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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Wizards of the Coast Declares Gleemax Site a Critical Failure 242

In a recent blog post, Wizards of the Coast Vice President of Digital Gaming Randy Buehler announced that they were killing their Gleemax social networking site. Originally designed to create a central hub where gamers could meet, discuss, and play games online, it has thus far been unable to deliver on the grandiose promises made at launch. "The mistake that I made, however, was in trying to push us too far too fast. I still think the vision for Gleemax is awesome: creating a place on the web where hobby gamers (or lifestyle gamers or thinking gamers, or whatever you want to call us) can gather to talk about games, play games, and find people to play games with. But I've come to realize that the vision was too ambitious. We've made progress down about ten different paths over the past eighteen months, but we haven't been able to reach the end of any of them yet."
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Wizards of the Coast Declares Gleemax Site a Critical Failure

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  • Re:wrong mistake (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2008 @03:34PM (#24741063)

    The problem wasn't in promoting the service. The problem was in BUILDING the service. They never had an official launch because, in part, they kept changing directions on what the main focus of the service was going to be.

  • Re:Already Exists (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:12PM (#24741631)

    and screw 4th edition. :-(

    Screw Change! Screw improvements to game play! Screw the fact that 4E actually did the right thing and decoupled roleplay from game mechanics, allowing the PLAYERS the ability to do anything they want in roleplay terms instead of holding their hands and saying "ok, if you do this, this is what happens". Like the previous versions of D&D.

    Thank Behamut that 4E actually put imagination and creativity back into the players hands. Though, there's nothing wrong with liking a game that holds your hand, but there's something wrong with player hating something just because it's different.

  • Re:Hooray snobbery! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:32PM (#24741985)

    Drop the snobbery. All that does is make you look bitter.

    I think you have soft spot. It was mostly a joke.

    Do you really think your D&D character who you've been playing off and on for 30 years since BECMI is so much more legitimate than someone's Tier 6-geared character with thousands of hours of play time? Hint: it's not.

    Seriously though. The thing about WoW is that you can't lose. You really can't. You can't even really experience a setback. The worst that happens is that you don't move forward for a day, and even that only happens at endgame. You also don't need to even think about teamwork until endgame. This is a big part of what its appeal is to a lot of people, and why it sprung ahead of its predecessors like EQ.

    This is why I think WoW is equivalent to MMO pablum. In order to advance all you have to do is show up; it doesn't exactly require tactics, strategy, problem solving, imagination, mathematics, or any other cranial exercise, and their is simply zero risk of ending the day behind where you started.

    Disclaimer: I play WoW. I have 2 70s, neither of which are geared for raiding (yet...).

    Oh, so you should know what I'm talking about then. Great.

    I also run a weekly D&D game and I started a board game club at my college. So if you want to try and argue I'm not a gamer... Well, go right ahead. I don't need your validation.

    Everyone likes to slum around from time to time. And besides, its not like you -can't- think in WoW, its just that you don't have to.

    FWIW I played WoW for a while too, and a friend and I quite enjoyed doing instances as a duo while they still conned yellow using gear we quested or looted or crafted ourselves as we levelled up. It really was quite challenging, and fun. But most people we saw just had a much higher level friend come along, or brought a full group of twinks, or just ground xp solo and bought all their gear in the AH or got it from guildmates, etc.

    And yeah, you do have to up your game as a raider, and as you approach the raid endgame, but to do that you also have to pretty much give up on having any life outside of WoW, which is pathetic. And even then the biggest requirements of the top tier guilds is being able to show up and follow instructions.

    Oh, and my penis is HUGE (in Japan).

    Um. Thanks. I'm flattered. But I'm just not interested.

    What is the best way to turn down unsolicited gay advances as a happily married heterosexual male anyway? Be a good topic for 'ask slashdot'...after all who better than a bunch of socially inept guys to give advice for socially awkward situations? ;)

  • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:43PM (#24742129)

    Forget games, for a minute.

    Is it really possible, here in 2008, to "create a central hub for XYZ on the web where XYZ-ers can gather to talk about XYZ, do XYZ, and find people interested in XYZ" and have it actually work? Does it work to start from scratch and plan such an empire, or do you have to have the patience to let these kind of sites naturally evolve?

    Is it even possible to have a "central hub" of _anything_ on the web? What's wrong with this thinking?

  • Re:Already Exists (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Shinmizu ( 725298 ) on Monday August 25, 2008 @04:46PM (#24742163)
    As a WoW-player that refuses to migrate to 4th edition, I'm laying the blame squarely on Wizards of the Coast. Hell, most of the members of my WoW guild refuse to migrate to 4th edition as well. (Some of us are going with Paizo's Pathfinder, which is a bit of a spiritual successor to 3rd edition.)
  • Re:Already Exists (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gilmoure ( 18428 ) on Monday August 25, 2008 @05:27PM (#24742845) Journal

    Yup. Got the free beta download [] and it looks pretty good. Figure we'll try a game with it and see if it's worth grabbing the hard cover.

  • Re:Already Exists (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Casualposter ( 572489 ) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:54PM (#24743959) Journal

    "Screw the fact the 4E actually did the right thing and decoupled roleplay from game mechanics. . ."

    Wait! You call that an improvement? That was how we played in First Edition and on into Second edition. What a lame edition. Glad I gave up D&D for WOW.

  • Re:It failed... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Praedon ( 707326 ) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:01PM (#24744043) Journal
    Boy oh boy, I saw this coming. I would like to point my fellow slashdot users to my old old comment here [] first, about how WotC and I had a contract to offer exclusive advertising, then a few months later, they took my idea, all my private proprietary concepts and already made features, then pulled their exclusive advertising deal, and called me up and told me how lucky I was that they didn't sue me a few weeks later after that comment in Slashdot.

    All of this is no joke, I swear it. You can call me bitter, you can call me a poor sport, but in the end, I got the last laugh when Gleemax decided to shut down. They were never going to make it featuring their own material, and everyone knew this.

    Peter Adkison met with me in private at Origins Gaming Convention back when Gleemax was about to go live at Gen Con, and told me that he would focus everything around Geekalize at Gen Con if I could focus a little more funds around it, to provide fun stuff and prizes and such, but at that time, Origins was our last ditch effort to drum up sponsors, and the like. We went bankrupt in November or so of that year, after being up for one year, spending over 20,000 dollars in advertising, watching Wizards pull an over 20,000 dollar advertising deal from under me so they can steal my ideas, and watched as they took and took and took from anyone they could to try to put together SOMETHING to resemble a social networking site.

    So I announce this... if Geekalize could get funding again, and not get ripped off like it did with Dead Mages on the Shores, I would bring it back, and make the social networking site for geeks purely open source, with API's, project management, and among other things, a chance for the community to seriously focus upon the site as a whole, and contribute features, abilities, etc, and all of the coding would be via a GNU license. I want to do this right this time, and I want to see a community for geeks and gamers succeed this time. All who would be interested in bringing forth a community for ALL THE Right reasons and ALL THE RIGHT measures to maintain it and contribute to it, feel free to message me, or visit [] and click on the blog link that's on the filler page. I have also provided a link to the web archive on Geekalize to show we were in fact in existence.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle