7 days around the MMO world / July 19

When it comes to MMO news, and we suppose this generally applies to the entirety of the industry, the weight of said news goes up and it goes down. It’s like a journalistic roller coaster for a lot of us. We’re excited or we’re underwhelmed. Last week wasn’t all that exciting, but this week has been a rather good week for newsworthy MMO happenings.

Remember that Eurogamer/Darkfall review drama? If not, the long story put short is that Eurogamer reviewed Darkfall and gave it the lowest score ever in Eurogamer history. It turned out however that the reviewer had spent less than a couple hours playing the game. So now as promised Eurogamer has returned with a review of Darkfall and the verdict, 4 out of 10. That’s a 2 point increase from last time.

The review itself seems to be designed to drum up the controversy the first one started as the entire review mocks that controversy every step of the way. It actually looks less like a review than it does commentary on the issue at hand. Instead of just a straight up re-review the writer takes two very long “detours” to discuss the controversy. When you ignore those two large sections you actually get a decent review of the game which is unfortunate as most of that will be ignored because of the other content. All the well at least Darkfall got a fair shake this time.

Sometimes rumors are hard to justify reporting on because you can never be quite sure how valid they are or are not. This one however seems to have a lot of evidence supporting it to which we’ll take the risk and at least entertain the possibility. We all know that World of Warcraft has a new expansion lined up. What will be in that expansion, is still a mystery. We suspect that it might be called Cataclysm and now there are rumors stating that Goblins and Worgens will be new playable races.

The first evidence we have is from an interview with Blizzard’s Tom Chilton, “An example I could throw out there would be, in Blackwing Lair we had the Drakonid race. We always looked at those and said, oh that would be a pretty cool player race.” Now there is more evidence to support the notion of new races in the next expansion. The current patch on the public test realm has been dug through for new art assets and new Halloween masks have been discovered of male and female versions of Goblins and Worgens. The reason this is significant is that currently all the masks are of races that are playable. While this isn’t a confirmation of new races, it’s a very strong indicator.

The speculation is that Worgens will be Alliance and that the Goblins will be Horde, we however very much disagree with that. Our speculation is that both new races will start out neutral and you’ll go through the first parts of your levels as a independent faction. You’ll then at some point have to do a series of quests where at the end you’re met with a choice — join the Alliance or join the Horde. The reason I say this is because in the lore and in the current game, there is no precedent that suggest either race would align with either faction. Goblins are very much a neutral party and this would be a great time to introduce a neutral set of races.

We here at TVGB are excited for Champions Online it’s true. However when we hear news like this we can’t help but get annoyed. Apparently Cryptic is making the same mistake the made with City of Heroes by releasing the villain counterpart as an expansion rather than as a default part of the game.

This is a mistake for a number of reasons but most importantly, two faction MMOs are necessary to have good player vs player. Without a second faction any PvP you introduce to the game is meaningless because you’re basically just goofing with comrades. When you’re beating on the enemy however, it’s war. Needless to say we’re very much disappointed in Cryptic’s decision to release the villain side of Champions Online as we think it could just be part of the game.

In other MMO news