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VirginWorlds MMORPG News
Host: Brent
VirginWorlds is a weekly news podcast covering Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, EverQuest, Guild Wars, City of Heroes, Eve Online, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online and many many more. The VirginWorlds MMORPG Podcast is the flagship podcast of the VirginWorlds MMO Podcast Collective found at http://www.virginworlds.com

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VirginWorlds Podcast #71
Mon, 4 Jun 2007 01:55:00 GMT [download/play]



Yes, I know that I say this is #72 in the podcast, but that is wishful thinking, this is #71. Here are the topics in this week's MMORPG news podcast. Enjoy.

Topics:
  • The Agency
  • Entropia Universe
  • Dungeon Runners
  • Icarus Studios
  • Knight Online
  • Second Life
  • Ultima Online
  • Warhammer Online
  • World of Warcraft
  • Profile of the week: John Donham
  • Innovation or Evolution analysis by Urban Mongral

    Thanks for listening!

    VirginWorlds is a weekly news podcast covering Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, EverQuest, Guild Wars, City of Heroes, Eve Online, Vanguard, and many many more. The main site can be found at http://www.VirginWorlds.com

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    Episode 71 Discussion Thread

    'Evolution' by Akely
    Submitted on 2007-06-04 08:15:28 CST
    Interesting article! Personally, Wii-like gaming would not suit me. I do not need the exercise and rather need the rest of armchair gaming. And jumping around like that would make beer drinking and black olive nibbling very hard.

    But would it be fast evolution? It is still WoW (or whatever) but with motion sensors. Wheter is is a massive jump or not I'm unsure of. Nut sure if UM suggested it would be... but thats not the point.

    But of course I do see how fun it would/could/will be.


    PS: I really tried to find the comments for Podcast #72... I'll use this one instead. ;-)



    'RE. Evolution ' by UrbanMongral
    Submitted on 2007-06-04 13:14:24 CST
    Well yes, of course, it is all subjective.

    My view about fast Evolution is that the Wii remote would allow a totally new way for players to interact with a virtual world. Once that game comes out (assuming its fun and well executed) it will spur other developers to make their own games with implementations on the idea. Eventually there will be many similar games on the market. When that happens UI style MMO’s will look as outdated as MUDS do now.

    Still lets agree to disagree on this one.



    'Re: Evolution' by scytale2
    Submitted on 2007-06-04 17:55:39 CST
    I kind of want to agree with you, Urban, having read much of Otherland by Tad Williams, where this is kind of standard fare (+ you get the smells and feels too). However, while this is clearly an advance in the market, it is certainly not something that will be adopted by all, as some people prefer a "non-energetic" approach to their MMOs. Most people are asleep when they play EVE, for example :P

    Take for instance the revolution in "touchscreen technology". There are some great uses for it in cashpoints and on your road computer, but I'm still buying new mice for my home PC.

    Where I think there is a big market for WII-type games is in gymnasiums, where people get incredibly bored watching the news with subtitles than becoming engrossed in an active game.

    The only other comment I have is that much of the MMO market rather like to exercise their brains, not their muscles or reflexes. The last thing I'd want is to get creamed by the Lvl 1 monsters, because my hand eye coordination wasn't as good as my ten year-old nephew's...



    'Reply to scytale2' by UrbanMongral
    Submitted on 2007-06-04 19:03:34 CST
    Firstly I must admit to never having read Otherland or indeed anything else by Tad Williams, is it any good?

    Anyway getting to the substance of your post, Touch screens didn’t really take off in many applications because for most applications the old mouse/keyboard combination is better. Touch-Screens are much more expensive, unreliable and your screen quickly gets covered in greasy fingerprints!

    Your right about not everyone being keen to change their MMO‘s, but that phenomena is nothing new. Some people still play Tabletop RPG‘s long after computer games were meant to have killed them! However most of the MMO players I meet these days, always say they are terribly bored at the moment and they are desperately looking for something new. Of all the things on the horizon, I think the Wii remote MMO to be by far the most lightly “next big thing“. Especially as so many companies are looking to put MMO’s on consoles these days.

    I don’t see that using a Wii remote is suddenly destroying all the cerebral aspects of the games, that’s just a matter of having the game designed for both brains and brawn. If you feel you’ll loose a fair fight against somebody with better coordination than you? Well then you have to use your experience and intelligence to even up the odds.

    Oh and finally you really should try EVE some time, when you hear the screaming down teamspeak (well VIVOX these days) during your average EVE fleet op you’ll know that its far from a passive experience!



    'RERE' by scytale2
    Submitted on 2007-06-04 19:23:42 CST
    I think your PvP analogy is an interesting one, as I find PvP incredibly irritating and antisocial exactly for the reasons I have described - it's more cerebellum than cerebrum and I can't be bothered with it. WII is pretty much the same.

    I'm not sure how many people are anti-PvP, but there are a hell of a lot. There are even more who refuse to play FPS.

    Anyway, like Akely, I would certainly give it a try, but I'll swiftly give up, if it requires too much twitch reaction. Most of the MMOs have deliberately avoided this FPS-orientation for exactly this issue - they'd lose a huge chunk of their market and not only that they would be resented for it. I'm certain they recognise this key issue - it's not lack of innovation or even a shortage of bandwidth.

    Taking your own analogy of tabletop RPGs, there are still many people who prefer turn-based games to the tactical/strategy games (Starcraft etc) and this is again the same thing. One doesn't want t learn key presses, one wants to experience innovation in the world. Anything that forces one to learn something technical causes rapid loss of interest.

    However, read Otherland for how it should be executed in the far future!
    http://www.tadwilliams.com/volume1.html



    Oh and btw, when Eve has Eve-olved into something, then I will try it again. I can't get excited about $2m worth of new pixels on the starships.



    'RERERE' by UrbanMongral
    Submitted on 2007-06-04 20:02:07 CST
    I think we may have to agree to disagree about PVP, I find it really is the only thing I look for in games these days, NPC are just not smart enough to represent a challenge. This is probably the same reason I don’t grief noobs, if its no challenge I get bored fast.

    I find PVPing to be a very social activity because in EVE, because you can’t survive in 0.0 alone. I’m genuinely good friends with some of the group I fly with. In some ways it like being on a sports team. By the same measure, I am on surprisingly good terms with most of my enemies, In fact I’m going to be meeting a few of them at an EVE meet in London this weekend and its always a laugh, trading war stories! Anyway each to their own

    The reason FPS MMO’s haven’t taken off is due to technical issue, the current UI MMO’s are much more forgiving when it comes to lag than FPS’s and other twitch based games. The server either has to be cut up into very limited instances (and then you may as well be playing Battle Field) or will not be able to cope with the amount of real time data which needs to be processed. Its not a question of bandwidth per-say, rather a case of processing power on a single shard.

    If somebody can get it to work, then there would be a market. Its just not really technically feasible at this point in time.

    The Wii remote idea doesn’t necessarily exclude PVE games, quite the contrary, it will add a new level of interaction in the PVE gamers will enjoy.



    'RERERERE and EU' by scytale2
    Submitted on 2007-06-05 04:34:29 CST
    Ok, let's presume you are correct and that this is the natural evolution (which I want to agree with you about). How would you execute it with, say, World of Warcraft? In practical terms, how would you use the WII - for what activities? I think it would work to enhance crafting and social interaction although things like waving and clenching fist would not be possible? It would radically change combat and possibly make it too hard for many. Would you use it to move around too - would this be energetic? I mean if you are more energetic, would you move faster? What about buying and selling - could it be used here?

    I ought to comment on the Entropia Universe article, which tbh is imho more groundbreaking than anything else discussed. Are we saying that China have commissioned this to create jobs and bring in foreign currency into China? If so, could I ask some of the experts on this forum, whether this could be a project for Africa? I am investigating the possibility of developing an MMO called Africa On-line, where you explore, protect/nurture animals, poach, build wells, create trade etc. The idea is that it is a social entrepreneurial venture on the Multiverse system that can be used to fund real world poverty alleviation activity. My question is does Africa have sufficient internet backbone to implement this type of project? Is anyone interested in assisting?



    'Africa Addendum' by scytale2
    Submitted on 2007-06-05 04:36:14 CST
    Ideally I would like some of the programmers in Africa too as well as the project ownership.


    'PvP? Ah!' by Akely
    Submitted on 2007-06-05 06:32:11 CST
    Seig that UM does more PvP than PvE maes me see the Wii-mote point differenty. I'm PvE only (in MMO's anyway).

    In a PvP arena the use of W-motes would b very fun. Like in any beat-em-up, I uppose.

    Remember the use of mouse cursor in Black & White? You had to wave it in paterns to cast spells etc. It was very fun, to a poin. Was a litttle fiddly at times, but made for a refreshing change. So I guess it is possible. to use in MMoO's to, even for spell-casting and such.



    'Bah!' by Akely
    Submitted on 2007-06-05 07:06:12 CST
    I spel like a türd!

    Edit function wanted. Or a 'real' forum for that matter... phpBB is pretty nice.



    'RERERERERERERE :)' by UrbanMongral
    Submitted on 2007-06-05 08:09:21 CST
    Thanks to Akely for your comments, I was just thinking about Black and White before I read you post and yes exactly right. You have many more options than “simulate clubbing bad guy over head with Wii remote” For example, if you are a spell caster you can wave the remote around in various patterns to cast spells, or using it to launch missile weapons.

    Not only that you can use it for resource gathering (for example swining it like a pick axe for mining or using it like a saw to chop down trees), in fact in some sense you could use it for crafting (hammering out armour at a forge?)

    The game I would like to see is one where you can control virtually everything through the remote, just as in the Wii, the addition of a direction pad would take care of movement and a few buttons to simulate left and right clicks to do things like open the inventory and sort out communications (players would wear a headset/mic combo and all communications would be though an integrated voice client, text chat is so dead!)

    Anyway these are simply game design issues; there is no technical reason why this can’t happen (IMHO of course). In my view anything you currently click a mouse to do today can be easily replaced with the remote.

    Oh and as for combat being too difficult, I disagree. Most people very quickly pick up muscle memory for such actions. Naturally there will need to be a tutorial section away from the main world to teach the players the basics and get them used to the system and not dropping them straight into the action. Something along the lines of GuildWars perhaps? Anyway again this is a design issue rather than a technical problem.



    'RERERERERERERERE (aditional)' by UrbanMongral
    Submitted on 2007-06-05 08:17:07 CST
    In addition I should also that yes I think that the harder you swing the remote the more energetic you action should be.

    For example in the case of combat, you can launch massively powerful attacks by swinging the remote really fast but that will leave you more open for a counter attack from your opponent. Balance may play a part in this as in real life. For example a high level character could be better at keeping his balance and recovering than a noob.



    'Real Forums' by fl1pper
    Submitted on 2007-06-05 20:12:45 CST
    I agree with Akely that some real forums here on VirginWorlds would be a good idea. The current format has worked well because things were relatively quiet, but in the last couple of weeks the number of comments has noticeably grown and it's geting a bit messy


    'fourms and edits' by Brent
    Submitted on 2007-06-10 21:58:08 CST
    pondering this. further suggestions welcome.


    'Suggestions incoming' by Akely
    Submitted on 2007-06-11 06:06:57 CST
    I'll try to e-mail some thougths on forum stuff. We're migrating a lot of machines here this week and I do not have mail access yet (but the Internet works so I can listen to podcasts :) ).