Thursday, February 26, 2009


Hey, I'm so excited! I got to play a real game with real gamers. It has been a couple of months.

Dominion is a boxed game, but it was really a card game with a board game feel. It took a lot of elements that I liked from other card games, but kept them simple yet very flexible. It would be a very different game each time you played.

The general idea is that each player is a monarch out to capture more land (point cards). In order to get land you have to buy it with gold and to get gold you have to play your hands just right and acquire the right resources. When 3 sets of resources are exhausted the game is over and every one counts up how many land/point cards you accumulated.

The game comes with 25 different resource cards and you choose 10 to use in any one game. Since each game could use a different set of 10, you create a huge amount variation in each game. Game style can be tailored to be very player vs. player to be a game where each player is basically free to build their own resources unfettered (making it more of a race). Two to four players can play on a single set, but you could probably expand to more.

I liked it quite a bit. I was really glad to get to play. I'll put it on my wish list.

Game On!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

D-EVE-lopement Delays

I’ve said this before, but in the absence of the actual release I guess I’ll just have to talk about it again. When I first started playing Eve I assumed that there was a human avatar component. Of course, there is not—Eve is all about space ships, pvp combat, industry (crafting), and complex economies. In 2005 they were talking about “walking in stations” and that suckered me in to playing. Usually when a development team is talking about a feature, it usually shows up inside a year. Well here were chugging through 2009 and the Eve dev team is still talking about it.

Granted, they are talking about it more often and in association with such features being released in 2009. We’ll see. I must admit I’m still excited about the notion. CCP doesn’t do things in half-measures—every dial on Eve is set to 11. I expect no less from the human avatar design. The screen shots so far have been very impressive. There is much discussion about “games in the game” which is the ability for players to plonk down at a table and play games. There is even discussion of things like Texas Hold’em. This opens up a whole new avenue of revenue generation via in game gambling for ISK. That would be pretty fabulous. I can see some players jumping in to Eve with no interest in being pilots!

Many things have been discussed. I can only wait until they finally do release. In the mean time, my accounts have both expired again. I can’t afford to pay the online fees in US dollars at the moment, but I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

CCP continues to put other enhancements in to affect. They are releasing a whole new technology tree with new “customizable” T3 cruisers in the next month or so. While these are interesting, I don’t find them compelling… at least not at $30 NZD a month.

To me, Eve Online is the only unique competitor to World of Warcraft. Virtually every other MMORPG is just another fantasy based WoW clone. No one will be able to take on Blizzard and WoW for next 10 years. Blizzard is raking in 70+ million dollars a month in fees… 70 million a month. Just from WoW. That buys a lot of developers. No start-up will be able to challenge that expenditure. In order to pull away WoW players, you’re going to have to offer something that WoW doesn’t. No game can be all things to everyone. Fantasy clones are therefore doomed to fail. Other genre’s will have to rise and take hold of the market. Eve has more years of development under its belt than even WoW. They have easily the most rich and diverse Sci-Fi MMORPG ever created. If they can continue to grow and stay funded, then they may yet steadily gain ground in the MMO market.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Game Blahs

I am hitting a bit of gamer duldrums. My two main online games are Eve and WoW. I can't afford to play Eve at $30 a month and WoW is still just... WoW. Both games are just what they have always been, but after several years on each, I do keep confronting a diminishing return in enjoyment.

The wife and I are working through Season Two of Battlestar Galactica. Definitely a great series and probably the best Sci-Fi series made. I saw a boardgame version at Wargame Supply that looked interesting. Waaay too expensive for me to afford right now, but looks cool.

I haven't checked MMORPG release schedules lately. Probably just more fantasy crap in the pipeline.

I'll have to hit the next Welly RPG meeting (WARG) and see what's shakin'.

Game On!