And so the Pocket Legends begin…

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Over at Massively.com, they have a great write up on Pocket Legends, an MMMG (Mobile Massively Multiplayer Game) for the iDevice.

Pocket Legends is a Mobile Massively Multiplayer Game available for the iPod, iPhone and iPad devices. It is a 3d online role-playing game where you can join thousands of players from around the world. Play with your friends and make new friends online. Cooperate to undertake wild adventures in endless dungeon campaigns!

The initial game client is free (link opens iTunes). Additional dungeon campaigns, gear, and gold are available for a price.

Impressions so far:

I installed Pocket Legends over lunch on my 1st generation iPod Touch. (Yes, despite what the iTunes store has listed, Pocket Legends seems to work fine on a 1st generation iTouch.) The game client updated itself quickly, and I was soon able to create my first character (an archer). Due to time constraints, I was only able to play for a few minutes. My overall impression is that the game plays like Diablo…or a more recent Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles game on the DS. Further thoughts to come!

Confessions of an MMO Tourist

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My vacation into the virtual lands of MMO’s began with Asheron’s Call in 1999. Playing with friends in a persistent world had a certain novelty to it. Granted, the release of Diablo II the following year quickly put my stay in Dereth on hold. Not one to limit myself to one game, I “toured” multiple MMO’s up until World of Warcraft’s (WoW) launch in 2004. Multiple MMO’s huh? Take a look at this virtual itinerary:

  • Ultima Online (1 month)
  • Everquest (1 month)
  • Final Fantasy XI (1 month)
  • The Sims Online Beta (a few days)
  • Asheron’s Call 2 (a few months)

The release of Asheron’s Call 2, in 2002, marked the first time I had set up a base camp in an MMO since the original Asheron’s Call in 1999. My stay in AC 2 did not last long, however, the group of friends that I was playing with ended up quitting the game. For the first time in years, I was no longer traversing the virtual landscapes. A whole year would go by before I would once again venture forth.

  • Saga of Ryzom Beta
  • World of Warcraft

In 2004, the perfect storm came together in the form of the Warcraft universe becoming an MMO.

Blizzard + Warcraft + MMO = WIN!

Blizzard games have been a staple of my PC gaming diet for years. Warcraft II, Starcraft, Diablo, and Diablo II were go-to games for me and my friends.

Sidenote: How many of you remember playing the original Diablo with a modem? I remember many late nights, on my Macintosh, spent listening to the pinging/ ponging modem language as I hooked up to battle.net. Good times. Haunting music. No option to run!

World of Warcraft came out the year that I went away to college. The game quickly became a way to communicate/ game with friends three states away. WoW had a darkside, however, one that almost cost me my love in the summer of 2005.

Guild Wars launched the following year (2005). Though technically not an MMO, Guild Wars provided a few alternative to WoW. Unfortunately, the beta period for this game all but killed the game for me (there are only so many times you can create a character, level, and then have it deleted). So I went back to WoW until things came to a head with my real life. Decisions had to be made.

Girlfriend or WoW?

Girlfriend of course! She won.

Girlfriend now wife.

I have played many MMO’s since WoW.

  • Dungeon Runners.
  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • Warhammer Online
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online

So many hours poured into games I never plan on returning to again. Reminds me of books left half read, tossed under a bed. In the end, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed the different worlds that I have explored. Each has offered a different experience that the game previous could not provide.

2009 marked the year I returned to Azeroth with my wife’s blessing. In playing, I have found that World of Warcraft does not have the same pull it once did. So I left the game once more to try:

  • Maple Story
  • Guild Wars (again!)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (again!)

As you can see, I am an MMO tourist with a passport full of stamps. If 2009 has been any indication as to my less than monogamous gaming habits, 2010 is sure to be a busy year.

(Used as a resource for this article http://biobreak.wordpress.com/mmo-timeline/)

(1/26/16 Update: Reader Kevin Woodberry emailed me and asked that I link to his guide as a further resource. Check it out: Guide to Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games.)

Dungeon Hunter: Journal II

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Dungeon Hunter Title ScreenWelcome to my second journal for iPhone/iPod Touch app Dungeon Hunter. Every once in a blue moon I’ll post an update on my progress through the game. Be sure to check back often!

Dungeon Hunter MapThe town of Thamos quickly gave way to the South Road, and soon I found myself engaging in blade-to-blade negotiations with the bandits that ruled over it. Turns out that the bandits had stolen some cargo belonging to one of the towns inhabitants. Being the awesome guy that I am (or that my character is), I stormed into the Bandit’s Lair and dispatched the villains immediately. After that, I killed creatures in the Thamos Well, explored the Windmill searching for a fairy*, and searched the Catacombs and Cathedral for relics.

Dungeon Hunter Cathedral

*I should note at this point that the fairy subplot was sprung on my quite unexpectedly. I had originally thought that the fairy which had awoken my character in the beginning of the game, Celest, would only serve to function in a Navi sort of role. I was wrong in my assumption. Instead, fairies serve as an Area of Effect (AoE) attack to damage multiple enemies at the same time. In my travels thus far, I have obtained three fairies: 1.) Celest, lightening bolts, 2.) Wetty, ice storm, 3.) Windy, hurricane.

Overall thoughts:

  1. The music is quite good! I actually want to play with headphones.
  2. Catacombs and Cathedral share common art assets (walls, lamps, etc.).
  3. Button control for selecting secondary attacks is not as responsive as it should be (ie attacks are hard to cycle between).
  4. I had to retread the opening level (Catacombs) to obtain an item. While this is a clever reuse of a completed area, I am hoping that this is not something that is repeated throughout the game.
  5. Loading is sometimes long. However, loading is not present once in-game

Join me next time.

Dungeon Hunter: Journal I

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Dungeon Hunter Title ScreenWelcome to my first journal for iPhone/iPod Touch app Dungeon Hunter. Every once in a blue moon I’ll post an update on my progress through the game. Be sure to check back often!

Dungeon Hunter #17

Charting in at #17 of the Top Paid Apps this week, Gameloft's Dungeon Hunter (link will open iTunes) seeks to fill the hack-and-slash hole in every gamers heart.

Now I have to admit that the $6.99 price tag left me a bit reluctant to try out this Diablo clone. So, I decided to check out a few reviews before jumping into the fray.

This better be good.

This better be good.

Selecting a new game, I quickly chose from the three available character classes (Warrior, Rogue, and Mage) and was introduced to the game’s storyline via cinematic.

Dungeon Hunter Intro Video 1

Fullmetal Alchemist taught me that resurrecting loved ones never ends well.

Death cannot stop what has be prophesized.

Death cannot stop what has be prophesized.

And thus our story begins...

And thus our story begins...

I then battled my way through the Catacombs only to find out that our hero had been dead for quite sometime. After laying waste to some undead, I ventured forth into the town of Thamos. That is a story for another day, however.

Perhaps Thamos holds the key...

Perhaps Thamos holds the key...

Thoughts so far:

  1. I like the game so far, but I question the longevity of it holding my attention (as with any app). We’ll see.
  2. The opening cinematics are quite impressive.
  3. I have to keep telling myself that this isn’t Hero of Sparta due to its graphics.
  4. The gameplay, controls, and music are all excellent thus far.
  5. I would love a button to constantly mash versus a flat touch screen. Gaming on the iDevice…

Join me next time.

BlizzCon: Day 2

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JBG at BlizzConJBG correspondents Scotto and Lord Andrew write from the depths of Blizzard Entertainment’s BlizzCon. Follow their adventures below!

———— Photo Update ————

StarCraft 2 Voice Actor Panel

They have brought all of the voice actors on stage to talk about the new Starcraft 2 installment.

Right as you walk into BlizzCon.

Right as you walk into BlizzCon.

Illidan!!

Illidan!!

Wow, Lord Andrew and I have had a chance to play a lot more of the new games.

Starcraft 2 is really fun. I wasn’t that excited about it before, but now I cannot wait for it! It is SO polished. The units are gorgeous. The in game cut scenes are incredible. Lord Andrew kicked my butt really bad but it was still amazingly fun.

Diablo 3 is great too. Lord Andrew and I stumbled into a dungeon this last time. The atmospheric effects are so cool. Everything is beautifully animated…and it runs very fast. I was playing the witch doctor this time and Lord Andrew tried the monk. The spell effects make it very fun too. I love that every creature had rag doll physics so the deaths always look different.

We’ve gotten to play both of the new races for the new WoW expansion Cataclysm. The Worgen look great. You start as a human and you can transform into a worgen whenever yo want. His racial is a swift run ability that you can trigger every minute or so.

The new goblin race for horde is awesome too. They added a ton of facial detail…he looks awesome! He probably has the most fun racials of any class too. He can rocket forward with a jet pack, and also shoot a missile!?? So good. We liked him a lot.

We just heard that they will be bringing the old Onyxia boss fight back….all new updated items and stuff. They are going to make it possible to do cross-server LFG’s with th new path. So you can do 5 man PUGs really easy now. WAY easier to find groups.

I‘m really looking forward to being able to go back through the original game and play it with all new content.

————  Update ————

We are leaving now 😦 so sad. Lord Andrew kicked my butt at Terran, Protoss, AND Zerg. Really really kicked my butt. Great way to end BlizzCon! Wouldn’t have it any other way.

(Note to self – build more units…build them faster.)

– Scotto

This concludes JBG’s BlizzCon coverage. Hope y’all enjoyed the ride!