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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Are Epic Items Still Epic?

Posted by MikeB Wednesday November 24 2010 at 10:40PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Epic Items…..that everyone else has??” by Emergence, who is no stranger to the spotlight! Emergence is disappointed with the state of epic items in MMOs, asserting that they no longer truly feel epic. If everyone has ‘em, how are they epic?

 Read below for more of Emergence’s thoughts on the subject, and we’ll also take a look at what the rest of the community is saying on the topic!

“In every game there are Epic or Legendary Items.

In WoW, every lvl 80 newb has one...or four...or twenty four. WoW suffers from what I call "Dragon Ball...Z...GT... Syndrome" in that the characters never die (or come back to life) and eventually the story becomes ridiculous in how powerful the characters become. At first they were drained from any form of energy attack. In the end, they apparently fight multiple gods, and then level up 100,000,000,000,000x past that. It's what is inevitable when a series refuses to end or change characters.

In Ultima Online, things were different. Items were looted or broke. I remember trying to find Silver Weapons. These did double damage to Undead. WOW! That was awesome! Orc-Bane items. Sweet! Elemental Killers! Pain Katanas.

What do you guys think about Epic Items? Should only a few players have them? Should they be rare, or just breakable? Should every player be allowed several, so that everyone gets to feel awesome- or is that childish and should be reserved for Toon Disney 3: Ariel's Slumber?

Okay... wait a minute! What makes an item Epic? Isn't there a big difference between double damage bane items and the Sword of 10,000 Souls?

Should weapons raise stats? Should weapons increase Skill or Level? What do you think of DPS? Speed? Enchantments? Charges?”

Ubervon feels pretty strongly about the disappointing state of epic items as well:

“lol @ the idea of 'EPIC'  items.  at least when it comes to the now easy-mode-here's-your-purple-gear-Warcraft MMO.   it's rather dumb to say "hey these here items are epic"  when every other tom, bob, and joey have the SAME stuff.   instead of actually hunting down and getting some random awesome drop, total newbs can just hit a crappy dungeon a couple times, and then go hand in some tokens for gear at an NPC. 

wow, that was awesome--now you look like everyone else.  what's so fantastic and special about looking like, and sharing the same stats--as everybody else?  you don't stand out, you don't have any advantage over anyone.  but hey! all your gear is 'epic.'

Epic/legendary  should mean those bits and parts are rare.  Hard to find.  Special.   Not so common that any newb can wander off to an NPC and BUY the dumb things.   And when you do find one, it should not look like everything else in the game.   What would be the point in that?   "oh hey my hat is legendary and orange!"   ya, and it looks like rest of the "epics" everyone else has that they got off the NPC.  Lucky you!”

Krelian understands and appreciates Emergence’s complaints, but ultimately prefers the “WoW system”:

“@ OP:

I respect your opinion as you got some good points,

But in an mmo, if only a few players can have epic items, than ULTIMATELY (/eventually) those players will be thehardcore ones, whereascasual players will be forced to walk the eternity in ''grey or white quality items''....

So it would be great for epic players, they would have epic armor

But for the rest of us it wouldnt be so extremly great,.

I beleive thats why games like world of warcraft and etc ''play out'' the way they do...

Its like INSTANT GRATIFICATION TO ANYBODY, so no matter how much you play a day, no matter who or where you are, ur always in the end guaranteed to find some ''uber items'' that can satisfy your needs.

BUT THE DOWNSIDE OF IT ALL (just kinda the way OP explained i guess)if everybody and their mother has access to those epics, than they are epics no more. (and they serve no special purpose, either)

But personally, in the end; I still prefer the WOW system, as I am only a casual player (working&studying+social life= VERY LITTLE TIME FOR GAMING) and if it wasn't for wow, I prolly would never have seen or possessed a rare or epic item in any game in my life :D”

Ramonski7 takes issue with the assertion that games like World of Warcraft dilute the value of “epic” items:

“In WoW Legendary items seperate the wannabes from the real achievers and Artifacts are even a step futher by being unique per server. Epics are measured against the common folk in these games a.k.a. npcs. You know, the real populance. DAoC had relics, UO had silver katanas, LoTRO has legendary and I'm sure other mmos have a step above what WoW call epics. WoW has 3 levels of gear that really matter to it;s players: uncommon, rare and epic. That's not a very wide spectrum of gear quality to get bent over seeing how most bosses wield legendary and artifact items.”

So, here’s my take: I agree with Emergence that epic items have definitely lost their sheen in the current crop of MMOs, but I am honestly conflicted on whether or not that is a bad thing. For example, while I never got into World of Warcraft, I’m aware that the game has become more and more accessible with time, so much so that it’s obviously become much easier to acquire “epic items” (such as Tier sets) than in years past, to the point where it seems like the people I know who do play the game quite a bit are simply going through the motions to acquire these items. On the one hand, it’s nice seeing friends I know who have never been into the raiding scene actually put in the time and effort (as reduced as it may be) into acquiring that gear, because it’s now actually an attainable goal without requiring giving up one’s entire life.

At the same time, I’m not sure I’d want things to go back entirely in the other direction. To provide one recent example, I played Warhammer Online at launch and found a lot of the armor progression to be pretty bland, but I’d also seen the art for the Sovereign gear for my favorite classes and thought it looked lightyears better and wanted it badly. If you saw anyone wearing that stuff (you didn’t, but if you did!), it would definitely stand out as being epic. However, it was so epic it was nigh impossible to get, nevermind the Renown Rank requirements that would be needed just to wear it.

Ultimately, I think that breaking item progression down into a trio of goals in a game’s design is probably an ideal solution. Short term goals, items that look cool, are powerful, but don’t require players to give up their lives, would fit well with casual gamers. Medium-length goals, items or item sets intended for players to acquire over a few months of consistent game time would be great for everyone else and also serve as longer term goals for casual gamers. And finally, long-term goals, items that require immense effort and dedication, are powerful and awesome looking, but are not required to tackle content, for the hardcore types. The key difference is that there should always be a path to these things, even if they are intended to be epic. Just having things be so rare there are only ever 2-4 people on an entire server that have them doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

There’s also the whole justification of cost. If you have to develop equally epic content for these items, it’s hard for developers to justify creating things that only a tiny percentage of the playerbase will ever experience or attain.

Finally, it’s important not to invalidate these accomplishments. One of the reasons I could never be bothered to play World of Warcraft whether it was in vanilla when things were still hard to get or now, is the rate at which player accomplishment is invalidated. If I put in all that effort, I’d like to be able to enjoy it somehow. Getting the best stuff in the game only to have greens a level or two above the old level cap be better is a real downer. Players who put in all that effort should have an advantage over the new content, they earned it!

Community Spotlight: Why is $15 Too Much?

Posted by MikeB Thursday November 18 2010 at 3:43PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Why is $15 So Much?” by Melieza. Melieza is perplexed by the gamers out there who balk at the $15 price-tag for monthly service charged by most MMO developers making games for Western audiences.  Here’s what Melieza has to say on the subject:

“All over these forums I see people saying different P2P MMOs 'aren't worth the sub'.  Subs are $15 a month.

A decent job will make you $15 in one hour.

Even if you play the game for only five hours in that entire month, I'd say it was money well spent. 

Now, I understand MMOs also have an initial box fee.  $50 is standard when the game first comes out.  I completely understand $50 is a lot of money to drop on something you might not play long.

But no one ever complains about the initial box fee.

I get that some kids dont have jobs, but honestly, I bet you could go up to your parents or neighbors and say I'll hand wash your car for $15 and they'd say ok.  $15 for a hand car wash is about average.

So, why is $15 so much?  Shouldn't people be complaining about the box fee?  How come no one rages when they buy a console game for $60 that only entertains them for ten hours?

IMO, as long as you play the game a few hours in a month, MMOs are good deals.  But maybe I'm in the minority.”

What is the rest of the community saying? Let’s find out!

Burntvet explains it has to do with “relative value”:

“On top of what the others have said, there is also relative value. It isn't just that game x is $15/mo, but many/most other P2Ps are in that range, too.

So when a game is seriously lacking, content or quality wise (STO or FFXIV for instance) AND they are charging the same as other games that do not suck as bad, that gives players a feeling that they are not getting a good value.

And/or when developers take that $15/mo and continue to not fix bugs, improve rough spots, etc. etc., that also makes the player ask "Is this worth $15, if the devs don't care enough to fix the broken stuff?"

 

So it is several factors....”

Twstdchange feels he’s got it figured out:

“People who complain about the monthly fee are either:

1) Kids who don't have jobs/parents won't let them use their credit cards

2) People who have crappy, low paying jobs and can't/shouldn't be spending money on online games

3) Cheap people who don't like to spend money, though this isn't usually the case as much as 1 & 2

And then there's category X, and if anyone's going to debate me, then they're category X.

As in unkown.

Because I'm not omniscient.

My advice to those who don't want to pay: Then go look elsewhere. If you want a premium experience, you're going to have to pay. Why? Because it costs money to keep an online game going.”

Tatum seems to be as perplexed by the complaints as Melieza:

“People were complaining about $15 subs even before the economy was terrible.  Fact is, most of us have a skewed perspective when it comes to spending.  Example:

People complain that $15 per month is too much for gaming yet,

They'll spend $20 at the movies watching a crappy summer flick, munching on popcorn and chugging coke (two hours of entertainment, at most)

They'll spend $7 per meal for crappy fast food...and do this at least a few times per week

$15 per month is VERY cheap for a hobby.  Mostly, it's just an issue of the games not really being worthy of charging a monthly fee, regardless of price.  If you spend a good amount of time playing a specific MMO, $15 is a steal.  Far far cheaper than the console gamer who buys a new, $60, beatable-in-one-weekend, console game every other week.”

I’ve personally found this issue confusing as well. I know that when I was younger it would have been impossible for me to convince my mother that shelling out $15/month for an online game was a good idea, but like many others in the community have said, it really doesn’t make much sense for those of us that are adults and appreciate this genre of games. There are hobbies that are incredibly more expensive, and even gaming itself is more expensive when you can drop $60 on a game you can beat in a single sitting (as Tatum mentioned), though there is multi-player to consider, not all games offer it, or do it well. When I discuss this topic with other gamers or friends, I always bring up the movie argument. I took my girlfriend out to the movies last weekend and I dropped $27.50 just on tickets. It’s pretty reasonable to expect that most people probably see a movie once a month, maybe once every two months, and so $15/month really just seems like a drop in the bucket if it’s a game I enjoy playing. You can play for as long as you like and you don’t have to drop that $15 for your first month of playing a new MMO, so I really don’t see what the hub-bub is about.

Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below!

Sidebar: Alien Breed 2

Posted by BillMurphy Wednesday November 17 2010 at 8:16PM
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As you may be used to, I occasionally like to use my blog space to write about non-MMO games. This is one of those times. If you don’t feel like reading about my adventures with an XBL Arcade download, please avert your eyes! From here on out, we’ll just subtitle these non-MMO blogs as “sidebar” so that you can pick them out from the pack.

I’ve been spending my couch-gaming time lately with Team17’s Alien Breed 2: Assault, the company’s follow-up to last year’s resurrection of the Alien Breed franchise. You may or may not be familiar with the series from back in its 1990’s heyday. But here’s the gist: it’s kind of like Gauntlet in space and with lots of bloodied aliens to kill. It’s a top-down shooter that poses you as an engineer named Theodore J. Conrad as he tried to fight his way through the abandoned Leopold spaceship and rescue yourself and your crewmates from being stranded. It’s a pretty straightforward story, but the atmosphere and visuals lend themselves well towards the feeling that you’re stranded on an abandoned ship. It’s reminiscent of the film Aliens in a way, and though it’s obviously not intentionally a scary game there have been times when the way in which the enemies bust out make me jump.

The game itself plays like a Diablo in space and with guns… but with less RPG. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some different RPG facets in the form of buying and selling and making new weapons. It’s sort of a rudimentary upgrade system in that way. But the real meat and potatoes come from navigating the game’s tightly-packed corridors, solving its puzzles, and killing as many of the aliens as you can. If you’re a fan of sci-fi and dungeon crawlers, this one’s worth the $10 price of admission.

The voiceover work is wonky and stilted, but hey at least it has some when other DLC games often forego such niceties. It’s not an incredibly long game with five main levels and a few multi-player arenas to boot, but for your $10 you’ll likely get about six hours of campaign gameplay and a few more from multi-player as well. It’s a pretty laudable accomplishment considering its low price of entry, and when many $60 games these days offer less bang for your buck, you really can’t go wrong. The only thing I fear is that Alien Breed 2 (and Alien Breed 3 which is due out this month around Turkey Day) are going to be buried by more hyped arcade titles like the new Tomb Raider, Limbo, and Deathspank. I hope not though… there’s a lot of fun to be had with Team17’s resurrected franchise.

Community Spotlight: Your First MMO?

Posted by MikeB Thursday November 11 2010 at 4:26PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "How old were you when you played your first MMORPG?" by Ramonski7. Based on the thread title, this weeks' topic should be pretty obvious, so let's jump right in!

Ramonksi7 unfortunately doesn't offer his own first experience, so let's see what others are saying.

preston326's first MMO was Knight Online when he was 14:

Maybe when I was 14 (I'm 21 now), my first MMORPG was Knight Online. Its terrible game, which is pretty much pay to win and its really heavy on grind, but we couldnt care less, boy did we enjoyed every hour playing that game, even through we were grinding (in that game you can grind, pvp, sell items and thats pretty much it, no crafting, dungeons no nothing).

I guess we just took the game for what it is and didnt care about what other people buy in cash shop, how do they advance or if they are more powerful than us due to cash shop. And you know what I miss those days, I believe people shouldnt care about those things and just relax and play cause at the end of the day its just a *game*. You should relax playing games not bog your head with artificial troubles and wories.

meleemadness started his venture into the world of MMOs at the ripe age of 37:

EQ was my first and I was 37, I think.  I did play Wizardy on an Apple II+ back in the 80's and then late 80's played Baldur's Gate but they were RPGs.  EQ wsa my first MMO and was recommended to my by guys 10 years younger than me, where I worked.  I went to get AC2 instead but it didn't work so i went back for EQ and was floored!!!   The planes of power were just out when I started, 2003ish.

In the end I left EQ as I was tired of loggin on just to stand around LFG.....I left for SWG a month after it released.

Ragnarok Online was Neiken's first experience with MMOs at the age of 17:

I was 17. I had been playing Rocket Arena 3 and D2 for a while. I saw someone talk about Ragnarok Online and explain to other members of Railbait.com forums.  Explained what it was and what a MMORPG was. He said it was kinda like D2 so i had to try it.

I tried it out and was hooked! It was in beta 1 at the time. I played it for years. Still play every once in awhile. For nostalgia purposes.

Ive tried just about everything on the market today, and game that arent anymore. I loved my first MMO. WIsh i could capture that feeling i had with my first again!!!

I first started playing MMOs with Star Wars Galaxies in 2003, so I was 17 at the time. However, I began playing MUDs at around eight or nine, beginning with Areth, which still runs to this day. I knew of actual MMOs when I was still playing MUDs, but I never made the jump myself until 2003 for a number of reasons. One of the primary barriers to entry  was, of course, financial. Doling out $15/month back then was let's just say, a little complicated for me. 

Another major reason was the fact I was pretty happy with MUDs overall, for the same reason that many people prefer reading the book when it comes to movie adaptations of popular books or book series. MUDs, being text based, allowed for my imagination to run wild, which did a lot more for me than the fairly ugly and poorly animated contemporary MMOs at that time.

Being a huge Star Wars nerd though, I couldn't resist Star Wars Galaxies when it was announced, and so I jumped head first into the game on launch day.

So, when did you first start playing MMOs and what made you take the plunge? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Too Much to See and Do

Posted by BillMurphy Tuesday November 9 2010 at 4:34PM
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I’m fully expecting that quite a few people will read this and think or respond with something along the lines of, “Yeah, there are a lot of games out there, but most of them are absolute crap.”  And those people might be right, in all honesty.  But as a major-fan-nerd-dork of gaming, I can’t help but want to try everything. 

I’m not just talking about MMOs either.  There are roughly a dozen Xbox 360 games I’m wishing I had time to play, that I just don’t.  I may never get around to testing them out, and what’s more is that I just can’t justify buying most games I’d like to try because $60 seems like an awful lot to leave something on my shelf collecting dust. 

But the worst thing?  I work for this site, and I can’t even keep up with all the good stuff I want to see in MMOs.  I may not actively play all the games I’ve once had a subscription to, but I always like to check up on them as new bits and pieces are developed.  But even that’s becoming harder and harder to do.

I feel a little silly complaining about having too much of a good thing, but really that’s what it’s like.  And with games like TOR, Rift, DCUO, JGE, TSW, WoD… need I really keep listing acronyms?  It’s impossible to enjoy them all, but I’ll be damned if I don’t keep trying.

What about you, what game from your past have you not been able to go back and visit?  Or more so, what game have you always wanted to try but never been able to really plug into?

MMO Buffett

Posted by garrett Monday November 8 2010 at 6:27PM
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Nom Nom Nom! Actually this article is more about the current MMO market than anything else. The MMO Buffett is something I just thought of as a phrase to define the current MMO game space.
 
Your Meat and Potatoes – Fantasy Genre
 
Every meal has some form of meat and carbs. So for the hardcore players we look at the meat and potatoes of MMOs as the Fantasy games. There are a lot of varieties, but only one real formula. The meat, yet it can be served a bunch of different ways. At this point, it seems like the fantasy genre has run its course. Is there any area left to explore in this genre? Yes, but no one is willing to take the risks and try it. My wish for a giant Hamburger MMO of awesome is a very Savage style barbaric game that looks like it jumped out of a Frazetta painting. This does not mean Conan, just something way more nasty and dark.
 
Veggies – Sci Fi Games
 
Few have succeeded and the ones that have are awesome. EVE is like spinach, it makes ya strong and with some butter and salt it’s great fun. Other Sci-Fi games however are avoided by players like five year olds looking at a giant plate of vegetables. Players just kind of make a face and … grab something else.
 
Dessert – Super Hero Games
 
This genre continues to grow. With two games out now and more on the way the super hero genre remains a fun place to live out your childhood fantasy. Its cake and you can eat it too. There are definitely hardcore players and City of Heroes has proven to be an MMO that stands the test of time.
So while this blog is quick and easy and fun, it is kind of like a real buffet. You’ll stuff your brain thinking of what area your games fit in or what genre matches which food best. Still, like any buffet in 3 or 4 hours you’ll be hungry for something more solid….
Point being, we need new gourmet MMOs!

RTSGuru.com

Posted by Stradden Friday November 5 2010 at 1:48PM
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As you may have noticed with today’s Starcraft II interview, MMORPG.com is getting ready to welcome another sister site into our network. RTSGuru.com is going to follow more closely in the footsteps of our flagship site than GameOnMac.com does, concentrating on a single genre of games, across platforms.

We’re really excited about getting this site up and running and hope that some of you who might be RTS fans as well as MMO fans might come with us and help us to build our community.

In that spirit, I’d love to hear your opinion on what we should include on the site. Any input would be greatly appreciated, but as we move closer and closer to launching, I'd be most interested to hear your opinions on our front page.

Would you prefer our traditional MMORPG-style layout, or would you prefer a hybrid of our style and the more modern “blog style”. you can see what that might look like by just popping over to GameOnMac and looking at that homepage.

Thanks folks, I really appreciate any input you can give to me.

Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com, GameOnMac.com, RTSGuru.com

Community Spotlight: The Effects of Permadeath on Community

Posted by MikeB Thursday November 4 2010 at 3:42PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Do you think permadeath would bring people together or tear apart MMO society and grouping?” by Emergence.

Permadeath is something we’ve discussed in previous Community Spotlights, however, Emergence’s thread puts an interesting twist on the topic. Forget whether permadeath is a sound idea or not, instead, Emergence asks us to focus on the effects of permadeath on a game’s community. Will players group more or less in an MMO featuring permadeath?

“Subject: Permadeath in any MMO, current MMO or imagined.

Argument 1: Permadeath would cause players to group together more often, binding together to protect each other. Players would respect one another so they could find groups to tackle content, insuring their character's lives.

Argument 2: Permadeath would cause players to group less, tearing them apart in fear of death. Players would fear death because of another player's bad choices. Players would be paranoid about other's skills and abilities, newbies would be forced to solo, and mistakes would be unforgivable (friendships broken, guilds destroyed).

Devil's Advocate: What if progression was fast or content did not scale with group #? Dungeon A's mobs are the same with 1 person as it is with 5, so 5 is ALWAYS less dangerous. Or would it be ALWAYS?”

MimiEZ feels that the community in a permadeath MMO would definitely suffer:

“I think it would overall tear up the community. Just looking at myself, I wouldn't want to play with anyone except my real life friends, and I wouldn't want to group with them that much even, if there was permadeath. The community would be very seperated, people only grouping with the same 1-5 people, people only crafting things for those people, making it just better to be a regular online game instead of an mmo.

In a game with permadeath, survival would be the main point of the game, and you can't build the same type of trust or sense of survival in a game that you can in real life. In real life you would never go toward danger, but just looking at horror game lovers, you may be cautious, but you still go into the darkness.”

Sleepyfish feels the presence of permadeath would foster a better community:

“Permadeath in a game where PVP mattered would create a society of cautious, polite and helpful people honestly. Take UO the Baja server which was full pvp, one of the most harsh servers in UO, had one of the most helpful communities in Ultima Online.

But by definition PVP would be serious business and hard to do. PVE would truly be a risk especially against large 50 foot creatures.

I would respect any player pvp or pve that played for years and didnt die.

I imagine dying in games like this would be very very hard. Not one shot deaths like in other mmorpgs.”

NetSage thinks that grouping would be both positively and adversely affected:

“First of tldr.  But, I would say both in all honesty.

Starting out it would be chaos as those who chose to kill early would have the advantage for a long amount of time.  However I think they would be the minority shortly allowing the rest to band together and with numbers to at least even the playing field.  While the community would probably start to flourish within the established areas venturing to far would probably get you killed by the rouges.  Or, if it's more even there would be constant wars and I'm not sure how it would work out.”

I’m of the mind that such a system would probably balance itself out. If everyone just ended up killing each other, no one would get anywhere. Assuming that people were able to not kill each other long enough to progress through the game, I think lines would be drawn in the sand and people would still venture out together. Reputation would matter, and other players would band together to protect the overall population, which would probably serve as somewhat of a deterrent. I can’t say I’d personally risk my neck to find out though!

So, what's your opinion  on the effects of permadeath on a MMO community? Would playesr group less? More? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Please keep in mind that this is NOT a discussion on whether or not permadeath is even viable. Assume a particular MMO already has permadeath, how would it affect the community?

Waiting Can Be Good

Posted by BillMurphy Tuesday November 2 2010 at 4:14PM
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Sometimes there are games that are just achingly painful to wait for.  One such game from my past was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  I remember my obsession with every little detail I could scrounge up about that game leading up to its launch.  I’m also young enough that I didn’t have a job and had to wait for the Holidays to come in order to get my hands on it (if I was lucky).  The wait for that game seemed unbearable then, and in hindsight I still remember it taking for-e-ver (thanks, Squints).  But man, what I remember more than the wait was the day I finally unwrapped that Christmas present to see the golden box beneath. 

In Ocarina of Time’s case, the wait was more than worth the end result.  That game is still cemented in gamers’ collective consciousness as one of the best ever created.  The way playing that game felt after waiting so long for it without access to any “beta” or head-start programs is exactly why I decided to write this post.  As “press” (I put that in quotes, because I’m pretty sure I’m just a fan who gets paid to ramble incoherently) I get to/have to view a lot of games before they’re released.  There are precious few that I can sit back and wait for. 

As hoity-toity as that might sound, from my side of the fence it’s a luxury.  Nowadays with MMOs too, you can pretty much get into any game’s beta at some point just by dropping $5 on a pre-order.  I’m looking forward to a lot of games on the horizon.  I’m probably going to cover most of them here on this site.  When launch day for DCUO, TERA, Rift, JGE, Guild Wars 2, The Old Republic, etc. comes I’ll be right there with all of you playing for the real “first time”.  But I have to contend that part of me misses those days when I had to just wait.  When Christmas seemed like forever from now, and it felt like I was never going to play that brand new awesome game which just came out. 

As I was reading some posts in the DCUO forum about players waiting to get into the Pre-Order beta, this whole topic occurred to me.  Savor that waiting period.  Don’t be too hurried to get into the beta.  It is after all, just a beta.  And when launch comes, if you’ve spent hours and hours in the testing phases, you’re not going to be as anxious to log in and join the rest of the population on those first real steps into the game’s life.

Okay, this just got way too serious for a blog about games.  My point is: sometimes having to wait can be a good thing.  In games, and in life.  And just to be sure I bring the seriousness back down to a more tolerable level.  

Fart.

There, that about does it.

RPGs and Wargames

Posted by garrett Tuesday November 2 2010 at 9:50AM
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As I continue my step away from MMOs for a while. I am back on the conventional gaming track to remember what the joy of all this game stuff is about.
 
As much as I like computer games and MMOs and console games etc. etc. I still maintain that RPGs and getting together with a group of friends for a night of D&D or Warhammer is really where the soul of gaming exists.
 
There are so few game stores left in the world and visting one on a Saturday afternoon is still fun for me 30 years later from the first time I went. Sure there are tables set up to play and gamers are either deep in a rules book or arguing across the board. There is a pulse here though, there is an atmosphere that I have yet to see captured in an MMO.
 
As I get older, I wonder if other people still get this joy out of a trip to the game store. Is it the artwork, the new games, the chance to play in front of an audience while people shop and order pizza from right next door?
 
As much as MMO can bring us together as gamers, there is still something great about going to a game store and hanging out on a Saturday afternoon. Playing wargames or RPGs and trying out new ideas. I wonder if video game developers ever make this journey for some inspiration. I know just recently Blizzard had mentioned that part of their success is the fact that their staff are truly passionate gamers and even if a game comes from the competition, they are excited to play and try new things.
 
So if you are feeling stuck in on your PC as the weather gets colder, why not try a Saturday down at the game store? It might be just what you need and give a great perspective on where the soul of gaming got its start.