Off Week Update (for Ep. 13)

Off week update already? Where does the time go?

In case I haven’t repeated it ad nauseum in my videos, I’m currently heading out for MAGfest. Literally. I should be packing, not writing this.

Regardless this is my self-imposed duty do I’ll get something out before I make the drive.

First off, next ep… should go smoothly. I had to do a few things differently, but hopefully that won’t cause an issue in editing. It WILL probably cause an issue in vid length and quality, simply because it’s a browser-based Flash game, and my processor doesn’t like doing those at the same time it’s using fraps, or Debut, or what ever else I have to jury-rig to in order to get what I need. I’m almost positive this ep is going to be late. For real this time!

In other news, I probably have a few new fans… or enemies from my City of Heroes review. For those of you scratching you heads at what I just said, let’s just say that when I said the community was “passionate” I forgot how close that also includes a few of bits of “obsessive”. Ok, before you think I’m harping on all of you, I’ll say that’s not the case. My comments on BT and here have been, for the most part, overwhelmingly positive for a review I thought I had to rush through. In fact, a second version was just uploaded to fix issues I had with a credits typo, and adding the definition of “cooldown” when I first mention it.

However, I only recently found out the REAL reason the poll had so many votes for CoH. Ya know how I said that the forums posted about the poll? Well, yes they did… but whoever runs the CoH Facebook page at Paragon Studios also posted it there to it’s 50k plus fans. Most of whom probably said, “Not sure what this is. Voting CoH anyway. COH ALL THE WAY WOOOO!”

Well Paragon again posted on the CoH page, this time linking to my review. And… wow… did I apparently piss some people off. While I’m certain most of the people didn’t really watch the entire video, as most of the critiques was “Not sure what this is. What is he talking about WoW? CoH is better. COH ALL THE WAY WOOOO!” there were a lot of people who gave legitimate complaints, but stemming mostly from not exactly knowing what I do. So I’m going to clarify here:

1. “It doesn’t cost much to unlock those features! If you can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be playing!”
This stems from my referring to how limited the game was in chat if you didn’t pay for anything. Hate to burst the bubble, but this is a Free-To-Play review show. I review the game as a free-to-play, regardless of the model of F2P used. Trust me, I’d mention how limited WoW’s F2P model is as well. Doesn’t make it less true.
It also doesn’t matter how “cheap” it is to unlock these features. If one has to pay 50 dollars or 50 cents, it’s still not “free”. Half these comments came from long time players who admittedly didn’t even know how the F2P model worked.

2. “Combat isn’t slow!”
Ok, fine. The combat does end up getting faster when you get more powers at later levels, but when starting out, and especially coming from another MMO when your character, especially as a melee class, just STANDS there taking punches while you wait to decide if you want to stab them again… that’s slow to me. People also took offense to me saying there was no auto-attack, and well… there isn’t. What I mean by that is one I right click on my enemy, as in most other MMO games, my character should start attacking them. If I’m wielding a ranged weapon I should start taking shots. If I am melee I should be punching or swiping constantly. This game doesn’t do that at all. As I said, in order to attack at all you need to use a power, which is the equivalent of only being able to attack with spells in other MMO games. (A line which kept getting taken out of context, and reminds me about something I’ll talk about in three.) In addition to that, You’re frozen in place while they cast, and completely unable to move, and if you’re used to playing a caster class in other MMOs this is going to feel really restrictive. Add to that the fact that these powers don’t usually do all that much damage, have a high chance of missing early on, and have a shockingly long cooldown. (Yes the enhancements let you change these as much as you see fit, but the early ones are, as I’ve been told on several forums, nigh useless, so it really sours the newbie experience.)  Yes, other MMO’s have a casting time, but a lot of powers are “instant” letting you move while using them, and most basic mage casting spells take 1-3 seconds on average to conjure, and can be cast again IMMEDIATELY after launching the spell. Unlike those games, though, positioning, and movement isn’t nearly as important, and this doesn’t effect the gameplay whatsoever. Your character CAN take a good beating most of the time. I was told that Ctrl-clicking on a power will let that one auto attack as long as an enemy is in rage, so there;s that, but not what I meant by “auto attacks” The same goes for “Aura powers”.

3. “They’re “missions”! Not “quests”!” 
I hate “rebranding”. What’s “rebranding”? Rebranding is when you take an existing and common concept and give it a brand new name, despite having changed nothing. LOTRO was filled with “rebranding”, going as far as rebranding the stats as well as the names for guilds, and parties. In MMO’s there are common terms that carry across all of them. The most common is “quest”. Did an NPC tell you to go to a certain location and retrive/kill/find some sort of book/monster/guard? Congrats. You’re on a quest. It doesn’t matter of the game I’m playing calls them “excursions”, “missions”, “adventures”, or “skiddlyborts”, they are quests. It’s the name most recognized by the community at large. In the review when I first identify the quests as CoH as “missions”, I continue to call them that for the rest of the review. The same goes for me calling “Supergroups” guilds. They’re guilds. That’s what the MMO community calls them. Case in point when I said the line, “In LOTRO at least they let you chat and join guilds”, if I had said, “In LOTRO,  at least they let you chat and join Kinships” would anyone outside of the LOTRO community have known what the hell I was talking about?

4. “You’re just a WoW lover! GBTWoW!”
You know I haven’t played WoW in over 6 months, right? I think THIS is why people are so pissed about my calling the game terms by the simplified MMO equivalents. Because they’re the same terms used by WoW. And they think I’m a WoW fanboy “angry” at CoH. You know why I mention WoW so much? Because it’s the game I’ve played the longest. It’s the one I’m most familiar and most importantly, it’s the most popular and identified MMO in media. It’s the easiest for outsiders of the MMO community to relate to. I sure as hell don’t see WoW as the be-all-end-all of MMOs and I’m not trying to convince people to play that game instead. It’s the whole reason a “Play-Pay-Pass” system exist so I can compare the game I’m reviewing to the most expected standard, and let people know objectively what the game is like so they themselves can make the informed decision to play it or not.

5. “Your review was limited/rushed!”
Yes. It was. But not in the way most people think it was. Check out some of the other MMO reviews out there if you want to see limited. I’m maybe seen only one other person try to delve into the entirety of the game, and you can imagine what kind of hell they would wreak on your social life and video release schedule. TBH, I think I’m taking a risk with a fortnightly show, considering that it doesn’t lend itself to recognition as well. Yes, I don’t have all that much time to delve into an MMO as someone who’d take a month o more between them, but I’ve always been about the basic ideal and concept of the game. A newbie’s guide. An outsider looking in. Of COURSE an insider is going to know the ins-and-outs of playing a game they’ve been with for years. I’m not going to know this, and I’m not going to ask. It’s unfair “above-the-board” knowledge to those who AREN’T going to have someone hold their hand throughout the entire review…. Also isn’t  it more fun to let players discover the quirks and deeper aspects of the game themselves? Isn’t discovery of new things what a LOT of people look for when playing MMOs?
The simpler fact was… this review was scheduled for Christmas week, and I had a LOT of things to do… and once Christmas actually came around, I got sick. This was NOT an easy one for me to finish.

Honorable mention: “This game does have a loot system!”
It’s a crafting system, and it’s not available to F2P. When I think loot system, I think taking stuff off of enemy bodies, having to prioritize space. Selling things I find to NPCs, and constantly wanting to upgrade to the next +5 Sword of Unending Disappointment. Enhancements come a lot closer to this system but not close enough that I feel it’s the same. Some players are admitted loot whores and only want to play a game so they can raise their e-peen level with an intangible item written in purple text. Those people would be lost in CoH.

Well, sorry for the rant, but I figured I’d try to clarify my points a bit better… I must be off though. I should have left for MAGfest a half hour ago.


Posted on January 4, 2012, in News and Updates. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Dang, man. Gotta say I’m impressed that apparently so many people took your video to heart, for good or ill. Keep up the good work, and someday maybe you can piss off THE WORLD!

  2. Goodness… people took offence to a well-informed review designed to help new people make up their mind if they wanted to play it? It’s the internet, of course, but I’m still amazed people thought you were doing the review solely for those already playing the game (why would they need a run-down on what they already know?).

    I just wanna say thanks for your awesome reviews though. I haven’t played an MMO in many years because of my job, but watching your reviews is still very enjoyable to me. :)

  3. I apologise on behalf of the City of Heroes community. We’re a dedicated bunch, but far too many people are… Hostile towards other games and not ready to admit some obvious flaws. Far too may will hear you mention WoW and go off on you without a second thought. When your Poll was originally posted on the boards, I was one of those encouraging people to at least watch a couple of your videos before voting just so they know what they’re voting for, but for Paragon Studios to post it on their Facebook page… Yikes!

    You get the good with the bad, and City of Heroes has kind of a dual nature. For the most part, the community is good, and when it’s good, it’s REALLY good. But then sometimes the community is bad, and when it’s bad, it’s just embarrassing. And I say that as one of the people to originally suggest you review City of Heroes.

    I feel now as I did when I first watched the video – you did a good job. Sure, there are things you could have focused more on, like the store, and sure there are things you may not have gotten quite right, but what you experienced, you experienced as a brand new player. That’s important. I feel that many of my fellow players (and the City of Heroes development team, too) need to realise that this is not a perfect game and admit that it has problems. Glaring, obvious problems that veterans have simply gotten used to.

    Really, if you stick to the game and don’t worry about the forums or the “extended family” of fans that show up on Facebook or Ustream or YouTube or any of the other official and unofficial sites, it’s a pretty dang cool one. Most of the time, people will be glad to help you in-game. I apologise for the response you got.

  4. Don’t let it get to you. I personally really enjoy MMO Grinder and find it very informative. It actually opens my horizons to many different MMOs so that if I decide to start playing one, I’m not limited to just my knowledge of how Guild Wars, WoW, or DC Universe is. Keep it up, and I hope you have fun at MAGFest!

  5. Im sorry, but did I read that correctly? “If you cant afford to pay, then you shouldnt be playing”. Someone said that about THIS game? THIS game that failed as a P2P MMO and was forced to adopt a F2P business model? The whole reason to play a F2P game is because you either cant or dont want to continuously pay to play a game.

  6. With more popularity comes more criticism, I didn’t think you needed to explain yourself but it’s nice that you did so anyway. CoH definitely has a rabid fanbase and even though there’s some haters within the game, they’ll still tend to go after what they feel are haters outside the game. I thought your review was pretty good for a 2 week view of the free to play game. And I’ll be keeping an eye on your show for other F2P games I might be interested in. I’d really like to see you eventually compare and contrast the other superhero games on the market. Personally I’m still annoyed that DCUO never added a “fly down” button to the keyboard, but that’s a whole nother story.

  7. …I wouldn’t mind going on skiddlyborts. They’re fun and have double rainbow sprinkles.

    In any case, you do touch on some good points. People are going to be critical no matter what you tell them. You and I both know that. You go with what you know. You know WoW. It’s very popular and most people know that. If you want to use it as an example, you should. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

    For those wondering who I am, I’m the guy in the COH video who was playing Manta aka the blue dude shooting electricity aka one of the characters from my comic.

    I’ve seen the comments people made about the video and they’re really unfounded. They seem to miss the point of the show. It’s a free to play MMO show. It would have been best if they saw things all the way through and not judge it so harshly. But, people are going to do whatever they want. It’s the nature of the Internet.

    In playing with ChaosD1, we actually discussed some of the game’s aspects. We played the game a good week as he was working on the review. He and I even played a good five hour stretch. We got the point of the game pretty clearly and understand it well. Don’t think for a second he didn’t “get” it. We discussed what was working and what didn’t work in the game. He mentioned what he was going to put in the video and it worked once he put it together.

    The COH review is solid and I shook my head at the comments you got. Was this really how the community wanted to present itself? The game got a great spotlight and is a great game to play. Does it have issues? Yes. What game doesn’t? It’s best to take the reviews as they are. A review. Someone’s opinion. Do not cry foul when you haven’t totally grasped the point of the show.

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