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Anniversary for Sword I Fun of Moria I WoW Gossip
O RLY? YA RLY! Frostmourne's Price Tag I Media Grotto: Book 13 Shots I Letters

MMORPGAMER
Issue #113 MMO Confessions
April 10, 2008

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Welcome to MMORPGamer.

On this late night version of MMORPGamer, we'll discuss some of the gossip surrounding the latest in MMOs. It's been a long week for most MMORPGamers, with little news to go around. Luckily, some letters have found their way into my inbox. Enjoy:


  Anniversary for Sword

Sword of the New World

The community of Sword of the New World is celebrating their birthday starting this week. The beginning of the festivities include a large number of events that will expand into the summer months with in-game events.

There are three contests held that each player should be able to find niches in. The first, a screenshot contest, is for anyone who has screens from their adventures. The second, "The Written Word" contest, allows those who prefer writing to earn a reward. Finally, the media contest catches all other types of user-created content possible, allowing entries in movies and songs. Each contest has a 5000 gold grand prize and raffle tickets for any entrants: two for screens, three for written words, and five for media.

The raffle prizes are as follows:

  • One grand prize of 1 Archangel Wing, 5000 gold, 1 30-day Combat Manual 100%, and 1 30-day Tactics Manual 100%
  • 4 prizes of 5000 gold
  • 16 prizes of 15 day Archangel Wings

    Full details on the current contests are available at the official forum post. These ones start on the 14th, so start writing, screencapping, singing, or filming now.


  •   WoW Gossip

    World of Warcraft

    This week, World of Warcraft was on the mind of two very big names. First, at the M16 marketing conference in San Francisco, Craig Sherman of Gaia Online said that the huge MMO was "not a success." The meeting between many free-to-play developers focused on what market share these types of games may have in the future.

    Sherman believes that WoW's 10 million subscribers are nothing compared to the 800 million teens of the world. I understand where he's coming from, with most developers requiring the plastic that teens simply don't have. However, to mock what WoW has done to the online gaming market is simply foolish. Personally, I look at Gaia with a little bit more disdain now. Thanks, Sherman.

    Meanwhile, Ken Levine, creator of Bioshock, quoted WoW as one of his top five favorite games. In an interview with MSNBC, Levine lamented his /played count. He says WoW is his pair of slippers and glass of scotch at the end of the day. From the mouth of such a creative giant, such words shouldn't be scoffed at. I treasure his word much higher than Gaia's creator.


      Fun of Moria

    Lord of the Rings Online

    I have a confession. Turbine's new ploy to create interest in Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria has got me hooked. While I should be playing WoW or studying, most of my time has been swallowed by the new minigames on the official site. There, the game entitled "King Under the Mountain" plays like Risk with the computer doing the work.

    Playing the game nets you Deeds, which enables you to view exclusive Mines of Moria content. Many people are trying to unlock them as fast as possible, while some -- myself included -- would rather play the game. Those that want to understand the game under the hood can see the new FAQ regarding the game of domination.


      O RLY? YA RLY!
    Frostmourne's Price Tag

    World of Warcraft

    The auction of the official Frostmourne replica has ended with the winning bid of $20,000. The 28" steel blade with genuine leather grip is a sweet piece of work, but I wouldn't buy it for such a steep price. If you don't believe it, check it out here.


      Media Grotto
    Book 13 Shots

    Lord of the Rings Online

    Here are some new screenshots from Forochel, the new area in Book 13 of Lord of the Rings Online.




      Letters

    Marshall Law

    Hi Jake,

    With announcements from both Blizzard and Square that new MMO franchises have hit the drawing boards I have to assume that every other company out there is rushing to get theirs released ASAP. Square's release of FFXI has been impressive in sustaining its monthly subscription base, its been a solid 500,000 users since 2004. And Blizzard's WoW has had less time in the spotlight, but jumping to 500,000 users between July 2004 and January 2005 was neat, and its climb to over 10,000,000 current subscribers is incomparable. I don't mean to exclude the Lineage titles here, which have both proven even more successful than Square's FFXI, I simply have not heard of any new franchise announcements from NCSoft. You have to think that there's something these companies are doing right that none of the competition seems to be able to match. Having played countless hours in both FFXI and WoW, I completely understand why these games have the track records that they hold, they are both the most addictive and amazing experiences I've had in the MMO genre, with FFXI providing the most solid 'hardcore' experience, and WoW providing the same for the 'casual' player. Every couple weeks I find myself feeling drawn back to one or the other... Each of their expansions look so tempting.

    My money is right now on Age of Conan and Warhammer as likely competitors to these mammoth MMO subscription bases, but I honestly don't imagine that they will beat out WoW, Lineage 1/2 or FFXI, not in the long run. Time will tell :) I'm very anxious to see what future MMOs will be released from Blizzard and SquareEnix, I wont hold my breath, but I do believe that the next titles we see from them will again blow the competition out of the water. I don't mention NCsoft because they have already released other Franchises, nothing comparing to the titles already mentioned.

    Please correct me if I'm misinformed in any way or if you can fill in any gaps. I'm curious of your comments, and what you think.

    Marshall

    Jake

    I see what you mean and agree with you. AoC and Warhamer both look like they'll pick up the slack inbetween the giants, if they don't end up being giants in their own right. In the meantime, I still love the casual play I'm able to get through WoW. I enjoy having a life too much to be hardcore.

    However, I think the innovations that the two newbies mentioned above bring should be considered. If it plays its cards right, Warhammer might be able to make PvP entertaining for those of us that prefer PvE. I know that the public quest system has made me turn my head lately. Who wouldn't want such a flexible experience toward a common goal?

    Also, Age of Conan might be able to revolutionize the combat system in MMOs of the future. I agree, though, that the next titles from the giants will be hard to compete with. The next few years will be an exciting time for all MMORPGamers.



    Squeenix! Ha!

    Hey there Jake,

    Your invitation to rant and rave came at a right moment. I most definitely need to blow off some steam, haha! What a day it was...

    What's up with that Red Stone game huh? It'll be in the World Cyber Games? Haha, that's special! I like the way the game looks by the way. I have a soft spot for the ol' 2D isometric type games, hehehhh... They should develop a Massive Multiplayer UFO: Enemy Unknown.... Including old school graphics! That would be superfly! Now that was a good game! And it can totally be done online!! Okay, so it's not an MMO... Somehow my rants always end up totally away from MMORPG's. I do apologize!!

    So anyways... Is Pirates of the Burning Sea any good? It looks kind of cool! But it's not free is it? I do wonder what it's like... Man... I need a new MMO experience... But a NEW one too! Not the same old stuff... I'm even starting to dig that Champions Online game. It looks pretty nifty!

    Jake

    Actually, PotBS has been pulling my interest lately, too. Our lovely staff reviewer Paws is currently on duty, working on PotBS as we type. I'm definitely excited for it. Stay tuned.

    I'm so glad someone else is digging Champions. I've been excited since I first heard about it and can't stop thinking about it. Let's hope it turns out well on both the PC and Xbox 360.

    Hey, I just came up with the ultimate perfect awesome MMO! No seriously man!! Hold on... Sit down first if you aren't already sitting. Here comes:

    Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Online

    How's that for a cool title! Only they should stear away from using handhelds to "help" us with the controls. Guilds that are being formed will be the little villages dotted on the countryside, hoping for their brave young souls to embark on a quest for... That.... Mana-liquid-stuff-from-a-tree.... *sigh*

    You can meet up with other caravans and help eachother out. Every village will have it's own unique item that can only be acquired by trading or something and every Mana-tree (or whatever) will only be tappable (is that a word?) every so often, so sometimes it can be a really difficult task to find a tree to tap... Sounds cool doesn't it? No? Nehh, didn't think so... But a man may dream, may he not? I loved FF:CC. Mayhaps "My life as a King" will be what I am looking for! :D

    Now, if Squeenix doesn't like that idea, perhaps they should go for........... Nothing....

    Well... I am kind of ranted out... I should head home too, I was finished with work about an hour ago...

    One last question. What are your thoughts on Happy Hardcore? And what is YOUR favourite (non-MMO) RPG. (Okay, so that's TWO questions...) Mine is the Suikoden series in it's entirety, just so you know! :D

    Ooh, Suikoden Online... Why didn't I think of that before? Oh wait, I did..

    Jake

    I like the idea about an online Crystal Chronicles game, but that sounds more like online functionality. I wouldn't be against buying it with a few more aspects of gameplay, though. I'm a sucker for those cute little characters.

    I have no idea what Happy Hardcore is, and I'm not sure I want to know. Eep.

    Since my favorite RPGs are visible on my bio, I guess I'll give you my current two: Persona 3 and Lost Odyssey. I'm playing these two whenever I get a chance, and I can't wait to pick up FES when it's released.

    Oh, and I love the name "Squeenix." Mind if I start using it?



    Curtis's Thesis on MMOs, Part Deux

    Hey! Sorry for the month late response. Life happens.

    As far as MMO combat goes and other non combat activities within MMOs, I think anything that pushes the genre forward is good.

    You mention that you like combat in MMOs because its an escape from the real world...it allows you to do something you can't do in the real world. While I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, that statement applies to a lot more genres as well. The success of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises are because they do just that, allow users to escape from the real world and be immersed into an alternate world as a rock star. Now I'm not saying have Rock Band, God of War, Gran Turismo, Ace Combat and Cooking Mama all into one massive MMO, but I think that looking to single player franchises is a good idea, because it allows you to see the most advanced forms of (sub)genres (minigames, so far, in MMOs). And with more and more (sub)genres (again, minigames at this point) being implemented into MMOs (racing games - FFXI's chocobo racing; music games - SWG and LOTRO; flying games- WoW and V:SoH), you have to know how to advance these "subgenres" and not be stuck in a rut.

    Does that make sense? It's a bit convoluted, but hopefully I got my point across.

    Anyways, back to the basics. Combat in Champions Online sounds awesome, your right. Though the only iteration of M:UA I played was on PSP, it was lots of fun. Though I have to admit...I really REALLY like Fantasy MMOs. I know, I know; they're overdone. I just really like a well done fantasy setting.

    Once CO is released, you and me buddy, you and me.

    -Curtis

    Jake

    I agree, the point of minigames becoming stale is incredibly valid. I see that in the flying runs in WoW. Whether on a rail or not, the bombing is starting to get old. I'd love to get some Cooking Mama into my WoW, though.

    I love a good fantasy setting, too. I prefer them to be quirky, though. That's the only reason WoW has won my affection. If it didn't have humor and steampunk, I don't think I'd like it nearly as much.

    Champions all the way!



     Log Out

    The week comes to a close not a moment too soon. Now that we've all experienced so many great tidbits and letters, it's time for everyone to tuck themselves in, myself included. Have a good night and pleasant tomorrow.

    /camp,
    Jake Miller (mail me)


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