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In World of Warcraft into irons

Because of WLK, especially the big disaster, wow no more leisure. On the contrary, it becomes more core. I know this is contrary to what most game player to believe. So, please listen to me.
Five player content become those that tend to reward content externalism, leisure fun for players who played not satisfied. The epic was inadvertent grinding.
Flat field changes without recourse to the slippers. It is too boring, can do. This is changing the hardcore game player to another Twink don’t care about how boring, as long as it is fast. Ask any one whatever you know if he likes to change World of Warcraft level game.

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Some area is very hard. As the undead you cannot win even two small strange your level in the level of 4-6. Two thugs accidentally pull may seem impossible to give you, but it is certainly not impossible for a new player who still has to understand the scope and how the characters of hatred. Flat become not worth mentioning, only in lvl10.
Opening to the outside world, this is a fun game full of immediate action and the chance to get a useful random drop, became a newspaper is only minigame, so repeated, only the hardcore, who after the external incentives, participation. Logging in the daily grind of external rewards is casual.

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The leveling experience is not. In the professional or many tasks at. Or low level of the battlefield. Not to mention the transition of 60-61.
Jiabao is very effective to cater to the hardcore players. New and casual gamers are not enthusiastic, they now have to play a lot of in the end is the highest rank in the guild can buy Jiabao part. No biography of Jiabao you can not always in lower level compared to the PVP and the disadvantaged in many ways, hardcore gamers to upgrade to a new twink. Propose a new player, whether he believed the other players ran very powerful weapons, they must rely on the drop of fair.
Forced anonymous group seriously weakened wow’s ability to attract new players into the community. Only a portion of the players have been existing community can be neglected, they already know the other players are forced to anonymous group and group. Casual gamers, who is not a part of a guild, a group of anonymous in order to progress their magpie.
Attack with loot rules (BADGE / min), can be used for hardcore attack made Twinks attacks. But most leisure never finish a level RAID time. They are not at their own pace of RAID from the wrath of the Lich king.
Guild privileges given players a serious advantage. Enjoy the same advantages, leisure new players need to join the guild is not know. But because they do not know these guild players, they are often in the community, not for their work. No content (left) so that players get in to join their guild know other players.
Finally, if they really try to make world of warcraft more leisure, they lost. Since the beginning of WLK, decreased two MIO submarine annual growth to sudden zero. Play world of Warcraft, today you will not find temporary workers – the more you will find more of the core. If you want to see yourself doing a new cartoon.

Of Gliders and Flying Mounts

Since my initial look at ArcheAge for its Hobo Gamer post, my interest in the game has soared – much like the subject of this post. I think I may have found a new MMO home, and while I’m going to continue to pay attention to other MMOs, you can expect to see quite a bit more ArcheAge content on The Errant Penman.

Yesterday afternoon the Trion team took to Twitch to show off the game’s large variety of gliders, and when I tuned in, I found myself quickly experiencing some pretty serious glider envy. I’ve embedded the stream below so that you too can be envious. It doesn’t start until around the fifteen minute mark, so skip right through to see the content.

It wasn’t long before I realized that gliders were a much cooler feature than I had originally realized, but as I became further and further enamored by them, I became more and more uncomfortable with the idea. I’ve long been an opponent of flying mounts in games, but at the same time, I’ve played other MMOs with gliders without feeling that the game was negatively impacted in any way. What is it that sets them apart? Why am I OK with one, but not the other? That’s what I want to find out.

Popular criticisms against flying mounts levy charges that they empty out the word, allowing players to easily skip content and remain hidden in the skies. As roads are neglected in favor of flying, the game world seems more lonely and less like a living, breathing world. As players travel easily by “auto-running” above all obstacles, any feeling of a living world is lost as they essentially auto-pilot to their objectives, and although there are short term benefits to AFK-flying, the player themselves are harmed by the lack of any engagement as they travel.

Further, flying mounts are perceived to have a great negative impact on world PvP, allowing players to easily navigate the game world completely safe from any threat of PvP engagement, or even to escape mid-fight if they are able to exit combat. For a game like ArcheAge which is based around world PvP, this would have been a really big problem.

The wide acceptance of these criticisms is likely a large part of Blizzard’s decision to completely disable flying in the new zones of World of Warcraft‘s upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion, with no word on when, or even if, they will be enabled.

So how is that gliders can perform such a similar role while seemingly avoiding the negatives?

ArcheAge – Eastern Glider
As the terminal velocity of a cat is non-lethal (click image for science), does that mean the Firran are safe up there?

As a game system, gliders are both much more expansive and much more limited than traditional flying mounts, coming together as a unique combination of features which work very well. It is my belief that ArcheAge has struck a near perfect balance between gliders’ limitations and functionalities so as to offer a fun and useful experience without detracting from the game’s long-term health. Let’s take a look.

Gliders are like sharks, if you don’t keep moving, you die. Not really, but if you’re not moving, you’re probably on the ground not going anywhere. Hovering in place above a location to avoid combat just isn’t possible; if you want to be in the air, you have to be actively playing the game to maintain that.

One of the most straightforward contributors to this is the buff timers associated with gliders. While restricting at early levels of progression where the first glider can only stay airborne for two minutes, higher tiers of glider can offer persistent flight for up to a lengthy ten minutes. Beyond that, all gliders (with the exception of a single rare one obtained by killing The Kraken) will slowly lose altitude as they fly, making indefinite or AFK flight all but impossible.

ArcheAge includes mounted combat, and while gliders may not technically be mounts, they do come equipped with their own unique abilities (many of which were showcased in the stream above). For some gliders, this includes the ability to activate a special attack allowing you to shoot ahead of you or perform other special attacks, engaging targets both in the air or on the ground below. Other abilities include stealth, an upward boost, a smoke screen, a chain-teleport, and a targeted dive-bomb attack.

The most exciting part of all this is that any damage taken, or even objects collided with, will cause you to fall off your glider. If you’re running from a fight, the other person has options to bring you back down to the ground, and falling to the ground has some serious risks.

As community manager Scapes is fond of demonstrating in the live-streams, fall damage is alive and well in ArcheAge. In addition to the damage, players who are reduced to low health by the fall will find themselves momentarily stunned, giving pursuers the chance to catch up and seal the deal. In a surprisingly realistic move, players will take fall damage even when falling into water, meaning that the usually safe option of gliding above the ocean isn’t without its dangers.

After putting some thought into it, I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, gliders are materially different than traditional flying mounts, and I am in fact not a giant hypocrite. Good to know!

ArcheAge‘s gliders neatly address nearly all of the negatives from traditional flying mounts while still managing to offer the great majority of the benefits. On top of that, unique abilities and the innate requirements that players be engaged while gliding go a long way towards making travel more fun, more exciting, and more immersive. I’m looking forward to gliding across the world of ArcheAge, and I don’t feel bad about it at all.

 

Hobo Gamer: World of Darkness Cancelled

Yesterday morning CCP announced news that surprised no one, but shocked us all – World of Darkness has been officially cancelled. I suppose the timing was for the best, as far as I am concerned; while I had not yet written a Hobo Gamer article on WoD, the game sat near the top of my most anticipated games. If you’re looking for a hardcore sandbox MMO, who better to develop it than CCP, right? That’s what we all thought, anyway. For many fans, the wound was salted by some convincing screenshots like the one above being leaked, and damn if they didn’t look good. As this news follows on the heels of rumors of the Atlanta office being near shut down and a $21 million write-off of capitalized R&D as unusable on CCP’s financial statements, it brings to an end much uncertainty about the game’s future, or lack thereof. It’s always sad to see a game you were interested in come to a close, especially one which was aborted before seeing the light of day. My heart goes out to World of Darkness team who are now looking for work, as well as the dedicated fan communities who find themselves looking for a new home.

Shuttering the World of Darkness project marks an interesting move for CCP, and one I fear may mark the end of them as a company. CCP now has all of their eggs in one proverbial basket, EVE, and that basket is aging quickly. While projects peripherally related to EVE such as Dust 514 and Valkyrie do exist, so far those have not shown themselves to be successful at reinvigorating the aging franchise. EVE is a niche game, and it’s a damn good one. However, it’s an old game with harsh barriers to entry that make it very difficult to attract new players, and as you would expect, its already meager subscription numbers have been falling as veterans exit the game. CCP needs a new franchise, and it bodes ill for them to abandon the one they were already developing.

Popular wisdom on comment boards has formed that CCP chose the correct course in cancelling the project due to the massive amount of development time which has already been spent working on the game and their inability to produce an acceptable product, but this violates one of the principle rules of management 101 – sunk costs should never be considered when making future decisions. The reasoning is simple, if not immediately intuitive. If CCP has spent $50 million on World of Darkness already, that’s money that they will never be able to recover regardless of whether or not they scrap the project. Now let’s say CCP has to spend another $50 million to create a working version of the game, with projected revenue of $70 million when adjusted for net present value. While this would put the project at an overall loss of $30 million, it would create net income of $20 million on future expenditures, and thus should still be undertaken at this point in time, even if from the beginning it wasn’t a good investment. Note that this also has the effect of turning a $50 million loss into $30 million for the project as a whole; as long as more money can be made than future expenses are required, you should continue with a project regardless of how much has been spent in the past. That all said, I would assume that a company like CCP is aware of basic management decision making principles and cancelled the game for other reasons; this was purely for the comment section “experts”.

While no longer available as a future MMO home, I included this send-off for World of Darkness in my Hobo Gamer series simply because before its cancellation, it ranked highly on the list of MMOs I wished to play. As disappointing as this is, CCP is still one of the few companies with a proven ability to create a true virtual world, and if they choose to work to create a new IP to carry the company once EVE‘s time has past, I hope to be there to enjoy it. As I said in my Black Desert post, the game I really want to play is EVE on the ground – and who better to develop that then creators of EVE themselves. Let’s hope they get it right next time.

 

The International 5: Groupstage and Wild Card Brackets Revealed

The International 5 is just around the corner and we’ve a lot of guaranteed entertainment coming along the way. But how can we know for sure if information regarding the group-stage and wild card brackets are not released? Fret not, for Valve has released the Wild Card and Group-stage brackets.

The Wild Card matches will be played between 4 teams namely, CDEC, Vega Squadron, MVP.Phoenix and Archon. The matches will be held in a double elimination best-of-three bracket wherein top 2 teams will advance to the group-stages while the bottom 2 teams will head home.

Meanwhile, the group-stage details have also been revealed. 8 teams each have been allocated to two groups, namely, Group A and B. Teams in their respective groups will play in a round robin phase in a best-of-two format.

At the end of the group-stage, top four teams in both groups will advance to the upper bracket of the main event whereas the other teams will be sent packing to the lower bracket of the main event. Teams in the upper bracket will have a second chance whilst teams in the lower bracket will have to play for survival.

Sixteen teams will play in a double elimination format over 6 days. Eight teams begin in the upper bracket, eight in the lower bracket. First lower bracket games are best-of-one, other games being best-of-three’s and the grand finals being a best-of-five affair.

Streams will start at 9am PDT each day from July 27th through July 30th whilst the main event will start at 10am PDT on Monday July 3rd with the grand finals being played on Saturday, August 8th, 2015. Further information can be found here: The Road to The International.

 

Diablo III Patch 2.3 Introduces New Adventure Zone Ruins of Sescheron

Blizzard has just announced a number of new features for Diablo III’s upcoming patch 2.3, including a brand new adventure zone. Ruins of Sescheron is a frozen land that once belonged to Barbarian tribes, but it fell to the mighty legions of Baal, the Lord of Destruction, in his march on Mount Arreat. The new zone can be found in Act III.

In addition, the legendary “Horadric Cube” from Diablo II is finally making its return, in an iteration known as Kanai’s Cube. Kanai Cube allows players to break down Legendary items and use their special effects as passive skills, convert crafting materials, and a number of other possibilities.

 

Albion Online Summer Alpha

Albion Online is a game I’ve been watching for some time now. Another one of the new breed of sandbox games coming up and hopefully offering a different experience for people. I doubt it will be perfect but there are a lot of mechanics within, and a focus on particular styles of gameplay that has me very interested and shows great potential.

Well in the next week,Albion Online will be heading into it’s Summer Alpha event which will be a month or more showing off the recent updates and changes. It’s the first event wherin those with the Elite, $50 pack gain access to the game. The pack I’ve pledged for so YAY ME!!

yes yes I backed into another early access mmo after swearing I wouldn’t… I am.

In case you haven’t heard much about the game I thought I give a few quick points about

Top down action style gameplay
Economy focus with regional marketplaces
In-depth crafting, many material types and gathering types
Full Loot and Degradable Gear
Housing, Guild Towns and Territory Control
PvP with an emphasis on 5v5 combat
Decent specialisation and personal progression
Cross Platform play and servers, including tablets

 

Albion Online: House or Home

Welcome To Albionville Online, AKA personal housing and unfortunately I can’t say I’m that impressed with it so far. There is just something about it that is entirely lacking and while it is certainly functional it isn’t that appealing. In it’s essence it’s basically what I was doing in Archeage. Gather materials, build a house. Farm Plants, feed plants to animals, ????, Profit but it just doesn’t feel the same. There is no charm to it, no personality and when I’m looking at personal housing that is an important facet to me. I don’t just want functionality I want something to personalise and make my impact with on the world.

The farming mechanics work, and are actually a rather important mechanic within the game. A needed function and when working with a guild it is something just about everyone is encouraged to be a part of. It works in the way you would expect of a mobile game. Click over the plot, plant and you’re shown a pretty little timer until it’s ready.

The animals take this a step further needing food, and a certain amount of food in order to mature within that cycle. It’s a nice touch that each type of food gives a certain amount of time, so you can feed them whatever is handy but there is just so little love there. Just the cold, sterile timers and restricted clicking – which makes it so much worse that I’m actually interested enough to, plan my planting and play times around it and also making alarms as to when my plants and chickens will be ready.

The housing is rather lackluster. There is an upgrade process of putting in resources, and better resources at each new stage of the process which rewards a bigger, more elaborate house with more room for activities but there is so little customisation. You can place in a few pieces of furniture, chests, and random rare trophies but there isn’t the range of placement, a range of furniture choices, or just ways to make this space feel like your own. Like most mechanics so far, it’s serviceable and that’s about it.

There is a space here as well to build you’re own crafting stations but then, you can only progress these so far, and not that far at all and also a huge tax cost a crafting…. HUGE. Big enough to ensure you will never actually craft on your own housing plot which makes the entire space pretty much useless. Just a house only used for storage of some produce, a few farms that you use with rigidity or not at all, and a whole lot of empty space.

There is so much more space there for something wonderful to occur. A whole world and a lot of zones with unused space that are just asking to be used as housing. Planting your flag on a little bit of land to make part of the world your own. Just as in Archeage. These Personal Islands are still a great idea, especially for people farming goods but should be more used more as a supplement for those that need or miss out.

It’s funny but thinking about it, the problem with housing is pretty much what’s wrong with the game as a whole. It is serviceable. There is a good foundation of mechanics and ideas there but the actual implementation is lacking that little bit extra to make it something more important, interesting, and engaging.

 

Monetization Models as a Gameplay Shaping Feature

One of the most ubiquitous debates in the MMO gaming community surrounds monetization. Games cost money to make, and as a result, it goes without saying that they need to bring it back in somehow. Near every forum on the internet has raged with debate over which way is the one true way, with posters, writers, and even businessmen weighing in as to why exactly their preferred way is the only way games should ever be made. As with any argument where a concept is applied as the ‘best’ option to a broad array of situations, I find these arguments to be both puerile and superficial; there are many variables in play that determine which model is best, and I find that they are almost never considered.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

At the risk of stating the obvious, not every MMO gamer is interested in getting the same experience from their game of choice; there is nowhere this becomes more clear than when examining the arguments for or against specific payment models. Take for example two of the most common arguments for and against the implementation of subscription payment models.

The subscription model is good because it fosters a persistent community where you can log in and see the same players over and over again.
The subscription model is bad because it makes players feel forced to log-on to take full advantage of the monthly fee.
Though these are both brought up in nearly every discussion by their respective proponents, their clear relation is rarely pointed out; the subscription model fosters a persistent community precisely because it makes players feel forced to log-on. These aren’t arguments about the way people prefer to pay, but rather about the way they prefer to play – and for them, the monetization policy can have real effects on their gameplay. In this way, pay-to-play games specifically attract players who are interested in that type of game experience, and repel those looking for a past time requiring less of a commitment. These players are looking for fundamentally different gameplay experiences that in all likelihood will come from different games.

Different Folks for Different Strokes

And that’s what it really comes down to. We all like to think that our way is the one true way, but that simply isn’t the case in most situations. When different consumers are trying to get a fundamentally different result from a product, the clear solution is to have different products tailored towards their separate demands, a philosophy that would be well applied to monetization strategies as well.

To take the example above, MMOs whose mechanics promote or rely on long-term community building would likely be best suited to a subscription model, while those focusing on quick, bite-sized gameplay sessions with community bypassing features like LFD may find their game performs better with a free-to-play system; it is no coincidence that the rise in free-to-play models has accompanied a design shift in this direction.

The Final Stroke

The prevailing logic that the subscription and free-to-play models are locked in battle for total dominance over the genre simply misses the point. As much as I would like to declare my preferred model the reigning king, the fact is that both are better suited to monetizing different products made for different types of players due to their ability to shape certain facets of the gameplay experience; there is no one-size fits all. The subscription model isn’t going anywhere, and neither is free-to-play.

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Crowfall: Eppur si muove

Early this morning the Kickstarter for Crowfall, ArtCraft Entertainment’s upcoming MMORPG, reached its close, seeing nearly 17,000 backers push it to achieve over double the requested funding, arriving solidly in place as the 15th most funded video game in Kickstarter history after earning total pledges just shy of $1.8 million.

Crowfall markets itself as “Game of Thrones meets EVE Online“, blending long forgotten features from past MMOs in the development team’s history like Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, and Shadowbane. These are features for which many MMO veterans (such as myself) have clamored for over the past years, watching frustrated as AAA studios produced stagnant MMOs following the WoW-formula, unwilling to believe that any value lay in this and similar feature-sets. Eppur si muove.

For those that want to know what it’s all about, a full Hobo Gamer write-up can be expected within the coming days. However, I’ll first be writing up an article inspired by a recent Reddit thread that brought up some old memories, priming me for exactly the type of experience that MMOs once delivered, and that Crowfall promises to bring back.

 

New Content Coming to Magerealm

 

With its latest content update to Magerealm, GTArcade is excited to introduce the Colosseum, a new feature that brings two unique PVP modes to the game. In addition, players can now create their own PVP rooms to test their might with friends and rivals. Log in today and check out all the new features!

Welcome to the Colosseum
Mighty champions must train rigorously to have a competitive edge and the Colosseum will be their new proving grounds. Visceral combat is always the theme of PVP and players can seek out Arena Admin Bern to partake in the new Colosseum PVP modes. Players may choose which mode suits them, according to their prowess and tenacity.

Competition Mode:
To be called the best in Magerealm, players need to continuously prove themselves by challenging and defeating rivals. Players that still thirst for action after finishing the daily errands can compete with others in Competition Mode. This is a place of fair competition. With no level limit, players can pick anyone to duel. Rise above the competition and show the world who deserves to be number one.

Prizefight Mode:
If normal dueling is not enough excitement, players are encouraged to try Prizefight Mode in PVP. The rules are simple; both contestants place their bets and winner takes all. With the stakes ever so high, players need to do their best at controlling their team and utilizing their skills. In this mode, there’s much more on the line than one’s honor.

Players can join countless others in PVP and hone their skills to perfection. Bring your friends and see who is truly the best!

warcraftmovie

According to a post this morning, the Warcraft movie might become the first part of a trilogy.

warcraft orgrim rob kazinsky – Your source for MMOs & MMORPGs

The internet has been abuzz lately with speculation about Blizzard and Legendary Pictures’ recent collaboration, Warcraft. Aside from a couple stills, props, and costumes featured at last year’s Blizzcon, though, both companies have remained tight lipped about any of the film’s details or developments. Although all of that is about to change next week at San Diego Comic Con (where the film’s first trailer will premiere), anticipation for Warcraft has forced director Duncan Jones to discuss details about some of the franchise’s inner workings.

In a recent statement, Jones said:

Peter Jackson did a magnificent job of setting the table: for Tolkein’s universe with his first Lord of the Rings film,” he explained when asked if “World of Warcraft” movie will be a trilogy. “I know that my job in this first film is to establish certain characters, places and culture while telling a story that a broad audience can be excited by!

While news of a potential trilogy is exciting, Jones’ underlying statement is even more interesting. Video game movies have been notoriously bad. If Jones and his team can pull off a successful video game adaptation, other studios and game publishers might collaborate to make films. A Rachet and Clank collaboration is currently under works between Sony and Focus Pictures. Perhaps a new age in film is approaching.