Trans Geek Girl Meets Mundane World

Posts tagged ‘RPG’

Star Trek Online vs. World of Warcraft: Fun With Numbers

At the end of the launch day, Star Trek Online had registered over a million player accounts.

That’s an incredible achievement by any measure. But I’ve seen some commentators responding with, “yeah, but World of Warcraft has 11 million active accounts”, as if to relegate STO to some niche beneath the notice of a WoW loyalist.

Let’s set the record straight. WoW has over 11 million active accounts AFTER six continuous years in operation. How many accounts had it registered on launch day, back in 2004? It took a bit of digging, but the answer is: somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000.

And THAT was an incredible achievement at the time for a massive multiplayer game. Give WoW its props; it didn’t just dominate the market, it expanded it into new territory and brought in legions of people who would never have considered an MMO prior to that time. It earned its place as king of the mountain.

STO is doing the same; bringing in a fresh horde of non-MMO gamers into the MMO fold. It’s not competing with WoW as much as it is helping draw fresh meat into the mix… something all the subscription titles ought to be applauding.

Only time will tell if Cryptic can hold onto and expand upon that remarkable start. But of all the games launched in recent years, I think Star Trek Online has the greatest potential to not only surpass the WoW peak, but to push the “Massive” in MMO to a new quantum state.


Failed Saving Throw Against Stupidity

The Oakland Tribune reports that a Federal Court of Appeals has upheld a ban on playing Dungeons and Dragons in a Wisconsin prison (Wisconsin, ironically, was the birthplace of Dungeons and Dragons).

The prison argued that Dungeons and Dragons “promotes fantasy role playing, competitive hostility, violence, addictive escape behaviors, and possible gambling.”


FTC Disclosure!

The FTC is requiring bloggers to disclose any freebies or compensation recieved for products reviewed. I’ve never been paid or gotten any freebies for blogging, but in the interest of full disclosure, there are some things I’ve gotten from the gaming industry over the years:

  • Steve Jackson Games sent me a check for $5 and some contributor copies for submissions to Autoduel Quarterly (a magazine for their game Car Wars).
  • Ultima Online provided me with a free account for a time because I volunteered for their Troubador program, essentially acting as a live “NPC” for events.
  • Star Wars Galaxies sent me free software to participate in closed beta (and I apologize that we didn’t do more beta testing on that one, but it wasn’t our call).
  • EA/Maxis hired me on contract and gave me a free account to be a moderator for The Sims Online message boards, until the ‘official’ boards were offloaded to Stratics.
  • Two of my Second Life avatars receive L$50 a week because they’re ‘grandfathered’ under the old stipend program.

If I think of any others, I’ll post them here. And if anybody wants to give me more freebies, I shall duly disclose them. I might even get around to reviewing them, who knows?

Champions Online

It’s been over 20 years since I first encounted the “Champions” RPG on a hobby store shelf and decided to make it my own. It wasn’t my first encounter with a superhero RPG — that was the unlamented “Villains and Vigilantes“. But Champions gained my undying affection. It was one of the first “classless” RPGs — unlike “Dungeons and Dragons”, your character could be created and grow in most any direction you could imagine. Want to be The Little Teapot, blasting your foes with jets of scalding water? Go for it!

Fast forward to last week, when Cryptic finally released Champions Online. I’ve been waiting for this one with bated breath ever since it was announced. I ran out, installed it, cursed at it while it patched (a tradition for me), and set out to explore the Champions universe.

And I was… underwhelmed.