the world's only blog dedicated to Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Q: What's Wrong With MMOs? A: "Vanguard"

I liked this angry rant over at Gamers With Jobs. It was meant to be a review of the recently-launched "Vanguard: Saga of Heroes," but author Elysium couldn't bring him/herself to play enough of the game to write a real review.
Tired and redundant gameplay, barely interesting story, artificial environments populated with lame quests and an over population of sword fodder; I could be talking about any MMO on the market. The whole damn genre has run off the rails and become a parody of itself. Click the button and a gamer-treat rolls occasionally down the little pipe activating neurotransmitters in the brain that beg endlessly for more tiny little gamer-treats. So why pick on the little guy?

Fine, you want to know what really pisses me off about Vanguard; what voices me with the attitude that Sigil stole my lunch money? Vanguard sets a bad precedent for development and product release. In the months to launch Brad McQuaid made it very clear that regardless of whether Vanguard was actually ready for launch Sony, which had saved the game from cancellation following Microsoft's parting of ways, had set a firm timetable for retail, and come hell or high water the game only had enough money and time to reach that date. So, now that the game has released in its incomplete state, in a state that McQuaid himself describes as requiring patches, bug fixes and new feature implementation on par with a beta product, Sigil essentially comes to the consumer as the third investor in the process of the development cycle, and that is not just a terrible way of doing business, but an irresponsible step in the wrong direction for complicit consumers.
Via Slashdot.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

"Myst Online" Launches February 15th

Huh. I'm not sure "Myst" needed an MMORPG. What's next, "Tetris?" But I'd gladly be proven wrong.

February 15th has been announced as the launch date for "Myst Online: Uru Live," Cyan's MMO based on the popular "Myst" series of slide-based puzzle-solving games from the '90s. The beta is currently available to GameTap subscribers, and Cyan is offering a special rate of 99 cents for the first month of GameTap service. The game will be available on GameTap and stand-alone, for both PC and Mac.

It appears the game is designed to let you create an avatar that looks just like you, which might be pretty cool.

As far as I can tell, it's all puzzle-solving, and no combat. It'll be interesting to see how that works out.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Lord of the Rings Online" Pre-Order: Beta Key, Discount Membership, Exclusive Items

I just purchased the "Lord of the Rings Online" pre-order. Normally, I wouldn't pay $50 for an MMO, and now I've done it twice in the last week.

But here's what you get with the pre-order:
  1. The LOTRO box and CD set
  2. Membership in the Open Beta
  3. The ability to bring your beta character over after full launch
  4. Special pricing after full launch: $9.99/month, or $199 lifetime
  5. In-game items: Enchanted Cloak of Regeneration & The Ring of Agility
  6. Free 30-day access to Allakhazam.com’s Premium Service
Pretty l33t. You can pre-order online today -- the pre-order will hit retail stores on February 1st. The commercial launch is slated for April 24th.

Bado na Ennorath!

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Monday, January 22, 2007

European BC Launch Events WAAAY More Interesting Than American

Here is a gallery of pictures from European "Burning Crusade" launch events.

Looks like these events were a lot more fun -- cosplay, crowd signs, all sorts of shenanigans.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Burning Crusade" Collector's Edition

Thanks to Jason “Unholy” Carlton, who stood in line at Fry’s while we were freezing to death at Citywalk last night, we have a precious, precious copy of the now unavailable “Burning Crusade Collector’s Edition” box set.

Jason paid $69.99 at Fry’s. If you still want one, you can pay $169.99 on Amazon, or $560 on eBay.

For your extra cash, you get:
A big ol’ green cardboard box.
The expansion on both DVD (1 disc) and CD (4 discs).
A behind-the-scenes DVD, to dispel the dreams of those of you who imagine it’s fun to make video games.
The hardcover “The Art of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade,” which is very beautiful with high-quality printing. If you paid $69.99, this was well worth the additional $30. If you paid more, well…
A code for a Netherwhelp, the exclusive in-game pet, and the only reason I wanted the Collector’s Edition. Now I have to get my turtle.
TCG starter packs. For those of us who want the turtle.
A mouse pad with a map of Outland printed on it. No sign of Opus the Penguin, though.
A soundtrack CD. Trust me, you’ll be hearing enough of this music while you play.


Becky "Aktrez" Young with the "Burning Crusade" Collector's Edition.


If any of you bought the CE, please let us know what you think of it in the fora!

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"Burning Crusade" Midnight Launch!

Last night hundreds of fans stood for hours in sub-freezing temperatures to be the first to buy “Burning Crusade,” the first ever expansion for “World of Warcraft.” Also braving the Arctic temperatures were iTG’s Hogan “kam-RA” Carter & Rance “djRoME” Costa, as well as your faithful correspondent, Avataritoria’s Erik “Kunochan” Even.

By midnight, roughly 250 people were in line at the EB Games on Universal City’s storied Citywalk. The earliest arrivals had been waiting since 8:30am, but most arrived sometime after 5:00pm. EB employees worked the line and gave out prizes such as t-shirts and posters, while Blizzard reps set up the booth where WoW developers would sign “Burning Crusade” collector’s edition boxes.

We interviewed dozens of fans, and these clips will be featured on “Epileptic Gaming” this Thursday. I did learn few important facts:

1. Some people do actually care about the plot and characters of “World of Warcraft.”
2. No one, and I mean no one, actually role-plays in WoW, “MMORPG” notwithstanding.
3. Many WoW players actually have jobs. But the best way to level-up fast is to be a home-schooled teenager.
4. Lots of fans are disappointed because BlizzCon was too expensive.
5. Horde FTW.
6. Undead females are sexier than Tauren females.

Click here to see all the pics, hosted by GBT.com!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

EB Games Midnight Openings for "Burning Crusade"

For all of you who don't live in California, here is a list of every EB Games store that will be open at midnight tonight.

Have fun in the cold! I know I will!

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Burning Crusade Midnight Live Events

Happy National Burning Crusade Day! (Oh, there's something about some civil rights guy too.)

The lines are already forming to be the first to buy the "Burning Crusade" expansion when it goes on sale at midnight tonight, January 16th 2007 at 12:01 am.

All these events are in California, so if you don't live here, you are a LOSER.

Fry's Fountain Valley pops10800 Kalama River Ave
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
4500 copies
Fry's Anaheim pops3370 E. La Palma Ave
Anaheim, CA 92806
4500 copies
Fry's Sunnyvale pops1077 E. Arques Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
4500 copies
Universal Citywalk Gamestop/EB Games pops1000 Universal Studios Blvd (Cross Street: Buddy Holly Drive)
Universal City, CA 91608
1500 copies

Blizzard has promised some developer-celebrity action at the Citywalk store. We will be at that location tonight, so we'll see. Check back tomorrow for coverage and pics.

Here's the one thing that SUCKS about the BC launch:
We are not offering online purchase or download of The Burning Crusade at this time.
It seems like some people just don't understand the Internet. Even people who produce one of the most popular Internet products.

Why do I have to leave my house, go to a store, and purchase atoms in order to upgrade my online game? I'm sure this all fulfills some arcane marketing or financial need on Blizzard's part -- but does it fulfill any needs for the user? No, it does not. It just makes us go out in the cold and stand in line. It makes us prop up EB Games' failing business model.

Thanks, Blizzard. I'm still levelling my Undead Rogue and my Human Paladin. Maybe I'll wait for Burning Crusade until it's a free download.

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