I’ve been encouraged lately by the thought that even though the world of game design has, on the whole, proven stubbornly resistant to learning from its mistake (mainly due to a collective memory that makes an ADHD ant appear to be a fount of oracular wisdom) some improvement is nevertheless possible. I’ve been quite impressed with the Bioware’s preparations to try and ensure that the launch of the massively hyped Star Wars: The Old Republic will not be an unmitigated disaster.
Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’
Tags: Bioware, Electronic Arts, Guild, Massively multiplayer online game, MMORPG, star wars, Star Wars: The Old Republic, SWTOR
Tags: college, csl, education, emergence, online relationships, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Starcraft II
There’s not really anything like it, every Saturday I get to go to one of our computer lab classrooms, jump around and yell excitedly about Blizzard Entertainment’s Starcraft II. This is CSL, the Colligate Starleague, founded by Mona “Hazelynut” Zhang over at Princeton University. It started in 2008 and has since has grown into over 240 schools competing around the country. About a year ago, my roommate, GenerallyAwesome, and I founded the George Washington Unviserity CSL team and ended up doing marginally well in the competition. Since, we’ve passed it off to enterprising young sophomores and then returned to our peaceful lives. GenerallyAwesome still competes regularly, and I go to be enthusiastic and get people excited because I’m actually pretty terrible.
The most important part about setting up any kind of offline organization like this is courage. As many of us are painfully aware, the impression is that online gaming isn’t one of the most popular things to be doing and so gathering offline to game and hang out isn’t something a lot of gamers will feel comfortable jumping right into. I felt a lot of this when we were setting up our team (GenerallyAwesome didn’t, he doesn’t care), but I remembered the immortal words of Starcraft II commentator and personality Sean “Day” Plott: Love what you love and show that you love it, people will understand and love you for it. If you are unafraid of what you do and show courage in loving it, people will see that and those that love it too will show more courage themselves.
Tags: Arenanet, Bioware, EVE, Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2, NCSoft, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Star Wars: Galaxies, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Tabula Rasa, The Old Republic
In a recent developer blog, Colin Johanson, Lead Content Designer for Guild Wars 2 asserts that their new dynamic content system will fundamentally change the MMORPG genre:
MMOs have become extremely popular, but the genre has done little to evolve over the past decade. Generally MMO players explore an unchanging, persistent game world, leveling up by performing quests which do not change the world in any way once completed. It’s time for the genre to take the next step, and explore the idea of a truly dynamic, living, breathing persistent world where the player’s actions really make a difference, and everything that occurs in the game world has cause and effect.
I’ve really been enjoying the Guild Wars 2 developer blogs. I like the use of the cartoon strips to poke fun at some of the hoary practices of traditional MMOs (in the blog providing an overview of the combat system, for example, players are all set to pitch into a bar fight but then are reduced to standing around trying to calculate their relative damage and attack stats; I wept bitter tears of recognition). The GW2 developers’ analysis of the problems with current MMOs is considered and, for the most part, accurate. The design they are proposing in response sounds great; everything about it (with the unfortunate exception of it being set in a fantasy realm, but I could possibly suck it up and deal with that) sounds like exactly the kind of game that I would love to play.
However, I don’t have a lot of faith that this kind of game will prove sufficiently popular to last very long.