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 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!





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….





Ding 60 – Outlands here I come

21 05 2010

I dinged 60 last night.

Now I know that other than sentimentality there isn’t really any milestone attached to 60 anymore but hey I’m nothing if not sentimental!

I remember the first time I ever hit 60, it was back in the vanilla days of  WOW and it was just a real sense of achievement, it really did feel like you had accomplished something. Luckily enough there was plenty to keep me grounded and stop me feeling like king of Azeroth.

Reaching the level cap or end game or whatever else you might choose to call it isn’t the ned, not by a long shot, if anything it is actually more of a beginning, everything else starts to feel like you were just training in order to reach this point.

I  got to experience that same feeling all over again when The Burning Crusade was launched and if anything hitting 70 was even more epic then 60, more or less the first drop that I got in outland was better than most of my gear that I had picked up in Azeroth and everything was just more polished.

Going back into Outland again probably isn’t going to convey that same buzz as it did last time but in a meagre ten levels time I will be ready to experience it all over again when I finally set foot in Northrend.

For those of you sad enough to care here is how things currently look in my armoury, I was stupidly pleased to get both Light Touched Breastplate and Bloodstained Ravager Gauntlets drop to me in just one run of hellfire ramparts.

Yeah I know the gauntlets are mail but the stats are better than my previous plate ones and besides I have been able to chuck a bunch of gems into everything and effectively give myself  a bit of a boost to my strength, crit and stamina.

Now to get that flying mount training 🙂





Ding 50 :D

12 05 2010

DING!

No that isn’t the sound of a particularly obnoxious microwave signalling that it has finsihed making food frozen on the outside but viciously magma hot on the inside.

It is instead the sound of me hitting level 50 in WOW.

This isn’t as auspicious as it once would have been;  pre The Burning Crusade hitting level 50 would have meant that you were a mere 10 levels away from reaching the holy grail of end game content.

These days the bar has been raised yet again, Wrath of the Lich King laughed at level 70 and taunted and teased us with new raids and better gear until we the struggled to the summit and hit level 80.

Even so I still think of level 50 as a bit of a landmark if only for the fact that at this point you are now more than 50% of your way through the grind of levelling and that hopefully by this point you have come some way towards mastering your particular class.

Alterac Valley here I come!





Going Solo

10 05 2010

I ditched my guild.

Yesterday I finally decided that enough was enough and that I was going solo.

I have been considering this course of action for a while, it’s not that I am a solitary gamer or that I don’t like the social aspect of being in a guild (just ask my kinmates in LOTRO) but I do have certain standards of what I deem to be acceptable behaviour.

I’m not saying that I’m a saint or that I expect anyone else to be one but there are limits to what I think is tolerable or acceptable.

I first realised I might have issues with my new guild when I first partied up with some of them; usually when you run with a party made up of guild members things are pretty polished because they know how to work together, not so in this case, they bickered all the time.

I don’t just mean a little bit of light hearted banter as you would get between friends I mean a childish full on argument, this person was a noob, your gears shit blah blah blah blah it was never ending.

I could have over looked this if they were actually any good at playing the game, alas this was also beyond their meagre capabilities.

There were two paladins in the group me and one other who on the face of things was a healadin, it would be fair to assume that there would be two different auras up and that all party members would get two buffs, one from each. I had buffed myself with BoM (blessing of might)  and asked the healerdin for BoK (blessing of kings).

The answer I got back in chat was a question mark, so I thought ok maybe he doesnt use silly little terms like bok and bom and so I asked for blessing of kings in full instead, again all I got back was ?

Turns out not only did he not know what I was on about but he didnt have a blessing, a seal or an aura up at all?!?!?! These are the tools of a paladins trade, how on Azeroth can you reach level 23 without knowing what these are and using them accordingly?

The same level of immaturity and general noobness when it comes to WOW was also displayed regularly in guild chat so for most of the time I just ignored the worst culprits and didn’t really pay attention to what was being said at all.

Now to my mind thats not fun, I don’t join a guild in order to have to ignore everyone in the chat list other than my alts, I want to group up, help one another, boost people through tough areas of the game etc etc, not trudge around by myself looking for pugs because my guildees are noob douche bags.

So I tried again, I threw myself into guild life with a renewed vigour, I managed to trick myself into thinking that maybe I am just a stick in the mud and should lighten up and that maybe if I just cut loose it would all turn out to be fun in the end.

Fuck me was I wrong.

Yesterday evening I was farming pages in Stranglethorn waiting to get a slot for Zul Farrak and due to the mind numbing drudgery of any farming or grinding I had half an eye on guild chat.

I suddenly noticed that the chat had steered away from who wanted what end game gear when they hit 80 to a far more lewd chat about their various sexual conquests, or judging by how they act lack of.

After reading the usual drivel from a 22 stone myopic gamer who lives in his parents basement about how he lost his virginity to twins when he was 12 and they “totally lezzed off together as well” I was already slightly nauseous and had endured just about as much stupid bravado and bull shit as I can take…things got worse and I’m not talking about just a little bit blue or stupid or whatever.

They started asking people who weren’t actively lying about their made up sexual experiences why they weren’t joining in and generally barracking them about being virgins or gay and all sorts of other childish crap.

Well one guildee that they asked replied by saying that yes she was a virgin and certainly wasn’t ashamed of it as she is a 17 year old girl. The response to this was that they didn’t believe she was a girl (common complaint in wow). She assured them that she was to which she was asked to prove it, they weren’t happy with the idea that she speak to them on vent and that they could all hear that she was girl no this wasn’t proof enough.

They asked her to add them on msn and to strip on cam to prove she was a girl, when she said no they called her a lesbian and started barracking her further.

What sort of dumbass sick fucks think this sort of thing is acceptable or funny. I know for a fact that a lot of people in the guild are a lot younger than me but even so this is just out and out offensive. Needless to say I filed a complaint and left straight away.








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