Our E3 Awards take center stage in today's Reloading..., plus commentary on the recent WoW 4.2 dev blog, an uptick for Rift, and will the Harry Potter MMO finally take off its invisibilty cloak?
Welcome to the 21st edition of Reloading…
"When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What the hell are these?! Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN!” -- Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Everyone can use a feel good moment to start the day. Let’s go with this…
Patch 4.2 continues to cast a shadow over WoW players like one of those alien ships in Independence Day. We all think we know what we are going to get, but nobody is completely sure. Greg Street, the Lead Systems Designer for WoW has updated his blog to enlighten us on how hard it truly is to “Balance a Battleship”.
“Player feedback certainly plays a role in our deciding to make balance changes, but it’s just one small part. (And remember that our public forums are not the only place where players voice their opinions.) We also do a lot of internal testing, both simulations and actual character performance, and we collect a lot of external data, which needs to include players at a wide variety of skill levels.”
Players don’t realise how important the above statement is. Every player worries about their own experience. The way the game “feels” for other players never crosses their mind. Most just assume that it feels the same way for everyone; it doesn’t. A PvP-centric player has a much different view of the game than a PvE player. A skilled player sees the game differently than a newbie. Blizzard isn’t just balancing around classes, they are balancing around a spectrum of player skill that is larger than even, dare I say, Kirstie Alley’s appetite.
So, how do you even begin to balance something with so many variables? Blizzard does it like this…
“Also realize that we don’t believe in the existence of any single thermometer for estimating character performance. By that I mean there is no single relatively-accurate measurement of real and true DPS (or tanking, or healing) upon which most players agree. Everything from simulations to target dummy DPS to Arena comp percentages to the top 100 raid parses all count as pieces of the puzzle, and you really have to consider the totality of all of that information in the proper context.”
I suggest strongly that you read his entire blog entry to get a feel for just how your class is going to be impacted by the 4.2 changes.
In other MMO news, Rift was on sale for $9.99 over the weekend. That little sale along with the numerous free giveaway trials is a sure-fire sign that subscriptions have plateaued and the process of subscriber retention has hit full steam.
The Harry Potter MMO may soon be unveiled. A website is up at Pottermore.com that suggests something is coming our way soon.
Share your thoughts on something from the column today or just in general. Will World of Harry Potter Craft soon be on our doorstep?
Few things can compare to an MMOG that wants to give you buffs for hugs and snuggles. But Gamania looks to bring that benefit to players by combining online dating and MMOGs with Lucent Hearts, which today kicked off open beta.
World of Tanks Swag Pack Giveaway
E3 mania may be winding down, but Ten Ton Hammer's still winding up to give away all the choice swag we picked up on the show floor. This week, we're giving you a chance to win a World of Tanks swag pack!
Our World of Tanks pack includes a mousepad, flask, 2 8GB USB sticks, 1000 gold and 20,000 credits. Premium members, roll on over to the entry page for your chance to win.
PlayerScore Update 4.8.01 Released
Ten Ton Hammer has released a new version of PlayerScore, the must-have scoring addon for WoW Players.
Most changes are to increase compatibility with WoW v4.2, and to fix a chain of recent bugs people have been reporting.
Jeff's interest in online games stretches back to organizing neighborhood Unreal tournaments as a teenager, but when a college roommate introduced him to EverQuest, an interest became an obsession. Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game since.