Brief posts: World of Darkness ‘news’, difficulty in MMOs

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.

CCP announces Vampire MMO! And it’s based on Masquerade.

bradstreetvamp Tim Bradstreet is one of the quintessential V:tM artists

Dear Mina,

Finally, the wait is over.


There will be a White Wolf/ CCP Vampire MMO, and it is due out in 2012 (at the earliest). The announcement was made at White Wolf’s Grand Masquerade event, as predicted, and is all over twitter on #grandmasquerade. There is not as yet a formal announcement on CCP or White Wolf’s website, but that surely to follow next week.

The big surprise for Vampire fans is that the game and lore will be based on White Wolf’s old Vampire: The Masquerade game, rather than the current reimagining which is called Requiem. This is great news for those who fondly remember the older game, who possibly outnumber current players. The setting will also be familiar to anyone who has played Bloodlines.


Another quote relayed from a convention goer reads:

WoDO going to focus on mystery, power, romance, danger. Three types of play: sandbox, theme park, coffee shop.

V:tM features a noirish, modern day setting in which vampires and their clans play a byzantine political game of cat and mouse for power and prestige, whilst at the same time battling to keep their own humanity alive. (In other words, this isn’t Twilight.) WW coined the word ‘gothicpunk’ to describe the genre and peppered the first edition with quotes from ‘edgy’ indie bands.

If you are curious to read more about the setting itself, White Wolf did produce a free introduction. If you’re not interested in the roleplaying rules just skip to the parts about the setting, the clans, and the story ideas and sample adventure.

Apparently the old V:tM books will also be back in print and available from White Wolf on a print on demand (PoD) basis.

Arb and I will be aiming to write up some more information about Vampire, and if you’d like to share your experiences with the game, or your favourite character or clan as a guest post, get in touch! The more the merrier!