Archive for the ‘Game Design’ Category

Has League hit its prime? Smurfs / Dynamic Queue And My Own Thoughts on Holy Trinity

August 11th, 2016 No comments

I personally think League of Legends is still doing strong. However, thought provoking videos like this get my attention when they discuss strong points. It also covers how the “support” role is so rare that it causes the queue in high ranked games to really drag on (because no one wants to play support)

I really do wish we could get some distance from the “Holy Trinity” meta that appears in most team based games where you need a Tank / DPS / Healer. I am a bit interested in seeing some experimentation in a different sort of meta whereas we do not see “support” roles thrust upon us in team based moba-likes/MOBA games. One approach is sort of let players create their own “classes” where they are more self-reliant. Another approach that shooters such as CoD/Mass Effect 3 MP employs is that players can regenerate their health or shields when they are no longer in combat. Rainbow Six Siege is interesting since support role only “revives” a fallen player (Doc). They are not heal bots. Siege is a ton of fun too!

In real life, one unfortunately cannot get instantly healed within a few seconds. I think this is why Rainbow Six / Counterstrike has the edge in this aspect because they totally eliminated the ability to heal altogether. So perhaps more thought could be given on a fun alternative method besides forcing players into a support role. This role just tends to not be very popular no matter how engaging designers attempt to make the role. I never played Strife (MOBA game, niche crowd) but they appear to support letting players heal outside of combat. Unfortunately, Strife released after League of Legends and got swept up in the Dota 2 release. But this title deserves an honorable mention for trying to navigate around the support structure.

Now don’t get me wrong- playing support role can be fun! But most of us may enjoy being a DPS role a lot more the majority of the time. If we could get away from heal bots in some moba-likes that might be interesting and could help queue times. Granted, many team games (like Overwatch) just tosses everyone into a lobby. This navigates around queue times being delayed but unfortunately now players have to argue over who plays support. A lot of times it works out but other times it may not.

Categories: Game Design, Video Games Tags:


September 21st, 2014 No comments

Been seeing a bit of buzz about a new sandbox MMO called ArcheAge. Unfortunately, it appears gamers are having some issues with queues. This game looks very cool though from actual player housing (non-instanced), naval battles, and the ability to freely construct your avatar out of multiple skill sets.

Categories: MMO Tags:

GDC Online 2010 [Austin]

October 16th, 2010 No comments

So I attended GDC Online this year. I missed the David Perry talk whereas they have a new technology that allows the user to play game demos that stream over the internet. The kicker- the game actually runs fully on the server and employs Cloud Computing technology they call Gaikai. It’s a lot different from OnLive in the aspect that the game developer is charged rather than the gamer.

Attended a talk whereas Ubisoft discussed bringing over their MMOs to the East (China) and the challenges they faced. The talk was very informative. It drove home many of the familiar points

A) It’s easier to start off as a Free to play title then go Subscription based
B) Eastern gamers are more eager to embrace F2P Models

Sadly, I missed CCP’s Talk about the benefits of bringing terrority takeover to MMO space. They did this talk on a different day than I planned to attend :(

There was a crapload of buzz about Unity. I’ve heard about it before and meant to check it out. Apparently, they made their tech very accessible and the pricing structure is very flexible allowing many small teams to hit ground zero running. We played a game (Ruined Online) developed using the tech that actually played in a web browser. Apparently, Unity has a web based plugin. Very impressive indeed.

I also help man the Vigil games booth this year (was there in person Friday) and talked to several game developers and future game devs. It was nice to see all the talent gearing up getting ready to enter the industry. Hopefully, I was able to give out some good advice on getting started

Categories: Games Industry, MMO Tags:

Star Ocean: The Last Hope

February 23rd, 2010 No comments

Finally beat this one today along with Army of Two: 40th day (this weekend). I thought Star Ocean was a pretty solid RPG. Added a short writeup below


Okay going to keep this one brief. No spoilers. Total playtime was around 50 hours (hard to be certain, I go afk alot)


1. Really enjoyed developing my characters

2. The Combo system was quite clever. Really enjoyed maxing out the combo skill and allocating skills to consume my combo points

3. Really enjoyed the powers my characters learned

4. Really liked some of the eldarians

5. Fairly clever use of the party system. You can take the entire party with you on adventures. However only 4 people can be active at once. I actually preferred this system over Dragon Age Origins

6. Fun combat system with a bit of twitch in there. Was pretty fun

7. Game endings for party members was a nice touch’

8. I’ve read game has a final dungeon after you beta the game.


1. Cannot select enemy mobs directly. I am very puzzled by this decision. This almost completely ruined a fun combat system for me.

2. Lymle or whatever her name was; she was a total pain. Really hated all of her lines. Maybe Japanese voices in the International version will improve this

3. I found the main character, Edge, somewhat highly annoying as well after mid way through the game. However, his character sort of at least rebounds again a few hours later

4. I love watching Anime. But really didn’t dig the anime art style at all

5. Long stretches between Save points later on in the game. I mean, for hours. That long of a stretch. Luckily, this was literally the last dungeon. But that was pain

6. Final boss fight (last stage) was just total too long winded. Took way too darn long. Just endless repetition. I really feel Bayonetta did a much better job with their boss fights. You really should only punish the player for not following the routine or making the wrong moves. But once they solve the puzzle, you proceed. Not so with this game. I dreaded the final boss cause I knew it would be pain. And it was. Almost was a deal breaker. Way too long winded

7. Cutscenes way were too long winded for my taste. Could’ve sworn they went 45 mins or so. And I LOVE cutscenes. In particular, it’s the cutscenes towards the end of the game that a bit long winded. Before that though, they were okay

Categories: RPG, Video Games Tags:

taikodom / Wakfu

June 9th, 2009 No comments

Watched a few episodes of Wakfu anime and thought that was pretty cool. I noticed someone suggested I should list the Wakfu MMORPG in the sandbox section. I’ll check it out. But anyway, my first impression is that it doesn’t qualify due to the presence of a rigid Class structure and so forth. but still looks cool!

Taikodom is a game I’ll be adding to my list of space games however, since it seems to ofc fit into that genre quite nicely

Categories: MMO, PC Games Tags:

Gnostaria, The Saga of Ryzom, etc

August 5th, 2008 No comments

Saw this Indie MMO that is in closed testing called Gnostaria. Looks pretty cool will be sure to keep an eye on it. Also noticed Saga of Ryzom servers are backup trying to get logged on right now

Categories: MMO Tags:

Skill-based Asian MMOs

July 21st, 2008 No comments

Just saw this post by HanshotFirst at

“Silk Road Online immediately comes to mind (though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it). Another is Dream of Mirror Online, which despite being “cute” actually has a pretty cool multi-profession, skill-based system. Oh and another I believe is Mabinogi by Nexon, though I never got much farther than the tutorial.”

Had no idea will have to take a look :)

Categories: MMO Tags:


July 9th, 2008 No comments

Lively looks very interesting might have very nice potential for 3d chatrooms and meeting places created by users. Lots of rooms up already. Reminds me of Habbo Hotel or something. Massively wrote up a short article on it.

Categories: MMO Tags:

Atlantica Online

July 6th, 2008 No comments has an interesting writeup about a turn based mmorpg called Atlantica Online. My guess is that the mmorpg market has become so saturated that developers are finding the need to innovate. Personally, I’m mostly look forward to MMOFPS but Turn based gameplay also gets my attention because that’s a lot less ping dependant and could possibly allow for some interesting innovation in regards to UI and strategy.

Hm, okay found a film on youtube it’s not really the hex grid type of strategy RPG I had in mind. I still might check it out but it’s not quite the board game based combat I had in mind after reading the article

Categories: MMO Tags:

Runes of Magic

July 4th, 2008 No comments

Massively provided some details about Runes of Magic, a new MMO that allows dual classification.

Runes of Magic will include a dual class system, where you will choose a primary and a secondary class, armor dying, player housing, crafting, an auction house, unique mounts, a fully customizable user interface and either click-to-move or WASD controls.”

Interesting they choose the ‘dual class’ approach over totally freeform like Champions Online, Well Online, Mortal Online, etc all offer. Their implementation of player housing might be interesting though might be something to follow

Categories: MMO Tags: