SW:TOR – Yeah, it’s an online SRPG

They basically said it themselves.

Daniel Erickson told CVG this:

“If you’re someone that loves everything an MMO brings to the table, loves the community aspect, loves being able to see other people and say: ‘I have better shoulder pads than you do,’ everything you loved about MMOs is there for you.

“But if the idea of story and context really turns you off, if what you want is the just complete Disneyland experience, where you run on the rides and repeat the stuff, this probably isn’t your favourite MMO.

“If you are a hardcore, traditional Bioware fan – a Mass Effect or especially Dragon Quest fan – this is the dream game. It is an RPG forever. It is an RPG that at the speed and pace that I play RPGs as a gamer, five or ten hours a week. I could never finish this game.”

So, it’s WoW, only without the fun rides? This statement is so universally counter to an understanding of what an MMO is to me, that I’m having extreme difficulty in articulating just how terrified I am his presented understanding. Hell, the fact that he equates “Complete Disneyland experience” with his understanding of what “other” MMOs are like, has me worried.

I’ve never played any of the Mass Effects, and I’m still working on Dragon Age. I loved the KotORs, and Baldur’s Gate games. However, I think the fears of everyone who vocally worried that this was just going to be a trumped-up chat-enabled KotOR 3 may be right. This will not be a virtual world if what is said here holds validity, and that is one step closer towards taking the genre in a direction I dread.

Bleh, way to bring me down Bioware, way to bring me down.


Tales of Hate, Entry 6

Today is May 11, I will be posting this on July 12, 2010.

I hit a bit of a benchmark over the weekend. I reached renown rank 40. It’s not major, but it’s another mastery point, and it’s always been that dividing line in my head between “early game” and “end game”. It’s the indicator of leaving the lower level stuff behind. It’s not even half-way to the cap as far as renown points go (that honor falls on RR69.5), but it’s an indicator, and that means something. Judgement at this minor stepping stone: I like the class. Almost enough to make it full time.

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So, I reviewed the various entries over the weekend, and I have to say, there were some very cool ideas. There seemed to be a bit of a general consensus among the ideas I got on some basic things that everyone would like to have implemented. In general, players would like to see it as a more dynamic encounter, and function in a way that would put emphasis on players fighting each other. I think the new city system, and it’s success as it’s own instance gave a lot of people ideas of how to do it right. Suggestions ranged from King of the Hill style, to multiple objectives, and even into third faction NPC interference. So, that said, I’m going to pick one single idea that I think did the best job of suggesting a reasonable, practical way that incorporates forts back into game in a fun manner.

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Thanks Lum

For being on the ball so I can copy your up-to-the-minute awareness. You’re activity lets me mooch!

To all of those who called it: good job.

Tales of Hate, Entry 5

Today is May 6, I will be posting this on July 9, 2010.

I made almost the entirety of renown rank 38 last night, I’m a smidge away from 39. I logged on, and did scenarios for the entire time. The only delay from hitting the queue button and getting a “please-accept” button was at the very beginning, when I had to synch up with whatever groups were out there. I used that time to run south of Martyr’s Square in Praag. Once I got my first scenario, I literally never moved a step from that spot for the rest of the night. It was awesome.

I played 10 scenarios, and they ran the gamut of available instances. I had ones that started off even and fresh from the start, to imbalanced to one of the sides, or already in progress. Still, I walked away with 7 wins and 3 losses, totally pugging it up. I noticed that the loses really started coming closer together as I approached 10:00 PM EST. I had a  good time though. Even as a total pug, I had a blasty-blast. People died, I died, enemy healers were hopefully cursing my name or spitting frustration at the site of me. If I was able to walk out of a scenario having made a healer or two’s experience worse because of it, I felt accomplished.

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I kind of have to at this point

Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial MMO  rock, you’re just now hearing about the RealID fiasco that Blizzard announced. It’s become big enough, and wide-spread enough, that I can’t really ignore it now (that’s blogger code for: “it’s an easy topic to write about”).

I don’t play WoW, but I did. I do play Blizzard games, and have put Starcraft 2 on pre-order. Now, even I, a person who knows how this plan is going to work, has mulled over the prospect of canceling said pre-order because of this. It’s a monumentally bad idea, despite what some say (“Hey guys, it’s all good. Ohhh….yeah, that’s my address. About that…”).

Particularly telling in all this is the rather rapid development and shift in proposed policy of the rule as it applies to Blizzard itself. No longer will THEIR names be displayed, despite previous sentiments (post 16) expressed otherwise. Poor Mr. Whipple, you served as an object lesson for Blizzard. I feel for the guy, I really do. He bore the brunt of the ire of the community of 11 million players. Of particular note, is the hypocrisy in a statement made by a Blizzard phone rep named Josh (who wisely withheld his last name) that employees “cannot risk having their personal lives compromised by in-game issues.”. But players? Ahhh who gives a crap!?

Privacy is a concern for many, many people. Obviously, I’m not overly concerned, I’ve chosen to put myself out there as a blogger. I know what my relative exposure is and am comfortable with it. The massive market and player base that Blizzard has is a level so vastly outside of what I have now as to be nigh unfathomable. I would never want to take shred any illusion of privacy that may remain in my life. Besides, do you really want an ex-guildie with a 4-ton jack bar showing up at your house?

Edit: I wanted to at least relay the information about who exactly is getting into bed with this whole deal. Michael Zimmer, founder of Facebook, is in agreement with Blizzard to create compatability across his social networking site, and this game. Michael Zimmer, who thinks that if you don’t behave, share, or act in the same way across all areas of your life, you have no integrity. I’m convinced this guys a nutter.

Tales of Hate, Entry 4

Today is May 4th, I will be posting this on July 8, 2010.

I almost spilled the beans today. A post by one of our server’s more famous forum trolls made me giggle on the inside, given my play on this Blackguard of late.

I’ve been looking into the different specs for the class, and trying to theorycraft what would be the best type of build for the career. I’ve lurked on the various forums, trying to glean as much information as possible from the more veteran players of the class, and have come to a bit of mixed information. Everyone seems to agree the class is very gear dependant, and that’s fine, a lot of classes are. My Shadow Warrior in particular was heavily reliant upon the best gear. Still, there seems to be a couple “core” tactics that are chosen by all, and then the last two seem to get mixed up based on personal preference.

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Tales of Hate, Entry 3

Today is May 3, and I will be posting this on July 7, 2010.

I used a little bit of my time over this weekend to spend some love on my Blackguard, it was before the announcement of 1.3.6 and its ability to have characters of both realms on the same account. It makes me think this whole thing was for naught, and I’m wasting my time on this side project, but I’m an obstinate fuck like that, so whatever. I’ll keep at it until July 4th, and then I’ll see how things go from there. As an incognito player, I’ve been puzzled by Destro as a whole, as far as it’s culture and community go from “inside”. I’m hoping that in the weeks to come I can get a better view of it, as I spent the last two weeks capitalizing on the renown bonus for my “mains”.

Still, in the short time I’ve been playing Kaah, I’ve been sort of surprised at the interaction, or lack thereof really, with the destro community on Gorfang to date. When I go into lakes, there is very rarely any open warbands even showing on my interface. When there are shown, even chances are that it’s a bugged display, or that it’s limited to guild/alliance only. I think I’ve run with an open WB two times so far, and one was early in the AM for a zerg of the zone. No one seemed interested in doing SCs, or really conversing outside of the generated messages of what objective to hit next.

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Minimum Requirements

Half-Life 2 for the curious.

I had a spark of memory on a topic I’ve been wanting to talk about for a long time. It boils down to a fairly simple topic, but stems from a far more diverse and complicated issue. It was recently personified in an interesting forum post. The writer was addressing a group of people who did something he did not understand, and has resulted in a frustrated change in play. Pretty common situation. Expectations and outside responses not matching up leads to friction. However it’s the particulars of this situation that I find of specific interest as a look at player perceptions.

In this particular event, the problem arose from a negative reaction of the general populace upon requiring the use of Ventrilo and a direct request for an invite to join his warband. The outcry was that these restrictions were elitist and segmenting the population by placing ludicrous demands upon the other player. For those not in the know, by no means are these a hurdle to overcome. The programs are free and quick to download, and the interface is notoriously easy. Voice communication in genre is becoming considered by many to be a standard, due to the limitations of traditional typed-chat. How could a player not be able to recognize the necessity of fast passed, easy communication for a situation that was dynamic and hectic?

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I should slow down

Talk about a marathon weekend of Warhammer. I think I pulled in about a million renown between my characters in total. I’ve got a touch of “post-gaming marathon exhaustion”. For a quick recount, I’ll give you a before and after snapshot.

  • Zayr, my Shadow Warrior, was about RR69.85 when the weekend started.
    • As of last night, she is RR70.29.
  • Karstaedt, my Knight of the Blazing sun, was about RR75.75 on Thursday.
    • As of last night, he is RR77.38

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