Archive for October, 2007

Why We Play

Posted: October 26, 2007 by Xeavn in General Game Concepts, Out of Character
Tags: , ,

I read an article over at the Daedalus Project the other day titled Player Life-Cycle. It was an interesting article looking at how players play throughout the time they spend in an MMO, and it got me thinking about why I play MMO’s, and what keeps me coming back night after night.

At the moment I find myself at the “Mastery” stage for Everquest 2 as it was defined in the article. I think this could probably be just as easily defined as the end game. It is the point where I would turn the game off and play something new if it was a single player game. I have reached max level, and I have all of my achievement points. I do raid on a regular schedule, and I enjoy the challenge that raiding brings, but it isn’t what keeps me playing.

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Saw this story referenced at FOHGuild.org this morning:

As reported at Destructoid:

The email from Mythic VP Rob Denton was sent to all employees of Mythic and details some of the plans to reduce costs by cutting jobs as well as some actions already taken. Headcount will be managed through “attrition, performance management, stricter hiring guidelines and layoffs”. Over the next two months, the Ultima Online team will be moving from EA Redwood Shores to Mythic’s Fairfax, VA studio to streamline operations. Meanwhile, a number of employees at both studios have already been let go as of earlier today including many UO staffers, with more to follow as EA tightens its belt in the coming months.

As a follow-up to the news on the Ultima Online layoffs, Tensor posted at Ultima Online Stratics:

Alot of the UO team was laid off today including me and all of QA.

We were escorted out of the building and not even allowed to email our goodbye email to everyone else. They even had managers watching us the whole time like we had done something wrong.

Could this mean cuts at Bioware (a company just voted one of the Canada’s top 10 employers)?  I wouldn’t bet against the idea.

EQII: Status Loot now has Five More Levels?

Posted: October 19, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

I must have missed the memo.  Either that, or another change apparently slipped through the patch notes.  This time, the change could result in a massive shift of balance for guilds looking to level up after Rise of Kunark is released.

Last night while we merrily romped through the Shard of Fear with reckless abandon, one of my guildmates noticed something odd about the status loot that was dropping.  Where before Emerald Amulets stated they could be turned in to provide guild status for guilds under level 70, they now stated level 75.  Older Tier 7 status items now claimed they were good up till level 65.

In other words, it would seem that SOE has tacked on another five levels to status loot.  Guilds at the current level cap of 60 can now hoarde not only Tier 8 items…but also Tier 7. 

We’ll keep an eye out to see if these items revert back in the meantime…

As I turned on my computer this morning, and headed to the Everquest 2 website, my only thoughts were on finishing the article I had begun writing. It was an article doing a comparison between Everquest 2’s old outdated site, and World of Warcraft’s more recently updated site. Much to my surprise the site that showed up on my screen was not the same site I had been reviewing yesterday. Sony had finally updated their site!

Does that mean that the article is no longer needed? Well I don’t think so. If anything it is a good chance to go back and see how the new site has changed from the old site, and how the new site compares with the old site. On top of that I can still see how it stacks up against World of Warcraft’s site. (more…)

And They Tell Two Friends…

Posted: October 18, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2, General Game Concepts

About two years ago, a colleague and friend at the company I worked at talked me into buying a TiVo.  It wasn’t a hard sale, since I’d already been looking into picking one up and because (as Dan helpfully pointed out) there was a sale at BestBuy that week on the latest TiVo units.

So, I plunked down my credit card and found myself part of the “Tivolution” as my monthly newsletters point out.  Not too long after picking up the TiVo, he talked our friend Tom into buying a box.  This year, I’m thinking of buying my brother one for the holidays. 

So what does all this talk about TiVo have to do with online gaming?  Two words:  reward points. 

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Everquest II: Game Update 39

Posted: October 17, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

If you’re stuck at work, here’s your patch notes: 

HIGHLIGHTS

* The Fear Gate in the Feerrott has opened! The Shard of Fear, a fraction of the Plane of Fear, is now accessible by Norrathian mortals. Only seasoned adventurers traveling in groups should dare look upon this realm of terror and dread.
* Further sighting of mysterious visitors from Kunark have occurred in the waters near Freeport and Qeynos. See Admiral Marc Grenich in Qeynos Harbor and Livia Montellus in Freeport East to join in the investigations of these visitors.
* Guild banks have been extended with several new options. See the Guild Banks section below for details.

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How Do You Figure?

Posted: October 17, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

There’s a lot of numbers involved in MMO’s.  If these numbers were more public, it’s likely that new players would be outright overwhelmed by the sheer amounts of mathematics involved in some of the processes which the average player never really needs to worry about.

For the general masses, the underlying formulas aren’t really all that relevant.  To these typical players, more and bigger is generally understood to be better than less or smaller.  More Strength is better than less Strength.  Bigger damage is better than smaller damage.  More regeneration is better than less regeneration.

But what about the not-so-average player.  What about the players who enjoy digging into the numbers, who like to figure out the formulas?  What about those players who want to draw back the curtain, who want to see the wizard? 

For those players, the discovery and exploitation of these formulas is itself a game within the game.  Figuring out the mechanics is to some players what reading the sourcebooks was to the dinner table roleplayers of a previous generation. 

How many of you sat around trying to build the “perfect” Thief/Fighter/Illusionist for hours on end?  How many of you spent days trying to build the perfect 55 ton 5-8-5 Battlemech?  How many of you can still recall to-hit charts from Star Fleet Battles? 

For those of you who wouldn’t mind taking a peek under the hood of Everquest II’s mechanics, I present to you this small glimpse into many of the more important formulas that you’re likely to find most useful.

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