Midnight MMO Musings – 4/7

April 7, 2011 1 comment

MMORPG is a silly, yet descriptive acronym. If you refer to your project as an MMOG, you’re cutting out the descriptive bit and leaving in the silly bit.

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He ALWAYS has a plan.

January 19, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been liking DCUO, which I recently picked up.   I think they captured the feel of the DC universe very well. It’s not an MMO in the sense we’ve grown accustomed to playing. I found that if I stripped away worrying about what category it should be classified in, there is a fun game to be had. Which is not always easy to find.

I will say that one thing pulled me out of it tonight. In Gotham you communicate with Batman as he’s giving you directions/missions. And at one point he calls something you do “impressive”.

Batman never calls anyone impressive.

You do what he tells you to do and the most you hope for is “adequate”. Usually he’ll just swoop in at the end and finish up everything himself because the other hero was taking too long or got captured. You go above and beyond or take any kind of initiative while he’s around and theres a good chance you just messed up his plan. He ALWAYS has a plan. Superman could punch out an evil sun coming to swallow the earth and Batman still be all “Why did you punch out the sun? The one thing I needed you to do is NOT punch out the evil sun. We needed it to defeat the evil black hole that’s coming next. You wrecked my plan, idiot.”

Everyone’s always wrecking Batman’s plans.
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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm – by the numbers.

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

World of Warcraft released its 3rd expansion pack, Cataclysm, this past Monday, December 7th and the numbers are rolling in. It destroyed PC game sales records by selling 3.3 million the first day, counting preorders. Beating the previous record breaker of 2.8 million one day sales held by Wrath of the Lich King which beat the previous one day sales record of 2.4 million held by The Burning Crusade.

That’s a phenomenal number. A success by any measure.

What I don’t get is there are 12 million active subscribers to WoW; why did only 3.3 million of them (27.5%) buy the new expansion? To put that another way nearly 3/4 of thier active subscribers did not buy the expansion.  Even though, through preorders, they have had over a month to do so.  

Is this normal for MMO games? Subscribers sitting around waiting months to buy the new content? So few games release actual numbers it’s hard to tell.

The numbers:

The Burning Crusade

2,400,000 copies sold in the first 24 hours. (30% of active subscribers)

3,500,000 copies sold in the first month. (43.7% of active Subscribers)

8,000,000 subscribers at the time.

Wrath of the Lich King

2,800,000 copies sold in the first 24 hours (25.4% of active subscribers)

4,000,000 copies sold in the first month  (36.36% of active subscribers)

11,000,000 subscribers at the time.

Cataclysm

3,300,000 copies sold in the first 24 hours (27.5% of active subscribers)

12,000,000 subscribers at the time.

There is no monthly sales number yet, obviously.  If Cataclysm follows the trend the first month number should be around 4.3-4.5 million copies sold (on average they sell 1.1 to 1.2 million copies after the first 24 hours by one month out). It’s not a straight downward curve, but it does seem to be a struggle for Blizzard to recapture the furver built up around The Burning Crusade. Cataclysm would need to sell around 5.3 million by month end to beat out The Burning Crusade, percentage wise.

I have no idea what this means. Is this a product of expanding to far outside of the “hardcore” gamers? Are casual gamers subscribed to WoW not feeling the need to buy the expansion, even after a month?

What do you think?

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Forsaken World

October 29, 2010 3 comments

Forsaken World is ok.  At its core a WoW clone, maybe a bit more to it than Allods but not much.

In playing I’ve found there’s not a lot of subtlety to the game. Holding back is not in the design motto. One could say that given an Ostentatiousness Scale that ran from one to twenty, one being Mother Teresa’s funeral garb, ten being shooting a hooker clown zombie in the face with a shotgun and twenty being this sentence; Forsaken World’s character design choices would consistently fall on the scale at places greater than 10.

My character’s hip/waist/bust ratio is beyond fictional landing somewhere in the realm of folklore. Old women tell tales of my character’s hip/waist/bust ratio to peasant children to teach them values about eating right and obeying their parents. I pass no judgement on this.

Given a quest tracker in that will have your character auto run a path to the destination, and special abilities that one shot kills everything in the area around me, the game is also a tad on the easy side. Unless I run into some sort of Charlie Sheen MOB at some point that is. In which case I may be fucked.

I’m going to keep playing this game but only ironically.
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Why a Neverwinter Nights MMO?

August 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Current long running rumor thats peaked its head up once again is that Atari will be turning Neverwinter Nights into an MMO. Its never been a direct rumor, with any reliable sources. It’s more of an series of unrelated facts that could paint the picture of an NWN MMO if the right bits were filled in.  The main bullet points have been:

  • Atari owns the right to create a new D&D game.
  • Atari has publishing rights to the popular NWN game
  • Cryptic has said they will be announcing a new MMO in September
  • Cryptic’s parent company is Atari.

Which I dont really care either way, the main issue that I have with this is; Am I the only one that thinks that Neverwinter Nights is not that great of an IP?

I liked both of the single player RPG games, but that was based almost entirely on the game engine BioWare created.  Which, I’m sure could be hobbled together to run as an MMO, but Cryptic would need to design an engine from the ground up anyway to impliment the 4E D&D rules.  Which are a big change from the 3.5 rules used in NWN and NWN2. Or more than likely to hammer at the current engine they have to fit D&D rule system well enough.

The NWN world is just a tiny portion of the larger Faerun setting anyway. Which has some interesting characters (ElminsterDrizzt), but for the most part its always come off as about as vanilla fantasy as you can possibly get

Should we expect to run into such memorable characters from the original game like… ????? I dont know. That angry guy with the sword or that other guy with the staff? Hell if I can remember anyone/thing from those games.  Maybe we’ll have the chance to visit the never before done magical realms of Elves? I wonder if the Dwarves will be miners and blacksmiths who like to drink?!

Fingers crossed!

At least we’ll have a top notch studio working on the project.

This game sounds magical.

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FFXIIII…IV?…EIEIO? FF14 (FFS)

June 30, 2010 2 comments

Its good that we still use Roman numerals, how else would we know when movies are made? What Final Fantasy we are up to? Or… no, that’s pretty much it. Just those two things.

And in Final Fantasy news; it looks like Square is going to beat the spread and actually release, not just in 2010, but in September 2010. A few months ahead of the end of the year.

Huzzah.

While the PC version is due out in September 2010, the PS3 version will have a 6 month delay on it; with a march 2011 release date. It’s good to know that they weren’t serious about making a console MMO.

Knowing that its not ready at launch means we can probably expect the same port treatment FFXI got. Which, despite the fact that it does work well, always felt very kludged to me. But at least now I know that I can skip the PS3 version. Thanks Square. In their defense they probably dont have anyone familar with programming for the PS3.

At any rate im still hyped about it, but I have to wonder if we’ll ever see a MMO designed specifically for the console?

With each of the top three consoles topping sales in the +40million range, even given for overlap, that still a huge market. Probably a market bigger than the number of PCs that can actually run one of these new MMOs.
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Midnight MMO Musings

June 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Is there a rule against having a good looking sandbox mmo?

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