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My Gender is gamer.

I want an outlet to focus the maelstrom of thoughts i have about past, present and future games and put them up for like - minded people to experience. Some will agree with what i say, A lot more will not. I am excited about doing this already.

Author: DeserttFoxx

Lack of Imaginationland

Posted by DeserttFoxx Tuesday August 5 2008 at 5:54AM
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With all the new MMOs coming out in the next year, there seems to be a pattern set in stone. Write a story, announce it to the public, and make certain the game revolves around some existing IP, if it doesn’t, make sure it has dragons and buildings made of stone. MMOs just can’t seem to stray from the fantasy genre, nor can an original title seem to make its way onto the market. All the planned big mmos seems to be based off another game or story that was either a movie or an existing game and turned into an MMO. Which is fine, it worked for WoW, no reason it can’t work for everything else.

I don’t mind playing existing IPs, I will admit, I am looking forward to the KOTOR MMO, id also play the Dragonball MMO, and if it every surfaced, a Pokemon MMO. Its not the fact that they are existing IPs that bother me, it’s the fact that they offer nothing new to the genre. Developers think it is enough to take the IP and basically drag and drop their lore over existing mechanics and figure it should be enough to start siphoning money from their fanbase.

I remember the days when the only MMOs were EQ, DAoC , Ultima and a  few others. MMO gaming was so esoteric that the concept of paying a monthly sub was laughable to some people. And then with the success of World of Warcraft, it seems a lot of companies want to jump into the untapped market of making MMORPGs, but they all seem to be going about it the same way. Taking an existing IP and following as closely to World of Warcraft’s mechanics as they can, hoping if they can get it in sync they can take some of that blizzard cash for themselves. Its painfully obvious that developers or publishers don’t want to stray too far from that formula because they seem to be afraid to fail.

Another thing they are afraid to stray from is the sword and magic fantasy era, take Warhammer for example, now when I play Warhammer I only play the 40k version, and it is based in the very distant future, which is awesome. But of course when they decide to go MMO, they decide to base it in the time of sword and magic, why; Gamers need another fantasy MMO like they need a hole in the head.  Same goes for Aion, now Aion is different, it is being built from the ground up, but of course it is stuck in the fantasy era.

Are developers afraid to take the genre elsewhere? Why are there no modern MMO being planned, or Future, or steam punk, there are a few sci-fi but of course, that’s only because starwars and star gate are sci-fi, if they could find a reason in the lore to go fantasy I’m sure they would. I was really disappointed in final fantasy with this regard as well, now, when you think final fantasy you think Cloud, Sephiroth, Squal, or Tidus, and all of final fantasy worlds I remember were a unique mix of sword and magic and futuristic touch. I love the fact that you could run into a guy with a machine gun while you are using swords and staff, it didn’t have to make sense it was just enjoyable. So of course I was disappointed when the final fantasy mmo was another pure fantasy based MMO.

There are a few new IP out there, like Darkfall, but again they are stuck in the sword and magic era. My thoughts are, with total freedom to create whatever you want, why limit yourself to the rules of dungeons and dragons, why choose a genre? Why not, we have flying cars and dragons, and there is no explanation for why dragons exist alongside flying cars, who cares? Why is it, the only MMOs being produces in the future are riding off current IPs with established lore, do the developers not realize that existing lore is just an unnecessary shackle? And they could do so much more, and have so much more freedom if they just started creating their own games, with their own story from the ground up?

It’s not just the genre; it seems developers all follow the same set of contrived rules when it comes to class creation. Now I am not talking about the archetype system, i firmly believe every class needs to fit somewhere, and the 4 main and only archetypes are Tank, Close range Damage dealer, Long range damage dealer, and Support which includes healers and buffers. But why these pointless rules, why is it that every tank must be weak in terms of strength, every damage dealer must be a glass cannon, every support character must be supremely weak and inept, totally in capable of managing on their own? Why is it that, if someone uses magic they must be a mage, therefore must be long range and in robes? Why is the only way to be a tank, is to have a shield and heavy armor and standing up in the frontlines getting bashed around.

I really don’t know what to expect in the future for MMO, nothing seems too particularly inspiring, or next gen. Just the same things re-hashed over and over again. It seems like developers make a new game, and offer 1 new feature and it is enough for people to hop on and follow it for 3 years.

Take a serious look at the upcoming MMO and, if you like make a list of all the new things they are bringing and really gauge whether or not this mmo is worth your time, or even worth you dropping your current mmo.

I will start with Warhammer; the only new feature it is bringing to the genre is public quests. It originally had the level diversity system, where every time you gain a level your character would change in a way that would make you look unique, so by level 40 orcs would be bigger in actual size,  chosen would be darker and more sinister, and.. That’s all I can think of, the feature was dropped so Warhammer went from 2 new features, to 1. Age of Conan, new combat system, that is pretty big, not my cup of tea but impressive none the less, now before you say Warhammer has a new combat system too, I assure you, once you play it, you will be able to associate every combat mechanic with something found in another existing MMO with W-A-R in the title. Age of Conan also offered Nudity and sex, which I something not done in mmos, but they backed down from that and went partial nudity, so they added 1 and a half new features.

There isn’t much inspiration and I often ask myself why I still follow MMOs, it seems that nobody who enjoys MMOs actually makes them, otherwise they would realize it is time for something new, and no gamer wants to play the same re-hashed shit over and over again. Time to go wait for the next mmo, with another, solo-party- raid/pvp system.

 

(Links to videos updated) Huxley(Kr Open beta) Review - So this is what an MMOFPS is..

Posted by DeserttFoxx Thursday July 31 2008 at 5:37PM
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                After downloading all of these f2p games, and getting bored of every one of them, and having nothing better to do, I decided to go to the other side and check out the foreign titles. Now, I usually don’t mess around with MMORPGS I don’t understand, and for good reason, they are confusing and kind of defeat the purpose of an MMORPG when you can’t tell what the story is, but I decided to make an exception to my own rule when I came across the fact that Huxley was in open beta and the sign up process was rather simple.

                Now, anyone who has tried to play a Korean FPS knows that you can’t play them without access to a KSSN, but once you get past that hurdle you are off to the races.

                I didn’t know what to expect when I started to download this game, after all the current developer ideas of an MMOFPS contains an Item mall, a lobby and a 16 man room. The game’s client size is pretty big, 3.2gigs so it took a good amount of time to download, and after it finished it took another hour and a half to patch, but after that the game was ready to go.

                Before I start on the game, I have to mention the intro movie is absolutely amazing. Even without a single grain of knowledge of the Korean language, the emotion of the story was easily conveyed by just watching the CG Clip.

The clip was about 10 minutes in length, but after it was done I was excited about getting into the game. Choosing a server was rather easy, despite the language barrier, and the character selection as well. Now, anyone who has followed the game knows there are two races, the Humans and the Alteraver, the website will have you believe there is 4, but they just consider the female counterpart to be another race, which we all know it isn’t.

Now the character creation process was ok, it wasn’t really deep, but it wasn’t shallow either. There was just enough depth to ensure that I would be able to have a relatively unique face and the ability to move around the facial tattoos and scars helped widen that gap a bit more, but the slider variation weren’t all that different so in essence there is about 20-30 facial variations you could come up with for each race and gender, which is still quite a bit.

The initial cutscene after getting into the game is also pretty cool, if I understood what they were saying it would help a lot but it was still enough to give you some fairly decent immersion, but it loses points because it is the exact same sequence for both races. After the cutscene you are tossed into the training mission, which is also the same for both races.  If you ever played an fps game, then you know what this mission is, the usually walk, look around, jump pointlessly, crouch under debris, jump on the air geyser to clear the gaps…. Well maybe that last one isn’t common. Then a quick run through of the combat.

Everyone starts off with the same 3 basic weapons, which basically show the strengths of all 3 classes. A machine gun, small rounds, good for killing monsters medium to close range, has very little accuracy at long range and with the iron sights, makes it easy to bang those running headshots. A grenade launcher, slow, but good for groups of monsters, and a sniper rifle, which is obvious what it is used for.

Now the game plays like an fps, but more specifically, the game plays like unreal tournament. And that is not because of the engine it is built on, it has no ammo system, and it uses a series of nodes interspersed around the world to refill ammo, I will go on record saying I don’t like this ammo system, while it is great that it removes the need to stock pile bullets, since you go through rounds pretty quick, it makes no sense to have these things floating around the world.

But that was my only real dislike of the game, once you get out of the first town and into the first mission the game is freakin’ sweet. The missions are done in a way that basically focuses around solo to small teams. You get a nice feel because it plays like the story is focused around your team. You should know that both humans and Alteraver have the EXACT same missions, so besides looks and higher level gear, there is no advantage to either race; this is a smart move in my opinion, people can make their character based on what they like and not based on racial advantages.

Before you guys go into this game, I will try to paint a picture so you know what to expect. This game is not a persistent world. The game would be better compared to Guild wars then WoW, it has towns that function as a lobby, and massive world maps that are just solo instances for you or your team. But you can immediately see the unreal engine in effect, the game uses the stream loading system, and if you aren’t familiar with that it basically loads the game first, and then streamlines the textures in as you are running around the world. The load times are pretty impressive, especially since the game is so beautiful.

I only did the first two missions and I enjoyed them. But I must say, if you are a hardcore fps player like myself, you wont really be challenged by this combat system. Headshots are really effective, so if you have even a little bit of skill you can just rampage through all the monsters, and you aren’t allowed to change your gear or skills on a mission map so you have to return to town if you find a new piece of gear you might want to use. Items drop on the map and looting them just requires you to run through them, and the maps have home warps scattered around the world so getting back to town is really quick and easy. But like guild wars, every time you close the mission map the mobs all respawn and you have to kill them all again.

 

 

I only made it to level 5 on my first day, and I made a new character just to create a video to demonstrate the game from the beginning. I plan on going back into it today, and I will add more to this review the farther I get into the game. But so far, I really enjoy it, it actually feels like an MMOFPS, unlike the current games like Combat Arms and Warrock, the game actually has some element that extends past getting into a room and killing other people.

 

 

 

I think all those fps gamers looking for a good mix between story, fps and online interaction will enjoy this, but it may be too early to say, from what I read, the pvp zones don’t start until level 20 so I will get up there and get some footage of that to include in the next write up.

 

 

The Video will be a while, but when it is ready I will include a link to it in this write up.

 

 

www.youtube.com/watch - Video 1

www.youtube.com/watch - Video 2

www.youtube.com/watch - Video 3

 

The Art of Console War.

Posted by DeserttFoxx Wednesday July 30 2008 at 8:44AM
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                It is no secret that the MMO Genre is a big deal now, let’s face it, it is a massive cash cow and it would be silly for companies not to capitalize on its current popularity. The MMORPG market has been PC dominant since the very beginning but companies have been trying to branch out to console for some time now. The first attempt was by level 5, a game by the name of True Fantasy live online, the game sounded promising and I am not quite certain why it went belly up, maybe they decided it just wouldn’t work, or the console world wasn’t ready to embrace an MMORPG just yet. The first successful one however was Final Fantasy 11, for the ps2.

                The purpose of this blog is not to discuss the rise and fall of console MMORPG’s, with the announcement of Champions online, and Age of Conan being developed for Xbox 360, and DC Online being announced for PS3, it never fails the topic of which Next – gen Console is better arises. This is ridiculous in my opinion. Now, it is not the fact that these topics come up that bother me; it is the fact that these people who choose sides defend their console of choice.... vehemently, as if they have stock options.

I don't get this, and perhaps a fellow gamer can explain it to me. But why is it some people feel the need to take up a banner and wave it shouting “Xbox 360 is better!”, “Playstation 3 is better!”, “PC is better!”, “The Nintendo Wii is better!”?  And not only defend it, but insult people who play and enjoy other consoles. Now, I am a PC fanatic, I put a lot of money into my PC, and at the moment there is nothing that can push it to its limits, in my opinion PC is the strongest gaming rig out there, if you know how to work it, it has the best graphics, the best performance and the best potential. But this is not me pushing pc, the most important portion of that statement is, “In my opinion “which translates into, this is what I believe so don't come verbally berate me with your nonsense trying to explain to me why you feel console X, Y or Z is better than pc, because I don't give a shit.

Now, I have owned all the consoles up until the last launch, I simply can’t justify buying a ps3 at the price it is at, and if you read my E for everyone blog, that kid friendly crap on Wii isn’t my cup of tea. So I have PC and Xbox 360.

Now I know why all this exclusive console crap started, its main purpose is perpetuating sales for a certain console, what I don't understand is why gamers embrace it, and actually fight to keep this nonsense going. How many great games have you missed out on because you have been involuntarily drafted into this console war? Do you know how much money Microsoft and Sony shells out to convince certain developers to make their game console exclusive? A hell of a lot, I will tell you that, because it is a poor marketing decision to intentionally limit your customer base without a good enough incentive.

So why do people think it is important to to argue which console is better, instead of arguing enough is enough I want to enjoy all games on any system I choose is better for me.

For those of you who don't know, there is no significant spec difference between Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, besides the fact that ps3 is harder to create games on, anything made on the ps3 can and will play exactly the same on the Xbox 360. Wii is weaker then the two, but it also has motion sensor, which leads too a different market of games, and certain pc configurations far surpass all 3 of them combined, now that isn’t just speculation that is fact.  Consoles are just PC designed to do 1 or 2 specific things really well, and they are easier to maintain then pc, and come with the added safety net that anything you buy for your said console will work with no additional drivers, patches, or hardware upgrades.

So how much longer are we going to be a part of this war, I think it is time we stop focusing on the consoles and start focusing on the games.

Where already know all the consoles are great in their own way, now its time to release games to take advantage of that, it’s time for us to start demanding more multi-platform games and telling publishers we don't give a shit about console exclusives.

It’s 2008, and the only thing this console war has done is divide gamers, divide the player base. Why don't we have cross platform multi player yet?  We should’ve master that shit years ago, I can play an fps game just as well with a mouse and keyboard as I can with a controller, and I’m quite certain soul Calibur 4, ps3 vs xbox 360 would be some epic battles.

So, too all you guys who deem it necessary to choose a console and trash anyone who doesn’t agree that your console is the best out there I ask, what is the fucking point? Do you win a prize if you convert the most non believers to your console of choice?

The World is not Rated E for Everyone!

Posted by DeserttFoxx Tuesday July 29 2008 at 2:05PM
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                This is a topic I’ve wanted to discuss for some time now. There seems to be a trend going on in North America right now, which I like to call “My opinion should become law.” This of course, is referring to a lot of things, from drugs, alcohol, what age teens should start having sex, and what we as society should and should not be exposed to. Since this is a gaming blog, I of course will be talking about, the ESRB ratings.

Now, don't get me wrong, I agree with ESRB ratings, I think they should be on all games. After all, we as gamers need to know what we are getting into. The ESRB ratings give us a good idea If we are about to skip down the joy filled world of “Candyland Fun Happyzone”, or ripping down “8th street Massacre: Night of 1000 decapitated heads.”

The ESRB ratings serve their purpose, I use them when I shop for games, I make it a point to stay away from an game that isn’t rated at LEAST T for teen, that kid friendly crap makes me gag, but its good the option is there.

Now this is where the problems step in, : http://videogames.yahoo.com/feature/new-york-game-law-unconstitutional-/1232102

This article was linked a few days back explaining the fact that the state of New York deemed it necessary to force game companies to add parental locks onto all their consoles. Something they were already fucking doing mind you, the state deemed it necessary to remove the choice of including the parental locks on future consoles to making it mandatory.

But that is fine too, I believe parental locks make life easier for parents, especially the ones who aren’t extreme gamers, so did Microsoft and Sony, that is why they did the locks before someone decided to shove it down their throats, the issue I have is when the article chimes this little tidbit:

“Thirdly, it promises to establish "an advisory council to conduct a study on the connection between interactive media and real-life violence in minors exposed to such media."”

This basically means, lets find a way to blame video games for violent kids today. This started to get out of hand back with grand theft auto was released, and now I can’t even watch an episode of CSI without having some reference too some EMO kid gunning down his school and it never fails they find the new hit video game in his book bag mapping out the entire event. I was watching Numbers yesterday, I’m guessing it was a re-run, I don't watch it too often, anyway the premise of the episode was 3 disgruntled suburban kids, who were constantly bullied for playing MMOs, (which makes no sense to me, I go to a school where, if you didn't play MMOs you had something wrong with you, and I’m in college. And besides that, do people still get bullied? Have parent still not deemed it necessary to teach their little narcissistic hell spawn that we are in the 21 first century, and it’s not ok to verbally or physically attack someone because they do something you don't think is cool) And so, of course they decided to solve that problem with several semi-automatic weapons.  The reason the reference to MMO was significant was because apparently they decided to do this as a guild. I don't know what you guys talk about in your guild, but we usually talk about raiding Karazhan, not planning blitzkrieg the hallways of our school, Neo Nazi like.

It’s only in North America, where kids can shoot up their school because they were bullied and the thing that gets blamed is the video games, or the movies, or the music the listen too. Not the fact that the kids had access to weapons courtesy of that great second amendment, not the fact that there was apparent piss poor parenting involved that the guns were accessible, not only that the kid was so damn tortured mentally and yet you still couldn’t pick up on it, and not the fact that we still seem to be raising douche bags who think bulling is still an acceptable pastime, what is this the 1960s?

No, it’s the video games. It’s the video games that teach your kids how to use guns, how to fire them, how to shoot them, and how to desensitize you too taking a life of another person. And I got to agree, it is the video games, I mean, when I beat Grand theft Auto 4, I got my buy 1, get 1 free coupon code after the credits for a Glock 18 and a box of rounds, didn't all of you?

I said this in the thread in offtopic when it was posted, and quite frankly I enjoyed saying every word of it that ill say it again.

“Crusading against video game serves as much purpose as the fight against gay marriage.

Blaming video games for anything in society makes as much sense as blaming movies. If kids want to learn about violence they just need to turn on CNN, unless people have actually forgotten that this world rolls from one war to another. The fact is, it’s not the video games fault your kid is violent, or your kid knows how to use a gun, or your kid is a sociopath who hog ties fellow students who call him "gay" and anally rapes them with the nuzzle of a shotgun before he kills them. God forbid it has something to do with the fact that this kid has psychological issues, and access to a rifle because of your piss poor parenting, no; it was that mission in grand theft auto 4 that gave him the inspiration and the tools to carry out his act of mental depravity. Damn those sick bastards at Rockstar games for damaging today’s youth.

Seriously, if you are a parent reading articles like this and nodding your head in agreement, that video games are too violent and are to blame for the downfall of youths today, not only blamed, but taken to the extent that the government, and not YOU should be taking steps to raise your kid, you need to be euthanized, or at the very least castrated, because people who think like that shouldn’t be allowed to breed.

We have violent movies, violent video games, and violent music. And if your kid isn't smart enough to know, what is just for entertainment, what is just words, what is just something to experience and not act out, then you fucked up and haven't given this kid enough parental input to help him develop a morale compass. Do you know what I would fight for instead of Ratings, Censorships and bans on video games...?

Equal charges for parents and kids when their kid walks into their school with berretta and blows away half his class room because dad thought the best place for the gun was under the kitchen sink.”

But violence in video games is only one side of the spectrum. These ESRB ratings have developers afraid to actually push the envelope. Sure we have the rating “M for mature” or “A for Adult” only but there are still morons out there who ignore it. Last time I checked, every grand theft auto game to date was rated “M for mature”, not “E for everyone”.  “M for Mature” to let you know there are no flowers in this game, unless those flowers have a shotgun concealed within them and you are crashing a wedding or something like that. Mature, as in old enough to figure out that this is just a video game, and not the “final solution”...

And who do we blame for kids playing mature video games, clearly labelled mature; the game developers of course. It is only a matter of time before the government tries to dictate what content can make it into games today. There are some countries that outright ban certain video games for their content. Developers are still afraid to include nudity in video games, look at Age of Conan. A prime example, the first game to promise nudity and sex and when it came time to deliver they backed down. Not only that, they started patching what little nudity they did include.

Nudity is still a hot button for people, first it was killing, then that was accepted, then it was course language now that is accepted, now it is nudity, and it will be a while before that is accepted. It is amazing that people will accept rampant death, and wanton murder (that is what most grinding in MMORPGs are, randomly killing animals and people for any minor reason given) but the idea of nudity and sex offends them. This stigma on sex in society is ridiculous, on the hierarchy of bad things, Sex trumps violence.

Whether or not you want to see nudity and sex in a game is not the argument, but the fact that people are so morally against it, just shows what our values are today, procreation bad... Ending life, not good, but acceptable as long as we don't have to witness procreation. You may not agree with that last statement but if you look at how people get riled up at the thought of seeing sex or nudity in a game you will see there is subtle truth in the statement.

            “Well if you want to see digital sex you can watch a porno, there is higher image quality – hur hur hur”

Well if you want to see violence you can watch an action movie, what the fuck does that statement mean, I hear it as an argument so often and the people saying it actually think it is a logical response.(like porn Is actually accepted yet, porn is like one raunchy sexual position from being banned too) Seeing sex in video games is not the point though, and it does add another level of game play, and while I wouldn’t play a game that was just hardcore interactive sex, seeing nudity doesn’t bother me, I am saying the option should be available and accepted by now.

“But my kid could be exposed to sex! I don't want him/her seeing that until I feel they are ready!”

If you think your kid doesn’t know about sex you should probably watch an episode of Maury Povich, any episode... There are so many teens (13+) getting pregnant that dude will be pumping out paternity test until he retires.

“But it takes a village to raise a child, and we need to work together as a team to make certain our youths aren’t...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...”

Listen, that “It takes a village...” nonsense is just a saying, and not all of villagers like being involuntarily deputized to raise YOUR children. What happened to parents telling kids something’s are for children and something’s are not? Is it so much of a stretch that instead of taking over for parents we feel are doing a poor job that we actually take those parents and make it mandatory that they take a class or something along those lines before you superimpose your morals on to society as a whole.

Last time I checked anyone who doesn’t meet the age requirement to see sexual content or violence usually can’t afford to buy it themselves. If you personally feel a game is too violent, then don’t buy it for them.   Making the ESRB ratings law just further allow for parents to distance themselves from their primary duties of being proactive in their kids’ lives by letting the government do all the hard stuff for them.

And if they are downloading the games, make an effort to find out what they are interested in, what they are playing, if you don’t know what your kids are playing, what your kids are doing or what your kids enjoy doing, it is not societies job to find out for you, nor is it societies job to protect them for you. And if your 13 year old is letting his 18 year old friend buy the game for them then... you need to find out what the hell your 13 year old kid has in common with an 18 year old, seriously.

And by the way, when did we all of a sudden gain the right to decide a parent isn't doing their job? Is allowing kids playing violent video games and seeing nudity considered bad parenting, or is it more of a morale objection different for every person based on their belief?

When my kid gets old enough to tell the difference I don't plan on sheltering him from the violence and the nudity found on TV and video games, why because that is life. The world is not rated E for everyone, so trying to keep our kids from seeing it for the first 18 years of their life is just an asinine parade of delusion that will eventually damage the kid more then it helps in the long run. I’d prefer to explain it to him myself, rather than let him experience it on his own for the first time with no actually way of putting it together and understanding what he is seeing.

Besides, there is a housing crisis right now, a war, a homeless problem, people so poor if they miss one pay check their entire life will come crashing down like a set of dominoes, and so much other shit going on. Do we seriously have time to waste censoring video games? Or any form of media for that matter.

Wand To Buy  - My PUBLIC freedom of speech and expression back.

Will trade for my Freedom of choice

 

It's all down hill from here...

Posted by DeserttFoxx Monday July 28 2008 at 4:09PM
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                It is 2008 and we are rounding off the end of the year.  2 of the 4 “World of Warcraft killers” have been released, both failing miserably in my opinion. 

                The first, being Vanguard – Saga of Heroes, the game sounded so promising didn’t it. Flying mounts, seamless zones, character depth and variety.  A lot of great promises, until of course the game was released. Now Vanguard is one of the many games I got into beta early on with, and when I first tried the game, I couldn’t get it to run at all. Now, my computer is no joke, it was a beast back then, and it is a bigger beast now. The game was just poorly optimized and it was in bad shape, I couldn’t productively test the game, neither could a lot of other players, so it was very surprising when I heard I heard the game was ready for release. I knew instantly the game was doomed, and reluctantly made my way back to kiss the hand of the king I betrayed, World of Warcraft.

                Flash forward a year, a new combatant has made an appearance, several actually; Age of Conan, Warhammer: Age of reckoning, and Aion. So many to choose from, which one do I choose. And for a while, that was a difficult decision which kind of solved itself. I managed to get accepted to the beta for all of them, except Aion.

“This is great!” I thought to myself.

                The Age of Conan invite came first, at a time when I just quit World of Warcraft again for the third and final time. Therefore, I had ample time to test this game; unfortunately, this game was not much to look at. When I first got into the game I didn't have much to work with. There wasn’t much customization options, a lot of the things were either disabled, or missing from the game, the most glaring omission was the entire female gender. In a game boasting about mature adult content up to and including sex, I figured they were just paying more attention to the models. Anyway, when I got into the game it wasn’t too bad, for the beginning anyway, the story was a little interesting for the most part. The game was very buggy but that was to be expected, it was beta. Patch after patch, I realized not much was improving, and then of course, the announcement that launch is right around the corner, I had to draw the same conclusion I did for Conan as I did for Vanguard, this game is going to fail.

                The second and current invite is to Warhammer. I got invited into Warhammer a few months back, and while I can’t go into detail about the game. It is following the same trend. But Warhammer is the one that infuriates me the most. Mainly because of all the PR, the hype, and all the promises. I actually got suckered into hitching my wagon to this one. I actually bought Warhammer collector’s edition 3 months before I got invited into beta, pre-ordered in full. Which I never do, I had a lot of faith that this game would be a good game to play, and unlike Conan, after getting into beta it just confirmed my belief. What turned me off Warhammer Is not its condition in beta, but the fact that they drastically deviated from the games original design that sold me.

                Now people may disagree with me, but cutting for classes is huge. And the removal of the cities is big as well, but the classes are bigger for me. I see it as a removal of options, 4 melee classes, 4 melee classes that I planned on playing at some point. Now people say, well you can play another class that is a tank, or melee DPS. Which isn’t the point. The original appeal of this game to me was balance, and the removal of 4 classes fucks that up. The original promise was 6 races, with 4 classes each, with each class being completely unique of each other, and while they all played differently, they all were equal and could play their roles. No race was weaker then another because they were all supposed to be strong. Well that was all shot to shit with 4 races being removed. And you don't have to be in beta to realize this, but I will wait for the NDA to be lifted before I go into detail about it.

                Now the final game is Aion, and I admit, I don't know much about this games current state. But I attribute that to the game following the traditional Korean development style, which is make the game in Korea, launch it there, and then port it here and take very little to no input from the north American player base. Which is fine, it worked for lineage 2, I guess it can’t hurt Aion too much.

Anyway, my whole point of this blog is this, MMO’s seem to be going through this trend, of releasing unfinished garbage and having the consumer pay for it. I like to call it, paying to beta test.

“Paying to beta test” is when you dish out $80 for the box, and $15 for the sub, and then wait, while devs release patch after patch to get the game to a playable state. Vanguard is doing this, Tabula Rasa is doing it, and now Age of Conan is doing it. Warhammer however, is taking the high road, but not surprising us with it, they just figured they would tell is 2 months in advance that they plan to do it too.

Now I understand MMOs are persistent worlds, which are supposed to be constantly improved over the days, months and years to make the world even better then when it first was introduced. But that doesn’t mean getting the game to a state where it doesn’t crash, or where there aren’t any bugs that should’ve been fixed in beta, or so you can revamp the player model, that’s right change the entire model. Or promise to re-add shit that was originally planned like... oh let’s say 4 core classes, 4 cities and a level achievement system.

A lot of companies seem to think this nonsense is acceptable, and I don't know why more gamers aren’t outraged by this apparent trend. As much as people like to bash World of Warcraft, you all have to admit one thing; the game had a smooth launch. It was not buggy, it had all the original features and they weren’t talking about revamping any of the models. They had a queue problem but of course, they couldn’t anticipate how many people were going to buy the game.

Now I don't want to call Warhammer just yet, there still Is a few more months of beta left so I will sit back and watch its patch progress. And I won’t say the game will fail, because I seem to be 3 for 3 on that (yes even though I didn't talk about it, I did beta test Tabula Rasa as well) I will say, I cancelled my pre-order. And that is not because of the state of the beta, let me make that clear, it is because of the removal of the classes. That is too big of a change for me, and something I have to wait for launch to decide whether or not I still want to be a part of that game.

What causes these games to change so much when the eleventh hour approaches? They make promises, big ones, and small ones and then slowly start resending them. And just expect the fan base to stay loyal and accept it. And every time a promise is receded it is not because it was impossible to deliver, but more that they were trying to keep a deadline of some sort.

It will be a damn shame if Warhammer goes the same way Age of Conan did; don't get me wrong, I’m not saying the game is going to fail. I’m just saying, the gnomes will still be polishing Blizzards throne come September.

 

A lot of people blame the publishers for a rushed product, is that true, I don't know. I don't know why a publisher would want to rush to release an unfinished product, they can’t possibly believe it is a good idea, and they have to see what happens to the other unfinished products, I mean when it comes right down to it, it seems to be a global chant that gamers would rather take a game delay then an broken game. It doesn’t seem like anyone is actually listening though.

I really do hope that this isn’t a trend we can expect to keep seeing for every new MMO, it has been 5 years since I started playing MMOs, and only 5 games out of the many have gotten me to play longer than a month. Which is sad, I hope developers are watching and learning from the massive amount of mistakes. I’m sure these mistakes are expensive lessons to continuously relearn.

I hope MMO developers realize that MMO gamers aren’t looking for a game that lasts a month, we want something that lasts a decade.

My Gender is gamer.

Posted by DeserttFoxx Monday July 28 2008 at 2:40PM
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                After being a member of this community for close to 5 years and watching all the progress it is making, from the layout changes to the introduction of the new blog section, I decided it was time for the Foxx, to join the blog scene.

                Now, this is my first blog attempt ever, and I have no idea how this is supposed to go. No clue on how this should actually begin.  Do I use other blogs as an example, do I just start running my mouth and hope somebody cares about my opinion, how does this work? Therefore, I figured I would start with an introduction; a good start for my first blog would be a blog explaining why I decided to blog.  I cannot go wrong with that right.  Let us find out.

                Now, some of you reading this may or may not have seen my name on these forums or other forums, or know of me somewhere.  I have not used the name DeserttFoxx as much this year as I have in the past (Dropped the desert and adapted the title, Mr. Foxx.) but I am very vocal on most forums I frequent, and I will be the first to admit that I can offend some people.  I tend to say exactly what comes to my mind when I post, now that does not mean I attack people but more so that I firmly believe that people are entitled to their opinions, they should are able to say whatever comes to their mind.  In addition, people reading their thoughts should not hold anything they read against the writer, but just believe that speech is free, and everyone has their own opinion and, while you may not agree with what it is they have to say, you do agree with their right to say it.

                I chose the title “My gender is gamer” because I could not think of anything better to symbolize how much I care about gaming and the community that surrounds it.  Now that phrase “My gender is gamer” is a term I started saying back when I started with my very first MMORPG, which was final fantasy 11. My first character I created was female, and for the most part, 80% thereafter in every other MMORPG were the same.  Now, I do not role-play but I do use serious names for my characters, if I make a male character he will have a guy’s name, if I make a female character she will have a woman’s name.  And it never fails, after playing with people for a while, they will ask, “Are you a real chick?”, and I always answer, “My gender is gamer.” 

                I usually say that because it doesn’t really matter what my gender is, nor does it matter to me what your gender is, my only concern when I group with a person is, are you good at what you do, do you understand your class and can you play it.  If you cannot, then I will keep my distance from you regardless of your gender.  I do not think boys are better gamers than girls, nor do I think girls do things better then guys are.  Therefore, I expect the same performance skill from both genders equally, so the question is rather pointless.

                A little about me personally to end this, I am a guy, 21 years old.  From Toronto, Ontario and currently going to college for game design. I am currently not playing any MMO right now, but beta testing a bunch.  And I recently applied for a mod position with MMORPG, and they invited to the team so I hope that works out.  I used to be Lead Moderator for acclaim’s 2 moons forum, but when I started working full time I did not have the time to lead the moderators and the VGMs while working, hopefully I can help maintain this community, let’s wait and see.  Now I had to make a new name to take the position.  That of course was because, even if I made  a disclaimer before all posts clearly stating that my opinions are my own and not a reflection of the views of MMORPG staff as a whole, some people would be too stupid to believe that and still hold MMORPG Staff accountable for any statement.

 

And with that, I want to hit the ground running.  I have about four subjects burning in my mind right now and I plan to put them up shortly.  And what I hope to get out of this is not a fan base, nor approval, but simply a place to get some mental stimulation. I am all about the debates, so I hope I manage to spark up some good ones.

 

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