Had a fun weekend in New Hampshire! No gaming to speak of, but I didn’t really miss it. My stepmom and I took a hike in the back woods and saw the effects of the ice storm and the tornado they had last winter. Got bitten by deer flies, walked dogs, went to church, and what I mostly missed? Doing the blogroll? So… here ’tis :)
Myrix at the Wandering Rogue’s foray into MMO design brings us the race of Dune Elves, nomadic desert dwellers who are, as elves always are, better than humans at everything. EverQuest had Sand Elves, much the same, high elves who didn’t flee to Faydwer when Solusek Ro turned much of Tunaria into desert. In EverQuest, I used to insist we halflings were “shrub elves”, because of our pointy ears (after the new Luclin models pointified them). Anyway, I reasoned, it was clear that intelligence, wisdom, and sheer good looks increased as height DE-creased, so you’d have tall, ugly, clumsy high elves up there so high they couldn’t find proper air to breathe (but could feed from high tree branches, like giraffe) — then the wood and dark elves, who had a better balance, and then us shrub elves, who got the best of everything.
In Mabinogi (see, that banner image wasn’t totally random!), your character ages as you play, can get muscular or weak depending on your skills, and can even get a little
plump fluffy if you don’t eat right. Well, Beau has found the answer for all of us struggling with our weight — just go visit your god and get reborn.
I never thought it would be that easy to lose 50 pounds fast!
Brian “Psychochild” Green wonders if all grinds are bad grinds? After all, people play Solitaire for hours on end, and in fact most casual games are the same thing again and again. So why do people hate the grind so much in MMOs? Or, is there a way to do the grind right?
Syp says, maybe it’s cookie-cutter combat itself that’s making people board the Ennui Express, and perhaps if MMOs look more toward alternatives means of progressions as recent games are doing with card games, mini-games, vehicles and achievement systems, they could bring new life to old ideas. I just want to point out to Syp that Wizard 101 is based on a card game, not mini-games, though it does have mini-games.
Hudson looks forward into the past with a comparison of an enchanter’s life in EverQuest and EverQuest II. Verdict? EQ enchanters constantly live on the exciting edge, while EQ2 enchanters have a lot more tools at their command… especially when there pet is no longer under their command.
Scott Jennings decided a few days ago, now that you can buy Darkfall without camping the Darkfall forums and now that they apparently have plenty of room for new players, to give the impact PvP MMO a good shot. Right between the eyes, with an arrow looted from a goblin. He found a kinder, gentler game than he expected, with friendly players always eager to help loot a corpse.
Anjin addresses some of the anguish of the self-described hardcore players over Free Realms’ meteoric rise (Smed writes today that their new F2P mini-game based MMO is closing in on two million players). Are the hardcore really just niche gamers? Is the MMO community really just mostly people looking for a quick adventure fix? Is Free Realms the only kind of MMO we’ll be seeing in a few years?
Sente of Ding World looks at the recent kerfuffle about the realities of quest-driven MMOs — if you need to complete a thousand quests to progress through the game, they aren’t all going to be peasant-boy-destroys-evil-empire. 9,990 are going to be kill ten kittens. MMO players are no different from everyone else — they want to waste as little time as possible, and they will only do your quest or anything else if it is not a waste of time. I personally don’t understand why more MMOs don’t go the EVE model, where progression depends only on the time your character has been around, online or off. Your online time then lets you be free to do anything without wasting time…
Caliga takes a look at some of the secrets of group combat in Wizard 101. The targeting display is pretty much the only way you can combine your spells with those of others for best effects, and experienced players nearly always use these tricks to kill things dead the fastest way possible. Considering how difficult it is to communicate quickly with other players, these are very useful hints.
Well, off to work. Crunch time. Yay!