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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

Sep 4, 2012

Mercia is to No Mans Land as a pile of silver coins is to a pile of dirt.

 

that should sum up my feelings. 

cant give Mercia gold coin status, as it has its fair shar of issues. and i cant give NML pile of crap status as for all its short comings its still impressive for a Home game.

 


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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

Sep 4, 2012

stardeth wrote:

Look, before I begin, let me just say that I like BOTH these games, I really do. However, many people have openly (and loudly) criticized VEEMEE (pronounced GREEDEE) for the financial abomination that is NO MAN'S LAND. Sure, you have the smattering of gamers who complain about the combat cover movement system, but for the majority of us, the biggest gripe is about the cost for upgrades to play the game competitively (BTW, I've bought NO upgrades, other than the REKALL map, and have done quite well).

 

Now along comes MERCIA. I was in the beta test for this, as was many of you forums folk. In the 3 weeks before MERCIA went live to the public, we saw several fixes to some of the game's major issues (we thought). Last week, MERCIA went live, and sorry to say it, I'm seeing the exact same issues that we ran into in the EARLY stages of beta testing. Spawns of enemies that were to unlock doors once slain, that was originally worked around to make the doors automatically open if the spawn failed to occur. Blue Hell, omg, BLUE HELL, toned down. There were other issues for some, but these were probably the most prevalent, and THEY'RE BACK. With a vengeance, I might add. I even found a server with the original build, complete with buggy-spawn-gate-lock and all.

 

So, my question is this: Which one of these two do you consider to be the biggest fail? I'm still holding MERCIA on a higher pedestal, but only because Lockwood had the decency and courtesy to keep contact with the community. What do YOU think?



I honestly don't think either game is a failure; a failed game would be something like Conspiracy, which fell into disuse and was eventually pulled from Home. I thoroughly enjoy both No Man's Land and Mercia, even though both of them have (very different) structural problems.

mercialogo.jpgIn the case of Mercia, there are some technical bugs which still need to be ironed out. That said, I think we can all agree that this game is very visibly pushing the limits of what Home can do, and since no one has ever tried anything like Mercia in Home before, there's no ironed-out template from which to work with. Keep in mind that no matter how much beta testing you do -- even if you have hundreds or thousands of people testing it -- things just happen when you put a game out in the live environment and hundreds of thousands of people launch into it. Remember, the Mercia demo, back during the virtual E3 promotion, experienced so much traffic that entire servers were crashing as a result.

 

The big issue that I can see with Mercia is, quite honestly, its abundant generosity. How is this game supposed to make its money back? The difficulty curve is so easy, even with the strengthened monsters, that there's no real incentive to pay real money for upgraded armor and weapons when you can just grind for free to decent substitutes. And since the game is free to play instead of pay-access (remember, even SodiumOne has a five-dollar buy-in after you try the first few levels), I'm worried that the player conversion percentage is going to be too low to generate sufficient revenue to justify expanding the game.

 

As for No Man's Land, it may be guilty of being a little too far on the other end of the spectrum: there's absolutely no way to earn any power-ups -- even temporary ones -- no matter how much you grind. Personally, I don't care about rewards or trophies; they're just tchotchke that get in the way and/or go into storage. No Man's Land is a game that's sufficiently fun to play that it doesn't need any trinkets to grind for (particularly since you can chat in-game), and by not offering any, VEEMEE avoided the trap that so many Home games fall into: people powergaming, ripping through an entire game in a race to be first to win all the trinkets (which largely go unused), and then dropping the game and moving on.

 

screenshotnml.jpgNo Man's Land isn't built for that mentality -- which is one of the big reasons why I love it so much. The point of the game isn't to see who can beat it the fastest; the point of the game is the game itself. And the game is really fun. It's like chess with guns.

 

Doesn't mean it's a perfect game, mind you. It has its own share of technical bugs, which cause some real game disruption and can be maddeningly frustrating at times (particularly when you're ripping it up, scoring kills left and right, and then boom, "Something has gone wrong...you have to get out of here now." --WHAT!?), but I personally like how aggressive the game is. VEEMEE doesn't pull any punches with No Man's Land: freemium games historically have a very low conversion percentage, so rather than build free amusement for the 90+% of users who won't spend a dime anyway, they focused on creating a specific game experience in which those users who did choose to monetize would go deep with it.

 

That's smart thinking, because no matter how many popularity points a game wins on this forum, popularity points don't pay the bills. And given that the user base is usually on to the Next Big Thing less than two weeks after a content release, that's a short window of time in which to capture traffic, monetize it, and keep it coming back.

 

No Man's Land has some very fair pricing, by the way. If you look at their upgrade prices, you can turn yourself into an absolute beast in the game for less than ten dollars. That's the same amount of money I spent buying premium upgrades in Mercia. The only egregiously priced commodity is the Reaver armor and weaponry, which requires buying everything the game has to offer for $50, and even if you do lay out that kind of money, you're certainly not invincible against a more skilled player.

 

And here's the part which is like salt in the wound to this forum: there are a lot of fifty-dollar players running around in that game. Because people might not spend that kind of money to beat a Home game's AI, but they will spend that kind of money to beat each other. I was in a recent session with seven other players, and six out of eight had upgraded to Reaver, and the other two had spent ten bucks on upgrades. So that was, conservatively, at least $320 worth of revenue playing a round and having a great time. And at any given time there are numerous rounds taking place. No Man's Land is hardly a ghost town, despite the fervent desire of some people here to see it fail because it offends their personal sensibilities of How Things Should Be.

 

I know the game alienated a lot of this forum's more vocal users, becauseit dared to actually ask someone to spend money to play, but one look at the very healthy number of users still enjoying that game -- and having upgraded to do so -- indicates one thing: you might not like the hard line VEEMEE took, but they made their money back.

 

The Rekall level, by the way, is a really good deal for those who want the No Man's Land experience but don't want to go up against Reavers. Even if you choose to max out the Rekall upgrades, you can only spend fifteen dollars, and No Man's Land gear outside of Rekall can't be used. Further, the map lends itself to frenetic, close-quarters combat, which ironically makes it easier for newer players to adapt. So if you're looking for the NML experience on a more level playing field, Rekall's the way to go.

 

Here's a map guide for you:

 

TR_coverEd_comp.jpg

 

Again, this doesn't mean the regular game is perfect. The tutorial offers no training with upgraded weapons, armor or grenades -- which is a mistake, because you want people to "try it before you buy it" so they have a taste of it -- and there are no temporary power-ups such as dropped weapons to again give default players a taste of an upgrade for a limited amount of time. It can also be argued that the leaderboard doesn't update nearly as often as it should. These are all fair criticisms, and they weaken the game's ability to monetize even more effectively.

 

But are either of these games failures? Not at all. At the very least, they're fascinating experiments. And, from my point of view, both remarkably fun experiences to indulge in and financially support.

 

Everyone's mileage will vary, of course.

 

 

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

 

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Fender Bender
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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

[ Edited ]
Sep 4, 2012

I had Blue Screens in the Mercia Beta, and now I am getting them in the "final" release. I won't be coming back.

 

NML ? I had fun playing, until I saw the pricing. I quit, and will never go back. In fact, I won't buy anything VeeMee now.

 

So to answer your question. NML is the bigger fail.

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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

[ Edited ]
Sep 4, 2012

I'd also like to add some things about Mercia that I should mention, things that should be improved.  These things don't do anything to affect my original statement about Mercia being a better game than No Man's Land.  In my opinion Mercia is better by leaps and bounds.  But I would like to see these things changed:

 

- HP and Mana should increase at level-up.  Currently there's nothing to differentiate someone who is at Fame 0 with someone who is at Fame 30.  Character's should be getting stronger at level-up, not stay the same.  Character's presently get stronger based on the equipment they possess.  While that is true for the vast majority of RPG's, those RPG's also have stat-increases when leveling up.

 

- There are very few usful loot items available in the game, and they're all generally worthless.  Some are meant to be sold, and others are used in fetch quests, and those items that aren't needed can also be sold.  But all of these are sold for small amounts of gold.  This is okay in the beginning of the game when gear is cheap, but when you're around Fame 20 and the price for updated swords and shields increases to nearly 10,000 gold, selling earning enough gold to get them becomes extremely tedious.  The value of some of these items needs to be increased.

 

- Speaking of gear, why is it that only swords and shields can be purchased for gold in the shops, but armor requires real money?  You can buy decent sowrds and shields with gold and better ones with real money, but armor costs real money, but no armor for gold?  Not being able to buy armor for gold severely cripples players who can't pay real money, and it basically dumps all over those players and praises those who can pay.

 

- I'm kinda mad about new armor being added to shops when fame increases.  It's okay for swords and shields that cost gold, but for the armor that costs real money, it's **bleep**.  I bought some Defender armor for $1.99 and thought to myself, "the armor can't get better than this, this is boosting my defense pretty well.  I'm glad I made this investment, I can survive against big groups of Lizards now".  Then I reach the mid-20 Fame range and I see even better Gold armor for $3.99.  I am FUMING ANGRY.  If I would have known even better armor was going to appear at later levels, I would have paid for the $3.99 armor instead of the $1.99 armor.

 

- There's a flaw with the slots for Pebbles/Shards/Stones.  When we purchase better swords and shields, we should get more slots.  Instead, we're stuck with with the same 2 slots for attack/1 slot for defense, unless we pay for Armor Packs that add more slots.  This is messed up and needs to be re-thought.

 

- There's a bug that causes my swords, shields and/or armor to occasionally switch themselves to weaker ones without my input.  This usually happens after I change locations.  Not a serious problem, but it's inconvenient when I move on to a dungeon and fight monsters and notice that I'm taking more damage than I should be because my shield changed itself.

 

- Current HP/Mana should stay at the amount we had when moving from one area to another.  Currently, I have two stones equipped to my Defense slots, one increases my Max HP and one increases my Max Mana.  my HP goes from 650 without the Stone equipped to about 1,000 with the Stone equipped.  When I move to a new area, even if I have full HP and Mana, my HP and Mana are reset to the amount they would have if the Stones aren't equipped and I have to use healing spells and wait to recover them before I can get any work done.

 

- I'm kind of annoyed that we can't have swords and shields outside of the game.  Whatever sword or shield we purchase in the game for gold, we should unlock them for use in other areas of Home as clothing items.  I understand that they would conflict with the gauntleets that are currently used for the hand items in the Mercia armor sets, but I suggest making the swords and shields a part of the Left and Right Earring category.  That way we can use the gauntlets, swords and shields completely independent of one another, and we can decide to carry a shield without a sword, or a sword without a shield, or carry both.  Not only would we get cool swords and shields to carry around, but it also gives us an incentive to keep playing:  fight monsters, sell their loot, earn gold and buy each sword and shield to unlock all of the rewarded sowrds and shields.

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Thanks to nDreams and the new Xi, my PS3 froze during Xi's download process and put me in a perpetual loop of file restorations every time I start up my PS3. I can no longer play Playstation Home or any of my PS3 games. 600+ dollars spent on Home content, down the ****ing drain. I'm done with Playstation Home, I'm done with Sony, and I'm done with this site, as my current PS3 situation no longer warrants my being here. Bye everyone.
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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

Sep 4, 2012

Mercia is a great game with all the content and the playabilty.  I love the game but its just the bugs and some of the quests that confuse me.  But I like to go back because it has a good amount of replay value.

 

No Mans Land was potential that was just buried under a horrible game scheme.  The graphics are impressive but the playabilty was horrible.  Not being able to move freely and the armor add-ons not doing much damage.  There are also no rewards besides the basic ones.  So this game is the more bigger fail.

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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

Sep 4, 2012

Pay-to-win, cover-based shooter versus bugged, repetitive, free-to-play RPG? Is there a question here?

 

What's wrong with Mercia can be fixed. What's wrong with No Man's Land can't, unless you buy Battlebots, which is a vastly superior game.

 

I'm glad to see both games find an audience, because I genuinely want every Home developer to succeed, but I think the real test of any game in Home is to look beyond the "platform limitations" that everyone keeps pointing out and ask who's really doing the best job of game development. Or, to look at things differently, if you dropped this game in the PlayStation Store and judged it against everything else available, how would it stack up?

 

Battlebots: Tricky, because it's so Home-dependent, but still a fun if repetitive third-person shooter in singleplayer, and wickedly entertaining and well balanced in multiplayer.

 

Mercia: Lacking in enemy variation and repetitive in nature, but beautifully designed and appropriately challenging through all of its levels.

 

No Man's Land: Hampered by unresponsive controls and incredibly imbalanced in favor of the players with the biggest wallets.

 

This is what you get when you strip all the rewards from these games and put them side by side with other paid games. Lockwood's TankTop 1.0 is still, for my money, the best game in Home, followed by Mercia and Operation: Defend Edo, a game that will only get better when the additional levels arrive.

 

 

 

 

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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

Sep 4, 2012
No mans land is a fail I like mercia
Goodbye home
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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

Sep 4, 2012

Maxx_the_Slash wrote:

- There are very few usful loot items available in the game, and they're all generally worthless.  Some are meant to be sold, and others are used in fetch quests, and those items that aren't needed can also be sold.  But all of these are sold for small amounts of gold.  This is okay in the beginning of the game when gear is cheap, but when you're around Fame 20 and the price for updated swords and shields increases to nearly 10,000 gold, selling earning enough gold to get them becomes extremely tedious.  The value of some of these items needs to be increased.

 

- Speaking of gear, why is it that only swords and shields can be purchased for gold in the shops, but armor requires real money?  You can buy decent sowrds and shields with gold and better ones with real money, but armor costs real money, but no armor for gold?  Not being able to buy armor for gold severely cripples players who can't pay real money, and it basically dumps all over those players and praises those who can pay.

 

- I'm kind of annoyed that we can't have swords and shields outside of the game.  Whatever sword or shield we purchase in the game for gold, we should unlock them for use in other areas of Home as clothing items.  I understand that they would conflict with the gauntleets that are currently used for the hand items in the Mercia armor sets, but I suggest making the swords and shields a part of the Left and Right Earring category.  That way we can use the gauntlets, swords and shields completely independent of one another, and we can decide to carry a shield without a sword, or a sword without a shield, or carry both.  Not only would we get cool swords and shields to carry around, but it also gives us an incentive to keep playing:  fight monsters, sell their loot, earn gold and buy each sword and shield to unlock all of the rewarded sowrds and shields.



i believe there are features yet to be added. a lot of the items we gather have things about "being ingredients in potions" or "used to strengthen armor" in their descriptions.

perhaps down the line we will be able to use items to create items, weapons and even armor. why such features were implemented from the start, who knows(that is if such features even exist). hopeful wishing.

 

items used to be worth more in the beta, but they lowered their value because it was too easy to get gold.

in the beta you could get about 10,000 per quest if you just played casualy and gathered items as you go.

i think the value of them is fine right now. you actually have to got out and gather items to sell if you want to buy something instead of gold just being easy to obtain.

i think there should be a user trade and buy/sell system. ive got a lot of gold thats just piling up because theres nothing to spend it on, id gladly give some to people if i could.

 

oh, and i agree about how we should be able to have the weapons as actual Home items. id be more inclined to purchase items with both in-game gold and actual money if we could use them outside of Mercia aswell.


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Fender Bender
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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

Sep 4, 2012

NorseGamer wrote:

 

The big issue that I can see with Mercia is, quite honestly, its abundant generosity. How is this game supposed to make its money back? The difficulty curve is so easy, even with the strengthened monsters, that there's no real incentive to pay real money for upgraded armor and weapons when you can just grind for free to decent substitutes. And since the game is free to play instead of pay-access (remember, even SodiumOne has a five-dollar buy-in after you try the first few levels), I'm worried that the player conversion percentage is going to be too low to generate sufficient revenue to justify expanding the game.

 



With the vast amount of content that Lockwood produces for Home, they might not need to make any money off of Mercia directly.  Lockwood may have more to gain by simply giving people a reason to return to Home on a regular basis to buy their clothes, personal spaces, furniture and companions.

 

Free or not, there is one aspect of Mercia's weapons upgrades that I appreciate far more than No Man's Land.  You need to work your way up to the better armour and weaponry in Mercia instead of just buying the best equipment out of the gate in NML.  The weapons, shards, pebbles etc. in Mercia also improve as the player gains more experience in the game, once again rewarding the user for loyalty to the game.

 

The current bugs in Mercia don't worry me too much and I find it difficult to judge the game fully yet because I'm sure than Lockwood will patch them up.  I paid for a bow in Mercia bacause it seemed to offer a substantial advantage to the sword in the early going.  I didn't spend a cent on NML.  My reasoning had nothing to do with price structures, gamer ethics or whatever.  I just didn't like the game and I knew that I didn't want to play it.

 

I'm not going to call either game a fail.  NML might be the most successful game in Home history.  It makes no difference to me because I haven't returned since my second time trying the game in week one of release.  I do know that I enjoy playing Mercia better despite the bugs and repetitiveness.  It would be nice if the game didn't involve changing locations so frequently, a sometimes tedious exercise.

castle3
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Re: MERCIA vs. NO MAN'S LAND: Which is the bigger FAIL?

[ Edited ]
Sep 5, 2012

This is how I played Mercia.

 

Didn't buy anything till I could afford a bow. 1 star was enough, as long as I had a bow. The bow becomes available around fame 7. By the time I reached it, I had enough.

 

Saved my money and didn't buy anything else until the next strongest bow became available. Sold my old bow and bought the new one.

 

Didn't buy anything else and saved my money till the last and strongest bow became available. Selling my bow I was able to afford the 3 star 16k one and still have a couple thousand left over.

 

A big advantage to using bows is that you don't have to buy shields. This saves you a lot of money. I never had to grind for money to afford anything I wanted.

 

 

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