[Links] Diablo III without PvP, ME3 Morality, Journey, LOTRO

Blizzard announced (if announced is the right word) last week that D3 will be shipping without PvP. While waiting till just before release to announce that ‘major’ game features are being dropped does smack of panic (better planning/ management would have involved making that announcement sooner), I don’t remotely see this as a bad thing.

Surely no one was planning on playing Diablo 3 because of the PvP. Were they? The whole point of that game genre is solo and group PvE. Yes, there were facilities in Diablo/ Diablo 2 to have a random punchfest but if you wanted a better PvP experience that involves loot gathering then just about any MMO would offer it. (Yes, that is a reflection on how poor Diablo PvP has been.)

So now Blizzard can get the game released sooner rather than later in a state which the VAST majority of players would have wanted, and then fix up PvP arenas later on. The great bonus though is that PvP does seem to attract the most colossal tossers (nothing personal to PvP fans, just the communities get toxic) so if any of those give D3 a pass then that’s hardly a bad thing either.

It probably will affect the auction house, though. PvP players wanting better gear for PvP without having to grind PvE for it would have been a significant market. Stabs analyses this briefly in his new D3 blog and concludes it’s not a big deal. And meanwhile, Blizzard are making the best of a non-ideal situation by being able to talk up how great the PvP will be when it does come in a later patch – arenas, achievements, matchmaking.

Meanwhile, Blizzard have a new offer for returning players to WoW which involves a free level 80 character, and also a server/ faction transfer thrown in. I have seen this touted as being a great deal, but that really depends on whether you wanted another level 80 and if you have characters scattered over servers and factions that you’d want reunited. Having said that, the Cataclysm levelling zones were quite fun if you haven’t seen them.

I think I am surprised at how popular this Scroll of Resurrection has been. Were there really that many people who hadn’t seen Cataclysm yet and really wanted to? Evidently so, or else people are using the scroll for their alt accounts (why you would need an alt account for WoW is beyond me, but whatever.)

Although let me be the first to say that the new mount that existing players who refer an old one using the SoR get looks extremely dumb when it is being ridden. Ghost fliers sound great until you realise your character will be flying around legs akimbo looking like a tit. Flaming hippogryph forever!

More links

Boatorious has issues with the ME3 morality meter. Should a hardened soldier still feel bad when s/he kills people? I would say yes, it’s basic humanity to feel bad about killing, but then I’m not Commander Shepard. Bioware’s morality choices do tend to highlight when the writer’s values conflict with the players’.

Syl blogs about Journey, the upcoming (as in ‘this week’) PS3 release from thatgamecompany. I have been jonesing to play this game since I saw it last year at conventions, so will hopefully be talking about that later this week. It was a ravishingly peaceful and beautiful demo, what can I say?

Milady watched the recent Big Bang Theory episode that features SWTOR and wants to know why female gamers are portrayed as spoiling the experience for the guys.

Turbine does seem to be dancing with the boundaries of acceptable F2P content at the moment. Player vs Developer looks at a recent feature which fixes an existing design issue … for those who are willing to pay.

If you haven’t read this yet, Apple Cider Mage posts a brave account of her experiences of being harassed in and out of WoW, and also a guide on how to deal with internet harassment.

Gevlon has unleashed himself on EVE and is posting his thoughts and tips as he learns the game. Comments on those posts by EVE vets are incredibly harsh given that he’s a new player and is picking things up quickly. (Maybe it’s his manner, but they come across as utterly despising of newbies.)

Speaking of EVE, this is a piece that The Mittani wrote comparing communities that form in game with communities that form out of game. I think I will follow this up in a later post, but it’s very much a feature of new MMOs these days that many players will be members of existing communities that met outside the game and then formed guilds to play with. It does affect the play experience, since those players have no need to form social links in game. But to more social players, forming links in game and making new friends is part of the fun of playing MMOs…