Let’s change things up a bit today! The blogosphere’s still resounding with the news of SWTOR going F2P, but that’s not all that’s going on – so here’s our pick of the thinking and discussion from elsewhere in the blogosphere today:
- Beruthiel discusses going beyond “heal the tank” healing in WoW into really dynamic and adaptive healing – ” I’ve watched players who smash the meters completely fall apart on a fight like Yor’shaj. I’ve watched a healers who sailed through as top healers in Dragon Soul find that they are uncertain of how to heal a more interactive encounter – simply because they don’t know how to be dynamic and react to changing circumstances.”
- Big Bear Butt waxes lyrical about an unexpected delight – the surprising quality of the WoW-licensed Mega Blox toys – “The craftsmanship on the Lich King is just absurd, and the Dragon? Seriously, I am extremely happy with Sindragosa. If there was any one set I would recommend buying, it would be the Sindragosa/Lich King set. It is a masterpiece. It is “pose on my desk and make my geek friends exclaim in delight” levels of awesome.”
- Zellviren looks at the news of staggered raids for Mists of Pandaria, and asks how this will impact future patch release cycles – “There are now “Cutting Edge” feats of strength that are awarded to players who kill these bosses within their patch cycle and without nerfs of any kind. That means the nerfs themselves are now going to be a staple of future raiding, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.”
- In a particularly cool move, the Executive Producer on RIFT, Scott Hartsman, has been giving long and interesting answers in a Reddit Ask Me Anything interview – ” The thing with ultra-complex games is that you will have one of those moments, where you log into the game to see how the patch went, and find yourself with your hand on your forehead saying, “What the f….” pretty much every week. “
- And The Ancient Gaming Noob looks at Cryptic’s PR statements about Star Trek Online – and compares them to Nixon’s “I’m not a crook” speech – “Nobody buys a paper when the headline is “Nothing Bad Happened.” Likewise, a headline like “STO Worth $50 Million” or “STO is Perfect World’s Top Performer” do not grab attention… at least not like that “dying” quote does.”
When are you predicting WoW patches? Do you think STO is going down? And have you (or your kids) played with the WoW Mega Blox?
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As spring progresses, it seems that everyone’s having new MMO experiences. Wheras this time last year the Pot was full of discussion about various well-worn aspects of WoW, today we’ve got a grab-bag of guides to and writing about entirely new MMO endeavours:
- Green Armadillo at Player vs Developer writes a conclusion post about his experience in STO, including a stint as a full paying customer – “I’m certainly not complaining about the value I got out of the money I’ve spent on this game – $11.40 for an old retail box along with the points I used to unlock the currency cap and the +100 duty roster for my main. It will be interesting, though, to see where the game goes from here.”
- Redbeard at Parallel Context asks, after playing the free weekend, whether it’s reasonable to expect SWTOR to have as much content as WoW – “I think there needs to be some perspective here. Should we expect a new MMO to have as much to do as one that has been around and expanded upon for seven years?”
- And Stormy at Scribblings on the Asylum Wall rounds the day off with a tremendously useful cheatsheet for the Mists of Pandaria beta – “. Don’t buy glyphs on the Auction House. No, really. All glyphs are available from a Tauren vendor inside the Temple of the Jade Serpent for some pathetic sum like 40 silver. Don’t pay 500g for them on the AH.”
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It seems to have been guide week this week, and it’s not over yet, with The Grumpy Elf taking on the pedagogue’s role today. Plus, Green Armadillo continues to find STO interesting, and Azeroth Observer’s been trying something tricky, starting over in WoW…
- Reliq at Azeroth Observer took the brave step – particularly late in an expansion – of starting a new guild in WoW, and writes up his experiences and what he’s learned – “There’s one thing I’ve found from doing this, and it is I think an insight into how strangers interact: you can have an awesome idea, and others may see value in it, but they will not generally commit to that idea without seeing that others have already.”
- The Grumpy Elf comes over all helpful with a lengthy guide to starting roleplaying in MMORPGs – “Just because these things are listed over a persons head in the game it is not a license to assume you know them. If someone does not tell you information you do not know it.”
- And Green Armadillo provides a detailed, interesting and personal account of his ongoing voyages in Star Trek Online, now up to the high levels – “How much these upgrades matter is open to debate. It’s possible to run the duty officer system at the basic 100 slots, but you will have to ditch low quality officers, and may not have the slots to keep a full contingent – i.e. there will likely missions you cannot do for lack of versatility.”
I can’t believe I’ve not used a “to boldly go” gag in an STO post yet.
What are you playing at the moment?
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It’s another WoW-light day here at the Melting Pot, in the lull before the storm of Mists of Pandaria information next week. In fact, we’ve only got one WoW-related link at all, and even that’s not solely about WoW.
But all of this means one thing – there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on beyond Warcraft in the MMOSphere right now:
- Flosch at Random Waypoint has applied to join EVE University, and he explains the application process, which frankly sounds like more work than many real-life equivalents – “The things you have to fill out and provide before you even get to the interview stage beats every raiding guild questionnaire I’ve ever seen. I guess it has something to do with really X-raying people in the game whose populace consists mostly of scammers, griefers, and lying, backstabbing bastards.”
- Syncaine writes a discussion of the way Dungeon Finder-like tools destroy social ties that I couldn’t agree with more – “Spamming a group channel was slower, at times annoyingly so. But the value of that channel has nothing to do with speed. Its real value is that you see who you are inviting/joining, and this creates familiarity (that guy is a great tank, invite him. That guy is a loot ninja, pass). “
- Syp at Bio Break recounts his experience with the recent 2800 storyline in Star Trek Online – which sounds really quite awesome – “Apparently the fate of future Featured Series development is up in the air at this point, and that’s a shame because the team did such a great job with this that I was literally looking forward to the next installment each and every week this ran.”
- And Ravious at Kill Ten Rats has been thinking hard about the Elite Skill offered by the Guild Wars 2 Collector’s Edition, and why he’s really not enchanted by it – “The elite skill cannot be more powerful than other elite skills as planet-ending rage would ensue.”
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OK, it looks like we’ve moved successfully – so let’s get going with the cool links of the weekend!
- Rohan’s talk of the need for DPS meters in SWTOR sparked a lot of interesting discussion – of which one particularly nice titbit was the idea of a simplified ‘traffic light’ DPS meter – “This is a pretty cool idea. A simple green/yellow/red meter that was boss-dependent and displayed your personal DPS for that boss. If all the DPS stay in yellow or green for the entire fight, the boss will die before the enrage.”
- Green Armadillo at Player vs Developer is pulled into his role as starship captain in STO by the death of a crewmember – “I lost a member of my crew today. Crewman Lozza, a Tellarite hazard system officer, was conducting a routine systems overload exercise. I doubt that I even read the entry in the assignment list when Lt. Thol K’jhyv, head of my engineering and operations departments, put it on the list for my approval. “
- Caer Horrighan writes a passionate defence of WoW against those who might argue it’s now pointless – “Its not a perfect game. No game is perfect for everyone all of the time. But I still like it. And I am right to keep playing a game I enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, thats fine. But your need to feel you are right does not make me wrong! “
- And Keen and Graev, on a similar topic, defend their right to be excited about new and upcoming games – “Being excited is not a crime. If I was not excited about video games I would not play them, and I certainly would not write about them. “
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I think today may be something of a record for the Melting Pot – we’ve got literally no WoW posts on the features list today! (Although I’ll admit I have a couple on my “to feature tomorrow” list.)
In many ways, it’s a breath of fresh air to see so much discussion of so many different games in the MMORPG community. And I find it comforting – even if the giants of the field do slowly fade away, it’s easy to see there’s plenty of other interesting stuff happening in the smaller games too!
- Random Waypoint considers a small but significant aspect of MMO play, specifically LoTRO – the effect of floating nameplates on your in-game immersion – “You tend to not notice the scenery any more, or the mobs themselves; what you see is a target, and a beeline in your mind to said target. Run, kill, loot, run, kill, loot.”
- Syp at Bio Break is shocked by six really great things about F2P Star Trek Online – “People who denounce F2P as being this great evil that’s corrupting our beloved MMOs from the inside-out don’t often acknowledge that there are many ways to do F2P, and while some are aggressively bad and harmful to the game, others are finding a great balance between giving a free experience while tempting players to pony up dough. “
- Player vs Developer is reporting on the RIFT experience at endgame – “I’m starting to see why this game seems to draw the older-school crowd from the days when MMO’s were more of an activity than a game. “
- In Titan (yes, Titan) news, Rock Paper Shotgun have noticed Blizzard are looking for an in-game advertising specialist for their next MMO – “Blizzard are looking to recruit a Franchise Development Producer for their “next-gen MMO”, with one of the main responsibilities being to “work with major consumer brands to facilitate product placement and licensing within the world of Blizzard Entertainment’s next-gen MMO”. Hmmmm.”
- And MMO Quests offers both advice and caution for potential players on the extremely hardcore nature of Wurm Online – “For those gamers who are often enthralled with sandbox games then Wurm is probably a fantastic MMO for you to sink your teeth into. If you struggle with those types of games you may be better off simply reading about it – and I don’t say that to be insulting but I say that because over the course of time I have played I have seen MANY people in Freedom Chat expressing their frustrations.”
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