That bastard stole my name
I can’t play characters that don’t have good names. I don’t know why but it’s just wrong somehow. To me, the name of my avatar embodies his personality, his spirit, his role. Call it roleplaying on a low level nature. I don’t walk around spouting “hail, kind sir” or what-not but I absolutely have to a name that suits my character. Very occasionally comedic, often always serious, the name has to be right because without one, I simply won’t make the character or, worse yet, find myself deleting them after a few hours of play.
So many times I’ve had an itch to try a new class but have put it off for weeks because I just couldn’t come up with a name that felt right. Other times I’ve sat staring at the character creation screen for what felt likes hours on end just trying to come up with a name I liked and wasn’t taken. It’s not as easy as one might think. Thinking up with a suitable name that fits the race, class and my imaginary background for my proposed character can be rather tricky.
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I know what you're thinking but the game is nowhere as fun as this screenshot makes it look
I believe in an effect called critical mass, particularly in social dynamics, especially when applied online. The more momentum something gains, the more likely is it to succeed and the more likely it is to generate it’s own self-momentum and perpetual growth. There comes a special point though, a moment in time when a certain number or percentage or stage is reached when this snow ball effect actually kicks in and the appropriate critical mass required has been achieved.
Usually the expression critical mass is expressed in a positive way (except of course when you’re talking about meteors plummeting towards the Earth and what not) and it can applied to a whole variety of situations. Web sites, for instance, have a critical mass and when a certain number of visitors have taken notice of a particular site, it becomes somewhat easier for that site to get noticed. It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, one that makes perfect logical sense – the more people tweeting, liking, +1′ing, commenting and generally discussing something, the more people will sit up and take a peak. It’s exponential growth.
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Tier 13 armour. Suddenly my level 85 Warrior is completely obsolete.
Maybe hate is a bit too strong a word but ironically enough, for someone who’s been an avid (very avid) MMOer since 1999, I’ve come to realise lately just how much I dislike the end game of the traditional MMORPG. So much so in fact that in my recent return to WoW in the past month I’ve taken to deleting my high level characters and making new alts instead.
It’s not just that I find the low level game in WoW more fun than the high level, I think I actually feel that way about pretty much every MMO. If I look back at my history of playing, ever since the original Everquest, I’ve always preferred the journey of leveling up, or even low level PvP, to that of the end game. In EQ2, for example, all I pretty much did was re-roll alts with my guild so we could have fun with the low level world PvP. Unfortunately though it seems also like a lot of games are becoming more top heavy now by making the leveling process faster than ever before and creating more and more grind locks at max level to keep folk from leaving when they hit the cap. I’m not trying to pick on it but obviously WoW is the main offender in this area.
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Diablo 3. The MMORPG of tomorrow.
For a long time people have pondered the idea of MMOs that didn’t utilise the traditional Holy Trinity model of playing (i.e. groups requiring a tank, healer and DPS classes… although interesting enough the original Holy Trinity included crowd control instead of DPS but I digress) and wondered if games could ever exist without it. While some MMORPGs skirted around this idea of trying something new, to my knowledge none of ever fully succeeded in breaking away from it. Yet. Indeed, I believe that Blizzard are going to be the first to do so and, just like the huge number of industry trends they set with WoW (love ‘em or hate ‘em), I have little doubt that they are ultimately going to be the ones responsible for killing the Holy Trinity off for good.
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EVE Online. Where being an investment banker makes you bad ass.
So apparently there was another bank heist in EVE Online, this time the biggest, craziest, most scandalicious ever seen in New Eden (they always say that though). Except heist is completely the wrong word for it because using that term conjures up connotations of an exciting bank job undertaken by a team of charismatic scoundrels (probably sporting pencil thin moustaches, slicked back hair and suave British accents), fighting against the odds to break into some deeply secured bank vault and then escaping with their lives after an exhilarating fire fight. That didn’t happen here.
Instead what really happened was a scam, pure and simple, and a pretty obvious one at that. Based upon the classic Ponzi scheme (he says as if he’s an old hand at conning people), the two chaps who perpetrated the fraud, Mordor and Eddie, ran a simple business of offering to accept other player’s investment and then paying out 5% interest on their funds back to them every week, y’know just like a bank. If any banks in the world were actually offering 5% interest that is. After a few months though the dirty duo closed up shop, said cheerio, and walked off with all the money everyone had ever deposited with them.
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Jedi are always the first to be picked for basketball teams
Star Wars: The Old Republic is going to be huge. I unequivocally guarantee it*. EA are playing a strategy so perfect it would make a Russian chess master blush. Everything from the design of the game and its IP to their business model and hype tactics is utterly flawless. If SW:TOR doesn’t crack at least a million subscribers and manage to to gain a foothold against WoW, I don’t think anything ever will.
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Nothing says MMO shooter innovation like an image of two futuristic combatants with laser pistols in tech armour
An interesting announcement the other day saw the news that Trion, of RIFT fame, are developing a new shooter MMO. Call me nostalgic/cynical/unimaginative but immediately after reading a little bit about it my mind jumped to visions of Tabula Rasa 2, not just because it’s a futuristic third person twitch based shooter about a war, or set shortly after one, between humans and aliens (why is it we can just never got along with those bloody aliens?!) but also due my visions of its impending doom. MMO shooters plain don’t work… will this one buck the trend?
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