Allods Online Closed Beta 3 US Version Tomorrow

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Yep the US Version of Allods Online will be hosting beta #3 tomorrow. The next phase of beta starts Dec 29 and goes through Jan 11. The level cap for this segment of the closed beta is 30.

One for a Laugh

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If you ever played Lord of the Rings Online and well wasn’t too stoked with your expereince there, you’ll probably have a good chuckle over this latest post on Scarbooster’s blog “A LotRO Bedtime Story…” (Link).

It’s a guest post for Scarybooster by Openedge1 of “In between the RPG“.

Category: Blogging | Comments Off on One for a Laugh

The Day Before Christmas!

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Hey Everybody! So it’s the day before Christmas and I get some time off. Wooooo! Yeah I didn’t post yesterday because I was pretty tired. I ended up comming home and passing out. It happens sometimes.

On Tuesday night though I did get a chance to jump back in Alganon, and I’ll probably do that a little bit more over my short little work repreve.

Hopefully I’ll get some time in on Paladin in WoW too.

I know I said “No more fantasy games”. But my Mom plays WoW and I like hanging out with her so back to WoW on that note. Ok and I have some really good friends that play there too.

Oh and I got a mailer from Runes of Magic with a goodie in it. I should probably log in and snag that while I can.

Dang… I gotta lot to do!

pps: thanks goes to Redshift for doctoring up the above photo for me, ok and standing still long enough to help me get the picture.

Category: Alganon, Gaming, World of Warcraft | Comments Off on The Day Before Christmas!

MMO on the Go

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Over at Ferrel (of Epic Slant) had submitted a sweet post on Mobile MMO’s. Personally I love the idea. OK well really I love expanding on the idea. I’m sure I’ve seen folks comment on this before, but as mobile technology becomes more advanced, it’s really only a good idea to well, spread the seeds of desire.

MMO’s take a LOT of time. They really do when you lump in getting items into and out of an auction house, gathering materials, crafting, traveling, waiting for groups, waiting for quest items to drop, you end up with endless little time sucks. I mean really that is part of the entertainment value of MMO’s, they’re a great way to spend some dark winter evenings when you’re stuck indoors and the time just blows right by.

One of the biggest complaint that both casuals and non-casuals have with well, casual folks, is lack of in game experience, knowledge, and sometimes just plain time. We have less time to spend on the fun stuff because we’re plowing through all of the ‘chore’ type tasks. Thing is, what if you do these little things remotely here and there through out the day, then get right into the game when you log in.

What if you could get crafting done via a mini game on your smart phone? What if that same phone just showed you what’s in the auction house right now so you could assess what you want to post or sell when you hop online? Hell what if you were able to put those things up for auction while you were at lunch or on break?

What if you could get a lot of these little things done without having to wait for the game to boot up or better yet, while you’re away from your computer running errands, on break from the daily grind, or even in commute from work or school (ON THE BUS I MEAN by the way, not if you’re driving).

What if you were able to jump right into questing, leveling, raiding, even fishing, without having to get the little stuff done for the day? How much time would that save each time you log in? Probably not much, but over time, it’d probably add up. Little things have a way of doing that.

Smart phones, for the most part, have access to the net is included in the plan. You can surf the web, read e-mail, manage appointments, etc etc etc. A lot of really powerful applications are developed and used by folks all over the world every day that work right in the palm of their hand.

Now if you think about the back end of an MMO, it’s really a big database. Sure it may or may not be a database, but it’s still a bunch of stored values or variables that tell you how much mana you have and reduce it based on how much mana that last spell required.

Since the game needs the data to work, which means the data’s already there, what if you could make that data either visible in a sort of static form on a mobile device, or better yet build in a way that people could interact with their favorite game in a whole new way.

OK well I know it’s not remotely that simple (no pun intended). Technology wise you’re looking at in securing the data, making changes to or even just letting people see the data, even making sure the data is right there when the user wants it, well these aren’t easy tasks. Worse is, that’s just the beginning when looking at it from the tech side.

On the money side, you’re probably going to want to look at a database solution that would be able to store data, give users access to the data, then write back the changes the user made. Well hopefully you are, otherwise you’re spending time and money writing the whole mess from scratch. Not to mention the fact that traditionally games don’t use a database system to store game based information because it can take too long for database programs to sift through the information stored in it, give a response, and then write that response back to the database. Not to mention when you have hundreds or thousands of people doing things in the game that need that information and they need it now.

You’ll also have to spend time and money on folks who can set up the database, or whatever you end up with. That’s all before you start looking into how you’re going to put a face on it that your existing and future users will be able to work with. Then you have to get into deciding on a platform, getting buttons and other interface elements designed, etc etc etc.

Yeah it would not be a walk in the park to set up mobile access, even to just view the back end data systems of any game. For the most part just keeping it secure would be hell enough for most game companies to want to run away screaming. Honestly I can’t say I’d blame them.

Thing is though, we know there’s already precedence when you think about the fact that a lot of games already display in game data on web pages. WoW lets you see what’s in your guild bank. For security reasons they probably don’t want to let people see what’s in folks personal banks. Lord of the Rings Online implemented an API that lets developers access game data that they can display on their own web pages or use in web based application that would use that data.

Thing is that it would take quite a bit of time, effort and cash just to get the back end game systems talking to mobile devices or web applications. Probably the best way to add mobile elements to a game would mean building them into the game right from the start. The cost of adding something functional into a existing game is probably a barrier that many MMO’s just don’t want to breech. Forward looking though, adding some kind of mobile access to MMO’s would really make a game stand out.

This could also be a boon for independent studios. By building up a web or mobile interface for their 3D game environment, they’d already have a win for folks who want to get some stuff done without having to log in. Web development, while not cheap, is still a lot less time consuming that working up 3D assets and adding zones, quests, levels, you name it, to the base game. Saving a little dough on the outset may well make it easier for these games to get off the ground by reducing the amount of starting capital required. It’d also allow them to focus on a smaller starting game and hopefully getting down that spit shine polish that’s so popular these days.

Once again though, all ideas, ideas, ideas. Now if I could only use them for myself.

Mobile MMO’s –

Ferrel – Epic Slant

Category: Game Building, Gaming | Comments Off on MMO on the Go

Happy Holidays 2009

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Thanks goes to Redshift for the idea of getting a screenie with my Paladin’s new wings and for posing on the reindeer hehehe.

So happy holidays and new year to everyone.

We can all use it hehehe….

Now where’s the spiked cider?

WoW Dual Wield Death Knight

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I’ve notice that some folks have been landing here looking for info on Death Knight Dual Wielding. I still love the concept of Dual Wielding DK’s. It’s awesome to have options and it’s annoying when options are taken away for whatever reason.

For the past few patches I hadn’t seen much that meant Dual Wielding was viable, but that seems to have changed in WoW’s latest patch 3.3. If you take a look at the Elitest Jerks forum there’s a Dual Wield tanking build posted (Link).  There’s also a couple of Dual Wielding DPS builds over at Skeleton Jack’s blog (Link).

Oh and I forgot to add, keep in mind that these builds are viable in the latest patch as of this post which is currently 3.3. That means no promises on what’ll happen in the next patch etc.

Alganon Update

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I’d received an automated e-mail from Alganon letting me know that there is a trial server up and running for folks that want to give Alganon a test go before subscribing to the game.

I’m thinking I’ll update it and see what changes have been made. I still think there’s a lot of good in the background of Alganon, I just wasn’t too sure about the game it’s self. Really though it’s hard to judge how fun a game is going to be when it’s just stretching it’s wings.

Over time though I want to keep an eye on this one and see how it progresses. I did the same with Free Realms, even Runes of Magic, both are games I beta tested (Free Realms as a closed beta and Runes of Magic during the open beta).

Heh even now I’m watching Allods to see how it progresses. From what I saw from the beta testing of Runes of Magic and Free Realms, Allods Online does look to be another hit right out of the starting gate.

Alganon though, I feel will have a strong following even if it’s not the biggest following. If they keep true to their commitments and vision of the product they’ll have a good game in the long run. Hopefully too with a good cash infusion from going live they’ll be able to add in the classes they weren’t able to add at launch which would really make it stand out (and which were part of the reason I looked into the game in the first place, I’d love to play a Prophet).  Keeping focused on slow growth over time should serve them well. At least I hope so. I really like the concepts behind Alganon, even if I’m it’s quite what I was hoping it would be.

Then again maybe it is, and there were just so many other things pulling my focus away. Only time will tell.

Category: Alganon | Comments Off on Alganon Update

How to Suck the Fun Out

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  So here’s the deal. I read up on the article that Scary wrote up on me. I really haven’t been writing to enjoy writing or enjoying what I’m writing about.

It kind of sucks for the most part. I haven’t really had fun in quite a while.

Yeah I’m one of those crazy people that just has a strange desire to write and actually enjoys writing.

It’s just that lately, I’ve had the urge to write, but really nothing that I wanted to actually write about.

Yeah I could have a really successful blog if I stuck to the sexy topics like DPS and talent trees, etc etc. I’m also the kind of idiot that doesn’t mind going out and trying to figure that kind of stuff out.

You know what though? That stuff isn’t the fun part of the game. Not to mention the fact that since I’m not getting paid to NOT have fun, I should damn well get some enjoyment out of this nonsense.

So for today, here’s a great screenshot from Allods that I took from the Imperial side. Really that soapbox has been begging for someone to stand in it. Oh and the little guy to the left, that was my pet.

Scarybooster on Creep The Prophet

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Scarybooster wrote a post about me over on his site (link). Nothing, heh, scary, just some background etc. I have submitted a couple of posts for him to put up while he’s recovering from surgery.

Wow so much going on today!

Allods Online: Links to Guides

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Perusing the Allods Online US forums I did find a handy list of guides for those interested and I wanted to make sure I left a link of that here.

Allods Online: A Helpful Compilation of Guides by betatester100 (Link)

At this time the guide does include two handy links to Paladin Tanking guides. Hopefully that’ll help out folks that want to set up a Paladin Tank.

Category: Allods Online | Comments Off on Allods Online: Links to Guides