My new computer is due to be delivered today! I’ll be at work, of course, but maybe I can finally find their delivery center and pick it up afterward. My hope and fervent dream is that this will be the computer powerful enough to run Lord of the Rings Online….
Anyway. A couple of weeks ago, Paragon Studios introduced the Make Your Own Farm Mission (aka Architect) system, where players could find a badge they wanted to gain, and find the perfect mission among the thousands created for this purpose to gain that badge, or that level, or whatever they liked. Experience with similar level creators in such obscure games as Diablo, Diablo II and LittleBig Planet wasn’t clue enough that many players would use their new powers to create and play custom missions to benefit their characters.
In response, Paragon Studios is going on the offense. In its statement, Paragon Studios chides the players for using the Architect System for selfish purposes, and lays out a system of locking, rollbacks and banning to deal with the situation. 333 pages later (nice round number — 333 is the number of the Beast’s half brother. Get it? HALF-bro… nah n/m). 333 pages later, the players are still engaging the developers in polite conversation.
Bloggers haven’t sat on their keyboards, silently waiting for the storm to blow over, with nearly every blogger having their say. Spinks wonders why Paragon Studios could suddenly change the rules and insist players are doing it wrong. She also mentioned Monopoly… which will come back to haunt her around noon.
Does anyone think that given the tools, the players of a game would decide among themselves not to use them to their own advantage? Raph Koster’s Laws of Online Game Design says right there in black and white, “The client is in the hands of the enemy“. Players will ALWAYS work to their own advantage in any game where that is both possible and makes sense. Heck, people even cheat at Solitaire.
So we were all pretty shaky after all that went down yesterday, when we got slammed to the wall by Eurogamer’s 2/10 review of Darkfall and Aventurine’s response that tone reviewer had spent only three minutes in the game, and the other had mostly spent his time making new characters and running around the starting city. Darren of Common Sense Gamer gives the broad overview of the debate. Syncaine has the news of the review and the reviewer’s response. MBP of Mind Bending Puzzles chimes in as well.
As a former games journalist and one who still knows quite a few still in the MMO reviewing game, I have to kinda sympathize with the reviewers. MMOs are, by their nature, tedious grinds if you don’t enjoy the game on its own merits, and how can you even review an MMO thoroughly without playing it through long enough to understand the games ins and outs? People gripe at me ALL THE TIME about what an obvious fail EverQuest was, but that’s not the game I fell in love with, the death penalties and corpse runs and camps were just the rules of the game. You don’t slam Chess because you think its unfair the knight moves like that.
I was asked to do a re-review of Vanguard while at Massively, but it ran like crap on my machine, as it always did no matter the settings, I couldn’t get into it, and in the end I told my lead that I couldn’t do the re-review because I didn’t think I could give it a fair shake. So I really feel for people trying to review MMOs.
It looks like they are going to review Darkfall again… best of luck to them.
p0tsh0t figures what World of Warcraft really needs is to be more like EVE Online. Now if WoW can nail that trademark EVE combat, where fighters circle each other slowly, throwing rocks at each other for half an hour.
Evil Theurgists has the complete patch notes for today’s update to Wizard 101, which adds player islands, more voiceovers, quest guide, marked locations for easy teleporting, and many other things. I’ve been pretty impressed with the Theurgist’s commentary on his favorite MMO and look forward to reading much more from him!
Rick Burlew posted his latest Order of the Stick comic, but Roy does NOT get resurrected in this strip, so you might want to skip it. I’m just going to see how many strips it takes him to STOP STALLING.
You think we gamers are nerdy? Check out these vows from a mathematician’s wedding:
May the logs of your joys be exponentially steep;
May you derive greatest pleasure from integrating your lives,
And well past your primes, retain composite rhymes.
The full poem, plus links to the participant’s websites, their wedding site, and the site of their pastor, may be found at Tanya’s Math Blog.
Syp of Bio Break writes that according to EA’s quarterly reports, Warhammer Online has only about 300,000 players — Lord of the Rings Online territory. These are not bad numbers, although wildly lower than they anticipated, perhaps leading to their $111-120 million loss. Maybe they should take a cue from Activision/Blizzard and exploit, exploit, exploit.
Richard Garriott is suing NCsoft, publishers and developers of his ill-fated MMO Tabula Rasa, for $24,000,000, citing fraud. Hmm. That should just about pay for his trip into space…. (via Common Sense Gamer again)
And that’s it for another exciting edition of the Daily Blogroll! I leave you with a picture of my Free Realms level 12 Ninja, and her kitty Mr. Scruffy.