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Murder, FFXI, and Ninety-Nine Nights 31

Gamasutra has a few great writeups of some of the sessions I didn't make it to. Murder, Sex, and Censorship covers some of the moral elements that go into game creation. Creating a Global MMO was a talk given by some of the folks behind FFXI, on the challenges of creating a multi-hemisphere online title. All about Ninety-Nine Nights was an examination of the character design put into the 'massive warfare' title for the Xbox 360. Interesting stuff. The morals session actually became quite heated, thanks to the presence of CA Assemblyman Leland Yee. From the article: "'How many people do you think have been hurt by video games? How many people have been helped by video games?' Gee asked. 'This technology will allow us to have a full spectrum chemist, or a full spectrum virus,' which school children, scientists, or doctors are able to experiment with in a safe environment. Gee also noted that, socially, legislators should care not only about keeping children from harm, but also about helping them."
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Murder, FFXI, and Ninety-Nine Nights

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  • Ninety Nine Nights (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I've played the demo, and it seems to be just a button masher. I expected a lot better from the Rez/Meteos guy. Maybe someone who's had more time with it can say if it has any depth/skill/strategy to it at all?
  • Corrected link (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bluey ( 27101 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @07:37PM (#14995476) Homepage
    Here's the correct link to Creating a Global MMO [].
  • Double standards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @07:44PM (#14995506)
    "Think of the children" appearantly only applies when it doesn't cost money. Or, worse, time.

    It doesn't cost you money to go all crazy about "porn" or "violence" in games. You can hype yourself into hysteria and when the game creator finally gives in, you feel like you've accomplished something.

    At the same time you use TV and computer as a cheap replacement for a babysitter. Spending time with your kids? What a horrible idea! Spending time with your kids at something they want to do (like, say, playing computer games or surfing the 'net)? What an incredibly horrible idea!

    Instead you install net-nanny on your kids' computer and hope it keeps them away from the dreaded porn. And you make sure they don't get to play anything more violent than Barney in Teletubbyland.

    Then they go out and get their lunch money taken away...

    Prepare your kids instead! Life ain't fluffy and cute. If you keep them from learning and keep them gullible, you pretty much work into the hands of every con artist out there.

    Or why do you think scams are so efficient?
    • Prepare your kids instead! Life ain't fluffy and cute.

      There is no hunter. Little red riding hood gets herself and her grandmother killed because she talked to a stranger.

      The little mermaid DOESN'T marry prince charming, she turns to foam on the sea waves.

      The Iron Giant just gets blown up, he doesn't magically reassemble.

      • "The Iron Giant just gets blown up, he doesn't magically reassemble."

        But The Iron Man (Giant for Americans) does. He is alien tech on a level that seems like magic. The book(s if you want the Iron Woman) are quite good, and many things were not brought into the film.

        In fact the book starts with The Iron Man falling off a cliff and getting broken to pieces. He then starts re-assembling.

        Unlike your good example of The Little Mermaid, The Iron Man does not fail and die at the end of the story (it does not exac
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The title should be something like "Why not ask the World of Warcraft developers about global MMORPGs?" but that's way too long to fit, so, what's there will have to do.

    FFXI has, according to the article, 500,000 subscribers. WoW has 6 million subscribers and is also a global MMORPG.

    So why FFXI? Because they were the only MMORPG company stupid enough to dump the entire world on the same set of servers. Technically challenging? Of course. Allowing people from China, Japan, North America, and Europe to p
    • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @10:00PM (#14995936)
      I bought FFXI totally because it gave me the opportunity to practice Japanese with real people without having to leave the country. Unfortunately, my textbooks hadn't included the phrase "punishing level grind which you have to repeat multiple times". But it was a worthwhile experiment, and while there was a certain segment of both the JP/NA (North America) playerbases that was rather unhappy with the arrangement and wouldn't dream of grouping with The Dirty Foreigners (TM) I did get in quite a few groups that had a great time despite language barriers. Incidentally, "You can practice English here without paying by the hour!" was a selling point in Japan.

      Now, the reason for an Aussie preferred server isn't that Aussies like playing with only Aussies. The reason for an Aussie prefered server is Aussies (and you can throw me in there, because now I live in Japan and are closer to their timezone than the US's) have peak playing hours which are waaaaaaaaaaay off the American ones, and when WoW is in its MMORPG moments you need a bunch of people playing together to make it fun. For example, our weekday raids last four hours starting at 1:00 AM in the morning California time, and require 20-40 people. Or, much more irksome, PVP starting up on a server requires several dozen players simultaneously online, attentive, and desiring PVP. Designating a server as Aussie preferred just lets everyone know "Hey, if you go here you can find people in your time zone".

    • As most people know, very few people in America speak Japanese. Many people in Europe would also like to play with people who speak their native language.

      Says who? The only reason you hear WoW players complaining about it so much is because theres no built-in translator function so if you can't speak English, you're automatically labeled a gold farmer.

      In fact, Blizzard had to add "Australia perferred" servers which are hosted in North America, since peak Australian hours are almost exactly opposite peak N

    • PSO had a good way of handling regions. There were servers that were located in each region (and they were clearly labeled). However, you could travel to them whenever you wanted.

      This lets you stay with people that speak your language, while at the same time being able to go to other regions whenever you want to.

      This is out of the question with World of Warcraft, because Blizzard has a huge interest in keeping them separate. The Chinese version is *much* cheaper than the American version, and American pl
    • For a start, WoW just sold the rights to have servers in other countries (check out the problems they are haveing in china with lag) and, as others are pointing out, some of the best and most rewarding play in mmog can be with people you don't know, i remember learning all the nasty words from some friends who played DaoC (/wave siberia) and of course had a great time doing it.

      Another truely global MMOG is Eve online, one server, all nations (heck, it isn't even based in NA), theres sometimes a language bar
    • Let me guess, you had a bad experience mixing with other nationalities as a kid and you had a bad experience with FFXI?
    • I will say this about he communication issues in FFXI. It's quiet compared to the other PS2 MMORPG EQOA. There's little group chatter at all, because of the language barriers. And there's little just sitting around in Bastok just kibbitzing, via say or shout. In some ways FFXI is less fun than EQOA because of the lack of that chatter.

      I personally think putting PC and PS2 players together was a good idea, but mixing Japanese, American and European players was a noble experiment, but a failed one.
    • Each to their own, can't argue with the success of WoW, but I hardly consider FFXI a dismail experimental failure you seem to feel it is. I rather enjoy the fact that I can talk to someone in japan and actually COMMUNICATE WITH THEM. Unlike WoW, where all you can do is /spit or whatever the command is (that's considered global how?). I can log into my FFXI server at pretty much anytime of day and instead of finding a population 1/2 what it normally is, it's always roughly the same level.
    • But why ask Blizzard? They didn't go and make a global mmo now did they?
      I like how I can party with people from all over the world when grinding, it makes it more interesting. The ping is just FUD, it works fine for a MMORPG. The updates are a little bit messy, but that has nothing to do with the global thing here.
      Twice each month I can't get into the game for patching reasons, how often do you have to wait in line to get to grind in WoW?
    • You, sir, are an ignorant WoW fanboy. Your response is -exactly- typical of retarded FFXI bashers.

      And exactly what do you have against Japanese people? Are you some kind of bigot? I can communicate with them just fine. In fact, I find the exchange rather enjoyable. It sure as hell beats talking to little 13 year olds on WoW who spam "n e 1 wan 2 dual me? lolz" I swear to God that Blizzard must've gathered the stupidest people on the planet and gave them free copies of WoW and said "Go forth, little f

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?