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use of USB joypads in Online computer gaming

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Hi! Just wondering... So far, most (if not all...) MMOs out there are played using computer and mouses. What buggers me is that apart from Planetside, which requires the extreme precision of a FPS, all of those MMO could be best played with a joypad. Given the ridiculous price of, precisely, the "first price" USB joypad when bought single, I just wonder why producers don't modify their controls policy, as well as their selling policies, and bundle a very-low-cost USB joypad, bought in incredible amounts, and therefore cut-cost, with a game like EQ... I'll willingly admit that: 1) You still need the keyboard to communicate, but honestly, what is the proportion of communicating time you spend, in regard to the time you spend, well... playing? 2) there is an awful lot of skills and macros in ANY MMO, but there was quite a lot too in any given FF, even more lately, and they succeeded quite well with only a joypad... 3) MMO players are rather computer players, and wouldn't dream of touching anything that has fewer than 65 different personalizable buttons on it. No wonder the usual image given of a geek is someone covered in pimples and with a T-shirt on. The geek must love touching his face and hate normal shirts... But it doesn't explain why no one has bothered to try to go that route, or even tried to propose a way to play through such a device... Got an idea?

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Very low cost joypads work crappy. When I was reviewing games for gametunnel I was given a joypad-requiring platformer PC game with a low-cost controller bundled with it. I tested out the controller since I had to review the whole package, and it was horrible - made the game twice as hard to play as it was using wither the keyboard or my own sidewinder gamepad.

Xenallure is being developed (for PC) to prefer gamepad input but take keyboard input if players don't have a gamepad.

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Pure speculation on my part, but I'd guess that bundling controllers with games is probably not cost effective in the general case.

Now, if these games don't support play via joypad at all via APIs like DirectX, that's something to be annoyed about. Joypad support is, IMHO, very important for any game that is intended to be played heavily. Allowing the player complete control over their input methods is critical to making them comfortable, and comfort is critical to keeping people sat in front of your game for hours on end.

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Quote:
Original post by Fournicolas
what is the proportion of communicating time you spend, in regard to the time you spend, well... playing?


In MMOs? Are you serious?

Communication is what MMOs are all about. Playing an MMORPG without talking to anyone is one of the most boring things in the world. I mean, they gave up on the story for the communication thing!

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I you have a the right software, any PC game which can be played with only the keyboard can be played with a gamepad anyway. You just run a program called a "profiler" and it takes the joypad button presses and outputs them as keystrokes.

Targeting becomes a bit of a pain though. Selecting an exact target means you have to cycle through them, or press a "target lowest health enemy" or "target nearest enemy" button, or something like that. Sometimes that's not a problem, but if there is a very specific enemy you need to target in a hurry, the mouse is currently the best bet.

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There is one MMORPG out there where I feel is easier to play with a gamepad, FFXI. FFXI was originally designed for the PS2, then ported to PC. So, the control scheme was originally designed for the PS2 controller, and it just felt more natural with a PS2 controller. However, to get the same effect on the PC, you probably need to fork over $15 for a converter that will hook your standard PS2 dual shock controller to you PC's USB port.

Of course, you still need the keyboard to type on, but when you're just moving around and in combat, the gamepad just feels more response. Personally, I feel that there's less lag on the macros. Its much easier to hold down the L1 or R1 button and select your macro than to press Ctrl+(some number) or Alt+(some number), which usually requires some finger stretching, and you run the risk of accidentally letting one go too soon, etc... Of course, some will argue otherwise.

I did play FFXI with the keyboard for a while, but the key set up and control scheme gradually gave me wrist pains, which was a signal that I needed to use some other device. Same reason I moved from a mouse to a trackball.

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This topic is 4271 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

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