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My 2 Copper's Worth

Well we're on a website dedicated to MMO's so I'll give you one guess as to what I'll write about. And no it's not mustard.

Author: ivan50265

Remebering the Players Who Out Played the Game.

Posted by ivan50265 Monday May 25 2009 at 5:59PM
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   Hello again all.  I hope all of you are having a great Memorial Day weekend.  Memorial Day is a day of rememberance of people in our past and honoring their memory.  I thought for my weekly post this week I would keep with the tradition of Memorial Day and remember players of mmo's who have through their actions in-game have achieved a place in mmo history whether it be famous or infamous.   One thing these players have in common is that they used no exploits or cheats to make a name for themselves, but instead merely played the game within the given peramters in essence they out played the game itself, or the players within it.  So with out any further babble let's take a trip down memory lane shall we.

 

   Fansy the Famous Bard- Everquest

   Back in its peak EQ did a little experiment by creating a no rules PvP server names Sullon Zek.  This server was createed for the hardest of the hardcore PvPers siding good against evil alignments and was soon known as EQ's "penal colony".  The only rule on the server was written in the code making charcters level 5 and below invulnrable to PvP to give new players a chnace to get a hang of the game before getting destroyed by other players.  As I said before the server was set up good alignments vs evil alignments and it soon becam apparent that the good guys were outnumbered.  Some estimates had the server around 90 perent evil and the good guys soon found themselves backed into a corner. 

   And along came Pansy.  Pansy understood the aforementioned level 5 rule and also understood that Bard's were the best class for kiting and training large mobs of monsters at other players as well as the good guys were seriously outnumbered.  So began Fansy's reign of terror on the citizens of Freeport.  Fansy could be seen srpinting through mid to high level zones with a mob of ususally sand giants (high level creatures)  in his wake and no player could do anything about it.  Soon the persecutors became the victims and began petitioning the GM's about Fansy.  The only problem was Fansy was not breaking any rules since it was a no rule server.  After a period of time the GM's actually instituted a rule which ended Fansy's reign of terror, but his memory remians as one of EQ's most memorable players and MMO's first terrorist.

 

   Ahseron's Call:Shard of the Herald- Shard Vigil

    During Asheron's Call's height of glory there was an event known as the "Shard of the Herald" this was he culmination of a series of events where 6 shards were destroyed by players which brought new and more powerful items into the game world.  The Shard if the Herald was the last of these shards.  Turbine decided to spice thinsg up a bit by making players swear allegence to the demon Bael'Zharon (whic is the demon that would be released once the shard was destroyed) thus making players flagged for PvP.  The payers then could wither go and destroy the shard or try to defend it.  Most of the shards on other servers quickly fell except for one, and that one was on the Thisltedown server.  Players on this server organized what is known as 'The Shard Vigil" and defedned the shard from would be attackers 24 hours a day.  These player's defense of the shard was so stalwart that the developers had to include lore which allowed them to create NPC's which they controlled to help players break their lines and shatter the shard.  Impressed by this the developers rewarded the player's with a statue comemerating their efforts.  My hats off to the players who stood thier ground and made the devs have to cheat in their own game in order to win.

 

The Guiding Hand Social Club- EvE Online

   The Guiding Hand Social Club is a group of mercenaries in the world of EvE online who specialize as contract killers of characters in the game.  At one time the GHSC took a contract for the asassination of the leader of Ubiqua Seraph known as Mirial.  After 12 months of planning and agents of the GHSC infiltrating Ubiqua Seraph into high ranking positions within the Corporation all was set into motion.  One of the GHSC double agents led Mirial into an ambush and at the same time other agents were given the call sign 'Nicole" and stole creits and ships out of the Corporations safe holdings which they had gained access to.  The best part is that everything they did was completely legal in the game world.  I honor these members not for what they did, but for the 12 months of dedication to a plan that they saw to the end, and for out playing the players.  Who does stuff like that. I was going to only name two of the key players, but in my opinion the entire group deserves a kudos for the long standing coordianted effort which garnered the game and themselves a ton of publicity as well as their entry into MMO history.

 

Rainz- Ultima Online

   UO was the first love for many on this site.  Back int he day during a stress test in the late stages of Beta Lord British was making appearences in the game and giving speeches. In case you didn't know Lord British was the in game toon of UO's creator Richard Garriot, and the monarch of the world of UO.  Now most of you know that Devs in game characters are invulnrable to any damage so it is a fruitless gesture to attck them and so the devs thought until they arived at the town of Minoc.  At some point during Lord British's visit in MInoc some mayhem started in the crowd which led to a quick server crash.  When they came back up Lord British was not flagged as invulnrable by accident and a player known as Rainz launched a wall of fire at Lord British which actually killed him.  The result was hysterical laughter being typed across the town.  My hat's off to Rainz you killed the unkillable I guess that means you beat the game.  On a side note Rainz was subsequently banned for abusing exploits  in the game outside of this incident.

 

Dentara Rast a.k.a Cally- EvE Online

   Dentara Rast a.k.a. Cally in game was the creator of the Eve Interstellar Bank.  This bank allowed players to invest money and offered interest in return for thoer investments.  Falming wars raged on in the EvE forums with player claiming it as a fraud and other claiming ti as legit.  In the end the nay sayers were proven correct when Cally took off with an estimated 700 billion worth of in game currency.  It is considered to date the largest pyramid/ponzi scheme in the history of MMO's.  In the end the developers conceded that he did not violate the EULA and his actions were legal by all game standards.  His actions garnered the game and himself alot of press, and by my standards the title of the most infamous charcter in MMO history.

 

  Well that's all I've got.  With so many MMOs and so many servers I am sure we will see more great players emerge just as I am sure that I mised a few in my list.  Feel free to mention any player or groups of player who did famous or infamous deeds in the comments down below I'd love to hear what you think as always.  Thnks for reading.

Until Next Time,

Ivan

   Well here we are friends at the end of a long journey together.  For those of you who have made it through all three parts of this series I salute you.  If I could give you some token of appreciation I would, but unfortunately a virtual pat on the back will have to do.  In the last part of the series I want to focus on some classic IP's that have yet to be honored with an MMO that they can call their own. 

 IP's That Would Make Great MMO's: Pt.3 Classic IP's That Aren't MMO's but Should Be.   

   We have seen with the success of Lord of the Rings Online and World of Warcraft and the development of a new Star Wars and Star Trek MMO that the classic IP's still have some marketability in today's MMO landscape.  Classic IP's come with built in audiences excited about the idea of being able to adventure in a living iteration of one of thier favorite IP's in a way that only a MMO may deliver.  Most importantly though the classic IP's achieve what few other MMO ideas can achieve and that is the ability to attract new audiences to the MMO genre who may have never found thier way to it any other way.  Below is a list of classic IP's that have yet to be given a shot as an MMO, but should be. Enjoy.

 

   So maybe your thinking that the last thing the MMO genre needs in another fantasy title.  Or maybe your thinking that D&D already has a MMO and doesn't need another.  On both counts I disagree.  Whether you were introduced to The Forgotten Realms through the old pen and paper game or through its many successful and award winning video game titles one cannot deny the allure of thie IP.  Sure there's DDO, but its set in a city not in an open ladnscape in which you could set a Forgotten Realms MMO.  Heck you could even use one of the popular franchises like Never Winter NIghts, or Baulder's Gate to add even more of an existing fanbase.  With its many different landscapes and well developed lore it is just criminal The Wizards of the Coast have not tried to find a studio to put this MMO together.

 

   What once started as a pen and paper role playing game 20 years ago has since evolved into one of the better thought out and realized science fiction IP's. Through its well written books and successful video games Battletech offers a flavor to the MMO genre that few other IP's can.  That is little humans piloting big battle mechs and trying to blow each other up all set in a back drop of warring clans and political intrigue.  Its been awhile since we have seen an enrty in the video game market from Battletch's Mechwarrior series, yet I still see grumblings on forums from time to time about how this IP would be a great MMO, and if you ever had to chance to play any of those game you would agree too. 

 

   Now we all know that Blizzard is developing a new MMO, but we all also don't have the faintest idea of what it is.  So with that in mind Starcraft makes my list.  This IP sits fondly in my mind as I am sure it does with many of you as well.  This IP has it all.  3 factions vying for control over limitless space.  Well developed races with their own heirarchies as well as a wide variety of potential character classes.  The amount of people still playing Starcraft to this day should be enough to convince any business that this would be well recieved, but if that's not enough to convince you wait till you see the first month sales of Starcradt 2.

 

 

Continuing our conversation from above we still don't know what mmo Blizzard is developing. I waited five minutes for an announcment, but it didn't arrive.  Although this IP lacks any good faction material it makes up for it with a great mix of fantasy and horror.  The IP already has a great mix of original character classes wuth even more new ones on the way in Diablo 3.  As well there is a great story line and well developed land to explore.  Again if you aren't convinced by how many people still play the series wait till you see the first month sales of Diablo 3.  God I sound like a borken record. 

 

The Terminator

  With sci-fi being all of the craze right now there's got to be enough room for this classic IP.  With a TV show and yet another movie coming out there must be a consumer interest iin this frnachise still.  The war vs the machines would be an excellent backdrop for this mmo with player playing either man or machine.  And what fun would it be to have a feature of the game being going back in time to affect events inthe game world at the expense of your character.  Juat a thought.  This frnchise has not really been represented well in the game market and perhaps a MMO of this IP would change that. 

 

   And that's it for my series on IP's and mmo's.  I thank you all for your reading time.  I am sure I missed some great classic IP's,a nd would love to read any that you feel would be desrving of the MMO treatment as well and why. 

 

Until Next Time, 

Ivan 

 

IP's That Would Make Great MMO's: Pt.2 Nightmare IP's .

Posted by ivan50265 Monday May 11 2009 at 11:55PM
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   Hello again and welcome to part two of my three part series on IP's. When I was doing my research for this series I couldn't help but look at what other writers thought would make good IP's for a MMO.  While many of their thoughts confirmed what I was already thinking.  There were a few suggestions that ,though sounded good at first, the more I thought about it the more I thought how in the heck would they develop that thing.  The IP's that I will be discussing below fall into my "nightmare to develop" catagory.  Now don;t get me wrong friends nothing would make me happier than to see a developer pick up the gauntlet and try and make any of these IP's into an ass kicking game, but something about these IP's make me cringe as I think it would be a true challenge to express the spirit of these IP's as well as create a fun game while doing it.  Do note that all of the IP's that made this list were also mentioned by other writers in articles and blogs as IP's that they'd like to see made.  So now that the stage is set here's my list of nightmare IP's.

 

   Heroes tops my list of nightmare IP's for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost is that it is popular now but it isn't known how much staying power the series really has.  A studio could start making this game and before it's out the show is cancelled and a fond memory rather than a relevant IP.   My second reason is simply one word: balance.  The balance idea wil be a recurring theme throughout my list, but that's enough of that.  Balancing a Heroes MMO I think would be a nightmare why you ask? Simple pretty much every one has one power.  Now I know there's Peter and Siler, but let's be honest do you really think devs would allow ten thousand Siler/Peter clones to run around the game servers?  Proabably not. So the only other choise is the one power heroes.  One of the high points of the series is the unique powers that the characters possess, but to make the game work you'd have to blend figthing quests with quests of a different flavor in order to make it fun for all player powers.  The other major issue would be balancing these powers if you'd hope to have any semblence of of PvP.   On a good note this would be a great IP for grouping, but on the flipside it would be a hard game to make for today's more solo centered mmo's.  In the end the cons outweigh the pros and I just can's see a studio try making this a mmo.  Now the bright side of this is I think a studio could really truns this IP into a great series of single player games that could be a great mix of action and intellectual stimulation.

 

 

   In my research I did not come a across a more requested IP than Frank Herbert's Dune.  I myself in an earlier blog post about two years ago I think sited this as an MMO I would like ti see made as well.  The more I think about the IP though the more I find it falling into the "nightmare to develop" catagory.  Why you ask? Let me explain.  The Dune universe is full of fantastic and exciting characters that we the fans would want to play.  I don't want to be a plain soldier for one of the given Houses. I want to be an Imperial Sardauker, or perhaps a Swordmaster of Ginaz.  For a different flavor maybe I'd like to be a Mentat Master Asassain or a Bene Gesserit Witch.  Which brings me to our first issue.  Dune is a world of factions fighting and plotting against one another for control of the spice.  So the first issue to conquer is do you create a set of character classes that follow a more traditional role, and risk alienating your fan base, or do you allow the more epic character classes into the game from the beginning.  And if you do allow these epic characters then we come back to our old friend balance.  How would a fight between a Mentat and a Swordmaster of Ginaz be balanced or would it?  Then we could debate on the role the Fremen would play in all of this and whether or not players should be allowed to learn the weirding way fighting style which for the unfamiliar would be like allowing jedi in SWG.  Wouldn't everybody want a charatcer that could do that? Then of course we could argue about endgame would that be fighting over the planet Dune itself or look alittle different.  In the end this IP is very intellegent and subtle in its approach and I personally believe it would be very tough to translate into a MMO.

 

 

   The last IP on my list was quoted by a writer as "the mmo to end all mmo's" and he has a point.  The RIFTS universe has it all literally,  You can play practically anything in this PnP RPG.  From a full conversion cyborg to a magic user to a dragon hatchling in the world of RIFTS anything goes. The back drop of this game is equally appealing as it is set on earth about 300 year un the future.  The Earth has been ripped apart by dimensional rifts opening up which causes magic to reemerge, Atlantis to reappear, and a whole host of other fun stuff.  It all boils down to a classic magic vs. machine conflict between the Coalition States and the magic using dimensional beng friendly Tolkeen.  Sounds great right?  I agree.  Now here's where the nightmare IP thing comes inot play.  Just in the main book alone there are about 30 different character classes that you could play, and I went ahead and cut out about 15 others.  To include half of that number would be a balancing nightmare with people in power armor going up against mages, or dragon hatchlings fighting cyborgs there's just so much, and I didn't even include the vehicles.  As a developer you'd have one heck of a time shaving down the number of character classes and to top that off there are few that are faction specific as well.  Then we come to the geography of the game.  You have all of North America to deal with, Mexico, Japan, Atlantis, Africa, and Europe all which have thier own unique storyline to contend with, and more character classes,  I'm not saying you have to include all of this geography at launch and I'd be foolish to think that we could have an accurat map of a continent in an mmo, but you also can't run from Missouri to Minnesota in an evening as well even with a hoverbike that travels mach 2.  I just see a developer loosing thier minds trying to trim this IP down into a mmo that would do this IP justice. 

   In the end are all of these MMO's possible? Yes.  With enough of a budget, time, and the right talent any game is truly possible, and I for one would for sure like to see Dune and RIFTS made into mmo's.  I just found these three to be of the most challenging to accomplish and deliver a fun game that does the IP justice.  And I think when we hear of a new IP being created in the market that's the primary thing we want to see isn't it?  A game that brings the world we know to life in a playable space all the while making us feel as if we were in it. As always feedback is welcome below.

Until Next Time.

Ivan

IP's That Would Make Great MMO's: Pt.1 Filling the Genre Gap.

Posted by ivan50265 Saturday May 2 2009 at 10:18PM
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   I always enjoy getting into conversations and reading articles about what IP's people think would make a great MMO.  I find the subject matter even more interesting now that we are seeing a surge in the Super-Hero and Sci-Fi categories of MMO's that our currently in production or soon coming to store shelves.  It seems or at least I hope that developers have realized that it is far better to create thier own niche rather than attempt to copy or infringe on the success of another.  My hope is that we will continue to see different and exciting new genres emerge in to the MMO market over the next few years and it is with  that in mind that my first of this three part series will be focused on some genres that we have yet to see in the MMO market , but I think would make excellent games for us to play.   So without further adieu here's the list.

 

Magic and Machine

  With all of the new Sci-FI titles soon to emerge into the market we will soon see that genre saturated much like the Fantasy genre in MMO's.  The thought I keep having though is that a company could definitely create thier own niche in the market by mixing the two together, and in my opinion there is no better IP out there that accomplishes this than:

  With its post modern setting of mega-corprations and technology mixed with the return of magic Shadowrun is the perfect blend of magic meets machine. I like to think of Shadowrun as Tolkein meets the Terminator in terms of character creation.  Let's say you want to make an elven mage no problem.  Now lets say you want to take that pointy eared tree hugger and jack them full of cybernetics and turn them into a katana/machine gun weilding delaer of death can do.  Not to mention humans, orc, trolls, and dwarves are also playable races in the game.  Players can take on challenges from hacking into the computer matrix with a character class known as a decker or drop a dragon with a rocket launcher or conjured power ball.  All of which just sounds like pure fun to me. 

 

Modern Day Fantasy

  Although we have a ton of MMO's set in the medieval times wouldn't it be nice to have a more of a modern day fantasy setting.  Fun Com seems to be delving into this a little with their new title "The Secret World" but I have to think there is room for more than one especially with FunCom's performance in their latest MMO entry.  Though it would be fun to run around in a familiar modern fantasy world, and the one I have a real hankerin to run around in is:

   Harry Potter I think would make a great mmo. The magical world that is Harry Potter's is absolutely fascinating to me at least, and I think it would be a blast to run around in. Now I'm not saying put the whole thing in Hogwart's maybe the front fourth of the game and then let us explore the world as an adult after we have graduated school. Give us the opportunity to dabble in the dark arts and we could get some great PvP between rival orders. The greatest part is you wouldn't even need the main charcters in it if you didn't want them just the instructors at the school and some mainstays in the grown-up world. You could even get the side game of quidditch which would be a blast in it's own right. Besides if the franchise has enough name recognition for a theme park then it has to have enough clout to enter the mmo market.

 

Military Conflict

  I think there would be definite room for a covert ops type military based mmo.  Not the open conflict like Planetside, but more of a secret war with assaults to control maybe quest hubs or something of that nature.  You'd need a good advesarial IP without really involving any named countries or the such and how could you go wrong using:

   GI Joe vs Cobra the idea just sounds like a blast.  Make your soldier specialize them in whatever and give them their kick ass callsign I think we would see some very original Joes and Cobras.  Then take that guy and try to stop Cobra's nefarious plot or try to further it you choose.  This IP just screams PvP to me as both sides could fight for objesctives which could open up quests or upgrade gear or what have you.  The right studio could really make this a heck of a game to play. Oh and I forgot to mention what about vehicles that would be a fun addition to any PvP battleground.

 

Weird Western

  I have read a fair share of articles that mention the need for a western themed mmo, and I can't blame them.  For me this is the most obvious of niches that could really be successful in todays MMO market.  Now I'm not talking some "how the west was won" type of mmo, but more of the weird western like the "Wild Wild West" with all of the cool steampunk machinations.  Now my first thought was "The Wild Wild West", but I thought that was a little gimmicky with the movie and all.  So instead I chose:

   Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with Deadlands let me paint you a picture real quick. 

Imagine that it is 1876 in the US wild west.  The Civil War ended with the South successfully seceeding from the union.  An Indian shaman has performed an acient ritual and unleashed evil forces on the earth that live off of human fear.  Half of California is now in the ocean and the rest is comprised of canyons of water.  Miners unearth a new fuel known as ghost rock which fuels the development of steampunk technology.  You are in a party consisting of a Lawman, a card playing sorcerer that gambles with spirits, an Indian warrior, a wandering evangelist who can perform healing miracles, and a mad scientist.  You are tasked with clearing out a town that is over run with zombie gunfighters.... 

And that is just a quick overview of the Deadlands.  What I really like about this IP is that you get the wild west and undead type of genres mixed together which could attract fans of both genres.  The character classes are original and well thought out, and the steampunk technology is inventive like the gatlin shotgun for example.  If a studio did this right I think this genre and IP would be very successful in the MMO market.

 

  Well there you have it for part one.  Congratulation you made it.  I am curious what you think so far and if there is a genre you think I missed feel free to comment below.  In part two I'll be discussing some IP's that may sound good but could be a nightmare to develop properly. 

Until Next Time

Ivan