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Ashes, Mortal Online 2, and stark terror…

So, I’ve been playing Mortal Online II for the past six weeks or so. And completely immersed - especially thinking through how this relates back to Ashes.

If you’re not familiar with the original (I wasn’t) MO2 is a vast open-world, full loot, pvp mmo with forced 1st-person perspective, action combat, and a frankly over-the-top ‘use based’ skill-system that encourages specialization. ‘Use based’ means you increase skill as you use them. For the old school, this feels like the spiritual successor to UO (sans Richard Garriott’s creative brilliance).

So, what does this have to do with Ashes?

We’ve spent years discussing the ins and outs of world pvp, mat drops, and corruption. For me, MO2 has really helped clarify the middle ground approach Steven (et al) has taken on PvX. There is always a tangible sense of danger in MO2. Since, death has the consequence of losing everything you’re carrying (including your mount), you constantly stay aware of your surroundings. Is that a rock or a bear? Is that a player or a tree in the wind? Player interactions are tense. Cities aren’t safe, even those with guards. You can still be knifed in some shady corners. Those without guards are ruled by local guilds, or simply by how dangerous you appear.

To counter this, you craft or buy redundant gear, and keep it in the bank (which are not shared across cities). This also means that skill (both stat and twitch) becomes the arbiter of combat encounters instead of gear.

There are a lot of naked toons running around this world.

Losing everything SUCKS, but you get used to it. You find ways to mitigate this with what crafting skills you employ. Guilds become important, but also make you a target.

For Ashes, the drops on death feels like it’s going to be balanced. Enough to add risk, but not enough to be a paralytic at the city gates. Corruption feels like it will help just enough, but not overly punishing. Caravans will feel like a sensible way to mitigate risk, and be a tempting target to raid without overly detrimental consequences. After all, where the MO2 devs overtly vie for ‘the most hardcore mmo’ (and in some cases I think attempt to camouflage bad design behind ‘hardcore’), IS is clearly aware they are creating a game we want to enjoy with some hardcorishness factors. Brass tacks: It just amps my excitement for Ashes.

TL:DR: MO2 clarifies some of Ashes’ design decisions in a surprising, tangible way. It’s worth checking out, especially as we’re between A1 & 2.
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    OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited December 2021
    Hoping Intrepid nails that middle ground where the sense of danger and excitement you talked about is still there but not as stressful for the average player as full loot hardcore. And they should, it's very doable. Most games just don't try it. They either go full carebear or straight hardcore full loot. Middle ground is so much better than either of those, we finally have a company willing to tap into it.
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    VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    It's good to hear people expanding their horizons when it comes to this genre we all love. I am a big fan of MO2. I have been stepping in and out of beta for almost a year now, and I think it's a great improvement over MO1. The community is there, and the game plays really well. Much more promising than Crowfall was.

    I wish more people have spent like four to six months playing a full loot game or even Lineage 2. I think a lot of the discussion threads around the corruption system would be much shorter if people had actually lived in a PvP sandbox and got to understand it.
    TVMenSP.png
    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
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    Honestly you just made MO2 sound stressful
    Lol
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    JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    It's good to hear people expanding their horizons when it comes to this genre we all love. I am a big fan of MO2. I have been stepping in and out of beta for almost a year now, and I think it's a great improvement over MO1. The community is there, and the game plays really well. Much more promising than Crowfall was.

    I wish more people have spent like four to six months playing a full loot game or even Lineage 2. I think a lot of the discussion threads around the corruption system would be much shorter if people had actually lived in a PvP sandbox and got to understand it.

    Ah yes full loot pvp. Your talking about the award-winning action adventure sandbox game Minecraft right? Ah yes, the mischief one can get up to on Anarchy servers is delightful. I feel you may find that people have more experience with the concept than you may think.
    Small print leads to large risks.
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    mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Yea, I've played a lot of darkfall among other games you drop items and that's kind of my take. Death will bite but you still be returning home with something.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    JustVine wrote: »
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    It's good to hear people expanding their horizons when it comes to this genre we all love. I am a big fan of MO2. I have been stepping in and out of beta for almost a year now, and I think it's a great improvement over MO1. The community is there, and the game plays really well. Much more promising than Crowfall was.

    I wish more people have spent like four to six months playing a full loot game or even Lineage 2. I think a lot of the discussion threads around the corruption system would be much shorter if people had actually lived in a PvP sandbox and got to understand it.

    Ah yes full loot pvp. Your talking about the award-winning action adventure sandbox game Minecraft right? Ah yes, the mischief one can get up to on Anarchy servers is delightful. I feel you may find that people have more experience with the concept than you may think.

    Playing a full loot MMO and playing on a Minecraft server with full loot are not exactly analogous.

    It is the same concept in the way that swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa is the same concept as swimming in your back yard pool with a friend wearing a shark fin.
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    Noaani wrote: »
    It is the same concept in the way that swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa is the same concept as swimming in your back yard pool with a friend wearing a shark fin.

    Lol. This cracked me up.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    I just found my game till ashes comes out.

    From what I just read MO2 is a survival adventure with minimal class visuals, skills and overall identity.
    Less fantasy more basics. It looks great for what it is. A different game than most mmos.
    It doesnt need a corruption system since the core design is survival as opposed to other mmos that have as core lving, acquiring nice looking abilities, gear through crafting/gathering and PvEand overall character strength and visual progression.
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    I just found my game till ashes comes out.

    Yeah, I'm curious what you think. It also helps that it's just a pretty environment to spend time in.

    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    I guess Ill have to wait till Jan 2022 for MO2
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    Can you hop on Beta through Steam, or is there a geographical issue?
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
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    JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Noaani wrote: »
    JustVine wrote: »
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    It's good to hear people expanding their horizons when it comes to this genre we all love. I am a big fan of MO2. I have been stepping in and out of beta for almost a year now, and I think it's a great improvement over MO1. The community is there, and the game plays really well. Much more promising than Crowfall was.

    I wish more people have spent like four to six months playing a full loot game or even Lineage 2. I think a lot of the discussion threads around the corruption system would be much shorter if people had actually lived in a PvP sandbox and got to understand it.

    Ah yes full loot pvp. Your talking about the award-winning action adventure sandbox game Minecraft right? Ah yes, the mischief one can get up to on Anarchy servers is delightful. I feel you may find that people have more experience with the concept than you may think.

    Playing a full loot MMO and playing on a Minecraft server with full loot are not exactly analogous.

    It is the same concept in the way that swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa is the same concept as swimming in your back yard pool with a friend wearing a shark fin.

    Oho? What exactly is so different other than resource surplus?
    Small print leads to large risks.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited December 2021
    JustVine wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »
    JustVine wrote: »
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    It's good to hear people expanding their horizons when it comes to this genre we all love. I am a big fan of MO2. I have been stepping in and out of beta for almost a year now, and I think it's a great improvement over MO1. The community is there, and the game plays really well. Much more promising than Crowfall was.

    I wish more people have spent like four to six months playing a full loot game or even Lineage 2. I think a lot of the discussion threads around the corruption system would be much shorter if people had actually lived in a PvP sandbox and got to understand it.

    Ah yes full loot pvp. Your talking about the award-winning action adventure sandbox game Minecraft right? Ah yes, the mischief one can get up to on Anarchy servers is delightful. I feel you may find that people have more experience with the concept than you may think.

    Playing a full loot MMO and playing on a Minecraft server with full loot are not exactly analogous.

    It is the same concept in the way that swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa is the same concept as swimming in your back yard pool with a friend wearing a shark fin.

    Oho? What exactly is so different other than resource surplus?

    Resource surplus.

    Edit to clarify;

    If you make a game where it takes 15 minutes to get a full set of gear, and people lose a full set of gear, who cares about losing a full set of gear?

    If you make a game where it takes 10 hours a week for two full years to get a full set of gear, everyone cares about losing a full set of gear.

    This should not be a hard concept to grasp.
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    JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Noaani wrote: »
    JustVine wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »
    JustVine wrote: »
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    It's good to hear people expanding their horizons when it comes to this genre we all love. I am a big fan of MO2. I have been stepping in and out of beta for almost a year now, and I think it's a great improvement over MO1. The community is there, and the game plays really well. Much more promising than Crowfall was.

    I wish more people have spent like four to six months playing a full loot game or even Lineage 2. I think a lot of the discussion threads around the corruption system would be much shorter if people had actually lived in a PvP sandbox and got to understand it.

    Ah yes full loot pvp. Your talking about the award-winning action adventure sandbox game Minecraft right? Ah yes, the mischief one can get up to on Anarchy servers is delightful. I feel you may find that people have more experience with the concept than you may think.

    Playing a full loot MMO and playing on a Minecraft server with full loot are not exactly analogous.

    It is the same concept in the way that swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa is the same concept as swimming in your back yard pool with a friend wearing a shark fin.

    Oho? What exactly is so different other than resource surplus?

    Resource surplus.

    Edit to clarify;

    If you make a game where it takes 15 minutes to get a full set of gear, and people lose a full set of gear, who cares about losing a full set of gear?

    If you make a game where it takes 10 hours a week for two full years to get a full set of gear, everyone cares about losing a full set of gear.

    This should not be a hard concept to grasp.

    I said other than resource surplus.

    Obviously the resource surplus creates some differences, however not everything is so easy to obtain as you seem to think. Max level echantments, netherite gear, and optimized potions require resources. Farm heavy resources. In an anarchy server keeping up farms requires diplomacy or secrecy. Both are not trivially obtained or kept.

    In fact you see many familiar sights as in MO2. People running around in the easiest to enchant and craft gear as it starts becoming about disposability as much as it is advantage in a fight. The floor becomes what is most easily accessed and craftable while incurring frequent loss. You don't see full enchants or netherite that often until alliances start forming. And even that takes awhile to get worked up to unless everyone is no lifeing on the server.
    Small print leads to large risks.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    CROW3 wrote: »
    Can you hop on Beta through Steam, or is there a geographical issue?

    Pay and play? Ill download it.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    JustVine wrote: »

    I said other than resource surplus.

    I know you did, but that is about like asking what the difference between a Toyota and a Lexus is, other than quality.

    Your sentence may as well have been "what is the difference between these two things, other than the differences between them?"
    JustVine wrote: »
    In fact you see many familiar sights as in MO2. People running around in the easiest to enchant and craft gear as it starts becoming about disposability as much as it is advantage in a fight.

    I'm confused.

    Are you arguing that this would be a good thing for an MMO - a game genre that could best be described as constant progression?
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    JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    All I was doing was saying 'yah you can experience similar stresses and patterns in this highly played accessible game and the experience with those experiences may be more prevalent than you may think.'
    Small print leads to large risks.
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    JustVine wrote: »
    All I was doing was saying 'yah you can experience similar stresses and patterns in this highly played accessible game and the experience with those experiences may be more prevalent than you may think.'

    You're making the assumption that Noaani understands what it is like to play on a Minecraft Anarchy server, and before that, made the assumption that Noaani understands the amount of work and time involved in getting strong gear in Minecraft.

    Remember what happened the last time you made assumptions about Noaani understanding the depth or complexity of a specific game?
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Azherae wrote: »
    Remember what happened the last time you made assumptions about Noaani understanding the depth or complexity of a specific game?

    I make a point of underplaying effort in some games to prove a point, so I am unsure of which thread this is you are talking about here.

    Is it the thread where I had to point out a fundamental misunderstanding you had about Ashes that forced you to rethink this game, or was it the other thread where I had to point out a fundamental misunderstanding you had about Ashes that forced you to rethink this game?

    Yes, I have a fairly solid grasp of the depth of Minecraft. My 9 year old Nephew plays on an Anarchy server and is doing quite well.

    The last sentence is honestly enough, when transposed against what it takes to get to the same position in a game like EQ or EQ2 - which I may point out is a series you have no clue as to the depth of.
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    CROW3 wrote: »
    Can you hop on Beta through Steam, or is there a geographical issue?

    Pay and play? Ill download it.

    Have fun, hopefully the horse killing naked lunatics dont come after you. I will say this as a tip, in the long run age is the only factor you can never change. Race heavily effects what type of build you want to make. For example you will never see a Thursar mage because their race is just terrible in all aspects for it. If you would like more help feel free to dm me.
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    Commissioned at https://fiverr.com/ravenjuu
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    VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Noaani wrote: »
    Playing a full loot MMO and playing on a Minecraft server with full loot are not exactly analogous.

    It is the same concept in the way that swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa is the same concept as swimming in your back yard pool with a friend wearing a shark fin.

    2b2t(A Minecraft server) might actually be the most ruthless and cut throat online world known to man.
    TVMenSP.png
    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »
    Playing a full loot MMO and playing on a Minecraft server with full loot are not exactly analogous.

    It is the same concept in the way that swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa is the same concept as swimming in your back yard pool with a friend wearing a shark fin.

    2b2t(A Minecraft server) might actually be the most ruthless and cut throat online world known to man.

    For sure.

    Thing is, if people go in to that with an MMO mindset (aka, progression minded), they won't last long.

    People go in to things like this with the mindset of short term enjoyment. Log in, have fun now, then log out. There is no real thought given to fun tomorrow, or to progression - at least not for 95% of the population.

    As I said above, things like this are great, and work well in some games. They just don't work well in all genres, and an MMO that is targeted at MMO players is a situation where they do not work.
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    VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    @Noaani

    As a voxel game enthusiast, I have seen many attempts to turn Minecraft into an open world MMORPG. There are so many issues with Minecraft as a vessel for being such a thing that it never works out at scale. Even if it did, exploits would be rampant.
    Still, there have been small servers that have gotten an open world MMORPG feel going for short periods of time.

    I think the thrust is there. I myself have spent countless hours with friends working on mod setups for Minecraft to make the world more like an open world MMORPG. Minecraft is just really shitty when it comes to using computer resources efficiently. Getting more than 10 people on a highly modded server is a pipe dream.

    I would love to play Minecraft with a progression minded RPG mod pack with a few hundred to a thousand people on it long term. Sadly, no matter how many physical CPU cores or how much ram I give a Minecraft server, it sucks. Otherwise, I think you would see a lot more stuff like this.
    TVMenSP.png
    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
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    MO2's combat is more telegraphed than a fat kid winding up a punch because you cut in line at the cafeteria... But other than that, it's probably the only MMO to release in years that actually understands what an MMO should be.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    Noaani

    As a voxel game enthusiast, I have seen many attempts to turn Minecraft into an open world MMORPG. There are so many issues with Minecraft as a vessel for being such a thing that it never works out at scale. Even if it did, exploits would be rampant.
    Still, there have been small servers that have gotten an open world MMORPG feel going for short periods of time.

    I think the thrust is there. I myself have spent countless hours with friends working on mod setups for Minecraft to make the world more like an open world MMORPG. Minecraft is just really shitty when it comes to using computer resources efficiently. Getting more than 10 people on a highly modded server is a pipe dream.

    I would love to play Minecraft with a progression minded RPG mod pack with a few hundred to a thousand people on it long term. Sadly, no matter how many physical CPU cores or how much ram I give a Minecraft server, it sucks. Otherwise, I think you would see a lot more stuff like this.

    This is the reason I haven't looked at the game in close to a decade. It's a fairly boring single player game imo, but can't handle decent multiplayer.

    However, if this were to ever be fixed, most people that were setting a server up with the intent of emulating an MMO are likely to not go the same way 2b2t has gone.

    What would really interest me if Minecraft ever did manage to get decent multiplayer going on is the ability to use it to rapidly test various rulesets. You could set a server up with full loot and another identical server without full loot, and see how each go over a set period of time.

    It would - if nothing else - be very interesting.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    It's a solid nope. I cant spare enough time to properly play that game.
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    JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    It's a solid nope. I cant spare enough time to properly play that game.

    How much time would you need to play a day for it to work out do you think? Or is it more related to the gameplay loops themselves taking too long.
    Small print leads to large risks.
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    It definitely takes time. The world is HUGE and until you tame a horse you’re running with limited stamina. Also, even when you get a horse it can bolt if it’s loyalty drops too low, be killed by other players or wolves, or die from taking a bad fall. Then you’re on foot again.

    For some this is a nightmare. For folks like me that love open, dangerous spaces it’s a wonderful way to scratch the exploration itch.
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
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    DerToastinatorDerToastinator Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Haven't played MO2 so my opinion on that game specifically is invalid.
    However, I'll leave a nice, funny and informative review on it at the end of my post.
    Don't be fooled, its made by Josh Strife Hayes and although the title might suggest otherwise, he is fair and honest in his reviews. I can only recommend his content.

    Now to my experience with dropping equipment on death games.
    I've recently stated playing on a private WoW server called Ascension.
    It let's you pick every skill, has no classes and gives you possibilities to have synergies with a lot of those skills and talents.
    It also gives you the chance to decide if you wana play hard-core.
    This makes you only see other hard-core players, let's you go criminal and attack anyone in your lvl range regardless of faction and enables dropping your loot and 2-3 equipment items on death. While leveling this system is cool. You may die to someone, but coming back from that loss isn't too hard. You also might win and get good loot! All in all, its fair game most of the time and the stakes are high for everyone involved. Your theorycrafting and your skill determines the outcome of an encounter.
    Wich feels good! If you win, you win because of your abilities!

    Now here's the catch... as soon as you reach lvl 60 you get thrown into the pool with everyone, who has already reached max lvl. Yes. Everyone. The noobs, who just reached that lvl and the sweaty no-livers, who have farmed the best gear and have backup gear for their backup gear.
    Quick reminder.... you are the noob here...
    As soon as you step out into the world to try to get some loot, you will get farmed.
    There is no hiding and if you get caught you are dead.
    Imagine playing a stealth game without the possibility to hide. You have to pray, that you don't run into a guard. That's all you can do.

    The game experience goes from fun and balanced risk to getting butt-**** without lubricant real quick.
    You get stronger only very slowly, if at all, and they just sell your gear and get more powerful.
    You might say, that they too have to face strong opponents... but they have A. a fighting chance and B. backup-gear ready to go.
    Yes, you can protect your gear with gold, but even that feels shit. You loose a lot of gold and are broke after a few deaths, depending on your farming.
    That's what full loot boils down to.
    You struggling to farm to get on the same lvl with others, just to get killed and having to start over. It's not ensentevising you to take a risk to get a reward. It's ensentevising you to play it safe until you are at a point where the risk doesn't matter no more and you can steamroller others. To be fair, that is more the fault of human psychology than the games fault.
    If you then can not play it safe, because there are no options to do so, then the players on the bottom will eventually leave. The players on top are left thinking, that those who leave are just impatient litte pricks. I'll have to remind you: they are essentially playing another game.... and their game sucks.

    I'll leave this: full loot is a cool concept. If there's no regulating force tho, the playerbase gets decided into winners and loosers. That leaves some in the dust.
    They will get frustrated eventually and force them to leave.
    The playerbase gets smaller until the elitists are left alone.
    Then their fun is diminished, because now they don't have anyone to be superior to anymore.
    In the long run. Without any regulating force. These games die.
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    It's a solid nope. I cant spare enough time to properly play that game.

    If you thought that was bad, maybe you found this part out but ill say it anyway. The skill gain on the current beta servers are at 100 times the normal speed and the books you read that say "hours" are intended to take IRL hours.
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