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.

Daily Blogroll, 11/30 — Worst Case Scenario edition

World of Warcraft’s forthcoming Cataclysm expansion (1 week away!!!!) is still setting fire to the blogroll today. Hey, if all a MMO has to do these days to generate some buzz is destroy the world, well, I have a couple candidates who could use some devastation.

I logged on to Vanguard yesterday evening to check on how my characters had fared in the big colossal server merge last July, and was shocked to find that whenever it was I last logged into the game, there had been no patches since. For a game that has had zero developer support in eleven months, the community there still seems vibrant and positive. You just can’t kill a good community.

You know? Forget EQ Next. EverQuest doesn’t need another reboot. EverQuest players are never going to jump ship to a completely new game, anyway. Why not VANGUARD Next? Come on, let’s start a petition or something.

Crunchy hot blog stuff after the break.
Continue reading Daily Blogroll, 11/30 — Worst Case Scenario edition

Runes of Magic: the Panorama

Click to expand (very large)

Massively’s Jeremy Stratton asked on Twitter what Autostitch would do with a panorama taken from an MMO like World of Warcraft or Runes of Magic. I’m not currently subscribed to WoW, but RoM is free, so….

I logged in and found my 14/14 scout/priest had morphed into a level 8 scout in the starting zone! OMG! And my permanent chocobo ostrich mount was disappeared! My house — GONE!

But the helpful Dutch zone chat reminded me that I’d started playing RoM on the EU servers before the US servers came online. I went back to the launcher, found the setting for region, and was back in business — and right in Sacilia Steppes, too!

I found a good spot on a hill, zoomed way out so that my mount and I wouldn’t take up too much of the screen, and took 76 separate screen shots in a 270 degree semicircle. Cropped the pictures above my character’s head, leaving 76 fairly thin strips of screen, then brought them into Autostitch. The result is above — click on it and keep expanding to see the whole thing.

You’ll notice some blurriness. Since RoM uses a spherical camera to add perspective to scenes, it’s had to apply a transformation and a blending to each screen shot to make it connect better with its neighbors. Check out the picture below to see what it looks like when this transformation is NOT done!

Click to enlarge

Autostitch has an iPhone app as well. I think I might buy it.

Later: Okay, I DID buy the app on the iPhone, and ran out and made this panorama of the trees outside my apartment:

Click to enlarge.

Assault on the Inbox: Independence Day Edition

Exciting MMO news lands in my inbox; I pass it along.

Cryptic is dropping prices in their “C-Store” for the holiday weekend on existing items. Emphasis on existing; they also announce that the Galaxy X/Galaxy Dreadnought class cruiser will soon be available in the shop. This is the three nacelled Enterprise-D variant that Riker commanded in the future segment of The Next Generation’s “All Good Things”, and in particular is the ship that @Longasc has been trying to earn via getting people to sign up. Well, it’ll be in the store soon.

No word on if it will just be a re-skin of the regular Galaxy-class cruiser. If it is, that would be somewhat unfortunate, as the Galaxy-class cruiser is not a rear admiral ship. Since the Galaxy Dreadnought will be the only cruiser that can use the super-damaging dual cannons, a lot of admirals may find themselves downgrading.

Should be a monster in PvP.

STO Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich is saying goodbye to Cryptic to spend more time with his kids. That’s definitely a good reason, but I can’t help wondering if he’d still be leaving if STO had been a wild success.

City of Heroes unleashes its Super Booster Pack V: Mutant. This mini expansion adds Tron-like glowing armor sets to your repertoire, new costume change emotes and Secondary Mutations for your heroes with mutation-based powers. Looks very cool — like EverQuest, City of Heroes never lets its age stand in the way of innovation.

CCP is giving away a Primae, a planetary resources hauler, to every current EVE Online player. These one-of-a-kind ships have special cargo holds for the resources you get from your planetary command centers, and is the fashionable ship of choice for experienced atmo-skimmers.

These irreplaceable ships PROBABLY won’t be targets in Hulkageddon III. Probably.

Runes of Magic announces their patch 3.0.2, which includes a new instance, the “Warnoken Arena”, two-seated mounts, a new pet system and new public events. They are also having a discount on Diamonds (cash shop currency) for the US Independence Day weekend, though in deference to their non-US players, they have taken special care to not mention the holiday.

The iPad/iPhone MMO Pocket Legends announces their lates expansion, Alien Oasis, Part 2. This expansion raises the level cap to 45, adds all new gear, and continues the saga of anthropomorphic bears, cats and hawks as they struggle to survive in a world gone mad.

I need to get back to playing that game….

The folks at Perfect World Entertainment announce double experience for the Independence Day weekend in Perfect World International and Battle of the Immortals.

I can’t help but think a battle between immortals would probably take more than one gaming session. “WHY… WON’T… YOU… DIE!!!!! Oh yeah. Immortal.”

Aion announces free character server transfers and server merges. This isn’t a bad thing; PvP-focused games require very active servers, because if there is nobody to kill, half the fun evaporates.

Aion’s next expansion, Assault on Balaurea, will raise the level cap and continue the epic, world-shattering story of the devas of Atreia as players battle back against the bloodthirsty NPC faction.

And … that’s all the time I have this week. If you’re in the US, enjoy your Independence! If you’re in the UK, enjoy not having to take responsibility for us! If you’re anywhere else, just enjoy!