Evolution of the game: D&D goes massively multi-player
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:28 pm 
 

I realize that this might come close to off-topic at a collecting forum, but I feel that, as collectors, most of us are genuinely interested in the evolution of D&D as a game. So, with that in mind, I think it's noteworthy that the D&D brand will officially enter the world of massively multiplayer online games on Feb. 28. Here's a link that covers most of the important details:

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/ddonline/index.html

Although I sincerely doubt I'll ever be playing Stormreach (for one thing, the big Apple logo on my computer won't allow me to), I am intrigued by the different directions the game has taken in the last 30 years. I'm sometimes amazed that it all started with a couple of guys assembling boxes in a basement ... and now, many editions and literally hundreds of products later (including numerous computer games), here we are with the ability to play a form of the D&D game online with strangers from all over the world. That's a long, long way from the days of pizza and Mountain Dew at mom's dining room table with four or five of your buddies ...

Finally, I'm curious if any Neverwinter / Baldur's Gate / Torment players have any interest in D&D Online? I don't feel that it's really my cup of tea, but I'm curious as to what others are thinking.

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:40 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:I realize that this might come close to off-topic at a collecting forum, but I feel that, as collectors, most of us are genuinely interested in the evolution of D&D as a game. So, with that in mind, I think it's noteworthy that the D&D brand will officially enter the world of massively multiplayer online games on Feb. 28. Here's a link that covers most of the important details:

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/ddonline/index.html

Although I sincerely doubt I'll ever be playing Stormreach (for one thing, the big Apple logo on my computer won't allow me to), I am intrigued by the different directions the game has taken in the last 30 years. I'm sometimes amazed that it all started with a couple of guys assembling boxes in a basement ... and now, many editions and literally hundreds of products later (including numerous computer games), here we are with the ability to play a form of the D&D game online with strangers from all over the world. That's a long, long way from the days of pizza and Mountain Dew at mom's dining room table with four or five of your buddies ...

Finally, I'm curious if any Neverwinter / Baldur's Gate / Torment players have any interest in D&D Online? I don't feel that it's really my cup of tea, but I'm curious as to what others are thinking.


I have read s few reviews from some of the folks that they got to playtest this and a majority of what I read was bad.  They actually did enlist both EGG and Dave Arneson to do some voice-overs for teaching begining play, but other than that I heard really nothing but bad things about it.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:47 pm 
 

First of all, I'd be surprised if a version of D&D online for Mac didn't show up quite soon. Apples are finally becoming known to the mass public, so many games are being published for that also.

Personally, I have played about every AD&D game created so far. I began with Pool of Radiance (no, not that crap, the TRUE Pool of Radiance, the one with Tyranthraxus), playing ALL the gold-box series from SSI, and Hillsfar and the EOB series and even Dragonstrike, Heroes of the Lance, Dragons of Flame and Dungeon Hack (however, I missed Unlimited Adventures and War of the Lance). Then I played the second generation: Dark Sun I and II, Ravenloft I and II, Menzoberranzan. I did not certainly miss most of the third generation: BG 1 and 2 with expansions, Torment, IWD (I still have to play IWD 2, but sooner or later I will manage!), and also that terrible crap called Pool of Radiance II (I thought I would become a carpenter after playing that); I played NWN with all expansions, but still I miss Temple of Elemental Evil. I also played all three PS2 games, Dark Alliance 1, 2 and Demon Stone.

However, after all this work, I got a bit lost, maybe because 3E made me lose interest, maybe because I finished university and got to work. I have not played Dragonshard (maybe I will) and will certainly not play Stormreach. I simply don't have the time to play MMORPGs, and after I pay 12 dollars a month I'd like to use every single cent of those. I haven't played a single minute with WoW (I would have liked to, but I knew I did not have the time), Stormreach won't certainly be any different.

On the contrary, I am impatiently waiting for Oblivion. That will be definitely my next gaming purchase.

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:07 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:I am intrigued by the different directions the game has taken in the last 30 years. I'm sometimes amazed that it all started with a couple of guys assembling boxes in a basement ... and now, many editions and literally hundreds of products later (including numerous computer games), here we are with the ability to play a form of the D&D game online with strangers from all over the world. That's a long, long way from the days of pizza and Mountain Dew at mom's dining room table with four or five of your buddies ...

Interesting stuff, but it's just another video game.  I'm a recovering video game addict, but I always becoming irritated whenever someone refers to these sorts of games as RPGs.  They aren't, of course.  They are games based on role-playing game mechanics.  And they're fun, I'm not bashing them here. :)

If I can go off on a tangent momentarily...

Despite the myriad things I dislike about 3E, there is a single aspect of that edition that intrigues me.  It's ability to be integrated into a machine.

Traditional DMing required a lot of interpretation of ambiguous rules, something computers are very poor at doing.  OTOH, 3E has a thoroughly complex and integrated rules system that does not require significant interpretation -- if all the players know the rules, outcomes are simply a matter of probability, not judgement.

In short, 3E lends itself to the computerization of the DM.  A sufficiently advanced AI could handle the plot generation, dice rolling, and interfacing with all of the human players, the only remaining requirements normally supplied by a DM.  At that point, you'd see a true "role-playing" video game.  (See prescient quotation by EGG in signature.)  It'd probably still have wicked special effects, though.

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:17 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:I am intrigued by the different directions the game has taken in the last 30 years. I'm sometimes amazed that it all started with a couple of guys assembling boxes in a basement ... and now, many editions and literally hundreds of products later (including numerous computer games), here we are with the ability to play a form of the D&D game online with strangers from all over the world.

Unfortunately dnd  on Plato (1975-late 70s) was only one-player, even though they could've built a graphical multi-user, networked environment from the start. Those took another year or two to develop; and even then, without the graphics at first for the publicly-accessible ones (such as the good ol' Essex MUD... :)).

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:23 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:A sufficiently advanced AI could handle the plot generation, dice rolling, and interfacing with all of the human players, the only remaining requirements normally supplied by a DM.

Yes.... Is still very much a hurdle to be properly overcome, IMO.
(Or even the near-seamless integration of human GMs within such otherwise computer-mediated MMORPGs). :)

deimos3428 wrote:(See prescient quotation by EGG in signature.)

Prescience debatable ;)
(Could dig out TWH quotes from one of the conventions a year or two before that which include comments from other TSR staffers).

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:36 pm 
 

faro wrote:
deimos3428 wrote:A sufficiently advanced AI could handle the plot generation, dice rolling, and interfacing with all of the human players, the only remaining requirements normally supplied by a DM.

Yes.... Is still very much a hurdle to be properly overcome, IMO.
(Or even the near-seamless integration of human GMs within such otherwise computer-mediated MMORPGs). :)

Well, we're getting closer in the alpha testing.  My PC just game up with:

"Ok, so you're all friends, and you meet in a bar..."  :lol:

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:44 pm 
 

It's my understanding that D&D Online does, in fact, begin with a "meet-in-the-tavern" sequence. To steal a line from Chandler Bing: "Could that BE any more of a cliche?"

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:46 pm 
 

Too much realism, perhaps? :D

*boots up RL simulator*


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[ed.] *lol*. Really, Xax? :)

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:57 pm 
 

Even the paper of record here in the US, the New York Times, ran a front page Arts section article on it with even a blurb on the bottom of the front page of the A section.  Here's the link to the article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/27/arts/27drag.html?_r=1&8hpib&oref=login

There's some quotes from Gygax and I was amused to see that "Rary the Traitor" will enter the NYT archive for future historians to mull over.   :wink:

But, no, I won't be playing the game... if it were Greyhawk, or even FR, I might be intrigued to try but I have no nostalgic pull toward Eberron.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:44 pm 
 

So I'm sailing through the NYT article, and finding it a pretty good read, when I suddenly find myself saying "uh-oh":

New York Times wrote:Mr. Pirozzi added: "Like in one campaign I was running, the players were fighting and I threw the 'South Park' kids into the fight and I had stats for them and everything. You can't have that kind of flexibility in a computer game."


Uh ... thanks, Mr. Pirozzi. Like that doesn't set back the "We're Not All Complete Geeks" movement by about five years.

The fricking South Park Kids? :? :? :?

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:48 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:It's my understanding that D&D Online does, in fact, begin with a "meet-in-the-tavern" sequence. To steal a line from Chandler Bing: "Could that BE any more of a cliche?"


"Your characters all wake up with a hangover. You notice you are all in a cell.  You dont' know each other, but apparentlythe night before you got into a tavern brawl and wrecked a local bar and assaulted the city guard, after which you were thrown into jail.  A richly dressed gentleman approaches the bars and says that the local Baron has agreed to pardon all your crimes if you and the other inhabitants of the jail cell complete one small task for him....."

Mike B.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:00 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:So I'm sailing through the NYT article, and finding it a pretty good read, when I suddenly find myself saying "uh-oh":

New York Times wrote:Mr. Pirozzi added: "Like in one campaign I was running, the players were fighting and I threw the 'South Park' kids into the fight and I had stats for them and everything. You can't have that kind of flexibility in a computer game."


Uh ... thanks, Mr. Pirozzi. Like that doesn't set back the "We're Not All Complete Geeks" movement by about five years.

The fricking South Park Kids? :? :? :?


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing... unless it was an April Fool's game or some other special one-off I think the entry of the South Park kids into a dungeon would pretty much ruin most D&D players' gaming nights.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:09 am 
 

faro wrote:
Xaxaxe wrote:I am intrigued by the different directions the game has taken in the last 30 years. I'm sometimes amazed that it all started with a couple of guys assembling boxes in a basement ... and now, many editions and literally hundreds of products later (including numerous computer games), here we are with the ability to play a form of the D&D game online with strangers from all over the world.

Unfortunately dnd  on Plato (1975-late 70s) was only one-player, even though they could've built a graphical multi-user, networked environment from the start. Those took another year or two to develop; and even then, without the graphics at first for the publicly-accessible ones (such as the good ol' Essex MUD... :)).

So what was that one with the dwarves throwing axes at you and the twisty passages all the same.  I remember playing that using one of those old-fashioned modems that the telephone headset slots into at my sisters house in the mid 70s.  Great fun (at the time).  Can anyone point me at an emulator.  Would love to try it out again and see if it stands the test of time.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:41 am 
 

Zork. I have the series. I remember first playing it at Vermont Academy. We had a link to Dartmouth College's mainframe, and we had 4 computers (2 had monochrome monitors, 2 printouts). There is a basic version and an expanded one. I must lick myself on this: I was the first person to complete the game with maximum points. You had to go thru it in a very exact pattern, or your light sources would run out.
In the expanded version, you can do such things as inflate a balloon and go up a volcano shaft, find a hidden room in the maze, etc.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:43 am 
 

I intend to pick up Stormreach. I'll let you all know how it is. My intentions are purely financial: Much like I've done with Diablo for the past 5 years, I intend to get a jump on the game early, and sell items to lazy kids with too much money.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:10 am 
 

I probably won't bother with stormreach, mainly because it's not Greyhawk or FR so like others it's doesn't have that draw of nostalgia. Plus I already have active EQ & EQ2 accounts that I barely have time for anymore.

Having played Everquest since may 99 I can still remember walking around with that feel of awe and realting the visual aspect of it to D&D. To bad they D&D Online ) didn't make it Greyhawk :(

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:34 am 
 

At the risk of going further off-topic, Slashdot has a few comments on this.  It's the usual Slashdot user commentary (mostly junk with a few interesting posts):

http://games.slashdot.org/games/06/02/27/2214209.shtml

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:25 am 
 

Matt, what did you think of EverCrack? I was tempted to play it but I was told it was anime.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:32 am 
 

duplicate post deleted

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