And so it begins...but not where you would expect.
Blizzard has recently slashed the monthly fee to play World of Warcraft by 20%, but not in North America. No my friends, it is the South Koreans who are getting the discount.
Koreans who used to pay 24,700 Won or approximately $26 per month U.S. are now paying 19,800 Won or $20.88 U.S. For you chronic belly-achers out there, this is still a higher fee than we pay in North America.
Apparently Blizzard and some of the other MMOG developers feel there is a psychological barrier to paying for a game at the 20,000 Won mark. Those of you who lived in a university dorm with a psychology major can probably guess at the amount of work that went into figuring out that 19,800 is a more attractive price than 24,700.
Blizzard has a lot of competition in South Korea, with Lineage II rolling in as the favourite game among MMOG players. It is also up against a glut of games that are either free to play or free to play for a specific number of hours per day. Mabinogi, for instance is free to play for up to two-hours per day. If you want to play longer than that, you need to ante up.
Strangely, it appears that Guild Wars, a game that has no monthly fee in North America has a monthly fee in Korea of approximately $10.35 U.S. It's a crazy, super, happy, fun world! We still have the lowest prices. We're #1! We're #1! We're #1! Foam fingers optional.
Yesterday I mentioned that there were no toilets in MMOGs, but I was set straight by Art who wrote;
"While I never saw a toilet in SWG (official stance was that according to cannon no one goes to the bathroom in Star Wars), there are outhouses all over Azeroth (WoW). Does that count? "
Art may be correct about the outhouses, but you can't actually open the door, enter and do your business. At least, I haven't found an outhouse that you can enter and plop your behind down in. Maybe only one person can enter, ever? They are the Hotel Californias of World of Warcraft. Whatever the case, outhouses are not linked to sewers, so where does all that filth come from?
In the end we have Stormtroopers wearing adult diapers and half-cow, half-man beings who quaff down refreshing spring water without ever needing to water the plants of Mulgore. It is any wonder that every character runs so strangely?
Questions, comments or big foam hats? Send them in.
What's New On TenTonHammer.com?
Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.
- EverQuest 2: Interview With Larry Elmore
"We rarely think about it, but often the art on the cover of a book or on the box of a video game is the first thing to catch our eye and ultimately influences our decision to buy or not to buy. Larry Elmore, fabled artist of many Dragonlance book covers and EverQuest art, sits down with Coyotee Sharptongue. In this exclusive TenTonHammer interview, he discusses life, roleplaying, and his take on art. "
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: The Swashbuckler
"At Ten Ton Hammer, we love Custom Builds. They add flavor and resist the tendency to say there is only way to build a given class in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO). For The Swashbuckler, Darkgolem mixes the combat mastery of the fighter with the subtlety of a rogue. The result is what he calls a "cagey fighter" who picks on the most susceptible foes in the chaos of battle."
- Massive Single Player
"Players, players everywhere, and not much reason to group. "Casual" was a stride forward for the genre, but does casual necessarily exclude much the old school fun we used to have with guilds, groups, raids... the game's player community? Ethec has some ideas on how to put the "MM" back in MMORPG!"
- Auto Assault: First Impressions
"Vehicular destruction MMO Auto Assault hit retailers last week, and countless gamers running and gunning their way through a post-apocalyptic earth as you read this. But can "the fastest, most destructive MMORPG ever" live up to the hype? Our first impression? 4.8 out of 5 hammers! Why did we give Auto Assault such a high horsepower rating? Find out at TenTonHammer.com!"
- Auto Assault: Driving Alone
"This week's common content is all about solo play in onlinegames. Why exactly is single player content in a multiplayer game likeAuto Assault? Does grouping work in Auto Assault? These things andmore are looked at in our new editorial, "Driving Alone"."
- Auto Assault: Biomek Faction Skills
"The Biomek race has its own global set of skills, that combinedwith the specialty skills of each class, allow them to run over and dominate the battlefield. Well, at least that's how they see it. Tohonor the Biomek's glorious empire, we bring you the full listing ofthe Biomek faction skills from the live game!"
- City of Villains: Episode 7 Power Sets Screenshots
"More screenshots from the folks at Cryptic Studios, originators of the City of Villains / City of Heroes series of comic book-inspired MMOs. This week, we see evidence of the new power sets for several of the Villain archetypes. For example, "masterminds" of an appropriate level can call upon their very own thug motorcycle gang. Check out these new screenshots from what promises to be an incredible no-cost expansion at TenTonHammer!"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Mediocromancy
"Has there ever been an MMO that launched bug-free? Nope, and there probably never will be. Dungeons & Dragons Online is no
exception. In this week's Friday Editorial (FriEd), Darkgolem contends that the rush to release a game produces sub par results, and that a lack of communication from developers compounds the frustrations."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: How DDO Encourages Parties
"Does Turbine takes the necessary steps to make people want to form a party in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO)? Ralsu thinks so. He describes the easy-to-use but deep social system in DDO and draws comparisons to other massively-multiplayer games."
- EverQuest 2: Fan Faire Follow-Up Part 2
"RadarX returns from the 2006 SOE Fan Faire with stories to tell. His official report contains all the gameplay stuff, but what really happens at these events? Read Part 2 for the conclusion of Fan Faire."
- EverQuest 2: Confessions of a Compulsive Soloer
"What incentives do people have to play Massive Multiplayer Online games? Step inside the head (yes, we're providing protective clothing) of Coyote a self-confessed compulsive soloer for a reason to solo besides being antisocial."
- EverQuest 2: Congregating With Cocktails
"Those darned EverQuest 2 players are at it again with their drunken antics!! Do you find yourself grouping with more and more players who have been crocked since the early afternoon? Could it be you, the reader, who is the muddled culprit looking for more mischief. Perhaps you have a problem and are looking for help. Perhaps help is here in this informative column writen by SLiDE who drever ninks erver. *hicCuP*"
- Guild Wars: Playing The MMORPG
"With this editorial, we take a look at the meaning of the words "massively multiplayer" in the context of online gaming. How multiplayer is a game that lets you go it solo? What does it mean for the future of online RPGs?"
- Lord of the Rings Online: Fellowship of the Ding
"Shayalyn is an antisocial gamer. How can upcoming MMOGs like Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar score points with players like her? Simple, says she: they have to encourage group play, yet provide meaningful solo experiences, yet avoid making soloing the best means of character progression. Well, okay, maybe it's not that simple."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Drawing Conclusions
"Realistic, cartoonish, anime...those describe a few ways graphics have gone in MMO's over the years, and we all have our favorites. How appealing the graphics are or are not seems to get the most criticism fairly early on, after all we are a very visual society. Mercurie "looks" over how far graphics have come and where they may be headed."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Solo Does Not Spell Alone
"When there are so many way to interact with the comunity in an MMO, why would someone choose to solo? Merriandra explores just what might make someone choose to ignore the community and turn to ones own resorces."
- Warhammer Online: SoloHammer
"Ratboy discusses the possible solo aspects of Warhammer Online."
- World of Warcraft: Is WoW Too Solo Friendly
"We all know what an MMO is, right? A Massively Multiplayer Online game, usually an RPG (Role playing game). But what's an MSP? To us at
TenTonHammer it is a Massively Soloplayer game, and it's hard to think of a better example of one than WoW. The question I look at this week is "What does massively multiplayer really mean to you, and does game WoW provide incentive to meaningfully interact with other players?"."
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day:
If you see Vin Diesel crying he will grant you a wish, but only if your wish is dying.
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
Once again, hats off to Matt.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin