Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Levelling Frustration and Mods

This game is frustrating at times.
James and I have both experienced over active levelling. You wander into a dungeon and before you know it your skills have ploughed upwards and you have levelled twice before you can sleep. This is bad as all skill-ups from the 2nd level don't seem to generate any statistic multipliers so you may get a few x5's on the first level but the second will always be resticted to 1s.
This almost forces you to leave a dungeon part complete and find somewhere to sleep. Not always practical.

Pradeep has helped us optimise both our desktop and laptop PCs for Oblivion and the game is running really well on both. I'll post a link to the optimisation site when I get home (as I don't have access to it from work).

We have also been playing around with Mods, such as the Portable Hole and Saddlebags, both of which are really fun (although the prtable hole costs about 20K to buy - it gives you a small portable room in which you can store stuff).

I see that Bethesda have released the first official Mod for the game, which is a pay to download file (only $2) containing Horse Armour (aka Barding to those of us who are anal about these things)!
This doesn't interest me, but it seems to have create an uproar on the official boards. I don't know why though? Bethesda advertised that they would be launching both free and pay for add-ons for the game when they started talking seriously about it a year ago. The pay for add-ons are no different from buying an expansion pack and are not essential to play the game. I think the majority of complainers are coming from the XBox community - console gamers aren't use to having to buy extra content!
Bethesda have already stated that patches will be free (charging for those would be a bit of a cheek) but it will be interesting to see if the pay for Mods will be included in any subsequent expansion packs - that would cause a real uproar in those people who already bought them!

I remember something similar with Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies. Sony included one of their earlier expansion packs for free in a later expansion and people were annoyed that they were paying for the same thing twice. I think this is just stupid (from the gamer's perspective). If Sony had annouced that they would be giving away their latest add-on free in six months time when the launched a subsequent add-on I still think that the majority of players would shell out the cash for the add-on now rather than waiting six months.

Over the last few years I have watched the expansion of official gaming "boards" with interest and it frustrates me the number of people who complain about how bad a game is. The fact that the software developer has created a forum for you to discuss their product and is interested in finding out what you believe could be improved upon or needs fixing is a very good thing in my eyes. Just typing criticisms with no constructive feedback is a waste of space.

I will use Egosoft as my example. Since its launch in October 2005 X3 Reunion has had four patches, all of which improved upon the game drastically. The Egosoft forums are a lively place and the amount of flaming has drastically reduced with each subsequent patch. It looks like the message is getting through to the gamers that Egosoft do care and do listen and that if you have a bit of patience and give them useful feedback then things can be changed.

However if you compare that to Sony and the debacle of Star Wars Galaxies. Increasingly the boards became more and more hostile as it was clear that Sony were not listening to its client base. The board administrators did a remarkable job, but in the end they all quit in turn as they got frustrated with not being able to deliver good news. The end result.... SWG is now dead (pretty much).

OK enough ranting for one post!


GF said...

What you doing Blogging from work!?!? I've NEVEREVEREVER done that!! :)

Jase said...

Damn Lies...
And Management Information!