Daily Blogroll Oct 21: Tanks for the Memories edition

Ophiga and friend

The big news yesterday was the dropping of the Press NDA for Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic. I read all the press reviews I could find; I’ll point to some of those later on, but almost all of them credited the storyline for pulling them deeper into the game. The game mechanics may be old hat, and the standard roles, dungeons and raids are present, but the story, by all accounts, is worth the price of admission.

I still fondly remember the story from the original Knights of the Old Republic. I played the game twice, once good and once evil, and the story didn’t change that much, but that was okay because it was a good story.

That’s really the job of an MMO, isn’t it? To give you something that gets you to log in again each day, and then when you shut the game down one last time, to leave you with some memories.

I don’t HAVE a screenshot of SWTOR, so up there is a shot of my DDO rogue with a Favored Soul hireling. We’ve destroyed a generation of kobolds and I made two new discoveries in the Sands of Menechtarum, but in a few minutes, I and my hireling would be dead. Stupid swarm of revenge-minded kobolds and their named chief…

News? We have that.
Continue reading Daily Blogroll Oct 21: Tanks for the Memories edition

Daily Blogroll 1/1/11 — Happy New Year edition

We’re way behind on our latest project at work, so I’ spent most of Friday working. I did take a break, though, to log on and participate in the final Beta 3 invasion event this afternoon. I’d spent all night (until 4:30AM) leveling my cleric from 12 to 20, and though I didn’t get a chance to visit the Iron Tombs, I did want to help keep Freemarch free. I’d leveled from 16 to 18 in a raid group at one of Thursday’s invasions. That also earned me nearly enough planar currency to get some nice epic items. I logged on, joined in, and earned enough to get some “purple” leggings. Good stuff.

While waiting for the servers to get turned off, I ported over to the Guardian lands and tried to invade the scholar’s grove. Those places are MADE for PvP — as you near an enemy stronghold, the familiar rift/public quest panel gets added to your quest display, and you get a nice list of goals that need to be met in order to capture the area. First, kill the guards. Then destroy the wardstone. All the while fending off the enemy players, who are being summoned to the area by broadcast warnings.

I could post a lot more about Rift — lots of people are. It’s all a reminder of the similar enthusiasm around Warhammer and Age of Conan etc, where the betas were incredibly fun and everyone was stoked. When the games went live, the laid back beta fun turned into laser-sharp focused achievements and min-maxing.

Will this happen to Rift? Of course it will.

Anyway, let’s see what’s on the collective blog-consciousness, this start of a new year.
Continue reading Daily Blogroll 1/1/11 — Happy New Year edition

The Magic 8 Ball predicts the losers and winners of 2011.

I suck at predictions, but everyone else is doing them. Luckily, I have a Magic 8 Ball. I’m just gonna list some games, and ask the Magic 8 Ball what it thinks of them. Question to the 8 Ball for all of these games: Will this game have a good year in 2011?

Age of Conan: “Outlook Not So Good”. AoC released its first expansion, “Ride of the Godslayer”, last summer, and that’s pretty much the last I’ve heard of the game. I don’t think the Magic 8 Ball is correct; I think Funcom is content to support their current player base without feeling the need to go F2P. Their massively hyped launch should have helped them recoup their development costs years ago.

Aion: “Concentrate and Ask Again”. November saw Aion publish a massive revamp which added more loot to the game. December brought with it a rebalancing of the world PvP via rifts. Perhaps the Magic 8 Ball’s confusion stemmed from the game’s more Asian market?
Continue reading The Magic 8 Ball predicts the losers and winners of 2011.

Assault on the Inbox: Weekly marketing e-mails

What wonders does the in box of mystery hold for us today?

Cryptic announces veteran rewards for players who keep an active subscription to Star Trek Online. Saith Cryptic: “Skill point bonuses, titles, costume pieces, character slots… Veterans will be rewarded every 100 days! Rewards will be retroactive, too!” Nice of them!

They’ve also announced a “Come back to STO” weekend and a “Recruit a Friend” program; all these kick off May 7.

*I* don’t think it’s too early for a “Come back to STO” free weekend, do you?

Funcom’s new expansion to their Age of Conan MMO, “Rise of the Godslayer“, kicks off a week from Tuesday, and if you pre-order, you’ll get an exclusive battle pet. “‘Pre-order today and receive the Loyal Kappa, a unique in-game pet that will aid you on the battlefield already from level 20.”

Clumsy language aside, Age of Conan has a history on relying upon pre-orders as an important source of income. If I remember right, AoC almost paid for the cost of its development with pre-orders and launch day box sales.

From now until a week from Tuesday, if you buy at least 5,000 of Wizard101‘s cash shop currency, Crowns, you can be the owner of a super-rare Lightning Bat pet. This pet drops from Wavebringer in Shatataki Temple, but few have ever seen one tamed. Now you can buy one!

Spacetime Studios has announced their new 1.1 patch to their mobile MMO Pocket Legends which adds new dungeons, item trading, shared banks, armor and so on. I just made level 20 in PL last night, so I’m kinda pumped about all these new toys :)

CCP has a new tease page for their upcoming Tyrannis expansion for EVE Online. Aside from the planet mining, they will be releasing a new web-based way to interact within EVE Online — EVE Gate, now available for testing. You’ll be able to chat with players in game, manage your contacts and so on. It doesn’t appear to allow you to actually buy/sell in the Marketplace or start production jobs, but it’s a start.

LotRO is having another free weekend — THIS weekend — as they kick off their 3rd anniversary celebration. Patch up the client and say hello to your old characters; I know I will!

Yesterday through tomorrow, Aeria Games is holding a 2x/3x No Death Penalty leveling bonanza to celebrate the launch of their latest expansion to Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine — Nocturne. If you think you have what it takes to be a demon hunter in a post-apocalyptic world, now’s your chance to grind some of those levels out.

And…. that’s about it for this week’s edition of Assault on the Inbox!