Russel Shanks of DayBreak Games took the interwebs today to announce the company’s cancellation of it’s flagship game, EverQuest Next. EverQuest Next was to be the continuation of the EverQuest franchise, which ushered MMOs through their infancy into the genre that it is today. Early journalist review said it was like nothing in the genre, with an interactivity and responsiveness in world AI that didn’t exist anywhere else. The news comes as a blow to MMO gamers, and raises larger questions about what the future of DayBreak Games is, if any at all. Continue reading “DayBreak Games Cancels Flagship game EverQuest Next”→
When it comes to ‘balance’ in a game, everyone is an arm-chair developer. Reading forums, you’d think that creating class balance was the easiest thing in the world, and it would be so obvious when class balance is off. That rogue who can stock lock you for 4.5 seconds once every 10 minutes is clearly overpowered! Healers shouldn’t be able to heal themselves in PvP because it’s unbalanced and they can’t be killed. There are a thousand examples that anyone with keyboard and a tenuous grasp on the English language will give you, often whether you want them or not.
MMOs have gone through many changes over the years, both good and bad. But there’s been at least one change that I think has left us worse than we were before–DPS. DPS (Damage-per-second for the uninitiated) has become the bane of the MMO genre. We have become so obsessed with this one concept that it has changed the way MMOs are designed, consumed, and critiqued–and not to our benefit. Now before you start foaming at the mouth – hear me out and let me explain myself. Let’s look at beginning years, hopefully without the rose-colored glasses this time.
The New Xbox One is announced, and it seems to do the same old, same old.
So the Xbox Reveal just finished, and the Xbox 720 is actually named Xbox One (which won’t at all get confusing with the original Xbox … nope, zero chance of confusion there). I wanted to get down some of my initial impressions while they were still fresh.
I’m ridiculously geeked for the new Pokemon games — and now literal pokemon mounts?! Multiple Pokedex’s in just one game?! The collection addict in my just squee’d and wet itself a little bit. Catch the video from the Escapist below. The rideable pokemon featured is “GoGoat” cause it’s a goat …. that goes (as they so eloquently say in the video :-)). Also, it makes me hungry for yogurt.
So, I received a few comments on Part 1 and Part 2 that I was being entitled, elitist, pretty much a general asshole–all these things that I really wasn’t intending and definitely don’t think of myself as being when I was trying to talk about Accessibility in MMOs. My bad. So I decided to write a 3 part to this series to hopefully clear up some of the concepts that I didn’t do a good job of communicating the first time. Continue reading “Accessibility in MMOs – Part 3”→
Update 4/1/2013: So, it sounds like I might not have correctly conveyed me intent with this second half of the piece. I’ll write a follow up that will hopefully clarify my thoughts, and make me look like less an elitist bastard.
This is Part 2 of a 2 Part series on Accessibility in MMOs – read Part One here.
What WoW attempted to do to offset the accessibility swathe was to create different tiers of difficulty for gamers corresponding to how much effort they put into the game. For the top tier there was Hard mode raiding, middle tier was regular raiding, middle lower tier was heroic dungeons (generally speaking, of course). But this tiered approach misses the mark in that it still assumes the lowest common denominator. You have to turn on the heroics in the dungeons, or the hard modes in the raids. The core game play is still geared towards the player wants the lowest common denominator. You have to essentially *ask* for things to be harder. Continue reading “Accessibility in MMOs – Part 2”→
This is the first part of a two part series on Accessibility in MMOs, using World of Warcraft as the critical piece. The second half of this piece will be published next week.
I stumbled across this video from Preach about the evolution of World of Warcraft, and more importantly the concept of the Journey in MMOs. Preach makes some valid points about the direction of WoW and accessibility in his video, and I don’t want to rehash them–you can just watch it, and I think you should. So I’ll let you do that.
OK – I’m sure you heard a little bit of whining in there about accessibility and the evils therein. I think preach oversimplifies the situation in WoW’s case because he doesn’t mention things like Deadly Boss Mods, QuestHelper, Carbonite as mods that make the game VASTLY easier than what it was before. Last I checked, things like DBM and Omen and similar addons were required to raid. Add in the fact that most of their betas are open, encounters well documented, and boss’s challenged hundreds if not thousands of times before the actual content even hits live servers and most players just have a cookie cutter model of following instructions. Sites WoWhead, WowWiki, and Thottbot show every aspect of the game down to the most minute detail and are only a google search away. Is it really any wonder, even apart from increased accessibility, the players complain of the game “dumbing down” or too easy? Continue reading “Accessibility in MMOs – Part 1”→