Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guilds, guilds and more guilds

Hello mmo players. While the gaming community continues to fall head over heels for SWTOR, I think that I remain marching to the beat of my own drum sampling older games like Everquest 2 and playing till my hearts content in my first mmo love: DDO.

I think the focus of this blog has changed more than once and I would like to feature the exploits of guilds. The best part of playing a mmorpg over a single player RPG for me, and for many others, is the communities surrounding each game. Each community is different and diverse and diversity as we all know is the spice of life, and games.

So if you are a guild master or have interesting tales to tell about your guild adventures, whether they happened in a f2p game like LOTRO or DDO, or a more conventional subscriber based game like Wow, I want to hear from you guys!

Carry on guys!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not so Legendary in League of Legends

Well for the first time this week, I can say that I am enjoying my time in LOL. Still have not had success in finding the mmorpg that will replace my time in Azeroth, and I like the lore so much that I am seriously thinking of investing in WC3 Battlechest.

I never got to play WC3 much back in the day, and even though this is not a blog about RTS games, we are all sort of in holding mode until GW2 and other games drop. As far as LOL is concerned, there is something very addictive about a game where so much strategy depends on both the cooperative play of your team and one's own contributions and it is satisfying to see a match develop, especially if your team is making a push toward victory.

This was only my fifth time playing and I have yet to kill a champion, though I am not dying as much and I did get an assist. Playing bots is not like playing against others in pvp, but you have to start somewhere, and this game is not very forgiving to newbies.

Will I try to level my summoner to 30 and try to to get into some competitive matches? Probably not, I was never one to look at rankings or game ladders, but as long as I am having fun I will continue to play this game as a diversion to my mmorpgs.

I still think that the sandbox and open world feel of a lot of modern mmos pwn the frenetic pace and slightly more limited play of Mobas and Dotas, but I am beginning to understand the appeal of both game genres, it really depends on which play style one enjoys most.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Still in search of the perfect f2p mmorpg

Another week gone by and I am no closer to replacing wow as my mmorpg of choice. Why would I even try to replace Blizzard's mammoth mmo for another game world you say? Well, call me a cheapskate, but with the economy being as bad as it is, I almost hate to dump $15 out of pocket, or $45 every 3 months on gaming, especially when there are so many good games you can play for free or are nearly free.

Or are there? I have played a number of games of late, trying to substitute that feeling of accomplishment and wonder I used to get from playing wow, but to no avail thus far as we approach the waning days of 2011.

November is just around the corner and with the climax of the year come new releases: GW2, SWTOR, Elder Scrolls V, just to name a few. So in the interim, everybody seems to be playing different games. Some swear by RIFT, others have gone back to wow in anticipation of the Blizzcon announcement of another possible expansion.

Personally, in the past few weeks I have tried: Guild Wars, Pirates of the Burning Seas, Everquest 2, Dark Age of Camelot, Forsaken World, Warhammer Online and a few others.

There is a problem with nearly every game on this list. Guild wars had me bored to tears and it is nearly impossible to find PUGs unless you join a guild, and even then. POTBS was interesting for one night and then the idea of running around in a game world as a pirate where the game's mechanics depend so much on simulated sea battles, even though it is unlike a lot of mmos out there, the game wore thin after one night. Maybe I need to play as the other nations to get more fun out of it.

Forsaken world was pretty, but it's not fun because you can't group, so I may as well be playing a single player game.

EQ2 costs money to play, and if I am going to sub, I might as well sub for a superior game like wow, or like DAoC. Out of all these, DAoC had the most intriguing atmosphere, for an old game it's a rare gem, but I can't help and feel that the epic scale of rvr and battle ground battles is lost in a game world where the population is small and makes the whole thing seem less epic than it should be. Also there is a pesky subscription.

So I am taking suggestions, what games are out there that are as fun as wow? or is warcraft still the ultimate immersive be all, end all of online gaming?

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Guild Season 5 FINALE

The Season 5 finale of the Guild is online. My original plan was to review every episode this season, but somehow that plan went to hell.

No matter, this season's finale went live yesterday, so did the season live up to expectations? I would have to say that for the most part it did, though fans missed the interactions between all the characters, which took a backseat to the many cameos on the series during the Mega gaming convention.

Felicia Day still makes this all work, her one moment in the denouement with the creator of "The Game" was really well put together, accentuating Codex's personality. I really loved her wishy washy persona.

"The last 2 episodes finally felt like the guild we all love and enjoy," said user Mcajmus on, "Don't get me wrong. All the cameos were nice. Kevin Sorbo was the funniest. But overall it didn't feel like the guild series b4 due to the lack of interaction between the guildies. Granted that was the theme in the season but it took the "magic" of the series away when these characters have so little interaction.

I would have to agree with this assessment. While all the subplots are wrapped up rather neatly, the finale begs the question, will the show be back for a 6th season, given the fact Felicia Day is busy with "Dragon Age Redemption" and other projects.

So not to spoil the ending, it does look like this climax could nicely and neatly wrap up the web series, if the producers decide to end it. It is no secret that "The Game" is based on "World of Warcraft" and given wow's upcoming challenges with SWTOR, GW2 and other mmogs, it remains to be seen if "The Guild" will keep up with RL developments and go in other directions, or risk becoming culturally irrelevant. That's a fate worse than the end of "The Game." for all our guildies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wow goes free to play...well sort of

Sorry Blizzard, I'm playing LOTRO these days, Turbine games have no issues with Windows Vista
It's been an eventful week in mmos. Not only did WOW release a new patch, but Blizzard/Activision announced a new f2p model for the flagship MMO. Well sort of, it replaces the 14 day trial and will allow players to try the game out for 20 levels.

However, the catch is that the limitations on free trials will remain pretty restricted, i.e. no guild memberships and no access to the chat channels for most. I have mixed feelings about this, on the one hand I think it is cool that new players can now sample various races and classes without the constraints of time. On the other hand, the restrictions make me want to play Wow less, instead of more, which is what the company is probably the opposite of what Blizzard wants.

While initially I was kinda miffed that Cata had possibly nerfed the Valley of the Trials when I re-rolled Horde as a hunter, I reserved final judgment until I made a little progress. I once had a Hunter go as high as level 30, so I never really did experience end content, but always wanted to and always found the game to be fun to play. Now it just seems that they are greedily trying to bring more players back in without giving anything up.

Is RIFT chipping away at a sizable chuck of Blizzard’s subs? What do the rest of you think?

I personally had given up on the game, not because I don’t like it, but because it plays horribly on Vista given it has issues with the annoying video adaptor error, which seems to be a known Windows issue. A pity.

In other news, SEO announced that they were lowering prices on some of their game content, and sadly for SWG fans, the game is going to seize operations in December. Massively had a lengthy interview with the developers. It's really sad I never got to play this game in its prime, and now it looks like TOR will be the only game in town, though I can't say I am all that surprised. Stilli, "it's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced..."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Even cats love LOTRO

I found this online. Evidently this cat has never heard of RIFT.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rift vs. Wow the Latest News

Ok the title of this post might be somewhat deceptive given it's mostly about my spending sometime in Wow this week as I run through another toon in a different class. Still leveling up my undead mage Gannisper, but as I ran through quests and did some grinding in Silverpine Forest, I noticed something this RIFT blog alluded to, mainly I didn't see many players running through SF while questing.

Could it be that there is some validity to his claim that the world of Azeroth is mostly deserted and most players are hanging out in capital cities in Ogrimmar since the December 2010 release of Cata, waiting to queue into instances and ignoring the world altogether?

Even on a pvp server with a high population (which I am not sure mine is) this is very discouraging to see that players are not running around as much, even if I did get to meet Lady Salvanas ingame, which was a thrill for me.

Earlier this week there was talk about Blizzard revealing their quarterly numbers and indicating that their subscriptions had fallen, though it didn't seem the company was all that worried about RIFT and other newer MMORPGS dipping into their player base, at least not yet. RIFT might be the shinier, newer toy in the bin, but if all it can offer players is visual eye candy and a few other enhancements, who's to say that players will stick with it?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Massively Multiplayer Games for Dummies: A Retro-review

Recently I have been entertained by reading the book Massively Multiplayer Games for Dummies by Scott Jennings. They really should make a new edition of this book. I got my copy at the local library and since this book was first published back in 2006, a number of changes have been made in the industry since its initial release.

The game is written by Jennings, who worked as part of Mythic’s Dark Age of Camelot as a database programmer after his day job disappeared as a result of the dot-com crash of 2001. So when he wrote this book, Jennings had at least five years of experience with mmorpgs (probably longer) but you can tell how dated the book is because he makes references to defunct mmos like Shadowbane and The Sims Online. He also refers to these games as “mmgs” short for massively multiplayer games when the industry refers to them now as mmos. Perhaps the terms mmos or its lengthier acronym, mmorpg were not in vogue at the time the book was printed, but a google search of both will validate the fact no one calls these games mmgs.

So why am I reviewing this book now? It’s probably been reviewed before in other places in cyberspace, but I can’t help but to be fascinated by it, it’s not only like a history lesson in mmos, and somewhat of a time capsule because it includes a CD with a trial version of DAoC, a game most people still consider the best pvp game to date. It is interesting to note some of the things that have come to pass since Jennings wrote this book, and also interesting to see screenshots of the glory days of a game like DAoC, which he obviously helped to develop and is very knowledgeable about.

Mostly though, this book serves to outline the fact that mmos really haven’t changed all that much in five years, a period of time which can seem like an eternity in terms of today’s emerging technological breakthroughs. A lot of the information presented within its covers is still very useful, especially to a newbie. While it is amusing to check out the chapter on message boards to see how many of the fan sites listed are still up and running (surprisingly there are a good number) and find that the DAoC Allakhazam site has a 14-day trial to RIFT banner plastered on its home page, this chapter has good information beyond the obvious pointers on net etiquette. Maybe a new edition would make more reference to the obnoxious communities in some of these games, which people still bitch about even to this day, maybe not, but I found the entire enterprise fun and entertaining reading.

Though I had already experienced a lot of the things Jennings writes about, I think that the advice he presents here to new players is still quite valid. They should update this game for modern audiences and I think that they would sell more copies of it given the rising popularity of mmorpgs. I give it four out of five trolls. Now on to troll on that DAoC fan forum. He, he.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I love playing Wow

There I said it. I really love playing wow. This realization came to me as I started to level yet another toon, after more than a few months absent from the game. Even though there are many haters out there, especially since Rift came out a few months ago and a bunch of bored wow players and people not satisfied with their current guilds defected, there has been a lot of hate coming towards Blizzard's game, but say what you will out there, Wow is still a very good mmorpg, it is quite polished and the company makes constant attempts to maintain the classes in the game balanced.

Currently I started to level up an undead Mage priest, because even though they have some fun zones I despise the Alliance. I don't know why, probably because Blizzard seems to favor them over the horde. I like Orcs, I like undead, I like almost every class in the horde and I have only a minimal desire to play humans, dwarves and gnomes (though I think gnomes are the coolest race in the Alliance.)

But all of this is irrelevant, my personal preferences notwithstanding are not anyone's concerns and I am not telling you anything you may not already know, despite all the societal backlash and a lot of the negative pigeonholing of World of Warcraft players, this game is still loads of fun and isn't that the number one reason we play games to begin with? I will continue to play this and DDO, which are currently my two favorite online games. Y'all can continue to play Rift if you are so inclined. I have nothing against it, I may try it one day after I upgrade my system, until then I continue leveling up my main and my alts in Azeroth.