Daily Blogroll 6/1 — Almost Summer edition

Doesn't that humpback minion remind you of Underdog's nemesis, Bar Sinister?

Wow, June already. The year seems to be flying by so quickly. I saw “Up” over the weekend, kind of dark for a Disney/Pixar film, but I liked it quite a lot. Gaming-wise, it was largely Free Realms along with some trips into EVE and Vanguard. I hope to make it to Antonia Bayle’s Festival of Unity sometime this week.

Kasul at Shattered was at the opening ceremonies to the Festival of Unity, conveniently held at a place where evil characters would be slaughtered by good-aligned guards oops. Okay. For 2010, a Festival of Dis-unity, to be kicked off in the Crossroads in the Commonlands, okay? Naturally, this one would have to be held on the Lucan D’Lere server….

Back in EverQuest, er, Shards of Dalaya, Ramon has gotten to the point where it’s getting tough to find groups in this F2P EverQuest remix. As Ramon remembers the hours spent catching up on his reading while LFG in EQ, he rethinks whether EQ’s group-only mechanic really works anymore.

Tobold writes about the amazing case of Ferraro, the blogger who wrote at Paladin Schmaladin, and worked as a tester at Blizzard, who suddenly turned out to not be a cute Blizzard tester (personal pictures lifted from TechDarling) but seven people, who suddenly turned out to be just one person, and the lies probably don’t end there. Would this person’s blog had been as successful if it had been written by some ordinary guy instead of a cute, tech-savvy, fictional Blizzard tester?

The fakery doesn’t stop there. Spinks writes about a WoW addon that lets people link fake achievements, so when a group demands you have the achievement that proves you have experience with a demanding instance, you can fake-link it and get in that group. I’m not gonna try and analyze why someone would do this, but it bugs me when I hear people in EQ2 demand things like this, for example, Mythical epics, when the content they are doing doesn’t come close to requiring that sort of gear.

Speaking of EQ2, Gordon at We Fly Spitfires isn’t liking the Qeynos-to-Freeport betrayal quest much, especially where you have to, at great length, train a cute puppy and get him to trust you, only to have to kill it at the end. He calls it bad quest design, but I feel it does what it’s supposed to — give you some history with the animal, so you feel something when you’re asked to kill it. Even if it’s boring history.

Warhammermer of War Like Worlds has been spending a bit of time in Free Realms lately. There’s a concert by the band that did the FR theme song in Free Realms tomorrow at 4PM PDT/7PM EDT (I didn’t know that!), and while this will draw a bunch of people for sure, Warhammermer talks furthr about the difficulty of meeting people in the game and the potential addition of guilds to the game (yes, please!)

Lazaretto at Complete Heal, who’s been blogging quite a lot recently about his adventures in Vanguard, takes issue with Openedge1’s dismissal of VG’s latest “come back to Vanguard” campaign as the game’s “last hurrah”. Since SOE is about to close Matrix Online, it’s not surprising that people will start wondering about other poorly received games like Planetside and, yes, Vanguard. Does anyone really think Star Wars: Galaxies will survive Bioware’s competing Star Wars MMO? I logged into Vanguard yesterday for the first time in months and though it runs fine on my new computer, it was still too much like pretty much every other quest-heavy Fantasy MMO out there.

Beau feels that Vanguard will be gone within a couple of years ANYWAY, caught in the general demise of most subscription-based games as the world moves toward a F2P with micro-transactions model. Ixobelle has the opposite opinion, feeling that players HATE micro-transactions, and that any game featuring RMT is doomed to fail. Beau is in the subscription-dominated North America, and Ixobelle is in the F2P mecca of Japan, and both are prophesying the failure of their regions’ respective business model.

Well, I guess we’re all doomed, then. Better leave it here and see what comes up in the blogosphere tomorrow!

Keep safe, keep cool and keep gaming!

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Tipa

Web developer for a Connecticut-based insurance company that's over 200 years old! Also a bicycler, a blogger, a kayaker, and a hunter of bridges.

6 thoughts on “Daily Blogroll 6/1 — Almost Summer edition”

  1. Oooh, thanks for the mention. People responded with good suggestions by the way, going to try them this week. Maybe a regular 20 – 30 SoD group can be established :)

    About the fake achievements: Didn’t you or Tobold recently write about trivializing the content? I can’t find the post, it may have been in the comments. I might also confuse this with a posting in the Runes of Magic forums.

    I think it was a general complaint about how groups/guilds won’t try any content unless they are guaranteed to get through without a wipe. But to do that, they need gear or people that are higher level than the content they’re trying. So they recruit key classes from a higher tier, effectively discarding their own key class people (think e.g. tanks).

    I didn’t mention any specific games or classes on purpose, because I think this applies to any MMO that uses the EverQuest type of encounter (e.g. EQ, EQ2, Runes of Magic, WoW, SoD etc.)

    “Trivializing the encounter”. That’s my favorite phrase of the week.

  2. Wow…I guess that guy really did hate what I wrote, that he even made up stuff

    he implies that Age of Conan is superior in every way to Vanguard

    Believe me, I certainly do not think AoC is superior. It is a better game to me than Vanguard, but has it’s own concerns. But, Vanguard really is just so far down the list of MMO’s to be interested in. EQ2 is a better SOE game.
    Vanguard really took the whole kill 10x convention to heart when they made their starter island, and it still does not run good even when you have a killer system.

    Ah well.

    As to the RMT vs Sub debate. Why can’t both exist? I wish a game would come, offer both to the customer, and be done with it. And it has to be a BIG name game as well. Something say…EA/Bioware…hehe

    Or how about Vanguard (Free, except for RMT transactions and limited scope, or 5 bucks a month…)…I might even debate playing it then…

    Cheers

  3. @openedge1: I’d be happy with a RMT _and_ sub game as well. If WoW would switch to that, I’d be happy playing that, as I have nothing against the game itself. I just can’t afford to pay that much every month for a game I won’t get to play for more than 2 or 3 hours. It’s like Gabe (or was it Tycho?) from Penny Arcade says — it feels like the game is leasing his friends back to him at 15/month, and he doesn’t like that.

    There’s been quite a lot of MMO pricing discussion this month, I’m linking to my own post not because it’s extra-brilliant-fancygreat but just because it’s the most convenient place with links to the others (Tesh, Chris F and Wolfshead). Much more interesting discussions on their blogs: http://www.psy-q.ch/blog/articles/2009/05/23/pay-as-you-play-pricing-for-world-of-warcraft/

  4. Regarding EQ2 betrayal, I’m not too fussed about the point of training the dog… but I think being forced to right click it for 20mins is definitely poor quest design :)

    And yep, I think you’re right – I don’t think SW:G will last too long against SW:TOR. Now if SOE launched a pre-NGE server I’m sure a ton of people would give it a shot again. Look at Everquest, people loved Stromm and the progression servers and the like.

  5. Implied means something that is suggested without being stated directly. Openedge1, isn’t that what you did by talking about the good qualities of AOC while calling Vanguard junk? Is it not reasonable to say you implied that AOC is superior?

    I think the Vanguard newbie island is pretty robust. I must not be alone in that thinking because it seems pretty crowded and has gotten a number of good reviews. On that newbie island, you get to engage in diplomacy, ride a flying mount, navigate a rather epic newbie dungeon with vertical aspects to it and explore a rather large landscape. You get to do all of that without zoning once. Sure there are a few kill ten rats quests. I saw them in Tortage too. Each MMO has it’s own plusses and minuses. I guess my main beef was I thought calling Vanguard junk was a bit over the top and I was curious how much time you actually gave that game before coming to your conclsuion. How far did you get in VG btw?

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