Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney is buying Marvel, its official

Ain't no lie, Disney is buying Marvel. Does this mean that Marvel Universe MMO is going ftp? lol I wouldn't bet on it but anything is possible. In other news, Champions launches tomorrow! Maybe it will give me two full months of enjoyment like City of Heroes did, or not. I haven't yet purchased it, I've decided to wait a month and let them get their server issues worked out before I jump on. I want to encourage them to do that.

p.s. My bad, the Marvel MMO was canceled a while ago, its DC Universe Online that's still going, nevertheless, maybe Disney will turn that around, who knows?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Neverwinter Nights fun fun

I've been playing a persistent world in Neverwinter Nights and loving it. Also learning how to DM my own module. I thought I'd post here and see if any of our readers have the game, and would be interested in joining for some DM'd gaming sometime.

Where we're at with our game - 8/28/2009

We just had a pow wow about our game and we've decided to go to 2D art from a 45 degree angle like final fantasy tactics because that will be easier for Anton to do on the bus rides to and from work. I will put in the first character one week after he gives it to me. And my goal is finish movement with keyboard input across the squares (including topography) in two weeks. We made a spreadsheet and once Anton gets the dates written in there and the first 2D char we'll be acting more seriously on this soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How much will the Chinese pay for Lotro?

Well it seems that equality is a relative thing. On one hand the Chinese are just now getting Shadows of Angmar, which is two years old, on the other hand, they get to pay less for it too. I don't know whether to be jealous or pity them. Anyways here's the readout from CDC: "The company will charge gamers in all server farms either RMB 0.45 per hour or allow unlimited play for RMB 60 per month." source here

So in American dollars that's 8.78143 dollars every month or 0.0658709 dollars per hour. You'd have to play 133 hours in order to break even on that monthly deal. .... I'll read that again, 133 hours. I don't even know how you'd accomplish that. I play maybe 4 hours a week tops. And in order to get changed American prices you'd have to play 227.71~ hours. Whew! I'm generally awake between 7 am. and 10:30p.m. That's 15.5 hours. That means you'd have to do nothing but Lotro for 14.78 days to break even. No eating or going to the bathroom for you!

So how does that compare to their wages? Well the average wage from the top 7 cities' regions is 29,638 yuan(source here) which translates to 4,337.73, keep the change. That is about 361.50~ US dollars a month. So Turbine is only asking for less because the Chinese are able to pay less right? Let's say they take the 8.78 dollars a month deal. Is it more or less expensive for your average Chinese person to play Lotro (or Wow I wonder) on a monthly rate when measured as a percentage of their income? Let's see.

The 8.78 dollars a month deal is 2.4% of their entire monthly income.
The average American income in 2007 when Lotro launched was $50,233 per year or $4,186 per month so 15 bucks a month is .36% of our income. In other words the Chinese are getting the raw deal here and appearances are deceiving. Incidentally, if I was a Chinese person, I would recommend to them to always do the hourly deal unless they are total addicts or rich kids.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If you can stand cute... (Little King's Story review)

If you can stand a cute game, and you liked Pikmin (even just a little) and you liked Harvest Moon (open ended marriage options? farming? etc..?) or you like being in charge of everything, .. well you ought to consider Little King's Story. I have now watched it played for several hours and its fairly easy to pick up and play.

The sense of humor is a lot better though than either Pikmin or Harvest Moon, the "princesses" you can marry are funnier, and the activities, challenges, and bosses are quite amusing. The first boss is a cow with a skull for a head that occasionally moos and then jumps and lands on its belly, udderly (couldn't resist) squishing your hapless, clueless little minions unless you pull them back fast enough into a "retreat!" that would do Sir Robin proud. The monsters and exploration are a little bit repetitive but fun, and surprisingly unique in some cases, especially for a newcomer like my dad, who I bought the game for. I highly recommend this game. And that's it for my short spiel.

(This is a game coming out of left field from a developer who is scarcely known, kind of like World of Goo, very high quality)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What I think about recent events

Well, there's a number of things in MMO land that have happened recently that deserve some wise comment/snide remarks. First of all..

WoW: Has had info leaked about their next expansion and it sounds rather appealing. Revamping the game and only raising the level cap 5 more levels? Amazing! You mean we can get to the fun of the expansion even if we are new players and it wont be over after the first 20 levels? How do they come up with this stuff?

I personally think this was an obvious choice for them. Their game is getting old. They need new players and ones who aren't too stubborn to come back and try again and they need a nice juicy carrot to get them. The "Carrot" is redo old stuff so that everything that people were tired of is now new. Done. Send to presses. Personally I am on a WoW moratorium, but if they ever launched a lifetime sub option or something Free to Play I'd be more interested.

Aion+Final Fantasy: Lots of screen shots and movies show that these are gorgeous .... boring games. With effeminate men in weird poses no less. (Yawn)

Lotro: Book 8 is hard. Very hard. Some parts are well done. I hate radiance gating. I love the three man instances no matter how hard they are, and the new 6 man I haven't seen yet. I have yet to even finish book 4 or 5 let alone get to book 8 in the epic plot.

Champions: People are whining about cell shading. I loved Wind Waker and I love Cell Shading. Different art style yes, but can allow some very neat effects. Plus its the result of some neat math in 3D Graphics, I'll fill you in some time if you are interested. As far as checking it out goes, I think I will still get it the first month but if all reviews are awful it might sway me.

DDO: Can't wait for this to become free and play with Chappo and anyone else who's willing.

WAR: They need to add a third faction and fix their game, nuff said ;). I haven't played in a while though so maybe they have fixed enough bugs and just need to add a third faction.

CCP Dust game: Brilliant Idea. We need more interaction between MMOs

Atlantica Online: Tobold just keeps talking about this one. The fact that its actually got strategy intrigues me... almost enough to try it. My "try random new things" budget is limited though. Is it FTP?

Other than that? Its been a slow summer for me since I haven't been in any betas. I've actually found the beta experience to not be to my liking (for good or ill) I'd rather have a finished game. So I am just gonna wait for things to launch.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Machinarium, another neat looking game coming down the pipe

I love it when game creators dream up something unique. This looks like a gem. Click here for the trailer:

Will be out on Windows AND Mac.

Long live PC gaming.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lotro in China, and other interesting tidbits

Lotro has finished closed beta in China and will be doing Open Beta soon(tm)

No word as to the pricing model, but my bet is it will emulate WoW over there.

Localization is a big deal so if you are wondering why it takes so long for a game to launch in other countries, here is why: "The Lord of the Rings Online for the China market remains true to the original story line in the novel with the same familiar places, characters and monsters. CDC Games has made significant investment to localize the game for the China market. More than 10 million words were translated and more than 100 tests and changes were performed during the localization process." (taken from here:

10 million words. That's like translating the entire works of Tolkien or something (I was gonna say Bible first but I'll try to refrain from making unnecessary religious references.) Wow, tons of work. And Chinese ain't no easy language to translate this kind of writing into either.

Anyways, I have been playing Lotro a bit lately with my wife and sister in law, and also have been trying to get Rumples from 58 to 59 and get his minstrel quest done but running around solo in the Foundations of Stone where nameless things dwell is a bit.. hazardous... (doable, but deadly)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Amazon = awesomesauce

Well, I got little King's story for my dad on and he loved the box and the premise, but when he stuck it in we got a Wii system error that it couldnt read the disk and to see the Wii users manual no matter how many times we cleaned it. Well, lo and behold, lets you return at 50% value OR get a new one with full postage paid. Obviously we chose the later.

I heart Amazon :) this isn't the first or (probably) last time they've gotten me out of a problem with a product. Should get the game (again) on August 7th. Very good policies.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Status update: Lotro with a side of Baldur's gate and a dash of Scrabble

So what have I been doing lately? A little of everything actually. Started playing Lotro with my wife, her sister and my little sister. My wife and her sister are burglars, I am a hobbit warden, and my little sister is a minstrel. Fun times. Also have done a few sessions of Baldur's gate with them in which my wife controls the mad sorceress main character and I and her sister get friend with her fireballs while controlling the Bioware built characters. Why there isnt more strategy and collateral damage and so on in MMO's I have no idea. I think I've concluded theya re jsut scared of trying it. Lastly we've been playing Scrabble a lot with friends.

Forog is not a word, neither is Te. Lux, Ax, Er, and Colby are legit however. That is all.

p.s. I'm also disappointed about DDO's rescheduling, I think it is putting them out of the limelight and into Champion's Online's territory, but oh well. Competition is a good thing anyways, and if the game is higher quality for the delay, and they can afford it, then great.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fun blog article: Story elements in games

For your enjoyment and thought process food, Classy Gamer has provided a good article on the many different plot and emotional devices used in video games. I would add "giant monsters" and "Ridiculously hard to get items" to the list, but this is a good starter list: