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Know Your Lore: The curious dissonance of Alliance leveling {WoW}

Apr 2nd 2012 2:22PM The Alliance is at war, and has always suffered at the hands of the Horde, who delight in inflicting such suffering. Throw in the Alliance's own bad apples, and you've got a dreary and dangerous world where heroes must work even harder to shine against the darkness.

I think it's fantastic for properly setting the tone for the Alliance players and to do away with this nonsense of coexisting with the Horde. Both BC and LK forced the sides to cooperate against existential threats, but even in the face of Deathwing the Horde and the Alliance had to come to grips with the fact that they can never, ever be at peace unless one or the other completely changes who they are.

I look forward to the continuation of the war in MoP.

The Soapbox: Mechanical buildup {Massively}

Mar 30th 2012 10:57AM If you thought any flavor of D&D was complex, I guess you never tried Rolemaster or Hero System. Talk about incremental increases in 'realism' for geometrical regressions in playability.

So much complexity is usually just a crutch, either for the rest of the system or to hide other flaws from the players. Even now, the traditional idea of character attributes being something you pick or assign on character generation is largely gone in most modern MMOs and CRPGs, if the attributes themselves aren't missing entirely. Since, instead of picking powers based on what your attributes let you do, why not just let the character have a certain number of powers and skip the intermediate step of assigning attributes?

Of course, the risk is that when you've swept away all that cruft and simplified, simplified and simplified, you've taken away some of the illusion of choice, and some players hate having that illusion removed. Those players like having sub-optimal build options, truly random gear drops and extra numbers to fiddle with because it furthers the illusion of choice by complexity.

However, there's almost always an optimal build, gear and number choice, so those engaged in streamlining the system are general in favor of tossing out the powers, gear and other choices that hardly anyone uses and focusing on making the stuff everyone does use better.

CCP investigates player panel amidst controversy [Updated] {Massively}

Mar 26th 2012 6:18PM Just about every contact I've had with the people who run this game (and I had a number at PAX Prime last year, both at their booth and at their party) come across as people who are very passionate about their game - but then they're just as passionate about a style of gameplay that exemplifies and encourages this sort of behavior. But then they try and cover for themselves and say that they're wanting to make EVE more newbie friendly. In the continual seesaw, this same person then said they wanted newbies to have as much of a headstart as possible so that there was more for the experienced players to take from them.

LotRO prepares for imminent Update 6 release {Massively}

Mar 7th 2012 6:19PM @Quidveritas I've never had any luck, either as a healer or dps.

Lord of the Rings Online lets you add a game wallet by lightening your real wallet {Massively}

Mar 3rd 2012 5:09PM I think this is an awesome idea. They already offer bank slots, wardrobe slots and shared storage slots. This is just one way to free up that little extra bit. Once you're in the later half of the game and find yourself wrangling with barter widgets of so many different factions, you'll really want this.

I'll be picking it up as soon as my next 500 hits my lifetime account.

Gamescom selling Saturday tickets in advance to avoid shutdown repeat {Joystiq}

Mar 2nd 2012 10:30AM Reminds me of what happened at PAX last year, where it hit capacity and went over due to counterfeiting.

It was cool, but cons that are that crowded really make it hard to enjoy myself. Makes Gen Con seem sedate, with only 30,000 attendees.

Pathfinder Online measures up player housing {Massively}

Mar 1st 2012 5:01PM I'm really not getting the PvP centric focus of this game. It's got nothing to do with why almost anyone plays the Pathfinder tabletop game, which is inherently a game about players cooperating against enemies and the environment, run by the DM, who is adversary, judge and referee. The 'sandbox' factor of a tabletop game is between you and your DM, not between you and the table next to you who might decide to come over and ambush you while you're in the heat of your own adventure.

I know there's a (small) market for people who want a PvP sandbox fantasy MMO, and I want those people to have a game they really enjoy just like I want games that I enjoy, but Pathfinder just seems to be an odd vehicle for it.

Turbine releases GameStop-exclusive LotRO Mithril edition {Massively}

Feb 28th 2012 1:29PM @Khalus Gamestop might seem like a strange place, but they are in the business at least of primarily selling games across multiple platforms. And even though the local ones have tiny or nonexistent PC sections, they'll always preorder them for me (which I only do when I decide to trade in console games for PC games).

I don't know where else they would have done this and had the same chance of getting it in front of as many gamers as possible.

This isn't really a 'starter set' since the Path of the Fellowship will get you from 30-60 at worst, and I personally hit 68 before I ever touched Isengard. This is a very complete set, even though there are still zones you'll probably want to unlock for variety's sake.

But yeah, it's a great deal for someone new to the game, as those turbine points will let you unlock enough zone content to bridge the gaps. Still not quite as good a deal if you could get your hands on one of the SoA/Moria boxes (especially back when they were $10!) but this does include the Moria and Lothlorien quest packs in the 'Path of the Fellowship' bundle. You'll get the quests and content, but you won't get the two extra character slots and the Rune Keeper and Warden unlocks that you would get by owning the Moria Expansion itself.

Best course of action for a new player is to pick this up, pay for a month of VIP and make the max number of toons on your account to unlock all their bags and virtue slots, not to mention get the 500 extra TP for that month, then you'll just need to decide which zones you want to unlock with your 2500 TP.

Hitting on girls with subliminal video game titles is surprisingly effective {Joystiq}

Feb 27th 2012 12:37PM Young, attractive men act silly and pick up chicks. Yep, that's how it works! Emphasis on the young and attractive.

The Game Archaeologist chats with John Smedley about EQMac's salvation {Massively}

Feb 22nd 2012 1:33AM I wanted to hop on and show support, but getting this to run on a modern Mac seems ridiculously obtuse. I guess they're not really in any hurry to open up the floodgates to people who aren't already among the dedicated few.