Roper interview at Gamespy

Yep. A new penetrating look at Roper and friends departure and the birth of a company that will be by gamers and for gamers.

In it, he talks about how much better AoM was than WC3 as the latter was just too much more of the same.

I still don’t understand why they were so hasty to leave. I get it that they were concerned about who the new owner would be and how that would affect Blizzard, but why not wait and see what happens with all that before leaving? It sounds like they gave Vivendi an ultimatum about having some input into the sale process and when Vivendi didn’t budge they fled.

They should have no trouble finding funding, but I wonder if they will be able to get the level of funding that Blizzard would spend on a game? I don’t know if anyone on the PC side spends as much on games as Blizzard. Ex-Blizzard is not the same as Blizzard. An ex-Blizzard game isn’t going to sell-through 175,000 copies in three days like Diablo II did.

I dunno, Mark. I think there’s a fairly good chance that at least the very first one could. “From The Minds Behind Diablo” doesn’t seem to be a substantially different attractor than the Blizzard logo would be, to me. If nothing else, I’d expect substantial sales purely from curiosity.

Yeah, I’d say a lot will depend on their first game. If they can create another Starcraft or Diablo, these guys will be able to write their own ticket.

Funny, I thought AOM resembled AOK too much but WC3 was quite different from SC.

Funny, I thought AOM resembled AOK too much but WC3 was quite different from SC.[/quote]

I was about to say that too. Oh well, difference of opinions I guess.

I think there have been at least 2 other Blizzard spin offs (the lead designer of Starcraft and friends quit right after it was launched as I recall) but I don’t know what came of them.

I suspect it has a less to do with talent and more to do with finding someone to pony up a 7 figure advance for development, marketing, and private theater. 8)

“From the Minds Behind Diablo”… wasn’t that the pitch used for Throne of Darkness? :)

Sure, they could have a big hit, I’m not arguing against that. What I meant is that they’re not going to get the automatic sales that a Blizzard title now gets. Blizzard has developed such good faith now that a couple of hundred thousand customers will buy their games in the first few days of release.

As to Blizzard spinoffs, we had that game that Sierra published, an Asian-styled, Diabloish game with “Crown” somewhere in the title, I believe. That was something of a flop. And we have the team behind the MMOG Guild Wars, which looks promising but is still in development. Those are the only two spinoffs I know of.

Sure, they could have a big hit, I’m not arguing against that. What I meant is that they’re not going to get the automatic sales that a Blizzard title now gets. Blizzard has developed such good faith now that a couple of hundred thousand customers will buy their games in the first few days of release.

As to Blizzard spinoffs, we had that game that Sierra published, an Asian-styled, Diabloish game with “Crown” somewhere in the title, I believe. That was something of a flop. And we have the team behind the MMOG Guild Wars, which looks promising but is still in development. Those are the only two spinoffs I know of.[/quote]

You really still think it looks promising after what they were showing this year? Hunh.

Sure, they could have a big hit, I’m not arguing against that. What I meant is that they’re not going to get the automatic sales that a Blizzard title now gets. Blizzard has developed such good faith now that a couple of hundred thousand customers will buy their games in the first few days of release.

As to Blizzard spinoffs, we had that game that Sierra published, an Asian-styled, Diabloish game with “Crown” somewhere in the title, I believe. That was something of a flop. And we have the team behind the MMOG Guild Wars, which looks promising but is still in development. Those are the only two spinoffs I know of.[/quote]

You really still think it looks promising after what they were showing this year? Hunh.[/quote]

Guild Wars? Yeah. First, no monthly fees is really attractive. Second, the emphasis on streamlined gameplay – getting transported to your private quest area, etc., looks good. Third, the promised fast-leveling is a big seller for me. And fourth, the ample opportunity for PvP via contests and other things is something I want.

I thought NC Soft had the best lineup of PC games at the show – City of Heroes, Exarch, Lineage 2, and Guild Wars all looked good to me.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bash the lineup as a whole. City of Heroes absolutely wowed me, and I had been excited about it before E3. I ignored Lineage 2, wasn’t impressed by Guild Wars, and thought Exarch looked like utter crap, however.

Funny, I thought AOM resembled AOK too much but WC3 was quite different from SC.[/quote]

I was about to say that too. Oh well, difference of opinions I guess.[/quote]

I was hoping to spark an Ensemble vs. Blizzard cage match battle-to-the-death, but only sensible people must visit Qt3 on Sunday mornings. :) I agree, AoM was more like AoK than WC3 was like WC2. Some folks just acted like Warcraft III was some huge leap forward in the RTS genre and it still felt rather similair, albeit beautiful and with added features. To me, that is.

That interview, BTW, told us almost nothing. Did anyone else have trouble buying the line that it was just a crazy conincidence that they all “felt it was time” and simply decided afterwards, “Hey, maybe we could do our own thing.”?

Sure, they could have a big hit, I’m not arguing against that. What I meant is that they’re not going to get the automatic sales that a Blizzard title now gets. Blizzard has developed such good faith now that a couple of hundred thousand customers will buy their games in the first few days of release.

As to Blizzard spinoffs, we had that game that Sierra published, an Asian-styled, Diabloish game with “Crown” somewhere in the title, I believe. That was something of a flop. And we have the team behind the MMOG Guild Wars, which looks promising but is still in development. Those are the only two spinoffs I know of.[/quote]

You really still think it looks promising after what they were showing this year? Hunh.[/quote]

Guild Wars? Yeah. First, no monthly fees is really attractive. Second, the emphasis on streamlined gameplay – getting transported to your private quest area, etc., looks good. Third, the promised fast-leveling is a big seller for me. And fourth, the ample opportunity for PvP via contests and other things is something I want.

I thought NC Soft had the best lineup of PC games at the show – City of Heroes, Exarch, Lineage 2, and Guild Wars all looked good to me.[/quote]

I think Guild Wars could do wonders if it does well. Its the type of game I’d play, an online/offline Diablo meets mmrpg game in 3d. The closest to it now is PSO.

Yeah all the nc soft games look sweet. Especially Lineage 2… those graphics are SWEET… they have hot elf chicks in it!

etc

No, only godless commie heathens who should’ve spent the morning bending their knee to the One True God instead of surfing. ^^

Oddly enough I’ve been recently thinking of playing through Throne of Darkness. That’s the game made by ex-Blizzard employees under the company name of “Click”, not “Crown” as Mark Asher mentioned. From the little that I had played of it, it felt like Diablo, even though they copped some features from Diablo 2. Take that however you want.

Searching to get the latest patch for the game before I install, I clicked on their company link from the Sierra ToD site. It brings up one of those search sites. So it obviously didn’t do well enough for them to stay in business!

Sorry, after rereading Mark Asher’s post about “Crown” I realize he was talking about the title of the game, not the name of the company.

I’d beware of ToD. It uses ideas that sound cool in theory but really don’t work well at all.

For instance, you control one guy out of a party of four (although you ultimately have control of seven characters - you swap them in and out of battle sort of like Final Fantasy X). So how does the AI of your allies work? Uh, pretty poorly to be honest. You can dictate whether they rely on melee, ranged, or spell weapons first and foremost. However, the Spell option sucks because you can only have them cast one spell. So your dreams of having your mage cast Lower Water Resistance on the enemy then switching to Super Water Beat Rush Mega to put the hurt on them while you wail away with your Water Washikazi will be SHATTERED. They’ll cast Lower Water Resistance, then… they’ll cast it again. And again. Until they run out of magic, which always happens far too soon. Then they’ll switch to either melee or ranged weapons, which they’ll inevitably suck at.

Also, it’s kind of cool that if someone dies, you contact your Daimyo to have the corpse teleported to his throne room and resurrected. However, he’ll be at minimum health/mana, and it takes FOREVER for even low-level characters to get their health/mana restored. Not to mention that resurrection drains the Damiyo’s mana, which also takes just short of forever to replenish.

Also also! You will spend 99.999999999999999% of the game staring at the Blacksmith and Priest interface screens. The reason is, you can contact them magically from anywhere, which is nice. However, not only does it cost money for the blacksmith to repair your damaged equipment, but depending on the power of that equipment, it’ll take more and more TIME for him to repair it. I kid you not - by the end of the game, if any of my weapons were reduced to critically low endurance, it might take FOUR MINUTES for the blacksmith to repair it. “So,” I can imagine you saying, “why not always keep a backup weapon on hand?” Because there’s no way you’ll have inventory space for it, not with the insane amount of ingredients you’re going to pick up along the way. Not to mention you’ll never be able to afford purchasing more than one weapon or suit of armor or whatever that’s good enough to keep you alive in the final portions. That’s only for repairing, BTW - god forbid you ever need to identify, purify magic items or purchase a new piece of equipment. (BTW, please don’t get me started on how having control of seven characters makes inventory management IMPOSSIBLE.)

Also, again! One of the most common properties of attacks in the game (you know, like “fire damage” or “poison”) is “knock back”. Later on in the game, you and your enemies will be flying around like Arkanoid bullets because every attack will send either you or the enemy flying. This completely screws up the already-awkward controls (for whatever bizarre reason I had the DAMNDEST time keeping my mouse hovered over the one enemy I want to attack - sometimes I could hold the button down and I’d repeatedly attack like I should, sometimes I’d just stand there and wind up having to click like a madman to get one attack to go off) and will likely drive you up the wall, assuming you haven’t long since fallen asleep waiting for the blacksmith to repair your Flame Iganato.

Why did I complete it? Aside from masochism, my only excuse is that I fervently hoped the ending cinematic would be as great as the intro. (BTW, it wasn’t.) Basically, ToD really disappointed and frustrated me.

:lol: That post had to be more entertaining than the actual game.

Yeah, Chick destroyed Throne of Darkness in his CGM review IIRC. It’s definitely one game you don’t need to play, even out of curiousity. There was like one guy involved in it that had any real Blizzard street cred and he was just an artist I think.

–Dave