Exciting News All Around

Wow, yesterday was an overload of new happenings in games and lots of excitement came out of it. I’ll be making a post later about Free Realms now that the NDA has lifted (I have to jump on the bandwagon after all!) and if you’re looking for me in game you can find me as Stephanie Stardream – though both people DO have to currently be online in order to friend them.

Also, housing has gone to the test server in Wizard 101! I have really been looking forward to this. Even though I don’t play Wizard 101 as much as I’d like, I still dive in a few times a month and find it a great casual game when you’re looking for a bit of a break from your ‘main’ MMO. Plus it’s perfect for families and who doesn’t enjoy that.

Now, the main bit of news I’d like to focus on at least for this post is the new user generated content coming to EverQuest II! If you haven’t heard of it yet, be sure to check out the blog post made by Rothgar yesterday on the EQ2 dev blog. Basically this will allow players to write their own books in game, pick an appearance for them, and even make copies of them. They will be tradeable and you can put them on the broker.

This will be an amazing feature for people on role play servers to start. I’m absolutely excited about what people will come up with on those servers in specific where everyone has a tale to tell. I think the idea of collecting volumes of player-made books is fantastic. Lets say you’re an author in real life and you want to promote these little books in game, you could develop a whole marketing scheme for them. Now, I have no idea if this would take off on servers OTHER then the role play ones to any great degree. But housing enthusiasts and book lovers can certainly be found everywhere.

There’s also ascii art you could fill the pages with. Poems for friends, Christmas gifts, your own personal Norrathian stories. You could write guides for players in game, leveling guides, how to make money, a method of gaining achievement points, LOTS of things could be written within these pages for players to enjoy. Dungeon guides even if your character is perhaps an adventurer who explores the deep caverns and writes about what they discover. You could collect rare issues of books from players who left the game since their names are written as the author. You could try to convince devs or guides or GM’s to hold events where you could win a one of a kind book created by them.

Obviously my own personal excitement is pretty high. I’m all for making MMO worlds more personal and involving the players in such a way that they become a part of the world itself. Vanguard has this to some degree by allowing players to purchase actual plots of land in the game (no instances) CoX has this with their new user created missions (If I played I’d certainly be all over it).

Of course, there are down sides. As Tipa pointed out, what about gold sellers. Will they just mail you books filled with links to plat farming sites and spam. The books are created by crafters and I’m not sure what level you have to be or what sort of a hassle that may be. Until it goes live there’s no way to really tell if this will become a valid method of promoting gold sales. Also, what about those naughty books that people decide to write. There’s no real way to sensor a player written book – and I don’t think there should be. Sure, you’ve got the choice to read it or not, but do you really want 100 books of how to mate with an ogre covering the broker? Well, actually, maybe you do.

In any case, I think this is a fantastic idea.

On the down side, the next post after the announcement of these wonderful books, is the Research Assistants who are going to help you learn your master spells. I dislike this idea, a lot. I think it’s just another method of dumbing down the game, to just hand out master spells to players after an amount of time has passed for the NPC’s to “research” it for you. While you may think to yourself “well, YOU don’t have to take advantage of it then!” it will be far too easy to be left behind if you don’t have your master spells when it comes to groups and raids. On the Kithicor server there’s already a very high bar set for players. If you don’t meet a certain quota you’re excluded from a lot of going-ons. It only takes an hour or two in 70-79 to see what direction most people seem to head, every “LF” (looking for) message is followed by “must be mythical” “must have such and such gear” “must not suck”. One of the issues with the server that makes  me wish server transfers were free again for a short while.

Game wise last night was pretty relaxing. My trio did Crypt of Agony which was fairly painless, we also did Obelisk (no, the shield still has not dropped) and Nocbot managed to get a few levels and some aa. It wasn’t one of the busiest days in game but it was still lots of fun and I think everyone had a good time. This weekend I believe we’re attempting to get Nocbot to 80 (he’s sitting at 76 I think) so that he can get started on his epic. I also want to finish harvesting on my mystic, so I can start her epic as well as my illusionist’. We’ll see how that goes!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thursday in the mean time!

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4 Comments

  1. Seamus

    Prezzer its called NWN, and there are persistent worlds for it.

    I have to disagree with you on the assistants. For one thing its been stated that end game Masters will take at least a month to research and you can only work on one per account. So no, Masters won’t be flooding the game. This goes for low levels as well, leveling is so fast that it’s not going to worth ‘researching’ many Masters or even Adept III’s.

    When I was more active, just re-upped, there were classes that simply could not obtain their class defining Masters even if they were willing to pay hundreds of plat. I’m thinking of pet classes in particular.

    As for the bar set for grouping, that has already been set as you pointed out. Making a maximum of one Master a month available to one toon isn’t going to change this behavior which is common to all MMO’s. This behavior is due to the nature of MMO’s which is primarily about constantly obtaining new superior gear.

  2. I love the idea of the books. It’s a great way to leverage the online community – one of the reasons I love EQ2 is that there are so many non-combat things to in the world.

    I have to disagree with you about Research Assistants though. I think it would be a great system; I actually think real time based advancement is a good mechanic, not as a replacement for questing and so on, but as something that augments it. This system (and I’m referring to it generically because in the future they will be adding trainers for other things like harvesting skills, weapon skills, defense, etc.) is especially useful for skilling up an alt that may have fallen behind (the assistants help one character per account). So I can have the assistants work on improving an alt while I focus on my main (which is more likely to be desired).

    And if I wanted to train my main, I’d most likely be going after masters, and since those are expected to take in excess of a month, if I set my assistants to work on that, they would in essence act as a sort of reward for subscribing; people who pop in for a month here and there wouldn’t be able to benefit from them.

    Certainly, there needs to be balance – EQ2 would certainly not work as a game if the majority of its skills and spells were obtained in real time a la Eve Online. But there’s definitely a place for a little real-time-advancement in my mind.

  3. stargrace

    It is a start!

  4. For a brief, shining moment there I thought you were going to say a mission-creating editor was coming to EQII! Ah well, one day the true online D&D dream will live… :)

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