Tuesday, 30 June 2009

MMOre time to play?

I play LotRO a lot, but lately I have been branching out into more and more First Person Shooters, at first when I found myself loading up TF2 instead of LotRO I felt a little guilty, but then a few days later I found myself back in middle earth fully recharged.

The above paragraph is a genuine snippet from my life, last week I played a lot of TF2 and L4d and this week I'm back on LotRO, the thing that's interesting is that I found myself feeling 'guilty' about this.

Do people find themselves guilty If they really like 'neighbours' but occasionally watch 'coronation street'? No, of course not. When you log out of an MMO to watch a movie you don't feel any guild but if you log out to play a different game you get that pang of guilt.

Why do we let these games have such power over us? Is it the community or the environment? For me its a psychological trick... I get a sense of progression while playing an MMO that I don't get from other games, so when I play an FPS or an RTS that's time that I could put to 'good use' achieving something in an MMO.

Im not a stupid person I'm aware of the trick here and don't let myself fall for it but how many people out there playing WoW, LotRO, EQ or any other MMO do fall for it? How many people would rather be playing TF2 and don't because of some false feeling of guilt?

I know this topic has been talked about over and over since the dawn of Ultima online but I have taken a few minuets to write this now because the EU LotRO servers are down for the book 8 patch. Even thought I thought I was only going to play to check my mail and then I was going to play L4D, I'm left here feeling a little 'put out' and will most likely play Guild Wars, so the MMO 'guilt' may not be specific to one game.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

404 Radio #22, “Bat-sh!t crazy”

Ah yeah, this week Hex's PC blew up, with proper fire and stuff, for a moment he thought he had been smited by god but alas it turned out to be a burned out main board. Because of this we had a news-lite show with a lot of talk about Ghostbusters, also there maybe a fan-boy among us.

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Cakes is a spy.

I found this spray today in TF2, thought it was so good I had to share it.

anyway, that was it... anyone else seen any great ones to share?
also, sorry for short post.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

404 Radio #21, “cashingy theaving sheep lovers”

No links for you all this week as its all pretty self explanatory (excellent, spelled that first time) as we talk about what we have been playing (loads) and a bit of a chin wag about how everyone hates elves (yeah, that's right, elf racism) we also talk Mortal online and have some thoughts about EverCracked,that's a documentary, also Bad Panda's thoughts about former prison colony's do not reflect the opinions of the show as a whole (but I did lol, sorry)

Our home page: http://www.tamworthgamers.co.uk
get us on RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/404-Radio

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Team Fortress 2, Retro Mario Drug induced dream?

At the moment with the relatively nice weather and the relaxed atmosphere in my house I have not been playing as much LotRO as usual, as a side effect I have been playing more Team Fortress 2 and other shooters (also The Maw, fantastic game if you got a spare tenner and 6 hours)

Last night when going down the list of TF2 servers I clicked on an erroneous name, it was called ‘Mario Kart 24/7 Party Server’ it was too baffling to pass up, after a surprisingly short server data download thingy (map and sounds) I was greeted with the most bizarre TF2 level I have ever seen, the screenshots speak for themselves but its worth mentioning that there was also what I can only describe as Japanese electro pop music playing in the background.

All the vehicles where moving around the track and most of the posters where animated.

So how are these levels made? How would I do it and just how customized can they be? All these things I have to investigate because it looks like custom m maps are the future for my gaming.

Monday, 8 June 2009

404 Radio #20, “E3 thoughts and not enough MMO talk”

This week we talk about E3 a lot and not much else, he discuss all that console news and our thoughts on it, like I said, not enough MMO news sorry but we did find time to talk about Heroes of Telara as well as talking but not sense making fin fan 14 about.... yeah.....

Our Home: http://www.tamworthgamers.co.uk

HoT: http://www.heroesoftelara.com/

Just so there's no confusion our RSS feed is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/404-Radio and you can get every show we have ever done from there.

Friday, 5 June 2009

MMO thoughts: The logic of expansion.

I do not work in the games industry, Im a gamer pure and simple. Just like most of you however I spend a lot of time thinking about games and how they work, why they work.

When an MMO has a expansion released or a new campaign like some game (Guild Wars) there are many things to consider, one of them is who do you get and not get, let me expand.

When the Mines of Moria pack game out for Lord of the Rings Online not everyone would have grabbed it. So those people let without the product could not gain access to the new area’s, and could not gain the new 10 levels, this meant that they could not make use of the new weapons and armour.

What Turbine did was make a choice that most developers make, they chose to add 10 levels so that they don’t have to slap you round the face with messages like ‘you can not equip this item until you give us more money’ now I know that by restricting the levels of original content player they had in effect done just that they used the levelling curve to hide a lot of the content. So it was your level the game complained about not your lack of upgrades.

This was the same choice that blizzard made with WoW and countless more games have made, it is a lot the reason that an MMO expansion almost always comes with a cap increase.

So who do you release an expansion without the level increase, how do you limit your player without ruining their immersion?

Guild Wars did just that by not unlocking travel to the new continents, this resulted in a philosophy of ‘if you can see it you can use it’ it was simple but worked really well.

How do you write lore to restrict less dedicated spending? All these are things that a game developer must think of with MMO’s. Anyway, I’m not sure what my point is here but I would love to see people’s thoughts on it. It’s all food for thought.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

404 Radio #19, “About bloody time.”

This week is the first episode in a good few week,s we have not pod-faded just had some real life stuff getting in the say, anyway, its a lazy return to podcasting and a lot less structured than usual but was great fun to record and we included some talk about CoH, WoW and blizzards new confusing service.

Links of relevance:
Our Home: http://www.tamworthgamres.co.uk
Shawns Great Blog: http://www.massively.com/2009/05/27/choose-my-adventure-introducing-moira-zonk/
WoW patchnotes: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
LotRo guide (do not read): http://www.lotro.com/gameinfo/feature-articles/419-feature-article-destiny-points

As usual we are on iTunes, Gaxonline and our own site. Changes coming soon to that one though. Sorry for the wait