No Point, but 50 Novels Deep – We talk about some comments coming out of BioWare, the first being that MMOs really don’t seem to have a point (and they’re going to fix that) and the second that Star Wars: The Old Republic is going to have 50 novels worth of “story” in the game. We all seem to agree that something claiming to be a virtual world ought to have many diversions beyond a main story and wonder how SWTOR is really going to feel. After all, the best stories in these games are often the personal ones, the things that happen to us.
Review of GDC San Francisco – We talk a bit about GDC, since we were all there, and review what we saw.
Facebook and the Future – Prompted by events at GDC, where so-called “social games” were the next big thing (previous “next big things” have included casual games, free to play games, browser games, and subscription MMOs). We talk a lot about Facebook games, bringing up a lot of opinions from around net including those of Raph Koster, Soren Johnson, Brian Green, and others. (Reading those posts will bring you up to speed.) This is pretty much the meat of the show and explicit language is used.
When A Million is not Enough – Sated on the Facebook front, we begin to moan about the subscription projections for Star Wars The Old Republic. I covered this a bit, but Scott Jennings really gives voice to our fears in his MMORPG.com column.
What We’re Playing – EVE and STO seems to be the common theme for three of us.
Expansions, Exploitation, and Downloadable Content – Prompted by a comment to show #57 by Teviko, we try to get at the question asked, then meander about the topic. References are made to the controversial show #30.
The Next Triple-A Fantasy MMO? – Prompted by a post over at Serial Ganker, what happens in a genre dominated by WoW? Who would bother producing a subscription based AAA fantasy MMO these days? Do we give up and go home, watch for indy games, or look to science fiction, horror, or some other genre to provide an alternative.
Blog Picks of the Show – Each episode everybody on the show gets to recommend one blog that we think you should go and check out. For this show the following blogs were recommended.
Listener Mail – DestroyerDestroyer regarding Mark Jacobs
What We’re Playing
White Collar Crime in a Space Suit – We talk about the latest EVE Online drama surrounding EBANK and the embezzlement of 200 billion ISK by Ricdic, the former CEO of the venture. The nature of EVE and the lack of any effective recourse when you have lost money this way come up, along with the fact that your money is safe in your character’s wallet so that one of the traditional roles of a bank, safeguarding your cash, is missing from the equation.
The Horse That Would Not Die – After the enthusiasm on the last show for Dungeon & Dragons Online’s adoption of a Free To Play model, Darren turned around and found a sore spot in the Runes of Magic cash shop, the now infamous $10 horse which lead him to post, and post, and post, and post yet again, some of which generated responseposts from variouspoints in the blogesphere, includingthis site. We have a therapy session with Darren and help him work through his issues. There are group hugs and towards the end we find that the horse in question was discounted to $5 for a limited time, which was almost low enough for Darren.
RMT Again – We then go on, again, about RMT and alternative subscription models in light of the major changes with Dungeons & Dragons Online and the release of Free Realms. We’re mostly excited about the DDO changes, but that is coming from people who see buying D&D modules as a natural part of life.
What We’re Playing – You can probably guess if you read our respective blogs
Listener Mail – From Akely and Yoh
Blogger Privacy – We discuss our views on privacy as bloggers, what things we share and what things we hold back. Tobold is used as a reference point. At one point Van Hemlock shocks us all and says his full name. Then he points out that he did that on the Massively podcast some time back and it is really no big deal.
Too Soon for Hype? – Inspired by Melmoth’s post about Funcom playing up their “Secret World” project at GDC, we talk about the sometimes enormous interval between announcing a project and it actually shipping along with the need for companies, especially public companies, to remind people that they have works in progress.
MMO Spending in 2009 – Spurred somewhat by Tobold’s post, though some of us were already thinking along these lines, we muse over what the state of the economy will mean to MMOs and our own MMO spending.
What We’re Playing – You can probably predict most of the answers
The Ghosts of Predictions Past – Darren, Karen, Michael and myself talk about our predictions for 2008 and how far off we were. Darren and I scored ourselves in posts already, but you can look back at and see how well we did.
The Ghosts of MMOs Present – We take up the Massively categories and pick our “bests” for the 2008 MMORPG scene.
The Ghosts of Predictions Future – We each make one prediction about what will happen with MMORPGs in 2009.
Blog of the Week – There was NO blog of the week. But Darren has an angle to this.
Out Takes – What could beat Mr. Zenke’s Bartle rant during the show? How about Darren’s wife?
And, as an added bonus, an after-show picture of the show crew in the R&H Guild Hall.
Darren, John, Michael, and Karen
Another fine show and a testament to the editing powers of Darren. However, he really needs to hire me to do his show notes.
You can download it via iTunes or here at VirginWorlds.
ZOMG! Zombies!! – We talk about Blizzard’s recent zombie event that was part of their build up to the Wrath of the Lich King launch and how a good idea went bad in some cases when players acted like… well… players. That whole X Factor thing. Primarily driven by Lume the Mad’s post on the subject.
MMO Design – Prompted by a Curt Schilling post on Fires of Heaven forums and then on his own site, we discuss MMO features that we want to see implemented and rock solid on day one, things that have not been done well in the past, and Curt’s own answer about wanting to “feel heroic on day 1, minute 1, until I am done playing the game.”