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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 #48
Sun, 14 Jan 2007 09:51:00 GMT [download/play]



Topics for the week: James Cameron and Avatar, Entropia Universe, Guild Wars, Final Fantasy XI, Spellborn, StrayBullet Games, Vanguard, World of Warcraft, The Noob Experiment and Profile of the Week.
 
Thanks to Urban Mongral and Jenny for the special segments.
 
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, and many many more. The main site can be found at http://www.VirginWorlds.com


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Episode 48 Discussion Thread

'Made me laugh' by Dathmar
Submitted on 2007-01-14 11:41:15 CST
The Noob Experiment :
When your wife said about you saying that you will be 5 mins and coming back hours later....
Exactly the same as me and my wife...
BTW: Do you think your wife might play MMOs after this.....I know I have tried the same - in the attempt to have a regular "gaming" partner.
Hasn't worked yet.



'The TONG' by Sente
Submitted on 2007-01-14 13:30:50 CST
Yep, nice section with your wife starting to play some games, good luck with getting her into it ;)

It reminds me of two articles on The Older Gamers web site (not sure if non-members can read them though):

Part 1 - Dating the TONG: http://www.theoldergamers.com/component/option,com_magazine/func,show_article/id,105/Itemid,31/

Part 2 - Married to the TONG: http://www.theoldergamers.com/component/option,com_magazine/func,show_article/id,123/Itemid,31/

(TONG = The Older Non-Gamer)




'Left the Tedium out?' by Celestian
Submitted on 2007-01-14 16:08:08 CST
I've been in VG Beta since P2 and what tedium did they remove? The resting for mana is about it. The long travel times, the corpse recoveries (now at level 7+) and no instances resulting in a ton of fighting over spawns and nameds... thats the tedium I'd like to see removed.

Good luck with your new job!



'Synchronicity' by hughnme
Submitted on 2007-01-14 17:25:22 CST
Hi Brent,
Another terrific podcast, I must say the standout bit for me was the Noob experiment because it echo’s what I’m going through at the moment and I sympathise with Jenny’s confusion tackling new stuff.
I started playing EQ2 on the weekend for the first time and even though I’ve played a couple of mmo’s I found it a bit of a challenge to figure out some of the newbie island stuff, even after doing a ton of reading on the forums.
At least half the time I have spent has been figuring out how the whole necromancer thing works (admittedly I usually always play fighter types so I made it a bit harder I guess)
The whole crafting/gathering/mining ect seems complicated; the manual from the box is out of date, as well as some other niggles.
Another thing Jenny mentioned is the whole time compression thing, I tried (and failed) to sneak into bed after midnight after thinking I’d only played for an hour.
I look forward to hearing how your wife fares in EQ2, better than me I hope



'P.S' by hughnme
Submitted on 2007-01-14 18:26:27 CST
Hey Sente, Nice to see a fellow toger here as well

:)



'Loved it' by vcn3wb05
Submitted on 2007-01-15 00:28:24 CST
Great podcast again, Brent. I really liked the Noob Experience section... it was pretty funny and entertaining as well. Keep them comin!


'Jenny 4tw!' by Floss
Submitted on 2007-01-15 08:40:20 CST
Great cast. I especially liked the N00b Experiment with your good lady reviewing WoW, totally excellent!

More of Jenny and her voices please.

Looking forward to Jenny's EQ2 review as I've being thinking about trying that one out for a wee while.

PS.Gratz on the new "less boring" job.



'Jenny pwnz0rz' by Shawn
Submitted on 2007-01-15 10:37:14 CST
Well, I wanted to rush on here and tell you how awesome that Noob Experiment segment was, but its good to see several others beat me to it. I was thinking of doing something like this myself as I recently got a non-MMO friend hooked on Guild Wars. I was taking notes on her progress to make a Complete Beginner's Guide to Guild Wars.

Anyway, it was really cool to hear you and your wife interact, I look forward to more of that on future shows.



'Great show' by Joel
Submitted on 2007-01-15 15:07:51 CST
Loved the show man. I, like everyone else it seems, loved the segment with your wife. I think its brilliant; when most other shows are looking to interview the people who are most knowledgeable about whatever aspect of the game they are reviewing you took the less obvious route... lets see the games from a fresh perspective. And its a perspective we all shared as well... we were all nubs once (or twice even). Brilliant stuff and I cant wait to see her take on the other MMORPGs.


'.' by Sanctified
Submitted on 2007-01-15 17:20:26 CST
You shouldnt expose your wife to MMO nerds.


PS - Great show.



'You should of made her play EvE' by Azzurri
Submitted on 2007-01-15 17:41:44 CST
That would of been some interesting podcasting. If EvE is difficult for a more experience MMO player, I wonder how someone like your wife would like.


'/boggle' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-01-15 19:52:43 CST
Azzurri you 'should of' [sic] listened more closely. Eve is coming up in a few weeks.


'Poor me' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-01-15 20:00:22 CST
After nearly 50 shows, my wife comes on and steals my thunder eh? I'm glad everyone likes the idea for the segment. Should prove interesting as it goes on.


'opps' by Azzurri
Submitted on 2007-01-15 20:41:13 CST
I thought she had to pick out of those. Didn't know if it was one of the ones she "is" going to play.


'Some notes for Noob section' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-01-16 06:03:22 CST
Thumbs up to Brent on the idea for this part of the programme. I'm not sure how you can love someone and then submit them to EVE On-line, but let's not pre-judge:)

Just a comment on the purpose of this section, which you haven't really elaborated on and it's always handy to get a fix on this, so here's my thoughts:
a) Some feedback from someone untarnished by the genre - an MMO "Virgin" as it were. This "one person" experiment doesn't really hold water statistically, but it's interesting all the same. Jenny has already hinted at some of the genre deficiencies and its "testosterone" bias
b) A "gauging" of the "user-friendliness" of the MMOs out there
c) A female overview on the various types of MMO - Fantasy, SciFi, Sandbox/Linear, Game/AlternateWorld from a slightly anti-MMO perspective. Gives some insight as to the possible market from the "Marie-Claire" afficionados - no criticism intended or implication of Marie-Claire purchase:)
d) A bit of an insight into what might change women's perspective on on-line gaming from someone who has avoided playing for many years, whilst having the opportunity.

A few tall orders there.

I realise you are a bit restricted there, Brent, but EQ2 is really no different from WoW in most respects. I would have liked Jenny to try SWG and DDO. SWG has recently become much more "noob-friendly" is more Sandboxy and DDO is a much more social game than most, especially with its unusual gameplay. Also, Guild Wars would be quite fun to analyse, if you focused on the PvP element alone, starting with L20 characters.



'RE: Some notes' by Sanctified
Submitted on 2007-01-16 06:44:15 CST
She'll be trying EQ2 so she can make a fae and be hooked on MMOs. Im on to your scheme Mr Brent.

...and who would love someone and subject them to DDO and SWG?



'Game Design 101 in the making' by potshot
Submitted on 2007-01-16 14:48:18 CST
Love the Noob Experiment and really looking forward to seeing how it develops. There are many lessons here for any designer who may be willing to listen and interested in expanding the player base.

Even consciously thinking about what constitutes a good noob experience, I overlooked most of what Jenny noted as early barriers to getting into the game. Critical points to be addressed if other "entry level" games are to be successful.

Good job Brent and Jenny. Can't wait for the final take away.



'We're all warriors' by twistah
Submitted on 2007-01-17 03:07:11 CST
Hey !

Again a very good show. I, as many here already, must compliment you and your wife on a fresh and interesting take on MMOs with the "noob section" of the show.

A very interesting observation of Jenny was the fact that almost every MMOs out there involves a lot of killing. Even though there are separate classes most MMOs, even a priest have to kill stuff to get ahead. ("Thou shall not kill", remember?)
In a sence we're all warrios. How about a MMO that dont involve killing for a change ? (not counting Second life)

Pål
Norway



'Non-violent MMO' by darrenl
Submitted on 2007-01-17 10:16:09 CST
Twistah...there was one non-violent MMO in the works last year called Seed. it was a pure role playing game with politics, role-playing etc. They ran out of money before it could hit the market. Brent probably knows more.

I personally think that an MMO without combat would not fly. My reasons for this are varied and range from human nature to the expectations of gamers..but there you have it.

D



'RE: Non-violent MMO' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-01-17 11:09:01 CST
As you will see from my previous posts, I feel that the world is crying out in triplicate for a non-viloent MMO. Most of the manufacturers simply don't know how to make one and so they rely on "tried and tested" for their daily bread.

The issue that gamers want combat is just plain silly. Some of the best and most successful games have not included combat, the best example of which is "The Sims". Add SimCity and all the Tycoon series, then add Populous and Black and White and even the latest Guild2, where there is minimal combat. Ok, FPS games rely on combat but some of us don't play these games because that's all they are about. Also it's very interesting that Vanguard has invested so much effort in its Diplomacy quests (for every race), which do not include combat.

I played SEED for about 15 minutes and found it to be unusual but extremely unfinished. It wasn't a game that you could base any policy on. Even "The Sims On-line" needs better execution for it to realise its potential.

And lastly, why oh why is Second Life getting so much media attention if it's not for the fact that it's not about killing?



'True' by darrenl
Submitted on 2007-01-17 11:19:30 CST
/agreed scytale2

however, you take away combat and some other negative model of human behavior has got to take its place...its just the Ying and Yang of things.

In Sims, people will starve their Sim...just for fun. In Black and White, god players will strike their worshipers down with lightning or throw them 200 miles into the sea. My point is that there must always be an "evil" side to the gameplay to balance out the good side, at least there should be for adults. I don't particularly think any of us would really want to play My LIttle Kitty Adventures.

Will there ever be a non-violent MMO. Yes there will, and I'd like to see it, but expect something to take its place.



'Non-violent' by twistah
Submitted on 2007-01-17 12:20:11 CST
I didnt really mean a non-violent game. But the fact remains that essencially every class must be violent to advance in such games.

The could always be a ongoing conflict but i see room for a non-violent class of some sort aswell.

Pål
Norway



'Non-violent games' by Sente
Submitted on 2007-01-17 13:08:28 CST
A Tale In The Desert has been running for a while now and that one has no combat.

In the old SWG you had a number of professions which could advance without doing a single fight. You have the Korean dance and golf "MMOs". There was one also in Korea which I saw when I was there, which was pretty much a "city life" MMOG as far as I could tell, can't remember the name.

As for the need to have "evil", I do not necessarily believe you will have evil acts, but if you in a game can cross boundaries and do things you could not do in real life, then people will try that out. And there should be some elements like that, but would not necessarily have to be considered evil/bad.




'toontown' by hughnme
Submitted on 2007-01-17 16:32:19 CST
Disney has done Toontown online,7.5 rating at mmorpg.com,its not bad acording to some,me,i cant wait for age of conan...blood and guts....


'The 2nd Noob experiement' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-01-18 14:10:35 CST
After performing and recording this coming weekend's Noob Experiment these topics became even more pronounced. Violence in MMOs is perhaps too prevalent while story lacks entirely. Something tells me my wife would be far more engaged by a game like Dreamfall, or even KotOR than she is by the grind that is immediately introduced by MMOs. The part of MMOs that seems the most engaging for non-warrior types is the exploration of the land itself.


'Noob Experiment' by Juliothom011170
Submitted on 2007-01-18 14:37:00 CST
This has easily been my favorite podcast to date. I'm looking forward to seeing how your wife likes the Costume Generator in CoH.

My Wife doesn't play, but she has helped me design several costumes for my many, many alts.

I thoroughly enjoy your podcast, as I feel confident (except when MOG Army is around) that I can play it in the background when my 4 year old is around without cringing. Keep up the good work.



'Urban Mongral's Vanguard review was spot on...' by sifo
Submitted on 2007-01-18 14:46:10 CST
I really enjoyed Urban Mongral's Vanguard review. I thought it was right on. Vanguard is not very good as it stands... not terrible, just not good. The scenery looks beautiful but there is just something 'not right' to me as far as the character models go. I hope they can get some things optimized before launch. I think EQ2 is the best out there for my money at this time. Great show, thanks!


'VirginWorlds is Toddler-safe' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-01-18 14:57:14 CST
Juliothom... yes, it is 4-year-old safe and always will be unless I give you a dramatic warning at the top of the show (1 in 50 chance of that that happening each year.) I think Jenny will really dig the CoH costumes... so much so that she may not spend any time actually playing.

Sifo .... agreed. It is so much better than many MMOs just isn't quite up to our expectations... yet. I also agree with you on EQ2... today it is probably the best overall MMO running. (See, that's how one goes about painting a target on their back.)



'Vanguard - Still not very good' by UrbanMongral
Submitted on 2007-01-20 17:26:53 CST
Thanks for your kind comments Sifo

Vanguard continues to be unimpressive. The more I play of it the more I feel its just WOW with a few features bolted on (and insane system requirements). I think one of the main reasons for WOW's huge numbers was that you could play it on anything, even a budget machine with integrated graphics cards.

Vanguard system requirements preclude anyone who willing to spend large amounts of money on their PC. In fact the only people who do spend that kind of money are the hardcore gamers. The question then is, how many hardcore are not going to subscribe to play a game straight from the WOW mould which has almost no innovation whatsoever?

I think a lot of the problem is that 2006 was such a dire year for new MMO's that everyone’s expectations were unrealistic, still Vangwuard’s release is not IMHoO an auspiciohus start to 2007.

Thanks for letting me on the show and keep up the good work Brent



'UrbanMongrel a bit negative' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-01-20 21:32:04 CST
Machine specs aside, which are a 300lb gorilla for Vanguard, I think it is a very good game, at least as good as WoW or EQ2.

The classes are distinctive and creatively developed, the scenery is breathtaking in some areas, the crafting is excellent and realistic and the combat is similar to WoW and time will tell whether it is as engaging.

In particular the quests are interesting and story-orientated. I also felt enthused to actually read the quests, so they must be quite accessible, which puts them ahead of competitors.

So overall I think your take was not correct. Vanguard has a very healthy future ahead of it. It is the only game that stands a hope of stealing a lot of WoW's market share and had I a decent PC I would have found it almost as enjoyable as I am finding the Burning Crusade, if not more so.

With no optimisation, though, it will sink like a stone imho.



'I think its not bad.' by Dathmar
Submitted on 2007-01-21 18:09:19 CST
"With no optimisation, though, it will sink like a stone imho."
That is exactly how I feel about Vanguard - I like the game but find it reasonable unplayable in some areas...manily in area's with more than 10 PC / NPCs gathered together.
It just needs to be optimised..
I am playing another beta(NDA still) and that looks amazing (although the character textures look more like WOW close up) and I can run that on my PC at the top setting and it goes like "sink" - on the same PC with the lowest settings in Vanguard I drop to 15-20 FPS in populated areas and runs really jerky.
I can put up with Qeynos Harbour / Ironforge lag...but when it means I die in cobat because of it - its something that ruins the game for me.
Having said all this in the last 20 days the performance has got better in the Vanguard beta - but not really in populated areas..