MMO Numbers, Dragon Tails and EVE on a Phone

Past, present and future in MMOs today, as we look from the lessons dragons taught us (specifically, Onyxia) to the future for EVE Online – could it end up on a smartphone?

  • The Nosy Gamer rounds up the latest MMORPG statistics – interesting and arguably quite unexpected stuff“While the Xfire numbers are not reliable to tell how many players are playing a game, they are good for determining trends. The latest example is Tera, whose trend was diving toward the cellar. “
  • Green Armadillo asks whether MMO players can be comparatively passive about developer missed promises because games essentially hold their social groups to ransom“No matter how early or late, how buggy or how polished, everyone needs to buy the new content when it is released if they are to play together. “
  • Big Bear Butt teaches his Cub another lesson, and this time it’s about the wonder and danger of dragons“He wants things to be able to be reasoned out. He wants to be able to look at something, and to infer from visual cues what it may be able to do, and how to try and attack it safely and successfully. I have to say, Onyxia was designed magnificently with that in mind.”
  • And Mat at Freebooted proposes a very interesting project – taking the world of EVE Online in all its complexity onto your smartphone“Imagine, if you will, that you’ve just downloaded CCP’s new smartphone title New Eden Explorer. Rather than try to be a trimmed-down version of EVE, it approaches gameplay from the opposite direction whilst providing many of the tools found in existing EVE apps.”

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Hot Topic Watch: Attunements, Gear and Dailies

It’s been a week or two of fast-paced discussion and debate in the WoW blogosphere, and as we move into the weekend, that discussion’s still raging. Whether it’s attunements, dailies or gear, here’s the latest pieces of thought on the topics everyone’s talking about:

  • Scott Andrews at WoW Insider takes us down memory lane in the attunements discussion, taking us back to the pure joy – no, wait, I meant anguish – of the Horde Onyxia attunement chain in Vanilla WoW“Thrall sends you on the most dreaded part of the attunement chain: talking to Rexxar. Rexxar was not a static NPC who stood there waiting for players to interact with him. No, Rexxar had stuff to do. He patrolled all the way through Desolace and into parts of the two adjacent zones, Feralas and Stonetalon Peaks.”
  • Ratshag has decided to take pity on those of us who want attunements back – with his Do-It-Yourself guide to attunement simulations“The Karazhan Attunement Experience: Read page 1 of yer novel. Go ta that cave in Southwest Twilight Highlands. Kill everything. Wait fer thems ta re-spawn. Kill them all again. Read the next page…”
  • Bob at Altclysmic weighs in on the “motivation and gear” discussion started by The Grumpy Elf, looking at how Mists of Pandaria will change the way loot motivates us“The new system will allow me to daily my way to the top, the asumption will be that this is an easier way but the reward gathering will be so much slower.”
  • And Spinks at Spinksville writes a lengthy post discussing various elements of Mists of Pandaria to come, including a section to the daily quests of MoP, and how she (unlike other commenters earlier this week) believes they’ll be a good thing“At that point in the game, people just want to log in and do something fun that will progress their character in some way. Assuming dailies are at least as fun as normal quests and that people who like PvE are happy with normal quests, the only issue is whether players get bored and how many dailies you have to do to get whichever reward you are aiming for.”

Any opinions on the dailies, gear or attunements discussion?

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WoW Attunements Arguments Abound – What’s Your Take?

Matthew Rossi’s recent editorial fiercely opposing the return of attunements on WoW Insider appears to have sparked a storm of debate!

From fiercely-pro to fiercely-anti – and all flavours in between – the blogosphere has been alight with one question over this weekend – should attunements ever return? And if so, in what form?

  • Azuriel at In An Age feels that attunements were unnecessary, but that the real problem with them was their group content“And then, over the proceeding 37 weeks of raiding Karazhan, I had to make 15 additional Karazhan attunement runs for various people in the guild. People that had no problem being terrible raiders, or otherwise expecting the guild to provide them with endless dungeon runs so that they could guild-hop/get poached three days later”
  • Matticus is thoughtful about attunements, which he feels were a grind, but not without their positive points“Actually, I will grant that there is one thing I liked about the way everything was laid out. Progression was clearly laid out. There wasn’t a recommended path or anything, but you clearly knew based on the quests received what you had to do in order to get to the end. “
  • Rohan at Blessing of Kings separates attunements into various kinds, before analysing the advantages and disadvantages of each“By and large, I thought Class B attunements worked. They made the game between leveling and raiding more interesting, gave it more purpose rather than simply gearing up. “
  • Stormy at Scribblings on The Asylum Wall feels that attunements provided something that Cataclysm is sorely lacking – an in-character, in-plot reason to actually care about raids“In Cataclysm, on the other hand, I had the opposite experience: when I zoned into Bastion of Twilight there was a giant dragon…in a hallway. Who was the dragon? Why was he just hanging out in a hallway, waiting to be killed?”
  • And Doone at T.R.Redskies writes a massive, thoughtful piece on attunements, looking at the way that player perceptions of content change over time“The tedium that followed is related to the way we, as players evolve toward symbolic thinking which colors our impressions of gameplay mechanics. Once the questline was revealed, then it came only to symbolize the Onyxia encounter itself. Adventure ceases to exist, the quest becomes strictly a means to an end.”

It doesn’t look like the discussion’s finished yet – I’ll be interested to hear the next stages in the debate!

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