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Posts with tag lotro

Last Week on Massively: Drifting back to World of Warcraft

This post originally appeared on Massively from Editor-in-Chief Brianna Royce. At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO story last week, you've come to the right post.

This week, World of Warcraft saw subscriptions rise to 7.4 million ahead of its long-awaited pre-Warlords of Draenor patch. Meanwhile, news rolled in from EVE Vegas, where CCP and players discussed the ships of the Rhea update, the allure of spaceship spreadsheets, the importance of community involvement, and the new player experience and potential for permadeath.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

Last Week on Massively: Play it again, Guild Wars 2

GW2
This post originally appeared on Massively from Editor-in-Chief Brianna Royce. At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO story last week, you've come to the right post.

This week, ArenaNet launched the second season of Guild Wars 2's living story, introducing the first part of a new zone, Dry Top, to the almost-two-year-old MMO. Don't worry if you miss an installment, however; the new living journal will allow you to replay past storylines, nullifying complaints about temporary content.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

Breakfast Topic: Would you pay for extras in a F2P 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.

Lord of the Rings Online went free-to-play. "Free" is a questionable term, since they charge you for a fee for features you can technically live without but are still fairly important; things such as the gold cap, the ability to gain rested XP, and certain instances and PvP options require a fee. You get an enhanced version slightly above a trial, but you are still limited in what you can do in the free-to-play version of the game.

While playing a game, I want to play the whole game, have the entire experience, and not feel as if I have been shortchanged by being on a limited version. Personally having purchased some of the Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age DLC, I would still have to pay for the added functionality. Not being able to fully advance my character and see large amounts of content would irritate me more than the cost would. Not being allowed to make use of content would make me feel like I was missing out.

I want the choice of whether or not I do this instance, raid, or battleground. Could you imagine attempting to zone into Icecrown Citadel and seeing a message that says, "Requires a V.I.P. membership"? WoW has sold us a few items for extra money that are not required, but not having a Lil' XT or a sparkle pony doesn't affect your game functionality.

LOTRO offers things like more bag spaces and removing the gold cap and even priority login for those with V.I.P. accounts. So if World of Warcraft decided to follow the LOTRO model and go semi-free-to-play, would you just play the free portion? Would you pay for the V.I.P. portion? Would you buy the other nickel and dime upgrades they have on top of that? Or would you quit WoW altogether, feeling as if Blizzard had shortchanged players by making us pay for things like bag space, PvP and raid availability?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

PAX East 2010: Turbine on renting vs. owning in the MMO market

Blizzard's presence at PAX East 2010 was even smaller than I was expecting, with two or so Community reps there to oversee the StarCraft II tournaments going on. Boston-based Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine, though, had a very large demo area which saw a lot of traffic over the course of the three-day event. Con-goers could stop by and demo LotRO, as well as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, and hobnob with the Community reps and developers present.

With the WoW-specific news at the event registering somewhere between "literally nothing" and "nearly nothing" on the newsy scale, I decided to stop by Turbine and ask them a few questions about their MMOs. I ended up speaking with their Design Director, Ian Currie.

"I'm from WoW.com," I said, "so obviously I don't normally do a lot of reporting on your games. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever even played DDO, and I've only played a little bit of LotRO."

Currie smiled and said "You really don't know what you're missing, then, do you!"

"Apparently not," I acquiesced, "but maybe you can help fill in the blanks."

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Filed under: Events, Interviews

LotRO-style achievements coming to Wrath?


One thing I like about the history of MMO development so far (and game development in general, I suppose) is the tradition of borrowing the best parts of other games for your own games. Heck, WoW (as it's often said) had very little in the way of sheer newness when it was launched; rather, it polished and perfected concepts and trends started in Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, and others. If you are willing to do a little interpretation on some leaked screenshots from the Wrath alpha, it looks like Blizzard will be adapting another feature into WoW, this one familiar from Lord of the Rings Online (and Xbox Live): achievements.

Basically, an achievement is an unlockable something, unlocked by reaching a certain goal. That's a vague definition, so here are some example goals hinted at by what's leaked out:

  • Reveal the whole map of Outland
  • Do at least one daily quest a day for five days
  • Get a character to level 80 on both factions

Achievements are clearly not yet implemented, even in the beta; many of the numbers in the screenshots are placeholder values, and the rewards for completing the achievements, whatever they may be, are completely unknown. It does look like there is a point system – the UI implies that each of the above achievements is rewarded with 50 points – but what might these points be used to purchase? Well, gear, most likely, but it's also possible that they may be a way to get prestige items, like special mounts or titles. Either way, I welcome yet another advancement path; more importantly, achievements are just plain fun!

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors, Achievements

Blizzard needs to steal character customization Ideas from other MMORPGs

The idea of being able to customize your character's look and feel beyond choosing one of 4 or 5 basic face and hairstyle choices at character creation or upgrading to a new piece of loot is one that's near and dear to me. I'm an RPer, so I like to think of each of my characters as a unique person with unique quirks, ideas, and fashion sense that I can't always express as I'd like to due to the limitations of WoW's mechanics. I've even had some very good friends quit WoW because their characters weren't customizable enough.

The idea came to the front of my mind a few weeks back when I was visiting my brother. We played EverQuest together, but when it came time to move on from that game, he (and most of our EQ guild) chose Everquest 2, and I chose WoW. So, of course, he ribs me about it quite often, and since I was visiting, he decided to load up EQ2 and show me what I was "missing."

Now to be honest, I'm still a bigger fan of WoW, but that's a subject for a different article. One thing I will say for EQ2 is that I was very impressed with the wider range of options to customize your character and show off your character's accomplishments. There's a few ideas related to character customization from EQ2 and other games that I'd really like Blizzard to continue emulating in future patches and in the WoTLK expansion that I believe would deepen the game experience for me and my friends, and for many other players as well.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Expansions, Factions, RP

Tigole hits the forums


Tigole has been busy on the forums today, and that always tends to bring out interesting tidbits about the future of our favorite game. While it is certainly not earth-shattering, the most interesting thing that he mentions has to do with the future of the PVP battlemasters. In patch 2.4 these guys will be put on a pedestal, literally. Much like the auctioneers in many cities, the battlemasters will be placed on a raised platform that is inaccessible to players in order to keep people from blocking them with their character's model. He also hints that Wrath will see even better improvements. This is certainly a welcome change to remove a minor annoyance that is sometimes imposed upon us by our fellow players.

Other posts hint at the future of guild banks, the title system, and a possible reward for Wrath's Lake Wintergrasp. First of all, he mentions that they're "exploring" the option to allow guild masters to set prices for items in the guild bank. I know in my guild this would be great for the guild leader, since it would probably save him a lot of time in the auction house and also provide an easy solution to those situations where he gets a valuable item and is not sure how to distribute it to the rest of the guild. I imagine that this could be exploited, to an extent, by guild leaders who might suddenly slap a price on everything in the bank rather than allowing free withdrawals, but that would probably fix itself over time as people leave the guild and/or stop donating to the bank.

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Filed under: Patches, Guilds, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Is real money for game items in our future?


No, this isn't something Blizzard is telling us -- they're still out there fighting with the issue of people buying and selling gold. However, Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer of Lord of the Rings Online, who seems to think that in the future, how MMO's handle the secondary market of gold, item, and character sales is going to have to change. In an interview with Eurogamer, he says:

But, we all know that something will happen in the next two to five years to business models in general, so we're paying attention to what's going on [with the secondary market]; watching what's going on with Sony Station whose servers support and manage this.

Does Steefel have a point? In the long run, is the only way to fight the secondary market to legalize it and integrate it with our games? But even if you look at Everquest II, where Sony provides an official method for selling gold, items, and characters for real cash, there's still a secondary market. And I've got to say, if Sony's method doesn't stop secondary market gold sales, I've got to wonder if any method of legitimizing the trade will. And while we wait to see what Steefel decides to do with Lord of the Rings Online, we can watch Blizzard approach the problem in their own way -- in the courts.

[Via Joystiq]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy

BBC reports on upcoming WoW competition

Slashdot is linking this morning to an article that BBC has posted today which gathers views from several game developers as they talk about what comes next when you have a behemoth such as the World of Warcraft dominating the MMO-verse. While somewhat light on new perspectives, it's just further showing that developers really do have to account for WoW when considering their existing and future software offerings.

Though the article talks with people behind Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings Online, and the upcoming Age of Conan, I find that Slashdot commenter JanusFury sums it up best with, "Instead of complaining about the lack of a strong competitor to WoW, how about making one?"

What's on your MMO horizon as a WoW-killer? Does anything coming up, or existing on the market now, have a powerful enough hook to pull you away from the World of Warcraft? Obviously, if you look at the included image, you know what I'm waiting for.

[via Slashdot]

Filed under: News items

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