Poll: What Would it Take For You to Play an MMO?

With The Old Republic on the horizon and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm just around the bend, it seems that the MMO train will keep rolling forward for years to come. Since WoW has established its dominance in that arena, there are many, many contenders trying to vie for your attention. At first, they tried to “out-WoW WoW” but that backfired.

Now publishers are realizing that you have to strike Warcraft where it’s weak, not by going toe-to-toe with it in its own domain. A lot of gimmicks have been thrown around to try and tap into this vast, lucrative market, although this site does seem to be a bastion against MMOs. I know that we do have a couple players here, and I’m a recovering WoW player myself, but what about the rest of you? What would it take for you to tuck into an MMO?

To save you the trouble of typing a bothersome reply, I’ve created a handy dandy poll which you can click on to answer. If I’ve neglected something, though, feel free to comment. Vote away!

What Would it Take to Get You to Play an MMO?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

EVE Incursion Character Creator Is Most Impressive

EVE, the ridiculous space MMO with high-flying pirate antics and corporate espionage, is getting a new expansion pack known as Incursion in Janaury 2011. One of the new things that’s going to be included in this big update happens to be the Incarna Character Creator, for designing your characters. And it is filled with much hotness.

Honestly, I’m not sure why this even matters, since the game takes place inside of spaceships, but it’s still damn cool.

The idea of character creation is an interesting one. I feel like we should have some better tools at our disposal for more robust character creation systems at this point, but maybe that’s pie-in-the-sky thinking. I feel like most character creators end up producing people that all look the same for the most part.

What do you guys think? Got a favorite character creator? Is this one impressive at all?

Champions Online Jumps on the Free-to-Play Train

champions online free to playThe MMORPG world is quite the cut-throat business and if you want to survive against World of Warcraft then you have to be prepared to make some changes to your subscription model before your game sinks. The current solution to the “WoW Question” is the Free-to-Play option, where the developer makes their game available to everyone, free of charge, and recoups their costs through microtransactions and other options.

Champions Online, which I played and wrote impressions on way back when I first started at GamerSushi, is the newest adherent to this business plan, making the jump to Free-to-Play in the coming weeks. While people will still be able to subscribe for $14.99 a month (called a Gold subscriber), there will also be a new tier available called a Silver membership. While Gold members will retain all the bells and whistles that came with the package before, Silver members are getting the short end of the stick as benefits their thrifty ways.
Continue reading Champions Online Jumps on the Free-to-Play Train

GameCop Vs LameCop Vs PsychoCop

We’re back with our three favorite enforcers, ready to weigh in on a few hot topics which have cropped up in the past couple of weeks: EA Louse, Gran Tourismo and Fallout: New Vegas’ less than perfect launch.

As always, these sorts of eyebrow-raising news stories are perfect fodder for the Cops. Here’s how they break down: GameCop is a sensible gamer, looking out for your best interests. LameCop is your average forum troll, causing havoc for the lulz, while PsychoCop should be locked up for everyone’s safety. Keep reading to find out what they have to say on these issues:

Continue reading GameCop Vs LameCop Vs PsychoCop

World of Warcarft: Cataclysm Cinematic Intro Brings the Wrath of Deathwing to Azeroth

I know that World of Warcraft ain’t too popular around these here parts, but there’s no denying that once your subscriber numbers and gross monthly income surpasses most small nations, you’re definitely on to something. Blizzard’s MMORPG juggernaut has been gaining steam since it launched in 2004, and now, six years later, it shows no signs of slowing down. Blizzard just put the cinematic intro to the newest expansion, Cataclysm, up on the YouTube account, and good lord is it both gorgeous and terrifying:

The most amazing thing is that all of Blizzard’s incredible cinematics are done in house, not sourced out to a third-party studio like Blur (best known for The Old Republic trailers). While Blizz’s movies have been incredible in the past, this one seems to take them to a new plateau. I’ve never been more impressed by their videos, so kudos to them for continuing to raise the bar. We must have a few WoW players on the site, so can anyone share their thoughts on Cataclysm? Looking forward to the end of the world as you know it? The game launches December 7, 2010.

Rumor: Bioware Blogger Reveals The Old Republic’s $300 Million Price Tag and Other EA Secrets

The Old Republic

The rumor mill churned out a doozy today, kids. A person claiming to work at Bioware Mythic started a blog, EA Louse, and has decided to air out some dirty laundry, the kind that I’m sure the masters at EA would rather the world not know. Granted, all of this is unconfirmed, but it’s too juicy to just ignore. Some of the tidbits include details about upcoming EA layoffs in November, keeping with the current trend in the industry of letting people go just before the holidays.

In addition, he or she claims that the budget for the upcoming Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic, is a whopping $300 million and that EA is panicking because they realize now that they have a failure on their hands. He goes on to claim that it will be the biggest MMO failure in EA’s history. There is plenty more on there, including some gossip about Warhammer, so head on over if you want to read more about that.

Assuming (dangerous, I know) that this is true, it would spell disaster for EA, as that is a lot of money to throw out the window. Do you see any truth to these claims? Do you think it’s ethical for an employee to reveal company dirt like this? Let’s hear it!

Source: EA Louse

EVE Online Gives New Players a Leg Up With the Commissioned Officer Box Edition

EVE Online Commissioned Officer EditionWe’ve talked about EVE Online here at GamerSushi a couple of times, and both occasions have been about how some unfortunate soul was ruined by the actions of other players. This sort of stuff is the norm for EVE, just on a smaller scale than $1,200 USD in damages or an entire guild being brought down overnight. Understandably, these kinds of stories creates a barrier for people interested in trying EVE for fear that their tender avatar will be ravaged horribly as soon as they click the “create” button.

Fear not, timid noobies, as EVE developer CCP has plans to make things a little easier for newcomers. The Commissioned Officer Edition of EVE Online gives players the Cerebral Accelerator, an in-game item that allows users to gain a significant advantage in skill gain for the first 30 days of playtime. The package also comes with a month of play time and a nifty poster covered with helpful hints (I wonder where “trust no one” falls on it). The box will only be available in brick and mortar stores, and I assume that there will be some sort of fail safe built into the Accelerator to prevent any unscrupulous activity.

There you have it, a nice little package designed to give you a running start in the dog-eat-dog universe of EVE Online. Apparently this is a good a time as any to get into the game as CCP has a couple new expansions coming out in the next half a year.

Anyone going to finally take the plunge with EVE Online now that it’s extending a helping hand?

Source: Massivley

Welcome to Fall: The Upcoming Games of 2010

Ladies and dudes, the time is here: the fall season of gaming is officially upon us, and all we can do now is paddle as hard we can to keep up with the avalanche of titles falling to our TVs and monitors. Sure, I’m mixing metaphors here a little bit, but the point here is the same: lots of games are coming out, and you no doubt want to play a large share of them. Yes, even though Little Big Planet 2 has been delayed.

Since we’re so nice, we’ve put together an epic list of our 30 most anticipated upcoming games of 2010. You’ll be surprised at just how much is waiting for you. We’ve got everything from RPGs to zombies, DS exclusives and sprawling PC MMOs. Check it out! Continue reading Welcome to Fall: The Upcoming Games of 2010

GamerSushi Asks: Building Your Own Game?

EVE OnlineWith all the sharing we’ve done here over the years, I’m starting to feel like I understand a bit of everyone’s gaming preferences. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind playing a game designed by a few of you guys. In a perfect world, all of us at GamerSushi, community included, would be CEOs of our very own gaming giants, with millions of dollars to throw at all kinds of awesome projects. Sadly, none of us have this option, but a boy can dream, yes?

What I wanted to ask is this: do you guys have a dream game that you would make if you could? What kinds of features would it have, and what other games would it emulate or build upon? For me, I’d want to make the kind of game I still feel like I haven’t played: a sandbox story. We’re getting used to incredible sandbox games in the last few years, but the closest thing I’ve seen to an organic sandbox story would have to be some of the craziness that goes on in EVE.

So, how about it? What kind of game would you make, if you had the chance?

Realtime Worlds Slaps the Cuffs on APB

apb-gal-logoThey say that only the good die young, but sometimes this old adage extends to the bad as well. All Points Bulletin (APB for those of us who have never been in the back of a cop car) was released only three months ago, but the cops-and-robbers style MMO is being put behind bars already. The game was lauded for its strong customization options but lost a lot of points for having dull combat, horrible player versus player and a very generic quest system.

While fans of the game are certainly upset, most of us who followed the news surrounding the title wouldn’t be surprised. Realtime Worlds, best known for the X-Box 360 hit Crackdown, entered administration (bankruptcy over in the United Kingdom) and laid off a significant part of their work force last month. APB’s Community Officer Ben Bateman posted a final thanks on the official forums:

APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end. Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone’s best efforts to keep the service running; APB is coming to a close. It’s been a pleasure working on APB and with all its players. Together we were building an absolutely amazing game, and for that, we thank you. You guys are awesome!

It looks like this is the end of Realtime Worlds, folks. It’s a real shame that the studio that brought us Crackdown is on the down and out. While I was originally psyched for the game, really poor reviews led me to steer clear, and I imagine that’s true for a lot of us. What do you guys think of RTW closing? Any parting thoughts for this once celebrated studio?

Source: Kotaku

FireFall, the Free-To-Play Sci-Fi MMO

Somehow I missed this game during my time and PAX, and now I am made to rue my mistake. I think I might have glanced the booth for this title once or twice, but I passed it over in favor of games that were of a known quantity. What a fool I was. Apparently, in my ignorance, I was missing out on a fantastic demo for a free (our favorite word) sci-fi MMO. Not just free to play online, or what have you, but costing a total of zero dollars to download and install. Made by veterans of both World of Warcraft and Tribes, this MMO hopes to lure you in with its appealing price tag and then gain its profit back through microtransactions. While this model works well in Asia, it has yet to really take hold here in North America (with a few exceptions). This game may be the one to do it though. Take a look at the video and see for yourself:


For a game that’s being dished out for free, this is looking pretty fantastic. It’s a combination first and third person shooter with the requisite RPG elements. You can fly around in your ship, upgrade your ridiculous looking suit, and take part in randomly generated quests (the village siege at the end was an example of that). What do you guys think of FireFall? Does it catch your fancy? Any reservations about the microtransaction aspect? You’ve got a while to think about it, as the release date is set for Fall 2011. Tell us your thoughts!

GameCop Vs LameCop Vs PsychoCop

Well, GamerSushi-ans, the last time we had a GC vs LC vs PC was back in June, before E3. Ah, things were so innocent then. We had no knowledge of the terrible Kinect software, Portal 2 on the PS3 and Kid Icarus on the Nintendo 3DS. It was a simpler time. And now we’re back, ready to kick off the Fall with a new edition.

If you’re unfamiliar with this feature, we discuss gaming issues and we switch roles each time. The GameCop is looking out for you, the gamer, while the LameCop is just what he sounds like: kind of a lamewad. Meanwhile, PsychoCop is a troll in every sense of the word, and completely bat poop insane.

The topics of this week’s feature include the Final Fantasy XIV experience cap, Dead Rising Case Zero and the raised subscription fees of XBox Live.

Continue reading GameCop Vs LameCop Vs PsychoCop

Final Fantasy XIV and the Experience Cap

Final_Fantasy_XIVOne of the problems plaguing MMOs (and indeed all level-bases online games) is that players who have more time to dedicate to the game will outpace those of us who can only spare a few hours a week. This leads to some disparaging situations where overpowered players wipe the floor with other users in Player versus Player servers since they have the best gear and the stats to match. While some may decide that this is unfair, there’s really nothing the players themselves can do about it. Final Fantasy XIV, the upcoming fantasy MMO for the PlayStation 3 and the PC, is hoping to address this issue with the idea of diminishing returns.

The main way you progress in a Role Playing Games is through experience points, or EXP for short. It’s been this way since the dawn of gaming, and it’s not going to change any time soon. The more time you spend playing, the quicker you get points and the quicker you level up. With Final Fantasy XIV, this is going to change somewhat by limiting the amount of hours each week that you can earn one hundred percent of your experience. Basically, for eight hours of the week, you’ll get the full amount of EXP for quests and killing monsters. After that, though, your gains will start decreasing, eventually reaching a grand total of zero at the fifteen hour mark. This is on a weekly timer, so the experience clock resets every seven days. According to Square Enix, the idea behind this is that, in real life, no one could train at something for hours on end without reaching a plateau. Imagine lifting weights for eight hours a day? Eventually you’d run out of steam, and probably hurt yourself.

Naturally, this sort of artificial barrier is annoying MMO players, most of whom are dedicated to the point of playing more than eight hours a week. Think about it, if you played two hours a night, you’d be at the eight hour threshold before your knew it. An average World of Warcraft dungeon can take upwards of four hours, so this might be a problem in the making. The good news is that the EXP earned during the extra hours are banked as a surplus, but as of yet the developers don’t know what to do with them.

What do you guys think about this? I know we don’t have a lot of MMO players on the site, but as a former Star Wars Galaxies/World of Warcraft player myself, this limiting of player progression seems like it could hurt the game in the long run. I feel that, if you’re paying a subscription, you should play as long as you like with full returns, other players be damned. What do you think?

Update: I’ve read that this only affects up to fifteen hours of each job class, so it’s not an account wide restriction. Definitely better than the heavy-handed maneuver it seemed to be.

Source: FFXIV Core

EVE Online Pirates Destroy In-Game Time Cards

EVE ONLINEEvery time I read about a bad-ass heist job in EVE Online, a space-bound MMO focused on corporate back-stabbing, I find myself gripped with the insatiable urge to try the game. I’ve heard that for the most part it’s pretty dull and is kind of like having a second job, but these stories just scratch some odd gaming itch I never knew that I had.

Take this most recent tale, for example. To combat the online sale of ISK (EVE’s currency) by gold farmers, publisher CCP decided to create in-game time cards which can be sold for ISK, thus cutting gold farmers out of the loop by allowing players to trade time extension cards for cash. These cards, called PLEX, or Pilot License Extensions, recently became actual items inside of EVE’s servers so they could be carried around by cargo ships. While this sounds like a recipe for disaster, I don’t think anyone was prepared for what happened next.

A cargo ship owned by Method of Destruction, a player run guild, was carrying 74 PLEX cards while making its way through a sector of space that’s apparently rife with pirate activity when it was beset upon by a couple of enterprising raiders. Unfortunately for the pair, they were a little over-zealous and destroyed the cargo ship along with all 74 cards. You may be asking yourself what this amount of cards is worth, and the answer is a staggering $1,295.00 in actual US funds. In game, that would be 22 billion ISK, or six years and two months of play time. Since the licenses were blown up they can never be claimed, so CCP just made themselves a cool profit thanks to two trigger-happy bandits.

What do you guys think of this news? Pretty awesome that there’s a game out there that allows, nay encourages, this type of tomfoolery. What do you think CCP should do with the $1,295.00? People are calling for them to donate it to charity, so do you agree? Tell us in the comments. To read about the previous EVE Online raid, click here.

Source: Kotaku via Massively

Space Combat for The Old Republic Explained

TORStar Wars: The Old Republic is number one on my list for upcoming PC releases, doubly so because it has the delicious flavor of a BioWare Star Wars game and an MMO rolled in to one. I know that there was a Star Wars MMO previously, but that was Galaxies by Sony Online Entertainment, and my therapist has advised me not to speak of that relationship. Regardless of how Galaxies was handled, one of the few things SOE did well was the space combat, taking away the turn-based dance endemic to MMORPG ground combat and making a more twitch-based system that resembled the X-Wing games of yore. Before the special ships were introduced and ruined the space combat with their ability to stock the highest grade equipment, blasting around between the planets was great fun. Star Wars just isn’t Star Wars without extra-planetary combat, and it seems that BioWare feels the same way.

MMO mega-site Massively (via the upcoming October issue of PC Gamer) reports that the space segments of The Old Republic will be “tunnel-based” as opposed to the free-form combat of its predecessors. If you’re having trouble picturing this sort of gameplay, think StarFox 64 or the old Rebel Assault titles. BioWare is apparently doing this to create a “cinematic” feel for players. I’ll reserve my judgment until I play the game itself, but I’d rather see a X-Wing vs TIE Fighter scenario. Massively does mention achievements, though, so I’ll be easier to mollify if that’s the case.

What do you guys think about this? Down for some rail-shooting, or do you hope BioWare will break out the combat for the inevitable PVP arenas?

Source: Massivley

Rumor: Mysterious Video Points to Modern Warfare 2 Subscription Plan?

On the internet, everything must be taken with a grain of salt, which is why Wikipedia is no longer a valid source for information when writing a paper for school. Simply put, there are too many untrustworthy people who are much, much smarter than the vast majority of us, and they use their talents to disguise erroneous facts as the truth. This video, though, seems to be pretty legitimate to me. Apparently an X-Box LIVE user attempted to connect to a friend’s game, only to be bounced to a Marketplace page that announced that a Membership plan was necessary, but not available yet. Take a look at the video and decide for yourself.

The top of the screen clearly has the beginning of “membership” before it is cut off by the size limitation. What do you guys think? Will Modern Warfare 2 follow a WoW-based route, or is this for something different? Treat this as a rumor for now until we have official word from Activision. It wouldn’t surprise me, though.

Fallout MMO Beta Site Launched

Fallout Online

For many months now, there has been a rumored Fallout MMO in the works, with Interplay and Bethesda caught in a slight legal debacle over the rights to the game. The codename for this game has been Project V13, and while it wasn’t scheduled to go into public beta until sometime in 2012, it seems that things might have changed. A new Fallout Online site has been launched by Interplay, with a flash animation, some artwork and even a form to register for the beta as well as regular e-mail updates. I guess they’ve had their issues worked out, recently?

This is potentially pretty cool news, even though I have yet to finish the game. The Fallout world is a really rich one with plenty of great locales to visit, and tons of room for player exploration. I think it’s exactly the kind of property that lends itself perfectly to an MMO, so the developments here should be fun to see. If any of you are interested, head on over to the site, but just be warned that it’s loading a bit janky right now because it’s servers are no doubt being beaten like a drum.

So what do you guys think of this? Who’s going to sign up?

Source- Blues News

Check Out These Star Wars: TOR Gameplay Clips

I know that Bioware has shown off little bits of The Old Republic gameplay here and there, but I’ve largely been avoiding it so I could see a more lengthy piece that showed a healthier stretch all together. Well, because of E3, we’ve gotten several of those in a row, taking us on a small quest through numerous classes.

In terms of the gameplay, I’m not quire sure how I feel about it. It doesn’t appear particularly exciting, but then again I’ve never played an MMO. In terms of MMO combat, this is about as exciting as it gets, from watching friends play WoW. It’s also fairly impressive that the entire thing is going to be voiced, which is a gigantic undertaking for that many quests.

What do you guys think? Check out the lightsaber gameplay below, along with the other class videos after the jump. I’ve even included the video that tells you all about ships, which act as the players’ homes in the MMO.

Continue reading Check Out These Star Wars: TOR Gameplay Clips

TOR: Hope of Alderaan Trailer

While the Ubisoft press conference was mostly a complete and utter disaster today at E3 2010, EA came through with some nice tidbits and announcements. In particular, there was this rad Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer called The Hope of Alderaan, which has some spectacular jedi on dark jedi action sequences. Sure, it flies in the face of Canon possibly, but who cares, because it is epic.

Still no word on a release date or some official gameplay footage yet from Bioware, but hopefully we’ll get some more information about either of those sometime later this week. We’re running on a couple of these great trailers for the last two years with no idea of when we can expect to see and play this game. Get a move on, Bioware!

Warhammer 40,000 MMO to be Announced at E3

WH40KIt’s kind of inevitable that, at some point, all the MMOs in the world will finally join servers and hook into their players to form giant living batteries to power their machines of war as they trundle across the Earth, destroying the last holdouts of the human race. Until that happens, we get to play all the neat titles that are coming out from this ever expanding genre.

World of Warcraft has a firm and irreversible death grip on the market, there’s no denying that. When your player base produces enough capital to surpass the gross national product of a small nation, it’s pretty much a given that you’re on easy street. Where other MMOs need to strike their claim is the territories that WoW hasn’t expanded into yet. The most recent example of this is Star Trek Online, which had boring ground combat but apparently had some of the best space battles in a game so far. It won players based on that merit alone, so I’m interested to see what the 40K universe can produce.

For those of you who are maybe unfamiliar with this particular franchise, Warhammer 40K is a futuristic tabletop miniatures game with several races, all of whom can find some reason to fight each other. The game is well known for both its dark and gritty tone and its ever evolving design. I’ve been in and out of that particular scene for a while, mostly because of the prohibitive price, but I can see myself playing the MMO.

What about you guys? Does this interest you, or are still against MMOs? Are you holding out for Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Source: Kotaku