Gaming Massively

Friday, October 30, 2009

free WAR?

Well, not all of it is free, but apparently now you can play the first tier (12 levels, I guess?) for free. I may have to add this to my list of 'games I finally get around to trying out'!

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Number 200 is a funny!

So first, the post I was going to write - Kill Ten Rats recently had a post which made me laugh out loud, making the (real life) daily grind into an MMO daily grind. I won't give away the punch line, but it's really quite wonderful.

Now the post I'm going to write - as it turns out, this is post number 200 for the blog.

As you may have noted, I've been posting less. It seems a lot of gaming blogs have been shutting down, which isn't that surprising, since once you lose interest in your MMO of choice it can be hard to keep going. Creative Destruction, if you will.

I myself have been lurking, of late, just keeping aware of developments, and waiting for the next big game. I will probably be trying Warhammer in the next week or so, and I may have lots of free time this summer to do some gaming, although whichever game I choose will have to be better than TF2 (not better dollar for dollar, because it's simply not possible to beat TF2 in the value department, at least in my book - I only paid ten bucks for it). I may try Eve, or perhaps something new.

It's a shame I have no interest in City of Heroes/Villains. Their new Mission Architect stuff sounds amazing, and is really the best way to generate story lines. Of course, one wonders how far off the open source MMO is, with this development, but I still haven't heard anything but rumblings and lamentations that games should be open sourced when they die.

Anyway, to sum up, this blog isn't going anywhere. It may be quiet from time to time, but I'm always around, waiting....

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm back

Well, I took a little break from the crazy Lich King overload, though I read there are scads of world events taking place, which I approve of. It's too bad they're so technically difficult to do - I had expected WAR would have a more fluid feel to its world, but everything resets there, too. Anyway, some non-Lich news:

APB has new info out, indicating they are actually listening to their players (well, possible future players, I think). I'm interested in this game from a technical standpoint, although I'm not sure the real world cops and robbers theme is my thing.

A post over at /random addresses the question of how to tell your teammates they suck. I don't think it quite goes far enough, as a little politesse goes a long way in my book, but it's an interesting read.

Jumpgate is reporting over 150K beta signups, for whatever that's worth. I'm in the process of signing up right now, and you can do the same here.

I was also reading up on Free Realms, which has posted a handy 'What is Free Realms' video that, I think, did a fine job of telling me that I was too old for it.

Finally, on a slightly unrelated note, I wish to point out the making of a Schadenfreude Pie, complete with cute children doing sinister laughs.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

WAR is now in phase three

So I tend to think of the way people deal with a new MMO release in the same way I think about culture shock - it runs in phases. Phase one happens before the game is released. Phase two would be your initial release run (or in the case of culture shock, the first two months of living in the new culture), and phase three is the hate phase. Those who survive the hate phase will mellow over time, the rest will quit/go home. We appear to be in phase three for Warhammer Online, as a number of bloggers have now decided it isn't fun anymore. To be fair, there's also the levelling question, although to my understanding this shouldn't be a concern in a PvP game. The theory there is that if you build stuff for levels 1-20, once people hit level 21 you either need to churn out more content, or they'll get bored.

Of course, some people blame the players. I respect this position, but it's not really realistic - people game to have fun, and either they are or they aren't. There is no try, as Yoda would say. It may be the game was marketed poorly, or it may be that gamers as a class suck, and this sort of game could never work. I doubt that, but I'll throw it out there.

It's a shame these games take so darned long to build, and cost so much. Now we'll have to wait another year or so for the next big thing. And then we'll do the whole cycle again.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008


I can't believe BlizzCon is here and gone! When they first started trying to sell it, I was huge into WoW. Now I can barely muster enthusiasm for [unnamed beta]. WAR seems to have stolen a little bit of thunder with their 750K announcement (and really, why else would you announce a weird number like that, other than trying to get WoW's thunder?) I'm a little surprised at the numbers, actually - I would have thought a huge number of people would have tried it out (or is 750K huge? Maybe WoW has screwed up my perspective).

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Monday, September 15, 2008


I think the big stuff happening right now in MMO-land is the Austin Game Developer's conference. Raph has some sexy statistics up (I love numbers!) from one of the presentations.

WAR is still, uh, WAR-ing. Seems like things are going pretty well for a game that's just come out. If this is true, kudos to Mythic for not screwing it up!

Conan seems to still be going along. I'll be interested to see if they can hang on once the big guys are both up and running (i.e. WAR and WoW III).

Looks like All Points Bulletin is hiring. I've been keeping an eye on this game - it has a few innovations I'm interested in seeing, even though I'm not sure I'm a cops and robbers type of guy.

Atlantica Online is still working towards release - they seem to be quite close to open beta. I'm not sure what to think about the idea of a turn-based MMO, but that's why I keep watching!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

big releases

Lots of exciting stuff in gaming, the biggest of course being the WAR Open Beta. I tried to get in a couple of times but so far, no luck - I don't know where my invite went - maybe my email ate it. At one point had 300K beta keys, then 7K then 10K. If they aren't making stuff up that means 317K people at least are playing the beta. Not counting the pre-order people. That's a whole lot of people. You can check here to see if they've opened more keys.

While the US launch seems to be doing ok, the european launch appears to have failed mightily. They even had to roll out the CEO for an apology. I quite enjoyed the Greenskin's reaction to the european fail, in which he quotes in full the wikipedia definition of anger.

Spore is also out the door, which is... amazing. I mean the fact that it was released, not the game - I haven't played the game, so can't comment. But given that I had decided it was going to be the next Duke Nukem, I'm really pleased it's out. People seem pleased so far. I may actually have to pick it up, as I think my wife might enjoy it.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

More WAR

...and speaking of Tobold, he's managed to do something I didn't really think could be done: make me think I should try WAR. The description of how groups work in WAR that he gives sounds positively exciting. A whole pile of folks have noted that public quests are one of those head-smack type ideas where everyone goes 'that's so obvious - why didn't anyone do that before?!'

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

WAR NDA is off

Oh lordy - the NDA for Warhammer has apparently been lifted (at least, so says Tobold). I expect it's going to be tough to find folks talking about anything else for a while.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Warhammer set to release the day before my birthday!

So it seems really real now that Warhammer will launch on September 18th. You all know what you can buy me as a present now, don't you?

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

crazy news!

Wow! I turn my back for one second, and all kinds of news breaks! Flagship Studios goes under, and apparently citibank will have the rights to hellgate:london? And then WAR announces major cuts to the game at release.

It's a tough call, what to do when your game isn't ready. You need money coming in, but you're going to alienate people. Frankly, I expect they made exactly the right business decision - people are waiting for WAR, and they'll probably pay (regardless of how much they scream right now). So get something out there (that works) and add the rest.

Obviously the mistakes were in announcing the rest before they could actually be done. Don't any of these companies have a project manager? Or someone capable of telling them 'no, we can't do that in 12 months'.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

WAR Overwiew

Massively has a, erm, 'massive' overview of Warhammer Online, which links to the articles they've written on all major gameplay elements. In looking it over, I'm interested to see if it works - the PvP seems... complicated. But it may be that all the playtesting has led them to the conclusion that it needs to be. We'll see come release.

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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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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WAR details

By way of tobold and the greenskin I found a terrific overview of the forthcoming Warhammer MMO. It has lots of flavor text mingled with incredibly detailed descriptions of the game, and reveals lots of fun things being planned that I hadn't heard about before. One that really caught my eye:

Your WAR character will not be staring blankly ahead, but will instead express its emotions with a range of facial animations. As a player you will be able to set your character's mood, and everyone else will be able to see it - meaning you can give your character a brooding, sad or happy temperament (among others), and the world will know it. As you do things, your character grimaces and looks excited and otherwise changes expression to react to the activity.

It's like facebook, only more so. And, let's face it - if you don't see social networks and web 2.0 sites merging with MMOs in the coming years, I think you're probably not looking.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Taunting is one of those things that has always bothered me about massive games - it works against the computer, and not at all against other players, even though in theory it is a power your character has to attract attention. Aggro management in general is very different in PvP, which is fine except where an ability that should be able to affect it, doesn't.

Tobold directed me to a post which indicates that, to some degree, WAR intends to fix this.

Their solution, to reduce the damage caused by affected targets, wouldn't be mine - I would much prefer if the taunt caused affected players to actually target the tank instead of their current target, and even run towards the target if a melee attack was indicated (basically a reverse fear). But that's a lot more complex, so I understand not doing it. But hopefully at some point the games get complex enough to force these kind of behaviours.

It would be interesting to have an AI that learns your attack strategy and mimics it on occasions when you are being taunted.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

random news

Random events: WAR has been delayed until at least April, for more polish (not 'more DoTs!'). Also today, the Weblogs Inc people launched a new massive gaming news site called... Massively. I guess they couldn't come up with a good name either. Oh well - it gets the point across.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

more on WAR

Keen and Graev have more info on the Warhammer beta shutdown. One of the people with the game made a long post. Me? I'm all for a shutdown - that's why it's called beta!

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this could be good... or bad...

MMORPGdot linked to a Warhammer Herald note that the WAR beta will be closing for a while, to revamp the game. This is probably good news - do some major rehauling, and not have to worry about the beta people while you do it. At the same time, there is some concern in my mind about how messed up things must be to need to shut the system down altogether - it seems like, in a beta, you can jerk almost anything around. It could be a community management thing - you could build up a lot of ill will during an overhaul if you keep screwing with core elements. In the note, they say they close the beta periodically, and perhaps this really is just SOP.

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