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All Posts by SBFord

All Posts by SBFord

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World of Warcraft is much like walking into a Las Vegas casino; each zone, dungeon, or battleground being its own pocket dimension divorced from reality and filled with scenic grandeur and the promise of wealth. Except for when such promises are at the mercy of pitiless random-number-generators (RNG). In WoW particularly, the statistical reality of RNG is that players can go on for weeks or months without ever seeing a coveted piece of loot drop (Ashes of A’lar will drop anytime now. It’s only the 127th Kael’thas kill…). Over the years, Blizzard went to great lengths to mitigate this mass RNG effect by developing a variety of safety nets. Inexplicably, in Warlords of Draenor, the safety nets were yanked out in favor of more RNG.

Read more of Edwin Lee's The Mass RNG Effect.

Duty of Heroes is a light RPG and barely there MMO set in a generic fantasy world complete with Merlin, beautiful boobilicious elves, barely dressed female characters, orcs, undead and cherry-on-topped with poor localization. It is a port of a free to play FaceBook type time management game with an RPG theme.

Read more of Carolyn Koh's Duty of Heroes: A Barely-There Boobilicious MMO.

As the network for gamers on YouTube, we’re always looking for ways to help our community partners thrive online! Any YouTube gamer will tell you, success comes down to a few fundamentals. Step one is obviously all about the content you’re producing. If people don’t like what you’re posting, they’ll stop watching, period. But even if you are producing gamer videos people are into, grabbing a larger audience can come down to pumping up your personal brand. A few weeks back we covered the ins and outs of channel optimization, and the tools that can help you rocket up the results page. This week we’re covering tips on maximizing your visual appeal and adding professional-grade polish to the viewer experience.

Read more of Peter Grant's 3 Tips on Visually Boosting Your YouTube Gaming Channel.

NCSoft has signed a new deal with Netmarble in an effort to stave off a potential hostile take over attempt by one of its largest shareholders, Nexon. With the stock trade between the two gaming companies, NCSoft has erected a shield against Nexon.

Last week, we reported that tension between Nexon and NCSoft were mounting and that the potential for aggressive action on the part of Nexon existed due to differences in each company's philosophy with regard to managemet.

We'll keep you posted as this story continues to develop and as the time for the next NCSoft shareholder meeting nears.

Source: MMOSite

Trove builders are being invited to a live stream event later today and are being asked to bring their wildest and craziest requests to the team for possible inclusion in the game at a later date. The event will kick off at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern on the Trove Twitch channel.

During the last crafting event, players submitted several ideas for weapons, several of which are now included in the game. To get a look at what made the cut, check out the Trove community site (and see one below!).

When the Defiance 'Alcatraz' update goes live in the near future, players can participate in a new cooperative feature called "Expeditions". In expeditions, players will face off against ever-increasingly difficult groups of monsters that will require team effort and cooperation to defeat.

To enter an Expedition, players will need to use a Hunter Requisition that can be gained through log in rewards purchased for Bits. Once spent, players will be placed into the appropriate Expedition based on EGO rating. The higher one's EGO rating, the higher the tier of difficulty will be.  Tier difficulty determines how hard monsters are to defeat, but also determines the quality of gear that can be acquired.

Players can complete an expedition, return to Alcatraz to purchase new gear and head right back in to continue the climb up the tiers for even better quality gear.

Read more about Expeditions, including a fairly comprehensive list of monsters players will encounter, on the Defiance site.

The Star Trek Online site has a new design blog that delves into the process behind the creation of command ships. The post reveals how brainstorming is integral to making command ships, the game's support team, different mechanically from all other ships. Command ships benefit from several key buffs that can be applied across the board.

In addition, each faction's ship requires its own unique look and feel that dovetails with the overall visual appeal of each faction.  Each ship also has to function within a faction's mechanics. For instance, Starfleet command ships have an average hull, but strong shields. Romulans have average hulls and shield but benefit from cloaking. Klingon ships have cloaking, average shields, but strong hulls.

The post further details bridge officer integration, variants and each ship's hangar bay.

For a good peek inside the development process, head to the Star Trek Online site to check out the post.


The Neverwinter site has been updated with a list of several activities players can participate in alongside the community team. This month NW community team member "Akro" will be leading the charge into PvP battles as well as a dungeon delve event.

Players need to add "Akro" to their friends list and be in game at the appointed time to participate.

February 18th 11AM-12PM – PvP with Akro: Join Akro in Protector's Enclave during this time and party up to queue for some Domination PvP or coordinate some Icewind Dale PvP!

February 23rd 11AM-12PM – PvP with Akro - oin Akro in Protector's Enclave during this time and party up to queue for some Domination PvP or coordinate some Icewind Dale PvP!

February 24th 1PM-2PM PST – Dungeon Delves with Akro - Join Akro in Protector's Enclave during this time and party up to queue for Neverwinter's darkest dungeons and action-packed skirmishes! If you don't get a chance to party with him the first time, try and catch him when he comes back from his epic adventure.

The team is promising even more events to be scheduled over time so be sure to keep an eye on the Neverwinter site for more information.

World of Warcraft will be updated with the much-anticipated v6.1 patch on Tuesday, February 24th. The patch brings some major features into the game including support for the color blind, Twitter integration, an heirlooms collection tab, the updated Blood Elf models, improvements to existing character models, and anti-aliasing / lighting improvements.

The patch also brings quest improvements, character balance updates, garrison improvements, a new legendary follower, the ability to summon a world boss to a garrison and much, much more.

To celebrate the imminent arrival of v6.1, the World of Warcraft team has put together a new video to show off some of what players can expect.

The full patch notes can also be found on the World of Warcraft community site.


A brand new producer's letter has been published on the Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade site where Nathan Richardsson introduces himself and gives fans a bit of an update about the development of the game. Richardsson writes that the relative silence from Behaviour has been in large part due to the fact that the team is working on back end systems, but is also reviewing and revising the timeline to release the game.

The revision begins with a renaming of "Early Access" to "Founders Access". It's a semantic term that still requires a financial investment in order to become part of the earliest iterations of the game. In addition, players and fans have been informed that Founders Access (ex Early Access) will not begin until Autumn 2015. There is no specific month named but Richardsson has promised to keep players informed as time goes on.

We’ve also been silent because we’re doing highly secretive technical work. It’s why you’re seeing our build screenshots, why our twitch isn’t showing recent stuff bi-weekly—because we can’t yet. Or to be fair, in something as complex as game development, there are periods where our technical framework needs breathing time from creating new shiny things all the time. We are doing that now while we’re planning. I know, it almost sounds clever and intentional. Don’t get your hopes up.

Read the rest of the newsletter on the Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade site.

Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment have announced that the next Neverwinter module, Elemental Evil, will be released on March 17th. Doubtless overshadowing this good news is the fact that the ever-popular Minsc and Boo, the ranger and his giant hamster sidekick from the Baldur's Gate series, will be assisting players on their journey by educating them about the Elemental Evil cults.

In addition to that heady news, Neverwinter players can also expect:

  • a level cap increase from 60 to 70
  • the Oathbound Paladin playable class offering either a tank or healing spec
  • new quests
  • new feats
  • a 'slottable' class feature power
Find out more about Elemental Evil on the Neverwinter site.
 

With a month to go before The Elder Scrolls Online morphs into a buy to play game under the mouthful of a new title The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, there is now more info on how things will work after the switch. When the switch was announced, and the buy to play option with future DLC (included for subscribers or available for purchase) made known, there were still some pressing questions left with regards to just what this might entail. There are other games out there with hybrid models that sell content updates like The Secret World or The Lord of the Rings Online, but details were scarce until now.

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's Elder Scrolls Online: What Will DLC Be Like?

When Paul Neurath and his team set out to make a new Underworld game, they wanted to make sure it stayed true to the originals from the early 1990s. Lucky for them, despite much success and critical adulation, no one’s quite made a game like Underworld since then. We chatted with Paul about Underworld Ascendant and its use of the Improvisation Engine to make a much more believable and unscripted world for its players.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Underworld Ascendant: What is the Improvisation Engine?

If you are an MMORPG fan like I am, it is easy to become a little depressed, thanks to the seemingly endless discussions over the “death” of MMOs and studio closures or while reading the comments section. (Note to self: stop it.) Even with my Jedi-level “game journalist” training (I put that on all of my business cards) I still find myself occasionally feeling down. Blue. Sad. Wondering about the future of “real” MMO gaming.

Read more of Beau Hindman's TERA: The Skycastles Bring TERA's Action to the Heavens.

The buzz surrounding last week's announcement of Sword Coast Legends is growing as excited players hope for an epic RPG based on the glory of the table-top experience. We had the opportunity to interview Nathan Stewart, Brand Director for Dungeons & Dragons & Wizards of the Coast and Dan Tudge, President of n-Space to find out more.

Read more of Rob Lashley's Sword Coast Legends - A Classic Forgotten Realms Adventure - Our Exclusive Interview.

The Final Fantasy XIV site has been updated with a long written digest post from the last Letter from the Producer Live event. Among other things, players can learn more about the spotlight of the next update, the Manderville Gold Saucer. Yoshi P. said that the Manderville Gold Saucer was introduced in FFVII as an arcade location that is now being brought forward to FFXIV.

Gold Saucer events receive some nice explanations in the wrap report and in the video on the FFXIV site (Japanese only)

  • chocobo racing
  • Triple Triad, a card-based minigame
  • G.A.T.E. - Gold Saucer Active Time Event
  • Crystal Tower Striker
  • The Moogle's Paw
  • Monster Toss
  • A weekly lottery event called Jumbo Cactpot
Check out the full digest on the Final Fantasy XIV site.
 

Artcraft has announced that Voxel Farm technology is being utilized in Crowfall. Rather than having it used as a creative factor in a sandbox environment, Todd Coleman likens it more to developers building sandcastles for the players to "kick over". The utilization of Voxel tech dovetails nicely with the idea that Crowfall's worlds decay over time and ultimately are destroyed.

Read more about the inclusion of the Voxel Farm in the handy FAQ on the Crowfall  site.

The team also revealed the next character archetype, a rather surprising one in the looks department called the Elken Stalker, a ranged DPS specialist. As the name implies, this archetype is a 2-legged elk-headed race. There are not yet any in-game screenshots, but there is a nice back story that can be read on the Crowfall site.

The second major EVE Online update of 2015 is now in the books with the arrival of the Tiamat content expansion that continues the game's progress through a major overhaul and update throughout the balance of the year. Tiamat sees significant improvements to audio, graphics and effects on the back end side of things and several big feature improvements on the client side.

  • Corporation Tools to assist groups with better management and organization, recruitment tools and whether or not 'friendly fire' will be tracked
  • Projectile weapon rebalancing with specific regard to autocannons and small artillery
  • A mysterious race of beings never yet seen before in the game (see below)
Read the full patch notes about Tiamat on the EVE Online site.
 
 
 

Dying Light players will enjoy a new series of developer video diaries that will give tips and tricks for the best ways to play and enjoy the game. In the first episode, lead game designer Maciej Binkowski walks players through the joys of being the Night Hunter and the benefits of multiplayer. Check it out!


One part board game, one part collectible card game, and one part computer role playing game, Hand of Fate is a witch’s brew concocted by Australian based developer Defiant Development who tossed all of these ingredients into a cauldron and ended up with a game that is as entertaining as it is addictive. It is also one of the most unique games I have played in a very long time.

Read more of Rob Lashley's review, Hand of Fate: Defiant Development Deals up Pocket Kings.

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