For two years I wrote stupid stories and commentary on the MMO scene over at NotAddicted.com under the name of Isobelle, the name of my original prot tank from the closed beta and susequent retail release of WoW (that's me tanking Magmadar on the left!). I've recently quit writing for NotAddicted, as I was feeling too heavily invested in someone else's project, and feeling the constant need to publish things on 'their' site so the front page had anything up there to read left a hollow feeling in my stomach. The name Isobelle was already taken on blogspot (by a totally empty site, gg), but I've begun using Ixobelle more commonly anyway as my rogue alt became my main, and Isobelle the prot tank was shelved in favor of the rogue. Also, while it's common for Isobel, Isobelle, or even Izobel to be taken, "Ixobelle" rarely is. So that's me. Anyway, enough on that, here's the deal with this blogspot.com thing:
I'm basically going to move over all my old stories from NA to the archives here on the right hand pane (just in case NA finally shuts down), but it will probably take a while to do so. Half the fun of 90% of my stories was being flamed in the comments, but after NA went down for half a year and finally came back up, we lost a good chunk of regular readership as it was. I intend to rebuild the S.S. Isobelle here on blogger.com, and one of my main focuses will be showing the world how to make an interesting MMO. I've been kicking around a bunch of ideas in the back of my head for what seems like forever. I never wanted to 'give all my secret ideas away' for fear they'd just be took and used without needing me to be there as well, but that's pretty silly. If anyone ever comes along and reads the blog, they'll know who I am, and that I'LL WORK FOR YOUR FUCKING COMPANY FOR CHEAP GODDAMNIT.
On a serious note, I've always felt that one of my strongest abilities is to look at something in progress, and offer useful feedback in a new direction it could go. It's hard to be the guy throwing out the initial build of anything, and it's easy to look at it after the fact and say 'that's not fun' or 'this sucks', but harder to nail down WHY or HOW it could be made better. Being that I'm not working for any companies making new unreleased MMOs, I can take what I know from playing other games, and offer twists that could be applied to a new project. I imagine a good portion of these will go along the lines of "looking at the WoW auction system, it would be awesome if..." etc. A lot of these ideas will sound like a horrendous amount of work to implement, but I recently heard an awesome quote from Jay Wilson regarding the rune system in Diablo 3. From Kotaku:
During a panel on Diablo III development, Jay went over some of the various examples of how runes interact with powers. By far my favorite example was teleport, an ability the new wizard class receives. By itself, it simply moves the character to a different location on the map. Add a damage rune and suddenly porting into a group of monsters hurts them. Add a multi-attack rune and teleporting splits you into multiple characters for a brief period of time.
Another example was the witch doctor's flaming skull spell, which by default has him filling a skull with fire and tossing it at the enemy. With a power rune attached, the skull leaves behind a damaging pool of fire. With the multi rune, it bounces. Bouncing flaming skulls equals love.
It seems like a ton of work, not only creating each of the skills but determining how they function with runes attached, but Jay assured me it wasn't a problem for Blizzard.
"We have a saying at Blizzard when something looks like too much work. How about we pay you? You can work on it, and every two weeks we'll cut you a check."
How fucking awesome is that last sentence? There needs to be more companies that are willing to spend the time and effort on making engaging game play elements, and less companies willing to cut player classes and capital cities out of the game right before launch in order to make some predetermined release date.
In reality, I doubt I'll ever escape the tractor beam of teaching in elementary schools in Japan now that I have a kid over here, but if anyone wants to start an MMO, get me on board, baby!
I already have a few ideas for some basic elements: solid crafting systems, gear restriction logistics (why can I use a staff, but not a polearm... two handed mace = ok, but two handed sword = no? wtf), and general quest giving XP rewards. I imagine as I beging to crank these out, more ideas will bubble up. As is often the case when I begin an article, the ending is usually totally different than what I envisioned (seriously: why do they put the title field at the beginning of the blog writing form? That's always the last thing I decide. This was going to be titled It's Good to Have a Guild, and totally became something else).
So yeah. Keep your eyes peeled, and bookmark this page or whatever. If you've followed me over from NA, make yourself comfy. I'll try to post as regularly as I can, and may even eventually iron out a schedule of sorts (M, W, F or whatever). For now, I think my main focus will be finding a theme for the layout that doesn't use so many fucking white pixels, ugh.