First, I must reveal a distinct bias -I loves me some soloing -so when I can’t solo a game most of the way through, I’m e’er so slightly pissed.
Second, I shouldn’t be disappointed that a RPG at a social networking site wind up being so friggin’ dependendent on society building.
But what really grinds my gears, and not in a good way, is the way the monetization of mana, or mana-tization, has messed up a perfectly good soloable set of games.
I got introduced to this group of web based games by a friend who is marrying another friend who played (in a stage play) the interest of a Latino thug who gets religion. Note: I played the Latino thug. (Leo pauses whilst those who know what he really looks like are ROFLing).
World of Blood [Elven Blood, Blood Lust, Skies of Blood, and City of Blood] is a group of Facebook RPG applications -thus requiring no additional software download.
Normal RPG concepts apply – a dashboard shows Life, Stamina, Character Level, XP, and Gold.
A horizontal navbar allows access to the main game functions:
Dog simple, fixed stamina cost, 1-click results (varying damages and gold gain). Too few artefact-only restricted quests, almost no user level restricted quests, far too many party size restricted quests.
And I do mean shop. Not auction house. Fixed price sale of items, fixed price resale (50% of value)
potions are used instantly.
Here you can see your “party” and send invites to other FB people (read spamming) to increase your party’s size, which is critical to have access to quest above a certain level. Can you do it without spamming your friends? Sure – but it’ll cost you some serious mana….
PvP by any other name – fight directly, get XP and gold, but no mana….
Here’s where you allot your level up points (3 per level). Stamina, Strength, and Dexterity level up at 1 point each. Life only levels up at 5 points each.
Aye, here’s the rub….
If you want mana, (and you’ll need it to increase party size without spamming your friends)
you either buy mana directly [1 party member = 8 mana = $2.00 via Spare Change (via PayPal)]
or go the “win a free iPod” route by signing up for pay per lead offers or Netflix
for varying amounts of mana (the more the offer pays the app owners, the more mana you get).
That can get old really fast.
Other Weaknesses –
No game gold for mana (doesn’t fit the business model, I guess).
No auction house action.
But what do I want for free, right? I’d give World of Blood 2 Gears, [or Weiners], out of 5.
Welcome and hello to Leo, proprietor of Meta-Grinder.com. MG looks at “how life imitates gaming, and vice-versa.”
He’s got a couple interesting pieces up there now. The first, The Three Blogging Hats, discusses a concept from ‘The Plentitude’ by Rich Gold. Gold and Leo look at how types of artists (bloggers, in this case) can be sorted by the “hats” they wear. Interesting stuff. I’d like to think of myself as a “baseball cap” blogger heading toward my beret.
The second insight Leo brings us is The 5 Stages of Gaming Abstraction. This is another ‘Plentitude’-inspired piece. Here Leo discusses how games and gaming experiences become more and less abstract over time as people approach them in different ways. Rich Gold uses baseball playing vs. observing vs. fantasy baseball as his example. Leo brings it a little closer to home. Check it out.