Posted in Marvel Heroes, Neverwinter, RIFT, Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Secret World, WildStar

6 things that bug me about MMOs that I like

bugmeI think we’re always loathe to outright criticize MMOs that we really like in fear that it will push players away from games that are otherwise terrific. But if you are too scared to do so, then you gain blinders and lose perspective.

Thus, this is my small Monday morning measure of attaining balance by admitting to six things that kind of really bug me about MMOs that I like.

WildStar: For a game that has made such a big, big deal about customization (and excels in this in many areas), the fact that classes can wield one and only one type of weapon (set) vastly annoys me. In most MMOs you can choose from different weapon types and experience different visual flair and animations, but here? What you got at level 1 is the same at level 50.

The Secret World: This game’s wonderful storytelling and nuanced body language is sometimes undercut by faces that are ugly and border on the uncanny valley. The facial art style doesn’t gel for me the way that it should and serves as an irritant when I’m trying to get into the tale.

Marvel Heroes: This game’s social tools are really lacking, I’ve found. There needs to be support to join multiple supergroups, better supergroup tools, and a proper LFG tool. Fast track these, Gazillion!

Star Wars: The Old Republic: I do love that the game has housing, but coming from other MMOs like RIFT and WildStar, it can’t help but fail to live up to the industry standard. I am not a fan of the clumsy hooks and placement interface that makes sorting through one’s decor far more tedious than it should be.

RIFT: Such ugly armor. Such ugly. It makes the awesome wardrobe system weep in frustration. What is up with the armor artists in this game? Why must we all look like first drafts of a ninth grader’s fantasy portfolio?

Neverwinter: Cryptic not only failed to live up to the insanely high standard it set for character creation in City of Heroes, but failed to live up to the industry medium in this respect. I am stunned how hard it is to make good or interesting-looking characters in this game with the sub-par customization options on display. Do they even know how hair looks?

11 thoughts on “6 things that bug me about MMOs that I like

  1. SWTOR half-arsed housing the same way as it half-arsed the dye system.
    The hooks thing was disappointing and I suspect is tied into the fact that filling your strongholds with chairs grants you bonuses for the conquest system. Why they tied the two together remains a mystery.
    And the dye system? Designed entirely to sell more stuff from the cartel market rather than actually be useful or please the players trying to use it. Who really uses most of those hideous dual dyes? They should have copied Guild Wars 2 or RIFT and been done with it.

  2. I always thought the faces in TSW were pretty good. Certainly my character looks as I want her to look. I’ll have to pay more attention to other people’s faces next time I play.

  3. I know what you mean in TSW. It’s only and exclusively in cutscenes, where some faces just have too pronounced bones or stuff like that.

    At the same time you forgot to mention GW2: it has a number of graphical glitches which exist since launch, but nobody ever bothers to fix them. Weapons and armour clipping into each other and free floating armour pieces are kind of “mmo standard”, but somehow look extra ugly in GW2, but to beat all of that, even armours of the same set, so belonging together, tend to clip into each other. For “bonus points”, the asuras toes clip through all of their boots, there’s not one single pair of boots for asuras where the outer toes do not protude outside of the boots. I find that so irritating that i don’t have any Asura character on my account. (I so much had the urge to delete my Asura warrior after playing for 20 levels, when i realized that i’d never get a fix for this annoying issue. )

  4. @Sylow, Are you sure the Asura toes were not a feature?

    I posted a larger response on my blog. Some agreement, though mostly about differing things that annoy me versus Syp’s peeves.

  5. The TSW facial thing annoys me so deeply, because otherwise outstanding voice acting is utterly annihilated by faces that look like the love child of Botox and Thunderbirds puppetry.

  6. @Rowan: A feature? The “highly advanced” Asura can build everything, but can not create shoes which cover all of their toes? They rather use shoes made for human feet and let their toes pierce out on the side? And their toes are so strong that they even pierce through metal armour?

    A similar effect in reverse also can be seen on other races. If you look at the Norn many (not all) armours are “bent” and quite often the details get ugly. That’s because the armours were made for the human characters and the game stretches them up for Norn size. The sme effect can be seen on the Charr, along with often badly fitting helmets (Charrs have the wrong posture for those helmets) and some helmets even remove my Charrs horns. When switching the helmet or removing it, the horns instantly grow back. I don’t think there’s anything in the lore about Charr having detachable horns… *grin*

    That’s not a feature but simply lazyness and indifference of the developer. The Norn and Charr are just lucky that helmets can be disabled and not all armours suffer from the effect of details being visibly overstretched, so you can work around those issues. Only for the Asuras armour-piercing toes there is no workaround.

    (Btw, i also read your comment on your blog, but due all the verification won’t answer there any more. My old OpenID provider recently closed down, all the other options i tried have one or another problem, be it that my nick is in use by somebody else or be it that it only allows me to use my real name. Sorry, no deal for either. )

  7. @Sylow, sometimes you just like to wiggle your toes. Y’know? 😛 Stretchy metal armor is a problem in many a videogame.

    Sorry about the sign-in hoops, but you should be able to use Google, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, AIM, or OpenID. I get nothing but spam when I don’t require some verification. Here, I am signed on a WP/Gravatar account I only use to comment on WP blogs.

  8. @Rowan: Stretchy metal armour as in “looks like metal behaves like a rubber suit” is omnipresent, true. But stretchy in the meaning of “was modelled for a human, now is used on a much bigger character and thus the details look ugly” is less frequent. Also note that many MMOs for the several reasons, this one included, have no extra-large playable races. After all, humans (and elves, and undeads, etc. ) are standard-size and the same assets can be used on all of them. Unusual sizes and appendages always require extra handling and most MMOs avoid that hassle by not having races like that.

    Unfortunately GW2 has those races, but they decided not to invest the extra effort (and mind you, the way their system seems to work, it probably would be extra effort again for every new piece of armour) to avoid graphical glitches on those races. (And why would they? Even on my human engineer i noticed armour pieces of even the same set clipping into each other during many animations. ) Most players seem not to mind or notice this lack of attention to the detail, so i doubt it’ll ever get fixed.

    On your sign-in, i understand and accept your position. Up to a little ago, OpenID was a good option for me, but when i yesterday tried to get a new one, i found that many by now closed their services (just like the one i used did), and on several of the others “Sylow” was already taken, although i am quite certain that i don’t own those accounts. Alas, it’s a personal problem, i just don’t want to start posting under another nick, i’ll see if/when i find a workaround. 🙂

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