Daily Blogroll 12/23 — Christmas Eve Eve edition

Scott of Pumping Irony was chiding me and other bloggers today on Twitter for getting totally excited about a game, writing loads about it, then dropping that game the moment something new came by. I was all defensive, pointing to my long-term coverage of W101, STO, DDO and, when I played them, EVE, EQ and EQ2 when — I remembered Fantasy Earth Zero, Dragonica, Dream of Mirror Online, Dragon Oath and so many other games I played heavily for a few weeks, then totally forgot.

I can fix this! So I logged into FEZ tonight. Couldn’t figure out how to rest — sitting, which used to work, no longer seems to. A guy in red started teabagging me. His friend apologized for his behavior. I went to a beginner field and killed some stuff… meh. Just can’t go back.

Will I be the same with Rift? I dunno. I guess it depends on if I can find a good bunch of people, get in a nice guild. I have really good friends who hate guilds, but me, I think they shape and define your experience with an MMO. My best MMO memories have always been shared with friends.

Big news today is, of course, the dropping of the Rift NDA. Read about that and more, after the break. No, this post isn’t going to be JUST about Rift.

Rift… sigh.

I wrote my rather rambling thoughts about Rift earlier today. I really enjoyed it, but not everyone had such warm feelings about the game.

Beau of Epic Dolls thinks it has a strong sense of deja fail about it. Keen liked the dungeon he tried, but considers the game a tired variation on the WoW theme. Chris at Level Capped thinks Rift and Warhammer are two halves of one really great game.

Tramell of Steel Harmony (got it right this time!) has a great writeup of the good-guy Guardian area and a matching write-up of the bad-guy Defiant area. Well, neither side considers themselves evil, I guess. The Guardians think of the Defiants as evil, and the Defiants think of the Guardians as interesting subjects for experimentation.

Ravious of Kill Ten Rats likes the game, but feels it could take a few more ideas from its clear Warhammer inspiration. Pete of Dragon Chasers feels it will be the Rift mechanic itself that makes or breaks the game. Justin of Massively wrote a heroically detailed guide about the first starting levels in Rift. In his secret identity as mild-mannered Syp of Bio Break, Justin gives his quick hundred foot overview of Rift’s commonalities with other recent MMOs.

Everyone remarks that the starter experience is very linear, but there’d be complaints if it weren’t. (Everyone seems to be googly-eyed crazy about WoW’s very much more linear starting experiences). Once you get out of the newbie zones, things tend to open up, and grinding mobs or chasing rifts become viable alternatives to quest hub hopping.

Some people are taking this way too seriously

EverQuest $$

Stargrace has long been one of EQ2’s staunchest and loudest supporters. If EQ2 has done something to turn HER away, that can only mean they REALLY fouled up. According to a post linked to by Feldon at EQ2 Wire (also the source of the comic above), the new Vampire race is being put out in bits and highly profitable pieces. You can get your basic Vampire. Want scary Vampire moves? That will cost you. Want scary Vampire bat form? That will cost you. Want scary Vampire lair? That will cost you.

You’d almost forget you were playing a game that charges a monthly subscription! But, they do love their cash shop. Lovelovelove it.

DC Universe Online

Get ready to don your tights and prowl about the rooftops of Gotham City in just a couple of weeks! Massively reports that DCUO’s release date is just a handful of weeks away! The Green Armadillo still needs some questions answered about the game — such as, why is the price for the PS3 version higher than the PC version?

Some see this sudden movement of the ship date earlier to be a sign of some sort of imminent disaster for the game. I don’t agree, but I also don’t think the game will have a very long life on the console. It’s the nature of the console to move from game to game. And when the PS3 users finish with the game, will the PC users remain behind to keep the game alive?

Black Prophecy

Action Space Combat MMO Black Prophecy dropped it’s NDA today as well, but nobody was talking about THAT on Twitter. (Compare the equivalent Rift search).

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale

Daggerdale… the Sword Coast… what is this unhealthy obsession for D&D locations to be named after weapons? It’s like a 70s/80s cop show. “Tonight: Cannon, followed by Bullit, Magnum PI, Matlock and the premiere of Colt & Wesson…”

Anyway, via Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Atari announces its newest entry in its D&D license, Daggerdale, a fast paced action combat thing which is absolutely as far from the original game as you can possibly get. Back in college, we could take an hour to resolve a single battle…

Craft of Wowwar

Loved Spinks’ article on the Women of Cataclysm :) Represent!

Divine Souls

Joystiq reports that Korean MMO Divine Souls will use Microsoft’s Kinect to provide controller-less control for their game on the PC. This is the first I’ve heard of the Kinect being used “officially” on the PC. I guess I better clear 12 feet behind my chair and get a 42″ monitor.

Lucent Heart

No, I CAN’T GET ENOUGH LUCENT HEART NEWS! The sexy dating sim/MMO just rocks my world. Gaming Blend has details on the Lucent Heart character classes which, judging from the videos, probably include Sexy Nurse, Sexy Schoolgirl, Sexy Teacher, Sexy Policewoman, and Sexy Catgirl.


The Daily is gonna be a little spotty through the end of the year. I have a LOT of family and work obligations, but I’ll write them when I can :)

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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.

14 thoughts on “Daily Blogroll 12/23 — Christmas Eve Eve edition”

  1. I always wonder when Cataclysm-WoW’s extremely linear questing with extreme handholding gets praised as the ultimative evolution of quest driven game design. It is not. At least not to me.

    Rift also has fairly linear quests. But it feels a lot better. Why? In WoW you can follow the quest path in a straight line and one wonders why the quest items do not automatically enter your backpack when you come close or why they don’t teleport themselves to you. For convenience and simplicity reasons.
    In Rift you don’t have that supposedly “polished” experience. Quite often you have to look around where in the marked area your quest items are. Sometimes you will even have to wait for them to spawn. Or to figure out which of the mobs to kill. Nobody tells you! Waaah!

    Now is that annoying or not? It is for sure not convenient, but it gives one the feeling of having done something. Whereas getting guided with a carrot and getting told “pick this up, it’s right before your feet!” is getting on my nerves. And no witty dialogue, looks or pop culture joke can make up for that.

    My problem with RIFT is the servers. Many EU and US servers, and I might only get K. to play with me. You will play on an US server, compare that to EVE, STO, GW. Having one big universe instead of many shards has some advantages.

    A problem many other players might have is that Rift is a lot like the stuff they already played before. This is a curse and a blessing. Some people are looking for something really new and not another round of DIKU MUDdiness.

  2. “Everyone remarks that the starter experience is very linear, but there’d be complaints if it weren’t.”

    I keep hearing this too and really don’t get it. I think it’s mostly coming from people who didn’t play past level 5 or 6 (which is what? An hour or so of playing?). But if you look at levels 1-10 in NeWoW they’re much more linear and hand-holding. But question that about WoW and you get pilloried for doing so.

    Re: DCUO and pricing… this isn’t an answer, really, but the standard cost of AAA titles on consoles is $60 and on PC is $50. So it’s a much broader question then why is the price different for DCUO; why do games always cost more on console?

    Are you going to play DCUO Tipa? And if so, are you going PS3 or PC? I’m still torn.

  3. I just think PS3 owners are about to get charged more for a lesser experience. Considering you’re probably going to also need to be a PS Plus member in order to play, just seems like too much bleeding of the player.

    I pre-ordered DCUO for the PC, and plan on playing it. I’m not sure how long, though. I think it’s important to play Rift from the get-go and be among the first wave to get the EQ feeling back.

  4. @Longasc — It’s a tragedy we won’t be playing on the same servers. EVE, STO, even Wizard101 have managed to work around the problem. Though I guess no servers would lead to high instancing, and that might not work well with the world. I really like its more open nature and the community that will build from fighting the Rift invasions.

  5. I have to agree with Pumping Irony. Also bloggers are afraid to write anything bad about games. DCUO is a terrible console port and I am amazed that despite constant warnings and lack of MMO quality you would straight up pre order that game and get LESS for your money than a true MMO like Champions Online.

    I like very few things that Sony does anymore and the blogger hype of pre ordering every new MMO that is released needs to stop because all we do is fuel garbage being released and patched later

  6. Well, I have to admit I am buying DCUO largely because a friend, Michael Zenke, is a designer on the game. I don’t really have much interest in the genre, but I figure I’ll get a month or so from it. That’s less than the price of a console game!

  7. Ah ok. Well it is a good console title! But the PC version…I kind of wish I had a PS3 now. Console games are way too expensive. So umm yeah.

  8. Longasc: I thought Rifts actually made it pretty clear which mobs you had to kill. That’s not something you need to apologise for.

    I thought the initial 1-10 guardian experience was very nicely laid out. The quests are linear but you can explore the areas and pick up some interesting collectible lore items like cool books to read. And they showed off some of the things their quest system could do, there were items to use, things to collect, things to interact with in game, mounts to ride, and so on. It was fun, and it’s not heinous if a tutorial section is linear.

    My main reservation is that everyone seems to have had so much fun on their characters and … my nightblade didn’t really feel that cool actually. I wanted it to be. Have I picked the one class in the game that’s sub-par? I don’t know. But I know I don’t feel confident to write a first reactions post because my experience was kind of different and I don’t see why I’m given class options that aren’t as good. I don’t like the design of saying ‘here are a zillion options but the one YOU like is going to be bad.’

    And so I have no desire to play the game really, although I think it looked and played great. If I’d lucked out on an overpowered class I’d probably like it much better. This makes me feel uncomfortable with my objectivity.

  9. I played a Bladedancer/Riftstalker on the Defiant side. The Bladedancer turned out to be useless; the Riftstalker was a much better blend. People were raving about the Bard; I made an alt that had Bard mixed in — Ranger/Bard — and it was okay. Generally, though, I am not enthused about the rogue classes.

    They generally share a problem common to most MMOs — very positional. You really have to be in their face. The Riftstalker ameliorates this somewhat by letting you teleport around the battle so that positioning isn’t such an issue, but the Bladedancer — the class most like the traditional rogue — had them all, and in spades. (The Bladedancer does have a lot of combat-triggered self buffs, though).

  10. Rift: I enjoyed Rift quite a bit, but it kinda moot for people to be talking about how “undifferent” it is and comparing it to everything. If they actually followed the game they said it wasn’t going to be very different from what people are familiar with. Still on the fence though if I will invest in it when I get a chance to play the other games.

    DCUO: I want to see how the work the game before launch, last patch really broke a lot of things. Never really invested myself with a SoE game so I’m not sure how much they can pound out before release. I’m in the camp that wishes they kept the original release date since it needs a little more TLC.

  11. DCUO and Rift launching so close together (or so we assume) is a bit of a nuisance. Not to mention EQ2’s Velious expansion on top. Well, it’s a problem for me since I’ll be buying all of them.

    I agree that Rift is going to need to get priority, though. I think DCUO will make a great weekend PvP knockabout game, where I’ve had DAOC/WAR/WoW Battlegorunds in the past. Velious may have to wait a little – I’ve been on EQ2/EQ2X for most of 2010 and feeling a little jaded now.

    As for US/EU servers in Rift, I’m in the UK but I plan on playing on a U.S. server as I always try to do. I’ve never had a serious issue finding groups on U.S. servers out of peak hours and the benefits of lower competition and more laid-back people more than compensate.

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