The home page for author Eric J. Juneau

A Video Game Idea: MMORPG With Dungeon Masters

mmorpg demotivational

Here’s an idea for a new MMORPG. It’s like most others — fantasy world, wide social networking. Here’s the difference. Instead of their being like programmed quests, and computer-controlled NPC, there are human game masters.

It’s kind of like a D&D game online, but with a human staff member guiding the adventurers. The director could also act as a “tour guide” through the dungeon, if he/she was going to be a presence in the game. Otherwise acting kind of like the director in Left 4 Dead. This game master would be employed by the company, but not like one that’s responsible for resolving conflicts and bugs. He/she would set up game pieces, a la Garry’s Mod, create the quest, operate it dynamically based on the player’s interactions and desires. Part of it would be ahead of time, part of it would be real-time.

I’ll just put this troll riiiiight here.

There are some limitations on this kind of game. For one, there would have to be quite a few employees, and they always take up the most salary. I mean, we might be talking one for ever 4-5 people in the game. I suppose it’s possible you could use volunteers — who wouldn’t want to plan your own campaign in World of Warcraft? (why play a video game, when you can BE a video game) — but then you have to worry about keeping enough DM’s available for all the players.  Plus DM’s have to remain ethical.

And then there’s the issue of scheduling. What do you do when people in the group drop out? Or a player disconnects? It would have to be a game for dedicated people. I don’t see how casuals could play unless they get, like, standard out-of-the-box adventures. And forget about playing alone.

Also, the world wouldn’t be nearly as expansive as Azeroth. Of course, some people, like me, think Azeroth is too big. For Christ’s sake, there are shops that just sell cheese. Cheese! And there are tons of different kinds! Who the fuck needs cheese in an RPG? Are you going to be holding a dinner party? Sell potions and ethers like a real man! (misogyny not intended)

Cheese, Gromit!

Late to the Game: World of Warcraft

world of warcraft city center

I mentioned WoW here, and got it before the Steam sale (where I bought a ton of new games). And I did create that blog I talked about, although it’s hard not just regurgitating events. Turns out WoW is not as social a game as I thought. At least not at the low levels. I’m at level nine and I really haven’t had to interact with anybody. But I’ve put in about five hours or so and feel I can deliver a verdict on the game that’s become a worldwide phenomenon, multiple award winner, created an entire conference, media tie-ins, an Emmy-winning episode of South Park, and billions of dollars of revenue.

It’s not very fun.

I mean, it’s all right. It’s about as fun as a Facebook game, with about as much depth. All you do is walk somewhere, talk to or kill something, then go back. Fighting takes no strategy. I only have one offensive spell and a handful of largely useless defensive ones, because all the enemies are one-on-one and my health regens after each battle. No puzzles and no tactical planning. So it’s essentially click-click-click, which I’ve criticized before.

If you’re a priest (like me), there’s even less variety of gameplay. Part of my purpose in being a healer was to help in groups — they’re a coveted position. Well, there’s no groups yet. There’s just me, walking back and forth between farms and getting lost in a city that’s too big for my level.

There are a few irks regarding the trial version in that you can’t send mail, can’t talk to people higher than you. That’s not a real impact to the gameplay, but it means you can’t participate in the things that make World of Warcraft fun.

And the rest of the time you’re micromanaging yourself, figuring out what buttons do what, and looking on forums just to figure out how to sell something because there are no instructions in the game, no hint system, and poorly designed interface. Half the game feels like a desktop application, with windows and dragging. Grand Theft Auto has more gameplay depth than this — there you have to run, choose weapons, steal the right vehicles. This… this is just busywork.

At this point I’m more into playing Lego Lord of the Rings. It’s the same deal. You’ve got party members with multiple abilities, swords and sorcery, immediate resurrection on death. And you get the bonus of watching cute Lego guys walking around.

world of warcraft wallpaper elf couple
What an adorable couple

My New World of Warcraft Blog

world of warcraft logo

In my “What Video Game Should I Play” blog I mentioned trying out the free-to-play World of Warcraft, and maybe starting a blog from the POV of my character. Well, I did it.

I hope that’s a catchy enough title. My other alternatives were something like “Crash Landing” or “The Haelmancer’s Diaries” or chronicles or something like that. It’s hard to communicate exactly what something is while still being catchy, meaningful, and short.

Anyway, the primary purpose is to document my life in Azeroth, and it looks like there’ll be plenty of material. One hour’s play gave me enough material for about four or five days worth of entries.  I’d like it to go viral, but WOW is so old, no one probably cares any more, except for nostalgic minds.  But who’s nostalgic for the first level of anything?  Anyone remember the first levels or Dragon Quest I?

But short of that, it’ll at least be good practice writing.  I do a little bit better when I’ve got some material, and I’m not just thinking off the top of my head.  And version 1.5 of White Mage Story seems to be taking so long.  It’s not even a complete draft/revision, but it feels like it’s taking forever.