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Posts with tag MMO

Warcraft as a whole: story balance between RTS and MMO

I was perusing the forums (like you do) when I came across this forum thread from poster Xewie, and I found it an interesting place to start thinking from. Xewie's points aren't entirely ones I agree with - I frankly found Mists of Pandaria one of the richest expansions in terms of lore and story and feel that anyone who dismisses it simply because there are pandaren in it is deliberately and willfully blinding themselves to an excellent ride with some astonishing highs and lows - but there's a certain truth in the points about the RTS vs. WoW itself. As others (including our own Michael Sacco) have pointed out, Garrosh Hellscream is really one of the first big lore characters we've had in World of Warcraft who was born in the MMO, evolved over its course and became a faction leader and finally an end villain.

I think part of the problem is that the RTS features these characters, so even when it kills a few (like Terenas Menethil) it offers up a few more. But the MMO features us, ultimately, so when we put down Lady Vashj or Arthas, there's no immediate replacement. To be sure, there have in fact been tons of new faces over the course of World of Warcraft - Ragnaros, C'thun, Nefarian were all first introduced in classic WoW, not the RTS. The problem is, we introduce these characters and then, well, we dispatch them. Sometimes, like Ragnaros, our first encounter with them isn't a final one, but even if we know they'll eventually be back, it's not like their luck will hold out forever. I called this the "Joker problem" once, and to a degree I think it is an issue for the MMO.

However, does it follow that we need an RTS to create stories? Since I think Mists of Pandaria did an amazing job of building up the story, and in fact I'm really much more of a Cataclysm booster than most, I don't agree with that idea. In fact, in many ways, WoW has done more to broaden and expand the Warcraft setting than the RTS ever did.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Do you play other MMOs?

I admit, in between bouts of World of Warcraft, I've definitely flirted with other MMOs. Sometimes playing something new can be a fun break from WoW -- and with so many MMOs out on the market to try, checking out other games is a regular temptation. Free-to-play games are especially appealing, since it's easy to jump into them without spending a bundle. But MMOs take a lot of time and effort to advance your character, which can make it awfully challenging to play even one -- much less more than one. And as you can probably guess, World of Warcraft is a game I keep coming back to -- and with limited game time right now, it's the only MMO I'm playing.

So what about you, readers? Do you juggle World of Warcraft with other MMOs? Do you occasionally try other MMOs or do you have a regular MMO on the side? (And if so, how do you find the time for it?) Or is WoW your main multiplayer game? Inquiring minds want to know, readers, so get commenting!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard says Titan unlikely to be subscription-based

No, Blizzard still hasn't made an official announcement about what we can expect from their upcoming Titan project -- which we've heard little about since its development was reset back in May. We still don't know much, but in an investor call today Mike Morhaime did say that Titan was "unlikely to be a subscription-based MMORPG."

Of course, that still leaves plenty of room to speculate about what Titan actually will be. Will it be a free-to-play MMO or has Titan become something new entirely? With no official release date, only time will tell what Blizzard has in mind.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Former WoW developer Mark Kern wonders if WoW is too easy

Former WoW developer Mark Kern wonders if WoW is too easy
Mark Kern, who left Blizzard way back in 2005 to found Red 5 Studios, is working on a new free to play, sci-fi MMO called Firefall -- and has some less than flattering things to say about the game WoW has become. His top complaint: that MMOs are now too easy. "When was the last time you died in a starter zone?" Kern muses. "Sometimes I look at WoW and think 'what have we done?' I think I know. I think we killed a genre."

The easier content, he argues, means both developers and players focus less on the content in the middle of the game and more on racing to get to the end game -- and by rushing through the game from level 1 to level 90, you miss out on a lot of the game itself. Of course Kern notes that his upcoming MMO has the mix just right -- and that by focusing on the journey instead of the destination, Firefall is a lot more fun.

While we are fans of new games -- and love the art style Firefall has going -- we're less convinced about dying in newbie zones as a gameplay necessity. Time will tell if Kern has the right of things -- Firefall's open beta is starting soon.

Filed under: News items

Has Blizzard left an opening for the next generation of WoW killers?

wow killers!
As Blizzard has faltered with its recent loss of WoW subscribers and the reset of its yet to be announced next MMO, other developers, hungry to make inroads in the MMO market, have looked on this as an opportunity. So, after countless games have tried to claim the title, are we really about to see a WoW killer come to market? Stephan Frost, Game Design Producer at NCsoft's Carbine Studios, thinks that it gives his game Wildstar a better chance to succeed. "We're coming out at a time when WoW is losing subscribers and we can fill the void for people who want an MMO that's deep, hardcore but also accessible to people." In the meanwhile, Take-Two Interactive has taken the opposing angle, saying that no one -- not even Blizzard -- can succeed because the North American market is a poor one for MMOs.

Analysts agree that Blizzard's delay can only be an opportunity for others, though with WoW's current patch frenzy, it's clear that Blizzard isn't planning on relinquishing its title as top MMO any time soon. So is scifi MMO Wildstar going to be the next big thing? Or will Take-Two's Asian-market MMOs be a smashing success? Only time will tell.

Filed under: Blizzard

MMOs don't work in the US says Take-Two Interactive


At the Cowen and Company Technology, Media and Telecom Conference this week, Take-Two Interactive's chairman Strauss Zelnick told crowds that MMOs just don't work in North America. "How many MMOs have been successful in the US?" Strauss mused. "Two: World of Warcraft and EverQuest." This is why Take-Two is focusing on Asian markets for its own massively multiplayer games and why, Zelnick suggested (without mentioning anyone by name), Blizzard had to reboot development of their own Project Titan.

However, while WoW's numbers have had a much-ballyhooed decline, its current 8.3 million subscribers is nothing to sneeze at. But does America's poor track record with MMOs mean Titan is doomed before it's even managed to get a release date? Zelnick and Take-Two seem fairly certain MMOs don't have a future, but we intend to wait and see.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

MMO Roundup: StarCraft Universe, SWTOR cinematics, and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

StarCraft MMO mod gameplay video released
What if the year's most noteworthy MMO release wasn't a mega-budget corporate theme park but a crazy-detailed mod produced by a tiny team of fans? A lot of gamers out there would love to see a StarCraft-flavored MMORPG, and modder Ryan Winzen is in the process of making that dream a reality with StarCraft Universe.
RIFT's first State of the Game address
Trion Worlds has never been shy in talking about RIFT's upcoming content, especially considering how fast and furious said content's been flying down the pipe. However, the studio may have topped itself as it gave its first State of the Game address, opening up about the title's history to date and both the near and far future of the team's plans.
SWTOR Studio Insider dives into opening cinematics
About once every four weeks, BioWare gives us a backstage look at what it takes to put together the monumental MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. These articles are simply called Studio Insider. This week, Senior Video Editor Brian Arndt tells us all about putting together the unique cinematics every player will see the first time he or she logs into SWTOR.
LucasArts releases an official statement to Star Wars Galaxies fans
For a majority of MMO players, the announcement that Star Wars Galaxies was shutting down came as no surprise. However, many SWG loyalists have been extremely upset by the turn of events, blaming everything from the hacks on Sony earlier this year to the impending release of Star Wars: The Old Republic. A statement from LucasArts puts all of that to rest.
Massively Speaking Episode 156
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, returns this week with Shawn and Rubi covering the week's MMO news, including Black Prophecy's North American launch, DCUO's newest DLC, Darkfall 2.0, CCP's partnership with Nexon, The Secret World's info explosion, and this little game called Planetside 2.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer, in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: E3, DUST 514, RIFT, and other capital letters

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Massively's E3 Coverage
E3 wrapped at the end of last week, and the MMO news that came out of the convention was substantial. Make sure you didn't miss any major highlights from any of the up-and-coming MMOs in the industry. Check out Massively's extensive coverage of the event!
Hands-on impressions of Star Wars: The Old Republic
Members of the Massively staff and WoW Insider's very own Editor-in-Chief Dan O'Halloran had an opportunity to play The Old Republic at E3. Did they like it? Did they hate it? Find out!
DUST 514's realtime integration with EVE Online
At E3, EVE Online developer CCP Games made an appearance to announce that the company's upcoming MMOFPS DUST 514 will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3. The ambitious title aims to link the world of ground troops fighting over planets to EVE Online's universe of spaceborne conflict. EVE players will be able to hire DUST mercenaries as part of an ongoing territorial war. Head over to Massively for the full details.
Trion Worlds takes players on a tour of RIFT's upcoming Hammerknell raid
Trion Worlds, the developer behind the polarizing MMO RIFT, recently gave fans a hands-on tour of their upcoming raid zone, Hammerknell. It's an abandoned dwarven stronghold which has jailed one of the great dragons for ... well, a really long time!
Massively Speaking episode 152
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, returns this week to wrap up E3 2011 by recording another unedited show just for you. The Massively team discusses RIFT's patch 1.3, Cryptic's Neverwinter and Rubi's impressions of SWTOR.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Zelda MMO, Fallout Online's apocalyptic future, and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Is Zelda about to hit the MMO space?
Nintendo, creator of the console hit Legend of Zelda, has just registered for an ESRB rating for a game called Zelda Universe. According to the ESRB website, this mysterious game has received an "E" rating with "violence" as the only descriptive text, but the game is listed as "online." Although all other Nintendo games have a console listed along with the rating, this particular title does not.
Fallout Online's future in jeopardy as Interplay's finances suffer
Fallout Online, the in-development MMO from Interplay, has been through some rough waters already, but it looks like the situation may be about to go from bad to -- pardon the pun -- apocalyptic. A recent SEC filing by Interplay indicates that the company is going through some rough financial times, which doesn't bode well for Fallout Online's future.
Men outspend women on mobile social games
Ladies (or gentlemen), is your man a gamer? If so, you may finally have a worthwhile retort for the next time he scoffs and rolls his eyes at that $10 non-combat pet you just had to have. A recent study by MocoSpace surveyed 1,500 "mobile social gamers" about their spending practices within social games. The results? "While 53 percent were male, and 47 percent female, 69 percent of men were buying virtual goods, while only 31 percent of females did."
SWTOR trooper progression video lays on the hurt
Even with E3 just around the corner, BioWare is still churning out the regular previews for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Most recently, the developers at BioWare released a trailer showing off the progression of the trooper class.
Massively Speaking episode 149
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, returns this week with Shawn and Rubi discussing the week's best MMO news. This week, they talk about RIFT's free character transfer program, Guild Wars 2's engineer class, Age of Conan's new hybrid business model and more!
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: RIFT's free character transfers, Sony's fiscal losses, and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

RIFT offering free character transfers with patch 1.3
Trion Worlds has announced that with the advent of patch 1.3, RIFT will allow players to move to select servers once per week -- for free. These free character transfers include a wholesale move of all of the character's items, achievements and titles. Also, Trion has stated that initially, there will be no limit to the number of times your character can hop to a different server.
Sony loses $3.2B, spends $170M in response to hacker attacks
Sony's bad year is getting a smidge worse. The company, which had previously predicted a healthy profit for the past fiscal year, is now expecting a loss of $3.2 billion for the period of April 2010 through March 2011. The reverse in fortunes is mostly due to writing off a $4.4 billion tax credit, although the company has been struggling with both the recent earthquake and hacker attack that disrupted operations of both its physical operations and online services.
Funcom prepping new Age of Conan adventure pack inspired by film reboot
Recent rumors of new film-related content for Age of Conan proved to be accurate. According to a new press release, the pack "includes but is not limited to" content from the forthcoming Conan the Barbarian film reboot and will see players traveling to the lands of Turan some 20 years after the events of the movie.
Guild Wars 2's explosive seventh class: The engineer
ArenaNet has announced the seventh Guild Wars 2 profession: the engineer. Rifles, dual pistols, pistols with shields, explosives, flamethrowers, and automated turrets -- come on, do I really need to say any more than that?
Massively Speaking episode 148
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, is back this week as Shawn and Rubi discuss the latest MMO news, including some more details on ArcheAge and Guild Wars 2, a better explanation of the DCUO MegaServers (formerly Super Servers), and the return of SOE!
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Blizzard on RIFT, SOE outage compensation, and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Activision Blizzard: RIFT players will come back to WoW
During Activision Blizzard's recent investor conference call, the question of how RIFT's launch in early March had affected WoW's playerbase inevitably came up. Morhaime was quick to point out that while a percentage of players have historically left WoW to try out each new game released in the MMO market, a healthy proportion of them tend to return. Blizzard expects the same to occur with RIFT.
SOE reveals compensation plan for outage
After the long silence during SOE's recent downtime, Sony has finally revealed its compensation plan of action. All current SOE players will receive 30 days of game time added to their accounts plus one day for every day the system's been down. Depending on the game to which players are subscribed, SOE has a list of specific in-game items, currency, Station Cash, events and bonuses ready as well.
The Game Archaeologist jacks into The Matrix Online
The Matrix Online (otherwise known as MxO) may have been shut down a few years ago, but it still holds many fond memories for its former players. The Matrix had the potential to be this generation's Star Wars, but the franchise ultimately petered out, eventually taking MxO with it.
Gaming with Game of Thrones
Sorry to disappoint -- this isn't a Game of Thrones MMO announcement. However, if you enjoy Game of Thrones, there are a number of free-to-play MMOs that may offer you some of the same things you like from the novels or television series. Political intrigue in an MMO? It's true!
Massively Speaking episode 147
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, is back this week as Shawn is joined by Leala and Dana from the Game Dames blog and podcast. Topics include more on Sony's downtime, The Old Republic's confirmed launch window, the power of a possible Mass Effect MMO, the revenue growth of Nexon and Activision Blizzard, and the fact that World of Warcraft is dying! Wait, what? No.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

Breakfast Topic: What brings people back to WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

My guild, like most, has seen players quit the game for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is another game stealing their gamer hearts, and equally often it can be a real-world time constraint that is given priority. What interests me is how the majority of these players return eventually. Most of the time, this seems to happen when their real-world issues get resolved or when they discover that other MMO just doesn't love them as much as WoW did. Nearly all of our regular guildmates who have "given up WoW," including selling or deleting accounts, have returned.

I had even "quit" WoW for nearly a year and let my subscription go. Just before I came back, I had been playing Fallout 3 and beat it, completing pretty much everything. When it ended, I wanted a game that I could keep playing, a place where my character could keep growing and the world wouldn't end when I beat some random boss. I instantly remembered WoW, bought Wrath of the Lich King, and have been playing strong ever since.

If you or someone you know has ever made the decision to give up the game and move on -- more than just taking a break -- what has brought you or your friend or guildmate back into the world? Is it a realization that WoW just might be the best MMO on the market today? Is it a recreation of spare time for gaming? Or is it something else even more interesting?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

MMO Roundup: SOE's downtime, SWTOR subscribers, and RIFT's latest

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Ethnologist researches the development of social skills in World of Warcraft
A lot of players probably think that World of Warcraft breeds social skills, to the extent that contempt for one's fellow human beings can be considered a social skill. But according to Peter Stenberg of Umea University in Sweden, there are some actual developments taking place when you play.
SOE acknowledges "external intrusion" responsible for downtime
Sony Online Entertainment has acknowledged an issue that has caused its MMORPGs and game-related websites to be sporadically unavailable since Thursday, April 21. SOE's Linda "Brasse" Carlson posted on the EverQuest II forums, attributing the trouble to "an external intrusion."
Massively's Easter event roundup
World of Warcraft isn't the only game celebrating Easter this week. Noblegarden is fine and dandy, but check out what the other MMOs have to offer, from EverQuest to Runescape and Vindictus. Everybody is celebrating!
Analyst says 1 million subscribers attainable for SWTOR
Gaming business website Gamasutra quoted Hickey as saying that Janco "suspect[s] a willingness from investors to believe [500,000] to 1 million Star Wars MMO subscribers is an attainable target." Hickey has been focused on games and the gaming industry for some time now, specifically on EA, so the rise and fall of EA-published Warhammer Online cannot be off his radar when he makes his predictions about SWTOR.
An exclusive look at RIFT's Update 1.2 and beyond
With almost two months on the post-launch clock at Trion Worlds, RIFT appears to be holding its own in the wild and woolly field of MMORPGs. With a major update and the first world event under its belt, RIFT is sailing into the future with the wind at its back and a hull full of subscribers below.
Top 10 MMO forum terms beaten to death
We're all familiar with the MMO forum culture. Everybody has favorite complaints, buzzwords, and acronyms. This week, Massively takes a look at the top 10 forum terms that really should be sent to retirement.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: RIFT world event, The Old Republic polish, and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.
RIFT world event fizzles, Trion reevaluates approach
Much like World of Warcraft's early attempts at world events, RIFT's first major world event ... didn't go so well. Server queues and intermittent server outages plagued the event, but Trion Worlds has already issued a statement indicating that it is aware of the issues and will use the lessons it learned to forge future events.
Battlestar Galactica Online passes 1 million player milestone
Bigpoint's browser-based Battlestar Galactica Online is a certifiable hit, according to a new press release touting the fact that the title recently surpassed 1 million registered players. The milestone comes a scant six weeks after the launch of BSGO's open beta period and dovetails nicely with the news that the game is getting an engine upgrade as well as new ship content.
BioWare tackles The Old Republic environment polish, class questions
Ever wondered what "polish" entails when it comes to an MMORPG? The word is tossed about on forums often enough, and just as often, newly released titles are lambasted by gamers who feel that polish is severely lacking in some form or fashion. The latest Star Wars: The Old Republic update goes behind the scenes at the Jedi dream factory to give readers an inside scoop on how the developers at BioWare define polish.
Guild Wars 2's Johanson: MMO class trinity is "tired"
ArenaNet is a company with one game to its credit, yet the firm still has the courage to openly challenge Blizzard as well as the rest of the crowded MMO market. In a recent interview, lead content designer Colin Johanson says ANet's success and confidence largely stem from a culture of creative fearlessness.
LFM: Massively is hiring!
Are you passionate about every single MMO you can get your hands on? Do you have a particular skill with the written word? We're looking to expand our ranks with a fresh MMO-loving writer, so if you answered yes to both of those questions, Massively wants to hear from you.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

Bashiok comments on WoW's difficulty, accessibility

Players have remarked on the changing difficulty and accessibility of WoW (as well as the MMO genre in general) over the years. What once was a raiding environment based on the grueling EverQuest model has evolved into a new type of accessible/challenging hybrid. One of these discussion posts on the forums has been addressed by Bashiok, who gave quite the answer to players who long for the days of grueling grinds and oppressive content.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

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