There are a lot of cultural and game-play difference between Eastern and Western MMORPGs. World of Warcraft, the planet’s biggest MMORPG, is the West’s crowning glory and is the epitome of all things “western”, i.e. subscription, gameplay, style and theme. For us Asians, we embrace the F2P (free-to-play) business model, Item Mall and (to some extent) grinding.
Join me as I examine the many difference between Eastern and Western preference(s) in online gaming…
I was recently at Seoul, Korea to attend the annual GStar event, a massive games show about online games. The show was held at the Kintex exhibit hall from Nov. 13 to 16, 2008
Of course, the booth babes by such developer giants as Nexon, JCE, and NCsoft were the crowd drawers. Check out more of the photos for your viewing pleasure
Trick or treat, anyone? These Halloween costumes are HOT, HOT, HOT
Team Thailand was recently crowned the 2008 Ragnarok World Champion in the just-concluded RWC 2008 held at Manila, Philippines last Oct 18 and 19.
Thailand edged out Korea 3-2 in their best-of-five finals match to secure the crown. Host country Philippines settled for 4th place when they were defeated by Indonesia in the battle for third.
The RWC 2008 was part of Level Up LIVE - the Philippines' annual, biggest online gaming event. Level Up, publisher of well-know MMORPGs such as Ragnarok, RF Online, FlyFF and Perfect World played host to 12 countries who competed.
Aside from the RWC, the event - which was attended by more than 20,000 gamers featured the tournament finals for RF, Perfect World, FlyFF and Freestyle Online.
Also at the event, Level Up announced that they were launching 3 new MMORPGs either late this year or early next year. The 3 new games were
More details about the event can be found at http://gmtristan.com
Finally! We can break our vow of silence.
Level Up Inc, the company where I work for obviously, has just announced the acquisition of Grand Chase, a side-scrolling fighting game which is heavy on action and fun.
We’ve partnered with developer KOG to bring Grand Chase to local shores. The game is the world’s first real-time online fighting game and is currently one of the top games in countries like Brazil (published by Level Up! Brazil) as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the USA.
FACT SHEET - GRAND CHASE PHILIPPINES
Game: Grand Chase (Philippines’ server-hosted)
Game Type: Casual (semi-MMO)
Publisher: Level Up Philippines
Business Model: Free-to-Play (Item Mall)
Beta Date: October 2008
Official Site: http://grandchase.levelupgames.ph/
Kudos to the Perfect World Philippines team for coming up with a new design for its official website.
We recently launched the new site last week and I am awed by how great the design it. It has elements of flash, the navigation has been fixed with the goal of having information more easy to find by the players. Plus, I was told that the team is integrating fresh, new content into the site such as a new game guide and (soon) a quest guide for all PW players.
This is an old, original article of mine reprinted here. It was first posted at my original blogger site March 24, 2007. Am reposting it here since I just got a lot of complaints about lag and connectivity issues. I hope this will help.
You and your buddies just visited your local, boring NPC to stock up on pots and stuff and head out to the spot where the Boss respawns. It’s 5 minutes till the bastich appears… a few noob groups are hovering like vultures in the horizon.
The boss appears… right on time!
You pound at the big monster and score crits while your supports debuff and heal the tanks. A few more hits and this sucker is dead!
And then it happens.
It just happens.
The stuff every online gamer dreads - LAG!
OMG! (now the noobs get your loot! Argggghhh!)
Let me share a few tips to avoid (and maybe even just lessen) this nightmare:
1. Get a better connection - faster is better. Period. If you play at home (and can afford it) getting the best DSL package will be a big boost. If you play in a cafe, make sure the MBPS is fast enough (and yeah, do look out for youtube addicts, they suck up bandwith like hell!!!)
Most online games today are based on F2P or Free-to-Play model. Countries in Asia are more used to this type of business model than Westerners. In this part of the world, F2P games have been hugely succesful businesses. Only WoW has been the exception, most notably in China and Korea where it is bigger than some local F2p MMORPGs.
F2P games are based on “microtransactions”. You get the game for free, register for free and then you’re in. But if you want added value for your character, usually in the form of either a “premium service“; where you get more EXP and mods, or in the more common item mall, you’ll have to shell out cash.
This is where you separate the men from the boys. Those who know what they’re doing, both in terms of running (developing) the game and marketing (publishing) it will excel in getting players to pay.
But why would your players pay? Let’s find out.
It really was a tough choice and a bitter pill to swallow.
Last May 30, after thorough analysis and thought, I finally gave the green light to roll back character data of RF Philippines to the state of May 23, 2008 4am. And boy, it was a tough call.
Around that fateful time, a new and dangerous threat to RF surfaced - the Gold Dupe Hack. With this hack, a lot of unscrupulous players had BILLIONS of in-game cash and hundreds of thousands of gold. The economy was in ruins, prices of normal items skyrocketed and there was a huge excess of cash. Duping and screwed-up in-game economies are not new to us… we had to deal with them before but this one was quite alarming.