Gaming Massively

Monday, December 24, 2007

on holiday

I got crazy in the car while driving to our holiday destination, and fired up World of Warcraft using my mobile phone as the internet connection. I was able to check my mail, chat with some folks, and things like that, but the lag was listed as 5000 milliseconds, so I decided to skip heading out to do some quests. I'll be taking a couple of weeks break from playing, though I may still post if I see something noteworthy. Right now it looks like everyone is dragging out the old 'why are all the MMO games fantasy' from the closet where it was hidden with the Christmas decorations. I am personally of the opinion that it's a confluence of tradition with the fact that noone is doing a better game in another genre. Give it another ten years, then maybe there will be something interesting to say about it.

The other hot topic right now seems to be paying real money for in-game items, prompted by the startup company Live Gamer. The possibly-too-small-circle of gaming blogs apparently spent too much time in close proximity this holiday season, as tempers flared over the issue. The only thing I have to add is that Tobold is absolutely correct that money killed Magic: the Gathering, and it would not be at all difficult to imagine the same thing happening to any MMO.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Good job!

With all the pseudo-Christmas celebrations going on in the various MMOs, it's refreshing to see a game taking a different tack. So props to Tabula Rasa for their Defeat of Earth memorial day. More at Massively.

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Combat in Conan

It may be that I've just started paying attention, but I feel like a lot more detail has been coming out about the combat system in Age of Conan. Apparently there will be three types of melee attack (top, left, and right) and from what I can tell an equal number of blocking moves. Getting hits in where your opponent isn't defending will make your attack more successful. There's a video in the massively article that shows a combat sequence. I believe you no longer target enemies, but rather swing, and it you hit an enemy, good. The blood fountains seem a bit much, but overall it looks like a pretty game. The twitch factor will turn some people off - my wife loves the 'click-and-kill' approach, for example. But for others who find the auto attack a little boring, this will be a welcome change.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lineage II

I really feel like I should give Lineage a try. There's a new expansion out today (ten ton hammer has an interview with the producer), and in reading the news I was reminded how huge this game in Asia. The numbers get a bit muddy (as they always do with private companies) but it seems clear that Lineage is at least in competition with, if not beating, World of Warcraft in terms of players.

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I made it to Outlands, finally. I think we bought BC around July, and I'm just now getting to the content (not counting my level 10 Draeni warrior). I find the whole concept of an expansion rather bizarre, at least the way WoW is doing it, where every expansion brings another ten levels. It obviously adds a little bit more to the endgame, but for the most part people seem to cruise through the content to get to the raids anyhow. Wouldn't it be better to simply work on new dungeons and such, rather than creating a new continent? What I'd really like to see, of course, is changes to the world every so often. Show me the advance or retreat of the enemy. Even better, of course, would be to let me participate in the advance/retreat of the enemy....

Anyway, I'm not actually at the level I need to be to run the BC content - I simply went to train up my leatherworking. Which for me has always been one of the major attractions of the game.

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been a while

I've been hammered at work, which has led to a little blogging hiatus. This doesn't mean I haven't been reading like a fiend, though. One of the things I've been meaning to comment on since it came out is a post Tobold did on the question of avatars. I have to admit, I'm usually more or less on the same page as Tobold and his readers, but in this case, I was completely out of step. It had never occurred to me that you could have a game without an avatar. One of my complaints about WoW is the fact that the gear isn't customizable enough - why can't I change the dye, and make the green cape blue? It's such a basic concept. So to see the very existence of in-game fashion debated blew my mind. I would argue that in-game fashion is an aspect of the social part of gaming (just as fashion itself is an aspect of a society). Without it, you lesson the social cohesion of the game, and thus the strength of the game as a whole (if we are agreed part of that the attraction of an MMO is the social features).

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

and more...

More on the Activision / Blizzard deal at, of all places, business week.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pirates reviewed

Hooray! Apparently the NDA has been listed from Pirates of the Burning Sea (which I have been playing a little bit of during the stress tests). Tobold has posted a lengthy overview of the game to get you started.

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holy cow

That's a lot of money:

Activision and Blizzard have said they will form "the world's most profitable games business" in a deal worth $18.8bn (£9.15bn).

The BBC has full details.

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