Tag Archives: wow

Running with ‘PUGs’ in your favorite mmorpgs

friday night daoc run

one of my friday night pug runs on DAoC

A friend and I were discussing the other night how one of the most interesting sociological experiments of playing mmos is dealing with playing with complete strangers, and how sets of PUGs can differ depending on what game you play, or what group you join. For weeks I tried to put together a “static group” in DDO, meaning a group that would adventure together at set times of the week. This exercise proved futile, the one time I did manage to get a few people to commit to a set time to play, i.e. a few times during the week, our schedules inevitably made it hard for one or all of us to maintain the commitment to play. More often than not, I used the “social” function of the game to LFG which were doing similar level quests. I am sure this is how most people approach playing DDO.

So I recently reverted to running with PUGs in both DDO and Wow. PUGs tend to be impatient, especially with newb players, but as anyone who has played wow can attest, inexperience, nOObishness, insufficient gear, or even virtual incompatibility will get you kicked from most groups, especially in raids, whereas PUGs can behave differently in other games. Point in case, I was running the massive Ragefire Chasm in wow, admittedly a low level dungeon to be sure, but since I  had not done so for quite some time, I was not really familiar with the map. Anyway, while I was running, I came to a fork or a split where you are supposed to jump and forgot to do so and fell. This delayed my rendezvous with the group. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get with your PUG group and getting lost, or getting separated from the party for whatever reason.

The DDO PUGs tend to be more forgiving. I had a similar experience running a dungeon in DDO, I got killed by deadly elite traps (instances can be played in various degrees of difficulty in DDO and I find that most people will try to do “elites” in a group, they tend to be more challenging and fun) and one of my party members had to retrieve my soulstone to try and revive me. I also fell off a cliff or some precipice, (I seem to fall a lot in maps I am not familiar with the terrain) and one of my party members was kind enough to come back for me and show me the way back to the treasure chest, long after the encounter had ended and everyone in the party had teleported out. I don’t really see that happening a lot with wow PUGs, which is one of the reasons I like playing DDO.  It is  highly unlikely that I will stop playing wow altogether solely based on my experiences with the wow PUGs, just recently my friend said he’d roll a toon and help me run dungeons, so I am waiting a few days for him to catch up to me.

I will be sure to report back on our progress and on my experiences in both games.

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The Underdark has gone ‘live’ but did the blogosphere notice much??

DDO Drow of the Underdark

The new DDO expansion pack is live

So last night, in anticipation of the new DDO expansion dropping, I logged on to DDO for the first time in about a month and I had so much fun, it provided a necessary respite from wow and DAoC, and whatever else I have been sporadically sampling of late. I probably won’t be playing it until at least early next month, when I get some time to really explore it, but I wanted to see how much of an impact the news has been having on the mmo blogosphere. Apparently, with some many gaming options out there, even the news of an expansion pack for a great f2p game like DDO has competition.

Although Ten Ton Hammer has a very detailed look at the new expansion, will smaller more fan driven blogs have similar content? Massively.com reported earlier today that the game is available for download from Steam, (fantastic!) but the bulk of their report came from a Turbine press release which did include an interview with the developers.

Other bloggers barely noticed it, it seems.
Tobold, for one, has been writing a lot about D&D table top gaming, as he has been interested in D&D 4E of late, but it doesn’t appear as he is playing DDO much these days, or at all. Tobold writes about puzzles and riddles in mmorpg games and previous to this he was blogging some more about pen and paper D&D. Other blogs focused on diverse topics such as The Secret world beta weekend, discussion of the changing nature of the mmo industry and saturation in the marketplace, and one how movies based on video games usually suck, while the Ancient Gaming Noob is writing about Little Big Planet.

As for me, I think I will be running with some DDO PUGs in Stormreach to get into the mood of DDO once more. It has always been a great game for grouping and running instances, and while it may or may not be as much fun as wow, I think one mistake people have made in the past is comparing it to other mmorpgs. Turbine really has a unique property, while the license may not be unique with Cryptic bringing Neverwinter into the MMO milieu, the game’s mechanics and fully instanced dungeons are a fun and different experience, which is why I keep coming back, at least periodically. Yes, I am excited about playing in the Forgotten Realms setting, and yes I will be giving my warforged toon another go at it in the weeks to come.

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Summer mmo fun in Warsong Gulch and DDO’s new expac

I haven’t seen my last battleground in wow

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.

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Adventures with srgraybeard the Thane in Dark Age of Camelot

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.

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Azeroth exodus has been greatly exaggerated

The title of this post refers to the fact a big deal has been made in the blogosphere about wow’s subscription numbers being down, especially with the documented early success of newer mmorpgs like SWTOR.

I have not really had much time to venture into Azeroth, save the occasional weeknight and weekend dungeon runs with the PUGs. GRE and grad school preparations have really robbed me from my free time away from work, but I have managed to get Gannisper the fire mage to level 24, mostly through queuing into dungeons and doing the occasional quest.

My original plan was to join a guild in the Sisters of Elune server, primarily a role playing server and not my usual PvP, because it sounded like a fun endeavor, but alas, that has not come to pass.

Those who write that wow is dead, or dying have not visited Ogrimmar or any capital city lately, where I see most of the players. Yet, since I don’t have as much time to quest, running through dungeons has been most of my interaction with other folks in Azeroth, and I get a bit bored of it often, so I do it very sporadically.

Once in a while it is fun, because coordinating the groups takes communication, otherwise players risk getting kicked for capricious reasons.

Earlier today, I also logged back into EQ2. EQ2 was a very frustrating experience, given the fact it is hard to group in that game without a level capped toon, but I found some levity out of traveling to various parts of Norrath via the “world bell” network and staying within zones that are appropriate for my level. I made the mistake of venturing out to unknown territory and kept getting killed by mobs for my troubles.

I have DDO on reserve as my third mmo of choice, but that game is so entrenched in its own idiosyncrasies and unique elements, it is less of a grind than EQ2, but it means I have to be in the D&D mind frame and mood to play it.  What’s next?


Running through a random dungeon and taking down the big boss.

I plan to be playing Stark Trek Online come early March, by that time I should have sent off all my paperwork and made all my grad school preparation, so the summer may be one full of mmo goodness for me. What are the rest of you all up to???

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DDO game advantages

LOTRO

my 16th level dwarf Guardian in LOTRO

The other night I found out my ancient laptop can run LOTRO. I was excited over the possibilities of getting back into Turbine’s other game and doing some skirmishes with my tank.

I logged on to the LOTRO Imladris server and there he was, smiling back at me, my level 16 dwarf Guardian, still decked out in the gear I put him in some 7 months ago.

LOTRO suffers the same ailment as DDO though, a considerable lack of PvP. There is some PVP, there’s the whole monster system, but you have to pay to get into that, and frankly, there are too many free mmorpgs I have yet to check out. That is probably the main reason I got bored and stopped playing LOTRO, though I was surprised to find that it had been more than six months since I played! Now I gotta find a new guild

Speaking of free mmorpgs, I have not been playing DDO as much, not because I don’t like the game but because work and my recent preparations to get into grad school have sapped most of my free time, except for nights.

I have been kicking around the idea of getting back into wow, because my co-worker plays it, and frankly it would be fun to run dungeons with him.

Here are some advantages that DDO has over wow in case anyone is on the fence about them:

  • DDO is free, wow is subscription based. Not a big deal since wow is still pretty reasonably priced and could go the f2p route one day
  • DDO has hirelings you can buy which help you in some quests, even if you solo them, clerics for example, cleric hirelings are excellent healers
  • DDO has unique elements to it like shrines and also allows duel specking of classes.
  • DDO is way easy to group with folks, you can find a random PUG, it is designed to be played in parties
  • DDO resembles the 3.5 pen and paper version of the game, while the upcoming Neverwinter game is said to be based on 4E rules
  • DDO for the most part has helpful folks and a thriving community. Wow has people who like to raid but can be annoying to group with.

This Saturday I am going to a meeting of the Pasadena D&D meet club. Should be a blast to dust off the old books and play some 4E D&D

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Massive Online Gamer’s Jason Winter interview part 2

massive online gamer magazine

the new defunct Massive Online Gamer Magazine

As promised, today I bring you Part 2 of my interview with former Massive Online Gamer Editor in Chief Jason Winter. Enjoy!

KTG:  MOBAS like League of Legends have really come up this year. I noticed MOG was covering them more and more, even in this last issue you had an article detailing the Dominion map. Are you surprised at all, by the rise in popularity in these types of games? Do you think that they can coincide along the bigger titles like SWTOR and GW2??

JW: A: I think MOBAs are a natural evolutionary path of MMORPGs. And, in fact, we’ve probably all been playing something just like them for years but didn’t realize it. My classic “Rift is a pretty game to sit around waiting for dungeon queues to pop” line from a previous TWIMMO is a part of this
observation, but it applies to many MMORPGs. In my case, I’ve been playing The Lord of the Rings Online since April 2007. That’s 57 months. My main character has been at the level cap for 46 of those months. That’s about 80% of the time he’s existed. And what do you do at level cap? Mostly you form up groups for instances, raids, maybe PvP, etc. You don’t really run around the world doing quests like you did when you were leveling. Yes, you can do some socializing, and a little crafting and miscellaneous activities, but if you want to advance your character, the best way to do it, in most cases, is to form up a group and hit a dungeon.

What do you do in a MOBA? Queue up for “PvP instances,” basically. MOBAs are just PvP MMOs without the questing and (in some form) leveling. Take a look at Guild Wars, where you could make a max-level character just to do PvP right out of the gate. How’s that different from a MOBA? So many people rush to level cap these days to do endgame anyway, and there’s really no difference between doing that and just starting out in a MOBA. And that 46/57 months thing takes into account that I’m a notoriously slow leveler 🙂

Now, I’m hopeful that games like GW2 will, as ArenaNet claims, make the endgame the whole game, and that you’ll still be incentivised to run around the world and not just sit around cities queueing up for dungeons. As much as people say GW1 wasn’t a true MMORPG, it might be that most non-GW2 are more MOBA than MMORPG, which is kinda ironic.

KTG: What are you going to miss most, would you say, about working with the staff of Beckett’s Online Massive Gamer magazine??
JW: Ping pong. That is all.

KTG:  I was somewhat surprised to see that your editorial staff chose GW2 as the top mmo of 2012 and beyond, what gives GW2 an edge over other games in your opinion, considering that was a list which includes so many great games like “The Secret World” and “Everquest Next” just to name a few?

JW: We actually had a formula that took a few factors into consideration and GW2 had the best “numbers.” That’s the short answer. The somewhat-longer answer is like what I referred to earlier, that I think ArenaNet and GW2 “get” that people are looking for something different, and they’re not just going to deliver something different for the sake of being different – they’re doing it because it’s actually better, at least in theory. Funcom’s sort-of got that with The Secret World, too, doing away with leveling (which, as referred to above, is something you won’t be doing with your character 80% or more of the time anyway). Honestly, we just don’t know enough about EQNext to give it super-high marks, but the brand name itself was worth a few points.

KTG:  Since this blog (killthegoblinsavetheworld) is mostly about retro-mmo games, what mmo do you think fans would benefit from being resurrected or redone for a modern audience in your opinion and why?

JW: A: Retro games? You mean like Star Wars: Galaxies? 🙂
It’s only sorta retro, being just a few years old, but I thought Auto Assault was a great premise. As an old Car Wars fan, I loved the idea, but the problem was that NCSoft made it “too MMO-like.” Meaning that instead of making it a game about cars with guns, they made it an MMO, with DPS, healers, support, tanks, etc., but instead of people, you had cars. In other words, it was the same as anything else out there.

I’d like an MMO of vehicular combat that you could tweak and min/max to your heart’s content. Want more speed? You’ll have to shed some armor or weapons. Want bigger guns? OK, but you won’t be as fast. And so on. Come on, Steve Jackson, you know you want to do this!

KTG: Yea that would be great! I was a fan of the Car Wars pen and paper game too. OK so the big question on a lot of people’s minds, Wow: the king of them all, at least for now. What are your thought’s on Blizzard’s behemoth and its future and its impact in the mmo game industry? Do you think SWTOR can have lasting power to topple it from the mmo throne, or do you think it will fizzle out like many shiny new mmos before it?

JW: Something a lot of people have said, and that I agree with, is that “The only thing that will kill WoW is WoW.” A new game, whether it’s SWTOR or GW2 or TSW or EQN isn’t going to “kill” WoW, not directly at least. Like I said, gamers are looking for something more in their MMOs than… uh, well, “kill the goblins and save the world.” If newer games rewrite this paradigm and steal some players from WoW, that won’t be the real impact of their success. Rather, players will look at what those games are doing and think, “I like WoW, but why can’t it be more like this game?” If Blizzard can’t adjust its game to be more in line with these newer offerings, then who really “killed” WoW? Some other game for “stealing” WoW’s players or Blizzard for not changing WoW to meet the needs and wants of its players?

That’s it guys! I want to than Jason once again for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak to me and hope to bring you more interviews from some of the big guns in the industry in the future. Pick up a copy of the Mar/April edition of Massive Online Magazine, it will be the last but it should still be out on stands now.

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Former Editor of Massive Online Gamer interview

Jason Winter

Jason Winter a regular at TWIMMO and Game Breaker.TV

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!

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More M.O.B.A.S. like League of Legends to come our way in 2012?

I read an interesting article of predictions for gaming in mmorpg.com the other day about M.O.B.A.S.  If you are an avid gamer (and if you are not, why exactly are you reading this post?) you know that the proliferation of these types of games has seemingly skyrocketed lately, due largely in part to the satisfying “quick fix” which LOL and M.O.B.A. type games like DOTA provide players.

I think Youtube personality Boogie 2988 said it best when he alluded to the fact that former World of  Warcraft players and mmo enthusiasts may tire of the waiting in those types of games. As Boogie put it, Wow is a good game, but there is a lot of waiting around in that game, players have to queue for entrance into instances, whereas games like L.O.L. provide a lot of the instant gratification which some players have accustomed themselves to these days.

Coming from the mmo gaming side of things, I was quick to jump into the fray in League of Legends, which was very similar to Warcraft 3 (which it should be given that DOTA was a mod of Blizzard’s old RTS game) and I found the game lacking at first glance. For one thing, I missed the open world feel of a mmorpg game like Everquest 2 or World of Warcraft. Yes, combat is a significant part of gaming in those games too, but it is not the sole focus of the game. In L.O.L., you pick a champion and you go out and level him or her up, while your summoner also levels behind the scene.

It’s a more visceral, satisfying form of combat in some player’s point of view, but for old time mmo gamers like me (Though not as old to remember dabbling in original E.Q. or even Ultima Online) the game felt as though it did not offer as much diversity or richness of play as wow did, where you can do more than battle creeps and opposing teams (like crafting, questing, and raiding to name a few examples.)

Yet, the mmorpg.com article predicted a rise not only in M.O.B.A style gameplay (which seems accurate given Blizzard’s announcement during  this year’s Blizzcon about Blizzard DOTA’s impending release) but also, even more interesting, a rise in a hybrid type genre of game: an mmo like game mixing in elements of M.O.B.A.S.  Isn’t that what I was bemoaning was lacking in L.O.L. and surely my way of thinking is exactly what game devs foresaw. Crafty little devils!

There are many reasons I can see this prediction coming true: The rise in popularity of e-sporting events like those made prevalent by StarCraft and now L.O.L., the aforementioned dislike for waiting to be queued into instances in other games, not to mention the copy cat way in which game companies have a tendency to churn out copies of more successful or more high profile versions of other products.

Consider this further evidence: The online gaming communities have catered to just about every type of game genre there is, with a recent replication of sites devoted to L.O.L. specifically and M.O.B.A.S. in general. The aforementioned MMORPG.com blog has expanded and now has sister/partner sites dedicated to RTS gaming (rtsguru.com) and FPS gaming (fpsguru.com) could DOTAguru sites be far behind???

Lastly, my favorite game magazine, Massive Online Gamer dedicated not one, but two articles about M.O.B.A.S. this past issue, one detailing the rise of the Dominion map in L.O.L. and Another entitled “3 simple rules for L.O.L. beginners,” penned by Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. In addition to being a major NFL athlete, Kluwe is a confessed gaming aficionado and he has a quirky and fun writing style, and if you have never read any of his articles, you owe it to yourself to read some of his work. You will be glad you did if you are a gamer.

Anyhoo, you might play devil’s advocate and say, “Hybrid M.M.O, M.O.B.A.S., don’t we have that already in a game like World of Warcraft?” and in a sense you would be correct, given that wow has b.g.s that are as much fun as L.O.L. Yet, it depends on your gaming style, M.O.B.A.s usually are more focused on team oriented objectives, not just ganking, though there is a bit of that too. I personally am in favor  of mixing the visceral thrills of L.O.L. with the more open ended and massive feel of an mmorpg like wow or DAoC. Just please don’t make it so unfriendly to newbs!

Oh and while I am at it, I leave you with this tantalizing tasty morsel of news….

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Revelling in winter gaming in Camelot

toon daoc

My toon level 22 savage on Ywain DAoC server

This time of year there are a number of winter time in game events which make your favorite game more fun to play, or adds an extra element to the mmo experience of your choice. Some games like SWTOR are too new, or would not benefit from having these in game events because it would detract somewhat from the overall storyline, but for more established retro mmorpgs, fans  have come to expect them and delight in them every year.

The feast of winter veil is going on currently in Azeroth. I remember previous holiday season spending sometime doing seasonal quests and looking at the colorful graphics in game. In Everquest 2, frostfell meant that members of the community relations team got to hang out with players in selected servers handing out in game goodies. Though the event is now over, The Double Station Cash Stocking Stuffer promotion that SOE has going, lasts through tomorrow (Dec.27)

Over at DDO, Turbine continues to celebrate Festivult by giving players coins from treasure chests which can be turned into the jester for special gifts. LOTRO offered its annual Yule festival with local events in the Shire, Ered Luin and Bree-land, additionally players could travel to the festival-themed mini-area of Frostbluff to participate in a town wide celebration.

Personally, I really am looking forward to the Midwinter Festival event on the DAoC servers, although I probably may not be able to enjoy it for awhile as I have 26 more levels to climb with my savage. Still, the event runs until January 17, so if I extend my DAoC trial into a new month sub, I may be able to catch the tail end of it. Honestly, I am having the most fun playing a game in RvR battlegrounds. The game’s learning curve is a little high for newbies, but I learned that most players don’t really quest but wait until they hit the level needed to do battlegrounds. B.g.s in DAoC are a dicey proposition, people from the other factions in RvR tend to wait until one is pulling aggro on mobs to jump in and try to score a kill. It can get annoying with all the camping, but if you can find a group, you are able to fend off the attacks, provided you are on the high level end of the specific b.g.

No matter what game you choose to play this winter season, may you have fun as we turn the calendar page into a new year, because that is what it is all about is it not??? Peace!

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