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Archive for August, 2011

Secret World Subscriptions

Posted by Stropp on August 27, 2011

Yesterday Funcom announced that The Secret World business model was going to go down the subscription path with a game store that sells only convenience and character customisation gear.

I have been wondering a bit about this. While it’s not surprising that Funcom are going to use a subscription model for The Secret World, the fact is that going Freemium with Age of Conan has brought a lot of new players (or perhaps returning players) to the game. Something like 300,000 extra active players I believe, which has to be good for the game.

Still, The Secret World has a lot of positive buzz around it at the moment. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t do well at launch, as long as the launch itself doesn’t go the same way as the Anarchy Online and Age of Conan launches.

Third time lucky anyone?

Blizzard Surprised By Diablo III Reaction

Posted by Stropp on August 6, 2011

Via RPS from MTV Multiplayer, Robert Bridenbecker one of the Blizzard VPs commenting on the fuss caused by the reaction to Blizzards recent announcement on Diablo 3 say he is surprised by it all.

Really? Surprised?

Surprised that people don’t like the whole real money auction house, even if it offers a solution to the RMT in Diablo 2, are concerned because they see it as a pay to win scenario, or legitimizing the RMT trade?

Surprised that people who have found the always on DRM that Ubisoft implemented didn’t really work all that well, or who may not have reliable internet connections, are miffed?

Surprised that the loyal community of fans who have extended the longevity of Diablo 2 through mods aren’t happy that they won’t be able to do the same with Diablo 3?

I don’t know about you, but I’m less and less surprised by anything I see on the web these days. Jaded? Perhaps. Perhaps, I’ve seen these sort of reactions before to similar announcements by other devs.

The same things were said about Assassins Creed and Settlers when Ubisoft announced that they would always have to be connected to the Internet. With some gamers unable to play the game they paid for due to problems with the servers, the critics were proved right. That Blizzards potential customers are concerned about the same thing happening doesn’t really surprise anyone, does it?

 

Is Diablo 3 A MMORPG?

Posted by Stropp on August 3, 2011


After yesterdays post about the Diablo 3 announcement, I found that I was getting a fair bit of Google traffic from people asking if Diabl0 3 is a MMO.

The simple answer to this question is, no. Diablo 3 is not a MMORPG.

The slightly more complex answer is that the lines between MMORPG and simple multiplayer games are blurring, and have been for quite some time.

Games like Guild Wars allow large numbers of players to gather in various areas, and then group up and head into instanced zones for the actual gameplay. The areas where players gather are much like the lobbies that services like Battlenet provide. Places where players can find others to group with and play the game areas. The only real differences are that the gathering areas are graphical zones and that they often provide NPC services like quests and shops.

If we use features like big open zones where players encounter each other randomly as they play to define if a game is a MMORPG or not, then no, Diablo 3 is not a MMO. But then neither is Guild Wars, even though most consider it to be one.

 

What Game Are You Looking Forward To?

Posted by Stropp on August 2, 2011

I just posted about the Diablo 3 announcement, and then went on to read a blog post about SWTOR. I realised that despite being interested in The Old Republic, I’m not really looking forward to it.

I’m not sure it has grabbed me in the way other games have in the past. Sure, the videos look exceedingly enticing, but we all know how much those can vary from reality. Remember the Warhammer videos?

I was, and still am interested in Diablo 3 to some extent, though I think with the announcement, and with the way different game companies have been butchering much loved game franchises of late, I reckon I’ll wait for at least a few weeks and the unbiased reviews start to come out.

On the other hand, the more I see of The Secret World, the more I find myself captivated by the whole thing. I was fairly even about the game until I saw the Everything is True trailer. That one little video caught my imagination and brought forth all the stories I’d ever read about ‘mysterious and hidden things.’ I was hooked.

How about you? Are you hooked and really looking forward to any upcoming game?

Diablo 3 Announcement Thoughts

Posted by Stropp on August 2, 2011

Yesterday’s announcement by Blizzard about some of the details of the upcoming Diablo 3 started a bit of a firestorm of controversy across the Internet.

For me the biggest issue is the always online requirement to play. Not that it really affects me negatively as I have a pretty good connection and rarely get dc’d from any game I play. However I’ve been playing Starcraft 2 again recently, and it doesn’t seem to reliably stay connected to Battlenet, and also doesn’t appear to be able to reconnect without restarting the game. It’s pretty poor for a game that has been out for so long. I’d hope this doesn’t happen with D3, but Diablo 3 is Battlenet.

Despite the always online requirement, if I end up getting D3 I won’t be playing with other players anyway. My experience with that on Diablo 2 was less than enjoyable. I’d rather play through the single player campaign on my own once or twice and leave it at that. No need for an always on connection there. Unless Blizzard force cooperative play (unlikely) I’ll be soloing.

The other issues don’t impact me at all. I never used mods. Of course sometimes players come up with really awesome mods to these games, and it would be nice to have the option. But since that isn’t going to happen here, no big deal for me.

The real money auction house won’t affect me either since I won’t use it. I’ve never bought gold or goods from a gold seller, and I struggle buying goods from the various cash shops that different games have. Buying a bit of gear from another player for cash? No way.

I also think the real money AH is a bad idea. All it does is legitimatise gold farming. The only difference now is that Blizzard gets a cut. Way to go.

I have also, aside from this announcement heard a few stories about the gameplay. At the moment, they’re only rumours, and they go on about how the game is being dumbed down in various areas such as skill selection and character customisation. I hope these rumours are false, because the last thing we need is more dumbing down of once challenging game franchises.

Hopefully, it’s a ‘the bad news first’ kind of announcement and there will be some good features announced later, because as I see it Diablo 3 isn’t looking all that appealing at the moment. Duke Nukem Forever, aside from the inane poop jokes and poor taste dumbed down the gameplay significantly from DN3D, instead of taking what was great about the original game and improving it. I’m glad I waited before buying Duke. If it looks like Diablo 3 is going the same way, I’m not sure I’ll bother. Of course it hasn’t been released yet, so we have no real gameplay info to go on.

I think I’ll be waiting a few weeks after release for this to see if it is something I want to play.

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