Where does Blizzard go from here?






The Korean offensive

The Korean offensive

Blizzard need to wake up and smell the coffee. Right about now, you can picture the chief developers at the Blizzard HQ in California sitting around a big table Knights of the Round Table style with a goblet of vodka and Red Bull wondering how the heck they will manage to fight off the big dragon that is Aion which threatens to smash its way into their big-ass castle and steal all of their villagers.

Aion so far has been largely a great success. In a nutshell, it manages to combine the exquisite graphics that most Korean MMOs are well known for (Lineage anyone?) while appealing to both the PvP and PvE players in the MMO gaming world. They’ve probably managed to poach a good few hundred thousand subscribers from what was left of the playerbase in Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, and from what we’ve heard so far, a lot of the hardcore PvPers in World of Warcraft are dipping their toes into Aion to see for themselves.



Aion, the Korean Offensive

Aion, the Korean Offensive

It’s a brand new game in a market which has been dominated by an undeniably awesome, yet aging game in World of Warcraft. The buttons are shiny and more appealing to press, the loot is new and you could eat your breakfast off most of the floors in the game. Heck, the graphics are so damn nice you’d want to anyway.

For quite some time now there has been a lot of discontent in World of Warcraft, particularly amongst the more hardcore of players who still yearn for the days of “vanilla WoW” where bosses were bosses, epics were truly epic and raid content actually took time, effort and a lot of swearing on Ventrilo to defeat. Changes introduced by Blizzard through expansions to cater to the bigger audience – the casual players – meant that things became easier to kill, epics became the norm and you could go a full boss fight without muttering a word – Patchwerk in Naxxaramas 25 anyone?

It has gotten to the point where raid content in the most recent expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, was cleared within a few days of release – that includes time for levelling, gearing, learning new tactics (albeit scrounged up from the old tactics where the raid instance was already in use at lower levels) and smashing heads with the old enemies. The guild who managed such a feat, Ensidia of Magtheridon EU, clearly stated that it was no challenge any more and they fully expected a bigger mountain to climb.

Now, with the release of a truly breathtaking and, perhaps more importantly, a good game in Aion, maybe Blizzard will have some sense knocked in their skulls (or an intellect potion slipped into their drink) and begin preparations for war and hold on to the villagers who have proven loyal to their liege, ultimately rewarding not only their players but also the rest of the MMO market with a revitalised, exciting game.

Continent of the Ninth (C9)

Continent of the Ninth  2 PMUK Blog

While Aion has been dominating the headlines for the past few months (stretching to a year in the Korean news) a little-known game called Continent of the Ninth, abbreviated to C9, has been quietly flexing its muscles.

Developed by NHM Games and published by the well-known Hangames, C9 is hands down utterly, utterly beautiful. Think of it as Aion graphics v2.0 with a touching storyline and the best battle and combat system seen this side of the universe.

The only problem at the moment is the fact that the website and the game is completely Korean. The publishers plan to release an EU version soon (hopefully not too far away) and from what they’ve released in gameplay trailers and in-game screenshots, you Aion players will be eating your proverbial hat when you see the exquisite detail and realism in some of their characters.


Continent of the Ninth PMUK Blog

Not much information is out at the moment, mostly because the gaming world has been swamped with various other big-name releases, but C9 has been tipped to be the game to break the monopoly that World of Warcraft holds on the MMO market – and blow Aion out of the water at the same time.

Watch this space people – C9 is coming, and it’ll hit the gaming world like a whirlwind.

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