The gate to Zul Aman, before the instance existed in World of Warcraft. See more video game system pictures. ©2004-2009 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. The Burning Crusade is a trademark, and World of Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Imagine it's the night before patch day. You've parked your level-70 character, decked out in epic gear, outside what will soon be the forest ruins of Zul'Aman. Right now, it's just rocky pavilion with huge, wooden gates you can't open. But tomorrow, it will become the entrance to a dungeon full of trolls. You and nine of your friends hope to be the first players on your server to go inside. It's a risky proposition -- and not just because Zul'Aman is full of enemies that are far more powerful than you are. Zul'Aman is an addition to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) "World of … [Read more...] about How World of Warcraft Works
A warrior surveys his surroundings. See more video game system pictures. Courtesy Turbine In the world of role-playing games (RPGs), Dungeons & Dragons holds a special place. It was one of the earliest fantasy RPGs on the market. The initial limited run of around 1,000 copies of the pencil-and-paper game sold out in 1974. Whether you're a fan of the game's mechanics and settings or not, there's no denying that Dungeons & Dragons has influenced practically every RPG that followed in some way. In general, a role-playing game is one in which each player takes on the role of a character in an imaginary world. A game master provides environmental descriptions and handles the game's mechanics as the players attempt to achieve goals in the game through their characters. Each character has abilities and attributes that influence his or her chances to complete tasks. Random number generators -- dice in the case of the classic pencil-and-paper games -- determine if a character's … [Read more...] about How Dungeons & Dragons Online Works
Massive multiplayer online games (MMOGs) like World of Warcraft and EverQuest claim millions of players around the world. All of these people pay to play, and they spend their time collecting valuable points, artifacts and countless other goods that serve three primary purposes: They make the player feel happy; they allow the player to trade or sell within the online-game marketplace for other goods or services he or she wants or needs; they increase the value of the player's game character. MMOGs have been around for years, and people spend countless hours online building up their characters' net worth. What they do with this value tends to stay within the game world itself; however, a more recent development has brought this virtual value into the real-world economy. In the last five years or so, "virtual property" has started showing up on online marketplaces like eBay, where it is sold for real-world money. The Web site IGE (Internet Gaming Entertainment) specializes in the sale … [Read more...] about Why is eBay banning the sale of online-game virtual assets?
Photo courtesy Consumer Guide Products In today's world of big business and commercial culture, it's easy to feel like just another cog in the wheel. That's part of the allure of massively multiplayer online games (MMORPGs). In an MMORPG, you can team up with other players to take down bad guys who are far more powerful to tackle by yourself. You can make a name for yourself as a fighter, a healer or an artisan. Other people can rely on you to protect them from danger or even to save their lives -- in the game world, you can make a difference. You may even be a hero. Of course, there's also killing monsters and taking their stuff. Photo courtesy Consumer Guide Products Two examples of MMORPGs: "World of Warcraft" and "Guild Wars" Regardless of whether people play because of a sense of purpose or a desire to gather huge amounts of virtual wealth, in the past few years, MMORPGs have really taken off. Although they still don't make up the bulk of video game titles, the … [Read more...] about How MMORPGs Work
Social relationships may actually improve when the world ends, according to a recent study of the online game ArcheAge (pictured here). 2014 Jovial Joystick/CC BY 2.0 The end of the world is near, and you've been given more than a fair warning. What will you do? Over 81,000 players in the medieval fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) "ArcheAge" were faced with that question as they explored the fictional world of Erenor. Well, sort of. In a recent study, "I Would Not Plant Apple Trees if the World Will Be Wiped...," "ArcheAge" players were placed in an end-times scenario to test their behavior when an apocalyptic event looms. The researchers analyzed 270 million player behavior records during a closed beta test (CBT) of "ArcheAge," a "sandbox-style" game that allows players to roam the world and choose their own path. At the end of the CBT, all characters, data and virtual property are deleted and the outcome of the players' behaviors loses its meaning. … [Read more...] about People May Not Behave So Terribly When the World Is Ending, Video Game Shows