State of a game

I've been avoiding posting a blog for a few days.  I think I needed to stew over the latest smattering of news from Turbine for a few before I felt qualified to speak to it. What news am I speaking about?  Turbines Fernando Paiz wrote a State of the Game address Tuesday.  You can read the article in it's entirety here.

Generally, I think its fantastic when a game developer speaks to his audience.  We love hearing what's going on with our addiction of choice.  We love feeling like we are part of the process.  We love hearing even the smallest details.

Since I have read the article, something has been churning in my gut.  It's not an unusual reaction.  I am often adverse to many of the changes made to my games by those who feel they know better.  Sometimes I am proved wrong.  Other times,  I plug a bullet right between the eyes of truth with alarming accuracy.

I won't rehash the majority of the article.  It's well written.  For those of you think I am incapable to paying someone a compliment, I will refer you to the aforementioned well written.

Within an hour of the article being up,  my twitter feed hummed with a opinion.  Mostly of it was wonderfully optimistic.  Among my gaming friends and blogging community, I am always the bad seed.  I reckon I can live with the mantle.

I remain after several days stew-age stuck with my immediate gut reaction.

They are going to LOTRO DDO.

Whether this is a good or bad thing has been up for debate.  I personally felt a let down after reading the development team's plans for the game.

Specifically, they are adding in costuming, and at long last, guild housing with some sort of rival earning system.

I am not saying I am against either of these additions.  I'm not.  I have long begged for player housing of some kind, and the ability distinguish my character's skinning from those around me.  Dragonscale armor has been the fad in DDO for many moons, and we have been running around looking like clones of each other.  Besides, if I have the ability to turn my character entirely pink, I am not going to argue.

Fernando also tells us about the new race pick.  Half Orcs.   I am slightly surprised this is the one they went with.  I had actually expected half elves.  Half Orcs get a +2 to strength, -2 Intelligence, and -2 charisma.  Basically they are a big dumb ugly whack-a-mobs.  I am interested in seeing how they skin these.  Half Orcs are generally 6 to 7 feet tall.  They are gonna start out taller than all those true rez people LOL.

Overall the article didn't mention anything earth shattering concerning future development.  In this one area, I found myself severely disappointed.  I had hoped to hear some imaginative thoughts laying out how they plan on getting around the natural level cap they have in the game.

Fernando talked at GDC detailing specific numbers concerning the store and sales.  We'd had the announcement in the past stating they had more than 1 million new users.  Both of which point to Turbine having a winner on their hands.

My lack of a warm fuzzy centers around how they are foreseeing the future as the new subscribers reach level 20.  At the moment, we have been given Epic content.  Basically, this boils down to a supped up quest you've already run before.  We also have the mini crafting available. And last, but not least, you can reincarnate.

What I wanted to was Turbine telling us they were going to have further character development available.  New gear is great, making a quest harder kinda lame and being stuck reincarnating aggravating.  I want to actually grow my character, not make her just taller with a few more starting stat points.

Epic level.  I wanted to hear them tell me they were going to make them.  They are not the same as an Epic choice in the adventure :(

Overall, I will say I appreciate Turbine making efforts to communicate.   New underwater combat options sound fun.  Update 4 being on Lammania is fabulous.  I am excited to see them working on the game.

They could try coming up with new ways to add fantastic features to the game.  Seriously, don't LOTRO DnD.  They are two different worlds.  It's like putting a light saber in the hands of a Star Trek Captain.  Just wrong.


In other news, my static group finally gathered up enough relics for us to run Gianthold Tor.  We are Reaver flagged!  While we stepped into the raid, we didn't complete it.  I hope in a few weeks to report we beat another raid.