RPC Köln 2011

This weekend, we had the roleplay convention in Cologne. Bookahnerk and I went there. Originally, to hear Martin Kerstein (German community manager of ArenaNet) talk about Guild Wars 2 – but we didn’t actually stay that long, so we missed it. There were no demo stations and he apparently mainly talked about things we already know about the game, so we probably didn’t miss much. And by the time he held his 30 minute presentation, I was already so tired and my leg hurt, so we left.

Anyway. This convention is about all things roleplaying. This includes LARP (live action roleplay), board games, pen & paper roleplay, PC games etc. Lots of people were in costumes which was great to look at. I especially squealed at the few women not dressed as elves but as trolls or goblins instead.

Rather annoying was the fact that we’d only been there for a few minutes and had already collected what felt like a ton of flyers.

That actually looks like less that we’ve collected. Most annoying was that a lot of firms hired women in tight and short pants with even less of a shirt. -.- Only a tiny minority was wearing some fantasy costumes. I don’t really get it. Why not have somebody wear an appropriate costume? That makes them stand out more than “that hot chick in hot pants”. Every one of them was a chick in hot pants that a lot of people probably would call “hot”. ;)

Five of the flyers were about online games, though. And I decided to have a look at them.

The first is one for an Ultime Online freeshard “Old World”. It was strange when we passed those little PCs (Shuttle XPCs – my first PC that I’d bought from my own money was a Shuttle, so I squealed a little when I saw those and others probably thought I’m weird – but I’m used to that impression by now) and I saw the Ultima Online client open on them. Bookahnerk was looking at something else and didn’t hear me at first but then he saw it, too. We passed, we went a few steps further and we turned around because he wanted to know what that was about. We couldn’t really believe to see some people advertise their freeshard on that convention. Ultima Online is still running (Bioware Mythic is responsible for it now) and they’re actually charging a regular MMO monthly fee for the game. But there they were. A freeshard advertising on the RPC. Well, why not? ;) When looking at their website, it was no surprise they advertised. They have about 1 or 2 people online at a time. Rather sad. But they’re a shard that has roleplay on 100% of the time and while I love roleplay theoretically, I don’t actually do roleplay that much. So it wouldn’t be for me anyway.

The second one was a picture of what looked like a Charr and some humans at first. Sadly, it’s not a Charr. What it is, we don’t know. Sphira.com is printed on the back of it. The webpage itself doesn’t offer much information. It’s coming in Autumn 2011 – but WHAT is coming? MMORPG? Browser game? F2P? P2P? PvP or PvE? Wtf? ;) A look at their Facebook page shows that it’s a “free to play Action-MMORPG” – but I have to say: Why print a website on the back of a flyer if that website doesn’t give the viewer at least the most basic information about what it is they’re looking at? (Oh, their trailer does give a tiny bit more information but I use Firefox + Noscript and didn’t realise there’s a trailer in the middle… – still, it doesn’t say it’s an MMORPG or that it’s f2p)

No. 3 on the list: Star Trek – Infinite Space. We actually heard a bit of their presentation. We continued walking when they mentioned the holy trilogy (tank, healer, damage dealer). Been there, done that. ;) But… as space ships? I do hope I just didn’t understand them correctly. I don’t want to be a healing space ship. It will be a few browser game, though, that will essentially be an MMORPG just that you won’t have to download a client. You can sign up for the beta here.

The fourth one is for Drakensang Online. Drakensang was originally part of “Das Schwarze Auge” (The Dark Eye), but when the licence ran out, they continued on their own without staying in that RP world. They are also accepting sign ups for their beta. They’re probably best described as “a game like Diablo” and people who are fans of “The Dark Eye” will probably not be too happy. But eh, it’s not in their world anymore, so they’re not butchering it, at least. ;) I am not in the beta, so I can’t say much about it other than I like the screenshots! It looks pretty.

Lat but not least, we have Black Prophecy. They didn’t just give us a flyer. They gave us a little magazine with the most important information about the game including an installation guide, a short text about the story, keyboard settings, etc. Also included is a DVD with the client. Now THAT’s nice advertising. It’s also f2p and well, set in a science fiction setting. The second question in their FAQ is “Is Black Prophecy comparable to Eve Online?” which they answer with “Black Prophecy is an MMO Space Shooter with roleplay elements. Its focus is on fast and exciting space combat in real-time. Fast and easy fun is what’s important, not developing your character for months.” It was released on March 21, 2011, so it’s brand-new. The first add-on for 2012 was already announced which will introduce walking on the ground etc.

I haven’t played or tested any of those games, so I can’t say whether they’re good or not. I just wanted to summarise which MMORPGs we “met” (or rather which ones were thrown at us ;) ) during our visit.