Nicodemus delurks…

Ah, March is a wonderful month. I’ve been lurking behind the scenes for a few months working on some *stuff*, but now that the seasons are changing and Springtime is on the way, I figured it was time for me to crawl out of my cave and say hello.

I will be a guest speaker at the Indie MMO Game Development Conference in Minneapolis (April 14-15). Come check it out. I’ll be hosting a wet t-shirt contest for some hotty elf chicks and you don’t want to miss out on that.

Read on for some opinions and ranting!

D&D Online: Ok, so I try to spend some time in most of the new online games when I can, and I have to admit I was sucked into D&D Online recently (Fernia server). I was quite surprised as I enjoyed it MUCH more than I did my time in World of Warcraft. Of course, I have a long list of complaints (as I do with all MMORPGs)…the auction and in-game mail system is worse than terrible, and the old “enhancement” system is very irritating. They were supposed to release a new mechanic for the enhancements “In February”, but that didn’t happen and now they are claiming “March”. You know, I waited the whole damn month of February, and nothing. They could have said “mid-February” or “late-February”, or even “We honestly don’t know when, but we are hoping in February or March”. Seriously guys, developers need to be a little more forthcoming with information sometimes.

Anyway, the questing system is pretty decent, and I have had a lot of fun both soloing and being part of groups. My happy little Cleric gets along just fine. I’d recommend giving the 10 day trial a shot. It may not be the perfect game, but it isn’t bad or mind-numbingly terrible like some other games I will decline to name.

Dave Perry’s Secret Project: Ok, for those of you that haven’t heard, Dave Perry has announced a new contest…the winner gets a job and a fully funded MMORPG. Executive produced by Dave Perry of course. This is a hot deal and opportunitity for all of you arm chair designers that think you know what you are doing. I’d recommend checking out the terms (SMALL PRINT) and taking a shot at submitting stuff. There is much more to this opportunity than just getting a design gig, so you artists and programmer types should take a look as well.

You know, when I first saw the announcement, I was quite skeptical. Why are they promising to fund an entire MMORPG? Are they completely out of good ideas? Is this a marketing gimmick where they expect to end up with a crappy player concept that they have to blow a few million on with no expectation of a hit? Is this a ploy to collect resumes and find out who is really desperate for work? And then I realized that one of my biggest complaints about this industry is the lack of fresh ideas, innovation, and talent. Perry’s Secret Project is the perfect way to inject fresh blood and concepts into the industry, and GIVE IT FUNDING. All the good ideas usually seem to die from lack of funds no? The other killer of small developers is lack of business experience. Having Dave Perry around as Executive Producer certainly takes care of that little problem. The game would be published by Acclaim (9Dragons and 2 Moons)…is this a good thing or a bad thing? Can this company become a MMO leader with some fresh ideas, or are they just going to stumble around in the dark? Time will tell…

So, all in all, I think this is a bloody good idea, and I’m tipping my hat to Dave Perry. If I wasn’t otherwise uh, involved, with something, I would probably take a shot at the contest myself. Good luck guys! I know there are a lot of killer ideas out there. Let’s see em.

Wake Tech Shoutout: Just wanted to say thank you to Wake Tech for inviting me to speak to the students in their Game Design program a few days ago. They have an awesome new Game Development Lab and some bright students.

Second Life: Is NOT a game dammit. It is just a crappy virtual world and not much better than the VRML worlds from the mid 90’s. I am going to beat the next news anchor that treats it like the best thing since sliced cheese or calls it a “leading online game”.

Finally…1.618 is cooler than 3.141

I’ll be commenting here more frequently soon. Lots of stuff to talk about : )

7 thoughts on “Nicodemus delurks…”

  1. Oooh you do live. Good to see a post out of you as I rather enjoy them (even though post about as much as Cosmik over at n3rfed nowadays :P ).

    I just ended my 10 day trial of DDO. I found it to be a decent game but not enough to draw me away from WoW. Only made it to level 5 with my fighter, but there was just no strategy involved in the game. I have all these little taunts, and debuffs and the like, and never used them, 99.9999 percent of the time all I did was smash my mouse key as fast as possible and that worked wonderfully. Now this may change at the higher levels but i owuldn’t know. The point of a trial should be to get you hooked into all the mechanics of the game, and in a comparative amount of time in WoW you get to see some of the basics of the various classes (tanking, healing , etc)

    The Enhancement system in a word sucks, the ranks in the levels was a neat idea to try and add “levels” without, well, actually adding levels. In practice however as soon as I leveled to the first rank in my new level I could already tell what it was I wanted and there was usually only one “upgrade” that seemed useful. So by the time I reached a new level I had all the Action Points that just went and get wasted when you level. All that had the effect of making it seem “grindy” which is a shame.

    Having said that I did enjoy it I , in spite of myself, actually liked the setting (the Warforged intrigue me). I still would have loved to see a Forgotten Realms MMO instead though :P The missions can be fun, and the DM voice over I was worried would be cheesy actually works for me,well except when he changes his voice to sound like an NPC, but even that as cheesy as it is brought a smile to my face as I remembered time in the PnP game.

    As for Second Life I want that program/crap to die a slow and painful death . If the media insists on calling it a game when the mainstream invariably finds out about all the “adult” content that can be readily had in SL, the outcry will spill over in to the real games (Hot Coffee will have been a speed bump in comparison).

    Hmm actually I should probably be wishing for a quick and quiet death for it.

  2. Indie MMO Game Development Conference in Minneapolis? Why do I always find out about these things so late. Maybe I’ll drive by and pretend to be important.

    Oh, and welcome back!

  3. Hey Rand’al! You know they are changing the whole enhancement system “real soon” in DDO, right? I think I’m going to stick around for a bit and see how it works out.

    Cuppycake, see you at the conf in minneapolis. Make sure you say hi.

    Ethic: Yo! Definitely drive by and be important. I’ll buy you a drink.

  4. I really, really want to get my wife to try DDO. I think it would be awesome with a static group.

  5. Yeah the blurb about a new enhancement system was on the splash screen every time I logged in. Will probably pick up another trial so I can try out another class anyway so I’m just going to hold off until they release it.

  6. I wish there was an MMO I could get into and play the hell out of and NOT get addicted for the next 24 days. Waiting for LotRO to finally drop is killing this Tolkien-nerd.

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