Looks like the Jita Burning, Free Mittani event has started, a day early.
Time to run and hide!
Looks like the Jita Burning, Free Mittani event has started, a day early.
Time to run and hide!
One of the things I keep on seeing when various commenters write about Eve is the statement, sometime implied often stated, that Eve is not a mainstream MMORPG.
Actually it is.
Think about it for just a minute. Eve has 400,000 subscribers, more or less. There are not many games that can boast that. Sure World of Warcraft has in the high millions (not sure if it’s under 10 million yet) and The Old Republic has around 1.7 million. But what other games exceed 1×106 subscribers?
Warhammer briefly hit the million-ish mark, but is now down to one server (or is soon to be.) And back in the day, Everquest kept around 400K players happily entertained.
Of course there are the non-Western MMORPGs that have subscribers in the millions. And we shouldn’t forget the free to play games that have very large numbers too, but it’s harder to tell how these games are really doing in the popularity stakes. Subscriptions MMOs have that as an advantage. It’s easier to make an assessment of how many people are playing. As for the non-Western games, this is more about mainstream in the West, and I’m not sure exactly how popular the big Asian games are in the West anyway.
So why do we think that Eve isn’t a mainstream game when it has a subscriber base only really eclipsed by two other games?
I reckon if I had a Dalmation I’d be outside sitting on the hood of my car waiting.
The Diablo 3 beta is open for valid Battlenet accounts, which means the game is very close to release. Tera is also in beta. Torchlight 2 is anticipated for release a month after Diablo3. Around the same time as Torchlight is The Secret World.
At the same time Eve Online is gearing up for some fairly major changes that will affect the economy, and improve the user interface experience.
Lots of stuff then.
The trick, for someone with limited time like me, is to work out which games I actually want to play.
Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2 are very similar, both being Action RPGs. I have played and enjoyed both Diablo 2 and Torchlight (1), completing both of them. I’m not sure Torchlight warrants me getting Torchlight 2 at release. While I enjoyed it, it didn’t grab me like D2 did. However, I’m less than enamored with Blizzards focus with Diablo 3. The real money aspects concern me. If I don’t spend real money to buy equipment will my progress through the game be slower?
So I doubt I’ll get D3 or T2 at release. I’ll probably wait until the end of the year and make a choice then.
Likewise Tera doesn’t grab me. I’m seeing lots of news about it, but I feel kind of meh about it. I think it’s the fact that it’s another fantasy game, with the standard fare of fantasy characters. It would be nice to see something completely different in the fantasy genre. Of course I felt that way about Rift too, and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. So it might be, once the game gets released, I’ll start reading some real details and feel compelled to have a go.
The only game so far that really has my attention is The Secret World. I like the modern day mythological conspiracy setting. I like the skill system, and the fact that I don’t have to create a thousand alts to try everything. I even like what I’ve seen of the crafting system so far.
I just hope I’ll have enough time to play it when it is released.
Game developers must be a confused lot. After all they create the games that millions of gamers buy and enjoy immensely, yet they are constantly reviled in gaming forums. How many times have you read comments like “The devs need to learn to code” or other statements questioning their competence? There’s a lot of venom there.
That there’s a hell of a lot of negativity directed towards game developers is a real pity since these men and women often spend far more hours in the office sweating over a hot monitor than the average person working their nine-to-five day. In some cases, the folks at the coal-face of game development, the non-rockstar developer get paid far less than their business development counterparts while doing some pretty horrendous hours.
So I reckon it’s pretty cool that Scarybooster has initiated the Developer Appreciation Week (#DAW.)
Over the last year I’ve played a lot less than in previous years, but while my list of games is smaller, I would still like to thank all the game developers across the world who are hard at work producing the entertainment that we love.
As Stargrace mentioned in her developer appreciation week post, it’s pretty much impossible to narrow down to one or two developers since there are so many amazing games. But there is one thing…
I would like you to consider the indie developer for your gratitude. These guys are producing some pretty amazing work. Games like Minecraft and Terraria didn’t come out of nowhere. These developers worked for years until they developed these hit games. Literally garage (or bedroom) developers with no access to the fund to resource their games, they have to make do with free tools, and low cost assets. Indies aren’t going to spend millions on art or on getting celebrity voice acting. They’re going to concentrate on the gameplay. I’m convinced that the independant developer will be the driving force for innovation in computer games in the next few years.
One other thing. A great way to show your appreciation is with your wallet. Head over to Kickstarter, find an indie developer with an interesting project and make a pledge. It doesn’t have to be much, five dollars will help someone reach their goal.
When I played Asheron’s Call, there was a server called Darktide. It was an unrestricted server with Free For All PvP as its main drawcard. As to be expected, this meant that anyone playing on Darktide was a target of the Player Killer (PK) especially those players new to the server. Lot’s of these players got together and formed guilds on that server wholly devoted to ganking anyone that crossed paths with them.
The there were the players who liked PvP but were opposed to the wholesale slaughter wrought by the PKer. Like the PKers, these got together and formed the Anti-PK guilds that didn’t go seeking out the weak and alone to gank, but set out to help them by protecting them from the PKers, and actively fighting against the PK guilds.
Asheron’s Call wasn’t alone in this. Ultima Online also had players who banded together to oppose PK players.
I have a question for you. I hear a lot about the corporations and alliances in Eve Online that engage in PK activities where it’s encouraged to go out and gank all and sundry. Each year (or few months) the Hulkageddon event takes place where players vie for prizes for high-sec ganking of unarmed/undefended commercial spacecraft like the Hulk. The Goonswarm alliance is about to set Jita on fire, which means that lots of highsec non-PvPer players are going to get burned.
There seems to be lots of FFA PvP in Eve focussed on ganking.
But I hear very little about the player corporations that are set up to oppose that sort of behaviour.
Can you tell me. Are there Anti-PK corps in Eve Online?
The recent ruckus over the Eve Mittanigate scandal, where a prominent Eve player elected to the head of the CSM messed up at the recent fanfest and as a consequence apologised, resigned as the head, and then was sacked and 30 day banned by CCP has generated many, many words. That previous sentence was one of them. There’s been a lot of back and forth about bullying in games, how actions have consequences, even predictions of the effect this will have on Eve in the long term.
Some of those words were written tonight by Tobold where he asks What Is A Game Anyway?
He was asked that question by a reader, who includes all kinds of games, including the “gamification” of real life with location services or 3D games that use the environs around you as input into the game world.
Tobolds response was essentially that a game stops being a game when there are real life consequences.
Now I realise that he was probably talking about computer and ‘gamey’ (like board and card games) in particular, but I think he is missing the point. Dictionary.com defines games this way:
There is nothing there that says that a game stops being a game when money is involved, or when one of the players starts bullying or threatening another player. Tobold states that: gambling isn’t a game in spite of some resemblances. I’m sorry Tobold, that is just silly. I occassionally go over to friends to play the occassional game of poker. We use chips and no money changes hands. It’s a game. When does it stop being a game, when we start betting for M&Ms, chump change, or when a casino holds a professional tournament?
The same applies to sports. A bunch of guys kicking around an odd shaped ball are playing a game called football (Aussie Rules rules!) Once again, when does it stop being a game? When the players start getting paid? Or when the punters are able to lay down a bet? And sports games have real life consequences too, for both amateur and professional alike. Even junior league players risk injury.
There are real life consequences to playing computer games too. Some have more ramifications that others. When I choose to play a game, or MMORPG, I give up that time to that activity. I won’t be reading, watching TV, or going to the local to meet friends. If I let that get out of control, those ramifications can get serious. Does World of Warcraft cease being a game if I stop bathing, working, and socialising. Nope. It’s still a game, just one I have a problem with.
I guess one of the things I have a problem with in Tobolds statement, is that he trying to define what a game is and isn’t.
Technology is providing people with many more opportunities to play games. Location based services, while fairly simple now, will evolve over time and give some the opportunity to play fictional scenarios in real world locations. Halting State by Charles Stross is a novel which addresses this to some extent. Some of which he wrote about for the near future is happening now.
Can we deny that an amusement or pastime or a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators isn’t really a game because it doesn’t fit into Tobolds narrow criteria?