Archive for September 28, 2008

Where is the Nintendo of the MMOs?

September 28, 2008 4 comments

A recent release of a big MMORPG title from Mythic has caused a lot of discussions and arguments for and against the game as such, as well as the state of MMO games in general. This has also led to a number of blog entries again on the topic of innovation vs evolution and what gamers really want.

Purely by chance I stumbled upon a blog called Lost Garden which covers areas of art and game design. I was looking for some entirely different than this topic (but still game related) when a google link led me to this blog.

Here I found some quite interstring articles from a few years back: One article on Nindento’s approach to innovation as a profitable strategy. This certainly leads to the question, do we have any companies in the MMO space that tries to have the same strategy as Nintendo? I cannot really think of any, but with the long development cycles of many of these games it is perhaps harder to tell. 

The interesting part here is how the matter of innovation ties in with the lifecycle of a game genre and it fits very well I think with what we see in disucssions and releases for Diku-style MMORPGs today.

The same blog also explored the game genre life cycle in more depth in a series of articles as well. It is well worth a read I think. I think it also tells a lot what to expect from future titles from some game companies.

Categories: MMO Games

The sorrow wolf

September 28, 2008 Comments off

After completing the path to Ascension, my ranger Wolf got advised that he should talk to a dragon prophet in the mountains, named Glint.

Chatting with Glint

Chatting with Glint

Dragons probably do not want to be bothered by every person ascending, so it was not just a matter of knocking on the door or give Glint a ring. No, instead Wolf’s team had to fight through a number of groups of various creatures, including 6 different Dragon Facets, all in differently coloured crystal cave areas. Some of them had certain environmental effects in place, like slower movement or some amount of health degeneration. Considering that the dragons home was rumored to be contained in single grain of salt, it was quite roomy though.

It was pretty straightforward business for a hero though and it was completyed without much trouble. This was also the point were the max group size increased to the regular size of 8. This took much longer to reach than in Nightfall or Factions.

Glint seemed to be in a reasonably good mood, after all she delivered some doomsday:ish information, based on the Flameseeker Prophecies. But also that Wolf seemed to be a quite cool guy (stating the obvious…) that could make a difference.

The White Mantle seemed to worship a race of magical creatures called the Mursaat. These fellows turns out to be guys who like to float around a bit above ground in a golden outfit. They have a quite devastating attack (which Wolf got some first hand experience of…) and can thus be very tough to fight. But there was a way to get some protection from those attacks. Thus on the agenda Wolf got “get protection first”.

But even before that, it was time to save some of the Shining Blade buddies which had been captured by the White Mantle (and the Mursaat). It turns out that they have been taken to an ice cave area – Ice Caves of Sorrow. It also seems that the Stone Summit dwarves consider this area theirs and they are attacking the White Mantle and the Mursaat in the area.

Right, so where is that cave entrance now?

Right, so where is that cave entrance now?

Turns also out that the phrase “the enemy of my enenmy is my friend” does not hold true when it comes to dwarves. The shorter fellows were only too happy to pick a fight with Wolf’s team when being approached.

In fact, the dwarves were using some nifty catapults to shoot big deadly stuff on the White Mantle – or anyone else who happened to be in  the wrong spot at the wrong time.

It was a pretty nice area to play through and not particularly difficult once you figured out what to do. But getting to that point took a number of attempts though and Wolf’s team had a number of defeats before completing the task of recusing and escorting Evinna of the Shining Blade to the ship that took the group out of harms way.

Next time I will probably try to complete the bonus task as well (rescuing a certain dwarf), but for now I was happy to have completed the mission and learning that it is not just about brute force fighting, but fighting smart.

On the ice ship to safety

On the ice ship to safety

Is it just me, or aren’t most NPC dwarves in Guild Wars kind of creepy looking?

Categories: Guild Wars