An underplayed MMO, SWTOR’s missing pieces, and single player MMOs

Vanguard has waited a while for it, but as it approaches Free-To-Play it’s finally getting some excellent press.

Today we discover from a die-hard fan just what it has to offer, plus a hardcore SWTOR fan expounds on what it’s missing, and a hardcore LoTRO fan explains what he would like to see…

  • Why play Vanguard, one of the worst-received MMOs in recent history? Karen Bryan at Massively explains why she loves the game“In Vanguard, the things we accomplished felt legendary, and it never felt like we were on a hamster wheel, spinning as fast as possible so we could get to 50.”
  • Lono at Screaming Monkeys enjoys SWTOR, but nonetheless explains some of the key things he feels are holding the massive MMO back“It’s not normal that in 2012 a game with average graphics like Swtor can have so many issues with its engine. It’s slow, there are bugs and performance in general is poor even on high-end machines.”
  • Azuriel at In An Age discusses the concept of a “single-player MMO”, and asks whether MMOs really can be great single-player experiences“The vast majority of MMO players today are single-player MMO, erm, players. Less than 20% of WoW players raid; what are the other 80% doing? How many EVE players never make it out of high-sec space or never engage in consensual PvP? “
  • And Shipwreck at A Casual Stroll To Mordor writes an impassioned and well-argued piece on why LoTRO should offer subscribers an ad-free version of the game“There are countless examples of this model out on the internet: you get the free version for free because it has limited functionality and you are subjected to advertising; when you start to pay your subscription, the ads go away. Hulu, Spotify, Amazon’s Kindle, and countless iOS apps utilize this idea. “

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Helpful Hints, Awful Animations and Bad Asses

It’s been a quiet day today, but the Summer of MMOs is still revving up behind the scenes. And so, in today’s linkpost we’ve got focusses on a number of new MMOs – including neither WoW, nor SWTOR, nor EVE.

Truly, it’s a new era.

  • Syp at Bio Break is perplexed by TERA’s truly awful-sounding ad campaign“As a gamer, I guarantee that you will identify with anyone and everyone in these commercials except for Bas. Unless, of course, you’re a Dutch martial artist who looks like the stereotype of every geek-kicking jock come to life.”
  • With the Guild Wars 2 beta events coming up, Ravious at Kill Ten Rats offers ten handy hints for the many players new to the game“Basically for 2 of the 3 racial starting areas we’ve seen, it is chaos. Ghosts popping out of nowhere in the charr area, centaurs running amok throughout a human starting area, and norn standing around their forest picking their ears while players hunt. Don’t fret!”
  • And T.R. Redskies presents a dire warning to Funcom, who appear to be in imminent danger of screwing their new MMO, The Secret World, right up“You’re about to ruin the promise of this game with animations and cripple a very critical feature of your game by requiring Facebook. I don’t know what Facebook has paid you to make you force fans to register over there, but I warn you that the price isn’t going to be worth it when your game is failing like Age of Conan.”

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Is Every Paid MMO Service Evul?

Is every paid MMO-service evul?

There. I said it. I don’t mean below the belt paid services, wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Those are just disturbing and every MMO’s version of the Lion’s Pride inn is … let’s just not go there.

I’m talking about other services, mostly created by players or fans, or even other companies, and I’m curious what you think. Specifcially I’m curious about MMO services that aren’t provided by MMO companies themselves – so for example, count LoTRO’s Turbine points shenanigans or Blizzard’s pet/mount sales out (though I’m curious about those too, come to think of it). I’m not really looking at gold selling/buying here – most people would agree that’s bad (though if you disagree do say, and why – you won’t get lynched). But is it thatgold selling gives the rest of paid services a bad name when some of them are actually useful and above board, or is it simply that they’re all bad and wrong and should be taken out back and burned at the stake?

So what sort of things am I thinking about? Well, let’s see… off the top of my head, these are the kind of ‘paid’ services I’ve seen floating around:

  • Guild websites and hosting – HAH! Weren’t expecting this one, right? Surely there’s nothing wrong with people providing your in game community a website – or is there?
  • Consulting/coaching – helping you play better, whatever ‘play better’ means to you as a player. Is that bad n’ wrong or a useful service – or something you wish half the idiots in your randoms would do?
  • Various e-books – gold guides, levelling guides, class guides, raid guides. I’ve seen opinions on these widely differ depending on the type of ebook, too.
  • Advertising
  • There are probably more – feel free to talk about them too.

I’ve been wondering this on and off for a while now and have never quite been able to put my finger on what the general feel in the community for this stuff is. Reading round the blogosphere I regularly see both people vehemently against paid services and others trying to provide them while getting all kinds of feedback, both positive and negative. Tobold’s post today – which we highlighted earlier – just brought this back to mind as something I’ve been meaning to throw out there for a while.

So. What do you think? Are all paid, extra, MMO services filthy trickses from the legions of Mordor, or are some of them acceptable and theoretically useful?

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Ever Thought About Tipping Bloggers?

Blogging. Money.

Two words that don’t get used together often in the WoW blogosphere. When they do it usually causes a hush followed by a calamity of people shouting both for and against those words being used together. If that’s what happens here then that’s grand – I want to open up this can of worms and see what the community does with it. And whether Cold’s reasonable post can change any opinions about whether bloggers should get tipped for their work.

Cold’s going out on a limb and saying that when you read a blog or post you enjoy you could consider tipping the blogger. Just like you do in any number of places where people spend a lot of time maintaining a service so you can do what you want; be it have a great time out, get from A to B safely or not have to worry about your car being ned‘ed (yes it’s a word… now) while you’re not looking.

We as bloggers put a ton of time and effort into keeping our sites maintained.  Providing quality content on a daily basis is hard work.  Many readers reap the benefits from their favorite sites, but never leave anything in return, not even a comment, much less an actual tip.  There a few other ways that you can “tip” your favorite bloggers to show that their work is appreciated.

Cold points out that a lot of blogs already display various ways you could tip them. He talks through things you could look out for on a blog to help support the blogger. They’re all good ideas, though I’d note that you probably don’t want to click on too many adverts on a blog each day as google might decide it doesn’t trust the blog.

Sure, Cold’s post doesn’t mention any games but in talking about blogging itself it focusses on a topic that’s just as essential as whether WoW’s on its knees or dancing in the street. If bloggers didn’t pour their hearts into sharing their opinions and adventures then we wouldn’t have the pleasure of reading them and reciprocating: of being a community of gamers.

What do you think – should we be more open minded about this, or is blogging just a labour of love and should stay that way?

_Quote taken directly from Cold’s post

You cna find Blogging Vitals’ homepage here and Cold’s Gold Factory (his WoW site) here_

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