When the 2nd (and last) expansion for Grim Dawn was announced, I didn’t think I’d want to buy it on its release day, because I didn’t see that it comes with a new class. And it’s not just any class, it’s the Oathkeeper. A class that from the videos I saw reminded me a lot of the Guild Wars Dervish and I really loved that one. In fact, one of the class combinations in Grim Dawn (Oathkeeper and Nightblade) is called the Dervish. My first main character is the Ritualist, which is a combination of the Necromancer and the Shaman. It has lots of minions/pets, so I’m basically just going for a walk while my minions kill everything for me. It was perfect when my hand had more issues and stronger pain, but since it’s gotten better and especially since I can also easily play the game with the Steam controller, this combination is boring to play and I would like to do more myself! Grim Dawn lets you respec, so you can change the skills you have chosen in … [Read more...] about Too many choices in Grim Dawn
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When Justin mentioned to me on this week’s podcast the rumor that Lord of the Rings Online’s and Dungeons and Dragons Online’s multi-day downtime last week might have been partly the result of a lack of proper redundant backups for the games, I gasped audibly. No way, I said. There’s no way a studio like SSG would make that mistake. But it’s not impossible. Companies do make this mistake. Look at how long parts of Ashes of Creation’s website has been nonfunctional. Earlier this month, the LEGO Universe emulator admitted it had lost all its website data since November. And do you guys remember M2? It was a Hangame title that was taken offline in 2011 to fix a server issue, only the company found it couldn’t restore the game from its backups, so it literally sunsetted the game right then and there. Yikes. Has your MMO of choice ever had a major data loss? What’s the worst such rollback or deletion or outage you’ve ever personally … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Has your MMO of choice ever had a major data loss?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock with your headset permanently clamped to your head, you’ve probably heard the word “superfood” more than a few times. You can probably assume from the “super” that there’s something pretty special about them, but where does that awesomeness come from exactly? The Harvard School of Public Health defines a superfood as any food item which provides a highly desirable combination of nutrients. In other words, a superfood is anything which packs a serious nutritional punch. Linked to a wide variety of healthy outcomes, from disease prevention to enhanced weight loss to improved vigor, it’s definitely worth incorporating one or more of these into your diet! Let’s look at six superfoods which can supercharge your health. 1. Soy Nuts Thought to have first been cultivated in China, Soy has been a healthy human staple since at least the eleventh century BC. Today, they remain a popular health … [Read more...] about Level Up Your Gaming Health With These 6 Superfoods
So if you somehow managed to miss it, let me recap: World of Warcraft’s community manager Lore recently gave some feedback on the many complaints people have had about the Azerite armor in Battle for Azeroth. It was not good feedback; much as when people were making observations about Warlords of Draenor being what scientists call “a big steaming pile of wombat turds,” the response is basically the designers swapping back and forth between “everything is fine” and “well what do you want us to do about it now?” There’s a lot of dumb stuff to pick apart in there. But that’s not actually what I want to talk about today because there’s one specific misunderstanding that deserves attention. To quote: “The point about traits being ‘useless and uninteresting’ is interesting considering that you also make the point of ‘every gear change requires simming.’ These two points are kind of at odds with … [Read more...] about Vague Patch Notes: World of Warcraft, math, and making choices ‘interesting’ in MMOs
For many years I have been on a mission to unlock the elusive code that made EverQuest so great. There is no single equation that accurately explains the magic of the EQ experience. The brilliant design of that MMORPG released in 1999 is a combination of many ingredients. In every culinary recipe, greatness or mediocrity is but a few degrees of difference of ingredient quantity and of skill of preparation. The same was true of EQ. Some of the best design ingredients of EQ were the following: traditional RPG experience based level advancement system promotion of player freedom via unstructured gameplay with no imposed narratives or story arcs traditional and diverse RPG class system which emphasized class interdependency and required most classes to group which created a deep social experience well tuned PVE combat via melee and spell abilities that rewarded highly skilled players and encouraged emergent gameplay death penalty mechanic which introduced serious consequences into the … [Read more...] about The Death Penalty Mechanic and Loss Aversion in MMO Design