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Observations that apply to excellence in implementation and execution in the MMO universe

Author: Finfid

I didn't quite hear the Call

Posted by Finfid Tuesday November 8 2011 at 6:24PM
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Excerpts from a conversation with my good friend Dug:


Ok, so this is my take on Call of Duty Modern Warefare 3 (MW3). It uses the Black Ops (BO) engine modified and gussied up. Which is in turn a copy but not the same engine as MW2. It uses a perk system based on BO but tweaked to feel more like the orig MW2 Perks.

The perks scale alot faster then BO, more like MW2. Some of them are rediculously over powered. The Knife "box" has been reduced from the Inifity Ward style, to the Treyarch style, making knife killing sprees alot harder. However they added new melee weapons to appease people I guess.

Essentially its a Treyarch homage to Infinity Ward. Both games were lots of fun to play from a sorta mindless never ending frag fest point of view. I could play both for hours and feel good at the end. So I have no doubt that MW3 will be good. I will probably wait a bit to get it. I'm still enjoying BF3 and don't really need to spend $60 on another shooter right now.

The single player for MW2 was pretty neat. The whole figting off the invaders on our soil thing.
MW3 hopefully is as fun. I have my doubts though, Treyarch's previous single player stories have lacked quite a bit. World War 2 felt pretty anemic and Black Ops did not invoke the tormented spirit of Mama Cass OR Jimmy Hendrix.
From all the comments I've read around the web, I'm begining to think my theory about Consoles is correct. MW3 is essentially a very well done, and beautiful optimization of the tech they have, but have no choice to use because the Console platforms can't handle any more at this point. A new engine that takes full advantage of what the average PC can do, not to mention the high end, would probably kill the Xbox and PS3. And since they need sales from all 3 platforms, the lowest common denominator wins. (Xbox I suspect).
Sony and MS have milked these platforms to much. I hope they realize they are on the verge of creating a mass exodus. All it will take is one breakthrough PC only game that gets enough press to deomonstrate that the current platforms are dead.
RIP console geeks :-)

Is it real or is it MMOrex

Posted by Finfid Thursday April 7 2011 at 1:56AM
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I've played allot of MMOs over the years. My first was Dark Sun Online: Crimson Sands technically. Certainly I played a few MUDs back in the day, but I could never agree that they were anything like a graphical interface multi-user game. UO was however probably my first and most memorable MMO experience. UO had something that really seemed to allow a person to suspend disbelief. It took on a sort of life that while I was playing blotted out reality in that way that only really compelling novels and movies can do. I developed an identity for my toons and it became what I was while I was online. The relationships that I developed with other players weren't mine, they were my toon's. The role-play was reality, at least for the time spent in game.

I tried Everquest when it came out, but my hobbit like toon drowned in the first 20 minutes of play and I stopped playing. At the time I had been watching my best friend beta test Asheron's Call and I just could not wait for the game to come out. Asheron's Call, like UO seemed to possess some force, or magic that made immersing yourself in the game a simple matter. Logging out was akin to waking from a vivid dream that you did not want to forget. When I was playing Mitsi in Asheron's Call, I was essentially her, and her friends in-game were her's, not mine. When I logged out I went back to my life, real friends and my job. The game allowed me to escape to a different place and it was nothing like reality proper. That experience has yet to be found again since leaving those games.

After Asheron's Call 2 demonstrated its failure in beta, and DAoC started to lose its luster there really wasn't much out there that could bring back the magic that UO and AC possessed. Shadowbane came pretty close, however it became a tedious affair post level 40. World of Warcraft had many things going for it, and certainly I played it for many years, but it has never been able to get me to feel for it, to truely care about my toons and the world they inhabit. It was merely something to do for a few hours each day, and someplace to chat with people that seemed to share the same basic interest. However we all accepted that we were people going about our in game business, and not a band of surley Orcs hell-bent on collecting Night Elf ears as trophies.

I've tested, purchased and played just about every MMO since, even the Asian variety that generally end up as shallow attempts at capitalizing on basic greed. So far not a single one has truely been able to awaken that realism and engrossment that the earlier ones did. I'll be honest, it may not be the games themselves. I'm sure that I have changed as a person as well. However, I should like to think that I would recognize a really immersive experience when I see it. (Mass Effect 1 vs Mass Effect 2 for example?)