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  1. I would like to play around with Reshade in CoH, and particularly with the recently-developed ray tracing filter. But I understand that things like AO, ray tracing, etc., need access to the depth buffer, which type of access I gather can (in theory at least) be used for cheating hacks, which could be a huge problem in multiplayer PvP games. Which is why in the official version of Reshade, heavy network traffic detected by Reshade itself switches off Reshade's access to the depth buffer, so that you can use Reshade, but not any of its filters that use the z-buffer. Which is understandable from Crosire's - Reshade's developer's - point of view - it's not so much that he's worried about hacks, because as far as people who want to cheat are concerned, if they want to cheat they'll find a way, and it's up to devs to sort all that out; rather, it's that he doesn't want people innocently using Reshade to get into trouble with devs accidentally. However, there is a version of Reshade that's been hacked to use the z-buffer with Warframe (which is a PvE multiplayer game), and it's allowed by the devs there. So I was wondering if it would be possible (in the sense of allowed by you guys) to use that in CoH? I really, REALLY want to see what magic the ray tracing filter does 🙂 (it's pretty amazing, like a much better and smarter version of AO, makes things subtly more real-seeming).
  2. Well, in theory there's the argument "you can do x if you want to" - but in reality, water seeks its own level. If the rules allow it, people generally will just drift into doing it. To a certain extent, developers are in a constant struggle between what they know would make for a good game and what people want that they think would make a good game (where, in reality, if they get what they want, they'll get bored fairly quickly and drift away). Again, it's a question of balance - on the one hand, there's the extreme of nickel and diming everything, on the other extreme there's God Mode and you might as well just email each other spreadsheets (wasn't there that skit on the web at one time, a game where you just press a button and "level"?) Somehow there's a sweet spot where the rules the developers set up make for a good combination of immersion (virtual worldeyness) and QOL/convenience. It's just hard to find that sweet spot (partly because it's a moving target - it's almost like, adjust one thing in the game and everything else has to be adjusted slightly).
  3. It's not that I want it, I realize you can only lose your virginity once 🙂 But it's more a lament about the seeming inevitability of things going the way the do in MMORPGs - at least MMORPGs where everything has to be represented graphically (it's a bit different for the older text-based games). I'm talking on another thread with someone about the dreadful inevitability of "damage is king" - which kills the game in another way. It's just a shame that devs, for all their efforts, have never been able to get around the seemingly inevitable progression from virtual world to multiplayer lobby.
  4. I understand all that, and of course it was partly about keeping up a timesink from the point of view of the devs. But as I suggested by the example of WoW, there's also a factor of immersion. You get into a game, in part, by being captivated by its virtual world aspect. So the bargain was always two birds with one stone - the devs get some retention, but how do they get it? Not just by the sheer factor of imprisoning people to yomping around on shanks' pony, but by the fact that that provides, for the player, a sense of time and place, a sense of virtual world (and then it's up to the art design team and designers to make that world feel like someplace you want to be). What you're talking about, the time preference, is for veterans of a game who've already smelt all the roses there are to smell, and they're in a more mechanistic phase of gameplay, where they're into min-maxing characters, efficient raiding, etc., etc. So yeah, for vets, they do need something that makes the game world shrink a bit, so the psychology is somewhat reversed - timesinks just annoy them. And yeah, I understand that from the pov of the current devs, pretty much everyone playing now is a vet. So it does make sense that way. As I say, I'm just kind of vaguely lamenting the loss of the feel of the game in its earliest days, when getting the team together was part of the ambience of the game. Getting the team together and keeping them together psychologically while waiting was part of gameplay for the team leader (part of the social aspect). Waiting for someone to zone in was a chance for everyone to chat by the door, do emotes, etc. - again, little opportunities to feel more like you're in a different time and space from daily life. All those little synergies to do with maintaining a sense of virtual space is what makes the difference, IMHO, between an MMORPG proper, and a massively multiplayer game with a virtual world lobby, say something like Warframe (an excellent game in its own right). It's not that one is better or worse than the other, but they are somewhat different in terms of core concept. The idea for MMORPGs was always to provide an actual virtual world, somewhere to "live" - in which case the idea that your'e "wasting time" living in a virtual space, well that kind of makes sense in contrast to daily life, but the point of MMORPGs initially was to provide a virtual alternative to daily life, a place for people to form community and grow together psychologically without the particular constraints and restraints of normal life. But it seems that maintaining that sense of virtual space has been almost impossible for MMORPGs in the long run - because eventually most players become vets, and the virtual world aspect means less to them than it did initially (when it hooked them).
  5. I don't understand the rationale for having all the easy travel in the game. I thought the Ouroboros portal had already killed the game to a certain extent back in 2009 or whenever it was (that's when I left). As a superhero MMO, CoH had already painted itself into a corner with the travel powers, but that was kind of unavoidable for a superhero MMO. But having all the easy access powers on top of that, and now on this server the public teleporter - well there's just no point using anything else now, unless you're deliberately restricting yourself for the sake of roleplay. But I suppose the current devs' rationale is that it's no longer a "live" game, so there's no need to keep players staying "in" the virtual world, so what the heck. I remember ages ago a discussion on the CO forums, where people were complaining that the main city zone in CO (forget its name) seemed tiny and cramped compared to other MMOs. Then someone demonstrated that it takes about as much time to walk from one end of that zone to the other as it does to cross one of the main zones in WoW. IOW, that's the effect of travel powers - psychologically, they shrink the gameworld. So devs who develop a superhero MMO are, in a way, making a rod for their own back (they have to compensate by making the zones even bigger). (Which is probably one of the reasons we don't see more superhero MMOs.) But then to have all sorts of easy instant travel on top of that - it completely kills the sense of space and vastness, and makes the virtual world seem tiny to the point of being a mere lobby. But don't listen to me, I'm just an old man shouting at the clouds 🙂
  6. "Everyone can deal damage" - well yeah, that's what I mean by "damage is king." When everyone in a group is a self-contained damage dealer, pretty much, that's it, game over. I agree that they should look into the mez system. Also, since most complaints about damage dealing come from soloers, the best way to compensate for that is to have people doing more damage when they're playing solo, regardless of AT (and something like that exists for Defenders IIRC). But as with all things, it's about ROI, and any tweak takes time and effort, so I suppose devs have to weigh that up.
  7. This is true in the abstract, but is it fun? You can mow down lots of grey mobs like this - mow them down, move on to the next. They can't kill you. But it's not fun (well, for a few it is, but not for most, I'll wager). Why? Because they can't kill you, because they're too weak to do anything to you and there's no risk involved (plus psychologically, they're grey, not purple 🙂). Same syndrome as it was with God Mode in single player games. It sounds like just the ticket, but you find it kills all your interest in a game once you cross that barrier. I think generally people have the most fun playing these games when they are "in the pocket" in terms of a balance between there being some actual danger of losing, and coming out the victor. The best fights are where everyone has comes out the other end with some chunk of their health taken away (as a symbol of just how much danger they were in), when they know they could have lost. It's for the devs to find that balance, but find it they must. Once "damage is king" the game is basically dead.
  8. I dunno, tanks who go too far ahead are another kind of problem, I think. That often leaves squishies behind to deal with troublesome mobs on their own, that kind of thing. I've seen it happen lots of times. Downtime comes from lots of sources, not just lack of speed in and of itself.
  9. All MMOs seem to go to the "damage is king" graveyard eventually. While I'm loving that the old gal is up and running again, it's really not the same teamed gameplay as the game had originally, with actually quite well defined interactivity between the ATs needing and depending on each other. Although I have to say that I see a lot of Control both from Doms and Controllers - it's actually necessary because nobody seems to have the patience for proper Tanking/herding/nuking these days. I remember thinking at the time when CoV came out that the effect of a red side team was totally different from hero side, it was a "steamroller" effect - which perfectly suited the villainous trope. At that time, hero side still had that interdependency. But in the years I was gone (from about 2009 to 2012) the game went that way for all ATs, with everybody doing damage. It's still fun, and it's still CoH in that you get to exercise your creativity, and you still get to be in a flow state while chatting in casual teamed play. But it's all a bit of a hurried, rushed affair now.
  10. When you've seen a bank inside a cave entrance, you've seen everything.
  11. As others are saying, StJ may be a more rounded set, but MA is a hell of a lot of fun - just in terms of mastering the playstyle, you can get into a sort of "dance" using the abilities in rotation plus "Follow," so that your character is doing a kind of balletic fighting style where the animations are all joined up and look very cool. When you get it right it's very satisfying. But MA is no slouch, that extra acc and the bit of extra control isn't to be sniffed at. Best for bosses really. Let others deal with the riff-raff 🙂
  12. As far as my faves go, I do put a little bit of thought into my characters and try to make them unique, but tropes I've used more than once are:- Arcane researcher/archaeologist who discovers something in the course of researches. Chosen or favoured by superpowered beings/gods/demons Mutant (easy peasy, goes for anything - if you can't think of an origin or a story, and can't be bothered trying to think one up on the spot, mutant origin is the one to go for) Person lost (e.g. plane crash) stumbles on something (e.g. kung fu monks in the mountains, etc.)
  13. 1. Be faster than the controllers.
  14. I went with "too grim." I do have a few villains gradually ranking up, and it's nice to dip into that atmosphere now and then, but for the most part I prefer hero side.
  15. No worries, what you've given us is fantastic just to jog the mind along. Again, thanks very much!
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