Posts Tagged ‘mmorpg’

Wedbush Analysist: “Nobody is buying MMOs after Star Wars fizzled”

23 May 2012 | 6 Comments » | Mike


Wedbush Securities, a financial services and investment firm, today commented on the recent collapse of 38 Studios and the general status of the MMO industry stating that “Nobody is buying MMOs after Star Wars fizzled“. The analyst, Michael Pachter, went on to say that THQ learned this first hand when they could not find a publisher for the Warhammer 40K MMO.

Now this isn’t necessarily bad news, depending on who you are and how you’re looking at it. As a MMO developer, this is probably horrible news for you, but as a gamer, I think it couldn’t be any better.

You see there’s a reason for all of this; there’s a reason why SWTOR players are leaving in droves and why MMOs can’t seem to reach and hold that elusive one million subscribers/player mark. It’s a little game called World of Warcraft. You might have heard about it.

Until developers and publishers realize they’re never going to beat WoW by creating a clone of it, they’re all going to fail. But don’t tell that to the guys behind the Elder Scrolls MMO, it seems they’re as clueless as BioWare was and from the list of features that have been released so far, it seems we’ll have another dead-on-arrival MMO late next year.

Sure there are indie MMO developers creating gems like Pathfinder Online, Embers of Caerus and Dominus, which is now canceled, but they’re under funded, unpolished, and graphically out-dated. The second a developer creates a Kickstarter project, that tells me the game will either never see the light of day or will be released well before it should be. I have no interest in games like that.

The failure of SWTOR is undisputed. While it might be profitable for a long time, it’s once optimistic view that it can compete with WoW has been shattered and it’s left to fight for the scraps off the WoW table amongst the dozens of other “wow killers”.

The failure of SWTOR should be a wake up call to the entire industry that it’s time to try something new, but it seems with games like WildStar, Elder Scrolls and others on the horizon, were going to have to go through a few more failures before it sinks in.

 

Do MMORPGs Really Need Dungeon Difficulty Levels?

21 May 2012 | 2 Comments » | Mike

I don’t remember that last time I went somewhere and was asked how difficult I wanted my journey to be, but in virtual worlds, difficulty settings are becoming the norm.

Games like SWTOR, WoW and the upcoming Guild Wars 2, all have dungeon difficulty settings, mainly to allow casual players the opportunity to try out all dungeons without angering hardcore players. However, by doing so, at least in my opinion, it destroys player immersion into that virtual world.

I’ve only experienced dungeon levels in a few games, lastly in SWTOR, and they always felt like they weren’t part of the game. In SWTOR it felt like I was playing a mini-game of sorts, like PvP battlegrounds, that had nothing to do with the actual game itself.

To me, MMORPGs biggest selling point are the virtual worlds themselves, I think that’s why we all play them, to be part of a living, thriving world. Instances are bad enough, but when you add difficulty settings to them, it just completely destroys that sense you’re part of a living world.

The reasoning behind difficulty levels is straight forward enough, it’s to give all players, from the most casual to the most hardcore, the opportunity to try out all the game’s content, but is that right? If you’re a casual MMORPG gamer, do you think you should have access to every single dungeon in the game? Shouldn’t certain areas of the game need a certain level of skill and/or gear to complete?

Now, I’m not a fan of blocking content by gear restrictions either. Meaning, I don’t believe that dungeon A must be completed before it becomes possible to successfully complete dungeon B, but I do believe in some sort of gear requirement. I mean, you can’t walk into an end-game dungeon with average gear and think you’ll be able to complete it.

The difficulty settings seem to be just more rides for the theme-park MMORPG, where pleasing everyone and creating more content without really doing so, wins out to creating a real virtual world. What do you guys think? Do difficulties settings bother you or are you for them?

 

Elder Scrolls Fans Grumble at MMO Announcment…Really?

4 May 2012 | 6 Comments » | Mike

Yesterday, ZeniMax announced that the many rumors of an Elder Scrolls MMO were true, and officially announced The Elder Scrolls Online, only to be met with fan backlash. The main reason being, that fans believe that Bethesda will be less likely to release another single-player Elder Scroll game, since they do not want to compete with themselves.

While Bethesda is owned by ZeniMax, they are two separate development studios; with ZeniMax developing the Elder Scrolls MMO, and Bethesda doing what it normally does. As a MMORPG gamer first, and Elder Scroll fan second, I don’t see a conflict of interest.  A single-player RPG and a MMORPG are not in the same market. It’s like World of Warcraft and Warcraft 3, one’s a RTS game, and the other a MMORPG. Both can exist at the same time without affecting the other.

One comment on the Bethesda blog stated,

Please say this won’t indefinitely post-pone the release of the next real TES title, the way World of Warcraft has indefinitely put Warcraft 4 on hold.

This user is failing to see that  Warcraft 4 was not put on hold for WoW, but for Starcraft 2. Both are RTS games that do compete in the same market. A single-player RPG is no more of a threat to a MMORPG than any other single-player game.

The only issue I could see is that Bethesda wouldn’t want to saturate and cheapen the Elder Scrolls name by releasing too many games around the same time. However, considering that the Elder Scrolls RPGs normally have a 4-5 year development cycle, we won’t see Elder Scrolls VI for at least another 3-4 years anyway. Elder Scrolls Online has a release date of 2013, which provides a big enough buffer that it probably won’t have any affect on the next Elder Scrolls RPG release date anyway.

Regardless, I can’t wait to learn more about Elder Scrolls Online.

RaiderZ Interview: Combat, Monster Hunting, Classes and Beta

27 April 2012 | No Comments » | Mike

We have a new interview with Raiderz Executive Producer, Mark Hill, as he talks to iTZKooPA about Perfect World Entertainments newest free-to-play MMORPG, Raiderz. The guys cover a lot of different subjects including the games action-combat, monster hunting, the item shop and much more.

We learn that monsters can drop items that are “infused” with different skill sets, allowing players to inherit skills of different class types. For examples, a Mage can pick up a two-handed axe and their skill bar will change allowing them to not only use the axe, but they receive a whole new set of abilities to go along with it for as long as that axe is equipped.

Raiderz uses a classless system, where players are not tied into any one specific class. The system is based on four basic classes, healer, ranged DPS, tank and melee, but once the player hits level 10, they are able to put skill points in any of the four classes allowing to create hybrid classes.

Mark revealed that closed beta is scheduled for sometime in either May or June, with open beta following in the third quarter.

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Neverwinter Beta Keys with Torchlight 2 Pre-orders

26 April 2012 | 6 Comments » | Mike

Perfect World Entertainment, publishers behind the upcoming online RPG Torchlight 2, announced today that those that pre-order the game will also receive access to the Neverwinter closed beta, which is scheduled for later this year.

Those that pre-order are not guaranteed immediate access, so everyone will not get keys on day one of closed beta testing, but everyone will eventually get keys as most player are added to the CBT.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering Torchlight 2, head-over to the official site to buy your copy.

Why I’m Excited For TERA

26 April 2012 | 2 Comments » | Mike

Having played through some of the closed beta phases and last week’s open beta/unofficial head-start, I’m still very much excited for the game. While a bit of reality has set in that TERA won’t be the game that breaks the WoW mold, it is doing some very interesting things that I can’t wait to try out.

I won’t argue that TERA isn’t grindy and its variety of quests are shockly repetitive, but its action-combat system is extremely fun and highly addictive, at least to me, so Saturday’s head-start can’t come sooner. As a ranged DPS class, I always found myself standing in position for PvP fights, mainly because in most MMORPGs you can’t move and attack at the some time. However in TERA, my default attack is so fast, as well as many of my ability skills, that I’m able to constantly move and keep distance against melee classes for the first time, giving me an actual chance of winning a one vs one fight verse melee.

Aside from combat, I’m also excited to see how the Political system plays out as that was not available during any of the betas and won’t be at launch either. The system opens up to players at level 50 and I’m assuming En Masse will wait until a good number of players hit or surpass that level before implementing it.

The political system is built for guilds, so solo-players will find themselves at a huge disadvantage if they choose to remain solo. The way it will work is that Guild Leaders will be nominated for positions, with the winners given lands to control by the way of taxes, controlling specialty shops, teleporters, class trainers and more. With open PvP and Guild vs Guild wars, it’ll be very interesting to see how the Political system fits in.

It’s too bad that guilds currently cannot control lands themselves, perhaps not towns, but maybe smaller outposts or forts to give guilds something to fight over and to call home. Hopefully we’ll see something like that in a future update.

The BAM’s (big ass monsters) and raids are ok, I’ll dabble in those a bit, but really I’m hoping for lots of PvP fueled by intense political campaigns. See you guys on the battlefield.

I Don’t Get It: Open PvP and Theme-park MMORPGs

23 April 2012 | 4 Comments » | Mike

Sometimes I just don’t understand why things are the way they are. Today, after a bit of playing through the TERA open beta, I came to the realization that I just don’t understand why a theme-park game like this would even bother with allowing open PvP. Not that I don’t enjoy PvP, because I do, but when the only way to progress is PvE, it sort of makes PvP pointless, at least until endgame.

The only real reason to participate in open PvP, for theme-park games, is to basically make the lives of other players worse. You’re not defending any land or property and you’re not attacking any either, plus there’s no looting, so really there’s no reason to kill anyone.  Open PvP is built for sandbox games because they incorporate other systems around PvP to make it meaningful, but theme-parks do not. So when you incorporate this system in a theme-park game, its basically just developers trying to grab at the PvP market and expand their player base.

Now, I haven’t gotten past level 20 in TERA’s closed or open beta, so I don’t know how the end game will be, but I can tell you right now, most players are ignoring open PvP and concentrating on PvE to level up and rightly so. Why spend any time PvPing when it gets you no where?

This is why it’s so refreshing to see what ArenaNet is doing with Guild Wars 2 and creating an open PvP world where all your actions directly effect the world. You’re not killing other players for the hell of it or to ruin their day, your doing it to win the war.

To have a successful open PvP system, the game mechanics really need to be build around it, supporting it and giving meaning to PKing.  Theme-parks by definition are the exact opposite and cannot, and will never create an engaging open PvP system regardless of what developers or publishers say. Open PvP and theme-parks just don’t work together.

LoreHound Exclusive: PAX East 2012 – Neverwinter First Playable Look

12 April 2012 | 4 Comments » | iTZKooPA

Enter the Forgotten Realms by way of Neverwinter during PAX East 2012. Lead Producer Andy Velasquez discusses how Cryptic Studios is adapting the product’s shift from a co-op RPG to a full-fledged MMORPG, the competition in the F2P – and D&D market – and how Neverwinter will make a name for itself.

The full Neverwinter interview and game footage can seen after the jump.

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