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VirginWorlds MMORPG News
Host: Brent
VirginWorlds is a weekly news podcast covering Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, EverQuest, Guild Wars, City of Heroes, Eve Online, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online and many many more. The VirginWorlds MMORPG Podcast is the flagship podcast of the VirginWorlds MMO Podcast Collective found at http://www.virginworlds.com

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VirginWorlds Podcast #117
Mon, 12 May 2008 05:50:00 GMT [download/play]



Show 117 discusses Age of Conan's nudity as well as its beta test, John Smedley's perspective on the MMO industry, Playboy's interest in virtual worlds, Spacetime's Blackstar, EVE Online's 5th year, Dofus's revamp and more.

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Episode 117 Discussion Thread

'I want my Conan!' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2008-05-12 07:32:45 CST
All I have to say is that I am so anticipating the release of Conan. I have pre-ordered the game through the Virginworlds, Amazon link and look forward to riding around on my rhino!

However, I am creating a petition that will ask Funcom to limit the rhino's to 1 horn. I get so upset thinking that they are going to have two-horned rhinos. I am seething with audacious anger thinking that my proud mount will have that secondary pubescent little secondary horn.

I talk about the "Adult Theme" comment on my recent blog at: www.emeraldtablet.wordpress.com, and invite others to read my comments.

Troy
Travels with Troy



'Prudishness' by scytale2
Submitted on 2008-05-12 10:55:30 CST
Nudity - I guess it's a mixture of laddish behaviour and when they get what they ask for, they're not sure what to do with it! Many players have families and I'm guessing that UK and US dads have had a few red faces, when playing the Beta so far. The Scandinavians don't have much of a problem with it, but UK and US people clearly have severe hangups.

Congrats to Eve for providing some entertainment for all those aspiring administrative officers out there for 5 years.

Congrats to Playboy for being about ten years late into on-line worlds.

Lastly, Conan simply does not run on my PC. in fact it runs quite a lot worse than Vanguard does, so it will be interesting to see how it compares. If you do get Conan to run well and you find that it is not your type of game, then you could do worse than give Vanguard another try out.

Lastly comments on DDO. I have been playing it again after a year or so's break. It really is a lot of fun and the players are much more considerate than they were when it launched. There are still rushers who race through quests, but you can most of the time get people to slow down, if you've not done the quest before and people oblige. It is quite a nice community (in the EuroZone) and whilst it could have made more money as a Wow-clone, their decision to be different is synergistic with your view that Turbine(?) should make 10 x $4m MMOs, not 1 x $40m.

Also, re-D&D don't forget 4th edition is launching right now and I am certain that there will be a new D&D MMO launched around the new ruleset, which is so much more tailored to MMOs than 3.5. Mark my words:)



'Microtransactions' by scytale2
Submitted on 2008-05-12 19:17:05 CST
I hear once again that another game is being launched with microtransactions as its business model and I hear this is customer-focused, becasue it means that people can pay as little or as much as they like. While this may well be the case, there is a flaw in the argument - you might actually want to play the game more than you can afford to spend.

The other easier to grasp argument is that it discriminates against players who have less money and is this not the whole reason why goldfarming is being demonised?

Instead of microtransactions, I would suggest what is required is a tiered system. Essentially you would pay for how much processing power or bandwidth that you might potentially use up. For instance, in WoW, you might pay a basic fee for combat, questing and levelling, a bonus cost for PvP, more for access to raid content, more for crafting. Thus, if you don't enjoy a particular aspect, then you don't have to pay for it. The game writers will soon get a handle on where to invest their money, as players will tell them by paying for the areas they enjoy.



'Turbine!' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2008-05-12 23:26:22 CST
10 Games! Excellent idea! It would certainly be exciting!


'Seattle' by Jaxom92
Submitted on 2008-05-13 01:06:14 CST
It's too bad you're not able to attend. I mean, there's all the game related stuff of course, but we're supposed to get 80+ weather here in Seattle on Thursday. There's no place in the world like Seattle/the northwest when the weather is nice like that.


'Whats wrong with two horns???' by Floss
Submitted on 2008-05-13 01:32:12 CST
Troy, 3 of the 5 species of Rhino have two horns, so I guess Funcom went with the majority.

I will give AoC a shot but I have the feeling it is going to suffer from the "uncanny valley" effect for me, much as LotR did :-(

I have, ofcourse, assumed my PC is ninja enough to run it. Which is maybe not a good idea.



'Well.. ' by Luper
Submitted on 2008-05-13 03:44:54 CST
Personally, I'd like to see one good game rather than 10 sub-par games, but that is just my opinion.

The nudity in MMOs doesn't really bother me, but at the same time I don't think it really helps with the whole immersion/ RP aspect of games. Unless, you think about that world as welcoming that type of behavior. I guess it can be acceptable. It must be a guy thing. I have always thought you shoudl keep your video games and your pron separate. ^_^ Hehe, but I can see where some people would enjoy both of them together.

Anywho, I am thinking about trying AoC at some point, but not sure whether I want to or not. We'll just have to see. Vanguard is keeping my attention so far. Not to mention with my station pass I can play PlanetSide, etc.

~Luper the Dragonslayer (Voyages of Vanguard Co-Host)



'Happy Birthday EVE' by Token
Submitted on 2008-05-13 05:37:04 CST
10 games being made simultaneously, sounds like Aeria games to me and I wouldn't waste 5 minutes of my life-force on that crap.


'Assumption' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2008-05-13 14:19:53 CST
Luper and Token, your statements are somewhat presumptive. Is there any reason that the 10 games, while more limited in scope, need necessarily be "sub par?" We might end up with a couple of of the 10 that would end up being great ideas that could be expanded further.

When a company plows all their resources into a single game, that game had better be a winner, which means tending towards conservatism. With 10 potential futures, a company could go wild with a few and maybe break new ground.

The Aerea comparison is also not apt, as that is end used created content, which I must admit, does not have much of a draw when it comes to my own life force either. We're talking about 10 games made by people who do this for a living and who might have some ideas that a company could not afford to back with their whole bankroll.



'Short games' by scytale2
Submitted on 2008-05-13 14:46:17 CST
I agree, Wilhelm, very much. Also think that sometimes you might buy a videogame, play it for three weeks, enjoy it, but then put it in the box, never to come out again. Why not have MMOs which are fun but have less content, but attract lots and lots of players for limited timescales?

Imagine lots of niche market games, geared around the stories of books. The Bladerunner videogame was a lot of fun and it would not be so hard to convert to an MMO, where people can experience the environment, do a bit of combat and solve a few puzzles with their mates, do a bit of roleplay or make new on-line mates.

Travels with Troy podcast is very much about a person who likes to try different things in short bursts and I am certain there is a market for these, which can be just as social as a long-term juggernaut MMO, like WoW.



'Assumption' by Token
Submitted on 2008-05-13 18:56:52 CST
My post came off more harsh than intended. I simply hate Korean games and that was the image being conjured up, to me anyway. If for example Planetside was made for 3 million I'd say great lets have 9 more amazing games like that please Sony.


'Hey, I can have my own opinion.' by Luper
Submitted on 2008-05-13 19:53:04 CST
I didn't make any assumptions at all. I made a statement of my opinion. I'd rather see someone put all their time and money into one fabulous game. I'm sure if they thought of 10 games that some of them would turn out great, but I, personally, would rather see one great game.

In my experience, when one's attention is spread among many ideas, they can get easily distracted and go a bit too far or sometimes not deep enough. It's best to focus on one task at a time, even though we homosapiens think we can multi-task.

It's an opinion that I can hold. Don't try to down grade it. ^_^

~Luper the Dragonslayer (Voyages of Vanguard Co-Host)



'Assumptions are what they are' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2008-05-13 23:44:22 CST
You said:

" I'd like to see one good game rather than 10 sub-par games"

That is an opinion based on the assumption that putting all of a companies resources behind one project will automatically produce a better game than if they split their resources into 10 projects. You cannot know that to be fact, so it is an assumption.

(If you do know it to be fact, share your secrets already!)

You can certainly hold that opinion. I don't necessarily disagree with it either. It depends on the company in question. Some companies can do many projects at once quite successfully, others get lost with more than one.

But it is my gut feeling that we won't see innovation from a $40 million MMO project. That usually comes from small studios or small projects.



'Assumptions based on opinion.. hehe' by Luper
Submitted on 2008-05-14 17:33:48 CST
Aren't all opinions based on past experiences and assumptions? It is still an opinion, and as you've said, I'm entitled to it.

Like I've said, in the past, I have always seen that focusing on one project usually turns out better. Anyways, I would still check them out even if there were 10 of them.

~Luper the Dragonslayer (Voyages of Vanguard Co-Host)



'Large investments attract risk averse strategies' by scytale2
Submitted on 2008-05-14 19:26:35 CST
I think you missed Wilhelm's point, Luper. He is saying that the mere fact of spending huge amounts of cash means that you need to play things safe, which stifles innovation. Innovation is risky. If one could regard $4m as a small amount of money, then one might be prepared to lose it on a groundbreaking new MMO.


'Bipolar?' by Meaninglesscog
Submitted on 2008-05-15 04:10:54 CST
Brent, what makes you think the same people that were complaining about the lack of nudity previously are the same ones getting this petition together to be able to turn it off?

This is like saying that this country is bipolar because we have two (major) political parties...





'Missed? No' by Luper
Submitted on 2008-05-15 04:59:40 CST
I didn't miss his point, Scytale2. ^_^ I just simply stated that it was my opinion. I understand there are risks. Developers take risks no matter what type of game they invest in. Investing money in anything is a risk, especially if you don't know what the outcome will be. Risk.. that's no excuse. That's the whole point of investing money. One takes a risk with hopes of something great coming out of the money.

Even though Brent had made an assumption that "the same people that were complaining about the lack of nudity previously are the same ones getting this petition together to be able to turn it off," I think that people should have the option, and as long as they have an option things will be okay. I don't nec. want nudity in games myself, but if that is what customers want, developers are going to find some way to allow it. Giving other customers who dont want this type of game graphically an option to turn it off is a fabulous idea whether it is for the people who asked for the nudity in the first place or not. Catering to one type of player is never a good idea. Trying to allow as many customers the enjoyment of ones game is what being a game developer is all about. Customer satisfaction, ftw. =)



'bipolar' by Brent
Submitted on 2008-05-16 19:15:31 CST
bipolar: characterized by opposite extremes, as two conflicting political philosophies

I never said or meant that the same people were arguing for opposing sides of the nudity argument. I believe I said, the country is bipolar - meaning that this country has an almost ridiculous amount of extremists on virtually any topic you can pick. In this case, lots of attention is paid to boobs, while on the other hand, plenty of people cover their mouths and say "oh for shame".



'My post was meant to be dry humor' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2008-05-16 19:47:16 CST
I should have made my petition pun with more of spin. Twas meant to be a dry bit of humor!

Troy
Travels with Troy