harlequeen @ flickr (Brought to you by otters)
So this is the second links post of the year so far, and unlike the gaming news links of last week, what I’m aiming to do with the regular general links posts is simply to highlight blog posts and articles that have grabbed me. Because I’m aiming to save up a month’s worth of tagged content, some of these blog posts won’t be ultra recent but I like to think the better ones improve with time. Let’s see how we go!
Omali at MMO Fallout talks about Random Events in Runescape and how he thinks Jagex have evolved them over the years.
Overly Positive is a community mod blog, and in this post Frank discusses how mods deal with “I quit!” posts. Anyone ever written an “I quit” post on a public forum? I know I never have. I generally just quit without a fuss.
Community people are always interested in why people decide to leave a game they represent, which is why all the people who inevitably respond to “I quit” posts with the notion that they should somehow shut up, go away, go back to WoW or whatever else, doesn’t really help us.
Terra Silverspar is cautious about The Elder Scrolls Online, and explains what Zenimax would have to do to change this to optimism.
The Pensive Harpy begs for an end of cinematic CGI trailers for MMOs.
Sure, they look really cool, and can thrill the imagination. But they have ZERO bearing on the actual game, and they show nothing of significance about the gameplay (you know, the bit that actually matters?). The more slick and impressive one is the more I think "How much money was wasted on making this rather than being invested in something useful for the game?"
Green Armadillo has been playing SWTOR and TSW recently, among other games, and weighs in on how he thinks the monetisation schemes are working out. I personally do struggle to write about monetisation at the moment, and it is partly because I know that SWTOR and GW2 are making a lot of money from selling random lootboxes, but I cannot understand the motivation of players to spend upwards of $100 per month on random loot boxes! I just don’t get it. How is that fun? But there are a large number of players who do this, enough to keep games viable.
I have new theories about both games… neither of which would be good news for me as a customer of both products. I get the impression that SWTOR is heavily dependent on its cosmetic item gambling packs and that TSW appears to be running a fire sale to keep the lights on for a few more months before going under.
He has had a blistering good blogging month, and another blog I want to pick out is his takedown of Marvel Heroes and the decision not to pre purchase.
smakendahed is struggling with GW2, he plays characters up to the mid 20s-30s but can’t seem to stick at it any longer than that. Here is his discussion of his experiences and a plea for others to explain what motivates them in the game. (For me, it was the people I was playing with.)
I have no motivation to advance to the cap or continue playing once I’ve gotten far enough to see how a class plays and gain most of the abilities that interest me.
j3w3l is also musing on the state of GW2.
For a game claiming to be the evolution of the genre I’m not actual very sure as to the way it did. They abandoned ideals that were working well, and created solutions to problems no one was having.
Psychochild writes about the grind in MMOs, and particularly with reference to GW2. He ponders how things can turn from new/fun into dull grind from a player perspective and thinks about what Arenanet could to do perk things up.
I keep wanting to write about The Walking Dead, and keep telling myself I should wait until I’ve finished the game first. (Short version: it’s amazing.) Currently I am about to start Chapter 3, and I find I need a break between chapters as it’s quite traumatic. Syp describes his experiences with the game and in particular how the choices made in game have affected him.
Nick Dinicola explains why he thinks driving games and open worlds shouldn’t mix, in the process discussing what he thinks the core themes of an open world game really are.
A good open world will get you to stop at least once to admire the environment. There’s always one spot from which we can see the whole world, and it is in this moment that it hits us that this is all open to us, that we can go anywhere. An open world should give us a sense of majesty and wonder while providing lots of gameplay options.
Vixsin is impressed by how many goals she still has in MoP after reaching the end of Tier 14 progression. (She wrote this last month so may have run out of goals since then ). She’s not completely uncritical, but pretty positive about the experience so far.
Stormy at Scribblings on the Asylum Wall is angry at feeling pressured by Blizzard into doing PvP. There are two battlegrounds that you need to win as part of the legendary questline, plus various encouragements to PvP as part of the Domination Point questlines. I can sympathise with this, I don’t hate PvP as much as s/he does but that’s purely because I could get my battleground wins and then never go back again.
The Godmother ponders how people are going to gear new characters and alts in the next WoW patch.
Once LFR as it currently stands is relegated to ‘old content’ I’d expect no-one with a desire to competitively gear to want to set foot in one again, especially if you’ll need rep from the new instance to keep up with the Joneses. This means MSV, ToES and HoF will become ‘The Alt 25 Mans’, full of people wanting to gear their secondary characters: I’d suspect an increase in wipes and a decrease in decent group quality as a result.
Ted A. suggests a few possible improvements to LFR loot mechanics in WoW.
Keen argues that PvP isn’t necessary in MMOs. Which is interesting as it still seems fairly core on the feature list of most upcoming games.
I think a game designed solely around capturing people in the moment by creating a really rich PvE world is a something I can really enjoy. What does that mean? I guess I envision myself packing a bag full of resources, and setting off in a direction with friends to see what we can find. I like the idea of not knowing what’s out there, or not knowing when I’ll be back to town because the game — the world — is letting me go off and truly make the “player vs. environment” a reality. ((…)) Maybe that’s why I wish PvP was seen as less of a requirement. PvE has the ability to create a much better experience for me, and I wish those types of experiences would be developed further even with the risk.
Pete at Dragonchasers, a self described ‘casual shooter fan,’ finds that F2P games can keep him happily amused. But he wonders what kind of an impact they will have in the long term, and how devs will lure casual players to pay for what they can currently get for free.
I wonder if there are enough serious shooter fans to support many big budget $60 games. It is my understanding (and I may be wrong) that game publishers need casual gamers to purchase their titles in order to thrive.
So in the future, how will these publishers lure in casuals like me? What are they going to offer me that I can’t get for free?
Jester is a really good EVE blogger, and to my mind he is at his strongest when writing about the big picture (and not so much about minor political disagreements between various EVE personas). This is a really good post where he ponders the three main goals for CCP this year. These are for Dust to launch successfully, attract new players to EVE, and keep the old EVE players happy. (A cynical reader might assume that the last two would be running goals anyway). Obviously CCP could have timed Dust better since it looks as though the PS4 is about to be announced …
The Angry Dwarf wonders what would be so awful if every game had a super easy mode.
Syncaine looks back on WAR (Warhammer Online) and remembers the good things about the game. I was and still am fond of the game, although I haven’t played it for ages. Plenty of commenters also chime in.
…if you look at what WAR brought to the genre, and compare it to SW:TOR or the ‘genre fixing’ GW2, WAR win’s in a landslide in terms of contribution. Public quests, evolving cities, how they did instanced PvP, the Tome of Knowledge, map functionality, etc. Yes, at the end of the day the game did not work enough to succeed, but many of its parts were brilliant and the blueprint going forward.
Syp lists 40 things he is looking forwards to with Wildstar. The astonishing thing to me is how negative most of the comments are. I get not agreeing with blog posts, but wow that’s some anti hype right there. Maybe it’s just the list posts people don’t like.