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Monday, May 15, 2006

E3 Continued

Okay, one more link-fest E3 post.

Let's start off with the EQII news today. Gamespot has a
trailer up for EoF. I thought it was excellent - SOE usually does a good job with the trailers so I wasn't surprised. If you prefer your trailers with a little commentary then check OGaming's video.

Launching in Russia? Uh, okay. China went well. But, hey, my research of international MMO demographics is limited to typing this sentence, so maybe it's a great idea.

And here's
an EoF writeup from Gamespot and one from Ten Ton Hammer. So far so good.

From the TTH look by RadarX:

"One of these zones Moorgard mentioned, would be a personal favorite of mine, Castle Mistmoore."

"This expansion will allow a player to choose a deity to serve. Doing this will allow the player open up a line of deity specific quests, which will reward them with specific abilities."

Read the rest for more info.

If you are at all interested in the Fallen Dynasty Adventure Pack then
this video of gameplay and commentary from Erik Theisz on Allakhzam/OGaming is a must see. The video gives a great look at some of the zones from the upcoming Adventure Pack.

I was a little nervous to hear the game was produced by SOE's Taiwan studio, not because I have any reason to doubt their ability but because I wasn't sure they had the same experience in creating content the San Diego team had. But maybe they just handled the art. And the art may be a bit different from the EQII norm, but it doesn't seem that out of place. The zones look amazing and expansive (there are outdoor zones which is great for an Adventure Pack), the mobs look good (the Naga are far better then the EQII ones quite frankly) and the new weapon models look very nice. I wasn't sure I liked the NPC models but it was a bit hard to tell. Check it out for yourself. On the whole, it seems pretty impressive for the price. Oh, and did I mention the Pig Racing? Awesome.

also has a look which is a good read. Points of interest:

"seven playable areas in the game, 30 new weapon models"

"looking into creating monk training quests that players will be able to use to advance their powers"

"The plot of Fallen Dynasties revolves around a fallen half-god, half-man that last appeared in Everquest I"

It sounds from that write-up that the final raid dungeon will be limited to six players? Zuh? I'm not sure they got that one right, but, hey I think it would be really cool to have, for once, the toughest dungeon in the game be a group dungeon. Raiders I've enraged with that last sentence - feel free to repeatedly kill me on Nagafen.

Alla write-up states that June 13th is the launch for Fallen Dynasty. Ten Ton Hammer also has a look.

my last E3 post I linked to a rather positive look at Vanguard at E3 from Ten Ton Hammer. And now I have a pretty negative take from Action Trip. An excerpt:

"Now let me tell you, it's almost unbearably obvious why MS got rid of this one. Merely looking at the game was a disappointment right off the bat....Gameplay wise, Vanguard seemed standard in every possible sense."

Now, some of the negative comments were based on the art, but that's a subjective matter so you can look at the
screenshots they provide and decide for yourself. There's also some quite positive commentary on Gods and Heroes in that article (I'm liking what I hear about this one so far and love the setting). For more on Gods and Heroes' intriguing minion system check Ten Ton Hammer. It's apparently not just the Guild Wars NPC's as filler when you don't want to group system. You can use your minions in conjunction with a group of other players who have their own minions as well.

For another negative Vanguard take we have
GamersInfo's look.

"At first glance the game smacks with its generic-ness. It looks like every other game out there, and worse in places. The UI is uninspired, and from what I was able to gather the combat and class system is exactly what we’ve seen in almost every other game out there. Which is exactly what the guys at Sigil are shooting for."

Zuh? Great thing to shoot for. The article makes some positive points but concludes that "The graphics aren’t spectacular and the fact that core design ideas come from the belief that Everquest was right make me think that Sigil designed the game that they wanted to play, but they didn’t bother to check with the rest of the world."

And here's
another Vanguard look from Ten Ton Hammer which is a positive take. The charater customization is praised and the ability to build guard towers which spawn NPC's definitely sounds cool.

And one more
look at Vanguard from Gamespot which has some nice comments on the graphical effects, housing customization and flying mounts. The Warcry writeup has some interesting commentary as well.

And here's
a video of sailing in Vanguard which to me looks really cool in terms of graphical appeal.

And Brad
himself comments (or shall I say writes a novella) on perceived Vanguard marketing weakness. I have to be honest. Most people aren't reading all that. I know I write a lot too, but, dude, chillax a bit. No fun mocking you in Friday Humor if you make it that easy.

In my previous E3 post I stated that I was really excited about the Conan MMO. However I gave one caveat: "But the key to the game will be how the 'action' combat system works (or doesn't work)." So what happens? Sigh. "Where Age of Conan goes wrong at this point in the development (the game is in pre beta stage) is, sadly, the combat itself. While the idea behind the melee combat is fundamentally cool, in practice it doesn't work so well."

Great. That quote is from an E3 hands-on by Action Trip, and there's more there
so check it out. They do have some positive things to say there but shoddy combat will be a deal-breaker for me. Here's hoping they get that sorted out because it's really a quite interesting game.

I was never that excited about Warhammer Online but what I've read has certainly piqued my interest. The game seems intriguing and apparently has a sense of humor. Check out this
quote at n3rfed to see why.

That quote is from
IGN's look and Ten Ton Hammer has not one, not two, but three reports. And one from Gamespot. And another from GamersInfo.

Eve Online is not only still around but doing well. Abalieno has the Eve
E3 news and commentary. A significant part of the news is the announcement of integrated voice chat, for a fee of course. I'm not sure how I feel about this but it does appear to be something more companies are trying.

Also on the Cesspit is
discussion of NCsoft's upcoming free MMO's Exteel and Dungeon Runner. Frankly, that whole business model scares me but I think it could work with some games. So I'll keep an open mind if the "micropayments" are related solely to additional content. Oh wait, I checked further and found this write-up on Gamespot which mentions "a content payment system that gives you access to specific, elite items." Pass. Any game where you pay for a competitive advantage is an absolute "no thanks" for me.

NCsoft is also
apparently a bunch of rebels who play music too loud for the rest of E3 and got fined $5,000. Rock on NCsoft, you wacky band of MMO misfits! Actually, I agree with the ESA on this one. Give people a chance to hear the games and the developers at other booths and not your subpar rock band.

E3 Awards from someone who wasn't there:

Best EQII News: Everything I read about Fallen Dynasty makes it sound like one heck of an Adventure Pack.

Most exciting trailer (MMO Division):
Warhammer Online. EQII a close second with their EoF trailer.

Making Me Nervous Award: Pirates of the Burning Sea and Hero's Journey for lack of E3 buzz.

MMO Interest Award: I went from total non-interest in Warhammer to mild interest. And I've seen Warhammer threads popping up in forums where I didn't expect to see any. That's a nice E3 job.

Most exciting trailer (Non-MMO Division):
Super Smash Bros Melee.

Continued Awesomeness: Spore.

Most likely Katamari-esque quirky hit: Tie -
Loco Roco and Elebits.

Personal Fan Favorite That Nobody Else Cares About: New
Phoenix Wright trailer.

Most Underrated: PC Gaming. Sure there was Spore and some MMO news but that was a tiny fraction of the media focus on E3. According to
Joystiq's analysis of a survey, "The report provides numerical evidence that PC gaming is not declining but is in fact already the dominant platform for video gaming and the penetration of PC gaming into North American households is expected to rise." That's the reality and game companies and the media would do well to realize this.

Worst Trend: The "pay for an uber sword" business model as demonstrated by NCSoft.

For some great first hand E3 commentary on a range of topics check
Broken Toys and Kill Ten Rats.


Blogger E. Swartz said...

Sorry to be such a Vanboi, but here goes:

The Action Trip preview was far inferior to the Gamersinfo. They went into writing it biased (not that, say, TenTonHammer didn't, but at least TTH's was positive) and it showed in the final piece.

Gamersinfo was good in that it was fairly accurate (except for the Madagascar-sized continents, dunno where they got that, but it's wrong). Not much new info in it; I doubt they wrote it based on E3.

The Vanguard classes, while they may have the same names as those of other MMOs, are some of the most unique I have seen to date, with abilities specific to each class never seen before: the druid's manipulation of storms and winds to help ships move faster or damage enemies; the psionicist's global chat, which is the only global chat in-game; the ranger's persistent traps and enhanced environmental perception abilities. I could go on.

I could have written that article a year and a half ago. And I probably would have agreed with its take then, too.

2:19 AM  
Blogger E. Swartz said...

Eh, ran out of space.

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Blackguard said...

Anyone who has ever played me in Smash Bros. knows that I am better than they are. If I get a Wii, it will be based on how good Super Smash Brothers: Brawl is. I'm serious. If it rules, I may buy the console (assuming I find people out in San Diego to play me). If it doesn't rule, the console is dead to me.

3:06 AM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

If they have online play you're so dead.

8:39 PM  
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