Archive for the ‘Warhammer Online’ Category

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Try New Things

May 28, 2010

As I’ve reiterated so many times before on this blog, I’ve just started playing World of Warcraft again after a long period of being away. But I realized I never really explained why I took my break. Yes, I was a little tired of the raiding, the heroics, the dailies, the treadmill and all that jazz, but the ultimate reason was much more than just plain old burnout. You see, back then I was mostly just playing WoW. Meanwhile, as the market expanded, new games were popping up left and right. All of a sudden, I felt like I was missing out on these other great titles because I was too focused on just one game.

I also want to take this opportunity to talk about a disturbing trend I’ve been noticing. Certain segments of the MMO community seem to treat WoW like a disease, don’t you think? That’s nothing new; people can say what they want about a game and it doesn’t bother me. No, instead, what really irks me these days is the ostracizing and belittling of all the game’s players like they’re mentally handicapped or that their opinions don’t count or matter if they “only play WoW”.

Well, I think dismissing people solely based on their game of choice is a bit elitist and unfair. But then I’m also going to play devil’s advocate here and say that if you look past the insults and attitude there’s a smidgen of logic there, even if it’s just barely. If your only focus is on one game, whether it’s WoW or some other MMO, you’re limited to a very narrow view of the genre.

So with this post, I want to talk about the matter of playing one game versus many games, and the notion of branching out and trying new things. Now, I don’t think it’s a bad thing if a player only sticks to just one game, because what it really comes down to what you enjoy. In the end, you should play the games you want to play, not because of what anyone else thinks. Yes, I used to only play WoW…and am currently playing it again along with a few other MMOs. Its critics can crap on the game all they want and I don’t care; they’re entitled to their opinion and the only thing that matters to me is whether or not I’m having fun. Sometime last year, however, I made the decision to experience more MMOs and broaden my horizons. It was my own personal choice, and it had nothing to do with anyone or anything else.

For me, my hiatus from WoW availed me to try many other MMOs out there and I don’t regret any of them at all. Especially now that I have this blog, I find it easier these days to engage in meaningful discourse with other gamers like the ones on my blogroll. Whether or not I agree with a certain point of view, I feel more informed and thus more comfortable now with piping up on many MMO topics than I ever did before. It’s wonderful when I find that I actually “get it” when I read about someone’s unique take on things, or their thoughts on certain playing styles. Even when they talk about a game I’ve never played before, at least I feel I can add to the discussion by drawing parallels or giving examples.

My time away from WoW has also taught me a lot about my own gaming habits. I look at the games I’ve played over the last couple of years, and see all these titles I’ve tried (EvE Online, Champions Online, etc.), subscribed to and dropped for good (Warhammer, Aion, etc.), or canceled only to be picked up again (Age of Conan, Lord of the Rings Online, etc.) Regardless of the result, I think each game was a valuable experience. It made me realize what I liked, or what I didn’t like.

For example, while it’s arguably one of the most polished MMOs on the market, WoW isn’t perfect. I knew that before, of course, but it was hard to pinpoint exactly why. But now that I’ve seen some of what’s out there, I am more aware of the various mechanics, features, systems and other things related to gameplay. I think to myself, I love this from Game X or that from Game Y, or I think such-and-such in game Z isn’t as well executed compared to Game A, B, or C, etc.

Playing more MMOs has also given me a new perspective on how their developers operate. Obviously, not every company has the resources Blizzard has,  and it’s interesting to see how different teams tackle the same challenges. I’ve come to recognize that while a certain solution might work for one game, it doesn’t automatically mean it can work for others. Instead of making me go, “Well, Blizzard can do it, so why can’t they?” it’s actually made me a lot more open-minded and sympathetic.

So speaking of which, if I seem overly positive in some of my articles, it might also be due to the fact that many things are still so new and fresh to me. After all, I’ve only been playing MMOs for about four years, and for more than half that time I was only playing WoW. So admittedly I’m a noob compared to some of the MMO veterans out there, but just give me another ten or so years and a few dozen more MMOs! Who knows, you may make a cynical and jaded gamer out of me yet!

All joking aside though, I thought I knew what things were like until I took a break to try new things. Some MMOs have pleasantly surprised me, others have lead to disappointment. Regardless, I’m still having fun and my eyes have been opened ever since I started giving more games a chance.

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For Those Who Hate Cupids and Candy Hearts

February 9, 2010

I received a newsletter from Warhammer Online today about their Night of Murder event, with the tagline “I love you to death”.

For some reason, I am reminded of a roommate I once had in college, who hated Valentine’s Day with a passion and never missed an opportunity to tell you about it. Her favorite rant was a fantasy about driving through the city in a convertible hurling big fat heavy watermelons at the heads of happy couples she sees on the street.

Methinks she would have loved this WAR event.

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My Favorite MMO Cinematic Trailers

January 18, 2010

I have a confession to make: I love watching cinematic game trailers.

Cinematic trailers, however, often come under fire when critics point out that what you see is hardly ever reflective of actual game play, and this is especially true of MMOs. Still, that’s not really the point of a cinematic trailer, is it? Sure, some companies use them to showcase their character classes or as a means to tell snippets of a story in an attempt to fill out their lore, but in general, I think we can all agree that the sole purpose of the cinematic trailer is to feed the hype machine and not much else. In other words, make a game look as cool as humanly possible…and I’m totally okay with that. This blogger is all about the eye candy.

In this post, I present my top 5 epic MMOG cinematic trailers (because this list would get too long if could include other PC and console games) and why I like them. Also, I’ve never embedded a video into my blog and I’m just itching to test it out.

5. The Secret World

One word: Creepy. While it’s not exactly epic and has more of a “teaser” feel to it, this trailer gave me one of those “Um, holy crap?” moments when I first watched it. It means that The Secret World has gotten my attention, at least for now. As a trailer, this one gives the viewer very little in terms of what the game is about, but what we do know is that it takes place in a modern setting–a good thing, as I know many of us are getting a little tired of running through castles and old-growth forests.

4. Age of Conan

Another one from Funcom, and a classic example of “a good trailer does not a good game make”. To be fair, AoC was not a bad game, per se. By and large, what killed it for a lot of people was the instability and lack of content, both of which have been greatly improved since launch, at least from what I’ve heard. Back to the trailer: like the game itself, I appreciate it because it succeeds in staying true to the Conan mythos. Treachery and collusion? Check! Scantily-clad women? Check! Gratuitous blood and gore? Check! Pretty much everything you would expect from a rated M product. The Hyborian Age is a brutal place to be, and this trailer has all the ingredients that brings it to life.

3. World of Warcraft

The original World of Warcraft trailer still gives me chills every time I watch it. My favorite part has to be the night elf female running through the forest before taking a flying leap and turning into a panther in mid-air. What’s that? Why, yes, my main in WoW was a druid…but no bias from me here, really!

2. Star Wars: The Old Republic

Ah, the breathtaking, jaw dropping, pants wetting “Deceived” trailer. It’s almost embarrassing to admit how many times I have watched this. A truly epic cinematic trailer when you consider how in just a little under 4 minutes, it single-handedly manages to be better than Star Wars: Episodes I, II, and III put together.

1. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

I was never crazy about the game, but I am crazy about this trailer. On the surface, it’s of your typical “cover the classes” variety, but the people who made it obviously weren’t afraid to inject a little humor into their work. Game trailers tend to be of a serious nature so I don’t normally laugh at them unless the game looks ridiculously bad, but this one made me chuckle more than a few times because it was genuinely amusing. That said, this trailer is not without its moments of pure pwnage (the part with the sorceress and the ice shattering comes to mind). Overall very fun to watch!

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