Archive for the ‘Non-MMO games’ Category

The Dream Machine

February 9, 2011 Comments off

In my line of work I tend to travel a fair amount during long periods – 4 to 5 days per week I am out of the country in some other part of Europe. This means staying at hotels without a lot of things one may take for granted at home.

It is in such environment I get to appreciate online features that does not really require me to have anything but a browser available for various things and that can work with a crappy hotel internet connection.

One such thing that I discovered recently is the adventure game The Dream Machine. It is a nice little point&click graphical adventure game with a unique style, since the graphics are actually made by clay and cardboard. It runs in Flash and saves your progress online after you have created an account. So you can log in and play it anywhere, as long as you have a browser that has Flash 8+ support.

The adventure consists of 5 chapters, of which 2 have been released so far. The first chapter is free, while the later chapters will cost a few euros each. So far I have played through the first chapter and liked it enough so that will get other chapters as well.

The developers (2 of them) write on their blog a bit why they choose this distribution model, which is quite ok with me. Interesting to see also is that they collect statistics about how people try to solve puzzles and how many solve different puzzles in the and thus adjust the game accordingly – provide better responses and options, changing difficulty of puzzles etc.

Not sure how much re-playability the game will have, but I was a fan of adventure games for a long time, before MMOs grabbed my attention. It is nice to get back into those games for a bit.

Millions of minecrafters

January 17, 2011 Comments off

If you play and/or follow the game Minecraft, you have probably seen that Minecraft has passed 1 million premium (paid) accounts and have more than 3 million registered users. That is pretty impressive I think.

Categories: Minecraft

Space Wurm Villains

January 3, 2011 2 comments

This first weekend of 2011 my gaming consisted of 4 different games: City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, Wurm Online and Minecraft. All pictures in this post are from Wurm Online.

City of Heroes

One of my short term goals in the game here was to bring my level 50 scrapper to the villain side and into my villain supergroup, Shadows of Ankh-Morpork. This was accomplished during the weekend and thus I now have all of my 11 level 50 characters on the villain side – 2 of them are heroes gone bad.

To switch side one has to do alignment missions, 10 hero -> vigilante and 10 vigilante -> villain missions, plus also two missions to switch faction from hero to vigilante first and then from vigilante to villain.

I started this path a long time ago, but have not been in a rush to complete it. In the weekend I did the last remaining alignment missions. With Issue 19 there were a number of new alignment missions introduced, specifically focused on those character that are changing alignment. Thus doing villain alignment missions as a vigilante will provide you different missions than if you do villain alignment missions as a villain (i.e. stay in alignment).

For this the new missions are brilliant – the storyline of each mission really works on capturing the view of the player character as an individual who in their own mind is a hero making the tough decisions, but in the end turn out to be just as brutal as any proper villain – and the character still thinks they do the right thing. I very much enjoyed playing through those missions.

Star Trek Online

In STO another small goal was reached as well – my current character just passed my old character on the leveling path. He is now Commander 3 as well, but a bit closer to Commander 4 than my old character. I have also reached the point where all of the missions I pick up are mission that are completely new to me – never done them before.

I tried to complete episode 4 of Series 1: The Breen also, but it turns out there is a bug in one mission that does not update the objectives properly, so I am currently stuck on that one until they fix it.


I have had on my to do list for quite a while now to try out Minecraft, but never gotten around to it. A truly brilliant game. One can notice that the developer of Minecraft was one of the founders of Wurm Online; the sandbox philosophy is similar, but Minecrafte is simpler and quicker to get into.

Big unicorns

Wurm Online

Wurm Online was the game I spent most time with during this weekend. The game is very much a sandbox MMO in its purest sense, in a fantasy setting. No classes, no xp, just a number of skills to progress in and basically everything player-created from the world itself.

I have generally been a bit cautious of some sandbox:ish MMO offerings, partly because they have had a somewhat heavy emphasis on PvP. I consider PvP an optional activity in a virtual world and I prefer where the mindset is more towards building/creating something than bash each others head and loot their corpses.

For Wurm you have both options – the game provides both PvP and non-PvP servers and one can choose whichever server suites best. Even that decision is not final as I understand it – it is possible to change servers through portals in the game.

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Peek at Borderlands

November 7, 2009 5 comments

I realized this is not my type of game, so I decided not to play again after 1 hour. I liked the art style and the setting though.

Categories: Non-MMO games

NCSoft introduces microtransactions

April 17, 2008 Comments off

I na press release NCSoft announces the introduction of their microtransactions system for in-game items, NCCoin. The first game to get this is the mech game Exteel, but the press release indicates that other future games as well as existing games may also get into NCCoin at a later stage.

Which other existing games will get NCCoin? With this model being more accepted in Asia my guess is that the Lineage games might get it. Neither Tabula Rasa nor City of Heroes/Villains are particularly item centric games, so they do not seem very likely targets. Getting enough in-game currency to buy stuff one may need is not a big problem in either game either, although City of Heroes/Villains have started to get plagued by rare item farming activities, so perhaps there are some opportunities to squeeze some cach out from farming players there.

I’m not sure about the viability in Guild Wards for this; it was too long ago since I played it and I never got very far in that game anyway.