TOR goes F2P: So what?

The development team for Star Wars: The Old Republic has announced that they mean to switch to F2P by fall of this year. The announcement has led to widespread “sky-is-falling” comments from detractors, saying that this is “proof” that “TOR is dying”. Me? I just shake my head, as usual. What was that bit about history? Ah, right. We’re doomed to repeat it over and over again.

Read more of this post

Gibbets and crows: Rise of Isengard and the state of LotRO

It's only a model.

If you are unawares, you’ll probably want to know that my feelings on LotRO haven’t really been that nice. At least, that is to say that I’m less and less impressed with the things Turbine attempts to do in trying to continue developing for LotRO, an MMO that has drastically changed in one short year prior to its four years running. Once again we find ourselves waiting for what seems like eons (six months since Book 3—or, if you’re a true defender, I suppose you’d say five months because of the Rift coming back in June) for scraps from the master’s table. At the very least Turbine is still operating under their previous year’s update schedule, which essentially means they are only able to release one Book update before then spending the next seven months working on an “expansion.” Was it worth it? Has F2P actually turned the game around to pave the way for Turbine’s way of success?

The short answer: no.

The long answer: If by ‘success’ you mean ‘greed’, then yes.

Read more of this post

One does not simply buy his way into Mordor: LotRO now F2P

Lord of the Rings Online, a Turbine MMO (Asheron’s Call, Dungeon & Dragons Online), followed suit in its call to turn its current MMOs over to the Free 2 Play business model on September 8th. For those of you not familiar with the F2P model, this essentially means everyone is now privy to a glorified unlimited trial to the game until about LV20, at which point you would need to buy quest packs to unlock for further zones into the game in order to level up. Or you could not be a total freeloader and just subscribe to the game, at which point all access to the game would be opened up to you. Your call I guess. Then again, would it be worth to do so, especially considering F2P has brought along a slew of new changes to the game?

Read more of this post

MMO ideas that have nothing to do with high fantasy

You know, I’ve always laid it down as a maxim that if developers want to inject WoW into their MMOs so that they can be popular, then they should just get a job at Blizzard. Let’s be honest, folks; if a WoW kiddy wants WoW in his MMO, he’ll just play WoW. Which becomes all the more baffling when new MMOs come out and, lo and behold, they’re high fantasy crap. I mean, seriously. Did Eve just happen to pass every high fantasy MMO developer’s mind? So in honor of developers without imaginations, I’d like to offer a few settings that don’t include Elves and dragons by picking from a few popular books, games, and movies that could be made into MMOs. All you need to do is think outside the box. Read more of this post

When getting your way is not enough: PvP

I’ve seen a few people on gaming community forums talking about what’s wrong with MMOs. Some say it has to do with the structure of the game, others say it has to do with the entire community, and others say some aren’t social enough. The truth to it, however, is that what truly ruins the experience in an MMO are the sore losers, and the majority of those sore losers are heavily involved with PvP. Of course, why wouldn’t they be; what other aspect of the game is there an outlet that encourages you to be a tremendous douche as part of the experience? Read more of this post