Sep 14th 2011 3:08AM I think taking a risk on MMO narrative was sufficient for Bioware, as the old game design wisdom goes, develop a game with one "X" factor at a time.
Let's address the Bioware take on narrative for a moment. The type of MMO player that will enjoy the long, immersive conversations taking place each, and every time you receive or turn in a quest will more than likely prefer the traditional, deliberately-paced combat of the genre.
I'm guessing from the narrative-rich focus of SWTOR, that their aim isn't to go for a twitchy combat experience. I'd imagine it's because it wouldn't jive with the rest of the gameplay experience, which does carry the risk of homogenizing combat and making Force wielders seem normal. Given the era the game is set in, it shouldn't come as any surprise.
With that in mind, I'm suggesting the game isn't made for players like the author. Perhaps having a soapbox to stand on doesn't always mean one should step up to it. There is, after all, a reason the proverb has a negative connotation..
Oct 20th 2010 11:29AM Shh.. bwe bwery qwuiet.. I'm huntin' werewolbes.
Apr 30th 2010 8:31PM Looks awesome, my concern is this: I think my character is going to look very out of place in something like this. Cartoony characters + more and more realistic environments = visual cacophony?
Apr 16th 2010 7:11PM To risk sounding like a jerk, I think I'll respond anyway.
I paid a lot of money (some from the GI Bill, some from my own pocket) to get a degree.
I waited tables, built fences and worked retail.
I now have a degree and get paid well for my hard-earned education.
I have faith in my ability to understand the value of the dollar.
These days, $25 for a vanity item isn't that much money to me.
I get to spend my money how want now, because I spent my teens and twenties slaving away for this life of mine.
I don't ever have to work for McDonalds or it's ilk again.
I get to buy star ponies because I want.
You, sir, should spend less time passing judgment on those of us who work to afford our hobbies, quit the McDonalds gig and earn the privilege to spend your money as you choose. If my spending habits seem obscene to you, try digging through my harddrive.
Not only am I NOT ashamed of buying it, but proud to say I can. I also give to charity, volunteer at my local Humane Society, work a full time job and exercise daily. I work hard and get to enjoy the fruits of my labors on my terms.
In sum, the Celestial Horse DOES make the better AND has meaning, I get to ride a freakin' sweet horse made of stars.
Apr 16th 2010 5:57PM Thought I could help.
First, a definition of the word vanity, it seems you may not know it. excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit: Failure to be elected was a great blow to his vanity.
Vanity item is a term used to describe something a player has for the sheer sake of their... vanity.
A vanity item is not something, by definition, that a player has a privilege to by virtue of subscribing to the game.
Secondly, do you play WoW? Here are two items that share the characteristic.
The only, albeit key, difference is that it binds on account. But, as others have said, this doesn't prevent you from obtaining a mount on your alts. Granted, it saves you a small amount of gold, but for $25...
For the record, your first sentence might have a logic hole in it.
"Here is the thing - they ARE adding things to the game that a player that is paying a full sub is NOT able to buy..."
Either I'm a subscribing customer AND I was able to buy a Celestial Mount.. OR... I am the herald for the end of existence.. maybe both. Yeah, I like both.
Apr 16th 2010 5:11PM I'll agree and disagree with you, Seraphina, and please don't take it that I'm trying to offend you, the comment regarding journalism vs. blogs was directed at others being offended at obvious opinion.
I agree that anyone disparaging the microtransaction model yet buying in in the case of Blizzard is being hypocritical.
I would caution, however, that other IPs have use the MT model for items in-game that most see as either necessary or as giving some advantage. The key difference with the horse, is that it represents an item for purely visual / vanity reasons. That said, the MT model how shown remarkable success (see Zynga and DDO) and will likely end up being akin to raging at the sun for rising in the East.
I disagree that Blizzard can do whatever they want and people love it, on the contrary, as you will find few places in existence where change is met with more zeal and rage than in the official forums for World of Warcraft.
Faulting players for loving a franchise, or jumping at the opportunity to have everything / anything they can regarding their chosen game is a tough sale. WoW has a lot of good things going for it, and one could argue that their ancillary markets are as much about providing more Warcraft to their fans as it is about profits. Perhaps both?
Finally, I would argue that the key difference is not notoriety but quality, and to a certain extent, intent.
And.. I forgive the sour grapes, it's a blog after all, and I read it.
Apr 16th 2010 2:30PM All the uproar over the Celestial Horse thing seems to be a breakdown of common sense.
If 140,000+ WoW players chose to purchase this optional content, there are exercising their agreement with Blizzard. If former WoW players or players from other games disagree with either the creation and sale of these types of items or the purchase of said items, I suppose this is why they don't subscribe to Blizzard's business model. (See what I did there?)
Should a player choose to purchase WoW, and it's expansions and pay a monthly subscription fee, then that's how they choose to spend their money. If the same player is willing to spend $25 for an optional, cosmetic mount, that's their choice and fits their playstyle. The problem with the genre is that no amount of complaining can fix the core issue: Blizzard has made a better game, continues to provide content (some free via patches, some not) and gives it's player base what it wants; more more more. Blizzard isn't manipulating their players, it is giving them what they want, and doing better than anyone else. If their player base is willing to make them rich in the process, (i.e. paying $25 for a virtual good), well it seems like the model works. Players get what they want, Blizzard gets what it wants.
The rest of the MMO player base can rant and rave all they want (this article), but you have some fundamental choices to make in the process. Here are some potential options:
A. Buy WoW, play WoW and don't buy optional, vanity items
B. Buy WoW, play WoW, buy vanity items
C. Don't buy WoW, don't play WoW
Options A. and B. allow one to be a part of how Blizzard operates, your actions (buying vanity pets or not) affect how the future looks. Supply and Demand, folks, google it.
Option C is where many of the naysayers fit. You don't play WoW, and yet many of you presume to pass judgement on the working relationship between Blizzard and its player base.
If WoW players didn't buy vanity items, Blizzard wouldn't sell them. The pricing issues are dictated by what players show they will pay, but again, that's between Blizzard and its subscribers.
That brings us to the debate over journalism and blogging. Ranting about your dissatisfaction about the proven business model of a major developer is not journalism, it's editorial and it's highly subjective.
It really is sad that no one can 'topple' WoW, but to do that, you have to create better content. Do that, and you'll earn the exalted position of having such a loyal player base that will spend additional money on vanity content. In the meantime, embrace some dignity and don't lament the way things are. If your GoTM (Game of the Month) doesn't fare as well as WoW, don't blame WoW players or Blizzard, blame game developers for not making games people want to play on a long-term basis. Finally, understand that game developers are not in the business of making YOU happy, they want to make money and, therefore, make more games. Buy the games you love, but don't assume that because you love it, it was made for you.
Think you can do better? Seek early-stage investment capital and start making games and pray that you can make games YOU love that other people want to actually play.
Dec 30th 2009 3:32PM The first time I saw my belf paladin running his wyvern along the ground, I immediately thought of a GI Joe doll taped to a cat and set loose..
Dec 18th 2009 3:31PM Thanks for the good times, Mike, writing for you was a real pleasure!