Monday, December 22, 2008

2009 Gaming Predictions

Since I fancy myself a pundit of games, it's that time of year to make predictions. "You're a pundit?!" you might exclaim? Well, I said I fancy myself a pundit. But since everyone else who's worked in the gaming industry seems to be doing it, I'll sheeple along and make my predictions:

1. BIizzard still dominates the MMO market
This is a gimme. Need I say more?

2. NetDevil's Jumpgate Evolution makes space MMO's cool again.
JGE, fueled by a lot of word of mouth and a heroic last minute marketing blitz, takes off like a...well.. spaceship. Sadly, while the game is sound, after the newness wears off, players will be sucked back into the WoW blackhole.

3. SOE will close Everquest.
I know, I'm a heretic for even suggesting it. But, with the economy the continueing into it's downward spiral, SOE will close down EQ to focus on EQ2.

4. Warhammer 40k announces it's website, complete with trailers, screen shots and concept art. Then vanishes.
Damn you economy!

and finally...

5. EA will actually have an original ground breaking game idea this year.
Even blind pigs find an acorn once in a while.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SOE stole my childhood

I've been back in Norrath for a few weeks now, and let me just say, it's a whole new game. I'm sure this is probably old news to you guys, but I've not played in a while so it was interesting to see what new things SOE came up with. I played around with the Mercs a bit, and I found they're not a bad idea. Us casters (I play a dwarf cleric on Luclin) can have a hard time soloing. But with a tank in my pocket, it makes it easier to do something useful while waiting for groups, or when I just have an hour or two to kill while the twins are down for a nap.

The other night, I discovered something. I was in Crypt of Decay in a PUG doing my cleric deal. Toss a nuke, have a seat. Throw a heal, have a seat. It's habit. When I first started playing my cleric, mana management was supremely important. Sitting between casts ment you were regenning your mana, and you were only breaking that when you cast a spell. It also meant you paid *very* close attention to which spells you cast, and how they would affect your party. Some groups pulled so fast all you could do was pop off heals med back the mana, and barely have time to pop off another heal. It was fast paced, it was exciting, the xp flowed and the group felt alive and giddy.

Today, sitting between casts does *nothing*. You don't regen mana at an increased rate until 30 seconds (or something like that) after a fight. So if you need mana, you sit out a fight.

I think EQ just got dumbed down to the average WoW players level. WoW is a good game for what it is. It's pretty easy, and doesn't require you to really focus intenesly on it, like EQ *did*.

And now, Station Cash. One can buy XP potions.

SOE, you killed "My" EQ. All I'll ever have left is the memories.