Daily Blogroll 7/1 – MMO Overload edition

Learn2Play Mode

Yesterday, EverQuest launched its new 51/50 server to rave reviews, and this morning, Wizard 101 launches its latest expansion, Grizzleheim.

So many cool things happening, but who has the time to play them all?

Inspired by the Star Wars: Galaxies news out of SOE’s Fan Faire last weekend, Werit jumped into the game after some time away and found a lot to like with the new battlegrounds, player-created content and factions wars. He even has some video!

Naamah at Aionic Thoughts faces a problem common to a lot of pre-release testers — beta burnout. You like a game and you want to play it, but do you do it all in beta or hold off on serious play until the game goes live? Naamah decides to just jump right in to the beta leveling. Me, I might poke my head in once or twice, but I’m going to wait for the live game.

Lazaretto of Complete Heal has the news from the trenches of EQ’s newest server, Mayong. Want to join a group but still a little rusty from being plopped into a new level 51 character? Spend that time getting used to playing again… it’s worth it!

Big news yesterday was that Spellborn NV has apparently gone bankrupt, and its publishers, Frogster and Acclaim, have decided to turn it into a free to play game by the turn of the year. This comes as no surprise to any Acclaim-followers, since F2P is their strong suit and the Spellborn subscription model always seemed an odd fit for them.

Cities XL has lifted their NDA, and Massively’s Shawn Schuster has a complete run through the current beta. It’s Sims 3 meets Sim City meets Civilization, but is it really an MMO?

Metaplace introduced embeddable virtual worlds yesterday (in a day already bursting with news). Any Metaplace world you can think of, you can put anywhere you could put a YouTube video. Cuppy, Metaplace’s community manager, has an amazing Steampunk world embedded right in the middle of a blog post. Very cool. Raph Koster has more info and the full press release on his blog, as well.

Lots of stuff going on! So much so that I can’t figure out what to play…

Anyway, see you tomorrow, and keep gaming!

Daily Blogroll 6/18 — Fun with your new Brad edition

Woot! Lord Tipa has come to save us!

A few days ago, the MMO blogging world burned with the news that rock star MMO developer turned lonely exile, Brad McQuaid, had returned from his lonely, sparse existence of playing video games, racing cars and sports bikes and feeling sorry about the harsh hand life dealt him to urge people to play more Vanguard. Some people were skeptical, but have come to believe. Others forgive him for his sins.

But you know? If that’s really Brad, well, he’s coming off as kind of a jerk in his postings, but I don’t feel he has really done anything more than be a human.

Brian Green of Psychochild’s Blog writes a little about the differences between making money in the real world and making money in World of Warcraft, as promoted by Gevlon the Greedy Goblin, who is apparently a sociopath. The way to success in real life, says Gevlon, can be taught by bilking naive M&S’s of their gold. Not so fast, says Brian. The real world is more fun than that.

Thomas the Friendly Necromancer has compiled a list of all 817 items available via quests, boss fights or just walking around with which to turn your home into a place of awe and comfort. That’s pretty impressive! The Evil Theurgist, by the way, has spotted what looks like an additional two potion bottles in a Wizard 101 video. Does that mean Grizzleheim will bring more levels? The delayed push to the Test server will tell us — next week.

Recently returned-to-Dungeons & Dragons Online cleric Syp discovers that pickup groups are pretty much the same everywhere, and why it’s so hard to find people to play healers when it’s clear they are among the most desired of archetypes. People in pickup groups feel free to do anything, because they know they can always blame the healer when things go wrong.

I still wake up at nights with my skin cold remembering pickup groups as a WoW priest. If someone says “Blackrock Depths” anywhere near me — okay, please, please don’t.

EQ2’s game update 52 brought a whole new quest series to the game leading up to the opening of the ice continent of Velious in the next expansion. Ogrebears has gone through one of them, the Order of Rime quests in Kylong Plains. Kody at Curse Gaming has unearthed the names of that expansion — Sentinel’s Fate.

In the same post, Kody names the next EverQuest expansion as “Underfoot”. The Plane of Underfoot was the realm of the god Brell Serillis that bled through the Living Wall in the Hole to destroy the evil city of Old Paineel in times past. So it’s good to see we might finally be able to travel to the other side of that mysterious gate.

Is it possible to Rickroll an entire server? Stargrace says yes, yes it is, but the jokers soon found out that if you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned.

A lot of people, myself included, are oooh-ing and aaah-ing over Aion’s distillation of a bunch of MMO tropes into a new and exciting mix, but are we all just succumbing to the sort of hype that caused so much turmoil last year? Hudson warns that looks alone won’t sell a new game, and the actual play could be just the same old grind.

Syncaine wonders why they don’t just let veteran WoW players start at or near max level, and have special newbie servers for new players or those who want to experience abandoned older content with other people? He has a point — the day is coming when a new player will ding level 2, say to themselves, “great, just 98 more levels until I can do all the stuff I keep reading about,” and log off forever.

Lastly, beta invites for city-building MMO Cities XL have started going out, and Massively has beta keys for you. Better get started with the construction. I hereby claim Dubai as a city name…

Hey, it’s Thursday, so if you hear Thor, the god of thunder, rumbling up in the sky, hold your clenched fist high as you rush bravely into battle — or wherever your day takes you.

Weblog 4/17

Play Wizard 101? Want a rare treasure card? Calamity Boompants will be on the Pixie realm, in Area 1, between 2 and 2:30 PM CST with cards the likes of which you won’t often see. Just, you know, don’t be standing behind her when her Boompants have a Calamity…

It’s hard to go anywhere on the web these days without running into some breathless enthusiasm for Twitter. CNN and Ashton Kutcher squared off to see who could get a million followers first. Today, talk show host Oprah Winfrey will have Ashton Kutcher on her show and Twitter live, on the air. Thousands of Twits are spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to use Twitter to extract money from you, the casual Twitter user. Why is Twitter suddenly more in the news than Facebook or MySpace (anyone remember MySpace?)

The founders of copyright infringement enablers Pirate Bay were found guilty in Sweden of copyright infringement and will each spend a year in jail and repay 30 million krone (about 3.6 million USD). Co-defendant Peter Sunde said they found out the verdict late last night, and tweeted, “It used to be only movies, now even verdicts are out before the official release.”

MMORPG.com is giving away 100 one month Spellborn subscriptions as well as some random other bits of computer hardware. So if trying to figure out Acclaim’s bizarre payment plans has kept you away from the game, why not try for a chance to play it on MMORPG’s nickel?

Ever play SimCity and wonder why there wasn’t a way to play your city with and against the cities of other players? City XL will let you do just that. It’s Sim City set on a planet covered with hundreds of player-run, photo-realistic cities. Massively is running a promotion which might help get you into the closed beta, while even normally reticent, but snarky, problog Rock, Paper, Shotgun is getting hit with the hype.

That’s all I got.