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Thursday, February 1, 2007

WoW Is A Rip-off Of "Warhammer Online," NOT The Other Way Around!

For some time now, I've been planning to write a post on this topic. This discussion thread on nudged me into finally doing it.

I've been a gamer since the earliest days of anything that can properly be called "gaming." My first video game was Pong. My first computer was a TRS-80. My first role-playing game was “blue book” D&D. My first anime was Macross. I’m the original paleogamer.

I played all the great Games Workshop games; "Warhammer Fantasy Battle," Warhammer 40,000," "Space Hulk," "Blood Bowl," and "Talisman." "Chaos Marauders" is one of the greatest games of all time, and I still play it.

I've also followed the efforts of the Blizzard folks, who have yet to make a bad game. "Lost Vikings" 1 & 2, "Warcraft" 1-3, "StarCraft," "Diablo" 1&2, and "World of Warcraft." Hell, I even played "StarCraft: Ghost" at Blizzcon.

That said, I can assure all you young Padawan gamer n00bs that "Warcraft" is a direct and obvious rip-off of "Warhammer." I have been informed by a reliable source that in the beginning, this was intentional -- Blizzard and Games Workshop had an abortive relationship. But much if not most of the look, feel, and characterization of the "Warcraft" universe was at least inspired by the "Warhammer" universe.

Am I criticizing Blizzard in saying this? Nah. It's really not a big deal. It's all just a rip-off of Tolkien anyway. And Blizzard has certainly developed the "Warcraft" franchise into its own original, massive creative endeavor. The two legendaria have evolved in different directions; the "Warcraft" universe features serious storylines intermixed with light comedy and anachronisms, while "Warhammer" is noted for dark comedy in a grim and gritty world. At this point, saying that Azeroth is a ripoff of the World of Warhammer is just sniping.

What's annoying is when uneducated howards, munchkins, n00bs and trolls complain that "Warhammer Online" rips off "World of Warcraft." You know, because WoW was published first. Let's ignore the fact that each game is part of a legacy of games.

They also complain that WOAR's control scheme mimicks the WoW interface. No god, I should hope so! WoW has the best interface of any MMO I've played to date. Please, MMO publishers, steal WoW's interface. I'm begging you.

In conclusion, WoW is a great game, indeed my favorite game of the moment. But it's a rip-off of "Warhammer." And I am very much looking forward to "Warhammer Online."

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

If WoW Were Made By A Korean Company

Someone called "meteo" on the fora has posted a list called "If WoW Was [sic] Made By A Korean Company."

The jokes are hit or miss, but some are pretty funny...
If WoW was made by a Korean company... almost everybody would have a cute little pet.
If WoW was made by a Korean company... there would be many grammatical errors and typos in its text.
If WoW was made by a korean company... it would be marketed and advertised to preteens.
If WoW was made by a korean company... it would have two versions, the Korean version and the "International Version." The International Version would be used strictly to fund and add content to the Korean Version.
If WoW was made by a korean company... PVP would consist of two individuals. -- the LONGEST PLAYING PLAYER vs THE PLAYER WITH MONEY.
If wow was made by a Korean Company... female character models would have chests larger than their heads, with plenty of detail and animation around that area.
If wow was made by a Korean Company... the emotes would not be performed by your character, rather a chat bubble would pop up with a "cutsie" anime face performing the emotion.
If wow was made by a Korean Company... there would be three hair styles, three colors, and three face styles.

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eBay Finally Bans Gold Sales -- Chinese Economy Collapses

The ongoing war to put an end to organized cheating in MMOs has seen another victory.

Online auction house eBay is finally implementing their own policies, and "delisting" any attempt to sell in-game items and currency that does not have the specific permission of the copyright holder, i.e. the game publisher.

While I'm not usually a big fan of copyright enforcement when it gets in the way of consumer fair use, this is a special case. Gold farmers and their customers don't contribute to a game -- they destroy it, cheating in a way that ruins the enjoyment for other users.

The issue of who owns virtual property is an important and complex one, and I'd hate to see game companies abusing copyright law to control intellectual property created by users. But that's not what is happening here.

I also dislike it when eBay bans auctions to satisfy the wishes of some corporation -- for instance, when I couldn't sell my Japanese Dreamcast on eBay. My Dreamcast was a block of atoms that I had purchased fair and square. I owned it, and I had the right to sell it.

But when a region-locked console gets sold by a consumer, no one is hurt, not even the console manufacturer enforcing the policy. Gold farming hurts everyone.

eBay FTW.

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LOTRO - The First "Web 2.0" MMO

Blogger Nabeel Hyatt posted a brief round-up of the new and special "web 2.o" features offered by "The Lord of the Rings Online." He's specifically impressed by the Google-style mapping, mini-games, wiki-style encylopedia, and the pre-order features.


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"Lineage" Players Hold PvP Brawl In Meatspace -- Hey, That Kid's Probably Not Gonna Respawn

"Lineage 2" player Alexander Ponamorenko was arrested and charged with beating to death fellow player Alexander Blyoskin, during a real-world brawl between online guilds in a Moscow cafe.

According to police, 22-year old Blyoskin tried to interfere in a fight between between 30 members of a "Lineage 2" guild and a single member of a rival guild. Some witnesses reported that the Ukrainian Ponamorenko stomped on Blyoskin's head.

Surprisingly, Blyoskin did not drop any items, and failed to respawn. Ponamorenko faces a 15-year jail sentence.

"Lineage 2" is NCsoft's fantasy MMORPG launched in 2003. NCsoft claims 14 million customers for the game.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

WoW Census

Just like in real life, the citizens of Azeroth are watched and calculated! Want to find out how many belfs roam Silvermoon City? Want to know how many Paladins trade in Ironforge?

Check out Warcraft Realms to see what YOUR server consists of!

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Look At Me! I Have A Tabard of the Frost!

The items you can collect by collecting points from "World of Warcraft CCG" cards are mostly pretty lame. I mean, wallpaper? Please. Nothing like the prizes you get from loot cards. God, I want a turtle mount.

But I did get the exclusive Tabard of the Frost. I don't know what it represents, except "hey, I bought a lot of CCG cards." Or in my case, "hey, I got a lot of free CCG cards through work."

But I'm in love with the idea of in-game items that other people can't have. Why, oh why when I was at Blizzcon did I not get a murloc pet Murky?

Anyway, here's a pic of my 18th level Human Paladin with her Tabard of the Frost. She had to go to Booty Bay to get it, which at her level meant swimming in the ocean all the way from Westfall. (Trying to walk there would have gotten her killed.)

Unfortunately, I'm planning to pretty much stop playing this character, and focus on my Blood Elf Warlock. I should have given the Tabard to her -- she's a fashion junkie.

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