“Ever, Jane” promises dancing and backbiting

Ever, Jane is a new type of MMO: there are no dungeons, swords, guns or spells. Instead, it is set in the polite society of Regency England. Your goals are to advance your status by attending balls, making matches, and vicious gossiping.

Even though I’m not a fan of Austen’s work (I appreciate it — it’s just not for me), I’ve often wondered how one would build a computer game with a non-combat conflict resolution mechanic. Tabletop RPGs have a whole indie niche dedicated to this (and there’s always freeforms), but this would be my first encounter with a computer game that attempted this.

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10 Things To Do While You Wait For That MMO Update

10. Complain you have to download the update
Chances are that the devs anticipated you might want to get in right away. Chances are also good that the game can download an update automatically. You weren’t silly enough to turn your computer off last night were you?

9. Complain you can’t log in
Ok, so you and half the population took a break three months ago because you got tired of grinding the same endgame content on all nine alts across three servers day after day, week after week. I get that. But when you and your thousands of fellows decide to come back en masse, do you really expect that you can all log in together at the same instant? Continue reading

The Secret World: Sexual Assault By Any Other Name Is…

Funcom, the developer of The Secret World announced bad returns on the back of poor sales of the MMO. They’re taking on measures like “temporary layoffs” in order to reduce operating expenses. In my mind, couldn’t have happened to a nicer crowd. Continue reading

Shadowrun Online

It seems that the MMO hunt won’t just end. I just got word of Shadowrun Online. It’s based on a successful pen-and-paper RPG of the same name. From their Kickstarter pitch, it seems that the SRO will be a turn-based, fully 3D browser/tablet game.

I still have doubts about browser-based MMOs, but if they’re pitching it at tablet gamers as well, that kind of makes sense, and I can see myself playing on my iPad. In fact, that would be so Shadowrun. I’ve pledged some money just to see what it looks like.

The Road goes ever on and on…

If I have been conspicuous in my absence, it is because I have a new gaming machine. Not just any gaming machine, but an actual, honest-to-god computer running Windows. Of course, I can’t just get any machine when I have to use it as my day-to-day workstation, but an iMac can handle almost anything I throw at it these days. Naturally, it’s not just the fact that I have a new toy that’s kept me from writing.

Instead, I’ve been bitten by the MMO bug. Originally, I endured several weeks of being told by P of all the fun she was having. For a while, I escaped into Arkham Asylum, but eventually got sick of being ignored for several hours a night in  favour of people she had never met in real life. I threw a tantrum, which seemed to work for a few days but we went back to the same routine.

That’s when I resolved to get the iMac and see what Lord of the Rings Online is really like. Turns out, it’s a lot of fun. The world is vast, and perhaps more populated than Tolkien’s books ever hinted at. Still, I think it captures the essence of the setting very well. I’ve often wondered while playing, how much material is gleaned from official sources, how much from third parties (like ICE’s out of print Middle Earth Roleplaying game supplements), and how much is original content. Continue reading