Daily Blogroll 8/10 — Thank God it’s Monday edition

Daddy's Little Girl in Champions Online

I got a spam comment today which mentioned, while complimenting me on explaining some vague idea to them, that they were unsure of this blog’s update schedule. Geez. When even SPAMMERS wonder why you don’t update every day, it’s getting out of hand ;) Fact is, most of the time I am doing boring stuff. CrazyKinux linked to a blog once that insisted nobody wants to read about someone running mission in EVE Online, so once I read that, I stopped posting about my adventures in EVE. I’m leveling up a character in Wizard 101 so I can do Grizzleheim with level-appropriate characters, but that takes time. I do fit in little bits about what I’m doing in EVE and Wizard101 now and then in these blogrolls… but they don’t seem worthy of entire posts!

I just spent my last weekend before Champions ships playing in the beta preview. I won’t be playing again because… it’s come a very long way since the last time I played. It definitely sets itself apart from City of Heroes. More on that when the NDA drops. The picture above is of my new “main” in the beta, Daddy’s Little Girl. Huge wings, but she doesn’t fly. Clearly a creature of some arcane reality, but she just pulls out a gun and shoots people. The screenie is from the tutorial. The lighting looks a LOT better outside of the tutorial. DLG is the hero of my third Champions comic…. Syp (whom I had the pleasure of meeting in game) thinks the game has advanced enough to spring for the six month subscription. I’ll probably go for that as well — because six months is about long enough to play, and it guarantees beta access for Star Trek Online, a game in which I’m intensely interested.

Peter of Dragonchasers is also feeling better about Champions. Trouble is that different pre-order places give different prizes, so, where to order from?

What happens when someone makes an MMO out of your favorite book, movie or game, and it ends up being nothing like its source material? Zubon apologizes, but he can’t get past Champions Online’s vast differences from the PnP game to give it a fair shake on its own merits.

I’m not really worried about the first Champions expansion. The game isn’t even released yet, right? Naamah of Aionic Thoughts isn’t wasting any time wondering about Aion’s expansion. On news that NCsoft is already working on the first expansion to this WoW-meets-Lineage 2 crossover, Naamah remembers game-changing expansions for Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft, and hopes the same doesn’t ruin the core Aion experience. Well, how can it not? The current end game is RvR in the Abyss. If they add more PvP zones, it becomes harder to find good battles because players are spread out. If they add more PvE zones, it dilutes the PvP experience. You just can’t win with PvE/PvP games. One or the other has to suffer.

People chide me for noting that WoW players always return to the game. It’s like salmon returning to the river in which they were spawned. A biological imperative. Am I wrong? Well, Angry Raider is hooked again.

Brad McQuaid continues his expose on why Vanguard failed where EverQuest succeeded with a look back at their decision to ship a game that would bring most gamers’ computers to their knees, expecting them to be eager to upgrade their computers, as the original EQ players once were. What really confuses me is that EQ2 had previously failed to succeed largely because of that very same philosophy…. It’s not that hard a rule to understand. A new MMO must run at least as good as WoW on any given system.

I always love reading about Ramon’s explorations in Shards of Dalaya, seeing if I can tell what EverQuest zone a given SoD zone is based off of. In the latest installment, Oric and Ayba explore the East Badlands, what we knew of as East Karana, a hideously dangerous zone back in the day.

Lars of MMOment of Zen explores some of the bits of news from Square Enix’s forthcoming MMO, Final Fantasy XIV. This is a game without levels, where you can change your class depending on which weapon you wield. Lars notes that with Free Realms and Heroes of Telara (and DCUO and Champions, among others) letting you easily switch between roles, that this just might be one of those ‘third generation’ features that will separate newer MMOs from older, more restrictive games. Keen’s liking the new ‘discipline’ system, too, but expresses some concern over the instant travel system.

And lastly, Tesh loves that delicious quantum state of uncertainty about new games, where they might be the best world-changing game ever or junk — a state that collapses into reality when the game is released and it suddenly just is what it is.

Wow, that wasn’t so hard!

See you tomorrow, and keep gaming!

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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 8/10 — Thank God it’s Monday edition”

  1. I totally disagree with your take on whether something has to “suffer” in an expansion for a PvP/PvE game, especially one such as Aion which integrates the two as Aion does. As long as Aion does not make PvE obtained gear a requirement for successful PvP and keeps instancing to a minimum, World PvP/RvR will be fine.

    DAoC made the mistake, with Trials of Atlantis, of making the absolute best gear come out of massive PvE grinds and dungeons. This caused everyone who wanted to PvP successfully to either head into Atlantis for the long grinds or leave the game for something else. As Mythic found, to their dismay, most left.

    WoW made the mistake of making instances the only way to successfully gear your character at endgame, be it in PvE dungeon instances and raids or PvP battlegrounds and Arenas. This caused the death of World PvP as there were fewer players out in the open world and fights were much harder to come by, as you struggled to find members of the opposing faction to fight.

    World PvP’er’s are pretty easy to satisfy as long as you avoid those two issues. Create new areas with PvE content in the open world and allow us to fight over it. That’s it. Do that and we are happy, assuming decent balance and compelling areas. Fail at one or both and we are not happy campers.

    Thanks for the mention of Aionic Thoughts and the post and glad to see you read it!

  2. Thanks for the mention :D

    East Badlands are fun, but the Heartland Plateau is the extra special bit. And so well-hidden :) There may be more articles coming about that zone, we just found a bunch of quests there, the writing on the NPCs is _really_ good and we got more experience dealing with them than we would’ve had with an hour of grinding mobs.

    Also, the zone’s rather pretty and has a nice busy atmosphere about it.

  3. Mmm… quantum physics. I’ve loved it since junior high, and it’s always fun to work it into my writing when I can. Thanks for the link!

  4. @Naamah I only say it’s impossible because nobody has ever done it before. If Aion can keep the balance through expansions, great, but the track record isn’t there. One or the other will suffer, and since PvP has always been a niche audience in MMOs, that’s the one in danger — as you point out many times in your article. Also, there’s a difference between East and West gamer culture. Eastern gamers are (from what I understand) way less solitary. They play together, in teams of people who know each other in real life and often play together in the same room. That brings them to a far higher level of play than we can maintain in the West. But we’ll see.

  5. I am not sure PvP is such a niche audience as you think. Look at WAR, sold nearly a million copies after release, and everyone knew that was primarily a PvP game. Sure, it quickly dropped subscribers but that is more due to the fact that the game was so poorly done and optimized, than it is because its a PvP game.

    Furthermore, if you look at the WoW server list located here: http://www.wowwiki.com/Realms_list you will see that PvP and PvE realms are almost dead even in their number. Both PvE and PvP servers are very popular. In many ways, Arenas in WoW has taken the place of raiding as THE endgame thing to do.

    Take those things into account and PvP is not such a niche anymore. PvP’ers are a huge crowd and certainly not a niche. Problem is we have not found an MMO that takes PvP seriously, does not have huge balance issues and works as advertised.

    Fortunately, at this time Aion looks to meet that criteria. This may change in the future, but right now it applies.

  6. The funny thing is that I did upgrade my computer to run Vanguard. Then I started hearing the horror stories about Vanguard and I just installed EQ2 on it instead. EQ2 looked so much better than on my old laptop (which ran WoW just fine) that I forgot all about Vanguard and just kept playing EQ2.

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