Big consequences result in teamwork? A random PvP splurge (What does that even mean? Sounds gross)

If a PvP system has a harsh punishment for dying (Such as loss of one piece of gear) and it also encourages people to group together, would that cause greater teamwork between people? I don't think so. All it would probably do would be to cause pugs to fade into nothingness and no one would want to attempt to PvP without going with a bunch of people they know and can talk to on vent. Such a system would then lead to elite guild groups roaming the land and rolling solo/pugs n00bs.

So how would a game encourage teamwork within groups? First of all there will always be people that have no wish to help other people out and just want to grief others, so perhaps the best way to get these guys' act together would be to ensure that a group failure would result in everyone suffering. But this would just cause even more people to avoid joining pugs as the n00bs would stuff up their 1337 skills.

To band a group together and to cause them to work as a team a game would have to give greater rewards to the group as a whole but still penalties for the whole group if they fail. A group that shares the reward will work less as a group of individuals trying to get whatever they want, but as an individual group trying to work together so they all can gain something. Not only will they then want to play as a group, but they will need to because of the other groups striving for the same goal.

I was just thinking of the Darkfall/WAR kind of PvP system. In the end guild groups will rule the world, and there is little anyone can do about it except combat it with another guild group.
So, sorry about that random splurge, starting with me answering my own question, suggesting ideas and refuting them in the next sentence. :) I'm in a funny mood this morning. (Yr12 starts on Monday :P)

Moar Updates!

A couple of weeks ago our neighbour entrusted me with here two darling guinea pigs to take care of for a couple of weeks while she and her family were in Singapore. Strangely one of the guinea pigs died within a week of laying eyes on me so I guess I can expect a lawsuit any day now. :P

On a lighter note I've started playing a game called Spectromancer which is a tactical onlien card game with singleplayer elements. The game is free to play and is surprisingly entertaining with none of the usual micro transactions such as buying booster packs.

Everyone has the same cards which are chosen randomly each game, so while you might be slightly unlucky with the cards you get, its never hopelessly unfair. It makes the game even more tactical as you really need to be constantly working out what combinations are best with your randomly generated cards. It would be nice to be able to customize your deck by picking form cards available to everyone but there are various reasons why this isn't the case and the game doesn't suffer without it. So check out Spectromancer today because it is well worth the download.

Pure Pwnage game....??!!

I often visit the PP website to check to see if their latest episode has come out, even more so after one of their cast members (T-bag) died in a car crash. Anyway, the place had been very quiet for a long time with no updates until today. The guy who plays Jeremy talked about various things including a game that he had been designing and that will shortly be in beta. Check it out here. Sounds very interesting and was quite suprising to me seeing as Jeremy making his own video game had been a joke in one of the episodes...turns out they were serious!

Wall of white

From the beginning of my holidays (9 weeks ago) I promised myself that I would try and focus and begin writing my novel which I have attempted to write a number of times. Most of my stories get to around 10k+ words, then I peter out and leave them alone. The main problem that faced me I guess is that I had no clear idea of where I would go with the story and as such just wrote off the top of my head.

Now I've heard that this method of writing isn't completely stupid as many authors do that, but most plan out what they want to write, which makes the writing process easier. So anyway, despite my convictions I didn't really do anything till one week ago before I decided to get started. Over the past week I have been slowly filling out ideas for my novel in a notepad whenever I feel like it (Or force myself to do it) and I'm feeling slightly more confident that it possibly could go somewhere.

I haven't even begun writing yet as I am still working out a lot of the ideas, not to mention the plot, but its been fun so far. I have set myself the challenge to write a minimum of 500 words a day on this story with a final word count of 80k words.(Approximation/hopeful length)So if everything goes according to plan I will have a complete draft within six months at the latest. Listen out for hopefully more updates about my latest attempted novel in these spaces.

Creative Post #2

Heres the second half to my rather bad short story :D


The guy at the desk looks expectantly at me. I guess that means I’m supposed to say something. Customer service has come a long way. I clear my throat. My palms are all sweaty.

Hey look mate, I was just looking for a movie but I couldn’t find it, I say leaning forward so the other customers couldn’t hear.

“What you looking for mate?” The guy asks.

I grin weakly at him. Yeah, I’m just looking for that movie with, you know, the ship and it crashes.

“Sorry mate, you’re going to have to be a bit more specific then that.” The guy’s eyes were pure evil. What did he have against me?

I lean a bit closer. Ah well. You know, it’s that movie with what’s-his-name in it...Leonardo Devinci or something like that.

“Mate, that’s not very specific, don’t you know the name of the movie?”

I shudder and look around, nobody is watching. Still. I lean even closer. Ah, its called. I take another look around. Titanic.

The guy smirks. “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that”

Oh, that sly man. I realized that he must be in league with Jona. I look wildly around again and lean even closer so my mouth is only a few centimeters away from his ear. My body is bent over the counter.

The Titanic. I hiss, a fraction louder.

The guy laughs. “I’m sorry mate I can’t hear you, you’re gonna have to speak up.”

I glare at him. It’s a cruel world. The Titanic. I say, coughing wildly.

“Mate, there are other customers here and they want to go home, your not helping by whispering and coughing into my ear.”

I turn around to see all the other customers standing behind me. I gulp. This was it. I’ll never live it down. Head hung in defeat, I say, THE TITANIC.

I freeze. The guy grins. “Oh sorry mate, must have accidentally turned on the mike by accident. Anyway, its in the Romance section. Now can you please move on so the other customers can leave?”


My thoughts on Darkfall and PvP

So, everyone is talking about this upcoming PvP-orientated MMORPG that is soon to be released. First thing to note about the game is that it is going to be a niche market. WAR is not as hardcore as this game and it has quite a limited audience, so its not hard to imagine that despite the enormous interest Darkfall will ultimately have a relatively small following which isn't necessarily bad.

Originally I was quite interested in the game but although my ultimate love is in PvP there are a lot of things that Darkfall really needs to demonstrate that it has done properly before I jump on the bandwagon. A few aspects such as truly free PvP where basically anyone can attack anyone anywhere, as well as looting everything off an opposing player are interesting but potentially disastrous. This style of gaming even if pulled off right will only suite certain players, and if done wrong then no one will probably want to play it. Its a fine line that the developer will have to tread, probably even more so with the sudden spike of interest.

Many people for a long time have called for a PvP system where winning does not depend on the gear of each player but their skill. Its a nice concept but in my opinion virtually impossible to implement. To make a game sufficiently tactical the fights would have to go for longer, a larger variety of abilities provided, and a combat system that somehow incorporates skill into the equation, and this would probably be the hardest thing. What defines skill? Does it mean you know what skills go best together, what build to choose, what to use and when?

For Darkfall to survive and succeed, because of its very nature, it needs to have the best PvP system around, and that probably translates to a skill-based system. Its not going to be easy for them to get it right because we know that most people prefer a clear easy path to the top of the gear chain and having phat epix lewt to working hard at the game and having the simple satisfaction of beating a guy because they're better then him.

Creative Post #1 Wooooo!

So keeping in mind that I'm trying to use this blog to keep up my creativity I have decided to expose myself to ridicule by posting a short story that I wrote while I was bored, and to make it more interesting (suspense and stuff) I'm going to post the first half today and the second probs tomorrow. Its not particularly good or original, but anywho.
By the way, I just saw Slumdog Millionaire and it was very good, so if your thinking of seeing it, definitely go!

Videostore (Couldn't think of a decent name :P)

I coughed quietly. This was going to be tough, but I had come too far to go back on my word now. I had said I would do it. No, I couldn’t go back now, I’m no chicken.

I turn off the engine to my car which I had kept idling, hoping that I would lose my confidence and make my getaway before anyone noticed me there.

“What’s the matter mate? You chickening out?” Jona was sitting next to me, grinning.

Man, how I hate his guts. He’s the one that got me into this mess.

Na, this is going to be easy, no problems at all, and you are soon going to owe me 50 bucks, I say, trying to sound confident. I get out of the car and walk inside.

Blockbusters in the evening was busy and the store is bustling with rowdy kids, furtive parents, and pimply teens trying to nab the latest gory PS3 games. Great. Plenty of people to see my shame.

I waltz in, trying desperately to look as though I am simply coming to pick up a DVD. Funnily enough that is precisely what I am doing. I looked around. Great, it was a guy at the front desk. Perfect. Just perfect.

Suddenly a voice fills the store. It’s the guy at the counter talking on the loudspeaker. “Customers, we will be closing in 10 minutes, please begin making your way to the counter if you wish to purchase anything or rent out a movie.”

This is bad. I creep into the deep recesses of the store, where I can plan my next move. I find myself in the Anime section. I briefly consider grabbing a season of Naruto and count my losses but then I see Jona’s face. No, that simply was not an option.

Ducking down I scuttle to the Drama section. I bump into a kid who is running around like a madman screaming his head off, clutching a Barney DVD in one hand. He gives me a quick kick in the side and keeps on running. Lucky parents.

Finally, at the Drama section. I frantically start running through the letters. T…T…T. It should be here. Why isn’t it here? Relief begins to course through me. It doesn’t matter! Its not here, so there isn’t anything I can do about it!

I laugh ecstatically, and jump up. And stop. But Jona isn’t going to see it that way. He’ll make up some stupid excuse. No, I can’t lose. With everyone staring at me I shuffle up to the front desk. This is bad. This is very bad.

To be continued....

Is 15$/month the best way to go?

The title really explains my main thought. many of my friends have told me that the main thing that drives them away from MMOs is because of the continual price. What makes developers choose that particular number. Lets look at WAR. Lets just say it has 500k subscribers because we really don't know, it might be a bit generous but who knows? If they are charging 15 bucks a month excluding the price of the game they are pulling in 7.5 million every year.

But what would happen if Mythic changed the pricing from 15$/m to say 5$/m? To make that change worthwhile they would need an extra 1 million subscribers. If WAR has 500k subs now you have to think where did the other 200-300k people went who signed up for the beta. Perhaps if Mythic dropped down the price they would instantly get those extra 300k people back who had originally signed up for beta. Now we know that there isn't any way that all of them would come back, but we do know that there would have been plenty of people interested in WAR before release who didn't sign up to the beta so 300k could be a fair estimation.

5$/month isn't a lot of money at all and I reckon Mythic could easily get an extra 700k subs very quickly if they dropped it down. A lot of people wouldn't think it too much of a stretch to have a WAR sub and a WoW sub then as it doesn't cost a whole lot more. Without too much imagination this seems an viable payment plan for Mythic so why don't they try it out?

Although, if we do say that this all goes fine, and Mythic get their extra 700k subs then that is purely breaking even with the old plan, then comes the issue of profit. Mythic would need 3x more people to get the same amount of profit. Then it becomes questionable.

Warrior Epic class video

Having subscribed to I regularly receive random news about random MMOs. Today some studio released a class video about a game called Warrior Epic. It has some pretty ordinary classes, graphics look nice, and thats pretty much it. The problem with these kinds of videos is that they really tell you nothing about the game, just some random gameplay videos. Seems a pretty cheap way to release a game's classes.

Digging out the old stuff

After quitting WAR a few weeks ago I have been getting out all my old games and came accross Test Drive 6 which I played as a young kid. TD6 is so ridiculously unrealistic that it surpasses being funny, then keeps on going till it gets back to being funny. It was funny how different I saw the game so long ago as apposed to now. I managed to finish the game very quickly and as there isn't any difficulty setting there really isn't any point to keeping it on the hard drive any longer, yet I can't do it. Whenever I'm slightly bored TD6 is there for a quick absurdly, stupidly, outrageously rediculous race. Just to illustrate my point I made a quick video of the game showing just how unrealistic the game is, not to make fun of the game because I love it, but just to preserve my fondest memories of the game.

A sense of unacomplishment

I don't know about you but quitting an MMORPG as opposed to quitting any other type of game has always been more difficult. For most games I try and play the game all the way through, and if the game simply isn't fun then I would just stop playing without any regrets. If I do like the game then I would play the entire game through. If I really liked the game then I would play it through a number of times. If I don't like a MMORPG then, since nearly all the time I'm on a trial account, I would simply uninstall the game, no worries. However if I like the game then the problems start.

One of my favorite games of all time would be Baldur's Gate which I played when I was quite young. I must have started the game innumerable amounts of times; trying to get the best guy possible as well as the best group. Wow, that was a brilliant game. The game held my attention for so long that I even managed to finish it twice. But after that, I had tested everything and I had beaten the game twice so I really had nothing else left in the game to do. So the decision was easy and I uninstalled the game.

But in an MMO you can't finish a game unless your extremely hardcore gamer that dedicates his life to beating the game. (Which I'm not) Therefore, you will never get to the point where you can say I have beaten the game so there is nothing else for me to do. The simple nature of the MMO is that most of us will never finish the game and inevitably reach a point where we quit the game on the basis that it simply isn't any fun. It might take us different lengths of time to get to that point but in the end we will. And when we do quit like this there are always regrets about what we could have done in the game, and how it probably will get a big upgrade a week after we quit.

Magazine Cover Design

After a fair amount of thought I've decided to use my blog for two things, slightly different from what I have done in the past. I'll be using my blog to show off my creative stuff such as stories and art, as well as doing what I have done for a while which is talk about gaming, or whatever game that I am playing at the moment. So let a new era of Chappo's Corner begin!

The other day a journalist friend came over to talk about perhaps some work to do with her to get some work experience, and she got me thinking about magazines. Now, some of you may know that I have subscribed to the magazine "PC Powerplay" and suddenly inspired I decided to design my own magazine cover. I was going using the basic design of "PC Powerplay" and put my own twist on it.

To do this I needed the program InDesign which is what most publications use to design the layout and such. So after an entire afternoon of messing around and experimenting I came up with this cover. Feedback would be great.


Gday everyone who is still checking out this blog, or have it still on google reader. It has been a long time since my last post as inevitably my enthusiasm for blogging ebbs and flows. Right now I have enjoyed close to nine weeks of holidays after my year 11 exams with one more week to go before the BIG year. Now I'm expected to begin to seriously consider my long term future and decide what I want to work towards. The fact is that there are so many things that I would like to be that it has been hard to choose let alone work towards. Journalism, fictional writing, and film have always been interests ( And as well, of course, gaming) and those will probably the things that I will be concerntrating on in the year to come. Hopefully I will regularly update this blog with things that I am working on, which will probably be mostly writing stuff as well as what is going on in my gaming world.

But enough of the boring stuff, lets move on to what is happening in my gaming life. Just a few weeks ago I canceled my subscription to WAR for the simple fact that I was not enjoying it anymore. I had been through two guilds that had started out great but as members drifted away the guild suffered. I never managed to get Chappo to rank 40 which was annoying. He was predominantly my soloing character and by the final few ranks were just too much of a grind. I think that really without a dedicated and active guild to roll with in T4 the game really lets you down.

I retired Chappo on rank 39 rr35 and started a destruction toon on Darklands. This time I decided to make it a bit more interesting by recording my advancement in the game and commenting on my progress. I posted these videos on Youtube and got quite a good response. I chose the sorcerer class to try something different and enjoyed a lot for a long time. I had an absolute blast in T2 and in early T3 but by the end of T3 the grind began and leveling came to a shuddering halt. In the end I just wasn't enjoying the game anymore because of the slow leveling and, in my view, lack of things to do at the level cap. My sorcerer was retired at rank 34 rr33 and such was the end of my WAR playing.

Maybe in a couple of months I'll come back to it but for now I shall look elsewhere. With WAR gone I am now looking for something else to occupy myself. I hear many people are going off about the upcoming PvP MMO Darkfall so I had a quick look at it, but frankly it doesn't interest me greatly. Maybe its time to return to LOTRO which I loved until I hit the level cap and found there was nothing to do. The new expansion looks great and Turbine are apparantly regularly releasing new content.

So thats what is going on here, hopefully I have a slightly longer surge of enthusiasm for blogging then last time and post regularly over the next year. Thanks for all those who are still reading and I'll see you round.
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