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For the term "Shadowbane".

But What Does This Have To Do With Shadowbane?

Todd Coleman’s new project at King’s Isle decloaks: A don’t mention H***y P****r tween-friendly title called Wizard 101.

Which is a key to Wizard 101: It’s pitched as the game for players between Club Penguin and World of Warcraft.

This may be the first hardcore MMOG aimed at the “tween” demographic. Coleman admits, “It’s not what people expect from the Shadowbane team,” but adds that the game does feature PVP, a trademark of the pioneering work the same team did at Wolfpack Studios.

(Edit: story’s gone from Warcry. My guess is, given the lack of coverage elsewhere, someone jumped the gun on posting the announcement! I’m leaving this note up because, well, um, being a competitor and all no one sends me anything.)

See you in Ultima Online… no, Shadowbane… uh, DAOC… hey, SWG… wait, Horizons…. Vanguard?… Darkfall! YEAH! Totally see you in Darkfall, newb!

It’s nice to know that the rabid hardcore still exist, and still hate you.

So how do these games become more accessible to the drooling masses? Easy! Just implement grinding, level treadmills, restrict any and all competition whatsoever. These systems are intentionally in place to prevent anyone from over-achieving or failing. I recently saw a WoW ad that said “Come join 8 million heroes!” Suddenly every single player is automatically a hero? Essentially, most MMOs are designed so anyone can hop on a game, gain levels and pay $15 US per month for their instant hero status.

These designers don’t want to reward players for their achievements. They just want to make every mouth-breather who logs on think that they’re special, for fear that they’ll quit playing at any sign of disappointment. And even worse, they expect us all to be morons.

Ah, for the days when games violently punched you in the throat and dared you to keep paying them money.

The problem with hardcore PvP games is, as has been often said by myself and others, that while many think they are of the hardcore, few actually are. And while the spectre of being killed repeatedly with no recourse, your home sowed with salt and your guild banners used for tablecloths for the meal of human jerky you kindly donated to may sound nice at first, the bloom tends to fade from the rose when you realize that no, you’re probably never going to be the guys carving the jerky.

Which isn’t to say that Darkfall won’t TOTALLY ROCK YOUR FACE, because honestly I haven’t a clue. But the rhetoric from their fans sure looks familar!

Yes, But What Does This Ad Have To Do With Shadowbane?

Finally, a revenue model for the still-actually-up-and-running Shadowbane:

The Test Server has been updated with a new patch. This patch includes the first update of Ubisoft’s new revenue model which contains an advertisement video when you log onto the game, log out of the game, and during the teleportation from death (resurrection screen). The advertisement video will not show more than once every 10 minutes so if you die a few times in a row within 10 minutes, you’ll only view one on the first death and then not till your next death that is 10 minutes or more from the last viewing.

“Feeling a little fatigued after your untimely gank? Try Ireikei Energy Drinks!”

Note: saw this on F13… can’t find any official confirmation but it seems legit.