Continuing the discussion from Will crowdfunding continue after the Kickstarter completes?:
NB: the linked from thread contains some additional context to this response
I split this off the original thread, which it was derailing
As a general rule, AAA games are so successful because they have broad market appeal. CoD is an AAA game because it’s consistently a “must have” game featured on almost all platforms. It returns stupid amounts of money because of sheer volume of units purchased. In the SC example, it is returning a significant amount of money because the fans of a niche market are, on average, paying above the face value of a finished game in the “AAA” category. But we’re not quite at CoD levels yet, especially given that the game may not actually run a large profit
Ok, fair enough, that’s three reasons then. Though I would still say it is unfair to call space sims dead, merely struggling. The X series have been a good set of games, yet marred by abysmal UI/UX, sloppy story when attempted, and a difficulty cliff. Darkstar One was a decent game, similar in some respects to Freelancer, but considerably more arcade-y in style. There have been others, and they’ve varied in quality, there have also been some overly complicated remake attempts at classics like Elite, and the like.
But doesn’t that raise the question as to why the crowdfunding was necessary in the first place?
Yes. Again, like I have for SC already, I do participate in these models not only can afford to, but I feel compelled to in order to get “the full experience”. But I’d far rather “the full experience” was available to all at the same cost.
But I’m asking these questions because, through a variety of game design choices, Cloud Imperium has managed to almost entirely mitigate the negative effects of their crowdfunding model.
I think you’re misunderstanding me slightly, and I may not also be fully up-to-date with how SC is doing battles, so I’ll bite.
I’m not really sure I like this mechanic, but carry on. There’s something about (essentially) giving every player a slightly different game in a “persistent universe” that doesn’t quite fit right with me. Also, simply suppressing the problem by reducing the occurrence of PvP in a largely PvP game doesn’t fix it.
[quote=“Saturday, post:18, topic:315”]
-Real Time Matchmaking AI- Star Citizen’s persistent universe will feature real-time seamless instancing. The servers decide who you see at any given location or time in the 'verse. Everyone is on one server, but you can’t see everyone all the time. The game decides who you will encounter in deep space based on each of your assets (ships/weapons, ect) and your player skill. Most of the time, you will encounter roughly a fair fight, Some of the time, the server will choose not to give you a fair fight, about as much as it decides to sometimes give you a fight weighted in your favor (after all, space is dangerous). All of this will be happening behind the scenes as you’re doing whatever you’re doing.[/quote]
I don’t trust matchmaking AI, and I’m not going to start soon. Historically, any AI for competitive PvP fails at some point. Usually, it’s because it relies on a player’s skill being consistent throughout each session, or it fails to account for changes in the player’s loadout, or many other factors. I also think that it’s somewhat incompatible with an open universe game, but then that’s not really what SC is offering. The matchmaking AI will also fall down if it fails to understand and account for player politics, as there’ll no doubt be battles with more than 2 combatant “sides”
RPS works on paper, but is blind to other things. It’s not really relevant to the overall discussion, but seeing as your bringing it up and I’m feeling pedantic… In any scenario, a player living in the same city as the server shard with decent network is going to generally have better performance and response time than a player living further afield. A joystick is often going to be the best choice for twitch-heavy fighter craft, but will provide a dismal experience for a frigate captain. This mostly leads into an expansion of your last point, so I’ll expand further there.
This is true, if you include the technical aspects mentioned above in your definition of “skill”, and you assume 1v1 battles. Given that SC pegs itself as an MMO, I’m considering there’ll be more than 2 combatants on the field at any one time. At this point, traditional RPS balancing breaks down, because other tactics become available. Given the right formation, a frigate fleet can present minimal weak targets to any hostiles whilst maximising their fire coverage. Now the frigates are using their lower manoeuvrability to their advantage. The fighter squadron, which may or may not defeat a frigate 1v1, now have a near impossible task. Sure, the AI may limit the chances of these kinds of encounters happening, but the point is that you can’t do these calculations for 1v1 scenarios.
That’s fine, if you assume 1v1 battles. I’m assuming that isn’t the case in SC.
But that would completely miss my point. If that becomes the norm for someone because they had a substantially weaker ship and loadout because they refused to pay ridiculous amounts for a frigate or a high-end fighter craft before the game launched they will have a significantly degraded experience until they grind their way to a decent set of kit. Establishing that potential scenario at day zero is where I have a problem.
And I’m saying that you simply can’t know that, yet, because the game isn’t even made. If the mechanics turn out to make a crap game in practice, they’ll (hopefully) be changed, which may then lead to unfairness. Or “other things” might happen. The ridiculously large amount of pledges for ships have already happened however, that isn’t going to go away.
Except it isn’t. I’m fully aware that I know nothing of how Infinity (the MMO) will eventually work, and I don’t pretend that I do, even if I strongly voice my own opinions. Largely because of that, I’m not claiming that this game will be the saviour of space sims, but also partly because establishing this kind of quality and scope as being the norm for the genre is the quickest way to guarantee that it’ll be the last (good) one made. This game will probably fill a specific niche
as the go-to game for some time, before interest fades or a successor emerges. It’ll be the master of that niche, but I’d still expect different kinds and competencies of space sim to still be made.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve really involved myself in nearly any game mechanics threads since the old forums, and I certainly haven’t been proselytising for this game on other forums.
Oh and sorry for the wall of text.