Monthly Archives: August 2013

Apologies for the gap in service!

I am about to embark on house move no.2 back to my normal reside and the ancient laptop succumbed to one Blue Screen of Death too many and had to go to the vet. It is back now poor thing, convalescing and sulking in equal measure, having developed a nervous network error tic from the shock which is playing havoc, havoc I tell you with my normal online life. Wurmonline also now mysteriously (or maybe not) refuses to run – but I don’t have time to catch you up completely just now. I have been huddling, positively huddling in eq2 because it has kept working throughout all this and it has earned itself a sub for a few months for that – I know there’s a sub debate on, but I assure you this is coincidental and has more to do with security blankets than any detailed and interesting thoughts on payment models. I will be bahck when the boxes are shifted and everything is connected up again to my satisfaction!

Sorry rushed post and apologies also for unattended comments.

Categories: Things In General

I enjoy playing this person! (EQ2)

Was thinking about avatar appearance and how it affects gameplay.  The Big Girl in EQ2 unfailingly fires my imagination. She’s normally very shy, but I paparazzed her just before a fight and managed to get a rare screenshot of her face.  Even when she’s hiding in a helmet though, there’s a definite sense of unique character and I can easily add to her story when I play


so it isn’t all in the face. It’s the body, and the armour, the warhog – and the roughness of the graphics. I know this lady is going to be handy to have around in a battle and won’t be obsessing about her mascara running. And there’s that feeling of uniqueness – there are enough factors to her appearance that there’s unlikely to be too many of her running about. Together it all makes it really easy to pretend to be her character.

I do find the image below bland in comparison. It has a sort of Teflon effect on my imagination.  If looking cute under all possible circumstances even when gurning was relevant to the gameplay or story, I might feel different? Well actually, I’m not sure if that’s it. I’m not repelled or anything, just indifferent. Strange. Is it the cell shading? Maybe because I associate that with two dimensions and flat things that you can only look at but not interact with? Perhaps it’s the lack of detail in the clothes? This is kind of bugging me now.  I have no doubt I will get used to this style and it’s not a gamebreaker for me, but I’d love to know what triggers this disconnect.


Categories: EQ2

Voxels! (EQNext reveal)

I’m still digesting the EQ Next reveal. There’s a lot to it. For me, two surprises and and one “hmm” and a general happiness. Surprises first!

Voxels come top of the list. I know they are using them already in Planetside 2, but using voxels to create a world and using voxels in the gameplay are two different beasties entirely and I was amazed and excited by this part of the reveal. I thought  was on my blogroll but it wasn’t (is now). It’s a blog I’ve been following for a year or two because I’m already fascinated by voxels and the journey described in that blog is a great read in itself (bedtime favourite of mine).

(Update: and a few hours later this turned up in my twitter feed: – well how fabulous! Heh, really chuffed about this for Miguel Cepero, and for meee. After reading about his Voxels for so long, I’m actually going to see the Voxel Farm in action! Oooh – and while I have your attention, here is my favourite quote from that blog: “The honest answer is I don’t know. I have a very demanding job, whatever little time I have to spare, I use it in this project. I only do it because it relaxes me. Some people count sheep, I think about voxels.”  I just like the image that conjures up.)

So, yes on voxels I’m agog for details from SOE, and agog to get my hands on them too.

…And springing fully formed from ‘voxels in gameplay’  (like Venus’ armpit hair), the other surprise is a second game. That completely blindsided me. Ooooooh. and Aaaah. So we have Landmark to look forward to this winter in which we can play with the voxeltools ourselves and make our own things for EQNext. Which in the half empty glass is cheap assets for SOE, and in the half full glass might be amazingly good fun, whoknowspossibly leading to fame and fortune. Woah.

The “hmm.” is I can’t imagine identifying with the characters they showed, it’s a taste/style thing. I thought they were very sugary and kiddie – very, very like a Disney cartoon in style. I like cartoon graphics in games, but there are all kinds of cartoons. For me that particular style comes with an inherent barrier. It’s a convention I personally associate with looking at, rather than with ‘identifying with’ – still, I’ve become accustomed to being inside worse avatars (!), so just have to see how it plays, (and everyone has different tastes – of course.)

General happiness from me about all this! All the ideas aren’t 100% all new and original, they just aren’t. And I think 100% new and original is a silly thing to be insisting on parrotlike anyway. Mainly interest comes from how things are iterated and built on, now and again something new does spring from the void, but mostly new things come from looking again at old stuff. Giving players voxeltools as part of the game is pretty  new and original anyway.

Other things in there we’ve seen something like – for example the large scale dynamic events look like quite a lot like the events we already see in other games, maybe on a larger, slower scale.  Multi-classing has been tackled in various ways by various games at various times, destroying the environment happens in world-building games etc – well it just depends how these things are done whether they come across as fresh and bold, or as a minor  variation that in hindsight seems obvious, or as a dead end, or as not much new.  On my reckoning Everquest Next as revealed yesterday is different enough to make quite a splash. Yay!

And Landmark will make an extremely interesting  pre-splash – I look forward to it.

Categories: EQNext/Landmark

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