Richard Aihoshi is usually fairly cogent, but this week's column wanders around the edges of conventional game wisdom a bit. Still, it serves to remind me how Runes of Magic launched from beta to a live game. The level 50 cap was conveniently--and conventionally--in place, but that wasn't what bothered us. What bothered us, especially those of us who'd fought hard to level up before the launch, was the spell level cap, which was 30.
Players could get all the way up to level 50, sure. They could even level up with armor along the way. But their spells stopped advancing at level 30. And the bag of loot that is, some say over-traditionally, handed out by a random NPC upon reaching the next five-level mark, stopped at 35.
For months we knew that we'd hit 35 and that would be it, no more toys in a bag. Then it was raised to forty--after half the game was at level 30 or higher. There was rejoicing, but it was muted, because we knew we'd hit the wall, and fast.
Then the elves came along, and we saw the same wall--new characters we created could only level to 20, before hitting level and spell caps. I understand, designers need time to work out the details, but really and truly--I'd rather delay on getting the cool new classes until everything's in place. Maybe it's just me, but having a chance at something cool, then sitting around and grinding for points and stuff even though I can't advance past a certain point? Not as fun as it sounds.
And to me, it doesn't sound fun.
Welcome to the Mechanical Kingdom? Apparently there are plans for steampunk Disney product tie-ins. The first two, a mad scientist and Victorian diver are either soon to be released, or already are. And apparently more is planned.
Justin Webb covers CuddleCon and really makes me long for a time machine, $40 and a Buffy convention...Oh, Mr. Marsters? Yes, right over here. Thankseverso.
MMORPG also is excited about a cloth and hair movement simulation video making the rounds, but not for the reason you might think. They're pondering if the character seen in the teaser is a hint of a World of Darkness MMO coming soon.
I have to give it to them, I see it too. Starting out with the blonde Toreador, and ending with that amazing stair sequence that makes me embrace the future of virtual graphics. Her heels actually kicked the skirt up instead of clipping through them! And she took each step, instead of walking up an invisible ramp! Things are looking good.
Finally, this is why I love A Softer World:
YES. Damn straight. (Also available slightly bigger by clicking the Softer World link, where you can also buy book collections of their work and prints of your favorite panels--like this one--or just click the strip for the larger version I'm hosting. But really, you want to go read them.
(Or maybe not--their concepts have been known to ever so slightly mangle brain cells. Hey, you don't need all those brain cells anyway. Besides, they might recover.)