Tidbits from EVE, WAR, and PlanetSide 2 February 28, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, PlanetSide 2, Warhammer Online.
Tags: Bots, Cheats, MOBA, Subscription Numbers
One of thosen informational time stamp post.
New EVE Online Milestone
CCP apparently told Massively (oh, there is an official press release now too) that they passed the 500K subscription mark, which puts them into the range of EverQuest at its peak, just before the launch of World of Warcraft. Certainly the total players online has been up when I have been logged in, hitting close to 60K during the weekends. (The record is currently 63,170 online at once.) The longer term numbers show an uptick as well.
Not bad for a game that started off badly. The game has come a long way in a decade.
(Early game pictures from this CCP forum post.)
Also not bad for a studio predicted to go bankrupt… well, by one person at least.
Yeah, I’m not letting that one go yet. Financial reports do not lie, but people projecting their internal wishes about games they dislike…
Warhammer Online Trail of Tears – MOBA Edition
Meanwhile, the Warhammer Online team cannot seem to catch a break. While League of Legends roams the internet landscape as possibly the biggest online game ever, and certainly one of the few with what seems like a license to print money, EA/Mythic’s attempt to take Warhammer Online assets to create their own MOBA game, Wrath of Heroes, seems to have fallen flat.
EA has announced that the game, still in beta, is closing up shop because it did not meet its financial goals. I love how we use the word “beta” in the 21st century. Oh, and if you spent any money on it… well… no refunds. How about a couple of drink vouchers and a free month of Warhammer Online?
My own feelings remain mixed on the original game. There was a lot in it that I liked… but there was also a lot there that turned me away.
In the end, I simply stopped logging in about two months after launch, which is the real sign of whether or not a game has grabbed me. I can kid myself, but I won’t log into a game I am not enjoying.
PlanetSide 2 Bot Thoughts
I haven’t logged into PlanetSide 2 lately, but I still keep an eye on the news. And one thing that keeps popping up is the proliferation of aimbots, unauthorized add-ons that make sure you are shooting to kill every time you pull the trigger. This gives the user/cheater a huge advantage in the game.
Smed has been quite vocal about how they are working to fight aimbots, including banning the accounts of anybody caught using one.
our CS guys are banning the crap out of a whole bunch of idiots. Including two guys with 300 hours of playtime. one guy who spent $230—
John Smedley (@j_smedley) January 25, 2013
But in this war, SOE is fighting without all the tools it once had. With a free to play game that is free to download, does an account ban keep a player out of the game any longer than it takes him to create a new account and maybe grab an updated version of his aimbot?
How do you fight the aimbot blight under those circumstances?
You cannot just ban IP addresses, as a lot of people do not have a fixed IP address.
You might be able to tag the client so that it won’t log in again if an account using it has been banned. That would at least make cheaters have to download a fresh copy. A minor inconvenience for anybody with a faster internet pipe than mine… and most people seem to have faster pipes than min.
In response to all of that, it sounds like SOE might be lawyering up to go after the sites that are creating… and selling… the bots. Certainly there are EULA and DMCA aspects to exploit as well as making money on an SOE game.
But does that have any real chance of success? Will that do anything more than slow down the aim-bot menace?
In the end, will SOE just have to include auto-aim, a built-in aim assist… or aimbot… which some console shooters use to overcome the problems of aiming with the analog stick, and just nerf accuracy to simply remove the viability of aimbots in PlanetSide 2?
I know that mouse aiming is the long established norm on the PC platform and can be a skill differentiator. Should we give that up in order to make teamwork and tactics even more important?
The 2013 List – This Time it is Goals January 4, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Dungeons & Dragons Online, entertainment, EVE Online, Rift, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vanguard SOH, Warhammer Online, World of Tanks, World of Warcraft.
Tags: 2013, Runes of Magic
At the beginning of every year I write a post about the upcoming 12 months. Sometimes it is silly predictions. Sometimes my predictions are even correct, but not very often. I have made demands. I have asked questions. Here is the story so far:
- 2008 – Predictions (silly, mostly wrong)
- 2009 – Predictions (mostly silly, mostly wrong)
- 2010 – Predictions (lots of bullet points, mostly wrong)
- 2011 – Demands (mostly unmet)
- 2012 – Questions (mostly unanswered)
Now it is time for the 2013 version of my yearly post.
This year I think I am going to set goals, which is just another way of drawing some marks in the sand to measure what happened when the year finally comes to a close.
1- Finish Rift
Well, finish Rift for a specific definition of “finish.” MMOs are designed to never truly be finishable and Rift, with all its possible class builds, especially so.
In this case, it means hitting the level cap and running all of the five person instances with my main character, Hillmar, and the rest of the regular group. And, just to put another parameter in the mix, I would like to see this happen before the inevitable Summer hiatus when we head out for vacations and other distractions.
2- Find a new goal in EVE
2012 was about learning to live in null sec and flying in large fleet operations. There were large wars going on throughout most of the year and I flew all over null sec in fleet ops. Now, however, things have quieted down. There was no “Winter Break War” as there was last year and the prospect of any big conflict seems pretty remote right now. We have been effectively ordered to not do anything that might result in the CFC having to deal with any more sovereignty.
Which puts me out of a job.
So I am in training mode with a little bit of ratting and selling now and again. That can be lucrative, but it is also dull, as is mining. (Though I hear from Gaff that with the new NPC AI, he has to actually tank all his mining ships as the rats now change targets. And they pop drones without mercy, making drones pretty much useless for mission running and the like. So mining is dull AND annoying now!)
There are some things I could train up. There are a few decent guides on planetary interaction out there, if I wanted to add that do my EVE resume. There are some player skills I could work on, like scanning. I am hopeless at scanning at the moment and, historically, every time I make an effort to figure it out, CCP changes how it works.
But as for what would essentially be a new vocation in EVE, I do not have a plan… or even a general direction. It might be time to go back to that chart.
3- Get to Tier IX in World of Tanks
This is something of a vague goal, as I do not really have my eye on any specific Tier IX tank in WoT. For now the Soviet heavy tanks seem to be my favorites, followed by the German tank destroyers. But who knows, I might be mad for French self propelled guns or get the itch to nip about the field of battle in one of those Cromwells. And then there is the Chinese tank line coming along soon. Or so they say.
Anyway, barring any dramatic need to start up on another branch of the tree, Tier IX ought to be an obtainable goal even with my somewhat sporadic play schedule. I just need some focus.
Good luck on that.
4- Finish that Second Instance Group Video
Almost a year back I put together a video about the first year of the regular instance group in World of Warcraft. Fun stuff. I like to go back and watch that video now and again. Not quite as emotionally evocative as Sayonara Norrath, but a lot closer to home.
Originally I was going to make a video about our whole experience, but that was a huge project, so I cut it back to just the first year with the idea that I would do one for each of our six… headed into seven… years.
But while the first year was a good plan (for me at least) as it gets our origin, how do you distinguish it from year two, three, four, and so on? So I decided I needed another specific subject.
I chose our time in Wrath of the Lich King for the next video. I even started in on the long job of reviewing and editing pictures. WotLK was the pinnacle of the instance group in WoW, where we finally got our act together. It was also our downfall, the last happy time in WoW. We got good at the game only to find that it isn’t that much fun when you are good. When you are a random, badly equipped group running comedy specs in the wrong roles, every boss kill is a major victory. When you are geared appropriately, using the right spec, and playing your role correctly, it starts to become a matter of just figuring out the gimmick for any given boss.
Still, those were good times and set a standard of effort and fun that Cataclysm couldn’t match. And it was a nice, discreet time frame. We were there the day the expansion launched through to finishing off the last instance.
Piece of cake to put it together, right?
Except I cannot find the right music. I need that to inspire me. Earl’s rendition of Eleanor Rigby, with its twangy sounds and great mix of nostalgia and irony (all the lonely people indeed!) really moved me to finish the first video. But I have not found the right music to get me excited to finish this video yet. What will capture Northrend and the instance group, our travels, our defeats, and our victories?
So really my goal is really to find the right music. We shall see if I can get there.
5- Retry an MMO That Didn’t Stick
There are a number of MMOs out there which I have tried and let drop after some effort. For one reason or another the games just did not hold my attention or otherwise compel me to keep moving forward.
There are a number of options for this goal. Possibilities include Vanguard, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Star Trek Online, Runes of Magic, Warhammer Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and probably a few more I have forgotten. Pirates of the Burning Sea maybe!
The trick here of course is to find a game where whatever made me stop playing has either been changed/fixed or was something that I have since changed my mind about. And that, in turn, is something of a function of the time that has passed since I last played the game.
SWTOR, for example, is just a year gone by, and I did not like blaster combat or having dialog forced on my character. The former probably hasn’t changed, while the latter is the vaunted “fourth pillar” that was going to distinguish the game, so it seems like unlikely that I am going to like the game any more than I did the first time around.
At the other end of the spectrum is Vanguard, which I haven’t really played since late beta, and which I only recall as being an ugly, lagging, broken, resource hog of a game that was clearly not ready for prime time. Six years down the road it is possible they may have addressed some of those issues.
6- Scout for the Next Instance Group Game
With the downfall of WoW as our default game, it has become an ongoing task to scout for the next game we might try. We are currently settled in Rift, but since the first goal on my list is to “finish” Rift before the Summer hiatus, it seems likely that we will need something new come the end of vacation.
As always, the usual parameters are in place. It must have content that caters to groups of five or six people. It has to work for a variety of play time budgets. (Some of us will play all week long, others will only play on group night.) It has to have content that we can enjoy in our standard “three hours on a Saturday night” parameter. And it has to be something that we can all buy into.
There are a lot of options out there, even discounting things some of us have already played. I think that, as a group, we might find a month or two of fun in PlanetSide 2. Four of us would probably find Need for Speed: World or World of Tanks good fun, but I am not sure about all five. And there are candidates from both the previous and the next goal that are possibilities. Picking one though and getting everybody to download and commit, that can be a challenge.
7- Book My Autumn Nostalgia Tour Early
Every autumn I get the urge to go back and play some game from my past. Sometimes it is EverQuest or TorilMUD. This past year is was EverQuest II. And given my long time attachment to the games, you can probably put WoW and Lord of the Rings Online on the list of potential candidates.
The thing is, the urge tends to hit me rather suddenly and I run off, play for the requisite month or so solo, then the urge tapers off and I am pretty much done. (Pro Tip: Always subscribe month-to-month for nostalgia based events.)
But while this is often fun, it is usually a lot more fun if I can get Gaff or Potshot in on the tour. Nostalgia is a meal best served family style or some such. So if I can just peer into the future and maybe decide on my target, we can get together on the plan and have a great time. The thing is, which game? Do I book a room in old Qeynos for the rainy season, or is the Forsaken Inn a more likely holiday spot?
8- Blog Stuff
Often when I look at the future, I will tack on something about “playing more and writing less.” Over time though, this has increasingly looked like nonsense. Writing here on the blog is clearly part of the process of playing games… or at least online games… for me. The writing, the remembering, the picking of screen shots, and the clicking of the “publish” button are all part of the package.
So my goal for the blog is pretty much “stay the course.” And maybe find a new theme. Though I have been saying that for about six years and I am still using the same WordPress theme that I had on day one.
So those are my goals for 2013. Not very exciting. We shall see how they play out.
How does 2013 look to you? And any ideas for music for that video?
SWTOR – Two Years After EA Louse October 12, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Warhammer Online.
Tags: EA Louse, LucasArts
You remember EA Louse, right?
He was the guy who wrote the tell-all post about the failure of Warhammer Online? If not, well, you missed it. At least in its original habitat. The blog was shut down for violating terms of service, though you can read the original post here.
More is the pity, since it had something approaching the most epically self destructive comment sections… nearly 1,500 comments long… that I have ever seen. It even had some great throw backs to past events.
The main focus of the post was why Warhammer Online failed and it included the usual aspects you find in most of these stories; unrealistic goals, out of touch and lying management, a dramatically over optimistic public spokesperson, and bad marketing. The only likely suspect to be exonerated was Mark Jacobs, who was described as being too heads down trying to fix things, though that sounds like a leadership sin as well.
None of that was very controversial by the time EA Louse posted it. Warhammer Online was a year old and had come and gone as far as the mainstream MMO market was concerned. If that had been the sole focus of the post, it would not have seen so many comments.
But EA Louse took some time out from his Warhammer Online reminiscences to go after BioWare and Star Wars: The Old Republic, a product which had at that point been in the public eye for more than two years, and was still about a year from being launched.
Rehashing the past is easy, predicting the future though….
Anyway, thanks to the magic of the internet, I still have his original post. (And all of the comments. RSS feed local save for the win!) And this is what EA Louse had to say about SWTOR:
And Bioware? Don’t make me laugh. They’ve spent more money making the Old Republic than James Cameron spent on Avatar. Shit you not. More than $ 300 million! Can you believe that?
And you know what they’re most proud of? This is the kicker. They are most proud of the sound. No seriously. Something like a 20Gig installation, and most of it is voiceover work. That’s the best they have. The rest of the game is a joke. EA knows it and so does George Lucas,they’re panicking , and so most of Mythic has already been cannibalized to work in Austin on it because they can’t keep pushing back launch.
Old Republic will be one of the greatest failures in the history of MMOs from EA. Probably at the level of the Sims Online. We all know it too…
This, of course, drove the BioWare/SWTOR fanboys absolutely insane. This was the fire that fed the comments section, as a lot of people were (and remain) very emotionally invested in SWTOR. They called bullshit, grabbed torches and pitchforks, and created an epic comment thread of bile and hate.
That is all history. But here we are, about 10 months after SWTOR launched.
Yes, it did not make the clearly hubristic numbers initially set out as subscription number goals, and the subscription numbers they did get started dropping after the first quarter. Then after only a few months and some layoffs, EA was claiming that SWTOR was not an important title to their lineup as people seemed to think. Which, along with the whole conversion to free to play, starts to sound like things have, at a minimum, have not gone as planned. And then key players at BioWare started jumping ship.
But it isn’t dead yet. And they are talking about regular updates.
Still, that is a lot of money spent. And you can just bet that LucasArts gets their cut every month, which no doubt is part of the overhead that made the 500K subscriber mark the line in the sand for profitability. (Then again, SWG remained viable while never hitting the 500K mark, and SOE was always adding to the game. So does SWTOR face more overhead or simply more greed?)
So here we are, two years after that post. Has EA Louse and his view of SWTOR been vindicated by history?
Struck from the List… January 4, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in blog thing, Dungeons & Dragons Online, entertainment, Runes of Magic, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Warhammer Online.
Tags: Dungeons & Dragons Online, Torchlight II
With the new year comes some feeling, some need to assess and reassess things. And so it is today with the side bar of my blog.
For those viewing via remote reader or those who have never looked at it, down the right hand side there are two sections among the many categories of links titled “The Games I Play” and “The Games I Watch.” They are so named partially so that they will sort in the order I want along the side bar. WordPress.com only lets you have one list of links in your side bar (though you can whip up your own with a text field and some simple HTML if you really need more, but that goes beyond my ability to care about the side bar really) that can be divided into as many categories as you like. But the categories sort alphabetically. So I had to name them all in such a way that they would sort out correctly.
They are also named as an indication of my status vis-a-vis a given set of games. “The Games I Play” are the titles, usually just two, that I am actively playing. It is easy enough to understand that.
Then there is the section “The Games I Watch,” which sounds a little odd, like they are being broadcast on TV or something. The title was chosen for its ability to sort where I wanted it more than its clarity of message, obviously.
Games on that list are ones that I am not playing actively. Sometimes there are games that have not even shipped yet on that list. Diablo III is on that list right now, and it is months away at best.
Games in that section are games to which I pay attention, games which interest me, and games which I fully intend to either play when they ship, or go back and play at some point if I have already been there at some point.
And now, in the harsh light of the new year, I look at that list and I can see some entries that no longer fit the bill.
Runes of Magic
Remember back when a free to play games of any quality were a rare thing? And there was Runes of Magic trying to bridge the gap between subscription quality and free to play access with, among other things, that $10 horse.
Back in the day, when he wasn’t on about that horse, Darren called it a WoW rip-off, which at the time, what with being free and all, seemed like a hearty endorsement to me. So much so that, despite one of the worst installers ever, some of the instance group ran off to try the game at one point.
And it was okay. It had the usual stuff, a few interesting twists like dual (and now triple) classing, as well as the standard “suffer or give us money” options when it came to storage and experience gain. And gold spammers. Many, many gold spammers.
But in the end, there was nothing there that really stuck with me. We ran off to play other games. Half the subscription MMO universe went free to play in the mean time, so that no longer suffices as an attraction. I’ve totally forgotten my password… both of them, since there was a second login and password required to access the RMT currency, some of which I purchased at one point.
And then there is that installer. Have they fixed that yet? Or does somebody new still install the 2009 version of the game and then spend the next week patching?
Finally, the game is no longer interesting merely for its free to play model. That was something worthy of note a couple years back, but not so today.
So I think it is time to admit that I am just not that interested in the game and the odds of my going back to falls somewhere between “slim” and “none.” So it gets struck from the list.
You might be surprised that I still had Warhammer Online on my list until now. Despite the howls of the now repentant fanbois every time I dared say anything negative about the game, there was a lot I did like about the Warhammer Online. Our guild did have some excellent PvP battles at times, though for every good battle there were a couple of empty roll-over victories. And then there was our first taste of a dungeon, which left nobody interested in a second.
But the world itself was very well done, worthy of exploration. And if I was complaining about the quest log, it was because I was using it a lot to run through the PvE portion of the game to see that world. In fact, it was the idea of seeing the world that kept the game on my list.
The instance group moved on and there were other games higher on my list, but I kept thinking that at some point Mythic would change something in the game worth seeing or put out a “come back and play” offer that would get me to return.
They did have a come back and play offer at one point, ten whole free days, how generous! But it involved giving Mythic a credit card, and that seemed like a really good way to get screwed by Mythic, given their past sloppy handling of credit card transactions. So I didn’t try that.
Then, more than a year after launch, they made the trial version of the game, which restricted you to a tier 1 character, unlimited. That was interesting for some I suppose, but where I wanted to go would have put me well outside of tier 1.
They even talked about producing a Mac version of the game. Did they think that Mac users were that desperate for an MMO? I was tempted to try that just to see how bad it was, but never got around to it. I don’t even know if that came to pass in the end or if it is even still supported.
In the end, no “right moment” to go back ever materialized. Nothing compelling to me was ever offered up after launch. And I would still have to pay a subscription fee to go back and explore, and the bar to get me to do that has only gone up in the last couple of years.
So that world will remain unexplored by me, as Warhammer Online is off the list.
Games Close to Being Struck
Star Trek Online is on the edge. I keep thinking I will go back and play. But every time I log in, I am faced with a wave of changes similar to what Ravious described in going back to LOTRO, and I end up so mired in figuring out what to do that I end up logging off for a few more months, only to repeat the cycle again.
At some point I hope I will have enough time and desire to play, at which point I will start with a fresh character and learn it all from scratch again. Only there are always a couple of other games I would rather play first. Well, maybe some day. But for now it stays on the list, if only because of that lifetime subscription I bought. Oof.
And then there is Dunegons & Dragons Online, which I really want to like, but which is likewise always in 4th or 5th place on my to-do list. At least it is free to play and uses the Turbine patcher which at least puts it a couple steps ahead of Runes of Magic. But it is in jeopardy of being struck at some point. I just never get to it.
Games On or to be Added
You might point out that I have declined to play Star Wars: The Old Republic so far post-beta. But I will likely play the game again at some point. There is enthusiasm for it in the instance group, and even Gaff has picked it up already. And I do watch the news about it. I am interested to see, for example, if torture ever comes up as an issue the way it did for WoW back with Wrath of the Lich King. I am guessing that for most people, that ends up being a matter of “Sith will be Sith.”
I should probably add Torchlight II to the list. I have no doubt that I will play that when it launches.
Likewise, Guild Wars 2 will probably get a slot at some point. It is on my list to play, but I haven’t spent much time with the news or marketing build-up. So I am not really “watching” it yet.
And the rest of the list… well, those are games I am sure I will continue to keep an eye on and poke my nose into every so often.
How about you? Have you reassessed any games on your list, be it written down or just in your head? Are there games you have decided that you just are never going to get back to?
Boardwalking with Van Hemlock February 4, 2011Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in blog thing, entertainment, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Vanguard SOH, Warhammer Online.
Tags: AOMB, Better Him Than Me, Forums, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Van Hemlock
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Van Hemlock, a long time member of the Ancient Order of MMO Bloggers and once certifiably ‘leet, has lately contracted console madness. This has lead to drastic changes, such as the renaming of his blog to Consoling Gamers, where MMOs definitely come in third place, and of course yammering on about console gaming all the time, with his partner in crime Jon, on their podcast.
But Van Hemlock has not forsaken MMOs completely it seems.
He has recently started up a new series of MMO related posts called Boardwalking where he visits the forums of various MMOs and reports back on the key issues that seem to be driving discussions.
So far he has tackled the forums for:
This series of posts has been both interesting and amusing as he has stuck to his guns and reported on the top non-stickied issues in each of these forums.
Hopefully the intrepid Van Hemlock will keep up his Board Walkabout and continue to visit where most sane people fear to tread.
Renew With Confidence! January 13, 2011Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, entertainment, Warhammer Online.
Tags: Future US, Renewal, World of Warcraft Magazine
You know you are dealing with an old media magazine company when they start sending you renewal notices six months before your subscription expires.
They haven’t been spamming me with notices, but I have had a few, the first of which coincided with the second issue.
Now I am looking at the last issue in my year subscription showing up some time in the next month or three, so when the renewal notice showed up in my inbox again yesterday, I thought I would go ahead and resubscribe.
So I clicked on the link, which took me off to the renewal form. Simple stuff really, though I was a bit worried when I was done and was told that my first issue should show up in the next 8-10 weeks.
Okay, maybe that is just standard. Maybe they don’t really think I am a new subscriber. Maybe they would be smart enough to send me to the right page for renewals.
And then, hours later, a confirmation email showed up:
Thank you for subscribing to the &&language&& language version of World of Warcraft the Magazine. The first issue will arrive at the address below in 8 to 10 weeks*:
Please print a copy for your records.
Payment Reference Number: &&ref_num&&
Your account will be charged in the amount of &&price&& for &&issues&& issues.
* For direct debit payments, order processing depends on payment approval.
Well, that didn’t do much to inspire confidence in the process. Isn’t this sort of data processing taught in your first computer science class?
I suppose I should be happy that they got the email address correct, even if they couldn’t quite fill in my name, address, order reference number, or language.
We’ll see what I end up getting. I already have the Future US customer service link handy.
Reviewing My 2010 Predictions December 24, 2010Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, blog thing, Diablo III, Dungeons & Dragons Online, entertainment, EVE Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Facebook, Lord of the Rings Online, Sony Online Entertainment, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Aventurine, Bill Roper, Brian Green, Carbine Studios, darkfall, Hero's Journey, Mark Jacobs, PlayStation 3, Red5 Studios, Richard Garriott, Runic Games, Scott Hartsman, Simutronics, The Agency, Torchlight, Torchlight II, Turbine
Oh yeah, I made a bunch of crazy predictions back in January, didn’t I?
For some reason last year I changed my predictions format from a set of paragraph long generalizations to a series of one line, very specific (well, mostly) guesses at the future. I think I was pressed for time and the humor muse had not bothered to visit. Plus it was always hard to score those paragraphs, especially since I seemed to insist on points. (I have accounting in my background, I must quantify everything!)
Now, of course, we’re here at the end of the year and I have discovered the flaw in my plan; I need to go figure out whatinthehell I got right or wrong. And there are like a bunch of them, some of which I have not bothered to pay attention to and others about which I really didn’t give a damn in the first place but was trying to get to a 200 point total for some maniacal round-number reason.
Anyway, what’s done is done. Next year I think I am going to go back to big predictions and a pass/fail model. Or something.
I started on this Thanksgiving weekend and, because of apathy, I haven’t found all the answers yet. Fortunately, other people have started posting their prediction results, so I can crib from that a bit. Plus I’ll make you, the reader, correct my mistakes. How about that?
So let’s see how good that cold medication was last December. What did I predict?
Predictions for Blizzard in 2010! (5 points each)
- StarCraft II – Will ship second quarter 2010 – Missed by 27 days, 0 points
- Cataclysm – Will ship fourth quarter 2010 – A pretty safe guess, 5 points
- Cataclysm – Will beat WotLK’s 24 hour sales record – Yes indeed. I do wonder how much digital pre-orders helped. 5 points
- Diablo III – Will not ship in 2010 – Another safe one, in my opinion, 5 points
- New MMO – An announcement at BlizzCon with the usual Blizzard mystery build-up – Nothing at BlizzCon, 0 Points
15 out of 25 points
Big Miss – RealID and Battle.net focus? I’m not sure those were that big in the end.
Sony Online Entertainment predictions! (5 points each)
- Planetside – Dead by December – Still alive… barely… but I always thought that The Agency had to come online before it went. 0 points
- Norrath – Official details about the next Norrath based MMORPG some time in 2010 – We artist conceptions and some vague information, so I’m claiming 3 out of 5 points
- Norrath – The next Norrath based MMORPG won’t be called EverQuest III – Do we have that in writing? No? 0 points
EverQuest II – All digital distribution after the February expansion – I don’t see Destiny of Velious listed at Amazon.com, so I’m taking this as a yes. – 5 points.
- EverQuest – The next round of server consolidation will happen, and it will be a good thing – And so it was. I should have predicted it for EQII as well. – 5 points
- The Agency – Won’t ship in 2010 – Saying The Agency won’t ship is like betting against the Cubs, and no, the Facebook game does not count – 5 points
- PlayStation 3 – SOE still won’t have a PS3 MMO title by the end of 2010 – The put Free Realms on the Mac, but no PS3 support yet. They’ve been talking about stuff on the PS3 since E3 in 2008 at least… go listen to VW Podcast #125… and still nothing. You guys at SOE work for the PlayStation people now, right? – 5 points
23 out of 30 points
Big Miss – A free to play version of EQII
What will EA do? (5 Points each)
SWTOR – Not in 2010, no no no. – Another safe bet – 5 points
WAR – Won’t die in 2010, but won’t magically spring back to life either. It will just trudge on with enough resources to keep it going and improve it slightly, but not enough to change anything dramatically. – Vague enough for 5 points
10 out of 10 points
Big miss – Umm… Lord of Ultima? Was there a UO expansion or something?
Turbine predictions (5 points each)
- LOTRO – Next expansion, announced in 2010, will be the Riders of Rohan! – Isengard, not Rohan – 0 points
- LOTRO – Riders of Rohan will feature real mounted combat – 0 points
- DDO – Continued success under the free to play banner with a push into some overland content – vaguely fulfilled – 1 point
- New – We’ll hear about Turbine’s next project in 2010. – Not so much – 0 points
1 out of 20 points
Big Miss – LOTRO going free to play
CCP Predictions (5 points each)
- Station ambulation – Still just a myth in 2010 – Again, like betting against the Cubs – 5 points
- Dust 514 – Not for 2010 – What was that? – 5 points
- EVE – Two Content Releases, don’t we always get two a year? – Well, we got 1.1 expansions - 2 points
- EVE – Tech III ships will finally become common enough that you might actually see one now and again. – I have one and, while flying it, have ended up at a jump gate with another, is that common enough? – 5 points
17 out of 20 points
Big Miss – What was the big CCP story this year?
Runic Games (5 points each)
- An inexpensive expansion will be released for Torchlight to keep funding going for Runic’s MMO – Nope – 0 points
- Runic will give us some concrete details about said MMO – Nope – 0 points
- That MMO won’t ship in 2010 – Well, they didn’t announce it, so 0 points
- But said details will make some pundit say, “Wow, that’s what Dungeon Runners should have done.” – 0 points
0 out of 20 points. I thought they would move faster than they are.
Big Miss – Multiplayer Torchlight, sort of the interim step between the first game and the MMO.
NCSoft (5 points each)
- Aion – Going to seem like a replay of Lineage II, popular in Asia, less so in the west. Still, it will have enough customers to keep going. Given how readily NCSoft shuts things down, that will be saying something. – Um, I can’t even answer that – 0 points
- GuildWars 2 – Not for 2010 – 5 points
- PlayStation 3 – NCSoft still won’t have a PS3 MMO title by the end of 2010 – I guess I can let that old SCEA/NCSoft agreement die now – 5 points
10 out of 15 points
Other Titles (5 points each)
- Darkfall – Will continue walking the tightrope between hardcore PvP focus and giving players something to do when they aren’t actively engaged in battle. Slow growth with at most a single server added to the game for 2010. – Sounds vaguely right, but SynCaine will correct me – 5 points
- Star Trek Online – Won’t disappoint Trek fans, but we’re all co-dependent on the franchise after years of reckless treatment by the studio. We’ll all still be there after the first 30 days playing with our pre-order bonus items. The rest of you people though… – I stopped playing, so there is a big claim I missed - 0 points
- Hero’s Journey – It was best of show at E3 in 2005, but it will still be a no-show in 2010. – Like betting against the Twins – 5 points (Amusingly, Simutronics now has a somewhat whiny entry in their Hero Engine FAQ about Hero’s Journey, saying that the work for it is all in the Hero Engine so stop bugging them about it already. Anyway, Star Wars: The Old Republic will be the eventual showcase for their work, pretty much the make or break I’d guess.)
10 out of 15 points
The following people will have new companies and new projects announced in 2010 (2 point each):
- Mark Jacobs – No word here – 0 points
- Richard Garriott – Some awful Facebook thing – 2 points
- Bill Roper – Still at Cryptic doing… something – 0 points
- Brian Green – Umm… The Fae’s Wyrd was a project, right? – 2 points
- Scott Hartsman – Rift, about which so many are talking of late – 2 points
6 out of 10 points
One of the following companies will announce their first/next project, and it won’t be an MMO (5 points):
- Aventurine – no announcement
- Carbine Studios – no announcement
- Red5 Studios – Firefall – it is an online, co-op shooter, so not really a traditional MMO – 5 points
- Simutronics – no announcement
- Turbine – No announcement
One of the following people will move to Canada (5 points):
- Scott Jennings
- Mark Jacobs
- Brian Green
- Scott Hartsman
- Richard Bartle
- Alan Crosby
- David Reid
Isn’t there some Canadian sovereign territory at Disneyland? No? 0 points
Spurious Logic Random neurons firing for the following guesses.
Most subscription MMOs that sell vanity items like pets or appearance gear will sell custom mounts by the end of 2010. WoW and EQ2 will be the benchmark. (5 points) – erm… can’t really say yes to that – 0 points
“Yahtzee” Croshaw will review exactly ONE muh-more-puh-gah on Zero Punctuation during 2010, and it will be Star Trek Online. He won’t like it (duh) but the Trekkie humor will be too much for him to resist doing a review. (5 points) – Nope, 0 points
We will find out that the following people will be appearing or doing voice work in the Warcraft movie (IMDB shows no actors as of this date – 1 point each):
- Jack Black
- William Shatner
- Keanu Reeves
- Ben Stein
- James Earl Jones
- John Ratzenberger
- Bruce Campbell
- Sarah Silverman
- David Spade
- Lucy Lawless
Nothing – No cast announcements yet. IMDB puts it as a possible 2013 release – 0 points
0 out of 20 points
My first pass, hand-waving total is 97 out of 200 points.
Not bad for my mix of obvious slam-dunks and way off the reservation guesses I suppose.
Now, I will look to comments for corrections and will post an updated score once people point out that I was really wrong about those 97 points and that my total should be much lower.
So correct me already.
Meanwhile, I’m working on a less intensive set of predictions for next year.
Turbine is Totally the Reason Warhammer Online Failed… December 15, 2010Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Dungeons & Dragons Online, entertainment, Humor, Lord of the Rings Online, Pokemon, Star Trek Online, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Alusiphus, Final Fantasy XIV, Turbine, Warhammer 40K
Alusiphus is totally pissed at Turbine. He hates them and the games they make.
-He hates Dungeons & Dragons Online, which is too complex.
-He hates Lord of the Rings Online, which is a total WoW copy grind fest.
-He hates Warhammer Online, because it is boring and totally not worth it.
-And he hates that Turbine is making a Warhammer 40K MMORPG.
Hrmm… about those last two Alusiphus….
I hate to break up a good rant with annoying details, but Turbine is totally not in the picture when it comes to Warhammer of any flavor. EA Mythic messed up the first one, and I believe it is THQ that is in the process of messing up the second.
Alusiphus hates other games. He hates Star Trek Online, for example, and Final Fantasy XIV.
He seems to have no opinion on Asheron’s Call, but since Turbine made it, I think we can guess where he’d go with that.
On the bright side, he does seem to like World of Warcraft and Pokemon. You have to give him that.
If you aren’t getting your USDA recommended daily allowance of bile and rants, you should go read his blog. But remember, small doses are best.
Warcraft World Tour allows you to be more happy, presented prizes! December 2, 2010Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, entertainment, Warhammer Online.
Or so the subject line of this latest phishing attempt read.
But, in a change up, the pitch was presented much more graphically than usual.
The apparent premise of this phishing attempt is that, somehow, Blizzard has deleted my account and cannot recover it. Yeah, right.
So Blizzard has created a new account for me with 20,000 gold coins (pshaw! a mere pittance these days!) and the always useful for phishing attempts X-53 Touring Rocket, spelled correctly this time. Of course, the link to the account heads to a URL with the word “batt1e” in it, Blizzard always going with leet speak for their URLs.
The dead give-away in the attempt? The line “we acknowledge a mistake.” When was the last time you heard a customer service rep say that without having to pile on the evidence ad nauseum? I think it is standard procedure in all call centers to get supervisory approval to use any phrase like that.
Meanwhile, the email service that these phishing attempts have been landing in is reporting to me that there have been a lot of failed logon attempts for my account.
Coincidence? I think not.