Like many of you, I’ve been playing Destiny since it dropped on September 9. I hit the level cap of 20 about a week after release and I floundered for a bit wondering how to progress. Bungie doesn’t do a good job of explaining Destiny’s post-20 game outside of vague terms, so I put together a guide for how you can increase your Light and earn Legendary and Exotic gear. I’ve tried to be thorough and explain or remove as much of the jargon as I could. If you have any tips, please add them in the comments! Continue reading The Destiny Post-Level 20 Guide to Earning Legendary and Exotic Gear
We’re going to be hit hard with Xbox One news in the coming weeks so today I wanted to offer a momentary respite from that with something that fascinates us all: EVE Online.
EVE Online is the most interesting, intimidating, exciting and possibly most mundane game that most of us have never played. Many of us will never play it, but the awe-inspiring stories that are generated from the MMO are the stuff of legends. The tales of epic battles, years-long subterfuge and stunning betrayals have left us all stunned at one time or another. It’s kind of amazing that such amazing things are happening practically under our noses. The density of the game prevents many from playing it, but those who do find themselves part of a unique community. And the hallmark event of that community is Fanfest.
A couple of years back, we built the perfect shooter. The results were a lot of fun — in the comments, we put together all of our favorite features to describe the ideal shooting scenario, taking cues from things like Counter-Strike, Goldeneye and more. This time around, I thought we’d tackle a new genre.
I’ve long been intrigued by the MMO genre, but no game can ever put together enough of the right pieces to get me to take that leap into another realm. I’m not a big fan of grinding, paid subscriptions or disconnected point-and-click combat. I’d also love a story that morphs over time, in a way that makes me feel like my actions matter beyond just a stat or a new level number next to my name. I want big worlds, big universes, high stakes and easy accessibility. But maybe I’m just being nitpicky.
So for this feature, we’re going to dig into a variety of options, and discuss what we would love to see in the perfect MMO. Below are the categories and options I came up with. If you don’t like the options, feel free to add your own! Continue reading Workshop: Building the Perfect MMO
If you took a Diablo-style game, made it a free-to-play MMO and then skinned it with the Marvel Universe, what you’d end up with is Marvel Heroes, Gazillion Entertainment’s foray into the F2P market.
Marvel Heroes had an open Beta weekend on Steam these past few days, and despite a few problems with connecting to the game servers and some interesting bugs, I had a great time. The game allows you to pick one of the Avengers to start (the movie line-up, not the current comic book roster) and Gazillion kindly gives you a couple thousand credits of in-game currency to buy another hero or one of the many alternate costumes for sale.
I ended up picking Iron Man as my avatar and I found that the game has a nice difficulty progression to complement the array of cool powers that become available to you. Once my friends were able to connect we ended up romping around for a couple hours tackling quests that had us fighting a host of Marvel super-villains from the infamous (Doctor Octopus) to the obscure (Grim Reaper). The individual loot spawns fairly frequently and more often than not I was looking at an upgrade. In a new twist on selling trash to a vendor, you can give shop NPCs your unwanted gear instead of selling it, allowing them to “level up” and carry better gear. Continue reading Marvel Heroes is Surprisingly Fun
Dragonborn Sushians, hark! For Did You See This Wednesday, we’re pointing you to one of many hands-on previews that press outlets scooped this past week with Bethesda’s upcoming MMO of their popular RPG series, The Elder Scrolls.
After a couple of years of silence, Bungie has spilled the beans on their ambitious, imaginative project, Destiny. In one of their famous ViDocs, the house that built Halo unveiled its new shared-world shooter. While it’s hard to know what it is exactly at this point, the implication seems to be a persistent online sandbox world, where the players have an affect on the world and the story. It sounds like an MMO, but also with a few elements such as DayZ.
Bungie plans to unfold this universe over the course of 10 years. And what a universe to play in. I could go on and on about the art style, which reminds me of both Halo and Mass Effect, but with a touch of ruin seen from something like Enslaved. While most of what we see in the video is concept art, we do get a couple of bits of gameplay towards the end. You should really just watch it for yourself.
What do you guys think of Destiny, upon its first reveal? I have to admit, it’s a bit bittersweet to see the game’s scope and style, knowing that I had a chance to be at Bungie for all of this. I’m curious to see what else they have in store for us, and what other things they’ll release about the game in the coming months.
For Stop the Presses Thursday, the biggest pieces of gaming news to drop this week happened to come in the form of two trailers.
Bioshock Infinite, coming in March, is a game that I can’t quite seem to peg. It’s well documented that the original Bioshock didn’t quite grab me the way it grabbed everyone else, even though I was appreciative of its dark atmosphere and its art design. Meanwhile, Infinite’s city in the sky, Columbia, is almost the opposite of Rapture in terms of its look and feel, even if its dark underbelly is similar in theme.
This newest Infinite trailer highlights the secrets of Columbia, and gives us a bit more info about the story. This game is tempting me something fierce, guys.
The hits just keep on coming for BioWare and EA’s ill-fated Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic. After a less-than stellar launch and a much maligned move to free-to-play, the game is getting its first major expansion in the form of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel, which will feature, of all things, a planet where same-sex romances are permitted.
This might not seem too strange to people who haven’t played The Old Republic, but Makeb, as the planet is called, is the only place in the entire game where player characters can engage in same-sex romances with NPCs. This doesn’t turn previous companions into romance options, or even add new companions with this feature (because that would be “too difficult” according to the developers), but rather places new characters exclusively on Makeb.
As if that wasn’t strange enough, making this part of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion means that same-sex romances are available only after paying for it. Putting SGR (same-gender romance as the TOR forums call it) on a single planet behind a paywall just smacks of not only laziness, but a lack of respect for customers looking for that kind of content. Continue reading Star Wars: The Old Republic Confines Same-Sex Romance to One Planet
So The WarZ, Hammerpoint Interactive’s zombie survival MMO hit Steam over the past few days, bringing with it a fresh new wave of controversy. While the Steam page for the game has been updated, it originally did not state that the game is still in alpha and was missing a lot of the advertised features such as more than one map and player classes.
It’s really hard to keep up with The WarZ’s current woes, but apparently the newest patch has added an instant respawn button that you need to pay for with real money, lest you want to wait four hours for the cooldown to be over. TotalBiscuit has a gameplay video about The WarZ which is 40 minutes long, if you can actually make it that far.
Frankly the game looks pretty bad, especially given the whole kerfuffle about the game being announced shortly after Day Z’s launch with the developers claiming The WarZ has been in development for five years.
Has anyone played The WarZ? How is it feeling to you so far?
One game that always had potential but hit too early was PlanetSide, Sony Online Entertainment’s sci-fi MMO shooter. When it originally came out, the computers of the time were barely able to keep up with the huge environments and massive firefights that the game had to offer.
Now that computing technology has become a lot better, Sony Online Entertainment is taking another crack with PlanetSide 2, this time making the MMOFPS free-to-play. Having the ability to fight as one of three factions over three giant continents with and abundance of vehicles and player classes may seem like a crazy amount of content to give away for free, but the game pulls it off without finding a way to beat you over the head with microtransactions.
Don’t get me wrong, those exist, but they’re mostly cosmetic. Upgrades to your character and your weapons are bought with Certification points which are earned by killing enemies and taking capture points. While the base level attachments are fairly cheap, higher-level purchases can run upwards of a hundred points which take a while to earn. Fortunately, basic modifications like small increases to your base health are not that cost prohibitive.
Each of PlanetSide 2’s three factions have their own theme and style to go with it, like the Vanu Sovereignty which is all purple body suits and lasers or the New Conglomerate which look and fight a lot like the Browncoats from Firefly. Straddling the line between them is the Terran Republic, so no matter you fighting style (or taste for clothing) you can find a faction that suits you.
The battles in PlanetSide 2 can range from small skirmishes to all out war between the three factions with dozens of players on each side. Tanks and air support mix it up with infantry and all the classes have their role to play.
The only downside of the game right now is the lag and the fact that the UI is extremely cluttered, which might be intimidating for some new players. Figuring out how to take down bases is also a little tricky, but watching the tutotrial videos will help clear that up.
I’m really enjoying my time with PlanetSide 2, and I recommend that you check it out. It’s free, so the only thing you’re wasting is hard drive space. Has anyone else played PlanetSide 2? What do you think of it?
Poor Bungie just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to their new top-secret Activision published shooter, Destiny. The studio has purposefully gone dark about it since Halo: Reach landed, but the world at large seems determined to foil their plans. While the accidental reveal of Destiny’s release schedule during the Infinity Ward vs Activison trial was an unfortunate side effect, this latest leak stems from a reader who passed the information along to IGN so it’s much more deliberate in nature.
The story of Destiny takes place 700 years from now, with mankind living in the shadow of its Golden Age, surviving in a settlement known as The Last City on planet Earth. A strange alien orb known as The Traveler hangs over Earth in very low orbit, and creatures from beyond the edge of space are trying to wipe humanity off the map. The player takes the role of a “knight”, tasked with pushing back the alien hordes. While some might say that Bungie is going back to the thematic well, Destiny is set to take a more fantastical approach than Halo, aiming to be “fun and accessable” according to the document obtained by IGN and is “designed for your inner seven year old”. While the document doesn’t confirm or deny that Destiny will be an MMO as rumored, it does mention that the game is socially oriented and a large focus is put on exploration with your friends.
Bungie themselves went ahead and confirmed that the Destiny details were correct in a post on their site labeled “Well, that just happened…again” and posted another piece of artwork to go along with it.
What do you guys think of this? Feeling bad for Bungie all over again? What do you think about Destiny’s story?
Despite The Old Republic failing to grab me during its initial launch (and the error I had with getting my purchased copy of the game to actually validate so I could play past the first month) I was willing to check out its new free-to-play option. Besides clogging up my computer’s drive with gigabytes of game files, I wasn’t wasting money on it, so I figured there was no harm.
While The Old Republic might not suck up your hard-earned dollars, it has no problem with begging for them anyways. Right from the outset, you’re bombarded with the many awesome features that paying customers get access to, including the different playable races for the classes. I understand that BioWare and EA have to make money somehow, but beating players over the head with it just seems wrong. Even the Legacy system, which I unlocked during my first month as a Bounty Hunter, was closed off to me unless I was willing to plonk down some cash.
That’s in addition to the really weird gating that The Old Republic places on its free users, such as being unable to hide your helmet, send in-game mail or use more than two tool bars. For an MMO structured so similarly to World of Warcraft, you will need to have at least four bars available for use once you’re past level 30.
You can buy all these option of course, but those cost Cartel Coins, TOR’s new in-game currency. The amount of Coins you get and if there’s a discount (or free Coins) depends on whether you’re a free user or a preferred customer, someone who had subscription time paid for up to two months before the game went free. Of course, if you had the Collector’s Edition, there are more Cartel Coins for you to use.
Blocking out such basic things for free users as helmet toggling (which is necessary because the armor design in TOR is laughable) and action bars means that this MMO will do everything you can to get you to pay a monthly fee. If you’re looking for a way to experience The Old Republic’s decent player stories, you can do that, but anything beyond there is for paying customers only.
Has anyone else gone back to TOR? Have you reactivated you subscription, and if so, why?
BioWare also revealed that they are increasing the frequency of their content drops, adding in a bunch of new stuff between now and the Free to Play launch. New companions, such as an HK-51 assassin droid, warzones and space combat mission are expected.
To clarify, The Old Republic will still have a subscription option in addition to the Free to Play method, and paid customers will earn “Cartel Coins” based on how long they’ve been paying, or if they bought the collector’s edition, things of that nature. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase exclusive vanity items, such as Darth Nihilus’ mask and a party Jawa pet.
Considering that almost every month since The Old Republic’s release has seen at least a couple articles about how much trouble that game is in, I’m not surprised that a Free to Play option is coming in before the game’s first anniversary. Will it get people to actually try the game? I’m certain that the price tag is right for some, but the lack of a viable end-game will cause the numbers to drop off again.
That’s just what I think though. Is Free to Play just what the doctor ordered for this struggling MMO? Will you actually play the game when it goes free?
Everybody’s scrambling to get aboard the SS MMO these days, abandoning ship from traditional single player titles. Even franchises that are considered hallmarks of single player gaming such as Final Fantasy, KOTOR and Elder Scrolls have dropped their former identities, opting instead to join the seemingly lucrative temptations of the MMO genre. After the success of WoW in the mid-2000s, everybody’s been trying to recreate that same money-producing machine, with mostly mediocre results. Most end up going free to play eventually, which is something that even TOR is having to consider.
So here’s the burning question, then: why has nobody been able to follow in WoW’s footsteps? Because, GameSpy’s Leif Johnson argues, we’ve simply outgrown MMORPGs. In this article, Johnson does a nice job of laying out the state of the industry and digital connectivity in the past and now, and shows why trying to copy the WoW formula for modern games is just developers trying to turn the clock back on gamers. He believes that in an age of instant gratification, social media, mobile and more, it’s just going to take something more casual to be a runaway hit.
This is a question I’ve actually been wondering about myself. I think it’s so interesting that developers consider MMOs to be such a surefire hit that they’ll invest millions and millions into production, when so few have even done well to begin with. Yet new IPs are considered inherent risks? If only one MMO has had the kind of longevity that developers really want, then why does everyone keep trying to do this? What convinced everyone that the WoW formula was the way to go, even almost 10 years later? One glance at the paltry Elder Scrolls MMO shows that it’s just another WoW clone, even when that seems like a surefire way to fail. I guess dollar signs are hard to ignore.
What do you guys think about this? Have we simply outgrown the MMO? Do developers need to find a new way to make MMOs work for a new generation? What’s the new way to do MMOs right? Go!
Another month, another crazy thing to report from the insane realm that is EVE Online. We’ve talked about this startlingly player-directed space MMO on a couple of other occasions, and each time I hear these things I get a renewed interest in the game. Sure, the actual playing of it sounds boring, but it feels like it would almost be worth it to experience these epic scenarios.
If you’re unaware, the thing that makes EVE Online so unique is that developer CCP basically lets anything go down, as long as it doesn’t break the game’s terms of service. This means that some huge fluid narratives have taken place, from the take down of major in-game corporations to the loss of actual, real dollars in the form of ISK, which can be renewed for subscriptions or even other products.
The latest insane in-game caper? A player-organized movement to crash the whole game’s economy, which works just like an actual economy. This movement was called Burn Jita, with Jita being the major trading system, full of companies and frigates carrying anything from equipment to other ships or billions’ worth of ISK. The goal was to organize thousands of players in a huge ransack mission that would destroy/burn all these assets in order to upend the entire economy. Continue reading Some EVE Players Just Want to Watch the World Burn
With Skyrim recently continuing the trend of giving Bethesda the Game of the Year award it makes sense to assume that The Elder Scrolls franchise really has what it takes to produce some truly amazing games. The single player RPG world has captivated players since Arena, taking you into a deeply immersive world of Tamriel. While The Elder Scrolls series is one that has been a smash hit as a single player game, the question always came up about how it would fare as an MMO, leaving some fans drooling over the prospects of exploring the lands with a party of their best friends. Well today it’s official, Game Informer has released an article teasing readers about the June cover article which features a first look at The Elder Scrolls Online.
The game is being produced by Zenimax Online Studios with MMO veterans such as Matt Firor, whose previous work included Dark Age of Camelot. The game is set a millennium before the events of Skyrim, and players will deal with the Daedric prince Molag Bal trying to bring Tamriel into his realm in Oblivion. Matt Frior told GameInformer:
“It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years, the entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made – and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.”
Tomorrow morning there will be a trailer from Zenimax and Bethesda Softworks, with screenshots coming later in the evening. All of the information going onward can be tracked at Game Informer’s own Elder Scrolls Online hub, which will be giving out exclusive content multiple times a week.
As a major fan of The Elder Scrolls series, I meet this news with an open mind, but a cautious approach. I have always wanted a way to play around the world of Skyrim or Cyrodiil with friends, but the full-blown status of an MMO is something I have debated before. This could spell great success for the series, but a different production studio and a new feel to a game that has made all of its success as a single player RPG could spell trouble. I’ll wait to see more information before I give final judgment, but this news has to have many gamers foaming at the mouth. So what do you guys think? Is it good that The Elder Scrolls is going online? What’s your opinion on the game being produced by Zenimax? Lets hear it!
Man, even though we’re already over a full month into the year 2012, it still weirds me out to see the number written up there. Scandalous, almost. I don’t know if it’s because I’m old and full of rage when things change, or if that nerdy part of me feels like I should be in the future and my brain can’t reconcile the differences. Either way, 2012 is already shaping up to be a pretty fantastic year for games.
As such, we thought we would kick off the first Would You Rather for the year, one that will hopefully leave you all begging for mercy because of the difficult choices that await you. For the Would You Rather newbies out there, the game is easy: we ask and you dish out your response. Give as much or as little explanation as you want for your choices, but we all know that we like to see the reasoning behind the madness.
Don’t let your answers suck, though. I will personally come to your house and unleash a devastating Krav Maga attack on you. For real. OK go!
We’re finally here, friends, at the end of four years of waiting and watching and over-sized lightsabers. BioWare’s first foray into MMO territory, Star Wars: The Old Republic, begins its pre-order roll out today in advance of its actual release on the 20 of December. If you pre-ordered the game and entered the code on the TOR website you can get in early between now and the 20 depending on how far in advance you completed the process (confusing, I know).
I pre-ordered the game, but I didn’t do it until November, so I probably won’t be playing until the weekend or even the 19, but I’ve had a few opportunities to try out the Beta, so that’s OK (pretty sure the NDA on those things have expired). My guild and I are deploying as heartless Imperials and I’m taking on the Bounty Hunter class for my first outing. I avoided this build during the Beta, so I’m ready for a fresh experience when I jump in. My guild will be on the Lord Praven server, if anybody wants to play with the only GS staff member who will be giving TOR a shot on release.
The Old Republic hasn’t exactly been a hot topic around here, but I still thought I’d put up a Roll Call as this is the last big release of 2012 (except for the Back to Karkand DLC which also comes out today). Anybody else playing TOR? Which class are you playing as? Any interest on trying the game in the future? Also, what are you thoughts on me keeping a journal of sorts for the first month of the game as a kind of review?
The day that we’ve all been waiting for has finally come to pass: after much hemming and hawing and three pre-rendered trailers, BioWare has seen fit to announce the release date for their highly anticipated Star Wars MMO. The Old Republic (TOR) will be brought into being on December 20, 2011 in North America and the 22 in Europe. People who have pre-ordered the game will also be given early access, but there’s no specific time-table for that yet.
In addition to the launch day, BioWare also dropped The Old Republic’s pricing structure. Every copy of the game will come with a 30 day subscription built in, but anything past that will be subjected to the typical MMO monthly fee. The breakdown goes thusly:
1 Month Subcription: $14.99 (£8.99/€12.99)
3 Month Subscription: $13.99 per month (one-time charge of $41.97/£25.17/€35.97)
6 Month Subscription: $12.99 per month (one-time charge of $77.94/£46.14/€65.94)
So there it is, folks, laid bare for all to see. I’m kind of surprised that TOR is going with a traditional pricing scheme when every other MMO (even World of Warcraft to an extent) is going free to play. Indeed, there’s one MMO I’m looking forward to possibly more that TOR and that’s Firefall which is going to be supported by microtransactions.
I’ll still give TOR a shot anyways, just because I’ve been waiting so long for it, but the subscription might be a deal breaker in the long run. What do you guys think about this news? Excited for TOR? What are your thoughts on the pricing structure?