Archive for the General Category

What I’m Playing, Looking To Play, Keeping An Eye On, and Top 3 Best Free-to-Play MMORPGs out right now

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Everyone loves lists. Here’s mine for top 3 best free-to-play MMORPGs currently out.

1. Duh! Runes of Magic: It’s more like a subscription based game than any other F2P out right now. It’s unique with some great features that I think all MMORPGs should have top being the aggregator which lets you make your armor look exactly how you wish, even detailing colors, but still retaining any stats from uber armor drops you’ve obtained. Housing, crafting, many mini-games, and a focus on more horizontal play while still offering traditional leveling and other vertical game play features make it my favorite.

2. Atlantica Online: I wrestled with putting this here as I think it’s better classified as a MMOSRPG(with less role playing). But great graphics and the difference in game play is what makes it stand out. It’s a lot of fun.

3. Shaiya: much like any of the other dozens of “Asian Grinders”, you progress the same. Kill kill, and kill a lot more. But Shaiya has great smooth running servers and terrific graphics. The massive PvP aspect is nice to pitting thousands of players simultaneously in faction wars across very large zone maps.

Right now I’m playing RoM(of course). I have 71 diamonds now. I’ve been perusing the auction house looking for alternative sources of fast money, but every thing’s closely balanced. I noticed essence crystals in Necropolis of Mirrors are making about 10K each, which is cool, but the drop rate is too low for me. My knight’s damage isn’t good, so it takes me a long time kill mobs. Other classes my level can kill the same mob in maybe 2-3 hits, when it literally takes me 30 seconds to a whole minute to down 1 mob(my sucky gear also plays a part). So I’m looking, but back to gathering in the meantime.

I’m also in the Alganon beta. My bad connection isn’t helping the already unstable server they have running, no doubt at peak population allowance. Don’t have too much to say about it yet. I’m level 6 now, and starting to study and buy into crafting. I am curious. I guess so far, the world looks nice. It’s stylized a bit more detailed than WoW but with a similar look in the larger textures.

Finally I am sort of trying out Dungeons and Dragons Online Eberron Unlimited(such a long title). Graphics and movement seem good, but I’ve only played a few hours total so far. I need more time on it before making any kind of decision or review.

I’m looking to play a lot longterm. I downloaded Battleforge but can’t play it until I have a dedicated connection. I don’t really hold any hopes for it. It’s a hybrid Trading Card Game/Realtime Strategy MMO. It uses advanced graphic technology and is different, so I want to try it.

I tried downloading Chronicles of Spellborn but proceeded to get a file error while installing. I’ll try DL’ing it again soon.

I’m downloading the Allods Beta client. I’m mostly interested in it for an immersion factor. It looks like it could offer a lot more immersion than any other F2P game I’ve tried. They mention crafting mini-games which has me cringing but still curious too. Why? mainly because all existing F2P games are all outside worlds. There’s always a lack of buildings, and even the buildings they do have are solid. You can’t go in them. That somehow breaks immersion for me on multiple levels. Allods looks like it could have quite a large world, and much larger cities with many districts and many buildings in each district that would really set it apart from any F2P out right now(if you really can go in them all or most of them-which it looks like you can). The graphics also look nice to me.

For pay MMORPGs?(the above so far have all been F2P games).

World of Warcraft has me a bit frustrated. I was offline 3 months, but always had a 2 month time card for WoW collecting dust. Now that I’m back online, almost full time, I wanted to get my account ready for a return. It was around this time that they were recently stating about the account mergers to battle.net, but it was before the deadline.

I totally forgot my username and pass(only having vague ideas of the dozen different combos it could be). I went to the forgot pass page, but no matter what I typed in I got “This account has been merged with Battle.net, you need to handle it from there”. Ooookay so I went to battle.net, tried signing in(knowing I didn’t make an account there), and of course, they said I had to sign up. As a side note. I know what email I used to create my WoW account and used it for Battle.net thinking it would give me the same old “This email is already associated with an account”, but nope it let me sign up. So then I tried figuring things out to find that I had to do a merge process. But wait WoW said my character or account was already merged, didn’t it? So I try it anyway which asks me for my WoW account info, which I don’t have. So I click on can’t remember which shoots me back to the WoW page where I started!!! I’m stuck in this aggravating loop. So, I’m going to set some time aside soon to call and try to speak with a real CS person.

I also definitely want to play Vanguard. I know I do. I read extensively on the game and played the trial. I just am waiting to buy a new graphics card and pay for maybe a year subscription.

I also would really like to try EverQuest 2 out.

I’m looking at some games right now and haven’t decided yet if I want to try them, or if I’ll have fun with them.

Fallen Earth seems interesting, but like with some other games, I’m mostly curious about its crafting system.

I’m kinda curious about that new space MMO(Jumpgate Evolution(??)) that is down the road.

There was one final MMORPG that I was following but it seemed to fall off the news radar. I can’t remember the name but its big claim to fame was server side patching. It was supposed to be entirely operated on the server end allowing for live on the fly patching which in turn allowed for ease and quickness of implementing many changes often and live events. If you remember the name, please let me know, thanks.

What’s everyone else playing and looking forward to?

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MMO Blog Alliance 2009 Charity Drive

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

While we wittle away the hours playing our favorite MMO, or ranting about nerfed DPS in various game forums.  There are kids and adults in our own country that spend those hours hoping to find food, or who are too sick to get out of bed and need daily treatments in hospitals across America.

Epic Slant has started a great charity drive.  It’s just the drive, you pick the charity.  We, I, encourage you to give a little something to those less fortunate due to economic or medical situations.

I have a small image in the top right of my blog for “Child’s Play”.  Clicking the image takes you to their website.  Child’s play offers toys, games, and other activities to children in hospitals.

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over 5 million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

There are many good charities out there.  I’m not pressuring you to choose a particular one, but to just choose to donate to one.

Other MMO bloggers have done the same, and support this very worthy cause.

These are all good causes, and there’s no better time than now to get involved.  MMO gamers are really rallying behind this, and this Christmas season can see an enormous amount of help for people in desparate times.

MMO Bloggers! If you’d like to participate.  Check out Epic Slant’s post to help link everyone together.

Thank you to all who have donated and helped save someone’s life.

*If I missed any of you bloggers out there, please send me an email or post in the comments and I will adjust this post

Efficiency in MMORPGs

Posted in General with tags , , , on November 10, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I read over Tobold’s latest about World of Microtransactions, and how we got there.  There’s been new ideas brewing in my head lately about his and other bloggers ideas on RMT.

The more I read the more little contradictory messages pop up in between the lines on the subject of RMTs business model.  More specifically how it effects the players experience or value.

I agree with the last paragraph in Tobold’s post, but the rest of it doesn’t really cater to me.  I noticed it’s based on assumptions.  Assumptions like many others have, which I think lends itself to some validity.  Enough people seem to be concerned about some issues. That’s valid enough for me.

You can read it for yourselves but I wanted to comment on some particulars.  He talks about how we get to having a slew of facebook games and reward systems that are opposite traditional board games in how you spend your time.

You have to remember that even if these MMORPG players are or are becoming the majority(I don’t know), they aren’t all players.  Casual games, like facebook games account for the largest market within the video game industry and make much more money than any other sector.  Because people play them.

But assuming how the majority(and I don’t know if they really are the majority) play MMORPGs and then taking that scenario into specific areas of MMORPG game play can muddy the waters.

What I’m saying is that Tobold has a good post, but it still stays within confines of an arbitrary argument.

I myself have tried to spell out to people how there’s too much real life that enters in effecting peoples time spent in a game and how they choose to play it.  But there’s a rub there.  How you choose to play it.

Look at it from the stand point of “How can I derive fun”.  In real life I don’t go looking for something that will give me fun.  Even if you say, “You go to the mall to have fun.”  It is really a form of you seeking out that fun.  You don’t go to an arcade because the arcade gives you fun.  You go to the arcade because you are likely to take a lot of fun from that place.

What’s this have to do with efficiency?  Well if you play an MMORPG and are trying to be efficient by leveling fast and by taking the best quests and all that jazz, then maybe that’s part of how you have fun.  Efficiency comes into play for me sometimes.  I like doing things the best possible way.  It gives me a sense of satisfaction.  But efficiency does not equal fun in itself.

If you try to stay efficient because you have fun and/or try to compete in a PvP setting that’s fine too, but PvP is a minority group when it comes to MMORPGs.  Look at how many PvE servers there are compared to PvP servers, and how many casual games exist.

I also agree with a bit of Tobold’s paragraph on time spent and rewards:

The influence of time spent on rewards and thus social status in MMORPGs has led to a curious reversal of how people regard time spent: In other forms of entertainment the time spent in the entertainment activity is a gain, in a MMORPG time spent is often considered a loss, a cost. If you paid $15 for a movie ticket, you’d be seriously annoyed if the movie lasted only 5 minutes, because you counted on having paid for something like 90 minutes of entertainment. In MMORPGs, if it would take 90 minutes of killing monsters to do a quest and get a reward instead of just 5 minutes, you’d complain about “the grind”. Any time spent in a MMORPG in an activity that doesn’t give a reward is considered pointless, and any addition of a reward even as silly as an “achievement” to a previously pointless activity will make players pursue it.

But knowing what Tobold mentions previously, we see that this paragraph is more of a description about a pre-existing minority of MMORPG players than anything else.

Then we go back to my comment on how all this is still stuck into an arbitrary argument.  Where does the fun really fit into all this?  It doesn’t.  Fun transcends all of this.

Just like Tobold eluded to, people wanting rewards to be motivated or how they feel about a reward after 90 minutes of “grinding”.  Does that feel like grinding for a majority of players?  and are all rewards created equal?  Even if the rewards were intended to provide some sort of game balance, or more correctly, to be a reward without creating imbalance.  There are titles you can earn in Runes of Magic that do nothing, yet I like some of the rewards more than others simply because of what they say.  Water Purifier that anyone can get at level 5 was kind of neat to me, while Order of the Dark Glory Temp at a much higher level was less “valuable” to me.

It’s still a lot of semantics within this arbitrary argument.

The last paragraph where I agree with him, is on how I think the majority of players feel about different business models, not on the fun they are deriving from a game.  Basically What tedious content?, where?, and why and who is it tedious for?  The minority?

I don’t think we should oust the minority.  I prefer playing on PvP servers, it’s like getting more options.

In the end, I think it’s a great post, but I think it continues to feed misconception.

It’s fun to hypothesize, philosophize, and analyze, but don’t buy into or start selling short what a game has been since before tiddly winks.  For a person to have fun.  Arbitrary arguments like these, in my opinion(:Alik wink) seem to too easily overpower a persons thoughts, and then they use it as a sounding board or jumping off point for improving MMORPGs.  It’s faulty because these aren’t really the sources for that.  That’s been proven by looking at the success of casual games and the success of both RMT and reasonably priced subscription models.

  • Crafting is not the greatest in Runes of Magic, but I get a huge rush, sense of fulfillment, and fun when I’ve gathered for hours and made some nice gold(and it’s not derived from comparing it to how much someone else is making, but it could be).
  • I’ve stood in the city square for hours having chatted then logged off, and went away happy and having had fun.
  • Any argument, or debate about the current state or future states of F2P are fun to discuss, but I’ve never let it cause me to have more or less fun.  I make fun:)

The Artistic Side of Things

Posted in General with tags , , , on November 10, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

It’s time to venture into some less aggressive waters.  So let’s leave RMT and any other gaming conflicts aside….for now.

For lack of a better word, I’m always tickled when I see artistic MMORPG related offerings from game communities.  WoW of course has everything from food inspired dishes to dolls and papercrafts.

I love seeing someone who made a neat looking Murloc tree ornament or someone who painted a scene from their favorite MMO in oil paints.

It always energizes me a bit.  That communal spirit rises up out of me wanting to join in the camaraderie of shared fandom.  It’s a very powerful feeling for me, and one I really wish would start to trickle into the Runes of Magic community.  There has been some great RoM fanart, and the game has a healthy base of addon programmers, so it may just take a bit more time and perhaps a bit more growth in numbers of players.

I think I’m going to devote some spare time toward hunting up a nice collection of MMORPG inspired “fanart”.

When I take screenshots in RoM, I tend to like scenic vistas.  I always try to fit in a nice view of a lake or entire town.  But looking at some recent screenshots on MMOvoices reminded me that there are some great opportunities to take capture very emotional scenes.

I’m sorry I didn’t have much of a point to this post.  But I did want to drop a line to readers and also to add a thank you to all the very creative players out there.  Keep up the great work!

If you know about any great sites showing different mediums of art(crafts, paper, paint, legos, costumes, screenshots, etc…) please let me know.

World of Warcraft Cash Shop pets: My Two Cents

Posted in General, WoW with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Nobody else seemed to be using the cheesy title pun, so I will.

As for the issue…

Good for them.  The pets look nice, and ten bucks is, well ten bucks.

Will I buy one? No.  I like the panda, but I already have my cute little polar bear from the winter event, and that fulfills my cute bear needs.

P.S.

I wonder what the Common Sense Gamer has to say about this (elbows him in ribs and snickers).

Win a New Graphics Card From Runes of Magic

Posted in contest, General with tags , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Not only is Runes of Magic a great game, but to date they’ve held several contests with great prizes.

If you still haven’t heard of RoM or have yet to make that decision to try it, now is a great time.

RoM is giving away:

1st Prize: Leadtek Winfast GeForce GTX 275 graphics card (Product Info)

2nd – 3rd Prize: a RoM T-Shirt and a RoM Mug

4th – 10th Prize: a RoM T-Shirt

Entry is raffle style and is easy to enter.  Sign up for the game and get started.  Then enter the contest by following the link on the main page or just click here.

Contest ends November 20th.

Runes of Magic’s New Taiwan Girls..er Server(NSFW)

Posted in General, Picture Perfect with tags , , , on November 5, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Tawain recently kicked off the opening of their RoM servers with a press conference.  It must have been quite a show.  I wonder if the attendees even knew what the conference was about, or if they showed up thinking they were going to see some belly dancing.