Saturday, 7 April 2007

Day93 WoW

Yes - more WoWing - it is very theraputic :-)

[journeytime = 0.5 hours]

Day92 WoW

Into the Citadel we went - superfun.
It is so tough for us that we have lotsa deaths, but eventually triumphed over all but the boss dragon-dude. We will head back in for the follow-up and another attempt soon no doubt.
I got to unleash lots of Warlocky skills for the group which was great.

[journeytime - 0.5 hours]

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Day91 HL2book & Poser

HL2 book
Had a good look through the Half-Life2 Raising the Bar book (just by Valve) today. It has a few nice insights into the construction and design of the gameplay and environments. The chapter on City 17 has great concept art and the corresponding in-game visuals - beautiful. It really does highlight the extraudinary amount of work required to bring a game with this much polish to life. I quite like the sketch isometrics showing a combat area (like cellblock3 or the yard) detailing how the player can act and what the environment suggests and requires of them. My most memorable part in the entire game is the walk across the bridge - seeing it again in the images brings back fond memories indeed. Comparing how combat works in HL2 and the static combat of the MMORPGs does show that the industry has a lot of growth potential in many areas.
The text covering the interaction between the art and gameplay (where they conflict and inspire each other etc) is quite telling.

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Poser
Well should I bite the bullet and grab a copy of this baby as well... It has plenty of nice features to tempt anyone. http://www.e-frontier.com/article/articleview/1156/1/281?sbss=281

[images from the gallery section of the Poser website]

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WoWing - more of the Mage!

[journeytime = 1 hour]

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Day90 Guild Wars +

Guild Wars
Well, today a little peek at Guild Wars. This MMORPG has some actually different thematic ideas in it - differentiating it from much of the competition. http://www.guildwars.com/
It has a serious PVP bias, which means it probably isnt my cup of tea - but perhaps there is still plenty of PVE content for a casual player like me.

Here are the screenshots from the website - well a small selection of them anyhow.


[screenshot images from the Guild Wars website]

As these images make glaringly obvious - it s a beautiful looking game - the detail level is high and the environments lushly textured.

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Heroes was another inspiration episode - the plotlines intersected at a whole lot more places and we got to see the origin of Sylar.

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WoWing again - bit more of the low level mage - got to 12 - still not sure about the class yet...

[journeytime = 1 hour]

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Day89 HL2EP2, Vanguard, NWN2 & WoW

HL2 EP2
Well it isnt here yet - but a quick glance on the site shows it will be pretty and another great ride. http://www.electronicarts.com.au/en-au/games/pc/halflife/episodetwo/screenshots

[images from the HL2 site]

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Vanguard
From some of what I have been hearing, I decided to check the web for details of this new MMORPG. Honestly I wasnt inspired by what I can see. It looks like it might be trying a few new things - but it really looks no better than EQ2 (or even WoWs snazzy style) and the gameplay hinted at nice new things but where are they really. The website played up things like all the ways you can travel and all the mounts and classes that exist - but this is pretty shallow really.
http://vanguard.station.sony.com/

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NWN2
I remember loving NWN when it first came out. The idea of a game of this type which was designed specifially for people to make new content is great. But having a sneap peak at NWN2 on the web now shows that the engine that reveals this world has really grown up:
The trailer is just beautiful (not ingame graphics) but in the same way as Blizzards stuff - really inspirational.

[screenshot images from NWN2 website http://www.atari.com/nwn2/AU/gallery_screenshots.php# ]

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WoW (well any MMORPG for that matter) Thinking
Also had several discussions around the idea of depth when it comes to the mechanics of a game like WoW. How exactly would poking a water elemental with a dagger do any damage at all - let alone strike a critical organ and leave it bleeding. So should the world embrace this complexity? It would definately make game and class balance trickier by an order of magnitude. The water elemental example could partially be saved by say having a magic embued crystal at the heart of the creature - rogues could then attempt to damage this in some way. Equally pretty much all creatures just stand there in front of you and melee/cast - there is very little variety in how a fight pans out at the larger scale - it is down to details. Should all the mobs just be orcs then with different spells/abilities - how different is a water or fire elemental from this really? It would make those encounters far more memerable if it was actually different. Even better, if you had to solve the puzzle of how to damage such a crature at all was required.
So perhaps the future is a world with this kind of depth - fighting swarms of bees while climbing ropes up a cliff with waving of hands, smoke, fire and magic.

[journeytime = 1 hour]

Monday, 2 April 2007

Day88 WoW

Yes the call of the young mage grabbed me again - lotsa fun.
Intellectually at the moment it is Richard Dawkins - really enjoying his latest book 'The God Delusion'. The writing is eloquent and forceful - yet I find myself smiling and laughing as I read his tearing apart of various ideas. I only hope that when I get into the masters degree in a few months that I can take on board this clarity of expression and argument.

[journeytime = 0.5 hours]

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Day87 WoW

Yes - back into WoWing again - felt like some R&R after another day with the knee.
As always the inevitable pull of the lower levels vs the high. Soo toying around with a mage was great - and a lovely contrast to the Warlock. The fights are a flurry of violent casting where it is all over in a flash compared to the slow unstoppable firepower of the Lock. I really am a caster at heart!

[journeytime = 0.5 hours]