Ludwig Comments

  • Ten years of EverQuest

  • Ludwig 31/05/2009

    Great article, as someone who played both eq and wow I found it very interesting. Something else that was special about eq was the sense of danger, the mobs were mixed up a lot with high levels in amongst the low and it had zones like Kithicor which were lvl 10 by day and lvl 40 by night. Imagine a small party of young adventurers heads there for a spot of hunting and night starts to fall for the first time...



    The aggro rules were chaotic by today's standards and this meant you really had to keep an eye out as you wandered around or pulled. WoW felt like a bit of a nursery by comparison, my hand was being held by a warm and firm grip. The aggro rules in eq meant there was plenty of scope for griefing, and much went on, but it never soured the fun. There were so many funny and absolutely terrifying experiences that came from those rules, they shouldn't have been dumped wholesale as the genre became more accessible and slick.
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  • Empire: Total War

  • Ludwig 05/03/2009

    @UncleLou - quite right, I thought I was being smug, but not very successfully. Peace and Society got mixed up as you point out. Oh how hollow my smugness now seems. Reply 0
  • Ludwig 02/03/2009

    A better translation of 'War and Peace' is 'War and Society'. War and Society got mixed up when the powers that be decided to drop the 'i' from the Russian alphabet.



    Oooh I feel so smug now I don't think I will need to post again for a month!
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  • LittleBigPlanet

  • Ludwig 13/10/2008

    I've always wondered who fanboys are trying to convince...never really worked that one out. Reply 0
  • Biting the Apple

  • Ludwig 28/07/2008

    A really interesting article, nice to see that mobile stuff is still being covered despite the demise of the mobile section on the site.



    Some comments:

    -all you can eat data plans are common in the US only, EMEA operators are still dragging their heels, is it inevitable that they will cave in?

    -Apple do not plan to filter the applications sold on their site and run a publishing business in the same style as Nokia, Sony etc, at least not yet, so this makes them a different kind of player in the market. Are Google going to take the same approach? Would have been interesting to take them into account too.



    I think the next couple of years will be very interesting for the mobile game sector; the whole thing has to move up a gear (D2C, all you can eat data, even quality...the list is long!) while controlling the costs inherent in developing for a 'rich' platform. At first it might look like the console publishers have the advantage here since assets used in the DS or PSP version could be turned round quite easily for use in the iPhone version.



    One way to avoid the domination of mobile by the same names as dominate console is if the consumer is given more accessibility and clarity when making purchases - at the moment restricted channels and limited information means recognised names from console, cinema and tv outperform everything else by a wide margin. Needless to say you have to have a lot of money to join in that kind of market. Apple's appstore is unproven as yet, there have been a huge number of downloads but the service is probably going to get swamped with crap before long because of the lack of filtration. If people are wading through pages of Super Boost Karting games, and 'Falling Block Game XXii' they will probably not bother for very long, and the big names and licenses will win through, again.



    Of course journalists could play a big part in raising awareness of the good and innovative games...if they cover mobile ;)
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  • THQ: "Warcraft has peaked"

  • Ludwig 09/04/2008

    @Bumhug360 - I think your second point contradicts your first point doesn't it? Does that graph tell us anything useful about the 'peak'? No, you are quite right, it does not.



    As far as THQ are concerned they will be happy if WoW has peaked in 'the West'. It means there will be plenty of rich mmorpg players looking for their next hit. Not sure why the big fuss now though, they are not going to release for some time yet it seems, after the lich king glow has faded.



    Of course WoW players are mmorpg players, don't get get caught up in some dead end discussion about the 'essence' of an mmorpg, and how WoW is somehow not a 'real' mmorpg. What is clear is that WoW has expanded the user base for these games, just like the DS and the Wii have expanded the user base for consoles. All it means is that as the market expands it is diversifying and it is harder to create catch-all categories. Browser-based mmogs are taking off seriously now, another example of the same trend.



    Personally I think a much more interesting discussion awaits on the subject of the sterility of modern games, go on Eurogamer please write something on the subject. Of course nobody likes bugs and rough edges and nobody likes painful save/load structures and meaningless grinding, but it seems we have thrown the baby out with the bathwater in a sense. Dev teams have cleaned up a lot of those issues and made experiences much slicker, but they have also broken some fun gameplay that used to emerge in the rough old games of yore.



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  • Spore

  • Ludwig 13/02/2008

    And I feel a sudden urge to stroll down to the Crystal Palace and see what all the fuss is about. wtf? Reply 0
  • Beowulf

  • Ludwig 27/07/2007

    "the mysticality, the barbarianism" sounds like a collective is called for. A frenzy of neologism? Reply 0
  • Transformers: The Game

  • Ludwig 23/07/2007

    *sigh*



    >What on earth is up wit da yoof?



    I think this is a good example of the perils of over-specialisation in the school system. It seems they can either read or write. Write or comprehend. Comprehend or construct an argument...now if only there was some way of multitasking so that all of these things could be combined in any single hour of the day.
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  • Ludwig 22/07/2007

    Dear oh dear. Just accept that you don't really know what you are talking about. You are starting off in games journalism, a bit of humility might serve you well. Reply 0
  • Ludwig 22/07/2007

    Lim you are a fruitcake. If you were a half decent journalist you would know that Spadge has a ton of experience running a small and independent developer for many many years.



    Still, why let reality impinge on your world view? It can be inconvenient when trying to construct grand, sweeping, idiotic diatribes.
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  • Glory Days 2: Brotherhood of Men

  • Ludwig 22/07/2007

    Oh for a DS remake of Herzog Zwei. Reply 0
  • Iranian students' anti-US game

  • Ludwig 19/07/2007

    Everyone gives Ahmadinejad too much credit; as if he has real power or actually represents the opinions of the majority of people in the country. I don't think either is the case. Reply 0
  • Clive Barker's Jericho

  • Ludwig 19/07/2007

    Whatever happened to Pyro Studios? Reply 0
  • Assassin's Creed

  • Ludwig 18/06/2007

    @corzair: the idea of their name being derived from hashish has been around for a very long time so it has been picked up in various histories across the ages. If they all use the same erroneous source or sources then it doesn't make their claim any more legitimate.



    Having said all that, as Fatnick points out, there is very little to go on so I suppose it is ultimately an emotional issue about what you want to believe. I do think linguistic analysis is as good a tool as any though, and maybe our only tool in this context. If you want to read more about the subject and avoid the orientalist perspective of most western writing then Amin Maalouf's books are a good place to start.
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  • Ludwig 16/06/2007

    @corzair: the idea that the assassins used hashish and hence that is where their name came from is an idiotic romanticism which has little or no basis in fact. Sylvestre de Sacy propagated this romantic notion in the early 19th C to sell more books.



    Arabic has two separate letters for 's' and 'sh' so the transformation from 'sh' to 's' is unlikely.



    What is more likely is that they did not write the history that we take as fact nowadays and that this association with hashish is a smear on their reputation. An ancient smear but a smear nonetheless.



    They were feared far more by local muslim rulers than any upstart barbarians who had turned up for a bit of adventure tourism. This is because they were religious fundamentalists who felt they were on a mission from god to clean up the ruling classes. This all makes it far more likely that their name is either derived from the name of their first leader Hassan or from the arabic word asaas meaning basic principal. Read that way asaasiyiin simply means fundamentalists.
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  • Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar

  • Ludwig 26/04/2007

    "Weird, MMORPG haters seem to be a much nerdier group than people actually playing the games, if this thread is anything to go by."



    So true Uncle Lou, so true.
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  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

  • Ludwig 23/02/2007

    There there, time for a hug?



    You would think the fate of entire cultures were held in the balance...or maybe the world has moved into a nuclear winter where nobody is able to play videogames any more and such discussions help pass the time on those long evenings...



    But wait a sec, neither situation has in fact occurred. There is now a greater choice of mmpog than ever before, the genre is opening up and diversifying. No need to be bitter about it.
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  • Ecko grabs Human Head

  • Ludwig 21/02/2007

    Did 'Getting Up..' really do so well? Reply 0
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

  • Ludwig 24/01/2007

    So much rage in the world, so little reason. Reply 0
  • Bill Gates interested in buying Nintendo

  • Ludwig 05/08/2004

    It is a bit early to write off Nintendo's future simply because Sony are releasing a handheld competitor to the GBA. Making the most powerful/feature rich/'well designed' product in a certain sector does not guarantee comercial success; think of Concorde, the Jaguar, Betamax...the first Phillips CD player...ermmm the list is really quite long. Reply 0
  • European EverQuest II beta sign-ups soon

  • Ludwig 21/06/2004

    EQ is still going strong - my flatmate has been playing it for nearly a hundred years now and assures me that the servers are still pretty busy. I think EQ will long outlast the arrival of EQII too - they have a different atmosphere and there is a solid paying fanbase for the first game, and a constant stream of hysterical invective aimed at the 'softcore' sequel.



    Hmmm, perhaps EQ lifespan = period before release of Brad's 0wn.
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  • Doom III release date confusion reigns

  • Ludwig 18/06/2004

    "Someone somewhere train games people in proper software engineering practices and get rid of those stupidly unjustifiable development times!"



    Like wot Blerk said. From my limited experience and that of various friends working in the industry I reckon you can lay a bit more of the blame at the door of the management. They seem incapable of accurately estimating development time for even the smallest aspect of a project, they are generally appalling man-managers who complicate every obstacle by communicating only what they see fit and they seem to take this vocation thing to extremes, 'But of course you will spend the last four months of the project working 20 hour days - you should expect that when you sign up, you're keen aren't you?'
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  • Quake IV 'too early to show'

  • Ludwig 17/06/2004

    I loved all the Jedi Knight series up until Raven decided to Quake them up. You felt like you were in the middle of an epic, and it wasn't because of all the SW nerdery but because the game was full of huge encounters taking place in vast spaces. Then along came the Quake shoebox world and bang went the epic scale.



    I really wish someone had licensed the Serious Sam engine for a Jedi Knight game, much better fit I reckon.
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  • Ludwig 17/06/2004

    Dammit I have been discovered ;-) Ok I admit I reserved my harshest criticism for the games that I had not played, only read about. I am in fact basing my entire analysis of them on their Jedi Knight games and the fact that they employ 'Levelord'. Still strong points, but maybe without the universal appeal I was trying for. Reply 0
  • Ludwig 16/06/2004

    Raven may have made a decent level pack for Quake once but they hardly have a reputation for making filmic single player gameplay - generating the feeling you got in the canyons in Serious Sam, or the treetops in Far Cry or under a cow in Call of Duty. They make decent action games. Their proudest moment in SoF was getting the guts to spill, which is right up id's death metal aesthetic alley of course. The sight of all these hardcore deathmatch types getting excited about the prospects of making a game with some atmosphere and emotional complexity makes me think of Jean Claude Van Damme trying his hand at directing. Reply 0
  • Millar brothers enter Lion's den

  • Ludwig 17/06/2004

    "My guess is that blizzard wants followups on their current franchises and most of those guys were ready for something new."



    Ohhh if only it were true. Funnily enough I think it was exactly the reverse - 'Hey guys, let's do a game which isn't about goblins and trolls and building villages, with a few goblins and trolls thrown in for good measure.' 'Groan...oh do we have to? '. They left Blizzard and promptly made that game they had always wanted to make and nobody would fund: 'Goblin Commander'.



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  • Worms Forts: Under Siege

  • Ludwig 24/05/2004

    Hmmm. It looks like nothing more than an add on pack for Worms 3d but it uses a completely new engine, go figure. 'Hey, let's make a totally new game but use all the art from the old one, that way nobody will figure out we spent time and effort on this baby.' Reply 0
  • EA officially unveils Battlefield 2

  • Ludwig 21/04/2004

    Henrik: quite agree. So many games get made in Europe and so few feature Euro culture in whatever form it takes. Seems the general assumption is that the yanks, so damn good at consuming MORE, only want to consume their own culture...again and again. Bring on the chicano cultural influences for a bit of freshness at least. Reply 0