Daily Blogroll 6/30 – Christmas edition

It's "Invite a Troll to Pie" day!

Only 178 days till Christmas! With 2009 halfway gone now, I thought you’d want to know.

I predicted this year would be one of the best ever for MMOs, with some high-profile releases and expansions, but with many titles delayed and some now not due until next year (like Star Trek Online and EQ2’s Sentinel’s Fate expansion), 2009 just might lose the “best year ever” crown to 2010.

My being bad at predicting was harshly lit when I predicted last year that the expansion that would turn out to be Shadow Odyssey would be Odus, and this year, when I predicted Velious, it really WAS Odus… and what’s worse is that it really is about what you’d expect from a generic expansion.

Ten more levels? 50 more AAs? Are we bored yet? No new races or classes? WoW Achievements? Rao from Gestalt Mind looks at how the new Odus raids will be more highly scripted than ever and about as fun as hitting his toes with a sledgehammer. EQ2 raids look increasingly like you bring your cure potions with you and carefully watch your debuffs to know when to drink what.

Perhaps the best news I heard from Fan Faire was the leaking of the “EQ Next” project. I KNEW it existed!

Loredena of Gnome Depot has a little more info about the lore surrounding the opening of the Shard of Love, and how Erudites came to be the way they are. And more Ratonga lore! How could you not love that, right?

Lazaretto of Complete Heal was on the scene in Las Vegas and had a lot of news about Vanguard, which was ignored at the keynote. Not as dead as that snub would have you believe, Vanguard is introducing a new line of epic weapons. The epics fit into the soul slots of existing weapons and those weapons take on the stats of the epic and change their look to match — so your epic combines with newer weapons to make something more powerful you’ll never outlevel. NICE.

Speaking of Vanguard, recently disinterred Vanguard lead developer Brad McQuaid starts a series of articles on what went wrong with Sigil and Vanguard and why it wasn’t his fault. First excuse: Microsoft reorganized and the new peeps shut off the money and sched-slip faucet. I call “scope creep“.

Suzina of Kill Ten Rats looks at “gear check” requirements for the new Lord of the Rings Online dungeons and wonders, with the recent changes making Radiance gear more difficult to get and groups for it increasingly rare, how casual players will be able to catch up.

Myrix was the first blogger that I read to note that Blizzard will soon allow people to change realm from Alliance to Horde or vice-versa. This was more or less inevitable when BC allowed both sides to have all classes. It seems unlikely you’ll have Taurens hanging out in Darnassus; they’ll probably get a horn-ectomy and become dancing naked night elves.

Thinking about heading over to WoW’s Player Test Realm (PTR) to check out upcoming changes? Ixobelle warns you to think again. Think just being on PTR will exempt you from having your gear checked by potential groupmates? Think they won’t want a look at your achievements? Think that they won’t expect you to know from Day 1, Hour 1, the precise strats for encounters only on PTR? Think again. Ixo does have some of the strats for VOA’s new boss.

Scott Jennings points to WoW sociopath Gevlon the Goblin who wonders why the real world can’t be as brutally Darwinian as WoW? If you could only kill (yes really kill, IRL kill with bullets kill) the 10% of humanity nobody would miss, total IRL win! But, he despairs, now there’s too many useless people for the cops to possibly kill! What to do?

And here I was thinking that people who build their lives around success in WoW would be among the most useless 10%… When Jonathan Swift proposed selling the babies of the Irish poor as food for the English rich, the world was pretty sure he was joking. Now, I’m not so sure.

Wondering what Aion class to try? Seriously, you are? Wow. Okay, then. Atoria at Aion Source has some help for you.

Saylah at Mystic Worlds wrote a little while ago about her cousin who loved Free Realms and wanted to get all hardcore with World of Warcraft. She’s back to FR now, having found WoW to be a little too much to handle.

And lastly, Keen wonders if recent interviews with 38 Studios staff about how their code-name Copernicus game will be a multi-media, multi-pronged marketing blitz with vast amounts of tie-in merc aren’t diluting the idea of just starting with a really good game? And will the Copernicus fantasy novels and the Copernicus action figures and the Copernicus trading card game and the Copernicus “web play” minigames and the Copernicus-branded cereal and the Copernicus “My First Ding” child’s playset be required to play the game? (I’m just making those all up. Maybe.)

Anyway. Clearly you guys don’t need to be reminded to keep gaming. But if you do game, make sure you wear your helmet.

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4 thoughts on “Daily Blogroll 6/30 – Christmas edition”

  1. To be fair, Brad’s blog post starts off, “I’m going to spend the majority of the time on mistakes we made in development and then what I’d do differently in my next project (e.g. the point of this is to learn from the past and share what I’ve learned here in the hopes that this information would be helpful not just to me going forward, but also to anyone else working on an MMOG). So the finger pointing is mostly going to be at me, not at our partners.”

    I wouldnt call that him writing about why it wasnt his fault. I’m at least reserving judgement until he’s done with the series. I think the first one was pretty open.

    Also, considering the more casual direction of SOE in EQ2, Free Realms, The Agency, and their commitment to the console market, I cant say I’m all fluttery about EQNext. Hopefully I’m dead wrong and it’ll be something to be excited about :)

    Thanks for the roll

  2. Tipa…really enjoy the Blogroll ! When I can find the time I read a lot of the same blogs you highlight. It helps “prod” me into making time to check them out !

  3. @Atnor — yeah, Brad does a classic “mea culpa” — starting off by accepting all the blame, but then immediately spreading it around. It’s his fault that he didn’t realize Microsoft would be uneasy about continuing to fund a project which kept changing focus to match the changing MMO industry over its long development life. But it’s really Microsoft, you see.

  4. I like to speculate but I always try to draw a clear line between that and my opinions on games or even upcoming games.

    I’ve also become more and more disinterested in upcoming games.

    My favorite is Runes of Magic, and it’s had me hooked for a solid 3 months now, and I’ve yet to get tired of it. But when I saw it was coming out, it was the same old song and dance that you see for a F2P, and slightly before then, it was the P2P’s like Warhammer. I was “Meh, looks interesting, we’ll see…when I play it” and beyond that I only really paid attention to what developers said- even that, I largely ignored as beyond the interesting facts on how it operated, it was just a lot of praise and advertising.

    I guess the whole “here comes a shiny new MMORPG” complete with all the phases the community goes through over it, has become a pet peeve for me.

    I am interested to see how Wizard101 and Freerealms fleshes out over the next few months, and I’m interested in seeing Aion, and how TCoS play along with some other F2P coming down the pipe like Earthrise(I think it’s F2P).

    Oh, also listened to No Prisoners, No Mercy for the first time, and really liked it. I’m adding it to my regular list of MMORPG podcasts which currently have 0:)

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