Gaming Massively

Thursday, April 24, 2008

WoW and the elections

Comedy Central has a fun post up detailing what each presidential candidate has that appeals to the various classes in WoW. There's a great photoshopped image of each candidate's toon (I think Hillary wins that one, although McCain is strong too). My favourite plus: Mages like McCain because of his "wizened old coot-like visage."

(via Massively and Ten Ton Hammer)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

buried

I'd love to say there's lots of gaming news, and that I've been doing lots of fun stuff I can talk about and all that, but actually RL is eating seriously into my gaming time of late, and the rest is under NDA, which makes me sad, as I'd love to go crazy talking about it. I'm looking forward to all the good stuff coming this year, once we've completed all the RL tasks that are eating into my play time.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

WoW is the new Second Life

What's that you say? A conference in World of Warcraft? What fun! Apparently between sessions on virtual worlds and the like, they'll do raids. The swag bag apparently includes cash, and a pet. Cool!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

LotRO just 'gets it'

Massively is reporting that a new content release (Book 13) for LotRO will include fishing trophies for player houses. This is the kind of crazy, bizarre social stuff that I think all of the MMOs should be doing. If it's an RPG, how the heck can you RP without housing, dancing, whatever. WAR's comments that they wouldn't have dancing because of the grim nature of the game is bologna. 

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Saga

Massively has a post up on a new game called Saga, which looks (from the trailer) absolutely amazing. It's a Real-Time Strategy style game, in which you control armies in real-time. The post notes that this is what the author had expected World of Warcraft to be, which is reasonable, but I expect Warhammer 40K is a better candidate for the massive army control game.

All the same, it got me thinking about WoW, and what an interesting game it would be if, like in D&D, after a certain level you got a follower (or followers). In addition to making the PuG unnecessary and allowing for raiding (to an extent), the PvP could be amazing.

I kind of wanted Warhammer to be like Saga in their RvR play, at least, what the trailer says the play is like. From what I've seen I don't think that's going to happen. By the same token, from what I've seen of Conan nothing like that will be involved, though I don't think they ever claimed it would be. I expect what's going to have to happen is all the games now in beta will be released, and then someone will start developing a game which incorporates all the features they have, and that generation of games will be amazing.

Of course, it's an MMO, so in theory, they could re-develop. But I don't see any sign that, for example, Blizzard is going to make their game better, even though they could. Just milk it 'till it dies. It's sad, but that seems to be the way it works.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

woot! WoW silliness

If you haven't heard, it's time for more stupid level 1 stunts.

Mark your calendars now for the upcoming Big Red Kitty/Ratshag event: The Running of the Bulls. It will be Saturday, May 3 (Tres de Mayo?) at 4pm (server time - I think 11pm GMT) on the Cenarion Circle server.

This is what virtual worlds were made for!

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WotLK

There are reports that Wrath of the Lich King has gone into alpha testing (NDA must not be working), and this has reopened the question of whether WotLK will be the same as BC - 10 levels, more content, and the old stuff gets abandoned and forgotten. There's a thread on the official forums where, between the usual crap, people make some good points about what could be done to make it better. I think Tobold pointed me to the original post by Random Battle, titled "abandoning content with gusto" which seems to sum it up admirably.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

beta tests 1

I was thinking about beta tests over the weekend. I've been in quite a number, several big name ones, which is vaguely surprising to me - I hadn't expected to find myself able to get into them, and yet it's worked out fairly well.

Obviously, the beta test is a necessary part of any software development project, and massive games are no different. It's the NDA, and the various aspects of communicating with the community that I find so interesting. I've been in betas where nothing worked, and that is clearly a mistake - if you know it's broken, you don't need a beta tester to tell you (that game closed less than six months after opening). But what's interesting is the betas where things mostly work, because those are the games where the beta testers feel like they have an idea of what the game will be like.

Of course, if you have an NDA, people aren't supposed to say what's happening, though at some point the NDA will be lifted, and you will have people talking about a game they played while it wasn't finished. On the other hand, they will also often be the most enthusiastic gamers.

I will confess - the people who hang out on the public boards before a game is released weird me out a little. The ones who beta test at least have a reason to be there, but the ones who have no idea what's going on, but are there anyway? Yeah. Yikes.

So I guess I have too many thoughts about beta testing, because this post is wandering all over the place, and I haven't even got to the part where the most prodigious posters on the boards will often not help the game in the slightest.

I'll post this, now, and maybe revisit the topic when I can break it into smaller chunks.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

movies?!

I see over on Massively that there are lots of MMO films coming in the next few years. Oh dear. But, as with most things hollywood, I imagine people will watch them, even if they have no plot.

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PvE from elsewhere

There's a post up at techcrunch talking about social networking, and how it sucks if you don't have friends. It's kind of interesting to think about social networking sites realizing the same things that MMOs know, and are already working on. It's a variation on the PvE question. And the issue, from the business perspective, is the same as well - how do you keep people paying for a service that isn't very fun (because they don't have friends). Maybe you make your social site a game?

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