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Different focus in game development and more feedback for feedback + ramble at end


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Today is the day! I finally end my humble patience, kill my grace and rant.

I find the development in MD sloppy. It seems like one concept/feature is implemented, and then there's a short period of time before the next thing. After a couple of releases an alpha stage ends and another starts, with celebration. I can see why that's appealing, because you perceive constant growth of a dynamic game. But is incessant movement from one area to another good growth? In my view, this type of game development introduces many novel quirks--but ends up in numerous bugs and bad presentation to deal with later, forsaking smooth gameplay with steady progression. I don't think the features in the game go under thorough debugging and perfection; Manu is always occupied with the next thing.

There's the combat system mechanics, alliance combat, presentation of key information (and lack of certain information like about heat), clumsy help system, seemingly minor things like spelling.. Ask why any of these should be dealt with before the implementation of things like magic and roleplaying features or for an explanation of what's wrong with them, and I can explain my opinions. I have them written up and saved (I was going to post them in this topic, but they grew long collectively), so be openly curious. Perhaps listed like this, these problems do not seem big, but some of these features are integral to the game.

I'm sure there are many other things pointed out by different players which would've been easy enough to fix or should be important enough to warrant time and effort put into change. All of the above were only a few examples I thought demonstrated my point. I know it may seem just like trivial touching-up, and I know we are prone to feeling that Manu's too busy to do these things, but doesn't it just make more sense to finish one thing before moving on to another? They're going to have to be done anyway. I just feel it would be more intelligent to change from current development to one that is more orderly and meticulous if a bit slower. Or at least for it to be discussed.

One thing is, besides that they could be dealt with now rather than later, you don't have any idea of when the later time chosen for dealing with these problems is. Manu has suggested several times that MD is in a perpetual alpha because new things are always being introduced. If they continue to be introduced consecutively, will there ever be time for busy Manu to fix things? It's enough to make at least myself worry that I'm wasting my time hoping for action which may never come, thus this topic. If the development isn't going to change style, for a reason I'd like to know, I at least want to be able to see when the problems I'm concerned about will be dealt with.

On the topic of communication.. I think there should be more feedback for feedback. The forums invite players to suggest new ideas and discuss current issues, but really the interaction is between the members only. New ideas and bugs get put on a list to be checked by Manu eventually, but I suspect it's a pretty low priority for him. I think it's understandable, especially when there are already so many plans in place and things to be taken care of, and the actual team for the game, as in the people who develop the game. . . is a one-man band x) Manu.

However! I think feedback on criticism topics about the game and its mechanics is imperative. In such an egotistic community as ours which derives a sense of elitism because we believe MD to be near perfect in its concepts if not execution and to have great potential, anything which may seem slightly unfair or ponderous can greatly damage a player's dedication to the game. Unanswered questions suggest an inability to defend, and then lack of change will provoke a sensation of being disregarded, thus feelings of injustice and incredulity. If questions are answered or things are changed, those who questioned will feel pride.. and continue to contribute. I think the result would be well worth the effort and time taken to do it. Well, that's my supposition, anyway.

I know at least I have considered quitting because of doubts in game concepts. The only thing which kept me from doing so was the same community spoken of.. I'm fond of everyone here: the MD team, my chums stormrunner and Deon Selco, the obsessive roleplayers, even Rensu, who knows best how to annoy me and does so shamelessly. If anything, this worthy community deserves to be assured.

Does this sound like a good-bye? Maybe. I don't think even my cherished family here will be able to keep me from leaving if I learn that I can only despair at the thought of farming losses. As it is, I'm growing less and less active because of school and other priorities in my "real life." If the issues I spoke about aren't addressed, I'll likely grow despondent enough to "quit," although I'd check every so often to see how things are going. Well, at the moment, err, I guess you'll be seeing me trying to get people to respond to this, though, eh. . .

Hey! :-P I know all these words are probably going to rub some of you prideful players the wrong way, but I believe these are serious issues to take in consideration. I've noticed this for some time, thought about it, thought about it more, ignored it, and then, well, here this topic is. x_x; That's all.

Oh, and disclaimer. Lu shares these views as well, and you can pretty much take "I" as "Lulu and I" because we wrote this together. Yeah. That's right! B) Now let's discuss why "I" isn't "Glaistig and I". . .

And another disclaimer: this isn't the only thing about MD that's having us feel qualms. Honestly, we think taking on personas is cool (Khalazdad is way cool, we say), but some of the "roleplaying" we've witnessed doesn't impress us so much. More bluntly, disconcerts us greatly. That isn't to say we dislike the ideas of RPCs and the player-involved adventure log. We think it's great, and we think it sucks that the quests seem to have fallen a little bit flat due to lack of organization and publicity. Though Lu would like to say that she would have liked it more if MD focused on the puzzles and game-implemented quests. Anyway! Back to the roleplaying thing: we think it would've been great if taken in a slightly different direction, but as it is now, it doesn't really suit us. Uh, but anyway, this is just pure preference by us, though, so we can't really say "Change this!" like we are about the other things discussed here :'). K, thankssomuch. This was all Lu, by the way, because she really wanted to talk about other things that bothered us, but it kind of came out in this weird manner. . .

Okay, this topic kind of turned to ourselves, pretty lame. Oh well. Just take into consideration the first part and what we had to say. And be grateful, because Lu convinces Glai that the yellow emoticons are okay just this once.

And finally, deepest apologies to any annoyance we might cause by posting this in such a long, windy, and thoroughly cluttered manner. It got even worse at the end, Lu.

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Glaistig I hate to tell you but thing here will not change in less some game comes along that does what MD does only better because as you said this community has a majory problm with elitism both as a game and with groups llike the rpc(lucky this is being fixed kindof) or older players

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Well, due to that problem of elitism huh.. Well, I guess you might be right storm, but that is why I would like to thank Glai and Lu for bringing this up, so people might get a bit of a reminder. They have a very good point : some of the game features has to be fixed, debugged, and given finishing touch at a point in time. "When", will be Manu's decision, as he determines which priorities comes first, but at least this topic serves as a good reminder, and kudos for that.

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Well I kinda agree with Both Areas of thought. The constant flow of new things is Cool and keeps things Interesting, but there are some things which defiantly need to be Improved.

Top thing on my list is the Balance system. Great Idea, but right now It works about as well as a Cheesy Pick up line in a Bar.

I can Understand how Spelling and things are a Low Priority, but the Battle System seems pretty Important, and right now the Incentives are all Towards Losses.

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  • Root Admin

First of all, i hope i dont have to remind all the things that i have to do and how some of those things you dont even realise such as SEO, advertising, answering ridiculous emails and so on. The programming of the game is entirly in my hands and i do have a better view of things to come than you do and from that view, the current so called BUGS are nothing. Why i say that? because in time a lot of things change and fixing and perfecting the current ones its poitless at this moment. I am not introducing new stuff, i am just finishing the stuff i had in mind, and its still a long way untill all things will be in palce so i cna focus on perfecting them and making them bugfree.

The fighting system will have its changes too, one of the major changes you saw from mp3 to mp4-5 when there are more types of victory. The rewarding system of the fight and the log will also change, to show how fights are "healing fights", "heat fights", "sacrificy fights" ETC ETC..

The illusions system that i work on is for MP2 and MP7, teo levels mandatory for the game evolution.

From my point of view , the biggest issue right now is the flow of roles and the monopoly that rpc's have on special abilities. I am thinking of a way to make this more fluent and have inactive rpc's removed from active play and new rpc's promoted constantly. For this i have to do a lot of work that you cant even think of right now. Untill then, the Festival is doing that by promoting players based on their activity.

You are complaining that i am not answering forums ... i cant do all, sorry, ..honestly i wish to play my role too, and be part of the community but that i will do when i will focus just on bugs how you say...probably in over 6 month from now, maybe more idk.

In the time i spent to write this post i could have fixed one of the bugs you are talking about, or reward one more player for the festival. Thats why i selected people to be part of the team and assigned them to different activity areas such as artists, forum, translations, adventure, live help operators and one manager to centralise the data and coordinate them. I must say i am not happy with the way things work with them. I cant figure out if more people are needed or none at all.

Normaly you should not see me at all, not on email, not in game and not on forums. Have you ever tried to contact one of the many developers of an other game? I tried, and the best i could do was to get in touch with one of their managers, but never to the programmer and of course not to the guy that run the show there, the owner...and i contacted them for business not to report bugs or complain.

MagicDuel is defenetly understaffed, i could use like 4 programmers, 1 designer, a fulltime manager, and so on, THEN things could be like you wish them, untill then i am trying to do miracles and it seems you dont appreciate it.

My recomandation is to quit playing, and come back in one year or so. If you dont realise that the game world is curently evolving and in constant change and its not at all a stable game, then you are defenetly not ready to see what will happen in next month. You have two ways to see chaos ... like adventure where you have nothing to lose.. or like total desaster.

Please read the change log from entry 1, you will realise how this whole rush of mine looks on the long run and why its not the right moment to focus on bugs. At first there was no chat, can you imagine that?

Do you know how other games cover their logic problems? they periodicaly reset the game. When was the last time i reset the game?

The only valuable thing this game has its the community. If tomorow i will place just a chat and no fighting, people will still be there talking about what happend and so. If you look at things that way, then the small bugs you enounter now are not so important, and the changes that happen from time to time become part of the overall adventure that the game has to offer. The community should not be hold together by ME...i can do that, but if you all cant stay together on your own then my work so far is pointless.

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I am rather new to this game but i have to say i am impressed by the complexity of what has been accomplished. Creating a game is difficult work and often times it feels as though it is a thankless job:) At least when its all well and done, there isnt a more satisfying feeling i assure you.

I sent you a message in the game Mur, you might be interested :P

keep up the good work!

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I do understand that some of these things may fall in place together eventually, so perhaps you are right when you say it is not necessary to fix the current "bugs." Even so, I still find it a bit hazardous, and, reading your post, I still couldn't figure out how this way--finishing everything you have in mind as quickly as possible--is better than doing each thing well before moving onto the next, with the exception of an instance in which you have to finish another thing to be able to continue working on the first. Is it that way with all of the areas?

EDIT: I reread Manu's post a couple of times to think about it (yeah, I think about these sorts of things a long time after I respond), and I realized I missed the meaning in about the third sentence--I didn't get that he said things would change and thus certain bugs will be irrelevant in the future. But I still don't agree completely. There are bugs in things I doubt will change, like the spelling in the story. Also, I think what I said in the first paragraph still applies. Are the changes that will occur to combat and render fixing of current bugs unnecessary related to other things yet to be implemented, or could they be done now? But I do understand more, the reason for this sort of development.

You hold the ultimate power--this is just what I see and think. It's also up to you to place a value on replying on certain topics in the forums. Personally, I wouldn't mind postponing the fixing of a bug mentioned if I could hear what you have to say about issues I'm concerned about. I know there would be others who would rather get that bug fixed and trust in your capability without having to hear what you have to say.

Hopefully Magicduel will eventually get to its debugging and then be an awesome game (meaning, a game in which I can safely statwh*re without worrying about having to farm losses). For now, though, I (we) will take you up on your advice.

I (Glaistig) don't contribute much anymore, and I know this community is wonderful enough to do without me. :D I'm the selfish sort of person who won't spend time and effort playing a buggy game even if it has potential when I can return later if that potential is realized. At least now I am--I have been practically staying here just because of the community, not the game, for a while (I like your analogy of a game with only chat and no combat). I'd like to say that I will come back when I won't have to farm losses anymore, but I think after a period of absence in my life, MD won't be so appealing. Who knows though--I'll be monitoring what happens for some time. In the meanwhile, good luck with the game.

As for me (Lulu), maybe when MagicDuel is at that point Manu mentioned, when he has all that was in his mind done and can start working on perfecting them. I'm sure it has the potential to be very engaging. Right now, to be frank, the combat system and head contest aren't engaging enough for me anymore. Perhaps the quests would've gotten me, but they seem kind of out there, and I never have the time. So, until I have that time and until MD is all brushed up, I suppose, I'll be peacefully doing other things :) But MD really was fun for a while.

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I think one big flaw in all of this is the attitude and view of things.

I am pretty sure that everyone understands that Manu is completely buried in work, but the position of "if you can't understand how much work I am doing and that I want to first implement this and this and this before fixing xyz" is exactly what annoys some (e.g. Me and apparently Glaistig and Lulu).

It is nice to have a game that evolves, but you cannot prioritize implementing new stuff to eradicating bugs.

One, you are doing things too fast. Sure it's cool to get new things constantly, but players are like spoiled kids. Give them too many presents too fast, and later on they are bored and very difficult to entertain. You have to hold them at bay, tease them, keep them coming for more.

Two, there is this horrible elitist attitude going on in this community towards new players. I am not pointing at specific people, but I have seen it at various instances. Whenever there were people with problems, complaints or criticism people either reacted with "if you don't like it, leave, we don't want people like you anyway" or "yes, it has been mentioned before, we are working on it".

The first, even though the community really MIGHT be that arrogant to want to weed out people they don't like and not bother with their opinion, this way also loses. I am not saying you should try to appeal to everyone, but if something has been mentioned several times but tons of new players (and probably also but veteran players who simply stopped bothering over time), there has to be something to it and maybe should be worth looking into.

The second, simply needs to be fixed. If it is something that seriously jumps into people's eye at a rate of at least one topic a day then it is something that in the long run will make people wonder what is being accomplished. It's like a toothache that doesn't really bother you enough to go to the dentist, but over time its steady pulsating drives you insane. You can't chew, brush your teeth and everything is just really annoying.

Three, you need people to grow, to attract more people. It's always better to have a well working game with no or few bugs and few features as opposed to a game full of bugs and issues and tons of features. People are happier with the first. In the second, what good are all these features if everyone has something going wrong, something that makes you wonder why it isn't being fixed.

Developing a game doesn't mean you first put in everything at once, and then you see what's wrong. You put in one or two things, see what's wrong, get rid of the bugs and work from there. Besides, once EVERYTHING is implemented, it will be so much more difficult to figure out what bugs cause what problem. And you'll have to go through it one by one again anyway, causing you to lose more time and unnecessary work.

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  • Root Admin


you see them as new features, i see them as missing parts of a bigger system.

you see bugfixes are needed, i see that "new features" will change game mechanics so much that those bugs will be there as you see them.

you see wrong attitude in my replies, you are probably right, i see wrong attitude in yours too.

you see wrong attitude in community, i see it too, but i wont change it by force. Either the new wave of rpc's will help the community grow or just scare people away, i dont realy know.

you miss a big point. in this game some players play against other players. RPC/PWR play against/with regular players. Its not a liner gameplay, they are like two factions ...game masters and normal players. Rpc give quests, regular players play them, some enjoy it, some feel its elitist attidude and get frustrated and leave, some see it as a target and fight to get rpc's thenselves.

i dont expect people to understand the type of community i try to build here. The fact that glaistig and lulu, or any of you bothered to write on the forum, means they care about it and thats one reached goal from my point of view.

its a cosntantly changing game. i dont want it a perfect game, i want it an evolving game. Perfect games you play then discard. I put effort into this and dedicate my time and why not to say, my life, to develop this project, you can jump in and watch its evolution or stay aside and wait for it to be complete. The fun in a game its playing it not winning it, that goes here too, the fun its watching it grow, not having a perfectly stable game that you can learn how to cheat.

I had a pretty tense discussion with someone i have in game for a long time and you all know, and that made me think...i think giving out things on a plate makes people disregard what they get and actualy want more but treasure it less. I am kind of upset a bit. I was missing a very important point when giving extra responsabilities to some of the players, and that is the fact that each one of you has a limited play time..some have 2 days some have 200 some maybe will play more than a year....but eventualy each one of you will quit, nothing lasts forever...so to be a bit rude ... i see your loyalty as players counted in days, activity days. This discussion with glai i had with charismatica , with wodin, with others, each one quits at some point because of different reason, even if the reason will be no more as the game evolves, even if they realise that. Its the way life goes on...maybe one day i will find a way to overcome that too, who knows.

One question, what game did you played more than magicduel, and why ...?

can you answer that> that will help me understand a lot of things.

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I know your Question was Directed at Glai, but I thought I'd give you the Reasons why I typically find myself No longer playing Browser based games.

The Biggest Reason: Time, and my Own Changing life.

- I find that I play a game for a Few months at a Time and then Loose focus. That's what happened to me in WOW, I got got Level 40 and realized that other than a few Spells and things, all I had to look forward to was more Mob killing and Item Collection. I decided I had better things to do with my Time.

The next Reason: Boredom

- The Only Browser Game I've played for a Long period was Space Federation, Galactic Conquest. It was a Very basic Text based game. I played for a Month or two at a Time, typically while I did other things on my Computer, and took a Month or two break ever so often. I played this game over about three Years. During those Three years, Not a Thing was Ever changed, nothing New Implemented, or a Single Line of Text changed.

I play games to Entertain myself, if I feel like Every time I log in its the "same old thing" I am sure to leave.

And the Last Reason I tend to Leave Games: I feel like I'm Required to Play

- The last browser Game I played was Tribal Wars. I was fairly Involved in my Tribe, and felt like I had an Obligation to help them. Not only that but the Game required alot of Timing and Coordination. I would Find myself searching for a Computer so I could Log in and Launch a Wave of Attack at just the Right moment. While Interesting Strategy wise, it tended to Leave no Time for a Life, and I felt like I had to choose between the two,

Now for Some Positive feed Back of Magic Duel:

- I will never get Bored here, With the Concept of RPCs and their Quests I know there will always be things to Do. With Mur's Constant Vision of the Future I know that Every Month or so this game will Feel totally Different.

- Though I feel a bit Pressured to preform as an RPC, I feel much more like I can do it at my own pace. The freedom you give us RPC in our Quests is Amazing, and gives this game a Very Unique style. It also of Course allows for Constant New thought in terms of Quests and Goals.

- Multiple ways to Grow. In most games I feel like my Main Priority is to get Stronger (WOW is the main example of this), Here I have to Option to Grow a Character. To Invent Quests and New Concepts, to Offer Players my Own Ideas in what should be Available in the Game

- Great Community. Nuff Said :)

I don't see myself Leaving Anytime Soon. If I do it will Likely be because I develop one of these "Life" things that somehow is More important that MD. There will likely be times when I just need a Break, Leave for a Week or two, and Hopefully come back Refreshed. I will Leave some Notice when I do something of that Sort...

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I LOVE any rpg like this and I ve been avoiding them for a looong time because i get too wrapped up in them then I stumbled across this looking for a small little game to waste a couple hours in a day but I found MD I havent played a game this much since legend of the dragoon for ps(or was it ps2?) I used to play ad&d for sometime so i love the rpg freeplay you give us here and how unlike other rpgs online we actually get to try and change the story and get to be a part of it, how every WE want not just to choose this story line or that one. The bugs are a small price to pay in my eyes just to see whats going to happen next.

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I can see your view, about the development thing. I don't truly know whether or not it's justified, but then practically nothing is absolutely justified in life anyway. The result is the same: I'd have to wait a long time in MD to be able to do what I want, which is play with an intuitive PvP system--that is why I'm quitting at least for now. I don't enjoy the game itself.. I love chatting with the people in MD, but I feel guilt when I'm not actually playing the game for the game (when I'm supposed to be doing homework or other things). Interaction with the great people in the community isn't enough for me to stay.. I recognize that if things go well, the thing I'm looking for in MD could come within time, but as you and I said earlier, I'm not going to be the person who watches and participates in the growth this time around. If I do come back, it will be solely for the game rather than the development, evolution and nice feeling of community effort. People are diverse :) I'm sure a lot of other players feel incredulous reading what I'm saying because they see things differently.

You are right about the law of quitting, though, for whatever reasons. It's something I've always mourned: watching friends leave a game, watching the game shut down on itself, and then, walking away myself, but it seems to inevitably happen. Most of the time I quit, it is because I feel the game does not hold enough importance over me when weighed with my obligations (to study, to work, to ensure my future, to take care of my family). What keeps me sticking around a multiplayer most is the people. Why else is it a multiplayer? Well, okay, so you can compete against something else than artificial intelligence, but my point is, I like the social aspect of games. But, just like in this instance, that alone can't tether me to the game.

So, what is the game I stayed in most, and why? Well, this is really sad, but it's happy-grinder Maplestory. It was my first MMORPG, but the reason why I remained in it the longest (two years total?) was because I had the most time then, and because I did not recognize the importance of other things in my life. Neither did I play it for that duration of time because I thought it was the best game--I just wasn't exposed to other games. For a long time after I quit MS, I gamehopped. Each time I would feel guilt, end my addiction, but eventually begin another game. This continued, until I found MD. I really thought MD would be a nice small game to spend a little attention on each day, being a browser-based game, but that obviously changed. So really, I suppose, the way to keep players from quitting, if they're like me, is to make the game as important to them as the other things they value. I suppose it's possible. I'd say you'd have to have a great player community as well as a great game.

For some players, MD is already that. It was for me until I realized the combat system doesn't look like it'll be fixed in a long time, and also, the game seems to be heading into a direction I don't like: roleplaying. I like the AL, I like Khalz' style, but I don't like it when rp gets into the chat (things like *batts her eyes furiously* and *chases x player around*). It makes me disconcerted, and thats the #2 way to annoy me. MD creates the community; the roleplayers roleplay because MD has become a roleplaying game more than a game of competition and PvP.

Okay, I should probably stop now. I didn't want to post more as it would undermine my decision to cut off with MD, but I did want to reply to you, Manu. :) Again, this is mostly from Glaistig (you tyrannical beast), but a lot of this is shared with Lu as well.

@ Bootes, answer: MD is about a year old if you're just talking about when it became public. In the announcement log, it says April the 14th is MD's birthday. I joined a few months after it was released to the public, although I don't remember how many months exactly. Actual development on the game, closed to public, started five years ago.

-end LHO answering mode- :P

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