Category Archives: Rift

More American Standards

Rift This is the ESRB warning box that accompanies recent ads for Rift (now F2P! Oh, you’ve heard). There is talk of alcohol, other harsh language, mild naughty themes, imaginary consumption of alcohol, and — oh yes — the game is all about murdering sentient beings to death so you can loot their corpses and feed your soul(s) with power harvested from your victims.

Pink body parts will not be more than mildly suggested because we would not want to offend anyone.

: Zubon

[RIFT] Storm Legion Preview

Trion’s James “Elrar” Nichols has been reaching out to a good amount of MMO bloggers to check out the upcoming expansion for Rift called Storm Legion. The feedback so far has been pretty darn positive. He did not pass up our humble blog; just a failure to communicate coupled with my idiocy prevented it until last night. Finally I was able to get in with James to get a nice run through of what is coming in about a month.

First, let me talk about James. I’ve spoken with a lot of community reps for various MMOs, and very few seem to as excited about their products as James was. I took in to account that this might be his hundredth tour for the dirty blogger folk too. He handled all my questions with great cheer, and despite it being the end of his work day, I was seriously impressed with his energy. The RIFT community has a great community manager.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks. Continue reading

MMO Baby Fat

Keen has a post up asking whether Guild Wars 2 will surpass his “3-month” rule-of-thumb. He uses it as a metric for MMO success. How much of the launch population stays around after three months? If “most” have left, then Keen chalks it up to a bad-egg MMO. Rift, Warhammer Online, and the like seem to fall under his rule. The problem with his rule is whether it is even a valid measurement. Has any recent MMO passed 3 months under Keen’s rule-of-thumb?

The rule appears based on the mass egress of players at around 90 days. The first month, like a good drug, is free for subscription-based games. The second month begins the actual monthly tithe, which is darn near automatic in the minds of many players. It’s the moment where I would guess players on the fence decide to throw just a little more money at it since it’s just a fraction of the money already spent. It’s at the third month that I think issues, boredom, or grass-is-greener syndromes overcome the value of continuing to play. Players are implicitly asked the question of whether it is worth staying. Continue reading

Languished Thoughts

I am withering away waiting for the next Guild Wars 2 beta event. I have dreams of a dagger-charged necromancer or elementalist that I can’t wait to realize. Yet, the gaming world seems to be darkening as the light of the last Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event is receding. I am trying to shake the feeling as best as I can with Steam sales, and the like. Then I hear what is going on in the news.

Scarlet “MMO”

Except for the aforesaid exception, the MMO genre seems to be bleakening. With a gracious nod to Beau Hindman, I would say that this only seems to be the case for so-called “AAA” titles as F2P titles seem to flood across the land like a scute mob. Continue reading

The Most Exciting Post You Will Read All Week About Pretending To Fish

Check it out at The Ancient Gaming Noob. Bonus content:

Trion added in another skill with the patch called Survival. Survival seems primarily focused on giving you something to do with the fish you catch. It is basically cooking… seafood… along with the ability to make some camping gear. When the female survival trainer said, “Do you need help pitching a tent?” I thought perhaps I mis-heard… or that it was some sort of reference to the Diablo III demon hunter… everybody seems to be mentioning that.

: Zubon

Quote of the Day

…I often play female characters in MMOs: not because I want to look at a cute bottom, but because I enjoy the juxtaposition of taking such an incarnation of loveliness, wrapping her in a hulking suit of armour, and having her kick the ten living arse bells out of a muscleheap of ogres.

[Rift] Soul Train

This sounds like a really good idea, and it sounds like it is being implemented well. Kudos.

I wondering about crossing this (or the Guild Wars skill templates) with a standard mod sharing interface. You would open up a menu of builds in use, possibly player-built but why not just automatically pull the data on what is in use? Is there some sane way to show the central tendency of other players? You would not want specially named builds, and perhaps souls provide too much granularity for an effective display. Perhaps something like X is the most popular skill/soul/whatever, 30% of players choose combination ABC as three of their GW2 warrior skills, etc. I would also want some index beyond popularity, say xp earned or kills using that build, to keep people from intentionally messing with stats by, say, making Uber Warrior Build as a main then filling every slot on every other server with a level 1 using a crap build. I don’t know if enough people would do that to seriously throw off stats, but I can see the effort being made to break any game system.

: Zubon

2012 Predictions

I will now get the highest score of any MMO pundit making predictions. Ready? “It will not go live in 2012.” Whatever we’re talking about, I’m predicting that it will slip into 2013, or later, or just never ship. The game, the expansion, whatever: not in 2012. I’m going to lose a few points, since something will ship in 2012, but I don’t see how anyone can beat my accuracy rate here.

: Zubon

[Rift] Defeating the Defeatist

Jaradcel writes up another in-depth guest post on Rift PvP. Enjoy! –Ravious

Lately with the amount of PvP I have been doing, it feels like my brain is beginning to bleed “learn2play” attitudes. I have caught myself replying to obvious troll bait yells or even doing so myself.

Upon consideration, I feel like one of the root causes of this, which is far less prevalent in a PvE aspect, is because of the way developers tend to design for PvP. There are several reasons, but to start the ball rolling: Developers tend to cater to the defeatist.

Continue reading

[GW2] Space for Failure?

I’ve been mulling this for a little bit. It’s an evolution of The Essential Scatter found in Rift. Is there room in the design for player failure in the event system in Guild Wars 2?

Let’s point a finer point on it. We know that events can fork when there is failure. If centaurs are attacking a fort and there is no player defense, then the system is set up so that the fort will fall. There is also the scenario of an elite event occurring with only one or two active players. Those occurrences are more like branching scenarios than actual failure. What I am talking about is an occasion where the players are simply too ragtag, unskilled, uncooperative, or not lucid enough to beat the event. Is ArenaNet ready to punish them?

Continue reading