It's The Little Things That Count - 6.25.2008

I'd like to bring up two "little" things that I believe are vital in an MMORPG. This is just my opinion of what's "vital" in an MMORPG because some people may not look at "exploration" as an important part of a game as much as I do. The two things are (1) holiday events and (2) weather effects.

Being totally honest, some of the most fun I have in World of Warcraft is during holiday events. For example, going on right now in the game is the Midsummer Fire Festival. The Festival begins on the summer solstice and runs for two weeks. The Festival is one of the very few WoW holidays that are not based off of real world holidays. Other holiday events such as Hallow's End, Love is in the Air, The Feast of Winter Veil, Noblegarden, etc. are all based off of holidays that we celebrate in the real world. So, when do I bring WAR into this? Right now. In order for there not to be war all the time in WAR and give the player's a break from all the fighting at some times, Mythic would be smart to introduce fun and INTERACTIVE holidays to the game. We know that they will have holidays in WAR because I'm told that it was listed as a major feature on their website ages ago, but will they be fun? I'm gunna go with yes - especially if it's listed as a MAJOR feature. What exactly is "fun" in a holiday event though? "Fun" is dropping stink bombs on the opposing faction's villiage like during Hallow's End in WoW. "Fun" is traveling to the snowy mountains of Alterac to retrieve stolen treats from the Greench like during The Feast of Winter Veil in WoW. You see what I'm getting at? It's the small, interactive, and FUN things like this that make me play a game.

Next, I'd like to discuss weather effects. It seems like weather effects in MMOs ALWAYS look good. It doesn't matter what game we're talking about, they just always seems to look good. In WoW, for example, the rain, snow, lightning, fog, etc. always looks very nice. The problem is that it doesn't happen enough. Very rarely do I ever encounter weather effects in WoW. They just must not occur that often, or something. To add to the rarity of weather effects, good luck finding a zone in WoW that actually has them. It's REALLY bad looking for weather effects in Outland. Zangarmarsh, where it sometimes rains, is the only zone introduced in the Burning Crusade expansion that had weather effects. Only one capital city in the game experiences weather effects: Thunder Bluff rarely has rain. And, only four instance in the game experience weather effects: Stratholme, Zul'Gurub, Scarlet Monastery, and Ahn'Qiraj. I just wish that I was able to experience the great effects that Blizzard has implemented a little more. Now, this is something that Mythic can take and improve upon - and I really hope that they do. Who doesn't wanna be running through a jungle in pouring rain or fighting an epic RvR battle during a bad lightning storm?! All that would do is add to the epicness of the game and Mythic would be stupid not to implement it. I found the following on the WAR website where Mythic addressed weather effects in a Q&A.

'Q: Will we see weather effects in Warhammer Online? And if so, will they have any impact on pvp, such as rain/snow/fog decreases morale, strength, ranged aim, etc.?

A: One more from Steve, and then we'll leave him alone: "If we have such effects, they will have no effect on gameplay, primarily because if we do have them, we will almost certainly have to allow them to be turned off for performance reasons. Invisible unknowable debuffs suck."'

The second part of the answer is understandable. Most games with weather effects do not allow it to affect gameplay and they also allow turn off/on options via sliders. However, what worries me is the first part of the answer. "IF" you have such effects? No, it's not "IF", it had better be "WE WILL" by release.

So, those are just two "small" things that I actually do look for in MMORPGs, and I hope to see them both in WAR.

-Matt Graham

1 comment:

dave said...

I completely agree with your comments on weather effects. I think they add a lot to the game. I certainly hope they will be in WAR.

I like in-game holidays too, but my play time is pretty limited so I usually don't have a lot of time to enjoy them. My guess is that there will be some kind of in-game events and holidays in WAR.