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.