This Week at a Glance

Crazy week of 14 hour work days and trying to get a few projects off the group for my little startup project I’m doing. Starting a business is a lot of work. Let’s play catch up.

Chronicles of Elyria

Several of you emailed me or commented about Chronicles of Elyria with a “Check this out, Keen!” or “Hey have you seen this?” Yep, I see it. I think there’s a lot of really, really baseless hype right now. I can’t get excited for Kickstarter projects anymore. I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike for the crowdfunding model for video games. While it has worked wonderfully for some games, I think it’s been the death sentence for twice as many more.

Don’t get me wrong here. I think the game has plenty of awesome ideas. In fact, I’m hyped myself at the thought of how some of these ideas can translate into a more dynamic and “living” world (sandbox?) rather than a themepark.

  • Characters age and die
  • Characters can permanently die
  • Characters stay in the world and if merchants they will be turned into NPCs (really cool concept?)
  • No in-game maps
  • Game enforced palyer contracts (also really cool)

What I can already say I dislike immediately are the ideas of players being Kings and a less than super simple business model. I have never seen the promise of player Kings or rulers or mayors or whatever they may be actually pan out into something that makes ANY sort of sense. So that idea already throws a red flag for me. And the concept of having pre-launch currency, in-game currency earned by playing, yada yada, all makes me frown and wish they’d just charge $14.99 a month.

Chronicles of Elyria is on my radar for sure. Let’s hope Kickstarter works, they actually make the game, and it’s what they promised the world.

Overwatch Open Beta

I’m enjoying Overwatch Open Beta significantly more than the Alpha I played a few months ago. However, the game still suffers from immense balance issues. Some characters are just worthless due to team composition needs. Some characters are still ridiculously powerful unless hard-countered by a specific character. I like Overwatch, but end up feeling frustrated 50% of the time I play, but that’s shooters in general.

World of Warcraft – Ding 100

My Monk reached level 100 and I was able to start my Tanaan dailies. In just 3 days of dailies I now have a full set of gear for my healing spec. I’m up to like 650 iLvl or something. Half my items are 675-680 epics. I’m planning to start dungeons soon, and farming raids for cash.

  • As I just commented on Syp’s blog, Chronicles of Elyria ticks a whole lot of boxes that I’d really rather went unticked, thank you very much. Why would I want my character to age or change appearance? Why would I want my character to permanently die? These are the antithesis of what an MMO character means to me, which is something permanent and unchanging. Once I settle on a look for my characters I don’t like even to change an item of clothing or a dye color. I want to log in and see exactly the same character I saw every other time I logged in. That is the point.

    As for no in game maps – have you played MMOs with no maps? It’s a nightmare. The first thing everyone does is get a third-party mod or add on that puts maps into the game or if the game doesn’t allow that they get a website up on a second monitor or, these days, a mobile device and look at the map from that. Even in 1999 we all had a folder on nour desks with EQAtlas printed out. Cartography is all very well as an additional, hobby skill in game but it doesn’t even begin to replace a real map – especially if the cartographer is encouraged to be trolling, lying, ganker!

    I could go on but I won’t bother. The best thing about Chronicles of Elyria is that, if it succeeds, it will pull a whole load of players and developers who think this sort of thing is a jolly good wheeze into a safe space well away from me or any game I am playing!

  • Question for Bhagpuss regarding “Even in 1999 we all had a folder on our desks with EQAtlas printed out.”

    Did you find that to be a chore? I thought it was something that was incredibly immersive. I’m checking a “real” map, figuring out where I am on it, charting how to get where I’m going. It made me feel like I was the one in the game, lost and trying to find my way. Putting it in game with yourself on it moving in real time isn’t a map, it’s a GPS, and honestly it’s something I would prefer to be the old way. I recently played through Legend of Grimrock and they had a setting to turn off all maps. I printed out graph paper and drew my own, and it was GREAT.


    My own reservation with Elyria is permadeath, I play MMOs for long periods of time because of an attachment I get to my character. Not sure if I permadeath is for me.

  • Honestly… that Elyria game sounds like it would perfect.

    If they were describing the first truly-immersive VR-MMORPG. Been reading a ton of the new “Lit-RPG” genre of books these days, and that would really strike a chord with me.

    As a normal PC game though? No thanks.

  • Overwatch needs some balancing indeed. I’m doing random quick matchs, it might be the issue, but I also found that most game are one-sided. I haven’t been in a lot of tight games unfortunately.

    On a personnal note, I need to get better at reading some game feedback. Too many times I don’t even realized I’m being hit in the back or from the side.

  • I’m almost positive the permadeath in Elyria will be tweaked or implemented in such a way that it isn’t like you lose everything. I haven’t looked into it much, but I can’t imagine they’d go that “hardcore” route over making it simply a fluffy mechanic to augment their attempt at immersion.

  • I have to agree that overwatch needs balancing, gamemodes and more maps.
    The things is when playing i am fully immersed and not bored at any time.

    Runs smooth, I like the audio feedback from teammates. turret ahead. enemy behind us, sniper!!
    Just wish the fov could slide back a litttttle further.

    Fun though

  • Overwatch’s balance isn’t that bad. It is funny that a lot of the underpowered classes on forums are some of the best at higher end play. Random pickup matches just favor certain heroes. The fact people ask for D VA buffs speaks volumes as to people no understanding balance yet.