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3D Vision, your favourite MMO seen thrue the NVIDIA 3D VISION Glasses

I discontinued my old blog "random ideas for mmos" to blog about a couple of tests playing various MMOs with NVIDIAs new 3D-Vision Shutter Glasses.

Author: craynlon

Quest to Level/ Level to Quest...

Posted by craynlon Monday June 16 2008 at 7:55AM
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hmm i feel im getting old :(

for 4 years i played lineage 2 and my goal was to reach the max level (wich is kind of hard in an open pvp world that needs like 100h of grind on endgame levels). leveling was basicly waiting for a mob to spawn and killing it. i know how addictive it was to level up or get better gear. hell i grinded 5h/day for weeks just to have a 2minute rush to see what my new skills would do...

now im playing conan and i discovered quests.
while people in my grp/ guild still want to kill me when i stop to read a quest dialog i still enjoy every moment of it, especially the voice overed quests in the beginning. my gamestile basicly went from killing/questing to level up to leveling up in the background while i enjoyed the quest. in conan i even turned off my xp bar in the hub.

so i was thinking:

is there any hope that mmos will become more then leveling competitions for 80% of its customers ?

what would be if you knew a quest in your mmo was written by Stephen King or directed by Quentin Tarrntino ?
- would you have more respect for these quests ?
- would you see more in them then means to move your xp bar a bit further up ?

the many ads in the web for guids that "let you level up to max in under 10 days" makes me feel that most people want to rush to some kind of mysterious endgame only to find out later that endgame = end of story in most games

in my previous blogs i asked for weekly content and got laughed at but i wonder if mmos couldnt attracked more people if they had more food for the "kotor" or "mass effect" gamers instead of trying to dangle a virtual carrot in front of the xp junkies

RIFNG 5 : give us weekly content

Posted by craynlon Wednesday June 11 2008 at 1:55AM
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in this issue i want to compare the mmo industry with the comic-book industry to see wether we gamers should have the right to get new content each week.


the mmo engine must be so easy in use that it allows for a dynamic addition of content.
just like a comic book artist uses a lighboard, pen and paper the additional content i speak of should not require a seasoned computer scientist to make it work

to much content means leveling the character needs to be pushed out of the fokus. the goal of the game should be to enjoy the content not to level a charakter to max level the fastest. if you are watching a movie you wouldnt use fast forward as well just to be the first to see the end..

the mmo needs to have a good subscriber base financing the creation of content

some of the figures below are a bit speculation but i try to be close to the truth


now lets look at some numbers:

a comic book in the us sales chart sells around 100.000 copies each month at a price of 3$
i would say after paying printing costs, shipment and distributors that would leave around 1$ for the publisher. so for around 100.000$ (probably less in most cases) they produce 24 pages of artwork and story.

now lets look at a mmo

lets say aoc has 1mio subscribers in a few month paying 14$ each. lets say 90% of it goes to advertising, support, server cost... (in fact i would looooooooove to see some real figures here on how the income from wow/aoc subscription is reinvested) is should be no problem to cut of 2$ for content.
this equals 2mio $/month or the production value of 20 comic books

noone can tell me that with 2mio a month you cant produce a ton of weekly content !

i think the next generation of mmo should not be defined by technical issues like shaders or direct x version but on how good it tells a story. same as you cant await the next comic book issue or the next episode of heroes/ lost you should constantly be looking forward on what challenges await your character in the next few weeks.

if the industry wants to develope it has to offer the customer more then beeing able to raid the same boss for 20days in a row to have a chance of a purple colored gauntlet drop. it has to move away from seeing itselve as a finished game at launch with updates every 6month or so. 
it should capture its audience with a constant stream of high quality content.

omg you play more then 1 mmo ???

Posted by craynlon Monday June 9 2008 at 2:29AM
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i played lineage2 for 4 years and said i never would quit.
i loved the community, i said id never quit the game, ever

then came age of conan..
i found myselve playing less l2 but i wanted to keep in touch with the community so i stayed in the clan board but at the same time made new contacts in aoc

actually now my view has changed and i totally feel ok playing more then 1 mmo

on the horizont there is spellborne, aion and war and i like ddo as well
somehow it seems to put me in a position where i dont know what to play anymore and i feel less attached to the community of a certain game.

with that much content rich mmos out at the same time it feels like going to a comic book store seeing all these cool comics with only 4 bucks in your pocket knowing you could never follow the adventures of all these characters.

in terms of mmo i feel that the market is great giving us that big varyity of games but on the other hand for me it destroyes the community feeling i had in the early days.


To the Marketing Guys: Just call it "very early Access"

Posted by craynlon Thursday June 5 2008 at 7:00AM
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over the last weeks i read a ton of ppl complaining about aoc beeing not quite finished yet others (like me) defending the game as playable and fun.

so heres my sollution:

Developers go to your marketing departement and ask them to come up with a cool name for a "almost readdy" game

i mean hey, if the guys from war would tell me to give them 30euro to play their game now even if its buggy and balanced/polished only in 3 month id get out my credit card and pay them.

maybe we should look at it like discovering your new favourite band.
you like the sound but on stage they sound rough and not every song on their album pleases your ears. still you buy it cause you want  to be the guy that sais "oh yeah i knew they rocked when they were just starting" when you go to their comercialized concert 2 years later....

from a commercial point of view the company will still get a good deal of money that helps them to bring in more content/support and sees what the players think beyond the rather positive vibes of a closed beta programm. if they are just honest about it (that the game isnt yet finished) they wont loose the hyped up people that expect perfect perfomance...