Posts Tagged ‘one’

World of Warcraft's Druid Class is Broken…

7 April 2008 | 14 Comments » | LHStaff

There I said it… It had to be said and now I’ve gone and done it. No matter how many times Blizzard tries to adjust, tweak, alter, or change the druid class it will always be broken. Why? Because the fundamental principles on which the class is based are broken as well. In an MMORPG you simply can’t have a un-hybrid class such as the druid.

Before all you druid fanatics jump down my throat, allow me to say this: I played as a druid for nearly the entirety of my WoW career. I leveled him all the way to 70 (my one and only character above level 20) before I was done with the game for good (Naturehooves whoo!). I am not a hater of the class, but rather a critic of the way the class was mis-managed during the early stages of the development of the game.

There are many successful druids out there. By saying the class is broken I am not implying that it is also unplayable. However, that said the class also can’t ever be fully realized in the structure that Blizzard created for it. Created upon the theory that you can play as either a rogue, warrior, healer, or mage depending on what talent tree you decide to sink your points into, the druid arguably became one of the weakest classes in the game very early on in the development. While Blizzard decided to give the druid a bunch of “off-abilities” to make it mime a certain class they could never fully allow the class to become as powerful as any of those same classes. As such, druids are usually relegated to being an off-tank, off-healer, or off-dps.

Of course, this all sounds fine to an average MMO gamer. Sure it sucks that the druid won’t ever be as powerful as one of the mimed classes but it makes up for it in the fact that it can technically play as any of the mimed classes through its various shape shifting forms. This is what most players would logically think… they are wrong.

The druid is not a hybrid class, but rather, a class that can assume the role of whatever the person/party needs for the time. This all largely depends on two things: gear, and talents. Without the right combination of each you aren’t going to do a very good job at whatever class you decide to mime. Hell, even with the best equipment and perfect talent spec you’ll only be as good as an average person of the mimed classes. Of course, if you gear/talent up for one specific off-class you are also completely and totally gimping yourself for all of the others. Afterall, bear druids do not make good moonkins…

I haven’t played the game in a while. In fact it’s been many a month since I have wandered the green pastures outside of ThunderBluff. Having said this I do not know exactly how the druid class plays anymore. I keep up with the updates and haven’t noticed any spectacular alterations that would change this fundamental flaw, but maybe there is something you only notice when you are actually playing the game. In anycase, I stand by what I said: World of Warcraft’s druid class is broken.

Oh… please, for the love of god, no “learn2play” type of comments. I was probably one of the most successful druids on my server and when I played the game I knew the class better than the back of my own hand.

User Generated MMOs… When?

4 April 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

There is a lot to be said for user generated content these days. It has basically become the king of the internet, actually. People generally like to create their own stuff, and see their ideas come to life (as long as it’s not too hard to achieve). So why are MMOs still so reluctant to give us the same freedom that websites like MySpace or Facebook have, or games like Unreal Tournament and Oblivion allow?

One of the main ideas behind the MMORPG is to have a persistent world. A world where players can interact with other players and the world will generally react back to them as well, typically through quest lines. For example, if you kill x boss you will then restore y king back to power, or some such nonsense like that. The world will progress through you. An interesting concept, but one not without its own flaws.  One of the flaws being that this does not allow for any sort of user generated content. My character can complete quests on behalf of NPCs, however he can’t make his own quest. He can live through the pre-set storyline, but he can’t forge his own story. An interesting problem…

Of course, that’s not to say nobody has tried. Today you can log onto Second Life and proceed to make all sorts of things (as illustrated by the castle above). However, Second Life also doesn’t really have a story line. You can make things but they really have no affect on the world because Second Life isn’t really a world, not in the same sense that WoW is. Another example is the Saga of Ryzom, while it doesn’t exist anymore, the game once provided a content update that allowed for users to create their own stories and scenarios. Unfortunately, I never took the time to test it out, but it is definitely something that sounded interesting.

MMORPGs are much like the internet was 10 years ago. The provide a function, and are generally liked by a good deal of people. However, they aren’t mainstream yet. The World of Warcraft is a huge game, but it could be bigger. As people slowly move toward more and more user generated content websites they are going to start looking for that same functionality within other parts of their lives, including MMORPGs. While it may sound like a challenge now, it’s gotta happen eventually. Nothing escapes consumer apathy. If you give people the tools to make their own toys, you’ll be much more popular because of it.

Bring on the user-generated MMORPGs.

Funcom: Dark Days are Coming

2 April 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

There is a little known MMORPG in the works over at Funcom. As I am sure everybody knows at this point, they are the same company who is currently developing the extremely hyped Age of Conan MMO, which in all fairness does look absolutely awesome. So what about their other project?

Announced last May, The Secret World is planned to be an action-packed MMO filled with mystery, intrigue, and horror. No telling yet what kind of horror, but one could assume, based off the concept art above, that it will be the same type of horror that can be found the famous Arkham Horror board game. That is to say: other worldly monsters, Cthulu, possibly vampires and lycan.

Unfortunately, there is no additional information on the game and any concept art is buried deep within a bunch of websites and puzzles. Not really worth the effort, if you ask me. I’ll be waiting for the real deal screenshots. However, for those who absolutely can’t  wait to hear about more of this MMO, they do have a forum set up, which includes a post about some very interesting articles, such as:

  • Mention of the “Illuminati”
  • Has something to do with the Knights Templar
  • Possibility this has something to do with the infamous year 2012
  • London, New York, and Shanghai are all destroyed?

It’s all very fascinating stuff and it gives me hope that we will soon be enjoying an occult MMORPG. Of course, as there is still a lot of mystery shrouding this game anything could change. We will definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

Puzzle can be found HERE.

Concept art can be found HERE. (Don’t click if you want to solve the puzzles yourself)

Forum can be found HERE.

Battlestar Galactica MMO Announced!

1 April 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

With Starwars Galaxies not living up to everyones expectations and a Startrek MMO currently in the works, its not surprising that the next big space MMO would come from Battlestar Galactica. The announcement comes just a few days before the 4th season of Battlestar Galactica kicks off this Friday. I don’t know about you guys, but I love Battlestar Galactica. Without a doubt it’s the best Scifi show ever and probably one of the best shows in any genre of all time.

But enough of the show, Auran Games, creaters of Fury and the Battlestar Galactica flight sim game, will be working on this new MMO which will be published by Sierra Online. The game is currently in the very very early stages of development, but I was able find some info about it by speaking to Greg Lane, CEO of Auran Games.

The game will take place during the first Cylon War,which makes sense considering it would be pretty hard to do a MMO where there’s only 50,000 people and your stuck on a few dozen ships. Humans will be the only playable race, so if you were hoping to be a Cylon your out of luck. Thats basically all the info I was able to get, but I’ll be keeping in touch to provide updates.

Blizzard is a LIAR!

1 April 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

Be careful fellow MMO gamers, Blizzard is on the prowl for some gullibles again this morning. Every year, on April Fool’s Day, Blizzard comes out with some awesome announcement of what they are implementing in this game, or that game. Does nobody remember the wisps?!

Of course, today, being April Fool’s Day, is no different and, as such, they have come out with a few awesome announcements in the hopes of suckering one of you faithfuls out there. Fear not though! We at MMOCrunch are here to keep you from straying to far and to keep your feet firmly on the ground. No developer will best us! Here are Blizzard’s “announcements” for today:

  1. The Bard Hero Class. I almost wish this one was true, considering the lander page is so awesome. Who doesn’t want a talent tree titled “Punk Rock” after all? I loves me some Bad Religion. But alas, this one is a very obvious joke.There won’t actually be a bard class in WoW.
  2. World of Warcraft Molten Core Console Edition. Are you console gamers ready to get your game on with some WoW? Well you had best keep waiting because there is nothing coming from Blizzard anytime now. Another April Fool’s Joke from Blizzard strikes again! I must admit, it’d be more convincing if they didn’t make any 8-bit graphics.
  3. Tauren Marines in Starcraft 2. I think… this one actually might be real. Seriously… Are you kidding me of course it’s not real! Blizzard is a LIAR! As cool as the lander page, and even the shiny graphics and gameplay videos are this one is most definitely a joke to be played on you. Shame on you Blizzard, shame on you! We bovine-aficionados bid you good day sir!
  4. Diablo 2 Loot Pinata. Are you ready to have a portable, lootable Lord of Terror? Well get ready because this holiday season Blizzard is NOT going to actually be selling this. As cool and hilarious as my next birthday party would be with it Blizzard is just trying to pull a nasty prank on my expense. Never again!

Well that’s it… this year. Remember Blizzard looks for new prey each and every year. Gullibles travel in packs so make sure if you find any to inform them of Blizzard’s evil ways. Also, while Blizzard is one of the kings of April Fool’s Day be wary of other smaller companies attempting to pull the same shenanigans.

Heed my warning…

Civilization MMO in the Works?

27 March 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

We all know that there is talks about a BioShock MMO. However, what hasn’t been overly reported on, as of yet, is that it appears that Civilization is also up for the same consideration. According to this Take2 report (via MTV) it would appear that there is a chance that we may get to see a Civilization MMO at some point in the future. Exciting stuff, right? But how would that even work?

For those that have played a Civilization game, most notably Civ 4, you’d probably understand two things about it:

  1. The game is absolutely awesome.
  2. Online multiplayer is decidedly less so.

Civilization just wasn’t meant to be a multiplayer game, and despite Firaxis making bold attempts to create that it just hasn’t materialized. I just can’t sit there and wait 10 minutes until my turn comes around again. Likewise, playing by email is much like playing chess by mail, that is to say, aggravating. So, surely, making an MMO out of Civilization is impossible, right? Not entirely.

Allow me to direct you to two different IPs. Neither of which are directly related to Civilization, but they both share some of the same ordeals and conflicts that a Civilization MMO would encounter: Nation States, and the announced Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms. Nation States centers around the idea of having to build up a nation and live with a bunch of other “states”. While the game has no military or building options it does allow extensive government and civic construction through choices made throughout your “states” life. Likewise, with Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms is going to be an MMO based on a different turn based game, but the principles stay the same. My point being is that if both of these games actually exist can it really be all that different from making a Civ MMO? Probably not.

It’s an arguable statement to say that the entire industry of games is beginning to lean heavily on the online portion of their games. Hell, it’s almost ludicrous to even think of an FPS game without a multiplayer aspect. In this same thought it would only make sense that traditional turn based strategies would have to make the same jump, one way or another, or die off in the years to come. However, I’ll tell you right now that Take2, and Firaxis aren’t going to let that happen to Civilization anytime soon…

God Game MMO?

25 March 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

What would it take to take a game like Civilization, Starcraft or Sim City and turn it into a MMO, but keep the God like power one has it these games? Instead of controlling one character you control an entire civilization in a MMO style game. All the same features you find in RTS games and MMOs would be there. Leveling up your civilization, controlling your army and civilians, researching, epic large scale battles and complete customization.

There are text based games around the internet that are similar to this, but usually these games are played in rounds of 1 to 3 months long, then the game resets and everyone starts all over. Could this work for a graphical MMO? Playing rounds that only last a month?

To take a RTS game and turn it into a MMO is no small feat as there are many things to consider.

  • What happens if your civilization is destroyed? Do you start over or do you have to wait for the next round?
  • Can you be Switzerland and be neutral? Perhaps an economic power and not a military power.
  • How many players per player universe? Can you have 1000 civilizations in one world or does a limit need to be imposed? Can servers handle that kind of processing load?
  • What happens when you log off? Can your civilization be attacked?

Some hurdles definetely need to be resolved before a game like this could be made. What do you guys think? Would this be something that you would consider playing or does this sound like a very very long RTS game?

MMORPGs and the Worst PC Game Launches, as told by 1UP

24 March 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

I don’t normally write about other news. I like to write my own stuff about my own thoughts and ideas. Any regulars here at MMOCrunch generally know that. That said, however, I just could not get over this recent article done by 1UP. Done in traditional list style, 1UP decided to create their own top 5 worst PC game launches. Nothing too special, a fun read but that’s really all, until you realize that 3 out of the 5 game launches are MMOs, or MMO-like.

MMORPGs aren’t known for their polish. In fact, it’s become common knowledge that the game you buy on day one probably won’t be the same game you are playing six months down the road. Theres a whole lot more programming, and a whole lot more testing that needs to go into an MMO as opposed to a single player game. So is it really fair to judge an MMORPG on the same standards as a normal game?

Let’s just get this out of the way before I continue writing anymore. The three games that made 1UP’s list are:

  • Hellgate: London
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
  • World War II Online

Before I begin, allow me to go back to the question I proposed earlier: is it fair to judge an MMO off the same standards as a normal PC game? No it’s not. MMORPGs are vastly different from any other type of game. They aren’t really a separate genre so much as a completely different avenue of gameplay. Everything changes when you decide to make an MMO, everything. Each of these games had serious problems when they launched, especially Vanguard, but do they really belong on the same list with single player PC games? Absolutely.  Despite given certain laxes on standards there is no reason why each one of those games should have launched with the enormous amount of problems that they did. It’s hard making an MMO, but it’s not impossible.

Of course, those games were the occasional black marks on the MMO’s history. It’s sad to see a list like 1UP’s where the majority of the games are MMORPGs, but it’s even sadder to see an industry that continually does this kind of crap. I don’t really have much more to say on the matter. Feel free to take a gander at the original article. Like I said before, it’s a fun read.

Worst PC Game Launches