- Disliking the fourth pillar
Spinks' rundown of the SWTOR classes mentioned a detail that I hadn't considered. Apparently, George Lucas is continuing to maintain that Jedi cannot get married without turning to the dark side. This makes me less interested in the game - not because I really had my heart set on cyborz with my NPC's, but because the notorious forbidden love story from the second Star Wars prequel was not the one part of the Star Wars Universe that I've been dying to re-live in an MMO setting.
Specifics of this particular case aside, I see a potential issue with the "fourth pillar" approach here. If you are going to put the story front and center, it becomes a bigger issue if players dislike the story you are trying to tell. Moreover, I would imagine that Jedi who romance their NPC's are going to be the majority of players - the former because of the lore and the latter because that's what you do in Bioware games. If the gameplay impact of being a Republic-faction Jedi with Dark Side status turns out to be disadvantageous to game mechanics, Bioware will have some unhappy customers.
- WoW 4.3 update
This week, we're hearing details of WoW's patch 4.3. The mega-patch will include the now industry-standard cosmetic gear option that Blizzard has been resisting for about five years now. There's a new storage system that will save Blizzard disk space by having a vendor who will create a new copy of item number whatever upon request, rather than storing all the details of your existing item (e.g. enchant, crafted by, what bank slot it is located in). There will be new five-mans, which was basically expected.
The one thing that I find surprising is that the patch will feature the Deathwing raid, and therefore will presumably serve as the Cataclysm finale. I had expected this to be bumped to next year to shorten the window between Deathwing and the expansion now believed to be Pandaria. While it's not uncommon for the last raid of a WoW expansion to sit for 9-12 months, Cataclysm is already somewhat widely viewed as a failure and nothing from this list sounds especially game-changing. Unless Blizzard can finally deliver a WoW expansion in 18 months instead of 23-24, 2012 may not be kind to the WoW subscription count.
- Reinventing Warhammer
Werit has the details of the free to play Warhammer spinoff. My view on this project echoes Tobold's. Back in 2008, I genuinely enjoyed Warhammer's instanced "RVR" scenarios but generally found that the PVE game these battles were attached to did not compare favorably to the many other options out there. On paper, ditching the PVE game allows Mythic to focus on balance, while opening up the door to more exotic races/classes/heroes/etc that might have been harder to fit into a holy trinity PVE game.
However, as Tobold suggests, this revamp almost certainly guarantees that I will never pay for the existing version of the game again.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I'm still on blog vacation for another week and a half, but I've noticed a few tidbits that I felt like commenting on anyway. Comments remain moderated, though I expect to be able to approve them over the next few days.