I love a good customer service story, because it reminds me that a lot goes right behind-the-scenes at MMOs that’s hardly ever reported. Braxwolf recently related a heart-warming account of how his son accidentally deleted a pet in Marvel Heroes and Braxwolf’s subsequent encounter with the game’s CS team.
I’ll let you read the entire saga for yourself, but here’s a spoiler as to how it ends: “What I received was reinforcement that Gazillion values us, knows that we are people who sometimes make mistakes, and goes out of their way to help us out when we’re stuck. They also enabled me to look like a hero in my son’s eyes for a few minutes, which was worth even more.”
Heavensward. Mercury is no different, although the excitement is tempered by a few harsh critiques of the game’s design.
The following observation cracked me up because it really is everywhere in the game: “And the nodding — my god, the nodding. Liore dubbed it ‘stoic nodding’ and I find this to be painfully appropriate. The level of nodding in cutscenes is over 9000. Pregnant pause? Set phasers to nod, ensign. At one point my character nodded to a f**king dragon. Had the dragon nodded in reply I think I would have lost it; fortunately, it transcended the tiresome customs of mere mortals and alit into the sky with the flapping of wings too ancient and world-weary to care about such things.”
Rakuno is struggling with a “mid-life crisis” over being a tank in his MMO career. For everything he likes about the role, another aspect seems to torture him so. And yet he can’t seem to stop tanking even if intends to do something else.
“Then there is the bitter taste of failure,” he laments. “Yes, I know it sucks equally to everyone if the party wipes, there isn’t anything special for tanks in this case. Still, no matter the reason the group wipes I feel responsible for it. If I am doing badly then I feel bad because I should have been a better tank for the party.”
Think of bloggers as canaries that you toss into a mine (or MMO) and see if they thrive or die before you decide to enter. Bless those brave souls who head into betas and obscure titles and report back as to the wonders or horrors therein.
J3w3l relates a series of observations about her initial foray into the sandbox Albion Online. The early verdict? Mixed. “I’ll just say that [while] Albion doesn’t seem like the perfect game, it might be a good game but even that is too soon to tell yet since MMOs are built for the long-term,” she says. “There are even a few aspects of the game that I will have to experience further to understand and play around with and also other aspects that limits the experience it could be.”
Trove isn’t necessarily a complicated game, but it is unusual in a lot of small little ways. Even though I have played Trove several times in the past, I learned a few new things from reading Paeroka’s post.
Here’s one tip that’s pretty handy: “If you’re wondering why you should even bother about the cornerstone: When you placed it in the world and then you die, you get resurrected there instead of at the spawning point of that world. So, placing it near you every now and then isn’t a bad idea. Also, you can place a lot of useful items in there like the deconstructor that lets you deconstruct items to get materials.”
Whew, them is fightin’ words, pard’ner! I haven’t seen the “WoW killer” label used seriously in quite some time, but Ionomonkey is quite serious (in a funny way) in noting how Final Fantasy XIV is on the rise while World of Warcraft is plummeting in subscriptions.
“As usual, the first strategy put forth was to ignore the FFXIV beast, thinking it was feeding off attention and thus, would die from starvation,” Ionomonkey proclaims. “The FFXIV beast is from an old lineage and it can draw on the followers of its predecessors for sustenance. This beast does not require WoW players to live and that makes it that much more dangerous.”
Are we as an MMO community being way too harsh on Trion Worlds? German blogger Kunzay thinks we are, saying that while the studio deserved the criticism it received for its handling of ArcheAge, the community is conveniently forgetting or overlooking what Trion has done right with its other games.
“If you’d take a look at their other games — you know, those they actually developed, namely RIFT, Defiance, and Trove — I think they are doing a decent job, especially with RIFT and Trove,” Kunzay writes. “If you think Trion is a company desperately trying to ‘steal’ your money, you should take a look at Trove. Regular, meaty updates that take player feedback into account and a monetization that is quite fair.”