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Role Playing (Games)

WoW, EQ2, SWG Content Updates 87

Several of the larger commercial MMOGs are gearing up for updates in the next few weeks. The Everquest 2 Producer's Letter details more quests and PvP news, SWG's Patch 19 has smuggler updates and animation fixes, and World of Warcraft lead producer Shane Dabiri offers up a Battleplan for your perusal. (N3rfed has some leaked patch notes, if you're so inclined.) From the WoW Battleplan: "Some of our upcoming plans have already been mentioned on our community site. For example, in our next major update, we will be releasing Blackwing Lair, a 40-person raid dungeon, where you will be able to battle against the epic dragon Nefarian and his minions. We are also working on a 20-person dungeon called Zul'Gurub, and the mysterious lands of Ahn'Qiraj in Silithus. Outside of dungeons, we want to continue adding new world events, such as a carnival that will take place in Mulgore and Elwynn forest."
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WoW, EQ2, SWG Content Updates

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  • WoW Expansion (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tyrsenus ( 858934 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @01:23PM (#12882301)
    WoW expansion just confirmed... []
    • Need to expand? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @01:42PM (#12882487)
      Why do companies always feel the need to start work on planning on an expansion before their current product is finished or to a point that can be considered mostly finished?

      Although it's a really good game, World of Warcraft isn't what I'd call finished, there are still a lot of glaring problems and annoyances that can ruin the otherwise wonderful gaming experience a person has when playing. For Blizzard to even think about working on an expansion or devouting any staff to it is a waste of time and counterproductive.

      Just like at how this has caused problems for Microsoft. They've started working on Longhorn thinking that they were done with Windows XP. However, nearly every month some design flaw or security hole is found which requires dozens of developers or coders to be reassigned to fix the problems in their current generation software. You could have two different teams, one for each project, but you still end up splitting your work force.

      Like Longhorn, the next generation software will only be delayed because there are too many problems with the current generation software to devout the entire company towards building the next. The project can't be delayed for ever and eventually needs a target release date. It's likely that it won't be on schedule, features will need to get left out, and in the end a lot of shoddy coding will be done to get the software out the door. Then the problem repeats.

      Software companies, Blizzard included, shouldn't be worrying about sequals or next generation software before they've got all the problems fixed. The article really doesn't give much information other than it's been announced (big surprise there), so it's difficult to say whether or not they're giving the project developement time. However, the temptation will most assuredly be there at some point.

      Hopefully they'll learn a valuable lesson where so many have gone wrong before, otherwise things just tend to get worse and worse as time goes on and the cycle repeats.

      • As a MSFT shareholder I would like to say that they better continue to think about future offerings regardless of the status of current offerings.

        In other words, please ignore the parent.
      • Re:Need to expand? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        There's a limit to how many programmers you can throw at a problem and receive any benefit. If you throw the optimal(or at least near-optimal) number of programmers at the current issues, why shouldn't you have a second separate team working on new unrelated code. With a sensible design so that new development can be kept sufficiently non-intertwined with the existing code, nothing short of a full scale design change due to a fundamental architecture bug would prove problematic, and you'd get the current
      • Why do companies always feel the need to start work on planning on an expansion before their current product is finished or to a point that can be considered mostly finished?

        Mostly because the majority of the gamers are getting what they deserve.

        For instance, Valve has launched HL2 & Counter-Strike for it. They are patching these new games AND still fixing/optimizing HL1/CS which is over 6 years old.

        What does Valve get for still doing work on that extremely old game? A HUGE punch in the fac
        • Re:Need to expand? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          There was an update for Starcraft a few months ago.
        • Re:Need to expand? (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Yeah, because it's not like Blizzard has kept patching old games like Starcraft and Diablo II for quite a long while like Valve has done with Half Life.

          Oh, wait a second. They have.
      • Hell, I've played since day one on WoW and I've not finished everything as Alliance and I've not played Horde yet.

        I've not done Strath Live, Scholo, URBS, MC, or Dire Maul yet at all. Not finished the Depths or Strath Undead.
        • You are definitely in the minority. I am by no means a power gamer, and I've done everything you listed with the exception of the last half of MC. We have gotten to Garr so far, but haven't beaten him.

          Come to think of it, I haven't finished Scarlet Strath yet either. I guess I should do that too. Right now I'm trying to get flagged for Onyxia so we can go steal her l00tz.

          I am hoping that this expansion comes just in time for me to finish everything and just when I'm getting tired of the current st
      • Re:Need to expand? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by illumin8 ( 148082 )
        Software companies, Blizzard included, shouldn't be worrying about sequals or next generation software before they've got all the problems fixed.

        I agree completely, but unfortunately, patches are free, and Expansion Packs make money... That's what it's all about really.

        Blizzard has the capability of simply adding new content in the form of patches. My god, the patches are already huge to begin with, and they need a BitTorrent client just to download them. Also, I think $14.95 a month * over 2 million
      • finished != perfect. I can't imagine who that those two where somehow synonyms when it comes to software. WoW is polished, can entertain you for at least 3 month and has a failure rate that is very acceptable. Uptime has been good for quite a while now, too. So yeah, I'd consider it done.
      • You realize that they're a business, right? Out to make money? An expansion is just a really, really big patch that you have to pay for. If the original game has imperfections, then that makes the expansion (which contains improvements, you realize) more desirable.

        Anyway, even if the Blizzard expansion pack was just a bunch of new zones, that would still be good to have at any time. There are lots of players (though I'm not one of these) whose biggest 'problem' with the game is that they've run out of cont
      • Your post should be rethought. Companies expand games because they need more content. If you don't add more content everyone leaves for a new game. Minor annoyances are fixed in weekly patches...which they have teams working on...content is developed and implemented to keep people interested and paying.
    • not true (Score:3, Informative)

      I don't see anything on either the IGN site or their "source" to confirm this. I'm certain they will release an expansion (it is the Blizzard MO) but this wasn't anything close to confirmation.
    • An many possibilities:

      a) Illidan & the Blood Elves return to Azeroth, cause trouble

      b) Third Invasion of the Burning Legion, trouble galore

      c) Lich King sends in major invasion force from Northrend, to aid Kel-Thuzzad(sp?) &/or kick much ass in the southern lands

      d) access to Quel'Thalas & Silvermoon, Ahn'Quiraj(sp?), Outland etc.
  • MMORPGs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nepheles ( 642829 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @01:25PM (#12882320) Homepage
    Why can't MMORPGs have user-modifiable, organically-growing worlds? It's pretty inefficient for a small group of developers to have to create everything: you're obviously never going to get the same level of detail (could they create something as detailed as even a typical small town?).

    By comparison, allowing players to construct buildings, create communities, etc., on randomly generated terrain would create a world with detail proportional to the number of players.

    I'd nearly play that game.
    • Re:MMORPGs (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cait Sith ( 34507 )
      two words: Second Life
    • Re:MMORPGs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @01:32PM (#12882393)
      They tried that, it was called Sims Online. Honestly, I wasn't sure how many S&M Brothels could be fit into one town was really a question that needed to be investigated, but TSO certainly made a good effort to try to answer the question.

      I hear Second Life is something of a better setup, but given I've only heard of it via /. I can't say it's been that successful.

      Or in a less glib manner, because allowing players to create content causes three issues.

      1. Who owns the content?
      2. Is the content suitable (both in quality and context)?
      3. And how do you facilitate content creation when most of the MMORPG's are based on systems that even the developers have to take multiple go's at a project before it's ready to even become public beta?
    • Re:MMORPGs (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In before Second Life reference.

      Also, in a game like EQ2 and WoW where player advancement is a major goal, allowing users to create their own content is just asking for trouble.
      • I think it could be done; the cost just needs to be made prohibitive.

        My suggestion, for WoW, at least, was the following:

        1. Permit construction almost anywhere, except for a few locations (Kazzak's Spawn, Dark Portal, Tainted Scar, etc. . .). Prefab components only.

        2. Rental costs start at a high base rate. Rental costs increase by a multiple of the area's traffic. Placing a house outside the main entrance to Orgrimmar (the main horde city) would be extremely expensive, on the order of thousands of gold
    • Re:MMORPGs (Score:3, Insightful)

      If you spent any time at all around the kind of people who play WoW and the like (myself included) you would know why these people (myself included) should never EVER be given the ability to modify the world to any significant degree.

      The phrase I like to apply to this idea pretty much sumarizes my reaction to any new and interesting technology.

      "the potential for mis-use is MINDBENDING".

    • Re:MMORPGs (Score:2, Interesting)

      I agree. It would be awesome to see them set up something that parallels the expansion into the American West in the 1800s. Imagine going somewhere, building a house, and trying to make it on your own with small groups of settlers; the social people who all live near each other become towns... then let the developers be in charge of creating stuff around the towns for the people to get into, such as quests or a gold rush or something... it could be like "Little House on the Warcraft" :P

      I would make it
      • Re:MMORPGs (Score:2, Informative)

        by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
        I think that concept harkens back to Ultima Online in the MMOPRPG world and probably some MUD before that.
      • That is, more or less, what they did with Star Wars: Galaxies. I can criticize nearly every single aspect of that game, but the way they handled player cities and the whole player run economy was quite nice.

        Unfortunately, credit duping and ridiculous overpayment for missions meant that nearly everyone was a multi-millionaire, at least amongst the first wave of players. I was nearly a billionaire (I think I racked up 850 million credits or so before I quit?) from selling armor and other merchanty things. Ad
        • The reason they made you run around is the same reason why Bliz won't let you skip a griffon ride in WoW: travel time eats up playtime. Players accomplish less on their time online and thus are more likely to play longer (I guess). To me the concept makes some sense in a devious way. But I would think that ultimately you'll have more people quit because of the annoyance.
          • The griffons aren't so bad - I don't have to wait 10 minutes for a griffon, with everyone spamming and generally trying to be amusing. Shuttle waits were agonizing in SWG.

            Even more agonizing was the fact that the ticket droids wouldn't take your ticket the first 2 or 3 times you'd click on it, and you'd often miss a shuttle because of that - requiring you to wait even more.

            Time sinks are one thing - but purposly abusing your players by making them run around in a tedious fashion using a truly borked syste
    • Re:MMORPGs (Score:2, Insightful)

      the problem with this is the quality of player produced content. Player building are an inherently bad idea since they require large empty areas to construct buildings in, the result would be wastelands of nothing but empty houses.

      Although building things and adding content creates a sense of accomplishment to the person doing the creating it rarely adds anything of any value to other player's experiences

      • the result would be wastelands of nothing but empty houses.

        Sounds like the perfect setting for yet another game set in a post-apocalyptic world! Players would then just run around blowing each other up, as usual...
      • I think this is due to the players lack of power, or utility. If you have a wow-like setting where you absolutly need NPCs to repair your stuff, give you quests and buy thrash off you, sure player housing wouldn't add much. What would it be like if everything you found would be useful for someone, somewhere (no vendor thrash), if everything you needed could be provided by players (blacksmiths could repair stuff i.e), and quests could be created by players as well? Now consider a ressource model that works m
    • Second Life is like that.

      You can go check it out; Parts of it are great, parts of it are very ugly.

      A Tale in the Desert is supposed to be similar, as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Suffice it to say that the World of Warcraft "battleplan" offers basically nothing that wasn't already known and fails to actually let anyone know what the actual battleplan is.

    People have been clamoring for information - real, useful information - on what Blizzard is planning for months now. Everyone knew Battlegrounds was coming. Blackwing's Lair has been on the table for ages. The other stuff mentioned is interesting, but not very helpful.

    Imagine if your mayor came in front of the citizens of his ci
    • imbalanced content (Alterac Valley Battleground favoring Horde unless Alliance exploits the Horde base)

      Care to give some linkage on this? Since I play horde on BoneChewer, I'd like to know exactly how my team sucked so much the last few times I've been in Alterac.
      • Being a (now ex) wow player who partook in many battlegrounds, the reason the horde normally "suck" is because alliance generally outnumbers them 2-1.

        I loved the idea of battlegrounds, and i honestly dont think the map itself innately leads to one side being superiour over the other (several stupid considerations aside, like the horde back door or the impenatrable alliance bridge).

        However, you cant win against superiour numbers. On my server, games often started 10-40 and got worse from there.

        Its like bl
        • I was in Alterac last night. Alliance was still maxed out with 40 players at 1 am.

          Horde had dwindled to 15. We had been making good progress, but it gets rough when you're that outnumbered. Playing defense all the time is really boring.
  • FFXI (Score:2, Informative)

    by falcon5768 ( 629591 )
    Has a new update adding chocobo racing along with a bunch of new quests comming mid July, and confirmed that another expansion is comming out as well.
    • There is an updated scheduled in mid-july, but I don't see any mention of choco racing. Can you post a link to a confirmed source for this? It's been rumored to be coming from the orginal english-beta (and probably before).
      This is all I could find about it: []

        Just was added today in the upcomiing additions section.

        Also adding a quest to let you wear masks like the beastmen that give you special abilitys.

  • Guild Wars (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DeadBugs ( 546475 )
    Guild Wars had a major update on the 15th. With new (free) content coming soon. Did I mention that there is no monthly fee, I think I did. []

    Here are some screenshots I took recently, fun game. []
    • We're talking about MMORPG expansions and an informative post about Guild Wars is brought up. . . and modded offtopic.

      You should mod ME down, not him! ;)

      Karma to burn.

      • Guild Wars is not an MMORPG, which does indeed make posts about it in a thread about MMORPGs offtopic.
        • Massive Multiplayer Online RPG. . .
          While it may not fit the mold in some ways (no pay to play, everything but towns are instanced) the basic definition of an MMORPG is fulfilled. Many ppl logged into the same world playing an RPG.
          • Guild Wars is no more "massive" than Quake 1. There is a centralized server which you use to join smaller actual games, which have a limit of 8 players per team. As the only part of the game that has more than a fairly small number of people is basically a pretty chatroom, GW is no more an MMORPG than any other game which has a matchmaking service. That isn't to say it isn't a fun game, though.
  • by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:23PM (#12882900)
    Personally, I am done with WoW. WoW was never terribly innovative in my opinion. It refined the drab MMORPG equation for sure, but it was not Half-Life to replace my Doom.

    I had leveled up to level 40 at my leisurely pace on a PvP server and really couldn't stand the thought of killing more NPCs or doing more increasingly mindless 'quests'. My real hope had been with battle grounds. My hopes for BGs was quickly shattered when it became abundantly clear that being a level 40 in the BGs was pointless. I personally had hoped that the BGs would try and match up levels to offer a competitive atmosphere for all.

    I am sick of MMORPGs. There was so much promise originally when people started connecting thousands of people together in online worlds. I was not surprised to see the original ones were just static NPC slaying games, but I really had hoped that after nearly a decade a spark of creativity would be injected into these MMORPGs. I am not saying I want a Tail in the Desert or a Second Life. I just want am MMORPG that offers a living and breathing world, not another friggin MMODC (Massive Mutliplayer Online Diablo Clone).

    This is deja-vu from the year Doom came out and was immediately followed by roughly a thousand knock offs with absolutely no creatively or thought put behind them. The only difference is that the MMORPGs that have come out are even less creative then the Doom knock offs were, and the drought did last a frigging decade. It is sad and pathetic that the original pre-release Ultima Online remains to this day BY FAR the most innovative MMORPG to date. Wake me up when someone grows the balls to make a truly grand and inspiring MMORPG.
      • Can I have your stuff? ;-P

        Nope and you can't have mine either. I'm in the same boat with the GP but my major beef was that I feel Blizzard really drop the ball by not putting enough attention on AAs and other means of allowing players to use xp after 60.

        Rather than give my stuff away I'm waiting a few months to see if I read something groundbreaking that convinces me Blizzard has managed to make the game appealing again.

        Until then my 60 Orc Hunter and all his gear with remain in the freezer waiting fo
        • >>Can I have your stuff? ;-P

          >Nope and you can't have mine either.

          Or anybody's, for that matter. You could receive their gold. But anything good that they've equipped has become Soulbound, and can't ever be used by another player.

          So unless you're both enchanters (in which case he could disenchant the stuff into raw materials and give them to you), you're out of luck.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Thank you for that insightful and mind blowing report of your thoughts on the current state of MMORPGS! I can't wait to read your hard hitting review of grandma's potato soup and am salivating for the scathing editorial of your trouble with your mom and the blow up dolls you call girlfriend that's stored in the basement.

      Someone mod this guy up. Truly an American icon.
    • I've been playing Guild Wars since Beta, and it was supposed to be so innovative, etc., etc. it turned out to be more of the same, no innovation, and the basics keep getting changed every week to the point that nothing is stable or makes sense anymore. After all this time you would think someone would come up with a unique twist and really change MMO's forever... but instead it is just more EQ with pretty graphics over and over and over.

      The one game I'm holding out hope for is D&D Online, it doesn;t lo
      • The one game I'm holding out hope for is D&D Online, it doesn[']t look to revolutionize MMO's but instead it fixes all the little problems that plague them all. That's a good start.

        Wait, wait. I remember that game. Didn't it already come out? I think it was called "Asheron's Age of Warcraft"?

  • In related news...

    AC:TD preview downloads are up on fileplanet, with keys to follow. You don't even need an account, you can try it for free (for the month it's up) which is always nice.

    (but if you subscribed, you couldn't keep your characters -- course they're putting in "levelers" that will help you get to high levels quickly thru the course of the preview/test to help test high level content.)
  • Not to sound like a troll (although I'm sure I'll be modded as such by someone) but... I'm going to rant a bit:

    I mean, 40 person raids? It really does seem like Blizzard is running out of design ideas for epic raids where it's now "more people == more uber!"

    Don't get me wrong, I loved WoW, levelled up to 60, explored everywhere (even the unopened zones like Hyjal and Caverns of Time), and finally got so sick of gathering up 15 people to do instance runs that I grew bored and quit.

    Now they're upping it t
    • Errr, actually, there are already two 40 people raids instances: Molten Core and Onyxia Lair.
      Basically, even the non boss mobs are harder than other instances bosses, you get epic loot everywhere and you spend half the time waiting for various things. (like establishing strategies, distributing loot, etc.)

      You can also find a few world bosses that require far more that 15 people to go down.
      So, basically, that kind of things isn't new.
    • WoW launched with multiple 40 person raid instances, and regardless of if you think that was a mistake, at this point in time they have many customers who have already organized enough people to run through all of the raid content every week, and so want more.
    • The Dire Maul instance was released in an early WoW patch and is an endgame 5 man group dungeon. Pretty good loot in there to if you wear mail. NREF SHANAMS!
    • I've participated in three raids to kill Onyxia (we haven't gotten her yet, but she goes down this Friday, darn it -- the international Coalition of the Willing Aussies, Kiwis, and American expats in Japan will beat that overgrown lizard) and I'm hardly hard core -- recently I put in, oh, about 10 hours a week to WoW. I knew 20 of the 40 in the raid personally, the rest were from my extended social circle -- people who grouped with people I grouped with, basically. Each attempt on Onyxia, who isn't exactl
    • Now they're upping it to 40 people for a raid? Yeah that'll make you REALLY feel you mattered in a fight. I can't think of 40-man raids as being anything other than a zerg-fest.

      If you do nothing but zerg, you literraly wouldn't make it past the first 2 giants in the zone.

      Each pull takes all of your raid working well together. Every class has a specific job. All groups need to be well designed with the right mix of classes.

      The bosses are absolutely insane. Each boss has a totally different tactic
      • You can 5 man large portions of UBRS.

        I've never tried 5 manning all of it, but I imagine that it might be possible.

        Maybe 7 man....
        • Maybe up to General Drak, but I don't see any way you could kill him and his 2 body guards with only 5-7.
          • This is how I'd try to do it with 5

            1 main tank
            2 warlocks
            1 priest
            1 druids
            1 mage

            2 warlocks keep the 2 bodyguards perma-feared. This is easy, especially if they are dark pact. Both warlocks place CoD on General Drak. 6400 damage per minute. Both warlocks keep corruption, siphon life running on Drak, as well as two succubus. That's another 200 dps.

            Priest/Druid keep main tank alive. Priest drops SW: Pain on Drak, as well. Druid should utilize innerverate on the priest to keep mana ticking. Both soulstones sho
            • This is how I'd try to do it with 5

              1 main tank 2 warlocks 1 priest 1 druids 1 mage

              That's 6, but I still don't think it's possible. The casters would be out of mana way before Drak was dead, let alone also be able to take out the bodyguards. Drak has about 80,000 HP IIRC. His DPS is more than 1 tank and 1 healer can deal with. Maybe the druid and priest can keep the main tank alive for a while, but since there isn't much DPS, they wouldn't be able to keep him alive long enough.

              The warlocks can
              • I meant without the mage, and solely relying on DoT's for damage.

                Either way, I was out of my mind when I was thinking about that. Ran UBRS again last night. Yup, it'd be hopeless. While I was on fear duty one of those guards hit me for 3700. Plus, the groups of 3 dragonkin 4 orcs are really tough.

                Especially the iron guards; those bastards have really high resistances.
        • I've heard of people 5 manning up to the Beast (although that'd be a hell of a fight). And one person claimed to have finished the whole thing by mind controlling half the captain pulls off the bridge, although I have a hard time believing they didn't get half of LBRS to come after them.
    • Then don't go there. Nobody is holding a gun to your head and making you. Some of the best equipment comes from the Honor system. I play 2 days a week for a few hours and manage to maintain a medium rank with some decent gear. Play and do what's fun. No, you won't be quite as uber and people who DO get into this kind of stuff, but so what? I hate big dungeon raids and I wouldn't go on one of these even if I did have time. I've never done Onyxia or MC and I never plan to. Don't use the content that y
  • I miss Earth and Beyond. City of Heroes is fun to play, but not quite as enjoyable as good ol' EnB.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents