Greedy Goblin

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Weekend minipost: some questions/notes about games

I've checked out (not played, just read/youtube...) about some suggested games and have some questions:
  • ARK Survival Evolved looks interesting, but it's not an MMO with a World, but a single player game with option to run multiplayer. Is it true? Or am I misunderstanding something and there is one developer ran server-side World that players join?
  • Archeage is OK-ish monetization wise and tax prevents real money speculation, but is there an effect on the World, or is it just Black Desert style capture, brag, no one cares?
  • Screeps looks like a genius concept. Too bad that I can't program Javascript, nor I think many people would follow me even if I'd learn it.
  • Naval action: while early access, it looks playable. Is it a single-World MMO? About how many players? Does conquering do anything? Is there a reason to care which Nation is winning, or one can just jump ship and make winner side alt?


Anonymous said...

Why are you so hung up on this speculation? It's not like a tax is gonna stop anyone, just raise the costs of business.

Anonymous said...

Ark is not a true MMO, you are correct. However, there are clever ways to move between official servers.
The challenge is there are hoards of tribes that "own" a server or group of servers. Once they are established, it is difficult (but not impossible) to affect your server... The other challenge is the developers frequently introduce "game breaking" features or nerfs in attempts to bring balance. When I left Eve, Ark was my game of choice for quite some time. While it is smaller scale, your decisions can and do impact others on your servers. And it is a sand box where you can make of the game what you want.

Hanura H'arasch said...

ARK: Survival Evolved has official servers, but they only ever host a hundred or so players. There's no "one" world.

Screeps looks amazing, I have to try that one at some point. Though I have no doubt you'd quickly pickup Javascript, you are probably right to assume many of your readers won't.

Though that raises the question, how many of your readers really do play the games you play anyway?

Anonymous said...

Archeage may be pretty far from what you would prefer, but I am not sure you can do better. Outside of games you have already played, I don't see a game you find appealing to have more than a small dev staff and playerbase. You may, or may not, find Archeage to provide enough of what you want in a game that is not huge but not tiny.


Could you explain your "make winner side alt" objection? I can't think of a game where you can't make an alt to play on the flavor-of-the-month faction. Some games like EVE, you don't even need to make an alt, just change corps. There are no nationalistic, religious or tribal ties like in real life. Does any game really have much friction to roll a new alt on virtual team 2?

Gevlon said...

@Anon: because premium currency speculation is stupidly profitable and trivially easy with insider info

@Next anon: if there are countless servers, then there is no competition. You just shrug and move to the next until you are the "one ruler".

@Hanura: if I assume that my readers don't care about what I do, then I might even close the blog. No doubt that some/many of the readers don't. But I must assume some do to continue.

@Anon: in EVE - while you can technically join Karmafleet or PH or whoever is winning, by doing so, you are forced to tolerate their culture. I would (and most players do) rather evacuate and stick with their preferred culture than jump ship into something I consider childish, primitive or hateful. In sterile NPC factions there is no such barrier. Most games therefore not using "everyone can join" factions but player guilds.

maxim said...

Screeps has more than a few problems that make it hard even for someone with programming background to get in.
The concept of giving a player the programming IP is indeed genius, but the execution has a ton of issues, some of them being just straight up bugs.

To be fair, this is a near impossible concept to execute, both technically and from a game design standpoint. Won't be playing much, but will definitely keep an eye on this game just to see what happens with it.

Forsaken Toys said...

Man, after "do not play Albion" I'm not sure you gonna like GarbAge.

Anonymous said...

the singleplayer in Ark doesn't work, caves don't spawn mobs and loot, witch you need for endgame bosses. it is early access! and dev change on the spot without warning! So one days meta is no longer the next days meta.

it is not one world, you have a couple official servers and a bunch of thirdparty run servers "unofficial". On official you can transfer stuff between official servers via a mechanic. thinking about it right now it looks a bit like EVE wormhole space.

Are there goons ruling it all? yes, called alpha tribes. They have the most tames, resources and the biggest bases. and yep, they usually are bad players with the best saddles and armor, so they need a few bullets more to get killed and you have to be careful engaging them.
looks like this:

The thing I like about Ark is that you usually die and loose your stuff if you fuckup. You don't have this in many games any more, there is no concord saving the day. and without prep and backups you will start over from scratch. But it is early access, so things will change, very fast because the dev team is working their ass off. Therefore, for me, ark is the exception to the rule to avoid early access titles. With all the negatives, I still come back to it.
I didn't engage in alpha warfare, as a solo player tho, with a bit of prep I engage alpha scouts or if they are on small operations. It is worth it because they are usually stacked with good loot.

"single world" is something EVE really took to the top and other companies don't copy. But this also restricts your choices very much. I understand your reasoning but the lack of single worlds shows how little companies think of its worth.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: BDO also has single world (per region), so is Albion.

Anonymous said...


Or tell us why this "game" is not good enough?

Anonymous said...

BDO has channels. trading is single world.
gw2 has single world trading but different channels.
wow has xrealmtech and separate trading.
(besides you don't have any impact there)
if in eve you have a equivalent sausan spot, you can't channel hop to look if that spot isn't taken there.

as far as I understand your usage of "single world" it is in the sense of EVE. mainly that EVERYTHING is done in that single world, and you are stuck there. no hiding, no channels, no stupid instances to cut you off of that "single world". There are not many games that do that. some seem however to merge trade into one single world like gw2.

Gevlon said...

etoro is a real world investor firm, not a game

@Next anon: BDO channels act as land multipliers. EVE has much more "places" (anoms, belts, mining moons) than BDO. It's easy to make another EVE world, as they can be (and probably are) proceduraly generated. BDO landscape is handmade. So they introduced channels to multiply the World size. But there is just one node channel, only one guild can own Balneos Forest, if you want it, you must be on the proper channel in the proper time. No point though, but still.

Anonymous said...

land multipliers
hrm, this gets more blurry and until now I didn't see it as "land multiplier", sure, ok.
In that case since ark linked the servers together they multiplied it the same way because you can pretty much transfer anything. you could for example alpha one server and expand the empire to other servers via that mechanic. huu, didn't think of this in that way, this could be very powerful.
It isn't a pretty map like in EVE but multiplied and separate territory nonetheless. ark server#10 red obelisk is different as server#12 red obelisk like in BDO channel oliva3 pirates is different from channel balenos2 pirates. With the difference that in ARK you could bring death, pain and destruction compared to other games where no one can do anything impactful at all.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: to be considered "one world", the players must be able to move between the servers and capture/modify things. In this sense, Ark has one World.

The question is: is this world small enough to have competition. If players can keep spawning Worlds, then one can always shrug and move one server away. If the server size is limited, than someone might end up without resources, which is the definition of competition.

Anonymous said...

is this world small enough to have competition.
I don't know about the policy to spawn new official servers. Right now including some different modes (like PrimitivePlus dlc) and also Asia, NA, EU servers in the server list only filtered ark+pvp+official there are 406 servers all of them can hold 70 players some 100 (some "notame" mode servers 140). scrolling trough them CEST 23:30 the all have players no one is empty, EU servers are somewhat packed.
The game itself is more a survival adventure, so it is part of the game design to not be always on each others toes. So in a way this becomes a taste question ... In my "good ping" range I can't find a empty server, maybe empty enough a handfull, but from the numbers it doesn't look like that. also they have pve servers too but you can't transfer between pvp and pve servers.

Anonymous said...

I played Screeps for 3 months to teach my son coding. It was OK for that purpose, but the big problem with the game is that it is a combination of P2W and it's almost impossible to survive the early response against established players, many of whom are just using published code. That is to say: the big fish in the game all know each other already and pretty much own the map. When you spawn into your single room, you either placate the nearest giant or get squashed. You either become the vassal of such a player or you get to respawn every few days.

And if you aren't subscribed, your CPU is capped. You can buy CPU time as tokens like PLEX, but the truth is without that extra CPU to work with, you can't run more than a room or 2. So youbare essentially relegated to the salt mines. Until they make the game more sensible for new/casual players, I would avoid it.

Warm & Fuzzy Fluff said...

Ark has official servers which are limited and resources can be scarce in a world, usually due to territorial lockdown. If your goal is to play a game where you can affect the world, this game is it in a hurry. You can trade resources with others or you can take by force. In my server we own a vast swath of territory that makes certain materials scarce, another tribe has another and so on. It is nothing but barter trade but can easily increase or decrease supply and demand by either locking down resource or killing off others. There is no tradional market system.

Chad Masterson said...


It's important to remember that EVE's "single shard" nature is incredibly unique because of all the technical limitations having a single world forces on a game.

The game you want basically can't exist, to the extent that there's resource trading in ARK it's basically just Role Playing between similar groups of kids/young adults who watch too many twitch streams and want to be a part of making a cool jungle base for a little bit.

Like honestly why not just play a by mail game of Diplomacy or something, it only would involve seven players but it would take place over a long time. One person even gets to win at the end! none of this arbitrary "who has the biggest virtual dick in this video game" stuff.
Here's a link to the rules

Gevlon said...

@Chad: Albion online has one shard (also rigged).
BDO has one shard (not rigged, just non-impact PvP)

Anonymous said...

In archeage owning land means no one else can own that land (it's not instanced), for castles you can have non castle holders work for you and take some of those profits.

The most important world impacting thing is the ability to lock out other groups from world bosses, meaning your group is the only group that can have the absolute best in slot items like the kracken glider.