Blog is one year old!

•January 4, 2009 • 8 Comments

My blog is now 1 years old. Hooray. I started with this blog to have a place to safe my own thoughts on MMOs, at the same time I started a second blog for all non-gaming stuff. And I’m still posting on both blogs. Hooray. I guess I started to blog more about games in general than just MMOs, as I haven’t played MMOs all that much this year. EVE Online is rather time-consuming and I haven’t let myself play too much games, always lacking time and all that, even while I don’t have much responsibilities at all. Ah well, time goes fast, it’s the old story.

I’m very glad I started blogging. It feels good to have a personal place like this. It’s good to put your thoughts on a (virtual) paper, as writing it down forces you to articulate what would otherwise remain just an abstract thought in the back your mind. Writing this down reminds me that I really should post more. There is some stuff that I’ve wanted to write about and actually started this blog for, but haven’t….. yet. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to write about. But I’ve just looked back at my own posts, it seems there are 45 of them, which isn’t all that bad at all.

As for my other blog. I’ve posted less on it, often youtube links and other stuff I want to share. And it also has a lot less readers. I do want to post more on it and also want to improve my writing capabilities on bigger more opinionated pieces. Ah well, I want I want, etc.

Anyway. 45 posts. 96 comments. 13,524 views. 68 subscribers to the feed in Google Reader. That’s quite nice, didn’t expect so much myself. Most popular post was testing FW on SiSi, which got linked all over the internet, I guess I got the scoop on the Factional Warfare stuff. Hilarious thing is that people still almost daily search ‘what a shame deus ex’ and visit my youtube-summary on that.

Ah well. Here’s for another year. Thanks for reading.

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2009 Predictions

•December 30, 2008 • 9 Comments

Yes, lets do those. It’ll be fun to look back at them next year.

1. Darkfall Online will finally come out on the 22nd January. While there will be some server problems during the launch that stop people of logging in the first few days, it’ll turn out to be indeed quite a good game. People will finally have their fantasy sandbox game, epic player-created stories will emerge. While the graphics, UI and overall harshness will put a lot of people off, the game will fulfill a strong niche. Subscription numbers will grow throughout the year, but won’t go above 150k.

2. WoW: No expansions in 2009, WoW’s subscription numbers will finally go down.

3. Diablo III will come out at the end of the year and make people temporarily stop playing WoW and other games. The ‘MMO blogosphere’ will mostly blog exclusively about this game for several weeks.

4. Pirates of the Burning Sea will follow the way of Tabula Rasa and close it’s servers before the end of the year.

5. Age of Conan will survive 2009, but that’s pretty much it.

6. Major drama will emerge from Darkfall Online. Somewhere during the summer people will find out that the biggest clan, that is dominating biggest server and has over 50% of the land, has been exploiting. Conspiracy theories about involvement of Aventurine will be rumored around. Aventurine’s integrity will be questioned, but in the end they’ll be able to resolve the issue.

7. As being able to pay real money to transfer your character, change your name, buy pets and tabards from Ebay, change your characters’ appearance, change your characters’ sex etc obviously isn’t enough for the Activision-Blizzard shareholders, World of Warcraft will finally introduce real RMT. All capital cities will have a new goblin shop called Ol-Mart, where players are able to buy items, potions that increase xp-rate with 150% and other stuff for real money. Hey, where did we see that before? There’ll be a heated discussion in the ‘MMO blogosphere’ where people will cry murder and where the Blizz/RMT-supporters will receive several death-threats. It will however have no influence on WoW’s subscription numbers.

8. Jumpgate: Evolution will be reasonably successful and a lot of fun for a month or so, after that however people will see that there’s no real proper endgame besides repetitive mission-content and meaningless pvp without consequences.

9. World of Starcraft will be announced on Blizzcon ’09 and shock people as it is in a far more finished state than people expected. It’s innovation will be that it is a lot more more story-driven than WoW. Hey, where did we hear that before? The other innovation will be some sort of miniscale Planetside fps PvP, that is ultimately just as meaningless as WoW battlegrounds, except being a lot more fun.

10. EVE Online won’t be on the spotlights until the fall of 2009 when Ambulation is released, which will make a lot of people go ‘woah’. It’ll continue to grow steadily.

11. Oh, almost forgot World of Darkness. CCP will release lots of details in 2009 and show the game in a near-finished state. It’ll look amazing and appear to have the best MMO graphics so far, better than World of Starcraft even. EVE sandbox player-driveness meets vampires, game will allow Machiavellian player politics. Ooh, exciting.

There you go, lets see how right I was in December 2009. 😉

MMO fanboys – Darkfall Aint Like You

•December 21, 2008 • 2 Comments

“All I see are little MTV babies. Playing their little MTV games. That aint the fucking real world I was forced to see.”

I’m watching it for the third time now and still laughing out loud. Easily the most hilarious thing I’ve seen today so I thought it’d deserve a blog post. A terrible cliche hardcore-punk song (I even recognized it, it’s Blood for Blood) projected into a Darkfall vs Clichequest context. Amazing. I’m speechless. What makes people make these sort of videos? There are hundreds of fan-made trailers for Darkfall Online on youtube.  An unreleased game they haven’t even played. Just because of the sandbox concept and the features, a game like Darkfall Online deserves a lot of attention. But I struggle to understand these videos.

Look at the profile and the other videos made by this guy. Is he for real or is it just one very dedicated troll..? Entertaining nonetheless.

The Noob Comic and Darkfall

•December 1, 2008 • 8 Comments

You might have heard of The Noob Comic before. If not, it’s a comic about MMOs or well, mostly a comic that ridicules the Clichequests in a lighthearted way. Not many spaceships-related jokes sadly. Anyway, the maker is apparently a friend of some developers of Darkfall and is because of that allowed to breach the NDA. Aha. No idea why there aren’t any ‘proper’ journalists writing about the game as they are invited to play the game in Athens. (I’m looking at you, RPS)

Not much stuff on the Noob Comic preview site yet, but it should be updated regularly. Check it here.

Black Mesa: Half-Life 2 mod

•December 1, 2008 • 1 Comment

Okay. I usually do not post news about singleplayer games with info you can find on any gamenews website, but I just need to get this off my chest. I just the trailer for the Black Mesa mod, you know, that mod that completely remade Half-Life 1 in the new HL2 Source engine, been in production for years without much info updates and supposedly probably never came out.

But this trailer.. Holy shit, I’m rewatching and rewatching it in disbelief. It looks insanely good. It looks better than friggin’ HL2: Episode 2. Heck, it looks as good as any big-budget game comming out these days.

And it’s made by modders. You know, unpaid volunteers. Wow.

Anyway. Click. (Or Click for youtube, as link doesn’t appear to be working right now.)

Darkfall Online Beta Reports

•November 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Okay. No need to be skeptical anymore. This is not vapourware. I haven’t played it myself yet (and even if I would have, I wouldn’t write that down here for obvious reasons. 😉 , but I am officially psyched about this game. Fuck. Just read these quotes of beta-testers here. I know you could argue it’s a bit dubious to have the community manager pick the NDA-breaching quotes of testers, but still seems valid enough to me. Seems this game is going to revolutionize the MMO genre. And that of an indepedent unknown game-developer, I guess there’s more than one CCP. Anyway:

Overall Impressions:

Overall we’ve been getting very good feedback about the game, we were hard pressed to find anything negative and actually had to dig for it and to ask a few times for something more critical.

The World-Graphics-Technology

The consensus about the graphics is that they’re much better than expected, something we’ve been saying all along. The game has been very stable and smooth overall, even in the full debug mode it’s running in. We’re experiencing really good gameplay from all over the world, even though our beta servers are in Germany, we’ve had no problems reported by testers in Western N. America, or in the Far East.

AI

The AI has been reported very tough, even the newbie AI. When they’re very damaged they flee and are hard to catch up to. We’ve done some tweaking and as the players familiarize themselves with the game more, they seem to be enjoying the experience. Again these are not your run of the mill MMOG AI.

Controls

We started out the beta without any instructions whatsoever. This was done to assess the intuitiveness of the game. Darkfall isn’t like your average MMOG. There is a lot you can do in it and an unprecedented level of control. As such, you have a lot more controls and UI feedback you need to navigate. It has to be said that you can remap everything to your liking, and you can move everything around and set-up transparency on all the GUI elements. While there’s quite a lot of tweaking to be done, we’ve found that after the initial shock, the GUI and controls works well for the players.

It seems that the people having most trouble with the lack of documentation are players of other MMOG games. Those who play FPS games have reported fewer problems with the GUI and controls. However this is the area where we had the most criticism, so we’re looking at ways of improving the understanding for the new player.

PvP – Looting

We’ve been wiping characters very often so it’s still hard for the testers to dive headfirst into PvP. We expect a lot more feedback in the very near future.

Crafting

The testers haven’t been reporting on crafting much yet. I suppose you start delving in it after you check out the basics, so we expect more on this soon.

Hype! Hype! Hype!

Quantam Rise and EVE FPS?

•November 11, 2008 • 1 Comment

There’s a lot of details from FanFest which you can find elsewhere on the internet and I might post my thoughts on all this new info later, but one of the most interesting newsbits was CCP claiming to be working on 5 projects. One is obviously EVE Online, second is World of Darkness and the third one appears to be some sort of FPS in the EVE universe. The other two? No idea.

But the EVE fps.. There’s barely any info on it, and it’s claimed to be a mix of Halo and Planetside. I personally hope it’s a lot like the latter there. But while watching the new Quantam Rise trailer again, but now in decent quality from the downtimenews page, I saw something quite interesting. Somewhere in the middle they show some planetary action with airplanes, tanks and infantry. I just thought that this might just as well be done ingame in their new project, look at this:

quantamrisefps

Hmm. Looks interesting. Guess it also means Mr Kador actually invaded a Gallente planet.

It’s probably also a good idea to check the downtimenews page today, as it’s probably updated with news-reports again during this patch-day like during the Empyrean Age patch.