Guild Wars 2 Launch Trailer – wait, WHAT?

Guild Wars 2’s launch trailer has arrived, and it’s … odd. Very odd. It’s barely about the game, for starters.

So, what did the MMO community make of it?

First up, here’s the trailer itself. Warning – some minor spoilers at the end. Notably, if you don’t want to see dragons before you see them in-game, avoid.

It really is quite odd.

And here’s what everyone thought:

  • Kemwer looks back over all of Arena.net’s past cinematics to communicate just how disappointing he found the launch trailer” Are­naNet made a big dis­ser­vice to their fans, to their hard-working cin­e­mat­ics team, and I’m not sure if this trailer is good enough to con­nect to the new audi­ence they prob­a­bly aimed it to,”
  • Rowan Blaze contrasts the GW2 launch trailer with the trailer for The Secret World“I am not making a judgement between the two games. Just saying that the trailer for one gives me chills.”
  • Hunter’s Insight breaks down what the trailer’s about, and whether we should care that much“Instead we have messages about seizing the day, overcoming hardship and suffering, taking action to fight for a better tomorrow. It’s practically an ad for Obama, lets face it.”
  • And Syp says he’s just reeling from the bizarreness of it“Putting aside the logic of releasing a launch trailer two weeks after its launch, this is just bizarre avant-garde crap. “

What did you think? Is there a point, or did Arena.net just lose the plot on this one?

Read more →

What Do You Think – Prototype Guide Video?

I’m testing out a new idea for the MMO Melting Pot guides today – short videos designed to teach rotations for each class.

This one’s a guide for Shadow Priests, but I’d be interested to hear your opinions on the format regardless of the class it’s teaching.

Is it clear? Did you understand it? And most importantly, when a new patch hits would you find a quick guide like this useful?

Please do comment – it’s really helpful to know what you think!

Read more →

Some Technology You Might Find Very Useful For MMOs

Most of us, I’d imagine, stick with the basics when it comes to MMORPG playing. Keyboard, two-button mouse, single monitor, webcam, headset, FRAPS.

But there’s an entire world of assistive tech out there – and some of it’s very useful indeed. Personally, I swear by my Nostromo, and my second monitor. Interface – hard, physical interface – is something many people neglect in their gaming setup, and it can make a huge difference.

So, today we’ve got three posts looking at the hard, sparky, electrical side of improving your MMOing:

  • Gazimoff has been preparing for Guild Wars 2, and with it, a new way of moving in MMOs. IN a detailed post, he shares how he’s redesigning his physical interface for this new game“I used to play a lot of Counter Strike and Quake 3 Arena back in the day, but raiding as a Mage in World of Warcraft has made my reflexes and spacial awareness soft and flabby. There’s only so many ways you can stand at the back pressing One, One, One, Two and occasionally moving out of bad stuff.”
  • Hawt Pants Of The Republic shares an excellent post about three pieces of gaming hardware that sound extremely useful for MMOs – I’ll be picking one of them up myself“Back in the day, I was primarily healing with mouse clicks and modifiers – and as such, both left and right hands were occupied while healing, and I was just OUT of fingers to talk on vent. I’d have to pause what I was doing, and that’s never any good. ”Wouldn’t it be nice,” I thought, “if there were a foot pedal for that?””
  • And Girls Do Play WoW has been upgrading her screencasting experience. I know a fair few of us make videos in MMOs, and as one of them I found her description of setting up a home greenscreen worth filing away for future use… “The design of the stand is very simple: just two upside-down “T” arms connected by the pipe that acts as the curtain rod at the top.”

What MMO peripherals can’t you live without? Or are you a hardcore keyboard-mouse-screen-and-nothing-else-er?

Read more →

A Lovely Idea – a year of WoW instancing in video

The Ancient Gaming Noob came up with an idea over the weekend which I absolutely love – seriously, it gets me right here – and I’m not entirely sure why. But I am at least partially sure that it’ll hit some of you the same way.

It’s a very simple plan, really. He wanted to put together a celebration of his regular Saturday night instancing group, which started back in 2006 and has been going ever since. And since he’d been playing around with Windows Movie Maker, he decided to make a movie.

And then he realised just how many screenshots he had, watched a couple of documentaries, and came up with something rather wonderful

“Deadmines to Zul’Farrak does not seem like a years worth of progress, especially if you have only played WoW in the age of the Dungeon Finder. Looking at the screen shots reminded me that there were often weeks that went by in between where we had to level up to get to the next instance. And, in addition, we used to try to get in an hour or two as a group on Thursday nights as well.

And then there was the hiatus when Earl moved to New York and Skronk and Ula came back to California. (Was that at the same time?) Basically, from mid-March to early September of 2007, we didn’t play WoW as a group. This, by the way, is totally the reason I keep the blog. Even looking at time stamps on screen shots for literally hours, I did not realize until I went to check on how long the hiatus was that it actually ran for that duration. During that time Lord of the Rings Online launched and the four of us not moving to New York played that. So the shot at time slot 3:08 and the one at 3:13 bridges a six month gap.

On missing screen shots, in Zul’Farrak there is a shot of the gong. What I had no picture to help explain was the fact that we got there and realized we had not yet obtained the Mallet of Zul’Farrak, which is way out in the Hinterlands. (Remember when instance quests took you all over?) There is a post that explains that, but I could not figure a way to get that across in the video sans picture evidence. So there is the establishing shot of the gong, but no follow on, aside from the Gahz’rilla fight. Liberties taken.

The first screen shot in the video, three of us (Ula, Skronk, and Blintz) at Loch Modan, is the earliest screen shot I have of any members of the group. It is time stamped September 30, 2006, 9:47pm. The oldest WoW screenshot I could find is from March 2006, and features Tistann, my hunter, at the Mirage Raceway at about level 40. Somewhere there is a folder of even older screenshots I am sure.”

There seems to be a screenshot/nostalgia thing in the air at the moment, as evidenced by the runaway success of the “Sixth” meme. (Which I will be participating in, having now been tagged multiple times – watch this space). And seeing such a breadth of WoW history in a single space, and hearing the stories – it’s somehow very stirring.

It’s worth watching TAGN’s video, too – it’s far more engaging than the description “screenshot video” would suggest, and he’s using some great documentary techniques that make the pictures come alive.

This is another moment where I’d love to see a wave of these videos. Indeed, my Sixth post may well be in video form. Particularly with recent discussions about bloggers being the archivists of the MMO experience, it’s awesome that we have such tools to tell our stories with.

Would you consider making a “WoW Memories” video?

Read more →

MMO Melting Pot does video!

Yep, we’re dipping our toe into the world of non-text media. Currently, we’ve just made one info vid – a companion to our article about getting to Vash’jir – but I’d be interested to see what you think.

Let us know what you think of the vid! Is it too fast? Too slow? Hard to understand? Easy? Obscure? Anything else?

We’re also considering doing a weekly video round-up of the week’s news – half-way between a podcast and Have I Got News For You. Would you be interested in seeing that?

Read more →