I just wanted to dump a bunch of random, non-linked thoughts that have been bubbling through my mind about WoW and MMOs in general:
1. Massively has a blog-crush on Second Life, and The Common Sense Gamer finally called them out on it. Hilariously, Massively posted numerous comments to the effect of “nuh-UH!” and “It’s what the readers want!” Yeah, because nobody wants to hear about those pesky “games” like Warhammer Online, Mythos and the like. Give us more virtual furry perverts and their playground!
I posted a couple comments on that blog post, including this: “Just because a program has many users is not a good reason to cover it, nor to give it disproportionate coverage. If that’s your argument, then why isn’t Massively giving 10+ posts a day on Lineage, Lineage II, Maple Story, Runescape or any other “large subscriber/player/user” program? What about Kingdom of Loathing?“
2. Blizzard’s ever-increasing focus on Arenas and e-Sports (shudder) is scaring a lot more people than just me. Blizz has admitted that many of the recent class nerfs (and, lest we forget, a WATER NERF) are due to the imbalance of Arena (not battleground) PvP. Nerfs and class-hating aside, for those of us who love the PvE portion of the game, how are we supposed to take this shift in focus other than the discomforting notion that PvE isn’t “as good” as PvP any more? If PvP offers easier and better gear for the casual or hardcore than PvE, than what incentive is there for me to continue on in the PvE game when I hit 70 instead of dedicating 100% of my time to Arena combat?
3. The Tournament Realm is a huge mistake. WoW PvP combat isn’t fun to watch, Blizzard is throwing out time and effort to substitute with cold, hard (additional) cash, and this will only place a heavier emphasis on class “balance” (and the subsequent nerfs).
4. What am I most excited about in Path 2.4? Among the goodies, I’ll have to pick Magister’s Terrace, the first new non-box 5-man instance added to the game since (I think) Dire Maul. Or Mauradon. In any case, 5-mans are some of the most fun runs of this game, and the new MT offers great loot: badges, a phoenix pet, 20-slot bags, and so on.
5. I was huge into City of Heroes before playing WoW, and I still hold it as the best, most fun combat I’ve played in any MMO. Therefore, I am all a-tingle with the news that Cryptic Studios (the team that made CoH) is hard at work on a new superhero MMO, Champions Online. In addition to many of the great gameplay elements of CoH, Champions Online includes: creating a personal super-nemesis at character creation who will be battling you through your entire career, facial expressions that change, various stances/walking animations, choosing strengths and weaknesses, cross-class skill purchasing (for a higher cost), and play areas across the entire world, instead of just a city. I’m psyched!
6. The lesson we’ve learned from big-name projects such as Ultima Online 2, Mythic, Gods & Heroes and Star Trek Online is this: don’t ever get your hopes up too high for a MMO game, particularly if it’s in the beginning stages of development. If it’s release day plus 60 and the game seems to be doing well, then you may commence with hope.