Gaming Massively

Monday, March 31, 2008


Massively has a trove of good stuff this fine eve, but the stuff that caught my eye were their post on the good old days. First off, they've started a visual history of MMOs, which has some wonderful pics from days of yore. Additionally, there's a story about crackwhip, a superawesome website which is basically a web front end for a telnet session to a multi-user dungeon (MUD). I love text!

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define: game

Warning: Philosophy ahead.

OK - you were warned. There's an article up over on the New York Times about new 3D chat rooms with avatars, etc. WoW is explicitly mentioned in the article. But of course, in an online chat room there's no game.

But there are avatars. And a virtual world.

How many of the rules of the game have to be set down by the developers before it's a 'massive game' instead of a 'virtual world' or whatever the term of the month is? Because if the answer is nearly zero, these chat rooms, like Second Life, will qualify.

That said, I've never thought second life was a game. Or at least not a fun one. It has crafting. It has player housing. In fact, if they could open up some kind of facebook API it could even have minigames.

And let's be fair: why do you keep going back to your massive game of choice? Is it for the PvE? Maybe sometimes, but I honestly think the split is more often on the side of the social aspects of massive games. So what happens if you start with social, rather than with game? At what point does it become a MMORPG from the other side? Everyone is role playing in an online environment. The only question is the word 'game'.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

end game

Very briefly, because others will say it better: why doesn't the 2.4 patch offer anything but end game content? I think there is a strong possibility my main will never even make it to level 70, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in new content. I've got toons at several levels - new content wouldn't hurt there, either. Why not some new level 10-20 raids? stuff like that? Argh!

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Free Realms

A post over on MMOG Nation alerted me to some interesting new developments Sony will be doing on their new game, Free Realms. I've commented in the past that social networks and MMOs are destined to come together, and the developments noted in the game description seem to indicate SOE will be taking a big step in that direction. I expect a lot more to follow. Why, for example, are there so many sig generator websites that are semi-functional, when the gaming company could create a reliable one (or a reliable API...)?

Add a splash of MyBlogLog and you might have some really interesting stuff happening.

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rollin' with the poxes

So I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but I decided to give the Pox Arcanum group in WoW a go. We're still getting things around - actually getting a group of five people who can run things together is quite challenging. But I'm hopeful things will work themselves out.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Need to get back gaming!

These holiday weekends are real killers for gaming! We went away for a long weekend, and before that there was prep time and the next thing you know I haven't touched WoW in a week! Ack!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

review of Tabula Rasa

Tom's Games has a review up of Tabula Rasa. I think they've been playing it for quite some time, and the summation of the review seems to be 'meh'. What's interesting is that I think they are used to twitch games, and so the review is from a POV I don't see as often in these sorts of articles.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Eve and the need for unity

I'm with James of Kill Ten Rats - Goonswarm has created an awesome recruiting poster for Eve Online. And I pleased to see a post on why having all players on the same server is important for the development of community (and legend, even).

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Monday, March 17, 2008

LotRO, drawn and quartered

I've been watching Lord of the Rings Online since it came out, because some of the features struck me as more interesting than what WoW was doing. In recent days it's been a hot topic due to the announcement of the new expansion The Mines of Moria. But today, WorldIV posted an extensive review of the game which eviscerates the gameplay. The review includes such classics as "Recently, I’ve found I’m surfing the web while fighting even the toughest mobs." Ouch.

I expect once the new content is released and has time to get debugged, I'll give it a whirl. But reviews like the one above never help a game.

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language creep

Speaking of massively, they have a post up about gaming language that has made it into your general vocabulary. I'm kind of embarrassed about how much creep I've had of gaming words and phrases into my general day-to-day speech.


So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye

Probably not as a reaction to Darren's 'Dear Massively' post, Massively (the blog that stole my name, except they had probably been planning it longer, but I still got to press first, and anyway it's kind of a lame name and I really ought to come up with something better for this blog, and they really ought to come up with something better for theirs, except not the same thing as I come up with (again)) is moving second life content off the front page. Hooray.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

the century mark

Well, after six months I've made it to post one hundred. I'd been thinking of all the various things I wanted to do with this post, as my personal blog doesn't tell me when I'm reaching a milestone (not to mention I'd be at like ten thousand with that one), so this is the first opportunity I've had to celebrate a nice round number of posts.

But, as often happens when you overthink something, I ended up just putting it off. So I'll just write what comes into my head.

I had originally thought I would post more on the 'big idea' stuff - economics in games, other types of games, etc. I've had a few of those, for example my post on a romance novel MMO, and following some of the stuff Castronova's been doing, but I also got caught up in playing with the new games. Once I realized how easy it is to get in to betas, I started doing them a lot. Of course, like fight club, you can't mention them until after the fact.

But since the new games tend to be an awful lot like the old games, this has meant that I talk about the same old same old more than I would like. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to big ideas in the coming months, although with all the new games coming out I'm sure there will be lots of other things to think about too.

Anyhow, we'll just keep on keepin' on, and see where we end up. Thanks for stopping by.

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

watch out where you step in un'goro

DadHacker asks an amusing question about the various and sundry beasties one kills in an MMO: "where is all the poop?" He then goes on to posit dungbeetles the size of large dogs working away behind the scenes to keep your character's super-duper purple boots free from gunk.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Another trickle from Cheyenne Mountain

Massively alerted me to a story on MPOGD which has a few more tidbits about Stargate Worlds. To sum up a short article, there will be no player controlled vehicles, and the content will be soloable. It never occurred to me, frankly, that anyone would try to make a non-soloable game, but there you go. Now head on over to the story and ogle the pretty pictures.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Second Life for Linux

I'm pretty excited about this one, even if I don't currently have a linux box (or use Second Life): Massively is reporting that Second Life has released a beta of their viewer for linux. Even more interesting is the note that it seems to be faster than the windows version.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

cross dressing

An upcoming study will examine the phenomenon of gender-bending in MMOs. I'm not personally very interested in the topic, but clearly some people are, and if you're one of them, you should head on over for more info.

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Stargate Worlds comedy

Massively has pointed out that the Stargate Worlds comedy video contest has closed, and you can see all the videos on youtube.

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It's all over everywhere by now, but I still feel I should mention the passing of Gary Gygax. I started with the red box D&D and off and on for the next decade or so. He was inspired, and an inspiration.


Monday, March 3, 2008

the weekend

Hooray for beta testing. Obviously I can't say what I did, but I can say that the weekend was interesting. I also managed to get attuned to Molten Core in an impromptu session Friday evening, which was fun - I love blasting through content. We headed in to MC once we were attuned and promptly wiped. Well, wiped or ran out.

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