Podcast Interview with Ryan at MMOSmackTalk

Thursday, February 2, 2012 | 21

As if I wasn't already arrogant enough...

Ryan at MMOSmackTalk decided that I was worth inviting on his podcast to get my opinion on all manner of useless bullshit. If you have three hours to waste, which you obviously do if you're on this site, take a listen.

Download Link

If you're a caveman or your browser doesn't support html5, you can listen to it at Ryan's blog here.


  1. Shadowbane was about politics. If you were in a small guild, you didn't need to be part of the bigger nation, but you needed to have connections to back you up if you are baned by bigger nation. I don't like the idea of full loot system, because usually it does one thing (saw it in UO). Ppl didn't use their best equip when playing solo, because they were scared of losing it. In Shadowbane, there was a half loot, that means what you have on your body cannot be taken, but your whole inventory can be. The consequences were there, but you didn't have to start over again when you died. I don't like the idea of having tons of spare armor/weapons in my bank. I think the half loot is the way to go in all hardcore pvp games.

    Btw I listened to the whole interview and it was great. I am actually same age as you and played almost all the games you mentioned.

    After SB was closed, I didn't find any other MMO pvp that would have satisfiable pvp and character development as deep as SB(and I disagree that there is just one build that is the best, every build has different strengths and different weakneses).

    I agree 100% about EVE online. Many ppl told me it's like shadowbane in space except I didn't have any fun playing it. For a new player it is too complex, there are many screens that pop up that are really difficult to understand without reading a guide.

  2. You have to take everything that I said in the context that I was pretty sick. Excuses aside, I get that I was wrong on some stuff I said about Shadowbane because I hadn't thought about it in so long.

    UO did have the issue where they hung on to their best stuff, but I certainly busted out my vanq halberd on my red because dying on a red was disheartening to say the least.

    I think if game mechanics forced players out of their comfort zone (possibly by making expensive items cost money to rent in the bank) the economy would have been healthier.

    That being said, nobody since UO has made a game where a pure-crafter has the single highest damage attck in the game. Bomb boxes with the weakest ingredients did more damage than a player could have max health. My tinker had about 200 kills because I used to set up fake fallen houses. Awesome.

    Glad you liked it... Not everyone agrees :D

  3. The beautiful part about UO was that I met players who enjoyed just crafting and they didn't have the need to kill ppl. They actually helped ppl (by crafting something for them) and other ppl would protect them in repay. The housing was such a great thing, too bad I saw it only in SWG and those were ghost towns. It was way more social game then most (except maybe ragnarok online, where I the only thing that kept me playing it was ppl in my guild and interesting castle PVP, where your guild could actually own the castle)

    What I don't like in modern mmos is that there is too much emphasis on gear and level (you were talking about it in the interview too). It was so fun in SB when we actually had a chance against high level character when we were lowbies (like 3 lowbies vs 1 high level char), because the dmg (gear) and health didn't scale like in wow.

    Btw this is the first time I got almost an instant reply. I really appreciate it.

  4. My mail blows up whenever someone decided to back-talk me. Crafting in Ultima Online was just about perfect. It wouldn't have been as good if the economy wasn't as healthy as it was. In a game where everything breaks eventually, you have to have a core of care bears to do all the legwork. Most of them didn't mind too much because what other game makes mining ore a suicidal task? Sigh.

  5. I would like to know if they disagree with the EVE part of my reply or something else. If it's about Shadowbane I would be happy to discuss it. (btw I can't wait for SB emulator to be in open beta, just in two months it looks like)

    The mining in UO was great, because with great risk there was a big reward. Part of the reasons why UO economy worked so well.

    What I hate about wow is that they make everything so easy, it isn't fun anymore. I remember that I worked for a piece of pvp equipment (in arenas) for quite a while, then I canceled my sub for a month and when I returned, every noob had the same from just battlegrounds. That's when I decided to quit wow forever. I can't stand if I work for something a long time and then everybode has it for almost no work. But that was a long time ago. Right now, I don't play any mmos right now, because there is just none that wouldn't be only about satisfing whiners and carebears. I was looking forward to Fallen Thrones, which was practically SB 2.0 but from their page it seems they are out of budget.

  6. Ah i see, the number of ppl that disagree is just a number of replies. :)) I was thinking where is the disagree button that I cannot do that.

  7. You know, they made parts of WOW way too easy, but other parts unnecessarily hard. I still contend that any game where you're primarily playing in groups less than 40 people isolated is not a MMORPG. Battlefield is more of a MMORPG than SWTOR, Rift, and WOW.

    I get a lot of flack about my opinions on EvE online, but I assume it is mostly because people invest so much time into something they don't find fun that eventually they have to convince themselves that it isn't a terribly boring experience. I wrote a full article on EvE that I think pretty much covers how I feel.

    I know lots of Gen-Y'ers that are very excited about giving Shadowbane another shot.

  8. Oh, backfire! Yeah, I assumed most of my comments would be critical (which they are).

  9. I think the most fun you can have is in a world pvp. Thats why flying mounts is such a terrible idea (speaking of wow) and having instanced pvp zones where your actions have no consequences whatsoever killed the game for me. There is actually no reason to go to older zones in wow so when there is a new datadisk, the old continent just dies. That's how it shouldn't look like. SB had a great idea of hotzones, where creatares would drop better items (runes, weapons etc) and it made the world pvp so much fun. Hotzones were ever changing so you could fight in so many different scenarios that no instanced battleground can give... Too bad you don't see some of the great ideas in other games.

    I only worry about one thing you said. That 70% what makes game fun is how you imagine it will be and then after three months you quit. I hope SB will prevail, when the developers spent so much free time at it.

    Anyway, I am new to your site (mmosmacktalk got me here), so I will most likely read other articles in the future. I feel we are both frustrated with the state of things and I actually expected from the name of the site that you are just troll (and it hooked me to see more of this page), but what I found has a lot of truth in it and I already favorited the site.

  10. Yeah, I try to be the exact opposite of MMORPG.com. By that I mean I actually try and provide truthful critiques and insights as opposed to selling out for marketing revenue. I try and write something about once a week, but most of my best stuff is a few pages back. Tell your friends..?

  11. I think I will mention you to them in the future, but don't expect them to click on the advertisement, they are the same sort as me :) I actually don't know any ppl that click on them intentionally :) But keep on writing, if you do it for fun, because I think you are doing very well. Good stuff.

  12. That's why I swapped out my ad with a GOG plug. I decided to just promote GOG as an affiliate since I really like what they're trying to do.

  13. I want to say something what is a little offtopic:
    I think there is a big market for a sandbox game. Look how Minecraft, Garry's or games that could be modified by community were successful (half life, morrowind etc.). I think the new Lego sandbox will be a great success. Give the players tools to shape their game/world and they will buy it not only because the game itself, but for the mods too. I think more developers should think about it in terms of sales. Usually they need the development tools anyway internaly, so why not just give them to the community. Some gems were made this way (Dota and Counter Strike are great examples of very successful mods which promoted the sales of the original game).

    Housing in UO was so great, you could change the world by your actions. Ppl want to have an impact on the game. I would like to see more of this in the future. Show me a new MMO, where your actions actually matter. I don't see any as of right now.

  14. I listened to Your Horrible Voice, and I got the impression that you want to play as a predator, but mobs just won't suffice; you want some juicy carebears to set your teeth into. But they all fled to safe games, so you can't get at them. Does that cover it? And do you have any idea how to get those players to play a game where you'd have the opportunity to kill them and take some or all of their stuff?

    It seems like a lost cause to me. Just look at the airport security crap that people are willing to put up with on an every day basis, just to hopefully avoid the tiny risk of getting blown up by terrorists. The terrible consequences of major loss is apparently something to be avoided at any cost. And I just don't see predators supplying enough entertainment for the herd to willingly go near the dangerous waterhole when there are farmers offering free food and water. (What do you mean, "slaughterhouse"? The farmer is our Friend!)

  15. Be nice. I was merely saying that in order to have a healthy economy you need to have care bears in having a healthy economies mandatory for a pvp game.

  16. Aw, I didn't really mean that your voice was horrible. There, there.

    And I agree with your point that a healthy economy is vital for a good MMORPG. I remember seeing that aspect discussed before they released Ultima Online. Think they had a chart with a faucet at the top, and a drain at the bottom, talking about how it was necessary to supply resources, then let them trickle through the system, and be drained by the game. It all looked very appealing to me at the time, but I had lost interest by the time it was released.

  17. Right. The main problem with an economic system like WOW where ultimately you run out of stuff to buy is that there is a potentially unlimited money supply with no necessity to recycle your money (repairs aside).

    UO had housing and equipment replacement as a money sink, but I'd still say they could have done more to make sure money gets taken out of circulation (possibly price adjustments?)

  18. I've been playing EVE for about 1 or 2 months each year for the past 5 or so years and boy oh boy... almost every single thing that was said about EVE is wrong. Where do I even start...
    First of all you actually DO have direct control over your ship. You can click your mouse in space and it will fly in the direction you select, however it will fly at the "normal" speed, such as 200 m/s. With that speed it would take you real time years to fly to neighbor star systems. To avoid that you have warp drive which boost your flying speed to a few AU/s and allows you to quickly travel within star system or even jump gates, which instantly teleports you to one of the nearest jumpgates which are most likely located in nearby solar systems.
    The combat is also not as static as you make it sound. Yes you can select your target, aproach, lock it, run your hand over F1,F2,F3,F4,F5,F6,F7,F8,F9,F10,F11,F12 keys and go afk, but you're allowed and often required (when fighting other players) to micromanage which of your modules are operational so on and so fort.
    Now, about the real time skill training system with no skill cap... if you have ever read any of the beginners or just general game conception guide about EVE you would know that this is a sort of a myth. Yes, older player will have more skills/skill points than a beginner and will continue to do so indefinetly if both players continue to play indefinetly, however the way game works is that in order to fly a certain ship the best you can you only need a certain set amount of skills. So, if you really focus your training into one direction and specialize to fly a certain ship of your choice in a month or two you can be as good in that ship as the guy who played the game since it's launch in 2003. Basically if you fight this guy 1vs1 and you know what you're doing you can beat him. There's no disatvantage other than the gap of game knowledge so to speak. On top of that, the ship class/type system is designed in the way, that each ship class is always usefull and needed in various aspects of the game. No, one month old player in a frigate will not be able to defeat veteran in battleship, but he might be able to disable batleship's warp core engine long enough for his allies to arrive with the bigger guns and roast that sucker.
    Speaking about myself, as I've said I've been sort of a game's fan for a good 5 or so years however I find it hard to get into the game because it's incredibly hardcore. Don't get me wrong. If all you want to do is fly your ship arround, shoot some NPC's, mine some ore, do some crafting or trading and just mess arround, then there wasn't a better time to start playing the game. Game tutorials are informative and well made, there are tons of people willing to help you out and stuff. Wovever, if you want to leave an impact in the game, the one, which makes it to the headlines of multiple gaming sites, then you must play it HARDCORE. You have to threat it as a job. You have to do alot of routine work, you have to know how to program to build yourself tools or have allies who can do it, you must have good social and social engineering skills, economic skills, military skils. Ofc some of tese things are exaggeration but you really need to take the game very seriouly in order to see what this game is all about.
    So yeah... hopefully that clears sdome things up

  19. I'm not changing my mind about EvE. Most of what I was saying was hyperbole, but the game simply isn't fun for me due to the inherent detachment from piloting. Click to move in an environment that should fully navigable is staggeringly restrictive, and if the game was remade today technology would have permitted them to make the game more exciting to play.

    Sadly, it wasn't made today.

  20. Btw sorry, if that sounded like fanboy trying to defend his game. This wasn't my intention. I came to this site from thesandbox podcast and really like this one. I find it conforting that there are people who feel the same way about mmorpg's as I do. Who are sick of the way the genre has been taking for a very long time, who see the flaws of those games and who are vocal about them. Hopefully some developers will wake up one day and bring us a perfect game we all are looking for.
    I'll be sure to check this site in the future. Thanks!

  21. Oh and... I wasn't trying to change your mind about the EVE. I wanted to correct worng facts, becasue if by any chance there are people who listen to podcast but have no idea what EVE is then it draws false picture. However I agree about the lack of excitment, but let's not forget, that even though computer technology keeps greatly advancing, having ~30 thousand concurent users play quake on one server at the same time without gamebraking lag and otehr issues is still not possible. Can't wait for breakthrough in quantum computing:P


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