Archive for February, 2007|Monthly archive page

Response to "The Evolution of MMO Politics"

I went over to virginworlds.com today as I usually do and found this article about politics in MMO’s. I found this to be very interesting, and started to consider the issue myself. What I came to realize is that, while the author, Collin, states that “there’s more to success than just warring,” I believe that in an MMO, there won’t be any sense of politics without PvP. If you are not willing to fight against other characters for certains beliefs or items, then there will be very little sense of politics.

Harkening back to my days in Asheron’s Call, on the full PvP server even today I remember how intense the sense of politics were. There was one guild which far and away dominated all the others and for the vast majority of dungeons and mobs of any importance, they would block the entrances to dungeons or constantly farm certain mobs, preventing the weaker guilds from ever having the chance to get such things. This creates two different mindsets. One, you can join them (if they will let you) and reap the benefits, while alienating yourself from all the others and making yourself a target for everyone else, or you can stick with a smaller guild and “fight the good fight” making it extremely difficult to experience the game to the fullest.

As you will see in a lot of my future posts, I am an advocate for the Chronicles of Spellborn. Collin mentioned that there needs to be a scarcity of goods in order for there to be a real sense of politics. In Chronicles of Spellborn, this will be a very large aspect of the game. As there will be five houses, each with different beliefs and benefits, they will have the ability to gain control of “shards” which are land masses. These shards will contain certain goods that can only be found in specific areas (or so I have come to understand) forcing you to choose a side to fight for, and hopefully gain control over these goods, as you will be able to sell them to others or keep them for your house/guild to make and use for yourselves. With the way these houses work, it sounds as though guilds will be able to form strong alliances with other guilds of the same house and work together towards a common objective. As for the “rights, freedoms, and beliefs” you also talked about, this will all be bundled up within the house idea.

As for other games headed our way, I have very little idea how they plan to incorporate a stronger feeling of politics and its importance, but I know that if Chronicles of Spellborn comes through on their plans and pulls it off successfully, I believe that it will have the strongest political system we have seen to date. That said, I have not played Dark Age of Camelot, which looked like it had an impressive Realm vs. Realm system set up. Anyways, that’s my two gold on the topic.

~Kanthalos

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Immersion in MMOs

I’ve recently been looking at reviews about Vanguard and most people’s severe disappointment in it, and was wondering what the term “immersion” actually means to an MMO. While it means different things to everyone, some of the things I find to be important are exploration, history/lore, and a sense of importance.

Back during my 4 years of Asheron’s Call, I would simply spend hours exploring the continent of Dereth, discovering landmarks that I have never seen before. Dilapidated bridges, old sanctuaries that are no longer being used, shrines, or the hundreds of dungeons that had virtually no use, except that they were fun to explore. I loved seeing just random little landmarks that made the world seem like it had some real history and depth. I have played a half dozen MMO’s now, most for at least two weeks, and I have yet to find one that rivals AC’s sense of immersion. Sure WoW has tons of stuff to keep me busy and lots of eye candy, but I still don’t really get a sense of history or a sense of exploration. I am simply going somewhere to complete a quest or to get to an instance. I like the idea behind Caverns of Time, but it still isn’t really what I’m looking for.

Another aspect of immersion that I think is important it having an impact of the world. Again, CoT is scratching the surface with this, but Chronicles of Spellborn sounds like this is going to be a much heavier element in their game with the ancestral quests. These really give you the since that history is important and that you have made a difference, whether you have or not. They also have the shard exploration aspect to consider. Players will be able to discover new “shards” which are landmasses within the Deadspell Storm. This adds an element of adventure, and also gives players the opportunity to truly discover something that no one else has seen yet.

Another aspect Spellborn wants to implement is control over these shards. There are five “houses” in Spellborn each with different doctrines, which will be able to control certain things in the game, like parts of shards, mines, etc. This is huge in immersion as you and your fellow house/guildmates will actually be able to help keep/gain control of certain things in the world.

Anyways, there are a few things that I find to be important when thinking about immersion in an MMO. It sounds like the Vanguard dev’s promised a lot of these elements, but due to a rushed release or for other reasons, have left most of their players wanting, which has caused many to leave. Perhaps they will be able to turn it around after a few months, and regain these players, but for now, it sounds like a bug-ridden, most unoriginal, MMO. One thing that I am looking forward to is LotRO. While I haven’t seen much, I have seen most of the Shire, which I think is amazing, with the landscapes looking similar to Asheron’s Call 2, only slightly improved. This is one game that I have hope for in terms of a sense of immersion, but I’ll post more when I have seen more of the zones.

~Kanthalos~

Why We Matter

First off, welcome to our gaming blog. We’re glad you’re here. We’re not an authority on gaming or all games by any mean, but we like to think we offer helpful insight. We each have a unique take on gaming, and want to voice the opinions of everyday gamers.

Kanthalos

Kanthalos has been playing MMORPG’s for around 8 years now, starting just after the release of Asheron’s Call. He played this game for four years, briefly playing other games in between. After AC he began playing World of Warcraft, and he has been playing on and off since release. Currently he is playing World of Warcraft, EverQuest 2, and Lord of the Rings Online Beta. He wishes to write on a wide range of topics including exploration, grouping, guilds, reviews, and many others.

List of MMO’s played: Asheron’s Call, Anarchy Online, Guild Wars, Everquest, World of Warcraft, EverQuest 2, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Silk Road, City of Villains, Lord of the Rings Online (beta).

Anaktoria

Anaktoria is relatively new to the world of MMOs, but has been gaming her entire life. She is a college senior with a major in Creative Writing. Anaktoria’s main gaming experience comes from World of Warcraft, but she has dabbled in all sorts of MMOs and continues to do so. Her main concerns with gaming are character creation, quest writing, the grouping/guild element, and gaming experiences for female gamers.

List of MMO’s played: World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Everquest 2, Lord of the Rings Online (beta), City of Villains

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