Yeah, you're right about that. I guess it comes down to how much they will copy and how much new they'll create instead of copying. In MMO world it's kind of a must to copy at least something, but the more you actually let every other game company do the work, the less respect I have for the devs.
That is your opinion. Personally, I think it is best to grow and build upon other companies good ideas. Newton said it best i suppose.
Yeah, too bad they, instead of going with the original direction the game was supposed to take, rather went for maximizing profits-route that pleases everyone possible in exchange for their idea of what the game was supposed to be like.
The original intent of the game was very similar to that of the average mmo of the time. They broke from the mold in that they allowed and encouraged solo play to get to endgame, aside from that they were very cookie cutter in their endgame design.
Since breaking from that (and truly as you have said about SE, blizzards expansions are not similar and in fact they change their structure rather drastically) they have doubled (or more) their subscription rates. One can then infer that they have made a better game, as more people want to play it then originally. Therefore you can conclude that they steered the course of the game in a correct direction. Not the direction you like, but that is one person out of however many million.
SE is the opposite of this, they created the game exactly as their original direction was- which is often seen as "SE won't do what we players want Q_Q". Even though they adjusted a bit as ToAU came out to shift the game from it's original direction, they still kept going in a direction they wished to take, even if it wasn't as obvious as before. That's the kind of a game I want to play instead of McDonald's-MMO's we have nowadays. If the devs are good everyone will like their game, if the devs are bad no one will play, I think that's fair.
While SE is not as pronounced in their direction shift as blizzard originally was, they still have shifted things quite a bit. Solo content for one is a good indicator.
The business is out there to make money, but the people in the business shouldn't be. It's sad if the company forces the developers to try to create a game that tries to maximize profits (borrow everything from WoW!!1) instead of letting the devs do the thinking (which would in most cases lead to a much better MMO experience- financially as well).
The people who work in the business should be concerned about keeping their jobs and supporting their families.
A company hires you to make money for them, not to express your artistic fancies.
If I may ask why? From what it looks like, you think that a great battle system can be made with just numbers and coding- no artistic touch is even needed. Like the damage calculations and enmity factors would be the only thing that makes a battle system?
Easy. Battle systems can be broken down into <auto attack> <special 1> <special 2> <etc> all with related cool downs and effects. Making a battle system from there is simply a numbers balancing act.
The story / lore developers then add names to the attacks and build the reasoning behind them.
The art department then makes the attacks look flashy and nice.
The latter two are important, but not critical to the function of the game. Having the system be balanced and effective is much more important than coming up with a nice name for the attack or having the animation look flashy.
That is why i believe that battle mechanics and balancing are not artistic. The core of the system is mathematical in nature.
How will you tweak the code? Will you nerf an existing ability, or maybe add a new effect to it? Or make a completely new ability instead?
Like the SAM buff, which gave Hasso and Seigan. Those 2 abilities aren't created just by coding, there needs to be an idea, a concept about them too. If the artists suck all they can think of is "Uhh, lets give SAM JA that buffs their attack +25% lol", if the artists are fairly good they can think of something better than that. That's where artistic style comes in- how will they approach at the situation?
Depends on the situation. The easiest way to do things is to simply adjust current abilities and damage calculations - thus keeping the potential for interference and unbalance to other classes minimal. Simply put, if a 10% dps loss needs to be corrected, adding damage to current abilities which in total add 10% dps is much nicer for balance in general than coming up with a new flashy ability.
If i am not mistaken as well, that sam buff disrupted balance in the game pretty massively.
Well, I don't know what else to call the difference between "Let's make a Dynamis 2! Dynamis 3! Dynamis 4!" and "Let's make Limbus! Salvage! Nyzul Isle! MMM!". The fact that no event is like any other (although they share similarities- kill stuff, get lewt) is what I appreciate about SE, and dislike about Blizzard (although Blizzard at least makes some great boss encounters, I'll give them that).
That statement really does not have anything to do with my observation. Tell me how the starving artist approach is a good business model? Tell me why should a team of developers never consider the enjoyment of their player base over their original intent / ideas?
You know why blizzard incorporates certain features or addons into the game? Because they see the demand for them. These things boost player enjoyment. Why does that bother you so much?