Posts Tagged ‘mmo’

Minecraft Adventures 2.1 – Qairon City’s Duke Castle

13 June 2012 | 2 Comments » | LHStaff

This post is guest written by Sephalon herself.

I make my video editing debut for LoreHound on today’s episode of Minecraft Adventures. Today I will show the castle in my city, Qairon, which houses each of the Dukes of Qairon.

Qairon is a city built on the official LoreHound Minecraft server, Amalos, hosted by Spellbook Entertainment.

If you would like to download the texture pack, you can do so with instructions here.

Diablo III Real Money Auction House: Analysis of Fees, Market Forces, and Strategy, Part 3

24 May 2012 | 30 Comments » | Heartbourne

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Last time, we looked at some of the pricing implications of the Diablo 3 auction house fee structure and why Blizzard implemented these fees. This time, we’ll propose some other fee systems and consider some economic ideas that have relevance to the Diablo 3 auction house.

One of the basic ideas of economics that gets thrown around a lot by laymen is “supply and demand“. They are really two separate ideas that can be used in conjunction with each other to predict market behavior. Let’s delve into some of these economic ideas to approach the auction house and its fees.

To make a basic graph of what “supply and demand” looks like, we need to understand how suppliers and consumers react to pricing. Intuitively, if something (lets say a super-awesome sword) can be sold for a high price, people are going to do what they need to in order to get it so that they can garner a large sum of money. Conversely, if the sword is offered at a lower price, less people are going to be willing to sell it. At higher prices, more swords will be offered for sale, and at lower prices, there will be less swords. As for consumers, they will buy more swords the lower the price is, as they will be able to more easily afford them at lower prices and be more willing to part with less of their hard-earned cash. At higher prices, people will only buy swords if they really want them. Thus, at higher prices, less swords will be bought, and at lower prices, more swords will be bought. If we asked sword-producers how much they would sell a particular sword for at a variety of prices and graphed it, then asked sword-consumers how many swords they would buy at a variety of prices, we would get a graph like this:

The important idea is that the supply curve has a positive slope, whereas the demand curse has a negative slope.

Continue Reading

Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium MMO Canceled – Now a single-player RPG

29 March 2012 | 1 Comment » | Mike

Huge news out of THQ Inc. today as they announced that the Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium MMORPG is no more and is being turned into a single-player game with online multiplayer features.

President and CEO of THQ, Brian Farrell, has this to say about the the change,

As previously announced, we have been actively looking for a business partner for the game as an MMO. However, based on changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO, we believe the right direction for us is to shift the title from an MMO to a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay, robust digital content and community features. Because we believe strongly in the high-quality and vast creative work that is in production, this is the right decision for both our portfolio and for gamers devoted to this powerful property.

Due to this shift, THQ will be laying off 128 employees, 79 at Vigil Games and another 39 at Relic Entertainment.

Black Prophecy Developer Reakktor Media Barely Hanging On

29 February 2012 | 2 Comments » | Mike

It looks like another one of my 2012 predictions is nearing reality, making me two for two on the year. I had first predicted that D3 would be delayed to either the end of the 2nd quarter, or the start of the 3rd; and now the developers behind Black Prophecy are in the early processes of closing down their studio.

Not that I’m happy with being right; I would rather have seen Black Prophecy be reworked to become a playable game. However, when the main focus of a game is grinding, coupled with a item-store sink-hole, there’s no wonder why it’s not doing well. Black Prophecy was on my most anticipated list in 2010, however, I couldn’t even make it past level 15 before ejecting out. I went back a few times once they reworked PvP to give it another shot, but each time I was met by more disappointment.

Reakktor Media is looking for a last minute contract deal to keep them going stating:

“We have a team of 49 highly talented and motivated people over here with qualifications which go far beyond actual MMO technologies and mechanisms,” said Lenke,

“We are in a position to accomplish basically anything what is played right now, even if we were focused in the recent times on multiplayer mobile gaming. However, the MMO area is historically our organically grown core competence.”

With Reakktor Media closing its doors, the future of Black Prophecy looks… well, like a “Black Prophecy” (read: grim). Although, Gamigo, the game’s publisher, does own a 19.1% stake in the game and studio, so there is still some hope for fans of Black Prophecy.

Here’s my suggestion: CCP buys Black Prophecy and turns it into a sandbox MMORPG!  How awesome would that be if it actually happened!?

Dungeons and Dragons Online: Menace of the Underdark, Release Date

29 February 2012 | 6 Comments » | Randy Denosha

Fans of Dungeons and Dragons Online will be very happy to hear that Turbine has announced the release date for the game’s first expansion, Menace of the Underdark, as June 25th. The announcement came hand-in-hand with their next content update: Web of Chaos, but that’s not all. Turbine also announced the details for pre-orders which unlock  in-game items and account bonuses, some which players will receive now and others when the expansion arrives. We also have some screenshots of some of the items that are available with the pre-order and a screenshot of the new class, Druid (to the right).

Now let me get into a little bit more detail about the pre-orders that unlock items and bonuses. There are three different forms of pre-purchasing, each with their own benefits, the more expensive you go the more benefits you get. Pretty logical right? Well I have seen the items/specials you get and I am pretty happy with them, however many of the items are already available in the game and the specials are definitely available in the DDO store for purchase. There is but just one (two actually) items that I am not so sure about, which are the masks you get. At first glance I thought the masks provide only a different helmet appearance, but it turns out they also give a stat bonus to character skills and better resistance to poison. Now I don’t like that fact that players who pre-order the game will receive stated items, however if they’ll also be available via the DDO store then I’m fine with it since everyone can access it. Besides that point the pre-order items are good.

Continue below to read the full press release for the Menace of the Underdark expansion. Continue Reading

BioWare Comments on the Concept of a Mass Effect MMO

27 February 2012 | 2 Comments » | Mike

In a recent interview with Penny-Arcade, Bioware founders, Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, talked a bit about the possibility of a Mass Effect MMO. This isn’t the first time they’ve mentioned expanding the Mass Effect universe beyond a single-player RRG, and after the successful launch of SWTOR, it seems likely that one day we’ll in fact see a Mass Effect MMO.

When asking Dr. Zeschuk about the fan rumors for a Mass Effect MMO, Zeschuk stated:

“It’s daunting, but the neat thing is it would lend itself to a different type of game play. It’s fun to think about. I imagine people think it would be just like Mass Effect as it is… but there’s lots of people there. It’s really interesting, I don’t know. It’s a tough one.”

Dr. Muzyka continued stating:

“The possibility space, that’s a term that I heard Will Wright say about ten years ago, and it really struck me,”

 “When you deliver a game, and you deliver it for a player, you have to capture what they think is the possibility space. You need to let them do everything they think they should do, and you can’t block them from doing anything they think they should be able to do. You have to nail all the features and content that should be in that possibility space.“ 

“Mass Effect is a big possibility space.”

No doubt a Mass Effect MMO hinges on just how well SWTOR holds up over the next year or so, and if it does, then I have no doubt we’ll be seeing this game in another decade or so.

Everquest Going Free-to-Play

31 January 2012 | 1 Comment » | LHStaff

Following in the footsteps of Everquest 2, the original online gaming crack, Everquest will be going free-to-play this March, only 2 months from now.

Everquest will give players many options to choose from including a premium subscription, Silver and Free membership levels, item unlockers and more.  New players will also receive a Welcome Pack containing items to help them get started.

Pretty exciting news for veteran EQ players and even people like me who’ve  never played EQ. With same themepark MMO games being released every few months, I might give EQ a try as long as D3 or GW2 doesn’t come out before it.

Currencies, Tokens, Commendations…Enough

26 January 2012 | No Comments » | LHStaff

In the real world we all use a single currency system, ok, maybe two for some of the EU countries that still accept their old currency, but for most of us there’s only one. If you travel to another country you’ll have to exchange your money for whatever currency that country uses, but you remain in a one currency system.

When MMORPGs first started showing up in the gaming world, they followed basically the same logic, one basic currency that players can use to buy and sell their items to other players or vendors. However over the last decade, this system has ballooned into a complicated multi-currency system where it seems everything you do provides you with another type of currency. Call it what you like, tokens, commendations, points, it’s all basically the same.

Today MMORPGs are more about collecting tokens than they are about role-playing or even just playing. They have become a sort of achievement list for players to brag that they played 1000 PvP matches and now have enough tokens to get that awesome weapon everyone wants. To me that’s not a reason to play a MMO.

An overload in currency systems was the reason I quit LotRO some years ago and I have no doubt they’ve crammed even more collecting systems into the game since. However it’s not just a few games that are at fault, nearly every game today follows the same multi-currency system, including RIFT and SWTOR.

The issue has become so bad today that the simple removal of a token makes entire portions of a game pointless and irrelevant. Developers use these token systems to etice players to participate in activities they normally wouldn’t want to. For instance if you want more people playing mini-game X, simply create some epic gear and a token system specifically for that activity.  Boom, you’ll have people flocking to that mini-game in order to obtain those items, but the questions is, should they?

As a developer wouldn’t you want players to participate in certain activities because they’re fun and not because they get rewarded every time they do? If players are avoiding some areas of the game maybe those activities should be removed or reworked until players will actually want to participate.

I personally believe all MMORPGs should stick to a single currency system and allow mini-games or game features to fail if they’re not fun. If mini-game X is boring and I can get the same rewards elsewhere, I will.  That should give developers incentive to make mini-game X better, but instead they take the forceful route and create high rated gear and hide it behind a secondary currency.