Yesterday I wrote about a comedy show I went to. Part of that experience involved a NASCAR jacket with a huge Viagra advertisement on it. Thanks to Aphi for pointing out that Viagra was previously the sponsor of a NASCAR driver named Dick Trickle. I couldn't write something that funny.
I also noticed that the car sponsored by Viagra with the website listed yesterday is now sponsored by AAA. Isn't AAA the company that rescues drivers in broken-down cars? What's next, Carl's Castration Services?
The MMOG community loves drama. If you read the message forums of any MMOG you will be entertained by stories and language that would make a soap opera star blush. The latest drama, or rather the latest high-profile drama surrounds the population sizes in World of Warcraft and EverQuest 2.
At first glance it appears that World of Wacraft is growing out of control, servers filling to capacity and beyond, faster than a technician can get new boxes on the network to take the load. It also appears, at least on the surface that EverQuest 2 is losing players.
Blizzard continues to add new servers, growing the number of "worlds" well over the 125 mark in North America alone. The option to transfer characters from "full" realms to those less populated is offered on an almost weekly basis. The forums are filled with drama. Each server opening opens the flood gates that have been holding back angry posts. World of Warcraft players, or rather, the vocal minority are all over every change like a hobo on a ham sandwich. The posts are predominantly negative regardless of the change. For instance, Blizzard recently froze character creation on a number of their servers due to high loads. Those that agreed with the choice posted that they would be upset, would sue, would stomp their feet and wipe their runny noses on their sleeves in protest should character creation be re-enabled. Those that disagreed with the server locks posted their views, cried, whined and threatened the players that didn't support their views. Imagine a room of spoiled toddlers who were just told that they can't have another cookie. Now multiply that by 1,000 and you would be close to the level of reason that blows through the official WoW forums. If you are a WoW player, imagine Barrens chat multiplied by 10. Now mix boredom and caffeine in equal parts and you have an idea of what each change brings. I can't even imagine what the support team has to deal with on the phone. Well, I can, but I don't want to.
It's a volatile situation. On one hand you have creatures of habit, who need structure, having that structure taken away. Many of the posters are socially inept beings given courage by the anonymity of the Internet. They make ludicrous claims and for a moment at least, are the center of attention. It must make them feel wonderful, like a big, warm hug from God.
Blizzard exacerbates the problem by making promises and not keeping them. If you promise to update the It's an ugly situation involving players who won't be happy no matter what happens. The sheer size of the WoW population magnifies every little problem to epic proportions. If the developer of a small MMOG doesn't get back to their customers with an answer on time very few people ever know about it. If Blizzard misses the mark the forum post receives tens of thousands of views. Growing pains indeed.
Sony Online Entertainment has quite the opposite problem. EQ2 appears, at least on the surface, to be in decline. The recent announcement of server mergers came as no surprise to me. I had been predicting it for quite a while. When your population doesn't rise, and I'm inclined to believe that the EQ2 population is actually declining, the addition of many new zones thins out the population. Sony deserves full credit for adding content, making changes and growing the EQ2 world. They have done it better than any other company.
It will be interesting to see which company does a better job of appeasing its customers as the games move along their life-cycles.
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Game Movie: Fear of Girls
- [Thanks Shayalyn and Ralphedelominius]
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day:
Everybody loves Raymond, except Vin Diesel.
Comedy, Fan Fiction, Rogues and Alignments are among the topics discussed today at TenTonHammer.com
Read on! You might learn something.
Here's what's new on the network!
- Auto Assault: Roadstop Comedy Club Part 3
"Oh Devrek what won't you get yourself into? This week we find out that Devrek has gotten himself into a little bit of trouble. In his overly comical fashion, things take a turn for the serious in the third edition of the Roadstop Comedy Club. You'll laugh and you'll cry as Devrek rants on and on about his wacky adventures. Well, you probably won't cry but hey! What are you waiting for? Check it out now!"
- DDO: Rogue Class Guide
"A Rogue is a Rogue is a Rogue.... Ralsu has updated our rogue class guide with new information on which abilities, skills, and feats are important to the class. Ready to make your 1st level DDO rogue in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach? Sneak up on our guide and do it with style."
- DDO: A Roleplayer's Guide To Alignments
"What the heck is a “chaotic neutral,” anyhow? Zed reveals the playable alignments in Dungeons & Dragons Online that determine how characters, from zealous paladins to carefree bards, react to society. "
- EQ2: Fan Fiction
" Some MMO's bring such inspiration, it actually inspires it's players to write their own stories about the game. Using the environment, authors weave a rich tapestry of wonder, tugging at our hearts, making us laugh, and adding to our immersion. "
- MMORPG Design: Art or Science?
"Ever since Konami videogame designer Hideo Kojima's comment that "a videogame is not art", a debate has quietly roiled among developers and thinking gamers in forum boards across the internet. Most recently Raph Koster, SOE game designer, took Kojima's comment to task in a superb article that (somehow) wove itself into a critique of game reviewers like us! Nonetheless, Ethec has never been one to miss a party, so check out his industry outsider perspective as to whether MMORPG game design is an art or a science."
- DDO Terminology: From A to Z
"You can walk the walk...but can you talk the talk? When it comes to games, Dungeons & Dragons is arguably one of the more jargon-loaded. It's time to demystify some of those terms; at least the ones that apply to Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO)."
- DDO: A MMOG By Any Other Rating
"Will an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating of Mature help keep kids out of Lord of the Rings Online and other MMOGs? And, perhaps more to the point, should it?"
- Guild Wars: Oni-Style Monking
"This monk build--designed for Tombs or GvG play--was designed by Oni, who is currently a member of the Angry Businessmens. Tried and true, with a little skill, this build can take you to Hall of Heroes or help your guild climb a few notches up the ladder."
- EverQuest 2: Guide to Permafrost
"Deep in the frozen plains of Everfrost lies something more terrible than frostbite, polar bears, and where they are keeping Walt Disney's head stored (yes I know it's a rumor). The dungeon of Permafrost is a high level dungeon, home to the mighty dragon Vox, and a truckload of angry Ice Giants. Savanja explores this zone, and walks away to tell the tale."
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin