Blizzard testing a real money cash shop in WOW

8 07 2013

Since 2004 World of Warcraft has been the king of the MMO hill.

Challengers have tried to emulate it’s success and have come and gone, many of them have vanished without a trace and those that are left have slipped into the murky realm of Free to Play.

For a mighty nine years now Blizzard have been gorging on the millions of monthly subscriptions that it’s cash cow has generated.

However those days seem to be coming to an end. As the postponement of Project Titan has suggested even the mighty Blizz has to tighten it’s belt on occasion.

Whilst this by itself doesnt imply that the end is nigh for WOW’s subscription model there are other signs that change is afoot in the World of Azeroth.

Sharp eyed dataminers have come across links to real-money items – for instance, a 100 percent XP boost called the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom – while trawling through test server updates.

Rather than crush the rumour or just ignore Blizzard have actually come forward with an explanation on the official forums:

“We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game. As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”

Does this mean that Blizzard have hit the free to play panic button? Of course not. However it does suggest that this isn’t as ridiculous a suggestion as it would have seemed 12/18 months ago.





RIft is going Free to Play

15 05 2013

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Well it is finally official. Rift is going free to play.

Trion Worlds have announced that as of June 12th 2013 anyone will be able to experience the fun of exploring Telara without having to stump up their hard earned cash.

The change in pricing model will go live at the same time as patch 2.3 – Empyreal Assault launches and will see a number of changes including a cash shop and a tiered model which will see subscribers rebranded as “Patrons”

Patrons will benefit from a number of different perks which will set them apart from their non paying brethren:

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On top of the above rewards people who purchased the original game or the Storm Legion expansion will receive access to additional character slots, starting bag slots and access to the expansion souls (Storm Legion purchasers only)

I guess it was inevitable that Trion would take this approach with Rift at some point but personally after the success of Storm Legion I didn’t think it would be quite this soon.

I am not typically a big fan of F2P as a model and I am especially wary of cash shops, probably as a result of way too many hours spent playing PWI when I was younger.

That said I like what Turbine have done with Lord Of The Rings Online and have to admit that going F2P was probably the best thing which could have happened to the game.

Likewise I am really enjoying the Beta of NeverWinter so maybe there is hope after all.





Game Shop – Thrift Shop Parody

10 04 2013

I would like to say that I can’t relate but I really can…





An ode to Banelings

3 04 2013

 

 

 

Biding time the burrowed baneling waits,

Footsteps patter overhead,

Boom, boom.

Bye,bye bio-ball.





An update from Telara

2 08 2012

Last week I mentioned how I had decided to get myself in shape ready for the first expansion to hit Rift since it’s launch, Storm Legion.

Well so far, so good! I have tried to be a good boy and have pretty much focused on just two characters:

A Guardian warrior and a Defiant rogue.
I have to say this is my first rogue in Rift and I have to say they rock…seriously.

I have two main roles set for him at the moment; one is mostly specced as an assassin and the other is set up for ranged dps with a few points thrown in bard to spice things up a bit.

The assassin specced role just feels really, really sneaky and nasty – I love it!

Through some odd stroke of fortune both characters have ended up sitting at level 31 at the moment so all is looking well on track for the expansion launch.

The well-rounded nature of the classes, the stunning graphics and the more mature community in-game has just served to really remind me why I was so smitten with Rift first time around.

Long may it continue!





Ascend a friend…

24 07 2012

Squee…

If you have read any of my gaming related posts you might be aware that I very excitedly ventured into playing Rift last year.

Well far from being the 2 minute wonder that I thought it would be I’m still there and going strong and more importantly so is the game.

So strongly in fact that the developers of Rift, Trion, made over $100 million last year. Not too shabby at all!

I have recently become very excited as the new expansion, Storm Legion is due this Autumn and is set to triple the size of the in game World. Triple!!!

So that I am nice and ready I have taken this opportunity to roll a couple of new characters. Gijuin, my rogue, is now up to level 21 and Ferren, my Dwarf Warrior is a lofty 32.

So all in all everything is well in hand.

In case you would like to share in the fun you can click here to take advantage of Rift’s “Ascend a Friend” program. Hope to see you in Telara real soon.





WoW is racist….

25 06 2011

This was sent through to me and I just had to share…





Have LotRO will travel…

21 06 2011

American  performance artist Jordan Long plans to ship himself across the US in a crate with only  Lord of the Rings Online as company.

Avid Lord of the Rings Online player and performance artist; Jordan Long is taking his theories about in-game communities and their benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to new levels.

Long has shipped himself from his home in Bald Knob, Arkansas to a final destination in Oregon locked in a crate with nothing but his computer and his LOTRO companions along for the ride. 

According to Long, the purpose of his most recent “art” project is to study “trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and claims that he has found that many who are confined to their homes due to such trauma tend to find their escape in the form of online games such as LotRO where they can ‘enter and exit whenever they choose, be whoever they want to be and feel like functioning members of society again.'”

Good thing he isn’t playing WOW or people would want to know the gear score of his crate….





Mum blames Microsoft for son’s spending spree

9 02 2011

An  U.K. mother is blaming Microsoft for the fact that her 11-year-old son rang up a £1000 bill on her debit card over a six-month stretch on Xbox Live.


Would you entrust an online account to your young child, probably not?

When 11-year-old Brendan Jordan was let loose on Xbox Live, the youngster went on a spending spree that ultimately landed a bill of £1082 ($1739) on his mother’s debit card. But his mother, Dawn, doesn’t blame her son for the hefty charges. She blames Microsoft.

“When I put my card details in 18 months ago I thought it was just for his membership to play online with his friends,” she said. “I work two jobs just to look after my family and pay the bills so I cannot afford all these extortionate charges. A thousand pounds isn’t that much to people like Bill Gates, but for a single mum it is a lot of money that I don’t have.”

“I haven’t punished him because he feels bad enough and I know he won’t do it again,” she added. “It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done.”

She states that the youngster started to cry when she explained to him how much money he’d blown through, after which he unplugged his Xbox and said he didn’t want it anymore. She also said she wants her experience to serve as a warning to other parents.

“When he is in gaming mode he can’t be thinking about the money. You can’t put all that responsibility on a young boy,” she added. “It is impossible to monitor everything your children do. These companies should take some responsibility. They take advantage of vulnerable people.”

Now let me just stop things here and possibly call shenanigans on this tale of online woe. Most banks send out these useless papery things called statements, typically once a month or so.

Would you not notice the recurring charges going through to Microsoft and start to put two and two together, especially if you were a struggling single mother who needs every penny she can get.

In a statement to the Daily Mail a company rep made the following statement “Microsoft’s goal is to provide parents and caregivers with tools and resources to manage their children’s gaming and entertainment experiences so that they can play in ways that are safer, healthy and more balanced. ”

“To accomplish this, we’ve built-in parental controls in every Xbox 360, work closely with retailers and recently launched the Play Smart, Play Safe website as an online resource for families. It should also be noted that LIVE accounts registered for children’s use have online activity automatically defaulted to off, these can be enabled by the parent should they wish in the Family Settings section.”

So what we really seem to have is a Mum who couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to what her young soon was doing online, with her card details no less. Neither could she be bothered to keep an eye on her finances until he had managed to spend over a grand.

Seems to me like someone is on the look out for a nice cash payment to settle little Brendan’s gaming bill and to keep paying that wonderful virtual nanny that has been raising him on her behalf.





Retro RPGs

3 11 2010
baldurs gate

baldurs gate

I love RPGs, always have really, since the first time I ever sat round a table and played my first game of D&D through to the present day.

Recently I have been a little underwhelmed though; the current crop of RPGs for the PC, Xbox 360 etc are pretty good but they just seem to lack something.

It isn’t that they are bad games, far from it but somewhere amidst the amazing graphics, cinematic sound, famous voice actors etc  they seem to have lost some of that traditional RPG element that I love.

That is why I have gone back to playing classic RPGs that whilst nowhere near as polished as the current crop of games just seem to be a little nearer the mark.

In particular I have been playing the ever so awesome Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2, Baldur’s Gate 1 &2 and the original Fallout.

For me these 5  games encompass pretty much everything that I want in a RPG.

I love the sheer immersion that takes place when playing one of these older story driven RPGs sure I enjoy having a massive sandbox world to track around (the map in Oblivion is 16 square miles!) but nothing beats a riveting story that drives you to continue and keeps you focused.

I sometimes think that with some of the current sandbox games that it is too easy to be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of different things you can run off and do and that the main campaigns/storylines can get overlooked.

I also miss the fully turn based combat systems like you saw in Fallout, it is reminiscent of my hours spent with pen, paper and dice and just has a charm about it that is sometimes lacking these days.

Maybe I am just getting old and turning into one of those people who goes on about how everything was better back in the day but as much as I really enjoy modern games -trust me I do- the old classics just seem to be more fun somehow.

neverwinter nights 1 &2 /baldurs gate

rattle on about how these feel more dungeon and dragonesque then the current big rpgs where you trot around by yourself for days at a time








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