Posts are likely to be getting more sparse over the next few months since I’m back at college. This is going to be challenging not just because of blogging but also because of Diablo 3 and SWTOR. I’m all for casual gaming but how easy is it to play games THIS casually – we’ll find out!
CCP/ White Wolf made some announcements about their Vampire/ World of Darkness MMO at the recent Grand Masquerade (thread includes comments from someone who was there at the time). I don’t see any clear and actual signs that this game is anything more than vapourware yet. For a start, there’s no actual internet official announcement, just a few interviews they have given to fan sites. And also, the concept sounds … obscured. They want a hardcore LARP style game, but also the possibility to just hang out and chat/ RP socially.
Usually Vampire style games accomplish this by nominating some safe zones (or Elysiums in WW-speak) where vampires aren’t allowed to fight. But a hardcore core game might also attract gonzo griefers like Goons et al, and I can’t imagine them leaving the RPers to posture in peace. Anyhow, still no dates for this one or any demos other than pretty graphics, so I’m comfortable leaving it on the ‘probably won’t happen’ pile for now.
Who are these people who want difficult MMOs?
If you want your MMOs to be difficult in any sense other than socially then you have my permission to leave already and go to a game designed more specifically for ‘gamers’. You won’t ever have to worry about annoyances like story or lore any more.
The one unique selling point for MMOs has always been the virtual world and being able to be part of a virtual community. Pushing hardcore game mechanics on top of that has never really been a comfortable fit. Activities that busy people around the game world are good, especially if they are thematic. This is why we shouldn’t be so down on the concept of grinds. But I don’t see where intellectual difficulty became some holy grail for MMOs – it should be difficulty enough building that community and organising things together.