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About gropos

  • Birthday 09/21/1966

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  1. There are some good points here when you get past the emotion.    1. Killing the trigger and owning it - Makes sense in theory, but can be, has been and will be exploited. Let's be serious, this will simply turn into the three guilds designating a cloaked jen to sit at each trigger, take the kill instantly then worry about getting enough people there. Tell me you don't see this coming if this is the stance?   2. Raid frequency and loot saturation - Some of the concerns here are spot on in terms of smaller guilds. I know, I led a small one throughout live and lived this already. While a valid point, it is currently near moot. The fact is the server population is dwindling. if anything, the devs could justify longer spawn times at this point. If we get to the point above where there are 12 raiding guilds, God bless, because the game would be in a far better place and spawns/triggers could be 24 hours without impacting balance.   3. I like Muhir's point a LOT that it would benefit the community greatly if there were periodic, open, auction events. It would allow participation, and reward, to a far bigger audience. It would take teamwork and cooperation and it would take commitment to structure.   4. I should have made this 1... There will be no scenario which allows any one guild to dominate content/raids/loot. I don't care how big and strong you are, you aren't bigger than the game or stronger than the rest of the server combined.   5. He said/she said is crap. Actions speak louder than words and while imperfect, the game was a lot less stressful two weeks ago. Keep this up and there wont be a community at all.
  2. The old healing the shear and mars construction projects were good examples of non combat content and alternative ways to get gear.
  3. Stanig is not wrong, but he is only half right as well when it comes to players leaving. I have watched any number of players in my own guild rocket to 150, gear up and disappear, coming back every few weeks or so to ask if there is anything new. For the most part, this area of attrition has already burned through.    The other reason is that the real draw of EnB was community.   Guys (and Gals), it is time to wake up and pull your heads out of your collective tookus's. This game is the equivalent of the Movie "Titanic". You ALREADY KNOW how it goes. You have played it before. A great many of you have read the story line and know what is coming. I for one can't wait to see how it plays out. If you are here for the gear, you are playing the wrong game. Go back to wow where you can have better gear every few months if that is what draws you.   This game will live and die with its community. When people go hours or days not getting something built, it is a big turn off. When they get snide answers to check the forums, its a turn off. When they hear the big kids fighting over gear they haven't yet dreamed of, its a turn off.   I don't get it. I really don't. Stanig is dead right that this issue isn't a dev issue. It is a human being, common courtesy issue. We can have chaos, anger and anarchy and the last people standing can stare at their pixels with pride while they listen to crickets because everyone else has left. Or, we can be reasonable, responsible adults that understand that we have been given an imperfect gift and the days of taking your ball and going home rather than compromising should have been done twenty or forty years ago.
  4. By the way, the monument to live concept went out the window the second the new classes, sectors, items and events were added... and they are AWESOME.
  5. If I were to ask the dev team individually what the most important thing going on right now, would I get a dozen answers or one? If it isn't one, maybe it would be a good topic for discussion among yourselves and ideally at least the advocate.   I've been giving this a lot of thought and would like to offer my considered opinion for a starting point of discussion:   Factually, Earth and Beyond as created by Westwood Studios and published by Electronic Arts was a commercial failure. 8,000 conspiracy theories aside, let's face that fact. The game never came close to the numbers of subscribers projected. There is a fantastic parallel in the TV world, the series Firefly, which coincidently also had a rabid and loyal following.   Why then, is anyone obsessed with recreating live? Why treat live as some sort of inviolate monument to perfection?   We, the players, have been given a gift. The concept, the mechanic, the basic play and most important, the friendships and community that we remember from when. That is what we missed. what we cherished. Not whether the dish dancers were at nav x or y and were level 5 or 6.   You, the devs, through your own hard work, and the support of the playing community, have been given a gift as well. That of freedom from the constraints that the original enb had. The ability to touch on topics or content that corporate would never approve. The ability to introduce change and content at whatever pace you choose, not the crumbs in live designed to keep the player base paying their 11.99 each month waiting for more. It would be good to remember that time sinks in MMOs are primarily designed to keep paying customers occupied. You aren't bound by that issue in the same way.   In my corporate life, I have been a CEO, a VP of Marketing, a VP of Operations, a Coach and a Mentor. I offer the thoughts above and someone who cares about the future of EnB and wants to help.
  6. Wall o'text? Heck Nate, you used grammar, paragraphs and everything this time!   Seriously though, as in life, communication is everything. If there is one true statement of fact, beyond death and taxes, it is that people, as a whole,  ASSUME THE WORST. The only way to successfully address this very human nature is through communication.   At the risk of it being lost in what is now a very long thread, I have a suggestion: Detailed patch notes that flesh out changes a little and provide context for the more controversial changes.
  7. Face, I respect your well thought out post and position, but there is no going back. The term "live" has been used and the promise has been made that there will "never" be a wipe again. Folks who dabbled in ST off and on, but didn't commit as much time as they might have, did so because they knew a wipe was coming and did not want to get emotionally invested. The breach of trust involved in a wipe now, after the literal promise of no such thing, would be insurmountable.   As a player base, we are absolutely passionate. Some folks will whine all the time and have all their lives. Many more will try to be constructive and the overwhelming rest are the silent majority. There may be moment where people get pissed or frustrated at the devs, but they are only moments and it is because they care so deeply. The community as a whole, to their core, respect, and appreciate the devs and all they have done and sacrificed. Wiping now, for whatever reason, would break that trust forever. It simply can't be done without literally destroying the game.   You hit on it anyway. I agree completely that the player base as whole wants a stable game more than anything. Stability also means knowing that if they went through hell for the challenge and satisfaction of doing Agrippa, they aren't going to have to do it again some day.
  8. Dark,   Thanks for all you have done. The first time each of us was able to log back in and experience the wonder again was a gift I never expected and could only hope for.   Best in all you do.
  9. Kyp, I'm not at all saying to ignore balance. I am saying that you will never get it 100% right. Every step taken has the risk of or the likelihood of unintended consequences. In this case, how important was it that support classes do less damage? Not to make light of it, but we are not talking about a 1 for 1 exchange here. If you have statistics, it would reason that the overwhelming majority of damage in game through Monday, was being done by warrior classes.   To take statistics in a different direction, since a dev already quoted this one on this thread, lets try this: If the waking nightmare is THE most widely owned turbo item on the server, for arguments sake lets say it takes 10 man hours to complete the quest line. I'd argue that while possible to do it much quicker, in practice the folks who have the item spent at least that over the course of the steps. Now multiply that times how many warrior class avatars possess the item. 100? That would mean that 1,000 man hours of player time in aggregate has been completely negated, and in fact penalized as the new WN is inferior to the CVE everyone started with (warrior class).   Pointing that out is not whining. It is highlighting the sometimes real world impact of unintended consequences.   On a second note, I happen to agree that jobs were overpowered. That said, at the risk of pissing everyone off, I am going to mention that which must not be mentioned: WoW. Though it infuriates hard core gamers (sound like anyone here you know?), one thing they get right in the big picture is that they make it very accessible to low level/new players. You might want to consider purposely imbalancing jobs at lower levels. Becoming 150 was a HUGE deal in early live. The first of us didn't do it until November, so I agree with you completely, that 150 should be an accomplishment. That said, the forum poll shows only 9 folks who are new to enb (that didn't play live). We need to attract and retain more folks like that.
  10. Played from the first day of live until the last day when the servers shut down on Orion. Was the leader of GSX Elite, the best bunch of people I have ever gamed with. Followed this from concept and first tried it when you had to Houdini the install. It is quite different now for those that did not get to enjoy that experience. It has come a long, long way.
  11. Enough with the playing Interstellar Chicken already. That is part of the problem, not the solution. Without Devs and their time and effort, there is no game. No one wants them to leave and I truly believe that most appreciate what they do. That said, chasing players and daring and encouraging them to leave will kill the game just as dead. Without both, you have nothing, so everyone needs to accept that the players and the Devs NEED each other.   There is a point of critical mass where the community (game) can sustain and there is a point where it reaches a death spiral through attrition.   Let me ask an honest question of each of you reading this:   Does the content of EnB now, or did it in live, come close to the best game you have ever played?   Not even close. As an MMO, it is not designed to be a thrill a minute game that has a defined beginning, middle and end. MMOs, any MMO is going to have huge amounts of dead space, time and grind. What makes that palatable, and even enjoyable and rewarding are the people you are playing with, the community.   Maybe that is what is missing/needed. Not a player advocate (not knocking the role), but an actual Dev level community manager. Just a thought.
  12. Excellent points Kingdud.   In live, the only reason anyone I know did explore jobs, was because once the galaxy was explored, there was no other way, short of cl50 and tl50 carryover (I am purposely ignoring grouping with a miner). Combat is everywhere and it gives good trade xp as well in the form of loot. Trade experience comes from loot, or trade runs. "The spice must flow!" Who remembers how hard it was to even get near Jess Edarte in live? The Somerled Bazaar was a zoo.   It would be an interesting exercise to know how much explore experience is needed in aggregate to get to EL50, then how much is available to non miners in the form of mapping the galaxy and reasonably found missions in aggregate. The difference I suspect is rather huge and until there is an alternative introduced as you suggest, it is probably not unreasonable that explore jobs be intentionally overpowered in terms of experience compared to the other two, even if it means offering only explore xp, instead of explore and trade as it has to this point.
  13. I have been the CEO of a $350 million company and an operations and marketing executive prior. My brother is an accomplished game developer whose work you likely know. He founded two game studios, sold one of his companies to EA and is currently the Product Manager for 3D Studio Max. He literally created by many accounts the second most popular mod ever, Desert Combat. He and I have brainstormed over games since the days of our Atari 400. He knows of my passion for EnB, to the point that when he sold his company to EA, I had him ask about EnB. We spoke of the possibility of bringing it back in any way and of the fledgling at the time emu concept. It didn't seem reasonable in 2006~ that it could be done.   So, when I say what a staggering achievement I consider this game, I ask that you consider the context of that compliment. Also know that I have not been shy in sharing that opinion in game and out.   When this game ended in the early morning hours of September 22, 2004, it left a hole that I did not think could ever be filled. I left my client open, DC icon and all, for a month, just so I could look at my friends, my ship and the Planet Zwei moonrises. I watched Cheezebaal's video hundreds of times and to this day, I choke up when I hear Green Day's Good Riddance.   You make a dangerous, and I believe at best partly correct, assumption when you conclude that everyone leaving are the whiners who have nothing to do. The people, at least the ex-Orionites, that I have seen leave for that reason are the exact same ones who left after the March 16, 2004 sunset announcement. Those that stayed post sunset, knowing their pixels were going away and not caring. Those that stayed for the community and created an even better one. Those were many of the first ones here. Those are the ones you need to worry about, because they don't care about the "next shiny thing", they care about the experience.   The only "end game" I care about is that there isn't one again.   I'm going to share a true story. When Teddy Roosevelt created the National Park Service, they decided that wolves were too dangerous and powerful and a threat to the deer among other species. They set about to balance the scales by hunting down the wolves. As a result the deer population exploded and they began to starve instead.   I'm not saying to ignore balance, but understand that you will never achieve it, and that is OK.
  14. Lets leave the other classes out of it for a second and look at warriors.   As a warrior, we spend days camping and killing to get a cve in the first place, which offers 12% turbo as well as a speed buff. The device is level 7 and it is tradable, giving it both value and flexibility. We then take weeks in most cases, mine certainly, to find the servant up and go through the 16 steps. At no point is it mentioned in any way that this is meant to be non warrior content. So we bring groups of friends at least once, probably twice (boss and 12 commanders) to advance the quest. When this is done, we are required to trade in our lvl 7, tradable turbo device to receive a lvl 8 device that adds 20% instead. This was a lot of work AND a sacrifice of a key item. This is done in lieu of camping a plagues bite, which is an almost mythical drop at this point. It is fair and reasonable.   Now, retroactively, you have invalidated weeks worth of work and replaced our item with an item that is inferior to what we started with and can not be traded away. By making it the EXACT same buff as the CVE, it no longer stacks, so it also makes the new CVE that you have now spent more days to replace, also useless.   I get that you are not looking to have 99% turbo explorers out there, but blatantly and brutally disregarding and disrespecting the time and effort spent already is beyond the pale. You could have just as easily made the item 11 or 13% turbo so it would achieve what you wanted with non warriors without completely destroying what many people have spent their own valuable time working on.   I don't care about the pixels, I rarely use them anyway and I have a real life. That said, I have a limited amount of recreational time and having it so callously disrespected and disregarded has me far more mad than ruining a device ever could.   This game is not a technical exercise. What you are doing affects real people . If you keep treating them like code, intentionally or not, when that day finally comes where you say "Finally, completely, working as intended" you are going to find yourself in a very lonely galaxy.
  15. I've been around here quite a while, though I don't choose to post much. I am not interested in drama and remember all too well how meaningless all our pixels were in live. I have been unconditionally supportive of this endeavor and grateful for the opportunity to be in this wonderful universe once more. I have stated on many occasions, both in game and out, what an incredible accomplishment the emu is.   That said, I allowed myself to be lulled into thinking this was some kind of by gamers, for gamers, enjoyable place to be and play. I have sat back and watched unhappy player after player leave and rolled with it. The truth is, or at least actions say, that we, the players, have no more control and are no more respected than we were in live. Sure, a number of devs are much more accessible, which is great to be sure. EMU is a technical wonder.   That said, history is littered with beautiful and even fun games that are dead. The reason they are dead is they never had, or they lost, their community. Without an active, engaged, passionate playing community, no MMO can survive. It would be hard to imagine a more passionate base than EMU started with, starting with the developers themselves. Without that passion and community support, we don't get to be where we are today. Which brings me to my point:   Where are we today? In my opinion, we are well along our way to alienating a majority of the playing community. This has been going on for months and shows no signs of changing. At a point in time where fewer and fewer players log on and less and less is going on, the game gets less accessible instead of more. Just ask newer players, or even veterans, how hard it is to find a build now.   I understand that this is a work in progress, and always will be. That said, in the real world, even in the old EA world, patch day was a day we all looked forward to. What would be new. What would be exciting. Sure there were nerfs and people whined, but they were the exception, not the rule. Why else can we still collectively recite them now? Here in the EMU, patch day has become something to be dreaded. Every single week, players morbidly await the patch notes to find out exactly what has been nerfed, taken away or otherwise made less fun or interesting. Game wide, drops are rare, events even more rare.     Today, we added credits to jobs at the expense of experience. few people need credits, but leveling just got much more difficult. To what end? What is gained?   Today, we had an item, the Waking Nightmare, which was very difficult to obtain, requiring a 16 step mission, from a mob only sometimes available. It requires a group at more than one step. It also requires the sacrifice of a rare and valuable item (the CVE). To a rational person, this makes some sense. Take a nice item, go through hell and get it marginally improved (12% to 20% turbo). Today, we come back from the patch to find that this item has now been nerfed to match the CVE. So everything you did for the quest was for NOTHING. For a higher level to equip and now inferior device, and you lost your own device to get it. A little note saying as originally intended does help it make any more sense.   This is the kind of absurd changes that alienate people week after week. Time is precious, none of us want to see ours invalidated. That means the players don't either, not just the devs. If the devs don't start keeping a better finger on the pulse of the community and do keep making more tone deaf changes like this, there wont be a community to alienate anymore.   I beg you. For the sake of a game we all, you and the players both, love, stop making patch day something to be dreaded.
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