A few months ago, I wrote my guide to WoW PvE. At the time that I wrote that, Blizzard was tight-lipped in their design. Without their express design goals posted anywhere, everything had to be reverse-engineered from our experience in the game. In other words, my guide was a collection of guesses. I happen to think they're good guesses, but when you get right down to it, the amount of public data regarding those game design decisions I talk about was minimal.
All that's changed recently. Blizzard has a new and official voice speaking to the WoW class community, Ghostcrawler. I say the following with all due gravity: Ghostcrawler's posts are game design porn.
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There was a time in the last six months when my wife and I needed a break from the World of Warcraft. I keep up on the gaming internets and came across news that a former project leader (Bill Roper) had left Blizzard and went to found his own company (Flagship Studios). This company's first game is Hellgate London (HGL), a top-tier online multiplayer game in the spirit of Diablo, by the producer of Diablo. It's post-apocalyptic, magic-using, gun-shooting, demon-fighting. It's leveling up and getting better gear. When I list it here, it STILL sounds like a no-lose prospect.
After trying the beta, we were skeptical due to the amount of bugs. We didn't have a lot of experience with beta versions, so we believed the company's constant reassurances that they were ironing those bugs out. We figured this must be how it's done. So my wife and I each got the Collector's Edition of HGL, because the CE came with a minipet and we're suckers for minipets. My best friend did, too. We're all gamers, we were looking forward to dive into a new game that we could all play together.
Unfortunately, HGL sucked.
Continue reading Hellgate London sucks