Elder Scrolls Online We Love You Long Time

by on Apr.30, 2014, under game reviews, games design, mmo, mmorpg, rpg


Oh look, a covertcreations post! Yes, it’s true we are back after an epoch. Or two, however much an epoch is.

Gaming has moved on in the last few years, that’s not news. VR is here (almost), sequels come and played and gone again, mobile games come and not played and gone again, and so on, on and on.

In keeping to the spirit of shorter, pointed posts I shall say this : I FREAKING LOVE Elder Scrolls Online!


Oh look, we’re goblins! No, that’s not a selling feature (unless you like goblins). Aside from this random bit of information, I shall provide another. If you like exploration-puzzling-social-crafty-questing-gorgeous-interesting-zomgepicbattles type of MMORPGs, then I will implore you to give ESO a try. We did, and if you didn’t pick up on the subtext here, I’ll just say it again : I FREAKING LOVE Elder Scrolls Online!

Detailed review to follow, hopefully before epoch#3. In the meantime, check out my lovely gamerwifeunit’s Geek Girl Review blog. Peace out.

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Buzzing about the GW2 Buzz

by on Aug.12, 2010, under games design, gaming, mmo, mmorpg

(Thanks for the video link, Mr. Headcrash)

Can I say Nextgen? Oops, I just did. I hate that word. Thank-you Areanet for kicking the bar aside and ratcheting up a whole new one.

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And Guildwars, Two.

by on Jul.18, 2010, under computer graphics, games design, mmorpg, rpg

Oh Guildwars, how you disappointed.

There were so many good things about it, most notably the visuals, but also the interesting quests, fun combat, an innovative henchman system, cool spell-effects and general polish. For the time, all of these virtues seemed great when held up to WoW’s cartoony, cutesy style.

So what was the problem?

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TERA : A New Fantasy MMORPG from the who-fucking-cares dept.

by on May.25, 2010, under games industry, mmorpg, pc

Oh TERA. You have polish. Evidently. You have production design. Evidently. You have swords, and elves and quests. Evidently.

And the only thing you could come up with is reticle-based dodge mechanics in combat? Really? No, I mean, Really??

The only way to beat WoW is to trivialize it by an excellent, forward-thinking game. Even playing copycat won’t get you further than an infinitessemal slice of the MMORPG market. What a waste of time!

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Conquering One’s Self

by on Sep.19, 2009, under game reviews, games industry, mmorpg, WoW


There are three titles that may appear with great frequency as one meanders the gaming news these days. Each are certainly worth discussing on their own, simply on the merits of having such attention bestowed upon them. However, there is a common thread to be pulled from these stories in particular. These companies, and their gaming products, are faced with tremendous obtacles. The bigger and better they become, the harder it is to grow beyond . In essence, their fight is a fight against themselves. Success can be a cruel instructor. Read on to see what I mean.

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Massively online communities : the genre paradox II

by on Jan.24, 2007, under games industry, gaming, geek culture, mmo, mmorpg, new media, WoW

fitting communities together

As mentioned in my previous article, gamers expect a community from the game publisher. In a sense, this demonstrates the unique position of videogames in the landscape of entertainment. Consequentially, feedback and community become a cost of doing business.

I believe we’re quickly reaching the point where publisher-run communities no longer serve their purpose. The communities are too vast. Moreover, the gamers themselves have evolved toward a deeper level of sophistication. Gamers are the reason we’ve come this far, and we simply demand more.

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Massively online communities : the genre paradox

by on Jan.17, 2007, under games industry, mmo, mmorpg, WoW

massively online communities

The nature of things

When online gaming was getting started, there was a certain novelty in spending vast swathes of time with the same people on the same game servers, night after night. It seemed inevitable that we’d eventually all team up. And team up we did. Forming groups is the most basic of human qualities, and is certainly no less true in virtual worlds.

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Aiming at Vanguard

by on Oct.23, 2006, under games design, mmo, mmorpg, WoW


Quiz. What do these three things have in common?

a) Hockey
b) Artillery
c) MMORPG Design

Give up?

The answer : it’s where you aim your shot.

In the immediacy of hockey, players don’t pass to where their teammate is, but where they’ll be in the next 0.5 seconds. In artillery, shots follow a ballistic trajectory. In sum, the game isn’t won by playing the current game. It’s won by anticipation.

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MMORPGs, Security, and the Grand Promise of Middleware

by on Oct.06, 2006, under games design, games industry, games programming, mmo, mmorpg, security, WoW

WoW and SecurID

A big congratulations goes out to Neardeath Studios on the 10th year of Meridian 59. What a fantastic accomplishment. M59 is the first, the longest-running, and most respected MMORPG of them all.

This article is in response to M59 co-creator Brian “Psychochild” Green’s post, “Why middleware will not save us“. He hits pretty hard, and sets his sights on the “middleware market” in the MMORPG space. I’ll say I agree with the bulk of it. Yet, some of the specifics cause me trouble. Thus this post.

His argument noted two levels of the MMORPG industry, the indies and the AAAs (“the blockbuster games”). The gist of his article is that, as a technological cure-all, MMORPG middleware companies fail in their promise. They will make little impact on game development in MMORPG games. A gross-oversimplification on my part, so I’d encourage you go read Psychochild’s post.

First off, how does one define middleware?

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Guildwars Factions Sketchbook

by on Sep.15, 2006, under computer graphics, mmorpg

Guild Wars Factions


AreaNet’s artist team posted some samples of their sketchbook for ‘Guild Wars : Factions’. If you’re interested, there’s more available from the Guild Wars homepage.

By user tinfoil - AreaNet   By user tinfoil - AreaNet

I am entranced.


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