Guild Wars 2 Looks Good, Aion Will Be Massive

I’m so stuffed. I just got done with a tres massive helping of baked beans, sausages, bacon and eggs. Is there a better way to start the day? Well other than logging on and find out your WoW traveling partner has decided to go on a gaming hiatus and left you with a couple o’ hundred in wow gold and the keys to the guild. Also, I’d just like everyone to know that Gremlins 2: The New Batch, is the greatest movie ever.

Anyway, so we’re inching closer to the PSPGo’s October 1st launch date and personally I’m really excited, however, some retailers appear to be much less so. Apparently they’re not pleased that the price of the device is so high, and that the system doesn’t have a UMD drive so they can’t sell physical games in stores and thus make a healthy profit. Some of them are so angry they’re refusing to stock the device. Frankly, I’m with Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter on this when he says;

It’s just silly for a retailer to say they won’t sell a big ticket gaming device because they can’t sell the games. Consumer electronics store sell refrigerators and not food, everyone sells iPods and not the music for them; this position is just ridiculous.

Couldn’t have said it better myself Mike. The bigger retail stores like Gamestop and er… Gamestop, seem to have grudgingly accepted the device, probably because they understand this is the way games delivery is going and there’s little they can do to stop it. As for those retailers proclaiming the device “a flop” before it even launches, I think they’re going to end up eating their words, or possibly some sort of cake like confection.

I have to admit I never truly got on board the Guild Wars bandwagon. It looked like a pretty game, I heard great things, it was free to play (after initial purchase) and I distinctly remember downloading and even installing the demo, getting as far as character creation… and then just not playing it. Whatever the case, I’m pretty excited about Guild Wars . All the concept art we’ve seen so far has looked monumentally epic in scale. If you’d like to see what I’m talking about have a gander at the recently released trailer, and after that head on over to read Massively’s interview with Eric Flannum, Lead Designer, Ree Soesbee, World Designer/Writer and Will McDermott, Writer.  Here are some snippets to whet your appetite:

Massively: 250 years is a long time, if you consider how far a country like the US has progressed in that same amount of time. Some of the concept art shows a “colonial” feel to the game. Is it safe to say that Guild Wars 2 will not be a traditional medieval-fantasy setting?

Eric Flannum: While we’ve never considered Guild Wars to take place in a traditional medieval setting it is especially true of Guild Wars 2. We have advanced the world both technically and culturally to a point that we thought was fitting for 250 years. Humanity for example has a parliamentary form of government while the Charr are on the verge of some very significant technological breakthroughs. Some of the more obvious gameplay impact [sic]  will have are in the use of rifles and pistols by some of our professions. We have also tried to reflect these advances in a lot of our clothing and armor designs as well.

Massively: Will we have mounts in Guild Wars 2? Flying Mounts, perhaps?

Eric Flannum: Unfortunately, we aren’t speaking about specific game mechanics until some time next year.

Would you like to know more? Check out ArenaNet’s official Youtube Channel, there’s a bunch of video content including every one of their PAX panels. It’s a shame it seems to be so far off though, I want it now.

In the mean time I suppose I’ll have to “make do” with another NCsoft MMO, yes, Aion: Tower of Eternity is just around the corner and it looks as if it’s going to do rather nicely for itself. The latest pre-order figures from Aion are impressive to say the least, with NCsoft claiming 400,000 preorders. That ladies and gents, is the sound of clinking champagne glasses and the smell of expensive cigars being lit.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, I seem to remember Age of Conan and even Warhammer Online launching with similarly impressive numbers and we all know how that turned out. That said, Aion has had a year of Korean dev time behind it to smooth out any kinks and make sure there’s more than enough content to keep players happy post launch. While things dried up fairly quickly once you left the Barachan Isles in AoC, and folks eventually migrated back to WoW from Warhammer, I’m not so sure either of those issues will plague Aion’s launch.

Speaking of the launch, NCsoft recently let us know you can stop sending cans of tuna and pickled onions, they’ve heard your protests and there will in fact be an Oceanic server online in time for launch, this server will be called Nezekan (bless you!). In addition, they’re also gearing up for an update to the official Aion website that will allow players to view  their characters as well as all items and weapons they’ve got on their person, kind of like the World of Warcraft Armory, only not called the World of Wacraft Armory because then that would be silly.

There’s not a whole lot of Blizzard or WoW news at the moment, they’ve updated their Blizzcon 09 photo page with some group photos, have a look, and don’t ogle the Blood Elf females! It’s creepy. Other than that there’s the usual Vader-esque quote from Bobby Kotick about flushing the fun out of gaming and eating baby seals for dinner, but you don’t want to hear about that. Oh yeah, faction change is now live for Europe, rejoice!

You know, I don’t think Blizzard really need to start looking over their shoulders just yet, but  crikey! SOE’s Free Realms has already hit five million users. I logged on when it first launched and fooled around for a wee bit, but then forgot about it. I have to admit I’ve been playing it a lot more than I expected the past couple of weeks, how long do you think before Blizzard starts looking seriously at their success and wanting a piece of that free-to-play pie? Mmm, pie *homer drool*

Welp, I’m off. Going to see if I can sucker one of the EpicToon guys into dueling my uber-assassin in Age of Conan. I might even put a little friendly wager on the outcome. I’ll let you know how it pans out!


Did you know Blizzard is tracking 180,000 bugs in Wow? No, that’s no typo.

If videogames were realistic.