Archive for November, 2008

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging

Posted in EVE Online, Gaming, MMORPG with tags , on 11/30/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

I’ve been rather absent this past week, and that has been due to work. I have barely had time to even turn on my computer. But now that I’m back I’m excited to be diving back into the gaming world.

I’m still trying to catch up on all of the news this week in the MMO Universe, hopefully I will find something to jot my thoughts down on. But for now, I’m going to check out EVE Online. My friend pointed me toward the 21 Day Free Trial and and I’m going to see what it’s all about.

Any pointers?

Another One Bites the Dust

Posted in Gaming News, MMORPG with tags , , on 11/23/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

While it may not be new news to some of you, NCSoft announced yesterday that it will be closing down its’ game Tabula Rasa. With Richard Garriot’s departure from the company earlier this month, it has not come as much of a surprise to most of the gaming community.

I feel they are being completely rediculous with this decision. While the game is only currently toting about 17,000 subscibers, it is bringing in a net revenue of about $3 million a year. I have an idea, instead of shutting it down, sell it (or hell, give it to me! =p). I’m sure that there are plenty of small, private companies who would love to work on and expand this game for $3 million a year. They may even be able to build up subscribers.

In my opinion, NCSoft needs to take a page out of Sony’s book. Sony has declared tha they will never shut down a game as long as there are players playing it and those players are bringing in enough revenue to pay for the servers. I highly doubt that Tabula Rasa costs a heft $3 million for upkeep. I truly feel they are not only pissing off 17,000 (and potentially more) subscribers, they are making a huge mistake.

And Now He Cares?

Posted in Gaming News, WoW with tags , , on 11/18/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

So, according to a recent news article, a 15 year old boy collapsed after a two day WoW binge.

NOW his father says he’s going to monitor his computer use closer and make sure he doesn’t play too much. So, what I get from this is that it took his son ALMOST DIEING for the father to pay attention? How horrible of a parent can you be? This is the perfect example of a parent who throws money, cars, and computers at their kids in order to keep them out of their hair.

Did we not learn anything from Columbine or other horror stories? It wasn’t games and music that causes incidents like that, it’s the parents. I don’t care what anyone says about what kind of pop-culture influences were being referenced or were the supposed cause, negligent parents are to blame.

Hell, if I started playing games for too long when I was younger, my mom would stand there yelling until she was blue in the face until I got up and went outside or did something else. It showed she cared. This kids dad (and others out there) need to grow a fucking set of balls and show an interest in what their kids are doing. Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll get thrown around that this incident was the fault of Blizzard and WoW, and not the true parties that are to blame.

This also reminds me of the boy who commited suicide years ago over Everquest. The mom tried to sue Sony and the media played it off as it being Sony’s fault for making such an addicting game. They failed to mention in most articles that the boy had serious social problems and was clinically depressed and bi-polar (if I remember the whole incident correctly, it’s been a while). And where was the mom in that? No where to be found, she parked him at the computer and only cared once he was dead. And even then she was just looking to make a buck off of her son’s death…what she needed (and this father needs) is to take a long look in the mirror.

I have an idea…how about requiring a liscense to reproduce…if your too stupid to know you have to actually do some work in raising your children, you’re not allowed to have kids…dumbasses…

/end rant

WotLK Cleared?!

Posted in Gaming, MMORPG, WoW with tags , on 11/16/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Wow…that was pretty fast and anti-climatic…

They’re going to have a boring two years…

Confuzzled

Posted in DDO, Gaming, MMORPG, WoW with tags , on 11/15/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

So, I’ve been in a weird gaming mood lately. Shortly after finishing off Fallout 3, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to play. There’s so many games out there, and I’m on a burnout of all of my regulars.

I decided to first hop into a game world I had not visited in a bit: the lands of Stormreach in Dungeons and Dragons Online. I have not played since launch and was pleasantly surprised to actually find myself getting into the game. I’ve joined up with a couple of RL friends and plan to have DDO nights with them. I’m currently a level 2.5 monk in training.

Of course, there was one game I could not get away from…and that game is World of Warcraft. With the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, I was drawn back into the lands of Azeroth. Before vising the lands of Nothrend though, I felt it appropriate to fuel my Altaholism and create a Death Knight. Talk about a fun class. Blizzard has hit the nail on the head with the DKs. They’re fun to play and their lore is amazing. Nice job.

Later I logged into my Dranae Priest and head over to the Borean Tundra. I pulled into the docks of Valor Keep (sounds an aweful lot like Honor Hold, but I digress…). So far I’ve gained a level and a half and am really enjoying the new zones. Although I took a run at the Nexus with some friends and I must say that the respawning plants suck…they suck hard…All I can say is Payback’s a Bitch.

Fallout 3

Posted in Fallout 3, Gaming with tags , on 11/11/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

So, it’s been a couple days since I’ve written.

Why? You ask. Easy. I’m hooked on Fallout 3. I got it on a wim the other day as I was a huge fan of Fallout 1 and 2 back in the day.

One word to describe it: Astounding!

The game world is massive and the exploration possibility are almost endless. I’ve found myself just exploring everywhere to see what there is. I’ve tried focusing on a bunch of side quests as well, and not just the main story.

I must say it’s been a long while since a non-MMO has kept my attention as much as this game has over the past week. I’m going to keep it at that for now. Once I finish the game, I may write a longer post if anyone is intersted. But I’m interested now from hear from everyone else?

Who has played this game and what are your thoughts?

Game vs. Experience

Posted in MMORPG, WAR with tags , on 11/06/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

First, I want to say that I had the privilege of being a guest host for the upcoming Show 13 of No Prisoners, No Mercy, and it was a truly great experience. On the show we’ll be discussing part of a blog from over at TheGreenskin.com entitled “Making a “Game” vs. an “Experience.”” It is a very interesting read, and I suggest you check it out. Here are some of my thoughts on the article:

About the Tier Based system

Tier-based, disjointed world

This is a pretty cool way to set up your over-arching RvR campaign so that everyone from rank 1-40 can contribute, however, the drawback is that you divide your game world up into segments. Add that each of these tiers are divided by a loading screen for performance sake and you break the flow from tier to tier. The fact that you can also fly to a completely different continent with a 2-minute loading screen also makes the game seem disjointed. Remember running up to your capitol city in many other MMOs in awe of the high walls at a very low rank? In WAR you fly there and can’t even really see it from the outside until you’re in T4.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. One of the biggest draws to an MMO world is Exploration. Don’t get me wrong, it’s convenient to be able to fly places without having to hunt down flight paths, but at the same time, don’t you want people exploring the world you created? I feel the ability to never leave a warcamp from levels 1-40 if you so choose may not be the right answer. I’ll never forget in Everquest, seeing the outside of Qeynos and Freeport for the first time and being in awe. Or in WoW, making that climb up the mountain to Ironforge or strolling into Orgrimar and just being shocked at the detail. Not being able to see the outside of your home city until Tier 4 is a hinderance and possibly an oversight on Mythic’s part.

Lack of community and chat

The strides Mythic took to making grouping a quick and easy processs seems to have had an unforeseen counter-effect on community. With open grouping you can simply add yourself to anyone’s group from anywhere in the zone and start doing your job. Because they take the personal contact out of the process of joining a group (/send <playername> hi, do you need a rank X <classname>?), it’s just as easy for people to quit a group because there is no mutual understanding of commitment.

I’m torn on open grouping. As the Greenskin blog points out, people can enter and leave your group at-will. While Open Parties might not be the best idea for PvE situations such as group and raid content, it works amazingly for Open RvR and Public Quests, allowing groups to be inclusive where anyone can join in on the fun, instead of exclusive, like in  WoW, where it’s more of “This mob is mine!” mentality that proves to actually tear apart the community. I can think of more than 1 time where I’ve been scorned by another WoW player working on the same quest. If I see someone on the same quest as me, I just do /invite so they can get the kills as well and we can work together, the idea of that seems to be a dying breed though.

As for chat, the chatbox is actually quite powerful once you get the hang of it, but the original two windows we’re given when we first start the game are a spammy mess. Just to keep everything under control, I personally use four chatboxes and even then I don’t use my party/warband/scenario/guild/tell/say chat as my primary window because there are other important bits of information I need to keep up on in my other tabs. I haven’t fully cusomized my UI or looked for client mods, but I’d like to see my chat window beside another important information window (side by side at the same time). That should be the default layout for everyone (set the chat tab as primary/active and the other as passive so you can quickly reply via chat rather than having to click around too much).

I couldn’t disagree more. I like having my main chat window as one window, and this is coming from a person who had no less than 5 windows up at any given time, more during raids, in Everquest. I HAD to have all of my information in front of me. I actually posted a screenshot of what I see during raids on my old guild boards and they just laughed at me and told me I was crazy. There was a little square in the middle of the screen where I could see what was going on.
But I like the new UIs as of late. In Everquest, you almost had to have a custom UI to get by, as their default UI was attrocious and nothing but an eye sore. WoW and WAR have really changed the way of default UIs, making them more
user friendly and accessible. I’m not saying the custom UIs that are made for more recent games are bad, it’s just that they’re not as much of a neccessity.

Lack of death penalty in PvE and PvP

This is a tough one because if you penalize death too much, people won’t be willing to die or even engage in RvR unless the odds are heavily in their favour. That would be bad news in an RvR game. But if you don’t penalize it at all, then death becomes meaningless (in WAR you respawn right beside a healer and spend a few silver to completely remove any ill effects). Death is so meaningless in WAR that it’s the most efficient way to travel! Finished with your quests and want to quickly get back to a camp to turn them in? Just suicide and you’ll respawn at the camp, saving you 5-10 minutes of optional travel-time. Meaningless death that doesn’t affect your character definitely kills immersion. I want to actually fear death in an MMO. Otherwise, where’s the risk and/or excitement?

I hail from the lands of Norrath. If you want to see a real death penalty, go play on an EQ Emu server that is pre-guild lobby. Not that I’m condoning stealing anything from Sony, but playing Everquest when you had to actually retrieve your corpse was an experience in itself. Oh, and did I mention you lost experience when you died? Yikes! WoW, and particularly WAR, make death almost meaningless, at least in WoW you have to repair your gear. As the author at Greenskin states, you spawn next to a healer in WAR that will remove your death penalty for a minimal fee. You would be able to loot 2-3 mobs and make up this fee.

You can read the rest of the article at TheGreenskin.com, but I felt what I hit on above was the real meat and potatoes of the blog. For the most part, I pretty much am in complete agreement for the rest. Thanks to Sister Julie for pointing me in the direction of the article now as well. You should be able to find a link to the Greenskin Blog on my blogroll as well now.

Anyway, I’m interested in hearing feedback. What are your thoughts on the article? Do you agree or disagree with my conclusions? Speak up, I LIKE lively discussions!