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Dagmar's topics
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Current Topic: Multiplayer Online Games

World Of Warcraft Real Life Tabards
Topic: Multiplayer Online Games 9:27 pm EDT, Oct 22, 2008

If you're a World of Warcraft player, you'll probably be reaching for your wallet in a few minutes after seeing this site. Sorry about that.

If you're not a World of Warcraft player, you'll probably just find this too nerdy to contemplate.

WoW Players can now have their guild tabard and character information emblazoned on t-shirts or hoodies. Actual clothing. For wearing and stuff.

I can't get the tooltips to work, so I don't know what the stats are on them tho'.

World Of Warcraft Real Life Tabards

FunCom blows it. Age of Conan in flames
Topic: Multiplayer Online Games 1:42 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2008

So, in case any of you were out there wondering about the Age Of Conan release (or if you had the misfortune of trying it) it's becoming clear now that Funcom has managed to muck things up pretty severely.

A quick review:
* System requirements for the game were laughably wrong
* Large amounts of the promised PvP content never actually made it in
* Massive errors with billing people after they'd cancelled
* Heavy-handed ban-stick use by moderators in the official forums for
questioning any problems.
* Aggressive hiding and denial of bugs by devs (including a seemingly sexist
problem of melee attack speed for females)

The linked article covers this and more, up to and including a look at their stock performance after release (apparently investors thought it might be a good idea to look at the game, and then started selling).

FunCom blows it. Age of Conan in flames

Oh god no, not high elves!
Topic: Multiplayer Online Games 8:52 am EST, Nov  1, 2005

I thought that after the beta ended I'd seen enough of this game to merely be satisfied that it exists.

...and now they've gone and decided to add high elves. Elves with proper fair skin and upright pointy ears.

I am dewmed.

Oh god no, not high elves!

City of Heroes
Topic: Multiplayer Online Games 4:01 pm EDT, May  5, 2004

If you're a fan of comic books, you've probably already heard about this.

If you're a fan of MMORPGs, you're probably starting to hear about this. Some of what you're hearing is likely bad. Some of what you're hearing probably sounds like nothing more than incoherent fanboy ravings. Likely none of it mentions that Cryptic Studios has produced a decent game of a new genre in a field packed full of elves, trolls, and mostly stagnation. In City of Heroes, comic fans can finally live out their favorite fantasy... i.e., running around a city in trouble equipped with nothing more than a fancy spandex suit and an expression of grim determination.

Oh, and super powers.

Cryptic Studios has done some things upside-down from other MMORPGs, and in the process eliminated a lot of the dross that generally bogs down other games. There is no inventory, no loot, and no money to speak of, so you don't have to worry how you're going to buy the next needed sword of munchkin-slaying +6. You don't have to stop in the middle of a fight to pick up the loot before some @#$@ twit makes off with it. You don't have to worry about organized crime rings in Korea embargoing the "best" areas and selling everything on eBay. You don't have to mess around with endless clicking to make piles and piles of boots and/or paper dollies. You just talk to your nearest contact (think Department of Employment for superheroes) to pick up a mission and go there, or not. The city itself is _rife_ with crime. Go down almost any alley or into any back parking lot, and you'll find muggers, thieves, vandals, and street fights, all with a serious hatred for people wearing tights.

Character generation is a breeze unless you're an obsessive-compulsive. You pick from a set of five origins (namely, whether your superhero got his powers from magical study, through genetic mutation, by prudent use of technology, etc) and then from there pick two sets of how your powers play out (energy, weather, gravity, fire and etc). Unlike other games where you start out looking pretty generic, and have to play for years to collect the shiny baubles known as "uber gear", you also get a really, _really_ customizable costume. You can look like pretty much any 4-color process freak you've ever seen, and there's even a button there for generating a costume and look entirely at random if you can't think of anything. Your starting super-powers are about as visually impressive as what most games pass off as high-level abilities... and there's almost no way to pick a set of powers that don't entirely "work" together. Things progress quite quickly as well, as one of my housemates bought this and has been playing it, and after about 12 hours total of gameplay, with a small group the screen fills with so much eye-candy during combat, you'll wonder why it's not going to turn your eyeballs into rock candy.

Basically, this game combines the best elements of what makes MMORPGs ... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

City of Heroes

Topic: Multiplayer Online Games 3:29 am EDT, Apr 13, 2004

Despite the rather enormous failure of Ragnarok Online, the Korean nation has launched yet another RPG in the general direction of North America. Lineage ][ has been plagued by bugs and network connectivity issues, but is at least somewhat playable in it's current state.

It's currently in open beta, but for reasons of their own NCSoft appear to be dragging their feet in fixing much of anything. No idea what's behind that, but apparently they're having their hands full just keeping the network up or something. Stranger still, when the game hits stores on April 28th, the client will then be patched to "Chronicle 1" status, which was apparently already released in other countries during their normal operational period some time ago.

Hobby exploiters will want to get cracking, apply for a beta key, and get some levels under them before the end of the open beta on April 28th when the game goes pay-to-play and the usual unwashed masses go berzerk. PK action, griefing, and other acts of random cruelty will probably be at their peak during the final week. Should be a blast. :)

If nothing else, people halfway around the world do come up with some interesting game balance mechanisms.

Followup on May 5...

I am shocked and dismayed (as opposed to shocked and awed) that Lineage2 turned out to be such a blatant money grab. Now that all the cards are face-up, it's pretty obvious that there's something more than a little lame was going on with the producers of this game. Within days of the open beta of this game and the announcement that there would be no player-wipe at the end of it, in-game currency started turning up for sale on eBay in almost ludicrous amounts. Then we find that the codebase being used for the North American release of this game used a codebase that was replaced in Taiwan and Korea many moons ago, _complete with bugs and exploits that had already been fixed in those regions_. The developers informed the player base that the game would be updated to the latest codebase when the game went to full release, in the meantime, they just started disabling the quests and actions that the majority of the player base figured out they could exploit from reading English-speaking webboards. At release time an even bigger shock, the patch to fix all the numerous problems in the game gets pushed back two more months, and in the meantime, it appears only a very short list of things were fixed as a result of this "beta test". About the only intelligent thing that was done during beta was to eliminate the biggest griefers from the game by deleting their accounts, and this appeared to only come _after_ the developers realized that Americans might like PvP combat, but they won't tolerate having to put up with the antics of players who are little more than rabid dogs with a poor grasp of English.

Personally, when I sign up for a beta-test, I expect that the bugs I report will get _fixed_ and not just swept up under the rug until they've been used to amass a small fortune of real-life currency.


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