Global Chat: Why Wizardry Online’s permadeath was a good idea


Here’s an MMO and a feature both long since deceased: Wizardry Online and permadeath. Yet as JVT Workshop argues, it was an underappreciated feature in an MMO that didn’t get much play back before it was shut down in North America.

“There was a permadeath system in place that really put you on edge when exploring a new zone or even traversing an old one,” he wrote. “The idea that your next death could be your last really pushed you to ask yourself if you really wanted to try fight those three monsters for a treasure chest, or if you should keep delving deeper despite already being wounded. All that, and it wasn’t even guaranteed permadeath — just the threat of it was effective enough.”

As we mull over outdated systems and games, let us turn to other MMO blog essays this week, touching on Torchlight Frontiers, player housing, EVE Online’s current population, the troubles of Bless Online, and more!

Occasional Hero: Things I want from a Torchlight MMO

“Even though we don’t have a whole lot of information right now, I’m really excited for this game. I had given up hope of ever seeing this when Torchlight’s studio Runic announced they were closing, but in retrospect, that was just making way for this (probably to give PWE more direct input on the game, for better or for worse).”

Unidentified Signal Source: Something new — Bless Online

“Now, I can see why many people aren’t super thrilled with this game. Optimization is an issue. I’m constantly tweaking settings trying to get it to run smoothly. I suspect it may be more a resource loading issue, as it seems to develop a stutter randomly and for no apparent reason.”

Psychochild: Why Storybricks failed

“I think one fundamental problem is that we had no idea how to market Storybricks. We might hate marketing, but the reality is that people need to be aware of something and need to understand why it exists for them to be interested. The idea of building a product and people just showing it because it’s good just doesn’t happen. So the reality is that we need marketing as long as people aren’t going to go out of their way to find these theoretically good products they want.”

The Ancient Gaming Noob: How many people play EVE Online?

“We know that the player base is greater than the concurrent users online because not everybody is logged in together, and all the more so for a server that hosts a world-wide player base. So the simple answer seems to be to find the ratio of concurrent users to know player base from the past to see what numbers that gives us now.”

Moonshine Mansion: Player housing wishlist

“You don’t have to be anywhere near the endgame to unlock housing in WildStar, and it doesn’t cost very much to get started. I know WoW loves to add features specifically for new expansions at the level cap, but housing should be something like pet battles, that everyone can hop into right away. Save some fancy decor until higher levels if you have to, but at least let folks get their foot in the door early.”

Contains Moderate Peril: Progressing through Mordor

“A player can grind quests to get gear to convert to ash, but lootboxes offer a ‘far quicker solution.’ I suspect that we are now finally seeing the consequences of Standing Stone Games ‘business relationship’ with the Daybreak Game Company.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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