What have I been up to? I formed a DDO static group.
You wanna know more? Click on the DDO link in my menu.
What have I been up to? I formed a DDO static group.
You wanna know more? Click on the DDO link in my menu.
Hello classic mmo heads. Summer is officially here, but I am a few days late in posting because there has been so much going on of late in my own life, as well as in the life of everyone around me, I’m sure. I have discovered the joys of battling in Warsong Gulch once more, now that my hunter hit level 10 and the option to queue for b.gs. once again possible. I have found some equanimity bouncing happily from DAoC and Wow the past few days, but even though wow b.g.s are a total different style, they are both refreshingly fun, because they are so different.
This week also marks the start of the Midsummer Fire Festival in Azeroth, though I am not sure how that is going to affect a lowbie like myself. There is a lot happening elsewhere in our favorite games, Ten ton Hammer reports that there are pvp changes coming to EQ2 in update 64, and Anarchy Online is apparently celebrating 11 years. Of course, most people are still playing Diablo 3.
I wanted to play some DDO before the new expansion hits the digital market, but I am not sure I am going to have the time. To be candid, DDO has been the one f2p mmorpg whose team based style has always intrigued me and entertained me most. While other games have been the solo grind at early levels, that is never a problem with DDO because of how the game is structured. So maybe I will have to leave the Warsong Gulch b.g. mayhem and the exploration of DAoC pve and pvp to go back to DDO and experiment the new environments. As much as I loved Stormreach, I got tired of it, and I think that a fantasy setting like the Forgotten Realms will do wonders for revitalizing that playerbase, new directions if done correctly are always refreshing. Here’s hoping Turnbine gets this one right on the money.
I have been toying with the idea of upgrading my vid card so I can sample Tera and maybe RIFT, given the fact the latter is tinkering with 3 faction pvp.
Finally, I did play Aion for a while, and while the game is intriguing, it is also a bit of a grind. Not sure I love the atmosphere as much as wow or DAoC, but comparing anything to Dark Age always has its pitfalls. A lot of things will pale in comparison.
I think it’s official, I think DAoC is now my favorite mmorpg of all time. I base this realization on the fact that as fun as pvp was, leveling my old toon to 50, doing some pve in the Gaheris server with my new Thane Mr. graybeard is also very enjoyable. In fact, pwning mobs in wow can be tedious and boring, mostly because Blizzard has nerfed the leveling game in order to get people to level up faster on a linear track to the endgame and raiding, with the occasional bout of pvp.
In contrast, pve grinding in DAoC, even at the early levels isn’t as tedious or as bad. Sometimes, if I get bored of smashing mobs with my axe or hammer, I challenge myself and take on a higher level, or walk into a camp where there are a bit high level enemies. Just today I went toe to toe with a yellow colored mob, there’s a certain thrill to winning the mini battle, but my hit points went so low, I thought I’d be visiting the healer for sure. A mmorpg where mobs will actually aggro? Something you see less and less of, especially in wow in the early levels.
I do wish I was already max leveled, so I can group or try to move out to the Frontiers, but since I am sticking with DAoC for the months to come, I guess I might get my chance soon enough. Sorry about my constant comparisons to wow, but other than briefly toying with Aion last week and the days of DDO grouping and the occasional LOTRO indulgence, wow is the mmo I played most prior to my current love affair with DAoC.
There are some things about wow I do like: I like the b.g.s but because the leveling game is so dry, I often am not high level enough in wow to make any significant impact in the b.g.s. I also like the dungeon finder, I think this is a fairly new invention by mmo standards, so DAoC being over 10 years old, I don’t think there is any instance finder to speak of, not that one is truly needed as you can port to most cities and zones and find an instance pretty easily.
When I think about the fact that I have barely scratched the surface with my thane, it looks as though I will be enjoying DAoC, for as long as I can afford to pay for it, being a p2p game after all.
The Kill the Goblin blog is back! Even though wordpress coding practically killed my blog, at the very least I have managed to modify the look of it as much as possible, I think there is something wrong with the CSS, but who the heck knows, I have very little time to fix it. If any of you are like wizzards with WP and design, drop me a line, I would love to hear from you. In the weeks to come I will utilize this blog to document my mmo gaming and writing related to mmo gaming during the summer. So check back often. For the record, mostly playing DAoC and have tried out Aion of late. What are you guys playing these days??
This weekend I had a chance to spend more time playing both DAoC and STO.
I am far from catching up with all the episodes thus far released by Cryptic for the Trek mmo, but I did manage to get through the tutorial. My toon Jack O’Lantern was promoted to Lieutenant and given command of the U.S.S. Summers, but I forgot to save after my last mission, and will have to (annoyingly) run through it again. At least I know where everything is on the map of the starship I beamed to the other night.
I learned one thing about this game: Starfleet Academy is very life like, or at least what it would be if it existed in real life, but alas that zone is very laggy, perhaps so much foot traffic on the servers, or perhaps my crappy rig, can’t tell, either way, not going to be spending much time there since there appears to be very little to do there in the first place.
Since I am way too tired from work to actually elaborate on a full post I will just leave you with some snapshots of my toon’s recent adventures. Sure felt good to move up in rank, at least soon he may get more than one bridge officer.
We can only hope.
Today I have a special treat for you guys! Part One of an exclusive Q&A interview with Jason Winter. Some of you who tune into the TWIMMO show over at Gamebreaker.tv may be familiar with Jason’s work, as he is a regular on that website. Jason is also the former editor of Beckett Massive Online Gamer.
So sit back, chill and spend some time with us, as we get Jason’s take on many mmo related topics!
KTG: We were all pretty shocked to hear that the Mar/April edition of Massive Online gamer was gonna be its last, were you surprised by Beckett’s decision to stop printing the magazine or were you prepared, did you see some sort of writing on the wall??
JW: It wasn’t that big of a shock. Without getting into too many details, I could tell from the numbers – magazine sales, subscriptions, and ad revenue – that we were not in the best of places, and I’d been making a few small inquiries about job opportunities elsewhere for a while. That it finally happened, and that it was as sudden as it was, did jolt me a little bit – after I got the news, I just went home for the rest of the afternoon – but I’m grateful that Beckett kept me on for as long as they did and I really do miss some of the people I worked with. Emphasis on “some.”
KTG: What were some of the highlights of working and editing MOG for the past six years, and conversely what were some of the low points, if any?? (NOTE: Jason Informed me he was not editor for the entire six year run of the magazine, as he became involved with the magazine in mid-2008 as a freelance writer. Then in Sept. 2009, he was promoted to Associate Editor and moved to the Beckett offices in Dallas in January 2010, becoming full Editor of the magazine in August of that year.)
JW: What I really loved the most about it had to be when we’d get props from our readers. It really meant something to have someone take the time out to let you know what they thought about your work, especially when it was something I worked on personally. If you like anything you read, whether it’s on a website, magazine, over Twitter or Facebook, take a moment to let the creator know how you feel, or even just chat or leave comments. He or she will really appreciate it, trust me. Oh, and I had a great time when Sony Online Entertainment flew me (and other press) out to Vegas for Fan Faire this last year. Hey, I didn’t get that many perks, and that was a good one, even if I did totally flub the indoor skydiving.
As for the low points… well, let’s just say I do a little happy dance at 10:00 a.m. every Wednesday morning and leave it at that. A few people will get that.
KTG: What are some trends in the mmorpg industry over the span of editing and working in the magazine and website for the past few years that surprised, came out of left field maybe, or excited you about the future of the business?
JW: Even to just take the last 2-3 years into account, I’m surprised at how quickly players (and even I) have started to grouse about the “accepted” structure of an MMORPG: talk to a quest giver, get quest to kill/collect 10 whatevers, go back, rinse and repeat, quest up to max level, do endgame instances, and so on. Even more than the rise of F2P, I think this is what we’ll look back on as being the defining paradigm shift in the genre for years to come. We haven’t really had a big, shiny, mass-market game that breaks these conventions, not since WoW and its ilk hit the scene, but with games like Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World coming up, I think a lot of the “old guard” could be in for a shock. And if you’re developing a new MMO right now, you’d damn well better take that into account.
KTG: Maybe you have touched upon this in other places, but where do you stand on the whole f2p vs. p2p debate?
JW: It’s funny, but back when I first heard of the concept of an MMO, about 10 years ago, I thought it was stupid. “I have to buy a $50 game and then pay more to play it?” It was like if I bought Dungeons & Dragons books and then a representative from Wizards of the Coast came to my home every time I wanted to play and demanded a few bucks from me and my friends. It seemed to me that the money was in the subscriptions and continuing profits, not the box sales, so I thought MMO boxes should be very cheap – $15-$20 or so – or even free, and then you could charge up the hoozit for subscriptions.
OK, so I won’t say I saw all of this coming, but I thought it was the best model for the industry a while back. That said, there are, I think, three levels of F2P. No. 1: “Everything in the cash shop is available in game (with reasonable effort – i.e., not taking 50 hours to grind for something I could buy for $3)”; No. 2: “Everything stat-related in the cash shop is available in game (some cosmetics, mounts, and other nonessentials are cash-shop-exclusive)”; and No. 3: “Stat-related items that are better than what you can earn in-game are available only in the cash shop.”
I’m fine with #1 and #2. #3… not so much.
I get the notion of “It’s their game, they can run it however they want.” That’s true. And then it’s my right as a consumer to not play/but it. Obviously, enough people are OK with it that companies like Bigpoint can do business, and that’s fine. A new game that launches and wants to use system #3 is likely to meet with less criticism than a P2P game that switches to a #2 or #3 model. When you’re used to getting everything possible for your subscription fee, and that changes, it’s jarring, and we’re naturally predisposed to assume that the company is making the switch to increase its profits by squeezing more money out of its customers.
I spent a lot of time in the trading-card-game industry before coming to Beckett, and there are a lot of similarities between TCGs and MMOs. In effect, TCGs are P2P PvP MMOs with cash shops – the more you spend (on things that can only be obtained by spending money), the better your chance of winning. Yes, a good player with less money can beat a bad player with more money, but if skill (and luck) is equal, a player with $1,000 worth of cards will beat a player with $100 worth of cards 99 times out of 100.
I got out of TCGs in part because I didn’t want to feel like the only way to get good was to spend more. That’s part of what drew me to MMOs, the fact that I could pay my $15 a month and be just as good as anyone, that money had been taken out of the equation. There aren’t that many TCGs any more, not nearly as many as there were 10-15 years ago, and part of the reason is because other people came to this same conclusion and didn’t want to feel like they had to invest their savings in a game to become proficient at it. I’m hopeful that MMOs don’t go along the same path.
And I know that a common argument is “Well, if you only PvE, what do you care if someone spends a bunch on the cash shop? It’s not affecting you.” Maybe, maybe not. If developers start gearing their toughest content to only be doable by people who have spent a bunch in the cash shop – likely because those who do spend money on exclusive items complain in the forums, etc. about the top-level content being “too easy” – then it becomes more difficult, or nigh impossible, for players without those exclusive items to complete it, those players lose interest, and the game suffers. It’s the old adage of 20% of the people making 80% of the noise, and developers need to make sure they’re not letting their “whales” dictate the direction of the game for everyone.
That is all for now guys, check back tomorrow for part 2 of our talk with Jason, and I want to thank Jason in advance for taking time out of his busy week to chat!
by Ariel Carmona Jr
It was 9:25 PST and I was in a community chatroom at watchtheguild.com eagerly waiting for the first episode of the new season of Felicia Day’s intoxicating web series about a group of eccentric online gamers. Some had already watched the ep. on Xbox Live or MSN’s Zune, but the majority eagerly anticipated the return of the show which had yet to be posted on the official website or on Microsoft’s Bing website.
Things have changed since last season, now the episodes are rolling out on a split schedule with paying members enjoying the 2 day advanced view. Such is the price for corporate sponsors, but for the fans, it was a exercise in torturous anticipation.
“We’re a bunch of internet nerds anxious for their season 5 fix,” remarked a community member jokingly. Only he was right, Day’s web series had turned us all into impatient ninnies, and why not? The show is a little gem of a series and the very first to consistently employ the gaming community in a smart, well written manner.
Was the wait worth it?
I would say yes. The Guild rolls on with the same irreverence and wit with which it debuted with back in 2007, and despite the minor cult web following, the characters continue to be intriguing (in their own weird way) and the dialogue is still fun, though not as rife with gaming parlance as previous installments.
Day continues to mine gold from the vast pool of gaming references (excuse the mixed metaphors) and her own personal experience with gaming communities, humming the familiar theme to Tetris at the end of her customary opening soliloquy, further cementing her place as the internet’s reigning gamer chick queen (She’s due to star in Dragon Age Redemption based on Bioware’s immensely popular RPG series later this year.)
There are a number of gags which elicit a few chuckles, (none of which I will spoil here) but perhaps the greatest reward for fans choosing to return to Codex and friends’ cyberspace milieu is the interaction between a cast of familiar players, Tink the self absorbed materialistic gold digger, Vork the misanthropic father figure, Clara the irresponsible parent, Zaboo, who almost defies categorization, and Blades, now reveling in his 15 minutes through Cheesybeards pirate guy fame.
Codex’s romantic interest with Zaboo, hinted at in the season 4 finale also begins here.
The characters live in their own little worlds while continuing to venture into their virtual realities and in so doing continue to take us along, so we can revel in the escapism of temporarily stepping away from ours.
Product placement maybe more prevalent now, such as the Guild’s connection with “The World of Munchkin” series of games, but despite all the changes, characterization continues to be the Guild’s formula for success.
So I finally gave up on Wow. At least for the time being, since I have been playing older mmos and games that are a bit more gentle on my ancient video card. I simply have too many financial investments at the moment to spring for a new vid card. There are still a great number of games that I can play. One game that looks intriguing is NEStagia, it’s probably not for me as I was not really a big NES player, but for those who grew up in the 90s, this retro-style MMO might be just right up their goblin ridden alleys.
According to g4tv.com, the game has small servers with a “close-knit” community of gamers. Sounds intriguing, especially to those who might want to play an 8-bit amalgamation of wow, DragonQuest, Final Fantasy and other games from the past. Well, since it is f2p, I might eventually give it a shot, but for now I am pretty content with exploring DAoC. More to come.