The people of China need to stand up and pay attention not only to the censorship that is rampant in the country, but also to the danger of addiction (to the point of not eating or drinking) to video games. It is not safe to test your limits while maximizing your character in an online universe. One must remember that the real game is real life, and video games are just an escape (albeit short and fun-filled) from the reality.
An unidentified 30 year old Chinese man slipped into a coma, and died in a clinic later, after playing a video game in an internet cafÃ© non-stop for three days. The man had not slept for the three days, and had consumed very little sustenance. The cafÃ©, in the capital city of Beijing, also said that in his last month, the man had spent more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500) on massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs).
While this kind of behavior can be attributed to players who are completely at the mercy of the virtual world, it seems that this man had some unresolved issues with his life due to which he turned to video gaming. The indifference to life in general and a sudden, unhealthy addiction to something points to depression or other psychological problems.
Nevertheless, internet cafÃ© providers need to meter the usage of patrons. The casual ignorance of the managers of the parlor is partly to blame; just because the man had the money does not mean the providers ignore his health.
Remember All Points Bulletin? At the same time, remember Realtime Worlds? Yes, the same Realtime Worlds (RTW) that made the ill-fated massively multiplayer 3rd person shooter game All Points Bulletin (APB). Their huge initial investment on the Unreal Engine powered game that was released as a buggy, laggy contraption and their subsequent demise as a company served as a reminder for the rest of the gaming world that big investments and pseudo-novel gameplay mechanics do not necessarily always equate to great success.
However, after Realtime Worlds shut shop, California based GamersFirst bought the game’s rights and started their work on publishing the game under the free-to-play model re-titled APB: Reloaded. We have seen that there is a genial amount of interest in this MMO model, and it seems that there is quite a bit of interest for this game. About 100,000 participants have registered for the open beta event of APB: Reloaded. Considering that at its peak the game had 130,000 users, it is fair to say that a good chunk of the previous players have come back for their fix of the crime-shooter. Also, the fact that GamersFirst does some good work with free-to-play games such as War Rock and Knight Online has probably helped in roping in the users.
However, these numbers indicate only the registrants for the beta event. When the game opens up for beta on the 28th of February, there will be a sizeable chunk of registrants who would not download and install the beta client. Only time will tell whether APB actually deserved this second life.
Oh yes, yet another epic is going to have its own Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG). After the Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO), The Old Republic (Star Wars MMO), Star Trek Online, DC Online (this list gets longer and longer) and Dungeons and Dragons Online (Need I say anything here?) it is time for the long running TV series Battlestar Galactica’s turn. Bigpoint’s big MMO will go into open beta this February 8th. Which really translates into you rushing to play as either human or Cylon and blasting someone else into smithereens in space!
Does that sound familiar?
To be fair, the space MMO scene has generally been completely and utterly taken over by EVE Online. So, while this is not aimed at the generic space fiction enthusiasts, fans of the brilliant SF TV series will be the main (or probably only) players of this game.
Massively’s Beau Hindman comments on the scale of the game:-
The variety of ships is nice, allowing players to pilot anything from a basic craft to a massive CM monster. Battles felt very balanced despite the fact that some players were in larger craft. Bigpoint seems to have taken a page from EVE Online’s book by making larger craft slower and easier to hit but chock-full of deadly weapons and other electronic goodies. Missiles can literally be shot out of the sky, so even their existence added some element to gameplay.
Fun? Probably yes. Not for me? Most definitely.
If you like Slavic mythology, Russian dev studio Cyberdemons’ new Massively Multiplayer game Craft of Gods should catch your fancy. Set in a huge gameworld (which is a redundant statement, considering that this is an MMOG!) Craft of Gods will cater to the crowds that enjoy Realm versus Realm (RvR) or Player versus Player (PvP) gaming with huge battles and smaller duels constantly peppering the servers of this game. The game will also contain different elements of Player versus Environment (PvE) gameplay, possibly just to increase the level and little else. The developers have released details regarding an Open Beta event that will run for four days. This could be one of the last times you can play this game in Beta before its public release!
With 6 different races in 3 different factions (Light, Neutral and Darkness) and complete customization with 210 different skills spread over 14 schools (phew!) this is destined to be one of the larger MMOGs with a large presence in Europe. In this game you can also become a Demigod gaining special powers and skills within your realm.
If you wish to try this game’s beta, you will need to register here on the Kalicanthus website and you will receive a beta key. The key will be valid as soon as the servers are online. The servers will come alive on April 2nd at 2:30 PM CET and will go offline on April 6th at 2:30 PM CET. Do let us know how the game is when you do play it!