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  • GameSpy: Onlife #45: Blood in the Ice - Page 1
    foolish I don t find these sorts of tit for tat comparisons tend to be very useful anyway Based on my admittedly brief experiences with Warhammer Online it almost feels like counterprogramming to WoW that s being aimed directly at people who share my tastes What it lacks in scope when compared to its spiritual predecessor it more than makes up with a singular focus on what it appears to do best world PvP When playing the beta I remember thinking to myself that Warhammer s implementation of world PvP makes WoW s look feeble by comparison Perhaps it s unfair to compare such a PvP centric game to one that is pretty much about killing computer controlled monsters with your friends just like it would be to try and stack Warhammer against WoW point for point But one thing is certain The idea of immersing myself in Lich King s instance grind once my character hits level 80 doesn t sound anywhere near as attractive to me as playing through Warhammer and engaging in legitimate PvP throughout the span of my character s career But I m hoping that assessment is a little hasty Late last week participants in the Wrath of the Lich King beta were given the option to create level 80 premade characters on a newly opened PvP test server I took the opportunity to choose the class I m least familiar with Death Knight and engage in the most potentially punishing activity that WoW in the current state of its beta has to offer world PvP Lake Wintergrasp is Wrath of the Lich King s big PvP showpiece It s a persistent non instanced zone built around an attack and defend play style Participants in the beta community liken it to an amalgamation of Alterac

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/pc/world-of-warcraft-wrath-of-the-lich-king/909233p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #44: A New Battlefield - Page 1
    s probably more MMO ish than you think which as a result will make it susceptible to some of the ruts and snags we associate with those sorts of games By the same token even in its current pre open beta state Battlefield Heroes depicts one probable alternate future for what we call MMOs a game that is undeniably rooted in the world of competitive shooters but governed by MMO mechanics like ability cooldowns level progression and the like Ultimately Heroes is a game that I believe people who are into MMOs will be interested in and one that s being designed by people who I believe are into MMOs I ve been playing it a bit and thinking about it a lot for the past week or so What follows are some musings cautions and commentaries Skill based WoW PvP to use the most popular example has become oppressively obtuse Reaching max level and learning to play your class after you ve done so is only the first and by far the shortest hurdle If you want to do well in WoW s Arenas and don t fool yourself Arenas are the only form of PvP that counts you have to verse yourself in class synergies learn all about macros and hotkeys install multitudes of add ons the list goes on Fail to do this and you ll most likely languish well behind the pack Unless you re one of those people who believes that losing is fun too or self deceives to this end the apex of WoW PvP will probably be no fun for you Maybe this is okay there s more to WoW than Arenas after all The end result in any case is that most Arena battles are typically decided well before the gates open

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/907/907600p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #43 - Page 1
    look at how the most mainstream manifestations of gamedom are being reworked to fit the persistent world model then we can forecast what tomorrow s most popular MMOs will look like Naturally we re going to look at sports games It bears mention that EA without question the most influential publisher in existence is already making inroads towards creating a mainstream sports MMO at their most recent Gamers Day event they demonstrated the methods by which they re building distinct gameplay mechanics into each line position in the next Madden game The tight end will play differently from the wide receiver which will play differently from the fullback basically The next logical step of course is to assign different players to play these different positions in order to field teams comprised entirely of human players This sort of thing is already happening in existing games just not any that you ve likely played Ultimate Baseball Online It s happening in Ultimate Baseball Online as a matter of fact Actual players man every one of the nine field positions and there is an RPG style character development system You choose your character s position which in turns determines what your starting statistics will look like Pitchers will naturally have stronger more accurate arms but they won t be able to hit very well Outfielders meanwhile are typically burlier allowing them to more easily become power hitters but depending on their specific positions they might suffer in the areas of throwing accuracy and catching range There are seven attributes that determine how effective you are at any given area from how likely you are to respond to a stolen base to how many pitches you can launch before becoming fatigued Fielders are also able to increase their ability to hit within certain

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/721/721537p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #42 - Page 1
    deliver upon release EA was willing to bankroll the development of a lot of online games and some very expensive ones at that at a time when the market wasn t nearly as mature and profitable as it is now Nobody likes to fail but at least EA had the courage to try to succeed which is more than I can say for almost all the other publishers in this industry Dark Age of Camelot is here to stay according to Mr Jacobs GameSpy How serious do you feel EA is about the MMO market How well does the company understand it Mark Jacobs EA is extremely serious about the MMO market You don t buy a company like Mythic unless you are serious about using its present and future capacity in the marketplace After all this acquisition even for EA was not simply a matter of taking out some spare change and buying a small struggling studio In terms of understanding the market first I think that the difficulties that EA went through in the early days of online gaming was quite a learning experience for them Secondly all the guys that I ve spoken to at EA are online gamers and many of them play or have played Dark Age of Camelot This is a passionate bunch of people that based on what I ve seen really care about making great games I just returned from an EA meeting during which senior EA personnel asked the different development teams questions such as Why is WAR going to be great and What do we need to do to make this game great That kind of interest in making great games has me excited about what the future will hold for Mythic and EA GameSpy How independently will Mythic be

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/716/716759p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #41 - Page 1
    overall lack of novelty The time that s passed since the show closed has only solidified what would have otherwise been hazy half wrought impressions So without further ado I present to you my personal favorite MMOs of E3 2006 Please forgive the list format Age of Conan Hyborian Adventures I have to admit I have a soft spot in my heart for Funcom and an even softer one for Conan As such it s pretty difficult for me to be objective about this game at this juncture but I ll do my best Now I ve never read any of Robert E Howard s novels I ve only seen the Conan films Hell when I was little I even thought that Conan the Destroyer was a good movie But even given that shallow level of familiarity with the lore behind it I really dig the world I think I get it And from where I m standing it s clear that Funcom gets it too Conan s world is rife with brutality and judging from the demo that I saw at E3 this MMO s gameworld will reflect that The villages are populated by crude buildings and even cruder inhabitants and the combat system is probably the most savage I ve ever seen in an MMO Hyboria isn t known for its handsome inhabitants I m not completely sold on the combat mind you in its current state there seems to be a bit of heft lacking When a heavy iron sword collides with flesh and bone you expect a certain physical reaction and that was absent in Age of Conan I truly hope they get this right They have the animations down pat if that s any consolation There were no shortages of grizzly beheadings But seriously when

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/711/711747p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #39 - Page 1
    to describe my dream MMO I realize that I may be squandering valuable space in which I could be writing about something that s actually salient and relevant in the world of online gaming but that s too bad It s been a very busy couple of weeks for me and I need to let the rubber band that s coiled up in my cranium unwind So by all means cry more Before I start I would like to give a warning to whatever employees of game developers and publishers may be reading this I know the idea that I m about to present is the bomb biggity but don t even think for one second about stealing it This piece is copyrighted kid Signed sealed and delivered Don t play with me I mma get real litigious on you with the quickness if I see anything resembling this concept coming out in the next few years and you d better believe that If you want to use any of this I expect to be paid in full That s the real talk man Mess around and I ll air you out for real for real OK now that that unpleasantness is out of the way allow me to describe for you in as much detail as time and space will permit Who Would Win Basically imagine a game in which you could have anything fight against anything You could pick say a Tyrannosaurus Rex and put it up against an F 14 Tomcat Or you could pit a Doom style space marine against a group of twenty robot dogs Or the 1981 Miami Dolphins versus Rambo riding on the back of a Dewback from Star Wars armed with Excalibur You get the picture Anything is possible You know those heated discussions you had with your friends in elementary school phys ed about who was stronger Wolverine or a ninja This is pretty much a game about those conversations A badger 100 point base value It s not going to be an MMO in the same way that Risk Your Life Path of the Emperor is an MMO It s going to be massively multiplayer in the sense that you ll have a whole universe of players with which to clash violent imaginations When you log in you won t be in a world per se Instead you ll be presented with a database of sorts from which you can choose and customize your fighter fighter being a catch all term that can encompass single entities e g The Lone Ranger a crocodile or the Starship Enterprise or collectives the First Reconnaissance Battalion Marines the Avengers or all the Presidents of the United States The database will be fully searchable cross indexed and intuitively designed Think Wikipedia but more awesome The first question on your mind must be one of balance Well here s how things will work if you ve ever played tabletop Warhammer then you re familiar with

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/696/696177p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #38 - Page 1
    aligned myself with smaller groups more often than not connected to each other in real life It s a more organic and personal environment and while you may not have as many opportunities to see all the cool endgame stuff with such a guild in contrast it requires much less of a commitment on your part On the other end of the spectrum are guilds of such enormous magnitude that their influence starts to extend outside of the virtual worlds they inhabit You may have heard of The Syndicate If you haven t it s one of the player organizations responsible for providing the template for what guilds resemble to this day The Syndicate run by a player named Dragons celebrated its 10 year anniversary this month First operating in Ultima Online the guild has maintained a presence in most of the big name games of the past 10 years Today it operates exclusively in WoW and UO with a roster of over 550 players annual real life guild conventions and even a corporate sponsorship UO The Syndicate s original stomping grounds In order to achieve a better understanding of what it s like to run an organization of that magnitude I spoke with Dragons whom despite all his responsibilities as guild master of a group this large not to mention the amount of time it takes to actually play these games maintains a full time job Think about that next time you re thinking about flaking on a guild raid because you have work the next morning Running The Syndicate is tantamount to a second job I spend six or so hours a day on paperwork to keep the guild moving ever forward My personal time besides in game things like leading events and raids is invested in answering

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/690/690751p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #37 - Page 1
    saw it again recently While it would be a bit premature to say that I m fully convinced that it ll make good on the ever so elusive promise of an MMO FPS if the ideas that Huxley Studio has on paper transfer well enough into 1 s and 0 s then we ll have something very hot on our hands When considering the possibilities that Huxley offers think of Planetside Specifically think about what you hate about it the long waits between logging in and actually shooting someone in the face and the general lack of variety in terms of content immediately come to mind To hear them tell it the people behind Huxley know exactly what this kind of game shouldn t be like and they re working their butts off to make sure that theirs incorporates the best of both worlds I won t get into any more specifics If you want to know more about Huxley tune into GameSpy early next week Scout s honor Darkfall Darkfall This one seems to be everyone s favorite underdog MMO these days I can see why It s being developed by a relatively small group out of Greece and it s taking some pretty bold risks The game will purportedly have no levels your character s skills will improve with use and you actually have to learn skills in order to use them That is to say you have to have an NPC or another player teach you the Swordsmanship skill if you want to be able to pick up a sword Apparently you can also fight other players anywhere in the world even in cities The game s Alignment system provides a pretty big deterrent to going slash crazy though if you kill enough people unprovoked you turn

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/685/685102p1.html (2016-02-16)
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