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.
Patrick Klepek and Drew Stanton of Giant Bomb traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland for Fanfest. Iceland has a population 319,000. To give that some meaning, my hometown of Tampa, FL has 349,000 people, so an entire country with less people than that honestly boggles my mind. But it is from this tiny nation that CCP, the creators of EVE, hail. EVE has about 500,000 active users and 1,400 of those users made the trip to Fanfest as well. Kind of staggering to think of more people play the game than live in the country that gave birth to it.
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!
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.
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!
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!
It’s hard to believe that anyone could try and out-do the mammoth MMO that is World of Warcraft, even Blizzard itself. But already Blizzard COO Paul Sams has been quoted, saying they are going to do just that with their new MMO codenamed “Titan”.
“I believe it’s the most ambitious thing we’ve ever attempted, and I feel like we have set our company up to succeed on that. We have some of our most talented and most experienced developers on that team. Many of the people that built World of Warcraft are full time on that other team.”
While this doesn’t spell the death of World of Warcraft it does lead to some questions as the highly experienced and talented staff that created the most successful MMO gears forwards on its new project. Sam’s also said that World of Warcraft still has an experienced staff watching over the game, just key members were moving on to the new project. The quote that really interests me is this next one…
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!
The 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.
Wired.com is reporting that a Hawaii man (seriously? Hawaii? Go outside, dude!) is suing NCsoft of South Korea because their game, Lineage II, is too addictive and has left him unable to function independently. The plaintiff, Craig Smallwood alleges that the company:
acted negligently in failing to warn or instruct or adequately warn or instruct plaintiff and other players of Lineage II of its dangerous and defective characteristics, and of the safe and proper method of using the game.
He also claims, and this is my favorite part, that he would never have started playing the game if he knew that he would become addicted to it. The suit goes on to say that between 2004 and 2009, he played Lineage II for 20,000 hours. Makes your mom’s Farmville obsession seem tame in comparision, eh?
Now, you get to be the judge. How would you rule in this case? Personally, I am of the opinion that if a few million people play a game or see a movie and only one or two act crazy, the problem is clearly with those one or two people, not the product. What do you think?
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.
We’ve known for quite some time that Final Fantasy XIII was going to be gracing Microsoft’s gaming console with its JRPG presence in 2010. In fact, just recently we’ve found out how many stinking discs the game is going to occupy when it finally releases for the 360. That’s three discs for those of you keeping score at home. Yes, more than Mass Effect 2. Gasp! Outrage!
Anyway, while we’ve known what the deal was going to be with Final Fantasy XIII, speculation still swirled around the next title in the long-standing series from Square-Enix. Final Fantasy XIV was a big announcement unleashed by Sony at E3 2009, along with the apparent promise of exclusivity. However, a recent LinkedIn profile from a Square-Enix employee suggests that the in-production MMO is going to see a simultaneous release of sorts on the XBox 360 as well. No, that has not been announced, but last year the RPG maker’s executives hinted that talks just might be in the works. While this seems like a genuine confirmation that the speculation is true, it could just be an honest mistake from an employee.
Honestly, this isn’t altogether too surprising, seeing as how many Japanese developers are doing everything they can to garner more of a Western audience, which means opening up to the XBox 360′s predominantly Western core. So what do you guys think about this? Excited? Reserved? Indifferent?
Even though I joke about being addicted to video games, I don’t think I can ever honestly say that I’ve had a real actual addiction to them at any point in my life. Thankfully, games have been an area where the fun stays fun, and I can walk away if something is sucking away too much of my life, though Counter-Strike came close to reversing that.
A really interesting article went up a couple of days ago on Kotaku called I Kept Playing – The Cost of My Gaming Addiction. I highly recommend reading it for any of you who have ever had a problem with MMOs (or any game for that matter), or if you’ve had friends affected by the kinds of addiction described within. He describes losing two jobs and the love of his life, all for Everquest. While I’ve had my share of difficulties in one area or another over the years, I’ve never experienced need for something to that level. It really is frightening to think that something could come along and uproot everything that people work for. And a videogame, of all things.
A few years back, my brother went through a pretty rough time where Everquest was all he did. It took him awhile to come out of the funk, and he doesn’t like to think back on it. He’s all better now, thankfully, and living a normal life, but those years were a little nuts. What about you guys? Have you ever known anybody who’s had a gaming addiction like this?
Have you been wondering what Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds has been doing since 2007 when their game launched? Well, wonder no more as you absorb the awesome trailer for All Points Bulletin (APB), a free-to-play MMO. It looks a lot like GTA IV multi-player, and as long as they can get it to be a lot more stable than that I think we’ve got a hit on our hands.
In APB, you can join one of two sides, the Enforcers or the Criminals. Once you’ve chosen your side, you can fully customize your own gang and roam around the city with friends hitting fools with you car. The shooting looks pretty tight as well, and I’m very intrigued by the option to recreate the look of the Beastie Boys out of their “Sabotage” video and rip around the streets.
APB is set to debut on both the PC and the 360 in March 2010. Given that Crackdown was a huge sleeper hit, I think that there’s going to be a large player base when this game comes out. Who’s going to be giving APB a try, and on what platform?
I have a decent collection of games for the 360 – more than a dozen, if you count XBLA titles – but the game I’ve played far more than any other is Oblivion. At last count, I’ve put in somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 hours. I have a friend who has put in 200+ hours and he hasn’t even finished the main quest line. I think he just likes grinding in dungeons.
Now, I love the game, but I reached a point recently where I started wanting nothing more than to just beat the damn thing. That’s a bit of a herculean task when it comes to an open-world game like Oblivion. It’s not that I haven’t done my best. I’ve completed the main quest-line, as well as the quest-lines for almost all of the guilds and both the Knights of the Nine and the Shivering Isles expansion packs… but I’m not done yet because I don’t have all of the achievements.
A few months ago, I wrote a feature about the things that are wrong with the gaming industry on the whole. Some of that had to do with the games themselves, some of it had to with the journalists that covered and reviewed them, and some of it had to do with the gamers that played them. In terms of gamers that are hurting gaming and its culture unknowingly, console and even PC fanboys rank right at the top.
What is a fanboy? A fanboy used to be someone that just played and loved their system or machine exclusively. I think we’ve all done this at some point in our lives. I remember loving the Sega Genesis and the Nintendo 64 and being just fine with not owning the rival systems.
As you know, we here at GamerSushi love lists. We have this kind of mad obsession with them. It’s such an easy way to categorize the information you’re looking for, and it helps even more when they list some great humorous quotables about gaming.
Last week, GamesRadar released “Game Moments You Don’t Want A Loved One Walking In On”, and it makes for a great read. In particular, I remember the one about MGS being kind of weird for me as a young gamer. And I totally agree that getting caught playing an MMO these days is the equivalent to being caught with adult material.
I must admit that I have always been tempted to jump in to the MMO genre. But over the years, having lost my friends (and even some in my family) to the big hungry MMO lords like World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot and Everquest, I decided to keep my distance.
Also, I never wanted to be these guys, who hooked up a treadmill in an attempt to simulate running across the plains of Azeroth in search of grand adventure.