Edward Castronova has posted that work on Arden, his students’ Shakespeare-themed world, will cease, and they will start looking ahead to the next game. He discusses some of the reasoning for this in his post, and I had a talk with him about when I was in Indiana last month. One persistent problem they had was answering the question: what do you actually DO all day?
‘What do you do all day’ is a surprisingly persistent problem, whenever the design powers-that-be considers exploring either new genres or gameplay paradigms. The answer that most MMOs have come to, combat and quests, is the chosen answer for a lot of good reasons, but it’s not the only solution. Still, it merits examination of why combat succeeds, and what any other activity needs to do to surplant it. Continue reading
Metal enthusiasts remember how Metallica eschewed music videos for nearly a decade before deciding to jump into the MTV fray with their first video, “One”. That video is simultaneously one of the finest music videos ever made, as well as the beginning of their descent into mediocrity (my guess is the success of ‘One’ gave them a taste for the sweet, sweet taste of steady paychecks).
Yesterday, it was leaked that Metallica would be releasing their next single on Rock Band first (in theory, before the radio or MTV). This is a wholehearted embrace of the game genre, especially after Metallica songs were noticeably absent (and sorely missed) from GHI, GHII and GHRt80s.
We now breathlessly await when (and more importantly, how) Metallica will get past their anti-P2P music stance.
One of my random and frequent overstatements, “The yellow exclamation mark is the greatest invention in the history of MMO design.” Now, I don’t really think that (the real greatest invention would be, of course, clickable hyperlinks for items in chat), but I still think it’s way up there.
Of course, WoW didn’t invent the ‘hey! there’s a quest here!’ signifier – several games, including some non-MMOs, had it at some point. Other games have made their own interpretations of it – I believe LotRO’s looks like a one ring, for example. There’s clear indication why this idea has persisted – it does good things for your game. Of note: Continue reading
The linkage. I can’t seem to find a permalink right now, so if you’re not reading this today, you may have to scroll down a bit.
Seriously, did they hire Second Life’s PR person or what?
This guy’s complaint: “Guitar Hero broke my knee!”
We were neck in neck in points… I had to do something special. I needed STYLE points. I breathed deep, my rock meter was maxed out and I was going to make this audience feel it. I twisted to the right and threw my guitar in the air! Instead of a roaring audience I heard a loud snap! My knee slid to the outside of my leg and my leg bent sideways as I fell to the ground.
Half the people in the room were concerned the other half called me a pussy. I was writhing in pain and pushed my leg back into place. I hobbled to the bathroom to a closer look and couldn’t bend my swollen leg anymore.
On a personal level, I just wanted to note that last night, my guild finally dropped Lady Vashj (one of the more insanely complicated fights in WoW), after well over a month of trying two nights a week to get her down. Somehow, last night, everything just clicked, and on our third attempt, we beat her down with 20 people standing at the end.
This cements our status as the #1 guild on our server, according to WoWJutsu, which to our guild, is the really important thing. See, at the top end of the raiding game, there exists fierce competition on each server to be the best raiding guild, where ‘best’ is defined primarily by number of boss kills, with extra weight given to first kills. I like to call this competition the ‘Great Race’ – largely because it sounds pretentious. Anyway, WoWJutsu has codified this into a score for each guild (by scraping the Armory, which is admittedly imperfect at best), and is now considered by many raids to be the definitive WoW scoreboard. Continue reading