Archive for December, 2007

A World Without Healers

Posted: December 31, 2007 by Kendricke in General Game Concepts

“There was some parrying of blows, of course, but the main thing was distance and movement. The best way to avoid being hurt is to not be there, so a lot of swordplay actually involves moving out of range of your opponent.”

– Andreas Wenzel, Fencing and Historical Arms Expert, cited by BBC News, August 1, 2007

In most MMO’s these days, we seem stuck on the idea of a healer class. While damage comes flying in from bigger and badder monsters, these healers play whack-a-mole with your health bars.

So why don’t we just ditch the idea altogether? Is it really that blasphemous a thought?

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Yes

Posted: December 31, 2007 by Kendricke in Out of Character

As we return from vacation and begin writing articles once more, I just have a short personal note to share:  she said yes.   That is all.

When I first started playing MUDs it wasn’t the early days of mudding, in fact it was just a year or two before the original Everquest released. The very first MUD that I played was more or less picked at random, but after about 9 months it was closed down, and I started looking around for another MUD to play. It was at this time that I realized that a huge number of MUDs existed, with a huge variety in rule sets. Player killing, roleplaying, multiboxing, were just some of the options, and they ranged from the MUD is completely centered around this topic, to it isn’t allowed at all.

For the most part a good portion of these ideas have made the transition over to MMO’s in a number of different ways, but the most popular seems to be as separate server rule sets. World of Warcraft for instance has PvP Servers, RP Servers, and PvP RP servers. Everquest 2 has a couple of PvP servers, and at least 1 Roleplaying Encouraged server. I have yet to see an MMO make a server where multiboxing isn’t allowed or the flip side where it is encouraged. I personally have never been a fan of multiboxing, but for the most part it has never seemed like a big issue in any of the games that I have played.

Probably the strangest, and maybe most unique thing that I saw some MUDs do, however, was player wipes. At the time when I first ran into this idea of periodically deleting all the characters on a server, and having everyone start over, I didn’t understand it. It didn’t make much sense to me back then, but I also didn’t give it much thought at the time. The other day I started thinking about it again and about how the idea might look if it was used in a major MMO. What if they had a server where they periodically did player wipes? Is this the worst idea ever, or did it have some merit?

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Bruce Ferguson Talks Epics with CWG

Posted: December 19, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2, Interviews

When Rise of Kunark was initially announced, one of the first and most anticipated features announced for the expansion was the return of Epic Weapon quests.  First released with the original Ruins of Kunark expansion for classic Everquest, epic weapons were considered the end-all and be-all of equipment for each of the classes of the day.  Some of these rewards were considered class defining, and most were highly prized even years later long after other gear of Kunark became obselete.

Needless to say, it was a bit of a let down for many players when it became known that they were being delayed till after release. Along with most of the playerbase, we here at Clockwork Gamer were left with many questions about the epic weapons.  Where were they?  When could we expect them?  What could we expect?

We set out on an epic quest of our own to find out.  What we managed to find – or rather “who” we managed to find was none other than the new Senior Producer, Bruce “Froech” Ferguson.  He agreed to help answer some of the queries we put to him, to hopefully shed a little light on what to expect when the epics do finally go live.

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Say It Ain’t So, Indeed

Posted: December 18, 2007 by Kendricke in LiveGamer, RMT, SOE, The Gaming Industry

As posted on the Everquest II and Vanguard official forums, Warcry’s Razorwire, and even the Wall Street Journal (and pretty much everywhere else under the sun), the RMT company LiveGamer has penned a deal with several MMO publishers to start legitimate RMT transactions within their games.

NEW YORK CITY, DECEMBER 17, 2007 – Live Gamer Inc™ (www.livegamer.com) today announced its introduction as the premier provider of a publisher-supported, secure platform for real money trading of virtual property. Live Gamer is partnering with top massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) publishers and virtual world operators worldwide, including Funcom GMBH, Sony Online Entertainment, 10TACLE STUDIOS, Acclaim, GoPets LTD, and Ping0 Interactive Limited. The company was founded by industry veterans and backed with $24 million in venture funding from Charles River Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, and Pequot Ventures.

-LiveGamer press release

Live Gamer has the support of publishers by promising to prevent the sale of goods by gold farmers, who are widely disliked because they tend to hoard game wealth without socializing with legitimate players. Live Gamers says players who sell goods through its marketplace will keep 90% of proceeds, with the remainder split between Live Gamer and the publisher. Sony, which allows the sale of virtual goods for its Everquest II game, said there is a need for an independently operated marketplace for virtual goods.

-Nick Wingfield, Wall Street Journal

The only real question most gamers will want to know is whether or not this will affect current games such as Everquest II, or if it’s set up for future games only.

Over at the Ancient Gaming Noob, Willhelm raises the question of whether or not level caps should be increased for the next Everquest II expansion.  Needless to say, I approach the subject from a notably different perspective.

I think that, by and large, new expansions for games which base progression largely upon “levels” should have consistent, regular level increases.  Especially now that the expansion cycle has been pushed out to a year, any expansion that does not release with level increases automatically means a minimum of 2 years between new level caps.  Even for relatively casual serious players like myself, that’s a long time to go without seeing additional character progression.

…and in games like Everquest II, most character progression paths are certainly tied to levels.

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News Flash! Everquest II Actually Has 25 Servers

Posted: December 14, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

This just in: There are other servers than Antonia Bayle. No, really.

I bring this up because it seems that every other player who decides to pick up Everquest II decides to go to Antonia Bayle server. Does anyone actually realize that other servers exist?  Oh sure, “AB” might be the most populated server, but does anyone stop to wonder why?

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