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Provocative idea's for the mind

Taking seriousness to a whole new level, analyzing current MMORPG's, and idea's for MMORPG's in the most logical ways possible.

Author: TenchiMuyo

Rohan Review

Posted by TenchiMuyo Thursday February 26 2009 at 9:16PM
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I've stumbled onto a little game, called Rohan. http://www.playrohan.com/

It seems like a pretty good game so far. My FPS is a bit choppy, but if I'm not running anything else at the time, it runs pretty decently, on my IGMA X3100. It's still a game in Open Beta, but it's rather playable at the moment. It's a little challenging, and offers a lot of character-customization, as you level. I currently have two characters, a lvl 16 Dark elf (Which is a Mage class), and a lvl 4 Dhan (Which is a rogue class). So yes; this will be a review from my first 16 levels in the game.

Your exp is viewed as a percentage, 0.00% to 100.00%, much like any other MMORPG we play. It has some interesting additives to the leveling system however, including a feature dubbed 'M. Kill' or 'Multiple Kill'. With M. Kill, each kill you perform, regardless of exp gain, increases your M. Kill counter. Which runs from 0 to 100. Every 20th kill, that kill gains a multiplicity bonus. For example, your 20th kill on your M. Kill counter, gives you a 700% increase in exp from that kill. So if you get a monster that gives you 100 exp...you get 700 that one time. It increases, all the way to 100, each 20th kill giving you a higher and higher multiple. If I remember right, your 100th kill gives you a 2,500% increase. It can make grinding a lot more interesting, and fun, if you're focusing on your M. Kill guide.

As far as Character Creation goes, your character has several stats. So far, each level gives you 4 attribute bonus points that you can align to a certain stat. The stats are, Strength, Intelligence, Psyche, Dexterity, Agility, and Vitality. Most of these are rather self-explanatory, but I'll go over them anyways, as there are some minor differences. Strength increases your melee attack score, and the amount of Weight you can carry. Intelligence increases your Magic Attack score, Magic Defense and your elemental resistance scores. Dexterity increases your Ranged attack score, and your accuracy with melee and Ranged weapons. Vitality increases your health, and physical defense score, Psyche increases your mana and Magic Resistance, and Agility increases your evasion rate.

It has a lot of sub-stats though, some mentioned above. Melee Attack, Ranged Attack, Magic Attack, Physical Defense, Magic Defense, Health, Mana, Resistance, Accuracy, Evasion, Mobility (I think that's your walking speed, though I'm not sure!), Attack Speed, Hp recovery, and mana recovery. They're all very self-explanatory, so I won't go into them in detail! Just suffice to say, Melee need Melee attack high, Archers need Ranged attack high, and Mages, need Magic Attack high.

As a Mage, I found very quickly that the game doesn't utilize skills the same way we use them in other MMORPG's. It uses a skill tree, and each level, you get a skill point, which you can use to raise your skills/spells. I was able to figure out right away what spells were best for me to use! I dumped all my points into a spell called 'Energy Sphere'. It seemed to be the Mage Classes main offensive spell. It basically channels mana into your wand, or staff, and increases your damage with it. At the 'Mastered' level, which was 5, it increases your damage by 170%. I've hit upwards of 500 damage now with it, and can take out a good half of my enemies hp in one strike.

I noticed a few buffs that would come in handy too. One such buff, increased my health and mana points by ten times my level. So, right now, at level 16, it increases my hp/mana by 160 points. To give you a good balance view, that Mastered Energy Sphere spell, needs 69 mana. My other two main spells, need 144 (It's lvl 3/5), and 176 (5/5). So it's a pretty useful buff, and it lasts for 21minutes (Why 21, I don't know.) Another good buff I noticed, only has 1 level to it, before it's mastered. It's the 'Dark Eyes' buff. I can use it to automatically detect rogues within 30 meters of my character, and it gives a +15% bonus to my magic attack score. Pretty useful...but it automatically puts my mana regeneration at -3. I don't know if it's a bug or not, but my natural mana regeneration is at 48.

I found some other good spells, ones I wouldn't probably be able to survive without. Health Coil, and Mana coil. These deal large amounts of damage, and turns a good portion of that into health, or mana for my character. Currently, my Health Coil adds 90% to my magical attack score, and gives me 60% of the damage as a heal. It's very useful, and I'm trying to level it up as fast as possible. It's currently at level 3 of 5. The Mana Coil, is devestating however. It gives a 150% bonus to my attack, and gives 90% of that as mana back to me. When I hit upwards of 500 damage with it, I can fill up more than half my mana bar in one attack.

There are a few bugs still, that need some heavy fixing (And they seem to have been there for quite a few months now). One major bug, is located in the Dark Elf's main city, Mortt. There's a large castle in the back of the city, vital for some quests you run. If you try to enter the castle however, it places you underneath the map for some reason; and the only way to get out is to use a town scroll/rune, to teleport you back to the city. So sadly, there's some quests you just can't finish.

And that brings us to a second problem with the game...it's lacking in quests! Currently, I'm simply in a grind fest, as the only quest available to me is a lvl 13 quest, that doesn't quite give a fair enough reward for the work in my opinion. I'm not sure when I'll get a new quest available, but all I know, is I can't PvP till I'm lvl 30, and there's very strong monster's blocking my path out of the first zone. Thankfully, due to the M. Kill system, leveling can be fun, and fast if done right (For example, fighting 19 monsters that are = to your level, then fighting a monster that's a few levels higher, to get a nice bonus).

 

All in all, I definately think Rohan is a game to test the beta for, it's playable right now, and it seems if you play a character other than a Dark elf, you won't have much problem with quest linear-ism. Just pretend that's a word, and we'll do just fine.

Let me know what you guy's think about it, and how your adventures were.

What can we do?

Posted by TenchiMuyo Monday February 23 2009 at 3:03PM
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I spent the last two blogs talking about a game I liked, and a game...well, I hated. Well this blog entry is actually a 2 parter, The first section is an announcement about a small experiment I'm going to try. The other is about a MMORPG that is related to the experiment.

Do our comments, our idea's, and our desires, fall to the wayside when it comes to game companies? A lot of popular games have established idea's, established goals, in their games. Games like The Sims, are popular, but pretty much, it's all the same thing, each time, no? Just new clothes, new animals, new housing items. GTA, pretty much the same thing, different storylines, some new weapons, and new quests, and area's. But same goal.

What's the main goal in a MMORPG though? What main focus can every player aim towards? Well, there's crafting, adventuring, PVP, dungeons, arena's, weapons, armors...the list can go on and on. Each person has their own goals, their own idea's, of what makes a MMORPG great.

Is this part of the reason, most people's idea's don't get heard, or read by MMORPG developers?

I'm going to test this theory, over the next few days. I'm going to write up a proposal for a MMORPG, Specifically one that got talked about a little bit around here, and send it to three major MMORPG companies, and three minor MMORPG companies, and see what they happen to say about it. And we'll see where it goes from there.

What about you, MMORPG.com viewers, have any of you ever sent an idea in to an MMORPG company, and had it integrated into a game you play(Or don't play, I suppose)?

PART DEUCE

This section, is about a little in-browser MMORPG, called Lands of Hope. It's website address is www.forlornonline.com/ It starts out with your character as a slave at a mansion, where you perform some small quests, to learn about the game. Eventually, you earn your freedom, and move on to the main map. The reason I mention this MMORPG, in relation to my experiment, is because in this MMORPG, all suggestions are taken seriously, and voted on by the community.

You can submit an idea, as descript as you please. Other users can go in and vote for, or against it, And the devs decide within 24 hours or so, whether it can or will be implemented. It's a very fun game, though can be quite tedious at times. There's lots of character customization. It's based on a level/skill/exp system. Your gain experience by killing mobs, or using skills. You raise skills by using them. Your levels raise your skill caps (Your skill cap is measured by lvl*5, so at level 5, the max skill you can have in any skill is 5).

The game can be quite long as well, as the maximum level is 1,000. There are several skills you can learn, including crafting, and gathering skills, which all cap at 5,000. There are many items, and spells to utilize as well, and is sure to keep any person busy. And due to being in a browser, you can play it anywhere.

Have any of you played this game before? If you have, what do you think of it, and did you ever submit an idea? Was it accepted?

 

Now for a game, that's not so great

Posted by TenchiMuyo Saturday February 21 2009 at 11:12AM
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Well, my last post here didn't seem to go too well, so I'm going to post a blog early. This time, I'm going to talk about a game that's not so great. I couldn't bare to play it for long, but I did so long enough to 'get the jist' of things.

This game, is made by Akklaim/Acclaim. It's called 2Moons. And it is one of the most horrible things I've seen before. The game is rated M for Mature apparently, and I can see why. So I'll start with the beginning.

Character Creation. I knew from looking through the website before playing, that the game was likely to be terrible. So I decided to do the only sensible thing. Play the skimpiest looking girl I could find. Which in this game, is the 'Segita Hunters'. They're basically the ranged + melee hybrid of 2Moons. They wield bows, and they can switch to a dagger-like sword. Their three sets of skills, are based into Archery, Combat, and 'Hunter'. Archery of course focuses on long-distance fighting. Which you can choose to wield a crossbow, which is slower, but more damage, and focuses on strength to wield them, or Archery bows, which are faster, less damage, and focus on Dexterity. Combat is melee, and Hunter are Buffs you get over a Looooong time.

So, I get this Segita Hunter (No male option, only female), and begin to play her. It seems confusing and clumsy at first, to move around. The camera control isn't that great, and there's no way to change how it works. I manage though, and start my first quest, which is to find my classes trainer. I go to her (She's rather skimpily dressed as well, at this point, I don't mind). I go to her, she gives me enough exp to get to half way to level 2, then tells me to go hunt some lvl 1 creatures outside the city. So I go do that. By this time, I'm already bored, and about to turn the game off. The clumsy walking, the camera, and the fact the rendering is only 5 feet distance, and, like the camera, can't be changed, has started to wear on my nerves...

So...I do the only sane thing. Try to see what the death sequence looks like. I see this giant deer like creature, glowing all around it's legs, horns, wings, all that good crazy stuff. It's name is in red, meaning it's a lot stronger than me. I decide, hey, no problem, this will kill me, and I'll be able to see what the death is like. So I start firing my bow, and use my one skill I have. My barely dressed character begins firing the bow she pulls out of thin air, and begins firing upon this strange sin against nature. It of course aggroes, and begins trying to come near me. But it can't. For some reason, my arrows keep knocking it back. I'm not using any special abilities, or special arrows, or anything. Each arrow hit knocks it back  a few feet. And I'm firing so blindly fast, that I'm actually pushing it further away. It takes a few hits, 15 at most, to bring it down. But I'm completely unscathed.

DING! Level 4. I jump from lvl 1, to 4, just from this single creature I shouldn't of really been able to beat. Out of sheer amazement, I decide it must of been a fluke, and decide to keep playing a little, till I find another. These aren't everywhere, but they are certainly not as hard to find as some bosses in some other games I know. I level up my character, as is the fashion in MMORPG's, I dump everything I can into dexterity. I upgrade my one skill a little, and go on with the quest, killing little bugs, which now die in one or two hits. I finally stumble across another sin of nature (Which by the way, drops over 100 'DiL', while the normal bugs I'm fighting, drop 4 DiL, and also drop many potions, and armor/weapons), and begin firing. The same thing happens. Same with the bugs, same with every other mob I meet. My arrows simply knock them back a few feet, they stall a moment, then start coming back at me...and pow, another arrow knocks them back. Now, this game may be rated Mature...but it's CERTAINLY not at the difficulty level for 17 year olds.

But not even to the best part yet. My character has been nude the entire time. No armor at all. Her avatar shows her wearing a skimpy thong, boots, and what can basically be termed as a bikini top. There's some metal on it. But mostly, it looks like cloth. So I decide, on the offchance I actually do get hit by something, I might want some protection. I go to my classes armor maker, and buy a full set of armor, that I can wear at the level I was at. So I put it on...and I notice something strange...

 

WARNING. THE FOLLOWING PICTURES ARE RATED M FOR MATURE, AND ARE MEANT FOR PEOPLE ONLY 17 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. THOSE WHO DO NOT MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS MAY EXPERIENCE TESTICULAR DROPPING.

 

Now, like any sensible, heterosexual male, I like something good to look at...And that's why I chose her, atleast have some nice jiggly rump when I'm running. But when your character looks more naked, when they're clothed, than they were 'naked', there's something wrong there. By the way. The pictures may not be in exactly identical poses, though they are close...but her breasts defy gravity, and float up and down randomly, I wasn't able to control that.

 

No real question at the end of this blog, just my...thoughts, on this game. If any of you have played 2Moons, feel free to comment. As well, still wanting feedback on my icon :p

Edit: And can someone explain how I can get the pictures to resize themselves, to show correctly? For now, just right click, and select view image.

A little game, that is heavily under-rated. An announcement of a little game called Planeshift

Posted by TenchiMuyo Thursday February 19 2009 at 6:15PM
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Edit: Also, let me know what you think of my icon. I built it several years ago.

Thinking on my last blog, and it's subject of Roleplaying, I began thinking of some games I've played in the past. One that really stands out in my mind, is Planeshift. The game is beautiful. It's still in development, but it has open-play for those who want to try it out. The game has no wiki, and it has no Player's guide. No spoilers guaranteed. But I will tell you a little bit about this game, in hopes, you all will take a look.

 

Planeshift is a world completely different than most any other MMORPG I've experienced. It has in depth storyline like nobody's business. The entire game is built around mystery, fear, and even a touch of xenophobia. The storyline is so indepth, and complex, that trying to copy and paste it from their webpage, would create the longest blog in MMORPG.com history. I will however, supply a convenient little link at the bottom of this blog.

A little synopsis however, is in order. The world your character knows, the only world it knows, named Yliakum, exists in a Stalagmite. Larger than anything your creature can imagine. It in essence, is as large as a planet to them...Whether or not they are tiny, or this stalagmite is gigantic, is not known...It holds it's own atmosphere, it has it's own sun, which is actually a crystal emitting light. The stalagmite's interior, where the life of Yliakum exists, consists of several cliffs, one atop another, creating shelves of land. Each land holds it's own mysteries, it's own ecosystems, and it's own purpose. One entire shelf, is devoted to farmlands alone, drawing energy from the crystal, that draws it's energy from the surface sun.

Yliakum, is a city. Inhabitants are diverse, and many; from monsters, raiders, citizens, all have their own place in the world. It is populated by certain intelligent beings however. The only two native to Yliakum however, are the Kran, and the Lemurs. They were created by the gods of Yliakum themselves, and lead to the city. Among the Kran and Lemurs, are types of Humans, Elves, and Dwarves. There are even stranger races, such as the Diaboli, which sport dark red and black skin, with two large horns apon their heads. The Enkidukai, cat-like creatures, that stand upon two legs. The Klyros, which seem to be highly evolved dragons, taking a humanoid stance in the world. And the Ynnwyn, a cross between diaboli, and elves.

In this city of many, there are also many problems. From a thief stealing from the stores of the local armor shop, or the threat of The Lift, being compromised. Almost every NPC you meet in this realm, will have a problem for you to solve...but it's not always easy...from answering riddles, to gathering books, there are no pre-set answers, no pre-set dialogue. If you want to ask for a quest...you best ask for it.

For you see, you don't click the NPC, or even right click the NPC, to get a quest. You literally must ask the NPC for it...For example, if I were an NPC in the game, you would have to say "do you have a job for me TenchiMuyo?". I'd tell you about my problems, needing some special herbs for a pie. I'd ask if you wanted to do it for me. You would have to say "Yes". You could ask me about the herbs, you could ask about the pie...by saying "Tell me about herbs" or "Tell me about pie". And then you'd go get the herbs, and come back, and tell me "I have the Herbs TenchiMuyo." and I'd reward you.

It's a tough system to go through some times. It's not all perfected...but it definately keeps the roleplay going. As I mentioned up there, I was thinking about games involving Roleplay. See, in this game...it is a relative rule, when talking to people...you have to do it in Character. Some just do it lightly. But some, can get pretty heavy into it. There's even languages, for some of the different races. I myself learned some of the Enkudikai language, as that was the character I played.

It's a very friendly community, everyone is willing to help...but like I said, no spoilers! They won't tell you directly how to do a quest, or what you need...but they'll always point you in the right direction. You'll always be able to get what you need, and you'll always be able to find some people to hang out with.

The project isn't run by an actual business so to speak, but moreso started as a school project, and evolved from there. The work that's done on the game, is done by volunteers, most of which are teachers, from what I learned while volunteering there myself. There's a lot to learn about the game, but it's something every MMORPG'er should check out.

The crafting there isn't too bad either; currently, there's no real visuals that tell you where ore is, but there are maps out there that will let you know where to go. As I said, it's still in actual development. But you can build pretty much any armor or any weapon that's in the game. It's a vast crafting system, and anyone playing it should definately spend some time to try to build their stuff.

All in all, the game is free, and definately should be looked into. Donations are accepted with them too, if you like it enough. They need to make a living too! I hope you all check it out, it's an underrated game, that definately needs some more lovin'.

Edit2: Wow, I did forget the link, sorry about that guys! http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/30

Roleplaying in an MMORPG; can it enhance your gameplay?

Posted by TenchiMuyo Tuesday February 17 2009 at 12:42PM
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Sorry for not making a post recently, had a lot of hectic things going on this weekend. This post is focused on whether or not roleplaying in a game, can make the game more entertaining.

I don't really roleplay with pen and paper, and I've never played a Dungeons and Dragons game (Outside Neverwinter Nights). But I do roleplay from time to time. And I have, for quite a while now. For those whom don't actually know what roleplaying -is-, it's the act of creating a character, whether virtual, or imaginary, and pretending to be that character, in the realm/area you use it. Such as people who play Dunegeons and Dragons, who dress up like their character, or people in World of Warcraft, who follow the lore and act what's called 'In Character'.

In MMORPG's, we're immersed in a world different than our own. It's a completely different universe than our own, and follows whatever rules the developers decide it should follow. The distance of a mile can be differed greatly, and the properties of water can be altered drastically. Video games give us the ability of simulation, or, the ability to explore different realities. Some games, let us play the life of a European spy, whom romances women, cheats at poker, and speaks in a humorous accent. Some let us travel through time with the power of a sword, to rescue a princess and defeat a Pig.

What do MMORPG's give us? They give us the chance to evolve past the developer's preset character. They allow us to create a character, all our own, focusing on what we want that character to focus on. There's different skillsets, different weapons, different abilities, different spells, different races, different classes, even different servers, to allow us to choose whether we want our character to live in a densely populated area, or a vast, empty realm. They also give us boundaries, to work with. There's a set storyline, a set timeline, quests, events, places, people...We get more freedom, yet boundaries, to keep things sane.

Now, what does roleplaying in an MMORPG mean? It means taking your character, deciding a backstory, and pretty much going from there. Your character can interact more indepth, you might pay attention to what NPC's say about quests more, instead of just clicking rapidly through the speech, and checking your quest book/log later. The game becomes more indepth. It allows you to see past 'A Game' and look more into that it's 'A new world'. These worlds can be similar to our own, in the sense of varying ecosystems, from water-parched deserts, to snow-capped mountains, to bountiful forests, to the dank dark undergrounds filled with illuminiscent mushrooms the likes of which you've never seen.

What's required for becoming a Roleplayer in an MMORPG? Well, first, you need to know whether or not the game your playing is strict on it's storyline. Games like World of Warcraft, have many predecessors to it, that set the storyline for hundreds of years before. Do you have to learn every detail? Of course not. But if you don't know that the area you're in is called Azeroth, you're going to have some trouble. Research a little. Learn some of the bigger events that happened in the MMORPG's storyline. Don't incorporate your character into it too much, but get involved. Your character may not have been the big hero to save the day. But they could have helped in a smaller battle, or even stared in awe as a child as the big hero walked through town on his way to battle. Get involved, and you'll be involved.

The benefits? Typically Roleplayers are more among the mature crowd. If you learn to roleplay, and play on a roleplay server, you'll be around mature people, who don't scream on Ventrilo, or do other stupid annoying things you'll meet on run-of-the-mill servers. You'll be able to appreciate the storyline of the game more, and will be able to be more entertained by the quests. It can help get out of the boring rutt of 'Go get this, go kill this, bring it back to me', if you know why you're doing it. What it's going to, why it's going to help. You can even get a heads-up sometimes, on what you might need for the next chain of the quest, to help save some time.

What do you think about Roleplaying in MMORPG's? Do you think it helps enhance the game? Do you think Developers could do more, to encourage actual roleplay? If so, what would it be? Do you think all MMORPG's should feature 'roleplay servers'? Tell me what you think MMORPG.com

MMORPG'ers consoled about their gaming.

Posted by TenchiMuyo Saturday February 14 2009 at 4:03PM
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Couldn't figure out a clever title using word play between 'console' the electronic, and 'console' the verb. That's as good as it's going to get for you all!

Well, as promised, the topic of this entry is Console MMORPG's. What's wrong with them, what can be improved, and what should be utilized in the future. I've only played a small handful of console MMORPG's...due to that there's only a handful of console MMORPG's. I've been demo testing that Star Ocean game on my Xbox 360 lately, and while, yeah, it's kind of cool to run around, use the voice chat and so on, it got dull quickly. There wasn't much depth to the game, no real 'You just got this level, what are you going to do with it?' to it. That was one of the major problems with it as I saw. Yes, the options of using skill sets are limited, but games have done it before.

Mass Effect, an RPG on the Xbox 360, utilizes many types of abilities based by what type of weapon you're wielding, and what skills you have. They're accessed with a radial dial style pop-up. The game does pause itself, while you select a special ability, and you can queue up all your party members to use different abilities at the same time. The game doesn't have to stall to allow you to use special abilities in this way, though of course, in a real-time game, it's not always the best choice. I got to thinking the other day, and both the PS3, and the Xbox 360, have attatchments to allow you to use a mini-keyboard...

 

Why not make it bigger? Make the keyboard slightly bigger, or create an entirely new 'MMORPG' attachment. Gives you ways to access hotkeys, so you can use special abilities faster on the spot. As for leveling up issues, I don't see why a menu screen can't be utilized. It could be an almost exact replica of any MMORPG's character screen. It could allow players to view their character more indepth than current Console MMORPG's (CMMORPG's for the ease of writing this blog further).

CMMORPG's also have the bonus of developers knowing their limit on the game. They don't have to worry about 'Okay, does 10% of the MMORPG population have a computer powerful enough to run this?'. I know personally, my major frustration with MMORPG's, are the system requirements. I'm sadly stuck with a laptop due to University reasons. I need the portability. Sadly, my laptop is plagued with rather crappy specs. I can run most things, but my laptop gets rather burning hot. I've had past Laptops actually melt from trying to play some games. Literally melt, the little plastic hinge separating from being too hot. LCD burning out on one side, from the sheer heat. But it's sadly what I'm stuck with; And I know my laptop won't be able to play much of anything new.

My xbox 360 however...has the same hardware as the next guy's. I don't have to worry about it being strong enough to play a game. It is. Moving on to consoles as well, would give developers a larger audience, a new way to bring people who don't normally play MMORPG's, to play them. In all honesty, no matter what genre's you play...it's pretty hard to hate MMORPG's. They're addictive, and constantly keep you hooked. With CMMORPG's, developers would have less marketting worries, players would be able to play no matter how powerful their computer is, as long as they own the console (And, from what we've heard and seen so far, servers CAN be set up between different consoles, alongside computer's, meaning even if your friend has a PS3, and you have a 360, you could still grind together).

 

Basically, in closing: The Next-gen systems are damn powerful. It's about time we see something that truely shows that power, that vigor that we see in current next-gen titles. What do you, MMORPG.com, think should happen in terms of these CMMORPG's, and what features do you want added, changed, or taken away?

Innovation in recent games, What do you enjoy seeing?

Posted by TenchiMuyo Friday February 13 2009 at 6:51PM
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This one is going to be relatively short; as I haven't had much to say about it, it's more of a way for me to see what other people's idea's are on it.

In the wake of the most recent MMORPG's, we've begun to see some new features added. In World of Warcraft, we saw the arena built, where players could achieve objectives by running to certain places, taking control of things in a king of the hill style mini-game. Rewards are given based on cumulative performance over many many plays. Warhammer Online has 'neutral grounds' with mission objectives, castles, and are rewarded, similar to a mini-game.

MMO's are coming out with new ways, to make themselves different from everyone else. Some are successful. Some, people endure. Some, people hate. Do people really go into the arena for fun; or only to get the points needed for the armor, or weapons given as reward? I remember before I quit WoW, the arena was difficult to get people together for, at lower levels. People didn't care about it, because they knew they wouldn't be able to get the weapons and armor for a very long time. So they waited, and left it for 'another day'.

We've started to see hybrid MMO's, including MMOFPS, MMORTS, MMOTBS, MMOTCG's, and probably a few others I can't think to mention. These hybrid genre's give way to new types of gaming, new genre's that weren't thought of years ago. It's given people chances to merge their favorite genre's into one game. Sure, they're not perfected yet. But they're improving.

What sorts of things have you seen recently in MMO's, that weren't there a few years ago? Does it work well? Is it entertaining? Are they mere features, or things that the game focuses on as a main thing? And what sorts of idea's do you have; that would allow these features to be improved, or do you have something new altogether?

I personally, would love to see 'homes' like in EQII and SWG more often. I enjoyed being able to hang trophies, and decorate my room to look different, and show off my accomplishments. I enjoyed finding new ways to use items, in order to make the room look different, and to have my pets roam around the room. I would love to see multi-level houses too, houses which have a second, or even third floor. Or a balcony you can decorate. It offers a way to realize that even in a world of turmoil, and constant random respawning of monsters, there's a place all your own, and a place to relax, that is peaceful.

Is simpler (Or in some cases, Dumber) better?

Posted by TenchiMuyo Thursday February 12 2009 at 10:51AM
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I've been hunting for the past two months or so, in the wake of Darkfall, to try to find a good MMORPG to past the time with. And I was willing to play -anything-. Including games with low votes, or games that hadn't been updated in 5 years. I even resorted to playing children's MMORPG's. Now some of those children's MMORPG's, were dreadful. So dreadful, I simply had to stop an hour in. One such game that comes to mind, was Fusion Fall.

I normally don't consider myself snobbish, or spoiled when it comes to Graphics in video games. Possibly related to the fact, I've never owned a powerful rig. Right now, my gaming computer, is actually a laptop, with a duo core 1.6Ghz processor, and an IGMA X3100, and it's motherboard can only support 2 Gigs of RAM, max. Which is mostly taken up by running the godawful Vista. Now, I'm grateful for my laptop. It's a real trooper, it oftentimes, will play games it's not supposed to be able to play. And when I get to play a MMORPG, that the laptop technically shouldn't be able to; I rejoice. Sadly...some MMORPG's I've purchased; such as the CoV/CoH combo package. That won't play. At all. I've sadly never had the chance to create my own superhero. Back to the main point though, Graphics...Fusion Fall is gritty. Grainy. Blurry, and most of all, was simply a terrible job all together. They tried, they sure did; and I'll give anyone, who creates any game, that amount of credit. But it was so painful, literally, to look at, I had to stop, close the browser, and go pop some advil. It gave me a headache.

Another simple game, one normally meant for children, actually seemed to be a bit enjoyable. It's called Wizards101. This game was actually quite enjoyable. The characters pretty much all look the same, except for the clothes, and the battle system, is based off card play. simple enough. Wizard duels can range from 1v1, to 4v4, players verse players, or players verse monsters. The battle system is simple, you get near a monster, and you run to a dueling circle automatically. It shows you cards you draw side by side; you choose one, then choose your target, and the game takes over from there. It's turn-based, and, I'm afraid I still haven't quite figured out how the game chooses who goes first, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. Certain monsters have certain weaknesses, Fire, Water, Death, Life, so on and so forth. Those do extra damages, and you can use some buff, or debuff cards to make the monster weak temporarily to a certain type. It's a simple game. Very, very simple. But I found myself enjoying the game. It was simplified, but not overly so, that the game was boring. And some of the quests were actually quite interesting.

One of the most simplified games that comes to mind, is AdventureQuest. I'm sure most of us have played through it, but if not, here's the Premise. You start off in a small town, you're a mere adventurer. You go off doing quests, level up, buy new weapons, armor, and magic spells. You eventually choose a type of class, which gives you some special abilities. That's pretty much it. The game claims to be free, but in order to really do much of anything, you do have to pay. there's restricted armors, restricted special abilities, weapons, spells, area's, quests, so on and so forth. It's a decent game to try, but the restriction to free to play, for such a simple game (Which they're able to build a clone to every 4 months, As I'm writing this, I'm seeing a new ad for 'Shadow Tale' which I'm most assuredly is exactly like Dragon Wars, and that space-based one.)

 

Now to the more complicated games I've noticed.

Eve Online, a game filled with spaceships, missiles, lasers, battle guns, and rockets...and apparently, rocket scientists, as you need to be one, to perform all the calculations needed to figure out what your ship is. I jest, but it really can become a bit complicated, if you don't have a tool, such as the EFT (Eve Fitting Tool). The game requires constant calculations based on how fast your missiles travel, compared to the speed of your target, compared to the distance of your target, to find out if your missile is going to hit. Then again; by the time you actually do all that math yourself, you'll know based on the damage counter on your enemy ship. Luckily, as mentioned, tools can do all that for you. Not live of course, but you can figure out what the max range of your weaponry is, and how fast your enemy can be traveling at that point. But you also need to figure out, when you get a +25% bonus to your shields off that one item you just got, how much does that actually give you...when you consider the +10% and +15%, that doesn't stack, but is rather added as you go. EVE Online is actually one of my favorites, and is a real gem in my opinion. The economy is realistic, and is actually quite balanced, even though it changes from day to day. The quests take you to new area's, and new looks, and there's always the way of the not-so-peaceful-always-attacked-by-pirates miner. Or, the lowly thief, that picks on the miner (me). Overall, the game can be quite involved, but in my opinion, it makes the game interesting, and allows the player to make many, many decisions. In reality, it kind of reminds me of common RPG's of our time, such as Fallout 3, and Fable. Each thing you do, can raise, or lower your 'security' level, which is similar to a 'moral' level. Bad things lower it, making you a pirate, good things raise it...really doing nothing for you.

 

What do you think, MMORPG.com, does simplicity really matter? Or can can a highly simplistic game, be fun, and vice versa, can an overly complicated game, still be fun? And does it matter on what that simplicity, or what that complication is based in (I mean a specific part of the game, such as PvP, or storyline, so on).

What can make or break a MMORPG, in my view

Posted by TenchiMuyo Wednesday February 11 2009 at 12:09PM
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Well, my last post got a lot of good, positive comments, so I'm hoping my post was truly enjoyed. Keeping to what I said, for 7 days I'll be posting new things. Mostly introductory, so you can get a little idea as to what I view MMORPG's as, then I'll start writing reviews and more idea's, based on games I've played.

 

People play MMORPG's for different reasons. Whether it's the social aspect, which in of itself has several different reasons, or the ability to create a character all your own, based solely on what you want in him or her. Or the ability to explore the indepth...or not so indepth crafting system of the game.

The social aspect covers a wide variety of things. From making friends, to building guilds, to killing every poor schmuck (I use this word in the sense to mean 'oaf' or 'fool', not the form that refers to a male reproductive organ) that comes your way. Personally, my favorite is the latter. Any game that can captivate my desire to destroy my fellow man, is a playable game in my opinion. I have set rules...a sort of 'codex' that I abide by. I find honor in it actually. I will PvP anyone within 5 levels of my persons, on sight. Anyone lower than such, must end up attacking me first. Then I will kill them with the might only the strokes of my keyboard, and the pounding of my mouse can tell.

When we PvP, what exactly are we doing? Is it considered griefing, to attack someone out of the blue? Does it make you a bad person, to kill someone? In most games, you do not lose any items that you had on your persons when you die. To name a few would be redundant, as we all know which ones do and which ones don't. Is losing all of your items you have on you, really such a horrible thing though? Maybe in a game where losing all your items isn't common place, sure. If you all of a sudden lost every single thing you had in all your bags, and your equipment slots in World of Warcraft, many little emo boys and girls would be cutting themselves very, very deeply. And as much as we joke about the emo's, we all really don't want that, do we?

Now, why is losing all your items in runescape, and losing all your items in WoW, so different? Runescape, has pretty much always had the penalty of losing your items. The economy of Runescape, adjusted. Or rather, built itself to what it should be; as it never really had to adjust. Imagine how things would be, if pk'ers never lost their items upon death? The economy would be drastically changed, and balance itself out...Rune would cost much, much more, everything, would have a higher worth. Crafting might actually be worth something.

In WoW however; the economy hasn't adjusted, at all. Someone losing their items would have no idea what to do. Hours spent going through those tough dungeons, or running all over Azeroth for that one quest. It would be a disaster.

So you have to think; what would an MMORPG need to succeed, when it comes to PVP consequences? Runescape has some interesting consequences. Loss of items; pk skull, all that good stuff. But the gains often time outweigh the consequences. Now, in WoW...what is there to PvP? A bonus to your military rank? The ability to trade that in for points to an NPC? That's pretty much all the PvP they have, aside the arena.

Now, a game that has recently come out, that I adored the PvP in, was Warhammer Online. It doesn't like my laptop very much, but it loved me enough to run it decently at low graphic levels. And it was still a beautiful game to me. Every map had potential for PvP. Every where you turned, there was a chance of ambush, or walking in on a battle. I remember this one time, as I was playing a ranged character (I won't go into details, since some might not know what the heck I'm talking about), and in this one map, there's a large, naturally formed stone bridge, connecting the 'neutral' territories to the owned territories...

Just a quick intermission, to explain the territories. Each map, except the 'capital' maps, have three territories. One Destruction, One Order, and the Neutral lands. Destruction on one side, Order on the other, and a neutral, PvP land between them (all lands are PVP enabled on some servers). In this neutral land, they have 'innovated' PvP to include some new things I hadn't seen before. There's large castles, and small mission objectives, like stables, or forges, that you can fight against the enemy players for, and gain military ranks, good loot, tons of exp, and probably some stuff I've forgotten.

Anyways, back to the story, I was on my side of the territories, and I spotted a weak little magic-style character on the other end of the bridge. And it was oooooon. I chased after her into the neutral lands, and battled with her for what must of been 5-10 minutes, across the entire land. Grand battle. I eventually won, I was able to root her long enough to get off several good shots on her. There's no real penalty to PvP in Warhammer...but it's kept fun by the way they do it. And I think that's the balance. Now, there's still a number of things wrong with Warhammer Online, such as originality, boring quests, difficulty getting a PvP party up (For some reason, regardless of what side I play, I seem to have trouble getting people to take over, or defend castles).

Well, that's my opinion, and you don't have to like it; let me know what you think!

Edit : Not really any sort of question, just more of provocative thinking. Some people are happy with the MMORPG's that are out. A lot of people aren't though. And partly, that's our fault. People need to voice out their opinions, and let the companies that build the MMORPG's, know what they like, and what they don't like.

Just another one of my idea's.

Posted by TenchiMuyo Tuesday February 10 2009 at 10:39PM
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I've had an idea in the back of my mind for a while now, and looking at this 'Deadly Creatures' game for the Wii, it got me thinking on it again. I was trying one day, to figure out the things that make up current MMORPG's...and what's completely wrong with those things. Today's MMORPG's are just clone after clone after clone of each other...and like scientists theorize with real cloning, each clone is weaker than the last.

I remember my first experience with an MMORPG. I'm sure 99% of all people who have internet, know of it. Runescape. I played that game for years. There were many aspects of it that kept me hooked. The quests, while simple and easy, were new to me. I'd never experienced 'Go grab this item, this item, and that item' before. It was something all new, and it hadn't become tiresome. I completed all the 'Free to play' quests, and had realized the character I built, wasn't that great. He wasn't strong. He wasn't powerful. He was, in all ways of the word, weak. I paid the consequences for my choices. My decisions of what skills to raise...

So I did what everyone else did, I built a mage. All powerful, all knowing, wise mage. And I pwned. It was costly to play, but luckily, my prior character was a miner and crafter. Soon, I was out pvp'ing like never before.

Sometimes, simplicity in an MMORPG, is golden. You are who you are, what you do decides what happens to your character in the long-run. In a way, Runescape is actually more advanced than linear leveling games we have now, like World of Warcraft, and Everquest. If you made poor choices in Runescape, you paid for it. If you make poor choices in WoW...you pay 2 G or so, to respec.

So it comes down to the idea I spawned a year or two ago. And back to the mention of 'Deadly Creatures'. A game, revolving around the world of an insect. If you think about it, in one single ecosystem, there can be hundreds, or thousands of insects, with tens, or even hundreds of different species. In the Jungles, you can have 10 different types of spiders, ants, beetles, roaches, and many other types of insects one doesn't commonly think of. And what do insects do? They fight, they defend, they live, they die, they gather, they reproduce...It's all things that define an MMORPG...except maybe the reproduce part.

My idea comes together as this...different servers available, with different ecosystems. Swamp, Jungle, Desert, Urban, so on and so forth. Each server having different species to play. Different techniques you can use to battle. Ants, believe it or not, are a form of ranged-attackers. They can basically vomit up stomach acid onto their enemies, to melt them. They also have incredible mandibles, extra-sensory, and come in huge, mass numbers. Spiders, are durable, poisonous, fast, and can set traps like no other animal we know. Some spiders, even dig holes underground, and hide under a rock, till it's victim comes near, then drags it into the dark abyss of the earth.

All insects have defense mechanisms, and offensive tactics to fight with. Why not bring this opportunity to a game? Leveling up may seem like a difficult thing to do, but it's truly not. Carapaces can be shedded, thickened, you can increase in size over levels, becoming stronger, or faster. You can gain experience in your traps, or tactics, and become a better fighter than before. Quests could be given by your 'empire' leader, such as going to collect dirt grains for your nest, or harvesting wood pulp for your hive. Spiders, being more solitary creatures, could start out as a hatchling spider, and work with it's other hundred or so siblings, eventually finding it's own place to make a nest.

It seems like in the idea of fantasy worlds, and macro-universes, we forget to look at the interesting possibilities that the small insect world can accomplish. You wouldn't have to be constrained by 'where do we place this tree, or where can we fit a building' everything, and anything in an insect's world, is simply there, and is accepted. It is utilized, and gathered.

What idea's do you have, MMORPG.com, and what might you be able to say, to expand, or speak of my idea?

 

Edit : Oh, and I hope I get some decent views. I plan to try to write a blog every day for a week, then every other day from then on. I often play a MMORPG for a week or so, then give up after becoming bored with it. I'll try to speak of the ones I play, and give my honest opinions on them.