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Thread: Game Issues

  1. #1

    Default Game Issues

    You have to ask yourself what is this game missing. why does it seem players will not stick around.
    Why do people mine ore or chop trees in most games. why do they want to do so?

    Well i have played many many many mmo's over the last 14 years

    The major factor that has people doing a skill is because the skill has a goal behind it.
    This game becomes really unpolished when you get noting for your work like mining or logging. the main starting point of doing a craft.
    A person is not entertained with the aspect of leveling a skill. but to wait for their pack to be filled to mill the logs to planks for the xp.

    No value in being a logger or miner if there is no xp in these skills. what i have seen is games that have these skills as there own base of leveling up have become vary popular MMO's

    Headache factor of the game. class changing. run to this city to change your class or that city. no xp for that skill because your a gather. need to drop what your doing to change a class. people would rather play a game with less of the headache. i know many people that play now would not like this to change. but then that many is just a few to the amount of people that would play this as it may be.

    this game has many many gfx errors and bugs. and so many crashes when going city to city porting. These crashes alone and to many makes you want to say screw it. the hardest aspect to adapt to in the game is the combat speed. your asking people that have been given Speed by other mmo' to sit and wait for something to die. combat system is vary vary slow. it be better off as a turn base system. not live combat.

    logging in the game with no char made. a major flaw. at first i was about to quit the game because i figure it would not load the screen to even make a char. i logged in to early. and without an char even made. Most games have a login and then your in game and select a char. to most new mmo players they be lost to this system.

    ambient sound will drive you nuts in this game. endless looping. even with all sound off. i had to make a mod to kill all the ambient sounds. most would not even know how to do that.

    as i said before. people will be ageist something. but then these are just a few that can cripple the game with the bad logic.
    what scares me the most of this game is playing it. so few players and not knowing when it will be shut down. last 6 months alone i have seen 3 games shutdown that were old games and ran for many years. life of this game seems as it is costing more to keep up online then it is worth keeping the server's open.

    what i would like to see is when you use a tool you have changed your class to that job. all xp is divided by the skills that gain xp from the tool. or a gauge you can adjust to were you want the xp. like mining you can put 50/50 to mining and blacksmithing.

    my history of a game i played.
    I started this one game back in late 2000. and it had 1 server with 103 players online. the game was java base and the gfx where great for its time. each skill had its own leveling up system. game had major flaws tho. no banking system and limited gold stacking to 65k (many mule accounts...) well the game was not easy to level up in any skill. and the first skill to ever be maxed to 99 was logging by a player that took over 2 years. well at first it was hard to keep players around. because the vet players did not want to see any changes. but the dev started to ignore what the vets wanted and everything in the game changed. and you know this game today has over 200+ servers and up to 60m accounts made. with 120k players online at high peek hours. you can now level that logging skill to 99 in a month or less. As a vet of that game it took me over 11 years to get to lvl 200 combat as it now takes most up to 3 months. what they found out was boring a person do death with the game. they most-likely not stick with it. making the game more enjoyable faster pace and they will stick around longer then the first 2 weeks. less likely to have turnovers of player signups.
    Last edited by imperialxs; September 15th, 2014 at 07:47 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Game Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by imperialxs View Post
    what i would like to see is when you use a tool you have changed your class to that job. all xp is divided by the skills that gain xp from the tool. or a gauge you can adjust to were you want the xp. like mining you can put 50/50 to mining and blacksmithing.
    Now i would love to see the craft class change depending on tool equipped however. Armour smith, Blacksmith, weapon smith, all use the same smiths hammer. so unless your saying lets have a "weaponsmiths hammer" etc then it won't work

    Also for example your saying "I'll smelt these bars and gain experience in miner, black smith, Armourer, Outfitter, Fitter etc" that idea is just ludicrous you might as well just do away with 75% of classes and end up with just ...

    Blacksmith - Weaponsmith, Blacksmith, Tinker, Fletcher

    Builder - All Building classes

    Gatherer - Miner and gatherer combined

    Outfitter - Tailor, Armourer and outfitter combined

    Spell Crafter - Scholar, Alchemist, Spell Crafter (Apologises to any craft i missed).
    Gwain Drago - Mystic Paladin
    Arzel - Knight of creation/Battlemage
    Aurakvoar - Ancient Lunus

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Game Issues

    Jeweler and Confectioner are the other two of the current 19 craft schools.


    Knossos

  4. #4

    Default Re: Game Issues

    Ok looking at another aspect of the post.. i see this

    Quote Originally Posted by imperialxs View Post
    . the hardest aspect to adapt to in the game is the combat speed. your asking people that have been given Speed by other mmo' to sit and wait for something to die. combat system is vary vary slow. it be better off as a turn base system. not live combat.
    Just wondering if you ever tried hunting in the myloc tunnels or in a large swarm of blights?? but these are rather rare exceptions.

    but saying that to a degree I see a point the problem is to do anything about it your talking of a MAJOR overhaul of the system.. perhaps one way to do it would be to decrease ALL timers by 20% or even more...

    that would me dot's that tick every 5 seconds would have to tick every 4

    casting speeds would have to speed up... casting speed 50 becomes 40

    like wise with weapon swing speeds

    timers would have to decrease.. 30sec timers would become 24 sec timers

    and computers of the players would likewise need to improve. and one very favourable aspect of this game is the fact that it can run on out dated systems.
    Gwain Drago - Mystic Paladin
    Arzel - Knight of creation/Battlemage
    Aurakvoar - Ancient Lunus

  5. #5

    Default Re: Game Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by imperialxs View Post
    as i said before. people will be ageist something. but then these are just a few that can cripple the game with the bad logic.
    what scares me the most of this game is playing it. so few players and not knowing when it will be shut down. last 6 months alone i have seen 3 games shutdown that were old games and ran for many years. life of this game seems as it is costing more to keep up online then it is worth keeping the server's open.
    Don't lose to much sleep on this. If you run around chaos alone, there must be roughly 500+ built plots that are still being paid for after all these years. Whether those toons play or not matters less. a minimum of 500 paying plot holders accounts at 14.95 per month: that's $7475 income per month at $89,700 a year. push that to 1000 paying accounts 14950 a month / $179400 in a year. Then add atleast 200 basic service accounts at $9.95 a month / $1990+$7475 = $9465 a month or $1990+$14950 = $16940 a month / $203280 a year. With no money going to advertising, all they have to do is revamps and maintenance. The game has less to it then most DVD's do now. Doesn't require all that much bandwidth so in turn, the servers don't even need to be turn of the century.
    With numbers like these, why would you shut it down? After 15 years, they still have a over $200k a year income for a game that requires 4 people to run?

    I wouldn't worry about it.

    They can give themselves 30k a year salaries, work 15 hours a week then go to their primary job making another XXX income because this game requires so little. They got it made
    Last edited by Finkledbody; September 19th, 2014 at 10:54 AM.

    Just a little drunk dwarven bi-ped wreaking havoc in chaos.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Game Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Finkledbody View Post
    They can give themselves 30k a year salaries, work 15 hours a week then go to their primary job making another XXX income because this game requires so little. They got it made
    I can assure you that we aren't doing either of those things... paying ourselves crazy salaries or only working 15 hours a week. That said, you underestimate the cost of hosting/bandwidth. Neither is cheap and the game may be 11 years old but it still requires a rack of servers for each shard as well as website and support hosting. Hardware does fail and has to be replaced. we spent a lot of money upgrading components a while back. So, no, its not all money in the bank so to speak.

    That said, since we aren't funded by a large company like EA or Activision we don't have them breathing down our neck to make millions under threat of imminent shutdown. We're owned by the folks making the game and so there won't be a shutdown anytime soon so long as people are playing (and paying).

    Some feedback on other points:

    1) Class changing - This gets tricky when you consider experience. Its not a new request, that's for sure. But it's not something we're ready to do yet either.

    2) Mining/Gathering - Istaria is not WoW or other theme-park games. Crafting in any MMO has a time-sink. For Istaria that time-sink is primarily in the gathering step. Crafted items are instantly made once you have the necessary resources. In other MMOs, such as WoW, for example, the time sink is split between finding the resources and making the items. Nodes are relatively rare so you have to hunt them down (as opposed to being in fields like here) and then you have a casting-style bar for making the items. One at a time, as opposed to bulk. Hard to say which is better, though certainly the experience itself may feel quicker in WoW... but it really isn't. That said, we won't be changing that as the system is a fundamental core piece of the game.

    3) Combat Speed - This is also another aspect that has been discussed for years. And, as pointed out, it would not be an easy switch and would require TONS of play-testing. No tjust for the speed, but for the monster balance and level speed and so on. All of these things are tied together. 11 years in, probably not a good idea to change them.

    Thank you all for your feedback. It is appreciated. Keep it coming!
    "Alea iacta est" -- Julius Caesar

    Toot shouted, voice shrill, "In the name of the Pizza Lord! Charge!" (Jim Butcher's Dresden Files)

    "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spends it whole life believing that it is stupid." -- Albert Einstein

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Game Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by AmonGwareth View Post
    Thank you all for your feedback. It is appreciated. Keep it coming!
    May I give feedback too?

    I know, half of me says: "why, oh WHY do you still care about an ancient game you barely play?".
    But the other half just can't let Istaria go. I am about to renew one of my subs which just expired... I have multiple subs since day zero.

    In the other thread I have posted low cost SEO tips about how to make Istaria more visible without expensive marketing campaigns, I suppose you have seen it.

    Here instead I'd like to talk about the game.

    - The first showstopper is the seemingly endless time required to login. Not sure it can be avoided but I am sure a number of people gave up over this.

    - The second is the super-ancient "memory leak" that makes the game crash after few ports around. Then, you have to wait for another long time to get back in game (see above). Why after 12 years we still have this is beyond me.

    - Gameplay. I LOVE quests. The more the merrier! But in Istaria, even with maximum sight distance settings, the NPCs with a quest only show up if I go up close them. In a game with huge continents, in a game without expecially crafted "valleys" where you are "meant" (game designed) to find NPCs, then a player looking for quests is really out of luck.
    I am pretty sure that even after all these years I have still who knows how many quests to do... I just don't see them.

    Couldn't you put a blue dot on the map or something within 1 kilometer of NPCs with a quest? I don't ask to be given the exact spot (although every other game does that) but just to know that, if I search well enough, I may find that NPC hidden under the 33th sand hill in that 40000 squared miles desert.

    - Also, I'd love for lore quests, loads of them! I so enjoyed the dragons lore, when you released RoP and ARoP I adsorbed every single character of the quests texts like a dry sponge does with water. You CAN create massively awesome quests, please keep doing it and maybe make it humanly possible to find them .

    - Wouldn't it be possible to implement more detailed character textures? I don't mind about revamping the graphics engine, retexturing the whole Istaria or whatever. But dragons have a very small and finite number of available body textures, is it impossible making a better detailed version of their textures? (maybe let people be able to switch them off if their 2003 PC can't handle them).
    I am not asking about altering their bones system (I know the software used for that, it'd be OUCH!), just the body textures.
    Bipeds would have it harder, because I guess it's not as awesome seeing a bikinis upgrade, they wear stuff and that stuff has the old textures on it and there's a lot of it to redo. But it could be done a bit at a time.

    - The last feedback: I know this is hard to change if not impossible. Until some years ago, I felt I had a lot more purpose playing Istaria. I had the rare recipes, I was a renowed spellcrafter who would provide unmatched service (including delivering the crafted spells / gear directly to the buyer, wherever he was).
    Now? I am just "another random". Everyone seemingly have everything. It's almost rude to ask to get paid... money is less than worthless anyway (see huge offers for even mildly rare items). Everyone are independent, can do everything, a lot are "Master <enter here every possible title>".
    I loved to have to interact with people and vice versa to give each other some services. Now, the only way to get something vaguely like that is to work for building plots. I have done that till I got huge nausea just at cutting another tree.
    Isn't anything possible to bring back some of the past freshness and players interaction?
    Vahrokh Vain - Ancient dragon level 100 adv 100 craft 34M of untainted, fireworks and other crap free hoard.
    Isarion - Reaver Healer Spiritist, many craft classes.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Game Issues

    Vahrokh, your suggestions for the website were passed along to the tech-team. Thank you.

    Regarding your other points:


    1. Login times - I believe the tech team is aware of these issues and looking into it.
    2. Had a player send us a message just the other day saying that they remained logged in and active (porting and all) for hours without memory usage going above 850mb and no crashes using the latest Blight client. So, there is hope. Btw, no issues of this sort are ever straight-forward or easy to fix, much less easy to find in the first place.
    3. NPCs - We've added tons of NPCs with quests to the first two tiers. The quests themselves lead you from one to another in the pattern you have described. 99% of the time they follow the roads and give you directions so that you don't need markers on the map.
    4. We add lore specific quests when we can. There are six currently: Axe of Dorogath, Birth of the Myloc, Galderos' Heart, Hammer of Kings, Legend of the Burning Archer, and Nyrevin's Apologies.
    5. Character textures - I cannot answer this personally so I've passed it along to Victoria and asked that she post here.
    6. Purpose - Harder said than done. We've tried to offer more for players with Confectioner, with a Scholar revamp (adding scrolls), and with Crystalshaper. However, with a small player-base nearly everyone already knows everything and will consume any content faster than we can create it. We'll again try it with the Epic items since they will all involve some level of crafting (more complex than before). And we always add small bits here and there, such as special recipes (Island of Ice, Bruttien Homestead, etc). But, there is no one single fix for it all, not with a game that is 11 years old.


    Hope this helps. Thanks for taking the time to write up your feedback.
    "Alea iacta est" -- Julius Caesar

    Toot shouted, voice shrill, "In the name of the Pizza Lord! Charge!" (Jim Butcher's Dresden Files)

    "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spends it whole life believing that it is stupid." -- Albert Einstein

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Game Issues

    Thank you for replying.

    I admire you.


    I am not known for saying this to many people.
    Vahrokh Vain - Ancient dragon level 100 adv 100 craft 34M of untainted, fireworks and other crap free hoard.
    Isarion - Reaver Healer Spiritist, many craft classes.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Game Issues

    To me the slow combat pace is the crown jewel of the game. Battles need a plan hunting at your toon's top range and you will never be truly great at Istarian combat unless you also hone the defensive side of combat. Most games don't offer a battle where you must actively play offence and defence and seemlessly move back a forth between the two. I'd argue that only applies to bipeds here though. Dragon hunting is at a much faster rate due to damage output available to them so Istaria does afford you a chance to pick how you like to hunt which most games don't offer.

    I for one hope we never see an over haul of Istarian combat.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Game Issues

    I am fairly fine with the combat myself.
    I expecially love the attacks where the dragon stands up on his hindlegs and does some drama move
    Vahrokh Vain - Ancient dragon level 100 adv 100 craft 34M of untainted, fireworks and other crap free hoard.
    Isarion - Reaver Healer Spiritist, many craft classes.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Game Issues

    - Wouldn't it be possible to implement more detailed character textures? I don't mind about revamping the graphics engine, retexturing the whole Istaria or whatever. But dragons have a very small and finite number of available body textures, is it impossible making a better detailed version of their textures? (maybe let people be able to switch them off if their 2003 PC can't handle them).
    I am not asking about altering their bones system (I know the software used for that, it'd be OUCH!), just the body textures.
    Bipeds would have it harder, because I guess it's not as awesome seeing a bikinis upgrade, they wear stuff and that stuff has the old textures on it and there's a lot of it to redo. But it could be done a bit at a time.


    Finally got my answer so here you go.
    The body is a part of the compositing system for armor which is picky about size because it uses offsets. So yes, we could do it but it would require a lot more work than the weapons. And, we couldn't do it piece by piece meaning that if we did Humans, for example, we'd have to do all of the textures used at one time by that human (because of the offsets).
    "Alea iacta est" -- Julius Caesar

    Toot shouted, voice shrill, "In the name of the Pizza Lord! Charge!" (Jim Butcher's Dresden Files)

    "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spends it whole life believing that it is stupid." -- Albert Einstein

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Game Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by AmonGwareth View Post
    Finally got my answer so here you go. [/COLOR]The body is a part of the compositing system for armor which is picky about size because it uses offsets. So yes, we could do it but it would require a lot more work than the weapons. And, we couldn't do it piece by piece meaning that if we did Humans, for example, we'd have to do all of the textures used at one time by that human (because of the offsets).
    Yeah I felt the human models would be more challenging to revamp.

    Wouldn't it be possible to start (or at least, test) the upgrade on dragons? If there's some tedious data entry (possibly based on a rescale formula or whatever) to recalculate vertexes coordinates and similar I volounteer to do it. For dragons, my undying love.
    Vahrokh Vain - Ancient dragon level 100 adv 100 craft 34M of untainted, fireworks and other crap free hoard.
    Isarion - Reaver Healer Spiritist, many craft classes.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Game Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahrokh View Post
    Yeah I felt the human models would be more challenging to revamp.

    Wouldn't it be possible to start (or at least, test) the upgrade on dragons? If there's some tedious data entry (possibly based on a rescale formula or whatever) to recalculate vertexes coordinates and similar I volounteer to do it. For dragons, my undying love.
    I just used humans as an example, but every race would require similar effort. To upgrade Dragon textures you'd have to upgrade ALL of the Dragon textures at once. It isn't something we're opposed to, far from it, but the amount of time required to do it is a consideration we have to take into account
    "Alea iacta est" -- Julius Caesar

    Toot shouted, voice shrill, "In the name of the Pizza Lord! Charge!" (Jim Butcher's Dresden Files)

    "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spends it whole life believing that it is stupid." -- Albert Einstein

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Game Issues

    Hmm looking at the existing artwork I have a feeling you are not going to have the manpower to revamp the graphics. Truly a shame



    Vahrokh Vain - Ancient dragon level 100 adv 100 craft 34M of untainted, fireworks and other crap free hoard.
    Isarion - Reaver Healer Spiritist, many craft classes.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Game Issues

    I have to say please don't even think of revamping the combat system.

    I've been playing mmos since original EQ.I always loved a slower system that required you to plan out battles and put some effort into them.

    I've gotten sick to death of the modern mmos where the only way people will accept things is if you just stack damage on top of damage
    so every kill only takes them seconds.Then the devs wanting to please all the younger players cater to this mindset.

    I know I'm showing my age but my reflexes are not what they used to be. I like combat to move at a slower pace and not have a scripted fight where one tiny miss step means instant death.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Game Issues

    It's ok *pats cloudshear on the back*, you're not that old *hands cloudshear their walker*, let's get you over here to the computer desk to play Istaria. There will always be a place for you in the game. :-) hehe

  18. #18

    Default Re: Game Issues

    I totally agree with you, cloud- for the same reasons (age included^^)

    (love your answer Korch- made my day^^)
    YOU told me to play a dragon! [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  19. #19

    Default Re: Game Issues

    Wanted to follow-up on this... The latest patch and client going to blight (soon - I hope!) has improvements that should address some issues. Improving tool switching, performance, and more.

    Some other things we've been looking into... improving weapon textures, that is part of the content patch if it ever reaches blight. Improving world textures, this is a SUPER slow one but we're looking into it piece by piece. We're currently evaluating some new trees that look FAR better than existing trees in the game.

    One other feature I will tease about here that I'm REALLY REALLY (REALLY!!!!) looking forward to is the ability to create scripted sequences for individual NPCs. We've got some improvements to the base system that we're hoping for, but if we get it all we'll be able to really bring to life the towns... not just during idling, but also during quests. Have I mentioned how excited I am about this feature?

    I'm sure there's more but its escaping me at this time.

    As always we very much want your feedback and ideas on how to improve the game. Keep it coming please!
    "Alea iacta est" -- Julius Caesar

    Toot shouted, voice shrill, "In the name of the Pizza Lord! Charge!" (Jim Butcher's Dresden Files)

    "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spends it whole life believing that it is stupid." -- Albert Einstein

  20. #20

    Default Re: Game Issues

    Thank you for the update Amon! If the graphics can be improved, like the trees and even some of the ground textures I think it would go a long way into extending if not renewing interest in the game. I know the models themselves are a bit too much to ask for, but its nice to know that the graphics are getting an overhaul, even if that process is slow and long and has to be done in small chunks. I've played this game on and off for over ten years, so if I have to wait for overhauls on the system bit by bit for say over a year or two, I'm not too bothered to wait that long knowing the patience will pay off.

    I'd love to see the towns come to life just a little bit more, not to the point that it is annoying, but enough that its not lifeless.


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