already been looted" that we have today. Not the knowledge that it's impossible to reach Stars level at all today, anymore.

    I don't say to nerf them, for all the stuff they cheated/ duped, for all the skills they cheated (from todays sight). It was possible then, so whom to blame?

    But, fair play, we todays skillers would love to have such, too. Shadow armor dropping from med critters, ModGear dropping too from them. As our role models had.

    Maybe make new Uber gear, dropping from current Uber mobs, that even makes a ModFAP obsolete?

    This game lives from avatar improvement. Limiting it as in the current implementation only hurts it, IMHO.

    Have a good time!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Improving gameplay includes improving the gameplay for "ubers" also, so i can't say Kim is wrong in his thinking.
    I can agree on much in this thread, if EU is gone to have a major increase of new players the gameplay must improve and the cost/hours must go down.

    EU is improving, but it goes a bit too slow i can feel sometimes. I am a bit disapplointed about the new mindforce and that they have not added more chips with diffrent effects besides attack/heal, (yes, i know about the metablic chips, but i can't use them yet). I thougth we would have a bit more fun chips to use by now.

    One problem with EU is that the skill levels in the game are not used to anything, it's the proffession levels that are important. Maybe they should add some skill requirment on some weapon and tools to make it a bit more fun to unlock skills. They could also add some "special abilties", that will be possible to use when you have the skills required to unlock it, that would make skills more intressting.
  14. RAZER

    RAZER Custom title ... uh ...

    ah well I can't keep track of all the community people anymore, but yeah I meant Kim.
  15. Calin

    Calin Due for an Ultra-Uber Loot.

    There's only, what, four? :D
    I know, I know... we went so long having none at all it makes 4 seem like a lot. lol & :cry:

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