Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Stargate Worlds Trailer

I just watched the new Stargate Worlds trailer from Comic Con, and I must say that I’m impressed.  I can also say without a doubt that I’m going to need a new computer before I can consider playing it, which is fine because I’m guessing it still has a year before release (just a guess, though.)  The graphics look stunning and the variety of terrains and atmospheres looks as good as I could have hoped for.  One of the biggest problems I had with the video was that it seems very shooter-intensive.  On one hand, I can understand this because ranged combat makes up about 90% of all fighting in Stargate, so it fits with the MO of the show.  On the other hand, however, if it isn’t executed well enough, players who are used to the typical fantasy combat style i.e. not needing to aim where they attack might find it frustrating.  If the auto-aim system is sufficiently good enough that it isn’t difficult to attack the enemy you’re after, then it will feel very much like an MMOFPS, which could be a good or bad thing.  I won’t might wielding a fully automatic weapon, but I also hope that there is some form of close range combat as well.

Another worry that I have in general about a Stargate MMO is that they will feel like they need to have a wide range of worlds to travel to (as they must) and that the worlds will feel too small and cramped or too large and empty and won’t be executed well.  However, this is definitely something they can easily expand on after release, both in terms expanding the worlds already built as well as creating new worlds.  They can add new worlds virtually whenever they want to, so I’m hoping within 2-3 years of release we have 30+ worlds to explore.

With that in mind, I really think/hope that CME is off to a great start on this game, and I hope it won’t disappoint.  There’s still a great deal of information we need to have at our hands before we can really say how this is going to shape up, and even then, we all know that information means next to nothing until we see it in game.

~Kanthalos

Final Fantasy 13 Announced

Well, Square Enix just announced the development of Final Fantasy 13 during Microsoft’s presentation at E3.  I’ve never really gotten into RPG’s or this series very much at all, but I must say that I’m looking forward to this when it does arrive.

They also announced additional levels for Portal, which I’m sure many of you will be excited about.  I just bought the title and I really can’t wait to give it a shot.  There are many, many great things they also announced during the presentation like a new assortment of XBox Live arcade games as well as a collaboration between Netflix and Xbox to provide content from Netflix through the Xbox which I’m really excited about.  There’s tons of information to digest on this one, so you should go check it all out.

~Kanthalos

P.S. I also recently bought Civ Revolution, which was my first foray into turn-based gaming.  I’m really enjoying it so far, and I’ll probably write up a review of it shortly.

The Evolving Gamer: Time vs. Reward In MMO’s

I’ve really been thinking a lot over the past few days about what has changed for MMO players over the past few months that has really led to this slump in excitement for the games we love. While this hasn’t happened to everyone, there are still a great deal of gamers who can’t really seem to find that game that really gets their blood flowing. There are potentially dozens of reasons, but I want to take a closer look at one or two of the reasons here. Rather than look at the any events that have or haven’t taken place lately, I decided to look at the bigger picture. What has changed in the past ten or so years that has really caused our perceptions to shift and our desire to play our favorite genre less or with less enthusiasm?

I think one of the biggest changes that we have seen as gamers is actually not related to the games at all, but rather changes that have taken place in our lives. Many of our lives were radically different when we first started playing MMO’s compared to how they are now. Many of us were high school and college students when we first started playing MMO’s, but this isn’t the case anymore. We have graduated and moved into the work force with many starting families and buying homes. These things are all going to drastically change the way we play our games, both in terms of our perspective towards the game and also in terms of how much time we can realistically spend playing them. I want to focus most specifically on the element of time.

It should be pretty obvious that if we have less time to play MMO’s, we are going to try to do all we can to squeeze as much enjoyment and entertainment out of the time that we do have. I remember sitting in Fort Tethana in Asheron’s Call for hours during my summers in high school just going through vendors hoping to find good gear that people had sold. I would never consider doing this today. This then means that we aren’t going to want to spend several hours waiting for a group to form or grinding faction reputation or collecting crafting materials. We just don’t have the time for it. What this really does for me is create a system of importance. I see that I’m going to have to spend all of this relatively boring and uneventful time in game to advance my character in some way, and it causes me to question what I could be getting done away from the game. Even if it’s not something important, like watching a TV show or playing the XBox instead, it’s still is worth pondering.

While MMO’s are after all games and should be played under the assumption that they aren’t going to be filled to the brim with usefulness and importance, they are also quite different than console games in that you invest much, much more of your time and yourself into them through your character. If you have less and less time to spend gaming and you begin to see that your time isn’t going to be spent in a worthwhile fashion, are you going to be as likely to continue playing as opposed to spending time with your family or riding your bike? This is really becoming an issue for me, and I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s the fact that I don’t really have a game to get me to reconsider this philosophy or whether this is just a part of aging and re-evaluating priorities. I certainly hope that aging and gaming aren’t mutually exclusive and I don’t think they are, so I’m going to wait it out and hope that “option a” makes itself clear to me soon.

~Kanthalos