Saturday, December 20, 2008

Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King

There are many discussions and blog posts about the new hero class - Death Knight (DK), released in the latest WoW expansion "Wrath of the Lich King" (魔兽世界:巫妖王之怒). Instead of launching into the merits or a guide of how to play the DK, let me show a few screen shots I took of the initial quests of DK. These initial quests provide talent points for the level 55 DK, and give an introductory story to guide DK into the WoW (魔兽世界) .

The conversations in the screen shots above and below hinted at the life of the player before he/she turned into a DK, and alluded to the possibility of a DK to turn 'good' again in WoW.

Here's the other screen shots of the 'final battle' at Eastern Plagueland between Arthas (i.e. Lich King)'s forces and the Scarlet / Argent Dawn armies. It is this battle where the DK forces 'turned' good when the commander of the DK forces awakened from the dark side.

Again the conversations are pretty interesting. The entire 'introductory' quest and story of DK are well planned, and I think this is what sets WoW apart from many other 'hack and slash' MMORPG with little storyline to offer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Singapore's Tangs joined others in Second Life

Seems like our famous shopping retailer in Orchard has joined others in setting up a Second Life store. Folks who want to buy the clothes and items from the Tangs store could use Linden dollars or the First Meta credit cards to pay.

pay for their purchases in Linden dollars, the game's currency, or via a virtual credit card. Credit card bills are paid monthly in Linden dollars, which can be traded for real money

The Second Life craze has caught up with our local retailers, but I just wonder if it is a bit too late in joining the craze. Earlier retailers who joined Second Life has reaped all the good publicity. Maybe Tangs should look at Facebook with its 140 million users instead of Second Life with its 13 million users. Oh well, NUS's second Life is also hyping up, and so there are still a good number of users who would be interested.

After Second Life, what's next? Facebook, Twitter, and?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Anime downloaders being sued by the anime studios

I read on the 'Banzai Effect' about how downloaders managed to get a lawyer for two folks currently being sued by the anime studios. The case would set a lot of precedents about the details for online unauthorised download.

Other than the legal stuff, I'm actually quite puzzled by the studios' actions. I guess over the past many years, we saw how music studios first decided to sue unauthorised downloaders, and later realised that there is actually money to be made from online sales of songs. It took Apple iTunes and others to show the music studios about the business models, which means Apple iTunes would be the main beneficiary of the system. A real pity, since the music studios are the guys who 'produced' the files.

Now, anime studios deciding to sue downloaders. Haven't they learn anything from the music studios examples? I think anime fans are simply that - anime fans! They would pay, given the right incentives, e.g. faster availability of animes with good subtitles. Look at the amount of money and effort put in for the anime related events - cosplay!

It doesn't help that the local newspapers always portray the downloaders as illegal pirates - it would be good if the journalists at least put in some sane reasons instead of quoting official statistics about the 'number of people bothered about infringement'. People are not bothered by the so called infringement precisely because there is a mis-match of views about what constitutes infringement.

Give the downloaders and studios a chance to work things out in a business sense. Lawsuits benefit no one except lawyers!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Real Life Financial Crisis - Virtual World Woes

It is interesting how the current global financial crisis has resulted in adverse impact for the virtual world. I was reading the newspapers and an article remarked about the changes at Google, including the impending shutdown of Google Lively.

Lively was launched just a few months ago, and earlier articles even commented that there are monetization potential for Lively, and now it's Lively No More, cos' Google has to "prioritize our resources and focus more on our core search, ads and apps business."

Now I wonder if other worlds will be 'hit' similarly by the financial tsunami. Would subscription based VWs suffered loss of gamer base, and the 'free to play' VWs (e.g. Second Life) crashed like what happened to Lively? Interesting to see articles that draw parallels between the VWs and real world economy, especially how they described the financial woes, e.g. Second Life's Ginko Bank.

Oh well, at the end of the day, both VWs and real world are inextricably linked by people like you and me; if we are hit by any woes, both type of worlds will 'feel it'.