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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014

Trioptical wrote:

Alright, not here to debate the virtues of not designing by committee and what not; just want to have a fun design focused discussion on what was good and not good in MAG, as applicable to a hypothetical continuation of the franchise.

 

Getting back on topic, one of the problems with having so many players in a game was that it required lots of players, which occassionally made wait times long and near the end often playing a Domination match was impossible.

 

They tried ideas like bonus XP for playing certain modes, but one, at the max level bonus XP isn't an incentive anymore; and two, they offered bonus XP for so many different modes that it didn't help in getting players to congregate in the modes that needed players the most.

 

Perhaps H-MAG2 should have fewer game modes available at any given time so that everyone logged on plays those modes, hopefully shortening queue times. ("The Stick" solution)

 

Or, maybe a random drops type progression system for equipment and weapon unlocks, but I guess those would eventually run out too. (The "Maxed Out Issue")

 

How can queue times be improved?


There will never be a true way to fix this. The game will just continue to need players is the best solution. Cutting game modes is never the answer in my opinion. You should only expand or improve on the game modes already there. Cutting it out is never an answer unless the game mode wasn't that popular, but I think most modes in MAG were popular.

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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014
Not even if it was just temporary cuts? Or, probably a better way would be to have a schedule for different game modes weekly or something?
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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014

GreatnessRD wrote:

Trioptical wrote:

Alright, not here to debate the virtues of not designing by committee and what not; just want to have a fun design focused discussion on what was good and not good in MAG, as applicable to a hypothetical continuation of the franchise.

 

Getting back on topic, one of the problems with having so many players in a game was that it required lots of players, which occassionally made wait times long and near the end often playing a Domination match was impossible.

 

They tried ideas like bonus XP for playing certain modes, but one, at the max level bonus XP isn't an incentive anymore; and two, they offered bonus XP for so many different modes that it didn't help in getting players to congregate in the modes that needed players the most.

 

Perhaps H-MAG2 should have fewer game modes available at any given time so that everyone logged on plays those modes, hopefully shortening queue times. ("The Stick" solution)

 

Or, maybe a random drops type progression system for equipment and weapon unlocks, but I guess those would eventually run out too. (The "Maxed Out Issue")

 

How can queue times be improved?


There will never be a true way to fix this. The game will just continue to need players is the best solution. Cutting game modes is never the answer in my opinion. You should only expand or improve on the game modes already there. Cutting it out is never an answer unless the game mode wasn't that popular, but I think most modes in MAG were popular.


Well, in Planetside 2 they solved que times by just making the game "open world" and letting the players go find each other, which eliminates que times altogether. However, the downside of this is that it never feels like anyone "wins", the two teams just push each other back and forth towards the redlines all day and it never really feels like it's going anywhere. But this does succeed in getting hundreds of people together without que times.

 

Another solution would be to make the game modes scalable. For example, imagine if Domination could run with only about 100 people. Just cut off two of the four branches from the map and there you go. If everyone is always queing for sabotage, then people could be treated to a modified, 250 person sabotage match! (imagine how crazy THAT would be!)

 

While this would probably be much more complicated than I'm descibing it, what would you guys think?

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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014

Trioptical wrote:
Not even if it was just temporary cuts? Or, probably a better way would be to have a schedule for different game modes weekly or something?

That's then counter productive. Let's say you have me. I only want to play TDM. TDM is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I hate everything else in the game. For whatever reason, I can't play MAG or TDM on any of these days, ever. Now you've limited me because of some silly schedule. That would never work well. At least in my opinion. They would just have to get creative in ways to bring the community to the larger game modes. Through special badges, give-a-ways, etc. And once you're maxed out, well, you're maxed out. Just gotta pray more people will play the bigger modes.

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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014

GreatnessRD wrote:

Trioptical wrote:
Not even if it was just temporary cuts? Or, probably a better way would be to have a schedule for different game modes weekly or something?

That's then counter productive. Let's say you have me. I only want to play TDM. TDM is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I hate everything else in the game. For whatever reason, I can't play MAG or TDM on any of these days, ever. Now you've limited me because of some silly schedule. That would never work well. At least in my opinion. They would just have to get creative in ways to bring the community to the larger game modes. Through special badges, give-a-ways, etc. And once you're maxed out, well, you're maxed out. Just gotta pray more people will play the bigger modes.


Yeah, okay, I can see that point of view. Limiting what modes people can play by design is more likely to cause them to play less rather than play how you want them too.

 

How do you think it was initially conceptualized, even before the mode bonuses were added? Do you think that the Shadow War and making each player choose a side was meant to encourage them to play the modes in which they would benefit the faction the most? Maybe a more fleshed out world fiction would have immersed players more and encouraged that kind of behavior.

 

Was anyone here mainly into MAG for the smaller modes? Why didn't you want to play the bigger ones?

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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014

Arron_Rift wrote:

 


Well, in Planetside 2 they solved que times by just making the game "open world" and letting the players go find each other, which eliminates que times altogether. However, the downside of this is that it never feels like anyone "wins", the two teams just push each other back and forth towards the redlines all day and it never really feels like it's going anywhere. But this does succeed in getting hundreds of people together without que times.

 

Another solution would be to make the game modes scalable. For example, imagine if Domination could run with only about 100 people. Just cut off two of the four branches from the map and there you go. If everyone is always queing for sabotage, then people could be treated to a modified, 250 person sabotage match! (imagine how crazy THAT would be!)

 

While this would probably be much more complicated than I'm descibing it, what would you guys think?


That's an interesting possible solution to queue times, just give players something else to do while waiting, essential. (I suppose that would be somewhat realistic too as I understand a lot of war is just waiting around and getting ready.) When I played a bit of Planetside 2, it did often feel really undirected though, as you mentioned.

 

You know how there was skirmish mode in MAG, right? Perhaps that's what you could play while waiting. In the fiction, it could be like the training exercise that was going on just as the enemy attacked the base. The base gameplay itself would have to be really fun so these "waiting room matches" wouldn't feel like a drag.

 

I think the WRMs would also need to have some real rewards of some kind. Warhawk had a system where you'd be able to run around and stuff while waiting for players to join, but it often felt pretty meaningless as if people were just waiting around for the game to start (and admittedly, we were)

 

Ooo, now I'm picturing hitting "Play" in H-MAG2, and in mere moments being plopped into a "Waiting Room Match" when points matter and you get to have fun with your squad. It's not always a small TDM. Sometimes the WRM is a King of the Hill or Capture the Flag or Hardpoint type game. Suddenly, the match end warning pops up, and an alarm sounds signalling the imminent arrival of an enemy force and your party is plucked out of the WRM and inserted into the main event, a 256 player mode created for H-MAG2.

 

Scalable Game Modes


This also sounds like a neat idea that I think would mostly just put pressure on the map designers to come up with really good maps that could, maybe be sectioned off with more or less play area being unlocked depending on how many players are actually on it.

 

What would you guys think about asymmetrical match ups, where one side may have significantly more people, but maybe the side with less people would get some sort of boost to even it out a bit?

 

Conceviably, if something like that could be balanced, you would only ever need to wait for a queue of 8, assuming the squad size and bonuses we've been thinking about earlier in the discussion. Then, every time another 8 joined, they'd be plunked into the game on their faction's side and then the game map and power balances / what not would be adjusted automatically.

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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014
I played mag once, didn't like it, and never touched again, but with the following it has/had, I'm surprised Sony isn't planning a sequel or remake to be on the ps4. Personally, I thought they were shutting down the servers of old games to push people to the new consoles, but without the games people want, they'll just buy newer games for the ps3 or not buy games at all.

I'm sure if there is enough hype or demand, sony will make some mag like game.
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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

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Feb 6, 2014

Occhi07 wrote:
I played mag once, didn't like it, and never touched again, but with the following it has/had, I'm surprised Sony isn't planning a sequel or remake to be on the ps4. Personally, I thought they were shutting down the servers of old games to push people to the new consoles, but without the games people want, they'll just buy newer games for the ps3 or not buy games at all.

I'm sure if there is enough hype or demand, sony will make some mag like game.

Eh, Planetside 2 is made by Sony and supports 1000 players on maps the size of continents. That game is currently on PC and is coming to PS4, so that is probably the game they're hoping for us all to go to. But what turns me off is that while it's free to play, it's essentially pay-to-progress, in that you have to pay about $7-$10 for the average gun,armor,camo,etc, or else pay an ungodly amount of in-game money for the same items.

 

The other thing that I miss from MAG is the will to win. In planetside 2 everyone has a "safe zone" in the three corners of the map, and then they wage war over the connecting areas. Problem is that no one ever "wins". Sure you have giant battles trying to secure a base, sometimes your team even takes a landslide victory and turns the whole continent your color, but there's never any urgency to it. You get there when you get there, and then when there's nothing left to conquor, everyone eventually just logs off and then qhichever team has the most people takes the continent back. There's no looming count-down timer. There's no taking one for the team as the alarms blare, desperately trying to hold the last point for just 2 more minutes. None of that.

 

Planetside 2 provides a great atmosphere to just hang out and watch the carnage, but it never really feels like anyone is getting anywhere in the war or that your actions are really making you a better soldier. I'm not saying it's bad, but there's still things to be missed.

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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014

Occhi07 wrote:
I played mag once, didn't like it, and never touched again, but with the following it has/had, I'm surprised Sony isn't planning a sequel or remake to be on the ps4. Personally, I thought they were shutting down the servers of old games to push people to the new consoles, but without the games people want, they'll just buy newer games for the ps3 or not buy games at all.

I'm sure if there is enough hype or demand, sony will make some mag like game.

I'm wondering, what didn't you like about the game?

 

I don't think MAG felt as good as other shooters, but I still played a few hundred hours of it. Still, I think H-MAG2 should feel more solid or something.

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Re: Design H-MAG2 (Hypothetical Massive Action Game 2 (H-MAG2))

Feb 6, 2014

Trioptical wrote:

Occhi07 wrote:
I played mag once, didn't like it, and never touched again, but with the following it has/had, I'm surprised Sony isn't planning a sequel or remake to be on the ps4. Personally, I thought they were shutting down the servers of old games to push people to the new consoles, but without the games people want, they'll just buy newer games for the ps3 or not buy games at all.

I'm sure if there is enough hype or demand, sony will make some mag like game.

I'm wondering, what didn't you like about the game?

 

I don't think MAG felt as good as other shooters, but I still played a few hundred hours of it. Still, I think H-MAG2 should feel more solid or something.


I'll preface this with I did not play much MAG, but I agree fully one of the first things would be the controls. 

 

That said, and while I generally do not share my best ideas and preferences online, I can say the first thing I would look at before even attempting design changes for a sequel to MAG would be where it can sell.  Yeah, I know, 'evil corporate' blah, blah, but that could be why it didn't get a sequel (/*_*)/   You can't have your ideal game/franchise if no one else wants to play it or has a more popular alternative that results in not selling enough copies to make a profit.  

 

So, I guess you could say how I would design the game would depend on how to sell it and keep the franchise alive for the fans.  I wouldn't post any details on a forum if I were to have an idea. 

 

Disclaimer:  I don't work in video games, just a guy on the internet sharing his thoughts. 

 

 

 

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