Daily Archives: March 26, 2013

Talking About the EverQuest Camera View on NPR

Video game years are kind of like dog years, and that makes the game EverQuest, which turned 14 this month, positively ancient.

-David Brancaccio, host of Marketplace

The NPR show Marketplace had a spot this morning where they spoke to Dave Georgeson of SOE about EverQuest turning 14 years old.

EverQuest

The interview will annoy some, as the host kicks right off in calling EverQuest being “the first big game to be an MMO,” a phrase which will make those into the genre raise objections almost immediately.  What counts as an MMO, what counts as big, and what

(And I am going from the actual audio in the interview, not the transcription on the linked page, as that differs from what was actually said.  Nice work NPR!  So listen to the audio, it is less than three minutes long.)

Once Dave Georgeson gets on the line there is a lot of talk about free to play and making that work.  And then comes the question about what makes games like EverQuest so compelling to some people, which Dave pins on the camera view.

To me, that seemed like an odd thing to pick, all the more so when he spoke of the whole first/third person camera view being something new at the time.  In 1999 there were plenty of games with first person or over the shoulder points of view, though they were mostly shooters.

I suppose that contemporary role playing games… such as Baldur’s Gate or Diablo II… had a different relationship with the camera.  But did EverQuest change things up all that much?

How important was the camera to you back then?  Did EverQuest really go some place new with that?  Did the game defaulting to first person view (I played in that mode for a long time after launch) impact how you felt about the game?

Addendum:

I had to find a screen shot of the original UI in first person mode to remind me what things looked like 14 years back.

EverQuest in 1999

EverQuest in 1999

And another view:

Out in the dark night

Out in the dark night

Wow, how things have changed.

Image sources: Ten Ton Hammer and Something Awful.

Two Thousand Tank Battles

World of Tanks has been around for a while at this point.

It was a little over three years ago when we started hearing about the game.  We are a couple months past the two year marker since we were trying out in open beta.  And we are about three weeks shy of the two year anniversary of the game going live.

And, in the midst of this, I have hit my own milestone.  As the headline says, I now have 2,000 battles in WoT.

Which, considering that the launcher icon on my desktop says “World of Tanks closed beta” isn’t really that many.  Even starting on day one,  I am a solid 10,000 matches behind Mrrx, as an example.  I play a lot more casually than some.  My average is a little less than three battles per day, though there was a big gap when I did not play and then a huge upswing in matches after the physics update with version 8.0.  But it is a milestone none the less, and since I have no new tanks to write about this week, I thought this would be my update.

At the 2,000 match mark I had 998 wins, 984 losses, and 18 draws.  So I am on the winning side about half the time, which means I am about as influential as a coin toss I guess.  Here is a picture with some stats.

Basic stats at the 2,000 match mark

Basic stats at the 2,000 match mark

I also get blown up a lot, surviving only 28% of my matches.  I would like to credit this to the fact that I often try to plug the gap in our lines and end up alone facing a couple hostiles.  But it is more likely because I get as impatient as anybody and the fact that far too often I sit exposed to get off “just one more shot” before moving to a new position.  And then arty falls on me.  And I blow up.  Again.

This also shows my top 10 most played tanks.

At the top of the list is the dread Type 59.  This is the tank that makes most credits out of my garage, so I tend to fall back on playing that whenever I need some cash.  I have been playing it daily again in order to earn some credits towards the KV-4.  It does help that it is a reasonably fun tank to play.

Second on the list is the Churchill III, which is also fun to play and earns decent credits by virtue of being cheap to repair.  It also has the advantage of being a premium Soviet heavy tank, which means crews from my other Soviet heavies can earn experience in it as well.  So I have tended to use it to help my Soviet heavy crews get two bites at the apple when it comes to the bonus experience from the first win of the day.  Right now, the crew for my eventual KV-4 is training up their first secondary perk/skill in this tank.

Then there is the StuG III, which might be my favorite tank so far in the German tank destroyer line.  It is the one I gone back and played the most since I picked up the Jagdpanther.

Our Logo on a StuG III

StuG III in the garage

It also has one of my highest win percentages.  The only tank with a higher percentage… and at least 25 matches… is the Char B1.

Desert B1

Most winning tank

It is a strange beast.  If you get a tier IV match, you can rule the land.  In a tier V match it is in serious trouble.

And then we get into my Soviet heavies, with the KV-1, the T-150, and the KV-3.  Since I have been pressing up the Soviet heavy line, it is no surprise that these are on the list.  The KV-1 is no surprise, as it is the most played tank in the game.  But it is the T-150 that remains one of my favorites, to the point that I think I might sell the KV-1 for credits and a garage slot when the time comes for the KV-4.  And the KV-3 is no slouch either, though with the big gun on it now I need to get in closer to hit things.

And the list wraps up with more German TDs and the KV-2.

All of which is reflected in some nice charts from WoT Labs. (Thanks HZ.)  Despite my usual alt-itis and desire to try every tank on the tech trees, I have actually been reasonably focused.

Battles by Class and Country

Battles by Class and Country

Almost two thirds of my battles have been either in German tank destroyers or Russian heavies, with some French heavies add on to get past the 66.67% mark.

Light tanks are scattered because every tree starts with a light tank.  SPGs are divided up between French and Russian.

And medium tanks are mostly Chinese thanks to the Type 59, along with some Russian, which I suspect is mostly due to my time in the T-28 trying to get into the Soviet heavy line.  Medium tanks, for the most part, have not been my thing.

Battles by Class and Tier

Battles by Class and Tier

And when you break the chart out by class and tier, you can see the numbers clarified a bit.  Since the TD numbers are exclusively German, that slice of the pie pretty much works out to Pzjg. I, Marder II, Hetzer, StuG III, Jgpz. IV, and Jagpanther, which is the unlabeled slice, since I haven’t played it much yet.

And, after 2,000 battles, my rating, using the various scoring methods, is… average.  I mostly won’t lose the match for you.  Which is frankly about the best I think I can hope for, given my play style.

We will see if I get any better over time I suppose.  Or if something like World of Tanks Blitz, their recently announced iOS/Android version of the game, distracts me.