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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 #81
Sat, 4 Aug 2007 09:12:00 GMT [download/play]



VirginWorlds #81 covers the first day of SOE Fan Faire 2007 and the 2007 Summer Community Summit. Topics include:

- What is the Community Summit and what did we talk about
- What is going on at Fan Faire.
- SOE's new game: Legends of Norrath
- SOE's Free Realms
- SOE's 2007 Block Party Presented by Brenden

Enjoy.

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Episode 81 Discussion Thread

'~' by ktin
Submitted on 2007-08-04 10:15:45 CST
enjoyed the layout. top notch work , as usual.


'FreeRealms' by hallower
Submitted on 2007-08-04 15:09:21 CST
That one sounds pretty cool. I can't find it now, but after I listened to your podcast I stumbled onto a Gamasutra article with Smedley talking a little more about FreeRealms. He mentioned user-generated content and some sort of UI-creation software developed toward that end.

I'm still more excited about The Agency though.



'Everquest card game...' by sifo
Submitted on 2007-08-04 18:08:53 CST
At first I thought that the card game sounded really dumb... but after I heard that you didn't have to buy anything and can get a full deck in game I was intrigued. I look forward to checking it out.


'Woot!' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2007-08-04 20:24:29 CST
In-game card drops FTW!

ThoughI read in a follow up on MMOG Nation that the cards will be No Trade, so you won't be able to grind em for the broker.



'don't think so' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-08-04 22:09:32 CST
Based on the information I have Michael was misinformed on that point. Sounds like the cards will be tradeable with some exceptions on special rares.


'Money begats money' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-08-05 19:56:58 CST
It's a toss-up between a fantastic entertainment advance for those who enjoy MMOs AND card games or another symptom of globalisation, where only the big corporations can afford to create the best products. Having said that I doubt it will be long before the others copy it. And remember WoW was first with their Darkmoon Faire card drops...

I also think Bioware were in there early with their KOTOR game, which included a very good and strategic card game, as was FF XI with their in-game card game, which was kind of ok. So this is evolution, not revolution by Sony.

Comment on the FanFaire - it did seem rather fanboyish, despite your protestations. By bringing a whole bunch of "gamers" together, you do tend to get a slanted view of reality and I wonder how much research the Megacorp is doing on the utilisation of this MMO technology for the betterment of society, which they might get some perception of if they opened up such events to a broader spectrum of people.

Brendan's section was "sweet", as usual. I think he is the best interviewer on the "team" and nice to hear some positives about Vanguard again.



'no idea' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-08-06 00:19:55 CST
Not sure what the "Money begats Money" comment title is trying to indicate.

WoW did tackle this first, but of course, that was a physical card game, so its hard to even compare it to this I suppose.

I just listened to the show for the first time and I really couldn't figure out what was "rather fanboyish" about any of it and the comment about "a broader spectrum of people" is not clear. One thing that continues to amaze me about these gatherings is the vast cross section of RL that these people come from, and yet, they are all drawn together by a common love of MMORPG gaming. It is quite eye opening and refreshing. Teenagers, mothers, lawyers, programmers, sales people, executives... you name it and you'll find it among the gamers.

Most baffling of all: why does a fantasy or sci-fi diversion need to contribute to the betterment of society?



'Explanation' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-08-06 04:42:37 CST
To clarify:

Money begats money - essentially what I am saying is that his is not a new idea, but only SOE had the money and circumstance to put it into practice. WoW could (and should) have done it, but they take forever to do anything new, so we'll probably get it in 2009, with their 5 year development cycle. WoW's card game was physical, but their card drops were virtual (Darkmoon Faire) and could be traded in-game for items.

Well I am going to rest my case on the need for a broader spectrum of people to your comments in paragraph 2 and 3. I have raised this to you several times and you have never given it air time. Even my blog has been removed from your site, which explains this, although I am sure there are good reasons for this. The reason you have not given it what I feel it is due is that you see MMO purely as "leisure" or a "diversion", when I see it purely as a technology, where technology should be used optimally. To take the mobile phone analogy - let's just use it for meaningless gossip or gaming, not to create trade opportunities for the Third World.

Examples like http://www.villagethegame.com/ are projects with some social focus, yet a room full of pure gamers, who can think out of the box, but only in this genre, will exclude projects such as this, because they have no exposure to social enterprise.

Why does it need to contribute to the betterment of society? It doesn't, but I think most people would take a view to a greater or lesser extent that they exist on this earth not purely for their own or their family's objectives. VirginWorlds is a social enterprise, so clearly you have this in large measure. Many Americans see the suffering in the Third World and say "What can I do about it?" Well, there is a genuine marketing opportunity for Megacorps like Sony if they produce products which allow people to contribute, hence why they need these broader perspectives.



'your blog' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-08-06 11:10:46 CST
scytale2, I have been doing refreshes on the blog list and while I don't specifically remember removing yours (a number of people of told me that I lost some during a data conversion, which is true) I have noted that it hasn't been updated since February.

quote: "you see MMO purely as "leisure" or a "diversion"

This isn't 100% true (because I think about it even if I don't talk about it), but on the other hand this isn't the teranova blog either. Games first, virtual worlds second here at VirginWorlds.

Thank you for the clarification on your other points.



'Interesting' by Adele
Submitted on 2007-08-06 15:22:07 CST
Lots of info and news! That was great!


'Good Stuff' by Dathmar
Submitted on 2007-08-06 16:35:49 CST
Nice one Brent and Brenden.
you know I might even sub back to EQ2 again - just to have a look.
Also the Vanguard news is great - From 12 to 60 FPS
Even if it was half that in towns...I would be happy.

and the Agency
and Free Realms....
Seems SOE are certainly on the up and up.
I just hope and prey they don't put the Station Access price up again (if they don't I might even pay the $30 +tax)

Did you get any estimated release dates (that you can tell us) for the forthcoming games ?
The Agency,
Free Realms,
PotBS,
and
Gods and Heroes
?



'Re: forums are a privilege' by dak
Submitted on 2007-08-07 13:01:55 CST
Just a quick note about the constant refrain that “The forums are a privilege”. I know this is slightly "off the deep end" but it is related to that topic. This is one of my pet peeves about MMO's.

My first MMO was SWG and I played it devoutly,like so many others, up until the New Game Enhancements (NGE). Even before the Combat upgrade SWG saw massive changes to gameplay that were ONLY documented, by players, in the forums. After a few months from launch the manual was outdated and basically wrong about everything. It was completely impossible to gain a understanding about game mechanics without going searching the forums to read about the constant changes. There was no documentation by the developers to explain anything about changes outside of the forums. I feel it is completely inexcusable of the developers to rely on the player base to write the game manuals in this way. This may have improved in SWG since I moved on.

I totally agree and understand about the forums not being subject to free speech. However the game company needs to to ensure they have good documentation available to players in another medium.



'Documentation!' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2007-08-07 16:17:32 CST
Now there is a whole can of worms... a vast topic to explore!

Who in the MMO space is really doing documentation right? Who is doing a good job?

Sending people to the morass that is most game company forums does not qualify.



'Documentation and Web service' by Scott
Submitted on 2007-08-07 16:26:35 CST
Blizzard has done it better with WoW's website than any company before it with it's information and online services, yet it still falls short on the level of documentation I'd expect for an MMO.

Even in WoW's documentation the info is too "fluffy" and generalized or innacurate. With game patches or nerfs it can quickly change as well.

It's unfortunate that this area is left to the rabid fanbase to expose and document but that's how it's always gone, and I don't expect it to change.

How many of us have to pour over the forums for hours, or search google and fan sites before being able to commit to a in-game decision?

Mystery in design is great, but not at the cost of a 30gold respec, or losing a fight because your ability wasn't working as you read it to in the description.