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Grey P Anderson's blog

9:10 PM on 03.06.2012

The Vast MMO Graveyard

A lot of people stick to only a few mmos maybe even just one hardcore addiction, but i jump around a lot to catch the new f2p that's going to knock the sense out of my noggin with style and flavor. The spicy bits of this huge smorgasbord that's available to the internet-wielding public are starting to go dry, and the virtual realms i surfed are turning into dead waves.

Sure, it had to happen. The gaming community is getting huge, but is it really big enough to spread across all the games? And why would it, I'm not saying every mmo made is good, i tend to think most can actually be quite bad. I can't play every mmo out there, but I've played a lot, and the one bit of advice it's taught me is just this: If your concept isn't new, spiffy, and well put together, you will be gone. A huge amount of medieval and fantasy games are suffering due to this fact.

It's not just the small ones that get hit hard, a lot of the mmos with dwindling player base are backed by conglomerates, now that mmos are on the radar. Because of this we've seen games like Dc Universe, Star Wars Galaxies Online, and Dungeons and Dragons Online, one of which bit the dust so Star Wars The Old Republic could take the shining stage. Am i saying those games were/are bad? Yea, but that's not the point. They were all made to fit the brand-able area, because rather than creating new ideas, it's way easier to leech fame that's already there.

I didn't even toss Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning or Lord of the Rings Online in there, because quite frankly, they're already set with a foot in the grave. The player base is in most cases so slim that team play becomes a wasted feature. This is definitely a bigger factor with Warhammer, which lacks a good concrete story aside from the war, but for Lord of the Rings it does a bit less damage, mainly since it's an MMO that makes you feel like you're NOT playing an MMO. A lot of games do this now, and the feature has a lot of potential, but you can go too far with it. You need a good balance, somewhere in-between what Warhammer Online and Lord of the Rings Online have.

These games can make countless revivals in small forms, but after a while players just give up. You need to find a way to maintain a good thing that you've got going, but for some ideas, you're aware right off the concept that the game was made to only last a few years. Some games are just there to rekindle nostalgia, take your money, and die.   read

2:48 PM on 03.02.2012

Ragin'! [This Week's Spoilers from:Skyrim]

I'm here to bring you the frustrations of the gaming world! But not all hope is lost! We'll take a look at gems of the past, and diamonds in the rough getting released sooner than you think. Take a while to let your thumbs rest and read up, especially if you just got your head shot off on heroic for the seventh time.
Let's kick it off!

The first bit o' Rage!

Skyrim!:[Do Beware, Spoilers Below]

Okay, i understand how beautiful it is, and i get the effort of the landscaping, story-telling, and conceptual design....but this was not what i wanted as the follow-up to Oblivion, and i hope i'm not alone on this. Where do i start?

-The World Changes So Very Little:Yea, there's dragons destroying towns, killing beings of all kinds, and mucking about in the sky. Why the hell are you still blacksmithing? No matter what you really choose to do in the world of Skyrim, it will essentially remain intact, with minor changes, and what seems like should be MAJOR changes, do little at all. You could off the Emperor as an assassin, kill what should be an important leader, yet it will merit in the end little more than people on the street passing off word of his death? Not even a little political discord? Maybe i missed that part. Though i did let Stormcloaks take Whiterun. That made a bit of a fuss.

-Rub Some Dirt In it and Quit Whining: Is it really a bad thing that the layout was changed to suit a wider margin? I'd say no at first, but they took away so many of the wonderful stat point systems that Morrowind and Oblivion shared. I don't care how hard it was to level back in those games, that was better! All the really cool stuff went down at level 17 anyway! In Skyrim they try to run you through the storyline much faster, and if that sways you to try out being in some other factions first, well....that takes me to the next point.

-Why Release a Game with...SERIOUS Software Issues?:You guys set a hard deadline, and having to make that doesn't excuse a serious programming bug. If you decide to run certain missions with the Stormcloaks after having spent time in a group such as The Dark Brotherhood, you might find yourself in a pickle. After doing some assassination tasks, i continued the main quest to find i could talk to any of the npc's i needed to talk to. On top of that, the shadows have a tendency to become blocky and digitized every now and then. These are issues that cannot be made up with a patch all the time. Too bad for all the players running the game on an old Xbox 360.

On top of this, it feels like so much of the land of Skyrim is the same place, the land in-between the towns spread great distances across from each other looks like it's was formed from only a few environmental templates. Sure, there's a lot to do, and a huge amount of side missions, but after a while of doing this, the game turns into a treasure hunter. Most of the missions revolve around equipment and items of glory and power, working on amassing enough bonuses to swat creatures like flies.

And maybe this is just me, but the rag-doll physics make so much of the serious tone wasted when the person you just killed flops around like a flounder.And about the amassing bonuses, the whole steps to godhood progression becomes a storyline pain when you're allowed to pretty much rule everything you become a hard-working member of. You can really work your way up the ladder in the world of Skyrim.

Skyrim, you're fun, there's no doubting that, but i will never agree with the folks toting this game up as a great achievement in video games.   read

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