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Blacklight: Retribution Is the Newest FPS in Town

Hi guys. It’s spring and there are quite a few new MMO games that have been released recently. In my capacity as official staff writer of MMO Worlds I have to keep an eye out for new updates, expansions and launches.

The most recent one is Blacklight: Retribution (BLR) which is a sequel to Blacklight: Tango Down. BLR is a first-person shooter game which is a rather big problem for me since I never play FPS games. I mean, I’m just too slow and newb to play shooters. I get frustrated and start hating the game. So I palmed off the review to someone else. :)

The official website is at http://blacklight.perfectworld.com/.

Anyway, the reason I mentioned this is that I want to go on record to say this:

If you dislike a particular genre, for goodness sake, don’t review it! As a reviewer you should stay objective. If you cannot be objective then refuse the work and ask someone else to write the review. It’s not that hard. You aren’t the only reviewer in town.

Lots of gaming fans hate MMORPGs and that’s fine. People are entitled to their opinion. MMOs are not for everyone. However, for reviewers this presents a problem if you have to review one. My advice: don’t do it.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Game Blogs

 

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WoW, a Real Shocker: Blizzard Lays Off 600 Employees

I just had to post about it. Apparently, Blizzard, the company behind top MMORPG World of Warcraft (WoW) just laid off 600 people. A source says that “has said most of the job cuts are connected to customer services after it was determined that associated manpower exceeded customer demand.”

I guess times are hard even for the top game companies in the world.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Game Blogs

 

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Another day, another press release

Another day, another press release

Writing for a living is a great job but maybe not as fun as some people think it is. Today I managed to write a fairly good press release. It’s nothing earth-shattering but it gets the work done.

In other news, I have been playing Echo Bazaar daily. It’s a great gothic Victorian roleplaying game. It is free to play but I do pay some real life money to get some advantages in the game.

In the developer’s blog they like to talk about narratives and games.

Three decades ago, London was stolen by bats. Dragged deep into the earth by the Echo Bazaar. The sun is gone. All we have is the gas-light of Mr Fires. But Londoners can get used to anything. And it’s quiet down here with the devils and the darkness and the mushroom wine. Peaceful.

But then YOU arrived.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Game Blogs

 

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MMORPGs – You Say It Sucks But You Keep on Playing

This is a response to a comment we received here about one of the games we featured. Here is the comment from the website visitor “NoName”:

In regards to Runes of Magic, I’ve played it for almost a whole year. While I is a good f2p mmo, there are constantly problems within this game.

It is constantly riddled with bugs of one sort or another that can range from being unable to complete a quest to a processing error that automatically crashes the game. Also, if you into pvp, it is good, but still highly unbalanced as some classes have a much easier time slaying others as compared to the remaining classes. The in-game economy can be awful as well, but that varies from server to server. End-game wise, it becomes more and more apparent that you will need to spend real money if you want even decent gear for end-game activities unless you’re luck and get free handouts from players leaving the game. I would say my biggest gripe is that the developer, runewalker, normally takes weeks or months to fix bugs or errors. Some known problems that still persist existed even before I joined RoM.

Overall, gameplay isn’t bad, but there are many upon many small issues that will eventually annoy and enrage players (I know of some big players in my server who left for other games), which historically takes quite a while to fix.

Would I recommend this game to others? I’d say take a shot at it as there are good friends to be made in there, but ultimately, not worth it as this game still requires a lot of polishing and there are no signs that fixes/balances will come anytime soon.

First of all, thanks for the comment. I (this is Percy) really appreciate the time you took to write out a mini review that clearly outlines the your points.

Secondly, I think this comment shows your own opinion or evaluation of the game and when it comes to personal opinion, there is not right or wrong. Likewise when I said Runes of Magic is one of the top free MMO games in 2012 I don’t think this is a fact. It’s my opinion.

Thirdly, hmm so you played RoM for a year but you think it is not worth playing?

This is actually very common among MMO players. They play a game for ages and then get disenchanted with it. These former players are some of the most vocal critics of the game. Often they will say something like “oh yeah it used to be good but now it sucks” or “I played that game for ages but it’s not really worth playing.”

IMO, if you played it for a year then your actions show that it is worth playing. Free to play MMOs like Runes of Magic are not Facebook games. You can’t just play it right away. You have to register for an account, download the game, install it and then play.

About the other points:

“constantly riddled with bugs” – I have no idea what you mean by that. Almost all games have minor bugs but RoM is not unplayable and I have not encountered any huge game-breaking bugs.

“some classes have a much easier time slaying others as compared to the remaining classes” – eh, true but it’s like that in most games

“you will need to spend real money” – This is the perennial complaint of players of practically every single free to play MMO game in the market. Of course, most full-featured 3D MMORPG games have some nice stuff in the cash shop but NoName did say that this is only really an issue in the end game. Call me jaded but if you can play a f2p game totally for free until end game/max level content, well that is good enough!

It’s not exactly free to develop a game like Runes of Magic that has great graphics, tons of content and millions of players. I think the cash shop items are pretty well balanced in that most people except for the upper 5% or so who max out won’t really need to spend real life money at all. Even at end game you can get by with spending just a small amount of cash.

Those are my thoughts, please feel free to voice out your own opinion but keep it polite.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in Game Blogs

 

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The Problem with MMO Game Reviews: Why Reviewing MMORPGs Kinda Sucks

Let me introduce myself – I am a professional writer. I have to put in the word professional in there so people know that writing is work and not a hobby for me. I get paid to do it. A large part of my work nowadays is writing about MMO games. Isn’t that great?

I thought about writing this post to let my readers know a little bit about how MMO games are written about. Notice I used the more general term “written about” rather than reviewed. We will get to that later.

The Problem with MMO Game Reviews

game reviewers

The writing process looks like this

Problem 1: No one has the time to properly review the whole game.

With MMOs I have to download huge clients. This can take a very long time. Then I need to register an account, create a character and then play for a very long time. How long? At least a few hours, more likely several days.

The problem boils down to this: MMO are endless. All the content takes either forever or at the very least several hundred hours to finish. A person cannot fairly review a game after playing it a little bit but what can you do? Obviously no one has enough time to play the low-level, mid-level and endgame of every MMO they need to write about. That’s why I feel MMO reviews are all less fair than other types of reviews.

Book reviewers can read the entire book before they write about it. Movie critics finish the movie before they review it. Restaurant reviewers can sit down and eat an entire meal but can a MMO reviewer really play most of the game unless they devote a year to it?

Problem 2: How do you compare apples and oranges?

I try to be fair and review a game as it is. Comparisons are always made but only similar games should be compared, otherwise it just doesn’t make sense.

But did you know players are always looking for similar games?

It’s true! They always say “I want games like Runescape but better,” “is there any sandbox game like old SWG,” “any games similar to Maplestory,” “I need a game to replace WoW,” “no download games like Club Penguin,” etc. Almost no one ever says “I want a game totally unlike any other.”

Then do you know what happens when you do tell them about some “games like Runescape/Maplestory/WoW/whatever”? They get mad because “that isn’t like Runescape at all they don’t have any crafting!” or “that game sucks its not like WoW at all the PvP is too different.”

To these people: get a grip! There is no game exactly like RS/MS/WoW/SWG. There never will be. Okay? All the games that reviewers/writers will point out for you will be similar to it in one way or another but it can never really be the same.

Problem 3: MMOs change all the time.

This is one genre of games that is always changing. It’s not like video games where developers can sell the whole game. MMOs are constantly updated and things get moved, changed, nerfed, broken, fixed, etc. all the time. So yeah maybe that review you read says something that isn’t true anymore because it got changed.

One day you write glowingly about how players never really need to buy anything off the cash shop then the next day PvP gets broken for free players because a bunch of new items were added to the shop. That’s how it is with MMOGs.

The Problem with MMO Game Reviews: Conclusion

I’m not going to complain too much though. Writing is a great job. Playing MMO games is fun. Combining the two is awesome. It’s just not as easy or as fun as you would expect.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Game Blogs

 

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MMORPGs: Do they stress you out?

Sometimes playing MMO games can feel like work. You log in, complete tasks (quests), get your rewards and keep on doing that again and again. It’s called the daily grind and it is getting me down.

Ideally, role-playing in a game should be more like this:

Just as being away on a trip to a far-off island can refresh one’s perspective on daily life, one can achieve the same effect and benefits by immersing oneself in the fantastic worlds of free MMORPG. There are whole worlds to choose from and many stories to pursue, and certainly many characters to be. (Source)

But most of the time, it isn’t. Most of the time it’s just grinding, farming, trying to level up your character so it doesn’t suck.

Club Penguin

Club Penguin - for the times when you are bored with your Dark Elf

So what do I do when MMOs make me depressed and bored? Don’t laugh but I actually play games like Club Penguin. You know, casual, colorful games that make me smile. I love those colorful Penguins. :)

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Game Blogs

 

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Bored of MMORPGs!

So I downloaded the WoW trial for free players quite some time ago and I have been playing it. The problem is, I know this is supposed to be one of the best, possibly even the best MMO out there but it just can’t seem to hold my attention at all.

What’s up with gameplay? I don’t understand why there are so many quests and all you ever do is kill things to complete them and get rewards. So everything is just running around killing ten rats… forever?
wow blood elfI do like the graphics and the sound effects. The backstory behind the blood elves is also very interesting and at first I was really into that but now it seems when I log in all I ever do is quests. On the plus side, I do love the combat system but I’m bored and I haven’t even gotten to level 20 yet.

With the open world questing, the mobs are far apart most of the time so I also don’t get how we are supposed to work in groups. I mean, okay you can kill two mobs together then you have to keep on moving. I always seem to lose my group members after than. IMO, if you can no longer see them in your screen, you have lost them. What’s the point of playing with friends if you can’t stay together in the game screen? You might as well not play together if you just independently kill things.

There also doesn’t seem to be a robust skill or profession system as far as I can tell. I haven’t had to craft anything at all.

*sigh*

In other news, here is a new article What is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game? and I am taking a long look at an upcoming game Blade and Soul.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Game Blogs

 

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