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Daily Blogroll 5/29 — Reasons to be Cheerful, Pt III

Posted by on May 29, 2009

everquest2-2009-05-17-07-38-31-44

Welcome to another Friday! Got plans for the weekend? I’m planning to take a short break from EVE Online and get caught up on a beta, Mabinogi, Wizard 101 and will reinstall EQ2 to see if that fixes the problems I’m having with it freezing on launch.

Spinks starts us off with a long and detailed look at the power of story in MMOs, specifically, the plight of the Forsaken as they meet their maker in World of Warcraft’s Howling Fjord. Those Forsaken aren’t dead, they’re just pining for the fjords!

Openedge1 hits the wall in Age of Conan as he creeps up on level 80, currently the maximum level in the game. Is reaching max level worth spending days or weeks of nightly grinding? Or is it just time to take a break and play something purely for fun?

That’s a good question. Why do you play an MMO past the point where you are having fun? Or do you just move on to something else?

Caliga has a first look at the Ether Saga Online F2P MMO, which turns the cutesy dial to 11. My teeth hurt just looking at the screens. Ether Saga will be published by Perfect World International, who are also publishing Runic Games’ action RPG (and associated future MMO) Torchlight.

Ever get deep into a fight in Wizard 101 and just want to end the darn battle so you can get on with your life? I have, WAY too many times. Thomas, the Friendly Necromancer, has found a Wizard 101 Damage Calculator that will show you if the cards in your hand are enough to blast that boss back to Nightside, or if you need to give it just a little more oomph. VERY handy.

It’s great to see people returning to the EverQuests. Not that WoW isn’t a great game — it clearly is — but I think there are other MMOs out there that are pretty great as well :) Angry Raider has been using the EQ2 Refer-a-Friend program to powerlevel various characters to decent levels and explore the vast world of Norrath. But can he take playing an angry fairy dirge?

Meanwhile, Hudson has finally realized what we Nostalgians figured out last year, that it doesn’t make much sense to go looking for a game that plays like EverQuest when you have the real thing RIGHT THERE! Another EverQuest blogger? WONDERFUL! I plan to return to EQ as well, but I’ll be doing it with the 51/50 server, just to see what that’s like. EQ crowded with people is the most amazing thing ever.

Meanwhile, Syp is over in the Lone Lands working through the ruins and watching Hunters flee past him at warpspeed. Hunter can’t take a hit? Syp’s Captain likes a good fight!

Ogrebears doesn’t agree with me that EQ3 (if there is such a game) would be built on the Free Realms engine because the constant hits of endless and continual downloading as the game streams to the player would be a deal-killer. Well, I dunno. They could stream it in larger chunks. Wizard 101 does a similar streaming thing, and though there are delays when you open a new area, it’s not too bad and it’s only once.

Damion of Zen of Design examines how EVE Online keeps growing, while most MMOs have a spike-and-fall subscription model. Make a unique game, don’t try to chase trends, keep your vision and play the underdog. EVE Online has more subscribers that Warhammer, EQ, or EQ2, is likely closing in on LotRO, and still keeps that indie niche game cred. How does it do it?

Snafzg has an advance look at the Aion Collectors box set and all the special secret prizes you get for your extra twenty bucks. That action figure may look cool, but can you play Monopoly with it? I am definitely looking forward to Aion, it looks unique and wonderful.

And lastly, Werit says everyone is asking for broader content in their MMO instead of just race-to-max-level, achievement-based content, but when Mythic gave them exactly that in Warhammer Online, what did they do? Ignored the broad content for the race-to-max-level stuff. Just can’t win for losing some days.

Enjoy your Friday, have a great weekend and see you Monday on the Daily Blogroll!

7 Responses to Daily Blogroll 5/29 — Reasons to be Cheerful, Pt III

  1. openedge1

    “does a similar streaming thing”

    So does Guild Wars. Especially the first time you play. They have a small download client for those who buy accounts online, and then it downloads data for zones in the background…but does this once (unless there is an update)
    i.e: never get those huge downloads on patch day thanks to the stream technology.

    I think it could work, especially if it is FREE like FR and Guild Wars after initial purchase.

    I would play it.

  2. Tesh

    Mike Darga has mused about EVE before as well, writing about player retention and acquisition. Here’s a good place to start:
    http://mikedarga.blogspot.com/2009/02/player-acquisition-vs-player-retention.html

  3. wilhelm2451

    I always wonder how many actual people play EVE Online versus the number of accounts. A second account helps out so much, and if you’re already at the trough, how about a third? And then there is Gaff.

  4. Anjin

    As I commented on Ogrebear’s post, I think streaming games should allow a forced patch like Guild Wars. Slap a “-image” in the command line and you get the entire patch up front. I think ArenaNet put the option in so that computers could be set up fully patched for tournaments.

  5. Saylah

    Regarding EVE – I think CCP has stayed true to their intended audience. They’re not expecting it to be everyone’s game and okay with that fact. But never did in the Darkfall, “You’re not worthy” manner which for me, was a put off right from jump street. I’d never try Darkfall. PERIOD. I’m not looking to be worthy for the privilege of PAYING to play a game. Get real plz.

    EVE/CCP scandals and all keep my respect because most of the activity and drama is all player driven and not scripted by the game itself. I applaud their continued efforts to make the game more approachable BUT they do not attempt to dumb it down. You either like EVE or you don’t, and they seem okay with that reality.

    I was heartily disagreeing with Sister Julie in a thread on No Prisoners No Mercy that CCP needs to quake in their boots over Jump Gate. We have EQ2, WOW and LOTRO, all different flavors and level of difficulty for fantasy MMOs. There is no reason that CCP has to match JumpGate is general appeal or be less complex. We can have multiples for the sci-fi space genre too and players will choose their preferred level of accessibility.

    I never stick in EVE more than 6 mos at a stretch. Yet I’m subscribed for some period of time every year. I keep going back because the level of complexity means there’s always something new for me to mess around with – new expansion or no, because it’s such a horizontally wide game.

  6. Quantize

    That’s an interesting point you made about EVE. I feel like the same could be said about Wizard101 and Free Realms. Both launches were pretty quiet and unexpected, and they both seem to be steadily growing their player bases. As opposed to AOC and WH, who signed up HUGH numbers the first day, and seem to be on a downward trend as you mentioned.

  7. Lars

    I think as games get larger streaming will be more and more necessary. Downloading is quickly replacing retail as the preferred way to obtain a game, and who would sit around and download 20GB and then wait sixteen hours for it to patch? Especially if they are just getting a trial? I mean, besides MMO addicts like you or me. :) Downloading a 250KB EXE and lauching the game almost instantly like in Guild Wars is the ideal. And while GW is no Age of Conan, its still a pretty hefty game. There are several GB of content that has not loaded to my current machine simply because I haven’t needed them.