Posts Tagged ‘game’

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What’s this mean for me?

June 16, 2010

So now that we’ve heard a bit more about Cata and what we can expect. Some are feeling pretty down about the expansion now. Alot of friends I’ve talked to have said that they don’t feel like Blizzard is giving them enough to warrant an expansion, at least at full price. Let’s take a look at what Cataclysm offers a Level 80 raider.

Cataclysm

  • Level cap increased 5 levels
  • Re-designed talents (and two classes)
  • New dungeons
  • Some new spells
  • Mastery system (seems to add about as much as a glyph at this point)
  • Medium glyphs
  • 2 new PvP BGs with similar objectives to old BGs, also, rated BGs
  • 4.0-4.9 worth of Raid patches
  • Heroic Deadmines and SFK
  • Guild Talents Guild Levels..
  • Path of the Titans
  • Archeology will be a secondary profession like fishing and cooking
  • Underwater mounts

Now, you may saying.. “Umm, hey buddy, you kinda missed some stuff.” Well, actually I didn’t. Cataclysm offers the above to a current Level 80. Nothing more.

Why did I decide to list it this way instead of the full feature list? Because there are some folks out there who simply don’t care. They have their main and don’t plan on levelling any more toons. This isn’t unheard of, even though Blizzard promotes multiple characters.. some of us are quite fond of our mains and, well, that’s why we play the game.

So.. is this actually an ‘expansion’? I would have to say no. Many of whats listed above is added into other games usually by free content patches. With the exception usually being raid content and/or increased level cap.

“But they are revamping the entire old world!?!?”

Yes, they are. But players who don’t pickup Cata will be able to see all the revamped zones and complete all the quests, sans Goblin and Worgen stuff. It has not been determined yet if you will need the expansion or not for Azeroth flight.

Normally, a MMO that has been running as long (or longer) than WoW comes across a problem over time. Old content not being used. So, the devs decide to revamp. It’s not a bad thing and makes for interesting story-arcs. However, typically this is done one or two zones at a time, and givin’ for free to the playerbase. Blizzard is revamping a very high portion of the old world. Taking out much of the old content and adding in new. It’s been toughted that there is over 3,000 quests added.

But.. everyone will get to play at least (rough estimate) 1,500 of the quests, regardless of if you bought Cataclysm or not. Blizzard has obviously spent alot of time on this. That’s good, getting people back into old/new content is a good thing.

But.. there is an issue. What about the decent percentage of your playerbase that is really only here for Raiding.. or high end PvP. A player who has no interest in levelling a new Goblin, or playing through the new Cata revamp quests? Does this person just get the short end of the stick?

Let’s backtrack a bit. All expansions up until Cata have only extended the high end of the game. It wasn’t until Wrath that added something (DK) for non-maxxed out players.

Now.. it’s the other way around. If you’re a raider, and you only have a desire to play one character, you may feel like you are getting hit in the head with a baseball bat for shelling out $50.

New raids are always good.. no complaints there. But now you’re only going to be able to do half the raiding you normally would have with the new raid/lockout system.

5 more levels.. meh, sweet deal.

If you’re a pvp’er I’m sure you have something, bad or good, to say about the new stuff.

Medium glyphs? *scoff* We don’t know what these are yet, but the entire Glyph system is kind of a joke. At least from what it was supposed to be. (Even GC says they screwed it up)

Guild levels? Cool, but not really a expansion highlight in this dwarf’s opinion.

Is all of this worth $50 though? Depends on the person. To me.. sure. I got money to burn. More importantly though.. is Cataclysm going to keep people around?

It’s all too personal to say. For me.. I’m just not sure if there is going to be enough in Cata to keep me around for 1 patch cycle. It really all depends on the difficulty level of the expansion. If I gear out within 4 weeks of hitting 85 (like I did in Wrath), I will be sorely dissapointed.

The doomsayers have already come out and said “This is WoW’s version of Luclin.” For those who may not know, Shadows of Luclin was an expansion for EQ1 that changed the game alot. Many people left, but the mass exodus wasn’t until a few years later with Gates of Discord. Luclin did have a large effect on the game though. It put a dent in the population.

Will Cata bring WoW down a notch? At first I don’t think so.. but as we can see now, there is a major lull in the WoW-verse. Some are trying to stay positive, others negative.. and then there are the people who just don’t even know what’s going on.

Personally I fall into the category of “Just hanging around here to keep myself somewhat occupied until something better comes out”

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Healer C-c-c-combos!

June 11, 2010

Blizzard released previews of the Cataclysm talent changes for a few classes yesterday. I haven’t gone over any of the trees in-depth too much so far except the Druid and Priest healing trees. It seems to me like healers may actually have something resembling a rotation. Some of the new talents they’ve added or changed give you certain stackable buffs after using a certain spell or spell type, and both classes have a way to “release” stored up power.

To me, it appears that they are trying to make healing more about choice and less about spam.. which is a great thing. What remains to be seen is if these abilities are/will be tuned correctly in order to make them worth using over spam tactics.

With the talks of inflated HP numbers across the board for players in Cata.. maybe healers will have more thinking to do and less “Oh crap heal, heal, heal”

I am pleased so far. The new expansion excitement continues!

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Let’s move along now, shall we?

June 10, 2010

Over the past few years, how many AAA MMO titles have we seen get hyped up, release, and shed 50%+ of its population within the first few months? 3? 5? I’m sure there is more to come as well.

I think first it started off as everyone trying to tackle Blizzard, or at least get a chunk of their cake. Games like LotRO, and WAR that were marketed by the eagerly waiting players as “the next WoW killer.”

After that I think companies started backing down to the almighty Blizzard, and decided to not shoot for 10 million subscriptions and would be happy to settle with 1 million. But even that didn’t seem to help, with games like Aion, Champions Online, and Star Trek Online.. all of which have pretty much bombed almost into the “life support” category. (In Aion’s case.. in the US/EU)

So what does a company who wants to design a AAA MMO title have to do to have a successful launch and retain it’s players after the initial flood?

There is a few things I can think of. I’m not too familiar with the development process on the inside of a studio, things like Publisher pressure and deadlines can really screw up an MMO. But that’s about all I really know about what goes on internally. To possibly gain a bit more insight I’ve emailed Brian “Psychochild” Green, online game designer and blogger and asked him to chime in on this post if he has anything to add.

Back to what I think Dev studios could do in order to make the Dev process, testing, launch and post-launch go smoother.

Shrink it!

Most AAA MMO titles feature a large world. Multiple continents, large zones and etcetera. But why does it have to start out large? Maybe the bigger companies can learn a lesson from the indie F2P developers and make your world smaller at first, but have speedy development rotations on adding new content. We all want a bigger world sure, but.. would you rather have a huge world with all sorts of problems in it, or a smaller world with drastically less problems, evolving into a bigger world with time. Vanguard is a great example of what not to do here. The world was beautiful, and enormous. And empty. Not just void of players, but even the wilderness didn’t feel very wild.

Along with shrinking your world, I never quite understood why these MMO’s ship with 15+ servers. Big worlds and tons of servers are great if you’re Blizzard. But not if you’re anybody else. The dreaded server merge announcements that we see doesn’t mean that the game is dying exactly, but anytime one is announced the doomsayers come out of their holes. Usually server merging is a sign of a slowly dying MMO, or at least one that isn’t going to be picking up steam.

So, how about trying something different for once. Start with the minimum amount of servers, and if your game grows, add more. The problem with that idea is usually launch is when you have the highest populations, thus needing the extra servers. My take on server merging is that it’s better done sooner rather than later. If you launch your game and see 500k subs the first month, but at the 3rd month mark you’re down to 400k, it might be time to start thinking about server merging. There is nothing worse than the post-launch exodus that is bound to happen, and then feeling like your left with an empty server. That’s just going to push more players away.

As your game gets older I think watching your servers is important, and knowing when to time server merges before the problem gets too bad. Take EQ2 for example. It does have a healthy population, though the majority of the community are at the top end of the game. EQ2 has had 2 rounds(or maybe just 1, I can’t recall) of server merges in the past, and in this guys opinion.. is well overdue for another. I’d go as far as to say EQ2 needs to drop down to about 8 servers total. 3 normal servers, 1 bazaar server, 1 pvp server, 2 EU servers (I don’t know what the EU population of EQ2 is like), and a RP server. If you’re starting fresh in EQ2 with no friends, it is a very, very silent and quiet game. Very lonely. Not good if you’re trying to attract new customers.

But if EVE online can have 1 server with its healthy subscriber base, why can’t other games? Yeah.. EVE is a special case because it fills a specific niche, but it’s still something to be thought about.

Target Audience?

I think it may be safe to say now that trying to market your MMO to every player type doesn’t work that well. Blizzard was able to pull it off I think because of their timing. Every MMO to come out since that’s tried this has not reached the goals they originally set for themselves and their game. I think if you build your game towards a certain niche of players and stay there, maybe adding on other features later on, you would end up with a smaller population, but a much more stable one. EVE Online does this pretty well as do a few other niche titles.

Are you trying to attract new-to-the-genre players? Harcores? Casuals? PvP, PvE? Social aspects?

Scale?

I never understood why the bigger MMO companies are drawn to making a game capable of supporting millions of people, only to have it flop after release for x reason. Instead of doing that why not set a lower target for your populations. How about 500k instead of 1 million?

I would think that once you set a goal for your customer base, it would make it must easier to design the rest of the game’s size, how many servers you’ll need, and what features you can or can’t use. Also, it would give your publisher a better idea. (Or maybe the publisher is the one who dictates what the target customer pool size will be *shrug*)

Deadlines

Now.. I’m fairly certain that deadlines are set by whoever is funding the project, which is usually the publisher. If publishers used their heads a little bit, and gave the Developer the time that they actually need, we would probably see less MMO’s fall into the sub-200k club.

Then you have the option of “self-publishing.” Which is what Cryptic studio’s original intent was. Looking back over the course of the development of Champions Online, things seemed to be going very well until Atari showed up. You would also have to have the money to back yourself. Not an easy thing to come up with hehe.

What’s worse is when something like that happens, it’s usually the Dev house that gets all the negative press, not so much the publisher. When I first played Champions Online, I was sorely disappointed. Nay. I was pissed. At Cryptic. Even though I knew the game shipped the way it did because Atari shoved it out their doors. Ok.. I don’t know that for a fact, but that’s what the speculation is.

The same thing happened to Vanguard. All was going well (so we think) up until Sony was announced to be the new publisher. Which was right around open beta if I remember right. Then all of a sudden, the game was on store shelves. Oh the cries of the fanboi’s (myself included)

What else could a AAA MMO company could do for itself to ensure the game’s success? Aside from the obvious answer of “make a good game”

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Telon, the last stand.

June 9, 2010

News coming in today that Vanguard, the long and slowly dying MMO from Sony, will be dropping from 3 to 1 server soon. It’s always sad to watch games slowly die, but this one has a special place in some people’s opinion.

I wont dive into the backstory of what was Vanguard, or how Brad McQuaid completely betrayed his fans and did the ONE thing he said he wouldn’t do. Sold to Sony, who then pushed the game out about 1 year before it should have been.

The game had so much potential, and really.. it still does. It’s a great game, it’s just empty and has a bit more of the hardcore aspects than a game like WoW would offer. has so much more depth than most other MMO’s.

What happened with that game was one of the big turning points in me losing faith in MMO development. It’s not the game designers fault, or the programmer.. it’s the suits. The CEO’s. Continually they push out shoddy products and loads of false advetisement. Some flat out lies. I understand that things happen over the course of making a game, and some things need to be cut but sometimes they go a little too far.

So, here’s to you Vanguard. Enjoy your final days as 1 server. So much potential in a game, a team, and a community… and Sony let’s it rot away into nothing.

/sadpanda

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Guide : Retribution (3.3)

June 8, 2010

So you want to learn how to Retlol? It’s a little bit more than just facerolling on the keyboard.. but not much! : D Since it’s 3.3, Cataclysm is on the horizon and everything is going to change again I’m not going to waste time with an “official” and “fancy” guide. Going to throw some links up here to already well done guides, and also give my 2 copper on some points covering the Ret play style.

Retribution Links

Retribution Thread at EJ – Honestly, this guide pretty much covers everything. The first page is current and accurate and has all the info you need not be a Retardadin.

My own thoughts

Just some general tips/expanding on the EJ guide.

– We don’t have a rotation, we have a priority list. The priority changes depending on how you’re geared or the encounter. EJ guide goes into this more in-depth.

– Stat priority goes: Hit(to cap)>Str>Exp(to cap)>Crit>Agi>AtkPwr>Haste>ArPen. Once you cap out Hit, Strength becomes our main stat and our primary gem. You want your STR as high as possible, but without neglecting the expertise cap. You shouldn’t gem for exp though, it comes naturally on gear and it’s not that difficult to get capped.

– Weapons : We want to use the slowest, hardest hitting 2 handers we can find. Enchant with Berserking.

Abilities and Tactics

Sacred Shield : For fights where it’s mostly the tanks taking damage, if you don’t have enough Paladins in your raid for every tank to get Sacred Shield then keep it on whatever tank needs it. If the tanks are covered do what you want with it. For heavy raid damage fights I like to keep it on myself, and for more focused damage fights, or fights with spawning adds, I’ll keep it up on a healer or a clothie.

Art of War : Don’t be afraid to use it as a heal instead of just waiting for Exo to come off cooldown and/or once you get your 2pc T10 (Exo becomes lowest priority at that point). We get this buff ALOT. If you find a “dead spot” in your rotation, take a glance at the raids health bars. Top someone off real quick, or hit yourself so you can take some stress off the healers. Your #1 priority though is Damage, so use your utility wisely.

Consecration : Watch where you scorch the ground with your holy powers. If your tanks aren’t smart enough to stack up all the trash mobs usually when Cons comes up in your rotation you can “back off” from your current target a little bit and make sure you drop Cons in the best possible spot to hit all the baddies. Same goes for Divine Storm.

Seals : Seal of Wisdom and Light you should never be using, unless you want to while leveling or some such. Remove from hot bars imo. Seal of Vengeance/Corruption, Righteousness, and Command are the only 3 you’ll be needing. (I miss Seal of Blood)

Use Righteousness when it’s a single target fight and the mob is not going to live longer than 20 seconds. Use Vengeance for single target fights lasting over 20 seconds. Use Command in situations with 2 or more mobs near you. Don’t be afraid to switch seals in combat. For example.. when fighting Emalon, and he charges up one of the elementals, while you’re running over to the adds you may as well throw up Command. With gear levels what they are, and how easy Emalon is.. it doesn’t really matter so much if more than one happens to die. Unless the add tank just sucks at picking up spawns. Anyways, when the elemental dies and you’re running back over to Emalon, don’t forget to switch back to Vengeance.

Judgements : Wisdom for PvE, Justice for PvP. Holy Paladins should take care of Light. In raid situations, usually it doesn’t matter as you will most likely always have 3 or more Paladins. If you don’t however, use Light, the other classes in your raid should be able to fill-in for Replenishment duty.

Cleanse : Seriously.. do it. Don’t let it drop your DPS, but cleanse when you can. Healers will love you for it.

Righteous Fury : Don’t forget about this ability. We wont be using it often as Ret, but there are some fights where strategies call for us to do strange jobs and RF can do wonders for kiting mobs around.

Hand of Reckoning : Yeah, it’s a taunt. No, you shouldn’t ignore it. 2 reasons. Say an add spawns and it’s headed straight for a clothie and the tank is pre-occupied, or just being a baddie. Save the clothie’s life by taunting that add and let it hit you. You wear plate, you’re not going to die as quick as some prissy Mage. It may be a thankless job too, since people may not notice during the chaos of the fight. But at least you can let it beat on you for a few seconds while the tank pulls his head out of his ass. The second reason I say don’t ignore this ability is it does damage! On certain bosses, very few rather, you can throw this out while waiting for other abilities to come up. Use this wisely though and make sure you know the thing you’re taunting isn’t going to turn around and whack ya dead. The only few fights I can recall this working on is XT heart phase, Mimiron 2nd phase, Faction Champs (doubles as a clothie save too), and the Gunship battle if you jump to the other boat. It’s a great ability and has a great range. Don’t neglect it.

Useful Macros – This block was taken from my Guild forums. One of our other Ret’s typed this out. So thanks to Maxxik for letting me be a thief 🙂

AW + Hand of Salv on myself:

#showtootip Avenging Wrath
/cast Avenging Wrath
/cast [target=Maxxik] Hand of Salvation

The nice part about this macro is if I hit it in between GCD’s then it doesn’t salv myself, so I can keep it free in case I need to salv a fury warrior or whoever later on.

Bubble:

#showtooltip Divine Shield
/cast [nobutton:2] Divine Shield
/cancelaura [button:2] Divine Shield

Left click bubbles yourself, right click dismisses it so you’re not gimping your dps for 12 seconds or however long it’s not needed.

Exorcism:

/startattack
/cast Exorcism

Just starts your auto-attack when you cast Exorcism. Basically if you have an AoW proc up and your switching to a new target to dps starts your white attacks, whereas Exorcism by itself won’t.

SoC/SoR seal and libram:

#showtooltip Seal of Command
/cast [button:1] Seal of Command
/cast [button:2] Seal of Righteousness
/equip Deadly Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude

Left click for Seal of Command, right click for Seal of Righteousness. Also equips the deadly libram when either seal is selected.

SoV seal and libram:

#showtooltip Seal of Vengeance
/cast Seal of Vengeance
/equip Libram of Valiance

Obviously brings up SoV, but also equips the libram for use. Keep in mind for the above two macros, if you use them in combat they will burn a GCD, but since you’re using these macros the libram swap GCD and the seal GCD are being used at the same time, thus actually saving you one GCD if you need to swap in combat for whatever reason.

Sacred shield on yourself:

#showtooltip Sacred Shield
/cast [help,target=target] Sacred Shield
/cast [target=player] Sacred Shield

Basically the way this works is if you have a hostile target, when you hit this it’ll cast SS on yourself, but if you have a friendly target it’ll cast it on them.

Addons (Note: Everyone has their own way of tweaking their UI, I’m not going to list ALL of the ones I use here. Only the ones that pertain to Paladins, in this case, Retribution.)

Serious Help In Timing – Much like the old face-roller addon. Gives you a handy, scalable, movable bar that has 3 icons. Left icon is AW and gives a cooldown timer. Middle(Big) Icon is the highest ability in your priority list that is not on cooldown (I.e. use it) and the right Icon is what ability you should use next. It’s very easy setup, 5 minutes to position and setup your priority list to your liking. Alternative includes clcret. This addon was developed by the handy people on EJ and though I’ve never used it, it’s very similar to SHIT.

Grid + Clique

This is a must have for almost anybody, yes.. even Tanks. Grid gives you one of the best raid frame options out there, combined with the power of assigning spells to mouse clicks (requiring no targeting) streamlines the healing and/or cleansing process so much. For example, I have Shift+R-click set to Cleanse. So all I have to do is Shift+Rclick on someones raid frame and I never lose my target.

PowerAuras

A highly customizable addon that allows you to do a lot. It can be applied numerous ways to Ret pally’ing. I personally have it setup to show me “when the stars align” meaning I have it set to display icons when I gain certain buffs like Greatness and Berserk. When I see all my procs and buffs light up its AW time. PowerAuras can help you by showing you when things happen. It’s hard to see when you gain buffs mid-raid fight, so this addon can help you increase your efficiency and DPS and help you with timing your cooldowns.

PallyPower

If you’re a Paladin, and not using this addon. Please do. It makes managing blessings and auras SO much easier. If there is only one addon in this list that you pick, let it be this one.

Omen (Or Skada)

Threat meter.. gotta know your threat. Omen has done us well for years, Skada is a lightweight DPS monitor like recount, but has a built-in threat meter. So you can knock out two birds with one stone if you like Skada.

Class Timers (or ForteX)

For monitoring buffs/debuffs. Has timers for Player, Target, and Focus windows. Handy to have as Ret, better for other specs though. I’ve never tried ForteX, it sounds similar to Class Timers but there seems to be a few more options and configurations. CT is more simplistic I think.

Misc.

As I said, I’m not trying to write a complete guide just to have it all goto waste in a few months. When it gets closer to 4.0 and we have our mostly finished talent trees and info on new spells and such I will write-up and brand new, complete guide. So, some final notes to close this out with :

Don’t forget about your utility. Learn how to use it while still being effective in combat. Make macros (Clique or Buttons) for BoP, Freedom, even Sacrifice. Saving your LoH for emergencies is great, but not using it is just a waste of an ability. With the shorter cooldown there is no reason you shouldn’t be using it more often, even if it’s not totally necessary. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Keep Sacred Shield up on someone at all times.

Last but not least is to really, really know your abilities. Spend some time making friends with the Training dummies and trying out new addons, gear, rotations.. whatever. Find out what works best for you. Grab a guildie or two and go into Molten Core to get a “live feel” for testing purposes. If you want to be good at your class you have to first know your class inside and out. And always, ALWAYS be sure to test out any changes you’ve made to your interface PRIOR to raiding with your guild. Go join a pug 10 man real quick and use them as the guinea pigs. There is nothing worse than getting into a raid, or just starting a boss fight to find out one of your addons is screwing up. Or you haven’t had enough practice using the new tools, so you fail your guildies. Test first!

So, until 4.0, I hope this has helped clear some things up for any of you curious Rets out there. Use the EJ thread. The first post is the wealth of info, and the discussion continues. So much valuable information in that thread for us. Including encounter specific strategies specifically for Rets.

Thanks goes to the EJ forum geeks, all the writers who keep the addons we use updated, and Maxxik the Lumberjack.

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Weekly Happenings

June 6, 2010

Since I don’t have much of a reader-base yet I can’t be cool like Tobold and have an Open Sunday Thread : ( So Sundays will be the day when I go over what I’ve been up to over the week, as well as any news in the mmo-space.

This week

Well I’ve been slowly completing quests for Loremaster between raids. It’s a grind now, and very mind-numbing but I’m glad to be doing it because I get to see some quests that I’ve never seen before. Read some decent lore and actually appreciate Vanilla WoW more. I’d rather be doing these quests at level though, some of them are very good quests and doing them at 80 just feels like I missed out. But, gotta take it all in before the Cataclysm!

There is an upside to the quest grind (besides the title) That is, it’s getting me more and more excited for Cata. As I ride around the old zones, I can’t help but wonder what ‘this’ or ‘that’ will look like in a few months. It really makes me want to start a baby Worgen, or a Dwarf Shaman when the xpac does get here. But I hate alts. Most likely I will do what I did when WotLK came out. First make sure my Paladin hits level cap and gets everything he needs from 5 mans. Then I made my DK, played through the starting area, thought it was very cool and well done. After they released me into the rest of Azeroth.. /delete.

So when Cata comes I’ll probably do the same thing. Create a baby Worgen, level to 60 and stop. With the massive amounts of Phasing (a feature which I love and hate at the same time) I’m very curious to level again. But once that’s all over with and it’s time to head to Hellfire, I’ll stop playing that toon.

Guild news! This week we killed Putricide on 25 for the first time. Yay us! Only 3 more to go! This week was also the first time I’ve done Gunship on 25, and it was also Heroic. It was also probably the dullest encounter ever. There was never a time when I felt like myself, or the raid was in any sort of real danger and the fight itself was just.. silly! On a side-note, why does Blizzard always feel it neccesary to put something in every raid zone that’ll just piss people off. I’m not talking about Frogger. I’m talking about that evil train in Ulduar. There’s always someone that falls, or misses the train. TotC, some yutz always starts the events before anyone’s ready. And now Gunship. Let’s put the two NPC’s you need to talk to for two completely different reasons RIGHT next to each other. That way when we’re on our 50th time through it and people are just on “autopilot” someone runs up and starts the event instead of grabbing a rocket pack. Oh look, 4 people are on the boat. Great. And it’s gonna be like 20 minutes before everyone gets back inside the instance because the damn boat takes so long to reset. /bird @ Blizzard

Ok, enough of WoW. Let’s talk about some other games.

Dawntide

This MMO has been in development for a few years already and is in the Closed Beta stage at the moment Open Beta as of Friday, you can get into the OB by creating an account and following the download link on the official forums. This title is, out of the 3 that I’m looking forward to, highest on the list. It’s a sandbox MMO, skill-based, open-world and no instancing. Here’s just a quick snippet of the features it teases:

Dawntide is an innovative new freeform MMOG being developed by Working as Intended, an independent studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Player Cities with shops, crafting, military and many more buildings – plus upgrades!
  • Handcrafted island world with many exciting places to Explore and Conquer.
  • Fully Conquerable world with safe areas for new players!
  • Skill based progression. No more levels or classes!
  • Complex and fun Crafting allows players to create unique items with a wide range of materials.
  • Laws and guards allow players to truly rule the territory they conquer.
  • Deep and exciting background Lore to be discovered.
  • Single, uninstanced world makes your impact on the game meaningful.

I have no idea what combat is like, and I don’t care. I’ve been waiting for a game that puts emphasis on player interaction with the world itself since Star Wars Galaxies went to hell (NGE) /bird @ Sony. But, I’m not letting myself get burned again. I’ve learned. It took me a few heartbreaks, but I’ve learned never give into the hype. If they can pull this game off, it wont be any sort of WoW killer. Not by a long shot. But, it will fill a niche in the MMO market and as long as the game isn’t utter crap and bug ridden at launch.. and things go even relatively smooth. It should snag up a decent subscriber base, probably similar to the numbers of EVE.

This game wouldn’t take me away from WoW completely, unless it had some amazing PvE raids. Which most Sandbox games don’t even have what we call “Raiding” these days. Usually it either involves PvP raids, or just grabbing a group of people and going cave diving looking for something fun to kill.

Moving on!

FFXIV

Not much news with this game in the past week. A few of my intarweb buddies have been starting to get Beta keys via email. I have not been as lucky : ( If you don’t know much about this game, it’s basically a sequel to FFXI. Well.. it’s what EQ2 is to EQ1. Only hopefully Squeenix doesn’t completely bork the launch. Being an Eastern based game it’s undoubtedly going to have more of a grind than we’re used to with western MMO’s. I’m fine with that. But the developers have also stated that they are in the process of “Westernizing” the game a bit more for us. They haven’t touched too much on what exactly that means besides less grindy, WSAD movement and Jumping (did they add jumping or not? I know it was a HUGE turnoff for alot of people 6 months ago)

I do believe that this game is still slated for release on the PC and PS3, and based on the videos I’ve watched it actually looks like a MMO I might enjoy playing with a controller. Though not on my PS3. MMO’s belong on PCs in my opinion. The game is being developed for the platform side-by-side, so it will not be a port. There will be a PS3 client, and a PC client and they are being developed by two different teams. Let me make that more clear. It’s the same game, but they are developing 2 clients to ensure that it runs flawlessly on the PS3, and the PC. A good thing.

Other than that, there are some videos floating around of some combat. It’s slower combat than what we are used to in WoW, and many of the other newer MMO’s. Someone told me that the combat speed was somewhere in between Everquest and WoW. Which.. to me sounds perfect.

The graphics look AMAZING, as do the animations, models, and world. Not cartoony, but not trying to be overly-realistic. Well.. it looks like a Final Fantasy game should. If you’re a fan of the series than you should be pleased with the art in this game.

Squeenix has also stated that it will be more solo friendly than FFXI, but still a high emphasis on groups. What I took this to mean is everyone will be able to solo just fine, but the best and most efficient way to get things done will be with a group. Flip flop that and you have what most MMOs are now /bird @ Blizzard. I think that MMO’s are about group experiences, so there should be more emphasis on grouping. We’ll see how that turns out though.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Everytime they release a new piece of news for this game I get a little less hyped for it. The more and more videos I see, and interviews I read make it sound more and more just like a multi-player version of KOTOR. Which isn’t totally a bad thing. I’ve talked about this in a previous post, and Syncaine at Hardcore Casual has written up a 2 part post about his feelings on SWTOR. I can’t really agree more.

It sounds like it’ll be a good play for a month or two, but I can’t see anything that would hold me (an possibly a good amount of others) to the game for any extended periods of time.

Bioware continues to try to hype the games storytelling more than anything else. Talking about it like it’s the new “end all, be all” feature of MMO’s. They claim to have something like “50 novels” worth of story content. Well.. so did Dragon Age. DA was a good game and alot of people agreed. What alot of people didn’t agree on about it was whether or not it was fun to replay to mix up the story. Which I assume is how SWTOR is going to fit their “50 novels” worth of story into the game.

It seems more and more that this game is geared towards the casual players, total Star Wars nerds who can’t get enough, and people who love to play multiple characters. I’m not doubting that it wont be a success (pending smooth launch), and I’m sure it will have a healthy number of subs a year after release. It just sounds like a psuedo-MMO to me though. I don’t need, nor want Bioware style conversations in my MMO’s. Alot of people do, and it’s awesome that they are (hopefully) getting what they want.

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars is probably one of the only “Major label” MMO’s that I’ve never played. It’s heavy use of instancing originally turned me off from the game and I’ve just never really had any desire to check it out. Now, with what I’ve been reading about GW2.. I gotta say, I’m excited to see what they can pull off. The dynamic quest system they’ve spoken about sounds amazing if implemented well and has the possibility of setting a new standard for quests in MMO’s. The game world also looks beautiful. GW2 has made it to my watch list.

So that’s it for this week. Next week I think I’m going to try to cut down on my ramblings a little. Try to keep the posts under 1000 words haha.

~dorfeater

h1

Please just stop already!!! (Pt. 3)

June 5, 2010

Today I said I was going to take you on a text-walkthrough of my rendition of PvE Arenas. So let’s get to it and hope I can keep this post under 1000 words.

Everyone say hello to our imaginary Rogue, Wunderbutts. He will be doing solo arena today on normal difficulty. He is currently wearing all ICC gear and his GS is 62 million. That means shit poop here.

This is not his first time in this Arena. His promoter’s are the Stormwind Lumberjack’s Union (?) and he is just a few points away from hitting Exalted with them. Hop to!

As he enters the arena he sees his first opponents for the day. A group of 5 non-elite Nagas. 3 warrior types and 2 of those evil caster ones that do that big blue circle explosion thingy on the ground. Zangarmarsh, ugh.

Wunderbutts scoffs at the group and charges in, dispatching the foes quickly as he is a skilled (i.e. non-tard) Rogue.

Next up is a single baddie. Doesn’t look too tough, an Ogre Shaman. Haha.. stunlock beoch!

What’s this? Icehowl had babies?!? Yep, Wunderbutts has just discovered Icehowl is asexual. Let’s deal with these 3 babies before they grow into something mean! Evasion go! /charge

Wunderbutt’s looks confused though, as the babies seem to have the majority of big daddy Icehowl’s abilities. Including that stomp/charge. How is Wunderbutts going to deal with all that charging? Skill, that’s how. Pure keyboard acrobatics. and maybe a little help from Sprint.

Ok, whew, they’re dead now. Another trash pack up next. This time they are elites though. Time for some fun! As the pack of stupid elite kobolds walks through the gates Wunderbutt’s takes Stealth. At least SOME thought is going to have to go into this fight he thinks. While making clever use of some CC’s and switching up poisons a little bit he is still finding it hard to take down this group. As one of the little terd geomancers lets loose a Fireball, our Rogue hears a chime letting him know his limit break is ready. He has already met his requirement to dodge 100 attacks, and his ability is off of cooldown. This one however requires Stealth to perform. VANISH! BUTTONSMASH! *amazed* Wunderbutts explodes into a dance of sharp things. 300% movement speed increase, 100% dodge, and a 5 second “Blade Storm” type ability. Only the character retains movement. At 300% movement speed and 5 seconds of whirling death most of the little kobold terds are done for. The rest is just mopping up.

So.. wtf is next? We can’t see anything but Wunderbutts covered in Kobold blood and breathing heavily. But we still have 6 rounds to go! Wait a minute. Wtf is that purple sh–… omfg. It’s Edwin VanCleef and he just sapped Wunderbutts! Roflcopter. This should make for a good 1v1 fight hehe. VC is elite, so he’s not going to be easy and a lot of Wunderbutts abilities are on Cooldown. As it turns out VC is beating the snot out of our friend. He’s at a healthy 70% health and our heroic Rogue is merely scratching by with 35% health left, and he already used the Kidney Shot>Bandage combo. It’s not looking good for Wunderbutts. Lucky for him he was smart and used some of his points to buy special toys. As he glugs down a “Back in the Fight” potion (40s cooldown), he’s brought back to full health, full energy, cooldowns refreshed and even has a HoT ticking on him!!

The fights continue in this fashion. Requiring more skill, smarts and planning than great gear. All the while our Rogue is collecting points, rep and stunning us with his killer moves.

Finally, Wunderbutts.. battle-weary comes up against his final opponent for the day. Oh em gee, it’s Grobbulous from Naxx! The last fight of the day gets a healthy pause to introduce the final match. (3 minutes) Wunderbutts is coming up with a strategy. He knows this guy’s moves, knows them well in fact. But without9/24 of his buddies to back him up is kinda wondering how he will beat this fat tub of lard. 3…2…1… FIGHT!

Wunderbutts decides to take the defensive stance at first and let Grobb come to him. This Rogue is no tank though, and the fat mutant bitch slaps our rogue for nearly 15% of his total health.. in one hit!

Vanish! Now we know how hard this bastard hits.. it’s lucky Wunderbutts stocked up on Gladiator Potions before coming in (Heals 20k hp, 10 second cool-down). Back into the fight! Wunderbutts, fighting for his life, burning all cooldowns he’s got and chuggin health potions like the town drunkard chugs the whiskey. And he’s barely putting a dent in the tubby golem.

Wunderbutt’s is running out of options. He’s used his last “Back in the fight” potion, and he’s only got 5 Gladiator potions left. He’s managed to get Grobby down to 30% health by using the common tactics he learned in Naxx. Kiting him around the Arena. But what about the goo you say? Since its Solo mode there is only 1 goo being spawned, Wunderbutts just tabs over and continues. And how about the gas rings left by players who get diseased? Since Wunderbutts is only 1 person, he gets hit with it every time. But it’s negated since he’s already kiting Grobby. Our smart Rogue used his previous experience, combined with knowledge of his class and some of his own finesse to adjust the strategy of the fight to work for him. And now he hears a fun noise. That’s right, it’s “limit break” time! This particular ability is more geared towards single targets and boss fights, as every class would get 1 limit break for AE situations and 1 limit break for single target/Boss situations. Though our Rogue is not limited to just using one.. if conditions are met for both, he can use both.

For this ability the conditions were take 400k damage, deal 800k damage, and dodge 72 attacks. BUTTON SMASH! and now Wunderbutts is “chargin his lazor”. He dissapears from sight, both of Grobby, and us spectators.

A yell from one of the NPC spectators (what you don’t think they wanna see a good show?) indicates for everyone to look up! As you move your camera towards the rafters you see our lovely Wunderbutts take a leap from the rafters.. or fall outta the sky.. or something. But he looks pissed, his entire body glowing red. He thrusts his blades downwards into Grob’s back for a massive double-crit 157k points of damage. That took a whole 10% from the fatty! But Wunderbutt’s not finished, no way. That ability gave him a 200% attack speed increase, and half energy cost on all abilities for 15 seconds! He’s tearing this fat piece of gaseous crap down! The NPCs are hootin’ an’ hollerin’ as it comes down to the final few seconds of the fight. Wunder and Grob going blow for blow at each other. Face to face, no more potions to rely on. Butts throws everything he’s got! Another slime spawns.. no time for fighting this one. Here’s some dirt in your eye Mr. Goo, now your blind, go run around for 6 seconds while I finish killing this cow. And with the final strike Grobby falls to the floor in defeat. The representative from the Stormwind Lumberjack’s Union comes to greet our Rogue and announces that he has reached full Gladiator status. (Which happily comes with a package of PvE arena consumables, and a tabard)

Now that Wunderbutt’s has hit Exalted with his promoters, they offer him a quest. One that will take him to higher challenges in the arena’s, and possibly elsewhere.. to what end, what purpose? *shrug*

Ok, does that not sound like it would be fun? Sure there are mechanical, and balance issues out the yazoo. But it’s not something that’s going to be implemented anyways. It’s just an idea.. a stolen idea at that! But why can’t we have things *LIKE* this? Hell.. me personally.. I would pay extra for something like this.

As of now we have 2 PvP facets in the game, and only 1 PvE (unless you count questing/levelling, which I don’t) Something like this would just bring another option for us strict PvE’ers. I’m sure the PvP crowd would go nuts if they read this paragraph saying that PvE doesn’t need any MORE stuff. Hah.. crazy PvPers go play DFO nubs.

Also, just to tack this on at the end because I forgot to put it in two posts ago. In the Duo/5man versions you could also design group “limit breaks.” Pretty sure not much explanation is needed for this. It’d be cool. Other MMOs have things like it.. EQ2 and LotRO just for two examples.

Anyways, if you could withstand reading all of this 3 part post I thank you for your time and any comments are great! If you didn’t like the read, or the idea.. good thing it was just an idea right? And you never, ever have to come back to this blog again lol… but seriously. Please stay? : )

~dorf