7 days around the MMO world (July 26)

The summer is a fickle mistress who likes to toy with our emotions, giving us weeks with loads of news and weeks where we’re begging for any tiny little update to quench our lust for videogame knowledge. For MMOs this was one of those weeks where we were begging for anything to happen. Fortunately a few things did happen and as our oath demands, we shall relay what we’ve discovered.

We’ve been following the transition of operators for World of Warcraft in China ever since things started to go sour and the game had been offline for over a month. There was also some unsubstantiated rumors floating around that WoW was potentially on the chopping block and facing a possible ban in China. Well at the time WoW is still offline and we’re sure Blizzard is losing a decent amount of subscribers because of this fact, but a ray of light seems to have breached that storm.

The Chinese government has agreed to allow Blizzard and NetEase to relaunch World of Warcraft in China on July 30. However this relaunch does not come without its restrictions. Chinese players will not be allowed to create any new accounts until the government has had chance to re-review the game. They reviewed before when they initially launched and demanded the undead’s bones be covered. We’re not sure if this relaunch is to have Wrath of the Lich King included but when the operator change went into motion a little over a month ago, China did not have the latest expansion. We suspect that it has to do with the fact that there is a lot of undead in it and a lot of visual modifications are most likely needed. The sun will come, tomorrow Blizzard, bet your bottom dollar that, tomorrow. Alright I’ll stop.

Champions Online isn’t the only superhero MMO in the works and when it comes to the competition, DC Universe, we really have seen much of it in action. Unfortunately at the San Deigo Comic-Con a video of DC Universe leaked out and what we saw wasn’t all that impressive. The footage shows the game in action and visually it kind of resembles Champions Online and we guess that’s ok.

What really disappointed us is how beat-em-up the combat appears in this video. One of the things that makes MMO interesting is the complexity of the combat. It’s never straightforward where your timing and choices make all the difference in winning or losing. What we see in this video doesn’t look like an MMO at all and it ends up looking like an adventure game. We did notice that there is an achievement system in the game which they call “Headlines” and that’s a welcome addition. Will DC Universe be better than Champions Online? We’ll have to wait and find out to make that call, but for now, Champions Online is looking like the better choice.

In other MMO news: