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
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?
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?
Some exciting news out of Comic-Con today regarding the Old Republic, but maybe not the kind that people were expecting. It’s not the release date as many people might have hoped, but rather the news that you can pre-order Star Wars: The Old Republic in one of three flavors (regular, Digital Deluxe and Collector’s
Pre-ordering is all well and good and as natural to the video game industry as wetness is to the ocean, but letting people pre-order without a release date is a little strange. Beyond that, the Collector’s Edition was very limited (it was sold out by the time I looked at the page this morning) and apparently the Digital Deluxe version is in limited supply as well. You can still pre-order the DD SKU, but after dropping your cash-monies on it you’ll be informed that you are “likely” to receive the thing you paid for.
I’m going to try and not editorialize this too much, but there’s something wrong if you can’t guarantee people something they paid money for, especially if it is digital. What many people suspect EA and BioWare are attempting to do is limit the amount of people logging in on day one in order to transition smoothly from development to MMO-sentience, but they way they’re going about it is all wrong. Opening pre-orders before a solid release date and telling people that they might get what they paid for smacks of under-preparedness among other things.
EA will no doubt bequeath people their Digital Deluxe editions, but whether or not you’ll be in the first run remains to be seen. I get that the Collector’s Edition is supposed to be rare (given the number of Halo 3 boxes I still see in stores makes me scoff at that notion), but putting a limit on a digital item will no doubt raise eyebrows.
What do you guys think of EA’s move? Is it a little too much taking money before putting out a release date?
I know that I’ve been quite vocal in my condemnation of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s hype train and its constant parade of pre-rendered trailers and no solid release date. After three consecutive E3s of all show and no tell, I was starting to get a little ticked off at the constant stringing along that TOR is pulling. Of course, being a gamer, I am a fickle creature and the recently released opening cinematic for The Old Republic is nothing short of mind-blowing. It’s seriously everything I love about Star Wars, condensed into six minutes.
I’m looking forward to watching this video again when I boot up the game, whenever that is. Lucas Licensing should just contract Blur to make a Star Wars movie with BioWare as the writing staff, because every trailer they’ve made have been better than the games they’ve been associated with (case in point: Force Unleashed 2). What do you guys think of the opening cinematic for The Old Republic? Was this sick, or what?
I know this is a topic we’ve talked about on the podcast some, but you guys always seem reluctant to leave your thoughts on those. Perhaps it is because we are such cunning linguists and our arguments tear yours to shreds. Yeah, that’s what I’m going with.
In case you somehow forgot with all the incessant reminders on all of the gaming websites and Twitter and yes, even here, E3 2011 is next week and we’ll be seeing a few new games and a couple that we’ve been hearing about for what seems like forever. While Metal Gear Solid: Rising and The Last Guardian probably won’t be making an appearance, Star Wars: The Old Republic and the Tomb Raider reboot (just confirmed for a fall 2012 release) will be there, and we’ve been hearing about those games for a while. Star Wars: The Old Republic is particularly guilty in this regard, showing up to two consecutive E3s with only a fancy trailer. I’d hesitate to say that anything BioWare is a one-trick pony, but it’s certainly starting to look that way.
I hate to sound like I’m ragging on BioWare, who are obviously working very hard on their MMO, but if this game had been announced maybe two years ago as opposed to four, I wouldn’t have the same “hype fatigue” I’m experiencing now. I’m also apparently hurting for a Star Wars MMO, so there’s that too.
So what about you guys? What games have been announced a little too early for your taste? Any games at E3 2011 that you just want to stop hearing about? How far in advance of their release should games be announced?
As GamerSushi’s resident MMO player (that is to say, the person with the most experience), I believe it is my duty to try out BioWare’s upcoming Star Wars flavored offering, The Old Republic. While I don’t currently play any MMOs, I’ve made my history with that genre well known on this site, starting with Sony’s Star Wars Galaxies, then moving to World of Warcraft and trying City of Heroes and Champions Online in between.
Since I have such a breadth of knowledge about MMOs and what makes them tick, that means I’m well positioned to know that there are certain check-boxes that The Old Republic needs to cross off to be considered a “success” in this most competitive of arenas. While it isn’t going to unseat World of Warcraft, there are some very important features it needs to launch with in order to ensure that it lives past its first year. What are those things, you might be asking? Read on, and you’ll find out just what The Old Republic needs to do to stay afloat. Continue reading What The Old Republic Needs to Do to Survive
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. Continue reading Champions Online Jumps on the Free-to-Play Train
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:
As we’re probably all aware, being fans of video game culture and what not, PAX Prime 2010 is set to kick off this Friday down in beautiful Seattle, Washington. Since I live about four hours and one country away from Seattle, I thought I would take this opportunity to finally go to the Penny Arcade Expo, something I’ve been dying to do for a few years now. It’s actually kind of funny that GamerSushi started off with Eddy and Smooth Few Film’s Daniel (who is not Anthony), going to PAX with Leet World DVDs in hand.
Since I’m going to be reporting diligently on all the news and cool stuff coming out of PAX, I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask you, the community, if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to keep an eye out for. Halo: Reach and The Old Republic are a given, but are there any other games you’d like me to try and get hands-on time with? I’m bringing down a camera as well, so I’ll try and upload pictures of the show floor and the various cosplayers. So, do you have any requests? Put them in the comment section below.