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blundertwink

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  1. The grim reality is that DU can't be saved by more development. I think the new CEO realizes this. So...all the existing players don't matter in that context, because they know that they can't fix the game to the point where we will stick around. It isn't like there's enough of us to make that much of a difference, anyway. If they've given up on fixing the game through development (IMO they have a while ago), there's limited choices for keeping the lights on. One of those choices is to vastly reduce cost, then ramp up marketing as much as possible and call it a "release" -- if costs have been slashed enough, the mathematics around ROI just might add up such that growth is possible. Even with high churn, it might work to grow their revenue. This isn't great for the game, but it does make a certain sort of sense. If I were the new CEO, I might come to the same conclusion that no amount of dev will save DU...any CEO would probably come to that conclusion. I mean, the project is almost comically unfinished after 8 years and a sizable team...what else can they do other than trying to monetize this turd and limit costs...?
  2. Especially since said "advisor" doesn't strike me as technically-minded...not going to apologize for throwing shade at cryptobros. Very common that they don't really understand the tech they preach. 🤷‍♂️
  3. Eh, no. You can't just "move the game to the blockchain" -- that's not at all how this works. These techs are hardly proven -- even the games flux lists on their website aren't officially integrated, they're just community servers run on the platform (and not MMOs, so hardly a valid example) It would be monumentally stupid for NQ to waste the years it would take recoding their project to work on unproven tech. I interviewed for a massive NFT game...and they run on AWS. Not everything blockchain runs off decentralized systems because decentralized systems aren't always better. Flux is hardly a good deal. They require collateral to run their not-very-powerful nodes. 40k Flux for their best node (once prices reduce in 2022, it's 100k now) means over $60,000 upfront for one measly node. For unproven tech. That doesn't come close to replacing DU's entire stack. That pays rewards back in "flex", which is volatile by nature. It would cost NQ millions between up-front costs and massive, massive code rewrites. And again it couldn't replace their entire stack. So no, this is a bad idea on every front.
  4. I agree with Blaze -- launch is coming as surely as winter, and no one should really be surprised. We saw with Demeter that their goal was to cut costs. It's been mentioned many times that more limits would be coming... It's a fundamental fact that more building means more cost -- this is an immutable aspect of every MMO building game. Yes, DU advertised itself as being able to "build without limits" and that was a spectacularly stupid thing, but we've know that this isn't a true statement for a long long time now. This is obviously not great for the game's future, but is yet another symptom of long-long-standing issues with refusing to plan their game beyond throwing ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks. When everything settles, people will maybe realize that NQ wasn't being "ambitious" or "innovative" with their design, they were being naive -- and chronically refused to do due diligence in understanding how their persistently online product would work with real-world scale. The last few months of changes reinforce this idea that they never stopped to plan this project -- they just kept slapping ideas onto a prototype until things started to break. This is exactly how novice game devs tend to work, and yet another grim legacy of JC's time at the helm. It was said back when he was replaced that it likely wouldn't matter -- that the damage was already done...and the last few months really reinforces that idea.
  5. This is true, but maybe not the entire story. An MMO needs a huge fleet of idle servers to properly handle scale with AWS -- it can't completely rely on AWS auto-scaling techniques because it isn't fast enough for gaming. Not with traditional EC2. Especially in the context of a single shard system , auto-scaling isn't that effective because of the bursty/spiky nature of game traffic. A group of players meeting for a battle will demand extra capacity almost immediately (especially with multi-crew ships) -- by the time AWS has scaled up those instances, the battle will likely be over. So it isn't just users logging in, it's the dynamics of how they play that dramatically impacts scale...especially when all your players share one physical game space. The only way to smooth out these spikes is to maintain a fleet of idle servers that can buy time as the rest of the system scales, since scaling isn't fast for gaming. Which....starts to lean toward a more traditional datacenter approach, because even with AWS you'll have to pay for idle servers to have good performance. Yet on the other side....you can't just throw "game assets" on a CDN and call it a day...that's now how it works. Regardless, AWS has a CDN that's very competitively priced. It's likely NQ uses it. A CDN is not a server. It isn't a database. Suggesting a CDN as a solution is like suggesting that Google use FTP to run their search... I would wager AWS has helped empower more startups at lower cost than it has killed -- but to be fair even Amazon had embarrassing issues with scale when launching their MMO on AWS, so it doesn't have the best track record in the context of MMOs. Regardless, this is an 8-year-old project...the time to switch hosts was long, long ago. It's far too late to pick everything up and migrate to a different hosting model.
  6. I'm not so certain that this will be true...that robots will replace the bulk of human workers because they are cheaper and more effective. Sadly, humans are cheap. If robots were to start replacing so many humans that it created social upheaval, the price of labor would likely drop, too...to the point where robots aren't as cost-effective. If the social upheaval from robots became especially extreme, governments would be keen on regulation -- unemployment and decreasing income taxes wouldn't go unanswered. Robots aren't always the cheapest option. They require maintenance, initial investment and R&D, software, retooling, and usually humans cleaning up after their mistakes or doing QA. Apple looked into fully automated its iPhone production line, for example, and found that humans were better because robots suck at screws. Of course they wouldn't invest too much to solve this problem...but why should they when Apple's workers are paid so poorly that a machine isn't worth the R&D...? I don't really see a future where robots have replaced humans, because I don't see a future where global human labor is valued enough to make robots the obvious economical choice. There's already 7.7 billion of us and by 2050 it'll likely be closer to 10 billion. I see the value of human life becoming less and less into the future and the gulf between haves and have-nots increasing...in that context, conditions will favor human workers in most industries because humans are cheaper, more flexible, and more disposable than robots. Which is more risky...hiring 1,000 cheap workers that you can lay off tomorrow or investing millions in a purely automated system that isn't proven to work...? Which is faster to scale? Which is more flexible if a process on the line changes? Which is easier to fix if a flaw in the process is discovered? Human labor still has many advantages compared to robots. Automation will keep moving forward, but I don't think it will be economical for robots to replace the bulk of human workers.
  7. NQ was founded in 2014. 8 years later, they are still working on very basic components of the game like how mining works, how many cores players should have, and this building UI, which has always been clunky. Of all the foundational things that need work, you'd think that building would have been 100% done a long time ago. Personally, have run out of patience and likely won't be fixing any constructs -- I'm surprised that people have the patience still. It goes to show just how dedicated some players are despite all the flaws.
  8. That's definitely the most frustrating aspect -- because of course it isn't possible to build without limits. That was never going to work. It wasn't ever remotely realistic. It was pure marketing fluff that was never technically feasible. Yes, "technical" in this context means money...because AWS can physically handle this sort of scale. At one point, Netflix was responsible for about half the Internet's traffic by bandwidth...all hosted on AWS. Of course Amazon has the scale...but AWS can be very expensive depending on the services used and amount of money paid up front. Even if NQ was drowning in cash because they had obscene amounts of subscribers, they wouldn't likely ease restrictions because cost at scale would creep upward until it becomes unsustainable. Wouldn't be surprised if NQ goes this route. The only way to support "build without limits" would be to charge players based on the voxel volume they use or charge them more for each extra core they want. Otherwise NQ will face dual issues with retention and monetization: churn from subs and slowly increasing costs due to more and bigger constructs. If you want to play an MMO game where people can build without limits, it can't exist with today's technology unless it is heavily monetized.
  9. So...basically build without any limits...? And sprinkle some SI on top, which is even more demanding for performance? Sorry, but I don't really understand. There's no way to let people build in an MMO unless you have hard limits. Someone has to pay for storage and bandwidth. If you let people build infinitely, your cost will grow infinitely, too. Yes, NQ greatly miscalculated how players would push the scale -- which is dumb to anyone that's ever played an MMO -- but these limits exist for a reason. You can't build as big as you want in a persistently online game. That's an immutable aspect of this genre that isn't changing anytime soon. DU would be much more fun with the system you describe, but it's just not physically possible with today's technology...not in an economical way, anyway. Unless you want to be charged based on how much volume your constructs use, DU needs these limits to function.
  10. I think the devs have made it very clear that bigger cores aren't going to be coming -- that the issue is definitely performance. Bigger cores means bigger constructs. That costs NQ more money to store, more bandwidth to load, and more client-side resources to render. We've seen that NQ is keen to reduce the cost per player...even to the point where they massively refactor how mining works. There's no way they will reverse course now to give players more space to build -- if anything, they'll be applying even more and harsher limits down-the-road...especially if the game fails to attract new players with their next marketing push.
  11. No, it's heavily restricted by NQ, the game's developer. They decide what features to make, not other players. They are the only party that has the power to decide what features to implement. Players focusing on aesthetics is a symptom of the lack of depth and features in DU today...not the cause of it. No one is resisting more depth in functionality. Yes, builders want their constructs to look nice (which is hardly easy)...but adding more mechanics doesn't take away from that at all. I've yet to see anyone post about how they don't want mechanics like power management because "they only care about aesthetics" -- if anything, the polar opposite. That being said...more realism doesn't make a game better. This is meant to be an MMO, and is already too niche to be sustainable. It isn't a single player simulator. It isn't a simulator at all. Things like heat management and SI will likely be too complex in an MMO context (both for performance and for players to actually understand)...and certainly too complex for NQ to develop in a reasonable time frame.
  12. Neither of these perspectives are interesting or useful...seems like we're being mean for no reason. Yes, people care about aesthetics in a building game. Big surprise. It's up to NQ to add function, not players. The cities are empty because people invested the time to make something interesting despite the lack of function provided by NQ...not simply because players decide to focus on aesthetics over function as if there's oh so much "function" in this game to explore. PvP is a part of the game. Some people like PvP and there's nothing wrong with that. You aren't smarter if you prefer to do activity A in a video game instead of activity B...you'd think that would be super obvious. If you don't like how people play the game they paid for...there's this thing called "single player" you should Google...otherwise it really isn't any of your business what people enjoy in their game or why.
  13. Odd take. It's a valid phrase to use. There's a distinction between someone saying that something is "likely" compared to it "seems inevitable" -- the meaning is similar, but not at all the same. A lot of authors and journalists use the phrase....some dictionaries even have the phrase in their example use of the word inevitable. So...while I get what you probably mean with this post, I can't resist picking apart your picking apart of this common phrase 🤷‍♂️ Cuz I'm bored.
  14. Okay, but why? What game design purpose does that really serve? How would you handle water in this game, just make it out of bounds or make it more complex where you need special gear to survive underwater? But...why? Nothing special underwater, so why handle it in a special way? A whole weather system is a fairly big deal, what design purpose does it serve? Making it so you can survive harsher environments with better equipment? Adding diversity to different worlds? Forcing people to build actual roofs? How do you implement this system without making it a pain to build things outside? This does seem like a simple change -- not really a big deal to me personally as I don't see death in these situations as especially necessary. Survival mechanics are so popular with building games because things like food tie together very cleanly with building. Food is used for adventuring, where you gather more materials, which is used to grow more food; that's a simple and engaging loop. Of course, DU has no adventuring....so the loop wouldn't be complete. That's arguably my biggest criticism of survival-type mechanics: the game can't support them without more depth in the core gameplay. For example, I don't see any buffs gained from eating etc. as being relevant without things like Territory War or Avatar vs. Avatar combat (which is just a myth and likely will never be implemented). The reason these mechanics work well in survival games is exactly why they'd be of limited use in DU: there needs to be some adventure/combat element for these loops to be complete. People also tend to roll their eyes when survival mechanics are suggested not because you're wrong or because they are bad ideas, but because it isn't realistic for a studio like NQ to implement. For example, designing a weather system or farming system would take them literally years. Even changing how water works would take a lot of time. We know this because it's been almost 8 years now and they still are tweaking how mining works. So I don't really disagree with these ideas at their core, but also don't think they would be the best use of NQ's glacial development. They need to think very very carefully about design elements that are low impact for development but high impact for engagement, and all the typical survival loops don't seem to fit into that very cleanly.
  15. I get what the OP is saying, but players will always be in conflict with devs because given the option, players will build at the maximum scale that they can. This is perhaps one reason why major studios aren't that interested in the "MMO builder" concept -- because compared to single player, you'll never be able to build at the same scale and compared to a traditional MMO, a builder game will be far more expensive to support. The only way a multiplayer building game will work is if there are hard limits...the idea of an MMO builder game where you can build structures of any size is a nice one, but not one that can exist in today's world with today's technology. IMO, expect more limits and harder limits...especially as NQ moves forward in 2022 and needs to cut costs more.
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