I consider myself a pretty smart guy. I’ve got a top University degree, I spend all day working with things called variables and trying to come up with hilarious innuendo function names (seriously, any computer system that has a “back end” and “members” functionality is just asking for it), and I occasionally write using the word “one” instead of “you” just like the Queen does. I’m also rather modest but that’s besides the point. But honest to God I have no idea how the European distribution of MMOs works sometimes.
Archive for 2010
It’s been my personal experience that MMOs are hugely habitual things. They provide us with a constant activity and unending goals all of which combine perfectly with our innate human desire to form routines. In many ways they’re like a giant comfort blanket and throughout all of my years of playing MMORPGs I’ve found that I easily (and totally subconsciously) create a routine around my chosen game. Whether that was my core games like Everquest in my hugely free student years, Everquest 2 in my early working years or now games like WoW and EVE in my more busy family man years, I always end up with some sort of scheduled game time that I stick to like clockwork or suffer the consequence of ultimate nerd shame. I am obviously a man of habit but how much of my gaming is actually motivated by fun rather than simply routine?
Maybe it’s just my imagination but the MMO industry seems to be quite brutal these days. Harsh words are spoken on a consistent basis by both amateurs and professionals, whether that be bloggers, podcasters, reviewers or the guys and gals who actually work in the industry and there’s almost no room for error on any front. The smallest mistake, the slightest dent in quality, the least amount of inconvenient downtime are all slammed by critics and met with unsympathetic battle cries. It’s a tough genre to crack and MMOs, in almost all cases, live or die by their initial reception.
So of course the big news this week was the appearance of a anonymous blogger called EA Louse (it’s a play on the original EA Spouse name – apparently EA Grouse didn’t have the right ring to it) who proceeded to spill the beans on everything that went wrong at Mythic during the development of Warhammer Online. See, Louse was just told he’s going to be laid off and is, as one would imagine, a little disgruntled by the fact. His post provoked a huge reaction across the blog and gaming spheres (presumably because Cataclysm won’t be out for another couple of months and there’s nothing as exciting to talk about) and has drummed up plenty of drama. In other, less dramatic, news WoW patch 4.01 came out and yes, I’m still currently trying to download it all on my computers. Huzzah for things being easy (although I did discover that the new installer is far quicker than patching an existing installation – don’t ask how I know that because I will probably cry).
I’ve got to admit, when I first heard that EVE was updating it’s character protrait creation system in the Incursion expansion I was not expecting anything close to what CCP are releasing. I was, without a doubt, blown completely away.
Even though I like to sometimes get on my high horse about old school games and mechanics of yesteryear, I’m a big ol’ softie at heart and, deep down, I absolutely adore frolicking around newbies zones with the extra special alt I’ve just created. After all of the stresses of guild management, raiding and loot ladder climbing, there’s something quite blissful about the starting levels of games. A day in noob town is like a day on the farm. Every kill is epic, every loot drop a fortune, every ding a parade. I love low level.
This week’s been pretty exciting as it (finally) saw the announcement of the much anticipated Cataclysm release date. Love or hate WoW, December 7th is going to be a pretty big date in everybody’s calendar and going to be tremendously hard to ignore. Servers will crash, children will scream, parents will cry and the gates of Chaos shall be opened upon us all. In other, totally and completely unrelated news, DCU Online was delayed until early next year.
Anyhoo, this weeks BotR sees a rather random bunch of articles picked for their interest, wittery and entertainment. Expect chin stroking and cajones. Plenty of cajones.