Blizzard and Activision Merge I EVE: Trinity Released
First STO Screenshot I Dell Releases WoW Laptops

Issue #95 EVE, Entrepreneurs, and the Enterprise
December 6, 2007

Log In

Welcome to MMORPGamer.

Here we are again, coming to the close of the year in a winter wonderland. It's not snowing here, but I hope it is where you are.

I'm glad you've found a few moments to be free of finals and the holiday rush to join me. There's a lot of fun news this week, and some cool letters. First, your news:

  Blizzard and Activision Merge

On a quiet Sunday morning, you'd expect there to be nothing to report on but the church bulletin and the inside of your eyelids. Not last Sunday, however, as Vivendi announced that it and Activision were merging to become Activision Blizzard.

We had a news story fresh for you that day, and it seems as if the buzz has finally quieted down. Blizzard released a FAQ on the deal for anybody that still has questions.

The folks at Blizzard have been keen on saying that its team and practices will not change, and their development schedule in particular will stay the same. I don't see any reason not to believe them. After all, Activision and Blizzard make entirely different games. The merger stands only to benefit them financially as long as they stay out of each other's business. If they begin to cross genres or platforms, the merger may begin to spell danger for either or both.

As long as I still get to play my WoW, and WotLK comes out without a hitch, I approve.

  EVE: Trinity Released

EVE Online

By the time this column is published, EVE: Trinity will have been released to the public. The patch is a huge improvement upon the game, adding new content, an enhanced UI, balance changes, fixes, and the coveted revamp to the graphics engine.

This comes just in time as the population goes beyond 200,000 players. It doesn't compare to the giants, but the community is a committed one that just welcomed Mac and Linux players.

The graphics overhaul won't be available to anyone who doesn't have a Shader Model 3.0 or DirectX9c compliant video card, but the patch is still enjoyable if you don't. Personally, I think the graphics are great even before this change. I've never been one to shoot for better graphics as long as I could discern humans from battleships.

  First STO Screenshot

Ever since Gods and Heroes was cancelled, I've been keeping my eye on Star Trek Online-- Perpetual Entertainment's other project. Over at the devlog, Mike Stemmle dropped the following beauty upon the world.

The screenshot shows a glimpse at the in-game graphics engine, which can be assumed to be approachable for most systems. The graphics look a little better than WoW, but not quite reaching EVE: Trinity's new standard. It also features a classic hotbar, as well as a few buttons on the sides labeled in Star Trek style.

  Dell Releases WoW Laptop

World of Warcraft

Dell has been teasing us for a while with its new "Warcraft experience," and it turns out to be a $4,500 laptop. The laptop's features include:

  • 17-inch monitor
  • Horde or Alliance Engraving
  • Pre-loaded with WoW, Burning Crusade, and all current patches
  • A beta key for an upcoming Blizzard game.
  • Fun loot like wallpapers, soundtracks, novels, strategy guides, etc.

    There's tons more to be found on the order site, but none of it seems to be worth the money. The graphics system in WoW is not nearly intense enough to warrant a $4,500 laptop purchase. If you like fun loot and money is no option, go ahead. There are inexpensive computers that run WoW just fine, including the lowest Apple laptop on the market.

  •   Correspondence Engraving Specialists

    Chief Moniker Designator


    First time writer to your section of RPGamer. FFXI player here from Siren server. I don't have Wings of the Goddess yet as I am in Thailand, but a friend is bringing a copy from Canada in a couple weeks. I'm so excited. Ok on to the topic. I would like to have the job to name notorious monsters and other items. I love lots of the names of the notorious monsters in FFXI, my favorite names are Valkurm Emperor, Hoo Mjuu the Torrent, and Cargo Crab Colin. Seeing the names of notorious monsters on your widescan has to be one of the most exciting feelings you could have in a game period. I'd love to be a part of that. Thanks for including my letter (if you do).

    soul of bass


    Godspeed to your friend. I hear that Wings is fun, if only for the new Dancer class.

    Kudos to you, Soul, for thinking up that job. All the names you listed are awesome, but I'm sad you didn't send in any of your own creation. If you get a chance, drop me a line with some of your own creation. I promise not to steal them, and it gets you a little piece of publicity.

    Simplification Specialist

    With the rapid growth of MMOs it seems that we always have someone at the forefront. In the beginning it was Ultima Online, then it was EverQuest -- and now we have World of Warcraft. Where do you think it will go from here? Do you see any MMOs on the horizon that have any chance of taking the crown from WoW, or do you think it'll remain king of the hill for a while yet?


    I definitely believe that WoW is going to remain king of the hill for a while. It's still only on its first expansion and it has not stopped picking up users. The game's quality is steady and rising with each expansion.

    However, if I had to choose any MMO to take its place, I would be at a loss. The recent releases have been less than stunning, so any of those MMOs are out. I know this may seem like a copout, but I would have to place my bet on Star Trek Online, Marvel Universe Online, or the unknown new MMO from Blizzard. I think the future of MMORPGs will not be in fantasy, but in present-day or sci-fi settings.

    Also, it seems to be an obvious trend amongst the most popular MMOs to continuously become more simple and user-friendly. Do you think this trend will continue or have we found a "happy medium" with WoW? If not simplicity though, what do you think will be the strongest feature of the next MMO King?

    Chris Darin


    You pose a very interesting question. I'm thoroughly satisfied with WoW's control system. The optional complication of several hotbars is great for those who like it, but unnecessary. Games that limit the amount of buttons, in my opinion, limit the capacity for unique tactics and abilities.

    That said, I think that the simplification isn't going to stop. As much as I like WoW's system, the push for more console MMORPGs is going to lend itself to simplified structures for console controllers. I hate to try to think of how I would play WoW on my Wii. Short of elaborate and ridiculous Wiimote gestures, the concept boggles my mind.

    Concept Visual Specialist in Creation

    Hey Jake,

    What's up?

    If I could have any job related to MMO's, I would love to be a concept artist for the locations. Now I am not a great artist... Not a bad one, but definitly not a good one, so I don't have what it takes, but I'd love to paint concepts of places to see and visit in MMO's.

    I love running into wondrous things, not just monsters, but beautiful and magical places. Small towns high up in a mountain, surrounded by ancient ruins, a grand castle housing a secret, a dark forbidding forest with a waterfall smack dab in the middle, a mine in which workers stumble upon some secret hallway, a grand magic academy, all that stuff!

    I would dig painting the concepts for that! A friend of mine is a wondrous painter, he has that Bob Ross magic going on... I envy him for it.

    I also like to come up with stories. I have this whole world in my head with its own history... So if there was a game setting I wouldn't mind having to write up additional historical information about the gameworld. Or background information on the NPC's...

    And who wouldn't love having to be the voice of one of the characters? I don't have an appealing voice, but that would be awesome!!

    But enough about me... What kind of job would YOU like to have, Jake?


    Concept artist would be a wonderful job, I think. If only I could master the abilities of the artist, I might have a chance. It sounds like you've got a good starting ability, so I'd say go for it. Keep drawing, painting, or whatever your specific discipline may be.

    I thought I mentioned that I'd love to be a loremaster or a voice actor. My creativity limits me from doing much else, other than testing. I'd love to test, but that just doesn't sound like a creative job at all. Maybe community manager would be a good job. Eep, who am I kidding. Forums are nightmares.

     Log Out

    Thanks to all three of you that chimed in. The letters really seem to be picking up, which means that this column is only getting better. This week, Chris Darin asked me how I felt about the future king of MMOs, so I'd like to redirect that question to readers. What's the next big MMO in your opinion?

    For now, I've got to head back to studying for finals, and I'll let you do the same. If you are one of those lucky folks that no longer have them, enjoy the time you've earned well. I will be one of you some day.

    Until then,
    Jake Miller (mail me)

    Discuss this story Previous Updates Other News Sources
    RPGamer Message Board Last Column | Full Column Archive Gamasutra | |
    © 1998-2007 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
    Privacy Policy