Author Archives: Ethic

About Ethic

I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

$150? Are You Nuts?

Bullet Points made me do it.

Star Wars The Old Republic has priced their collector’s edition at $150. I just do not see the value here. Perhaps because the figurine/statue thing is not something I give a rat’s ass about. I’m still not even sure I want to play this game and this is coming from someone that buys and plays every mainstream MMO. Heck I even have the Age of Conan collector’s edition somewhere around here. With that said, I would have probably foolishly purchased the SWTOR-CE at a price point of $79.95 based on my past history. I really like soundtracks and art books (Guild Wars gets me every time). Thank you Bioware for putting more money into my motorcycle parts fund.

I guess I finally have reached a point where I can see through the hype a little bit and have no problem waiting for a chance to actually try before I buy. However if this was Guild Wars 2 I’d be frothing at the mouth to throw money at them and I barely ever play Guild Wars 1. They know how to turn me into a customer.

I really don’t have anything else to say other than this: If you bought the CE, enjoy it! If you didn’t, enjoy your money!

- Ethic

Note to self: Use bullet points next time.

Thoughts and Speculations on the Support Class

This is a guest article from Captain Scrat.
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For a long time we have known that ArenaNet; the makers of the fine game we all love, Guild Wars, have decided it is time to break the stone engraved rules of the holy trinity: The Tank (a player that will be able to hold the pressure of attacks from the NPC), The DPS (a very strong player that will deal as much as possible of damage per second) and The Monk (a key part of the trinity that will be able to keep the tank and the others alive). ArenaNet wanted to come up with a new concept of battle for their upcoming game: Guild Wars 2. They have always tried to distinguish themselves and make something different that the traditional MMO’s do not have. In this case, it was the idea of breaking the holy trinity.

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Pirates of the Burning Sea Goes Free to Play

Or should that be “Free to Plunder”?

We’re preparing to change the business model of Pirates of the Burning Sea from subscription to free-to-play (hence forth to be known as F2P). This is the culmination of a decision that was made back at the end of last year, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce it. It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly, and we’ve put in a lot of planning and work to make this a seamless transition. We’re very excited about this direction for a number of reasons.

First, it reduces the barrier of entry for new players to come in and try the game. Experience has shown us that players who try the game tend to stick with the game, so we want to remove any impediment for a player to try the game. Free trials are great, but the knowledge that there’s a required subscription makes potential players think in terms of commitment—”do I want to be paying every month for the long term” rather than “will I have fun with it tonight?” The first question is hard for any product, but we feel really good about the answer to the second.

- Ethic

All Points Bulletin – The End

Well that is that.

APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end. Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone’s best efforts to keep the service running; APB is coming to a close. It’s been a pleasure working on APB and with all its players. Together we were building an absolutely amazing game, and for that, we thank you. You guys are awesome!

From all of the Realtime World staff we thank you for your continued support.

The servers are still up, so join the party and say goodbye!

- Ben ‘APBMonkey’ Bateman (Community Officer)

- Ethic

Free Love

Feeling the itch to try something different? Love is free to play this weekend.

This weekend Love will be free to play for anyone who wants to. All you need to do is download the client(42Mb), un-zip it start love.exe . Then just click “play for free” and you are in.

It wasn’t a game for me, but it might be for you. It certainly is different.

- Ethic

Party Time – Level 80

After several tries, with my prior best being level 41, I have finally reached level 80 in World of Warcraft. It only took using the refer a friend program for triple XP up to level 60 and a total of 9 days, 16 hours, 6 minutes and 26 seconds to get from 0 to 80 but I finally reached the cap. Thus, we had a party.

80 Warlock

Hard core brother (HCB) came over and we went to see “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”. Awesome movie, go see it.

After that, we had Horde Cake.

Horde Cake

Later the HCB took the wife and I out for some delicious Greek food, complete with belly dancing. When we got back home I spent a while showing him all the cool Guild Wars 2 videos and he actually seemed excited to see more. It was a good party.

- Ethic

Quote of the Day

Now if, back in 1978, you’d told me that there were going to be three main character classes in future MMOs, I would probably have assumed some kind of rock/paper/scissors relationship among them for reasons of balance. Archers beat infantry, cavalry beat archers, infantry beat cavalry — that sort of thing. I don’t believe for a moment I’d have gone with what we have, which is the “trinity” of tank, heals and dps. The tank takes all the damage issued by the opponent, the healer reduces this damage, and the dps gives damage (dps is “damage per second”, non-players) to the opponent. This doesn’t make a great deal of sense in gameplay terms: the healer is redundant (they’re basically just armour for the tank), the premiss is unrealistic (“I’ll hit the guy in the metal suit who isn’t hurting me, rather than the ones in the cloth robes who are burning my skin off”), it doesn’t work for player versus player combat (because players don’t go for the guy in the metal suit) and it doesn’t scale (a battle with 1,000 fighters on either side — how many tanks do you need?). Don’t get me wrong, it can be a lot of fun, but it’s a dead end in design terms.

Richard Bartle, “The Evolution of the Trinity”

Snappy One-Liners

One of my main concerns while watching many of the videos the Guild Wars 2 folks have been sharing are the little one-liners the characters shout when they attack. You know, things like “Take that!”. I knew right away I would get sick of hearing that sort of thing all the time. Thankfully, they agree with me. Read this quote from their latest news, Talking Heads: VO and Dialogue in GW2:

We’re also aware that there can be too much of a good thing, which is why we’ve developed a sound throttling system so you won’t hear the same combat chatter repeated over and over again during fights. Those concerned about the game being diluted with “snappy one-liners” can breathe a sigh of relief. You won’t hear quips every five seconds, and most of them aren’t smarmy in nature. That annoys us just as much as it does you.

Make sure you listen to the samples while you are there.

- Ethic

Free Realms Housing Confusion

I grabbed a lifetime account on Free Realms for both of my kids. One of the perks of becoming a member is that you get a house as well as the free apartment everyone gets. Problem is, the house is only for one character and it is not shared over the account. Even though you can have 3 characters (I’m not sure why you’d want more than one) only one of them gets the house. The rest get apartments. I really do not understand why you wouldn’t share it to all 3 but hey that’s the rule.

The first thing my daughter does is create a new character (again it was a perk of gaining member status to get 2 more character slots) and the “you have an item to claim” icon shows up so she clicks it and next thing you know she has a house. Excitement! Decorating! Then she logs into the character she has been playing since the game came out and hey what’s this apartment thing? Where’s my house? She had no idea. So she deletes the new character thinking that the house will show up on the only character left. Oops! She just deleted her house. It’s gone for good. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m sure it warned her that the house is tied to one character only when she claimed it but for whatever reason she did not digest that information.

SuperDad steps up to the plate and contacts Free Realms support. After a few emails back and forth they grant the house to her main character and remind me to remind her not to delete that character because if she did she would be out of luck and have to buy a house in the future.

I really only have one question for them: Why would you do it that way?

- Ethic