Latest beta update

Here is the latest news for me on the new MMO’s coming out. Not that I got any encouragement to keep you up to date but I am bored as all three beta servers are offline right now. 

I did get into all three closed beta’s I mentioned previously: Tabula Rasa, Pirates of the Burning Sea and Rome: Heroes and Gods. Of course I am under NDA so I can’t really go into detail but since almost everything I have to talk about is already in the press I can say some things. 

I think if parts of all three beta’s were combined they might have a game to release. Of the three, Tabula Rasa was the one I wanted to play the most and it is currently the one I do not play at all. This beta is very close to Auto Assault or Matrix Online where the early level quests do not work. So advancement in even the first or second day gets stalled or extremely hard. And that is unfortunate. I am currently just frustrated and have chosen to play the other beta’s for a while until they fix the issues stopping me. Eventually I do plan on playing this as I really like the designers and the things they are doing in the design. 

Rome is the most WoW like of the three as it is the only one that is fantasy based. I haven’t gotten far enough in the game to really know what it is like. There is a highly complex talent tree which is nice. And you get to choose a God to worship that gives you more powers. What there is to do with all of this I am not sure. But it seems to give the game a whole ton of different characters paths. A lot more than WoW. But whether there is a true difference I do not yet know. 

Pirates…wow, nice design. Terrible execution. This probably breaks the NDA but they have an absolutely horrible physics model for the characters. The ship combat however is fantastic. The game is very complex. The entire game is player economy based. As far as I can tell there is nothing much to buy in the game from the game itself. It has to be created by players and sold to other players. But right now there is no players selling things in the towns near me as not enough players are in the beta.  

You need new ships later on and you have to buy them from players. From what I understand to build a ship requires 4 characters to build all the materials necessary. So doing that will not be easy. I have played two other MMO’s that tried to do a player based economy and they both pretty much failed. But it actually is my favorite style of MMO and the thing I hate the most about WoW (other than not seeing the end game content). I hope they get enough players to get the economy going. 

End game: Can’t comment on the end games for these beta’s as I am still way to low level to even need to group with players for any instance/fight. Obviously, even if they do not go with the raid style end game WoW chose, they have to do something. And that is where the success truly lies. Will there be something to do when you play for a long time? Hopefully I can get to see some of this before the games are released. But none of the games are playable 7 days a week yet. So finding time is hard. 

Why post this info here? Because I like WoW for the most part and miss playing it. And inevitably I have to compare the games to WoW. WoW is a pretty bad game when I think about it but it is still the best made game. Even from the beginning, and I started with the WoW beta 7 months before release, it had more things done right than anything I have seen of these games. What confuses me is that I am playing three beta’s made by three different companies and not one of them has done the things that I feel WoW did right. All three are correcting things WoW did wrong but they did this at the expense of getting the other things right. And I am not talking about flat out stealing the WoW interface look and feel like Warhammer Online did. (That is one beta I care nothing about as no matter how much the game mechanics the look of the things I interface with as a player is exactly like WoW.)  

What I am talking about is twofold. The first thing WoW did right IMO was that from the beginning they chose to make every object in the game something that can be referenced. Basically this means that linking an item in the chat window and having other players be able to click on it to see what it is has to be put in from the beginning. It has to be a philosophy of the designers that everything is addressable by players in some way or another.  

The second thing WoW did right was that they are very good at leading a player into the game. While it is possible the games I am playing now might fix this before release as far as I am concerned the fact that they have not yet done this is pretty amazing. A caveat though….I might have skipped some of the instruction as there is no compelling reason to read most of the things they tell you. But, never-the-less, I have not had an easy time getting to know what there is to do or why things do not work a particular way.  

Let me explain this last point. In one beta, when you level up you earn two talent points. The game leads you to a trainer and you get to spend them for the first time. On your next level you earn two more. The talent screen shows you with two points to spend and gives you the exact same menu for you to spend them (+ signs next to the talents) but it doesn’t work. It wasn’t until I stumbled across another trainer later on that I was able to spend the points though the trainer does nothing in particular. There was no explanation the first time I went there that I had to go back every time. If you think about WoW you can spend talent points at any time you have them. You have to go to the trainers to buy skills though. But you do not need to go back to town to the trainer just to spend the point you earned. Maybe, the way WoW works is what has confused me as to how the other game works but they need to fix this before release as I am surely not going to be the only from WoW playing this game. 

Well that’s enough for now…

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One Response to Latest beta update

  1. Tarl says:

    Hi Uno – stumbled onto this site when I was bored at work.

    Just saying Hi


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