26 January 2008
| | LHStaff
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and congratulations on reading the first ever Ed’s Weekly Watch! This is a weekly post on what’s new in MMORPGs. I will write about new MMOs, news on MMOs, and other things involving…well…MMOS!!! Thanks and enjoy!
-Most of you know about the newest MMO “Pirates of the Burning Sea”. Well, I played the Beta and a little since the launch and I have to say, I am a little disappointed. The graphics are outdated, the “Open Sea” (the part of the game when you are sailing on the “Open Sea” not Ship Battling…2 different parts) graphics aren’t great either. The best quality graphics are when you are in a ship battle. The crafting system is alright, but it could use some work, and the player run economy isn’t what players expected it to be. It is hard to understand and takes forever to get used too. If you wish to try it go to www.piratesoftheburningsea.com and buy the game software from your local gaming merchandise store.
-I am a couple days off, but incase you haven’t heard, Age of Conan was pushed back 2 months. The devolopers claim that they needed “more time” and to “polish” up some things in gameply. I was heartbroken when I heard this, I was looking forward to the March launch, but I guess we will have to wait untill May.
-The thread I posted before this mentioned a contest. Yup, I have 2 Mythos invitations to give out. So to register send me an email at email@example.com with the title “Contest”. Thanks!
-Beckett Massive Online Gamer magizine is offering a free issue! Visit here for more details. It requires a credit card to get the issue, but you can allways cancel if you don’t like it.
-The Chronicles of Spellborn has released a devoloper chat with Romano Molenaar! Click here to watch!
- RuneScape has released the long awaited summoning skill! You can play at www.runescape.com.
Wow, its been a pretty big week! Tune in next week for more exciting news on MMORPGs!
25 January 2008
| | LHStaff
After contemplating going back to LOTRO for sometime now and learning that Age of Conan was pushed back another 2 months, today I went and reactivated my LOTRO account. I’m currently installing the game, as I had a HD failure 3 months ago and lost all my stuff.
For anyone that plays, I’m on the Windfola server under the name of Omicronn. I have a lev 50 Elf Hunter. Not sure what I’m going to do when I login. I’ll probably hookup with my old guild and see what there up to. Then I’ll check out the PvP situation to see if they added anything worthwhile. I noticed they added another Book to the storyline, so I’ll definitely do that. But aside from that, I’m hoping I don’t get bored.
Anyway if your on Windfola, feel free to say hi.
22 January 2008
| | LHStaff
Way back in 2006, NCSoft launched one of the most unique MMO games I had ever seen. It wasn’t based in the fantasy world of orcs and elves, nor was it based in space like EVE Online. This game was set in a more “Mad Max” type theme of mutants, cyborgs, and deathcars. It was quite a game, and one that I personally found to be quite fun. Unfortunately, last summer the game was cancelled due to having too low suscriber numbers to support it. It was a sad day for those who loved it, and it was a sad day for NetDevil, the developing company behind the game. So why did the game fail to achieve any sort of mass appeal?
Well, to be honest, I am not quite sure what was wrong with the game. The graphics were fairly capable (not the best but not the worst) and the gameplay was fast and furious. This was not a WoW-clone where you sat and waiting for your attacks to get carried out. In Auto Assault you were constantly driving around and planning your attacks and skills. If anything, the game was almost too fast.
In addition to the fast combat, the game utilized the Havok engine for most of it’s physics processing. This means that a lot of the world was fully destructible. While cruising down the highways you could smash through any number of small buildings which would shatter brilliantly into a dozen or more pieces. It was quite fun just roaming around. . .
In the end, the mass of MMO players just did not seem ready for an MMO like Auto Assault. It was completely off from the norm and back in 2006, nobody was really pining for change in the industry. Today, the landscape for MMOs is much different as many gamers are calling for new games with fresh ideas. Had Auto Assault been developed for today’s market with today’s technology it may have survived and actually become successful. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and because it failed back then chances are we won’t ever see another game of it’s type. A sad, sad truth. . .
22 January 2008
| | LHStaff
The unstoppable juggernaut that is World of Warcraft has yet again set a new record for active MMORPG subscribers by announcing today they have hit the 10 MILLION mark. The breakdown in subscribers goes like this, 2 million subscribers in Europe, more than 2.5 million in North America, and approximately 5.5 million in Asia. Burning Crusades expansion was also the best selling PC game of 2007 selling more than 2.4 M copies in the first 24 hrs and 3.5 M within a month.
So the question is now, when will this growth finally hit its peak? Well I wouldn’t count on it anytime soon. Blizzard is planning on a Russian version later this year and another expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, so I’d expect those numbers to continue to increase for a least another year or two.
21 January 2008
| | LHStaff
Well crap, it looks like Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will be delayed an additional eight weeks. Funcom, the publisher of AoC, today announced that the game is being delayed to add more polish. The new release date is May 20th.
Well that sucks ass, there’s no way I’m going to be able to wait that long for a new MMO. Mythos is fun as hell, but I already completed all the storyline quests and doing the random generated quests is quite boring. Hmm, I think I’m going to have to make my way over to the LORTO site to see what new stuff has come out, might get back into that until AoC comes out.
14 January 2008
| | LHStaff
Way back in 2003, a time of lore and buggy-dances, a small MMORPG was beginning to surface in a world that was positively teaming with new IPs and restored IPs being brought into the same scene. It was a simpler time back then, the only real competition in the scene was Everquest, Asheron’s Call, and, to a lesser extent, Ultima Online (which had begun to show it’s age). This was when Microsoft decided that it wanted a slice of the MMO pie.
Mythica was announced at GenCon back in 2003 as an MMORPG that was based on Norse mythology. Even the combat was centered around being a “demi-god” where the player would have been placed into the role of a fallen hero against Ragnarok, and preventing him from ending the world. If nothing else about the game, the story was definitely very interesting. Unfortunately, the game was cancelled in 2004 and was never brought back to life.
Mythica was not riddled with performance issues, and was not clouded by disastrous PR or lawsuits (although there was one). There was really nothing that was seriously preventing the game from being released, and everything looked according to plan until Microsoft cancelled it. So why was it cancelled? Well according to Chris Lye (former global product manager at Microsoft, GFW #15) the entire Microsoft MMO protfolio hinged on one man: Ed Fries. You see, Ed Fries was the Vice President of Microsoft Gaming Studios, who also happened to be an avid MMO gamer. He loved MMORPGs and understood that there was a real fortune in the genre in the future (this was pre-WoW by the way). After he left (no reason given) the MMO-scene at MGS had little support and it eventually just dwindled. Eventually Mythica got the ax because somebody somewhere in the head offices felt that a new MMORPG was worth more time and money than Mythica. You know this game currently as SOE’s stepchild: Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
Fascinating game history eh?
10 January 2008
| | LHStaff
With a new year coming upon us we have the incredible opportunity to experience new MMORPGs. It was the same last year, as we were all antipating the releases of Tabula Rasa, Lord of the Rings Online, Vanguard Saga of Heroes, and Warhammer Online (still). This year we have a bunch more titles coming, and there is quite the selection. So, without further ado, I bring you the expected MMORPGs of 2008 listed with the most up-to-date release dates that I could find. Everything here is chronologically organized as best as possible. Enjoy:
Awesome right? Here we have our basic look at the MMORPGs that are roughly scheduled to be released this year. Obviously some of these dates are more concrete, like Pirates of the Burning Sea which is on schedule to meet it’s 1/22/08 date. Other’s like Warhammer Online have a possibility of being pushed back a few months, and even then some like Stargate Worlds will probably not get released this year at all. Just a hunch.
Also worth noting is that although there are a few triple-A titles, like Warhammer Online and Chronicles of Spellborn, this year also has it’s fair share of shovelware. Prepare to see more and more titles like Zu Online, and Wonderland Online hit the digital domain this year.
Every date, prediction, and event scheduled here at MMOCrunch is, as always, subject to change via the developers whimsies and timing ethics. Thanks for reading. :)
P.S. Also don’t forget to welcome Andrew, our newest Crunch writer here at, well, MMOCrunch. His first post can be found just below.
8 January 2008
| | LHStaff
In today’s get up and go-go world there are a lot of people turning to the digital medium in order to fulfill certain parts of their lives. For example email and social networks have completely made writing an actual paper mail obsolete. I mean, who seriously does that these days? I think my gramgram (grandma) does, but that’s beside the point. In this world, right now, there are people who turn to digital pleasures because they don’t have time for the “real” version of such. Does this hold some truth for MMORPGs as well?
The MMORPG is no stranger to criticism, and it’s certainly no stranger to publicity. Beginning back in the Everquest era, MMORPGs began gaining media attention as wasteful timesinks for children who were, in turn, neglecting their homework, and, more importantly, their daily exercise. When a child was sitting at the computer for hours upon hours at a computer how much exercise were they actually getting? Well, aside from rapid finger movements while typing the answer is el zilcho, nada, none.
Now fast forward to the present day, a time when World of Warcraft has subscription numbers in the millions and there are about 40 other well established MMORPGs to choose from. Does the truth of yesteryears still hold today? Well yes and no. We still have the same children who are essentially spending hours upon hours in these virtual worlds wasting away their youth. It can actually be a bit depressing when you see somebody like that; however, due to the popularity of such titles like World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online we are beginning to see a new type of player. Somebody who maybe just wants to play as a sort of social exercise. Housewives, fathers, business types of all ages/races/sexes and grandparents are now venturing into the online worlds to meet some of that social desire that we as human beings require. Instead of actually going out to a bar at night, instead they log onto World of Warcraft or Second Life to get that same feeling of belonging.
Naturally, this isn’t as widespread as I probably made it seem in my last paragraph, but that’s not to say it’s not happening more and more often. A lot of people seem to think that MMORPGs have a height limit, that only a certain amount of the population will find an interest in them. However, I disagree. As the average American and European gets busier and busier with their work there will probably be a sharp increase in MMORPG subscriptions. Sometimes you are just too tired to head out to your local bar y’know? I am guilty of doing this on more than a few occasions.
Thoughts, comments, random words of wisdom? You know where to leave em. :)