Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

Month: July 2007 (page 1 of 2)

Attunements and 25-Man Dungeons

In order to enter some raid-level dungeons in World of Warcraft, you are required to be ‘attuned’ to those dungeons (usually signified by a key added to your keychain). Attunements are a carryover from EQ, and Blizzard has shown remarkable self-awareness about the complexity of the attunement process, even poking fun at their actual attunement process on April Fool’s Day.

A couple of months ago, World of Warcraft removed Attunements from its highest level dungeons. The removal of attunements from these dungeons beg the question – is Attunement just too hardcore for the larger audience that is now playing MMOs, thanks to WoW? Or do they still offer positive value? Continue reading

The Times They Are A Changin’

On the way to work this morning, I heard, and I am not making this up, an ad for this Russian Mail Order Bride Service on the radio. So I guess that’s mainstream now.

In other news, apparently CBS aired the World Series of Video Games over the weekend in limited markets. Did anyone watch it?


Sprint Kicks Out Customers For Requiring Too Much Handholding

Sanya has the story. I’m just now getting to it because I’m lame.

Anyone who has ever run one a service with CS costs is nodding their heads in understanding, whereas the customers are outraged. This is because your average customer cannot even IMAGINE the actual problem. It is not people who complain once a month or even once a week, but MULTIPLE TIMES PER DAY. Which is to say that the people who are the actual problem are not normal people. Continue reading

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Kidnap ‘Em

This guild is more hardcore than yours.

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 17 (Xinhua) — Brazilian Police arrested a gang on Tuesday that kidnapped the top scorer of online game GunBound in order to force him to transfer his gaming account to them.

I am more than a fish

Clearly, one of the finest pieces of machinima I’ve seen in a while.

Second Life Update: Lum Goes Native, Corps Go Elsewhere.

Scott went and did the Jane Goodall thing, only where he was going, the apes all have detachable (and upgradeable — for a price) penii. Well worth a read – and it’s a much more positive writeup than you might expect.

In related news, the LA Times is talking about how marketers are pulling out of Second Life, and how it turns out that the entire concept of commercialization is a huge turn-off to the technolibertarian base that makes up the core of SL’s community. Gee, no one saw that coming.


My One-Line Transformers Review

Once giant robots started kicking the shit out of each other, all was forgiven.


Original comments thread is here.

Somebody At The Register Plays Too Much WoW

Try to find all the cutesey in-jokes in this article: Woman Arrested for WoW Love Affair.


Both Sara and Brandon have links and discussions to WoWJutsu, which is simply Crazy Cool with Cream of Awesome Sauce. It tries to create a Guild Ranking system for raid progression based on character loot in the Armory. It’s not perfect – Sara’s post outlines some of the deficiencies of the system – but it’s an extremely impressive use of the limited data that Armory exposes.

Unfortunately, Europe’s not displayed, so we don’t know if misogyny pays off yet.


Rock Band and Guitar Hero Updates

This morning, somebody sent me the following link with this quote: “I have seen the second coming of the party game, and it is called Rock Band. All hail.”

Now that the developers of Guitar Hero (Harmonix) are working on that, the owners of the Guitar Hero franchise (Red Octane) have their work cut out for them. They’ve released an abbreviated song list from Guitar Hero 3, which includes Smashing Pumpkins, Tenacious D and the Beastie Boys. My favorite part: according to Wikipedia, Living Colour went to the studio to re-record ‘Cult of Personality’ after the original masters could not be found. More dubiously, ‘battle mode’ will grant the ability to mess with your opponent’s guitar playing, such as breaking his strings or overloading his amp. Continue reading

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