Posts Tagged ‘mmorpg’

Why Do MMOs Limit Storage Space?

5 March 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

One of the main problems that all players have faced in basically every MMORPG to date is what items to store and when to get rid of them. Developers continue to restrict the amount of room players have in order to store items, which in turn has caused players to create “bank” characters to transfer their loot. Lets take a closer look.

Storage Space

There are many different levels of storage space and this varies from game to game, but basically there’s three levels.

Level 1 is personal storage that you carry around you at all times. Usually this is very limited and allows you to keep just enough items with maybe some room to store loot.

- This is the most important storage space for may reasons. One, it saves the player the most amount of time by having items they need at all times. There’s no need to run to a bank or chest to get the item/s you need, then run all the way back to where you just were. It also is for most people the primary way of making money. The more open space you have the more loot you can carry that you can in-turn sell to vendors.

Level 2 is personal storage that you do not carry around. This is often a bank or a person chest where you can store more loot that you might not need at all times. Most games allow you to purchase even more space if you need it.

- While important, I dislike using this space. It’s just too much of a hassle to have to go all the way to a bank or chest to get your stuff. If I want to go work on my profession (LOTRO), I first have to go to the bank to pick up my items, then I have to go to a working table and gain XP. Once I’m done, I have to go back to the bank and store my stuff there and pickup my other items. The same back and forth running is basically part of whenever you need an item from this storage area. Having a group of people waiting on you because you have to go all the way to your secondary storage space to pickup some item sucks. It sucks even more when you realize that you left one of your quest item in your bank and have to do the run to and fro just to finish a quest where you’re already there.

Level 3 is guild storage. Many games now allow guilds to purchase houses and other forms of guild space that offer even more storage for its members as well as an easy why to trade items.

- Guild storage can be at the same place as your secondary storage or it came be in a completely different area, but where ever it is it’s the most useless storage space out of the three. Any guild with any member base will completely fill the space within 5 mins. My guild in LOTRO is quite small and we’ve ran out of space on day 1. When I find an item I know someone might need, I’d like to put it in our guild storage, however it’s full, so I need to take something out, most likely something I don’t want or need which then takes up my space.

Bank Characters

In order to combat this restricted space players have been creating “bank” characters, characters that are strictly used for the extra storage space. Some people might have only 1 extra character while others might have 5-6 characters to hold all their high end loot. But it’s not just individuals that are creating extra characters for the additional space, guilds have started to create sub-guilds in order to get more room. Large guilds break up into sub-guilds that are based on levels. So for instance a sub guild can be level 1 – 25, 26 – 49 and 50, which would be the actual main guild. A large guild such as the one in this example might have 2 sub-guilds so that they can store items of that level in the sub-guild and not take room up in the main guild that would be reserved for guildies that have reached the max level.

So why do developers insist on limiting our space? Why do they force us to use these retarded methods of storing loot when they can just make everyone happy by increasing storage? The only reason I can think of is to keep the gaming economy in-check as well as to offer some realism since unlimited space is impossible. However how many people do you know that can carry 5 swords, full set of armor, 50 potions, scrolls, food, camp equipment and about 20 different quest items. So the realism argument gets thrown out in my opinion.

Give us more space!

I think developers need to get over the limited storage space, no one likes it. There should be 2 types of storage. Personal storage that I have at all times and guild storage. Personal storage should be large enough where not only can I carry everything that I can ever need, but also have plenty of room for loot. No need to ever waste my time running to a bank. Guild storage should nearly be unlimited, if you have a guild with 500 members, you obviously will need more that 100 slots of storage space.

Common devs, stop wasting our time making us constantly run back and forth for no reason.

MMOCrunch's Top Five Classes EVAR!

28 February 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

Before I begin with my list allow me, if you will, to explain that I am basing this entirely off the “cool” factor of the class. Any actual functionality or usability isn’t really taken into account. Not that we wouldn’t want to judge them based on that, but really, with the amount of changes that occurs in any given MMORPG these days, the same class today probably won’t be the same class tomorrow, ya know? So. . . ya. Enjoy!

Coming in at number 5: The Necromancer! As seen in Everquest, Everquest 2, Guild Wars, Diablo 2, etc. The Necromancer has always been one of the coolest classes to be introduced to any game, let alone an MMORPG. The ability to raise the dead and command them to slaughter and maim your enemies has thrilled millions for at least a decade in what can only be dozens of MMORPGs. Given it’s indescribable cool-factor I think it’s safe to say that it deserves our number 5 spot.

Coming in at number 4: The Paladin! As seen in Everquest 1/2, World of Warcraft, etc. Despite being almost the exact opposite of what the Necromancer is, the Paladin still holds it’s weight in “cool”. Being a badass warrior of light has plenty of perks that one can only dream of. Despite all this though, if you take away the magic, the name, and the mystique, they still wear some of the coolest armor ever designed. Seriously. . . what is it about Paladin’s and awesome-ly designed protective wear?

Coming in at number 3: The Rogue/Assassin! As seen in almost every MMORPG out there. The Rogue/Assassin is probably one of the most under-represented classes across the board. Developers usually neglect giving their clothing any sort of “flair” due to them being mostly invisible. Nobody really wants to be seen as a Rogue/Assassin anyways right? Despite being accessory handicapped the Rogue/Assassin makes up for it by having some of the coolest skills in the game. One needs only look as far as the “Backstab” or “Assassinate” skill to know how devilishly cool this class is.

Coming in at number 2: The Druid! As seen in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, World of Warcraft, etc. The Druid is, by far, one of the coolest classes. Not because of their inherent hippy-like nature (haha I’m punny!) either. The main reason why Druid’s are so f-ing cool is because, most of the time, they can shape-shift into some badass creatures for the sole purpose of mauling their enemies. Who wants to shapeshift into a Were-Bear? That’s right. . . everybody does. Aside from that their easy-on-the-eyes nature motif for clothing doesn’t hurt either.

NUMBER ONE: The Priest/Cleric! Seriously, this class doesn’t get major “cool” points for their style, or their skills. No, no, no. This class gets our number 1 spot for one reason. They keep us the hell alive, and anybody who helps keep me alive is not only my best friend ever, but also very cool. So the next time you are out wandering around the MMO of your choice and you see a random Priest/Cleric happen by remember to stop, and admire how cool that guy must be, afterall, if has hasn’t saved your own ass today he has probably saved somebody elses.

So that’s it. Those are our top 5 classes. Of course, we have not put in any classes for games that have not yet been released. As much as I wanted to add a couple Age of Conan or Warhammer Online classes I felt that it just wouldn’t be fair to the already released games. Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this! I’d love to hear what your favorite class is!

Why Champions Online?

26 February 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

I ask this question because it seems like nobody else in the industry is going to ask it. Why is Cryptic Studios making Champions Online? It baffles me that they would even think about persuing another game in this direction. Don’t get me wrong, I liked City of Heroes and all that, and I fully believe in Cryptic’s ability to make awesome MMORPGs based on superheroes, but it just seems so odd. Allow me to start from the beginning.

A few months ago, Cryptic and NCSoft agreed on a deal to transfer ownership of City of Heroes/Villains over to NCSoft. Before this, the game was published by NCSoft, and was owned by Cryptic. Cryptic then announced that they had been working on a new MMORPG, one that was not yet announced. Of course, everybody, at that time, knew that Cryptic had entered into a deal with Marvel and Microsoft to create a new super heroes MMO based off the Marvel comics entitled: Marvel Universe. It was naturally assumed that this was the “unnamed” project that Cryptic would be working on (MMOCrunch.com was no different). As it turns out, however, Marvel Universe got the axe by Microsoft and the title slipped into oblivion. Of course a few days after we all heard about the Marvel Universe news, we also heard about Champions Online.

Now back to my original question. Why Champions Online? Why would Cryptic, who already had a good relationship running a successful MMORPG for NCSoft suddenly sell their old property to them to begin work on a new IP based roughly around the same idea? City of Heroes was a success, and still is (130,000 subs and counting). Perhaps it was because NCSoft refused to allow Cryptic to make a City of Heroes sequel. Let’s face it, most of the time, MMORPGs do not need/warrant a sequel. They usually aren’t profitable and players from the first game don’t want to lose everything they achieved to begin work on a new one for the sequel. So, is that it? Was Champions Online birthed simply because of NCSoft’s refusal to support a sequel? Perhaps Champions Online was actually City of Heroes 2, but upon rejection of the idea late last year by NCSoft they decided to continue to persue it under a different name. We’ll probably never really know. . .

Of course, a lot of my article here is speculations and conjecture. I don’t know why exactly we have what we have today. However, it still seems a bit odd to me that Cryptic would want to sell City of Heroes and then go out and start a new MMORPG that would put itself in direct competition with their old IP. Something must have happened that caused the split between the two. But if not my theory then what else could have happened?

Is WoW Killing the Industry?

22 February 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

Over the years that WoW has had it’s mega-success very few people have stopped to look at the pieces that have been left in the games wake. It’s very easy to look at the numbers of subscribers and amount of profits they rake in each quarter and claim that the industry as a whole is growing and is very healthy, but is it really? In all of WoW’s success have they almost single handedly killed the industry?

Just to clear things up before I continue, I like WoW. To me, it is a very polished game that was loads of fun. While I don’t currently retain my subscription to it I did play for about 2 years. . . I even had a druid at level 70. Please refrain from calling me a WoW-hating fanboy of another game. All around I am a huge fan of Blizzard. I had to get that out of the way, sorry.

Anyways, back on topic, I am sure if you were to ask a number of developers the primary reason for their games floundering or not acheiving the same level of success as WoW they would blame it on the extraordinary success of the World of Warcraft. So, are these developers just bitter and envious of success, or do they actually hold some merit of truth? Look at it this way: Lord of the Rings Online is often touted as a very successful MMORPG. However, that said, if you look at the recently updated MMOGChart.com website you notice that LoTRO still only has around 300,000 subscribers. This is a far cry from the 10,000,000 that WoW boasts in it’s ever increasing fold. How is a game that is called a “break-out” hit in 2007 only account for 3% of what WoW has?

This, of course, isn’t to say that all industry flops are WoW’s fault. There have been plenty of stinkers released that failed on their own accord. Vanguard launched way to early and as such became known as one of the biggest flops in the history of MMORPGs. WoW had nothing to do with that. However, for games such as Tabula Rasa, and Pirates of the Burning Sea, both decent games that are inherently different from WoW, is the success of the World of Warcraft causing shortages of subscriptions for these games? Probably, both of these games were funded heavily, and launched with hopes to gain a sizable subscriber base to make the games profitable. Unfortunately, I doubt either one is profitable right now, and that only spells out one thing: less investor interest.

My entire point with this article is basically to look at the success of WoW, and the flops of almost every other MMORPG in comparison, with the eyes of an investor. If you had money to sink into an MMORPG property would you, honestly, be willing to take such a gamble? Afterall, the chances are extremely high at this point that the game will not achieve the same level of success as WoW, and as such will never gain the same amount of money. In fact, you probably will never see a return on that investment ever again. . . Is that something you really want to invest money into? Probably not, and I am sure this has turned away at least one investor prior to my writing of this. I guess the only thing we can truly hope for in the de-thronement of WoW into a more stabilized MMO economy by the likes of Warhammer Online and Age of Conan.  

Thanks for reading.

Battle of the Screenshots! EVE vs. PoTBS Edition

18 February 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

So I was sitting here, at my computer, looking through screenshots of some of my favorite games. Yes, that’s right, sometimes I like to look at screenshots as opposed to actually playing the game. I’m just cool like that. Anyways, I got to thinking which games have better graphics. Of course, at this point, I, in no way, was thinking specifically of Pirates of the Burning Sea and EVE Online, but it did eventually lead into that. The games are already compared to each other on so many levels why not graphics as well? Both are touted as having fantastic environment graphics, as well as ship graphics. Enjoy the screenies, and don’t forget to tell us which ones you prefer!

Here, we have two screenshots, each depicting beautiful backdrops and gorgeous effects. For EVE Online (left) the lighting is especially well-done. For Pirates of the Burning Sea (right) the water just leaps right out at you. Our verdict: Pirates of the Burning Sea.

Now these two shots are actually contrasting each other. We have EVE (left) featuring a very bright, orange screenshot with loads of detail and backdrops. The sun in the background makes the shot look particularly gorgeous. Pirates (roght), on the other hand, has a darker backdrop. While the darkness helps conceal some of the bland textures in the background, it also takes away some of the beauty of the water. Our verdict: EVE Online.

Finally, we have two screenshots that show a bit of action. EVE (left) has a lot of detail in the background as well as an aweomse picture of a ship firing at something. On the other hand we have a Pirates screenshot (right) showing off some of the battle sequences. The water, as always, looks spectacular. The real gem in this shot is the physics of the wood flying up after the initial explosion. Also if you look closely at the water you’ll notice some excellently rendered reflections in the water. Our verdict: Pirates of the Burning Sea.

So, this round, Pirates of the Burning Sea took the torch in a 2:1 victory. It’s not all that surprising, to be honest, despite receiving a graphics overhaul recently, EVE Online is still a few years older than Pirates of the Burning Sea. All of the screenshots were, obviously, looked at with an artist’s perspective in mind as I believe games are one of the highest forms of art out there today. A lot of work and care goes into giving each of these games gorgeous graphics.

So, which do you think are better?

No KoTOR MMO. . . I think

13 February 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

Looks like I have some bad news for a bunch of Republic fans today. Although it’s not 100% confirmed, given the recent rumours, and now this EA investors report I’d say the possibility of an MMORPG based on Knights of the Old Republic is practically non-existant.

According to the rumours, and this report definitely confirms them, BioWare has begun working on a third installment of Knights of the Old Republic. This has been confirmed. What hasn’t been confirmed is whether or not this will be a traditional sequel to the beloved franchise or an MMORPG. However, I really wouldn’t get your hopes up for the latter. As you can clearly see above it shows that BioWare is working on 4 projects now: Mass Effect, Dragon Age, KOTOR, and “New MMO”. Had KoTOR been the “New MMO” they probably wouldn’t have separated it with a comma like they did with every other game in the report.

Once again, this is not confirmed, but I really wouldn’t get your hopes up. You’ll only get tham dashed later. On the lighter side of the news today, I have been hearing murmurings of a new Star Wars MMO being made by an unannounced company. Anything has got to be better than the one that’s out now right?

LOTRO: Book 12 is Upon Us

12 February 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

Getting back into LOTRO about 2 weeks ago, I’ve been looking torwards to the next bid game update, Book 12. Aside from the usual bug fixes, new quests and character balancing, Book 12 actually has some things worth talking about. First up is the new outfit system. While not adding anything to the actual game play, I’m actually pretty excited about this. One of my big pet peeves in MMORPGs is that characters look way too similar, there are usually never enough options to make you feel as though your character is unique. With this new system in place they have added hundreds if not thousands of different outfit combos that you can now use to make you character distinct. While these new outfits provide absolutely no bonuses to your characters stats, they do make you look sexy :)

Second and more importantly Trubine has added a new area, The Delving of Fror, in the PvP zone of Ettenmoors. In an attempt to make PvP worth playing they have introduced “soul stones” which are dropped by mobs within this dwelling. These stones can be traded to item vendors for a number of armor, weapon and jewelry sets as well as consumables and crafting recipes. Creeps can also use these stones to purchase new corruptions, new skills, new traits, special sessions and new environmental mod.

Now the really interesting part is that in order to take control of the Delving of Fror, all other zones within Ettenmoors must be taken over. This now gives PvP players a reason to attack these other zones other then to get valor tokens, which are worthless. Another small but cool feature is that if your in the Delving of Fror when one of the zones is lost, the main doors shut close, trapping you withing the zone while mobs begin to flood in. In cases like this you need to either map out or use a special skill to flee before the enemy gets you.

I’ve been pretty harsh on LOTRO in the past, but it looks like there getting on the right track. Some more work on PvP and they might have a decent game on their hands.

What's Next for Final Fantasy? MMO Edition!

11 February 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

And I ask this because, in all likelyhood, Square-Enix’s next big MMO project will probably be another Final Fantasy game. Anyways, according to our buddies over at Massively, it would seem that there is a tasty little rumour flying around: Square plans on announcing their next big MMO at GDC this year. Now I’m not going to delve into the where, what, why, etc of this matter. For all that kind of news you can go ahead and click on the link above. What I am going to be talking about here are the possibilities of what that MMO might be and how it pertains to the Final Fantasy world.

In the past couple of years Square has gone on record as saying two things (paraphrased of course):

  1. They wish to expand the Final Fantasy VII universe and add more games to that legacy.
  2. They are currently developing FFXIII to be the next “FFVII” and plan on making at least 3 games in the Novus Crystallis world.

So, what does this mean for MMO gamers? Well, while no details have really emerged as to what these expansions will be exactly, there could, very well, be a planned MMO in the works for either one.  Although, I will go on record as saying that an MMO based off of FFVII is highly unlikely. Most RPG gamers know the world, and also know that it isn’t really big enough to suit the needs of an MMORPG. Without extensive world reconstruction (perhaps making the game 500 years in the past or future) Final Fantasy VII would not work well in an MMO environment. That said, however, Square-Enix does see and understand that there are very real competitors out there who are using the power of branding to aid their games like Lord of the Rings and Warcraft. Square may want to pull out the big guns in order to reinforce their game which would mean reviving their most popular Final Fantasy franchise in MMO flavor. Still though, I find it to be highly unlikely, which leaves us with Final Fantasy XIII.

Now, we don’t know much about Final Fantasy XIII. We don’t really know the world, characters, or any of that mish-mash usually associated with RPGs. We don’t know these things because the game is still in development. This leads me to believe that a futuristic FF MMO could be in the works under this numerical “sequel”. It would make perfect sense:

  1. The game’s world is supposed to be huge and epic.
  2. Developing the game now means that they could be making it so that the game’s storyline and world are easily adaptable to MMO status.
  3. Square-Enix really wants to make this series of games their stand-out titles, and what better way to do that than to allow you to mingle through it with thousands of other players at the same time.

There you have it. Those are my two predictions of what the next big MMORPG from Square-Enix will be. Of course, I have no insider information (I don’t speak Japanese :( ), so this is all based off of my own personal speculations and observations of the market. Square may completely throw me a curve ball and not make an MMORPG based off the Final Fantasy world at all. Maybe they will *gasp* make an MMORPG based off Dragon Quest! I love those games. :)

Thanks for reading.