Lord of the Rings Online hasn’t been en vogue in MMO circles recently, but that doesn’t mean that the game and its systems are all dried up. Kill Ten Rats argues that one of the title’s 2007 innovations, the fellowship maneuver, should be copied and improved by the current generation of online games.
“It is a great mechanic that raises the skill ceiling and rewards group play without punishing soloers,” Zubon posts. “This is a great way to support group play. It takes nothing away from solo players, but it provides a bonus to being in a group, and the bonus scales up with the group size.”
While you’re chewing on that thought, here are some more blog posts for your literary appetite. This week we’ll see how Villagers and Heroes is an undiscovered gem, tackle video game addiction (again), see more World of Warcraft flying drama, and even return to the pixelated world of Anarchy Online!
ChaosConstant might not mark Marvel Heroes as his all-time favorite MMO, but he’s downright impressed with Gazillion’s attitude and marketing saavy. I’ve been saying for a while now that other studios really need to take a page from what Gaz is doing with this game because it works for both the consumer and the company.
“The game basically rides on the goodwill of its players, and Gazillion knows it,” he writes. “They give away mountains of free stuff, not just through in-game drops, but daily login rewards and coupon codes through email blasts as well […] They do anything it takes to keep the player coming back. And the crazy thing is that it works.”
Did the recent announcement that the new graphics engine might be landing soon in Anarchy Online prompt you to reinstall it on your hard drive? It did for me at least, and I’m glad to see other gamers going back to this underappreciated title.
The team at How to Murder Time recorded the following 45-minute video that does a great job at both covering the changes that Funcom’s implemented as well as being downright entertaining. Enjoy!
The fallout and Monday morning quarterbacking of the reversal on World of Warcraft’s flying decision will probably go on for some time, if posts like this one are any indication. Tridus argues that the studio’s reaction to the furor was sparked more from cancellation surveys than all of the forum rage posts.
“You don’t turn around on something you made such a big deal out of just because the forums are complaining. You do when it’s suddenly tanking your quarterly numbers and the CEO is asking questions about what the hell you’re doing to pull millions off the bottom line,” he reasons.
Video games as an addictive hobby is an eternally touchy subject in the community, compounded by kneejerk reactions and a lack of informed studies. Pyxis doesn’t attack MMOs but takes the stance that being aware of how these games function and can prey on addictive personalities is important to know.
“In many ways a MMO is better at stimulating us than IRL, where you don’t get rewarded for every little step, which is not a completely controlled environment where you know what to do and where you stand, where you don’t always get second chances, where time invested doesn’t always pay of, and where there are not necessarily people around at five in the morning to hang out with,” Pyxis says.
This is one of the reasons why I absolutely love MMO blogs. They both keep me in touch with games that I’m not playing and even woo me to play ones that they love. Bhagpuss has fallen head-over-heels for Villagers and Heroes, and I admit that his passion has prompted me to give it a try. (In an ironic twist, he blames Massively OP for bringing it to his attention.)
“In the end I spent about five hours in V&H yesterday, following the plot, training up my woodcrafting and my bug hunting, backtracking to complete and hand in some of the plethora of quests I seem to have acquired (and inevitably acquiring more in the process). It was a relaxing, involving and thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday,” he gushes.