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View Full Version : NCsoft taking aim at blizzard and winning thanks to Vivendi.


HelloKitty
10-06-2005, 20:12:38
NCSoft, the holders of COH, Lineage, etc seem to be taking aim at being number 1 in the US not just Asia and the number 2 in the world. They have apparently been stealing Blizzard employees and have even opened a branch in Irvine so that the stolen devs won't have to relocate.

An ever-increasing number of sites--including QuartertoThree.com and MMhell.com--are citing the post on Grimwell, which flatly states that "NCSoft just stole a team of developers from Blizzard in Irvine, CA." According to the site, NCsoft has been wooing away Blizzard designers working on the first World of Warcraft expansion. To make jumping ship more attractive, the company has reportedly opened a new office in Irvine, so potential defectors won't have to relocate to NCsoft's US headquarters in Austin, Texas. As evidence of the defections, the conspiracy-minded point to the massive number of new job openings listed on Blizzard's own Web site--positions allegedly vacated by recently departed employees. But while Blizzard did not respond to GameSpot's requests for comment, NCsoft confirmed its digs in Blizzard's backyard. "NCsoft has opened an office in Orange County and we have a development team there working on an unannounced project," said a rep for the company. (The rep would give no further details on the new game, as it is "a long ways off.") However, a source close to NCsoft told GameSpot that the publisher had indeed lured a passel of Blizzard developers away "a long time ago." "It's not even new news, really," said the source, who declined to say how many designers had switched employers. However, seeing how internal NCsoft studio ArenaNet was founded by a group of former Blizzard-ians--the creators of Battle.net, no less--it would come as little surprise if more WOW developers had signed up with the rising publisher.

Oh and from posts and comments from a former EQ dev, who became a WOW dev,and is now with NC soft (caution, bitterness potential)

Lots of devs defected, art people, some serious WoW brainpower and skill.

Vivendi is fucking devs by not paying royalties over 100k units.

Viv re-investing in the game, taking WoW profits and using them to plug holes in their sinking corporate problems.

Nazi-ish bullshit blizzard/vivendi upper management.

The Vanguard group is also pulling away some EQ2 and WOW devs. Wil be interesting to see what happens when Viv chases all their good people away, EQ2 has only their second gen Devs, and NCsoft and Vanguard have all the visionaries except Koster.

Shining1
11-06-2005, 03:17:59
I'd say 'OH NOES!', but yeah, the truth is it's hurting them pretty bad.

Bill Roper, one of the originals, who left before WoW even came out said something along the lines of:

"Corporate communications with Vivendi got to such a point that we felt our only recourse was to tender our resignations. Vivendi, however, instead of sitting down with us to discuss the problems further, chose to accept them."

Honestly, I'm delighted those devs have ended up at such a cool new company. Any 'Blizzard' loyalty I've ever had was to the people and not to the brand.

BTW, I thought NC soft was a distributor of such games, not a developer... so who are the actual NC Soft companies that these people have gone to? Arena.net?

HelloKitty
11-06-2005, 03:45:21
NCsoft owns the companies also, Cryptic for example is the dev of COH and NCsoft the distibuter, but NCSoft also owns Cryptic.

I honestly feel bad for the WOW people. Horizons (which failed badly because they stole peole then shit all over them) and Blizzard both tried to do the same thing to EQ but SOE had learned their lesson from the Verant exodus years before and gave their devs promotions, pay raises, beter stock options etc and kept almost all of them.

Blizzard did take a novel approach and offer minor dev positions to the officers of the top 5 EQ guilds. Thats why so many of the NPCs in WOW are named after EQ characters, the itemization guys and some of the storyline guys are them, allowing blizzard to get very cheap publicity during beta when all the top EQ guild sites suddenly ranted about how great wow was and all those guuild members got into late alpha early beta. Although Furur is reportedly playing EQ2 now and pissed at Vivendi/blizzard.

The only company stealing from SOE at this point is the Devs of Vanguard, but thats because of who the devs are, except for Koster you have 3 of the 4 or 5 people that created the Genre, and SOE has Koster so high up in the company fromt eh reports only the Pres of SOE makes more than him, he is not going anywhere. Its basicly like if you had Peter Molyneax, Will Wright, and our lovely Sid making a game together, while only the FF guy stayed with SE.

HelloKitty
11-06-2005, 03:48:14
Oh, and if you want to see what kind of impact this sort of thing can have on the quality of a game, ask anyone that played EQ for years about LoY expansion. That was what happened to EQ after the verant thing and then the begining of Vanguard dev.

The only expansion I know of that the only people to use it were high levels going there only long enough to get their new spells. It was terrible.

Shining1
11-06-2005, 03:57:49
Despite everything, I'm still having a blast with WoW. The genre is new and fresh to me, and the game is just beautiful. Battlegrounds has delivered, more or less, and a lot more than was expected from the first release. For all the joy of CoH, I found:

- Grinding mobs for XP only is not a game, it's work. No matter how you dress it up. Around about level 38 I had gotten my uber skills of Headsplitter (Katana version) and Instant Healing, and there was nothing else much going on.

- Fighting only humanoid opponents got old pretty fast.

I know the game has advanced a lot since I left, but it still seems like more work than I can provide to get a decent level character in it.

The sky might be falling for Blizzard, but it hasn't hit the ground yet. =)

Its basicly like if you had Peter Molyneax, Will Wright, and our lovely Sid making a game together, while only the FF guy stayed with SE.

You mean it's a fucking nightmare? :D

HelloKitty
11-06-2005, 04:28:10
Yeah, probbaly will be an insanely overhyped POS. But it has all the "visionaries".

As for COH, it is still the same, the only thing I play COH for is the PVP. The game itself bores me, but the PVP is the best of any of the games I have played.

As for WOW I think you can see the effects already in the extremely slow additions for this game genre. All they have realy gotten added on is Battlegrounds which is just the SWG FS ranking system combined with parts of the COH style arena. They need to get to work on balancing too, unless you are a rogue, in which case you think everything is perfect :).

COH is on what? their 5th expansion which they do for free, and COV is going into beta which is an unprecedented amount of add ons, since it is acomplete game and you don't even need COH to play it, but if they do they work together.

EQ2 is releasing its second "adventure pack" (cheap or free depending on your sub themed expansions such as the Bloodlines vampire one) this month which will mean a total of about 25 new dungeons and iirc 3 full zones. then the full expansion in sept will add a battlegrounds style arena, like the one COH first made, expand the game 10 levels and add another full continent. Between now and then the balance pass and PVP are going in.

To be fair though SOE and NCsoft have huge advantages because of thier size and long term experiance in the field. WOW lost so much time just trying to get the servers to work right because to them its all new. If they are lucky Vivendi will wise up and focus on balancing and small free expansions while they get things sorted, then start funding the full expansions. There just isn't enough to do in WoW and the content passes very rapidly.

But we can all laugh at MxO. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

JM^3
11-06-2005, 04:28:58
So what coming one is suppose to be the bomb now?

I still might try Guild Wars, and City of Villians when it comes out (makeing a villian instead of reawakening my Hero)

Jon Miller

JM^3
11-06-2005, 04:29:51
Originally posted by HelloKitty
Yeah, probbaly will be an insanely overhyped POS. But it has all the "visionaries".

As for COH, it is still the same, the only thing I play COH for is the PVP. The game itself bores me, but the PVP is the best of any of the games I have played.

makes sense, since the combat in that game was the most fun of any I played (I play less then you though)

JM

JM^3
11-06-2005, 04:33:43
I liked the Combat in COH

the quests in EQ2 were the best I have played (but still not very good... :( )

AO has the bset PvP that I have played in (haven't expereinced it in EQ2, FFXI, COH, or Galaxies yet)

I also like the whole twinking thing in AO (when I feel like it)

you go arround collecting items and so on, so that you can put on other itesm, so that you can put on other itesms, and you end up stronger then someone ~40 levels above you who just have the standard hard to get items equpied...

JM

JM^3
11-06-2005, 04:39:04
Oh, and Galaxies has the most realised world..

but I am not sure how important that is...

JM

HelloKitty
11-06-2005, 04:45:39
Originally posted by JM^3
So what coming one is suppose to be the bomb now?

I still might try Guild Wars, and City of Villians when it comes out (makeing a villian instead of reawakening my Hero)

Jon Miller

Guidlwars is fun, but I have said before I feel WOW is MMO-lite. Guildwars is water compaired to light beer.

It is innovative, fun, different, but you run out of things to do fast. Since it is free to play expansions and add ons will probbaly be few and far between.

An interesting thing about GWs though is the ability to play group content solo by hiring NPCs to fill out groups. There are rumors that EQ2 will be adding that as well.

"the Bomb" as in good?

EQ2 or WOW. EQ2 if you are a hardcore player, WOW if you are new to the genre or frankly burned out from it.

For PVP, COH is the best imo. Guildwars if fun like i said but limited. If you want open l33t pvp where lvl 50s can kill newbies and there are no regulations try lineage.

Shining1
11-06-2005, 15:41:47
Done any Beta work on CoV Kitty?

HelloKitty
11-06-2005, 19:25:00
Not yet. COV beta hasn't officially started. They are in end of alpha.