Tobold's Blog
Sunday, September 14, 2008
 
Open Sunday Thread

Sunday again, so the floor is yours. Write about what interests you, or what you'd like to see covered in this blog.
Comments:
I'd like to talk about Open Betas, and whether there is a growing perception amongst players/customers that this serves as a 'preview' of the finished game.

I am in the WOTLK and WAR betas and I am constantly astounded at the level of whinging and complaining about 'broken unbalanced classes' etc etc. The controversy over Open Beta with EU WAR players is a case in point.

Are beta's starting to actually become inversely counter-productive as a marketing tool, but useful as a quality control tool?
 
I'm quite enjoying WAR Online right now and have been playing for the last week but one thing's been bugging me.... I only just worked out what it is. Does anyone else feel that the questing is just boring because the interface tells you exactly where to go?

WOW used to annoy me when I had to run around everywhere looking for Farmer X but this just seems too fast-tracked.

RVR is a lot of fun and the game is much more polished than WOW was on release but there's no feeling of exploration.
 
Does anyone else feel that the questing is just boring because the interface tells you exactly where to go?

I cannot comment on Warhammer Online here, but this depends on what else the game is doing with the quest/mission IMHO. In Star Wars Galaxies it was quite boring, because it was pretty much only "kil whatever is at that spot" or "deliver something to whoever is at that spot" etc.
And there was generally very little doubt on how to get to the spot.

I think it worked slightly better in Tabula Rasa, where you still had to figure out how to get to that point - both terrain and mobs could cause trouble with that.

In Guild Wars I think it works well, because you will often have a number of spots to go to through a quest/mission, you still have to figure out terrain and deal with mobs on the way and it does not tell you everything with markers. And most of these one have also a good story foundation, not generic boring quest objectives.

If it is a "kill ten rats" quest or something similar, then there is generally very little interesting about it and possibly the only interesting thing about could be to find the quest area.
 
The quests pointing out where you need to go on the mini-map is a direct result of today's TLDR/short-attention-span crowd. Many people just blindly accept the quests and plow through them as fast as possible. I am as guilty as anyone of doing this, but part of it is due to the fact that despite interesting lore being used, a lot of the quests still end up being kill X number of monsters, or deliver X to X npc.
 
Tobold, how do you find the time to blog as much as you do? You work full time, you have a family, you play video games, you read other blogs and news feeds, yet you still churn out 1-3 good blog articles a night??

Seriously dude, I'd love to see an article on how you manage time. Teach me please. I want to be a leetsauce blogger like yourself.
 
Tobold, how do you find the time to blog as much as you do? You work full time, you have a family ...

Stop right there. I think a large part of the secret is that in my case "family" just means a wife, who also happens to be understanding about MMORPGs, and plays WoW herself. I don't have children. Children are the biggest time sink of the family man. Not having any means I have 4 hours of leisure time even on work days, plus all day long on weekends and holidays.
 
It's probably a good thing that there are so many choices as to games right how, huh, Tobold? Given that you've mentioned politics in the past, I'm mildly surprised that you haven't mentioned anything about the US Presidential race, which is rapidly turning into the most ugly & sniping race ever.

I suppose it'd just bring a firestorm of anonymous comments, so I can't blame you there. But you'd definitely hold a lot of "taunt hate" if you did, lol!
 
Given that you've mentioned politics in the past, I'm mildly surprised that you haven't mentioned anything about the US Presidential race, which is rapidly turning into the most ugly & sniping race ever.

In a recent poll 93 percent of Americans said they could imagine voting for a black guy. That was hailed as big progress, and compared to the much lower numbers of people who'd vote for an atheist or a homosexual. But I can't help noticing that in a close contest, 7% not voting for you is a hell of a lot, "post-racial candidate" or not. And that's just the 7% who admit in a poll that they would never ever vote for a black man. There are probably more who are bigots lying in polls, or those who would vote for a hypothetical black man, but not for one with the kind of wife and pastor Obama has. You can see why I'm not posting about that, given that if only readers of my blog could vote Obama would get an 80% majority.
 
Heirloom items in WoW: teh awesome, or teh suck?
 
I'm curious if Tobold and his readership think the public developer blogs, ala GOA, versus the black ops style public releases Blizzard likes to do with their information, is a better exchange of information with their players?

I've long thought that Blizz devs should be running public blogs discussing their thoughts on talents and abilities before they just run amok with the nerf bat. It seems (pure opinion here btw), that a lot of Blizzard's devs also love having a kind of "rock-star" persona among their fan base so they keep their information under ridiculously tight wraps. I should also mention I'm a big proponent of business transparency so that's naturally going to fuel my position on this issue. :P

Cheers for Sunday discussions!
 
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