Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Future of LotRO in Europe

The Future of LotRO in Europe while to many is stable… it may not. As many of you may know early this August DDO in Europe shut down and all accounts were transferred from Codemasters back to Turbine. This happened because of “our operating licence has now expired”.

For the people who don’t know DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach) was released on the 28th of February in 2006, 4 years ago. In the leaving note they said the licence was only 4 years. Why did Turbine want back? I don’t know. Maybe they think they can run the servers better now, they didn’t like they way Codemasters handled the game (even if all content was really made by Turbine), they think with the new DDO that it will work better or (what I think) Warner Brothers (who own Turbine now) wanted it to be only being under Turbines full control? Like I said I don’t know.

Now let’s say that the same 4 year licence was the same for LotRO. In which case Codemasters will “lose” the licence next year. Now when Warner Brothers brought over Turbine, I don’t think they were after Asheron’s Call (even if it would make a pretty kickass movie). Earlier this year (or late last year, I forgot) Warner Brother got the full game licence of Lord of the Ring from EA (which I think was a good move). The only part they didn’t have was Turbines part. So when Warner Brothers got Turbine they got the FULL licence to LotR games and since they own New Time, they have the movies too. The only thing they don’t have is the books (who know they buy them next o.O). Oh also they Asheron’s Call fully and they have an MMO company with a good name and there games are on the rise.

I think it’s highly likely that WB will want the LotRO back from Codemasters when there licence runs out.

Of course this is all ideas in mah head; I mean I don’t even know if it is a 4 year licence, I am just going off the DDO licence time.

What do you think? Do you want it? Or do you think that my logic fails in everyway?

For the full note to here à

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

my brief history: Call of Duty part 2

For people just joining us please read the first part here à

The year is 2008! Fable2 WOOT! Ok ok.

So Treyarch released there 3ed Call of Duty game called Call of Duty: World at War (CoD 5).

This was the first CoD game in the main series without a number. WaW added quite abit, after all it had to try and top CoD 4. The single player campaign was the most brutal yet, with the game starting on a torture scene. Treyarch realising that people were getting a bit sick of the standard WW2 lingo they tried something new to the Call of Duty franchise. The Pacific (no not the TV show, however it does go nicely along with it) theatre. However half of the game is you playing a Russian in which you are pressing the Nazis back into Berlin.

The Pacific part of the game is the most detailed and best campaign yet. Treyarch showed there eye for realism and an art to making the story (even if it’s the cheap CoD type) still good. One part you are in a plane over the actual pacific and it is great. You have to move up and down the plane to different areas to fire on enemy ship/planes while defending your ships and rescuing people at sea. It really felt like you were doing something to make an impact, however much like CoD 3 you’re not the hero as such. You are really one in a group and everybody around you is doing there own thing.

On the Russian part of the game you start and you’re the only survivor of a massacrer. Then a Russian sergeant (I think it was) came up next to you and told you to follow him. Through out most of the Russian campaign you’re with him and he really feels like an ally. While this side of the game is nothing you really haven’t seen before, it adds a whole new feel to the game. While the ending is the best in a CoD game so far (WaW bet CoD 3 which had an epic gameplay ending and CoD 4 witch had a pretty good storyish ending). One thing I got found was how the Russians talked about the Nazis and how there doing it for “mother Russian” and how they would kill any Russian running away. This was a great part of it.

In the game you are given some choices. Sometime you pick weather to one way or another with a group (abit like in CoD 3), but you are giving the choice to kill a group of Nazis who surrendered. The Russian ally guy said to kill them; however someone else said to leave them alive because that’s “the rules of battle”. So they give the option to you, I (being the softy I am) picked to keep them alive and nothing really happened. I don’t know what happens if you kill them.

Once again this game sold like cupcakes however once again Treyarch game got mediocre reviews.

But there was one thing about WaW that was REALLY new!... NAZI ZOMBIES! This was much like firefight and horde mode, however everytime you kill a Nazi Zombie you get more money and with that money you buy weapons and open areas along with other things. This mode I think was just put in for the –BLAM- of it, however it is very popular.

2009 and the game that everybody hyped up insane came out HALO 3: ODST… what? Oh come on… no… no… NOOO!... FINE!

In 2009 Call of Duty: modern warfare 2 came out. Originally the game was just going to be called Modern Warfare 2 without the Call of Duty name on it. The game is often known still as Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) or just CoD 6.

This was when (to me) the whole thing fell. I mean the campaign they didn’t know what to do! All the levels seem out of place and what little story that connects them together is just plan rubbish. Also it is the shortish game in the series (yes the PSP CoD was longer). Granted the snow mobile thing was fun and that was it. After CoD 5 did there “shock moments” IW wanted to do it too. This time YOU did the -BLAM- I mean WTF! Ok so you don’t HAVE to do it but still. I think IW just wanted to outdo Treyarch.

Also you know that scene from CoD 4 when the guy gets killed? That was one of the greatest moments in gaming history and it was breathtaking. In CoD 6 they do it stacks to the point were you going “here we go again”. Also your guy from CoD 4 is there and that takes out the felling of you’re the guy. Can’t we just play him again? Really, why not?

All in All CoD 6 was a mess, a good selling and overhyped mess.

Maybe sometime I will continue this when Black Opps comes out and maybe do the other spin off games.

Till when ever that is cya!

- Jack Pipsam

Monday, September 27, 2010

Free to Play

Free to Play (F2P) is a word until last year was not very often used. Only 2 REAL[1] games had free to play. Anarchy Online and Runescape, it doesn’t matter your opinion on Runescape since it is the world’s biggest F2P game in numbers even today. While Anarchy Online’s free kept it alive to today, however most common MMO’s did not try this (expect for EAland[2] on its dying breath). However last year the MMO, DDO (Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach) was about to bite the big one. However Turbine (being the guys they are) made one last try to save the game and was born the same game with a new name... DDO (Dungeons & Dragons Online: Ererron Unlimited[3].

Very fast 5 million accounts were made and DDO was saved and now has about 1 Million subers (VIP). DDO showed the world that F2P (if done right) could save the game. The fact was DDO fitted F2P very nicely with the style of game (not an EQ[4] style game). Today DDO is growing and last mouth Turbine put its other game LotRO (Lord of the Rings Online) into the F2P market, it’s too early to tell, however with server waits that’s a good sign (in a bitchy way).

Many other games are now moving. 3 months ago SOE[5] said that EverQuest 2 will NOT be going free to play, a mouth later and they said it will! In fact I am doing an audio commentary on it now; however I am waiting for the download to finish! Also Pirates of the Burning Sea is going F2P (and hopefully if PotBS and EQ2 go well then other SOE games like Vanguard and Planetside may go over(and maybe... The Matrix Online could come backJ).

Also we are seeing the rise of “endless trials” which is what they sound like such games are WAR[6] and AoC[7] also many other games are too similar things as well. E.g. Star Trek Online and Champions Online.

The future of free to play games looks good, and I can’t wait to be a part of it!

[1] Non Kerian WoW clones, I should note that other kids games were as well e.g. Toontown online

[2] Sims Online, now shut

[3] Ya I hate the name too, however many old players (like mah self) still call it Stormreach (I have the box)

[4] More commonly known as a “WoW Clone”

[5] Sony Online Entertainment

[6] Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

[7] Age of Conan

Saturday, September 25, 2010

my brief history: Call of Duty part 1

Remember back in 2003 when pc FPS fans were just getting there hands on Halo: Combat Evolved and Medal of Honor was still tops?
What is this call of duty? Many a gamer said, to many it looked like a MoH rip off (a good one, but still a rip). However on October 29 most of us got our hands on Call of Duty for PC.

The campaign was like nothing we had ever seen in a WW2 shooter and the multiplayer (still your average GameSpy affair) was fun on a bun! Within about a week people were moving; little did anybody know what CoD would do the gaming world. My opinion on Call of Duty was like “… OMG THIS IS SO KOOL” (being the n00b I was) however the fact was I still played Halo more: P

Later we got Call of Duty: United Offensive the first and to this day the only expansion the call of duty games have ever seen. While it gave you a stranded 6 hour campaign the multiplayer was greatly improved with better maps and of course… CTF!

It wasn’t till 2005 on October 25 on pc that we got our hands on Call of Duty 2 (however we did get some ps2, Xbox and GC games in-between). At this time FPS was the norm, however CoD2 still wowed us. While I didn’t find online as fun, it did moders a lot to play with. The campaign was much longer and so much more epic than the first and any WW2 game before. Later a version came out for the Xbox 360 as a launch title. This was a great port and for the 360, even if the online now is mediocre, remember the new LIVE was new then.

A year later Treyarch came on the scene. Call of Duty 3 came out on all major consoles (except PC, to this day I still hope a version will come on steam). To this day CoD 3 remains my fav in the series. However… many did not agree. Many clamed it to be a copy, however really it was not. The campaign saw you play as 5 nations and the multiplayer was the first with a ranking system. (Granted CoD 4 had the first good one). I liked the game and I think the game got bad rep for no real reason.

2 things happened in 2007 first Halo 3 came out! And… Call of Duty 4: moden warfare. Gamers are kind of divided on this. They may say 2 things “first good CoD” or “last good CoD”. I say this is when the series came shifty. CoD 4 was a great game, hands down. The campaign had some truly rememberal moments and multiplayer had being improved in areas. However this is when what I like to call the “CoD n00b” came in. you know them? There the ones who run around screaming into the mics for no good reason and don’t know the word “good sport”.

Do not get me wrong not all CoD player are like this, but there the ones that you tend to hear.
After this game sold like ice-cream on a hot day, was then it happened... “game a year”!

To be continued

APB shutdown

So anyway the “mmo” APB (All Point Bulletin) shut down after 7 weeks… making officially the shortest lived game ever, great Fury lasted longer! That says much doesn’t it!

The thing is APB was fun for the first 2 hours. After that it became a grind fest (and trust me I have played some grindy game *cough*RuneScape*cough*) however unlike RuneScape the game still isn’t fun at all! With little else to do to break things up. APB claimed to be a “cops n robbers” game… well it’s the most one sided cop’s n robber’s game I have ever seen. All the effort was put into the bad guys knowing that most people would want to play that, HOWEVER that is no reason not to put work into the cops as well. This is what I call the “WAR scenario” (WAR meaning “Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning”)

For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about I will tell you… right now!

WAR has two fractions (which pissed me off since Dark Age of Camelot (there other game) had 3) Order (good guys) and Destruction (bad guys). Now it is clear this is ripping off Wow’s Alliance and Horde (stfu it is). So anyway unlike WoW all the (no I am NOT a WoW player) work was put into Destruction with great starting areas and more powerful. Normally in games I pick the good guy being the softy I am, however in WAR I found myself play Destruction more because it was less buggy and better gameplay. Which lead to a very once sided battle hence the term “WAR scenario” however most of the issues in WAR are fixed.

So anyway APB was very much in favour of the crimes. There was an AI cop system … however they sucked! While I am no policies newspaper editor I know that the game is less fun for all (expect the n00bs who like free points). The gameplay was really getting objectives, weather it be stay in an area for a time to capture it, kill someone, collect an item ect.

What I did like about the game was the team aspect. Being a lone wolf does not do very well, you can not go in all GTA style and live to tell the tale (granted you may not want to hear it). This game was about teamwork and I loved it! I brought me back to the days of Dark Age of Camelot, running up a hill in a group of 100+ to storm a castle with you team working together to get them and there team was working together to stop us. That was to me MMO at near its finest. After all it’s really the the whole online social thing witch makes MMO’s great! However MMO players today are well… not really team players and are mostly 12 year olds with $20 headsets yelling thinking there top shit. I might make a full article on that issue some other time.

ABP was not great, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. The game could of being something with more work and budget. We miss you for what you are… a mmo which wasn’t a WoW clone, which is always nice.

NOTE: EPIC games (the people behind the great Unreal and the shit GoW) may buy the game!

- Jack Pipsam

Friday, September 24, 2010

talking about Halo:Reach part1

what is not to love about Halo: Reach?
the campaign is the best yet, the online is fantastic, forge is great and all around FTW!

The story is the easiest to follow. you are Nobel 6 (this time you get to choice between male or female) you are a replacement of another Spartan was K.I.A.
Nobel Team goes out to hunt down some rebels, however you quickly find out its the *gasp* Covenant, ok by now its not a big surprise to any player. this is when they first hit Reach.
unless you are pants on head retarded you would know that Reach is a planet. so you go on your happy adventure. I won't go on to spoil to much, however lets just say stick around after the credits.

Like last time you can upload pictures and videos from theretre mode while you can upload maps from forge also once again you can download and recommender them.
unlike Halo 2 and 3 there ant a whole stack of playlists (Halo 3 playlists have being bought down a bit). however this is an issue, see I liked knowing what match I am going into but now you can vote your gametype of choice. funny how in the "welcome to the beta" video she said that this would bring less veto power.... IT JUST HAS MORE FUCKING VETO POWER!
I am SICK of getting into Team Sniper and Team SWAT matches. ALL I WANT IS TO PLAY SOME FUCKING SLAYER! but 96% of the time I end up somewhere else!

to be continued!