Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Turn on the Hype Faucet

Here comes a Star Trek Online "Preview". I often question the integrity of previews, they are always too positive or too negative, I have yet to read one that is ambivalent... Regardless, here is a very positive one on star Trek Online for your enjoyment:

click here for juicy details

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where Stargate Worlds is at, and my hopes for Star Trek Online

This link leads to an article that basically says that the Stargate Shooter is being developed and pushed out to help fund the Star Gate MMO. If you are desperately wanting the MMO to come out eventually, do them a favor and buy their shooter game. I'm not that desperate myself, nor that affluent,  so I will probably pass. (I have no idea how awesome the shooter in question is, as it has not released yet)

On a different note, Syp made some interesting comments about Star Trek Online. He's rather unsure if its going to feel enough like Star Trek at launch. Keep in mind before you read this that Syp hasn't played it in any form yet so everything he's thinking is conjecture based on marketing (which is usually not a reliable source of most kinds of information) Buuuut he may have a point about certain things, especially considering that most gamers just want to fight fight fight rather than talk talk talk, I find it unlikely that Star Trek Online will be featuring a lot of diplomacy, puzzles, and other things, outside its main plot arcs hand crafted by the developers. If there are enough of those plot arcs though, (I have no idea how many there are) I personally will never run out of them, that's for sure. I don't play enough to do that. (I'm still on book 13 of lotro, volume 1, and several parts of volume 2. for example)

Vanguard had diplomacy based on an interesting card game. Bioware looks to be going with well crafted pre-determined choices of what you get to say to NPC's for Star Wars the Old Republic Online. I am gonna bet that Star Trek goes in that direction mostly. That means that its a multiple choice quiz of "can you guess which one's the best answer?" This doesn't really make me feel like I AM that person, It more makes me feel like I am in a King's Quest game where the slightest wrong move results in death.

I'd like a sandman character as Tesh describes in his recent article. But since that isn't clearly implemented in any non single player MMO I know of I can't really expect it here where its obvious they have spent a bundle on graphics, physics(maybe), space battles, ground missions, and have even added a bridge to help us feel happier (and believe me everything added makes me more confident that it can succeed)

I am wondering if maybe we expect too much "finishedness" from games at launch. I haven't played an MMO at launch that felt finished, so I don't really expect it. Let them add more Klingon pvp stuff later, that's fine. I'm glad there are "neutral zones" and fringe areas of pvp death. There should be a freaking Klingon empire and Klingon side of the equation but its ok. I say try to think of it this way. A pve game with little to no pvp is still something you can play and its more Star Trek Online than you had before. It may not be perfect (and nothing made by man ever is) but something is better than nothing. Let them polish certain things more later, and so on, and add more puzzles and plot lines. I can live with that. I have to say I'm optimistic for the game as a whole, but maybe I will wait at launch for the first few "reporters" of good or bad news.\

*Update:  I just found a neat article describing a Star Trek online mission here: Sounds pretty neat! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Ignorance of the Masses

Sometimes I come across blog or especially main stream media articles that just blow me away with how out of touch with current technology/production standards the world as a whole is. This one here from MTV today is a gem in just the title:

'Final Fantasy XIV' Character Editor Allows Skintone And Breast Adjustment

 Sheesh... every MMO that has launched since 2004 has featured this. City of Heroes, Lotro, Champions, yadda yadda yadda.

Another example of this is of course the article I was reading today from the Portland Oregononian about the new Avatar movie and how it will "change the world".

Honestly it surprises me that bloggers never tire of this "change the world" stance. Technology doesn't "explode" in leaps and bounds, it is very incremental, almost boringly so. All advances in technology that I can think of took tons of trial and error, tons of less efficient version, and even if a movie launches that is really technologically advanced, it won't "change Hollywood forever" because firstly such movies are expensive to make and secondly the talent to produce them is likewise produced incrementally and currently is rarer than a jackalope in Times Square. (which incidentally had an all out snowball fight at 1 a.m. last night) To finish off my post, don't expect MMO's to "explode" in leaps and bounds either, most of what we're going to see is almost invisible incremental upgrades to our current ones and small step improvements to new ones. Things are going to get better, yes but its going to go so slow you'd best be focused on just having fun with what you have and not on what's shiny and coming next.

Merry Christmas! Thallian's Favorite Turn Based Games for PC

Merry Christmas everybody! and if you aren't christian, that's ok, I can still wish you a Merry Christmas, even if you don't care about it. And you can wish me a happy Hanukkah, Id, Kwanzaa, or just plain shopping season, whatever. No need for anyone to screen things or get offended like a silly person.

Anyways, that wasn't what I REALLY wanted to talk about, what I REALLY wanted to talk about was my favorite, most recommended turn based strategy PC games of all time. At least until 2009.

#1. Heroes of Might and Magic 3. This was a hard choice but I give the number one slot to heroes of might and magic three because it has a map editor and thus we spent the most time on it making our own fun maps and trying to beat each other or the computer on some crazy difficulty setting. It also has an underworld option (caves,s tunnels, underground cities) and great combat. The team who made this and the other might and Magic games are building Allods Online I hear.* Here's a screenshot from Gamespot or two just for your viewing pleasure. This game has limited city building, exploration, crazy hard tactical combat, and an actual campaign storyline to rival Blizzard's games.

*(Correction "Heroes 3 was not made by the Russian team behind Allods. It was not until Heroes 5 that the game development was shipped to Russia. Heroes 3 was developed by New World Computing, while Heroes V was developed by Nival Interactive." - thank you PDM!)

#2. Masters of Orion 2! The best sci fi game on PC I ever played also! (yes its very old and that's sort of a sad statement for Sci Fi but, well Kotor is almost as good but sadly not turn based strategy.
Masters of Orion Lets you pick or make your own race, it lets you set up any galaxy size you want, it randomly creates all the worlds, and it lets you customize your own ships, and play as long as you want and research "upgrades" ad infinitum. The battle were fantastic for its day, and are still fun today. There were new ideas introduced like "gyro destabilizers" and stellar converters. You could blow up planets and make the rubble into new ones, you can terraform and gaia-form. You can get attacked by random things including pirates and giant space monsters. This is way better than sim-city. You can build trade pacts, research pacts, pace treaties, alliances, or just declare war on everybody. Each of these decision greatly impacts your play.

I have to say though, the AI gets very predictable in the "diplomatic" part of the game, but its very unpredictable in the "build up" part of the game. Its hard to tell if the the computer is way ahead of you or behind you, until they strike! (Or you strike)

#3. Age of Wonders 1! This game does have a sequel with better graphics, as do the other two mentioned above, but I felt it was the better game out of the two. It allowed you to keep your units levels as you progressed through the campaign, and build new ones, and conquer cities, and cast neat spells, and yadda yadda. Not only that, it had a branching plot in which you could end up supporting anybody really, but not easily, and it changes the end of the game if you do. Has three floors of the world map too! above ground, below ground, and abyssal (see underdark, lower Moria, whatever)

#4 Worms World PARTY! Ok if you've played a worms game and was disappointed I forgive you. The 3D ones have all been disappointing for me also. But their 2D predecessors are not to be missed! I should go buy this game again since I lost my copy, but I'm broke, so it'll have to wait. This game is awesome for hot seat party time in any home, or college dorm. And who doesn't love blowing people with dynamite, super sheep, mortars, holy hand grenades, bouncing bananas, and "mail bombs" Not to mention all terrain, except the deadly water, is destructible.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WoW. It's different.

WoW sent out a free week of playtime for people like me who haven't played in months and months.

During the 2 years I actually played, I was surprised how often the game's rules changed drastically. And this revisitation was no exception.

Among new features, now you can see upon simply mousing over an enemy whether you have a quest to kill them, or to obtain a dropped item from them.

They've added a new pvp battleground which makes use of vehicles and heavy artillery.

And here's the latest...a new patch released this week. Quest tracking is now built in to the map. But even more impressive is the Dungeon Finder newly incorporated into the game.

I know this is long, but I thought it was worth pointing out (The whole patch note is here):

Dungeon Finder

This feature has replaced the Looking For Group tool and provides all-new dungeon party creation functionality.

Players can join as individuals, as a full group, or a partial group to look for additional party members.

Groups using this tool will be able to teleport directly to the selected instance. Upon leaving the instance, players will be returned to their original location. If any party member needs to temporarily leave the instance for reagents or repairs, they will have the option to teleport back to the instance.

Players can choose the Random Dungeon option.

The Heroic Wrath of the Lich King Daily Random Dungeon option will award two Emblems of Frost no more than once a day.

The normal Wrath of the Lich King Daily Random Dungeon option will award two Emblems of Triumph no more than once a day.

Continuing to complete Wrath of the Lich King Heroic instances using the Daily Random Dungeon option will award players two additional Emblems of Triumph each time.

Daily Heroic and normal dungeon quests have been removed. These quests have been replaced with weekly raid quests (see the "Quests" section for details).

Level-appropriate rewards will be offered to players who choose the Random Dungeon option for pre-Wrath of the Lich King dungeons.

Players can be placed in a group for a random dungeon no more than once every 15 minutes.
Random Dungeon rewards will be placed in each player's inventory automatically upon completion of the dungeon (final boss killed). A pop-up notification will display any rewards earned through the Dungeon Finder.

Instead of choosing a random dungeon, players can also choose specific dungeons appropriate for their level range. Multiple instances can be selected at one time. The feature no longer limits the choice to look for only 3 dungeon groups at one time.

Pick-Up Groups

Cross-realm instances are now available and use an improved matchmaking system to assist players in looking for additional party members. As with Battlegrounds, the realms in each Battlegroup are connected.

As part of the matchmaking system, some of the more difficult dungeons will have a minimum gear requirement. Players also need to meet the requirements for dungeons that require attunement, such as keys or quests. If a player does not meet the requirements for a particular dungeon, a lock icon will be displayed next to that dungeon. Hovering over this icon will display the requirements which have not been met.

Only conjured items and loot dropped in a dungeon for which other party members are eligible can be traded between players from different realms.

A Vote Kick feature will be available in the event a member of a party is not performing to the expectations of the other members.

Players who leave the group prematurely are subject to a Deserter debuff preventing them from using the Dungeon Finder for 15 minutes.

If an existing group loses a member, the leader will be asked if he or she wants to continue the dungeon. Choosing to continue will automatically place the group back into the Dungeon Finder queue.

A Player will not be placed in a group with people on his or her Ignore list.

Players who take part in groups who have one or more members who have been matched with them randomly from within the Dungeon Finder will receive extra rewards, up to and including the coveted Perky Pug non-combat pet. The more random players with whom one groups, the faster the pet can be obtained.

The Need Before Greed loot system will be the unalterable default looting system for pick-up groups in the Dungeon Finder and has been updated.

Need Before Greed will now recognize gear appropriate for a class in three ways: the class must be able to equip the item, pure melee will be unable to roll on spell power items, and classes are limited to their dominant armor type (ex. paladins for plate). All items will still be available via Greed rolls as well as the new Disenchant option should no member be able to use the item.

Players will be able to roll on items with a required minimum level higher than a player's current level.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Problems with skirmishes

Maybe this should go into a bug report, but I wanted to discuss it here instead. Don't get me wrong, because I love skirmishes, and I'd rather have them, problems and all, than not have them.

Still, group size offensive skirmishes require a tank of some kind. I suppose I should of kind of sort of expected this but no, a heavy armor player is not ok, they require a serious tank with serious agro maintenance capabilities. period. No a beefed up soldier tank, or a whole army of beefed up soldier tanks will not work for long enough. This kind of makes them totally unfeasible for many group combinations and while it does make guardians more valuable, it negates the "popcorn" value of skirmishes. The bosses are just too hard. This is played at several levels below too. Group size ones are hard. Be warned.

Three man skirmishes do not require a tank. This leads you to believe the pattern will continue. I'm sure though that raid size skirmishes probably require two tanks at least, one for each group.

Solo skirmishes have too much of "more of the same" thing going on. More and more of the same enemies hurl themselves at you in an exercise in boredom. Playing with others mitigates this effect.

Easy solution, make the solo skirmishes more interesting, as the book chapters are for instance. (See book 7 for example or book 9) Oh wait they already did that one, nevermind...

Last problem, some classes have big problems with skirmishes. Burglars cannot sneak up on people with a companion giving them away, Hunters need lots of prep time between fights, and don't tank well, Tanks dont kill targets fast enough when you start pushing the envelope on difficulty. Yadda yadda yadda. Fortunately, skirmishes weren't meant to be the end all thingy anyways, but they work well all things considered.

I personally can't wait for a PvMP skirmish to arrive of some kind. The sooner the better.

More Dirty MMO Marketing Tricks Afoot

So Age Of Conan has decided to go Free To Play Forever... At least for the first 20 levels (i.e. the Tortage experience) which then begs the question, who are they copying? (Warhammer anyone?) But seriously folks, everyone knows already, if they were paying attention to the blogosphere, or anything at launch, that the Tortage experience is the best, most polished, addicting content in Age Of Conan at present, and its a rather poor trick is it not, to bait and switch people with high quality content and then make them pay for a disappointing surprise afterwards? C'mon... Now in WAR's case, its a good idea because the game DOES get better after the first 10 levels, sorta. Though I really started feeling the grind at 30, the murder-ball scenarios can only be done 20 times before you start to want some variety...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Info to go - Star Trek Online Character Creation

So, I like to provide links to things, for those of you who are too lazy (or in reality probably too busy playing games) to surf the web and find information yourselves. So Zam news just provided a neat bunch of screen shots and more importantly information about /Star Trek Online's Character Creation process. You can read it here: http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=20862

Volume 2, Book 7 Leaves of Lothlorien Thoughts

I really enjoyed running through book 7 for the first time yesterday! Since I was sick I got more game time in than I usually do so I took the chance to get better at skirmishes and run book 7. I recommend doing the first part of book 7 as soon as possible to get into Lothlorien since it is easy exp just for talking to people. The last part where you head back into Moria you should definitely take the time to get to lvl 60 before trying though. It was a significant challenge at certain points. I even downed a Caerog but that wasn't the hardest part for my minnie. My minnie hates it when getting beat on by three mobs, and there were certain places I had to use fear to delay the mobs and feign death and use fellowships heart and the works. Can't say it was a cake walk after all that.

Crawling through the creepy overgrown dungeon with all the unusual plants and then deeper all the corruption was really fun, and I also liked the part after where you explore a secret passage with a crazy powerful dwarf, though I don't understand why sometimes he wants to help you and others he just kicks back. He seems rather inconsistent. The plot part at the end was neat though and I'm gonna finish the rest this weekend. And yes, the loot is good, better than the earlier books armor wise anyways.

On the Internet, Nothing is secret.

Blizzard Hiring For Next-Gen Fantasy/Sci-Fi MMO
Someone apparently leaked that Blizzard's next MMO will be fantasy mixed with sci fi and a new IP. The only question remaining, is this really news? The Blizzard devs have been saying for years that they aren't going to remake WoW 2 or retread old territory so what does that leave them with? A Spacey MMO. Time will tell. Hopefully they do a good job. (Though they haven't failed at that yet, except with Starcraft Ghost which never launched)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Progress on our game, 3D Models with the other stuff

We made some progress today, largely due to my being sick and Anton being unemployed temporarily. Here's a screenshot of what we accomplished, a 3D model in our 3D world. Almost perfect size. Now I'm working on animations which I don't fully understand yet.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Skirmish Experience

This weekend I tried out a number of things including skirmishes and the new Book 2 (Volume 1) of Lotro. The first 4 chapters are fun though its interesting to see how much they changed the lone lands. All the levels are different and there's lvl 55 orc signature mobs in the tower hills, yaiks!

Me, my wife and her sister cleared most of the way with just us and a plucky captain who came outta nowhere. Then we tried to do Retake Weathertop, a 6 man instance. I have to say it is very doable 4 man but you can't be noobs, and my wife learned a lot as a healer, and my sister-in-law learned a lot as a burglar, but boy did we get creamed. WE got to the final boss and he mulched us. He's still too hard. I recommend finding 6 people (not 4) for this instance or playing it on the new solo mode. (unless your friends are total aces, all four of them)

Secondly I tried out skirmishes. The tutorial was ok. It was wasn't too hard. And I did Bruinen fords, four levels below me. (Yes I know that's easy mode, but I was busy watching a movie too, and my little warrior soldier needs more levels.) I had some difficulty healing everyone fast enough on the last boss, but I kept them all alive and we won. I like the new mount system in the game a lot, and I think its nice to be able to do something fun solo. Skirmishes definitely don't replace dungeons as experiences but they are a nice thing to do on the side, and I cna see some of them getting quite challenging. One thing I think I discovered, though I could be wrong, is that it appears that though there's lots of similarities between skirmish camps, the rewards differ greatly between them. If you are looking for lvl 30 rewards go to Thorins Gate. If you want lvl 60 ones go to 21st hall/Lothlorien. Maybe lvl 65 ones are only in Mirkwood, who knows?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Info to go - Skrimish Compendium

Someone put together a compendium of skirmishes, so Here it is for your reading pleasure

I thought the most interesting part was the Skirmish list so I'm reposting that here.

  • Siege of Gondamon: lvl30-65 (Defence)
  • Stand at Amon Sul: lvl35-65 (Defence) (Amon Sul is Weathertop really, for those not versed in lore)
  • Survival - Barrow Downs: lvl40-70 (Survival) (you are guaranteed to die on this one, its just a question of how long can you hold out? If you make it past 5 minutes you get a title, what happens after 8? 10?)
  • Thievery and Mischief: lvl45-65 (Offence) (this one actually sounds really fun for burglars)
  • Defence of the Prancing Pony: lvl50-65 (Defence)
  • Ford of Bruinen: lvl55-65 (Defence) (I've read that the boss fight here is quite difficult for some classes since you.. nah I won't spoil it for ya)
  • Strike Against Dannenglor: lvl60-70 (Offence) Must have completed Vol. II, Book 9, Chap 4 to unlock
  • Protectors of Thangulhad: lvl60-70 (Defence) Must have copmleted Vol. II, Book 9, Chap 14 to unlock
  • Breaching the Necromancer's Gate: lvl60-70 (Offence) Must have completed Vol. II, Book 9, Chap 15 to unlock
  • Assault on the Ringwraith's Lair: lvl60-70 (Offence) Must have completed Vol. II, Book 9, Chap 15 to unlock
  • The Battle in the Tower: lvl60-70 (Offence) Must have completed Vol. II, Book 9, Chap 18 to unlock
Apparently more than half the Skirmishes are GATED based on completion of Book 9 Chapters. I hope I can survivably get those chapters done. I have no idea how hard book 9 is yet, and my Minstrel, Rumples isn't exactly invincible. ;)

Better observation: I'm kind of glad they are making the book chapters more replayable and easier to get to by making the new ones skirmishes. Hopefully they can do this with some of the old ones as well. They are promising to add skirmishes with each book so if it seems a little lean at the moment, sit tight.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Star Trek Online info -- Genesis System

So Star Trek Online is going to have a new system of content generation called the Genesis system. (Alla Wrath of Khan) It will constantly generate "stuff" i.e. planets, missions, encounters, etc.. as you fly through space, so that you will genuinely be going some place that "no man has gone before". They also have used this same genesis system to build all their content but for their special "seasons" and "episodes" the artists and designers have hand tweaked the content and storyline some more of course.

Here it is from the interview:

"One thing I would say is truly Star Trek is the sense of exploration. Is that something you wanted to bring across?

Yeah, with exploration we knew "to boldly go where no man has gone before" is huge for Trek. We named our system the Genesis system, which is a set of software technology that allows us to create planets and systems, ground maps, interiors so that players will be able to continously explore and generate new content for themselves that no one else has seen before. This is a tool set that we use internally as we develop the game to expedite the process. You loose weeks of development time if you were just white boxing environments, just making sure that this is generally what we want to do and then you have a designer coming in and place the content and then an artist goes in and hand touches that.

By the time you have an end product a huge chunk of that was just initial set up. With the genesis system we can have a designer loosely describe a mission "I want a snow planet with a bunch of Klingons here and you have to go defeat this first group and then you'll go find five bombs that you have to disarm. Then the Genesis system will automatically put that together and then we can go in and hand craft that and do things that only humans can do. But since we've been working on our technology for so long we've kind of refined it and are making it better we are going to expose that to players so that they can just fly and that system will generate something new that you'll do and you'll have that limitless exploration. "

This strikes me as brilliant if it works well. City of Heroes already pioneered this with its randomized dungeons and bosses and stuff, and of course Diablo 2 as well. I can see it getting old fast though if it feels too generic or doesn't have enough variability or some such problem. Hopefully they make this a shining feature.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Compare and Contrast, Lotro and WoW community response to an expansion.


Lotro Forums

Just for a fun little contrast in the .. erm.. timbre.. between the two communities.

One is whiny and complaining all the time, the other is grateful and excited.

I don't give Turbine all the credit for this. Lord of the Rings as an IP naturally attracts a more mature (or geeky) audience than steampunk, goofball WoW does. However they (as developers) have been careful in their expansion process to avoid nullifying previous achievements and dungeons as much as possible, and have gained their communities respect and excitement for each new bit of content as a result. Only raising the level cap by 5 levels is a cheap trick that both are using but at least Turbine is trying to keep hard earned radiance gear relevant and continues to expand horizontally the whole time. (They recently revamped the Lone Lands, Book 2 doubled in size and Agamaur/Red Maid, the second dungeon was split into three dungeons; Incidentally, the previous book, book 8 revamped Bree land and Ered Luin quite significantly quest wise and the instances have changed too) WoW's expansion model has been lately to save all the good stuff for a once every 1.5 years or so expansion, which is too long for most subscribers to wait, so they play through it, unsub and then resub again once it gets in. One failing on Lotro's part this expansion has been the nullifying of previous legendary weapons. One major success has been Skirmishes. Hopefully they'll get it right in Rohan.

Just in case you missed it, there's another kid on the block today. Alganon launched today and here's an interview about it: http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=20741

and a huge picture too

300th Post! 500exp with Google Droid, you gain a level!

So this is our 300th post here at Thallian and Anton's Calooh Calay! We're on our way!

My boss got mugged at Oakland Coliseum BART station. Don't park there and especially don't go alone to your car at night. Anyways since they took his phone he got a new one, a Driod one, and I got to play with it this morning. Wee!

I think Droid is ok. Its a tiny bit unintuitive at first but then you figure out you gotta slide stuff around and double click and use the outer phone buttons and you are golden. It has GPS which works automatically with Google maps, and of course all the other Google apps. Scrolling and moving around feel good. It also has a bank of America online banking app, but not Wells Fargo or other ones yet it seems. But for an underdog phone its got plenty of games and apps it seems and is pretty user friendly and intuitive. I always root for the underdog it seems since I feel the top dog (Apple) and the second dog (Zune?) don't need it so there ya go. My two cents.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lesser Mentioned Immersion Breakers

Here's a couple of less thought of immersion breakers that people were sort of discussing on Tobold's blog today. And yes there is a trade-off here for each one.

1. Scalable Bosses/Dungeons/Loot: What, this is an immersion breaker? Yes. It reminds you that its just a game, and it doubly reminds you just how fake those pixels are, and it triply reminds you that you could just solo it or just play with your closest buddies. Personally I love this mechanic when done right but I've been thinking about it and the dungeon .. each dungeon that uses this, loses some "authenticity". It ceases to be a single dungeon and becomes something stricken with multiple personality disorder or something.

2. Drastically changing the leveling exp curve: What could be wrong with changing the exp curve to be more forgiving? Well if its a super evil one and you make it more gentle, maybe nothing. However Lotro's was already pretty well balanced with how long it should take you tog et through the content and they nerfed it, thus breaking crafting by making you have to grind it instead of naturally collect ingredients along the way. The amount of time spent in Tier 1 areas is blindlingly short, too short to advance to the next tier. (for example)

3. (Cuz I like the number 3) Stuff that happens and doesn't make sense. Bosses behaving cowardly for no reason? Check, see Lotro's rock boss in the three man waterworks. Treasure hordes you can't loot? Check see grand stair. Bottomless pits in a world where the lore doesn't allow it? Check. Any others I missed? :)

Good news, Mythos is rebooting

It sounds like RedBaena is relaunching Mythos after some work and "I'm sorry bout that let's try again"'s


This should be good. I heard lots of good things about the game from Keen and Graev and others so we'll see how it turns out this time.

Good blog articles

I found a couple of good articles on how to make permadeath workable, and  how to make epic persistent timelines in MMO's. Please read these if you are an MMO developer.