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I still haven't stepped back into World of Warcraft, though the lure is growing. The good folks at Turbine were kind enough to send me an invite to the Lord of the Rings beta (random, not because of my position here at TTH). When I receive a beta invite I tend to "test" rather than play. It's a double-edged sword as it ruins my ability to review the game in the future, but does allow me a glimpse into the minds of the development team as I watch what aspects of their title receive attention during the pre-release final building phase. What a team is concerned about during this phase tells much about what direction a game will take post-release.
LotRO is already a more polished game than many titles are at release. It has a certain World of Warcraft flavour blended with the spice of its Lord of the Rings background. The more you relate your play to the deep Lord of the Rings atmosphere the more you enjoy the game itself.
Ah yes, World of Warcraft. What would a MMOG article be without mention of WoW? I plan to head back and experience TBC. I played through the Blood Elf and Draenei starting areas with a couple of characters, but I never made it to outlands.
As I waited for TBC to be released was concerned that never being in a raiding guild I wouldn't be an effective group member or soloer for that matter in the expansion. How could I compete with players who had spent hundreds of hours raiding?
The answer: I don't have to. Blizzard upped the quality of the gear so much in the expansion that those hundreds of hours spent raiding were rendered mostly obsolete. I will be able to pop into the Outlands and loot gear on par or better than that worn by the Uber guild folks.
Is this fair to the raiders? It's probably not, but that said, it doesn't really matter. The expansion wasn't created for those players. It was created to bring back players who had unsubscribed. If those players can't compete in the new environment then all you are left with is the die-hards that stuck it out in the old content anyway and your expansion doesn't meet the financial expectations that your marketing team promised to the uppity-ups.
Another, less obvious reason for the escalation of power is that the expansion dungeons and other content need to be balanced. How do you create content that is enjoyable for raiders who have spent hundreds of hours getting the best gear as well as casual players who are decked out in all greens? The raiders need a challenge, yet the casuals will be frustrated by content beyond their capability. Answer: you level out the quality of the gear, giving the raiders a minor boost and the casuals a huge one. In the end, everyone can enjoy the new content and everyone feels more powerful, which is why many people play the game in the first place.
Is there a better way?
Guild Management has never been easier! Not sure what GuildPortal is, or what it can do for your Guild? Click here to read about what GuildPortal is, why it's the most imitated, and why people have been using GP since October of 2001 to host their Guild web sites!
Exclusive TenTonHammer.com Content!
Op/Ed: Great Expectations - Vanguard
"Roller coasters can be fun if you're on a vacation. They tend to be a bit tedious when its an emotional roller coaster that has you screaming with blissful delight on the highs and grimacing with despair in the lows. Its even worse when this happens with a game you are follow. Ride along with Lady Sirse as she shares her ride with Vanguard: Saga of Heroes from planning to launch."
Dungeons and Dragons Online: Quest Guide - The Butcher's Path
"The Butcher's Path is one of the more challenging and fun quests found in the Harbor. Khalas shows us how to get through it with a minimum of (your own) bloodshed."
EverQuest 2: Conjurer Achievement Points Guide
"We are hard at work to get those Achievement Points Guides posted! This week we have added the Conjurer APs for your enjoyment and study. Come check out what paths and abilities the Conjurers may look forward to!"
EverQuest 2: Conjurer Spell List
"The Conjurer Spell list has now been updated to contain the newest and most up-to-date spells and spell descriptions."
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Monk Skills List
"Want to know what sorts of kick ass kung-fu your Monk can do? Check out this list of skills compiled by Xebek and Swang."
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Harvest Resource Chart
"Are you trying to figure out if that moonstone you're holding is a rare or an ultra-rare harvest? Look no further than our community-created resources chart!"
Warhammer Online: February Gallery
"Our gallery has been updated with the most recent images from the February WAR newsletter. If you want to search through our massive gallery feel free, but we've also put up a general page with all the new images."
World of Warcraft: Must Know WoW Tips
"This is a major update and refresh to the guide that covers all those things you wish you knew on day one of playing WoW. Most are things that you have figured out over time and now take for granted, but some are likely new to everyone. So no matter if you are new to WoW with the release of the Burning Crusade, or have been here since day one, there should be something for everyone."
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Interview With Mike Goslin
- 9Dragons Preview
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Wiki Contest Winners
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Kojan Spawn Map
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Wiki Contest Closing
- 2Moons Closed Beta Account Contest
- World of Warcraft: Arena Guide
- Op/Ed: GameStopped
- World of Warcraft: Thrall's Escape From Durnholde Keep
- Aion: New Art
Real World News - You Can't Make This Up
I Bought Votes On Digg
Your social network wants an audit.
Aircraft Carrier JFK Approaches Boston For Farewell
Good bye Boston.
UN HQ Infested With Rats And Worms
Sometimes these just write themselves.
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
26.5 million of you are not.
Vin Diesel Fact: When Vin Diesel speaks, E. F. Hutton listens. [Thanks Pat]
Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com
- John "Boomjack" Hoskin
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