VPR Cast#96: “Current Value of Mortal Online”

Welcome to our 96th mmo podcast at mmoSmacktalk.com! Miguel-hate-mmos joins the cast again in a NSFW episode, covering topics from Tribes Ascend, Guild Wars 2, Darkfall, and Mortal Online.

*** Correction to the cast — At one point I said I am a “glass half full” guy. What I meant, is that I see things as “glass half EMPTY”. So when I explain why I’m “half full”, replace those words with “half empty”.

DISCLAIMER: This cast may induce nausea, vomiting, and prolonged erections. Listener discretion is advised.

About this better-than-Cialis mmo podcast:
 Over 2 hours of misc mmo commentary.
 Miguel on ArcheAge, Tribes Ascend, Diablo 3.
 Misc: movies, armchair psychology, steroids, lasiks (everything an mmo podcast should be).
 “The End Game” as it relates to “theme-park” mmos (fixed).
 Birth of a new phrase: “Robin Hooded”.
 Mike tries to bullshit us with his thoughts on Darkfall Online.
 Miguelito’s blogged thoughts on Mortal Online.

LISTEN NOW or Download:

Brief, ineloquent, and unedited thoughts on the current value of Mortal Online:

MO, in its current state is NOT worth the $30 purchase prices and the $15 monthly fee. In fact, I think this is an insult to ask any gamer to pay these rates for what is literally a beta. Look, most games have bugs and issues, and I wouldn’t say they’re in a beta phase. Realistically beta is a phase of testing labeled by developers, so by rights, a dev team can technically put out the biggest heap of shit and label it final release it. When I say MO is a beta, what I mean by that is that they released what would be by most standards a fucking beta. Personally, given the scope of ideas they are trying to accomplish, I’m absolutely cool with that; however, when they ask for the kind of money that they do, THAT is what becomes insulting.

At MO’s current stage of development I MIGHT be willing to pay ONLY the $15/monthly, and I’d more likely pay and play for $10/mo; and at $5/mo… that’d be a easy kill… I’d be all over that.


Game Discussion and Analysis:

  • Darkfall Online (DFO): open pvp, full loot, loads of asses to kick.

51 thoughts on “VPR Cast#96: “Current Value of Mortal Online””

  1. Loved hearing about Coolit group getting ganked. 😀 Love to hear you guys rip apart EvE Online, sadly even thoug it is rip your eyes out boring, it is the only game that has a depth of a actual player controled majority of the world.

  2. @Salohcin Dragon: I’ve yet to try Eve. Every time I’m ready to try it out, something pulls me away. Most recently, being the past year, I think I was yanked off the Eve trial by Xsyon, then Mortal. Now I’m playing the Salem beta, so I won’t be trying it just yet.

    Yeah, that Coolit story is hilarious.

    *** Correction to the cast — At one point I said I am a “glass half full” guy. What I see things as “glass half EMPTY”. So when I explain why I’m “half full”, just replace those words with “half empty”. :)

  3. EVE may seem boring, but it’s different when you’re really invested in it. While the combat controls are rather simple, there is so much else going on to keep track of that it almost needs to be how it is.

    I never got that far in EVE but the little time I did spend playing with a group was awesome. Some of the best group experiences I’ve had in a game.

  4. Nothing. I’ve had to step away from gaming completely and do things in real life. I’m surprised I Was able to, I was full on addicted to online gaming.

    The MMO market sucks now anyways. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on much. Though I would enjoy revisiting Darkfall some.

  5. @Professer: As I’m sure you’re fully aware, Darkfall has an interesting offer firing up on 2 July 12: http://www.darkfallonline.com/blog/?p=3230

    Crazy how RL kills the mmo fun :) Hopefully your RL requirements are benign (ie not financial, physical hardships, etc). Why dont you join the show sometime? You into that?

    For guys like us, it offers 2 days free, and massively increased skill ups. I’ll be curious how much the recurring sub will be… seriously hoping for a $5 price point.

  6. @IHM: dude, I am going to fly down to Texas and beat you. There’s been too too many Darkfall pejoratives flowing from your mouth lately.

  7. @ryan: I’ll definitely be in darkfall for the free two days. I missed the last massive skill increase event so I’ll make sure to take care of this one.

    And life problems aren’t too bad. Just gotta do things and cant sit and play MMOs for 6+ hours a day.

  8. I’ve also been learning sound design/music production, so the free time I do have to spend on the PC doesn’t really get spent on gaming.

  9. Tacks for the podcast =)

    As an old designer I can tell you Darkfall has had the worst UI possible for new players. And the veterans use Autoit and other 3:rd party apps to handle the bad UI. Simple example is a script that brings your shield up when you choose 1handed sword. or swithing to staff and fireballspell when you press 1 button. A new players need to choose staff, then the right menu, then the fireball.

    The game engine is one of the best mmo shooter engines. You can hid behind a tree or wall and not get hurt by a fireball that hits the other side. No tab targetting.

    Lets hope they will manage to fix the UI for 2.0 release.

  10. The Mortal Online story was accurate and we lost a ton of shit. Even though a lot of the shit lost was mine I still loved the rush and despite all of Mortals faults, being able to loose all your’re hard earned shit is what makes it worth playing. As far as it not being worth $15 dollars. If you play it its worth it. Most people who play spend hours in the game. The real cost is you’re time. You will have to listen to my next cast for my explanation. Fuckers

  11. @IHM: sounds like he’s a blend of both… if anything, haha, I’d say that sounds more like he agrees with me… so eat it! :) What ray ray says about autoit, autohotkey, etc., is completely true… I use it myself. I have also stated in previous casts that in cases where autoit can be leveraged to offer an ease of gameplay that is not otherwise accessible, then they should add that feature to the game/ui.

    Miguelito, ray ray was very clear in describing what he faults the ui for… you, on the other hand, were telling me shit like, “my sword doesnt unsheathe fast enough. {followed by crying and gnashing of teeth}”. With your sheathing scenario, as I noted, that is not broken. RE the using autoit to equip, this I can understand. And btw, I seem to recall people using macros in ultima also…

    You know what’s funny is that I’ve had a handful of discussions asking people what’s wrong with dfo, and the ui always comes up. The funny part is that everybody always describes their ui woes differently.

    Admittedly I have been an avid fan and huge proponent of darkfall (and I’ve confessed my fanboyness time and again). For me it’s so hard to get hung up on the ui when the actual combat mechanics destroys every single god damn mmo out there, and this comes from a small fucking group of dudes. Doesnt that piss you off?! Now we know what can be done, and no large companies are doing it! Maybe that’s what’s filtering my darkfall analysis… is that despite it’s modest shortcomings, it kills it in actual gameplay.

    Off the top of my head, here are some things that dfo offered on release that I had not experienced elsewhere in an mmo (and still dont):
    – best mount system (forget the weight issue… that’s an inventory problem): you can walk away from mounts, steal mounts, kill mounts, ride with spares to outrun your enemies (a real life tactic).
    – best 3d “real time” melee an projectile combat
    – no glaring tags overhead
    – ffa loot
    – you see it, you can mount it (sheer cliffs, etc)
    – the most seamless, non-instanced, functional, large scale world to date.
    – ship building, naval warfare, cannons

    There’s a lot more, but then those wouldnt be off the top of my head.

    Now we wait for IHM to include 5 negative things. haha.

    @Coolit: Make sure that when you discuss the $15 monthly sub, PLUS the requirement to purchase a bunk ass client, that your analysis transcends simple-fuzzy math: I make X amount a year, so paying $15 is nothing. This is logic if flawed right off the bat:
    – opportunity costs: i could pay nothing and enjoy other activities with my time. or i could pay $15 on another game that offers fewer headaches, like Darkfall ($10 now). Personally I dont care to run multiple $15 subs on games that I will hardly play. I have too much respect for my time and the money that I do make to just throw it in the gutter. I’d far rather give $15 to a kickstarter program, like Embers of Caerus, or a child’s charity, than MO. More bang for my buck with both of those options.
    – rewarding shitty behavior. people are getting sick of paying money for an extra buggy game. the market has already proven me correct on that. So when i say MO is worth playing for $5, I’m actually doing the game a favor implying that there is some redeeming quality to it. There are other people, well moneyed people, that still wouldnt drop $5 bucks on a heap.
    – it’s offensive. go play the trial, then think that they want you to drop $30 out the gate on this game. And if anybody says, “oh shit… you’d bat an eye at dropping $30…” – let me tell you something, I know millionaires who have batted an eye at less. haha. The bottom line is most people dont want to feel taken. At MO’s current price point, it will make e a lot of people feel hollow.

    A summarization of the truth, that I think would prove out for a lot of people, is they’d drop $30 bucks for the game (and first month) only to find that they dont like it that much, and would terminate their sub within the first month or 2. At the end of that miserable experience they will reflect on the fact that they could have spent $45 on a more gratifying gaming experience (or irl) elsewhere… and THAT is what’s important here. If you (coolit) want to shill for Mortal, be my guest, but as a dude who enjoys these kinds of games, I can tell you that it’s just not worth it; HOWEVER, to find out for yourself, install the trial. If you like what you see, then by all means support the company and play your dick off. I met a guy in the game who has played darkfall and mortal, and he prefers mortal (and he was a mortal newb when he was telling me this [not sure he still plays though :)]… so it wasnt some jacked up fanboy).

    Bottom line, raise your hand if you want to pay $30 for a beta! If so, there are a ton of devs wanting to be your friend.

    Ultimately, I’m glad Mortal is out there, but it needs a lot of polish. I think the best thing for the game is to reduce the price, mass market, admit its flaws, and move forward.

  12. @DeadHorse – Ultima Online had macros that users set IN THE GAME. In this way, Ultima’s UI circa 1998 was better than Darkfall’s.

    Pirates of the Caribbean had far superior naval combat FYI.

    I don’t hate Darkfall, despite you trying to pigeon-hole me into a polar view, I’m simply not ignoring the bad for the sake of satisfying my fanboy quota.

    The current MMO environment where Darkfall is one of the better games causes most people to just opt out of MMOs in general.

  13. @IHM: then dfo needs to follow UO’s lead on this. Completely agree.

    I realize you’re not a polar view. That’s the inner fan-hulk coming out of me (not fun hulk… we ca do without those). Truthfully, I’m losing some fan-ness due to their almost disrespectful commo on the future of DFO 1.0. We’re all still wondering at the fate of our toons.

  14. Also, @Coolit : Time is the most expensive resource you spend on games, but giving money to games like Mortal constitutes a donation in my opinion and it is the responsibility of a consumer in a free market to choose what lives and what dies.

    I can’t ethically/financially support Mortal because I feel like their incompetence should lead to failure and a new career choice.

  15. @IHM: i agree. one thing i think people who havent played mo might not be able to get their minds around are the bugs and how they impact game play. if you have 1-2 hours each night to play, you dont want to deal with 30 minute bugs, let alone pay for it. how about when coolit was running us out to some town and we all got lost – fun (to me). while he was trying to aid each of us and set us on a path towards the rally point, I got hung up in some rocks in the pitch black. he was trying to show me over and over how to pass, but I could not see him well enough to repeat his actions. when i finally did, my toon slid down into a small crack, from which i could not emerge, no matter what. so i had to suicide, which would have sucked if i had tons of stuff on me, and found myself at a different city. from their i had to ascertain the best route to the rally point and overcome new awkward terrain obstacles. After blowing 2 hours on bugs and terrain queerness, I found myself at the target city. Had I been paying, I’d have been pissed. Since it was a trial, and I was made aware of the bugs, it was cool. Plus I was on TS socializing, which helped the time speed by.

    I’ll tell you this though, if I were at a restaurant, and paid $30 for a steak that was burnt, gummy, gristly, etc., I’d send it back for a refund. I dont think MO is going to give you a refund unless you fight tooth and nail. With that in mind, I encourage anybody interested to attempt the trial. If you can get by the login bugs, the crashes, the lockouts, the terrain issue, the sub part combat mechanics, the rubber banding AI, then it might be the game for you (there are upsides to MO, they’re just not prevalent enough to justify paying $30 + the current monthly premium).

  16. Ryan keep up the good work of promoting Darkfall. It really is an exceptional game. If there were more players and a better UI you would not even need DF 2.0
    This is extra true now that they have increased the skillgaings to x20. Just look at MO, you can max out the character in a few days and still have fun.

    UI sould never be felt, its your gateway to the application. If you ever stop your immersion and have to focus on the UI to interact, then the design is flawed.

    Now apply this rule to DF, and youll see that you cant do much in DF without the UI “stopping your immersion”.

    I also fell down to my death in MO and lost my stuff. At least in DF if you ever managed tofall down, (almost impossible if unintended), then you would just fall for ever and you could relog back in. No death….

    But what finally turned me off was the long pitchblack nights. I thought “I have 30 min to play… Oh shit, its night”


  17. “The current MMO environment where Darkfall is one of the better games causes most people to just opt out of MMOs in general.”

    I never thought this would be me. But my gaming diet for the past 6 months has been 90% single player and 10% mmo. Our choices boil down to triple A titles that are shit and boring to play or an indie title that is buggy to all hell, constant tear your eyes out grind, for a sliver of awesome gaming moments.

  18. I got on DF last night with a fresh toon and got to 100 lesser magic in about 1 hour. When did they make items stop stacking? It’s like they actually want to fix their terrible fucking decisions!

    I hope this lasts forever and DF2 never happens. They’re just going to re-fuck everything.

  19. @ray ray: solid points! I definitely think part of my zeal for dfo colors my opinion, even though I try to maintain some objectivity as much as possible. Thanks for the feedback!

    @Nate: understandable. hopefully we can fire up some dfo together, at least on one of these promo nights.

    @IHM: reroll as alfar so that i can hold your hand on the next promo weekend.

  20. Ryan, I ended up subbing for this month but rolled a new orc to play in ork and beans. Doubt I play as much as the rest of the guys but I will get a few hours in each week to see what the game is all about.

  21. Finally got around to listening to it. Great cast and as far as the feedback you requested, I am ok with some political/current event topic discussion. What was in this cast was just about right. But if there is more it would just annoy the hell out of me since I am tuning in to hear some gaming related content.

  22. @IHM: I was definitely going to do it, but then I found out one of the guys who was coming back to dfo with me already paid and fired up his old alfar. Guess I’ll be hunting Orc meat for the time being.

    @Nateryl: I think starting out as an Orc with the guys will be fun for you. Hope you keep it up (I need loot).

    Also, RE the feedback, thanks! Really appreciate it.

  23. Bring it Aflar scum. My Greataxe is already surging.. I will own your dagger poking ass with a 3 day old toon. Plus we are 7 strong now. You guys should create a guild so we can war dec you.

  24. @coolit: your Greataxe MASTERY is surging?! Where you at? Maybe we can meet you on the field tonight. BTW, I put forward the Ork and Beans idea to them… so we still might be in. if not, I’ll admit, I do need to loot you.

  25. @IHM: You have no idea how long I worked my logs until I could make a raft. That was my FIRST goal in Darkfall; and as soon as I had my first raft in hand, I got ganked.

  26. ZOMG, Ryan came out with another show! I have been on vacation for the last week and a half. I will need to catch up.

  27. I started agian with a new chacter in Darkfall EU
    This is how a game is supposed to be.

    They should always have had 20 times gains. Now we who dont have som much time to play can have a blast and be equal in character :)

    But as you often say Ryan. A lot is about player twitch and general skill in Darkfall.

    Bake a pod soon with with the fun you guys have in Darkfall and the new clan

  28. @ray ray: yeah, skill increases are awesome and twitch definitely matters. Encountered some pvp in a dungeon recently – 2 on 2. We killed their master looter, who was geared up, and then had a hell of a time killing the other guy who was completely naked. In fact we didnt kill him because he was so twitch. In our defense we are still setting our binds and building muscle memory… but then again the guy was NAKED. So no excuse really. The thing is, this guy was just on it; working the perfect blend of heals, eye rots, obfuscating rays, etc. Was like fighting a ballerina, and getting our asses handed to us. In the end, I logged with the loot, as there was possibly no money in the naked guy. Not to mention the dead friend might return in force, and we wanted to keep our new found gains. Moral to the story – twitch is king.

  29. I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Most of the videos I’ve seen have been more about keybinds and muscle memory than they have been about twitch skill. It will all be in my write-up!

  30. @IHM: to me they are related. You can have all the maps and muscle memory you want, but if you dont have the twitch and precision to utilize them under pressure, then you will lose.

    Basically, I think most would agree that “twitch” is the speed and precision with which access your key binds via muscle memory. IE the synapse that pulls it all together.

  31. hahah Excellent example Ryan!

    Darkfall is the only game i have played that nerves matter so much. I havnt played any game where my hand starts to shake when im in a really exciting fight.

    Its easy to get tunnel vision then and miss the bigger pitcture of the fight.

    Look at the videos, some of the players are exceptionally good at enviroment, choosing the right spells, weapons, tactics, and LANDING the hits, spells, etc.

    Darkfall made splash damage more skill based. And also implemented to allow you to take cover behind tree, stone, wall etc to avoid damage.

    Wow, what a great game.. To bad the 20 times skill gain wasnt given earlier.

  32. @Ryan I am listening to your cast. I have been playing Tribes Ascend for some time now. I consider myself an expert on this game and will skool you. Please hit me up. Don’t listen to this fool, he hasn’t played Tribes enough to really know what he is talking about.

  33. @Ryan Normally I like it when you go off topic. However, I am like 45 minutes into your show. So far there has maybe been 10-15 minutes of actually video game talk. You are right that we don’t want to here politics. This is just fucking pure vomit. Plus not pausing the show when you stepped away was further vomit. Normally, I love your show but Jesus fucking Christ, this would have been better as a solo cast. I am sorry but I feel like it’s never going to end and that after two hours of talking about bull shit that no one cares about, you will have about 30 minutes of video game talk. I stopped and deleted the MP3. Next time please list when the real fucking cast starts. I don’t care enough about what I Hate MMORPGs has to say to get through this torture. Save the off topic crap like I do at the end and at least make it funny.

  34. Cast is lik 98% gaming discussion. All topics that deter away from gaming are just about all initiated by Ryan and each time he would dive back into gaming talk soon.

    The break in the beginning while completely and totally ridiculous also ended up being funny as hell. Especially when Ryan calls out miguelito for not saying shit.

  35. @yak: you know what’s nuts, I completely intended on posting the time when we got into Mortal! I must have forgotten; and now I do forget. It might be around the 1:40 mark, but dont hold me to it.

    Also, saw your message on steam last night. You were off when I replied.

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