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Friday, March 9, 2007

Does the Armory Violate Player Rights?

I've published my feature story on the controversy over The Armory, the "World of Warcraft" web page that presents a complete database of WoW character data.

Many players are complaining that The Armory will skew PvP results, and is a violation of privacy.
It is easy to imagine that the users of a service like “Second Life” would have both ethical and legal objections to the creation of a site like The Armory. “Second Life” players conduct personal business, and often live out virtual personal and sex lives through the site. And on sites like Facebook and myspace, users share their real personal information.

“World of Warcraft” is nothing like “Second Life.” While a small minority of players use WoW as a personal communications tool, it is not meant for that purpose. And WoW player profiles do not contain any personal data about a person whatsoever. How one prefers to play WoW is not private in the sense that what one checks out from the library and who one befriends should be private.

The players who complain about privacy aren’t able to present a rational argument, because they do not have one. I wonder whether they even understand the important arguments for privacy in the real world – they just have a gut understanding, and are now applying that understanding in a knee-jerk way to a situation that does not merit it.

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

"The PvP Report" Launches On GBT

My weekly feature, "The PvP Report," launched today on I'll be covering the action in the "World of Warcraft" Arena Tournament, right up to the global live finals event later this year.
With the launch of their “World of Warcraft” Arena Tournament, Blizzard Entertainment adds a third major game to the e-sports pantheon. While some FPS and RTS purists still scoff of the idea of a professional competitive MMORPG, Arena Tournament allows the best players in the international WoW community to prove themselves in official tournament ladders.

Although WoW Arena tournaments have existed for a while, this is the first time Blizzard has hosted an inter-server, worldwide competition with live events. With WoW's large user base and high media profile, this tournament stands to become the most famous event in the history of e-sports, in this writer's opinion.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

A New MMO -- Something Different This Time!?

We have fallen on hard times, my MMO loving friends. Over the past few years it seems that our Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying games have well ... massively sucked! While there is of course the small exceptions (a small exception called "Warcraft"), overall our MMOs have produced rip offs of one another and disappointing game play.

I'm sorry, I don't want to kill an Orc again.
I'm sorry, Mechs are not my friends.

With two new upcoming MMOs - "Pirates of the Burning Sea" and "Sword of the New World" - we finally get new storylines and some innovative game play.

I discovered "Sword of the New World" today and I actually find it to be a very interesting concept.

The buildings are all colonnades, domes, and elaborate staircases -- even the background music is influenced by the period. The characters resemble more of a "Lineage" or FFXI sort of feel than what we have been used to seeing with the more cartoon-like WoW and "City of Heroes."

One of the unique features of
"Sword of the New World" is the Multi-Character Control system. Players will be able to create an entire family of characters to play with. Each family can have up to four members, and the members will carry the family surname. Best of all, you can take up to three family members out in a party at the same time. For people who can't decide on any one class to focus on, now you can level up three at once. While I'm not 100% sure how well I would do trying to level 3 at once, it is definitely an interesting choice!

Now, for those of you who are interested in PVP - how does 3 different levels of PvP sound to you? In SotNW, they introduce not only one on one PvP but Faction PvP and also city/family PvP. Just more people to pwn on your nightly outings.

From the screens that I have seen thus far, the costumes and buildings look amazing. You are also able to get stances for your characters. For example, if I continually practice the healing stance, I will level up healing.

This also makes for some wonderful screenshots and subsequently wonderful Photoshop work! :p

I will be watching this game very closely. At this time, it is slated to launch in summer of 2007. Who knows if this is the game to rival the World of Warcrack ... but I give credit for the uniqueness of this upcoming MMO.

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