As a reaction post to Belghasts recent post on gaming grievances. Of the nine points listed in this post, three stand out as some of my own worst gripes with MMORPGs, things I’ve written about before but could re-examine in light of recent gaming experiences.
“The Horrible Faction Wall”
I’m quoting Belghast’s own point four here, and while I may accept factions from a story perspective I do agree that in 2020 this divide “needs to fall“. With the ending of the story in Battle for Azeroth there really is an unparalleled opportunity to provide a more open grouping experience. Blizzard could follow Rift’s example, as Belghast mentions, and pull the wall down without even removing the flavour of having Alliance and Horde. Just allow cross-faction dungeon runs via Battle.Net.
It’s just annoying that I want to play my new Pandaran monk, and friends want to play their Vulpera alts, but we can’t because “war”. It’s a golden rule in MMORPG design as far as I’m concerned – just let friends play together without any barriers to fun!
“Gender Locked Classes”
Man I hate gender locked classes. It’s always been a big peeve of mine that character creation is so limited in certain MMORPGs. Tera and Black Desert Online are my examples of restrictive design here, World of Warcraft does much better.
However, WoW doesn’t get away blame-free as race/class combos are still restricted. The post I linked above from 2017 points out my dislike for gender locking, but adds on race locking as well. We’ve discussed in guild a number of times recently how gnome druids should be a thing by now in WoW. The recently introduced Mechagnomes are the obvious in-road here, how about playing a little cyber-bear tank? We easily came up with aesthetically appropriate options for all the druid forms.
“Lack of Account Wide Storage”
This is another personal bugbear of mine, one that I’ve written about for sure in the past. Some kind of account-wide storage is just a necessity for me as I inevitably have alts in any MMORPG and want an easier way of sharing and sorting items beyond mailing them back and forth (World of Warcraft!).
A shared bank (Everquest 2, Lord of the Rings Online) is ideal as it’s multi-purpose without being too cash shop reliant (Neverwinter, Guild Wars 2). Shared crafting storage is a slightly narrower variant that is nonetheless very useful (Star Wars the Old Republic, Elder Scrolls Online).
Games with no shared storage at all (World of Warcraft) seriously annoy me with the hassle this imposes on passing around crafted items and shareable loot. Mailing items is so last decade in MMO-land.
Do you have any particular gaming grievances different to mine above or those of Belghasts?
Just for the record, the account wide Legacy Vault in SWTOR is kinda nice as well (just because the sentence could be misunderstood).
Apart from that I agree very much on all points, just the race-locking doesn’t overly concern me, there are already a million combinations in WoW and I’m playing quite a few of them 😛
I am easy to please. All I want are code and servers that don’t lag me beyond 300ms. It has become a harder ask lately. GW2 has no clue how their code interacts with their AWS server choice and config these days.
Apparently Boundless uses AWS too and I rarely have ping problems with those beyond trying to connect to EU servers, which is just normal geographic distance and the odd traffic congestion days.
That and oh, no region-locking being a given.
ANet are running a peculiar character-limitation experiment on EU servers for WvW at the moment. They’ve reduced the map cap by seven to see if that helps lag. EQII spent months experimenting with switching off various features in turn to see what effect that had on the lag problems they were experiencing.
It seems surprising, but evidently even large, experienced MMO companies don’t have a clear understanding of what makes their games lag. Plenty of people on the GW2 forums blame Amazon’s servers but I would guess you’re nearer the mark in thinking it’s a lack of understanding of how to manage the underlying processes that’s at fault.
It got obvious when I entered a group instance a couple days ago and saw 1.3k ping… then exited and logged back into the same instance to see my normal 230ms ping. With an instantaneous change like that, it becomes rather obvious where the fault lies.
There’s a guy on the GW2 forums Vox Shatterfall or something who sounds more legit than others in where the issue is coming from; and my working theory is based on his explanation.
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