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  • GameSpy: Onlife #36 - Page 1
    that define our existence as citizens of the industrialized nations of the world As such we re gonna harp on the bounties of massively multiplayer gaming s answers to the Golden Arches the Michelin Man Those smaller more interesting and dare I say subversive games Well we ll leave those to the next installment In fact if you have a particular one you d like to see here please let me know So without further ado World of Warcraft Burning Crusade World of Warcraft The big daddy the one whose majesty rises over all I don t mind that Blizzard employees can t be bothered to answer my coverage related e mails I wouldn t either if I were that busy erecting golden statues of myself I am a paying subscriber to World of Warcraft and will continue to be so long as they keep that tasty looking carrot dangling in front of my face To me Burning Crusade is like Christmas two years in the future for a rich kid that s 14 years old You know that daddy s going to get you a Lexus but the big payoff seems so very far off A raise in the level cap a whole bunch of new dungeons two new races and presumably a new loot philosophy that will stir up the only raiders get epics dynamic that s currently in the game I m a bit bored with level 60 characters personally but those prospects are enough to keep plugging away Granted Blizzard usually takes its sweet time releasing software but hopefully the fact that the MMO market moves pretty fast in regards to expansion will make its WoW extensions quicker in coming It would do the company no good to get outpaced especially when you look at how

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/681/681924p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #35 - Page 1
    to buy a game at retail plug in your credit card number or your mommy s and play for free for a month Maybe you soon realize you don t like the game but you forget to cancel the subscription and wind up being charged for six months before you get off your rear and press the magic button Either that or you lose yourself so effectively in that awesome new world that you forget the flea like trickle being sucked out of your bank account every month Both ways the publishers get paid But you know what Many publishers aren t convinced that enough of you are willing to dish out fifteen or some odd dollars a month Only real players may enter It s obvious that many of you are Just look at the numbers that certain games are posting these days Don t know about you but the sum of five million would have seemed preposterous as recently as two years ago But to hear the analysts tell it the number of North American players willing to fork over money every month to play an online game has just about reached capacity This sort of doom and gloom forecast probably has a lot to do with why publishers are getting so damn creative with their business models It s all good though I m sure you re all for things being more flexible in regards to losing your money That said let s look at some of the trends that seem to be emerging The Velvet Rope Popularized partially by the completely out of left field success of Runescape this sort of business model enables a publisher to let players effectively play a large portion of the game for free and charging them once they pass a

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/677/677926p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #34 - Page 1
    the way you play Every hour you play is money earned or money spent depending on what transpires during your session Also since there s an implicit value to everything in the game including the time you spend playing it there s none of the eBayer stigma towards characters bankrolled with real cash that you see in other games In other words everyone is a farmer in some form or another Keep your racial epithets to yourself MindArk has found some pretty creative ways to further monetize the elements in its game In October the developer put a highly desirable plot of real estate up for auction within its gameworld a full featured space station built on a mineral rich asteroid This wasn t the first time it s done so but as you ll see it s definitely the most newsworthy The opening bid was one PED about 10 USD The buyout 1 000 000 PED 100 000 USD And it sold The buyer is a man named Neverdie who goes by the name of Jon Jacobs in real life And make no mistake the plot of land set to pass over into his possession this month has some pretty beefy earning potential A laz0r gun that goes pew pew pew Priceless The commerce models at work in Project Entropia are such that someone like Jacobs can monetize his land pretty effectively provided there are enough players willing to take advantage of it Primarily his space station will feature ten bio domes think of them as private hunting areas that players can pay to access The players of course will theoretically earn their money back and then some by looting their kills Jacobs meanwhile will get paid from them accessing his land as well as from any taxes he

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/674/674308p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #33 - Page 1
    s a completely different game a game that new players might just like better if it works anyway but more on that later The real contention though is coming from veteran players These people have basically had the game that they ve been playing for going on three years transformed into something completely different with little to input from them When you take their wishes into account questions about relative quality mean very little Needless to say a whole of these very people wrote in with feedback to our articles I would like to dedicate this installment of Onlife to bringing to light what I feel are the most poignant responses Lobot has pondered the changes made to Galaxies but is still on the fence about them Just wanted to say that I m as disappointed with the press for avoiding the issue of people with disabilities as I am with SOE and LucasArts for as adroitly dodging the subject Fact anyone with less than 2 fully functional hands can no longer play SW G Fact anyone with visual impairments can no longer play SW G Fact anyone with a nervous disorder can no longer play SW G Fact Sony s representatives have offered NO comments on this other than Kurt Stangl during the Test Center exposure saying there s nothing we can do Fact ALL of these people were able to play the game just fine for the last two years Not one magazine news agency or other media distributor either conventional or electronic has even attempted to bring light to this situation If you went to a restaurant that removed a ramp because well only a couple people were using it they can go elsewhere it was an eyesore what would you do Even if it wasn t

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/671/671095p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #32 - Page 1
    W00t Oh wait what s this That elf just picked it up before the group could decide who it goes to And he s refusing to give it back or he can t cause it s soulbound or attuned or whatever Oh noes Good game you ve just been ninja d This sort of thing sadly happens all the time in some form or another Granted it occurs with less frequency in certain games but given the nature of group looting systems no one game is completely immune to it Protect your shinies And when it happens you definitely hear all about it If it doesn t happen to you it can even be kind of funny I m sure you ve all read some forum posts somewhere in which the ninja d party raises all kinds of ruckus only to be trolled flamed and otherwise lambasted to comedic effect You may feel guilty laughing about it but you probably laugh anyway And no one can deny completely cracking up when listening to Teamspeak audio rips of people in the act of getting ninja d If you ve listened to the Cloudstone file from Dark Age of Camelot then you know what I m talking about Granted you may be the sort of cool headed person that takes getting ninja d in stride If so props to you But you re definitely in the minority As far as taking action against ninjas goes publishers stances vary Alan Crosby SOE s Director of Community had the following to say SOE Customer Service has a very firm policy against ninja looting in any SOE game Informative indeed But Crosby went on to say that in most of SOE s games at least ninja looting isn t a huge problem In EverQuest looting options such as the ability of a group leader to designate looting rules were designed and added to the game in order to remedy problems with less than scrupulous players he stated Those options carried on to EverQuest II along with design decisions made during development to remove the ability to steal loot from other players Blizzard had yet to respond to my questions at press time but the World of Warcraft support page clearly states the publisher s policy Players that loot an item out of turn or against the group s wishes do not fit in the criteria of a scammer and will not be investigated by the GM Staff Both of these statements tell me one thing clearly neither of the big companies wants its GM staff to waste its time responding to these kinds of queries so they ve either A tried their best to design safeguards into their games to lessen the occurrences or B expect the community to police itself And police itself it does In the case of World of Warcraft it s a rare day when at least once instance of ninja looting isn t documented on the game s server forums

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/665/665716p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #31 - Page 1
    before we start seeing games that at best rival the experience we get from traditional MMOs or at the very least somehow interface with the games we re already playing Rather than keep fantasizing about what could be I ve utilized my limited vision and imagination to create a list of likely scenarios Take them or leave them as you will 1 Massively multiplayer takes on popular handheld game styles I ve been playing Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow a whole lot lately and maybe it s my imagination but I ve been seeing a lot of game elements that would be easily translatable to an MMO experience For instance a few days ago I acquired a power up that when equipped caused my character to do extra damage to enemies if I hit them from behind Kind of like a backstab ability the kind that thief classes in MMOs have you know Yes it s a bit of a stretch but c mon how cool would it be if say the Castlevania castle were crawling with dozens of other players and you could team up with them to tackle difficult bosses Or better yet if you run into someone wailing on a Gorgon in the Garden of Madness you could sneak up behind him and bombard him with boomerangs Everyone would have a little personalized character sprite unique abilities and the developers would throw in some kind of common area where people could trade stuff and jump up and down constantly It would be great Hopefully what we re imagining won t require something like this 2D exploration heavy adventure games aren t the only handheld standbys that could benefit from this either As blas as the genre may be at this point hack n slash action RPGs are always a sound contender for this kind of thing Sure we haven t seen a whole mess of them on handhelds thus far apart from the middling Untold Legends by Sony Online Entertainment but something tells me that the genre is ripe for an explosion on these types of platforms My biggest wish though is a persistent world Advance Wars game in which you build your own armies maybe with some kind of Warhammer style points system and join up with allied generals to defend territories under your nation s control from invaders who will be real players of course It s most definitely a pipedream but damn if it wouldn t be hot 2 Handheld software that ties into traditional MMOs Let s say you have a character in MMO X You log out for the night but you want to monitor some stuff that you have up for sale on the in game bazaar When you go to bed you bust out your PSP or DS pop in your copy of MMO X s Handheld Supplement and track your goods in real time Did some jackass undercut you Well undercut him right back In your pajamas and silk sheets

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/662/662000p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #30 - Page 1
    this part of me feels like I m somehow degrading the experience for those around me The names I ve chosen for my characters aren t RP the guilds I belong to don t exactly aim to further the rest of the population s immersion If I told you my real motivation for joining these servers many of you would probably think less of me Let s just say that the idea of running into something like this while stealthed in a contested area is just way too tempting to pass up i cant give u my facepaint its soulbound lol Not to say that I go out of my way to ruin the experience for those who like to RP Quite the opposite if I happen to be grouped with someone who s role playing at me I ll do my best not to talk about say the great new stool softener I ve been taking I ll keep my responses terse and not too glaringly out of character and try my best not to shoot my milk out my nose when some lamer who s RPing a troll or something starts talking to me in corny faux Jamaican slang Incidentally what s up with Blizzard providing the Horde playing RP community with ready made stereotypical idioms I m sure I m not the only person of Caribbean descent who thinks it s a little bit corny to have a 14 year old kid from Wisconsin calling me mon But let s not dwell too heavily on this My big question is are these games truly designed with the role player s experience in mind I can see role playing when you re playing table top D D you have a group of live people with you whom you

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/654/654539p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Onlife #29 - Page 1
    Firiona Vie server In truth you don t need to be from another planet to find the proclivities of MMO players baffling I ve personally had many a friend and loved one look at me strange when they observe me for hours on end in World of Warcraft entering and exiting the same instanced corridor slaughtering the same group of little plant people We both understand that six hours of wanting to poke your eyes out are well worth it on the occurrence of a purple drop But normal people Not so much Lately I ve been playing a fresh little web game called The Kingdom of Loathing It s free and you don t need anything other than a web browser an e mail address and an internet connection to play Although I ve been playing it off and on for the past few weeks I ve only really scratched the surface There s a staggering amount of content in this crazy little game and the fact that I can only experience it in little tidbits at a time the game is designed that way you see makes it so that I don t burn out The dangers are myriad in the Kingdom of Loathing The Kingdom of Loathing is proof positive that what drives us to play these kinds of games isn t dependent on high end hardware As long as the designers keep the carrot within plain sight we ll keep running towards it and it doesn t matter whether we re using a web interface or a fancy 3D game client That said KoL has a few things going for it not the least of which is that it s free to play But even more significant than that is the fact that the game s

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/647/647148p1.html (2016-02-16)
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