Desperately Seeking Cataclysm

Since August, there's been a flurry of speculation about the release date of Cataclysm which refuses to die down. From what I understand, most of the guesses are fueled by player need. This is comical to me, for players to base development estimates on what "should" happen to minimize their boredom. I think we all know by now that Blizzard does not skimp on features to make a random deadline, so trying to dream up a timeline based on the needs of the fickle player base is pretty silly.

Why is Arctic Fur on the Vendor?

One of the newest changes on the Test Realm is the addition of Arctic Fur on the Leather Trader in Dalaran, available for the price of 10 Heavy Borean Leather. I find this change a bit odd because I didn't realize that Arctic Fur had become scarce. This is primarily because I'm not actually using my Leatherworking skill, which I guess is saying something. For a while I tried making leg armor, but I got disgusted with the lowballing and gave up. It probably doesn't help that I dropped skinning and now have to purchase leather.

Lord of the Rings Online Crafting Review

My second foray into crafting systems led me to Lord of the Rings Online. This game had the second highest votes in our MMO poll, so I downloaded a copy and signed up for a trial account. This game also has strong visual appeal (as did Aion) and immediately has the extra fun factor of being set in a known world. For players who are huge LOTR fanbois I'm sure this is a major selling point. As for me, I enjoy the stories but I'm not a "fan". So the novelty of being a hobbit wore off pretty quickly. The players seem significantly more mature than WoW, so if you're tired of the shenanigans on WoW servers then LOTRO might be a nice change for you. I pretty much never saw any nasty chat sessions the whole time I was there with just the occasional annoying outburst that quickly died out without a flame war.

Neo-Crafting: Guilds & Social Structures

We haven't talked much about crafting and it's role in the community, so in this post I'm going to tackle that. Many people view crafting as part of the social side of MMO games, under the assumption that crafters tend to be more social and enjoy the networking aspect of building communities. This is probably true to a certain extent, but not necessarily descriptive of all crafters. Personally, I'm an introvert. I enjoy socializing with folks I know pretty well, but I don't enjoy networking with strangers. I suspect this is fairly common among gamers and geeks in general.

Patch 3.3 Status

The new Test Realm went up last week with 3.3 content and unfortunately I've not posted anything from it. I just wanted to let you all know that I have characters on the PTR and I have been hunting for new stuff. I checked the Leather, Blacksmith and Tailoring trainers and have seen no new recipes. I also checked a few of the trade vendors in Dalaran and didn't see anything that looked new. In addition, I flew over to the Icecrown Citadel and looked for a possible new vendor there. So far - no luck. I've been unable to find any new trade recipes, even though MMO-Champion has mined some from the data files. It appears these are not actually patched into the game at this time. I normally don't report "no news" but in this case I didn't wanna leave you guys wondering about it.

I will keep you posted as soon as I find something!

Vote on the next MMO crafting review!

Ok, I'm having some trouble picking my next project. Every time I think I've decided to try one game, I read something about a different one that makes me think IT should be the priority. This has been going on since my Aion review and I'm no closer to making a decision. So I figured I'd let you guys in on the process. I don't know all the hype about various games that have recently come out or are going to come out soon. I compiled a list and I'm gonna let you guys tell me which games you're most curious about when it comes to crafting.

Bear in mind, I'm only going to test the crafting system. I'm not going to write a review of the whole game, nor will I even try to experience the whole game. The primary objective here is to analyze the crafting system and compare it to WoW. I've only included newer games under the assumption that older MMOs probably aren't more advanced than WoW. I know this isn't entirely true, but I want to focus on games that are presumably built with "what didn't work" in mind.

I've included Star Wars: The Old Republic in this list because they are accepting applications to get into the closed beta. This doesn't mean I'll get in, but I can try. Same with Champions Online. This isn't a promise to review, but I'll do my best to review these games if possible. I will be prioritizing my reviews according to the final voting. Ok, enough disclaimer... Go vote!

MMO Crafting Poll

Also, if I've left a game out that you strongly believe should be included, please leave a comment!