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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 #93
Sun, 11 Nov 2007 20:49:00 GMT [download/play]



VirginWorlds seems to be back to the weekend shows, finding the mini-casts far too unpredictable and here is your dose of MMORPG news from the last week.  You'll never guess who the host is.  (nm, it's just Brent.)  Here are the news topics for the week:

City of Heroes
Dragonlance Movie
Elder Scrolls Online
EverQuest II
Kwari
Lord of the Rings Online
Vanguard

Enjoy.


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Episode 93 Discussion Thread

'"Venger" was the nickname of a kid in my school who had bed hair.' by mchris
Submitted on 2007-11-11 23:45:38 CST
Personally I'm happy we're back with the longer shows, I'm not too worried about being up to the minute with MMO news, I'd rather sit back and enjoy the show.

D&D the cartoon! And He-Man!!! That stuff defined my childhood! Personally I can't see anything wrong with that art. Great big blocks of colour. Love it. However, would it work for Dragonlance? I read those books when I was 16 so I can't quite remember, but I seem to recall they were pretty dark. Especially the second trilogy about Raistlin. I assume they are just going to do the first three?

It's a pity Jonathan (from TOGA) didn't have this infomation when he ran into the authors Weis and Hickman.

Favourite quote of the podcast: "[Dragonlance] seems to have secured a permanent position in the cannon of fantasy literature".
Very true. I think this stuff really deserves a proper super-budget live-action effort. I'm going to have some fun this week discussing imaginary cast lists.



'it's bad' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-11-11 23:51:42 CST
Yeah, that art worked for that at that time, but in 2008? I'm skeptical.

Now that you print it out here, that sentence doesn't exactly make sense... but I think my point is clear, sort of. DragonLance is a big deal in fantasy fiction - one of the biggest and it deserves a worthwhile treatment. Of course, look how long it took Lord of the Rings to get a decent film version. We just need to wait longer.



'That Dragonlance Trailer' by Dathmar
Submitted on 2007-11-12 07:16:57 CST
It looks like a real mess
Some early eighties rubbish animation - in fact He Man ( as far as I can remember) had more frames per second / better animation / art.
This reminds me of the bargain bucket DVDs you can get (animated classics normally)
Also they seems to be using CGI for the dragons - how crap is that - from one extreme to the other.

Why do most D&D related TV / Movies turn out so awful ?

Released on DVD on the 15th Jan 2008 - can't wait.


As to the Vanguard section you had...sounds like lots of people are saying Khal runs better in the test server than live....perhaps this is a population thing ?
but I am sure SOE said the new cities will be optimised - my guess is that the art is better - but the technology behind this art is worse....or not so as advanced as before.
i.e. lower rez textures...etc.
..but if you take WOW as an example - for me they have one of the best "worlds" and this is due to the art and not the technology.

Good show again.
Although I could do with a little more....but when you enjoy something - you aways want more - don't you ?



'there's hope' by hallower
Submitted on 2007-11-12 18:59:15 CST
I've never read a Dragonlance book, but I've always heard great things about it. Someone mentioned Weis and Hickman... those are the authors behind one of my favorite fantasy series, The Death Gate Cycle.

There is an upcoming fantasy movie (based on a game, no less) that might turn out well: http://www.inthenameoftheking.com/ Note all the good actors! That doesn't mean the movie will be good, but there's a fair chance.



'fragging for money and LOTRO' by hallower
Submitted on 2007-11-12 19:14:01 CST
Fragging for money: definitely something I can see being viable. I wouldn't be surprised to see variations of Kwari's idea popping up elsewhere.

The LOTR books were translated into other European languages decades ago, and have sold more copies than everything but The Bible in some of those markets. I'd still be surprised if as many copies of the game were sold in Europe as here in North America (since the U.S. has a bigger population than most or all European nations combined), but I can see why.

Anyway, happy to hear the podcast in either format. Keep it up.



'LOTRO....the numbers.' by Dathmar
Submitted on 2007-11-12 20:37:07 CST
LOTR is very big in Europe - always has been.
Especially Northern Europe - I guess we have all those sword and sorcery legends / fairy tales..

Hallower - Europe might be larger than you think - I would estimate that the population of Europe more than doubles that of the US and Canada.
I would take a guess that North and North East Europe has about the same population as Notth America.
So when you add that to the popularity of LOTR in Europe - its easy to see why the subscription numbers are about the same.

Also for the record Codemasters seem to be doing quite a good job with the game here (well I find they do) - so that might help.
...shame the game is a little dull though.





'ignore my lies' by hallower
Submitted on 2007-11-12 22:51:33 CST
You're right. I didn't want to go do the math, and I was way off base. The United States has a population bigger than the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal combined... so we're about as big as Western Europe, but certainly not all of Europe.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

While we're on the topic, how is internet availability in Europe these days? Do a lot of people there have internet better than dial-up? How is it in Eastern Europe, as opposed to Western Europe and Scandinavia? My Swedish friends told me once that Sweden is sometimes called "Little America" by other Europeans, so I would expect a lot of folks that way have decent connections by now.



'Great show and my opinion on the mini casts vrs longer ep.' by odinseye
Submitted on 2007-11-13 11:55:18 CST
Great show Brent, lots of interesting things here what with the news of the frag for money. Thats an interesting concept IMO. More than likely I will not try it when it does release as I am not an avid FPS'er but I can really see how this is very creative thinking and something that could set the stage for some interesting future MMO developments.

The mini casts are great but I much prefer the all in one episodes. When I set down to devour a Virgin Worlds cast I just seem to like the all in one episodes better. Leaves me with more of a sense of fufillment when I am done listening than the mini ones do. I can see where the mini ones might allow you to better utilize your daily time than a big episode does, or does it really? I would be interested to hear your opinion on whether you feel the mini casts allow you to have more time in RL than it does when you sit down to edit and create a full length one.

Well great job keep up the good work!



'mini casts' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-11-13 12:18:13 CST
Here's the thing about mini-casts.

They don't take very long to edit. What I've noticed about editing is that the longer a show gets, the more the edit time exceeds the actual length of the audio file itself. It should be a linear increase, but it seems to not work that way. A 10 minute show might take 12 minutes to edit while an hour long show might take a couple hours, maybe a bit less. That doesn't mean that mini-casts take less time over all. Four 10-minute mini casts would take far longer total time than one 40 minute show because the software has to boot more times, I have to set up to record 4 times, I have to upload and publish and write show notes four times. On the other hand, it is easier to find 1 hour in the day to do a mini-cast than it is to find 6 hours on a weekend to kick out an hour long show, so it SEEMS easier to schedule until one considers the insanity that is Monday-Friday. Often I won't get home until 11PM and it is hard to go ahead and start setting up to do a podcast at that time. I've done it before and I'll do it again, but sometimes by that late in the evening ... it seems crazy.

So that's the story on mini-casts vs. full shows. I'll continue to do the full shows, but since I like the short casts too, I'll probably drop one in now and then.



'Long show = good' by Syncaine
Submitted on 2007-11-13 16:55:47 CST
I fully support the long weekly podcast, much easier to listen to and keep up with.

And I can finally post, WHOOOO!



'broadband access and podcast length' by Sente
Submitted on 2007-11-13 17:25:22 CST
Hallower, broadband penetration in the population is higher in a number of European countries compared to US. I have not seen any recent summary, but this contains a bit older numbers for OECD countries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_Internet_access_worldwide

There are some other links there with more specific info for various countries.

There are different definitions of Western Europe. What most people consider Western Europe is an expression from the cold war, that includes basically all European countries that were not under Soviet influence during that time. So it includes more countries than the geographical western part of the continent. The geographical definition is a much smaller region.

It is probably true that some other countries consider us in Sweden more Americanized, but do not think that it is meant as a compliment necessarily or has anything to do with any technology advances. It has more to do with certain cultural exports rather.

----
Getting back on track on comments on the podcast, I think the length of this podcast was pretty good. Shorter ones work well also, but in my opinion they get a bit too long if the go for an hour or more.

If the size is too long I tend to postpone listening to it or even skip it (sorry, but it has happened...).




'Just seen the Dragonlance trailer' by mchris
Submitted on 2007-11-15 05:37:24 CST
And "yuck", is all I have to say. Even basic things like perspectives are missing. I guess when you sign Kiefer Sutherland money for things like coloured pens take a back seat.

I can see why long podcasts could be considered a bad thing. But it depends on the content. I don't think any of the "collective" are overly long wrt their content.
Particularly with Brent's personality, he's very hard to get sick of. I love the MOG guys but I couldn't listen to much more than an hour without needing a break. Brent's low-key understated style works for me.