Karen Hertzberg writes "Balancing classes in MMOGs may be one of the most daunting challenges of the industry. Few games are immune, and no game has ever claimed complete, perfect balance. So how does a developing company deal with the ever-impending demand to keep their games fair in both PvE and PvP environments? Ten Ton Hammer spoke with four industry professionals about the issue in an effort to glean some answers. Age of Conan's Craig Morrison said, 'It is part science and part intuition and experience, I think. We do, of course, have all the ... "spreadsheet" work in the back-end and development tools that calculate as many of the parameters as possible. On top of that, though, you then have the knowledge and skill of the designers involved. Working with a system, you have the general overview of how things interact and how players tend to behave in your game. Sometimes nothing beats spending time in the game itself and actually seeing how the players have been using the skills and abilities you have provided for them. Players are nothing if not inventive, and they never cease to surprise designers with their ingenuity, so it is vital that the designers are also watching and learning themselves.' "
An anonymous reader writes "Choosing sides in the high-def format war becomes that much harder this week, as two powerhouse movie franchises hit store shelves on opposing formats. Exclusive to Blu-ray are the first two "Pirates of the Caribbean" flicks, while exclusive to HD DVD are two different configurations of the "Matrix" Trilogy. So which format wins this battle? According to High-Def Digest, this one's a draw. After evaluating each of the releases in excruciating detail, ("The Ultimate Matrix Collection" & "The Complete Matrix Trilogy" on HD DVD, and "POTC: Curse of the Black Pearl" & "POTC: Dead Man's Chest" on Blu-ray) the site says both sets of releases boast benchmark video and audio, but a preponderance of standard-def supplements prevent all from being the perfect high-def package."
I think this is all depending on who you ask, really. The Wii's whole approach was to appeal to other types of people than hardcore gamers, and it looks like the PS3's whole lineup is for hardcore gamers. So, it's a little bit like comparing apples and oranges, I think.