Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Walk the Quality Plank...YARRRR!!!

I wanted to direct everyone to the latest Dev Log over at Flying Labs (the creators of Pirates of the Burning Sea). Specifically this little blurb really caught my attention:

"This build is not only the milestone build (the culmination of the work of a single milestone), it just so happened this was the “feature complete” milestone so this build contains basically all the features in the game. (Because no one can resist, I’m sure another small feature or two or ten will show up against great protestations from QA, but the big stuff’s in.) The milestone we just began is the “content complete” milestone. After that, it’s just polish, polish, polish."

That's right folks, they're starting to communicate quality milestones to the community...so now the page has really turned hasn't it. Since the release of a the much covered WoW and it's expansion Burning Crusade, the new industry buzzword is now "polish". We're going to see this word used a lot to describe at what phase an MMO has reached in it's quality development. Game companies that don't say that they are "polishing" their game will be the odd ones out...they will be looked at as if they're growing a second head. "Polishing" is to MMOs as "Family Values" is to politicians....it doesn't really mean anything, but gets people on your side without lifting a finger. I tend to believe Flying Labs when it comes to the polishing statement, because I have more than one source telling me that they're on the right track for a great game. So...onward guys. Polish away. For the other guys...please don't use "polish" too much. With the MMO market getting really crowded in 2007 the last thing you want to do is cry wolf on quality.

There is some more information on LoTR Online for those that are interested. What they're thinking about for PvP could prove to be interesting:

"The PVP is centred around Monster Play but right now we don't see ourselves creating PVP servers where you can run riot in the Shire. The Monster Play area is isolated but very large and we hope to add campaign and other PVP options to this area. From a design point of view areas like Helms Deep should be consumed with PvP combat. Or mounted combat - hopefully - in Rohan would work very well with PvP. And what about Mordor? Or Moria? That could be the ultimate PvP dungeon of all time. So nothing has been decided yet and we are keeping an open mind. But we want to project the lore."

The options for PvP in the areas of Helms Deep, Moria and Mordor would be sweet. Mounted combat in Rohan would give a great dimension to the game as well. We'll obviously not see these until an expansion hits, but I like the way they're thinking. Of course, for this to all make sense, I would think they would have to introduce evil races. I've always thought that yes, LoTR Online has a great base at launch, but its the expansions that will make or break this title....looks like these tentative plans for PvP will build upon that solid base.

1 comment:

Saylah said...

That's one of the good things that WOW has done for gaming in general - simplicity can be fun and games require polish.