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Warhammer Destined for Next Summer I NCSoft Buys City of...
Tuesday: Patch 2.3 I EVE to Welcome Mac and Linux

MMORPGAMER
Issue #91 Heroes, Starships, and Extra XP
November 8, 2007

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Welcome to MMORPGamer.

After the drought that was last week, I've got four full news stories for you. Games continue to switch hands and progress is made in two MMOs. Read on:


  Warhammer Destined for Next Summer

Warhammer Online

Mark Jacobs of Warhammer Online updated the game's forums and newsletter with the state of the MMORPG. He has included some of the intended changes and progress in the lack of current testers.

The most important details of the forum post are the new testing period and release quarter. In December, the developers intend to go into a new stage of testing before the new announced release during the second quarter of 2008.


  NCSoft Buys City of...

City of...

NCSoft recently purchased all rights to the City of... franchise from its developer, Cryptic Studios. The company was able to sign all of the original team members except for Jack Emmert, the Statesman and former Creative Director.

The move has been beneficial to players in the many gifts NCSoft has handed out. All accounts are now enabled to play either client, allowing players to play both heroes and villains if they had formerly only paid for one. Also, soon after Issue 11 is out, all supergroups will receive a 20,000 prestige bonus for every member capped at three million prestige. The devs also plan on wiping everyone's debt at some point in the near future.


  Tuesday: Patch 2.3

World of Warcraft

In World of Warcraft news, patch 2.3 is due next week. This comes straight out of this forum post where arena season three is also announced to begin the following week.

This patch, still on the test realms, brings a faster leveling experience, Zul'Aman, and guild banks. It's a huge update, and should bring more players into the fold. I know I'll be bringing up my alts starting next week.


  EVE to Welcome Mac and Linux

EVE Online

Over the weekend, EVE Online announced that the new patch, which hit yesterday, would feature Mac and Linux clients and support. This will open up the player-base for this single-server game.

This definitely excites me as a Mac user. I just got my Leopard this morning, and I can't wait to try out EVE Online. The next two weeks will be my experiment with the free trial, so check back next week for news on how it goes.


  Letters!

Too Much or Not Enough Gold?

Hey Jake,

How have you been?

Jake

I've been doing all right. Participating in a little challenge that's taking up some of my time and giving me stress, but what's life without stress?

MMO's based on existing licenses huh? History shows us that any game based on a license, mostly of the movie kind, has a very high risk of suckage. Some developers seem to rely too much on the fact that there is an established fan base, and seem not to care about whether their product is actually fun! This seems most true for the movie licenses. It goes the other way around as well. I am NOT looking forward to World of Warcraft the Movie.

Jake

I grant that WoW's movie will probably be awful, but I will wait until I'm in the theatre to make a judgment. I'm a fanboy at heart and so I'm hoping it'll at least be another Transformers.

Now I haven't got hands on experience with license based MMO's, but I've heard enough disturbing rumours about some of them. Star Wars Galaxies doesn't seem to have a grand reputation, and Matrix Online... Does it still exist? Lord of the Rings Online seems to be a rip-off of WoW... Again, I have no experience with the game, so I could be wrong, but it just seems that way. They never seem to live up to expectations.

Jake

I've heard about SWG and MO, but never played them - can you tell I love acronyms? I've heard the combat system in Matrix Online was a sort of rock-paper-scissors mess, but the continuation of the movie's story was fantastic. With my love of lore, I consider that game to be a slight success even with its shortcomings.

On the other hand, perhaps the problem is that no matter how good the game actually is, fans (especially) are going to be disappointed anyways. Since it is based on something that already exists, people are going to have a certain idea about it in their heads. If an MMO goes into a different direction than what someone would expect from his/her favourite show/movie/tabletop wargame/whatever, they're going to think it will suck big time.

Jake

I think many fans go satisfied, but we would never know. It sucks that the loudest fanbase is the unhappy troll demographic.

One other thing suddenly springs to mind. Many of these licenses' stories center around characters. Neo, Luke Skywalker, you name it. They are extremely significant, if not critical to the story that's being told. You can't turn that story into an MMO, because you can't have a million Neos or Lukes or Frodos running around, thus the players will always have a different role from the main story, a role that probably won't appeal to all people... And there's only One Ring... Right? Not 3 million. Am I making sense here?

Jake

In these licenses, it depends on the nature of the story. I believe that the MMOs are plausible because they are epics. The Matrix didn't start as one, but it sure ended as one. Only in movies and books where there are armies can an MMO be acceptable.

I understand where you're coming from, but I think you should consider the difference in scale between LOTRO and any franchise based on one particular character. Spawn, for instance?

What license would I like to see made into an MMO? Tough question.. The Forgotten Realms setting for D&D would probably be the best. It doesn't suffer from the critical characters in the storyline, as the setting is just that, a setting. There's no storyline that's already been told, no characters we already love. Players won't get the feeling of being insignificant, there is no outcome yet.

Jake

Hmmm. I'm not sure how well you know Forgotten Realms (and I know little), but I'm sure that there's a lore to it that involves beloved characters. I understand what you mean, though, about the setting. If it's a world to be explored, how can one feel insignificant?

If I dare be a little more original than that, mayhaps the books written by R.E. Feist (Rift Wars and such) could make a cool MMO. Midkemia Online... That storyline however does have the aforementioned important characters, so it would be slightly more difficult to tell a story besides the ones in the books. Forgotten Realms does sound promising though! I hope they will throw in Sim-style house building in it! ;)

Anyways, I hope my rant was clear enough for you to understand. It was difficult even for me to follow!

Cheers and salutations,

Daniel Brouwer
The Netherlands
Jake

I followed the majority of it, and I hope that my counterpoints made sense, too. Oh, and cheers to you for reading my column from the Netherlands.



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With the release of EVE Online's Mac client, I'll be diving into that later this evening, and I hope to report to you guys on this little MMORPG. Let me know if you have any opinions or advice on the game.

In the vein of trying out new things, I'd encourage you to try out a new MMORPG. The benefit of this genre is the abundancy of free trials, so pick one up and send me an e-mail letting me know if you love it or hate it.

Until then,
Jake Miller (mail me)


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