Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean

I was reading Amazon, looking at reviews of the Pirates of the Caribbean edition Game of Life...and discovered something disturbing.
Of the reviews I read, before my own lungs came up to throttle my brain to save me from madness, I noticed a disturbing trend of people who had, as their chief complaint, the 'fact' that the edition I was viewing had "nothing to do with POTC".
I sussed it quickly.  These people seem to think that Pirates of the Caribbean is a movie franchise.  Amazing how quickly Disney built that bloody ride after the unexpected, runaway success of Curse of the Black Pearl, innit?
A few facts, just to clear the air:
The Pirates of the Caribbean is a dark ride that was first opened in Disneyland, in California, in the year 1967.  It featured a humorously lusty crew of audioanimatronic pirates sacking a Spanish town.  The only named character that can be verified is the mayor of the town, who is referred to as "Carlos" by the woman, presumably his wife, in the upstairs window as he is being dunked in the well.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a film, based upon the ride(s) that premiered in 2003 and was a blockbuster to the joy and surprise of the Walt Disney company.
The edition of POTC Game of Life to which these reviews were appended was, essentially, the theme park edition, not the film franchise.
And just so we are clear, there really were pirates in the Caribbean centuries before either the rides or the films.  I cannot verify the existence of Spanish mayors named Carlos, but it seems plausible.

So to anyone on Amazon who wrote or will write a review demonstrating such seeming ignorance, as much as I enjoy the film franchise and Johnny Depp's work, please, understand that the world did not begin when you woke up and 'discovered' it.  Got that, Columbus?  Good.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Next Gen MMO...who you gonna call?


Or, rather, I wish that were the case.

I would very much like to see a Ghostbusters MMORPG.  Given the sorry state of MMOs today, we need a paradigm shift to reach the next gen.  Yes, DCUO has a next gen combat system, but I want more.  I'm greedy.

I have the basics down for this game.  First your character would be a new employee in a Ghostbusters Franchise operation.  If you remember the film, Dr. Venkman says to Dr. Stantz, "The franchise rights alone will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams."  This idea was later picked up by West End Games in their Ghostbusters RPG (2 editions) where the players were employees or owners of a Ghostbusters franchise.  Here is where my MMO idea starts.  You can have any number of players, they work for a franchise outfit.

Classes and levels:  No need.  I want to see a shift away from the Gygax paradigm with scaling levels and scaling difficulty.  Skill gaming, or rather, games that use skills to define the player, sometimes called 'classless' gaming are where I am looking.  You wouldn't need 'races' as Ghostbusters is a game about being a human struggling against the supernatural world.

Magic, healing, and so forth would certainly fit.  No matter how scientific (or pseudo-scientific) you get with regard to ghosts, magic is just a part of the whole supernatural experience.  Mages in Ghostbusters?  Why not, as long as it doesn't become a fireball throwing Gandalf-man you should be fine.  Healing?  Isn't that what an EMT, doctor or combat medic does?  Of course it is.  As Rikalonious said, "out of combat" healing though.

PVP:  I enjoy PVP.  Many people do.  Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) had PVP in the form of Monster Play.  A character could enter the monster play zone at about level 40, if memory serves, but once a player had a level 10 character he could enter as a "monster" that was level 50.  I envision the same thing.  A player can enter PVP and choose to play a 'ghost' or 'monster', thus giving a strong PVP zone to the game and allowing a player the freedom to be both a hero in PVE and monster in PVP.

I realize that licensed material carries certain pitfalls, including the annoying use of franchise characters.  Well since every game features a 'training zone' these days, I say here is the chance to game with Egon, Ray, Winston and Peter.  Your first few 'training zone' missions would be in NYC training under the company owners, just so you don't ruin the company name by breaking things as a green recruit, then it is off to your home city once you are through with the training days.

These are just my initial thoughts on this.  Some company, cough, Atari, cough Mythic, should jump on this stellar idea.