23 March 2011
| | pixiestixy
"All this drama is making me want to fart all over that Alextrasza hussy!"
Back when Trion Worlds unveiled their Rift pre-launch trailer a couple months ago, they took a mixture of cheers and criticism for using the tagline “We’re not in Azeroth anymore.” By drawing a comparison to the top-of-the-market MMO from the start, it seemed the game was inviting more of a comparison from gamers familiar to the world of Azeroth who would instead argue that Rift was a WoW clone, or that it had drawn ideas and parallels to WoW.
I’m not here to argue for or against that — I personally have not played Rift, so I’m not qualified to make that comparison. And while I do love WoW, I also wouldn’t call myself a fangirl. There’s many aspects of the game that I feel could be improved upon, and in fact I hope that strong competition continues to come forward so that Blizzard is forced to keep innovating and keeping Azeroth a fun place to be.
But I do think that Trion Worlds’ assertive stance against WoW in the trailer was a bold marketing move that has worked. It brought a buzz about Rift. Even those who were openly decrying the tagline were still talking about the game. And a lot of people who otherwise may have never looked into the game were exposed to news about it from WoW-centric blogs who covered the trailer because of that open comparison. Perhaps this is where trouble began to brew. Continue Reading
21 March 2011
| | pixiestixy
We still don’t know much, but it looks like Blizzard’s tight-lipped group in-the-know is starting to grant its eager audience a few tidbits here and there about the next-generation MMO that it has lined up for sometime this century, after the relase of Diablo III.
In the past couple of weeks, both Frank Pearce, Blizzard cofounder and Executive VP of product development, and Paul Sams, Blizzard’s Chief Operating Officer, have gone on the record with Gamasutra to discuss the codenamed “Titan,” how it will affect WoW’s playerbase, and how they’ve transitioned Blizzard employees from WoW to the new MMO.
With a codename like that, it’s no surprise that Sams and other developers told Gamasutra that they expect the next-gen MMO to do what their competitors have only dreamed of in the past six years — eclipse WoW.
Paul Sams on “Titan”
“I believe [it's] the most ambitious thing we’ve ever attempted. And I feel like we have set our company up to succeed on that. We have some of our most talented and most experienced developers on that team. Many of the people that built World of Warcraft are full time on that other team.
…We think that it’s going to be very impactful in our industry and, we hope, very impactful to the world. We think that that will be, after Diablo III, the next big thing from us. The thing that we hope will happen is that it will not stop World of Warcraft but we believe will eclipse it. Continue Reading
22 June 2010
| | pixiestixy
In the midst of all the E3 coverage from last week (for which Lore Hound has a lot more to come), it seems that one interview with Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime went largely unnoticed. But indeed, Fox Business News sat down for an interview with the legendary Morhaime, and a few interesting tidbits came out as a result.
Some may ask — what make’s Morhaime’s thoughts any more important than anyone else’s? And I would answer – because unlike most others, Morhaime actually has the potential to take those thoughts and work them into the games that you and I play.
Topics covered included:
- How it feels to finally be mostly finished with Starcraft 2 — “thrilled”
- Why Starcraft 2 will be followed up with 2 expansions — to “tell a better story and deliver a more epic experience by focusing each installment on a particular race”
- On working with the Starcraft fan base — “It’s always sort of dangerous… because you don’t know what they are going to say.”
- On whether Activision applied pressure to break up Starcraft to increase revenues — “Activision doesn’t tell us to break up a game or to release a game on a particular day.”
- On Morhaime’s thoughts on interactive games such as XBox’s newly announced Kinect system — “It doesn’t work in every type of game. It does open up the door to new innovative ideas that we haven’t thought of yet.”
And, to me, what was the most interesting response:
Fox interview with Mike Morhaime
Q – “World of Warcraft” has the largest market share of the massively-multiplayer genre, but there are two major franchises under development: “Star Wars” and “Final Fantasy XIV.” When you see these new franchises, are you concerned?
16 November 2007
| | LHStaff
As we are beginning to close out this year, and head into the next, we already have two MMORPGs who seem to be aiming for the top spot of the MMORPG world. Each one promising fun features and epic stories that will dethrone the illustrious WoW, who has held the top spot for the better part of 3 years now. For those who haven’t caught on yet (to either the title or references) I am speaking about Warhammer Online and Age of Conan.
Both Eidos/Funcom and EA/Mythic has set up release dates for their prospective games at the beginning of next year, which means they will both be thrown into a heated competition with each other, as well as Blizzards newest expansion: Wrath of the Lich King. So what does each of these games offer that will place them firmly into the #1 MMORPG spot? Lets see:
- Extensive RvR play that takes palce within PvP and PvE environments.
- War-centric theme.
- Based off of Games Workshop’s very popular IP.
- Player Tactics and Moral Skills
- Play models that change to reflect the power of your character, i.e. Orcs will grow in size.
Age of Conan:
- First mainstream-published mature MMORPG title.
- Expansive single-player game leading into the MMORPG.
- Action-oriented fighting system.
- Siege weapons.
- Massive battlegrounds.
Both games obviously build onto what World of Warcraft has already established, but will it be enough to actually topple the 800 lb. gorilla? With both offering different styles of play and both competing for the top spot anything can happen. Let’s just hope they both launch relatively bug-free, unlike some supposed WoW-killing MMORPGs.
12 November 2007
| | LHStaff
There has always been a lot of competition between the eastern world and western world ever since the great Opium Wars in the 1800s. It takes place in our culture, technology, and, now, our MMORPGs. It has always stricken me as odd that our world has been divided into this us vs. them mentality and even now as we play our World of Warcrafts and Lineages we can’t help but get sucked into the eternal debate all over again. So which side is right?
If you were to take a look at our current MMORPG gaming scheme right now you’d notice there are already a vast amount of differences in not only how eastern and western MMORPGs play, but also how they are managed. Eastern MMOs tend to be more focused on a leveling scheme that makes you hunt monsters for extended periods of time, where as western MMOs tend to be more quest oriented where, instead of “grinding”, you complete this quest and that quest for the bulk of your experience. In addition to these play-styles, you will also find a good majority of eastern MMOs to be free and contain an “item shop” where players can pay to give their avatars some extra pizzazz, although a notable exclusion to this rule would be the Lineage series of games which charges $14.99 per month to play. Western MMOs tend to be completely pay2play. In fact the only western MMOs I can think of that differ from this rule are, arguably, not real MMORPGs, such as, Hellgate: London and Guild Wars. These are stark contrasts that usually carry over into forum debates about which is better, but really, why all the hassle? Here are some prime examples of eastern and western MMORPGs:
- Lineage 2
- Sword of the New World: Grenado Espada
- Mu Online
- RF Online
- World of Warcraft
- Dark Age of Camelot
- Tabula Rasa
- Lord of the Rings Online
- Everquest 2
MMORPGs are, for better or worse, yet another battleground for the east vs. west debate, and it will continue to be until the whole world finally gets over itself and just learns to stop caring about it. Amongst cars, policies, art, films, animations, and consumer electronics there now sits MMORPGs, the latest victim in a long drawn out battle.
30 October 2007
| | LHStaff
Some very interesting news cropped up today telling us all that LucasArts and BioWare have teamed up, yet again, on an unannounced project. It was a very interesting read and one that hinted at a lot of possibilities for the duo. Naturally, I won’t bother restating what has already been said in the press release (you can read that here). What we will discuss here is what exactly this could mean.
BioWare has been developing an MMORPG for a while now, it’s no secret. What is a secret is what exactly their MMORPG is based on. Naturally the gamers of the world have united in an attempt to convince them to make one based off their hit-RPG, Knights of the Old Republic. This notion was, obviously, fueled earlier today by this press release. Now I hate to burst bubbles, I really do, but we have to look at this scenario logically. As much as I’d love an MMORPG based off of KotOR, I just do not see it happening, and here’s why:
- LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment still have a contract that allows for Sony to develop the Star Wars MMO property. I don’t see Sony quietly backing out of this and allowing more competition into their very small arena. A BioWare Star Wars MMO would kill their property.
- [Quoted from the LucasArts/BioWare press release today]“BioWare’s mission is to deliver the best story and character-driven games in the world, delivering powerful emotional experiences to our fans.” No MMORPG, ever, has character-driven games. It is, with our current technology, impossible. MMORPGs are world-driven, not character driven.
- The press release is announcing a new partnership, not one that has been working on an unannounced title since 2006 (when they announced they were beginning development on an MMORPG).
- Why would they announce the partnership but not the game? If this really was about them making a Star Wars MMORPG then they would have announced it along with this deal. Everybody is already assuming that this means the Star Wars MMO is coming. BioWare knows this, and LucasArts knows this which is why they kept their game a secret because with everybody assuming its an MMORPG they don’t have to worry about their new IP being leaked to the public.
I understand that this is all circumstantial evidence, but these things need to be brought up. This deal in no way signifies that their will be a BioWare Star Wars MMORPG. I very much hope I am wrong, but as of right now I believe they may be working on a completely separate game altogether. LucasArts has many, many other IPs including Indiana Jones. There is a good chance BioWare is asking to be a part of one of those franchises.